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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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So a few years ago I started a story about a Knight who tried to save a princess, wound up saving a dragon, and got into a quest involving destroying an ancient artifact. Along the way there were dwarfs, maids, and other adventures. A few months ago I made my last update. Anyone interested in me continuing?

First Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27693404/
Other Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Knight%20of%20the%20Realm
I am
>I'm just going to start where I left of again then.

Martina set me down at the edge of the woods and took off. It wasn't long before Faina emerged, despite the distance she had run she seemed fresh as morning dew.

"Well, well, well. Sir Knight. I should have expected you I suppose."

"Lieutenant Faina, I am going to give you -"

"Give me what? A kiss? A good lay? Please tell me it's something more interesting than 'one chance to surrender.'"

I ignored her taunt and got into position to fight her. She drew her blade as well and we set to fighting. I had already faced and beaten Faina once before at the Monasheskiy Library so I thought I knew what to expect from her in terms of a challenge, but I'm not sure whether it was the prior experience working in my favor, the time in prison doing her no favors, or if I was just better than before, but fighting her this time was easy. The greatest challenge I had was intercepting her when she tried to run off.

"You know," I said while blocking a wild attack of hers, "you never told me why you managed to survive so long in the Golden Saber."

"Do you ever shut up?"

"Sure, when I'm concentrating."

The only answer to that was a wordless scream of frustration so I continued, "I doubt that you're someone's wife. I've seen the way they treat their lovers and you don't have enough scars or bruises."
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I had to duck a blow at my head before continuing to theorize, "Hmm. I remember you asking Boniface about that story with his father… so someone's daughter?"

Faina's attacks suggested that she was getting frustrated and gave me confidence that I was on the right track.

"So someone's daughter, someone powerful or else they wouldn't be able to protect you. Could it be that you're General Zinoviy's daughter?"

I could tell from the look on her face that I hit the mark . She sneered, "Well done Knight, you figured it out."

"Right, now if you surrender we can end this and -"

The sudden shadow blocking out all the moonlight was my only warning, I turned and only barely managed throw myself aside in time to avoid the talons of a massive bird. As I got back up I could see more of the massive beasts flying around. Lieutenant Faina climbed on to the back of the one that nearly disemboweled me and took off. In the sky I heard a voice call out to me, "Ah Sir Knight! It's been a while."

I threw myself to the side again to dodge the claws of another bird and saw on its back the Golden Saber Commander Kuzma. I barely had time to get to my feet before I had to dodge another bird.

"Martina," I telepathically singled, "There's another group of birds up here. Some of them have Golden Saber riders. I can't deal with them alone, I'm falling back into the woods for cover. Come when you can."

"I'm finishing off the last of these birds now. They have no riders, it must have been a diversion. I'm on my way back now. Be careful."

I had to dodge and run all the way to the treeline, but I made it there intact.
"We'll meet again, Knight! I can promise you that!" Faina called out in the distance. I could hear the rapid beat of flapping bird wings fade out as they flew off into the distance, several minutes later the heaver rhythm of a dragon's flight came into hearing range.

"Dear, where are you?"

I emerged from the woods, "Over here. You just missed them."

"Well at least you're safe. The others are too, we're regrouping at the castle."

When we all made it back we meet in a private room to regroup. I explained what I had learned about Lieutenant Faina to the others.

"That explains why she was treated so well," Veila mused.

"I wonder why she was only a Lieutenant though," Rina said, "I would think that General Zinoviy's child would merit a more important position."

I interjected, "She didn't seem particularly skilled compared to some of the other Golden Saber soldiers I've fought. A low ranking officer position doesn't seem out of the ordinary."

Gaël nodded, "So whatever else their faults are, they're at least meritocratic. A shame, there are some pretty effective ways to exploit resentment and nepotism."

Siegbert interrupted our musings, "Nadja and I found signs that someone snuck into the castle jail to help free her. The guards were killed from behind while facing her cell. There also wasn't any sign of a struggle or a fight. Presumably they were ambushed from behind."

Sieghild asked, "Could they have broken in from the outside?"

"Possibly," Siegbert admitted, "but we haven't seen any evidence of this yet."

