Player Progression Story Knight System: Symbiosis, Skirmishes, Hunts, And Helpers

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  1. FireFan96

    FireFan96 Imperial Bloodhound Staff Member Lore2
    1. House von Drachenburg

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    Duty of the Highest Order

    The question of Prince Frederick Kade's status as a Viridian Paladin remained an ever present topic for the Elder Council of Domenico Lampero throughout the previous fortnight. Having consulted various Knights in the capital, the decision of what to do with the Urlified Prince became even harder to decide on when it came to a vote of recommendation. When faced with the decision to admit Url into the Viridian Order, offer an exception to the Prince, or maintain an Ailor-only stance, the various Orders and Knights all voted in a split vote, leaving each option on equal footing to the others.

    When the voting result reached the Elder Council, it became clear that a rushed vote over a singular day was too hasty of a decision for even the moderates within the Viridian leadership, as the last real change to the status quo occurred nearly a century ago when the Shieldmaidens were added to the Order as a female-only unit of Knights. As well aware as they were to the changing social times, the Viridian Elders maintained that any decision made needed to be truthful to the Order's history as a bastion of Knightly conduct, and as a framework for others to emulate. With a desire to collect more information, the Primae returned to the capital a week later to consult the various Knights for a second time, a decision which ultimately found the answer the Viridians wanted.

    While there were still Knights that called for Ailor-only within the Viridians, and those that considered full integration, a favorable answer ultimately came down to the reason for Prince Frederick's decision. Having served the Viridians for many years, and being fervently loyal to the Emperor and the Imperial Spirit, the decision to accept Symbiosis was done out of a selfless reason to show that the Empire did care about the Url, and that they were necessary for the future of Ailorkind. The action of sacrificing one's own Ailor identity for the good of the Empire, was an act of noble intent and high honor, something which ultimately swayed the Elder Council and the Primae.

    After consultation of the various speeches made, several core findings were agreed upon by the Elders, based upon various ideological factions in the Council:
    • The Old Guard Traditionalists flatly rejected the idea of fully integrating the Url within the Viridian Order, noting that biological differences simply made it impossible for Url to train in core areas of the Order, such as horsemanship.
    • The Chattelois Clique believed that when it concerned adherence to the Viridian Code, Prince Frederick had done nothing wrong, and instead maintained his Viridian honor even after becoming an Url. They could not see a reason why a Knight should be punished for doing his duty to the Imperial Family and Empire, even at the cost of his Ailorhood.
    • The Vultar-Anglian Loyalists were Kade fanatics, and rejected the idea of expelling Prince Frederick, though with different reasons: the Vultars believed that Symbiosis was a way to transcend according to Unionist doctrine, while the Anglians believed that as servant to the Imperial Family, the Viridian Order cannot in good faith expel a Prince.
    • The Arcèn Reformists, led by the Prime Protectress of the Shieldmaidens, believed that some sort of change needed to happen to keep the Viridian Order relevant to the changing times, and opposed any "do nothing" response that would keep everyone asking questions and erode the Viridians into complacency.
    After another week of deliberation, debates, and combing through the statements made at the two consultation sessions, the Viridian Elder Council eventually reached a consensus:
    • Firstly, Prince Frederick would retain his Paladin rank and membership within the Viridian Order, noting that his decision to undergo Symbiosis was done out of a desire to serve the Empire and the Imperial Family above personal identity.
    • Secondly, a policy was implemented internally, where Ulrified Viridian Knights who maintain their loyalty to the Order and Ehrenhof Code may petition the Council to retain their rank and membership.
    Both points were favored by the Chattelois Clique, as it showed that Viridians who kept to their Code would not be immediately turned away over Symbiosis. The Vultar-Anglian Loyalists were pleased knowing that their Prince would remain a Viridian Knight will full respects. And the Arcèn Reformists were happy that the Elders actually enacted a policy that could be replicated. The only faction remaining was the Old Guard Traditionalists, who while not overtly pleased with the Council's decision, was content knowing that a petitioning system was in place, and that Ulrification had never happened to a Viridian Knight up until this point, making future cases extremely unlikely.

    With a decision reached, the Primae simply sent out a short thank you letter to the Knights in the capital for their counsel, and would let them know when the Viridian Order had something for them to do in the future.

