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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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First Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27693404/
Second Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27726570/
Third Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27759119/
Fourth Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27796924/
Fifth Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27835051/
Sixth Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27877615/
Seventh Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27918888/
Eighth Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27992471/
Ninth Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/28072186/
Tenth Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/28181599/
Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/QXuSBgGp
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Knight_of_TG
Deviant Art: http://knight-of-the-realm.deviantart.com/

Here are the Pastbins segments for the story so far:
A Matter of Discipline: http://pastebin.com/qMLCh4zf
A Night in the Land of Nod: http://pastebin.com/11QmDNgH
First Knight: Martina: http://pastebin.com/uxHtXHsf
First Knight: Aimèe: http://pastebin.com/MnibYbMm
First Knight: Sieghild: http://pastebin.com/tybDT8Eq
First Knight: Felìcita: http://pastebin.com/sPfwT93U
First Knight: Rina: http://pastebin.com/nWB7keKy
First Knight: Veila: http://pastebin.com/G9KAsFJd

Since the last Part 11 died without being archived, I'll repost that part of the story before moving on to the new content.
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Dear Journal,

After about a day of travel, we reached the castle of Lady Eva. Although I'd seen better, it was still a rather impressive fortification. It was a fairly typical castle design, a fortified keep with some exterior walls defending the interior. Rather than a moat, which would presumably freeze up and do little to no good in the winter, the castle had its entrance constructed higher up along the walls, and a large mound was constructed nearby, allowing the drawbridge to function without a moat. The outer walls were manned by archers, many of whom were looking at us worryingly.

Looking at the drawn bridge, I could see that the castle was in no mood for casual visitors. Despite this, I walked up the mound to where the guards could get a better view of me and called out, "Hello there! We are visitors to this land and would like an audience with your Lady Eva! Would that be possible?"

The guards looked around worryingly. Finally one spoke up, "What would this audience be about? And if it is just an audience, why do you come to us armed?"

"I come armed for two reason, first because this land is a dangerous one second because it lends credibility to my message, and to my offer."

There was some disturbed muttering along the wall. Finally the same guard called out, "What would this offer be?"

"I'm offering my assistance. I know that your lady is no friend of the Golden Saber. I come to offer my help in fighting them."

This time the murmuring had a tinge of excitement to it, although I could hear more cynical voices dismissing my message as a trap. After several minutes, the guard called out again, "Hold there and we shall consult with Lady Eva to see if she desires to see you!"
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I waited for what seemed like hours. Finally the guard returned, "I'm sorry. Lady Eva feels that the risk of you being part of a trap greatly outweighs any potential aid you can provide. After all, there are less than a dozen of you, not nearly enough to fight the Golden Saber, but more than enough to sabotage us…"

I ignored the rest of what the guard said as I picked someone new in the scene. Behind the guard on the walls, I could see a woman wearing gowns of some kind standing behind the keeps battlements. I could guess that this was the Lady Eva in question. Turning quickly I went down the mound to a spot where it cut off the castle's view of me. "Martina, come over here. I think it's time to show the locals who we really are…"

She smiled a wicked smile, "Good. It's been a while since I could strike terror in a band of puny humans…"

Mistaking my amused expression for concern she hastily added, "No offence that is."

I smiled, "None taken. Let's do this."

The cries of terror and fear as I flew out on Martina's back spread along the walls. The two of us flew down towards the wall, as the guards scattered before us, too terrified to even try to fight, Martina perched herself on the wall. Looking up at the woman on the battlements, I called out again, "Lady Eva! This is what I can do! If I was your enemy I wouldn't need subterfuge or sabotage to defeat you! And although my allies may be few in number, they are each capable of winning a war in their own right! I ask you again, may we speak?"

Perhaps that was a little bit of hyperbole on my part, but it worked. The figure on the walls gave a small nod and disappeared into the keep. After a few minutes, the guards from before arrived to lower the drawbridge for my companions. We slowly made our way into the castle, wondering if we were about to be attacked at any moment.
You know, just thirty seconds ago I was wondering where the Hell you were.

Good to see you back!
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As we made our way into the castle, we could see the residents, guards and civilians alike, shying away from us with fear. I heard Gaël mutter, "It seems that fear is a bit of a habit in these lands…"

I cut back "It’s a behavior that has been taught over years and years of oppression and abuse. We're here to help break it."

Veila whispered, "Don't worry. We will."

Aimée shook her head sadly, "Have you noticed that no one has really smiled here? They're all so… full of despair."

Martina, now back in her human form, looked at Aimée curiously, "What do you mean? Those two barmaids smiled."

Aimée shook her head again, "No. That was just relief when they found out that we weren't going to kill them. I'm talking about a real smile. You know, something that shows that you're happy? Seen any of those?"

I cut in, "Well… we haven't exactly had an unbiased sample. In that first town we were assumed to be part of the Golden Saber, and in this town we just intimidated our way in with a dragon…"

Sieghild broke in here, "I actually agree with Aimée on this one. And it's not just the locals. It's us too. We're giving up sooner than usual. In that town back there, Siegbert didn't even try to argue for lager imports when he found out there were none, Gaël, Boniface, you two have been flirting with every girl you've seen and you barely even spoke to them, Martina, you have way more magic than what you used in that battle, but you waited back until Sir Knight needed or asked for it, and you yourself Sir Knight, when that guy snuck up on you with that spell, you didn't try to work out how it happened, you just assumed you were careless and began to apologize for getting hurt. And when I told you that the battle was almost over, we all still just sat there! Normally we would be out there, helping our friends to the very end, but we just sat there and waited for the others to finish up!"
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Thanks its nice to be back. Still fighting writer's block but I have enough to make a decent update this time.

You can always email me or message me over any of my accounts to see what I'm up to with regards to the story.
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Felìcita began to nod, "Sieghild is right. There's something wrong with this land. Something more than just being ruled by a bunch of scum."

Rina began to agree too, "It's… it's almost like it gets into your head. Makes you want to just give up or something."

Boniface gave a polite cough, "As important as this conversation is… I'd say that we should get a move on and meet this Lady Eva. The guards appear to be waiting for us."

With that, we entered the keep. The guard from before met us inside, "Lady Eva can be found in the chapel, in prayer and meditation. She wishes to speak with your leader before she agrees to anything."

I nodded, "Very well. That would be me. Now can you tell us where-"

The guard cut me off, "I’m sorry my Lord, perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been. Lady Eva wishes to meet with your leader first, in private. For the sake of her own safety if nothing else."

I shrugged uneasily, "I suppose that's fair… " I turned around to check with my companions, "Does anyone have any objections?"

