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A Time of Heroes...


Gnost Dural
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The year is 1070, and the bannorns of the north have, long as they were at each other's throats, have banded together to form a single kingdom. The Arls of Zingara put aside their mistrust and have agreed to be united by a King of the new era, one who has vowed to stand against the tide of disease, lawlessness and anarchy. With a strong support at home, the new King, Maric, has set his eyes towards securing his lands and developing his people into a mighty bastion of strength, and prosperity. It is an Age of Trials, and a Time when heroes roamed the lands to the North...

The King's procession was traveling north towards the city of Denerim to meet with the various Arls of the land to discuss the recent Treaty of Denerim, that signified the creation of the Kingdom over which Maric now ruled. The Kingdom had been languishing under a lack of gold flowing into the coffers and raiding animals and creatures to the South did little to stave off the feeling that the King had a very tenuous grip on his new holdings. The Arls had become restless, preferring the old ways to the new, unified and subservent ways.

Perhaps they seem to think they would be better off if I were dead? Maric thought to himself as he rode upon his armored horse. True, there had been a great amount of struggle in the last two years, and the fact that a severe downturn in revenues from the Bannorns had not improved matters. Maric suspected that somewhere, the gold was being pilfered. But by whom, or by what manner he could not be certain of at this point.

Dwelling on the matter for sometime more, Maric's procession eventually reached the Castle Denerim, where the seat of power for the Kingdom rested. The castle was a gargantuan feat of cooperation and construction. Built in honor of MAric for his ability to unite the Arls under a single banner, it served as an example of the might of his Kingdom and his ability to mediate disputes and unite all peoples in the land.

Several guards stood at attention and peasants could be seen tending the land outside the castle. Pallid, and squallid in hteir conditions, Maric had to face the grim reality: his people would not fare well over the long winter to come. They must purchase food and find gold soon, or the Arls would revolt...

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The fire crackled in the silence of the chamber, and the 5 men sat around the table arguing over flagons of ale and tough hunks of bread. The meeting had not gone well, and most of the Arls still sensed the weakness of Maric's ability to provide for the Kingdom and build a stronger empire in the North. The Arls of Umea, Tamaby, and Lulea stood firmly against King Maric while Maric had the support of the Arl of Kiruna. Arl Howe of Kiruna was a shrewd man though he was as loyal as they could come provided he was given enough men to protect his own bannorn.

"No! We've had enough talk of renewal and rebuilding!" the Arl of Umea shouted, slamming his flagon of ale down on the table. Arl Duncan of Umea was a swaggering fool, if ever there were one. Fueled by his own sense of honor and glory, he cared for no one aside from himself. Not even his Bannorn fared well in his sight.

"Duncan, the Kingdom needs time to discover the source of the Gold loss, and to stop it from further damaging the Kingdom." Arl Howe said trying to offer a point of stability in the conversation. Maric knew he could count on Howe, but for how long he was not sure. Maric was not a popular figure these days, and if Maric fell too far out of favor, Maric was certain that Howe would do the pragmatic thing.

The shouting continued for a few more hours with no real headway being made, and then the idea eventually crept it's way into Maric's mind. What he needed was something that would unite his people, and create a rallying cry for the whole Kingdom, while removing an outspoken opponent to his throne. What he needed, was a war...

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On the southern borders of the Hinterlands (Southern Sweden), 1200 Men at Arms and 50 Grey Wardens prepared for the march into the stronghold of Sundsvall, to remove the corrupt Arl of that city. The Huinterlands of Zingara had long refused to fall under the banner of the Kingdom and must be forced to come to heel. Maric believed that if he could unite the entire land under his rule he may just be able to pry enough gold out of the cities to pay the upkeep for all of his expansions to come. IT would also allay the fears of the Arls that he was not strong enough to be king.

The banners emblazoned with the lion's head in blue, and the golden eagles on the sides, fluttered in the wind as the army of the King advanced upon Sundsvall. The King encamped just outside the city, and watched as it's defender's hunkered inside their walls, not nearly enough to challenge the forces of Denerim and the might of the King's Army. Runners were sent to demand the compliance of the Arl of Sundsvall, and naturally he refused the offer. The attack would begin at dawn....

OOC: Grey Warden's are essentially dismounted Knights in Chainmail armor, wielding a sword and shield. They act as the officers of the army and are the King's hand chosen, best warriors.

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Inside the city of Sundsvall, the barbarians were eager for a bloody battle. They had sharpened their axes, hammered their shields and prepared what barricades they could hastily construct from wood and cart. They were mounting a defense in the face of an impressive army determined to drive the last remnants of the Blight from the northern lands, and back into the Hinterlands from which it had originally emerged.

