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Taking a Foothold - The Day After
Lord-Commander Alezander Talwind had almost forgotten the brutality of battle; the unpredictability, the panic, the chaos. Unfortunately, reminders had never been most gentle of things. His memory could only bring up the first and the last lines of the speech he had spent half the trip practicing in his cabin, only to end up improvising the vast majority of anyway. It was with a headache that he recalled his entire world spinning as their ship was struck. He remembered shouting at everyone, half deserved and half in frustration, as the men and women who had come with him rushed about to their duties in the midst of an attack that was both sudden and felt much too organised to be random.
The rest of that evening was much a blur lost in a pool of blood, sweat and screaming. He considered it a prank of the universe that his mind chose to retain no memory of what he did right that night, yet remained capable of replaying every decision made less than perfectly; seemingly in order to plague his conscience.
At least there was one decision, made long after horns had sounded the final charge and victory was assured, that offered him no doubts as to its rightfulness. The draenei, Bristera, would never likely be welcome in their ranks again – her pitiful decisions having almost cost them lives.
“Stupid goat…” The noble muttered to no one in particular. The sun was beginning its assent in the east, signifying the beginning of the first day after their arrival on the coast of Arathi and giving at least some illusion of warmth to the chilly highland air around the rise where the young Lord now held his lonely vigil.
Luckily pushing aside thoughts, both prideful and humbling, had been one of the first skills he learned among soldiers. There was limited time to both worry and bask in glory, before the hammering of workers and seductive smell of raptor stew being cooked en masse reminded one that it was just another day; that there was an entire camp below looking to him for direction.
At least this part of the job was relatively easy; though tedious in its own right. Half-erected tents had to be overseen and scout reports listened to. Food and water stocks, already pitifully low after much was lost with the ship, had to be accounted for. There were always complaints too. Paladins complained about Death Knights, Death Knights complained about puppies and workers demanded that the servants cook more, faster and better. It was as though they had never been in a hostile territory before.
The sun had long reached its zenith when he had finished his rounds, his mood at least somewhat improved from the simple work. For all his grumbling, he enjoyed this role; probably more than he had ever enjoyed the wealthy courts of nobility. There was something remarkably endearing about walking among off-duty soldiers gambling and drinking, tired craftsmen slurping down large quantities of rather poor-quality stew. Even the odd prostitute among the tents, one of many seeking their fortune at a camp full of men whose wives and sweethearts were too far away to occupy them, brought a feeling of sentimentality. Good or bad, it was normal.
His first set of responsibilities over with, the young commander headed over to the cave where a dutiful mage was always on hand to open and close the portal to Stormwind which had been so painstakingly set up during the battle. Granted, it wasn’t near as permanent or impressive as he had expected but if his advisors told him it was the best possible… Well, he wasn’t about to argue with magi on the topic of the arcane. He knew a losing battle when he saw one.
Carefully he stepped through the first tendrils of the portal open before him, trying to keep from becoming dizzy as the world changed from one place to another within a moment that defied all logic and sense. As the first buildings of the Alliance capital came into view, the King’s Keep looming in the distance, a feeling of dread washed over him; the next part of his daily duties now feeling too close for comfort. Paperwork, Alezander’s bane.
Edited by Alezander on 10/2/2012 5:32 AM PDT
Guild Name: Blood of Arathor
Guild Level: 25
Guild Site: bloodofarathor.shivtr.com
Guild Master: Alezander
Officers: Avellia, Sylbor
What do you mean by heavy RP? We mean that the heart and soul of this guild revolves around roleplay. That is the reason it exists and it is the focus. On top of that, we mean that we seek only the most talented, mature and skilled roleplayers. We don't mean to sound elitist but, in truth, we don't care about huge numbers. Rather, we look for high quality of writing in our members. Of course them being patient, loyal and OOCly fun people to be around is crucial too!
How do I join the guild? Go to our site, as indicated above. Go to the forums and look around the areas that guests have access to. Read the rules and FAQ posted in the “Joining the Guild” section (The FAQ is the same as posted below). Fill out an application and post it on the forum (Being a member is not required for this section). We will get back to you quite quickly for an IC interview, though you are more than welcome to track us down for questions too.
How would my character hear about you? Rather than posting a generic notice of recruitment somewhere we really like to work that out on a case by case basis. Sometimes it’ll be as simple as rumours they overhear. Sometimes we will create some history between your character and my own so that it is less coincidental. We have even been known to spontaneously roleplay out a small story involving a number of guildies just to integrate someone into the guild. Basically, we will base that on your application and your own desires after we get in contact.