While they were likewise uneasy, they had no real objections to the meeting. I turned back to the guard. "Very well. Let's go meet your lady."

"I’m sorry my Lord, as I said she wishes to meet you alone. The chapel can be found on the top floor, at the end of the main hallway. I am to escort your companions to the dining hall."
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And on that note, I headed up the stairs to meet Lady Eva. I reached the top floor and I saw a long hallway. At the end of the hallway was what was clearly the chapel. I walked down the hallway to the large room. As I entered, I saw the holy symbols of the gods arrayed along the walls. At the end of the room was an altar. A young woman was kneeling before it, deep in prayer. I stayed back, to give her time to finish and took note of her. I had been expecting someone older, an old aristocrat who had seen the end of the last royal line and resented the mercenaries for changing things. Instead this woman looked barely into adulthood. Long blond hair was pulled into a ponytail at the back of her head and what I originally took to be royal garbs, were actually a priestly outfit. The only concession to her noble station was a small tiara on her head.

As she finished praying I coughed gently. She turned around her face taking on an expression of startled fear before smoothing it out into an expressionless calm, "Oh… I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you enter… I hope you weren't waiting long?"

"No. I just wanted to give you time to finish your prayers."

"… Thank you for that. Now how can I help you? You said that you were an enemy of the Golden Saber? I'm sorry for my doubts, but I'm not sure what I can do for you.

"I know enough of the Golden Saber's actions in other lands to loath them. I am engaged in a struggle against their current patron and have tracked him to this land. Of course, even without my own fight I would be interested in fighting a group as despicable as these mercenaries. However that's all I know. I don't know the layout of the land, I don't know how to find these men or their patron, I don't know where to find allies or who would be interested in opposing them, in short, Lady Eva, right now what I need is knowledge. Can you help me with that?"
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"Yes Knight, I can help you with that. It has been a long time since anyone dared to stand against them. Part of that is the brutality of the Golden Saber, but the problem lies deeper than that."

"What do you mean by that?"

"There is something wrong with this land… my own mother spent much of her life researching it before her death at the hands of the Golden Saber." Fascinatingly enough, even while talking of her mother's death, her composure remained, the only hint that she was sorry about the whole matter was a touch of tears in her eyes, which were quickly batted away.

"I'm sorry about your mother, and my own companions have noticed something wrong with this land too."

Lady Eva nodded. "It began hundreds of years ago. Once this land was ruled by a powerful wizard -"

"Archmage Isocrates?"

She looked surprised, "You know of him?"

"A bit…"

Lady Eva sat down on one of the pews and gestured for me to sit next to her, "Well. After his defeat at the hands of mysterious forces… something went wrong with this land. Some curse that he laid on us as he died. Crops began to fail, a malaise settled on the people, and prosperity seemed to slip away from us… These cumulated a few decades ago when a particularly fierce famine caused the failure of the King. In the ensuing chaos, General Zinoviy was able to form the Golden Saber from the desperate and bitter remains of the nation. They took to hiring themselves out to the highest bidder. This mercenary behavior kept the worst of their depredations from touching our own home, however several months ago they suddenly stopped taking new contracts and began to remain in Omrachena Zemli. Would this coincide with the time that your feud with their current patron started?"

I furrowed my brow, growing concerned. "Maybe… It's hard to say…"
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Lady Eva looked at me strangely, "What do you mean?"

I sighed and looked down, "You see… the problem is that I currently believe that the patron of the Golden Sabers is Isocrates himself, somehow returned from the dead."

"What? From what I've found out his current patron is a man known as Mr. Aldric."

I explained to Lady Eva about the Golden Sabers activities in Albero Città, how we had tracked down the records of Mr. Aldric's use of the black section of the arcane library, and how we had deduced that Mr. Aldric was Isocrates.

Lady Eva was silent for a long time after that. Finally she spoke up, "That would… that would make sense. Perhaps he chose the path of undeath when he sensed his time growing short?"

"However if he prolonged his existence, as one of the undead, it would make no sense for him to have only returned a few months ago. If he was undead, then he would have stayed in control somehow behind the scenes of Omrachena Zemli. The records I've found all speak of his need or desire for total control, I doubt he would have let a monarchy form at all. However from what you tell me, he couldn’t have been active for more than a few months. Could someone have raised him as undead?"

"I have no idea who would have done that. General Zinoviy would be my best guess, but if I'm honest with myself he would have no motive to do so. He was successful as a mercenary and had no real ties to Isocrates' reign."

"Hmm… That's something I will have to worry about when we face them."

Lady Eva started, "We?"

"Err… Me and my companions, that is."

"Oh… that makes sense."

I could swear that she looked disappointed for a split second but she quickly regained her composure and her face regained its almost unreadable calm.
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"Speaking of my companions, they'll need to hear this too. Many of them know more about the arcane arts than I do, and they may be able to find answers where we would be baffled."

"Agreed. I wasn't intending to keep this from them. I just wanted to see what kind of a person you were before I agreed to assist you. And… I didn't really do that at all. I must confess, that I expected you to be at least similar to the Golden Sabers. I'm sorry, but I've seen too many 'heroes' who were worse than the villains they fought against. When you waited for me to finish my prayers it… put me off my guard and I wound up telling you everything you needed to know anyways."

I gave Lady Eva a reassuring smile, "I understand. How about you ask me whatever questions you wanted to know the answers to now? That way you can find out how much you'd like to help us anyways?"

She smiled back briefly before it disappeared into the expressionless calm that she normally used, "Very well. Tell me a little of yourself, Knight."

"Very well my lady. As you surmised, I am a Knight of the Realm. I serve the kingdom far to the west and I operate as the hand of my lord."

Lady Eva nodded, a small glimmer of interest lighting up her eyes, "I am familiar with the realm. We actually share a frontier in fact."

I'll admit that this was news to me, "Are you sure? While geography was never my strongest skill, I'd think I'd know my own nation's neighbors."

"Yes, and I’m not surprised that you don't know about it. We don't border each other, it's just that the long stretches of wilderness to your countries northeast and my land's southwest are not claimed by any other power. Thus they are really a shared frontier, rather than a true border."

I quickly ran through my mental map of the world, and nodded, "I think that makes sense. Odd though that we have so few relations with each other."
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"It’s a long distance between us still, and there's never really been a need to cross it. Our nation doesn't have much to trade, we're barely making ends as is. How did you come to be raised as a Knight of the Realm? From my studies, it's quite an impressive feat…"

"Thank you my lady, I was actually given the chance to become a Knight of the Realm for success in military endeavors. I'd rather not talk about the exact details, but basically I managed to achieve something that my commanders thought wasn't possible and they somehow decided I was a hero for that. A few tall tales later, and I was dubbed a Knight."

