You've been standing here for nearly an hour now. The benches are all filled with peasant folk like yourself. Ahead of you, the double doors lead into the royal hall and every once in a while they open, and a name is called out and guards usher the man who answers, inside--some for judgment, some for plea and some, like yourself, for reward.Three weeks ago you were a peasant conscript. You were levied to fight for a lord you had never met to redress an argument you did not care about and to win lands you would never see. Peasant conscripts, poorly trained, poorly armed, have but one job in such matters, ordained to them by simple probability: to die. Not only did you fail that fundamental duty, you managed to pull off the kind of heroism normally reserved for carefully constructed lies told around the dinner table. Lies that get a man admiring looks among his peers and sometimes, if they're constructed well enough, a pair of smooth, welcoming thighs among the prettier village girls. Yours is half-lie. They're saying that you single-handedly shot down the enemy lord. You did. But it was an accident. Nevertheless, that lord is dead and that battle won and that army routed. Word spread to the king of your deed and he was pleased enough to have Lord Eleison, your commander, grant some parcel of the newly acquired lands--a fief--to you. And so in the time that it takes a crossbow bolt to cross the battlefield and split a helm, you're life is forever changed. No more the cold autumn mornings harvesting grain. No more the hot spring afternoons plowing fields. No more the humble and simple life of a peasant. You are a lord now--or will be if they ever call your name--"William Shepard." Speak of the devil.
>>2113986"Here!" You say, running forward and nearly tripping over your feet. The guards catch you. One of them leans in."Did you really pull 'im off his horse with one arm?" The guard says. "And tear his heart out right through his armor?" You don't know what to say, or what kind of devil-creature this man has taken you for, but your silence seems to be a kind of assent for him all the same. He smiles and nods. "Fuckin' animal." He says. Light comes through the stained windows of the royal hall creating patterns of shadow and sun on the floor. Lord Eleison, sits with his hand on his chin. A young woman serves him pieces of fresh fruit from a silver tray which he chews with disinterest. "William Shepard, my liege." Says the courtier, bowing. You follow suit and take a knee for good measure."Who?" Says Lord Eleison. "Uh." The courtier glances at a man sitting by the windows, writing furiously in an open ledger. The man looks up briefly and waves his hand. "You know, my lord, the one who killed Lord Nigel.""Ah yes. I remember now. How are the kids?" Asks Lord Eleison. "Uh. Good?" As far as you know you don't have kids, but you're not a rush to correct the most powerful man in the land."Good. Good. Well, uh, good job. Do we have the documents ready?" He looks to the man at the table again. The man slides a rolled up scroll across the table and the courtier runs over and grabs it and hands it to you. Little good it does you. You don't know how to read. "Incidentally what fief am I granting him?" Asks Lord Eleison."Morrowshire, liege." Says the courtier. "Morrowshire? No no, I thought we agreed to keep that. Didn't the surveyor find silver there or something?""Uh. No, liege that was Morrowvale.""Are you sure?" He rubs his chin. "Let's keep it just to be safe. What other lands do we have?" The eyes turn back to the man at the table. You shift uncomfortably on your knees. "There's Olmsville, Cartoum and Riverside, sire. All recovered from the Late Nigel's lands.""Alright, so he can have one of those then." Says Lord Eleison. "And get him a horse and a sword from the armory. Will that do William?""Y-yes, my lord. You are most generous." "I am, aren't I? Alright. Bring in whoever's next." You bow one more time and the guards and the courtier lead you out of the hall. "Peter will take you to the armory and the stables. They should've already been informed of your coming." Says the courtier. "Oh and what fief will you take?""C-could I hear a bit more about them?"The courtier taps his foot. "Olmsville is by the border, surrounded by forest and mountains. Cartoum is further inward near the Cawtard fields and Riverside is along the Beaford River. They're all about the same in terms of size--in terms of just about everything actually, except location.">Olmsville, the forests will provide ample lumber>Cartoum, the fields will provide ample farmland>Riverside, the river will provide ample trade
>>2113988>Olmsville, the forests will provide ample lumberThe river could be good too, but we can irrigate and create trails via the mountain passes and runoff. Plus this option seems the most autonomous and defensible.
>>2113988>Olmsville, the forests will provide ample lumberOur first piroity should be the construction of a Motte and bailey, with all the lumber we will have access to this should be easy, if we want a fire proof keep we are going to have to get the stone from somewhere though.
>>2113988>>Olmsville, the forests will provide ample lumberThird vote for the lumber we trust in
>>Olmsville, the forests will provide ample lumberWe're going to have to get to work on some trebuchets or something.
>>2113988>>Cartoum, the fields will provide ample farmland
I would also recommend if we have any close friends or relatives we should bring them and their families all with us and any competent military aged men in this group should be knighted as soon as we have arms and armour to provide them with.
>>2114078With good lumber, we should have some fine bowmen and shields. Hopefully we'll get a good price and with the mountains nearby as well, we can set up a mine and smelter, even a forge if we've the right ores.Game however, will be our only super-reliable food source though.
>>2113988voting against the current >Riverside, the river will provide ample trade Money makes the world go round
>>2113988Riverside, the river will provide ample trade
>Riverside, the river will provide ample trade
After some thought you decide on Olmsville. The forests nearby should provide ample lumber for construction and trade. At the very least the woods will provide cover from invaders--though you doubt there's going to be another war so soon after the last one. "Alright, so Olmsville then. Very good, I'll let the steward know. Peter, show him to the armory will you?"The guard nods and beckons for you to follow him. He leads you to a small storehouse located within the manor grounds. He dips into the storehouse and returns with an iron shortsword complete with leather scabbard. You pull the blade out and inspect it. It feels awkward in your untrained hands. He then leads you to the stables where the stablemaster has your horse waiting for you. Both men have to help you onto the saddle and having never ridden a horse before, it takes a few minutes before you can even carry out basic maneuvers like, going and stopping and not falling off every time the horse turns. The stablemaster also gives you some directions to your new fief and advises you to keep on the roads once you pass into the newly acquired lands. Lord Eleison has not yet consolidated those roads and they are subject to frequent harassment by highwaymen, robbers, bandits, and rogues. You thank him for the advice and set off on your way. The journey takes a week--you could've gotten there faster but your inexperience with the horse forced you to dismount about a mile into the journey and walk the rest of the way, guiding your horse by hand.Olmsville is, to put it lightly, in ruins. There are a few scattered huts, either burnt down or broken. A road runs through the borders leading out of the forest toward the north. The place is abandoned. You can see signs of conflict: broken weapons and arrowheads strewn about. A raid. Bandits. Maybe even men from Lord Eleison's army. You sigh. You weren't expecting much, but you would've at least liked a place rest your head. At the center of the ruined village is a well--the only thing still operational in this place. You see several men drawing water from it. They are armed with handmade bows--the kind used for hunting game insteand of man. They stop their work as you approach."Who're you?" They ask."I am Will--er, Sir William Shepard. Lord of Olmsville." You say, trying to make your voice sound as regal as possible. "And you are?""Kilkain." Says one man, the leader judging by his age and how the others shrink away as he approaches. "Well met, Lord William. I didn't know Olmsville was under any protection. About time really--it's a nice piece of land."You look around you again, staring at the thatch huts full of holes and the ashes of burnt down cabins. "What happened here?""Oh you know. The Count doesn't care much about this place. No taxes, no protection. Only a matter of time till people come and take what they want." The man draws closer to you, studying you. His eyes fall on the sword at your hip.1/2
>>2113988>Olmsville, the forests will provide ample lumber
>>2114246"There's a village--Meaville--about two hours walk on the road. You might find some people willing to come back and settle here. Olmsville been abandoned a long time--I doubt you'll see any immediate trouble.""Down this road?" You point toward the borders."That's right. We're heading back there in a bit actually. You can follow us if you like. Or...if you want..." He looks at his men, they look back and nod. "I wouldn't mind settling here myself. I'm a hunter by trade--my sons, and my brother too." He says, gesturing behind him at the men. "There's game in these woods?""Sure. Deer, elk, rabbits. Bears, if you're feelin' ambitious. Beaver, if you're lookin' for pelts. That's a bit further in though, by the river."You nod. "I'm waiting to hear the catch."Kilkain smiles and laughs. "Ain't no catch really. Well, I guess we'd want some extra treatment for gettin' in so quick. Now that you own these grounds, I guess you own the animals in 'em too. Free access to the grounds for a season. We keep whatever we kill--at least till autumn, and we settle here and help that sound good?">Refuse, take your chances in Meaville instead>Accept, you need the labor
>>2114251Negotiate. We'll name them Gamekeepers for the forest, and in return for them keeping any poachers and others who don't pay a tax to hunt the land out of the forest, in addition to generally maintaining the health of the wildlife and advising us on manners related to forestry, we'll pay them a stipend once we have industry set up. In the mean time they'll be free to hunt the property as they please and sell what they catch, but a small portion (say, a tenth) has to be paid to us.
>>2114251>>Accept, you need the laborGive half the pelts of what you kill and help with the reconstruction and we have a deal
>>2113988>olmsvilleBorder is improtantI want to get tons of glory so we can pull a rags to riches and become emperor
>>2114259You move to the well and drink. Your horse follows. "No." You say. The man's smile goes rigid. He scratches his neck. "Alright. Well. That's that I suppose.""Hold on. I meant I have a counteroffer." You take a moment to gather your thoughts, the men perk up and listen. "I'll name you as the Gamekeepers of this forest and in return for keeping poachers out, maintaining the wildlife and advising me on forestry, I'll pay you stipend--once the industry is properly set up that is. In the meantime, sure, hunt as you like, sell what you find--but a small portion say 15% goes to me."Kilkain rubs his chin. "Might I have a word in private before I decide?" He asks, gesturing to his family. "Of course. Take all the time you need." You feel pleased. Your speech was very lordlike you think. A moment later the hunter returns, a wide grin on his face. "Would you take 10%?""Done." He laughs and gives you a curt bow. He looks behind him to make sure the others are bowing as well. "Pleasure to be in your service Lord William." You smile. You could get used to this.---[QM Note]From now on, every update will move forward by 1 month. You can suggest things to do, make plans etc. (these can be long-term) and I will incorporate as many suggestions as I can into each update. Events may take place in the interim that require action. We'll roleplay those out as above. We won't be using too much crunch, just common sense, and consensus. Feel free to ask questions.It is the month of April, Year 767. What will you do?
>>2114570I suppose we'd better get to constructing shelter. Nothing fancy for now, just a wooden hut
>>2114570Alright for now I want to: Go to Meaville and invite anyone looking for a fresh start to Olmsville. Let them get their peasant village started from the ruins with whatever they bring with them, they're free to use fallen trees or cut some with permission. Order a slightly bigger house built for us, so they know who's boss. They're getting free lumber for their houses so they will raise one for us. Get a small entourage of muscle/bodyguards together, at least two but four is a good number. If we have any access to weapons or armor, equip them. Survey and assess our property/holdings and treasury or find someone capable to do it for us. Find the prettiest girl from among the peasants and hire her as our "cook," disregard her parents' protests if they're even alive.
>>2114779seconding these actions
>>2114570And I don't know how long any of this takes or what kind of manpower we'll have, how much control we have over the lives of these people, etc. It's important that they get their own livelihood in order first so we can tax them and spend all day carousing and molesting chambermaids. But for the future:If the village isn't too big have a ditch and rampart dug out, and make some wooden stakes for it. Set up a watch rotation so at least six people are watching around the village at all hours. And train these people to respond quickly to being summoned. If the alarm is raised they need to be out of their houses with shitty peasant weapons in hand in under a minute.
>>2114772>>2114779The first month is quite busy. Kilkain and his family move into the village. They rebuild a few of the better-condition huts, cobbling together material from the burnt down cabins and buying whatever else they need from Meaville. You spend most of your time in Meaville, trying to convince peasants to join your settlement. As May rolls around you've managed to convince three families to join you: a miller and his wife and 4 children; a pair of strapping young brothers, formerly apprenticed to a carpenter that mistreated them and a widowed mother and her two daughters that were reduced to begging in the streets for bread. The carpenter brothers greatly speed up the reconstruction effort and their general jovial attitude keeps spirits high. The widow and her daughters join your household as servants. The mother is actually a decent cook. The largest cabin in the village is restored for your use; it's hardly a manor but you're no stranger to modest accommodations and it's still far better than any place you've slept in before. At the very least, it makes clear who's in charge.You try several times to decipher the scroll that describes your holding (or so you assume) but cannot make heads or tails of it. You need a steward, someone who can keep accounts and knows his numbers and letters. Such educated people are hard to find in these remote parts. Meaville does not boast them. Kilkain tells you that there is a larger town about a days journey north. It's where the Count lives; you might be able to find your steward there.Kilkain and his family also manage to bring some game from the forest before months end: two full grown elks and a few rabbits. The meat is shared among the village and the excess and pelts sold for profit. You get your 10% (which comes to just a handful of silver coins). Kilkain also finds a poacher in your forest and brings him to you for judgment. The poacher claims that he didn't know the forest was under anyone's domain. Kilkain tells you, that by law, and as Lord, you are allowed to take whatever he's poached (it's a deer) as a penalty. The hunter begs you not to do this and asks that you only take a portion of meat. >Take the whole deer and spread the word; people should not hunt in these forests without your permission>Give the man a full pardon and take your regular tribute
>>2114888>Give the man a full pardon and take your regular tributewe are a generous lord who sympathizes with the peasantry. Make it clear the penalty, however
>>2114888>Give the man a full pardon and take your regular tributeHowever if we see him again soon, we wont be as liberal. Fact of the matter is: we have people to look after, and we cant be parceling out our resources to strangers. If they are in dire need, they can appeal and make their concerns known.Also on a seperate note>offer him a space in the village if he wants itBecause I dont very well see why not. Poaching is a crime that can be forgiven under these circumstances.
>>2114896You give the man a full pardon and take only your normal 10% tax. You don't want to be the kind of heartless lord that others despise--you were a peasant yourself not too long ago; if anyone can sympathize, it's you.The hunter is so grateful that he begins to spread word of your generosity at every opportunity. Apparently, he was quite well-known in some circles, as several days later two more families show up at Olmsville by his word. Among them are several men with experience in logging--they've even brought some equipment with them; saws, axes, ropes and trolleys. You are delighted to welcome them and they get to work immediately in clearing out some of the surrounding trees for space and lumber.It is now the month of May, Year 767. What will you do?
>>2114941Personally help out in the manual labour where needed. And lets try to get some of those positions filled. The miller has agrarian expertise, so he could mabye take an escort for locating wild grains that he could mabye collect and start to process and store. Otherwise lets get both housing and the necissary facilities for people going up.A secondary objective would be to creat trails and markings via fire to mark out different quadrants of land to manage, makes it easier to get in and out of the forest as well.
>>2114941Tell the loggers to prioritize producing lumber for construction rather than trade, promise that in exchange for providing lumber to us at a steep (and i mean STEEP) discount we'll grant them a monopoly for a period of a year or two on logging on our land and whatever we don't buy they're free to sell. Hopefully it will be profitable enough for them that they can hire on some extra hands.
>>2114946We should definitely see about purchasing a horse and till and clearing some land for fields. Offer to loan out the horse and equipment and land to anyone who can farm it. Maybe try to get a tenant farmer situation set up.
>>2114946>>2114954>>2114961I second everything they just said
>>2114961I think we have a horse, we were given one and a sword. But seconding some farming equipment and seeds. >>2114888Go to the town up north and find an educated man to read things and keep accounts. Also advertise our village to anyone who looks like good people while we're there, plenty of vacancies. Are either of the daughters waifu material? Or even the widow for that matter.
>>2115041The widow is much older than you and her daughters are 9 and 15 years old respectively. Technically the older daughter will come of age next year and you're only 20 years old anyway so it could work. Of course, as a Lord, even a peasant one, you can surely do better than the daughter of your own servant.
>>2115050Oh no, I'm not actually looking for a waifu among these three. Just wondering for future bastard-siring options.
>>2114946>>2114954>>2114961>>2115041Construction continues on the housing. Most of the cabins and huts are now either cleared away or rebuilt. The loggers begin setting up a camp deeper in the forest once they've carved out a decent perimeter for expansion. It will be a month or two yet before everyone has a roof of their own over their heads, but you're making good progress.The miller comes to you with a request: he wants to partition some of the land cleared out by the loggers to build a small garden. He doesn't expect the harvest to be great enough to tax, but he promises enough food to make the village self-sustainable. So far, you've been selling meat for grain and vegetables at Meaville so his proposal is not without merit. However, Kilkain has expressed interest in using the same space for processing furs and pelts. His wife is a skilled seamstress and can make clothing from the furs that will sell much better than the raw fur.>Give the miller the space for his garden>Reserve the space for Kilkain's fur operation
>>2115089>>Give the miller the space for his gardenWe should grow our own food. Making clothes is a great idea though, tell Kilkain his idea is on the agenda for later.
>>2115089>>Give the miller the space for his garden
>>2115144>>2115205Becoming self-sustainable is a worthy effort and one with more immediate relevance than clothing. You give the space to the miller for his garden as well as a few silver pieces to buy the seeds he needs. Kilkain is disappointed by your decision. Even after you assure him that his idea is still on the table and try to convince him of the garden's merits he gets into a heated argument with you. But you can't please everyone. Winter may be many months from now, but you need to be prepared for when it comes. You can't eat clothes and if you delay the garden now, there won't be enough time before the winter season for adequate harvest.You decide to embark on a trip to the town up north, Silvale. You hope to meet with the Count and return with a steward to help with the fief management. The trip takes two days because of your poor riding skills but you arrive good health. Silvale is situated on two sides of a broad river--the same which runs deeper in the forest by Olmsville. Bridges of stone and wood, of excellent craftsmanship and architecture connect the two halves. Barges run lazily through the waters below ferrying all manner of goods and people. The streets smell of spices and cooked flesh and everywhere there are men hocking their wares. Your sword and horse buy you some manner of respect and prestige among the villagers--some bow their heads as you trot pass, but your simple peasant clothing does you no favors. >Head for the Count's manor first, he might be able to advise you as to getting a steward and other things>Head for the nearest inn, the innkeeper should know anyone looking for work>Head toward the riverdocks, maybe you can hire some bargemen to set up a dock at the river back home
>>2115300>>Head for the Count's manor first, he might be able to advise you as to getting a steward and other things
>>2115300any monasteries nearby?
>>2115300>Head for the nearest inn, the innkeeper should know anyone looking for workFirst, See if we can find any notable people wishing to join and work for our settlement.Also see if we can swing by a monastery and have a priest join our settlement to do religious duties and make our rule religiously ordained to stifle possible disobedience Maybe purchase some equipment that could help with the construction efforts at the camp.Afterwards head to the count asking for a steward.
>>2115930All in time mate. We wouldnt want to send the wrong message to the count if we came to the tavern first and he managed to find out. He might be vain at worst, or sympathetic at best.
>>2115955Supporting this, then >>2115930Idk about being too oppressive right now though, we can enforce religion, prima noctis and soul crushing tax rates once we're unassailable by the common man. Right now we're just a guy who doesn't even have a staffed and armed fortress separating him from his peasants.
>>2116088That is why our first priority should be the construction of a Motte and Bailey, even if it's just wood it will do for now and the construction should only take a few months to a year depending on how much labor we have available.
