War, Love and Lost may be found on the wiki, which is currently going over major changes. I should be working on them right now, but I'd prefer to write this. It has been a long time coming. Forum's up though! yay! (it's still a beta...)http://nfwp.wikia.com/wiki/New_Fantasy_ ... ra%29_Wiki
Arcadia is not known for its love of nature. Indeed, one could say that there is less than one square mile of untouched grassland in the city between the forests and the mountains. If you want rolling green pastures, Arcadia is not the place for you. But what makes it so interesting for a person such as yourself, seeking relaxation? There is music. Arcadia has a very proud voice industry, often, along the streets of Arcadia City, Arini and Abinoch you may find fine buskers singing out for attention.
Ah! Perhaps then, that is not to your taste... do not worry. You must be a fan of architecture! Arini is famous for its Tal Heights! It's active volcano fixture is not to be missed and the legendary 10000 bathroom maze is truly a wonder. You know, they say Cardew Rhun, of the Rhun Family, went mad in there trying to find a male bathroom, as he was stuck with female bathrooms as far as he could see. Or perhaps you would prefer the magnificent Mystro Palaces? Marvel at the gardens, the throne room, or perhaps, if you're feeling daring, you should try a conversation with Pik and Nim, the two ferociously stupid door guards? If they don't drop your IQ I will pay you!
Not to your taste? There is one more 'Art' that Arcadia is proud of... Their literature. Arcadians LOVE their literature. Why, when you look outside and all there is is gray city? You get quite depressed. One can even say suicidal. Arcadians cope very well though, a book is an excellent past time to visualize grass and proper hills... and if that fails, there's the movie industry! Why that's just what we're going to do tonight. Watch a movie! This one is a historical non-fiction. Well... vaguely a non-fiction. The characters were real!
Now shush and pass the popcorn, the movie's starting.
WAR, LOVE AND LOST
Bal Moran was an ugly man. He wasn't always this way. Once, he was as handsome as the next guy, but he was a man of war. That implies a lot of death, and he had seen too much. The joke was, that for every three scars or disfigurements, he got a medal. He never laughed at those jokes. Well, he didn't laugh often at all. He was only thirty-two, young considering Humans could live to a hundred and fifty years and only be middle aged - back then. His loyalties? Bal Moran was the trusted servant and sworn brother to Hak Orwe.
Hak Orwe was not ugly. He was not a man of war. He was certainly not a menial laborer. He was a politician. He was devious and sly, while Bal could only really handle a sword, Hak could handle a crowd of people. They say he once convinced a thousand people to buy his over priced brand of hat for an outrageous sum of money. This started a new clothing trend and netted Hak millions. So he was, like all brilliant men who have too little to do, bored. His loyalties? Certainly not Gallia, his home nation.
Hak and Bal Moran left their nation for the Periphery. There, every warlord with a two bit army could carve out a welcome mat out of a political brouhaha that was more profitable to watch than to conquer, when the Four Great Kingdoms were concerned. Indeed, it became a game to them. Gallia, for example, supported Hak and Bal Moran in their endeavor because their nation, Sacri, would be in direct confrontation with Linkoln, which was supported by Anaeas, the second of the Four Great Nations. Also, trade with the Warlords was profitable while their gold lasted.
So, in this Periphery, Hak and Bal Moran used the armies that came with them to carve out a land for themselves. Hak had his own agenda. He wanted a place away from the decadent and backstabbing nobles. A place where ability, not birth, could decide your successes. He said: "How would history see us?" whenever he could. It was a reminder. In the end, their thoughts would not really matter, it was what was written about them. Bal Moran is a much simpler man to psycho analyze.
Bal Moran was his strong right hand, conqueror of enemies and defender of the common folk. Bal Moran loved to here the cheering of the people, and, behind his mask, he could forget his ugliness. They loved him for making them safe. Though Sacri was new and volatile, it was still better than anything the peasants had before. Indeed, Bal Moran only had to kill one of them so far, an execution for murder most foul. The people were happy and that was great but he was still quite lonely, really.
-Chapter Political Conversation-
Hak Orwe swept the halls, looking for someone to endure his wrath, or fall to it, rather. Bal Moran was reading frontier reports when Hak stalked into the war room. Hak was often beyond his ken. Why should it matter what he wore when he was doing field actions, armor was pretty unisex and universal. But Hak was not here to berate his friend on his latest political blunder (and he made many!), no, he had a different purpose.
Hak paced a bit, as if trying to find the right words that wouldn't get his head taken off. This worried Bal, as this either meant pain or some new political scheme. Mostly, it meant pain.
"I've decided you're going to marry."
"Seriously. You are getting married."
"If I remember right... the last girl friend I had screamed and fainted when I un-masked. I still get nightmares you know" Bal Moran's history with females was long and varied. By the time he had left three generations of females had declared him a 'beastly monster' and 'entirely unfit for anything but his own sword' and one young girl he had politely asked the time of day (he was recovering from a battle and she was working at the hospital as a volunteer) declared him 'The enemy of all women'. This had a profound adverse effect on his life views.
"Yes well, that was a 'delicate' (he said this with a sneer) lady of the court. I told you she'd do that, and you wouldn't listen. That sort of thing won't happen here, I promise." Hak's promises meant something only fifty percent of the time.
"And who do you suppose we should marry? I don't think there are any suitable peasants for you, as there are no nobles here. And I've resigned myself to the warrior bachelor life. Nothing else to it."
"But I need you to do this." Hak took the reports out of Bal's hands and put them out of reach. He needed his full attention. "Farth, you remember Farth, with all the archers...?"
"I still have an arrow head in my skull. You allied us to them recently."
"Ah... Well, I've set you up with Gem Rayf. Of the House Rayf, of course. She is quite younger than you, but all the other daughters were taken at the time."
"Please tell me she's at least..." Bal Moran had had many painful, comedic experiences with younger girls. He didn't think these adventures funny and they were one of the reasons he was glad to leave Gallia. Seriously, ONE freak catapult accident and...
"Yes yes. I meant, she was the youngest. You know what they say about the youngest, eh?"
"No, I don't." Bal wasn't amused by vague innuendos.
Hak suddenly felt awkward. He had forgotten how much his friend had given up. "Ah, well, I don't actually know either, it's just that people keep saying that. Anyway. I expect you to be civil, and preferably nice as well. Listen, we already have this great alliance going with Damas, right?" Hak was being serious now, Bal Moran had to understand the Politics in this maneuver. "Damas is protecting our western end, right? So with Farth protecting much of our southern frontier, we should be able to focus our forces more to the northern 'wild lands' and the east, into Linkoln."
"Aye, but are you sure that Farth won't just attack us, political marriage or no?" Bal Moran's war gears were already grinding together. With the forces rerouted away, towards the north and east, they could double their speed of expansion easily.
"Gem Rayf is more than just the youngest, she's her father's favorite. The only reason I was even able to arrange this was through Damas' support. So..." He gestured for Bal Moran to fill in the blanks.
"Her father wouldn't attack while we have his precious daughter..." Bal Moran's eyes lit up like the metaphorical light bulb.
"Exactly! So you marry her and we can be assured that our southern flank has nothing to fear, right? House Rayf is honorable, anyway, so I wouldn't worry about it even if we didn't have a political marriage."
"Why aren't you getting married?"
Hak smiled, he was expecting his question. "Because I'm going to marry someone entirely different."
I'll try to update this once a week, less than the Prime Revenant...