Felìcita interjected, "They could have snuck in as a part of one of the delegations."

"It would be strange if they heard about this conference and they didn't send anyone to keep an eye on it." Martina agreed.

"So does anyone have any ideas as to who it could be? With all the nobles and servants here it could be anyone." Boniface noted.
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"More likely to be a servant who did the deed itself. Even if a noble was their agent, they probably wouldn't want to risk their own lives." I added.

Eva glared, "I'd bet good money that Stanisalava is invovled. Lady Lidiya was trying to get in with the Golden Saber."

Aimèe smirked, "I think she was trying to get in with someone else last night."

"What do you mean?"

To my chagrin, Aimèe explained what Lady Lidiya tried earlier in the night. Everyone was pretty amused with it save for Lady Eva who was mortified.

"She didn't," Eva gasped, "I can't believe she would do that. Uliana was right, I should just… err… never mind."

I ignored that for now in an attempt to get the discussion back on track, "So we'll evidently need more security for the castle. At least until the council is over, probably beyond."
I'll be back in a few minutes. In the interim, whose here reading?
A poor anon that got his hand broken yesterday
I'm back. Nice to see you guys.
Rina agreed, "That much is true at least. I'll pick some promising candidates from our forces and get them to supplement the castle guard."

Aimée chimed in with "I'll keep my eyes open and check around with the servants to see if anyone spotted our spy."

To my mild surprise, Nadja offered to help too, perhaps she was a better team player than I thought.

We concluded the meeting there and called it a night. As we left Eva came up to me, "Sir Knight, I'm so sorry about Lady Lidiya. That was -"

"Eva it's fine. If this is the worst that happens to me I'll consider myself lucky."

"But still!" Eva protested, "You're a guest in my home and I fell that I should take care of you!"

Suddenly Aimée was at our side, fully engaged in maid mode, "Would my Lord and my Lady like to continue this conversation upstairs? Some of the servants need to clean in here. I can bring up some mulled wine if you'd like."

Before Eva could decline, I answered, "You know what? I'd like that. Would you be as kind as to join me, Eva?"

Eva was flustered for a moment before she agreed. We retired to one of my room's antechambers and began to chat over the wine.

"It's been a while since we could just sit and chat like this," I noted.

Eva smiled warmly, "I agree. We've all been busy lately." Suddenly she looked sad again, "I must apologize again for the way that -"

I cut her off by laying a gentle hand on her shoulder and rubbing her gently, "Don't worry. I already told you that this is hardly a real problem. Why don't you tell me what's really bothering you?"
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>The next bit can be found here
Dear Journal,

The next day Martina greeted me with a coy smile, "So I hear someone had fun last night."

I groaned, "It figures that Aimée would have told you already. Please don't tell me the whole castle knows already."

"Well Eva and Uliana were talking a lot this morning, so I'd assume that she knows, but I wouldn’t think that many others would have heard yet."

"Well thank the gods for small favors at least. It's going to be difficult enough getting Lady Eva the throne without a scandal."

"Unfortunately we have a different problem. Lady Lidiya was in the same room as you when Aimée reported Lieutenant Faina's escape. That story has already made the rounds."

Sieghild's voice from the doorway interrupted us, "It certainly has" turning we could see the dwarf and Rina enter the room.

Rina nodded, "The story of Faina's escape has rattled a lot of the nobles. They’ve inferred from our extra guards that the castle isn't quite secure."

I sighed and held my hand up to my forehead. "So how bad is the damage?"

Sieghild looked uncomfortable, "There's a lot of doubt that we can defeat the Golden Saber and many of the nobles feel unsafe."

Rina nodded, "We'll need to recover a lot of trust before we can count on their support again."

I thought for a moment, "Alright, so we'll have to prove that we can do this. Sieghild, Rina, how well prepared are your troops?"

Sieghild nodded, "Fairly well prepared actually. They're as well trained as they can be, given the short time we've had to work with."

Rina agreed, "Likewise with mine. However I'm not sure that either of our troops are a match for the Golden Saber yet."