You ride over the bridge toward a fancy-looking house near the the border of the town. It's not as regal or lavish as Lord Eleison's manor but it's better than anything in Silvale. Certainly better than your cabin at home.A guard stops you as you approach and you explain that you're Lord William of Olmsville and that you're hear to speak with Count. He's understandably skeptical and it's not until you unsheathe and show him your sword, that he complies--and even that with reluctance. He comes back a moment later with three more guards. "The Count is currently out hunting with his men and will not return until tonight. The Countess has invited you wait inside."It would save you some money to rest and eat here instead of the tavern. You dismount and leave the horse to the guards. The interior of the house is well-furnished, clean and made of good wood and of stone brick. You marvel at the portraits that adorn the hallways and at the fine imported carpets on the floor. The guard leads you to a dining hall and you are seated at the end of a long rectangular table. A young maid comes over to you and bows, wearing clothes not much different in quality from yours and glancing at the guard in confusion over this fact. The guard simply shrugs."Something to eat or drink my lord?" She asks. "Whatever you have on hand. No need to make a fuss.""Nonsense!" Says a silky voice behind you. You turn and face a woman whose beauty could cripple men. You find you cannot speak and can only marvel at the woman's golden locks and plump, youthful lips, and graceful walk. "You are our guest; only ask and you shall have it." She moves past you and sits down next to you. You already know what you want to ask for--and you know that you can't have it. "Y-you are the Countess?" You clear your throat. She laughs and your heart clenches at the sound. She looks you up and down and you feel suddenly very ashamed of your peasant clothing, of your ratty tunic and mud-crusted boots. "I am Countess Ophelia." She finally says, offering her hand. You put yourself under the greatest restraint in taking it, trying to maintain some shred of the regality you're supposed to possess. You bend your head and give her hand a trembling, tender kiss. Trying not to linger too long and trying harder not to release. "The guards weren't lying when they said you were...different.""I'm sorry." You say, unsure of what you're apologizing for. You clear your throat again. "I didn't mean to barge in like this. I am Lord William of Olmsville.""Ah yes!" Her hands come together and touch. "I've heard about you. You're the one that killed Sir Nigel aren't you? They said you could cut down a horse in one blow and shoot a dew drop from a falling leaf at twenty paces."You pale as you feign a smile. Even here these ridiculous rumors precede you. "Lily, get us some wine would you? Are you fond of wine Sir William?"1/2
>>2116939You've never drunk anything better than the watered-down swill the conscripts used to make with curdled milk. "Yes. On occasion."She smiles again. "I pray this is occasion enough?" Her teeth are so white, so perfectly even--a smile for angels. You feel dirty and unworthy. You must look away as your chest starts to ache. You nod in silence."Delightful! And Lily? Bring us some of that cheese from the banquet will you?""Yes Countess. Right away." The maid bows and disappears through the doors. The guard is gone too. It's just you and the Countess."I've never heard of Olmsville. Is it far?"You keep your gaze locked firmly at your hands, glancing only occasionally at her face. Wounding yourself each time you do. You shake your head."Not far. A days ride.""Near Meaville then?"You nod. A silence falls over you. The Countess taps her fingers on the table in a rhythm you don't recognize. You can feel her eyes on your head, still examining you, studying you."Do you...have an idea of when the Count will return?" You ask."Hmm? Oh the Count. Yes, he'll be back before dinner I'm sure." She says, flatly. "Perhaps it's unseemly for me to ask, but, what business do you have with him?"You wring your hands. Sweat pours down your face into your lap. "I-I am rather new to lordship. I was hoping for the Count's advice on a few things, nothing more.""I see. Well my husband's old age has certainly procured him some amount of wisdom." She says. Her lips twist into a frown. "And left him wanting in other places." She mutters. The maid comes in and sets down a bottle of wine, two glasses and a tray full of several wedges of cheese. You sip from the glass, trying to savor the sweet-sour taste as long as possible while the Count nibbles on a piece of cheese. You make some more small talk as you eat. Afterward the Countess offers to give you a tour. You graciously accept. You walk with her through the small garden behind the estate. She seems to like you despite knowing of your low birth--you're certain the rumors have something to do with it. Rumors which put you in some fantastical romantic light. Rumors you don't have the courage to correct. She even invites you to a ball taking place in the Autumn. As the day winds down she takes you back into the house and shows you the library, study, kitchen and drawing rooms. Then she leads you upstairs. You think at first she's going to show you another study, but then she takes you to her bedchamber. She's smiling at you and leaning on the door. You can hear it click behind her. Your entire body is pounding.>This is not a good idea. Excuse yourself and return downstairs. >It seems you both want this--so why not?
>>2116947>This is not a good idea. Excuse yourself and return downstairs.Big fat no, even if her thotery is waranted, we are not the kind of man to squander a marriage under god. And if shes a woman that cant keep it in her pants until her husband dies then its her problem for not finding a way to get out of that trap. This is another mans bed, if she wants us truly she will climb into ours.
>>2116947There'll be a time and place to hump like sexually frustrated rabbits but this is neither of those things. Still we should keep her intrigued, maybe just do some quick finger play or oral, nothing illegal or technically sinful.
>>2117101And if she can't be quiet, stop immediately. Servants see and hear everything, they're not just unthinking room decor, despite what some nobles believe.
>>2117057make sure to hear her out though don't want to have anon drop spaghetti out of his tunic believing she wants to fuck him while finding out that isn't the case.
>>2117101>>2117114seconding. I'd vote against the quick finger play or oral though
>>2117350quick makeout sesh and some over the clothes groping then, middle school style if it must be so.
Tally from me (Not op):NO: 3No-but-a-bit-of-yes: 4YES: 0
This is a bad idea. You came here to seek advice from the Count, not bed his wife. The Countess glides across the floor wooden floor. She is so close you can feel her breath on your chin. You tremble and clench your fists. You must not do this."C-countess, I should...I should..." You stare at her smiling face, the lips slightly parted and teasing."Should what?" She whispers, placing her hand on your chest. You grab the hand to remove it, but it remains there, grasping it ferociously. "Should what, Sir William?" She moves to your ear and her breath tickles your lobe, sending goosepimples down your neck. You can take no more. You grab her head, tearing your fingers through her carefully set bun and pulling back, exposing her supple, milky neck.You embrace her and carry her to the bed and she gasps. You're overtaken, ready to break all the oaths of gods and country for one brief moment of ecstasy. But something--maybe the remaining good sense you have in you, or an act of some benevolent providence, stops your hand from tearing away her clothes. You unclasp from her and she regards you in confusion."What's wrong?""I can't do this." You wipe your mouth; the sweet smell of her is in your breath. "I can't do this."She sighs and leans back on the bed, spreading her arms and then covering her face. "Fine. Go.""You must understand Countess, I--""Just go." She says, her voice is lifeless and hollow, her eyes fixed on the ceiling. You stand unsure of what to do. Finally you retreat downstairs to the dining hall. You have supper while you wait for the Count to return. He arrives just before dinner, sporting a young doe and a string of fowl. The cooks get busy preparing them.
>>2117828The Count is an older man but not as old the Countess's description might suggest. True, his hairs are graying and have thinned at the crown and his gait is halting and his gut not the hardened steel of his youth, but he is not decrepit or weak. He retains his senses and the strength of his limbs. When he sees you he mistakes you for a commoner and almost throws you out. But when you show him your pedigree and your sword and when he hears your name, his mood turns welcoming and jovial. You dine with him in private. The Countess does not join you, relaying through a servant that she's feeling sick. The Count seems worried by this news, but not surprised and even a little sad. "So, Sir William what brings you to Silvale?" He asks."I'm need of a steward and some counsel."The man nods and strokes his beard. "A good steward is hard to come by. Good counsel even harder. I can offer what I have, but the rest is up to your judgement.""Please, whatever you can spare will be most appreciated.""There's a lad coming to me from my late cousin; studied in the clergy so he knows his letters. Frankly, from what I've heard he's a little too--adventurous for my tastes. You know the type, young, roguish...virile." He stares at his wine, swirling it and then dipping a finger into the waters."If you could take him off my hands you'd be doing us both a favor.">Deal, he'd be a welcome addition to your village>No deal, he sounds like an troublesome bratAlso:>What counsel will you seek from the aging Count?
>>2117835>Deal, he'd be a welcome addition to your villageLet's meet the man. Sounds like he needs a change in work environment. All I can think of isAre there any threats a new lord should be particularly wary of? Banditry, greedy lords trying to make a landgrab, uppity peasants, etc. What military obligations do we have to... whoever is our overlord (count, duke, king)? Is he taxing what we collect? We need fighters, or at least some young freemen without obligations who could use a little discipline. Does he know a good place to recruit them? Compliment him on his home and tell him his wife is lovely.
>>2117835>Deal, he'd be a welcome addition to your village>on the matter of loyalty, how can I best tell a loyal man from a leech? I know of men who will follow only with reward at the end of a guiding stick. What am I to do to truly weed out and grow the most infalable of men? From my experience it can only come from great tribulation, but I would not wish such suffering on anyone much less the people under my care, thoughts?>>2117929This is good as well
>>2117929Seconding.Though I suggest leaving out the part where you compliment his wife. I'm probably just being paranoid, but perhaps some rumors might spread if the staff overhears you talking about his wife.Especially given the fact that we were alone with the count's wife, and despite being untrained, we now have a ton of supposed feats that we can't actually back up.
You mull it over and decide that the benefit outweighs the risks. It could be that the man just needs a change in environment and it would be good to do a favor for the Count. "I'd be happy to take him, thank you, your lordship.""Good." He sips his wine. "As for advice...""Yes. I am...admittedly new to rule and I had some questions.""Please." He gestures for you to continue."Are there any threats I should be aware of? Olmsville is close enough to your lands that anything you've heard would apply to us as well.""Threats?" He strokes his beard. "From what you've told me, your village is barely established. You have no farmland and your sustenance is greatly dependent on trade with Meaville. Starvation is your greatest threat. The winter will entomb you, travel will prove difficult in the snow and if you do not plan and stock your stores appropriately you will perish. You will need fuel and grain and winter clothes and dry places to store them.""What about banditry and overzealous neighbors? The village showed signs of being raided when I first found it."He laughs. "Banditry is the least of your worries. As for neighbors-- technically *I* am your neighbor--as well as your overlord. I don't believe myself to overzealous. Do you?" You fear a reprimand, but the lord has a good-natured smile on his face. You laugh and shake your head."Not all your lordship. You have been more than generous, welcoming me into your home like this.""Hospitality is nobility itself." He says, raising his glass and downing the remaining wine. "Rest assured my interests in your fief do not carry beyond what is just and proper. Taxes and the occasional conscription, no more than that." "The taxes I will--" He cuts you off with a hand. "I expect nothing until next year. I would not pluck a seed from the fertile earth before its bloom, especially not one which has not flowered in many years. However," He holds up a finger, "Once that time is up, I expect punctuality.""Of course. And thank you."He grunts, clearly a little drunk and leans back in his chair. "Punctuality is the mark of a loyal man, William. Treachery cannot stand against automatic impulse. Old habits die hard, they say.""Yes, my lord. You mentioned conscription--""Don't worry about that now, William. Look to your stores. Prepare for winter.""Yes my lord, but I was just wondering where I might find such men to recruit--for future reference."The old man's nodding off now, the wine has made him tired and sleepy. He rubs his eyes. "Fighting men, good men, can be found where there are walls. But they are not cheap. And the best men are the ones you train yourself from the beginning." He yawns. "Habit, William! Habit!" He suddenly screams. You jump and several servants come rushing in to take the Count to his bed and show you to a guestroom. You sleep in luxury you could've scarcely imagined in your old life. A feather bed! A feather pillow! 1/2
>>2118051In the morning the servants serve you breakfast and inform you that the Count has left for another hunting session. You meet with the Countess briefly before you leave, finding her lounging in the garden. She makes no mention of yesterday's events but her vibrancy and laughter is gone. She offers you the normal pleasantries and wishes you a safe journey home, but you can sense great sadness in her words. You promise to come back for the Autumn ball and that seems to cheer her up and you hold each others gaze for a long time. You want to grab her, to take her flesh without mercy. And you feel shame for thinking it, because her husband has been nothing but generous and hospitable to you. With a heavy and guilty heart you leave the home of the Count. You don't expect to return here anytime soon, so whatever business you have, you had better settle it now. >Is there anything you want to do in town?
>>2118053I say we look for some good deals on items. Particularly some low-grade weapons to tide us over for now.
>>2118118agreed. Also some livestock
>>2118053>>2118118>>2118135These sound good, we should also buy for ourself a decent shield and spear, we are a lord and horseman. Also helmet, boots, holsters and belts, cheap armor, at least so we can look like the great fighter we're supposed to be. Maybe some nicer clothes for the ball and other courtly business. Don't bother wearing whatever outrageous outfit we're supposed to, just get some simple tunics in a single bright color that peasants can't afford, like blue or purple. It's just humble enough to be cool and will start a new trend, nobles love avant-garde shit.
Also this count is a bro. Agreed on not humping his wife unless we become such good friends with him that he invites us to do for her what he can't.
You ride for the market. The day is still young and you still have the silver you got from Kilkain's fur sales burning a hole in your pocket. The Silvale market is much larger than the one in Meaville, with a greater variety of goods. Fishmongers are screaming out prices of various river fish--it might be a good idea to see if you can't find some fish round your part of the river. After a few hours of wandering from stall to stall, you end up spending all of your silver on a few choice items. First, some arms and armor. You buy a wicker shield and some spear tips from the local blacksmith. You try and convince him to join your village but he declines, stating that he has family here he doesn't want to uproot. You also rectify your clothing situation and purchase some fine dyed linens. You figure it's cheaper to let Kilkain's wife make your clothes instead of buying them outright (mostly you just don't have the money to spare). You buy enough to make some clothing for yourself and some excess you can sell at Meaville at profit. You just hope Kilkain and his wife aren't still sore about the whole fur situation. Finally you look for some livestock to take back with you. There are some cows and goats for sale but it's far to expensive, you'll need gold pieces if you want to purchase them. Instead you make away with a pair of chickens and a healthy looking rooster. It'll take a few months before you have a full coop, but in the meantime you can enjoy eating the eggs. With your business concluded you return to Olmsville in fresh spirits. You find you've gotten used to your horse enough to ride properly now, and the trip only takes a day. The remainder of the month passes peacefully. Kilkain's wife gets to work on the cloth you brought and the miller, Samson, has already begun tilling the land for his garden.---It is the month of June, Year 767. What will you do?
>>2118208Keep on finding people to live here. Also set up a small (for now) coop for the chickens and sell some of the eggs
>>2118208Make work on fields and planting a priority, we don't have to drop everything but everyone is gonna help for a few hours a day til we get this done. Did we get steward? If he's with us get him to assess our holdings and property and start teaching us how to read and write.
>>2118263>>>2118208supporting.Also would add to reach out to the townsfolk that lived in olmsville but didn't join us when we first asked, they might want to return and join now that the situation has finished.
>>2118685Meant Improved instead of finished.
>>2118263>>2118406Supporting this. Also Id like to put forward that every household be required to set aside a small plot for a garden, we probably won't have enough time to set up full fields at full productivity, so having a self sustenance element to our settlement will certainly improve the winter supply. It might make the miller mad, but there are always ways to generate wealth via agriculture even if it isnt strictly food.
June weather is hotter around these parts than you're used to but your villagers work without complaint. You spend most of your time just taking walks around the village and greeting and talking with the villagers. You've gotten quite friendly with the carpenter brothers, Max and Mortimer Wood, as well as the unofficial head of the loggers, Brian Chapman. They've taken some initiative in working together to build all the houses. Every one of your villagers now has a roof under their head--which, in addition to your frequent visits to Meaville, has attracted some more people, including a butcher and some layabouts who are willing to do manual labor in exchange for food and house. Max and Mortimer also build some coops for the chickens you brought back. It's not long before you're having delicious eggs every morning. The extra eggs are either given to villagers or traded for supplies. A few are kept for hatching.You take the advice of the Count to heart and have the carpenters and the miller work on setting up gardens for everyone. The miller isn't delighted about doing additional work but he's able to relegate most of it to the new daytalers. Kilkain continues to hunt in the forest with his sons and his brother and they bring back the occasional kill. You learn that he and his brother used to serve in an elite mercenary company as sharpshooters before Kilkain met his wife and settled down. Kilkain's brother, Wilkain is a moody sort of loner and spends most of his time in the wilderness. You've found him coming out of the forest at very odd hours and sometimes he disappears for entire weeks without saying anything. Kilkain says that it's because Wilkain never got settled like he did--the sweetheart from his youth ran off with another man and he never tried again after that. He assures you that Wilkain's completely harmless, but you get nervous just being in the same room as him. He has a strange aura about him. 1/2
>>2121103The lad that the Count promised also shows up this month. His name is Stewart and he's much younger than you thought, only 17 years old, but he knows his letters and numbers well enough. He doesn't look like a monk, his hair is unshaven and he pays great care to his appearance, spending nearly an hour every morning grooming his beard and cleaning his clothes. His "adventurous" urges reveal themselves almost immediately as he tries to make advances on your cook's eldest daughter--to be fair, she's not exactly homely so its understandable--but then you start hearing rumors about him flirting with Meaville daughters (and even some wives). Nothing has come of it yet, thank the gods, but you're not sure how long it will be before a scandal.Otherwise Stewart does an excellent job in his duties. He's assessed your holdings from the title and, working with Kilkain and the loggers, measured its extent. According to him, the title makes no hard ruling on the bounds of your fief regarding the forest. Meaville bounds you northward--out of the forest--but the forest itself belongs to you--in theory. He also informs of you a clause that says further titles might be obtained by increasing the percent earnings from this territory given as tribute. If you can contribute a greater share of the annual taxes to Lord Eleison than the Count for example, your roles will reverse. His title and subsidiary territories will be transferred to you. The same is true even with regards to Lord Eleison (who you learn is actually a Duke) and the king. Finally you have Stewart teach you how to read and how to do some basic arithmetic. It's hard going trying to scratch meaning from the weird little squiggles. But you keep at it, feeling that you should know these things if you want to be a proper lord. Still, while you manage to get down the alphabet and to recognize some simple words and write your own name, it feels like slow progress.Kilkain's wife, Eve, finishes making some new clothes for you. She's expertly blended two different kinds of cloth to make a nice cloak and shirt combination. Wearing them with the sword has an immediate effect. People bow more often when you pass and no one mistakes you for a peasant anymore. Eve wants to use the remaining cloth, along with some of the furs to make some winter clothing for the villagers but Stewart says that Eve's skill is good enough to fetch a tidy sum in the market. He's confident in this appraisal because his father was a tailor and he apprenticed with him for some time before joining the clergy. But you'd have to sell the clothes in a much bigger market, Meaville won't cut it. Silvale would work, but to really profit, Stewart recommends going to the city of Fretag, a journey that would take nearly a month in total but may reward the effort with gold. >Have Eve focus on making clothes for the villagers>Make preparations to head for Fretag next month>Send the clothes to Silvale to be sold
>>2121107>Send the clothes to Silvale to be soldwith some of the coins, buy more tissues and threads. With this new batch make some clothes for the villagers and sell a portion.Also have a talk with those native of the region to learn of the autumn and winter weather if it varies greatly from ours of origin.
>>2121107>Have Eve focus on making clothes for the villagersbut also make a small test run of the new Humble© line, just a couple of tunics for our future traders to wear into towns.
>>2121107Talk to Stewart about decorum and the need to maintain appearances. Also the dangers of flirting with someone else's wife(which we can attest to actually). While it's all fine and good to be a flirt. Being unable to keep his dick in his pants can and will come back to bite him. Even if he's a noble.Plus that is what whores are for just be discrete about it if you wanna get a wife who doesn't grow to loathe your indiscretions.>Make preparations to head for Fretag next monthThe villagers already have their own winter clothes. If not they would have froze last year. There is no need to make them new ones for no good reason.
>>2121107>Have Eve focus on making clothes for the villagersthe time constraint from travaling is too big and our approaching first winter as lord takes requires us to be prepared
>>2121107>Have Eve focus on making clothes for the villagers
>>2121107>Have Eve focus on making clothes for the villagersAlso, should we focuse a bit on getting weapons for our villagers? I have the feeling that winter won't only bring coldness but also bands of robbers.
>>2121107>>Have Eve focus on making clothes for the villagers
>>2121303We bought some spears on our visit to the Count.
>>2121353Oh, alright then
>>2121107>>>Have Eve focus on making clothes for the villagers
You decide to follow Eve's plan to make some winter clothing. Many of the villagers that joined Olmstead are poor and their winter clothes are full of holes and tears. Some, like the widow and her daughters, do not have such clothes at all. It's a wonder how they've survived here since, according to the villagers at Meaville, the winters around these parts are especially frigid. The roads get clogged with snow until the spring thaws them and even the rivers sometimes freeze.Eve seems delighted to do such work and given the quality of her clothing, you wonder if it might not be a good idea to set up some kind of trade between Silvale and Olmsville for cloth. As it stands you don't have enough trade goods to encourage merchants to make the trip--but Stewart advises that if you could set up a harbor by the river the bargemen you saw in Silvale might be convinced to make the trip south. Especially since the current is in their favor.Such an endeavor would take months however, as the part of the forest would have be cleared out to make a road from the river to your village. You're not sure if it's such a priority right now.---It is the month of July, Year 767. What will you do?
>>2122052Have we got more chickens yet? If so, expand the coop
>>2122293You do have some chicks but they'll take ~3 more months to grow to adults. So you don't need to expand the operation just yet.
