Arathorian Coalition <The Mantle Of War>
Rights of the Commonwealth
Right of Petition
The right to petition the Council, or any of its appointed servants, in the hope of them being addressed.
Right to Lawful Assembly
The right of citizens to assembly peaceably together, and to associate with who they like. Can be curtailed under martial law, or in crises. After all, it is only the right to lawful assembly.
Right to Trial
Citizens have the right to be tried by a magistrate or Council appointed official.
Right of Confrontation
When a citizen is tried for a criminal offence, he has the right to know the witnesses and the evidence against him.
Rights of the Nobility
Right of Position
Nobles have the right to governance and political participation.
Right of Redress
Nobles have the absolute right to have their disputes tried by a court, whereas citizens may only request.
Protection from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
Nobles shall not have their persons, estates or other properties searched without a warrant from the Council, signed by the Regent's own hand.
Trial by a Jury of Peers
Nobles have the right, in serious offences, to demand to be tried by a jury of other nobles
Right to Trial By Combat
Nobles have the right to be tried by combat and appoint a Champion of their choosing.
Rights of the Accused
Nobles have the right to be treated well during their arrest and the entire process of justice. They shall not be bound, nor subjected to physical abuses beyond what is required to take them into custody.
Right of Bail
Nobles cannot be imprisoned before being found guilty of any charges against them. They are always bailed pending trial. Bail is to be secured against their titles and holdings, meaning that the noble in question will forfeit all titles, lands and goods if he or she does not appear at trial.
Beyond that, we now have three major parts of the guild to join. We have the people that want to assist in the Regent stuff, we have a military officer that does actual military guild stuff, and then we have the awesome adventure part that the guild was founded on.
Take part in one or take part in all! Enjoy!
It was difficult not to blame herself for the circumstances of the Knight's demise when after all, it had been her idea to go riding beyond Stonegarde's mine and into the burnt out village to the East, knowing that it was dangerous with the syndicate so near. They were ambushed by six men just outside the village, an attempt to assassinate her no doubt. Unarmed as she was, Sir Jon had placed himself between her and her would-be assassins, slaying two before dying of his wounds. She might have followed him to the grave if it had not been for the lord of Greystone's bastard--a boy of no more than eighteen years who had come looking for her, desiring to pledge his sword to her cause.
Erryk Stone had saved her life, but that evening as Melysa sat alone beside the single window in her bedchamber, a part of her wished he had not. She had outlived so many she had loved, though next to the loss of her son, Sir Jon's death had been the most painful to bear. In all the years they had known one another, the Knight had never given her cause to doubt his love or his loyalty and now that he too was gone, Melysa felt truly alone.
At the sound of the knock, she nearly dropped the glass of wine she held, interrupted from her memories by Light only knew what now. "What part of I don't want to be disturbed did you not understand?" she answered sharply in reply to the knocking.
"A thousand pardons, my lady. A parcel from the Lady-Regent has arrived for you and I thought it might be important." Answered the woman outside.
"Bring it inside and leave me." Melysa told her, waiting until she was alone to break the seal on the letter that had come with the package.
The note read simply:
A gift from the Lady-Regent for all the hard work you have been doing. For doing what is right and good for all people. For dedication that is unmatched by many. Like a mother to her children.
Melysa lofted a brow in surprise as she read it twice more to be sure it was the Duchess' own hand. Just days ago, she had left the woman's Court with the impression she might soon find herself excluded from the council due to the painful truths she had told the Lady-Regent. She was almost certain the woman despised her and had said as much to Sir Jon the night she returned.
Draining the last of her wine, she set the empty glass aside and opened the parcel, its contents bringing tears to her eyes. Inside was a carefully-wrapped gown--the finest gown she had ever seen to be exact. It was of the Pandaren fashion, not unlike those she had seen only the wealthiest ladies of King Varian's Court wearing when she last visited Stormwind. It was not until she held up the garment that she discovered a second gift. In an ornate, hand-carved box was a strand of rubies set in silver and gold that would have put all the jewels her late husband adorned her with to shame, had she not already sold them after they were forced to flee the Ashfort.
Melysa was in tears as she called for her handmaiden. "Ashlyn, have you ever seen such a beautiful thing?" she muttered softly, holding up the gown for the girl. "Fetch paper and ink. I must thank her Grace."
She sat there for the next thirty minutes, scribbling out a letter and then crumbling it up, only to begin again thrice more before she finally decided she lacked the words just then to properly thank the Duchess. She would do so in person.
"Pardon, my lady?" Erryk Stone questioned her.
"I was thinking out loud, Erryk. The older you get, the more you do so or at least that's what my mother used to tell me." she replied, pulling the fur cloak tightly about her shoulders. It was cold that night and none of the braziers were lit. Part of her effort to conserve what little lumber they had was to burn fires only where they were necessary, but the winds blew cold there, atop the cliffs. With Two thirds of the Castle still under reconstruction, there were times when she felt as if she might as well have been outdoors.
"Forgive me for speaking so boldly, my lady... But... I'd have thought you would be pleased. You are a Countess now and once Alden's Rise is rebuilt, your income will double." The bastard remarked.
Melysa shook her head, meeting his eyes and reminding herself how very young he was. "More land is more responsibility. I am grateful to her Grace for the trust she has shown in me, but I lack an army to protect all these people and that is what worries me." she admitted.
"My lord father used to say that one Knight is the equal of ten guardsmen. It took more than two hundred of the syndicate men to take our Castle and all we had was four Knights and twenty guards. It was the sort of battle the bards made songs of..." he mused as they walked through the courtyard and into the lonely, black stone tower.