What was that story above about? That story was born from our first ‘big’ guild event last Saturday where we had an event revolving around landing on the coast of the highlands and being ambushed there. I won’t bore with details but much fun was had by all – the story itself being of the next day after said event from the viewpoint of Alezander.
Edited by Alezander on 11/4/2012 4:09 PM PST
What is the Blood of Arathor?
Blood of Arathor is a nickname given to the group of nobles, backers and commoners who have flocked to the banner of Alezander Talwind under the pretext of retaking at least some parts of the northern kingdoms from both rogue and horde occupation, and restoring a foothold in the area.
But isn’t Arathor a dead Empire?
Indeed it is, and for the foreseeable future it shall remain so! Alezander isn’t seeking to rebuild a kingdom, to make himself king or anything else so ambitious. Whether that changes is really up to the RP in question. At the moment, however, ‘Blood of Arathor' is a very symbolic name that he has evoked due to its legendary and unifying status. Nearly every human (and worgen) in the Alliance, regardless of their birthplace, would likely be able to trace their bloodline back to the Arathorian Empire. That means that this immediately creates a patriotic bond between those that join (At least those humans that join.)
I’ve seen this guild advertise under the banner of House Talwind. Why is that?
The current leader of the group is Alezander Talwind, a noble of House Talwind (Read more about the House at http://bloodofarathor.shivtr.com/forum_threads/1246657 ). Due to that, the guild often takes many attributes from his house. For example, the banner of Blood of Arathor is in fact, in part, taken from the House Talwind sigil. Furthermore, many of the people who join his cause also swear their service to House Talwind – rebuilding which is his own, personal, side venture. Think of House Talwind as the current face of Blood of Arathor.
So, then, does my character have to join his noble Household?
No! That is the beauty of this guild – it is more than just a House guild. Think of it as an organisation which contains a number of smaller factions within it. House Talwind is simply the most dominant one (currently!) because the official leader of the group is of their blood.
In many cases it will make no sense for your character to join his household. For example, your character may be a noble who already has his own house. He might pledge allegiance to House Talwind or, even more loosely, the group. However aside from its responsibilities within the pledge, they would remain a completely separate entity. That is how complex, interesting politics are born.
Basically, it depends on the RP and on you. Since we are ICly working together, there has to be something tying the various people together. However, what that is can be worked out on a more case by case basis.
Can my character only join the Household and play no part in the overall organisation?
Yes and no. This is a purely IC matter, and as such you would do best using IC logic. If your character is a simple servant and he pledges allegiance to House Talwind, then they will almost certainly have to participate with the group - as House Talwind is directly involved in it and Alezander will demand as much of his subordinates. However, that involvement will depend on the character. He isn't going to throw a servant on the front lines, so your character may just end up mostly doing his errands with less impact with the other factions.
Are you a military guild and do you PvP?
Yes and no, again. PvP is unlikely to be a major part of our RP as RP-PvP has never been something that has captivated me. It is also unlikely to turn into a heavily militaristic RP. There will almost certainly be a standing force, of sorts. Also, I know I aim to have House Talwind to end up with a guard force of their own.
Any such groups will be expected to act in a disciplined manner and will likely have military-like events. However, the focus of the guild will be geared more towards politics and story progression – not heavy combat. Whenever there are combat-oriented story elements to be navigated, it is likely that the approach will be a well planned, organised RP event.
Edited by Alezander on 10/2/2012 5:38 AM PDT
Does my character have to act a certain way?
Your character doesn't 'have to' act in any particular way. However, we aim to recreate a very realistic social environment within this guild. Your character will encounter nobles and characters who are, simply, superior to yours in rank. This means that you must, at all times, be aware of what kind of character you are playing and the social status of the character they are roleplaying with.
Refusing to show IC respect, lacking discipline, failing to use the correct honorifics when speaking to certain characters and all such things are a quick way to lose your place in the organisation. IC actions will have IC consequences. Think back to the last medieval-based show you watched and remind yourself how most characters - even noble ones - act towards others of status.
Basically, if your character is rude with no restraint and an inability to curb those tendencies in the presence of authority - they probably joined the wrong guild in the first place.
Is the guild human only?
