Author Topic: Points East  (Read 3075 times)

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Offline X-Points East

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PETG Domain Order #71 v3 [Unresolved]
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2013, 10:18:57 pm »

OoC:

See attachment for the unresolved PETG Domain Order #71 v3.


Offline X-Points East

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Marcous of Oakhurst
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2013, 08:08:07 am »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Marcous of Oakhurst (b. 1498 HC/m. 1526 HC), Master of Crafts; Male Anuirean; Medium-Level (Heroic) Guilder 3/Ranger 2/Skald 1; Avanalae; Unblooded; LN.  Lieutenant; Chancellor. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 12; Dex 11; Con 13; Int 16; Wis 18; Cha 11.  [+1 Wis at fourth level; assuming middle age modifiers (–1/–1/–1/+1/+1/+1).] . . . Administration:  Expert / Command:  Skilled / Diplomacy:  Proficient / Espionage:  Expert / Guild & Trade Endeavours:  Skilled (Expert on Anuirean Guild) / Land Warcraft:  Proficient

IC:

Marcous was born in the town of Oakhurst, in County Dhalsiel, in the late summer of 1498.  He was the third of five children, although the eldest of the two (the other being a sister), who would survive beyond the age of twelve.  His father was a merchant of some wealth in the province, who would often travel to Bevaldruor and Riumache on business; and his mother oversaw the operations of the small piece of land, on which the family lived.  Near the end of his seventeenth year, Marcous informed his family of his intention to join the border guard, much to the disappointment of his father, who had expected Marcous to follow in his footsteps.  Arguments followed; and, upon a day, Marcous simply rode off, after bidding his mother and younger siblings (both of whom were still alive) adieu.  He rode north and, within a week, had joined the army as a volunteer. . . .

Marcous was a competent ranger and saw his fair share of fighting with the goblins of Markazor.  By the age of twenty-one, he had acquired a score of minor scars on torso and limbs; but he had also earned the respect of his comrades and superiors.  And there was talk, amongst the officers, of an eventual promotion into their ranks.  However, during this year, Marcous received word, in a letter from his mother, of the death of his father.  His younger brother having died about two years earlier, this left his sister of sixteen years and his mother, alone, to manage the family interests.  And, so, moved by a sense of responsibility and pity, he requested discharge from the army, which, in light of his circumstances, was granted. . . .

He returned to Oakhurst and assumed control of his father’s operations, in the middle of spring, in 1520.  But he soon perceived that, although successful, his father had ignored certain recent innovations, which might have made the business even more profitable.  In winter, then, when trade was generally slow, he spent his time and some of the family savings on the implementation of a number of improvements, which, by the end of the subsequent year, had already paid for themselves.  And he began, with this success (and with the associated pleasure, which he felt), to perceive, within himself, a certain inclination toward mercantile work. . . .

From 1520, then, until 1528, Marcous spent the majority of his time in the marketplaces of central and southern Mhoried, and his wealth increased.  He did, however, find time to marry a fairly pretty woman,—Shannen, by name,—who happened to be a bastard of House Lyelen, in 1526.  Her father, aware of Marcous’s reputation as a businessman, had been influential in arranging the match; and he even provided a small dowry.  Near the end of 1527, Shannen gave birth to a son. . . .

In the autumn of 1528, Marcous was contacted by agents of the Points East Trading Guild, who were searching for candidates to fill a significant post within their organisation:  the Master of Crafts.  He was certainly aware of the existence of the guild but, in truth, was rather surprised that they were similarly aware of his own.  He soon learned, however, that Points East had been paying attention to his operations for some time.  As Elamien Lamier, herself, put it to him, in an official interview:  ‘Skill in business is skill in business, no matter where it takes place.  So, Points East is ever watchful:  and we believe that we have spotted that skill in yourself, Marcous of Oakhurst.’  Shortly thereafter, he was offered the position; and, after much consideration, he accepted it, leaving the management of the family operations to his sister, who by then had displayed sufficient talent, in his mind, to keep the business running, at the very least.  Through the end of 1534, she had remained independent of the Maesil Shippers, although, in order to do so, she had moved the business south, some time back, due to their virtual monopoly over the markets in County Dhalsiel. . . .

Marcous has served Points East more than satisfactorily, in his years of employment with the guild; and Guildmaster Lamier has come to trust, both, his judgement on guild matters and his advice on Mhoried, the guilds of Mhoried, Markazor, and small-scale military tactics. . . .

« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 08:12:01 am by X-Points East/EL »

Offline X-Points East

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Ibrahim ibn Uiriena
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2013, 08:35:05 am »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Ibrahim ibn Uiriena (1502-1536 HC); Male Khinasi; Medium-Level (Heroic) Magician 5; Rilni; Vorynn (Uiriena), Tainted, 12; LN.  Former Henchman; Former Steward (Aide). . . . Administration:  Expert / Spellcraft:  Master

IC:

Ibrahim was born in 1502, in County Soileite, on the familial estate of House Uiriena.  Although the eldest Uiriena of his generation, his grandfather was but the third son of the family patriarch; and, so, his prospects for inheriting his great-grandfather’s birthright were minimal from the outset . . . and all but nonexistent, once his many cousins were born.  Never the less, his blood was fairly strong, for his father had married well; and he displayed a certain talent for magic, common in members of his line.  In sum, then, his future seemed rather bright, for, as went the common saying amongst the Uirienas of that day, ‘There is always a demand and an income for those, with a skill in the arcane arts.’ . . .

In his teens, Ibrahim entered the Uiriena College of Magic.  He was neither the greatest student nor the worst; but he was better than the average.  However, in one thing did he excel:  illusion.  And, over time, he began to devote more and more of his energies to the study of that school. . . .

It was somewhat uncommon, even in a college, whose specialty was battlefield divinations, for a blooded individual to choose lesser over true magic; but a certain independent streak ran through Ibrahim’s being, and he continued on the course, which he had chosen, in spite of the strange looks, which he often received from his peers.  In fact, so committed was he to the perfection of his art, that he went from a somewhat middling student, in his early years at the college, to an honour student, at his graduation.  His reputation, then, was such that, shortly after his departure from college, a number of minor nobles contacted him,—no doubt on the recommendation of his instructors,—offering employment in their domains.  But, of all of the dispatches, which he received, only one particularly intrigued him:  an offer to serve at the court of Points East. . . .

In his youth, he had often grown bored with the provincial life of northern Elinie, and he had longed for a change of scenery; so, when an opportunity to reside in the great city of Ansien presented itself, he could not refuse.  He moved to the capital and soon was enjoying its many opportunities for debauchery, which were far less common in Soileite, to say the least.  He did, however, account himself well in the eyes of his employer, as his talent for disguise was unrivaled in the guild; and he even developed a rather friendly relationship with Karlaf Nathal,—son and presumed heir of the Guildmaster,—who was himself rather adept at altering appearances. . . .

In 1525, he met Elamien Lamier, shortly after she had been brought to the capital by her father.  He had spoken with Karlaf after her introduction to House Nathal, and he was well aware of the fact that trouble was brewing; but, upon becoming acquainted with her personally, Ibrahim was more than a little attracted to her person, as well as to her frame.  In fact, he rather lost sight of the probability that, by befriending her, he should be alienating her half-brother.  And befriend her he did . . . and more:  for they soon became far more intimate than mere friends; and so it was that the foundation of rumour was fact:  for the two were verily lovers, for a number of years. . . .

When Guildmaster Hakim died in 1527, the relationship between Ibrahim and Karlaf had already grown cool:  Karlaf certainly suspected some thing of the relationship between Ibrahim and Elamien; and Ibrahim suspected, in turn, that Karlaf had never really accepted Elamien as his superior.  So, when Karlaf broke from Points East, Ibrahim was not surprised; and, when Ibrahim learned that Karlaf rather despised him,—perhaps even more than he despised Elamien, herself,—he was strangely amused.  ‘This,’ he thought, ‘is a novel turn of events . . . and it promises a bit of adventure.  In truth, I have been stuck in the rut of routine . . . for far too long.  Now, at least, life might offer a few surprises.’ . . .

In point of fact, the affair with Elamien had been less passionate in the six months prior to her father’s death; and Ibrahim had begun to look elsewhere, on occasion, for the gratification of his lusts.  But the excitement and tension within Points East, from top to bottom, during the remainder of 1527, seemed, in some way, to reinvigorate their personal relationship; and they were practically constant companions through the end of 1528.  In early 1529, though, they began slowly to drift apart; and it was Elamien, in the autumn of that year, who expressed a desire to bring their affair to a close.  Ibrahim was glad to hear her say it. . . .