>>2122052Let's see if we can train (in secret) with our sword.Also maybe we can try and raise some funds to buy winter clothes to those in need.
>>2122052Continue making sure we can survive the winter. Start storing food in cellars/drying racks. Once we have enough then we should shift our focus to clearing out land for the river. Sawmills and water wheels as well as a dock
>>2122052Maybe build a smokehouse so that our meat can last longer.Getting a few sheeps is too expensive for now but we should keep some funds for that.Kilkain proposal is still on the back burner for now but we should still start clearing space for the fur and pelt.If we have enough woods we could also make charcoal, it'd be also a source of revenue and could even lure in a smith.A small fishery would give more food especially if we can dry, salt or smoke them.
>>2122052>>2123519>>2123498Supporting both.Can we start cutting lumber for the purpose of selling it in Meaville or Silvale
>>2123558Not quite yet. Here's what you need:>Some way to cut the logs into lumber>Some way to transport the lumber to market>Someone to sell the lumber toThe specifics, I leave to you guys. With the equipment and facilities you have now (namely a few lumberjacks and their axes), it would take months to make a sale. >>2123008Training without a competent instructor will not get you beyond novice level. But you're currently untrained anyway.>>2123008Unless you mean straight charity for people in Meaville, you don't need to do this. You just committed to making winter clothing for your villagersAlso here's some info on the current state:Sir William Shepard of Olmsville>Attributes and SkillsAge: 20Good HealthPoor FitnessAverage EtiquetteAverage Rhetoric Poor HorsemanPoor SwordsmanPoor Literacy>Equipment and PossessionsOld Black Stallion Average Iron ShortswordGood Quality Clothing (including Cloak)Wicker ShieldMediocre Cabin >OlmsvillePopulation: 34 (Friendly)Lands: Unnamed Forest (5% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (30% Explored)Average HousingSmall Gardens - Under constructionAverage Lumber CampAverage StoresPoor TradePoor SanitationPoor Security>ForcesNone>MapMeaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestockSilvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the areaRealm of Lord Eleison: A week’s rideFretag (City): Two week’s ride>ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - InterestedPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - UnhappyStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - HappyBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - Content
>>2123659>Poor SecurityHow about we build a pallisade around the village.>Poor Sanitation.Needs more outhouses and means to get clear fresh water or we'll get sick people.Is Duke Eleison the direct ruler of Count Lazar(and thus us) or is he ruling over another domain and have a numbers of counts/barons?
>>2123677Palisade? Lets get some earthworks/ditch before we put lumber on it. Or we could put the wood there first then put the dirt behind and a coat of mud on it, so that we can shoot directly over it and make it fire proof.Honestly sanitation has me pretty duped. We could install a well for the water but we have to relocate the shitting to somewhere out of the way. Mabye put up a bathhouse up or something later too.>>2123659im more interested in finding out whats bothering our hunter asap
>>2123679>>2123677The count told us we shouldnt worry about defense as the banditry in the region is pretty minimal, we also have some arms and Kilkain and his brother to protect the village, we should probably start building walls when we are a decent village worth plundering.
>>2123659Could we send out perhaps the steward and someone else to map the Forrest and riverbank for any points of interest?Can we also make Eve teach some of our villagers (female ones) her technique for weaving to increase productions, we'll name her head weaver or something along those lines.
>>2123659Would also like to know how much money do we have and how much would that Stallion fetch if we sold it?
>>2123659Get the spear heads mounted onto shafts and some more wicker shields made. Wilkain needs a damn job so he doesn't mope all day, he has combat experience so declare him our village constable, give him a special patch, and tell him to start training some boys in military discipline and basic drills. Have people start stockpiling firewood for the winter, with extra set aside for trade or emergencies. >>2123679A mound and ditch would be good but only if we have people to man it. An unmanned defense is just a bump in the road, and putting untrained peasants on it is only slightly better. >>2123742Supporting these. >>2123739>>2123757The count said one thing, and his ptsd-induced ravings said another. We shouldn't ignore security, whatever anyone says. And selling our horse would be an insane move if we ever got attacked and had to ride away, or fight.
>>2123894I was thinking about selling the stallion, considering its pretty old, and buying Donkeys or another beast of burden to help start up the lumber transport.Of course we'll buy ourselves another horse in the future.
>>2123906Thing is, old horses don't sell for much unless it's for meat. You'd be better giving it as a status symbol to lowly knights and stuff like that as a noble of high rank.>King Robert gifted Jon Snow a horse, that means he gives a shit to this guy.Right now, we're not even Jon Snow, we're Dolorous Edd.>Dolorous Edd sold King Robert's horse to buy donkeys and shits...We could use him as a breeding horse, if we find people willing to pay for having their mare bred by an old warhorse stud.
>>2123944I dont we should be thinking about gifting and knighting people considering we current rule a settlement of 34 people.I think we should be focusing on growing what we have and think realistically on the goals we can achieve in the near future.But thats just my opinion
>>2123947I'm not saying we should gift the horse.Right now having the horse, and the sword for that matters, is a status that we're above the unwashed masses. Even as the lowly Knight of Olmsville we're in the 1% club.Even though we're not better than the remaining 99%, to sell the horse that close after being given lands would be seen as a slap in the face by those in the 1% club.It's the right thing to do as a peasant as a beast of burden would be better suited for what we need to do right now to get the village going.But as a noble, we're shooting ourselves in the foot by giving ammo to anyone willing to one up us.Of course, this is a game William Shepard as an unjumped peasant knows none of the rules.
>>2123972Gotcha seeing it from that point of view it would indeed lessen our ''noble cred'' to the other nobles
>>2123906>>2123972To add to this, an old horse isn't necessarily a bad thing. It didn't come with any obvious injuries or defects. A young colt might be faster and ride longer, but old horses are well used to being ridden by different people, and one like this would be trained not to panic in chaotic situations (or just riding through town with a bunch of noisy people and kids all around).
>>2123982>"Noble Cred" I like that.Of course, Stewart could explain the rule of "The Game" to William after he hear the knight's intent to sell the horse. I'd make for a nice scene.>You've got to be shitting me...>I wish I was, but this is the kind of game the nobles like to play. Though Count Lazar isn't one for such game and wouldn't fault you for it, there are others, major players that would use you and your actions against the Count.>Nobles are fucked up.>Yes, and you are one of them now so it'd be best for you to watch your language.
>>2124011We don't really have to interact with nobles beyond paying them tribute though.
>>2124019Indeed as we're only a knight of one of the three holdings the former Lord Nigel held. I wouldn't be surprised if either the Count or the Duke either put a man of their own in charge of the rest or claimed them for their own.Wonder what was Nigel rank anyway, could he have been a Count as powerful as Lazar or a lower noble like a Baron.
Wanted to address some questions. Actual session later tonight ~6 PM PST>>2123677>Is Duke Eleison the direct ruler of Count Lazar(and thus us) or is he ruling over another domain and have a numbers of counts/barons?As far as you (William) know, he is the direct overlord Count Lazar>>2123742>Could we send out perhaps the steward and someone else to map the Forrest and riverbank for any points of interest?Yes you can. Just beware of what lurks deep within...>Can we also make Eve teach some of our villagers (female ones) her technique for weaving to increase productionsYes, if there are people willing to learn and a steady source of supplies for them to work with.>>2123757>Would also like to know how much money do we have and how much would that Stallion fetch if we sold it?I knew I forgot something. Your riches are currently Meager (some silver pieces here and there, enough to buy basic provisions). It goes Impoverished -> Meager -> Mediocre -> Impressive -> Extraordinary -> Excessive -> Filthy If you sell the stallion, it'd probably fetch a few gold pieces, immediately elevating you to Mediocre riches>>2124028>Wonder what was Nigel rank anyway, could he have been a Count as powerful as Lazar or a lower noble like a Baron.As far as you know, Lord Nigel was actually a traitor against King Aldamar III. His holdings and rank were about the same as Lord Eleison's.
>>2124055>Nice digitsSend the Steward out with some one else to map out the area, give them spears for protection and that they need to head back at any sign of danger.I have some questions though,Will their be any repercussions if we sell the stallion by the nobility?How much would a Donkey, Ox or any other beast of burden cost?
>>2124072>Will their be any repercussions if we sell the stallion by the nobility?A horse and sword are the marks of nobility--but so is the actual title to your land. So yes it will have an effect, but only in appearance (which can be important) >How much would a Donkey, Ox or any other beast of burden cost?You'd need Mediocre riches to start buying those.
>>2124055>As far as you (William) know, he is the direct overlord Count LazarYeah, somehow I forgot that he was the guy who raised us to nobility.
>>2124093How long would it take to dig a ditch around our hamlet and pile and pack the collected earth from the endeavor into a decent foundation for a keep
>>2124093Could we perhaps have someone loan us one or more with the promise to repay them with the coins earned by the sale of the wood?This is a dangerous gamble, but something that a merchant/freeman farmer could take if we somehow pitched the idea of investing into our village.
Are there any caves nearby to grow mushrooms in?
>>2124210Since we're in a forest I think a few dead trees could be used as support/bed for mushrooms to grow on.
Can we please make sure that we keep the shit water out of the drinking water? I feel like it should be common sense, but...
>>2124234Don't worry, no one's shitting in the well.
>>2124143Longer than is responsible with the lacking workforce, materials, and expertise. If defenses must be established, simple earthen ramparts still make a difference and can be expanded with palisades and reinforced with stone like Gallic walls or the Danevirke over time.For a keep, it'd be better to find a naturally prominent site or verify trade routes and intelligent threats before building ourselves into a corner.
Nothing immediate but it we can get either if the hunter brothers to be confidants to help us train without giving up our secret that would be good. I feel like our bluff is going to get called eventually.
>>2123659Keeping in mind we are broke as fuck and the necessities by priority.Next on the list is a clean source of water. I believe its safe to assume the river has long been polluted but we might get lucky with a clean stream. Otherwise, we get stuck with digging a well.Also talk to the miller about the location of where to build that mill of his. Suggest he look around along the river or maybe the streams for obvious reasons. Have Wilkain guide him and offer his own suggestions for good locations.Hopefully during the trip, they can get over their differences and find some common ground.Talk with the loggers about producing charcoal in addition to raw timber. Mention clearing out stumps so we can convert cleared land into proper farmland.Ask Stewart to go over our pathetic excuse for finances and advise on ways to make money so we stop being a broke ass noble.
Update imminent. Here's the list of tasks I've gotten so far:>Train in swordsmanship and/or archery>Build food storage/store food/fuel for winter >Clear out more forest for access/space for the river and for the fur/pelt operation>Get clean water source>Explore forest and river bank>Promote Wilkain to Captain/Constable and have him train a militia>Consult with Stewart on finances (loans, business opportunities, accounts)>Construct some basic defenses>Begin a charcoal making operationI'm gonna go eat something first. But in the meantime, am I missing anything?Also pic related is the kind of defenses I'm thinking of. They will take several months to dig out with your current manpower.
>>2124794Can we forage some mushroom spores from the forest into rotting log mulch?
>>2124551I agree that we need to find fresh water pronto but our first winter is coming so after that we need to prep for the cold by setting up food and fuel storage for the winter.
>>2124794Minus the stone wall and maybe not so tall/large (or we'll never get it done), but that's the right idea. A winter project could be weaving long branches from all the trees we're felling into wicker wall sections to put up onto the mound. >>2124838This should be pretty feasible if we have someone who knows mushrooms. Old growth forests have really gnarly fungi and it grows everywhere.
>>2124902I was going by the 'what would kill you fastest' angle for figuring stuff we need to solve sooner rather than later.In this case a source of clean water was next because the Lumberjacks have already started stockpiling timber.>>2124907Mushroom farming back before we understood the critical need for sanitary aka contaminated conditions and the inability to look at them with a microscope to really see what actually going on. Mushroom farming was half magic and other half secrets combined with a LOT of guesswork. To the point that mushroom farmers might as well been a shadowy cabal(even into the 2000th century mind you).Figuring out how to mushrooms really work and the best ways to farm them is a very recent and ongoing innovation. One we won't be able to figure out worth a damn without microscopes and the deep understanding of the importance sanitary conditions and the threat of contamination. Now crude mushroom farming is possible but best expect a lot of problems and possibly dangerous contamination.If we do mushroom farming stick with wood-based mushrooms and the easiest/sturdiest/most adaptable strains of them as possible.
>>2125027Thanks for the advice, it does sound really complicated and risky. However, a special crop could be something our village is known for, and that would be cool. Perhaps we can revisit this some other year?
The heat continues to climb. The villagers do most of their work early in the morning and later in the afternoon when the sun is low and bearable. You do not press them fearing that they might take ill and let them relax in the afternoon. You spend most of your time trying to unravel the written word with Stewart. It's not going well. The only document you have for learning is the title to your land. It's hardly an instructive document, filled with difficult legal terms and strange convoluted sentences which even Stewart sometimes has difficulty deciphering. He recommends spending some money on an illustrated copy of the Holy Scripture--he doesn't seem to keen about the spirituality of it, just the convenience of its simple (and sometimes poetic) language.You don't have the resources to make such a lavish purchase just yet. Instead your redirect your efforts to more martial matters: swordsmanship and archery. At some point your rumors will put you in a bad spot and rather than having to admit your failings, you'd rather rise to the occasion. Unfortunately, this too goes poorly. You lack the basic stamina and strength required and your hand-eye coordination is so terrible that you're afraid to train archery within the confines of the village--for fear of hitting someone by accident. When you were conscripted there wasn't really any training at all. There's no point in training fodder.You ask Kilkain for advice and he eagerly refers you to Wilkain, who he claims is the far better shot. As Wilkain begins to explain the basics of tracking a mark and drawing the bow, his whole manner changes. It's the first time you've seen the moody man smile. Through his instruction you improve considerably, but Wilkain suggests a fitness program to get you into shape first. Thankfully Olmsville is remote enough that no one in the village actually knows about your fabled exploits--though it does make them wonder how you managed to obtain the fief if not through military prowess. You think people have just concluded that you're some bastard child. You make no hurry to correct them. You discuss the construction of some basic defenses with Kilkain and his brother, the only ones (beside yourself) with military experience. They tell you that you don't have enough spare manpower, as it stands you'd have to suspend all other operations for several months to get it done.You also direct Max and his brother to start building some storehouses for food and fuel. They've already taken some initiative in the matter and by the guidance of the new butcher, Carn, they are almost finished building a smokehouse to store kills from the forest. Construction has begun on a larger storehouse for storing fuel and the loggers are currently working on expanding the boundaries of the village. Kilkain seems to have convinced Brian Chapman, the head logger, to clear out space for his fur operation.1/2
>>2125122You talk to the Brain about setting up a charcoal making operation as well as a lumber trade. He likes the idea but tells you that such an operation might go better if you had a merchant contact ready or a some already established trade proposal.You speak to Stewart about this and about other ways to enrich your coffers. Stewart tells you that business is not really his forte. He can keep accounts and records well enough but you're better off talking to a merchant business. The other issue is sanitation. You have a source of clean water, the well at the center of the village but you need some way to clear out waste. You might be able to use the river by digging some canals and ditches, but this seems infeasible with your current labor force. Instead you have Carn save the tallow from his butchered meat and (through some soapmakers in Meaville) make some bars of soap for village use. Villagers look and smell a lot cleaner than they used to which makes everyone happy.Finally you order Kilkain and his brother to explore deeper in the forest, especially around the riverbank. They set off for a week before returning spooked and distraught. They claim to have found some animal caresses impaled on high tree branches past the river--not small animals either, several does and even an elk were found. You're not sure how to take this news. You have difficulty even believing it--what kind of creature could possibly carry a doe that high into the trees? The brothers have no answer a name passes through the lips of the villagers: "Lani", a nature spirit that supposedly guards the forest. Such local superstitions are of course blasphemous but the way even hardened veterans like Kilkain and his brother were shaken gives you some pause in dismissing them as such. The brothers also claim they found some strange tracks by the riverbed--the same tracks that led them to the carcasses--as well as several caves. Kilkain now wants to limit the loggers to the immediate vicinity and to abandon any plans for using the river. You're not sure such drastic action needs to be taken over something you're not even sure is real.>Ignore Kilkain's ramblings, continue as planned>Heed Kilkain's warning; limit expansion and give up on the river for now>Try and mount another expedition to get to the bottom of this oddity
>>2125132>>Heed Kilkain's warning; limit expansion and give up on the river for nowWe don't have the fighting force to handle this currently getting to the river isn't worth the lives... yet.
>>2125132>>Heed Kilkain's warning; limit expansion and give up on the river for now
>>2125132>>Heed Kilkain's warning; limit expansion and give up on the river for nowThis calls for a trip to Silvale, both to get information and find contact both in the merchants and from Lord Lazar. Might even be worth explaining our plight to the church so that they "gift" us a bible and even maybe a priest so that he can bring salvation to the peasantry...They might even fund a church, or a small chappel.
>>2125132>Heed Kilkain's warning; limit expansion and give up on the river for nowWithout the force of arms, a holy man, or a witch hunter, we'd just be asking for trouble.
>>2125158Keep in mind you'll be heading there come September for the Autumn Ball. You can get all of that then.
>>2125137>Heed Kilkain's warning; limit expansion and give up on the river for nowIt can wait, we weren't gonna get it done by this winter anyway. >>2125158Idk about marrying ourselves to the church right away. Clergymen are either subservient and pious men, or clever and greedy motherfuckers, and often both depending on who they're dealing with. If you give a church a cookie they'll soon be imposing the will of "God" on anything and everything taxable or fuckable.
You decide to heed Kilkain's advice and limit expansion into the forest. Kilkain and his brother also take some time off from hunting to rest and recover. The village is put on edge somewhat by news of Kilkain's discovery and some are even talking of leaving.You attempt to give a small speech to rouse their spirits but you don't really have a way with words. You've manage to show them that you at least care and that seems to have a greater effect than anything you could've said.---It is now the month of August, Year 767. What will you do?Current Status:ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - InterestedPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - UnhappyStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - HappyBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - ContentSir William Shepard of Olmsville>Attributes and SkillsAge: 20Good HealthPoor FitnessAverage EtiquetteAverage Rhetoric Poor BowmanPoor HorsemanPoor SwordsmanPoor Literacy>Equipment and PossessionsOld Black Stallion Average Iron ShortswordGood Quality Clothing (including Cloak)Wicker ShieldMediocre Cabin >OlmsvillePopulation: 34 (Wary)Lands: Unnamed Forest (10% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (60% Explored)Average HousingSmall Gardens Average Lumber CampSmokehouseAverage StoresPoor TradeAverage SanitationPoor Security>ForcesNone>MapMeaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestockSilvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the areaRealm of Lord Eleison: A week’s rideFretag (City): Two week’s ride>ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - InterestedPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - UnhappyStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - HappyBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - ContentCarn - Butcher - Content
>>2125234for reference how big is our house, could we turn it into a make shift armory/safehouse for the village in case of attack.This is just so we can show the villagers that there is a safe haven so they can chill out about the monsters
>>2125234Could we ask neighboring towns for some assistance with that Nanichamacallit?
>>2125234Learn to dance, the way courtly people do. Have Stewart teach us and practice with one of the women. Also have him give us a rundown on the who's who of the nobility and maybe even their unwed daughters, I suspect he's an expert on that subject. We need to make an alliance, and a legitimate baby before someone decides the new noble should conveniently die and his lands pass to someone else.
>>2125265It's not much larger than the peasant cabins. You could probably spare a closet for spears and the like but that's hardly a proper armory.>>2125268Depends what you mean by assistance. Advice? They'll give it readily. Men and metal? Don't hold your breath.
>>2125278Yes, with the dance coming next month we should learn how not to make an ass of our selves among the nobles.
>>2125234Total plan should be to ready ourselves for the ball next month by working on our Fitness, Etiquette, and Rhetoric.Besides that we should work on getting some rudimentary defenses for our village so that our people feel safe
This is a very refreshing quest. Good job OP, thanks for running.>Some suggestions:-start a composting program, since we've got some chickens and are growing veggies while being in a forest this one should be cake.- if sanitation is still a high level issue dig a latrine and find locations to move it around the village when it needs buried, after winter and a little tilling those will be superplots- have one of the kids clean up and add the horseshit to compost, save it as horseshit puts off heat which with our lumber could be used to make coldframes thereby giving us a possible winter crop. Though admittedly glass will be the only thing holding that back with its expense. But it could be yet another avenue of trade.-Hopefully we have some cool season crops (radishes, lettuce, carrots, etc) to crop out later.I don't think Williem can dance. He boogies.
