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Round 4 [Taer Mojr] : A Rally of Banners

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Along the distant coastline, metallic towers rose skyward and broke the horizon. These strange structures were not meant as homes, as so many of the Rikathi had once thought but were instead a means of communication. With whom, they didn't truly know.

When the Myrkran came to them with news of war, the Rikathi were hesitant to trust them at first. The bondcast between the tribes was still too new and pliable, and the Rikathi had their own troubles to contend with in this world. But the news did not relent and for months whispers of distant wars continued to echo through Mjornduth.

Ota Beyr Brejna Honorlund, tired of being reactionary since taking the longhouse throne, decided to act now to prevent such things on her own doorstep. The Rikathi had taken in the refugees and given them a new home, but it seemed now a target had been placed upon their back for such goodwill. She trusted the Myrkran enough, but not their towering devices and instead sent out outriders to the corners of the continent seeking philosophers and peacekeepers.




As the visitors arrive, they hear the sounds of hammers and workers hurriedly building. Two new longhouses are being constructed along the edge of the village that are identical in every way to the one that sits at the center. The difference of the two is that the material of each looks piecemeal. There's uniformity in design, but the aesthetics are not. A trained eye can see that dyers are busy at work too, creating gorgeous motifs both inside and out of the new longhouses, telling stories through colors and patterns.

Myrkran workers -their telltale physical traits making them distinguishable to the local Rikathi- are bringing black stones in from the coast and shoring up the walls of some of the villagers' huts. Obviously, material has been taken from some of the homes to finish the work on the longhouses and are now being replaced as the time draws near its close. The huts look no worse for the wear of missing their normal construction material, perhaps a testament to the Rikathi builders or the Myrkran's additions.

The entire village comes to an organized, peaceful stoppage near sundown. The workers return home, cook fires blaze outside huts with flames touching the deep dark sky, and generally good companionship can be felt throughout. Visitors are invited to every campfire they pass, but it is the Ota Beyr's longhouse that beckons them. The longhouse looms over all except a two story tower-like structure tucked away in the corner of the village away from the cloistered huts and longhouse. It's windows are darkened and no one seems to be coming or going from it's entryways.

The attention is on the longhouse and there is activity everywhere. Boys carry pitchers of water, tea, and honey mead. A clutch of young girls sing in a strange humming cadence that is soothing to the ears. Tables have been brought in and fill the belly of the longhouse. There are plenty of empty seats, suggesting that the hosts were expecting more guests, but they quickly fill in with locals.

38e402e0932eca5b2d54ac96ac5a3a30.jpgOta Beyr Brejna stands from her large wooden throne and quiets the crowd. She's small, perhaps only five feet and not much in the way of weight, and her pale skin seems to fight off any of the fire's light inside the room. Behind her is another woman of similar stature who remains seated in her own wooden chair.

"Welcome to our home." She says, bowing to those in attendance. "We are without hosting traditions, so I have seen to it that we create some for our guests, I do hope they are not too simple for our world travelers." The apology seems genuine if not a bit self-deprecating. The boys continue to squeeze between tables and fill clay cups and metal tankards. She allows the girls to start and finish a small arrangement that involves more musical notes than words, impressive given that there are no instruments accompanying them. "But they shall be quick, because left to age on the vine... any tradition can be quite wilted. Let us get to it." Her smile fades and her demeanor shifts. It's clear this is her true self.

"Our Myrkran neighbors tell us of war. They are being attacked by enemies on a distant continent and we fear that rivalry will extend to Taer Mojr." 

Edited by Basil_Bottletop (see edit history)
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Though there were many of the Myrkran around owing to the presence of the camps nearby, particular attention fell upon two who had walked to the longhouse with their attendants as respected Elders of their communities. Though most Myrkran did their best to respect local customs and authorities, still they were outsiders to Taer Mojr and their own customs persisted to police their own; these two spoke for many. On the left was the Honorable Panu Huldra, a wrinkled man with a long, well-kept beard of gray extending past his navel. He was bald atop his head excepting his single horn, which sprouted from his forehead and traveled in a wave, a fluidity that extended to his clothing: A robe of golden fabric, one of the few valuable things he still possessed from his homeland. On the right was Speaker Shiva Pasada, a younger (though still aged) woman with her still-dark hair tightly braided and a frown beneath a flat nose, green eyes, and a backwards-curving horn. Both quietly glared at one another, unhappy as always with the need to work together.

Panu spoke first. "Thank you, as always for your hospitality. I would like to think we have little to fear here from these metal men so far away, but we know little about their capabilities, and rumors do pass of their automatons traveling from court to court. As always I urge circumspection in all things."

The woman was harsher. "When the Council of Kaldyr urged to watch and wait as Lost Talviott was devoured, they were saturated with men just like you."