"Unfortunately with the nobles spooked we may not have the time to train them as well as we'd like," I said. Turning to Martina I continued, "but we do have a dragon, and that's got to count for something."
A few hours later, my companions and some of our more reliable allies were gathered in a conference. I began the meeting with, "In order to keep the support of the various minor lords of this land, we'll need to demonstrate that we are capable of running this war and that we can defeat the Golden Saber. To that end, I propose that we start military operations early. We've already passed the bulk of the winter season, so the snow is beginning to thaw and won't pose a problem. We should have enough forces on our own to at least start this campaign."

There was a lot of murmuring about this but eventually there was a general sense of agreement. Colonel Peyton had the first question, "Do you have a target in mind, Knight?"

I nodded and unrolled a regional map I'd been holding on to, "Yes. The city of Snegorod. While the bulk of the Golden Saber forces are stationed in the capital, they have many detachments spread around the land. Snegorod is home to one of the smaller divisions, but it is the one closest to us and the one most likely to be the first to respond when war breaks out."

"So we'll take the fight to them first?" Eva concluded.

"Exactly." I agreed. "By disrupting their forces here we can buy ourselves some breathing room and hopefully get many of the nobles on our side."

The Albero Cittàn King nodded, "So what is your plan, Knight?"
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"Our common soldiers aren't good enough to stand up to the Golden Saber yet, so we'll be heavily relying on support from Martina, the Albero Città border guard's eagle riders, and Colonel Peyton's men to do our heavy lifting. Prior to the attack Aimée, Nadja, and Veila and a few other scouts will infiltrate the city to examine their defenses. They will keep an eye out for mages, siege weapons, major figures in the opposition, those riding birds, or anything else that could be a possible complication. In addition they will assess the general preparedness of the city." As I spoke I rolled out a map of the city, "The attack will begin with an aerial assault by Martina and the eagle riders. The priority of this attack will be the city gates and any priority targets identified by reconnaissance. In the event that the scouts spot any casters who seem capable of wingbinder spells, Nadja will be tasked with tier removal immediately prior to the assault."

Nadja nodded slowly, "Easy enough."

I continued, "With the gates out of the way, our assault will begin in earnest. Troops will enter the city from two directions, first through the gates and secondly through the river dock, Boniface will be handling the delivery of troops there."

"I should have suspected something when I got that boat," Boniface said in mock complaint.

"Right. Each group will be accompanied by Realm Forces who will assist with particularly hairy situations. The overall objective will be to sweep the city for Golden Saber troops and secure vital administrative buildings. After eliminating the last of their targets, Martina and the eagle riders will support the ground forces by offering aerial reconnaissance, coordination, and supporting their attacks. Any questions?"
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Is everyone still liking the story?
I have to go to sleep so tomorrow so i'll check back in the morning, because so far i'm liking what i'm reading.
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Eva raised a hand, "Where will you be?"

"I'll be with Martina supervising and commanding. I'll be in touch with you all through telepathy."

Rina had the next question, "Do you want to review the troops before the attack?"

I nodded, "I was about to get to that. I would like to see you and your soldiers assembled tomorrow morning to review their readiness."

There were a few other questions afterwards about target locations and priorities but overall the meeting went smoothly.

The next morning I went out to the soldiers' encampment and reviewed the troops. Armet Company, under Captain Rina's command, was my first choice for this mission as the squad based tactics of the unit would be of great use in the tight city streets and alleyways. It had expanded somewhat in the weeks since I last reviewed the soldiers and now included a unit of alchemist grenadiers under Siegbert. Gaël commanded one platoon comprised primarily of archers and swordsmen who seemed well drilled in their craft. I was pleased to finally meet Sergeant Katya, the soldier that Gaël had recently gotten rather sweet on. The company was also joined by Aimèe and Veila who had each assembled a scratch band of servants and other common folk and turned them into a rather decent reconnaissance outfit, which for us basically meant that they didn't look like soldiers and could pay attention to things without looking like they were paying attention, but it would have to do for now. Rounding out the company was Boniface and the scratch band of crewmen that he had pulled together from his old shipmates and volunteers. They weren't soldiers by any means but most of them looked like they knew their way around a fight, and more importantly around a boat. They would be delivering the rest of Armet Company to the river docks in the attack.
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Barbute Company under Sieghild was larger than Armet, but they were trained for larger scale combat. Their platoon based formations wouldn't do too well in the city and I resolved to keep them to the main roads where they would do the most good. Felìcita had assembled a platoon of archers who could pelt an enemy formation with arrow fire, but I was uncertain how helpful they would be in urban combat with civilians around. The Company was also recently joined by Nadja who had put together a rather decent band of skirmishers and ambushers who could do some damage in the right environment. They would probably be the most useful troops of Barbute Company during this upcoming fight.