Lady Eva didn't appear convinced that my military achievement was as simple as I put it out to be, but she must have seen that I really didn't want to talk about it so she let the matter drop.

"Well then… How did you come to be here, fighting both Isocrates and the Golden Saber?"

I took a deep breath and launched into a description of what we had done so far. While I left out some details about my relationship with the ladies, normally I would have also omitted some details about Isocrates' Rod as well. However in this case, I felt that it was safe to tell Lady Eva. After all, she was already set against our enemies and I figured she wouldn’t suddenly turn on her own people. She listened attentively and appreciatively, oohing and ahing like she was a child listening to a bedtime story. As I finished up, I thought that perhaps I ought to have let Gaël tell that particular story. When my tale was finished, Lady Eva sat up again and her interested expression again faded. I began to suspect that she was really deliberately trying to remain composed and in control, something that many young people placed in positions of power feel that they need to do to retain respect and authority.
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I leaned back in my seat, "So tell me a little about yourself Lady Eva. You seem to have earned the loyalty of your people. The village we came through spoke highly of you. How did you achieve that?"

Lady Eva coughed, "Well, after my mother's death," again there was that brief flicker of sadness, "I took over the land. I tried to rule it as she would, and to be levelheaded and sensible. It was enough that I was taking my lands against the Golden Saber, I figured they didn't need to worry about an erratic leader as well."

"… Well… it seems to have worked. The people like you. Just curious, what do you mean by erratic?"

"Oh you know, wishy washy. Can't make up her mind. Rules more based on her emotions rather than her reason. That sort of person."

From the way that she referred to this hypothetical ruler as a her, and the way she looked down as she spoke, I began to guess that Lady Eva may be suffering from some guilt over past actions. Perhaps this is why she took refuge in the calm and collected personality that I had seen her use throughout our meeting. Regardless, it wasn’t my place to try and solve her problems, not only after knowing her for a few hours, so I left it be and changed the subject.

"Fair enough, so how has your fight against the Golden Sabers been going? Any major successes or -"
Lady Eva looked down again, "It's not a fight per say… really we couldn't do anything to them if we tried. We're just not powerful enough. Their men are better trained, better equipped, and more experienced. The only thing we really can do is refuse them access to this castle and not cooperate with them from time to time. Many of the other nobles in the land have taken similar stances, but as of yet, no one's been able to actually act against the Golden Saber."
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I gave her a reassuring smile, "I've faced them myself. I understand how they could be difficult to face."

Lady Eva nodded slowly. "Yes. You told me about your work in Albero Città. Can you expand on it a little? How exactly did you drive the Golden Saber out?"

I explained how I had taken control of the city guard and led them in battle against the Golden Saber. I further detailed how I was able to use Martina's magic and flight to command the men effectively. When I finished, Lady Eva was nodding eagerly. "Yes... that might work." She looked me in the eyes, an intense expression on her face. It seemed strange and out of place, as though it had been ages since she used it, as such it took me a moment to recognize it, but when I did I felt better than I had since entering Omrachena Zemli, it was hope.

Lady Eva began speaking tentatively, "I have some degree of pull with the other remaining nobles of the land... it is possible that I could organize an alliance of sorts... I hadn't bothered before because even with an alliance, the Golden Saber would be more powerful. However now..."

I took a deep breath, knowing what was coming.

"Good Knight, even if I can assemble this army, I would still need someone to lead them..." Lady Eva slowly got down on her knees, "Sir Knight, I beseech you, would you be my General?"
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I accepted, what else could I do really? I certainly wasn't about to refuse. I turned to Lady Eva and said, "Before I start planning however, I need information still. I need to know the names and strengths of the nobles, which ones you expect to join us and how reliable and trustworthy they are. I also need to know about the Golden Saber's strength. I will also need a map, something with terrain, roads, and settlements on it and I'll need someone to let me know what's important and why. Finally, I'll need to get the nobles together to form a postwar agreement, leaving a power vacuum would only pave the way for the next General Zinoviy to rise to power."

Eva nodded, "I can tell you the major details right now. While there are dozens of surviving noble families throughout Omrachena Zemli, there are four that really dominated the political scene at the fall of the royal household. As such, they wield the most influence with the remainder of the lesser nobility today.

The first is House Zakhar, a traditionally pious family, the Zakhar family was closely tied to many churches and faiths.`` They have a rather powerful, if small, cavalry division. They won't support any candidate for a postwar ruler who isn't as pious as they are. As a close associate of many religions, their family was spread throughout the land, with a minor household in each city. While this is still true today, there are many notable exceptions, such as the capital, which I will come to later. House Zakhar is headed by their patriarch, Lord Svyatopolk, a powerful clergical member in his own right.
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The next major family is House Timur. They are based out of their traditional home of Timurburg. They have another experienced but small army, this one is heavy infantry. They have had a strong smithing and business tradition and will support whoever best represents their interests. The family is run by Lord Gleb, a rather devious and cunning individual, but a powerful ally. Getting their support for this war is vital, without their forges our soldiers would have only what equipment their own lords could provide. Normally that would be enough but with the current situation..."

"I understand. So House Timur is vital. Go on…"

"The third major noble house are the Rada Family. They are famous for their cavalry. Their horses were some of the best in Omrachena Zemli. Their family has another cavalry unit, this unit is highly skilled and quite numerous. It is worth noting that they are primarily light cavalry, whereas House Zakhar's men are heavy cavalry. The Rada Family is lead by Lady Uliana, a proud horsewoman who hates the Golden Saber almost as much as we do. She'll be an easy sell for the alliance. Afterwards she is likely to support anyone who helped take down the Golden Saber.

Finally we come to my least favorite noble family, House Stanislava. Decades ago Lord Vsevolod Stanislava had the idea to start stockpiling food rather than bring it to market in order to create an artificial famine and obtain political power. Well… his plan half worked."
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Welcome back, Sir Knight.

Sadly bong time keeps me from staying, but have this terribad art to keep you ticking over for the next 8-9 hours.
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"I take it that this was the famine that brought the Golden Saber to power?"

"Exactly. After the fall of the King, Lord Vsevolod tried to take power for himself. He succeeded in occupying the capital briefly, until the Golden Saber moved in. He tried to bargain with General Zinoviy, his service in exchange for his food stores, but it… didn't work."

"Let me guess, General Zinoviy just cut his head off?"

