Disciples of the Saints of Forgehall

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Disciples of the Saints of Forgehall

Post by AspenIvan on Wed May 20, 2015 11:36 pm

The Great Hall, New Forgehall

The capitol of the city of New Forgehall was quite a place to behold, an enormous rectangle of shining marble walls and columns on the outside but with a more divine glow within.  A soft but somehow stronger gleam, yet it did not hurt the eyes to behold.  Tapestries of goblin history, the stories of every Saint, high along the walls just below the ceiling, enough to stretch for miles but inexplicably fitting snugly in the Hall and crisply visible in every detail to those below.  

And then of course there were the Saints themselves, known to frequently appear in the Hall.  Their own Hall, the Heavenly Hall, doubtless had some hidden door or pathway to meet their mortal kin in this New World.  The Piketooth Saints in their royal splendor, the Later Warrior Saints dressed for battle, Saint Hayan and Saint Tarbad in their simple robes but no less magnificent.

Yet, Grandmaster Olga Nakbaji liked the Hall best in the deep of night, when the glow was softest and the saints visited least.  She would bring a wooden chair and a wooden table, along with the tools of her favorite trade: fine parchment, ink, quills, paints, small brushes, and leaf of gold and silver.  Practically a whole workshop, and for a process that usually required many skilled artisans.  But Olga was truly blessed in the art of manuscripts, both the calligraphy in the center and the illuminations on the margins.  Every night she plied the trade she could not practice by day, for her expectations as Grandmaster were many.  She had only a few hours between the end of her duties for the day and the hour at which she had to sleep lest she lose her functions, but she gathered the materials and repeated the routine almost every night nonetheless.

Tonight she was focused more on the margins than the text, putting the finishing touches on a long manuscript with nimble fingers and the gentlest of brushes.  A dab of orange here to spread for a little headband, and some adhesive around it for gold leaf.  The head of the Twice-Living Saint Nakbaj the Champion, Olga's mother.  Now for the body, a nice suit of armor...

"Do I really need to go in another book?" the Saint herself asked, appearing beside her daughter in full battle regalia in an instant.

"Yes," replied the Grandmaster like clockwork, so unphased by the appearance that she didn't even move her eyes from her work.  "Two Saintly Lives means two chronicles, if your greatness will allow it."

"And I will, if you insist," the Champion replied with a grin.  But her daughter did not turn to see it.

"Normally the Saints appear to advise the High Goblins, do they not?  Does my manuscript require correction?"  Olga was not peeved exactly, but something about her mother's frequent appearances was unnerving even for a bastion of composure such as herself.

"No...but I've got a bit more complicated situation than most of the Saints, don't I?"  Saint Nakbaj had never been known for following normal etiquette anyways, and she had a daughter here to boot.

"At least until my time is up."

"About that..."

This time, the Grandmaster did turn to look at the Saint, eyes a little wider than usual from surprise.  "What?"

"I suppose there is some counsel to give, or at least a little warning.  Like your sister, part of your purpose does lie in battle.  But unlike her, you won't fall so easily."

The Grandmaster lifted an eyebrow, expanding one of her jet black eyes even wider.  "I would that your greatness would explain."  Back and forth from formal to a little less formal, Grandmaster Olga never knew quite how to address her mother appropriately post mortem.

"That's for the Queen to explain on the day of the New Year.  Or sometime around then at any rate.  In the meantime you should enjoy your time in the calm, knowing that hardship will befall but you will pull through."

The still-mortal goblin nodded.  "Thank you."

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Re: Disciples of the Saints of Forgehall

Post by Admin on Fri May 22, 2015 9:48 pm

The Wrath of a god

The saints had done well for New Forgehall. A new home, a new land, and a sacred hall ready to greet them when they arrived. Perhaps that sacred marble hall was a mirror of the divine one, a place anchored between. Everything had been prepared so that the goblins of New Forgehall might destroy their ancient enemy and free this new land from threat.

But Citlalmin was no fool. The fact that the goblins of Forgehall had followed his people across entire worlds could not go unnoticed. The sheer brazenness declaration of intent in the saint's sacred hall could not go unnoticed. The lizardman god, destroyer of worlds, was not about to watch his ancient enemies gain the upper hand unopposed.

That is why no one was surprised when the priests confirmed what they already suspected: Citlalmin had raised the land itself against them. Rabid beasts were attacking people in broad daylight, crops and plants coming alive to attack lone travelers, freak storms at sea sinking boats, diseased rats traveling for miles to inflict sickness. None of these things would destroy New Forgehall, but no one could work in such conditions. Something had to be done, or New Forgehall would be stillborn in its founding.