>>2125234Talk to steward about ball. What to expect.
The heat spell is beginning to subside and things are returning to normal. Work continues on the various construction, logging, and food storage projects. The money and game from hunting has slowed to a crawl as both Kilkain and Wilkain are being extra-cautious. Rumors of the "Lani" have spread to Meaville, some are saying that the spirit arose because you resettled in Olmsville.You pay it no mind. Instead you focus your energies on the upcoming ball. The prospect of seeing Countess Ophelia again fills you with excitement, longing and apprehension. You feel guilty. You feel giddy. You stay awake at night imagining outrageous scenarios which you know can never happen. You still remember the taste of her breath. You dream of her hair and flesh between your fingers. And when you awake you remember Count Lazar and his position high above you and your own peasant birth and you feel terrible. That he was hospitable and generous doesn't help matters either.Still, you've decided that you want to make a good impression at the ball. Which is why you're up at this ungodly hour dancing with the eldest daughter of your cook under Stewart's eager direction."No, no my lord! Come now, you're crushing the poor girl's toes." Says Stewart."Oh. I-I'm sorry.""'s OK, my lord. I have tough feet.""Lady's of the court do not have tough feet! Again! And...one-two-three, one-two-three..." Stewart claps along to an imaginary melody. "Very good my lord! Very good! Now you're getting it. One-two-three--and turn, and swing, and one-two-three, one-two-three...by the gods he's got it!"You laugh, feeling the exhilaration uplift you as you spin her and lift her move her body in line with yours. In the darkness you can almost pretend that it's the Countess you're holding--you wonder if you'll get to dance with her. The very thought makes you flush and tremble and you curse yourself. If she just weren't so beautiful! You wouldn't have to torture yourself with these sinful fantasies.Afterwards Stewart joins you for breakfast and gives you lessons in proper court etiquette. There is a rule and a form to the smallest thing, from making conversation to eating and drinking. You're admittedly a slow learner but Stewart is a surprisingly patient teacher and eventually your manners start to become automatic. "You're doing well, my lord. Though I do wonder why you're so earnest to make an impression. Are you hoping for prospects?" "Prospects? Oh. Yes, I suppose so. I mean, I'm of low birth. I thought it would be prudent to marry up.""Take it from me my lord, noblewomen are nothing but trouble." He sits back with a sly smile on his face, reminiscing of some past exploit no doubt. "Though I suppose in your case it's a necessary evil. Anyone in particular?""No." You say. It's too quick. You try to erase the images of the Countess that pop up. "No. I don't know anyone--so how I can have any preferences?"1/2
>>2125552"Fair enough. If it's my Uncle Lazar that's hosting I have an idea of who will be in attendance. That is to say the eligible ladies.""I'm listening."He grins. "Now this information is quite valuable my lord. It comes with a condition."You close your eyes and sigh. "And what's that?""I get to come with you to the ball." He steeples his fingers together and gives you the same kind of look you imagine foxes give to chickens.>Refuse, you'll do without his intel>Accept, you'll just have to keep an eye on him>Force him to tell you as his superior
>>2125553>>Accept, you'll just have to keep an eye on him
>>2125553Agreed, as long as he stays in sight and doesn’t expose himself as a lecher. Plus we’re potentially gonna need some backup at the ball.
>>2125553Accept, but we arrive separately. Your reputation proceeds you, I'm sure you understand.
>>2125553As long as he behaves himself and doesn't bring us in trouble, having a companion who can help us on our first ball is a big plus.
>>2125553Of course he's coming along, we need a wingman. Remind him though not to fuck around above his station on your invitation. If he sees a cutie among the other servants/followers in their own section he can hit that, but no deflowering of highborn daughters.
>>2125577>>2125602>>2125664>>2125677>>2125686Yeah all these guys have the right idea.
>>2125696Indeed.Enjoying the quest so far, by the way.
>>2125553Just finished reading this and I have to say that I enjoy the quest so far, can't wait to join in
>>2125553>>Accept, you'll just have to keep an eye on himJust don't go beyond humping the maids and merchant daughters for now all right? No married women either!Next year after I've made my tax and militia contributions I'll arrange it so you can go wild... So keep it down for a while.
>>2125553Also can we implement the plan of Eve teachingall the Female villagers (like our house servants) her way of creating clothing and textile in general?
Letting this rascal come with you is sure to spell trouble but you need the information. As long as you keep an eye on him, you should be fine. And it might be useful to have some backup at the ball. You sigh. "Alright. I suppose you can come."He strikes the air with his fist and licks his lips. "Excellent! Oh this is going to be such fun, my lord. Such fun!""You will behave yourself when we arrive. Don't think I'm not aware of the rumors."He touches his chest in mock shock. "My gracious lord, you wound me. I wouldn't dream of such...lechery." His smile tells another story. You're starting to regret this already."Just--at least keep it below your station. No deflowering highborn virgins." You point at him. "And I say that for both our sakes.""Ahh but, my lord, highborn virgins have the best flowers. And, of course, I'd save the prettiest for you." This cheeky brat. Your eyes furrow. He raises his hand in a solemn swearing gesture. "I make an oath, my lord. Let the gods break me if I break it." "Keep to it. Now then, speak. What do you know?"He takes a moment to collect his thoughts (more likely redirect them from whatever carnality he was imagining) and then begins."I have rough ideas of who will be in attendance. A few I know for certain, a few I do not know at all. But when it comes to eligible ladies of the realm, we have but three qualities for consideration." He holds up three fingers. "One. Is she pretty? Beauty implies good health, good progeny--plentiful progeny. Beauty never fails to..." He touches his lip. "--inspire activity. A pretty girl impresses more than jewels or a good horse and pleases more than art or music. But allure can be dangerous. Men go mad over it. There's many a song about kisses that lead to daggers in the night."You think of Countess Ophelia again--you can't help it. Her golden locks and the lips even you might draw blood for. You clench your jaw and fists and try to think of something else; try to breathe. "I'd say Lady Orison is the highest in this quality and Lady Miriam a close second--although I haven't seen either of them in over a year. I know of no man whose seen them and come away unaffected.""Who are they?""Sisters." He lets out a soft sigh. "Both exquisite. Daughters to Count Farkad--which brings me to number two. Relations. I won't dwell on this one too much as, my lord, you understand it already. Suffice it to say one should always aim upward. In that respect, I suppose Lady Sophia holds highest rank--that would be the daughter of the late Lord Nigel."You pale. "W-wait. She's coming to the ball?"1/2
>>2126149"Certainly. I've heard that Duke Eleison has adopted her--probably grooming her for his son, Sir Keres. She's an impossible prospect, but whoever does win her will have strong claim over Lord Nigel's lands--not to mention join the Duke's family."You didn't even know Lord Nigel had family. Stupid. Of course he did, why wouldn't he? How are you supposed to face the daughter of the man you murdered? "Don't look so distraught my lord, she may hold a grudge against you--or she may not--but in either case she will not do anything to embarrass herself. Her brother on the other hand...but I doubt he'll be in attendance.""Brother?" Your throat goes dry. "Yes, the younger child. But I doubt he'll dare show his face. He's under the protection of Duke Harrington and there's something of a rivalry between Count Lazar and the Duke. No, I think it's safe to say he'll avoid it."You massage your thighs. This is getting more troublesome by the minute, but you'll not let the opportunity get away from you. "What's the third quality?""Ah yes. The third is perhaps the most important or at least the most pragmatic. It's wisdom. That is to say, cleverness, wits, brains. No great lord has ever reigned who did not have a wise lady at his side. Where beauty is a balm for the senses and the heart, wisdom is the water that nourishes the mind and soul. Or so I have heard it told. Personally I never cared much for clever women and never met one I'd consider wise--except perhaps my uncle's current wife: Countess Ophelia. Beauty and brains, a rare combination--yet how else would one crawl out from the muck of peasantry?"You bolt up from your seat. The Countess is lowborn? Like you? That can't be. "Something wrong my lord?" You're choking. You grasp your chest and sit down again, slowly. Trembling, sweating, a volley of thoughts at puncturing your mind at once. "She's lowborn?" You whisper."Lady Ophelia? Yes, of course. I'm surprised you didn't know--though to be fair she wears her nobility with such aplomb, you'd never be able to tell unless you already knew. Actually her background is a bit obscure, I know my Uncle discovered her in some village he'd captured for King Aldamar II, the former king. That was back when he was Duke and, Duchess Cornelia, his first wife was still alive. I think he took her in as a handmaiden...one can only imagine what wiles she possessed that he married her even to the loss of his title. Beauty alone would not do that, though she has her fair share of it."You rub your eyes. Is that why she was so immediately interested? Because of your similar circumstances, because she sees a kindred spirit, a likeness? Because she's the same as you, a lowborn nothing that has been thrust into a higher world? Why didn't she tell you? 2/3
>>2126155"Of those three qualities, I've never met a woman who possesses all three--it's as if they're mutually exclusive, having one cripples the development of the other I suppose. In my opinion, your lordship should go for Lord Farkad's daughters--it's ambitious, but they are not so high in relations that they are unapproachable. Though, hmm, I suppose Lord Farkad is planning to marry them off to someone of higher status..." Stewart continues rambling about the other ladies, ranking and ordering them but your ears tune him out and your mind returns, as always, to Ophelia.---It is now the month of September, Year 767. What will you do?Sir William Shepard of Olmsville>Attributes and SkillsAge: 20Good HealthPoor FitnessDecent EtiquetteDecent Rhetoric Poor BowmanPoor HorsemanPoor SwordsmanPoor Literacy>Equipment and PossessionsOld Black Stallion Average Iron ShortswordGood Quality Clothing (including Cloak)Wicker ShieldMediocre Cabin >OlmsvillePopulation: 34 (Wary)Lands: Unnamed Forest (10% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (60% Explored)Average HousingSmall Gardens Average Lumber CampSmokehouseAverage StoresPoor TradeAverage SanitationPoor Security>ForcesNone>MapMeaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestockSilvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the areaRealm of Lord Eleison: A week’s rideFretag (City): Two week’s ride>ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - InterestedPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - UnhappyStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - HappyBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - ContentCarn - Butcher - ContentWe'll be continuing around ~6 PM PST.
>>2126158Keep training.Prepare the best clothes that the villagers don't use to sell at the market in Silvale.Make a list of stuff the village is short off(nail, tools, herbs for healing and everyday use and a dozen other things we can't probably afford).Get information about that "Lani" spirit, demand an audience with the Count about it.Get contacts into the merchant class.Buy some alcohol for the villagers, will make them happier to see that their lord care for them.Try to get skilled people to come back with us once we leave.
Pursuing Lady Sophia would feel like pottery. It wasn't our fight, etc.>>2126189Considering our location, it wouldn't be unlikely there's a grove of elderberry or hawthorn nearby, so we could start brewing our own fruit wines if we get a source of sugar (optional, but would result in a stronger beverage). A few weeks per batch, so there'd be room for trial and error.
>>2126158Stock and preserve food.Make sure everyone is comfy and warm. If we have left over, make sure everyone has socks and mittens, gloves for the working men.Stock fuel, fats, and firewood. have them stacked outside everyone's house so they can easily access them.Try and get a map made of the area, and scout it a bit more to find suitable ground for farming, more buildings, and raw materials.
>>2126158We should see what it would take to get a group of monster hunters trained up. Men with at least better than poor fighting, bow, and tracking skills. If we're successful, we can hire them out to other lords who have similar problems.
>>2126158Perhaps we should distribute one spear or more per household in order to give a better sense of security in lieu of being able to form a militia at the moment. We could always repossess them later down the line
>>2126295Yes, this we need to finish our winter prepbut also>>2126350distributing spears and having our villagers go through some rudimentary training will do a little to make them feel safer.
Take Wilkain up on his advice and get a fitness routine going. Maybe talk to him about it since training seems to get him in a better mood.
The last remains of August heat dissipate as the colors change. There is a cooler, comfortable wind that blows through the village. Autumn. The ball takes place the end of this month and you've been busy preparing. You've continued your dance and etiquette lessons with Stewart. He's gotten ferocious ever since you agreed to let him come with you. You've also begun training your body under Wilkain's careful and eager direction. He's a harder taskmaster than even Stewart. Sprints every morning, followed by pull-ups, push-ups, and squats, then at night, a mile long jog while carrying a backpack full of stones, sand and mud and two bags full of dirt. Every night you go to sleep aching like an enormous bruise. Then in the morning dance and etiquette lessons; elocution and conversation. Then training again.Yet you can feel the effects of change stirring in you. The fruits of hard labor. You've always been something of a layabout. Lazy. Directionless. When you were a peasant, there was nothing to live for beyond today. You had no inner fire. You shied from even the slightest difficulty and clung to comfort like a leech. No future. No hopes or desires. The old you would've quit after the first night, when the soreness was worst and you couldn't even move your arms without tearing up. But the old you never clapped eye on Ophelia. Since you've learned of her low birth she's become both inspiration and incentive. You sweat in her name--even though you know she's unattainable. And it works. No longer are you a slack-jawed, club-footed, weak-armed, mealy-mouthed peasant. You are a lord now. In name, in title, in speech, in manner, in dance and, most importantly, in your own mind. Before you set off for Silvale you give instructions to the villagers to continue stockpiling food and fuel. You also give them the spear-tips you bought before to make spears to defend themselves and their homes with. This seems to bolster everyone's confidence. You have Stewart draft a simple list of tasks you plan to do at Silvale (you do not yet have the literacy to attempt such an endeavor yourself). Then, packing your best clothes and wearing the cloak and shirt Eve made for you, you set off for the ball.---When you arrive it's dark and the whole town is astir with activity. Little paper lanterns hung on every door post and set along to float downriver light the town in a starlike glow. It seems the ball is part of a much larger harvest festival. Everyone is wearing their best clothing and the food vendors are out in earnest selling all manner of food. You see several other noblemen enter the town in carriages, moving straight to the Count's manor. Stewart taps your shoulder. "Shall we stop and enjoy the festivities a bit my lord? Mm, I spy so many tasty treats." He says. He's not talking about the fried pastries or meat that the vendors are selling. >Don't stop, head straight for the manor>Why not? Maybe you can buy a present for Ophelia
>>2127012>>Why not? Maybe you can buy a present for OpheliaIf our companion's gonna bang anyone out here, likely it's someone we won't get in trouble over. If he gets his dick wet now, we won't have any trouble at the manor proper.
>>2113986 >>Don't stop, head straight for the manor
>>2127012>>Why not? Maybe you can buy a present for Ophelia
>>2127012>>Don't stop, head straight for the manor
>>2127012>Why not? Maybe you can buy a present for Ophelia>>2127066Pretty much. Hopefully.
>>2127012>>Why not? Maybe you can buy a present for OpheliaKeep in mind that, as my second your actions reflects on me, if for a reason or another I am approached by a resentful father or husband. Know that there will be hell to pay.At best you'll find yourself burdened with the charge of taking care of whoever you slighted.At worst...you won't get much enjoyment out of your main trouble maker.This, I promise you.
The festivities do look tempting. Why not? Maybe you can find a present for Ophelia in the market. Of course there's the matter of the fox riding with you..."We will stop for a while--" He pumps his fist. "--but if I get approached by some disgruntled father or--godsforbid--husband, I will exact my revenge at the *source* of my trouble." You stare at him, to let him know precisely what the source is. The color leaves his face. He clears his throat and lets out a nervous laugh."M-my lord, you are really too much. Of course! I did make an oath. I will be very careful. No trouble from me, promise."You nod. "Good." He dismounts and within minutes is at the side of a pretty young village girl, whispering something in her ear that makes her giggle and blush and pulling her closer with such subtlety that you almost admire him. Almost.You ride on toward the market. Merchants and their assistants crowd around you offering samples of their wares. Taste this. Try this. Feel this. Your peasant identity seems to have vanished; the pampering feels good. Men have come from nearby villages and some are passing through from distant lands so that the selection is varied. What can you buy for Lady Ophelia that she might like? You don't have much silver to spare but you'd like to get some memorable.>Buy some exotic sweets>Buy some (inexpensive) jewlery>Buy some perfume>Write-in
>>2127169>>Buy some (inexpensive) jewelryWe may or may want to be discrete when we give it to her though.
>>2127169>>Buy some exotic sweets
>>2127169>Write-indildoA toy trinket that plays a sweet comforting tune when wound up.
>>2127201"may not" fuck I can't type
I know it's not so important at the moment, but my end goal is to eventually become as smooth as this smooth-ass, 'having a hard time hiding his accent' motherfucker.
Something functional, something that as a commoner would be more important than some expensive gift. It could serve as a reminder.
Your eyes pass through the various stalls. Dark sweets from a distant land. Trinkets and jewelry of woven fiber and wood. Exotic perfumes that smell of things you do not even have a name for. Then you see a single stall, almost hidden in the back, manned by an old man with small eyes and a wispy beard. You are drawn. His stall is full of strange toys made of seashells and animal bones. "Looking for something noble lord?" He says, in a thick accent--not foreign, at least not of any country you know, just different, like he only recently learned to how to speak."Y-yes. I'm looking to buy a present for a lady.""Ahh, something to win her heart? Stir her soul? Yes. Yes. I have just the thing." He lifts up a small pendant no larger than your thumb, made of bone carved with patterns so intricate and complex that they seem almost artificial."What is it?" You ask, taking it and examining it. "Touch the knob, noble lord. There at the side." Your touch opens the pendant, revealing a droplet of frozen water suspended between metal. A perfect mirror. But when you gaze into it, you do not see yourself reflected. You see Ophelia. She's speaking with someone, another noble. "What is this? An illusion?""No noble lord. That is a blade of ice from the Northern Arctic. It reflects ones heart. You will of course, need its pair." He hands you another pendant exactly like the first. The old man smiles. "If two hearts are one, the pendants will ensure they are always close.""What does that mean?" You stare in wonder at the token. At its impossibility. "Gift it and see." He says, smiling warmly."How much?" You reach for your purse of silver, fearing that you might not have enough but he names a paltry sum and pay it readily. You look in the ice. She is there, resplendent. You put them in your pocket. You realize it might be indecorous to gift her something like this openly, so you buy a small box of exotic sweets and put the pendant inside it, keeping the other for yourself.Satisfied, you make a quick search for Stewart and find him by the river with his hands greedily exploring the bodies of not one but two girls. You sigh. "Time to go Stewart." "Ah, my lord, you come at such an inopportune time. Things were just getting good. Weren't they girls?" They giggle and run away. He sighs, buttons and smooths his shirt, checks his teeth in the waters of the river then mounts the horse."Did you get it out of your system?""If I say yes, I'd be lying my lord. But I will keep my promise, don't worry."You sigh. Then kick the stirrups and ride to the manor. ---TBC. That's all for today.
>>2127223Scots are from Egypt, don'tcha know.
>>2127489See ya later op.>Should have let him bone the farm girls.The most we'd have to deal with is building and hem two huts next spring and have the Stewart raise his own kids.
>>2127913So Stewart's the Steward, but can he oversee construction or shake the coins out of people's pockets?
>>2127967He's a glorified book-keeper and advisor (pretty much teaches you shit from noble etiquette, law and shit. He's been doing his best so it would be wise to reward him with some peasant or merchant pussy. This would also prevent him from fucking up during the party for nobles which would be bad for us since the Lord Duke barely remembers our name.
>>2128062>He's been doing his best so it would be wise to reward him with some peasant or merchant pussy.He entered our service because he did just that in the count's court and the lord couldn't throw him out because he was family.
