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Sir Liam's Quest


ChaosCircle

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In the heart of Normandy, the grand hall of the Duke's castle stood as a testament to the might and majesty of the realm. The throne room, a vast chamber of cold stone and shimmering steel, was alive with the flickering glow of torches mounted on the walls. Shadows danced in the corners, and the air buzzed with the low murmur of anticipation. This was a day of celebration and elevation, and every noble present could feel the weight of history in the making.

Banners of the House of Normandy, rich in azure and silver, draped from the ceiling's high rafters, proudly displaying the house's crest of a falcon in flight. The floor was a polished mosaic of intricate designs, depicting scenes of valor and conquest from Normandy's storied past. Rows of benches were filled with the cream of Normandy’s aristocracy; their whispers hushed as they awaited the Duke's pronouncement.

Upon a raised dais, Duke Alaric of Normandy stood at the room's center, a figure of imposing authority. Clad in ceremonial armor that gleamed with the same light as the ancient sword he held, Alaric’s presence was as commanding as the battle standards that flanked him. His sharp and discerning gaze fell upon the young man kneeling before him. Liam of Alba, a man whose journey to this hallowed moment had been as tumultuous as the seas that bordered their lands, knelt with a bowed head, his heart thundering in his chest.

Liam's tale was one of resilience and unyielding will. Born into a family of modest landholders in the Kingdom of Alba, his early life was marred by tragedy when the Juja demons descended upon his village. These malevolent entities, known for their insidious ability to corrupt and twist the souls of men, tore his home asunder. Orphaned and driven by a fierce desire for retribution, Liam fled to Normandy, where he sought refuge and a chance to reclaim his honor.

Under Duke Alaric's banner, Liam had found purpose. He had fought valiantly in the Duke's campaigns, his skill with the sword and strategic acumen earning him recognition. His exploits on the battlefield, where he had repeatedly thwarted the incursions of the Juja-corrupted forces and the raids from the Kingdom of Fairhaven, had not gone unnoticed. Today, his dedication and bravery would be rewarded in a ceremony that would alter the course of his life forever.

Duke Alaric stepped forward, the heavy mantle of his office flowing behind him like the cloak of a monarch. He held the Sword of Normandy, an artifact of immense power and historical significance. Forged from the rare and magical metal known as Azurite and inlaid with soul gems that pulsed with living light, the sword symbolized both authority and the mystical heritage of the land.

"Kneel, Liam of Alba," the Duke’s voice rang out, rich and commanding. The chamber fell silent, the only sound the faint crackling of the torches. "You stand before us today as a testament to courage, honor, and loyalty. In the face of our enemies, you have shown a heart as steadfast as iron and a will as unbreakable as the finest steel. It is with great pride that I now bestow upon you the mantle of knighthood."

As Liam knelt, his heart swelled with pride and humility. The weight of his journey, the struggles, and the sacrifices all culminated in this singular moment. He felt the cool touch of the Duke's sword upon his shoulder, which thrilled his soul.

"In the name of King Eamon and by the power vested in me as Duke of Normandy," Alaric intoned, his voice echoing through the vaulted hall, "I dub thee Sir Liam of Alba." With a deliberate motion, the Duke touched the sword to each of Liam's shoulders. "Rise, Sir Liam, Knight of Normandy."

The room erupted into applause, a thunderous wave of approval that washed over the newly anointed knight. Noblemen and women stood, their voices raised in cheers and acclamations. Among them were those who had fought alongside Liam, who had witnessed his valor firsthand and celebrated his elevation with genuine joy.

But the Duke was not finished. As the applause subsided, he raised a hand, calling for silence. "In recognition of your unparalleled service and the valor you have shown in defending our lands," he continued, his gaze fixed upon Liam with respect and expectation, "I grant you dominion over a fief in the Borderlands. You shall guard our realm’s frontier there and bring order and prosperity to those troubled lands."

Liam's breath caught in his throat. The Borderlands were a place of both peril and promise. Straddling the contested frontier between Normandy and the Kingdom of Fairhaven, these lands were a constant battleground where only the strong and the cunning could survive. Yet, they were also a land of opportunity, where a knight of true mettle could build a legacy and carve out a place in history.

As Duke Alaric handed him the deed to his new fief, their eyes met in understanding. The Duke's gaze held a depth of wisdom and a challenge as if he saw the potential for greatness in Liam beyond the immediate honor.