"Exactly. I guess every problem looks the same when it can be solved with violence. In the following years, House Stanislava was driven back to their traditional holding of Stanislavagrad. They are likely to only support an alliance against the Golden Saber if it looks certain to win, and afterwards they would almost certainly move to take the throne themselves. I would prefer not to deal with this family at all if possible, however they still hold a lot of political clout with many of the lesser nobles and their army is the largest. It's mostly inexperienced conscripts, but there are a lot of them and if we hope to win the war we may need their manpower. They are currently led by Lady Lidiya, who splits her time between trying to earn her way into General Zinoviy's good graces and trying to create her own insurrection against him, depending on which would be most advantageous to her and her House at the moment."

Eva continued, "Currently Vladychestvo, the capital city, is ruled and occupied by the Golden Saber. They have small armies in other cities, but the bulk of their forces are there. It is a well fortified city, but its location on the open plains makes it easily accessible from any direction."

I interrupted here, "By any chance do you know the strength of the Golden Saber forces?"

"Not exactly. I know that they have several companies of men in the city alone though."

I shook my head, "Where do they get these people? There can't be that many people as vile as they are."

Eva looked down sadly, "They get them from the populace."
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"What? I must have misheard you. From what I saw of your people they don't seem like the type to join them."

"Most aren't. However... you are familiar with the way that the Golden Saber treats those who fall into their power, correct?"

I shuddered, recalling the abuses I saw amongst the elves, "All too well really."

Eva continued, "And you're also aware of the discipline that the average soldiers display?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

"Right. So knowing those two facts, how would you suppose they treat their own women?"

I leaned back, "I... I don't know. I hadn't thought about it really. I suppose I could see it going either way. On the one hand, the soldiers are certainly brutal on their time off, on the other hand, messing around with a comrade's woman is a surefire way to break up a group."

Eva nodded, "You're right on both counts. While there is not an official order saying as such, the family of a Golden Saber soldier is effectively immune to the depredations of the rest of the soldiers. Many otherwise good men have joined them for just that reason. However afterwards, the Golden Saber 'culture' tends to sink in and the family often finds itself being abused anyways, this time by a relative."

We were quiet for a long time after that. There was nothing to say that wouldn't sound trite and forced. Finally I broke the silence, "When you were telling me about the noble families, you didn't mention where you fit in that picture."

"Oh, my family was closely tied to the King. With his fall, we lost almost all of our real power."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."

Another long silence followed. This time it was Eva who broke it, "Uhh... Shall we return downstairs to the dining hall and fill the rest of your companions in?"
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I nodded, relieved to be moving on, and we headed down to the dining hall. We waited for the servants to escort us to our seats and to my mild surprise, I found myself being seated at the head of the table by Eva. My companions were seated to my right, next to the head so they weren't slighted. I met Aimée's gaze and she mouthed "Seven?" silently at me. I just shrugged and turned to Eva.

Lady Eva got the room's attention by tapping the side of a glass with a fork. "Honored guests and retainers. I am pleased to announce that today marks a new beginning for the land of Omrachena Zemli. Today we have found allies to help drive out the scourge that is General Zinoviy and his Golden Sabers! These visitors have recently come from Albero Città where the hated mercenaries were recently employed to control the city, and they were driven out! These heroes are now willing to lend their services to our cause! To free our people!"

There was a general cheer from the assembled guards and other members of Eva's court. I accepted the cheer with a small bow, horribly conscious of the amused expressions on my companions' faces.

Lady Eva continued, "As such I am placing the good Knight in charge of you soldiers. Listen to his orders as though they were my own. Now, let us celebrate this new beginning!"

As we sat down, Martina leaned over, "Really? Another one? You're positively insatiable aren't you?" Fortunately she was smiling so I knew she wasn't really angry.

"Nothing happened to suggest that yet, but it looks like it. I wonder how she'll take the news of the arrangement..."

Lady Eva looked over at us confused, "What are you two talking about?"

"Nothing," the two of us said in unison.
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The dinner was quite nice, it was some sort of veal dish known as a Kholodet. As we ate, I turned to Lady Eva and asked, "So, who are the commanders of your guards? I'd like to meet them to get some impressions from them before I start working with them."

Lady Eva paused before replying, "Well… they were recently under the command of Captain Dorofey, but he passed away last Fall, so they haven't had a commander of late. The closest thing they have are two of the senior sergeants, Arina and Daniil who are the most experienced of the guards."

I began to get a bad feeling about the matter, but pressed on anyways, "How much more experienced are they?"

"They have several years of service on the others."

Well that wasn’t too bad but I had to press on, '"How much combat experience? Any campaigns they’ve been on?"

Eva shook her head, "Unfortunately the extent of their combat experience is braking up the occasional brawl in the towns and fighting off bandits from time to time."

I shook my head, "This is going to be difficult then. I turned to my companions, Rina, Sieghild, how do you two feel about taking up command positions in the guard for the time being?"

Rina smiled, "It'll be good to get back to leading me. I'll be glad to help."

Sieghild however looked down, "…I suppose I can…" she muttered under her breath. She spent the rest of the dinner in a dour mood.

The rest of the dinner went relatively pleasantly, however afterwards Sieghild came up to me, "Sir Knight, I need to talk to you."

I nodded, I had been expecting this since I saw her reaction to being placed in command. I nodded and we walked together to a sitting room that was otherwise unoccupied. We found a spot near a fireplace and Sieghild began to talk. "Sir Knight… you really shouldn’t rely on me to take a position of command. I'm not any good at that sort of thing…"
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I put on a skeptical expression and replied, "Oh really? How did you manage to take charge of that rescue when I was in jail? That took some leadership ability."

She stammered, "That… that was a fluke. I'm really not experienced with this at all though."

"Oh? If you're not experienced, then how would you know that you're bad at commanding people? I mean, if you didn't have any prior leadership experience, then your only idea of your talents would come from that rescue, which I would call an amazing success."

As Sieghild stammered for an answer, I cut her off. "Listen, is there something you want to tell me? Something about your time in the Hammerburg Militia?"

Sieghild started, "Huh? How did you know-"

"Siegbert told me a little. Before you get angry at him, he didn't give me any details and asked me to respect your privacy on the matte and I have done so up until now. I would continue to do so, however in the near future, I will need someone who's a good commander to assist me. I need to know, can you be that person?"