As I came to Colonel Peyton's troops I instantly felt myself relax out of reflex. It had been some time since I'd last been amongst Realm Troops and it felt good to be back in the herd once again as it were. I could see that they were relatively experienced veterans and hoped that they would compare well when put against the Golden Saber's men.

Turning to Colonel Peyton I asked, "How are they with city fighting and urban combat?"

Peyton hefted his hooked warhammer over his shoulder before answering, "The 12th Royal Task Force has fought almost anywhere you can name. Cities won't be a problem."

"I’m glad to hear it."
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Moving on I came to the Albero Città Border Guard and their eagles. It took a significant amount of time and persuasion, but eventually the King's advisors were able to convince him not to lead the guard himself. I introduced myself to Commander Niccolo who was leading them in his place, "It's a pleasure to meet you Commander."

"Likewise, Knight. Albero Città owes you a great debt. I hope we can at least begin to repay it."

"I only did what anyone would have done. How are your men doing?"

"My men are fine and the birds are acclimating well. We had to tear apart and rebuild a stable to house them but we're settled comfortably."

"Good to hear it. I'm looking forward to working with you."

With the basic review out of the way, I set the teams to drilling with each other to familiarize them with working together. I participated in the drills a little myself but soon left to review the battle plans.
Man, this takes me back.
Dear Journal,

The day of the battle came soon enough. We had departed the week prior to get into position for the attack. In the wee hours before down I assembled the men who weren't scouting the city for a speech.

"Men, today we have come together, here in the cold hours before dawn, to make the world a better place. To tear down a force of such evil that it infects the very land itself.

Some of you have born the burden of living with this evil for years, others only felt its corrosive touch for a brief but disastrous time, still others have only heard of it but still came for the chance to do something right, but regardless of what you've experienced you have recognized it as evil and stood up to fight it!"

Today we begin that fight, today we start to make this world a better place! In that city on the horizon we will fight the Golden Saber and drive them out!

Remember, while they are fierce, you can be fiercer! Remember that not only are your loved ones waiting on your success, but innocents across this entire land are too!

Now get ready men, we march for a better tomorrow!"

With that we set out towards the city.
Welcome back.
[The section here has been inserted into the journal at a later time]

After action report of Colonel Peyton:

They say that no plan survives contact with the enemy, but ours made it some way before it collapsed. However when it did, it certainly made up for lost time.

Everything started out well enough, we got into the city fine and managed to do decently against the Golden Saber. The Eagles and Lady Martina even managed to get through their own objectives fast enough to come to our aid. After some fighting, we met up with our forces that attacked from the docks united to take the city.

Suddenly our enemy changed tactics. The Golden Saber soldiers began grabbing human shields to protect from the aerial attacks and started to fall back and regroup. It wasn't long before they started a push for the city gates. We initially thought that they were trying to break out and were willing to let them, thinking that we would be able to hunt them down easier outside of town, the new heard the horns and cheers outside. Reinforcements had arrived for the Golden Saber.

This was unwelcome news for all of us, the Golden Saber troops were skilled enough that the prospect of facing more of them was unpleasant, but the other troops fighting alongside us had a very bad reaction. As I noted earlier, the elves seem to have almost traumatic memories of their brief time under Golden Saber rule and the locals here are almost worse. The elves had to be held back, the locals almost routed. If it wasn't for the help of that archer Gaël, we wouldn’t have gotten them under control in time. As it was, we rapidly found ourselves trying to avoid being flanked by the two blocks of enemy soldiers. Without the dragoness, Martina, we would have been in quite a bind.
I was rather worried when the dragon swooped low towards the city center and rose again without the Knight, but it didn't seem to affect her performance at all and our only orders were to keep holding fast so it didn't appear that the Knight needed her added perspective at the moment.

