“The Golden Bell rung out thrice- and the city fell silent. The son of God stood tall on the tower, his banner waving proudly in the wind. The city was theirs, and the warriors of the frozen North trembled in fear as the Bell resonated through the blood-stained streets speaking of retribution” –The Book of Creation on the Slave Prophet Kastus’s uprising in the holy city of Ayreth.
A peculiar silence filled the halls. It was not uncommon for it to be silent in the Basilica, but there was something distinct, different, and quite unnerving about this silence. Perhaps an outsider wouldn’t have recognized the eerie and mournful overcast that hung in the vaulted stone hallways, though the two clerics who traveled somberly side by side could surely tell.
“I can’t believe it” said the first Cleric, his arms wrapped around his torso in a comforting manner, obviously concerned. “Over two hundred years, and now he’s… y’know…”
“Dead” finished the second Cleric, dread heavy in his voice.
The first priest nodded. “Still can’t believe it, though. How can he, the son of God, be dead?”
“It was bound to happen, considering he was in a mortal vessel” replied the second. “Our bodies deteriorate with time, and no matter what kind of a spirit lies within them, they will crumble into dust as He intended.”
The first cleric sighed. “Creator save us” he whispered. “What do you think is going to happen now?”
The second remained thoughtful for a moment. “The Pope will probably crown a new Emperor.”
“I meant with the Northerners” he hissed back. “Creator knows they’ve been sitting on the border, braiding their beards and sharpening their axes, just looking for a reason to attack!”
“It’s not like they are any more capable of defeating us” countered the second cleric. “Our armies are still far more numerous- an attack would be foolish and costly. Besides, with the Creator on our side, no battle can be lost.”
“But the Kingdoms, brother” pleaded the first priest. “They have been yearning for independence for ages. Whispers of dissent and rumors of rebellion are thicker than Nord’s heresy. If a Kingdom were to revolt against the Empire’s rule… what would stop the Northerners from conquering us?”
“God would never let such a thing happen!” snapped the other man. “He forged this Empire himself! He shant let it fall!” The voices of the priests now echoed loudly through the hall, bouncing off the high ceilings and stained glass windows.
“But that’s what I’m worried about, brother. What if God would let it happen? What if the death of his son was a sign that he is displeased with us, with our sins? What if he is just throwing us to the dogs?” His voice was quiet, cold. The gloom of the basilica seemed to enclose around them even tighter.
“Sacrilege!” gasped the first cleric, hardly able to believe what his brother in cloth was saying. “You dare twist the words of our Lord? He did not abandon us; such a thing is ridiculously preposterous! Kastus himself said that he would bring Holy Fire upon our cities and homes if we were to stray too far into our sins, brother.”
“Forgive me, I just… this is all so hard…”
The priest stopped walking, and placed his hand upon his fellow cleric. “Steady, brother. It is not every day that a God-Emperor dies in his sleep” he forced a warm smile, a transparent attempt to calm his friend. “You must stand strong before God- this is but a test of faith. Those that secede and rebel are the true sinners, unworthy of his love, deserving only of the Holy Flames.”
“You’re right, brother, of course…” stammered the first priest. “I just think that something bad is going to happen.”
“Then let them happen. Just know that through faith, we will always prevail” responded the other man, squeezing his friend’s shoulder tight with confidence. “The Arch-Bishop has just sent the messages off to the Sovereigns of the Kingdoms. Soon, all will know of the Emperor's death, and the wicked shall be weeded from the garden of the righteous."
Welcome to Fragmenting of an Empire. The basic premise of is that Emperor Kastus, a seemingly immortal man and son of God, founder of the powerful Pontetate Empire, has recently died. Now, the vassals of this empire have a chance to secede from the empire they’ve been tethered too for so long. What will happen? Only your actions in the RP can determine if civil war will occur. The life, death, or fragmentation of an Empire will be completely upon your shoulders.
