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BlackestOfMages
2011-05-17, 06:47 PM
Heyo, y'all.

This here is something I've been planning too write for quite a while; Dues Ex Diablos. This is going to include both the text updates, and also some artwork/animations, and maybe DnD based snippets to explain some unusual mechanics for this world...

so yeah, a little crowded by the end, hopefully:smallbiggrin:

Story
“Alex, where are you? Alexander, come out now. Alex! This isn’t funny, young man. I’ll give you until the count of four to show yourself before I leave you here.” rang out Marian Baker’s voice though the sun-set quiet of the small rural village, as she finished tying the light canvas cover over her wagon, shielding her wares from the summer rain. “Four, three, two..., there you are.”
“Mum, I’m seventeen, not seven.” exclaimed Alexander Baker politely, stepping up behind his mother and lifting himself onto the polished wooden panel and taking up the reigns “I had to make sure those poachers hadn’t left any nasty surprises behind, after me and Master Illen drove them off last week, It’d be a disaster if the community lost any more livestock to those bastards”
Marian just shook her head and tutted, taking up the reigns to the mottled gelding that pulled her cart “Why you see the need to help these flat-foots is beyond me, as is why you insist on mucking around in the forest rather than getting a real job” she said, half in joke, as the cart began the steady tumble back to fort Muncaster; it’d been a conversation the two of them had had many times before, ever since he’d began his apprenticeship two years previously.
The ‘flat-foots’ part, however, was new.
“I insist on mucking around in the forests because I just so happen to be the apprentice forester round these parts, a position you recommended during the apprentices’ fair two summers twain.” He replied, laughing “and I insist on helping the Goblins because they’re our neighbours, and trading partners, and most of them have better manners than the people in town.”
The rest of the journey passed in an easy silence, and as the cart moved under the overhanging buttress of fort Muncaster, he took that opportunity to drop his hood, revealing a cropped mop of sandy blonde hair, the end of it tied back in a loose ponytail that reached just past his shoulders. He heaved a sigh of relief when he saw the heavy iron portcullis – a reminder of the forts previous function as a bastion of Celtatia’s lost might – was still raised, the two slightly portly guards who had let them out this morning still letting people back inside; Alex was capable of spending a night in the woodlands, as was his mother when push came to shove, but he’d much prefer a soft feather bed and a warm fire if offered the choice.
“Welcome back, Mrs Baker” said Sergeant Phillip Cullen, one of the oldest men in the settlement, as he fumbled with the rope barrier to let the merchant cart pass “Hope you had a good days barter, today, Mrs”
“Fair enough, I suppose, fair enough. Crops haven’t been to fresh this year round these parts, but there’s still enough for me to turn a crown or two” replied Marian, smiling faintly up at sergeant Cullen, who blushed slightly.
“Yeah, you get to ‘turn your crown’ while we do the hard work and get pittance. Hah!” spat his partner. Sour-faced and spiteful, Karl Thornhill had been one of the last refugee’s to seek shelter at Muncaster, and he’d been a thorn in everyone side since. After a year flinging sarcasm and insults, the rat-faced man had been forced onto the watch in hopes of straitening him out. It hadn’t worked. “Hra, go on then, hurry up. We close the gate in a half-hour, and then go to our meagre supper. Tell that flat-foot stray of yours to, so he can clear of to his own home for the night.”
Leaving the cart and horse in the outer-wall stables, Alex and Marian set of on foot through into the town-proper, Alex turning to his mother when the scowling watchman was out of sight and mouthing; manners.

“…And, remember, you must always maintain the condition of your tools, youngling. A badly maintained weapon will hurt only the wielder” droned on Richard, Master of the Armoury, as he once more began to unsheathe, polish, and then sheath the sword for what must have been the tenth time in an hour.
Thunt Jayrson sat on one of the stone benches, watching the old master at work. Despite being pointedly dull at some moments in time, the goblin enjoyed spending time with the Master of the Armoury. In between the repeated lectures was a font of knowledge in both the arts of the smith, and the sword, as well as a thirst for ever more knowledge that Thunt found a kinship with. If only the old man could be convinced to focus more on the anvil, and less on the hammer…
“Ah, I appear to have been droning on again, youngling. You really must interrupt me one of these days, ‘fore I talk the sun to sleep. I hope todays lessons helped you well, and I thank you for the beef; Mrs Munsford will be ecstatic tonight. Hurry up, ‘fore you’re forced to spend another night listening to old Richard stories from his days at court.”
“Not at all, Old-one. I enjoy hearing of your past, and the gift is more than overdue. I worry I have been too thrifty in my thanks.” smiling to himself, Thunt helped the elderly human to his feet, and took special care to place the gold-inlaid sword back onto its place of pride above the Duke’s crest. He was deeply indebted to Richard, for both convincing the townsfolk to let his people stay back when they’d first arrived, when Thunt was nought but a babe, and for passing on the secrets of the blacksmiths art to him. His village had been without a smith for all Thunt’s memory, and though the humans where kind, it would feel better to prepare and repair their own tools.
“I will endeavour to bring some more in the morrow. The honourless dogs that attacked us two weeks past may have caused chaos in our farms, but it has provided us with a more comfortable fare for the passing weeks.” Thunt paused for a moment, waiting to see Richard’s response. When the human frowned, Thunt realised his mistake “Sorry, that was crass of me; it looked like I was seeking sympathy. Until the morning, goodbye Old-one”
Old Richard smiled a gummy smile as the goblin youth hurried of out of the smithy. It was rare to find someone who’d show a greybeard like himself such respect, and it was good to see his people finally settling down after the tragedy. Now, if he could only get Thunt to calm down around people, he might be able to find a sparring partner at last; those goblins where good with their weapons, no matter how polite they were about it.

