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Author Topic: Tales of Elsinqart  (Read 2138 times)

Offline Narric

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Tales of Elsinqart
« on: September 17, 2015, 03:16:02 PM »
Something I've been slowly working on. Currently writing the backstory for a whole world :P Decided to chop it up into somewhat faction related short stories. Gives me a bit more leeway when it comes to ordering them :P

Completely open to critique. I will be adding to this chapter for a little bit but don't let that disuade you from laying down your thoughts.

All questions about the setting may be answered in later chapters. What isn't I will answer.

Chapter 1 – Frosmery
The Shaman strode forth onto the balcony, feeling the icy winds whip past his muzzle and through his fur. The cold didn’t bite into his flesh, for he was a Frosmery, a towering race of bear-like people. They lived in the frozen north of Elsinqart, cutting into the mountains to form their citadel cities. The Shaman looked out onto the region controlled and protected by Ginta Citadel. The Ginta mountain range was among the tallest of the Frosmery controlled mountains, second to Kiracus Citadel on the Laughing Isle.

It was two moons until the Frosmery New Year, Apex Day, a day set by the sun reaching its highest point in the sky, and the year was 1349. The continent of Elsinqart, as the Frosmery had called it, had enjoyed centuries of peace, as the only known cultured peoples were the Frosmery and the fearsome Ceratok to the sun scorched south.

South is where the Shaman looked, but not for any impish threat, but to the blackened scar that dominated the southern skyline. The Dragons Cradle. The wisp of smoke that constantly escaped from the top had been growing thicker in the last decade, and Frosmery tales foretold of a great upheaval that would befall the land should the mountain stir into life. Shuffling noises came from the archway behind the Shaman.

“Master Canoros?” A young Frosmery in messenger attire stood in the archway. “The Council is waiting for you.” The messenger fidgeted where he stood, his fur not as thick as Canoros’ own. The balcony was part of an open plan waiting area that lead to the council audience room. It was largely unused, as most believed a council of war was unnecessary, and the Frosmery were intelligent enough to sort out their own disputes before pestering their elders. Canoros turned to the messenger.

“In your own words, how willing to listen do you think they are?” Canoros meant the Council, for the ranks and titles had fallen into formality only, and so most of the current Councils in all the Citadels were inexperienced.

“It is not my place sir” The messenger responded averting his eyes from the gaze of the aged shaman. It did not help him, as Canoros’ gaze was burning the messenger’s skin, or so it felt. “They grumble for a missed meal, and complain that in a time of piece they're not needed beyond formality or if Councillor Omenorus is needed.” Canoros thumped his stave into the carved stone floor, and an array of archaic runes blossomed from its top.

“They would do well not to forget the position they hold, ceremoniously or otherwise.” Canoros grumbled as he began to walk towards the audience chamber, as the blossom of arcane magic transfixed the messenger’s gaze so that he stood there in awe. The great door opened from the inside where ceremonial guards stood a ceremonial vigil, and Canoros met the eye of each council member in turn, noting who he’d be speaking to and their station.

Fenuros, Councilor of the Army. Peace had dulled his senses, and his will, and the sluggishness of peace showed on his sunken or sagging features. An ornamental and finely crafted helmet sat on the desk before him. An heirloom passed down through the generations of Army Councilors. On a battlefield it would have been no better than a leather cap, but in the Citadels it was a badge of office to be carried, or worn, and admired with honour.

Next was Gibaloi, Councilor of Trade. While Fenuros had lost his spirit and body to peace, Gibaloi was large from an overabundance of food. His face brimmed with almost absentminded glee, making Canoros wonder if the Councilor even knew why he was here, let alone on the Council. Around Gibaloi’s neck with his badge of office, a Gold and Leather pendant styled in the shape of a merchant's trade ledger, held by a chain bound again in leather and gold. The weight cut the chain into the fat that rolled down Gibaloi’s neck.