Over the course of four years, though, a firm bond of friendship had developed between Ibrahim and Elamien; and it was to become even stronger, now that their carnal relations had ceased.  At night, they had their own lives; but, during the daylit hours, they worked side by side to promote the causes of Points East and to thwart the intrigues of their enemies.  Ibrahim even began to study the methods of administration, in which he had formerly shown only the slightest interest, and became, in time, more than a capable practitioner of that skill.  But his main focus remained, as ever, illusion and the art of spellcraft.  And most of his service to the guild was in an adventuring capacity, utilising his magic to considerable effect, where the mundane means of his fellows proved to be less than adequate. . . .

It was in an adventuring capacity, too, that he died, in the summer of 1536, on the isle of Caelcorwynn, in a battle against the forces of Rhuobhe Manslayer.


Offline X-Points East

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Edward Falcon
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2013, 08:57:45 am »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Edward Falcon (b. 1460 HC/m. 1499 HC), Master of the Treasury; Male Halfling; Medium-Level (Heroic) Rogue 6; Unblooded; LG.  Henchman; Quartermaster; Former Steward. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 5; Dex 17; Con 10; Int 18; Wis 18; Cha 12.  [+1 Dex at fourth level; assuming halfling modifiers (–4 Str/+4 Dex/+2 Wis); assuming old age modifiers (–3/–3/–3/+2/+2/+2).] . . . Administration:  Expert (Close to Skilled) / Diplomacy:  Proficient / Espionage:  Expert / Guild & Trade Endeavours:  Skilled

IC:

Edward was born in the Burrows, in 1460, in the town of Threegates, whose three gates open upon three provinces of that realm:  Ambles-on-Hillsfair, Westwold, and Coarsewell.  Even in his youth was he sly and roguish; and he has always possessed a trace of the nomadic inclination, which many of his halfling brothers share.  At a relatively early age, then, he felt an urge to explore the world outside the Burrows; and, when the opportunity presented itself, he slipped aboard a river vessel, which had docked on a little trading wharf maintained by the halflings along the River Asarwe, and soon found himself gliding down that waterway . . . as a stowaway.  Slipping off as discreetly as he had slipped on, when the vessel was again at dock, he found himself in the bustling city of Ghoudaïa.  This was a veritable paradise for a practicing rogue, and he spent many a month picking the pockets of merchants and nobles and even the poor.  But he gradually began to feel that there was more to life than the thrill of theft and the heightened thrill of a theft well executed; and he decided to return to the Burrows, in order to give the matter some further thought.  Besides, it had been quite a while since he had seen family and friends; and a visit had been on his mind for some time. . . .

The visit turned into an extended stay; and the extended stay turned into a residence:  for he met a young lass, who had recently moved to Threegates; and he courted her; and they married.  Her name was Selna; and, over the course of their union, she bore him two children, both of whom were male.  Edward had a fair amount of gold from his days in Ghoudaïa, and he utilised this to profitable effect:  a number of sound investments were made; and his savings increased, whilst the family lived well.  And all of this business was conducted legitimately; for he had decided that his former ways were not altogether proper. . . .

On the eve of their fifth wedding anniversary, Selna fainted, whilst preparing the evening meal.  She was put to bed, and the doctor was called.  It was observed that she had an extraordinarily high fever.  Two days later, she was dead. . . .

Generally a merry fellow, Edward grew melancholy in the subsequent weeks.  At length, he decided to leave Threegates, for every thing in the town seemed to remind him of his deceased spouse and to increase his grief.  Selling his home and bidding farewell to his kith and kin, he took his youngsters and made for the Asarwe; but his ultimate destination was as much a mystery to himself as to those, who watched him depart with sad faces and downcast looks.  Two days later he was gliding down the river, as he had done some seven years theretofore, although this time he had paid an honest fare. . . .

During the journey, Edward’s spirits rose considerably.  It was almost as if a great weight had been lifted off his shoulders.  And it appeared to him that the spirits of his sons were also much improved.  After all, they had never been beyond the gates of their town of birth, much less outside the Burrows:  and wonder seemed constantly to fill their eyes. . . .

On the barge, Edward made the acquaintance of a Khinasi merchant by the name of Jamal, a particularly dark-skinned individual.  This man began to speak of the adventures of his youth; and so infectious was his speech that the halfling began to tell a few tales of his own adventures in the streets of Ghoudaïa.  Laughter filled the air, as each found amusement in the ingenuity of the other; and a friendship developed over the course of a single evening . . . so much so that Jamal invited Edward to accompany him to the port of Mhowe, whither he was headed.  ‘I work for a guild by the name of Points East,’ he explained. ‘And it is my duty, every now and again, to travel to the markets in the region of the Asarwe, from the Chimaeron in the west to the Bannalach in the east, cataloguing various details in each place.  I am on my homeward journey now; and, perhaps, if you accompany me, the time will pass more jovially for us, both. . . . Or must you really disembark at Ghoudaïa?’  ‘I must not,’ replied the halfling; ‘and it strikes me that this Mhowe may indeed be a very interesting place to visit.’  ‘I am certain that you will find it interesting,’ said the dark man, with a grin:  ‘interesting, to say the very least.’ . . .

Some weeks later, the two were conversing in an inn near the quay of that port; and Edward spoke the following words:  ‘When I lived in Sendoure, I thought that I knew the ways and the tendencies of man; now that I have lived in Mhowe, I know that I underestimated, severely, the extent of his desires.’  ‘In some settings, certain things are hidden,’ replied Jamal, with a shrug.  ‘In others, they are far more visible. . . . But we have a saying, whence I come; and I will tell it to you, this day:  “In all of Aebrynis, there must be one man, who is holy.”’  This phrase rang true in the ears of the halfling, though he might have applied it to his own breed, as well; and, in the years thereafter, he would often recall the pensive expression on Jamal’s face, when it had been uttered, and the respect for virtue, which this expression had possibly,—or rather must have, in his mind,—implied. . . .

The trip to Mhowe occurred in the late summer of 1504.  Before winter had arrived, Edward travelled west with Jamal to his homeland, the Duchy of Elinie, where the latter sponsored his entry into the PETG network.  Edward purchased dwellings in Ansien for himself and his sons and, for many years, accompanied Jamal on his trips up and down the Asarwe.  This enabled him to travel, to visit the Burrows relatively often, and, when occasion and occupation called for it, to cultivate the skills of a rogue (albeit far more lawfully than in his youth).  And, in time and with experience, he became a rather knowledgeable and a rather perceptive merchant. . . .

Jamal died in 1513, at the age of 46; he had been ill for some time, and the death came as no surprise.  In fact, preparations had already been made for Edward to assume the office, which his friend had long held:  chief guild representative in the region of the Asarwe.  However, shortly after the death rites had been performed, Edward received a message from the Guildmaster, in which he was told to travel to a remote country estate of House Nathal on the border of Counties Ansien and Osoeriene, where he would receive further instructions.  Arriving there in due time, he was greeted by Hakim and introduced to a girl by the name of Elamien Lamier.  Hakim then led him to his private quarters and addressed the halfling, thus:  ‘I was well acquainted with Jamal ibn Farid, who accompanied me, in days gone by, on more than a few adventures; and I have it on his sworn affirmation that you are an honourable individual.  On the basis of that affirmation, then, I entrust the following information to you, in the strictest confidence:  the girl, whom you have just met, is my daughter.  I mean for her to be mine heir, and I expect great things from her.  Sadly, though, her education has been rather neglected; and I have therefore assembled a number of tutors, who shall provide her with the training, that a guildmaster requires.  This, then, brings me to yourself:  for the world, in which we live, is an harsh one, and I need some one to instruct my daughter in the ways of a rogue; but I need this to be done, above all, in a scrupulous fashion, for her morals must remain intact.  Before his passing, Jamal informed me that you could be trusted to perform such a task; so, I enquire:  are you willing and able to provide this service to Points East?’  Edward had guessed where the words of Hakim were heading, before the latter had finished his speech; and the two of them did not long sit in silence, before the halfling replied, matter-of-factly, ‘I am able; and I am willing.’ . . .