We had to fall back into the city to avoid being flanked and that only made it harder for the Eagles and Martina to act unhindered. As our support dwindled, we began losing more and more men, suddenly a loud cry came from the rear of the enemy formation. The Knight had returned and with him came a small army. They weren't well equipped, most were armed with simple farming or craft tools, but they came none the less. They weren't good soldiers, they died in great numbers, but they were there and as the Golden Saber wheeled to face this new threat, we charged forward and redoubled our attack.

It wasn't long before we were victorious. It turned out that the army that came to our rescue was comprised of volunteers from the city itself. The small army had suffered terrible losses, but seemed ecstatic to be free of Golden Saber control. The archer I mentioned earlier spent the rest of the day comprising a ballad that honored the sacrafices of our combined forces and by the time of the victory celebration later we were being hailed as the heroes of Snegorod.
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Dampening the celebratory mood for myself and the Knight were the raw numbers of the battle. In deaths and non-recoverable injuries we had lost a good half of our force with another quarter injured for the near future. Our healers will do what they can, but we're still down a significant number of men. Based on our recon estimates, we killed a good six in ten of the Golden Saber troops. The number of wounded is unknown as they were evacuated, this wouldn’t be a bad trade off, but for the fact that we outnumbered them nearly four to one. The Knight and I both know it, but at this rate we won't win the war without significantly increased forces.

[Segment Ends]
Dear Journal,

The battle was won, but at a high cost. Colonel Peyton and I agreed that we drastically need to step up the pace of training and recruitment. The Colonel has now seen the atrocities perpetuated by the Golden Saber and has agreed to back me in requesting more support from King Charles. We've also requested more support from the elves and the dwarves as a result of the last battle. One bit of good news was that we at least won a political victory if nothing else, the nobles were quite eager to be a part of our army now, with the exception of House Stanislava. I've been putting off meeting with Lady Lidiya since our last… encounter but it'll soon be unavoidable.

Militarily we're getting a better picture of what capabilities we'll have in the war and are planning our strategy around it. Martina was of great use suppressing the enemy in the last battle, and it seemed likely she could do so in the future, keeping the Golden Saber from moving in great numbers. We are considering making a beeline for the capital in the hopes of overwhelming their commanders before they can find a way to concentrate their forces and crush us, however the odds of success are rather long. Particularly because of the city of Kerpost Goroda, a fortress city that guards the capital and blocks off most access to it. I'll need to look into ways to bypass this city or take it quickly, as well as ways to nullify the Golden Saber's strengths in case this plan won't work.

A messenger has just arrived, instead of agreeing to send more troops to us, King Charles has instead recalled me to the Realm for an audience. Evidentially he has learned that I have access to a dragon and expects me to arrive soon.
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Dear Journal.

Big things have happened since I last wrote. I'll start at the beginning, with my trip back to the Realm.

The trip was quite pleasant by dragonback and we arrived back in the Realm within a day. To stay there was a stir at my arrival was an understatement, people were practically trampling over each other to get away from Martina when we landed, when I dismounted in the armor of a Knight of the Realm, panic turned to confusion, when Martina turned into her human form, confusion turned to interest, and when the Royal Carriage arrived to escort us to the castle, interest turned to gossip. In future days I would find out that the town gossips eventually tracked down the story of me leaving town after a princess in danger from a dragon and somehow through the strange magic of rumormills everywhere turned Martina into some sort of dragon nobility. Admittedly given the fact that she was the heir of a storied general, they weren't too inaccurate I suppose. The real problem was all the salacious details that the story grew in the telling, in the end it was almost as scandalous as the actual truth!

The next morning we awoke early for our council with King Charles. We were called into the throne room with significant fanfare. Martina and I entered and made our bows and obstinacies.

King Charles looked down at us, I could tell that he was tired, "Sir Knight, Lady Dragon, please rise."