"I… I really shouldn’t… I'm not a good commander…"

"Okay, you’ve said that. Now tell me why. Everything I know about you suggests that you'd be great at it."
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Sieghild looked down and sighed, "I get people killed. That’s why. It all started when I was promoted to sergeant in the militia. I had a squad of my own, fine dwarven lads and lasses all of them. We were tasked with patrolling the surface near one of the entrances to the city, you see we had heard word that a band of orcish raiders were approaching the city and we were tasked with spotting their approach if possible. Now we were expecting the usual orcish tactics, what we got was something more. The orcs had the finest claymores, spiked warhammer and light, but well made armor. They attacked from the trees and were on us before we could blink. They tore through our ranks like we were paper. I was left for dead under a grey sky that day. It was a miracle that I survived at all. Hours later I was found by our shift replacements and brought back to be healed. The inquiry that followed found that there was nothing I could do, and as such we were placed in charge of another unit. This one had many of my friends from training in it. This time we were some of the first responders when the orcs raided the city itself. Again, many of my men and women were killed. Again I failed them… And do you know what? The inquiry still said I wasn't to blame! I resigned after that. I couldn’t bear to lead another unit to their deaths… and now here you are asking me to do so again."

I was silent for a moment after that. Finally I spoke, "Do you know why the inquiry found you not culpable for the deaths of your subordinates?"

"They said… The first time they said that the reason that my men died was because the city as a whole was unprepared for the skill and numbers of the orc raiders. They said it was this mistake that lead to the militia leadership assigning a raw unit to defend against them. The second inquiry said that the casualties taken were within accepted norms for a small unit of new recruits like we were. But still…"
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"But still what? Can you think of anything you did wrong in those cases?"

"Yes! There was so much I did wrong. I should have had the men watching the forest be more attentive! I should have had my men equipped with polearms to counter a charge! I should have taken a better defensive position in the city! Many things!"

I nodded, "Why should you have told you men to be more attentive? A few minutes ago you were calling them fine dwarven lads and lasses, were you expecting them not to do their job?"

"Well… no… but I should have made sure…"

"It's not your job to babysit them. You should expect them to do the best they can. And I think they were, in fact, the problem was that they were inexperienced. They were looking in the woods, but they didn’t know what to look for. Doesn’t that sound more likely?"

Sieghild looked down, "Well… yes…"

"Good. And why should you have brought polearms? Didn’t you say that you were expecting normal raider tactics? Why should you have expected a massed charge? That’s more the trademark of the orcish lands themselves rather than the independent raiders."

"Well… I could have realized that…"

"Really? Should you have expected it?"

"…Probably not… no."
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"Exactly. Now tell me about the position you took in the city. Why did you choose it and what other options did you have?"

"Well… we were assigned to the northeast quarter, near an elevator shaft that some of the raiders were using to enter the city. When we got there we could see that the elevator was descending to the city. I had the choice of either surrounding the elevator, or blocking off the path from the elevator to the city. What would you have chosen?"

Startled by the sudden question, I took a moment to think, "Well… surrounding the elevator would be a great option if you wanted to ambush the raiders. However given that the mission isn't to ambush the raiders but rather to defend the city, I would choose to blockade the tunnel. Why?"

Sieghild shook her head sadly, "You see? That’s why I'm a bad commander. I chose to surround the elevator. It turned out that the raiders were coming down in two groups… and the first group was already hidden in the chamber. We wound up being cut down. Again only I survived."

I shook my head sadly. "You were new. Fresh out of training. You shouldn't have been expected to make calls like that. You didn’t have experience to make accurate judgments like that. Everyone makes mistakes like that. You were just unfortunate enough to be in a situation where those mistakes had large consequences."

Sieghild just looked down sadly, "You don't make those mistakes…"

I looked around to make sure that no one was listening then turned back to Sieghild, "Look Sieghild. Do you know how I became a Knight of the Realm?"

Sieghild shook her head, "I heard it was something impressive. A major military victory of some kind?"
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Nice to see you again too. And thank you for that... lovely picture.
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"Something like that… You see, I wasn’t born into the nobility. I was one of the heavy infantry, a lieutenant in fact, leading a squad very much like you were. We were tasked with taking a city held by an opposing kingdom. For months our soldiers had been held off by a powerful warmage. His spells had been killing us by the score. Then several months later our commanders decided we were going to make a mass push for the city, try to take it from multiple directions at the same time. Me my unit were some of the first ones in. The battering ram knocked the gates and we poured through. We formed a line in one of the major thoroughfares and kept he enemy soldiers at bay until the rest of our men could go through. Suddenly in the distance, I saw the warmage that was causing us so much trouble. He was running with is apprentices to a nearby tower where he could use his magic more effectively from. I was faced with the choice of taking my men and heading after the wizard, or staying there to fend off the inevitable counterattack."

Sieghild was listening intently, "So what did you do?"

"I thought. I evaluated what I knew and what I was supposed to do. I knew how dangerous the warmage was to the entire war effort, and I compared it to the devastation that could come from a counterattack. I realized that the warmage could cause the entire assault to fail, not just the small branch that we were the vanguard of. I went after the warmage."

I went silent at this moment, lost in my own thoughts. Eventually Sieghild worked up the nerve to ask, "What happened next?"
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I looked up, "Oh. Yeah. I guess we won, I wound up slaying that archmage in combat. Put a sword right through his chest. However my actions left two hundred men unguarded. They were slaughtered completely. For their deaths I was awarded every award the Realm could give me and promoted to Knight of the Realm. The thing is that the death of the archmage saved thousands of our soldiers. It was judged that my actions were the best I could have taken at the time."

"So… how do you live with it? How do you live with causing those deaths? I mean… two hundred men…"

"I know. It's hard. I can never let myself forget the men I let die that day. But this is how I learned to live with it. I decided that I can never forget the men I let live either. I remember the devastation that that wizard and his apprentices were able to cause and how dangerous they would have been to the overall attack, and I realize that while my actions were not perfect, I did the best that I could and did some good as well.

Now tell me this, when you gave your report about the initial raiders, did your commanders change the layout of your weaponry?"

"Yes, they gave us pikes and halberds for fending off mass charges…"

"Then you did wind up saving lives after all."

"Maybe… but what about the elevator chamber?"
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"That… that was a mistake. You should have either blockaded the passage or searched the room for hidden opponents before surrounding the elevator. However it is a mistake that I would expect a new recruit to make. The only thing you can do with these mistakes is learn from them and vow not to make them again."

Sieghild was silent for a while after that. Finally she looked to me, "I'll… I'll try, Sir Knight."

I smiled back at Sieghild. "That’s all I ask. Remember, I am available if you need advice or any other support."

"T-thank you Sir Knight. I think I'll go turn in for the night. I could used some sleep."

"All right Sieghild, sweet dreams."
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She left and I sat there for a few minutes. Eventually I got up and started to head for my room. However as I was heading there, I passed by the castle library and overheard a conversation going on in there. Lady Eva and Martina were talking to each other. Curious, I paused for a moment to listen.