Edward served as Elamien’s tutor for five years, before being promoted to Hakim’s administrative staff.  Even after that promotion, though, he continued to advise her somewhat frequently; for the short fellow with the jolly demeanour was assuredly her favourite instructor, and he very much enjoyed visiting her, whom he now considered a friend.  When Hakim stepped down in 1523, then, Edward made an easy transition from one administration to the next; and he has been a close consultant on most of Guildmaster Lamier’s major decisions.  This has been all the more true since the winter of 1531, when Elamien appointed Edward to the post vacated by Adaliz bint Daouta, viz., Master of the Treasury . . . the news of which appointment was received with a certain frown by Kurt Weimer, Master of Trade, as he grumbled, all but inaudibly, ‘Most disappointing, indeed.’  But the meaning behind those words,—and behind that certain frown,—is the subject of an other history. . . .


Offline X-Points East

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Kurt Weimer
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2013, 09:25:10 am »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Kurt Weimer (1460-1536 HC), Former Master of Trade; Male Brecht; Medium-Level (Professional) Expert 6; Sera; Unblooded; N.  Former Specialist; Former Seneschal. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 4; Dex 4; Con 4; Int 16; Wis 16; Cha 11.  [+1 Wis at fourth level; assuming venerable age modifiers (–6/–6/–6/+3/+3/+3).] . . . Administration:  Master / Diplomacy:  Skilled / Guild & Trade Endeavours:  Skilled (Expert on Brecht Guild & Trade)

IC:

Kurt was born in the city of Blackgate, many years agone.  When he was eight years old, his parents and two sisters died in a fire; and he was taken in by his father’s brother, an ugly sailor, who went by the diminutive of Fritz.  This uncle was barely twenty at the time, and he had no wife:  so, he decided that Fritz would have to accompany him at sea.  His captain agreed to pay the lad a very minor wage, and the matter was settled. . . .

In time, Kurt became a competent seaman; and he and Fritz sailed together across the Krakennauricht for a decade, in one coaster or an other.  In 1479, though, a tempest sent the elder overboard, and Kurt’s last vision of his friend and uncle was an hand, clutching violently at the merciless waves, whilst slowing descending in the dark blue deep. . . .

Without Fritz, life at sea was rather doleful for Kurt; and he began to consider a change of occupation.  But what did he know, other than the sea?  Torn, then, between emotion and habit, he resigned himself to a maritime life; yet he dreamed of the day, when he would leave the sea forever. . . .

As time went by, Kurt became more and more familiar with the mercantile aspects of the voyages, of which he was a part.  He even began to offer a few suggestions regarding matters of money and inventory; and these were, in the eyes of his superiors, surprisingly astute.  So, when the purser of a particular ship, on which he was serving, died of a severe and sudden illness,—in 1486,—the captain asked Kurt if he thought that he could act, temporarily, in that capacity.  Kurt was hesitant, as he knew that this occupation was not without some personal monetary risk; but he indicated that he would make an attempt.  At the end of the voyage, when all of the accounts were settled, the captain had made a fair profit; and he offered Kurt an increase in wages, if he should become his permanent financial officer.  The promotion was accepted. . . .

As purser of the ‘Lady Green’, Kurt began, for the first time in his life, to accumulate money.  His salary was rather modest; but he was fairly rewarded, when the profits of a voyage were particularly high.  For, in truth, his captain was a just sort of fellow, who perceived,—and this was perhaps more to the point,—the valuable nature of Kurt’s employ.  And so did fourteen more years pass, at sea. . . .

In 1500, Kurt informed his employer, at the conclusion of a long voyage, that he would sail aboard the ‘Lady Green’ no more.  The captain was rather perplexed and, only after a slight pause,—in order to perform a few mental calculations,—offered him a sizeable raise.  Politely, Kurt declined.  Leaving the wharf, he walked directly to a reputable bank in the centre of Blackgate and, upon his entry, informed an agent that he would be withdrawing all of his funds immediately.  The agent scurried off and returned with a considerable collection of gem-coins.  Apparently, a small fortune had been amassed. . . .

The fact of the matter was that Kurt had begun, not merely to dream of a life on land, but to despise, deeply and personally, the sea.  So, when he believed that he had acquired a sufficient sum, he made all of the necessary arrangements for a long journey to a land, where he would not have occasion to view the rolling waves or to smell the salty air.  He did not know where, precisely, this journey should end; but he had heard, in the stories of a former shipmate, wonderful descriptions of vast inland expanses in the Heartlands of Anuire, and it was thither that he went. . . .

In the early part of 1502, Kurt crossed the River Soilen and entered the Duchy of Elinie.  Immediately, he felt that he had found his new home.  A realm landlocked; a population diverse; a capital, whose bustle was reminiscent of the stir of Blackgate:  the combination of these factors was especially intriguing and, in his mind, especially welcoming.  As long as he could find employment, then,—for it had cost a great deal to travel so far,—he would settle here, perhaps for the remainder of his life.  So, he walked through the streets of Ansien, in search of he knew not what; and he came, at length, to the gates of a magnificent palace, whose grandeur greatly impressed him.  Learning, from a guard, that it belonged to a guild by the name of Points East, he proceeded to enquire about the proper means of acquiring a post in the organisation.  Having gathered this information, he soon made a formal application for employment.  The application process was long and somewhat tedious; but, in the end, he was accepted into the guild and assigned a not inferior post:  for his knowledge of trade matters was evident to those, who oversaw the process; and his familiarity with mercantile practices in the seaports of Brechtür was certainly deemed to be of value to the organisation. . . .

Since then,—that is to say, for over 30 years,—Kurt has served Points East with distinction.  Gradually, he rose through the guild hierarchy, largely based on considerations of merit; and, in 1521, he was named Master of Trade.  His appointment to this high office was somewhat of a compromise:  one bureaucratic faction in the guild was adamantly opposed to the appointment of a certain candidate, whilst a second faction,—which supported that candidate,—was adamantly opposed to the appointment of an other candidate, in favour with the first faction; so, Hakim Nathal awarded the post to Kurt, in order to quell the sometimes bitter squabbling.  It was not believed that this was any kind of a permanent solution to the problem, in light of the advanced age of the Brecht; but Kurt would not die so easily, and he has even outlived the existence of the two said factions, which were eliminated during the early years of Elamien Lamier’s rule . . . with considerable support from Kurt. . . .

In the spring of 1535, an official search for Kurt’s eventual successor was made.  In such high esteem was he held, though,—not only by the Guildmaster, but by the vast majority of the rank-and-file of Points East,—that he was granted the rare privilege of playing a significant rôle in that process.  When a half-Brecht/half-Khinasi woman by the name of Zazia bint Ernst was nominated and subsequently approved by Elamien Lamier, it was not without a certain scowl on his face that Edward Falcon, Master of the Treasury, mumbled, under his breath, ‘A most predictable choice.’  But the meaning behind those words,—and behind that certain scowl,—is the topic for an other history. . . .

Kurt died in the autumn of 1536, after completing work on a diplomatic action between Points East and the Highland/Overland Traders.


Offline X-Points East

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Zazia bint Ernst
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2013, 05:37:49 pm »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Zazia bint Ernst (b. 1504 HC), Master of Trade; Female Brecht/Khinasi; High-Level (Professional) Expert 9; Leira; Unblooded; CG.  Specialist; Seneschal; Chancellor (Aide). . . . Ability Scores:  Str 8; Dex 10; Con 10; Int 15; Wis 10; Cha 12.  [+1 Int at fourth level & +1 Int at eighth level.] . . . Administration:  Expert / Diplomacy:  Proficient / Guild & Trade Endeavours:  Expert (Master on Khinasi Trade)

IC:

Zazia is the daughter of a Brecht adventurer, now deceased, whose wandering brought him southward and who was known, in the Zhaïnge valley,—where he acquired a minor infamy,—as Ernst the Reaver.  Despite the appellation, however, he was not a man, who would resort to theft under any circumstances . . . unless it were that the object of his larceny was female, human, and between the ages of—  Well, age was really of very little concern to this particular mortal.  But Ernst would always return these items,—not exactly in mint condition,—after a time:  so, he, himself, upon learning of the nickname, found it rather inappropriate; and he would often affirm, in conversation with his companions, ‘It ought to be Ernst the Borrower!’  It would seem, however, that the Khinasi fathers and husbands of certain borrowed properties did not appreciate this fine distinction; and Ernst was eventually hunted down and slain, at the relatively young age of 29, in 1505. . . .