Citlalmin Strikes his enemies
The Lizardfolk god, enemy of goblins, has struck out against New Forgehall. For the next 2 turns, New Forgehall will have -4 food/turn, villages will not give tax income, and Forgehall troops and population will suffer attrition.

Destroy the Curse
The Saints are more than Citlalmin's equal! Call upon them to destroy this curse.
-- Spend 12 Divinity. The curse is nullified.

Take Containment Measures
Measures can be taken to reduce the effect of the curse. Hunters can be sent out to kill the beasts, and guards dispatched to protect workers.
-- Spend 6 Gold. The attrition penalty from the curse is removed.

Do Nothing
Wait the curse out.
-- Full Effect of the Curse

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Re: Disciples of the Saints of Forgehall

Post by AspenIvan on Sat May 23, 2015 6:00 pm

Village of Tabrik-Ostor

Despite generations upon generations of political and cultural change, and two great migrations, the village of Tabrik-Ostor kept the same name it had in the First Age. A village of herdspeople among the Hill Tribes, then of farmers on the Island, and now of lumberfolk in the forests of the New World. It had been the village where goblin militia slew the cruel High King Pacal of Sotek in the First Age, and where Saint Hayan the Peasant had emerged in the Second.

Sadly, the Third Age had been far more brutal for Tabrik-Ostor. The people that had endured so long were on the brink of buckling under pressure. They were emaciated by famine, twisted by plague, and scarred from countless attacks by wolves and foxes and stags. The lumberfolk had grown to know the stench of death far better than the smell of their own freshly cut wood.

But one day, the people of Tabrik Ostor awoke to a deeply jarring sight. The clearing where they had been felling trees for the last several months was brimming with ripe plants that caused elders to gasp and tremble: Barley, oats, and squash. Exactly the crops they had planted and harvested in their youth in Allis. And this morning, for whatever reason, the foxes and deer were running away at the sight of goblins as the villagers awoke and went about their work. Was this intercession from above, illusion from below, or mass hallucination from despair?

Yet, there was one mark that confirmed above all suspicion that this was the work of the Saints. In the very center of the village, where stood an old stone sculpture of Saint Hayan, something was different. The Peasant Saint's stone scythe had been replaced with a long spear that looked as if a smith had just recently put it together, and yet the wooden shaft was tightly in his grasp as if it had always been there. And atop the spear, just below the red-stained steel point, was a lizard head waring a crown and still bleeding, as if it had been freshly killed. But there was no body to be found.

The village Priest recognized the severed head immediately, even though he had never seen it before. "King Pacal," he whispered.

________

Destroy the Curse
The Saints are more than Citlalmin's equal! Call upon them to destroy this curse.
-- Spend 12 Divinity. The curse is nullified.

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Re: Disciples of the Saints of Forgehall

Post by AspenIvan on Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:32 am

Weathered, blotchy grey hands clasped at the edges of the simple helmet, little more than an iron bowl with a noseguard.  The hands, steady and strong, lifted the piece gently from its wooden perch and into the light that shone through the gaps in the cold stone walls.  It was armor that looked older than time itself, a few spots of metal grey amidst a sea of rusty brown.  But the hands held it with the utmost care, as if it was pure gold.

One hand let go and the other tightened its grip, and in a whirl the first returned with a bright red cloth.  Precise like the hands of a master carpenter, they wrapped the cloth around the helmet and finished with a sturdy knot to keep the two together.  New against old, vibrant against dull.

"Snarltooth!"

Quickly the hands lifted the helmet higher and fixed it to the grey, shaven head of its owner.  Arvo Snarltooth finished his routine with haste, buckling on a one-plate cuiraiss as dilapidated as the helmet and then grabbing his axe, the only (partly) metal object in decent condition to be seen.  He was outside in an instant, facing his commander.

"What's the meaning of this report?!"  The aging commander held a stack of parchment in a death grip.  She was dressed in armor in only slightly better condition, except her helmet was painted red.  She eyed the soldier with a piercing gaze.

"They've got nothing to give us, captain."  Arvo had been tasked with getting supplies from the disciples of Saint Toreyan the Smith for his section of the Kizilsafi Order.  

"Why?" the captain asked, clearly skeptical of the youngster's explanation.

"They mentioned something about a 'Commonwealth militia' or --" Arvo gulped as he saw his superior's eyes widen in rage.

"The blasted smiths are starting their pet project while we go without a damned piece of good armor?!  We are one of the Great Orders!  This won't stand!  I'll march right up to the Council and..." right in the middle of her tirade, she gave a great sigh and went silent with a stern expression on her green, wrinkled face.