>>2128202He's been thrown out because he tried his hand on the noble daughters and wives.Do you really think that anyone cares for some lowly noble fathering a bunch of bastards with peasants?No. He likely offended an influential noble by bothering one of the following:>their daughter>their fiancee>their wife>the flame of their young son
The manor is lit and the darkness has fallen in full. It reminds you of a fire you once witnessed when you were in service. The soldiers had set fire to a small fort, trying burn out those taking refuge inside. The fire had blazed through the night like a funeral pyre. Horrible and beautiful. You shake away these morbid thoughts as you reach the foot of the gates. The guards do not halt you this time nor is there any doubt to your pedigree.You and Stewart are led to the main hall. At least two dozen noble families mingle, nearly 100 highborn souls. Young ladies in groups, giggling in corners, filling the air with perfume and gossip. Young men that are their opposites moving through the hall like young bucks. The fathers and mothers watching over them both and internally selecting and judging their children's choices.The lights float above them everywhere wiping out all shadow. The musicians behind them tune their instruments. The servants between them offer drink and refreshment. The polished tile below their feet reflect their colorful clothing and shining jewels. How different this celebration is to the one outside! And all the training and transformation you have undergone become nothing. There is a moment of displacement, a long moment of doubt, a greater moment of panic--but all gives way when you see Countess Ophelia more perfect than you have ever seen her by this beauty and by the firm knowledge that she is like you in the ways that matter."Lord William Shepdard of Olmsville and his steward the Honorable Stewart." Says the servant. Instantly, eyes, mouths, breaths stop their activity and are upon you. Their whispers carry to your ears by silence. "That's the one that slew Lord Nigel isn't it?" "Mm, peasant you know." "Look at his clothes, who does he think he is?" "They say he's quite the soldier." "He's quite handsome for a peasant." "A devil in the clothing of men." "I can't believe old Lazar invited him." "He was being polite; obviously, he didn't think he'd actually come." "That's peasants for you, no decor, no grace, no sensitivity." "Liars and bootlickers the lot of them." "What was Lord Eleison thinking?"Stewart jabs your side. "Don't look so spooked, my lord." He mutters. "Ah Sir William! Wonderful to see you again." Count Lazar steps forward, hand outstretched. She is at his arm. Your hand now takes Count Lazar's in a firm clasp but your eyes refuse to remove from her. Behind you the crowd breaks from its spell and returns to gossip and flirtation. The Countess does not look at you. She does not smile. Something is wrong. "I hope all is well Sir William?" He says. You swallow and force your eyes to meet his."Yes, Count, very well. I took your advice to heart and it bore much fruit."He laughs and pats your hand. "Glad to hear it! And this must be my nephew eh?""My gracious lord, I thank you most kindly for your generosity." Stewart bows his head until he's nearly parallel to the ground.1/2
>>2130604"He is behaving himself?" Why isn't she looking at you? Why won't she say anything? Have you done something to displease her? "Sir William?""Ah! Yes. Yes, my lord, he's been very good. And very helpful." "Good. I'm glad to hear it." He smiles. "And what's that I wonder?" He points to the box of sweets. Stewart glances at you from his bowed posture. You clear your throat."A present, my lord. For the Countess." You present the box. Still, she does not look at you. She does not move."Well my dear, aren't you going to take it?""I am not fond of sweets." She says. Your heart nosedives into your stomach. The Count laughs and takes the box himself. You are hesitant to let it go into his hands, knowing what lies inside, but in the end you cannot resist. "She's kidding Sir William." He leans in. "She's been a bit moody today to tell you the truth.""I have not!" She says, snatching the box from his hands and huffing away. Count shakes his head and chuckles but finally when his gaze settles, the mirth is gone, replaced by a deep longing sadness. "Enjoy yourself Sir William." He says, patting your arm. "Let me know if you need anything. And you--behave yourself nephew, no gallivanting.""My lord I would not dream of it." Says Stewart, bowing again. Lord Lazar nods at you both and turns away. Stewart pulls you aside the moment he's gone. "What was that?" He hisses. "W-what?""A present for the Count Ophelia? Are you--" He sighs. "Please tell me you're not going for *her*." "What? Of course not!" You laugh. It sounds like someone stomping on a piano. "Good gods. My lord are you daft? Scour her from your mind this instant! She is the wife of Count Lazar--Bloodletter of the West. Anyone else and I would've looked the other way--I would've even helped! But not her, my lord. Not her." He leans in close. "Count Lazar has never lost a duel or joust. His former enemies are either cripples or buried 6 feet in the ground. Please just--put her out of your mind. Look around you! There are plenty of fine ladies here. They are all charmed by your peasant mystique and good looks and warrior charm--though they themselves will not admit it. Mingle! Forget her!"Forget her? That's impossible. How can you forget her when all your toil and transformation has been in her name? When she plays with your spine by a word and glance? Part of you knows Stewart is right. Part of you knows that she is trouble. Unattainable. Infeasible. The other part, the great part, is falling in love. "Of course." You say. "I have no intentions toward her, believe me." You lie.Stewart sighs. "Good. Great. Wonderful. The dance will start soon--my lord you'd better survey the wildlife before the vultures descend. Come, I'll introduce you to those I know."2/3
>>2130605Stewart takes your arm and leads you from group to group. You try and concentrate but your mind is still on Ophelia. You see only glimpses of her for the next hour, sometimes conversing with other noblewomen, sometimes at the arm of her husband, seldom alone. "And this is Lady Miriam the Younger and Lady Orison the Elder." Says Stewart."Only by a year." Mutters Lady Orison. She brushes away a strand of auburn hair and stares openly at you. Her sister, the shier and smaller of the two keeps glancing at you and looking at her feet. "Charmed, Sir William." The older says, offering her hand. You take it, imagining it is Ophelia's hand and give it a soft kiss. She looks to her sister and grabs her hand. "Don't be rude Mary. Especially when you've said so much about wanting to meet him" She says, forcing her hand up. The sister lets out a soft squeak and looks down at her feet. You plant a kiss upon her hand as well and she turns as red as her hair.One of the aforesaid vultures suddenly descends, sidling up next to you. "Lady Orison, when I look upon you I fear no darkness. You are sunlight, my lady." He says, bowing his head and kissing her hand a little longer than appropriate. Lady Orison doesn't seem to mind.Stewart whispers in your ear. "That's Sir Ulrich of the Gelderland. His father is the first cousin of the King, a councilor in his court. They are both powerful men. But this bastard is also blessed with good looks and martial skill, he's even a favorite for Marshall of the Realm."Looking upon the young man you have to admit he has a refined elegance. Like a sharply honed blade. He finally notices you and smiles. He looks like he wants to say something but the music starts up and the men pull their ladies to the dance floor. He takes Lady Orison with him. You realize you're still holding Lady Miriam's hand. Her ears have turned a stunning shade of crimson and her eyes are glued to your feet.>Might as well ask her to dance>Release her and look for someone else to dance with>>2130435Not dead. Just was a bit busy yesterday. I should've said something sorry about that.
>>2130609>Might as well ask her to danceWell let's not be rude, seems like she'd enjoy a dance with us
>>2130609>Might as well ask her to dance
>>2130609>Might as well ask her to danceIt might help occupy our mind.
>>2130609>>Might as well ask her to dance
You suppose you can't get out of this without seeming rude. "Lady Miriam, would you care to dance?"She freezes up, you can even feel her small hand tense in your own. She bites her lip. Then puckers her mouth slightly and lets out a slow breath and nods as if deciding something. She looks up obviously trying to stifle a smile and maintain an air of nobility and grace. Trying very hard it seems. "I'd love to." She squeaks. Then her courage appears to fail her and she looks back down at your feet. You drag her slowly on to the center of the hall, now cleared for the dancers. The musicians start slow, allowing the men and women to take their positions. Then the music begins:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyknBTm_YyMThe first dance is fast and lively--too much for some of the older nobles, too much even for some of the more out-of-shape youths. As for you, you've run from Meaville and back with sandbags tied to your hands. This is hardly enough to break a sweat. And Lady Miriam is so light and small it's like lifting a little girl. You see Sir Ulrich keep the pace with the same ease and of course, Lord Lazar with his wife, Lady Ophelia. *His* wife, you remind yourself. But when her eyes briefly meet yours, all is forgotten. Still, she looks away. You feel slighted. Angry. The dance builds, the music crescendos. You lift and spin Lady Miriam with all the skill and charm you possess, your feet moving in perfect, fluid synchrony, using moves you had intended to impress Ophelia with, to win her heart with. You fly across the dance floor, crossing paths over and over. The music moves to its final climax, faster and faster and faster, spin and turn, lift and throw and retrieve and clasp and unclasp--and then the end. You watch as Ophelia is pulled back into the crowd and feel poison in your mouth. You look down at Lady Miriam. She's out of breath, flushed and smiling broadly at you."You're unexpectedly a fine dancer Sir William." She says."Unexpectedly?" Your voice comes out more cold than you intend, still harping on the way she would not glance at you a second time. Her forehead and the tips of her ears turn red. "I-I-I didn't mean it that way." She says. "It's just--you're just--I was...I was surprised." She looks down. "I meant not offence." She says, so quietly that her words are lost part way. You see Sir Ulric leave the dance floor, taking Lady Orison with him to the confectionery. The music is changing to a second slower tune, no doubt to accommodate those who couldn't keep up with the first. You see Lady Ophelia talking with another noblewoman and Stewart surrounded by several young nobles, men and women, laughing at some story he's telling. You see Lord Lazar sitting by himself in a corner, drinking a glass of wine and watching the crowd with indifference.
>>2130856>Follow up with Sir Ulric >Try to speak to Ophelia alone>Keep the Count company>OtherAnd will you>Bring Lady Miriam with you >Bring her back to her familyThat's all for now. We'll continue sometime tonight ~6 PM.
>>2130860>Keep the Count company>Bring Lady Miriam with youShow Ophelia we don't need her either.
>>2130889This, or use her as your focus to distract yourself from Ophelia.
>>2130860>Keep the Count company>Bring Lady Miriam with youpoor soul could think we are mad at her
>>2130860>OtherChat with Miriam, apologize and get to know her better.>Bring Lady Miriam with you "Obviously"Even though I love the tension falling for Ophelia creates we need to chill our ass out and stop acting like a horny teen.
>>2131060This, I like the drama but there's no need to be a shit to her over it.
>>2130860>Keep the Count company>Bring Lady Miriam with you Also add that we should try knowing Miriam better like >>2131072 said.
You close your eyes, remembering all the training and exercise and the sunless mornings when you didn't want to get up but did so anyway only by the power of her face. What have you done that she hates you like this? Nothing comes to mind. Or was it all a ruse from the beginning? You open your eyes. Lady Miriam looks as if she's about to cry. You can already hear Stewart's voice ringing in your head. Forget her! You sigh. It's impossible, but that's no reason to behave like a brute. You lift her fingers to your lips, marveling for the first time at how small and frail they are. The wrist as delicate as the stem of a wine glass. She lets out a small surprised squeak as you kiss her hand again. "Forgive me, Lady Miriam, I've been insensitive.""No-no, it's me--I'm the one...I'm sorry. I really didn't mean to offend you." She says."And you didn't." You lower the hand and give it a squeeze, pulling her closer then making your way across the room in a circuitous route toward Lord Lazar. You speak as you go. "Truth be told, Lady Miriam, you are right to be surprised. I only picked up dancing in the last few months. That I have managed to impress someone as skilled as yourself, is not a testament to my ability but to your charity." She giggles. "You are very humble Sir William. You take no praise for yourself but you give it out so freely.""Praise goes where it is due, my lady." You say, going through the motions of some oft-rehearsed words. "I am merely the arrow in Her bow.""You're very different than I imagined." She says. She is not the first one to say it. "You speak so softly and so well--yet your hands are so rough and calloused." "The hands of a peasant. I suppose you must find them disagreeable, disgusting?""Of course not! Never! Oh!." She covers her face. "I keep saying the wrong things. You must think me a spiteful shrew."You laugh. "On the contrary, Lady Miriam. I think you're quite charming."You can practically feel the heat emanate off of her as she reddens again. "...I don't find your hands disgusting.""Sweet relief.""I'm serious!" She says. "I...I too--that is..." She sighs. Then nods her head and begins to strip the cloth of her sleeve--an indecorous act, which you hide by your body. "What are you doing?""I want to show you." She says. "Look." She lifts up her bare arm. The flesh is wrinkled by an old scar; a burn. She looks up at you, holding her breath, waiting for judgement. You brush a fingertip across the hideous folds. She winces, though there is no pain to feel. "You see? I am marked too." She says. "Am I then disgusting?" It is meant to be a rhetorical question, but comes out earnest."No. Certainly not." You can hear her breathe out. "How did it happen?""Boiling water. And foolishness." She pulls the sleeve down again and grabs your hand. "My sister says I am cursed for it. My sister has no blemish on her body and does not need to hide any part of herself."1/2
>>2132337"And do you envy her this?"She nods, slowly. "Sometimes. My father says my sister will be the savior of our house. No one doubts it. She is excellent in everything. Beauty, grace, the brush, the pen and the clavier. Perfect in every way.""And you, Lady Miriam?""Oh!" She laughs. "No one expects anything of me. I was very sickly until only a few months ago..." She gives you a curious look."What is it?"She shakes her head, hiding her smile. "Nothing." You walk in silence. The music enfolds you like water. You submerge. You've at least brightened Lady Miriam's spirits, if not your own. You are close to Lord Lazar now. You can see him open a fresh bottle of wine and settle back in his chair. "Sir William?" Says Miriam."Hmm?""..." She opens her mouth, but her words die quietly in her throat."What is it?"She touches her cheek and nods, affirming some internal thing. "Sir William. Do--do you have an object of fin'amor?""Fin'amor?" You don't remember Stewart telling you about this. What should you say?"That is...someone you have pledged yourself too. Nobly and--and passionately. Someone who helps you breathe in the day and...sleep at night."Of course you do have such a one. She's standing only few dozen feet away from you and is your torture made flesh. Yet, you are not so tactless as to misunderstand the nature of her question. Or her intentions. Or her feelings. She is a sweet and--you admit--pretty young lady but she is not the one you have fallen for. Yet, here is a fruit you can pluck. Her family is well-to-do, her father a Count, she is a good choice. A logical choice. >Tell her truth, you do have someone like that>Lie, tell her you don't>Super-lie, hint that it's her
>>2132342Write in?I have a Fin'amor in my heart but not in words or pledge.
>>2132342>Tell her truth, you do have someone like thatBut then ask her what she would do if her Fin'amor was out of her reach
>>2132342>Super-lie, hint that it's herIt will probably be a while before we can get with Ophelia, if we do. Nothing wrong with having another prospect.
>>2132395I can support this if mine is too corney.
>>2132342>>Lie, tell her you don't
You hesitate to answer. Her face is full of such worry and hope, such expectation, that it hurts you just to look at it. You look away, focusing on a distant point of light, the flame of a candle on a chandelier."I do." You say. "O-oh." You can hear her swallow. "Lady Miriam...""Yes?" Her voice is already breaking. She clears her throat and straightens herself. The wick burns and the flame dances back and forth. "Yes?" She asks again."What would you do if your fin'amor was out of reach?" You turn and look at her again. "I mean something truly insurmountable. Out of reach forever."Her eyes reach for your own. Water has welled there, a film still thin enough to hide. You look away again toward the candles above your head. You can feel her nod her head. "I would strive still." She says. "And if it was torture. And if the world was against you? And heaven itself? Even then?" You say. All the light in the room seems to glow brighter. "Even then." She says, simply. You stare at her. She smiles and wipes her eyes. "Ugh. I'm sorry Sir William, I'm such a fool." She sniffs and laughs. You feel terrible, like someone has ripped open your stomach and filled it with stones. You go to touch her cheek, but feel shame and your hand falls to her shoulder instead. She sighs. Her breath tickles the skin on your wrist. "You must strive Sir William. If your object is worthy, or unworthy, requited or unrequited--love should be pure if nothing else. And such purity is found at the center of a crucible. Love...love is a thing to *do*, Sir William not something to be achieved. At least...that's how I feel about it." She gives you a last look, a last smile, a last nod and then lets go of your hand. "It was delightful talking with you Sir William. And I am, truly, truly glad to have met you and I am very grateful to you." She says."For what Lady Miriam?"Her face reddens again, the forehead and ears all the way but she doesn't look down this time. She shrugs. "Secret." She says, nodding. Then she moves back into the crowd. You have a mind to chase after her, but a hand closes around your shoulder."William! Come have a drink with me. Come, come, come." Says Lord Lazar. You stare at Lady Miriam's back as she finally disappears. Then you turn and follow Lord Lazar to his seat. He hands you a glass and pours the wine without restraint, until the cup is almost overflowing. "Enjoying yourself William?">"Very much so.">"I feel a little out-of-place.">"I think you'd better let me pour my lord." (Discreetly empty his glass)
>>2132675>>"I feel a little out-of-place."
"To tell you the truth, my lord--" You take the glass and take a sip before the wine spills over onto your clothes. "I feel a little out-of-place."He draws out another draught of wine and drinks it straight. "Out-of-place. I think I know what you mean, William." He says. Around him there is a semi-circular space that the nobles unconsciously avoid. A void."You do?"He nods. "I never much cared for these sorts of things. *Balls*. Bah. I only do it because...well the Countess enjoys them. She was rather excited for this one--or she was up until a few weeks ago." He takes another drink."Did she mention...why?" "She never does. I never know what's in her head." He laughs; it turns into a sigh at the end. He falls silent. His eyes are suddenly serious. "Never fall in love William." He says. It's too late for that, you want to say, but you hold your tongue. He laughs again and pours himself another glass. "You know...I like you William. You remind me of someone. You aren't like these...these flower-hearted, soft-handed, spoon-up-their-ass--""--my lord, I think you've had a bit too much to drink."He smiles, lolling his head forward, laughing. "I'm fine. William. Fine. A little drink never hurt me. My senses are sharp. Keen as a fox up here." He points to the side of his nose. You wrench the bottle from his grip. He grabs you close. "William. William." He says. "Yes, my lord?""You were in the thick of it? In the shit so to speak?""My lord?"He smacks your shoulder and chuckles, and taps his nose like you've just shared a guarded secret. "You and I, Will. We know." He sweeps his hand across the room. His words have begun to slur. "These little noble's brats will never see the sharp side of an ax--unless it's an execution. They ride on their fucking horses with the pretense of sacrifice and bloodshed. Giving orders, when they haven't chipped a fingernail. They haven't been in it like us, Will. Their habits are not like ours. And a body is made by habit, a personality is--a soul is. We *are* our habits.""Yes, my lord."He smacks your cheek affectionately. "William." He says again."Yes, my lord?" You are trying to make eye-contact with someone--anyone--to help. Even the servants seem to avoid him. "My son's was called William." He says suddenly pensive. "Will I called him. Little Will." Tears begin to stream down his cheeks, silent little tracks on his wrinkled face. He looks blankly at you. His skin is oddly colored, you hadn't noticed it because of the candlelight, but you see now that it's slightly darker, almost yellow. He begins to cough, at first lightly, then heavily. His hand his bright red. You don't understand at first. Then you realize it's covered in blood. "Oh." He says, looking at the blood. Then faints.>Call for help!>Do nothing. Here's your chance, here's the opportunity you were waiting for!And that's all for today. Sorry for the slow pace guys I keep getting distracted by family while I write.
>>2132854>Call for help!Ruh roh.
>>2132854>>Call for help!fug
>>2132854>>Call for help!
>>2132854>Call for help!
>>2132854>Call for help
>>2132854>Call for help"POISON! Someone call the physicians! Everyone stop drinking! There might be others being targeted!"
>>2132854>Call for help!>>2133335>His skin is almost yellow. He begins to cough, at first lightly, then heavily. His hand is covered in blood.This may not be a poisoning, or rather, not a sudden one.But then, I'm just a peasant, what do I know.
>>2132854>Call for help!On a side note, i really like Miriam hope we will meet her again in the future
Miriam is best girl. Countess Ophelia a shit.
>>2133404>>2133568>>2133600Also agreed.So far, I have seen little to convince me that Ophelia is more than a bewitched infatuation. Of course, we've seen even less of Miriam. But what we've seen of Miriam seems direct and true.