    Call of the North to Southern Peaks
    Answering the call of the Dwarven High Hunter, Rafael Carano and Aesgeri av Hedryll set out from Trollstigelberge with their host to go after the rumored beast-men in the region. Equipped with gear prepared for the colder weather, the trio had no issue keeping warm in their journey, with both Rafael and Aesgeir's skills in Pathfinding allowing them to find the trail of the target faster than expected. As they trio of Knights journeyed through the Drixagh landscape, tales of past hunts were shared between the men, and speculations over their current prize were abundant. The High Hunter himself only had some limited answers to provide when asked about the beast-men, though further tracking of the latter's movements soon filled in missing information. Aesgeir's studying of the footprints made in the ground allowed him to discover that there were about a dozen beast men being tracked, with many stepping inside the footprints of their leaders to mask their true numbers to the untrained eye. Secondly, the spacing of the footprints indicated that a sense of urgency was needed with the beat-men, as if they were being pursued. Finally, some torn fabrics and discarded weapons showed that there was some skirmishing that had occurred.

    With three clues made in their hunt, the trio continue to move on for a few more hours, until coming across a makeshift camp. At first expecting their hunt to be concluded, the group soon realized that they were strongly mistaken. Immediately upon entry into the camp, the group noticed busted tents, destroyed campfires, and a few unfortunate corpses that ended up meeting their end. While inspecting one of the bodies, it became clear that the beast-men themselves were nothing more than a pack of Werebeasts, running away from a group that was pursuing them. The other two corpses were clearly Ailor, though their faces were unrecognizable from the skirmishing that happened at the cape. The only things that stood out from them were the Calemberg Fox Pelts donned by both men, which was a strange sight to see this far north of Hadrian's Mountain Chain. Very little else could be found in the camp, and from the various footprints leaving the campsite, it was clear that the Werebeasts had split off into various directions, making it next to impossible to track them all down. Calling the hunt over, the High Hunter and the two other Knights set to work burying the three dead men near the camp, before parting ways. With the Calemberg Fox Pelts on their minds, the High Hunter suggested contacting one of the Hunting Guilds in the City of Calemberg, offering his name to aid the two on their next quest, if they chose to take it.

    It's the Little Things that Matter
    Looking to do some charitable work with the income earned through serving House de Piedmont, Tim Borros started off on a quest of helping as many villages as he could, solving as many problems as possible. While noble in intentions, Tim's mission started to falter almost as soon as he stepped on the boat leaving Regalia. Without any set destination, the Lion Pelt eventually found himself along the Harbor District of Narlas, with the Crown Isle still somewhat visible in the distance. Going to the local Church, Tim donated part of his earnings to aid in local charity work, while asking about any way to safeguard against bandits and the like, or other interior villages that could use some aid. While grateful for the donations, the local priest and volunteers explained how it would be unlikely for a singular Knight to ward off any criminal elements by himself, and that local Bloodcast Knights were already well equipped to deal with such matters already. With little need for his services, Tim was sent back to Regalia.

    Mozarian Marauders
    Prospero and Eugenio of the Monzon Order travel to the backwoods villages of Mozaria, which had been raided by the Szabadok band a fortnight ago. As they travelled across the Ostiermark countryside, their gilded armor eventually gave their position away, and soon a few horseriders came up to the two men, bows at the ready. While the two Monzons started to converse with the Szabadok, it soon became clear that their initial motives were going to be lost on the raiders, who only spoke in Réginyelv as they grew ever more threatening to the Knights. Eventually, the two men were bound with ropes, blindfolded, and placed on the back of two of the horses, taken prisoner as the scouts made their way back to the Szabadok camp.

    After what seemed like an hour of constant bumps, the blindfolds of the two men were taken off, and they realized that they were not in the company of friends. All around them stood or sat a few dozen Szabadok warriors, sharpening their weapons and looking upon the two Knights with disdain. Fortunately, the camp also happened to have an interpreter in their ranks, who was able to deliver Prospero's message to the camp leader. While the Szabadok initially thought that the two Knights were in Mozaria to end the raids, they were caught by surprise when the Monzons offered their services to deal with any armed forces hired to stop the raiders. While initially intrigued with the offer, the deal fell flat when the topic of compensation was brought up. The Szabadok had already captured the two Monzons with relative ease, and believed that they were more than equipped to deal with whatever force would come to stop them. At least, that was what they thought before the warning horns were sounded at the camp's perimeter...