But he was not without a legitimate heir.  Two years earlier, he had met an aristocrat of Sendoure, who was visiting relatives in the city of Mecas.  Despite a considerable difference in age, they became close friends almost immediately; for this aristocrat,—Asad, by name,—had a bit of the reveller in himself.  And, so, Asad’s vacation became far less of a family affair and far more of a final binge for an old and committed hedonist.  One evening, somewhat more than a week before his scheduled return voyage, he was rather drunk and in joyful spirits.  ‘I am certainly going to miss you, Ernst,’ he said, smiling at the man, who sat across from him, at table in a somewhat disreputable establishment.  ‘Ja,’ replied the Brecht, ‘it ist a gross shame that I have no ties to your Land; maybe some time, though, I will travel to Shirshet und drink a cup in your Haus.’  Asad nodded and picked up his flagon; but, as he brought it toward his lips, he paused, as if suddenly engaged in deep thought.  ‘And what if you had a reason to visit Shirshet often?’ he mused.  Ernst made no reply, awaiting an explanation.  The other obliged:  ‘Marry my youngest and accompany us on our voyage.’  Ernst laughed heartily, assuring his comrade that he, Asad, would only come to regret such an offer; but, over the course of the evening, the Khinasi reiterated the proposal over and over again, until it began to sound rather appealing to the inebriated ears of the adventurer, who had seen the daughter on one occasion and knew her to be, if not a beautiful, at least an handsome specimen.  ‘Enough!’ he finally shouted, interrupting yet an other iteration.  ‘I will marry her, mein Freund.  But I have business to end, hier; after some months, I will follow.’  The two of them swore an oath to honour their agreement and embraced, heartily; and, upon the morrow, when each cursed his pledge inwardly, neither would think of breaking it . . . or, rather, neither would turn thoughts into deeds.  A ceremony was hastily arranged, the couple performed the traditional rites, the marriage was consummated, and Asad and his family departed:—and all of this within a ten-day span.  But some months became many; and Ernst remained in the Zhaïnge Valley, which is not to say that he was avoiding Sendoure, only that he had a tendency to find plausible reasons to remain hundreds of miles to the east of that realm.  And then he died. . . .

When news finally reached Asad of his son-in-law’s death,—in early 1507,—Zazia was nearly three years old.  In her youth, the lass was provided with competent tutors and received an expensive education.  However, due to her grandfather’s close ties to the Binsadan Temple of Leira,—he had once been married to a cousin of Haswan Mandil,—it was an education, whose primary focus was the fine arts.  She came, therefore, to develop much skill in the composition of prose and poetry, as well as passable ability in some other areas, such as painting and sculpture.  But, more than that,—and without much direction from others,—she became, over time, rather an expert at determining the value of the products of artistic activity. . . .

At the age of seventeen, her grandfather,—shortly before his death,—invited her to accompany him to a formal court gathering in Ber Dairas.  She gladly accepted; and, as they sat admiring the costumes of the various attendees, Asad asked her, in his fading voice, ‘How much, my dear, do you suppose that painting, over yonder, to be worth?’  ‘I suppose some 300 pieces of gold,’ she replied, almost absent-mindedly.  At this, a strikingly thin man, who was standing nearby, glanced down at her and enquired, in a slightly supercilious voice:  ‘And that painting opposite:  how much do you suppose it to be worth, young lady?’  ‘Nearly twice as much,’ she answered matter-of-factly.  He stroked his chin a few times, seemingly running over some thing in his mind, and then proceeded to question her on all of the various objets d’art in the chambre.  After her final reply, quoth he:  ‘Would you be interested in employment with the Saere Consortium?  I am certain that one with your evident knowledge and taste would be most welcome in our guild.  In fact, I can arrange a meeting with some of the guild-leaders as early as to-morrow.’  Zazia requested some time to think over her decision.  Three weeks later, she sent him a missive from Shirshet, indicating her desire to join the Consortium.  And she was indeed welcomed into the guild shortly thereafter and assigned to a division focused upon trade.  For the next ten years, then, she served the guild skillfully and more or less honourably, rising gradually through its ranks until she had become one of several advisors to the primary trade advisor to Delia of Coeranys.  But she soon became aware of the fact, that, barring several accidents, she was unlikely to rise above her current position for many years (and perhaps even for decades).  So, after saving up a few more coins, she resigned her post in the autumn of 1531 and returned to Shirshet. . . .

However, she did not intend to remain on the familial estate,—which was now run by one of her uncles,—for long; and she soon began to make enquiries into the state of trade in the region about Sendoure.  Much was the same as it had always been; but a bit of news intrigued her:  agents from a guild by the name of Points East had recently been spotted, with some regularity, in the divided Kingdom of Rohrmarch.  Not knowing what to expect, she never the less made travel arrangements and headed for Nunkappel, where, upon her arrival, she sought an audience with the local guild representatives.  Their leader,—a short Brecht man with an Anuirean accent, who went by the name of Franz Bitter,—quickly perceived Zazia’s worth.  Verily, he suspected, after speaking with her for an hour, that she was more qualified to run the PETG operations in Rohrmarch than was he.  But he reasoned that, if he might secure her service, it could only reflect well on his own service to the leadership, in Ansien; and, so, he immediately enquired whether she might be willing to become his second-in-command, assuming approval from the home office.  She accepted, as this seemed a fair enough offer for the time being (in that she had absolutely no contacts within the guild hierarchy) and as the idea of developing holdings in a realm, in which two mercantile organisations already had a significant presence, was rather intriguing. . . .

Franz and Zazia worked well together, but their partnership was short-lived:  in the summer of 1533, Franz was assassinated.  But, if the purpose of that act was to slow PETG growth in Rohrmarch, the result was quite to the contrary:  in fact, Zazia, who became the de facto (and subsequently the official) head of the Rohrmarch operations, proved to be far more efficient on her own.  And, in the name of Points East, she managed to establish a meaningful foundation for future growth in the two primary cities of that realm, despite the fact, that the attentions of the central bureaucracy in Ansien were almost entirely focused upon maintaining stability in the markets of Elinie, during that uncertain period in the history of the patriarchy. . . .

So, it was technically from within that Elamien Lamier, in 1535, chose the future successor to Kurt Weimer, elevating one of the guild’s newest members and one of its rising stars to a position of prominence and authority. . . .

Zazia is an highly intelligent woman, with a comely appearance.  She is graceful and effeminate, entirely lacking in manly vigour.  In artistic matters, she is particularly knowledgeable; and one would be hard pressed to find her equal, in that field. . . .


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Eran ibn Asuarian
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2013, 05:56:01 pm »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Eran ibn Asuarian (b. 1505 HC); Male Khinasi; High-Level (Elite) Guilder 5/Noble 1/Nomad 2; Avani; Unblooded; N.  Advisor. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 12; Dex 10; Con 14; Int 16; Wis 8; Cha 14.  [+1 Int at fourth level & +1 Cha at eighth level.] . . . Administration:  Skilled (Close to Expert) / Command:  Skilled / Diplomacy:  Proficient / Guild & Trade Endeavours:  Expert / Land Warcraft:  Skilled

IC:

Eran was born in the realm of Irbouda, the second son of a local chieftain, whose semi-nomadic clan has long held considerable power and influence, on the local level, in the lands, which border the River Asarwe. . . .

As his elder brother was ever an healthy lad, Eran was sent to the city of Irbouda to live with settled relatives and to learn a trade.  Arriving in the capital, he found his uncle and aunt to be highly erudite individuals, who, not only assisted him in gaining a very minor post in a local merchant guild, but also saw to his non-mercantile education with regular and almost devoted attention.  In a few years, then, he became very much the sagacious businessman; and this led to his rather swift promotion within the merchant guild.  However, over the course of time, Eran began to perceive that, which he thought to be resentment, in some of his fellows; and he began to fear a plot against his life:  for, on the whole, the guild membership was not composed of the most honest sort of men.  Eran therefore expressed various concerns to his uncle; and the latter, in response, offered to invest in an enterprise, whereby Eran would purchase half of a certain caravan operation, which ran from Irbouda to Meid Zhirgen and whose owner was looking to semi-retire.  And, so, after withdrawing, with all due tact, from the guild, did Eran begin, more or less, to work for himself. . . .

In time, the enterprise proved quite profitable; and Eran was able to repay his uncle.  In fact, he was contemplating the purchase of the remaining half of the caravan operation from his partner when, in 1535, he was contacted by the Points East Trading Guild.  At the end of a rather lengthy interview process, an offer was made, which he did not refuse. . . .

For some time, then, Eran served Points East in the capacity of an advisor; and, in the autumn of 1537, Guildmaster Elamien Lamier made arrangements to promote him to the rank of specialist. . . .

« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 06:07:30 pm by X-Points East/EL »

Offline X-Points East

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Bruibevann
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2013, 06:05:29 pm »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Bruibevann (b. –318 HC); Male Sidhe; Medium-Level (Elite) Noble 4; Unblooded; NG.  Advisor. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 13; Dex 16; Con 10; Int 18; Wis 8; Cha 14.  [+1 Int at fourth level; assuming sidhe modifiers (+2 Dex/–2 Con/+2 Int/+4 Cha); assuming no age-related modifiers.] . . . Administration:  Proficient / Command:  Skilled / Diplomacy:  Expert / Land Warcraft:  Skilled

IC:

Bruibevann was born a few centuries before Deismaar, somewhat east of Siellaghriod, to a family of elves, of some nobility.  In fact, his father was Queen Isaelie’s primary ambassador to the dwarves of nearby Baruk-Azhik, on the rare occasions when diplomacy with the inhabitants of the Mountain Halls was deemed necessary; so, at an early age, Bruibevann knew interaction with a race other than his own.  In one respect, then, the penchant, which he displayed later in life, for the company of humans was not altogether surprising to the elves of the Sielwode, if rather frowned upon, generally speaking.  But there was definitely some level of genuine disapproval, in certain circles, when it was learned (or at least rumoured) that he had sired an half-breed son in 742 HC.  However, forty years later, this half-elf, fighting alongside Bruibevann, died in a great battle in the province of Faulfell; and his death in defense of the elven forests,—for it was against an army of the Gorgon’s agents, that he had been fighting,—did much to mollify many of the bad feelings, which had developed against his father. . . .

In subsequent centuries, Bruibevann spent most of his time in the Sielwode, only leaving the realm on occasional diplomatic errands, having followed in his own father’s occupational footsteps; but, in 1303, he suddenly disappeared, returning, just as suddenly, in 1422.  It was whispered, later, that he had gone on a great journey to the east, perhaps as far as Rhuannach or Cwmb Bheinn,—or perhaps even farther,—on behalf of Queen Isaelie; but he, himself, has never spoken publicly, in any detail, of that absence from his homeland, which lasted for some twelve decades. . . .

Not long after his return, he moved to the province of Deepshadow, in Coeranys, maintaining some kind of connexion with the court of House Elethan.  And it was there, in County Deepshadow, that agents of the Points East Trading Guild learned of the existence of this Bruibevann in the autumn of 1535. . . .

« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 06:07:12 pm by X-Points East/EL »

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Ruinil Blij
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2013, 06:19:13 pm »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Ruinil Blij (b. 1489 HC/m. prior to 1527 HC); Male Anuirean; High-Level (Professional) Diplomat 1/Expert 7; Haelyn; Unblooded; LE.  Specialist; Castellan; Purser. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 9; Dex 7; Con 11; Int 16; Wis 11; Cha 11.  [+1 Int at fourth level & +1 Int at eighth level; assuming middle age modifiers (–1/–1/–1/+1/+1/+1).] . . . Administration:  Master / Diplomacy:  Skilled

IC:

Ruinil was born in the city of Calrie, in the realm of Aerenwe.  From an early age, he was directed, by his parents, on a path, which would ultimately lead him to governmental service.  And so it was that he came to acquire a minor post on the administrative staff of the Queen of Aerenwe. . . .

As it happened, the duties of this post were manifold; and Ruinil came to acquire a familiarity with practically all kinds of administration . . . spending, on the whole, somewhat more time dealing with matters involving large structures, fortifications, and ships of war.  As a kind of secondary duty, he also served on various diplomatic delegations; and he saw a small amount of travel, in that capacity.  And his life proceeded in such a vein for many years. . . .

In 1527, though, the war between Ghoere and Aerenwe,—and, in particular, its aftermath,—brought much change to Ruinil’s life.  For, when Tasaenae Swordwraith had fled, the top Aerenwean bureaucrats were required to swear loyalty to the victor, King Raenech, or, at the very least, to General Darr; and some of them refused.  These latter, unsurprisingly, were not treated kindly; and those, like Ruinil, who took the oath, were the beneficiaries, from a career standpoint.  In fact, so quick was Ruinil to demonstate his loyalty, that he was favoured by Raenech and granted a position on his personal staff, in Bhalaene.  Soon thereafter, then, Ruinil and his small family were glancing over their shoulders at the city of Calrie on the distant horizon. . . .

For the next several years, Ruinil lived in Bhalaene, serving, firstly, King Raenech; secondly, his wife, Marlae Roesone-Raenech.  But, when Marlae abdicated in 1531, Ruinil, rather than searching for a post elsewhere, accepted a lifestyle of semi-retirement.  After all, he had, over the course of time, saved up quite a lot of gold . . . particularly within the Ghoeran administration; and he felt, additionally, that a rest was in order.  But his savings were not infinite; and, when, in 1535, word reached him of an employment opportunity in Ansien, at the guild-palace of Points East, he contacted the organisation, in indication of his interest.  He was not the only candidate under consideration; but, in the final analysis, the guild found his skills to be superior to those of his rivals.  And a contract was signed. . . .


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House al-Qaruq
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2013, 06:30:36 pm »

IC:

An Historical Report on House al-Qaruq

Before the Masetians arrived in and settled the lands of southeastern Cerilia, the Basarji were present already . . . contrary to the widespread belief.  Their population was by no means great, and their males outnumbered their females by perhaps three or four to one; but they were present, and their small settlements were a foretaste of that massive migration and those awe-inspiring city-states, which were to follow some five centuries and more thereafter.  But that, which even fewer recall, is the name of the ancient House, to which those scattered communities of traders and those isolated outposts looked for guidance, in their struggle to survive the vicissitudes of nature and the depradations of monstrous races of humanoids, who ever preyed upon them, seeking to enslave or exterminate their kind.  Yet no Basarji on the western shores of the Sea of Dragons,—and no Masetian of any worth,—could have failed to recognise that name in the five hundred years, which preceded the great Cataclysm at Mount Deismaar . . . nor even in the first two hundred years, which followed.  For, in the centuries preceding the organised colonisation from Djapar, the Basarji of Cerilia had a saying, in which much truth was present:  ‘We are, all, al-Qaruq; and al-Qaruq are we, all.’

Qaruq, son of Faruq, was not the first Basarji to set foot upon Cerilian shores; but, in later years, his fame was such, in his homeland of Djapar, that he may as well have been:  for the reputation was his; and few were those, who would dispute it in public.  Whatever reputation made of him, though, he was, without doubt, the first Basarji to travel to Cerilia and to return with vast riches; and his success was followed by a considerable increase in the number of explorers setting sail for the distant continent.  Yet, over time, the excitement surrounding exploration did quiet, until, some four years later, a second ship returned to Djapar, as filled with strange treasures as the first.  To the wondre and amazement of all, at its helm stood the selfsame Qaruq.

It was now that adventurous men began to flock to this Qaruq in great numbers.  And, with his wealth and his following, he set forth with some two hundred fifty Basarji,—sixty of whom were women,—to establish the first true Basarji colony in Cerilia.  Coming, in the course of time, to a river, which the Basarji explorers had styled Ibnoume, he chose, for a site, a fair plain on the southern banks thereof, which sat several miles inland; and he named the place Faben, in honour of his young, second, wife.

The population of Faben did not increase for very many years; in fact, it decreased for a time, until, at length, it attained a level of self-sustainability.  Once it had attained this level, though, it naturally developed into a kind of nexus between the scattered Basarji outposts in Cerilia,—whether coastal or inland,—and distant Djapar.  Qaruq, himself, did not live to see the full extent of this development; but his heirs,—the Sons of House al-Qaruq, as they came to be called,—assuredly did.  And, managing the trade nexus shrewdly and profitably, the family fortune of these heirs did grow.  So, when men began to utter, ‘We are, all, al-Qaruq; and al-Qaruq are we, all’, they were expressing a reality:  for their link to the culture of Djapar, their link to supplies, and their link to women,—three things scarce in the wilds of Cerilia,—was Faben; and none did business in Faben except via al-Qaruq.