"So… Martina. You evidently know the Knight really well, don’t you?"

Martina chuckled, "Well, I'd say so at least."

"So… is he… attached to someone right now? Does he have someone back home?"

Martina started laughing hysterically at this.

Eva got offended, "What? Is something funny, dragoness?"

Martina finally got a hold of herself. "Well, Eva-"

"It's Lady Eva to you, Dragoness."

"No… it's going to be Eva right now. Let me explain to you what's been going on with the Knight…"

At this moment, I decided that I really didn't need to hear anything more. I decided to head on to my room. I figured that I could only make things more awkward there and that it was best to leave them to set up their own resolution. After all, they had evidently sought each other about this, not me, so I retired to bed and had a very nice sleep.
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The next morning, I began to get to work with improving the guards that Lady Eva already had mustered. I awoke early, before the rest of the castle staff and went down to find the guards practicing in the yard. Quickly finding the sergeants from the group, I got a report from them about the numbers and strength of the men. It turned out that the keep and the attached garrisons contained roughly sixteen hundred men. Two hundred of these men were archers, about one thousand were armored foot soldiers, one hundred were siege engineers, two hundred were pikemen, and the remaining one hundred were light cavalry. I nodded, the comment about two senior sergeants running things suddenly seemed much more dire. I quickly got a list of the senior soldiers and found out that, as I feared, there was a significant lack of experienced leadership in the men. It was a surprise that the soldiers were organized at all, really. I began to realize that I may need more than just Sieghild's and Rina's aid to manage this crew.
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I decided that the first thing I needed to worry about was the physical skill of the soldiers. I placed Rina and Sieghild in charge of that, at least they would be able to instill discipline as well as the important combat skills into the men as they worked. Afterwards I would divide the men into two groups. The first half would be our conventional soldiers. They would form units based around their specialty as normal for a military. This would place archers with archers, infantry with infantry, cavalry with cavalry, and pikemen with pikemen. This would provide a fairly stable base for a miltiary. The other half I would break up into combat teams, similar to the methods employed by the elite members of the Realm's military and the Golden Sabers. These combat teams would be a mix of each type of soldier, they would be sent out on other missions where a full military movement wasn’t needed. This would help us counter units like the mercenaries we fought the day prior. If all went as planned, I would have the soldiers who did better in training be in the combat teams, while those who didn’t perform as well took the less demanding role in the conventional forces.

After devising this plan, I took it to the sergeants. To my surprise and gratitude, they didn’t take it as a challenge to their authority as I feared and were quite eager to implement the changes. With that settled I turned to my audience and asked if they had any questions. Sergeant Daniil, who I recognized as being the guard from the walls I spoke with yesterday, spoke up first, "Is it going to be only us against the Golden Saber?"
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There was a little murmuring at that, but I did ask if they had any questions. "Good question. Ideally the answer to that will be no. Lady Eva and I will be reaching out to other nobles in the land to gather allies and more soldiers and resources."

Another soldier raised her hand, I nodded to the blond woman, "Yes?"

"Sergeant Arina," the woman said, introducing herself. "Sir, do you think we will have any really chance against the Golden Saber?"

I nodded as though this were a reasonable question, although I was cursing her on the inside. I didn't need anyone putting doubts in the soldier's minds at this stage. "I certainly intend to give you the best chance possible against them. The Golden Saber has powerful and well trained soldiers, but they can be beaten. In Albero Città I was able to command the city guard and drive them off. I believe that I can do so here as well."

From the general murmuring I could see that my answer was acceptable at least. After answering a few more general questions about the outline of the training, I ended the meeting and left to head back up to the main keep to meet with everyone for breakfast. I entered the main dining hall and my companions and Eva looked up at me. Eva and Martina looked tired, as though they were up a lot of the night. Veila nodded to me, "Hey Sir Knight. Where have you been? We were looking for you."

I greeted everyone and sat down, "I was just down at the garrisons, I was talking with the men and women and trying to get a feel for what was needed. Looks like it's going to take some effort but I've got an idea of what we need to do."
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I briefly explained my plans for the soldiers to everyone. Rina nodded approvingly, evidently she was as eager to start as I was with training the soldiers. I started to assign duties, "Okay, Rina, you've had the most experience with leadership, so you're going to be my second-in-command for this army. Sieghild, I want you to be in charge of the training camps for now." Sieghild smiled at me, relieved that she would have a relatively low pressure job. "I'll leave it up to the two of you as to how best utilize the rest of the ladies. I'd recommend having them either assist with the training or in lower levels of leadership."

With that decided, I turned to Lady Eva, "Eva, how would you suggest getting in touch with the other major noble families of the land?"

She looked a little surprised as she answered, "Well… I wasn't expecting you to be moving so swiftly… but I can have messengers sent out today. How would you like to meet them?"

I thought for a moment, "I'd like to meet with them in a few weeks. That way we'll have time to train your men into a more impressive fighting force. This would help sway some of the nobles. I'd say… once our training program is well underway, send some initial messengers to get a feel for the opinions of the nobles, see who is interested and who isn't and then invite the most promising prospects to a council where an actual declaration is made."

With that settled, we started on our meal. As we ate, I turned again to Eva. "Before I begin to make plans for the campaign, I'll need a little historical and political background. Is your castle library sufficient for researching that information?"

She shook her head, "It can give you the basics, but for any significant research, you would need to visit the nearby Monasheskiy Library. There you can find out almost anything you need to know."

"Excellent. How far away is it?"

"Only a short rides away. I can take you there today if you wish…"
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"I'd like that, Eva. While the others are getting started on training we can work on planning."

"Good. We can get started after breakfast." She paused a moment, "Martina, you're welcome to come too if you would like. The Monasheskiy Library has a large arcane section that you might find useful."

"Thank you. I think I'll take you up on that."

After breakfast we all split to groups to take care of our respected business. I donned my armor again and waited in the courtyard for Lady Eva and Martina. I was able to borrow several horses from the royal stables, I figured that although Martina's draconic nature was out of the bag, it didn’t pay to advertise it.

A few minutes later, Eva and Martin showed up. I looked at the two of them appreciatively. Evidently Lady Eva was a bit of an equestrian, and had outfitted herself and Martina with appropriate riding clothes. The matching outfits made the two of them look rather… fetching. I smiled at the two as they approached. "Ah, good day. I see you two are ready to head out? Lady Eva, should I summon some of the guards to ensure that our trip goes smoothly?"

Lady Eva smiled at my formal tone, "I doubt that will be necessary Sir Knight. The road is a safe one and I suspect that my noble traveling companions could see off any threat to my safety and honor."
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With that we set out for the library. As we road Eva turned to me and asked, "So… how do you like Arkhip?"