    The two Monzons would soon learn that they were not the only group of Knights that was moving on Moravia. Eponia and Humaira Reinard, alongside Wilvamair Arnyn, had also travelled to the Mozarian countryside to deal with the Szabadok raids. Unlike the Monzons who were looking for the raiders outright, the Lion Pelt group went straight to the local baronets to offer their assistance. With the Lion Pelt Order being a local favorite of the Leutzmen, as well as their ability to speak Leutz directly to the baronets, they were able to convince the baronets to begin rallying their men to face the enemy head on. Rendezvousing at a nearby farm, the three Knights marched to the Szabadok camp with a ragtag group of local Mozarian soldiers and common peasant levies. While their numbers were laughably small, only at best a couple hundred men in total, the following skirmish would soon determine which side truly came prepared.

    Upon sighting the enemy, the Szabadok leader mounted his horse and started to rally his raiders to meet the enemy head on, intent on using their tried and tested arrow volleys to weaken the meager resistance force and cut down any survivors. At least, that was what everyone expected to happen. The only variable that the Szabadok never accounted for, was that a White Warrior would be present on the battlefield. Without even waiting for the signal to engage, Wilvamair did what he did best, and flew up into the sky with his angelic wings, before falling upon the Szabadok leader, knocking the Black Terror from his horse with only a scream to be heard from behind his face mask. With their leader immediately dispatched by a figure seemingly out of a local myth, the Szabadok command structure immediately fell apart, allowing the ragtag resistance to move in during the confusion and cause a rout. Some raiders attempted to fight back, but were struck by the local peasantry and guards with spears and pitchforks, while others saw the writing on the walls and began a hasty retreat from the battlefield. Still others began to head back to the camp to take as much loot as possible, only to be assaulted by their former comrades. In short, the Szabadok were in a complete shitshow, and the Mozarians knew it, pressing on to push their current adversary out of their feifdoms.

    While their hope for a contract was destroyed in the carnage outside the camp, Fortune still smiled upon Prospero and Eugenio. As the Szabadok were more focused on dealing with the local militia, nobody was standing guard over the two Monzons, who took the time to cut their restraints with the camp equipment nearby. Once freed, the two men simply decided that it was safer for them to live and fight another day than be subjected to whatever punishment the Leutz-Vixe would have in store for them. Defeat however would not stop them from taking some form of "compensation" for their troubles, as after being reunited with their personal weapons, the two men took the time to collect a sack each of loot from the camp, while "borrowing" a couple of horses from a few fallen Szabadok, who seemed to no longer need such mounts in whatever afterlife they found themselves in. With a small kick to the sides, both Monzons rode out from the camp entrance, took a sharp turn before the two skirmishing parties, and galloped off into the distance before anyone could react. While things could have gone far worse in their botched mission, the two Monzons nonetheless had to live knowing that their Lion Pelt rivals were the reason for their continued existence.

    As the Szabadok force either fled the field or were defeated in combat, the local militia began to celebrate their victory over the enemy. Thanks to the Reinards and Wilvamair, the Mozarian backwaters no longer faced a unified raiding force, and expected that the local baronets could manage what remnants still remained in their fiefdoms. While no bards would sing of their small deeds, nor would anyone in the Regalian capital give half a damn about some small skirmish, the three Knights knew that they did good by their honor this day, and that was sufficient.

    Run to the Forests, Run!
    The Diviner heretic was not not to be idle in Alvania, knowing full well that the Parthas Knights were still in hot pursuit. Having waited a few days at a local inn, the heretic determined that nobody was interested in the information he had, and simply continued on his way. When the Parthas Knights eventually tracked down the heretic's last known whereabouts, they discovered that the man had taken the next ship to Girobalda, no doubt to return to the Forriesta Natal where the rough terrain made it easy to hide from both bounty hunters and Herebrand Crusaders. While most of the Parthas Knights returned to the Baitus Kremlin, a few offered their services to any Knight who might be willing to hunt down the Diviner in Girobalda's forested regions.

    Pilgrims in an Unknown Land
    A group of Colonial Ailor have recently arrived in the Theomaren States, eager to go on a pilgrimage to some of Unionism's Cathedrals. While they have the means to pay the way, the group has never set foot in the Regalian Archipelago before, and would enjoy the company of individuals who are interested in pilgrimages and doing good for others.
     
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