The king's amassed army let loose with a furious volley of arrows upon the city, hoping to force a route before the real battle had begun. Unfortunately, though well trained the archers were, they were not in sufficient number to demolish the resolve of the barbarians that inhabited the city. They had long expected a fight from the people of the north, and they were not about to abandon their homes without a fight. Arrows rained down on the heads of some of the barbarian warriors, felling them before they could slay even one Zingaran. Other arrows smashed against shields and armor.

Seeing that the battle was not going to be won by range, the Grey Wardens advanced first, their chainmail armor glinting in the early morning sunlight as they approached the gates of the city. A few dozen arrows lanced out from the makeshift barricades of the city, and killed a few of the wardens, but the shots were wild and inaccurate. The barbarians were great bezerkers, but horrible archers. The first wave of barbarians burst forth from the tops of the wooden barricades to engage the ranks of Grey Wardens, and soon the battle began in earnest. Steel clashed against steel and shield clanged with sword. Blood, sweat and tears were being spilled in an effort to grapple for pieces of land, and gold.

The ranks of footmen in the king's army moved in to rush the first wave of Barbarians, and then all hell broke loose. A dozen or so archers opened up indiscriminately against the Grey Warden who, distracted by the battle with the barbarian bezerkers, had no time to react. A dozen fell with the first volley, and the Wardens began to distance themselves from the archers, hoping to get out of range. They stepped over the piles of dead bodies that now littered the ground, and made theur way closer to the oncoming wave of fresh soldiers. The king's archers returned fire, hoping to fell as many archers as they could to cover the regrouping, and they succeeded. The enemy arrows diminished and soon petered out becoming nothing.

Maric looked at the field and nodded pleasantly. Most of the Barbarians had been committed to the first wave attack, and the defenders left inside the city were starting to cower behind their shields as the full 1,000 man force of the army began to advance on the city, overtaking the remnants of the wave of Barbarians as they attempted to flee back into the city. Limbs were lopped off and heads severed as the Grey Wardens lead the charge into the city.

When they breached the gates, they torched most of the huts that existed, preferring to pillage and then rebuild rather than inhabit the domiciles of wild and savage creatures. They slew any and all who were left within the village, but spared any women and children, preferring them to become the household servants of various Bannorns in the north. The conquest of Sundsvall was complete, and the first step in securing the Kingdom of Zingara under Maric was nearly complete.

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One Week After The Battle...

The battle had been a huge success, and it had served it's purpose in uniting the Arls behind the king and to support his continued reign upon the Zingaran throne. More and more gold had begun to flow into the guild coffers as the northern lands became more stable and prosperous. Though far from rich, the lands of the kingdom were on their way to securing a lasting chest of gold that would last them through periods of war or drought. Much of the gold lay in the vaults here in Denerim while a small fortune rested in the port city of Umea.

King Maric sat at the table, sipping from a flaggon of Ale as his Arls and advisers told him of the improving situation.

"Your armies had quartered in their respective garrisons and the land appears to be normalizing." Arl Howe said, eager to show off the newfound stability of the Kingdom. Looking at both Arl Eamon of Lulea, and Arl Duncan of Redcliffe, he dared them to oppose the King and it seemed that any will they had in opposing Maric had vanished as quickly as the Barbarians of Sundsvall.

Nodding sagely, Maric addressed the assembled Arls. There were at the table, Arl Eamon of Lulea, Arl Duncan of Redcliffe as well as Arl Alistair of Tamaby. He looked them each in the eye in turn, and then he spoke.

"We now come to the matter of choosing an Arl for the new city of Sundsvall. This Arl must be competent in matters of war and military affairs. We cannot afford to rest upon our laurels if we are to be vigilant and protect our new prosperity." Maric.

Arl Howe was the first to speak. "My lord, what of the Teryn of Umea, Teryn Loghain?" Howe asked. "Surely he could do the job, as he was once your father's commander in the field."

Maric smiled, remembering fondly the times he had spent studying under Loghain. A fine choice for a Teryn, if ever there was one.

"I agree, then it is settled. If there are no objections, Loghain will become an Arl and travel to Denerim within the month. A new Teryn is to be chosen by you Howe to replace him." Maric said. There were no objections, and the letter of notice was sent to Umea.