"And those of Innez who chose to claw at Fylond rather than face the darkness from Talviott's heart were just like you, Shiva."

She seethed, but said nothing.

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Ota Beyr Brejna Honorlund hurried to fill the empty void left by the bickering Myrkrans. She waved forward a fresh line of young Rikathians from the back of the room. They wore simple tunics and battle skirts, men and women alike, but they had been painted with wildly flourished colors. Both men and women were armored with small triangular shields that clung to their wrists and left their hand free to wield a blunted weapon. In their other grip, blades and axes were the weapon of choice. Some of the performative soldiers looked to favor their opposite hand and their shields and weapons were switched.

In all, the display of force was nothing more than a dozen brilliantly-dressed and well-armored teenagers. But that was the point. They lined themselves up along the back wall and remained there as a backdrop to the proceedings. Their intention was not meant to intimidate but instead show some signs of uniformity, even though each of them wore a different pattern on their breast piece.

When the last footfalls of the soldiers had silenced, Brejna continued, "We are graced with time, my friends. But not an eternity. Eventually, we will all have to choose. Your choices here tonight are meant not to divide us, but to show a willingness to listen, learn, and provide for our own."

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gr261f56sos81.png.8313a86f8c7a71d468ebb327d740f584.pngEmissary Nyxara

The delegate from Zavestra is a fairly silent one as they navigate the myriad of huts, and Myrkran encampments in the process of being converted to more permanent housing. The majority of her procession seems to break off before they reach the longhouse--of which there seems to be a surprising number of merchants, craftsmen, and noncombatants looking to survey the needs of the refugees.

Accompanying her inside are a half-dozen men and women dressed clearly for war. Guards, likely. They are dressed uniformly in form-fit linens, thick hides that seemed to provide moderate protection for their torsos and limbs, and most uniquely--diaphanous indigo veils that seem more ceremonial than anything. Each wields a longspear.

"The Zoroa are grateful for your invitation, matron of the Rikathi. It is our honor to be in the presence of such wisdom." The ashen woman inclines her head, hands clasped in front of her in greeting.

"Long too has a more formal meeting been necessary, people of the Myrkran. But the vagaries of fate have served to keep our appointment at bay, 'til now. There is much to admire in you. A disparate people, working to forge a better future out of agony and loss. But, do you know what they say of a forge?" Her question seems directed toward the Myrkran delegates, her eyes taking an unnatural sheen in the light of the flame.

"Too much heat and the very thing you attempt to shape will melt at your feet. You have been through enough fire. Now is the time for cooler heads. To quench your anguish. For there is more that goes on than we yet understand."

"I speak of the sudden disappearance of hundreds of men and women in the lands directly north of Zavestra. Gone, without a trace. As if an entire countryside simply stood up out of their homes and walked out in unison, leaving everything behind. I speak of temples disappearing into the fog to the west.. Metal men in fields afar, creatures of the deep ruling over our seas! Whatever the moons--I believe you call them Yolym and the Winding Rose--portend, we should not be fighting amongst each other."

"We should be preparing for what they have in store for us. And perhaps reach out to the other great nations in kind, to be sure of their intentions... Be they friendly or otherwise." After a few moments of silence, she seems to realize that she has bull-rushed the congregation. "My deepest apologies. The Zoroa are willing to aid the Myrkran. That is why this summit was convened, yes? As a gesture of good faith, for heeding our voice, we can teach you to better heed the voice of the land, to use her bounty more appropriately.


"To the Myrkran--we would ask of nothing more than you have already given. Perhaps answers, if there are any to be had, in why these metal men pursue you in the first place?"


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A scowl marred the man's face as he searched for a reply, and Shiva was quick to fill the void with her attitude. "We know not, but if they come here we've been through too much to just bend over!"

Panu, for his part, looked embarrassed at her outburst. "It's true. We don't know the reason for the attack. The reports suggest they came like a heavenly peal, tearing through all in their path, and then left just as quickly as they came. But so too do they say that the metal men have been sighted in that faraway land for years, pursuing one man with single-minded determination. There is a great mystery here."

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There were only three from the Ana Kai. A long-limbed, shimmering woman with scales up her throat and sides. A tall man who was ornately dressed for the occasion, his weapons hanging off his hips, thin crescent-shaped blades that looked interesting enough. The Ana Kai held their tongue, quiet and out of the way. Still, there was a gift basket set at Ota Beyr Brejna Honorlund's feet, and there was a nod in acceptance at the welcome.


They listened to the bickering, the anxiety that laced the get-together. The woman, Shyr, crossed her arms as she listened. The man simply bowed his head, as if in respect for the looming danger.


Shyr finally spoke. "Metal men...if they are like any men, do not hold hunt for no reason. Perhaps they wish a resource you have, or wanted your lands. What of this man they pursue?"

Edited by LupineRose (see edit history)
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