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Author Topic: CAIRLANN - Coming Soon  (Read 9423 times)

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Offline Operative13

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Re: CAIRLANN - Coming Soon
« Reply #75 on: October 11, 2021, 02:59:35 AM »
A Tales of Cadamaria Story - Battle of Garagil Pass (Part 17)
Strolling through the camp, Halan was met once more by perturbed, bizarre, and bewildered looks among the troops to see such a large burly man follow the Lord Captain like a faithful companion. Eadgar kept a keen eye on the man from behind, ready to unsheath his blade upon any signs of trouble, yet the hersir merely kept his pace, rather amused in fact by unnerving reactions his presence made to his passerbys. Yet, there were always a brave handful that would hurl curses and obscenities every now and then, although too distant for Halan to reign in their tempers, and certainly too distant for the hersir to bear his grimy fingers into.

Eventually they found themselves at Halan’s pale-white tent, moderately-sized compared to the low, cramped, and dinghy tents of the foot soldiers. Atop its roof flew the banner of the Knights Chaplain, a four-pointed white star with two dragons slivering across its bottom halves marked upon a black veil bordered by white-and-gold edges. Two Knights Chaplain stood guard at the tent’s entrance, keeping vigilance for anyone that might wish to enter the Lord Captain’s private residence. Halan hailed the guards as they approached, to which the guards replied in earnest with a stout salute.

Halan pulled open the cloth vestibule from the entrance and invited the hersir in.

“Come inside. We can talk here in private.”

It might have been amusement or disbelief that painted the hersir’s face, but either way it was evident from the man’s hard scoff that he did not take Captain Halan’s gestures quite seriously. He lifted his chin and strolled in as if an honored guest would. Eadgar then followed suit, but Halan fell his arm between the knight and the opening.

“Just us,” said Halan. “Go to the dressing station and report back to the others. I will return to collect them when I am done here.”

Eadgar hesitated. He glanced over Halan’s shoulder to the hersir, who wandered his eyes around the dim interior to Halan’s furnishments with a jovial sportiveness, worried of what might come to the Lord Captain keeping such an audacious man in close presence. Yet the firm determination in Halan’s eyes reassured the young knight of the Lord Captain’s course of action, and he nodded in acceptance as he stepped back and saluted, before the curtains closed between them.

Halan promptly set aflame the oil lamps within the tent, illuminating the once-dull interior to the vibrant displays of gadgets and tapestries that lined the tent’s walls. At the center was a plain bed with a large oak table containing scrolls, books, and quills posted at its foot. Halan brought forth a chair to the other side of the table before seating himself at the opposite end.

“Sit down,” told Halan.

“I think I’d rather stand,” said the hersir.

“That wasn’t an ask. Sit.”

The man exchanged a callous look to Halan and slowly walked himself up to the chair before easing himself into its bosom. Halan rummaged through a chest and poured two cups of wine before coming back to the table and offering one to the hersir.

“Twenty-year-old wine,” said Halan. “Handpicked from the vineyards of Mercade. You won’t get anything of this quality up north.”

“I’m more of a mead person. Don’t care too much about your fancy southern booze,” the hersir replied.

“It’s yours to drink. I will help myself to my share.” Halan took a sip of the aged wine before setting the cup down and easing into the seat opposed to the hersir. He clasped his hands and paused for a brief moment before speaking. However, the words that came out of Halan’s mouth drew the hersir’s attention.

Do you prefer Ellistrivari or Cadamarian?” Halan spoke. It was Ellstrivari tongue.

Where did you learn to speak Ellstrivari so fluently?” the hersir asked.

When you’re fighting a war for ten years in a foreign land, it helps to learn the local language. You can ask for food, water, shelter... where the enemy is. That sort of thing. You’re not so bad with your Cadamarian yourself.

I lived in the lower regions, in Galthorn, when I was a boy. That was before your people invaded Vermaris.

You were Vermarian?

I don’t consider myself as such. We’re Godwynian by blood, and so are the peoples of the Eastern Sea. Vermarians are nothing more than mud-rolling, grass-mulling fattened sheep-pigs. They know nothing of honor and battle.

Did you fight in the war, then?

Aye, I did. But that was a long time ago. A time when I was naive and stupid, believing I should fight for the sake of fighting. For glory and riches. I quickly realized just how much I was lied to, and that the Vermarians never cared so much about us little folk. Only hoping to line their pockets as they feed us to the slaughter.

But then you came to fight in this war.

Aye. That I did. Fighting for one’s blood. That’s something you can never conquer. No bags of gold and silver can change that.

Fighting for one’s blood… I understand the sentiment. Do you know why we fought this war against your people?

The hersir raised a brow. “Do I need to? All I need to know is that you people killed my family, and that I won’t rest until each and every one of you damned bastards are burning in Vel.

I’m… sorry to hear that.

You didn’t seem so sorry when you lost your brothers that long ago.” The hersir scoffed. “Nothing but a failed act with the lot of you.

I did not fret when I said that you will answer for them. Rest assured, you will. But that is not why we are here today. Today, I simply want to know my enemy. I want to know you.

The hersir bellowed a great, wholehearted laugh. “And how do you expect to do that!?