No! Humans will probably be a majority, however. Worgen, for the purposes of this, I am counting as humans. Dwarves and high elves (human-models) are completely unrestricted too, as they both have a long history with Arathor and can be integrated in large numbers without hurting immersion. Night elves, draenei and pandaren – however – are much more restricted for a number of reasons. Most of those races have little interest or history in the area and having them in huge amounts, we feel, will hurt the overall experience of the RP.
That said, however, unlike many other guilds we do not outright refuse entry to anyone. Every idea is considered as there are roles that can be taken up, limited only by our creativity. However, the quality control is much higher. There has to be a good IC reason and fit. On top of that you have to be an excellent role-player overall.
Do you let in Death Knights?
Yes, however they will have to deal with the issues that Death Knights often deal with ICly. In other words they may have to prove their loyalty, they will likely be asked to put this cause over the causes of the Ebon Blade and they will just, overall, likely need to show a high grade of quality both IC and OOC.
excerpt taken from a Small, Grey, Leather-bound Book
That Which Remains
I found you again--
Time and places having separated us;
I thought you were lost--
These words an irreplaceable ache in my heart.
But here you are once more--
Small comfort in a shadowed world that's forgotten.
But I cannot forget--
That calling of my soul from ashes stirred to flame.
And I will remember
Long after all the rest are gone.
These worded threads are never heard--
A silent voice that's never stirred;
A deeper truth, her heart reveals
That no one sees, and no one feels;
And late at night, her eyes wiill close,
And in the darkness Silence grows--
A ling'ring note just out of reach--
That longing element of speech.
With open eyes, the pattern forms,
And in the quiet she comforms;
In every action--every deed!--
There is no choice but to accede.
And though she longs for something more,
The dance goes on just as before,
And so her fingers form the weave--
A silent mask made to deceive.
But if these words could just take flight--
Could be the day and not the night--
What beauty then would others see
Instead of only seeing me?
Would there be Silence then, instead,
As every soul was caught with dread
That I, at last, had broken free--
No more this quiet constancy?
Still, muses often do not speak--
Their ghost-like footsteps, quiet, seek;
They do not come when they are sought,
And by no nets can they be caught;
And in the stillness of the heart
They will their sacred songs impart,
And as they passing disappear
Their Silent voices you may hear.
"You will remain upon the Church grounds until further notice, but your lessons for today have been cancelled. Father Harwell wishes for you to meditate upon your place here and your desire to be a priestess."
That's what Sister Dayforth had told her when she'd gone to her lesson that morning, and here she was, sitting and looking up at the sky, frowning at the clouds.
Had she done something wrong?
Had her recent inattentiveness been mistaken for a lack of desire to become a priestess?
It was true that she'd been distracted--trying to figure out the best way to approach the Church about her current situation with Lord Alezander Talwind and his people. And it was true she was worried that her mother might find out she was lying. And it was even true that she feared that Lady d'Tanien would send word to the Cathedral--painting her in the most awful light imaginable. And it could undoubtedly have been any of those things.
But why give her time to think about it if that were the case? Why not simply kick her out of the Church?
Compassion, she thought. They have compassion for everyone--even, and perhaps especially, for the undeserving.
Sighing, she curled up on the bench and closed her eyes, letting the sun warm her.
Whatever it was that she'd done, they'd summon her for questioning soon enough; that, at the very least, she knew.
And at least this way she could catch up on her sleep for a change.
Whatever was to come, there was no changing it now, and worrying about it wouldn't change it either.
I've been in this guild for a couple of weeks now, and I just wanted to share my experience with <Blood of Arathor> so far..
I've been having a great time! I came back to WoW after a couple of years without RPing so I was very rusty at it. Despite that, the guild took me in without judgement and helped me get back into it, and it's, well, awesome! There's RP going on almost every night, and the nights that RP isn't already going on, all you have to do is ask and there will at least be 2 or 3 people interested in doing some RP. Also, during down-time, there's normally chat in /g which is always entertaining and we have a great community of gamers going on. Alezander is a great GM and is actually active, which is a nice change (how is it that in most guilds, the GMs are the least active? It just makes no sense). Before joining the guild, he even offered to help me with my RP story.
RP is great, GM is great, guildies are awesome. If you ever have questions, please don't hesitate to drop me an in-game whisper.