In this RP, set in a gritty and realistic fantasy world of my own creation, you can play as truly anyone you want- a King who wishes to break free from the Pontetate Empire’s reign (or perhaps do the opposite and stay with the Empire), a minor Count or Duke looking to usurp the throne, a blood thirsty Nordic Jarl looking for revenge long over-due, or perhaps even a common citizen or soldier. Whoever you play as, you have an extensive amount of creative freedom here; if you are in charge of a Kingdom or nation, you can create all the background lore and information you want, so long as it doesn’t contradict the base canon. There is no set path for characters to follow, and they may all go and do their own thing, whether that be fabricating a war, or working to stop one via peaceful solutions. One thing is certain, though- conflict is inevitable. If you’re interested, reserve your spots now, and stay tuned- an OOC with proper information on lore and monsters and magic will be up in a few days’ time.
Characters & Factions
Spoiler“Bring me not those who have mastery over the axe or the blade- bring those who know trades and vocations, whose talents are many and versatile. And make sure their faith lies with me, The Creator of all things, for my blade shall be the key to their shackles” –The Slave Prophet Kastus as he rallied his army of insurrectionists.
The Pontetate Empire: An empire forged on the backs of slaves, the Pontetate Empire is currently one of the strongest powers in the world, currently engulfing the entire center of the continent. Founded by the Slave Prophet and proclaimed son of God, Kastus, a little over two hundred years ago, the Empire had very petty beginnings as a slave revolt. The Nordic Empire, ruling over all territory from the southern shores of Estradee to the Reith River Basin, had enslaved the vast majority of the population. It was no surprise when Kastus, but a young slave and self-proclaimed son of God, The Creator, sparked a rebellion among the slaves in the city of Ayreth, though it took the Nordic Empire by complete surprise when the slaves actually took the city, formed a proper army, and captured the other surrounding cities as well. In the time since, the Pontetate Empire has grown to become the most powerful force the world has seen, with Kingdoms (territories, really) branching as far south as land permits. In recent times, however, the Empire has fallen upon hard times, with banditry at an all-time high, and the roads and wilderness becoming more perilous with each passing day. Whispers of rebellion and independence run wild through the courts of nobles, and even the most ignorant of peasants know that something is going to happen within the Empire. Most resembles the Roman Empire.
The Church of the Creator: The main religious force that dominates the Pontetate Empire.
Pope: Before the death of Emperor Kastus, the Pope was more of a Religious figure-head than anything. Now that the son of God lies dead, he has temporary powers of the Pontetate Empire, and will have to select a new Emperor. [Reserved by Raptorman]
Arch-Bishop: The head of all Bishops in the Empire, the Arch-Bishop answers only to the Pope, and has near absolute authority throughout the church (excluding the Inquisition). [Reserved by Lord Mondobo]
Arch-Canon of the Inquisition: The Arch-Canon is the head of the Inquisition, and in charge of rooting out all heretics in the Empire, whether they be pagans, rebels, or sorcerers. In charge of the Church’s Military force, the Purgators, The Arch-Canon is one of the most powerful men/women in the entire Pontetate Empire, and can exercise his or her will at any time. [POSITION OPEN]
Grand General of the Pontetate: While not truly being a part of the church, the Grand General of the Pontetate Empire is the head of anything military that goes on. A strong candidate for Emperor. [Reserved by Byzantium]
Territory of Frankmark: The rich and pompous Franks are the holders of one of the most powerful Kingdoms in the Pontetate. The rich vineyards of the land are of the highest quality, in constant competition with the wine-makers of Estradee, and finest quality of velvets and linens are fashioned here. Despite the economic wealth of the Kingdom, the elitist nobility often over-tax the peasantry for their materialistic desires. Most resembles a very Gothic France.
Queen of Frankmark: Rich, promiscuous, and hedonistic, the King of Frankmark is a lively one, caring more for his own personal amusement than his people’s welfare. [Reserved by Lady Despair]Territory of Borkstvo: Strong, powerful, and vast, the Kingdom of Borkstvo dominates the southern coasts and inlands of the Central Kingdoms, occupying all of the Nordic Cities founded back before the Pontetate’s founding. Built upon the work of the Northmen, the Borkish people quickly expanded in both the cities and into the wilderness, creating many villages and farmland which allows the Kingdom to flourish. Most resembles a very Slavic Germany.