By the time of the War with Shadow, the connexions and contacts of House al-Qaruq had spread beyond the Yousera Peninsula in the north and the Straits of Baqira,—later, Bagira,—in the southwest.  It goes without saying, then, that al-Qaruq found little difficulty in dealing with the Masetians, who so dominated the region for so many tens of decades . . . although, in absolute truth, the family’s influence was far more significant in the north, where the Masetian traders less frequently sailed.  Adapting, then, to Masetian mores and the like, House al-Qaruq also adopted various Masetian improvements, particularly in terms of naval technology; so, when war came to Cerilia, the ships of al-Qaruq were hired en masse.  And thus it was that one, Lahim al-Qaruq, eldest son of the then family patriarch, found himself in unfamiliar waters, at the head of a fleet of privateers, whilst he watched, when the demands of a comparatively minor naval battle did not demand his attention, a mammoth confrontation between two enormous armies unfolding in the distance, upon the plains beneath Deismaar.  His fleet in shambles, as a result more of the forces unleashed at the conclusion of that battle than of any naval combat, he returned to the East, a new sense of power coursing steadily through his youthful veins.

The years after Deismaar presented some challenges for House al-Qaruq.  Its fleet was greatly reduced; and, to make matters worse, merchant fleets from Djapar had begun to arrive in considerable numbers, now that the Basarji colonisation was in full effect:  quantitatively, then, it was at some level of disadvantage, in this regard.  Futhermore, with the Masetians so decimated from the war, there was little prospect that the remainder of the gold, which had been promised to al-Qaruq for the use of its ships, would be paid in full.  But there was also opportunity:  in light of the weakness of the Masetians, there were certain markets, which could now be exploited; and the new immigrants from Djapar would have to rely on the al-Qaruq network for supplies, at least initially, if they wished to settle in the few established communities, which could boast a fair-sized populace and an existing Basarji majority.  And then there was this bloodline, which coursed through the veins of Lahim and the sons, whom he bore on his return from the West:  people could almost sense its pulsating power; and the family, in time, became rather noteworthy for the heirs, which its members were wont to produce.

So, why, then, did al-Qaruq fade?  Well, firstly, it flourished.  In the first century after Deismaar, it came to be the leading guild around the Ajari Deeps, practically dominating trade on the island, which would later become known as Suiriene.  However, in time, the rise of the Serpent in Masetium and the development of hostility between House al-Qaruq and the Anuirean governors of Suiriene,—which events more or less coincided,—nearly wiped out the guild’s presence in that region, over the course of several decades.  That, which remained, then, by the year 300 HC, was a guild network essentially confined to the region surrounding the Meïre el-Merasaf, focused primarily around the small city of Faben (modern-day Pipryet), which would eventually become the capital of a Basarji realm, now lost, named Famenna.

In the centuries, which followed, the focus of House al-Qaruq was ever upon revenge:  either revenge against the Serpent or revenge against the Anuireans.  Children of the family were still desired in marriage; and, roughly speaking, these were sold to the highest bidder, in order that the domain could maintain a fleet beyond its sheer economic means.  For it was believed that, one day, their fleet would lead them in glory to reclaim the Ajari markets:  and, quite conceivably, it might have, had there been one competent leader amongst the many, who sat in the familial seat of power over a span of some five hundred years.  That is perhaps hyperbole, as, to be fair, there were some, who were capable, and as there were a few, who were more than competent . . . who were even exceptionally insightful:  but one of these latter died in a freak accident, and the other two were slain by jealous siblings (each of the three failing to reach his thirtieth year); and none of the merely capable was followed by a capable successor.  And the power of the guild dwindled or, at best, remained stagnant.

There was one last glimmer of hope for House al-Qaruq in the second half of the eighth century, reckoning by Haelyn’s Count:  the formation of the Basarji Federation.  To quote a family historian:  ‘Finally, here was a chance to strike back, with allies, at the Anuireans.  The fleet was sent to Ariya; the sons of al-Qaruq fought valiantly in the Battle of Kfeira; and the dog, Caercuillen, accepted the terms of el-Arrasi.  And the Suirienean—  El-Arrasi agreed to what?  To the continuation of the Suirienean governors?  And what of the unwritten pact between al-Qaruq and el-Arrasi?  Is his word not his bond?  Is it perhaps he, who is the dog, and not Caercuillen?  This is an outrage!  And now he will not see us and make amends?!  Where would he be without the fleet of al-Qaruq?!  Where is sayim?!!’

Needless to say, it did not take long for the reputation of House al-Qaruq to plummet, when men heard its scions scoffing at the deeds of el-Arrasi.  And, in turn, House al-Qaruq came to view the established order more and more disdainfully, as the latter assumed more and more of a Khinasi,—which term was of course derived, in part, from el-Arrasi’s name,—identity; and al-Qaruq began to view piracy in an altogether different sort of light . . . certainly different from the House’s traditional view.  Minor wars were not long in coming:  wars against piracy and wars against a rebellious House, according to the enemies of the family.  And al-Qaruq, whose domain was primarily guild-based, was not well equipped to defend itself against multiple foes, especially when those foes struck by land.  And, so, less than two centuries after the Anuireans had suffered defeat at the hands of el-Arrasi’s forces, the last scion of House al-Qaruq sold his remaining holdings for as much profit as he could possibly manage and took to the sea with his fleet, which was still of considerable, though reduced, size.  For this last scion, unlike so many of his predecessors, was more than a competent patriarch:  and he could see that the survival of his line,—which was an unbroken line, since before the days of Qaruq, son of Faruq, over a millennium agone,—would be far less secure in Faben, where its presence was known and where its existence had become more than a little infamous, than in hiding at sea.  And, so, he chose for himself and his family a life of constant piracy, as a life less notorious than that, which he and his own had been theretofore leading, howsoever ironic that may have seemed.  And he sailed off, with his fleet, to ports unknown, to return, perhaps, upon some happy, future, day.

And the line has in fact remained unbroken still.


Offline X-Points East

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Abd al-Qaruq
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2013, 06:48:11 pm »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Abd al-Qaruq (b. 1510 HC/m. 1529 HC & 1534 HC); Male Khinasi; High-Level (Heroic) Guilder 2/Nomad of the Seas 5; Nasri; Masela (al-Qaruq), Major, 35; N.  Henchman; Admiral; Designated Heir. . . . Blood Abilities:  Divine Aura (major); Bloodmark (minor); Sea Song (minor); Wild Stride (minor). . . . Ability Scores:  Str 14; Dex 13; Con 12; Int 15; Wis 10; Cha 17.  [+1 Cha at fourth level.] . . . Administration:  Skilled (Close to Proficient) / Command:  Master / Diplomacy:  Proficient / Land Warcraft:  Proficient / Naval Warcraft:  Expert

IC:

And the line has in fact remained unbroken still.

Abd al-Qaruq was born in the year, 2024, reckoning from the Masetian Arrival, or 2065, reckoning from the Faben Expedition.  He bore the bloodmark of his forebears upon all five digits of his left hand:  a sign, in which his father rejoiced.  For the latter’s mark swirled about three fingers, which was uncommon, in and of itself; but the Mark of Five was known to have graced but seventeen of the line and none for some three hundred years.

The fleet of House al-Qaruq was, of course, no more, by the time of Abd’s birth.  But, as it had dwindled, a code had developed amongst the rakes of the Suidemiere and the Miere Draconii.  For this fleet did more for piracy, in a span of eighty or ninety years, than perhaps any other asset, in the history of those two seas; and the al-Qaruqs did more to unify in spirit the rabble of the high seas, than any previous leaders of men.  And, strange though it may seem, they did so with an apparent nobility:  well, at any rate, they behaved far more nobly than their many predecessors during the centuries of the House’s decay.  For they repaid the loyalty of their crews with an unhaughty,—and a caring sort of,—rule; and men of the sea, who had known nothing but class disrespect from the nobility of their homelands, received, from these blooded souls, the opposite.  But, for all of this, how could a fleet of such size,—and of such a nature,—remain united, over the long term?; how could it hide, en masse, from pursuit?; and how could one family, without a true base of operations, maintain it at its formidable level?  These things proved impossible; and, one by one,—and largely of necessity,—the al-Qaruqs rewarded their captains with vessels and independence.  And piracy returned to its disorganisation, albeit with a memory of potential and of union.

From this memory, perhaps, arose the peculiar honour of the captains, who had served under al-Qaruq:  it was agreed,—whether explicitly stated or not,—that a debt was owed by all of them . . . and by all, who should succeed them:  and the debt must be repaid.  Two rules, then, came to form the code:  firstly, if any son of al-Qaruq should desire a berth on a vessel of the sea, then no man of honour could deny it; secondly, if the heir to House al-Qaruq should find himself without a suitable bride, then it was the duty of the captains to provide her . . . howsoever that might be arranged.  There was some thing inherently sad,—some thing wistfully melancholy,—behind these two rules; yet, at the same time, there was some thing unifying, therein.  And that combination may explain the verse, which was chanted by the occasional waif of the sea, for years unreckoned to come in the ports of Khinasi, Djapar, Aduria, and the islands in between:

‘In the days now bygone, when the stormy seas were young,
There came the bold Qaruqs, and the happy songs were sung.
We watched their glory fade, but they faded sans regret:
Many were the captains, whom they granted benefit.
Never may one utter, ’gainst the men, who knew them well,
That seamen forget aught, ’spite the lies that some will tell.
For the code is honoured; and, from decks, is heard the call:
“We are all, al-Qaruq; and al-Qaruq are we, all.”’