"Captain Galind?" asked the confounded soldier, disturbed at his captain's sudden trance.

"...and nothing will happen.  Because for all the red sails on the horizon," she pointed to the docks and the ocean ahead, where dozens upon dozens of little red triangles dotted the horizon, "not a single one needs a Redcap.  In my day we were an order of soldiers with a fishing branch, in your day we're an order of fisherfolk with a few soldiers left over."

"I've heard talk of building a new navy..." Arvo posited weakly.

"Whatever it is they're going to build, it won't be a navy.  Not a real one.  Not the navy of Grandmaster Taraba."

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Re: Disciples of the Saints of Forgehall

Post by AspenIvan on Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:28 pm

Inside The Great Hall

Grandmaster Olga smiled as she added the final brush-stroke to the margin of the final page, completing her Chronicle of the Second Life of Saint Nakbaj.  The page's illumination was of her mother's funeral ceremony, but it didn't feel grim.  For the Champion Saint, it was simply a return to the home she had lived in for one-hundred years prior.

"Hello, daughter."

"Perfect timing," the Grandmaster commented without turning her gaze from admiring her finished creation.  She knew her mother understood.

"It's not my timing."

Olga quickly turned about, suddenly embarrassed.  "Queen Taraba!" she exclaimed, practically jumping out of her chair so she could properly kneel and bow.  The Saintly Queen motioned for the Grandmaster to rise, slightly lifting and stretching her great mantle with its innumerable embroideries and jewels.

"Summon the Masters of every Order," the Queen commanded.  "It is time for you to receive my blessing."  Olga noticed that Saint Taraba had unsheathed her sword and held it in her right hand, an unusual sight.  But first things first, she would do as the Saint decreed.

_

Even in the dead of night, not a single Master of even the smallest Saintly Order had refused the summon.  Many others, scribes and clerics and even some soldiers, had come along as well.  The Great Hall was glistening with the meeting between heavenly light and the vibrant colors of the crowd.

Far at one end of the Hall, a marble platform had emerged seemingly from nowhere, not out of the ordinary for the location.  At the top stood three Saints, Taraba and Kizilsaf in the center with Nakbaj and Hayan on each side.  Two armored saints, one in royal finery, and one in a peasant's cloak.  Facing them from just below was the Grandmaster.

"Olga Nakbaji, Grandmaster of the Orders of the High Goblins, the Assembly of Saints has come to a decision regarding your destiny.  Kneel."  Olga complied wordlessly.  Queen Taraba extended her sword-arm forward and gently tapped the blade on the mortal goblin's shoulder.  "As the First Saint of the High Goblins, I name you the First Immortal, Hero of the High Goblins in the New World."  She lifted the sword up and around the Grandmaster's head to tap the other shoulder.  "You will carry your proven devotion and loyalty from the Great Hall to the villages to the foreign field, both in peace and in battle.  No earthly weapon will bring harm to you, age and illness will never wear you down.  Do you accept this duty and honor?"  Once more the sword rose from one shoulder and fell gently on the other.

Grandmaster Olga Nakbaji was more than hesitant.  She had no idea what Saint Taraba was talking about.  But she trusted the wisdom of the Great Queen.  "I humbly accept, my Eternal Liege."

"Very well."  Olga saw the blade go up once more, this time much higher, and then it came crashing down.  She felt a sharp pain in her head, saw nothing but white, and heard nothing but screams.

_

She awoke to sound of whispers and the the sensation of...breeze?  Where am I?  Olga opened her eyes slowly, still feeling rather dazed.  She was surprised to see a sail and helmets with red cloths around them.  One of the soldiers saw her woke up and immediately knelt.

"Grandmaster and First Immortal, Captain Belamer Kizilsafi at your service!"

"Wha..." she didn't even know where to begin.  "What exactly is going on, captain?  Why am I aboard your ship?  Where are we headed?"

"Orders from the Assembly of Saints," he explained with a hint of uncertainty in his voice.  It wasn't every day that the Saints gave orders to soldiers, at least not since Saint Nakbaj had left her second moral life.  No one had thought to integrate them into the chain of command.  "We're sailing for a lizard village sighted by our fisherfolk.  You are leading the raid, milady." He looked concerned, and his eyes were completely fixed to Olga's face. What must I look like...What is an Immortal supposed to look like?

It was only then that Grandmaster Olga realized she was encased in full battle armor up to her neck.  She had always had trouble moving in the stuff, but now it felt so light she could easily forget it.  Olga stood up effortlessly.  "Very well then," she conceded, figuring there was no use arguing about what was set and done.  "Carry on."

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