Duke of Sophorell: Duke of the Counties Ceril and Ossoriex. [Reserved by Palamon]
Count of Creil: Sovereign of County Creil. [POSITION OPEN]
Count of Ossoriex: Sovereign of County Ossoriex. [POSITION OPEN]
Duke of Gallice: Duke of the Counties Thorex and Duer. [Reserved by Byzantium]
Count of Thorex: Sovereign of County Thorex. [POSITION OPEN]
Count of Duer: Sovereign of county Duer. [POSITION OPEN]
Bishop of Frankmark: Standard head of Theological and Religious matters in Frankmark, a puppet to the Church of the Creator. [POSITION OPEN]
Grand Inquisitor of Frankmark: Head of the Inquisition in Frankmark. [POSITION OPEN]
King of Borkstvo: The Borkish Kings are often seen as both savage and powerful, lacking honor and pride. While this isn’t always true, the Kings of Borkstvo almost always control their demesne with a tyrannical iron fist, and tolerate nothing short of utter obedience. [Reserved by Sinistred]
Duke of Dovurak: Duke of the County Ballengvo. [POSITION OPEN]
Count of Ballengvo: Sovereign of County Ballengvo. [POSITION OPEN]
Duke of Trussak: Duke of the County Turkor. [POSITION OPEN]
Count of Turkor: Sovereign of County Turkor. [POSITION OPEN]
Bishop of Borkstvo: Standard head of Theological and Religious matters in Borkstvo, a puppet of the Church of the Creator. [POSITION OPEN]
Grand Inquisitor of Borkstvo: Head of the Inquisition in Borkstvo. [Reserved by The Georgian]
Territory of Celland: Celland is a land with a rich heritage, extending back before the warriors of the Frozen North ever set foot in the Central Kingdoms. Lovers of nature and battle, Cellish armies have some of the best bowman the Pontetate has ever seen. Long enslaved and brutalized by the Nords, the Cellish people were eager to join Kastus in his crusade against the Northerners, though now in an age of peace, the People of the Wood are starting to regret the decision, yearning to return to their pagan roots. Most resembles ye olde Ireland.
King of Celland: The Cellish Kings are strong and honorable, often holding dear to their pagan heritage, concerned more for their people than their Imperial overlords. [Reserved by Mars SNR]
Earl of Caherent: Sovereign of County Caherent. [POSITION OPEN]
Earl of Orballedus: Sovereign of County Orballedus. [POSITION OPEN]
Earl of Karchent: Sovereign of County Karchent. [POSITION OPEN]
Bishop of Celland: The Bishop of Celland holds a duel office, having the duties of the Kingdom’s Grand Inquisitor as well as its Bishop. Despite the double duties, the Bishop is rarely known to actually preform them, and no one is sure if it is due to incompetence or corruption. [Reserved by The Dark Man]
Territory of Estradee: Estradee, oddly enough, has a system of democracy in place, where the citizen elects their First Citizen (effectively the King) who rules for a certain amount of time. Despite this system, there is a small group of noble merchant families dwelling within Estradee, their nearly infinite coffers sometimes influencing both voters and law makers, as well as fellow merchant dynasties. The cities of Estradee are lavish and beautiful, and are often havens for philosophers, artists, and great thinkers. The sun bathed streets and avenues, however, are still patrolled by the Holy Inquisition, searching for any signs or heresy. Most resembles Florentine Italy.