In the middle was Omenorus, Councilor of Law and Order. He could be described as unhealthily thin, emphasised further by wirey and sparce fur, as his face showed the lines of his skull, most prominently around his eyes, which seemed to have fallen into their sockets. Yet despite this he also carried a strange air of vitality, as if he was fuelled by some other worldly force. Many would say that his hunger for the enforcement of Frosmery Law was what kept him going, as all severe transgressions went through his office. Omenorus’ badge of office rested across his shoulders. Balanced perfectly by weight and Omenorus’ pasture, was two books on each end of a shaped beam. One contained the laws that ensure the Frosmery Order, whilst the second was rumoured to contain every crime ever committed in the Frosmery hall. This theory was readily accepted, though as both books seemed equally used, most excepted that law & order among the Citadels held strong.

Fourth was Aermius, Councilor of Health & Herblore. The official title was “Compassion” though many felt Health & Herblore worked better, for Aermius was in charge of keeping the Herbariums stocked, and all ailments researched and treated. Her features were softer, and better kept than her male counterparts. Her fur was brushed, and her robes clean. Aermius was renowned for her kindness within the Citadel, and her understanding was what many sought out for aide in the worst of conflicts, less they become violent and Councilor Omenorus brought into the mess. Aermius’ badge of office was a necklace, in the shape of an Elsinqart flower. Each petal was a different colour and made of a unique mineral rock.

The fifth seat lay empty, for this was where Canoros would sit. As the Councilor of Shamans, it was his duty to foresee the trails of his Citadel, to walk into the realms beyond and either return those on the edge of death back to the living world, or give them their last blessing for the next life. His Stave was his symbol of office, and through it his most potent spells could be channeled. As he had entered the room, the four councilors fell silent, coming to realize this was not the summons of a fever dreaming unskilled shaman, but a potential call to action by the Master Shaman himself. Canoros let the moment sink in before he spoke.

“Councilors.” He began, eyeing Gibaloi who had returned to a face of oblivious delight. “I hope you are willing to listen to what must said. For I do not call a council without proper reason.” Gibaloi fidgeted in his seat, knowing that he was the one that complained about the meeting. “Many of my Apprentices have been plagued by a shared recurring dream. As Aermius will tell you, we have been treating it as some sort of infection, or desease. But last night I was visited by the dream, and not only did it carry a real message, but one of dire repercussions.”

Canoros’ words echoed slightly around the chamber. Fenuros seemed unmoved, but his eyes moved with life. Gibaloi continued to feel uneasy, while Omenorus had leaned forward and steeple his clawed hands, and Aermius who had known all Canoros had to stayed silent to listen.

“Elsinqart is on the brink of change on an epic scale. The land itself is preparing for it, as you have likely noticed the increase of twins and triples among pregnancies in the Citadels. Even our livestock seem to have been affected by this, and our sources of other foods are increasing in their yields. And I fear the Dragons Cradle itself is awakening with the world.” This last statement sent a shiver down the spine of all present. Dragons Cradle, though nearing an old story to keep children in line, was still a present concern for the elders of the Frosmery. Fenuros Straightened himself slightly.

“And what does this mean for our army” Fenuros asked, in almost a whisper. “We have not needed to mobilize in decades, not since the last time the Ceratok encroached on our lands. Our soldiers are inexperienced.” The Ceratok had been corralled by a large specimen of their race, one never seen before, with a drive seemingly  to claim the entire Elsinqart continent as their own, forcing them to travel far north of their desert homelands. The land to the south of the Frosmery regions still bared the scars of this incursion. As the great swathes of forest and had been cut down and taken in huge volumes back to the south when the Ceratok were pushed back. Few of the remaining Watch Captains had been a part of the defences during this time, and so their soldiers only knew of it through lectures about formations and tactics.

"I don't mean this flippantly, but if my visions come to pass, they will either become experienced, or perish..." Canoros' words hung in the air, all present understanding the graveness the future was preparing for them. Gibaloi raised a paw, and coughed abruptly for the attention of the council.

"I'll have the Traders begin to prioritize  stockpiling over freely trading..." Fenurous' jaw almost hit the floor in surprise at Gibaloi's change of character. Most new him as a large and stupid trader who barely got his work finished, but here is was proactively suggesting the correct response to the situation. Canoros turned to Omenorus, meeting his gaze. After a breif moment of eye contact, the Councilor noded his head in agreement.