The walled keep of Muncaster, once called the northern bastion, had been constructed near three centuries past as a bulwark against invasion from barbarians to the north, at the height of Celtatia’s power. The sheer stone walls surrounded not only a garrison, and a keep, but also a small, functional town. Three hundred years ago, it was the training grounds of Celtatia’s finest soldiers, and the home of the Prince of the Sword, heir to the throne.
However, as time passed, the fort began to lose importance, and relevance, with the barbarians to the north finally brought to heel, and with the Empire expanding, this remote stronghold had become too distant to be relevant. One Hundred and fifty years ago, when King Lear IV took the throne, the fort was finally abandoned, and nature had come to reclaim the land.
At least, until the end of the ‘Hundred Year War’, which saw the slave-empires of Mercia and Columbia, rebelled against the chain-holders, and shatter the Ruby Empire beyond repair. Refugee’s, fleeing both the fiery crusaders of Mercia, and the madness that had overtaken the capital of Westminster, had chanced upon the ruined structure, and claimed it as a home.
Here, they managed to stave of the famine that swept the nation at the end of the war, and here they managed to hold off against both deserters and invaders looking to stake their claim on the non-free land. It was a hard time, yet the refugee’s pulled through, and the nation of Muncaster was born, encompassing the keep and the surrounding hills and grasslands.
However, three years after the people settled in, and the soldiers hung up their swords and spears above mantle-places to become farmers and shepherds, the Goblins arrived. Like the people of Muncaster, the Goblins where refugees too, fleeing the Free States of Europa from a threat they told only to the elders council.
Though the decision was frayed by tension within both parties, it was agreed – mostly through the support of Watch Commander Munsford, and the renowned forester Callaban – that the Goblins would be allowed to stay. Though the first few years were hard going, with the underlying tensions between the two races nearly erupting come each conflict or confrontation, eventually the two people settled into a linked existence. The goblins, hailing from the rough lands of Europa helped to reclaim Muncaster from nature and back into the arms of civilisation, whilst the new allies opened up not only trade and farming considerations with the Goblins, but also a safe passage to the other principalities that had sprung up within the ruins of Celtatia. In three years, Muncaster had grown to be one of the most prominent and riches states on the continent, and even a name known across the seas.

this is the first draught of the opening. The first real re-write will occur soon, just getting some feedback about the flow and stuff before I spend hours on something that dosen't make sense. Thus the grammer is probably aweful, and the flow may be a little bumpy...

and here is some of my concept sketches for the two of my main protagonists/PC's

Alex - Chaotic Good Human Ranger
http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/137/a/6/alex_concept_by_beigepaladin-d3gl6dt.jpg

Thunt* - Lawful Good Goblin Paladin
http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/137/7/5/thunt_concepts_by_beigepaladin-d3gl5sl.jpg

*name pending here, as I know I stole it from Mr Tarol Hunt, of Goblins fame...


and a few of those DnD changes I mentioned

Paladins - though Thunt is lawful Good, i feel it silly a warrior of the gods (what a paladin is) is limited to lawful good gods. They have to match their god's alignment, and fall in regards to that alignment. also, neutral paladins don't 'fall' (or rise in the cose of evil...) from accociating with
peoples...

Goblins and a few other cirtters - may have ended up inexpicably medium sized/larger/smaller in the story, depending on my feelings. like goblins. these goblins are medium sized. Also, some alignment shifting has occured (Goblins are generally neutral lawful in stead of lawful evil)

Kislath
2011-05-18, 11:43 PM
With a title like that, I was expecting something utterly different, something about getting saved by Satan.