First Citizen of Estradee: The elected ruler of Estradee, this man controls everything concerning the Kingdom, acting as a temporary King until voted out of office. [Reserved by Rocket]
Bishop of Estradee: Standard head of Theological and Religious matters in Estradee, a puppet of the Church of the Creator. [POSITION OPEN]
Grand Inquisitor of Estradee: Head of the Inquisition in Estradee- a bit concerned with how the freedom of speech and electoral rights is affecting faith among the populace. [POSITION OPEN]
The Nordic Empire: A massive conglomerate of different holds, the Nordic Empire is a force to be reckoned with. Once an entity who controlled almost the entire known world, the Empire has since been beaten back by Kastus and his armies. Unlike their neighbors, the Pontetate Empire, the Northerners are superstitious Pagans, fearful of all magics excluding those used by their war-priests and shamans. While they cannot currently take on the Pontetate Empire, a rebellion there might weaken the Creationists enough to prompt an attack by the warriors of the Frozen North…
High King of the Frozen North: Generally seen as a powerful figure with an equally powerful beard, the High King of the Nordic Empire does not secure his throne through dynastical blood-lines, but through brute force and show of skill. This man (or sometimes woman, though this is rare) has complete and absolute control over the Empire and its doings. [Reserved by Lord Monbodo]
Jarl of Jaltmalljur: Absolute ruler of Jaltmalljur Hold, answers only to the High King himself. [Reserved by XebenXeb]
Chief of Ravenkrak: One of the most powerful Chieftains in the North, the Chief of Ravenkrak has a large force of tribal warriors under his command. [Reserved by KnaveLord]
Jarl of Icegale: Absolute ruler of Icegale Hold, answers only to the High King himself. [Reserved by Vahir]
Jarl of Haljmaltgard: Absolute ruler of Haljmaltgard, answers only to the High King himself. [POSITION OPEN]
The Kingdom of Laodecia: Laodecia can hardly be called a “Kingdom”, as it is more of a military dictatorship. The citizens of the land are quite oppressed, and are often slaves or serfs. All men in the nation are, at a young age, forced into the military, which is composed completely of mercenary armies, which are sold off to neighboring powers. Laodecic Mercenaries are considered the most elite units to ever tread the battlefield, and their well sought armies and skirmish party’s cost a pretty penny to hire. Most resembles Sparta.
Mercenary Lord of Laodecia: The Lord of Laodecia is an absolute ruler, often referred to as a “Despot”. He is the commanding general of the state’s mercenary armies, as well as the ruler of the common folk. [reserved by Cerrus Talbeit]
The Kingdom of Stonehelm: This Kingdom is one of the few surviving independent kingdoms left in the world outside of the powerful empires. Ruled by a council of (supposedly) wise mages, Stonehelm isn’t much of a force to be reckoned with. Its citizen experience a sort of freedom that most people in the world cannot relate to, with magic and pageantry being completely legal. The Kingdom’s main export is, what a surprise, stone. Stonehelm Granite and Marble is far sought by builders, and most of the structures in the kingdom are constructed from similar materials.
The Council of Magi: Stonehelm is ruled completely by an oligarchy of mages. [Reserved by ActRaiser, Alabala, and Joytex]
Magic, The Stav, Spirits, Demons, and the Fae
“The War-Priest strode forth onto the battlefield, his beard inundated with sickles of ice, his corrupted soul lashing out and sundering the troops of Ayreth. The soldiers of God fled from his dark powers and booming laughter, though Kastus stood strong against the sorcerer’s onslaught. The two faced one another- the Avatar of The Creator and the servant of the Dark Gods. ‘Your slaves and serfs cannot stand against the might of our axes, child! I shall rend thy flesh and soul as I have done to thine minions!’ taunted the Northman. Kastus did not respond, but merely picked up the spear of fallen soldier, and stabbed the mutant through the soul. ‘Your spirit is corrupted and broken, but by its own will and doing’ chastised the Son of God as the barbarian died at his holy feet. ‘May the fires of Hell forever reprimand these errors with torment and darkness’” –The Book of the Creator, on Kastus’s military campaign in the Central Kingdoms.
Magic- seen as a tool and weapon by some, an instrument of death, destruction, and sin by others, there is no doubt that sorcery and magery is one of the useful and deadliest talents to learn. Mages, or as they are called in the Pontetate, Witches and Sorcerers, are some of the most potent enemies one can face, as well as one of the most dangerous foes that stand against the empire of God. Able to increase their physical capabilities sevenfold, fabricate raw energy and flames, and even manipulate the human mind to perform the bidding of the caster.