A Letter in the Night
It had arrived in the night. Written in rich black ink upon a piece of parchment enchanted to resist water damage and carried by a man Alezander had only vaguely recognised as one of Lord Rahl's employees. The man himself never gave a name after nearly knocking down the door and insisting that the Lord of the residence be woken up to receive him. Demanding anything of a noble, least of all in the middle of the night, was never done lightly. Certainly, men had died for less. The contents of the message, however, had exonerated the courier.
Now in the comfort of his office – a simple room furnished only with some bookshelves, a desk and some comfortable chairs - Alezander, Lord-Commander of the so-called Blood of Arathor, reread the words for the sixth or seventh time. It was a valiant attempt to read into what was, really, a rather straight forward message.
Unsigned and otherwise unmarked, the short letter had probably been hastily written and privately carried to him directly from the source of the information. Not for the first time Alezander acknowledged how good of an idea it had been to ask the now-retired politician to help him keep an eye on things. For all the charisma and bravado the young Talwind displayed, he was an honest and straightforward man. He had always understood a battlefield better than the intricacies of court. Lord Rahl on the other hand, despite his much lesser status in the scheme of things, never seemed to miss a beat.
The dark-haired highlander shook his head, glancing over the paper obsessively yet again. His mind refused to completely believe something that made an incredible amount of sense when he looked back on everything. His brother missing made him the sole heir to House Talwind. This, in turn, explained why his father, who was the reigning Lord of House Talwind and a man renowned for stubbornness and decisive action, had been so lenient on his son's rebelliousness.
It was no longer about reputation. What had begun as a dispute between father and son over the right course of action now proved to have become a matter of the family's survival. All but their distant relatives had been wiped off the face of Azeroth by the Third War and its aftermath. Not even Mordel Talwind, Lord of Wind's Break and Master of the Valley, dared jeopardise the bloodline's continuation.
A near-unheard of look of anger gripped the young nobleman as he glared out the single window of his private quarters. “Why did you not tell me, father?” He muttered to absolutely no one, annoyance and frustration seeping into the usually mild mannered man.
Alezander knew why, of course. His father was a strong, prideful man who had always done things his own way. He was the model of noble authority, even to his own children. There had never been an alternative, never a chance to argue. Father always knew best. After all, he had been the undisputed Lord of the natural fortress that was Talwind Valley and a man of considerable influence in the eastern kingdoms. Few, common or noble, had the guts to argue with someone like that. At least that was the way it had been before the fateful night when even the Lord of Wind's Break had been forced to concede that their ancestral lands in the highlands had to be abandoned. Alezander was not altogether sure his father's pride had ever recovered.
Still, his father should have known better than to keep this from his son. This wasn't business, this was family. Granted, the two brothers had grown further apart since their childhood friendship ended in order to facilitate Julius' education in the art of being an heir to the seat. Alezander, conversely, had been sent far away to become yet another proud warrior of the highlands and a loyal defender of what was to one day be his brother's 'throne'. A brother who, Alezander was increasingly realising he had still cared for. It was yet more proof to him, however surprising, that there was strength in blood.
The young Lord vented his frustration by tossing the letter into the roaring flames of his fireplace, watching the flames flare as the damned message burned into ashes before his eyes. The fire brought little warmth; the chill of the highlands was a part of his soul now, it seemed.
His anger, on the other hand, had not cooled. Alezander stalked back to his desk and opened one of its many drawers to pick out a piece of parchment on which to word a letter to his father.
Even as his pen fluttered over the parchment, forming words he wasn't altogether sure he should write, the young noble's thoughts kept returning to what he knew he should do in the situation. He should go to his adviser, Lord Rahl, who would advise patience and temperance. He should talk to his steward or one of the many nobles who had pledged to him and have them tell him how best to take advantage of the sitatuation. He did none of that.
It was hasty, it was foolish.
It was family.
I write these words;
I can't forget--
I've lied to her;
They know the truth.
So why then keep me
In the dark--wondering,
Worrying? I've played
My part; so just be done.
And yet, here...
She sat quietly with a book in her lap--one she had borrowed from Lord Rahl's library. The sun was risen, and Lord Talwind insisted on doing business rather than resting. It would take him longer to recover this way, though he seemed determined to be done with that, as well.
Not that she minded, of course. The view out of his window was a lovely one, and in spite of the bustle of the rest of the city, the Mage District seemed a whole other world away.