As we got to our feet he continued, "As I understand it, you've recently decided that your sworn duty to uphold the virtues of the Realm somehow involves running off to foreign lands to save captured ladies, fight mercenaries on behalf of foreign thrones, and to call on my armies in the civil wars of others? Is that correct?"
That sounds bad. What ails you, anon?
Be back in a few.
Sorry this is taking so long.
While there was some substantial murmuring around the courtroom and worry in Martina's face, I recognized the test for what it was and answered, "I interpreted it as being required to do good in the world, Sire, and that's what I did."

King Charles smiled relaxing the entire room, "Good man! Got it in one!" In a more sober tone he turned to his advisors and other courtiers, "Please excuse yourselves. There are matters of State that I must discuss with my Knight."

After the remainder of the courtroom filtered out, making their courtesies as they left, the King turned to us again, "You have been in my service for some time, haven't you Knight? Since you were orphaned in the Barbarian Wars, yes?"

"That is correct, Sire." I answered solemnly, not wanting to dwell on the memories that statement brought up.

"In all that time there must have been some things you've noticed. What would you say is the Realm's greatest weakness?"

I paused to think before answering, "We have a strong army and powerful borders, we don't fear for security. We're fairly prosperous and have no shortage of food or other resources, so scarcity isn't an issue. The biggest problem is that we have been getting ready for a succession crisis for the last few years. I apologize for my boldness, but you've never married and have no children. When you pass on, there will be a great deal of turmoil over who takes the throne. Our nobles will be vying for power with each other and whoever takes the throne will have to deal with them as well as maintain the army, promote prosperity, and keep our foreign ties strong. It is a daunting prospect."
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King Charles smiled a sly grin, "Daunting indeed. How fortunate that my chosen candidate has developed all of those skills in his quest."

I blanched as I realized why I was there, "Sire you can't be serious! I can't be king!" Ignoring Martina's delighted expression I continued, "Sir, my personal affairs - "

"Are a little unorthodox certainly, but that's expected of Royalty. It won't be a problem."

Desperate I continued, "It's still too much, Sir. I can't - "

"It's too late for that Knight," the King told me, "I've already sent the announcements out. Any attempt to change this will only result in more chaos."

He was right and all of us knew it. There was nothing left to do but numbly agree. I was still in shock that afternoon when we were marched back into the throne room for the formal announcement and the coronation as Crown Prince of the Realm. I wouldn't have gotten through it without Martina by my side, the only thing I noticed was that the expressions on the Realm's nobility were mirrors of those worn earlier by the Orchemla Zemli nobility.

I was still in shock throughout the dinner, but tuned in to hear King Charles announce my mission to liberate Orchemla Zemli and that he was tripling the size of the task force under Peyton and putting his full faith in me. I put on my best smile and tried to look like I wasn't entirely overwhelmed by recent events.
Anyone still here?
Also, I really am happy you came back. I remember messaging you a few times, but it was a while back, so I kind of gave up after a while. Either way, glad you're back one last time.
Thanks. I didn't see any DMs in my Twitter but I'll keep a better eye on them in the future.
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Dear Journal,

I'm finally back in Orchemla Zemli. Everyone took the news of my… promotion well, especially Felìcita and Eva. Despite my best efforts, I can't get Peyton to stop calling me "Sire" or "your majesty." I suppose I'll have to get used to it. They additional soldiers from the Realm are quite useful, with tier help we're making decent progress in training the army we're assembling. In other news, I finally got around to speaking with Lady Lidiya.

I called on her at dinner when she was expected to be alone. I was mildly surprised when I was called in so quickly. Lidiya was wearing a long flowing green dress that was cut low enough in front and made shear enough to leave little to the imagination.

Raising an eyebrow she greeted me, "Good evening, Sir Knight. Or," she said as she rose and bowed to me exposing much of her chest, "should I say Crown Prince?"

"I'm honestly fine with Knight, actually."

"A pity. Prince suits you much better."

"I appreciate the compliment, but I'm here to see what I can do for you to win your support for this army we're building."

Lidiya smiled, "Easy. Make me queen."

"I'm sorry?"

Lidiya sighed, "It's really quite simple. Stop trying to set up Eva as this new queen and back me instead."

"I'm not about to just abandon Eva!"

"Your loss. Good luck trying to win the war without me and my supporters."

"Surely there's something else you want?"