Controlled by one’s inner spirit, or as the Northmen call it, the Stav, Magic is quite difficult to learn how to use. It takes years upon years of mental focus to be able to coax your spirit into action, and requires much mental concentration to control your spirit. The stronger your spirit, the stronger your attacks and magical abilities. But how does one increase the strength of their spirit? The Spirit, or Stav, is like an ethereal muscle, threaded together with emotions and raw energy. Anger, love, hate, will, and just raw power make up this muscle. The more emotion, the more will you have, the stronger your spirit will be. Of course, the human spirit is weak, flimsy, and inferior in comparison to those of Demons, Fae, Dragons, or even Gods. One can also increase the size of their soul by consuming the souls of others, though the transformation of the Stav in this manner nearly always causes a ruthless transformation of the physical vessel as well, and is often fatal.
To use the Stav, one must understand the science of Physics, or at least its number one rule: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only barrowed. One’s soul is already pulsing with a multitude of energy, but sometimes this isn’t enough. Often times, wizards must barrow one another’s energy in a complex summoning ritual, or even barrow the heat energy from their own bodies. Be wary when doing this, however, as the ritual may turn awry, or you may freeze to death on accident.
On Ghostwalking: Learning how to unanchor your Stav from its vessel to fight is the first step. The second, is learning the ancient art of Ghostwalking. The term, coined by the Kizar people of the far east, refers to state of mind that allows one to see through the eyes of their Stav. Acting as the Stav, the sorcerer can cast magic with greater ease, as well as actually see the world through a veil of superior perception. With ethereal eyes one can peel away the layers of existence and see anything from one’s internal organs, bone structure, magical energies, and anything else. From here, the Stav can be instructed to reach out and manipulate what is sees, so long as the energy can reach the target. A talented wizard can set ones liver ablaze, cause their targets heart to explode, or corrupt their mind. Equally, they can soothe and mend injuries, as well as fortify the strength of their muscles sevenfold. This concept may be confusing, I know, but I will soon be writing up a small flash-fiction to show you how it works. Just don’t think about it too hard.
On Summoning Demons and Spirits: Summoning is a simple concept- one’s spirit tears a small hole in the veil that separates our world from The Outer Realms, and calls forth a spirit or Demon. It is much like opening the door to someone’s house, and calling their name. The person usually (but not always) comes out of the house to assist you. Sometimes, though, someone does not exit the house, and sometimes someone you don’t want to see comes out instead. This is much like summoning- when calling out a spirit or demon you know, they will come to your aid, but sometimes a creature you would very much not like to see comes out instead, more often than not with hostile intentions. I, the GM, will determine in combat when such an occurrence happens, and I will use a d100 to determine what kind of a monster is accidentally summoned forth from the depths of hell.
Tier 1: Just small vermin, often smaller than your average humans. These lil' buggers are fast and deadly, and can pose a threat to unwary warriors. (d0-25)
Tier 2: Larger versions, often appearing in various forms such as goblin-like bipeds, or insectoid like beasts. Very fast, very strong, a decent threat to a seasoned fighter. Can sometimes appear as a human, and are known to possess people. (d26-60)
Tier 3: The most dangerous form of Demon- these are the fastest and strongest in the outer realms. Can take many forms, and sometimes appear as human. Sometimes possesseeseses the humans. (d61-95)
Tier 4: These are not really demons, but ungodly monstrosities just sitting out in the middle of a literal no-where waiting to be conjured. If you accidentally summon this, you can expect a rough time. (d96-100)
Necromancy is the summoning of a spirit to occupy a dead body (either a fresh one or one that has been constructed by the Necromancer). Equally so, Necromancers are nortorious for summoning and binding spirits to bodies and locations, causing them to go mad with time, and will attack anyone they can find. Enchanting objects deals with the summoning of spirits to inhabit an inanimate object (anything from a cup to a helmet), which will grant said object with the powers of a Stav.