In practice, of course, the code was, not exactly forgotten, but rather ignored by many captains, as the years slipped away into the oblivion of the past.  But there were some few, who continued to pay their respects to the code for decades . . . even for generations, as they are reckoned upon vessels at sea.  And, so, the bloodline of al-Qaruq managed, in obscurity, to remain fairly strong, although that, which Abd inherited, was nowhere near the bloodline of Lahim al-Qaruq.

Abd’s mother was the fifth daughter of a prolific family of lesser nobility in the realm of Khourane.  In his early years, he lived with her on a small island, which was located a day’s journey off the southern coast of the main island of Suiriene.  His father’s family had maintained a small domicile here for many generations, hidden away in some thick growth of foliage; and Abd’s first experiences of life, in this secluded locale, were peaceful and free of cares.  However, when his father came for him at the age of seven, to instruct him in the ways of their ancestors,—the tricks and trades of mercantilism, the conduct becoming a noble, the concept of sayim, etc.,—as well as in the means of personal survival, he quickly became acquainted with the serious side of existence.  Not very many years later, he had killed his first man, and he was sailing the high seas with a crew of itinerant warriors, who served his father and his father’s fellow, on a dark and dilapidated galley, which cut through the waters of the Island States, to the dismay of its unprotected ports.

When his father died in a raid, Abd had not yet seen the end of his nineteenth year.  He and his sibling, a lad of thirteen, took the body to their mother,—a family tradition,—who wept dearly at the loss.  But it was not Abd’s way to remain with her and mourn:  the fate of the seaman was clear in his mind; and dwelling upon it in sorrow was an extravagance, in which he chose not to participate.  He did, however, instruct his brother to stay with her for a number of months, until the worst of her grieving had passed; and then he took to the sea once more, sailing upon a tiny craft to Masetiele, to find employ wheresoever he might.

Here, he joined the crew of a light trade vessel, which was loosely associated with the Society of the Serpent.  This was not, of course, an ideal situation, from his perspective; but neither was a member of House al-Qaruq going to split hairs between humans in the service of Suiriene and humans in the service of Masetium.  In time, however, he came to perceive that the work on this vessel was rather tedious and would remain so indefinitely; and he was just on the verge of running off at the next port of call, to find a more interesting life, when the prahu was suddenly attacked, upon a windy afternoon at sea.  The assailant was a dhow, which had been converted into a warship; and it quickly bore down upon the prahu, letting loose its missiles and killing several of Abd’s fellow crewmen, in the process.  Even more, as Abd looked about him at the carnage, he perceived, too, that his captain was lying bleeding to death at the helm.  Without thinking, he ran thither and began shouting orders at his surviving fellows, taking command with an authority, which surprised them but which they failed not to obey.  And, as Abd steered the ship out of the immediate path of the enemy, it seemed to sail with an uncommon speed and an uncommon control:  verily, in a way, the crew rather felt as if the prahu were obeying the whims of its new and true master, with an energy, which it had never before revealed.

In a matter of minutes, the light vessel sat at a safe distance from the dhow; and the crew indeed rejoiced.  But it was then that their new captain, Abd al-Qaruq, gave them orders, which chilled their wayward souls:  ‘Ready the weaponry; and prepare to defend your very lives.’  Though frozen for a moment in awe of his authority, the men wasted little time in following his orders.  And then they set their teeth, as the tiny prahu sailed madly toward its certain doom. . . . But the end of this particular doom was, not ruin, but triumph; and, in the aftermath of combat, Abd al-Qaruq stood fiercely upon the forecastle of a war-modified dhow, spattered with blood, a pile of corpses at his feet.  His men, wearied but exultant, as they laboured for their breath, could only marvel at the uncanny events, which they had seen upon that day.

Two rumours began to circulate around this time in the courts of Ghamoura:  some thing about a prahu filled with corpses, which had floated, unmanned, into the Alcamar Inlet; some thing else about the Hakim of el-Denebi’s eldest daughter, whose disappearance at sea was supposedly an heart-wrenching and tragic tale of loss.  No doubt, the Serpent was involved,—such was the widespread belief,—for the prahu clearly bore the markings of his vile servitors; and, in response, the Ghamouran fleet redoubled its patrols along the southeastern shores of the realm for a number of months.  Of course, whilst men cursed and women wailed in Ghamoura, many leagues to the southeast, upon a small island with particularly dense foliage, the erstwhile crewmen of that prahu and some local wenches were engaged in gay revelry upon a sandy beach, as a dhow floated at anchor in the small bay adjoining and as their captain and a young lass of the Ghamouran nobility enjoyed the privacy afforded to the newly wed.

The six years, which followed, were filled with many an adventure, many a success, and even the occasional failure; and the name of Abd al-Qaruq began to be heard in many an important court.  For there was an unnameable quality to him, which those, whom he encountred, found it difficult to forget; and any failure, which he might, on occasion, have known, was quickly obscured by the ingenuity, which he employed in moving beyond it to a new and further success.  And, then, suddenly, a look to the west:  and the life of this vagabond of the sea veered off on an unexpected course.


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The Wives & Offspring of Abd al-Qaruq
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2013, 06:53:10 pm »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Wife #1:  Corazon (b. 1515 HC); Female Khinasi; Noble; Nasri; Basaïa (el-Denebi), Minor.
     ***Abd married Corazon in the year, 1529 HC.
     ***Offspring of the union:  Arlando (b. 1532 HC/male); Faruq (1533-1534 HC/male/deceased); Bedilah (b. 1535 HC/female).

Wife #2:  Neiasah (b. 1519 HC); Female Masetian; Scholar; Masela; Unblooded.
     ***Abd married Neiasah in the year, 1534 HC.
     ***Offspring of the union:  Agri (b. 1535 HC/female).

Note:  Agri was born slightly more than three months before Bedilah.


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The Followers of Elamien Lamier
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2013, 08:27:27 pm »

OoC:

At some point on the timeline of Aebrynis:

Silent Guard; 15 Members; Mostly High-Level (Professional) Warriors, Medium-Level (Elite) Warriors, or Medium-Level (Elite or Heroic) Blademasters and/or Rogues; Mostly Unblooded; Mostly LN/LE/LG/N.

Malaqi (b. 1501 HC), the Silent Speaker (Senior Member of the Silent Triune); Male Khinasi; Medium-Level (Elite) Blademaster 5; Avani; Brenna (el-Mermoune), Weak, 3; LN. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 14; Dex 12; Con 11; Int 16; Wis 11; Cha 9.  [+1 Str at fourth level; assuming middle age modifiers (–1/–1/–1/+1/+1/+1).]

Mistalla el-Sathri (b. 1508 HC), Junior Member of the Silent Triune; Female Khinasi; Medium-Level (Heroic) Blademaster 2/Rogue 2; Avani; Unblooded; LN. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 14; Dex 16; Con 14; Int 15; Wis 12; Cha 10.  [+1 Str at fourth level.]

Joere d’Arysto (b. 1495 HC; m. 1519 HC), Junior Member of the Silent Triune; Male Anuirean; High-Level (Professional) Warrior 7; Haelyn; Unblooded; NE. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 12; Dex 9; Con 9; Int 11; Wis 9; Cha 14.  [+1 Cha at fourth level; assuming middle age modifiers (–1/–1/–1/+1/+1/+1).]

Ian Falcon (b. 1502 HC), Member of the Silent Guard; Male Halfling; Low-Level (Heroic) Rogue 3; Unblooded; LG. . . . Ability Scores:  Str 8; Dex 20; Con 15; Int 10; Wis 15; Cha 14.  [Assuming halfling modifiers (–4 Str/+4 Dex/+2 Wis).]

IC:

The Silent Seventy-Five is composed of a maximum of 75 members. Each has taken two vows:  one of loyalty to the Guildmaster; one of silence.  The former is indefinite; the latter, too, is indefinite, unless the member should be promoted into the ranks of the Silent Guard, which is composed of the group’s 15 ranking individuals.  Members of the Silent Seventy-Five, who are not in the Silent Guard, are mostly medium-level warriors or low-level blademasters and/or rogues, many of whose alignments are LN, LE, LG, or N but some of whose alignments are NE or NG.