You bolt from your seat. No one has noticed yet. He only looks like he's sleeping. What should you do? Two voices arise simultaneously: Call for help! Let him die. He's a good man! He's an obstacle. You have to do the right thing! What's right and wrong? Do what benefits you. A trail of blood trickles down the side of his lip. You can't do it. To win her like this...Then how will you win her at all? Says the other voice. You close your eyes and grit your teeth. "Help! I need help! The Count has collapsed!" You shout. The music stops. The dance and the talk stops. Everything stands still. Silence. Ophelia runs across the room.She brushes past you and kneels before her husband, inspecting his face. Servants rush to her side. Guards. Curious nobles. "Get the physician! Now!" She screams. "Yes Countess, right away." The guards break off. "Upstairs, to the guest room." She says. It takes three servants to lift him and carry him out the door. Ophelia follows them. And her head turns just before she moves beyond the double gates. And you see a face of skeletal pallor thrown in shadow by the candles above. At last she looks at you, at last a gaze that cuts your heart to pieces for all that it expresses: grief, guilt, longing. Maybe hope. Maybe even love. And you see the little cube of bone and shell she wears around her neck, the pendant you presented her. Your hand clasps around your own. And she is gone.The crowd explodes into whispers. A noble grabs your arm and turns you. Sir Ulrich of the Gelderlands and Lady Orison still clinging to his other limb. "What happened Sir William?" You see Stewart coming up just behind him, looking at you with wonder and worry. You falter and fall into the seat."I-I don't know. He was drinking and then he started coughing...there was blood. He fainted. I don't know." You say. Stewart moves past you toward the wine bottle, sniffs it and tastes it. Sir Ulrich waits for him to deliver a verdict, Stewart shakes his head. "It's just wine." He says, sounding immensely relieved. You don't understand, what else could it be? Sir Ulrich grabs your shoulder again, squeezing it hard. "Did you say something to him Sir William?" His voice is cold and unkind. "Or he to you?" This bastard. Is he trying to incriminate you? Stewart kneels by your side. "My lord, let's get some air." He whispers.>Refuse, head upstairs instead>Refuse, stand and answer Sir Ulrich>Accept, you could use itRegular session today at ~7 PM PST
>>2133734>Refuse, stand and answer Sir UlrichHe was deep in his cups, rambling about the nature of war and his son.
>>2133734>>Refuse, stand and answer Sir Ulrich
>>2133734>Refuse, stand and answer Sir Ulrich
>>2133734>>Accept, you could use itThere may be implications we are not aware of.
>>2133734>Refuse, stand and answer Sir UlrichBetter to stand our ground and make this noble know how retarded they sound accusing us.
>>2133734This thread sucks I hope we get our head chopped off
>>2134619What are you, GAY?
You quietly lift Sir Ulrich's hand from your body and then your body from the seat. Sir Ulrich scowls at you and even this does not ruin the well set and well proportioned features of his face. The symmetry remains. "I do not know what it is you imply Sir Ulrich. I said nothing to him. And he was in the throes of drunkenness; his speech was confused. He spoke of war, of his son--""Son? What son?" Says Ulrich, furrowing his brow still further. "Lord Lazar has no son that I know of--living or dead."That's strange. Of course it could just be that Lord Lazar was rambling...yet the tears he shed seemed genuine."I don't know." You say. "As I said, he had taken several drinks before I'd approached him."Ulrich nods. The little curls of his hair, much like your own in shape and color, bob up and down. "And you're sure it was wine?" He looks to Stewart. Stewart rises from his still kneeling posture and nods. "Taste for yourself if you like. It's not weak stuff, but it is wine all the same.""What else could it be?" You ask, looking from Ulrich to Stewart."Poison, Sir WIlliam." Says Sir Ulrich, annoyed, as though your ignorance was a personal affront. "I've seen it before." He says, touching his forehead. Poison! Does he think you poisoned Lord Lazar? The thought had never even crossed your mind. He takes on a dark mood, enclosing his limbs onto themselves like a dead spider. Lady Orison rubs his back in concern. You wonder what he meant by having seen it before. "My Lord William," says a servant, running up to you, "you are called." Your hand moves to the pendant and tightens around it. "By whom?" Asks Stewart."By Lord Lazar, he's between waking and sleep but called for you by name.""Me? Are you sure?" You ask. Why would he call you?"Yes my lord. Will you see him?""What about the physician?" Asks Stewart"He has not yet arrived.""Is Lady Ophelia there?" You ask. You are unable to help yourself. The servant nods. Stewart gives you a funny look. >Tell him you'll see him after the doctor takes a look, you don't want to make things worse>Head upstairs immediately, you can take the opportunity to speak with Ophelia in private
>>2134936>Head upstairs immediately, you can take the opportunity to speak with Ophelia in private
>>2134936>Head upstairs immediately, you can take the opportunity to speak with Ophelia in privatenot for Ophelia though. He might be dead by the time the physician arrives.
>>2134936>Head upstairs immediately, you can take the opportunity to speak with Ophelia in privateMore to speak with him than Ophelia.
>>2134975Changing vote to exactly this.
>>2134936>Head upstairs immediately, you can take the opportunity to speak with Ophelia in privateFor Lord Lazar's sake more than Lady Ophelia's, though also to profess our innocence should she think this to be our work.
>>2134980>>2135011Isn't that what the option meant, or did it mean we'd go up there to speak with Ophelia?
>>2135146I wanted to put emphasis on seeing Lazar, talking with Ophelia is good too but didn't want it to seem like we were going up there just to get some alone time with Ophelia.
>>2135146>>2135181Pretty much.To me there's also the matter of us interacting with Ophelia "in private" arousing suspicions when also looking at our gesture with the sweets and pendant.
You put Ophelia out of mind. You try. If the Lord is calling for you personally then it must be a matter of some importance, though you have no idea why he would call for you in particular."Alright. Let's go." Stewart grabs your arm. "My lord, don't you think we should wait for the doctor to arrive first?""He asked for me Stewart, I should at least hear what he wants to say." Stewart looks down and sighs, but releases you. You follow the servant and as you ascend the steps to the second floor you remember the last time that you were here and shudder. The servant leads you to a study you had not seen the last time you were here. Within are books and scrolls and a half-finished painting still on the canvas. Beyond that is a second door leading into an inner room from which Lady Ophelia steps out. "I've brought him Countess.""Thank you. And the doctor?" "He should be coming shortly, Countess.""Very good." She nods. She seems severe, coiled in a controlled tension, as though everything were fine and totally under her authority. Leave us." She says, sitting down on a divan and smoothing her dress. The servant bows and departs. You stand still, unable to move forward or back; an awkward paralysis. "Should I go inside? He asked for me?"She nods, twirling the cube of bone and shell around her neck. You move toward the door but she stands up and touches your chest, stopping you. You try and maintain yourself, not letting her know how much even this little thing speeds your heart. You look down. Her mask has broken. "What?" You ask. She leans her head upon your breast. You can see now that her eyes are red. You can see the tear tracks on her cheeks. "I'm scared." She says. Her voice is hoarse and trembling. You want so desperately to enfold her in your arms. >Comfort her>Resist your urges and see the Count first
>Resist your urges and see the Count firstThere's time for play and time to be a man. Now's the time to be a man. We'll comfort the countess to her heart's content once the count's said his peace.
>>2135204>Resist your urges and see the Count first
>>2135204>Comfort herHold her hand to your chest and say, It'll be alright, stay strong.
I wanted to pick comfort, but then I remembered the LAST time I 'comforted' a girl.
You clench your fists and try to ignore the smell of her hair. "I should see the Count first." You keep your gaze straight at the door, even when you can feel her eyes searching your face. "Are you angry with me?" She asks. You don't say anything, don't dare to budge your head from the fixed point at the center of the wood. "I-I was being childish, I admit. I was upset. I was angry. You don't write to me. You don't visit. You show up later than the other guests." So that's what it was. How could you write to her when you couldn't even write your own name? How could you visit her in the midst of winter preparations? She pushes you to arms length but still holds you by the shoulders. "Not a single letter these past months--even after your steward arrived."Ask Stewart to write the letters? Impossible. He wouldn't do it. "We can talk about this later. I should see the Count first." You say. You must resist. You push her gently to the side and walk to the door."Do you hate me?" She whispers. "Do you love me? I saw you dancing and gallivanting around with that...that..." She falls back down on the divan and covers her face. You turn the knob of the door and walk inside, not daring to look back.Lord Lazar is in bed. His eyes flicker open and closed. He mutters under his breath, delirious. You move closer, close enough to make out his mumbling. "Will...Will..." He says, reaching toward you blindly. You grab his hand."My Lord, you called for me?" "Will...""I'm here, my lord, what is it?""I'm sorry." He says slowly. The he breaks into sobs. His chest pulses up and down almost as if he was laughing. "I'm so sorry. Forgive me, Will." He squeezes your hand. "Forgive me!" You're not sure how to respond. Forgive him for what? Then you realize he isn't talking to you. Not Sir William of Olmville, but Will, his son. "I shouldn't have forsaken you." He says, gasping between sobs and letting out little whines. "My little Will, if only I had been there for you. If only I had not been such a coward. Forgive me...forgive me..." You watch this man with mute wonder and with pity. His hair is gray and his stomach is not the flat iron of his youth and though his arms are strong and hard with muscle the skin hangs loose upon them. You have no trouble imagining him on ramparts, or on the crest of a hill in his youth, in his shining armor and his shining sword above him. And that same man, who you can see so clearly so vibrantly as though it were your own memory, is here before you resolved into saltwater and softness. You wonder what sins he has suffered, what son he speaks of that no one else knows about. Is this the man that Stewart spoke of in hushed awe, the Bloodletter of the West? Is the man you thought to hurt and betray by taking his wife? You are moved to tears yourself."You are forgiven." You say, leaning into his ear. "You are forgiven." You can feel him shudder, relax; a great relief, a great release. 1/2
>>2135365The door bursts open. "What are you doing? Get away from him!" The doctor's voice comes muffled behind his mask; his words are clear all the same. You stand and move aside. The doctor immediately gets to work, touching the lord's throat and chest and then pinching back his eyelids with his gloved fingers. "Make yourself useful, grab that bucket and help me prop him over it." You obey. He lifts Lord Lazar from the bed and sits him up. "My lord, we need to purge your stomach. Do you understand?" Says the doctor, slapping the lord's face. Lord Lazar simply moans. The doctor curses. "These noble idiots. A man drinks himself near to death and they bed him without voiding his stomach. A miracle he didn't drown in his own filth. Hold the bucket to his mouth." You watch as the doctor slips three fingers into the lord's mouth, forcing him to gag until he vomits. He does this over and over, until the bucket is nearly full and only a pale clear fluid comes out. Once all is said and done Lord Lazar looks even worse than before, but the doctor seems satisfied. "Get him something to drink--water not wine. Bring some sugar and salt if you have it." He says. "And get rid of that, the smell is making me nauseous." He points to the bucket. Indeed the air is heavy with the smell of sweat and sick.>Do as he says, you could use the fresh air>Get a servant to do it, stay with the doctor and mention the blood
And that's all for today.
>>2135376>Get a servant to do it, stay with the doctor and mention the blood
>>2135376>>Get a servant to do it, stay with the doctor and mention the blood
You have one of the several servants standing by comply with the doctor's orders. The doctor lays Lord Lazar on his side, placing pillows behind his back to prevent him from turning."Is he going to be OK?""He shouldn't be drinking." Says the doctor. "But he'll live." You sigh. How strange. You should be hoping for this man's death, if your love means anything--but you can't. "He was also bleeding." You say. "Bleeding?" The doctor says. "Where?""He coughed blood. Just before he fainted." You gesture toward his hand. "His hand was covered in it."The doctor grabs Lord Lazar's hand and uncurls it. Dried blood cakes the palm. He sniffs it. He then begins to undo the Lord's tunic and pokes at his bare stomach. "Hmm. That's troubling." "What's wrong?""I told him to stop his drinking..." The doctor mutters, shaking his beaked head and tutting his tongue. "His humours are out of balance. Too much black-bile, I can smell it in the blood. It's the drinking. I've told him before but..." He raises his palm. "They don't listen. They never listen.""Isn't there something you can do?""What's done is done. If he quits the spirits from hereon, eats modestly, gets adequate rest, he may have another decade or two in him. If not, maybe a year, maybe not even that."The servants return with the water, salt and sugar. The doctor takes them and and takes out a small weigh scale from his bag, the kind used by jewelers. He measures out the salt and sugar and then mixes them both with the water in precise proportion. He then forces this potion down the Count's throat. "Who are you anyway? A relative?" He asks. "N-no. Nothing like that. I'm Sir William of Olmsville, Count Lazar is my overlord.""I see. Well, my work here is done." He puts his scale back and closes the bag. "I'll be back tomorrow to check on him but he just needs water and rest now." You follow him out to the study. Ophelia is waiting there with her hands clasped. The mask is on again. She listens patiently to the doctor's chiding, that she should've prevented him from taking any drink, that she should've kept a closer eye on him. She just nods. At last the doctor leaves and it's just you and her. You, standing by the door and she, sitting on the divan with her head in her hands."It'll be OK." You say. She doesn't look up. You move nearer to her, sit next to her, feel the heat off of her body. You place an arm around her shoulders. No resistance. You pull her slightly toward you, cursing yourself inside, remembering the Count and his tears. She moves into you and places her head on your chest. You stroke her golden hair."Why didn't you tell me of your low birth?" You whisper. She shivers. "Why didn't you write? Or visit?" She retorts."I was busy. And...I can't write. I couldn't ask Stewart either--he wouldn't have done it; he doesn't approve. Part of me doesn't either."1/2
>>2136627"And the other part?"You swallow the lump in your throat. "In love. Good sense has left it."She turns her head toward your face and moves up to kiss your bottom lip. "I was ashamed." She says. "Ashamed?""To be lowborn, to be less than noble is...indecent. I've tried hard to erase it. Don't look at me like that. Haven't you done the same? You don't speak as you used to, your manners have changed, your clothes. When did you learn to dance so well? Such a gallant now! Impressing all the ladies!""I was only humoring her." You say, feeling a pang of double guilt. You nod. "I did change. But it was for you." She blushes and swings her body so that she sits on your lap and faces you directly. "Then take me away from here." She says. There is a knock at the door before you can answer--though no answer comes. "Who is it?""Countess, it is time for the banquet--or shall I tell the guests to depart on account of the Lord's illness?""No, no." She runs to the door and opens it. "Take them into the dining hall. Come, come." She moves into the hall. You remain where you are, still wrestling with your feelings. The Count has done nothing to you to deserve this, if anything he's only been kind and generous. Curse him. Curse your heart. Curse this woman who has bewitched you. Curse the gods. You believed that becoming a noble would free you. That peasantry was to live in chains and nobility was liberation. You find yourself more enslaved than ever."Aren't you coming Sir William?" She says, waiting at the door, smiling. You look back at the room where your overlord still sleeps. Then at the woman you love. You stand and obey.---You do not stay the night at the manor--rather, Stewart refuses to let you. He's furious. First that you lied to him and second that you're still pursuing Lady Ophelia. You can only apologize and he can only spend his anger roaming the darkness and coming back to the inn with two village girls who thoroughly exhaust him through the night. You stay awake thinking of your future with the Countess. A future which may not be as impossible as you once thought. In the morning you do some shopping at the markets. They open later than usual on account of recovery from the previous night, but many of the merchants that arrived for the festival have remained a little longer to peddle the last of their wares. >What (if anything) will you look to buy?>Anything else you want to do before you leave?No later session today unfortunately.
>>2136631You really want William with the Countess, huh?Let's buy some more hens. Olmsville should have a thriving egg industry
>>2136680Let's be honest here, Miriam is best girl but without choices what's the point?
>>2136631Look and see if there's anyone in town who can give us information about our forest creature.
>>2136631See if we can't get a goat or something. Maybe a breeding pair.
>>2136631Ask around about the Lani. Also ask Sterwart about Miriam and the consequences if we pursue her. Miriam best fucking girl.
>>2136680Miriam is better. I wish he would stop tugging this. I vote to stop our feelings for her in their tracks. Learn to hate her face. Her voice. Learn to loathe the time you talk.And to get more chickens, along with getting info on the forest creature. The other goal is pretty long-term anyway.
>>2136690I'd like to have our guy work to improve himself for her and to develop our character to realize that after he must choose to do the right thing in the end for the good of everyone involved, and to do right by the Count. The Countess must in the end accept both that what she desires would only harm William and that he cannot in the end keep her happy because she is looking for an escape, and would only drag him down with her. She will have to love and care enough about him to let him go.
>>2136680>Let's buy some more hens. Olmsville should have a thriving egg industryThis>>2137061>See if we can't get a goat or something. Maybe a breeding pair.This is a good idea too, but I expect too expensive.Also supporting asking around about forest creatures or Lani.A pile of mostly untrue rumors is still more information than what we have.>>2136690>without choices what's the point?>>2137303>I vote to stop our feelings for her in their tracks.The heart wants what it wants.I get that player choice is important in a quest, but love (or overpowering infatuation) is not something a person always chooses.William is hardly the first person to care for someone they shouldn't, know they shouldn't, and be unable to make themselves choose a superior option.I view the longing in William's heart a handicap that we must endure, overcome, or succumb to as the situation develops.If the MC lost his leg, I expect to be afforded the opportunity to overcome the difficulty of it, but would never insist the QM grow him another one.
>>2136680Supporting, see If we can buy a rooster dont want our chickens to be too inbred.Also see If we can network with the merchant and make them interested in our lumber, maybe even get them to invest
>>2136680More chickens sounds good.>>2136902Ferreting out information on the Lani would help. Agreed.>>2138474Little early to start introducing a new rooster unless we're picking up another 15-20 hens. Too few and we'll have to deal with overbreeding and injuries.Inbreeding is also far less of a concern in livestock if you cull vigorously as you should, while introducing "new blood" can completely screw up generations of production.
>>2136631Have we put more effort into getting a smithy up and running yet? If we can't convince an older apprentice to move in, would it be possible to have one of the younger boys of our village become an apprentice that we can plan to move back?
No updates today either. I will definitely run tomorrow.I wanted to answer some questions in the meantime:>Goats and other livestockYou can't afford these at your current wealth. You need Mediocre riches or higher. You can try to domesticate animals in the forest (e.g ducks, rabbits, bees, foxes etc.) but you'll need some kind of specialist.>ChickensBuying more hens is more important than getting roosters (see >>2138505). You can also look for someone who actually has experience farming livestock to breed yours properly>SmithyAll you have to offer right now is a steady supply of fuel and space for the facilities. You need some access to metal, either by trade or discovery. Unfortunately, metal is scarce in both Meaville and Silvale so you'll have to look elsewhere.Here's the list of stuff so far:>Get info on the forest creature>Get more hens>Network with merchants for lumber trade>Look into getting/developing a smithy>Resist thots
>>2138854Our hunters likely know how to smelt and work bog iron for crude knives, arrow-, and spearheads, but with the Lani around it would not win us any support to send anyone too deep in the forest to search.
>>2138873The best plan for now would be to train in both swordsmanship and archery as well as to train our hunters up a little bit so that we can investigate and get to the bottom of this Lani creature.Nobody wants to trade or go near a town that has monsters roaming its outskirts.
>>2138873>Go to the church and chat with a priest>Some soul searching for our character>info on the faith of this world>advice for future religious services in out hamlet, maybe arrange a priest or nun to move in.>maybe some info on that woodland monsterWhen we get back to town let's prepare to train with all the men to prepare and kill whatever those "Lami" are.
>>2138873>>2140406also this, considering its called Fantasy peasant lord, how much magic/fantasy is their in the world?
>>2140490Its fantasy because our guy is bleeding out on the battlefield and hallucinating due to blood loss. All we see and experience is an illusion like the movie Jacobs Ladder.
>>2140499Also session today around 7PM. I'll be probably doing a marathon session since my vacation finally starts, so gird your loins!
>>2140513Brb gonna wipe my back lions.
You purchase some more hens. You've gotten used to having eggs every morning and it's somewhat soothing watching the chickens wander through the village, pecking at the earth. This takes up most of the silver you brought and you spend the remaining time at the market trying to obtain some contacts for trading your lumber. Several merchants showed interest but are hesitant to invest until you've figured out a means of transporting the lumber. They're also not keen on buying unprocessed logs. Nevertheless, you get some names and mailing addresses that you can follow up on later.After shopping you head to the local temple to offer prayer and seek council about your "forest spirit". Stewart seems uncomfortable to be around the clergymen--unnaturally so. You pardon him from coming with you and he waits quietly outside the temple. You realize you never actually found out why he sent away from clergy, it's usually a lifelong occupation. The temple is a stout domed structure, not as large as the one you saw in the city, but impressive nonetheless. It's primarily for devotees of Ama, the Flower of the Water so it's mostly occupied by nuns, mothers, pregnant women and litltle girls. Your presence does not go unnoticed and after prayer you are quickly escorted into a small room separate from the other women worshipers. An old nun humors your inane introductions and questions about the faith until you're both comfortable enough to broach the real subject. You tell her about the forest spirit and the animal carcasses on the trees. She listens to the whole story in pensive silence, waiting until the entire thing is told only to tell you that it's all probably just superstition. She advises your people to pray to Abu, the White Blade and to erect a temple in your village. But you can tell this is only the standard advice she would give to anyone.She also urges you to donate to the temple, citing that Ama may bless your fledgling village with her grace. >Donate a silver coin>Donate nothing>Donate all the coins you have left
>>2141327>Donate a silver coinrude not to
>>2141327>Donate a silver coinfuckin religious con but, it is the custom
>>2141327>Donate a silver coin
>>2141327>Donate a silver coin or threeAs a peasant, we've likely known our fair share of women who've suffered abuse or other malaise in life. It seems the devotees of Ama would concern themselves with their well-being.