On the Fae: The Fae are magical beings who live in their own dimension of existence that no mortal can willingly reach. The Northmen hold a belief in their Mythology that us humans were once strong, powerful, and bold, and attempted to invade the Faelands for the purpose of stealing and controlling the Fae’s power. The Faen courts, however, put a curse on human kind, and reverted us to our current wimpy and pathetic state.
The myths of barbarians aside, the Fae are very powerful, and very hateful towards humans. Despite their hatred, they are rarely inclined to directly attack someone, but instead to lure them in and trick them with deals and contracts, which the Fae, by their nature cannot break. However, the Fae often use these contracts to deceive humans into making more deals, and the mortal being will eventually find itself either a slave or a meal to the Fae. Of course, there are also the Fae who will just eat you alive or rip off your skin, but those are less common.
The Fae can very seldom be found in the deep wood of Celland and the Northlands.
Troop Numbers for Each Faction
Troop Numbers: This is not the size of a Kingdom's army, but the max number of soldiers they can levy. Each time a faction levies an army, they must subtract the number of troops of said army from their max army (shown below). Hiring mercenaries does not subtract from your max army count, though it will cost a lot of money.
Pontetate Empire: 100,000
Nordic Empire: 45,000
Spoiler“The forge’s fires bellowed deep and powerful at Kastus’s command, and the son of god cast three tablets of iron, engraved upon them were five commandments, which all in the empire of The Creator, The Pontetate, were to follow and obey, least they face the wrath of God himself.” –The Book of Creation, on Kastus’s forging of the Commandments.
1. Be respectful and helpful to other players at all times. This is about making a good story, not “winning” the RP. Do the right thing.
2. When posting, make sure your grammar and spelling is in a respectable state, and make sure you write enough to get your character, their reactions, their thoughts, and so on out on the table. Absolutely no one liners.
3. No anime characters (I hate saying stuff like this, especially when I want everyone to create unique characters and factions, but the rule of no anime still stands).
4. No over-powered or “uber” characters. The only people who should be able to reach Tier 3 are mages and sorcerers, and even then you will need to be responsible with their power. Teir 1-2 are the most acceptable power levels. We strive for realism in this RP, so please take as many factors into consideration as possible when in combat.
5. While I am allowing you to make up your own lore, please keep in mind that I have the final say in things (though I will be very lenient). You may also create your own factions (but not your own kingdoms).
6. Reserve your spots while you can- while we will never run out of positions for people in this RP, there can only be one King of Frankmark, and one High King of the Northlands, and one Arch-Canon of the Inquisition, and so on. I ask that everyone handle the reservation process with as much civil maturity as they can.
7. Characters may only start wars with a good reason- no declaring war on a neighboring Kingdom just because you don’t like them. The only war you can fight without an outright reason is a war for independence, or a holy war against a neighboring power.
8. Have fun. OR ELSE.
Character Sheet Template
Note: if you wish to deviate from this template, by all means, go ahead. You are also welcome to create as many characters as you are able to manage.
This is the RP's somewhat official chatroom, so we can keep most of the clutter off of the threads. Please direct your important questions to this thread, though, so everyone can see the ensuing answers/discussion.
This is the RP's offical Wiki page. All information on characters, factions, and events must be posted here, unless you wish to keep it secret for whatever reason.
Without further ado, here is the IC thread. Let's get to it.
- - - Updated - - -
Gaston Vaurien, Castle Celland
The ceiling swam before his vision, its simple and smooth lime mortar surface stretching indefinitely and imperfect. His eyes scanned the surface, exploring every nook, crany, and knoll that progressed from it. The bumps, the lumps, the clumps of mortar which was not-so-masterfully spread as the chamber’s ceiling had completely enraptured his attention, while the darkest recesses of his subconscious screamed for something that was [i]remotely[i] interesting to fixate upon.
The taste of wine brought him mostly back to his senses. The liquid trickled down his throat, the fruity taste bursting with a bitter oaky finish. He sighed as he ran his hand through the mane of shaggy black hair that adorned his skull like overgrown weeds, the sound of his exhalation loud enough to cut through the endless droning of the Borkish man who sat at the desk.