We can start by talking. I am Halan Aldwych, Captain of the Knights Chaplain. What is your name?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 03:02:40 AM by Operative13 »
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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Offline Operative13

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Re: CAIRLANN - Coming Soon
« Reply #76 on: Today at 01:38:03 AM »
A Tales of Cadamaria Story - Battle of Garagil Pass (Part 18)
A tense silence hung briefly between the two as the lamps flickered and the tent’s thin-sheet walls quivered from the wistful breeze outside. Whether it was a wise choice to try and befriend the man or even to bring him to camp, the young knight did not know. Yet, he remained determined. Sir Bowdyn and the others had died to bring this man here. He would not make waste of their sacrifice. Here, he would gain the information he needed that would save this army and the countless lives eager to return home. Halan anxiously awaited the hersir’s answer, but all he received was his twisted, yellowed grin.

My name?” the man repeated. “You don’t need to know my name.

I do,” said Halan.

You won’t even remember it after I leave.” The hersir then scoffed. “I’ll likely be dead soon. Killed by your superiors who’d all wish the same for my brothers, and all those that oppose you and your pitiful God. But by Tulls, I’ll be welcomed into the halls of Arvalta to rejoin my wife and son with open embrace, and you’ll be damned to walk these hollow lands, lost and alone.

Halan sat back upon his chair. “What you say is true,” he concurred.  “I don’t have many friends. Most of them died during the War, and I’ve never tried making more. I’m a man of God, but here I am killing in His name. When I’m gone, I’ll be damned to Hell for all the grief and suffering I’ve caused, and no one will come save me for my sins. But even so, I still want to do good.

You can start by turning you and your lot around and never coming back,” the hersir spat.

Halan shook his head. “You know I can’t do that. I assure you, I’d want that more than anything. And so do the rest of my men.

Then why fight a war you have no guts for?

Because we must. Because if we do not, who else will fight in our stead? You understand that as much as I do. We are warriors. We fight these battles so that no one else will. Your wife and son… I’m sure you would not wish their fate on anyone else. That is why you fight, is it not?

“I fight because you strung my family up a cross when they refused to welcome your people. There they came, swords and spears in hand, demanding to be housed, clothed, fed, all from our pockets. We could not spare any for the men that came, so instead they decided not to spare their lives. And still, they took what they could and left the rest to burn. Warriors fight battles. Murderers kill innocents. And there was no battle to be had from my wife and son.

I’m sorry.

Are you now?” the hersir sneered. “Do you say that because you care about me, or to comfort yourself whenever you spill blood with that shining sword of yours?

And what of you?” Halan calmly said, staring back at the man. “Why bother surrendering yourself to me when you could have easily fought to the death? Did you really care about your wife and son, or are you just making excuses?

The hersir growled. “Damn you, vile hellspawn!

Before Halan could continue, a commotion outside the tent caught his attention. The guards were speaking to a girl.

“I’m sorry, Madam, but we cannot allow you to enter,” said a guard.

“Please, sir, I insist!” a soft, outspoken voice spoke. “You must let me see him!”

“Captain Halan is very busy at the moment. When he is available again...”

Halan stood up from the table and paced towards the entrance. He unfurrowed the cover to see Eadith holding a small jar cupped between her hands.

Her starry eyes lit up the moment he came into view. “Captain Halan!”

“Eadith,” Halan greeted. “What are you doing here?”

“You left before I could finish treating your injuries. I thought you’d be in pain right about now, so I figured I would bring some oils for you to lather the bruises with.” She approached Halan and presented the jar to him.

“That’s… very kind of you,” he nodded, taking hold of the jar.

She stared unwaveringly at the tunic, then rocked back and forth to see behind Halan. “Where’d you get the tunic? And what are you doing inside there? Are you talking to that man from earlier?”

Halan raised a brow. “What are you on, asking all these questions so suddenly?”

Eadith playfully grinned. She twirled her back to Halan, taking a few strides away from him before stopping. “I… was just using the jar as an excuse to see what you were up to.” She then twirled back to face him, a twinkle in her eyes. “So! Can I meet him?”

“The prisoner? Certainly not.”

“Just this once!” she begged.

“You know this is not a place for a young lady to be, don’t you?”

“But after I heard about what happened, with Sir Bowdyn and all the others...”

“...so you know then.” Halan spoke more softly now, realizing she had known all along.

Yet, Eadith continued with her upbeat demeanor. “I would do a great service to Sir Bowdyn’s men if I were to give him a piece of my mind! And then maybe mend any wounds or soothe his soul so that he realizes just what terrible things he’s done!”

What a strange young girl. Even for brutes, she’s still willing to help them, with a smile, no less. “I doubt you’d be able to convince him otherwise,” said Halan.

“Yeah, I didn’t think so either… but the oils smell wonderful! I bet it could run the stank off that fiend if I tried it on him!”

“You… want to try the oils on my prisoner?”

“Why not? I’m sure with all the smells he’s been rolling around in, he’ll welcome the new scent of fresh apples!”

Halan exchanged glances with the two guards, who could not help but shake their heads and grin at the situation.

“Promise me you’ll just try the oils and be out right after. I don’t want you interfering with my talks more than necessary.”

“Most certainly! I’ll be in and out before you know it!” With that, Eadith snatched back the jar she had handed to Halan and began strolling into the tent, humming a lackadaisical tune.

“You’re too easy on her, Captain,” a guard said.

Halan sighed. “What choice do I have? It’d be a crime for me to ruin that smile... keep up the watch.”

“Yes, Captain.”

Halan then saluted the guards before returning back to the tent. It was then that he was greeted by an astonishing sight.
“To give of oneself is the noblest of all acts.”

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