"The horse that you're riding. He was bread by my father."

"He clearly knew his horses. It’s a fine animal. " I patted Arkhip's flank affectionately.

Lady Eva smiled at me, "He did. He loved the animals. Spent a lot of time in the stables and riding around the land. I suppose I took a little after him on that front."

"Oh? You work with your horses a lot?"

She nodded, "Yes. How did you choose these three, by the way? They're some of my favorites…"

"I just picked the best looking horses. I've been trained to deal with horses and while I'm not the best at it, I can usually pick out a decent horse from a lot."

"You did well. These two are Agrafina and Roksana. They're some of the best horses in the stable."

"Thank you. So how did you learn to ride? You seem quite comfortable with it."

Eva smiled as she evidently recalled some fond memories, "When I was little, I always wanted to go riding with my father, however he never really had the time for it, as busy as he was dealing with keeping the Golden Saber and various raiders out of our lands."

Eva turned to me smiling as she continued, "Now one day when I was six years old, my family entered into a land dispute with another neighboring noble. No one was sure how it would turn out so my father took some of the guards and rode out to meet with the noble. He also had the remaining guards fortify the castle."

I nodded, "Sounds sensible. What happened?"
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Eva chuckled before she continued, "Well it may sound sensible to a grown Knight, but to a spoiled six year old girl, being told that you would have to stay indoors all day was outrageous. I told my bodyguard that my father would never order me to do that and I somehow convinced myself that the guards were doing all that behind my father's back to be mean to me. As such I decided that I had to go out and find him to tell him about it."

I chuckled at that, "Little kids get some strange ideas."

"Indeed. So somehow I managed to slip away from the guard and make my way to the stables. I found in the biggest horse I'd ever seen, a monstrous black haired creature, and it was already saddled too. Now I was just a little child and I didn't think to wonder why it was already saddled, it turned out that this horse was almost entirely untrained and was being saddle-broken. Not knowing this, I opened his stall, climbed on the sleeping horse, and starred kicking it with my heels in an attempt to spur it forward."

"Well... how did that turn out?"

" Poorly. The horse started moving alright. It bolted forward and before the guards could raise the drawbridge, it was out of the castle and running off, with me clinging to its back. At this point, I realized that I had no idea where my father was, and that even if I did I had no way of controlling that horse. The animal was in full gallop and I was clinging on for dear life."
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Martina cut in, "I can't say that I have a lot of experience with horses, but this one seems docile enough. What's so bad about the horse you were riding?"

I answered her, "Well your horse is trained for one, it will probably just follow us."

Eva added, "And it's not galloping. It gets really painful after a while."

Martina blushed, "Oh... I'm sorry..."

I gave a comforting smile, "It's okay. There is no reason that you should know. I mean, you'd only slow yourself down on horseback."

"Thanks, I'm sorry Eva. I didn't mean to interrupt your story."

"It's fine Martina."

No snapping about Lady Eva this time I see, I thought to myself. "So, what happened next?"

"Right, so there I was, clinging onto the horse's back. I didn't know it at thr time, but by pure luck, the horse was traveling in the right direction. Now my father had spent the day positioning himself and his men across a field from the other nobleman. The two were staring at each other, each trying to determine the other's intentions. Then all of the sudden, they see this little girl on the back of a massive horse riding in between their lines. My father bolts off after me and his men start following him. Trying to find out what's up, the other noble charges off after him and his men follow. So there is this massive chain of men and soldiers chasing off after me. Eventually my father catches up with me and jumps onto my horse and manages to get it to stop. He ties it to a tree by the reigns and pulls me off its back and bellows at me asking what I'm doing out of the castle. So there I was, surrounded by soldiers and my father was angry at me."

"So what did you do?"
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"The only thing a six year old girl can do in a situation like that, I started crying. My father immediately calmed down and held me close. He turned to the other noble and offered to reschedule their meeting for another time. Fortunately for all of us, the chase had broken the tense moment from before, and the other noble offered to negotiate a solution to their mutual problem as they escorted us back to the castle. By the time that we returned, the crisis was resolved and peace resumed. Afterwards, my father took it upon himself to train me in riding. And I've been doing it ever since."

I smiled, "It's nice to see that you were so close to your father. He sounds like a decent man."

Eva nodded, "He was. He passed away a few years before my mother, but you two would have gotten along well. I think you would have had much in common. Ah, here we are."
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I looked down the road, in the distance there was a massive structure of some sort surrounded by forest. Eva turned to me, "That would be the library. Inside we should find everything that you're looking for."

We approached the building slowly. Eva turned to me, "The monks here are old and don't concern themselves with the outside world, but they will help us if we mind our manners."

As we reached the walls of the library, I was struck by how it resembled more of a fortress than a monastery or library. I reasoned that the lack of stability in the land necessitated more security for any institutions not attached to an existing settlement.

As we approached the gates, two hooded figures came out of the woods. They appeared suddenly and I instinctively tried to draw my sword, but Eva placed her hand on my wrist to caution me. I slowly removed my hand from the hilt and watched Eva ride forward to meet the figures.

"Good day, Brothers. I seek entrance to the library for me and my guests."

"Good day Sister Eva. Wait here while the Abbot comes to a decision."

As the figures disappeared again, I turned to Eva. "So you're a member of the clergy as well as a noblewoman? I didn't think that was allowed..."

"I'm not ordained, rather I'm just a layperson. The gods still hear my prayers and pass on the occasional blessing, but I've taken no vows and as such maintain my station as a noblewoman."
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Alright, that's the end of the written content for now. I'll be back to post more in a few hours... hopefully.
welcome back knight!
will we be getting some Christmas special writing!?

also happy holidays everyone!
The Knight of the Realm has returned to us! I'll read up on these as soon as I wake up. good to see my currently-favourite writefag back.
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Thanks! Glad to see people are still interested.

A Christmas Special? That... that actually sounds really fun. I'll see what I can do.

Nice to see you too Britfag.
Sir Knight is back, all is right with the world once again.
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By this time, the gate was opening and another cloaked figure stepped out. He nodded solemnly to the three of us, "Good day, Sister Eva. Welcome back to the Monasheskiy Library. How can we help you today?"

"It's not me who needs your assistance today, Abbot, but rather Sir Knight here. He is new to Omrachena Zemli and needs to learn more about the land in order to… for political reasons."

The Abbot looked at Eva sternly, "You can use our library's resources, but you must keep the conflicts of the outside world from entering these walls."

"Don't worry, Abbot, we will."