Lidiya smiled and laughed, "Nothing I can think of. So do you have any counteroffer?"
oh no, when I meant a while back, I meant a WHILE back. As in, far enough back that the most recent sign of you being alive, and thus the place I messaged you on, was Deviantart.
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Suddenly I found myself with a coy idea, I put on my sternest expression and said imperiously, "Yes, in fact I do. Now you'll have to pay a small tribute to Eva to be allowed to join this coalition."

Lidiya started, "Wait, what? You can't seriously - "

"I can indeed," I interrupted, "Look at me. I’m the Crown Prince of the Realm. I have ties to not only Lady Eva, but to the Albero Città royal family, the Dwarven clanholds of Hammerberg, Dragons, and more! I'll call on them for more support instead and we'll win, and when we win, my friends will be rewarded. Rewarded with both money and power. Those who don't help will get nothing and be left behind to catch up. I. Don’t. Need. You. I was offering this to you freely, but since you were too foolish to accept, the price has risen. Now you need to pay."

Lidiya looked frightened for a moment, and I wondered if I went too far, but she nodded her head and agreed to m terms. As she ran off to find Eva, I sat back and mused that I would have to get used to having power.

Later that evening, I found myself attending a formal celebration to commeorate the new alliance. The highlight of the event was the signing of an official treaty between the assorted noble factions of Orchemla Zemli, Albero Città, and the Realm. The signing took ridiculously long because someone thought to bring a painter to document the occasion. I think that I look like a fool in a formal uniform, but the painter was evidenly impressed enough that she gave me a central place in the picture.

The rest of the evening was spent dancing, it was enjoyable, but a heavy sense of unease hung over the event. It made sense, I thought, compared to that last ball in Albero Città, there was far less to celebrate here. Instead of rejoicing in their liberation from evil they were trying to enjoy the brief calm before the storm of war overtook them. None the less, I made the most of the evening with my friends and companions
Oh yeah. I should update that too after this I suppose.
Dear Journal,

The war effort has been hard, but it has been successful so far. It is fortunate that we were able to find a way to get so many nobles and their armies on our side, without the strength of numbers, this war wouldn't be going nearly so well. The local forces are simply unable to catch up to the Golden Saber in skill and training fast enough and often find themselves in battle against fair superior forces. If it weren't for the forces from my home, we'd be suffering mass casualties. The elven border guard has been invaluable in scouting and fending off attacks from Golden Saber riding birds, and keeping watch for surprise attacks on the cities we hold and our camps. We would have lost more than one city by complete surprise if it wasn't for Commander Niccolo's vigilance. However the greatest weapon in our arsenal is Martina, the Golden Saber has basically given up fighting us in the field after so many of their soldiers were lost to dragonfire. Unfortunately that now means that we have to watch out for surprise attacks and root them out of the cities where they hide behind the civilian populations.

We recently learned of an opportunity to make a significant advance in our war effort. The city of Kerpost Goroda sits very near the capital and any attack on the capital needs to go through the city or the mountain ranges surrounding it. We were currently planning to try to make our way through the peaks and camp near Mt Kratos before attacking the capital, but we had recently heard from local sympathizers that the city's troops were being moved to another location, presumably to launch an attack on us. If we wre quick and careful, a small army could overwhelm the city's defenses and give us a major foothold near the capital. If we could do that, this war would be nearly won. Tomorrow we have a staff meeting where the final decisions will be made.
Dear Journal,

The staff meeting began the next day in the early hours of the morning. I took a moment to marvel at how the army had grown since that initial battle. Our command staff used to fit into a small chamber. Now we had to commandeer one of the great halls of the castle.

The meeting went as well as could be expected. Some of the more cautious nobles had their doubts, but on the whole the war council was for the attack. Preparations began immediately.

After the meeting, Martina came up to me, "I have to admit that I got a bad feeling about this battle."

"What's wrong? Is it with the plan or - "

"It's nothing specific. Just an ominous feeling about this attack. Just please be careful will you?"

"I will. You be careful yourself."

The next day we set out with a small detachment of your best men towards the city. We camped for the evening outside of the sight of the city walls. We spent that night quietly preparing for the next day.