You decide to donate a coin. The old nun is persistent and you still feel guilty about your love for the Countess. If anyone can forgive you for that sin, if anyone can guide you, it is the Flower of the Waters. Having failed to gather any information from the temple you decide to return to the tavern. Speaking to the innkeeper about the issue, you are directed to wait for a man they call "The Nightowl" a specialist in these sorts of matters. He arrives within the hour--a small, but powerfully built man. Less fearsome than you expected but with a brooding, quiet way that you find unsettling. He speaks little and is fond of single words and single syllables. And he wears a black veil around his mouth--a fashion uncommon in these parts--and apparently carries his own salt (which he uses liberally).You explain your situation. He says one word in response and it chills you to the bone: "Othercreature.""Are you sure?" He nods. "Can you...take care of it?" He nods again and presses his forefinger into his thumb--the sign for money. "I'm guessing this is going to take gold." He nods again. You sigh. "I'm sorry I don't have that kind of money. I don't assume you'd do it for free?" You smile. He doesn't make any reaction, just stares at you. "I guess not. An Othercreature." You shudder. Othercreatures are abominations. Created when Nargaal, The Undying One took Noona, the Pale Light without her consent. Once they were numerous and plagued mankind, now they only exist in the places untouched by civilization. Whatever kind of Othercreature this one is, if left unchecked, it will leave destruction and horror in its wake. You were hoping against this possibility given Olmsville's proximity to Meaville but it's not impossible. "You're certain? It's an Othercreature? What kind?""Bird." He says. "Shrike. Passive-type. Won't bother you if you leave it alone. Should hibernate for the winter. Just don't cut its food supply too much before then."That's comforting. You thank Nightowl but he just gives you one of his cold stares until you leave him to his salty meal. You consider visiting the Count before you leave, but decide against it (mostly because of Stewart's furious objections) and head off for home. ---
>>2141402It is now the month of October, Year 767. What will you do?Sir William Shepard of Olmsville>Attributes and SkillsAge: 20Good HealthDecent FitnessDecent EtiquetteAverage Rhetoric Novice BowmanNovice HorsemanPoor SwordsmanPoor Literacy>Equipment and PossessionsOld Black Stallion Average Iron ShortswordGood Quality Clothing (including Cloak)Wicker ShieldMediocre Cabin >OlmsvillePopulation: 34 (Wary)Lands: Unnamed Forest (10% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (60% Explored)Average HousingSmall GardensSmall Chicken Coop Average Lumber CampSmokehouseAverage StoresPoor TradeAverage SanitationMiddling Security>ForcesNone>MapMeaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestockSilvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the areaRealm of Lord Eleison: A week’s rideFretag (City): Two week’s ride>ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - InterestedLady Miriam - AffectionateSir Ulrich of the Gelderlands - SuspiciousPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - UnhappyStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - HappyBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - ContentCarn - Butcher - Content
>>2141406Try and talk toWilkain - Hunter - UnhappyAnd improve his happy levels by talking to him, see whats got him so gloom and if theres anything that can be done?Question? Didn't we kill the enemy lord with a crossbow? If so then why do we have bowman up there, unless crossbow falls under it?See if we can get some farming equipment, shovels and such and starting building a palisade.
>>2141406More chickens are good, but operations can still increase from here. Trade more eggs and explore the riverbank>>2141458also this
>>2141458Bowman includes crossbows.
>>2138389>The heart wants what it wants. I get that player choice is important in a quest, but love (or overpowering infatuation) is not something a person always chooses.This desu. Personally I see a lot of opportunity coming up with the impending death of our overlord, him drunkenly admitting that he wants to think of us as a son, and his widow-to-be being infatuated with us. But we'll just have to see how things pan out. >>2141406Find some time this month to check back in with the count, or at least write our first letters to him or Ophelia to be updated on his situation. Visit him personally if his situation is not looking good.
A chill has begun to set into the village. The winter clothes that Eve made for everyone are put to good use as is the fuel that you had stockpiled. You spend most your time walking through the village and chatting with everyone. You've gotten lazy again. Without the impetus of the ball, you don't have anything to work toward and consequently you've been skirting your exercises and lessons to just lounge around. Wilkain is especially upset as the only time he seemed to get out of his gloom was when he instructed you. In your absence the villagers used the speartips you'd handed out to arm themselves and form a small milita consisting of some of the younger daytalers and villagers. Wilkain is the one that trains them, but his hard discipline seems to rub off on them the wrong way and both parties are discouraged.Since logging operations have temporarily halted because of the Othercreature (which you have decided to keep to yourself, for fear of scaring the villagers) you have the free labor start construction on a simple pallisade using the spare lumber. The addition of the new hens greatly increases egg production and you're able to trade the extra eggs at Meaville for a decent profit. Several people have come to you with requests in these past few month. Max Wood and his brother want some specialized tools to make furniture. The Miller, Samson, wants farming equipment to make the upcoming harvest a little easier on the back. Eve wants a sewing machine. Carn, the new butcher, wants a new set of knives. Perhaps you can spend the money one of these requests. Or you can just keep it for yourself, you are Lord after all.Will you:>Buy some carpentry tools for Max Wood and his brother>Buy some farming equipment for use in the gardens>Buy a sewing machine for Eve>Buy some new knives for the butcher>Buy an illustrated copy of the Scripture for yourself>Save the money (works toward improving riches)>Other
>>2141642>Buy some carpentry tools for Max Wood and his brother>Buy some farming equipment for use in the gardensthese gotta spend money to make money
>>2141642>Buy some carpentry tools for Max Wood and his brotherAnd if possible go for the farming equipment as well.Get Wilkain to train us with the bow. We should try to bring him under our wing more, his military experience is invaluable.
>>2141642>Buy some carpentry tools for Max Wood and his brother>Buy some farming equipment for use in the gardens>Buy a sewing machine for Eve
>>2141642>Buy some carpentry tools for Max Wood and his brothermake money, fulfill more requests.
>>2141642>Buy some carpentry tools for Max Wood and his brotherFarming equipment if we can stretch the money.>Psych ourselves up to actually improve ourselvesShould make Wilkain happier.
You decide to buy some carpentry tools from some traders in Meaville. You could use some better furniture than the half-burnt wrecks you salvaged when you first arrived. Max Wood and his brother are delighted and promise to put the tools to good use. Your letter to the Count is returned in good spirits, in the Count's own hand. He is touched by your concern for him (which only hurts your stomach) and writes that he's feeling much better now, that he hopes he didn't frighten you. He doesn't make any mention of his son, nor the conversation you had when he was drunk. You don't think he remembers any of it. He also doesn't make any mention of stopping his drinking habits and the fact that he delegates his collapse to "a little fatigue" doesn't bode well.There's also a second letter, perfumed, written in a feminine script and sealed with wax. When Stewart sees it he almost loses his mind."My lord, this has to stop." He says, waving the letter, keeping it just out of your reach. "You cannot have anything to do with this woman. One threat has replaced another--do you understand what I'm saying my lord?""Give me the letter Stewart.""Please! Please be reasonable about this, my lord. Consider what Count Lazar's collapse means for you--it's not good. My gods, you were so obvious--gifting her the sweets, asking if she was upstairs as though you couldn't wait to be alone with her! Sir Ulrich already suspects foul play--even--" You raise your hand to object. "Even if there was no foul play. Even if it is just disease, as you say. Suspicions, for a man in your position and of your birth, are enough for them. If this ever gets out...my lord, please. I beg you to forget the Countess. Let me throw this letter in the fire." He moves toward the fireplace.>Take the letter from him>Let him do it
>>2141750>Take the letter from him
>>2141754>>2141750Burn the letter after we read it.
"Don't you dare!" You run over and seize his arm, yanking it away. He gives you a pitying glare and finally, he relinquishes the letter. You snatch it from his hands and release him."What about Lady Miriam my lord?" "What about her?" You slip a finger through the wax seal and rip it apart. A wave of delicious Ophelia-smells comes rushing up to your nose. You breathe her and remember."She looked happy with you. You danced well together."You stop as Lady Miriam's face pushes into your mind's eye. The small nodding head with the red curls and the large green eyes watching yours, the small delicate wrists like bird's necks and the rivulets of scarred skin on her forearm. You hang your head. "I don't love her." You say."My lord what is love? It is a no more than a stirring of the humours, no more than some fleeting feeling--lust, passion--it's nothing! Wind! All temporariness! I'm speaking of your life here my lord. Your future. I say this as your servant and..." He sighs. "And as your friend and perhaps you do not consider me so, but I do and I will not see you throw away what good fortune you've gained for some...some harlot."Harlot! Speech and thought are immediately forgotten. Your hands are at his collar, lifting his body off the floor and choking him by the twist in the fabric."How dare you! How dare you talk about her like that? You are not even worthy to kiss the ground she treads upon. You speak to me of passion and lust? You? The lecher? The rake? The man who lies with any woman that has 4 limbs and a face? You tell me about love? You are a child! You are a rogue! You are a disgusting creature that I only took in out of necessity and favor. Friend! Could I ever be friends with a thing like you?" You throw him backward and he falls against a table knocking over some candles. As they fall to the ground the candles are instantly put out and the room is thrown greater into the darkness. Stewart slowly rises to his feet. His forehead is bleeding and his face is contorted in pain--but not for that. You have wounded him both ways and the greater injury by far is the one to his spirit and soul.You're panting. Your stomach is sinking into an abyss. You screwed up. Why did you do that? Why did you say that? Silence draws between you. A long and painful silence."Stewart..." You step forward but he raises his hand and takes in a shuddering breath."My lord, you are right in all you've said.""No, Stewart--""I am a pervert and a lecher and a scoundrel. I am a disgusting and revolting and repulsive human being. I have no right to lecture you, my elder and my lord. I have no right to--" His voice dies, becomes small and sad. "...call you friend. I do hope you'll forgive this servant's foolish presumptions." He bows his head and then walks away. You want to call to him and apologize, but remain inexplicably silent.1/2
You lift the fallen candles off the floor and relight them and then you unfold the letter and read it. At first glance it's only pleasantries, written in a way that anyone except you would see it merely as a letter of thanks for attending the ball. But you can pick out hidden hints of her true intentions by the phrasing and subtle reference. She misses you. She wants to see you again as soon as possible. She loves you. She is in love with you. The more so because of how much you have changed yourself for her. She is hopeful for your future together.And all this brings only a tainted joy.---It is now the month of November, Year 767. What will you do?Sir William Shepard of Olmsville>Attributes and SkillsAge: 20Good HealthDecent FitnessDecent EtiquetteAverage Rhetoric Novice BowmanNovice HorsemanPoor SwordsmanPoor Literacy>Equipment and PossessionsOld Black Stallion Average Iron ShortswordGood Quality Clothing (including Cloak)Wicker ShieldMediocre Cabin >OlmsvillePopulation: 34 (Wary)Lands: Unnamed Forest (10% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (60% Explored)Average HousingSmall GardensSmall Chicken Coop Average Lumber CampSmokehouseBasic Palisade (in construction) Average StoresPoor TradeAverage SanitationMiddling SecurityAverage Farming Industry>ForcesNone>MapMeaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestockSilvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the areaRealm of Lord Eleison: A week’s rideFretag (City): Two week’s ride>ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - In loveLady Miriam - AffectionateSir Ulrich - SuspiciousPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - UnhappyStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - EcstaticBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - ContentCarn - Butcher - Content
>>2141778>Go hunting with Wilkain, improve our bow proficiency. Train with the militia and prep the stores for the harsh winter ahead.
I think that'll be all for today. I'm actually feeling more tired than I thought I'd be. We'll continue tomorrow.
>>2141806thanks for running
>>2141778>>2141792Stock food, and stock it separately.
>>2141778Train archery together with all the men from the village in the evenings, compete for some drink or something (maybe make a good tradition out of it).Tell Willkain about the Shrike and seek his advice to prepare and take it down.Tell him all the details and not to spread the information so that people don't fellow unrest. We intend to keep our people safe.Get drunk with Stewart and bawl your conflicted self out to him and apologize for what we have said... "I I'm in no place to judge your indulgence with the sinful heart I'm carrying. If there was ever a woman which could make you loose your mind and ignore all others what would you do? Should I come clean to the count and ask for his forgiveness?" Srewart seems like a bro and we need good bros.
We need to get some bees and start making MEAD
>>2141806See if we can brew type of alcohol and store some for fermentation.Write a letter to Miriam? Stewart would possible be very happy too hear that we have an interest in her.
We also need to do something about the Shrike considering that he will be a future annoyces as we will need to clear the forest for large scale farming post winter.See if Eva (with the other women) can produce more textile and clothes so that we can bring them to Fretag to sell them
>>2142017Let's not be wishywashy.We can be friends with her instead of traumatizing her by playing with her feelings.We all ready admitted to loving another.Let's focus on keeping our subordinates happy for now and reconcile with our Stewart.He's a bro and we just smacked him into a table and shouted some pretty mean shit at him because he spoke his opinion on the Countess.
The first snows have begun to fall. It's light, coating the earth in a thin layer, gone by afternoon when the sun comes full out but it ushers in the biting cold. Stewart has become reclusive and silent since your outburst. He doesn't even bother pestering you about your lessons in writing, reading and arithmetic. He avoids you. If you find him laughing or flirting with a village girl (which he has cut down greatly as of late) he sees you and his mirth evaporates much like the snow. You feel terrible. You run the words over and over in your head. You meant none of it. You regret all of it. And though you want to grab him and tell him how sorry you are and how foolish, some stubborn sense of pride and ego prevent you. You were a peasant only a few months ago, yet your humility is vanished. You decide to occupy your mind with exercise and martial training. You join the lads toiling under Wilkain and work even harder than before. Your pour out all your frustrations into the routine, into the drawing of the bow and the movement of the arrow. When you sound your warcry and exhaust yourself running laps and your fingers bleed from pulling the string too long and too hard, you are thinking of the that love broils your being, that it is requited but not reconciled, that the intensity of the guilt does not dissuade the intensity of the passion--but sometimes enriches it to a trembling crescendo. And the scarecrow of wood and straw that you shoot at changes. Now it is Lord Nigel on his horse. Now Lord Eleison on his throne. Now Sir Ulrich. Now Lord Lazar. Now Stewart. Now Ophelia. You compete with the boys. You hold small games--who can hit the farthest target, who has the fastest shot, who can win in a footrace? There are no prizes for the winners except glory, yet this seems to be enough. These games and your frenzy encourage and inspire the other boys and brighten Wilkain's spirits. But it takes its toll on your body. You fall ill--nothing life threatening--but you are bed-ridden and probably will remain so through to the next month. The people carry out their duties without you. You feel a little lonely, bored and even ashamed.The gardens are harvested of their bounty. Potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and figs are stored in casks in the storehouses you had built. There's just enough to last the winter, though Sampson, the miller, tells you that if you had started earlier and bought him the tools he requested, it would've gone much better. You make a mental note of it.1/2
Your thoughts move toward the future of the village. The people are getting comfortable here. They are settling down. You'll need to expand if you want it to become something greater, but the Othercreature is a constant deterrent. Nightowl mentioned that the Shrike will hibernate for the winter and the villagers tell you that the winter will last well into February. That gives you some time to surprise the beast and perhaps kill it before it can trouble you.You tell Wilkain about it. Swearing him to secrecy on the matter. He's eager to try and hunt this creature with his little militia and he wants your permission to start tracking it. He's too eager. He wants to prove something. To you or maybe to himself. Your not sure if you want to let him do this on his own, maybe you should wait to recover first and join him. On the other hand, if you don't start now you may not figure out the Shrike's hiding place in time. >Let Wilkain track with his militia>Wait until you recover from illness
>>2142452>>Let Wilkain track with his militia
>>2142452>Let Wilkain track with his militiaBut ONLY track. If by God he attacks the creature and brings it's wrath on the village we'll all be dead by spring.
>>2142481>Wait until you recover from illness
>>2142452>>Let Wilkain track with his militiaWhile that's going on, we should at least talk to Stewart. We need help getting the countess off our mind. She's bad for us.
>>2142452>>2142485fuck me wrong postI don't trust Wilkain I feel he will get over eager and end up dead with the rest of the militia we need to be there to make sure he keeps a clear head plus the extra trainning can't hurt and while we are bed ridden maybe we can search some books on the Shrike to learn as much as we can about it
>>2142452Also yeah we really need to talk to Stewart and apologize. We were a huge dick to the guy and he had only our best interest at heart. He's right, we know he's right.
We should write Stewart a letter:To my trusted Stewart, Steward,I'm dyingto SEE YOU come on over! Gotta where a mask tho!-Sir William Shepard
You decide to let Wilkain go but warn him not to overextend himself. To be prudent and to wait for your command before he does anything. He promises to obey, but you are worried by the greedy glint in his eye. By the way he mutters, "I've been waiting for this. I've missed this." as he leaves. The month draws down. Snows begin in earnest, night and day and morning burying the town in untouched white. You've ordered everyone to stay indoors and keep warm, though it's mostly redundant. The fuel supply and food from the harvest and the food you've been stockpiling are rationed out, but you've prepared well enough that there are no complaints about shortage.You spend your days in pain and fever, fed soup from your servant's hand. A far better fate than if you were still a peasant, though you seem have grown used to the comforts of nobility. With the loss of activity and distraction your thoughts turn inward and sour. What is your plan really? Wait for the Count to die and then make an advance on his widow? You should dance on his grave while you're at it. You can hear Stewart visit your home several times, inquiring about your condition from the servant girls. But when they ask him if he wants to see you, he politely declines. You don't blame him. You wish he would be angrier if anything, that you could take better than the knowledge that you have truly hurt him when he was only trying to help you. It's seems to be a pattern. First the Count, now Stewart. You think you've lost a good friend forever.But when the fever and the shaking reach their worst point he comes to sit at your side. His forehead has a small scar, stitches just below the hair. "Should I be worried, my lord?" He asks; concern hidden by levity. "I'll live." You say. He reaches for his breast pocket. "There were some more letters. They came in a little late on account of the snow." He lays them on your bedside table. "The Countess?""Two of them." He lights a candle and places it next to letters. His eyes remain on the flame, avoiding yours. Silence. You reach for his hand and grasp it. Now is the time. You should tell him you're sorry! You open your mouth. The words are stuck. The two voices debate within you. You're a noble now aren't you? He's a servant isn't he? He insulted your love. Why should you apologize? What have you done wrong? He's a friend. He's only looking out for you. He wants to help you, how you can you scorn him for that? How can you abuse him? Curse your pride! What's nobility? You were a peasant not so long ago! Does a title and a plot of land give you the right to be a cad?"Stewart..."He turns, almost surprised. "My lord?"You open your mouth again. Nothing. You squeeze your eyes. "Has Wilkain returned yet?" Such a lord you are! Such honor you have!1/2
"No my lord. Was it wise to send them hunting when we have food and the weather has turned like this?" He sighs. "Though perhaps it's not my place to make such judgements.""I'm sorry." You say. "Sorry? For what, my lord?""I didn't mean any of it. I was angry and stupid." He doesn't say anything. "I know you were trying to help and I was being unreasonable." Still silence. "You were being a friend and I was being a fool. But we *are* friends, Stewart.""Do you mean that?" He whispers. He is more vulnerable than you have ever seen him. And you realize that you don't really know anything about him. His father was a tailor, yet he studied in the clergy and came to you from the Count's cousin. What path has he tread? "I do. Of course, I do. And I had no right to snap at you when my own sins are so heavy." You swallow. "But I can't help it. I'm going insane, I know it. I want her so much, so badly. Every little thing reminds me of her. Even though we've only known each other for so little she is like air and water to me. What do I do Stewart? Do I go the Count and tell him everything? Do I confess?""No, my lord. That would be the worst thing you can do. That would hurt everyone, yourself most of all.""But I can't continue like this. This limbo, halfway between love and loss and terrible guilt. If I could make myself fall out of it. But the more I try the deeper I go.""What is it about her my lord? Her beauty is great, and she is clever but--""She's like me Stewart. She came from the low rungs like me. Her beauty and cleverness is so much the greater for that."Stewart shakes his head and sighs. "There was a girl that I once fancied." His eyes are on the flame again. "We were...perfect for each other. In love. The same way you are now--maybe worse because we were a bit younger. I thought she was it, my lord. The one. Air and water, like you said, couldn't live without her or she without me." He touches a bracelet around his wrist, made of some colorful beads. You don't think you've ever seen him without it."So what happened?" "It didn't work out. It couldn't from the very beginning and we both knew it. In the end...it would've ended in disaster. So I broke it off and I haven't seen or heard from her since."You sit up. "If you loved her that much how could you just abandon her?"He shrugs. "I tell myself, it's for the best. I tell myself, it's because I loved her so much that I had to do it. And..." He clasps his wrist. "I try to forget her. I do whatever I can to distract myself.""So that's it? Just forget her and be miserable?"He nods. "Sometimes doing the right thing means just that. If you truly love the person, not something selfishness but something pure, then you do the right thing. But if you really want her as you say you do, my lord--it's not love as I know it, but I will help you nonetheless. If you ask it of me.">You'll think about it>You don't believe in that kind of love; you'll have your cake and eat it
>>2142561>What's a cake?>You'll think about it, also, did they ever talk about othercreatures in clergy school?