The Bork stopped talking, nonchantly tossing the pieces of parchment onto the desk, a look of both offense and relief mixing upon his face, seemingly ecstatic to be released by the inquisitor’s sigh of boredom. “There’s only about a dozen left.”
The inquisitor rolled his eyes at this, and took another drink of wine, this one being more of a gulp than a sip. Wine always made things better. Not enjoyable, mind you, but better. “Might as well get it done with, Gaston” added the Borkish man, his southern accent causing the inquisitor’s name to be pronounced Gas-tun.
“Probably” replied the inquisitor, running his hand through his mane of jet black hair once again, thinking of some way to avoid having to read through all of the bloody letters, notices, and manuscripts which lay upon the desk. “How about this?” asked Gaston, rising from his slouched positon in the chair. “You read me the sender and subject of each article. If we don’t feel like looking through them, we toss ‘em in the fire, and say the courier fucked it all up” he offered, indicating the brazier in the corner of the chamber, its embers dying, but still glowing hot enough to incinerate a pile of papers.
The Bork smiled. “Sounds good to me” he said.
“Jolly good!” announced the Inquisitor, who promptly gulped down the remaining wine. “Proceed!”
“Alright, let’s see here…” the Bork ran his meaty hand over his bald head before reluctantly picking the papers back up. Fredrick, as the Bork was named, was a big man, and looked offset sitting behind the articulate and official inquisitor’s desk, the chair looking just slightly too large for his thick physique.
“We got a memo from the steward about the latest ‘Honorary Keeper of the Royal Drapes’-“
Fredrick crumpled the paper and tossed it into the flames.
“And here’s a notice from the castle chef about the shortage of Dram Roots…”
Gaston snorted. “Burn it.”
He did so.
“And this…” Fredrick trailed off.
“This what? What is it?” asked Gaston, who was pouring himself another glass of wine.
“Uh… you might want to take a look at this…”
Gaston sighed, this one not indicating relief. The inquisitor snatched the parchment from his aid’s hands, his eyes promptly skimming its contents. They stopped skimming, and began to read in full, engrossed by the words on the page, pulled along by pure terror. A gulp of wine followed reading the letter. And another.
“So…” said the Bork, trying to spur some sort of a response.
Gaston stared at the parchment blankly for a moment, his eyes re-reading the words to see if the message was some sort of a joke. A curious expression grew on his face as he discovered that the letter was indeed not tomfoolery; a grin, large a goofy, stretched across his visage. He began to laugh. Hard. The sound of his merriment resoinated through the small chamber that served as his office, echoing down the stone corridors and throughout the castle.
“Sir?” asked Fredrick, concern sweeping across his face.
“He’s dead!” laughed Gaston inbetween laughs. “He’s dead! That’s so great!” he wiped a tear from his eye.
“Great?” questioned the Bork, obviously concerned for the Inquisitor’s sanity.
“Great as in funny” giggled Gaston. “Looking at the situation, though, this isn’t ‘great’ at all. Damn funny, no doubt! Ironic! But sure as hell not great…”
He looked back towards the letter in his hands.
Gaston Vaurien, Grand Inquisitor of the Territory of Celland,
As of this morning, the 20th of April, 210 AB, our Emperor, savior, and war-master, Kastus, The Son of God and Avatar of the Creator Himself (blessed be His name), was found deceased in his bedchambers. The power of the Empire has been temporarily shifted to His Majesty the Pope, head of the Church of the Creator, who will decide within the halfyear who shall inherit the throne of His Holiness’s Empire, the Kingdom of God. While Kastus’s physical form may have failed, that in no way means that the Creator Himself has abandoned or looks down upon us, as this event was foretold in His Book. This is but a test of faith, Brothers, one which we shall persevere. We must stand strong in our faith, or stand instead in the shadow of His wrath.
An ceremony of great proportions shall be held in the Holy City of Ayreth, on the 10th of May. Consider this message both a bearer of bad news and an inivation to the Funeral of Vesselitude, hosting by His Majesty the Pope and His Majesty the Arch-Bishop. Creator Bless you.
-Lucius Scribonus, Arch Bishop of the Church of the Creator