The Silent Guard is composed of 15 members.  They are mostly high-level (professional) warriors, medium-level (elite) warriors, or medium-level (elite or heroic) blademasters and/or rogues.  Three of them form the Silent Triune.  Of the twelve others, one of particular note is Ian Falcon (youngest son of Edward Falcon), who first met Elamien at the age of eleven (when Elamien was fifteen).  Like his father, he is a rogue; and he has risen through the ranks of the Silent Seventy-Five rather quickly, which a few may have viewed as evidence of favouritism but which the overwhelming majority of the group has accepted, as many have found the young halfling to be a fine fellow, generally speaking.

The Silent Triune is composed of 3 members, one of whom is known as the Silent Speaker.  These are the leaders of the Silent Seventy-Five and the closest of the Guildmaster’s followers.  The two junior members are currently Mistalla el-Sathri, of a family of lesser nobility in Elinie, and Joere d’Arysto, an Anuirean, whose “surname” refers to one of the poorest districts in the City of Ansien, wherein he was born and wherein he lived in poverty during much of his early life.

The Silent Speaker is a man by the name of Malaqi.  His origins are not generally known; but there are rumours that he may possess a very weak bloodline, the implication being that he was bastard-born.  For many years, his vow of silence served him well in keeping his history obscure; but, even after his ascension to the Silent Guard, he has only been willing to reveal this much:  that he once lived beyond the waves of the Gulf of Coeranys.  His mind, though, is shrewd, and he leads the Guildmaster’s followers sagaciously and,—some have claimed,—with foresight.  And who can doubt his loyalty to Elamien? . . . So, in short, he is allowed his secrets.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 08:29:22 pm by X-Points East/EL »

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Feasting
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2013, 09:06:23 pm »

IC:

Ibrahim ibn Uiriena had been working for a number of hours,—busy, for the most part, with the intricacies of scrying,—when, of a sudden, he heard a rapping at the door.  Calling through the portal, he asked, “What is it?”

The muffled response was interrogative:  “Would m’lord like his supper, now?”

Thinking to himself, “I did not realise that the hour was so late”, he replied to the servant:  “Yes.  You may serve, when ready.”

He left his work as it lay and walked to a corner of the room, which was rather tidier than the rest.  Here, he cleaned himself up a bit and sat in a soft chair, which stood alongside a table.

A few minutes later, there was again to be heard a light rapping at the door, which sound was followed by the entrance of an average looking fellow, with tousled hair and an ugly scar at the base of his neck.  Uttered he, “Delicacies from the Gulf, m’lord:  an especial treat.”

“Indeed?” replied Ibrahim.  “Well, this should be a welcome change of diet, as I have not so indulged for some time. . . . You may go, Bezid.  Come back for the dishes, after a span.”

Bezid scuttled off; and the magician was left to his meal.

He enjoyed it immensely.  The flavours were most pleasing to his palate; and the texture and smell of the consumables were, with only a few exceptions, experientially novel.  And he was just observing as much, in a vague sort of way, whilst sucking a raw mollusk out of its shell, when he noticed a reflexion of himself in a large mirror some short distance to his left; a reflexion, which was so—  Well, whatever it was, upon seeing it, he abruptly halted his feasting, mid-mollusk-suck.

“Look at me”, went his thoughts; and look at himself he did.  And he beheld a figure:  that of a man, with fingers greasy, crumbs on the folds of his raiment, and some sort of fluid,—a mixture of saliva and animal juices, no doubt,—covering the short-cut beard at his chin.  “I really am a dirty sort of brute.”

But his extrospexion was not unfollowed by a reflexion upon his inner self and the character of his veritable being; and he remarked, even aloud, through the mollusk between his teeth, “And my soul is a beast of a soul.”

Then he finished his suck, swallowed, and was done with his meal.

Bezid returned soon thereafter; collected the dishes; and, seeing that Ibrahim was engaged in deep thought, left his lord, without a word, to his further rumination.


« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 01:51:25 am by X-Points East »

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The Gift of Hakim ibn Nathal
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2013, 05:29:50 am »

IC:

Oemiron Dhralot, tutoring Elamien Lamier in the Anuirean language, on four separate occasions, in the year, 1515 HC. . . .

Occasion the First

“But that is how I have heard it pronounced my entire life!”

“It may be so, in some places . . . and amongst the base.  But you will never hear a gentleman at court saying E-li-nie-ae or A-la-mie-ae.  The realms are E-li-nie-e and A-la-mie-e; and you would do well to remembre the sound.”

Occasion the Second

“Many things are taught improprely in the schools, Elamien.  For example, it is often stated that, when pronouncing the end of a word, which concludes with ie, one ought to utter distinct sounds of i and e.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  One still pronounces the ie,—quite clearly in fact,—and to this is added the sound of e.  So, where is this i?  I should certainly like to see a so-called scholar struggling to answer that!”

“But have we not covered this before, Oemiron?”

“Ah, a bright one you are, Elamien:  for the rule is essentially the same.  But we were speaking, then, of accents.  Take the common name, Liémen.  Can you believe that there are actually instructors, who speak of breaking the accented ie into i and e?  As if men went about calling fellows with that name Li-e-men!  Utter nonsense!  And I wager that more than a few Lie-e-mens rather take exception to it.

“So, if you like, think of the word, which ends in ie, as having an accent on that vowel.  In fact, in olden times, the accent was present; but it fell out of use, by convention, long ago.”

Occasion the Third

“The vowel, e, is really a wondreful tool in our tongue; and I say this primarily because of its function as a veritable indicator of irregular stress.  Some may of course find its silence at the end of various words to be rather silly; but, governed by a rule, I, myself, can find no fault with it.  In fact—  But I am beginning to digress; so, allow me to return, before I completely depart, to stress.

“It should be engrained in your memory, by now, that standard stress is placed upon the third to last syllable, in words of three or more syllables, and that standard stress is placed upon the first syllable, in two-syllable words.  And your own name is a case in point, on both counts:  E-la-mien La-mier.  But place a silent e on the end of those words, and we should have E-la-mien La-mier.  For this is the rule:  e at the conclusion of a word gives irregular stress to the vowel immediately preceding it.  And, so,—to take two famous examples, with silent e,—we say Ca-riel, not Ca-riel; and we say A-nu-ir, not A-nu-ir.

“Of course, this rule is not limited to silent e:  far from it, in fact.  For the pronounced e, at the conclusion of a word, provides the same indication of irregular stress.  Indeed, who should ever think of saying O-soer-de instead of O-soer-de?:  a foreigner, perhaps; but no native-born speaker.

“Now, some day, Elamien, I may share with you my observations on the use of silent e in certain one-syllable words.  However, to-day, we have other matter, to which to attend:  so, let us attend to it, without delay.”

Occasion the Fourth

“Of one-syllable words, there ought really to be only two types:  those, which end with silent e, and those, which end with two consonants.

“Yet, as you know, there are also one-syllable words, which end in a single consonant.  For examples, we have the province of Tier, in faraway Diemed, as well as the city of Haes and the town of Broth.  In all of these instances, though, one can perceive that a shortening has occurred, Tier deriving its name from its capital, Tierel; Haes and Broth, in reverse fashion, deriving their names from provinces.  Now, I suppose it possible that the nobility simply tolerated popular usage, after a certain spelling had, through practice, become the norm, in the regions under current scrutiny; but I am of opinion, that a great blame likely ought to be placed upon the learnèd classes in those lands.  For the people rarely spell any thing:  they have trouble enough speaking in a coherent fashion, let alone moving on to higher linguistic arts.  And it must, therefore, have been lethargic landowners, who were to blame:  I imagine that they could not be bothered to place a propre e at the end of words, which really deserved them; and, as a result, we are left with certain peculiarities.  But the propre way is by far the more prevalent; so, when you see Ghiere or Moere written with silent e, know that tradition and propriety, even in language, are difficult things to destroy . . . so long as those, who know them, appreciate and maintain them.

“I have also read of a few cases, in which a one-syllable word, which ended in two consonants, gradually lost the second of those consonants, in the vernacular tongue . . . which practical usage eventually influenced the spelling.  A dubious history suggests that this is true of the famous name, Dhon.

“But that is enough for to-day, Elamien.  I am old; and I grow weary.”