Falco's Reign - Part 46Falco didn’t know it yet, but the war had actually started more than a day before the Caledonian ambassador entered his throne room. Shortly before dawn on the 16th of June, a throng of warriors gathered under the cover of darkness in front of the fortifications in the three mountain passes in the Pict Mountains that were suitable for an army.Falco's Reign - Part 46 by Walt-Marsters
The Caledonian warriors waited in silence, staring at the wooden stakes in front of the low palisades. This wooden wall had been erected in the last couple of weeks and they felt quite confident they would be able to tear it down. It was difficult to understand why the soldiers of Vestfjor had chosen to defend this palisade, in stead of the older, stone fortifications further down the pass, where it was at its narrowest. Ironically, those had been built on the order of jarl Karl by Caledonian war prisoners after the last Caledonia-Vestfjor war. They would have to be dealt with as well, after the destruction of the palisade.
At a whispered c
Falco's Reign - Part 45Maud was sitting at her breakfast table, enjoying a piece of bread, covered in butter and honey. Her twelve year old son and seven year old daughter were present as well. She liked having breakfast with her kids. It wasn’t like she could spend a lot of quality time alone with her children, so she was feeling quite annoyed when suddenly, her chamberlain charged into the room, after a short knock on the door.Falco's Reign - Part 45 by Walt-Marsters
“Excuse me for interrupting your breakfast, milady, but we received an urgent message! From one of our agents in Vestfjor!”
He handed her a piece of paper. Maud carefully wiped her hands on a napkin before she took it from him.
“Mm, from Moira,” she said, swallowing down the last piece of honey covered bread. “A good agent, but also a naughty one,” she continued with a wink towards her son. “She works for more than one master, although she thinks I don’t know. Let’s see what she has to say …”
Her eyes quickly w
Falco's Reign - Part 42The next morning, the captains were surprised to find themselves summoned urgently to the Adlerburg. The grandmaster of the Order of Mjolnir was invited as well. He was under no obligation to come, but declining never entered his mind. If the jarl suddenly invited him to his keep, there had to be a good reason. To Falco’s (only) delight that day, he also brought Haldrik with him. The paladin’s tour of duty in Heimdall was over and he had recently returned to Griffnar.Falco's Reign - Part 42 by Walt-Marsters
The chaos that erupted after Talisin and Eric had explained about the coming war, was indescribable. But luckily, it was also short. Most of the men and women in the room had been warriors since the day they had been able to carry a sword and grow a beard (with the exception of most of the women of course). So, after the initial shock, they soon settled down and, even before Falco has asked for their opinion, their minds were already turning to the problems at hand. The problems of bringing the companies to fu
Falco's Reign - Part 41About a week later, Falco and Anya were laying on a bear rug in front of the fire place. Although it was spring by now, it could still be chilly in the Adlerburg, especially in the evening, so a warm cozy fire was heating the room.Falco's Reign - Part 41 by Walt-Marsters
“I’m glad everything is finally back to our normal routine,” Falco said. “Although our normal routine can’t be like it was before, now that I have screwed up the Althing. We need to find a way to increase our own troops considerably, if we can’t get the others to follow us.”
“That’s true,” Anya said. “But I wouldn’t give up on rallying the other jarls just yet. If Hagen can get confident enough to go against that throng of advisors of his, I think he may be on your side.”
“We do have a good rapport,” Falco admitted. “He could be on our side in due time. In fact, he suggested as much back in Mikligard. Maybe Maud will be willing to listen as well. She did seem to b
Falco's Reign - part 40It had been a tough couple of days for Rodey and Ewan. Pumori and Cailida worked them hard from dawn till dusk and the rations were very meagre. They couldn’t even remember the number of times they had transformed from human into wolf boy and back again. That too took a lot of energy and in the end, they just couldn’t do it anymore. Arcala had been watching them all the time as they got increasingly tired and hungry. Unknown to them and even to Pumori and Cailida, their water was spiked as well, with a potion that made them more irritable. Not much, just a little. But combined with the incessant exercises, exhaustion and hunger, it certainly did not improve their mood or their self control.Falco's Reign - part 40 by Walt-Marsters
The third day, after having only received a slice of bread at breakfast, they were summoned to Arcala’s quarters. Cailida was standing by her side when they entered.