The battle started out well. The city gates were blown away by Martina's fire and our soldiers poured into the city, spreading out to secure their objectives. However once the men were so spread out they were having trouble communicating with each other, something changed. Suddenly Golden Saber troops began pouring out of everywhere, attacking the dispersed troops in great numbers. Our attack faltered and began to fail.

Even as I issued the orders to fall back, I could tell that we had fallen into a trap. The reduced security was clearly a bluff to bait us into attacking like this. With our men dispersed, they would be easy targets for the Golden Saber who could surround them and overwhelm them one by one.
With the fighting so close, there wasn’t much opportunity for Martina and me to make a major difference in the fighting, leaving us looking on frustrated as the fighting continued. Suddenly a column of troops started pouring out of a keep at the center of the city. The fortress was decently separated from the surrounding city, giving us the first real opportunity to put Martina's breath weapon to use. In hindsight, we shold have suspected something. Risking a vital city to defeat a small army unit is a poor ganble, but a dragon is a much more worthwhile prize.

The first warning we got was the barrage heavy javelins that came pouring down on us as we strafed the column. As Martina was bled out and her wings pierced I caught sight of a huge figure leaping off the castle ramparts, sword in hand. As he cut into Martina's wing, we tumbled out of the sky and into the ground below.

I awoke in the ruins of a house, my only company was the small family terrified of the armored figure who fell through their ceiling. I made my apologies and assured them that they had nothing to fear from me before heading out into the street. What I saw there made my blood run cold.

General Zinoviy had arrived. He was much the same as the last time I saw him, but now sported an eye patch where Rina had put out his eye. He was carrying something under his arm, but his cloak obscured its identity and I couldn’t discern what it was.
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>Forgot pic
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Noticing me he smiled, "Good day, Sir Knight. I'd love to stay and fight, really I would, but I have a delivery to make." With that he turned so I could see what he carried.

At some point since we had fallen, Martina must have shifted to her human form. Zinoviy had her bound in some sort of manacle and was about to load her onto the back of one of those riding birds. He turned to me and gave a cruel smile before loading her, mounting the bird, and departing. I found myself running forward desperately screaming. The Golden Saber troops surrounding Zinoviy moved to intercept me, but I cut through them without thinking and kept going. I moved as fast as humanly possible, but it wasn't fast enough. I reached the General only I time to watch him take off.

I'm not sure what happened next, but I found myself attacking the Golden Saber men surrounding me. I can't say exactly what happened, but at some point Colonel Peyton must have realized that the Golden Saber was diverting troops to deal with a threat to their rear and sent troops to take advantage of it. The rest of the day was a haze, at some point we won the battle, but I barely took notice of it, my thoughts consumed with rescuing Martina.

One of the good things about being the Crown Prince is that no one questions you. I had prepared a whole argument for why we needed to rescue Martina, it would be disastrous for the war effort of we lost her for one, but much to my gratification there was no questioning my decision. After some investigation, several sympathetic farmers indicated to us that they saw the Golden Saber riding bird head off towards the capital, thus we began to immediately move troops to prepare for the attack on Vladychestvo.

Everyone had words of comfort for me, but to be honest I was still in a daze and never really noticed. Eventually Colonel Peyton broke through as I drifted off during a troop update.
"Sir? With all due respect, you're a wreck."

I sat back startled but before I could respond Peyton continued, "It's perfectly understandable sir, with losing Lady Martina and all, but you're no good to anyone like this."

"So what am I supposed to do? Just ignore the battle preparations?"

"Yes, actually. Simply excuse yourself and delgate the work to me or someone else you trust. What do you do to relax?"

"Well… I practice -"

"No, really relax? What do you do when you aren't preparing for battle?"

"Well… I journal a bit."

"Then I hope you'll excuse the presumption, sir, but you should go do so. I'll handle the attack preparations."

I hesitated, but Peyton ultimately made sense. I nodded and left him to do his work, departing to pour my soul out onto blank pages.
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Alright. I think I'm done for the night. I'll write some more tomorrow. Keep the thread up until then. Also can someone archive it in case it goes down somehow?
bump, also looks like an anon archived it
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>mfw Knight has returned
bump for Knight
Bump. Anyone got any theories for what happens next?

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