They barely noticed she was there most of the time; she didn't mind that, either. Although when Lord Rhal visited, he never seemed to stop watching her. She'd have excused herself from the room, but when she'd tried, he'd simply waved a dismissive hand to her, telling her to stay.
More than once she was asked to leave the Lord alone--and she marked in silence those people who came to visit him.
Often, though, she dozed off while keeping an eye on Alezander. Once she'd even found herself asleep in her bed in the rooms Lord Rhal had decreed as hers, likely having been brought there by servants after such dozing off.
Sometimes she and the young Lord would talk; sometimes she'd read to him. And sometimes, like now, she'd simply sit and stare out of his window. She watched the birds as they flew through the sky or sang on the branch. And she envied them the ease with which they simply came and went as they desired.
But she learned a great deal while stuck in her manored cage. She learned the small nuances of the young Lord's day. She learned how he treated his servants and his guards. She learned that Lord Rhal was almost never at home, and she learned the little pieces of gossip that carried to her as she passed through the halls.
And even though she envied the birds their freedom, she always felt as though she were where she was meant to be.
The Lord would insist on walking soon--and she'd insist he use a cane. He'd be loathe to do so, undoubtedly refuse to do so, and when he found that he had need for it, she'd be there to see that he had it.
The spear had cut through muscle and tendon, and that was not so easily healed--as she had found to her dismay. There were those who might have been able to heal the young Lord with ease, but their time and efforts were taken with the war in Pandaria.
Sometimes Llyr wondered if that was the only place that existed in the minds and hearts of the leaders of the world. It was as if they'd simply forgotten about everything else--or at least that was how it seemed sometimes.
Llyrae often thought on the offer Lord Rhal had made to her that night at the Cathedral when she'd been taken and brought to his home. But there was always something that stopped her from swearing herself to Lord Alezander Talwind. It wasn't that she wasn't devoted to his cause, and he certainly wasn't a bad man. But something within her simply refused to bend.
She knew she wasn't the equal of any Lord or Lady, but she refused to let herself be dominated by them. For, who was truly worthy of her devotion?
It was a question that she wrestled with each day in the quiet of her mind. And Llyrae wasn't about to make a hasty decision.
She might not have been the Lady of House Whitecross, but she still carried the honor and the dignity of her family's name. And she would vouchsafe it with care--as her father had taught her.
But in the mean time, ...she could help those who were in need of it. And she could ensure that they were able to fly as freely as the birds, and to sing as beautifully.
The Lord-Commander looked over the two armored men that now stood before him, his gaze as cold and fierce as the wind that battered the mountains which his family had called home for generations.
“But I would ask one more thing of you still." He continued, his voice firm and confident; assured in the rightness of his actions. "I would ask that you pledge your loyalty, fealty and service to not my House, nor my blood, nor ranks long forgotten in time... I ask for you to pledge yourself to follow me – the man you know have come to know as Alezander Talwind – wherever in my quests I shall lead you. I beseech you to listen to whatever commands I bestow. That spoken, until this oath is made, you are free to leave..."
The broad shouldered highlander paused, as if giving the two the chance to retreat had they the desire to do so. He would have none, except those that were truly devoted, beholded to him in oath. These words meant something, they were important.
When neither man left, even as seconds ticked on, Alezander only continued as though he had never stopped, as though he had felt no doubt of their convinction. "If, however, you would stand by my side – if all that I speak today rings true in your heart. I would have you kneel to me, those who I have deemed trusted and honourable, and speak the ancient words of Arathor... ‘Esarus thar no'Darador’. That which translates to ‘by blood and honor we serve.’"
Without a moment's hesitation the two dropped to their knees - no doubt in their voice as they spoke in unison. "Esarus thar no'Darador."
Edited by Alezander on 10/15/2012 9:39 AM PDT
Books build dreams; swords destroy them.
That phrase was spoken to Mister Orik by the man who taught him how to use a sword. He shared it with us tonight, and I liked it so much, I wanted to write it down so that I don't forget it.
Where have they gone--
Those men who made us?
Who taught us to dream
And then betrayed us
By shattering childish misconceptions
And altering each of our false perceptions?
Where have they gone
Those noble souls
Whose teachings caught
Within us coals
That brought the flames of Truth to light
And set the rules for wrong and right?
Where have they gone--
Their wisdom sought?
We're left with only
What they've taught;
And though a thought may fade away,
The art of it will ever stay...
Here within our hearts and minds.
You are not forgotten, old friends.
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