"Then we shall prepare for the worst." and with that, the meeting was adjourned. Each Councilor raising from their seat, and meeting at the door which opened before them. A somber silence punctuated only by Canoros' staff hitting the stone floor, surrounded the council as they began mental preparations for their respective feilds. A quiet that was abruptly cased with a thunderous boom, multicoloured lightning and a distinct shifting of the ground beneath their feet. Each member of the council turned in unison to the south-west, where the strange storm seemed to be focused from.

"I'll get a party ready to venture out to investigate that imediately." Piped up Fenuros. "I admit I was expectng more time Canoros." Canoros stood unblinking, not sure if this was truly the beginning of what he had seen....
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 10:57:17 PM by Narric »

Offline Mabbz

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Re: Tales of Elsinqart
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2015, 09:22:44 AM »
Looks good so far, and I find it interesting that "the only cultured peoples were the Frosmery and the fiery Red Goblins". Don't like the usual human-elf-dwarf approach that most fantasy settings use, or are they just on a different continent? Besides that, there's not much for me to critique. You haven't given us all that much, and you stopped writing in an odd place. But then you did say you will be adding to this chapter for a little bit, so that probably explains it.

On criticism I do have is with the council members. They're all kinda obvious stereotypes; the fat merchant, the old, thin judge, the kind healer lady. The War councilor is more original though, and since we haven't seen them do or say much yet there is still the option of fleshing them out a bit more. As it is though it looks like the stereotypical council of elders, out of touch with the realities of the world. Not necessarily a bad thing, as stereotypes become stereotypes by being used a lot, and they get used a lot because they are effective storytelling tropes. But if you want to use them a lot in the story, you'll have to give them more depth.

Offline Narric

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Re: Tales of Elsinqart
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2015, 11:53:40 AM »
Looks good so far, and I find it interesting that "the only cultured peoples were the Frosmery and the fiery Red Goblins". Don't like the usual human-elf-dwarf approach that most fantasy settings use, or are they just on a different continent? Besides that, there's not much for me to critique. You haven't given us all that much, and you stopped writing in an odd place. But then you did say you will be adding to this chapter for a little bit, so that probably explains it.
Different Continent/World, and this is just the begining. Circus has seen a lot of the behind the scenes notes already though. More races and factions are to come, but I felt like making note that the Frosmery and Red Goblins are the natives, and so will have to struggle more with the newcomers than with the world itself.

On criticism I do have is with the council members. They're all kinda obvious stereotypes; the fat merchant, the old, thin judge, the kind healer lady. The War councilor is more original though, and since we haven't seen them do or say much yet there is still the option of fleshing them out a bit more. As it is though it looks like the stereotypical council of elders, out of touch with the realities of the world. Not necessarily a bad thing, as stereotypes become stereotypes by being used a lot, and they get used a lot because they are effective storytelling tropes. But if you want to use them a lot in the story, you'll have to give them more depth.
The stereotypes happened by accident, as I haven't looked over what certain stereotypes to use. I do hope that later on in the narrative, that the contrast of the Old council to the new will be more obvious.

Looking back at my chapter plan, I've seemed to have written myself a slightly different sequence of events than what I originally imagined. However, I reckon it will make the narrative flow a bit better. :P

Offline BigToof

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Re: Tales of Elsinqart
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2015, 09:57:20 PM »
Hmm, this is very interesting and I want to see where this is going to go...

Question though, I'm not familiar with the setting.  Is this a homebrew or something established?

Best,
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Offline Narric

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Re: Tales of Elsinqart
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2015, 11:13:26 PM »
Hmm, this is very interesting and I want to see where this is going to go...

Question though, I'm not familiar with the setting.  Is this a homebrew or something established?

Best,
-BT
Its a world of my own creation. The factions, the history, the relations are all of my design.

I'll likely be working on this, and adding to it at some point tomorrow.

Offline Narric

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Re: Tales of Elsinqart
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 10:59:32 PM »
Hmm, over two years is kinda embarrassing to only get the first chapter actually finished.

OP has been updated with re-written and finished chapter. And I have a couple other Chapters and Side Stories in the works.

I will however be posting on my blog first, which I'll be adding to my sig shortly.