"Serve well, Sir Liam," Alaric said, his voice carrying a note of personal investment. "The Borderlands are unforgiving and fraught with danger. But I believe you have the strength and the courage to rise above any challenge they may present."

"I will not fail you, my lord," Liam responded, his voice firm with resolve. "I swear it on my honor and the memory of my family."

With the ceremony concluded, Liam stepped back, rejoining the ranks of the newly knighted. He was met with congratulations and words of encouragement from his peers, each a mix of camaraderie and acknowledgment of the trials ahead. The path to the Borderlands was not taken lightly, and the eyes of Normandy's nobility were keenly aware of the perils that awaited him.

As the assembly began to disperse, Liam took a moment to absorb what had transpired. The grand hall, with its banners and torches, seemed to pulse with a life of its own, the very walls whispering the stories of those who had stood in his place before him. He felt a profound sense of connection to the legacy he was now a part of, a lineage of knights and leaders who had shaped the fate of Normandy.

Turning his gaze to the Duke one last time, Liam saw a reflection of his determination in Alaric's eyes. This was not merely a reward for past deeds but a challenge, a call to greatness that would define his future. With a final bow, he turned and made his way toward the exit, the heavy doors of the throne room swinging open to reveal the world beyond.

The journey to the Borderlands unfolded before him as he stepped into the light. It was a road fraught with danger but also with the promise of honor, glory, and the chance to forge a new destiny. Liam was ready to face whatever lay ahead, armed with his sword, honor, and the unshakeable belief that he could carve a brighter future for himself and his people.

 

Player Vote (You have 5 points to spend on your plan):

Regardless of the plan, Liam starts with 2000 Martial (+17%), which got him knighted.

Personal Power (May be taken multiple times; keep in mind more skill has diminishing returns to results)

  1. Liam is an Artificer as well as a Swordsman (+1000 Artificer)
  2. Liam is a Mageknight (+1000 Magic)
  3. Liam is a Paladin (+1000 Combat Skill; +1000 Tactics; +3000 Faith; Exact deity tbd; will involve a pact that limits options)
  4. Liam is a Druid (+5000 Faith; Sworn to Nature and not a god; cannot industrialize)
  5. Liam is a Priest (+5000 Faith; Exact deity tbd; will invoice a pact that limits options)
  6. Liam is an Assassin (+1000 Combat Skill; +1000 Personal Magic; +500 Intrigue)
  7. Liam is a Shadow (+1000 Intrigue)
  8. Liam has a silver tongue (+1000 Diplomacy)
  9. Liam is a good administrator (+1000 Stewardship)
  10. Liam is an alchemist (+3000 Alchemy)
  11. Liam is good at using golems to mass-produce military goods. (+3000 Mass Production; Able to produce low-grade magical gear for his household guard at cost.)

Manor (May be taken once per option)

  1. Coastal: The small village for which he is responsible brings in much fish and has a small port that can service a fishing fleet as well as the occasional ocean-going trading vessel.
  2. Fortified: The village sports proper walls instead of the usual wooden palisade. (+2000 Martial on defense ONLY)
  3. Loyal: No Juja and Fairhaven operatives in your village at the game's start.
  4. Rare Herbs: The village farms grow rare and magical herbs. (+1 Trade Good; Greater access to alchemy options without buying alchemy herbs)
  5. Azurite Mine: The village has a small azurite mine that generates a decent surplus of the rare metal. (+1 Trade Good; Greater access to magical equipment options without buying azurite ore)
  6. Veterans: The local militia is full of veterans from past wars. (Militia troops are more reliable and almost as skilled as regular troops.)

Household (Maybe taken once per option)

  1. Liam is good at acquiring deceitful followers (+1 Spy Cap; Start with a talented operative)
  2. Liam is good at acquiring talented followers (+1 Vassal Cap; Gain a veteran of past battles as a close ally that will remain one rank behind you as a vassal in terms of nobility. I.e., When you become a Baron, they will be promoted to Knight)
  3. Elite Guard (Household guards are not merely regular troops but genuine elites. Effective quantity before numeric disadvantage applies is doubled from 12 to 24 men-at-arms.)
  4. Paladin Captain (Household guard is headed by a near-peer combatant with 2000 Martial, 2000 Faith. Loyalty is to a deity that does not conflict with your starting choices)
  5. Trusted Servants (Your household is highly resistant to corruption and infiltration. Resistance is not immunity however.)
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