"Good. Then you are welcome here. Come in!"
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Unfortunately, I've got an early day tomorrow. I've got to go crash now. I'll update more tomorrow.
all god KotR, we'll keep the thread alive
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Thanks. Feel free to ask questions about the story or the characters when you bump.
You may have been asked before, but how far are we through at this point?
i believe he said we were either 50% or 75% done, depending on how you look at it.
also bump
nice to see you returned. keep up the good work
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We are through with most of the planned story, however I expect the remainder to be rather long. So I'd say 75%.
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We entered the library walls and prepared to stow our horses. The stableboy, a young monk, came up to us and greeted Eva warmly, "Lady - I mean Sister Eva! It's great to see you again!"

"Brother Benedikt, how pleasant to see you! How has the Library been since I last left?"

"Oh, you know how it is here. Dead for ages, and then tons of people show up at once."

I interjected, "Tons of people? Who else has been here lately?"

The monk looked at me suspiciously, however a quiet nod from Eva got him speaking, "Well, the other day, several other visitors came to the library. I didn't see them myself, but the Abbot told everyone not to interact with them, they were bringing outside concerns with them."

Martina, Eva, and I looked at each other suspiciously. Eva spoke first, "It's probably nothing... visitors come here all the time..."

I said "Keep your guard up, none the less."
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Eva bid her farewells to Benedikt and we entered the library proper.We passed through several ornate entry hallways and we found ourselves in the main hall. The abbot from before met us there. "You will be staying in the South Wing. How many rooms should I have prepared?"

Martina said "Two" as Eva said "Three."

The abbot looked at the two suspiciously before turning his glare on me.

I smiled and tried to convey pure innocence to the best of my ability, "We normally have people of the same gender share rooms on the road. If possible, could we get three adjacent rooms, connected by a shared common area to discuss research?"

I suspect that the abbot didn't believe a word I said, but he agreed to my request. He called a monk out to us and handed us some keys. He turned to the monk, "Escort our guests to their rooms," turning to us he said, "You are welcome to use the South and the West Wings to your content, however I must ask you to remain out of the North and the East Wings for this visit."
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More is coming later. Also, feel free to comment whenever you feel like it, not just to bump the thread. It's nice to know what people think of the story.
so do you have any kind of notes or do you make the story in the heat of the moment? if i recall correctly i remember you saying something about doing it while writing in the previous thread. Allso the story is looking good but might slow down a tad bit during the noble trials depending how you write it off so looking out how that might end up
Tonight I'm bumpin' the gun
fist bump
bump up the volume
Bumpty dumpty
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Eva looked confused about this, "Why not those areas?"

"Do you require access to those areas?"

"N-no. It's just magical theory and additional guest quarters, but I'm just -"

"Then I must ask you to respect my request."

I nodded slowly, "Very well, we agree."

We were shown to our rooms and stowed away our things before meeting again in our common area. I turned to Eva, "I take it that these are not the usual conditions for using the library?"

Eva shook her head furiously, "No! They've never placed restrictions like this on me before. I wouldn’t mind, but something about this strikes me as wrong…"

Martina agreed, "Especially with what that Monk, Benedikt, said about new visitors being at the library. Is there anyone that the Monks wouldn’t want us seeing while we're here?"

Eva shook her head, "No one I can think of… All the monks were usually friendly to me…"

I frowned, "Then it's someone from outside the library," I turned to Eva, "Is there any way we can send a message back to the castle? I may have an idea for figuring out who's the mystery guest."

Eva nodded, "Brother Benedikt runs a messenger pigeon service. I could ask him to send a message."
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I believe the way I phrased it before was "I know what IS going to happen, but not HOW it will happen." I know what comes next in the story, and where the story ends, but everything else is made up on the spur of the moment. So I guess I just have a rough outline of the story, and fill in the details as I write.
Like a bump outta hell
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I'm probably done for the night. See you all tomorrow.
Bamp up the night
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I got this thread a dragon.
threads love dragons

Knight is back! Fantastic, posting to watch!
have a final bump before I go to bed.
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Sorry about the wait. Hopefully I'll be able to update later today, right now I'm busy working on job applications.
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Alright. I'm back, for now at least.

Writing resumes soon, hopefully.
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Hey /tg/,

I've been putting this off for a while, but I may need to put this story on hiatus for a bit. Too many issues on my end are piling up right now. If I'm lucky, this won't last longer than a few days. If not, I really don't know.

Feel free to keep in touch,

Knight of the Realm
no problemo KotR, we'll always be here when you get back.

enjoyed it sofar and looking forward to whatever comes
Hey, take your time. Honestly, going a bit slower seemed to improve your work for this so keep at that.
Nah, you're fine. In my time here few writefags have been able to produce so much quality in so little time. You've earned a break.
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Thanks everyone. I'll still post when I can, its just that life is getting in the way. However on further consideration, I'm going to call this a semi-hiatus, because while I don't want to stop writing altogether, I'd like to let you know what to expect.
Do you want us to keep the thread alive, or should we archive it now and await a new one?
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It looks like the thread is already archived, but I have a slow day at work so I should be able to write something up, even if I can't post it until the afternoon or evening. So I'd say keep it up, but don't worry too much either way.
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In the interim, I can always answer questions.
page 10 bump
another bump, and I'll see you in the morning.
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"Good, I'll write it down now."

I jotted down a quick message and sealed it with wax. Handing it to Eva I said, "Please make sure this goes out today if possible."

Eva nodded and ran off. Martina gave me a sly look and smiled, "Ordering the Lady of the manor around like a servant now, are we?"

I chuckled, "I guess I am. I can't say I meant to…"

Martina smiled and leaned down over my shoulder where I was sitting. With a grin, she extended a long manicured finger to tap the side of my head and said "Someday I'll have to figure out just what it is about you that gets into the heads of girls like us."

I turned to her, a soft smile touching my own features and chuckled, "Who says that I'm the special one? Maybe I just found a group of ladies who are just too lovely to choose between?"

We sat there smiling at each other until we were interrupted by a small cough. Turning our heads, we saw Eva standing in the doorway, a small blush on her face. "Sorry if I'm intruding..."

Standing up Martina forced a smile, "No Eva, it's fine."

Eva awkwardly entered the room. "I sent your message, Sir Knight. Brother Benedikt says it should reach the castle today."

"That's good. Now, I don't suppose that you could help me find my way to the books I need? We might as well get to work."

Eva agreed and she lead us down to the East Wing of the Library. I soon was pouring over old maps and documents about Omrachena Zemli. It was quite informative, and before I knew it, it was hours later and getting dark.

>Didn't actually get a lot done today, writing wise.
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I'll do more if I can, but don't expect a lot tonight.

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