“You boys have greatly improved in controlling your transformations,” Arcala said, looking down on the k
The Fallen Star: Chapter 20TWENTY
When the trees finally gave way to the moorland that led up towards the mountains, Lakor was thankful. There was no chance any creature demon or otherwise would be able to sneak up on them without him knowing about it. For a few days at least, the road was clear and they could see for miles in every direction, over the slightly hazy landscape.
Kantou assured them that they were still heading in the right direction, even when it seemed they were lost. She tried to explain that the path had become overgrown with lichen and moss, but it was still there.
The ground was boggy; their feet sunk into the saturated sward and made a disgusting squelch with each step. But every hill climbed meant that the land was becoming drier. Bare rock replaced the moorland of the days past and eventually, they moved out of the mist and climbed back into the sun.
They re-joined the path through the rocks and boulders and followed the trail for another few days until they came to a
The Fallen Star: Chapter 13THIRTEEN
Clouds gathered throughout the evening and by the time night fell it was raining. A grey blanket washed through the sky, covering everything in a curtain of fine mist. Streams ran down the Hills of Ranico and swept through the gentle valleys leading away from Wrioth and into the north.
Fog descended on the land again, and the rain continued deep into the night. Constant waterdrops beat down on the trees. The heavy pit-patter on the leaves kept Rantil and the others awake. But, underneath the sheltered roots of a brambala tree, they managed to light a fire, so at least they were warm.
Putoko used his dagger to carve into the soft centre of several fresh kana pods, whilst Kantou prepared a blend of herbs and roots that she'd collected throughout the day. Ranico Hills lied on the boundaries of Zi'ran Forest, where the trees were ancient and the plants that layered the floor were rare. She boiled her ingredients together in a small cooking pot, hovering over the fire. Rain
The Fallen Star: Chapter 4FOUR
"That should just about do it," Rantil proclaimed, climbing down off the stool by the fireplace. He placed his hammer down on the table beside him, wiped his hands clean down his leg and stepped back to admire his handywork.
"Thank you so much Rantil," Neetha smiled as she appeared through the doorway to her pantry.
Only the other day, she'd mentioned that there was a small crack in the gable by the hearth. Asol, the village craftsman, had left for Wrise a few days earlier to sell his arnathca carvings in the market. They were small statues, depicting mythical woodland creatures that helped protect homes from illness, and were popular to buy as gifts. He wouldn't be back for at least another week. But with the onset of the Triali season, the nights were getting even colder. Rantil offered to help her mend the hole in her wall himself.
"They fit you well," she mentioned, gesturing to his robes.
Rantil turned to her, and then looked down at what he was wearing. They were fade
The Fallen Star: Chapter 2TWO
Several Days Later
Late evening took its hold over the land and the sky began to darken. Truaine plunged into obscurity for yet another night.
As the lingering light finally seeped away, a ravage of burook flew against the setting sun, reached out towards the silent clouds and soared away into the distance. Once again, darkness spread through the eerie hollows and lumbering hills of Liaport. And with the quickly approaching shadows, the fearsome predators of the night could skulk back out into the open.
But tonight, there was more to stalk than just edapar, buckwri and vunaki.
Three men, lost and afraid, trudged through the wild shadows. Darkness was not only gathering all round them, but gathering in their hearts. Long had their journey been since they left the city, and the endless nights they'd spent hauling themselves through the gloom preyed on their thoughts. Each hour in Liaport took them further from their past, towards an even more dangerous, unknown future. But, e