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Maric sat alone in his chambers, pondering the recent events within his kingdom as he ate a small leg of fowl by the fireside. There was still much to be done, and the rumors of a war to the east had begun to spark his concern that his Kingdom may be coveted by the other neighboring powers of the land. If the Kingdom of Zingara were to survive, it would need friends and allies abroad in order to help it defend against another blight. Either by the woads of the South or by the invading armies that now pillaged in the east.

Unfurling a scroll of parchment, he carefully scribed the following notice to the nations of the world:

Be it known the the Old Kingdom is reborn anew.

That the Blight has been defeated and the Kingdom is strong.

Zingara is once again united, and seeks the friendship of all peoples.

We invite you to come to our lands, and to take part in a grand feast two months from now.

His Lordship,

The Arl of Denerim, Lord of the Ferelden folk, King Maric I of Zingara

He sent for his servant to instruct the castle to prepare runners to send the notice to all the lands, as far as the horse or ship could carry them. To spread the word that the Old Kingdom had been reborn and that Zingara is ready to take it's place in the world.

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Chantry of Denerim - Tower of Andraste

In the fourth level of the Tower of Andraste, the Circle of Mages sat pouring over the Canticles of Threnodies trying to determine the fate of mankind's soul, and the route to salvation. It was written once:

And so is the Golden City blackened

With each step you take in my Hall.

Marvel at perfection, for it is fleeting.

You have brought Sin to Heaven

And doom upon all the world.

And so the mages of the Old Empire had sought to usurp the role of the Maker, and had set foot in Heaven whilst still among the living. The corrupted souls of the mages become the first of the Old Gods, the gods the pagans in the South worshipped still to this day. On that day, the Golden City, or heaven, turned black as night and all mankind was doomed to live and die without traveling to Heaven. Those that believed in the Maker and followed the Chant of the Light, were gathered to him until such time as he rebuilt the Golden City.

Speaking to himself, the leader of the Chantry, First Enchanter Jowan recited a line in passage from the Canticles. "I shall not be left to wander the drifting roads of the Fade; For there is no darkness, nor death either, in the Maker's Light." He said devoutly. The Chantry was tasked with spreading the Chant of Light to the four corners of the Kingdom and ensuring that the legacy of Andraste was fulfilled and the people were converted to worship the Maker, and to serve His will in Zingara. There needed to be a massive undertaking to repair the lost Chantries that had been left by the old Bannorns throughout the Kingdom. The only operating Chantry to date was the one in Denerim.

Looking at a map next, Jowan examined the city of Umea, and marveled at the prospect of creating another functioning Chantry. Mages would need to be conscripted, as well as Templars (the police of the Chantry, answerable only to the Mages) trained to protect it. Much work needed to be done. Hastily grabbing a quill and a scroll of parchment, Jowan scrolled out a notice to the Chantry members in Umea

Maker Greet You,

It is the order of the Chantry of Denerim, and the Circle of Mages, that you hereby restore and complete the Chantry in Umea. Use whatever funds you need, and it will be given to you. Train approximately 20 Templars to serve as the guards for the Chantry and it's mages.

May the Maker bless you,

First Enchanter Jowan

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Bannorn of Redcliffe - Trade District

The Teryn of Redcliffe had ordered the soldiers of the local garrison to trade their swords in for hammers and saws to help construct the Kingdom's first local Shipyard. The construction of this facility would add a much needed boost to the revenue of the kingdom's gold coffers. It was a major aspect of Maric's plan to reinvent the Old Kingdom and help jump start the foundering economy and improve trade with other nations. It would also serve as the bed rock of any potential naval fleet that Maric may construct for the defense of the shores of Zingara.

The Shipyard would be divided into three aspect, the first being the primary port for Trade. It would service trade ships and merchantmen coming and going throughout the Amaranthine Sea and would act as a port of call to most Caravels plying the sea lanes there. The secondary port of the Shipyard would serve as a transportation hub for travelers and refugees seeking a new life inside the Kingdom. It would be serviced and operated by the local Chantry, once the new Chantry was constructed by the Circle of Mages. Templars would be position on the docks to keep order and process immigrants. Lastly, would be a port for any ships to be constructed for a possible navy in the future. It would be serviced primarily by the men at arms and craftsmen of the King's Army. As of yet there were no plans to construct such a navy, but things often change with time.

Construction of the shipyard seemed to go along at a decent pace with the soldiers greatly increasing both the speed and efficiency of the construction. Much of the timber used in the construction were gathered from Sundsvall and transported by horse and cart to Redcliffe. The timber was of good quality and the beams were sturdy and thick. In all, the construction was far ahead of schedule, in thanks to the new gold and material provided by Sundsvall to help fuel the effort to build the Shipyard....

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