>>2142561>>You'll think about it
>>2142561>Hmm, Count Lazar has been good to me. I wonder if the only honorable path on this journey is to duel him? No, even if he is renowned as a great duelist, now he's just an old fat man, and if he loses I'll be the shit who defeated an old fat man, and if I lose I'll be the shit who got defeated by an old fat man. Sorry, sorry, it was in jest, can you get me another damp cloth?
>>2142561>You'll think about itKnowing Stewart hurts just as us means we can be mutually supportive and understanding. We'd have someone to turn to when the pining gets excruciating.
we should get to work on properly arming our boys, make them look more uniform maybe a bow, coif, gambeson w/trousers and a long knife belted at the waist
>>2142609I don't know how to make any of those!
>>2142561>You'll think about it
Lady Miriam also spoke about the purity of love. That it was a thing to do and not a thing to obtain or achieve. But you don't get it. What's the point of pining over something you won't take action on? And maybe it's not a matter of doing the right thing, but of not having enough power. Would there be a problem if you had the same resources as the Count? As a Duke? Would anyone question you if you were King?But you are not king. You are a lower lord in a very long chain of hierarchy. Your powers are limited. For the moment, then, you'll consider Stewart's words. In part because he has experienced what you are going through himself, and in part because you have no other choice."What do I do then?"He brightens instantly. "Nothing for now. She will not expect letters in the winter. But I do have a plan. One that will improve our fortunes in every way." He picks through the letters on the table, takes one out and hands it to you."What is it?"He smiles. "An invitation to the biggest tournament in the kingdom." He says. "One that you will lose."---It is the month of December, Year 767. What will you do?Sir William Shepard of Olmsville>Attributes and SkillsAge: 20Sick with FluDecent FitnessDecent EtiquetteAverage Rhetoric Competent BowmanNovice HorsemanPoor SwordsmanPoor Literacy>Equipment and PossessionsOld Black Stallion Average Iron ShortswordGood Quality Clothing (including Cloak)Wicker ShieldMediocre Cabin >OlmsvillePopulation: 34 (Wary)Lands: Unnamed Forest (10% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (60% Explored)Average HousingSmall GardensSmall Chicken Coop Average Lumber CampSmokehouseBasic Palisade (in construction) Average StoresPoor TradeAverage SanitationMiddling SecurityAverage Farming Industry>ForcesNone>MapMeaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestockSilvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the areaRealm of Lord Eleison: A week’s rideFretag (City): Two week’s ride>ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - In loveLady Miriam - AffectionateSir Ulrich - SuspiciousPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - ContentStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - EcstaticBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - ContentCarn - Butcher - Content
>>2142807>"One that you will lose."Uhhh, do we have a blacksmith who can make us a super tough yet light plate so we don't get impaled? Also, one for our head?
>>2142807have Stewart continue our literacy training when we can we should also see if we can find any books on ShrikesOther than that we should rest we need to get back on our feet so that we can kill the Shrike in the spring
>>2142807>"One that you will lose."but not right away we should at least try to make it to the later rounds
>>2142807Read the letters.
http://www.cracked.com/article_19285_5-romantic-movie-gestures-that-were-actually-dick-moves.htmlNumber 3 if you please
>>2142807Losing a tournament sounds like a surefire way to die or become maimed for life, unless it's something like an eating contest. Has Stewart thought this through.Has our legend placed us highly among the kingdom's betting crowds?As for what to do, does Stewart know how to play chess? Establishing an inside hobby would help us not stew in matters we can't change, and it wouldn't hurt if it's one that'd impress nobles.>>2142829Of course not.
>>2142919He's been learning how to make stews.
>>2142919Pretty sure chess wasn't in Europe until at least the 15th century
>>2143413Hnefatafl is fine too.
Let's:>Read the Fucking letters> Chat more with Stewart about life and such, maybe learn a bit more about the kingdom or its nobles while we get better (also see if you can cheer up Stewart or help him pursue his old flame somehow)>Call in a council with the people of the village (ask them their general plans for the spring so we can cooperate and make things work)
>>2142807We should talk to our steward and apologize. Lets see if we can get him a nice gift whem we go into town to buy something.Do we celebrate Christmas in the village? Maybe we should look to buy some small luxury foodstuff like marmalade or cranberry sauce.
Wow, this is one hell of a quest so far.
>>2142919From what I remember, tournaments are generally pretty safe with most participants getting a few bruises at most. Death can happen, but those are generally accidental, and were pretty uncommon. Though I don't see the need to even bother trying to lose, we're a poor level fighter with most of our background being an underfed commoner. Most of the participants will be lords that have spent their entire lives training as knights, there is no real way we could win. Frankly we'll be lucky to even win one of the contests, or even just get second place.
>>2143953Let's focus on archery then and only make sure we put on a good show for the rest.
>>2143642Supporting.Hold a town council to hear peoples expectations and plans come springs.
>>2142807>>2144014>>2143642If we are going to hold council meetings, we should be careful while we're still symptomatic with the flu (don't want it spreading to any of the elderly or youth).
>>2142807We should probably double down on strength and endurance training as well so we can live up at least a little bit to the stories of our heroic victory. And hammer in sharpshooter training.Then also agree with holding a council to see what everyone's expectations are come spring.
Do we know how to ride our horse yet?
The snows begin to fall in earnest. A week long blizzard buries the village and the roads. Wilkain still hasn't returned and the parents of the lads that went out with him are starting to complain. You don't have anything to tell them except that you are just as worried as they are. And it's doubly hard to bear the anxiety in your sickness--though you are recovering.You spend your time indoors, reconciled with Stewart and resuming your education. You've been using the letters as an instructive source--in more ways than one. The invitation for the tournament comes from Lord Eleison and will take place in the spring, in the city of Fretag to the east. Stewart doesn't explain what he meant by you competing in it, let alone losing (though admittedly no other outcome seems plausible). For now he asks you trust him and to simply rest. He's a more cunning lad than you gave him credit for.There's also a few letters from the Count. He was encouraged by the one you sent him and now considers you as something of a penpal. The letters are random in content and rambling. Some are almost like journal entries, describing his own inner thoughts and history. You learn through conversations with Stewart, that Lord Lazar was in fact the brother of King Aldamar II and was in line for the throne when the king died. He was also a great warrior and general. Marshall of the Realm for many years. He famously never rode a horse into battle, preferring instead to stand at the front line with the infantry. Yet for all that, he lost only 3 battles in his entire military career. Singlehandedly won three military campaigns, singlehandedly doubled the size of the Kingdom, singlehandedly imprisoned, killed or permanently crippled no less than two dozen lords. So fearsome, that for a time peace in the kingdom was maintained solely by the fact of his existence. No one wanted to be at the end of the Bloodletter's sword. His men were insane. Many were criminals, psychopaths, some were outcasts, yet under his banner they became one burning flame. Fanatical, unceasingly victorious. They loved their general with the love of sons and brothers and worshipers to a living god.They thought him the avatar of the White Sword. A deity in all but flesh. Yet about the time when King Aldamar II became ill, something happened which changed the Bloodletter of the West. Stewart tells you it was the death of his first wife, Josephine. You think it might have had something to do with his mysterious son--that no one, not even Stewart, seems to know about. He disbanded his army. He declined the throne and the crown, to everyone's displeasure, passing it to his 13 year old nephew. He demoted himself to Count, married his servant girl, gave up on war and rule and embraced the bottle. His history is the history of fallen men. A tragedy instead of triumph. Cont.
But the letters are elusive in these matters. His inner, deepest thoughts remain hidden. Some are instructive. He talks about the proper maintenance of a village, of an army, of oneself. Habit comes up frequently. "I believe that a man's birth is nothing, William." He writes. "I believe a man must determine himself. What would he be? And he cannot give consideration to anyone or anything--not even to the gods--in his answer. He must instill in himself habits to become that which he imagines. A man is raw material, William and for something tremendous to be chiseled from the stone, requires tools and vision. Habit is that tool. Ambition, imagination, is that vision. Nothing worthy in this life is given, but all things must be taken--sometimes by force, do not be afraid of it, but listen when your heart speaks and answer--and make the spirit and the body unyielding so that it can bear the consequences."He invites you to come hunt with him once the winter season passes. You are afraid to accept. Afraid you'll get found out, that the rumors surrounding you will not hold up to reality. And by his kindness and tutelage and by his constant charity your heart is driven deeper into madness and guilt. You wonder if these are the last actions of a dying man, imparting his vast knowledge to someone before it is too late. And you are happy for being chosen as the vessel, happy that his end will present an opportunity to take Ophelia, disgusted, thoroughly, with yourself for having both these thoughts at the same time.You attempt to write some letters back but are only disappointed by the smudged and broken letters you manage to scratch out. Stewart spends his evenings marking these letters, correcting misspelled words and adjusting punctuation. He is a patient and gentle teacher, sometimes chiding and cheeky, but only out of affection. You think the fact of your friendship means much to him and he's gone back to himself since your conversation. You want to help him, if you can, as he helps you. You try to broach the subject of his long-lost love but he avoids it like a nest of bees. The letters from Lady Ophelia are much the same as before. Friendly, seemingly innocuous but filled with hidden lust and passion. Then there is a letter from a much more surprising source, with many crossed out lines and some parts so thorough in their eradication that the ink has bled through to the other side:
"My ̶D̶a̶r̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶D̶e̶a̶r̶ Dearest Sir William," it says, "I hope the winter in which this letter finds you has not chilled your spirits or mood. I hope it finds you in good health and sound mind. I know ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶m̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶m̶e̶ what you must think of me for writing to you like this and I can only beg you to forgive my indulgence. Truth be told I've tried many times to avoid ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ writing to you, but in the end I just could not help myself. I am a fool Sir William. I hope you'll forgive that too.I still feel awful about what I said to you at the ball and I am tortured by the thought that I offended you. If I have and if I do now, ̶t̶h̶r̶o̶w̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶l̶e̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶m̶e̶ let me take the opportunity to tell you how deeply and thoroughly sorry I am. I have nothing but ̶a̶d̶m̶i̶r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶l̶o̶v̶e̶ respect for you. ̶Y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶s̶t̶o̶r̶y̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶s̶p̶i̶r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶m̶e̶ I never meant to say anything that was insulting or hurtful.The true reason I'm writing this letter is to invite you to my 17th birthday party, in the spring. ̶T̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶I̶'̶m̶ ̶b̶e̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶h̶o̶n̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶'̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶o̶ ̶e̶a̶r̶l̶y̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶v̶i̶t̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶m̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶ ̶e̶x̶c̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶w̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶ (this line has been nearly obliterated). ̶ ̶I̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶h̶o̶p̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶'̶l̶l̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶e̶.̶ It's a rather important event because it's also my coming-of-age, so I'd be ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶j̶o̶y̶e̶d̶ ̶d̶e̶l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶h̶a̶p̶p̶y̶ pleased if you could come. ̶I̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶w̶o̶n̶d̶e̶r̶f̶u̶l̶ ̶w̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶d̶a̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶a̶g̶a̶i̶n̶. Please write back, ̶ ̶I̶'̶m̶ ̶e̶a̶g̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶h̶e̶a̶r̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ if you can. That is, if you have time. If not, ̶I̶'̶l̶l̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶a̶r̶t̶b̶r̶o̶k̶e̶n̶ (this one too is annihilated) it's no great matter. Please don't trouble yourself. ̶L̶o̶v̶e̶,̶̶Y̶o̶u̶r̶s̶ ̶T̶r̶u̶l̶y̶,̶Sincerely,MiriamYou read the letter several times in succession and show it to Stewart who smiles as he reads it. "A good dance never fails." He finally says. "So what will you do my lord? Will you return the letter?" He sits down at his desk taking out a quill and sheet. "What shall I write back?">Nothing. It would only be cruel to respond.>You can at least accept her invitation.
>>2144200>>You can at least accept her invitation.>Waifuism aside, I just feel like she needs a bit of perking up, and really, it's just good manners.And frankly I think our obsession with Ophelia is legit unhealthy in more than one respect.
>>2144229That second arrow wasn't meant to be an arrow.
>>2144200>You can at least accept her invitation.>>2144229I'm with you there man. Ophelia may the the hottest piece since the Sun, but letting her in will just burn us.
>>2144229This.>>2144200>I am tortured by the thought that I offended you"Obliterate any thought of offense. There was none taken. Although I remain devoted to the strong obligations that bind me, I would regret not being there for such an important occasion for someone I would one day like to count as a close friend."
>>2144200>You can at least accept her invitation.
>>2144200>You can at least accept her invitation.Make sure to say in the response that she has not in any way offended us and that we enjoyed the time we spent with her dancing
>>2144280Did we really?
>>2144295The players did, but by all accounts the MC was too blinded to care.
>>2144200>You can at least accept her invitation.Ophelia better make way for bestfu.
>>2144200>>You can at least accept her invitation.
>>2144200>You can at least accept her invitation.friend zone her!well shit the waifu wars star only in the second thread.
>>2144587First Thread still!
>>2144596Oh god... A new low.
You sit very still and your hand moves to the small cube of bone around your neck. You click it open and there reflected in the shard of Northern ice is your beloved. She is sleeping. You shudder to imagine the Count in bed next to her. You close the pendant and sigh. You shouldn't lead this girl on. Maybe the right thing to do here is to answer no and to break all ties. Maybe that would be the best course for the both of you. Yet her nervousness and guilt and anxiety mirror your own. You can imagine what a refusal would do. And you should it face to face, not in a letter like a coward."My lord?""I'll go. Write that. And tell her that I meant it when I told her I didn't take any offence. Tell her I look forward to seeing her." Stewart's hand flies across the page. "Read it back.""My Sweet Miriam--""Hold! What's that?""What?""Sweet? And why am I calling her without her title?""I thought it sounded more sincere--alright, alright. I'll change it. Let me read the rest?""Continue.""My Sweet--ahem, My Dear Lady Miriam, I fear your letter found me sick and cold, but your words were balm to both. It is a pleasure and privilege to hear from you. I write to tell you that I will attend your coming-of-age and that I look forward to seeing you again. I hope you will not consider it too presumptuous of me to reserve a dance with you--""Stop! What is that? Why am I asking her to dance? Don't meddle Stewart. You know how I feel about her. What I don't feel."He sighs. "My lord it's customary to reserve a dance. She invited you after all, she expects it. She'll be disappointed if you make no mention of it.""Well...if it's expected. Then I suppose that's alright.""Good. May I...""Continue. Continue.""I hope you will not consider it to presumptuous of me to reserve a dance with you. I thought we danced very well together at the ball. As for any thought of having offended me or insulted me or anything other than having charmed and delighted me, I urge you to obliterate. Every moment between us was bliss.""Bliss. That's too much. Tone it down.""What about happy? Were you happy? What about wonderful? Every moment between us was wonderful. That's sounds nice.""...bliss is fine. Just go with bliss.""Alright. And finally, to end: Your Devoted Knight--" Stewart looks up to check your reaction. He clears his throat. "Right. I'll just change that then. How about Yours Truly? No? Just sincerely then? What's sincerity my lord? How about 'With love and adoration'. Alright, alright, sincerely it is."He reads it back one more time, with the changes. Then rewrites it and seals it, promising to put into the messengers hands once the snows clear. You find yourself smiling at your decision. At the pretty face in your mind's eye. It [i[will[/i] be nice to see her again, you decide. Then you check yourself. You heart is troubled enough with one woman.
The snowfall soon thins into feathery dust. The blizzard passes. The weather clears. The militia finally returns, but not with glad tidings. They are all horribly injured, frostbitten, half of them are missing fingers and toes, one is missing an arm, four are missing entirely, including Wilkain. You think your worst fears are confirmed. You are wrong. The horror goes far beyond your fears. The Shrike has worshipers. They are not human. They are not weak. They are not friendly. They are Elves.---It is now the month of Janurary, Year 767. What will you do?Sir William Shepard of Olmsville>Attributes and SkillsAge: 20HealthyDecent FitnessDecent EtiquetteAverage Rhetoric Competent BowmanNovice HorsemanPoor SwordsmanMiddling Literacy>Equipment and PossessionsOld Black Stallion Average Iron ShortswordGood Quality Clothing (including Cloak)Wicker ShieldMediocre Cabin >OlmsvillePopulation: 34 (Wary)Lands: Unnamed Forest (10% Explored), Unnamed Riverbank (60% Explored)Average HousingSmall GardensSmall Chicken Coop Average Lumber CampSmokehouseBasic Palisade (in construction) Average StoresPoor TradeAverage SanitationMiddling SecurityAverage Farming Industry>ForcesNone>MapMeaville (Village): Several hours away, a small village that subsists on its farms and livestockSilvale (Town): One day’s ride away, a large town that acts as a commercial hub for the areaRealm of Lord Eleison: A week’s rideFretag (City): Two week’s ride>ContactsNoblesKing Aldamar III - UnknownDuke Eleison - NeutralCount Lazar - FriendlyCountess Ophelia - In loveLady Miriam - AffectionateSir Ulrich - SuspiciousPeople in the VillageKilkain - Hunter - HappyEve - Clothmaker - HappyWilkain - Hunter - MissingStewart - Steward - NeutralMax Wood - Carpenter - EcstaticBrian Chapman - Head Logger - HappySamson - Miller - ContentCarn - Butcher - Content
Ah, fuck wood elves.
>>2145343Do we know anything about elves, else hear Stewart if he knows anything, maybe if there's something that wards them.Maybe keeping an iron nail in our shoe or hanging wreathes of blackberry vines, rowan, and ivy in our homes.
>>2145343Right, at this point, our immediate superior needs to know the situation. We write a letter now.
>>2145343request reinforcements from Silvale and Meaville
>>2145343Time to let our boss know that we need some extermination brought to the forest. Also, do our best to get the full story on what happened.
>>2145557>our immediate superior needs to know the situation>>2145626>request reinforcements from Silvale and Meaville>>2145648>we need some extermination brought to the forest. >Also, do our best to get the full story on what happened.This
Since we managed to shore up the year and this thread is almost dead, we'll continue on a new thread once this one dies.In the meantime I wanted to post some thoughts on the quest thus far and get some feedback.I didn't actually intend on writing huge character driven posts in the beginning--this was supposed to be more like a first-person Civ quest, not a full blown medieval soap opera. That said, how do you guys feel about it? Is there any particular direction you want to take the quest? Anything you want to see?
>>2146075I feel the like you've blended elements of both Civ and character driven quests quite well, the medieval soap opera stuff is just the icing on the cake
>>2146075Both are great, and provide something for everyone to enjoy. It would be rad to blend the elements together somehow, such as more fleshed out villagers
>>2146225You don't like Tough Feet?
>>2146075This is exactly the type of quest I've been searching for. Don't die op, you're doing good.
>>2146075>>2146102>I feel the like you've blended elements of both Civ and character driven quests quite well, the medieval soap opera stuff is just the icing on the cakeI can't really say it better than this.The blending is done really well and has made it a very immersive quest.You hit an awesome thing here.Please keep it going.
>>2146075Yeah, I was surprised at the turn of how character driven it became, but I guess its due to the low population and lack of numbers/management of stuff. That said its alright so far, worried about too much character related stuff.