"And they killed your father and his Knights as I seem to recall."
Erryk's smile left him, replaced by a look of hatred, but not for her. "They did. He yielded to them so they'd spare the smallfolk. They murdered him anyway... Drove a knife into his back after he gave up the castle and that's when I led those that were left up into the mountains."
"I'm sorry, Erryk..." she said softly, setting a hand on his arm, from which he recoiled. "Knights are brave and gallant, but they die the same as all men. My son, James... He was a Knight and he died while trying to retake the Ashfort in Lordaeron. He had almost a hundred swords at his command and the forsaken still slew him. I would save my soldiers for battles I know I can win."
"You can afford to train more men now." he told her. "You could even train the smallfolk and form a militia."
"I will not do what your sister did." she insisted. "These people are not soldiers and I will not force them to fight and die. We will do things as my father once did. Those who wish to take up arms will be allowed to do so, but I will never put a sword in some child's hand and send him off to battle without allowing him to make that choice."
"May I have your permission to ride out to the holdfast at the edge of Alden's Rise tomorrow?" he questioned her.
"You may, but do not go alone. Take half the guard with you and be quick about your business. The syndicate is camped not even three miles from that holdfast." she told him, her expression that of a mother concerned for her child.
"That is why I'm going, my lady. We can't possibly defend Alden's Rise from here and I have no doubt the syndicate will menace the workers during the reconstruction. We need men in that tower and archers on the wall." he insisted.
"We?" she questioned him, her lips curling into a smile. "Would that you were your father's true born heir... You'd have made a better lord than your sister." she mused. "I'll give you the gold you need to hire real soldiers, but I would have a Knight oversee them. Sir Damon Cerwyn was one of my lord father's Knights during the second war. If he still lives, I would have you find him. If we are going to be training soldiers, we must have someone seasoned in battle to do it."
"Sir Damon is one of the finest Knights this Kingdom has ever produced and he is loyal to the house of Marwyn. I will not entrust Alden's Rise to a sellsword." she insisted.
"As my lady commands." he replied after a few moments of silent protest. "I will seek him out once I've seen to the defenses of the holdfast."
"The syndicate burned his home years ago. You'll likely find him in the ruins of Stromgarde. Perhaps the sanctum. He was always a pious man." she told him as they reached the door to her chambers.
"Why not give it to me?" he found the courage to ask.
"You are not ready. You're younger than my son was when the forsaken took him from me. You have your whole life ahead of you and..." she paused, a tired sigh passing her lips. "I feel safer with you around here." she admitted.
That seemed to be a good enough reason for him and one he at least understood. He nodded solemnly. "Would that I could have reached you before they slew Sir Jon. I know the two of you were close." he told her.
She could only nod as she pictured the aging Knight's smile. "There is another reason I'd like you to find Sir Damon. I would have you squire for him. I mean to see you become a Knight some day. It is the least I can do to repay you for saving my life."
Erryk's grin told her how pleased he was, but her eyes revealed only worry. "What's wrong, my lady?" he questioned her, his smile fading. "Do you always worry so?"
"Just don't go out of your way to prove yourself. A Knight knows when to use his mind, rather than his sword." she said at last. He bowed his head respectfully as she closed the door.
She was delighted to find that her chambermaid had seen to starting a fire in the hearth and the room was almost too warm. Shrugging off the fur cloak, she hung it over one of the pegs on the wall and seated herself in one of the old, high back chairs beside the fire. Now... What shall I name this new County? she wondered. Stonegarde was a fitting name for the Castle and that she would not change, but the land itself was by the sea. Seagarde? No... That doesn't sound right either. Seastone. Yes. That's it. Seastone. she told herself.
To be continued.
Stromgarde's house of lords was nothing like King Terenas' Court, where she had spent nearly a decade playing the games of Lordaeron's politicians. She had known all the players then--their wants, their motivations and their hopes for the future. She had been a young, beautiful, red-haired maiden from the highlands who could charm her would-be enemies. She learned to play the game well and it was often said that she, not her lord husband controlled the house's affairs.
She could not be so certain about those in her ancestral homeland and what it was they truly wanted. She had been away for far too long. One-and-twenty years had passed since she was sent off to Lordaeron to marry the lord of Ashfort and in that time, so many things had changed. Many of the lords of Stromgarde were dead, their heirs having taken their places. Some houses had been wiped out entirely by the syndicate and the ogres while others fought on, clinging to their Castles and doing what they could to protect the smallfolk.
There was one thing Melysa could be sure of and that was the simple fact that if Stromgarde's Nobility could not work together against its enemies, many of them would not live to see the bright future they all dreamed of. The syndicate was encroaching upon her own lands while the trolls menaced the people of Havenport. The forsaken were at their doorstep and the orcs held Hammerfall, meanwhile the Nobles would argue with each other about laws. There was no helping that and she knew it. Her first proposal had been nothing but a distraction, meant to give them something to debate while feeding their egos. The only new laws in it were those that benefited the commonwealth, but Nobles liked feeling as though their own rights were secure and so she had given them plenty to read and smile about. The proposal served a second purpose, far more important. It would tell her the sort of men she was dealing with and information was power.
She had but one goal at that first meeting and it was one she would not fail in. Impress upon the Nobility, her desire to see that their rights remained secure. The Lady-Regent was too blunt for her own good and her tendency to speak her mind was sure to drive a wedge between her and the rest of the Nobility, who they needed if ever they were to make any real progress in the highlands. Melysa would win them over at all costs and in doing so, she would get the things she wanted.
They were simple things really. A Church of Stromgarde, a standing army of the highlands to protect the people and a prosperous Kingdom when its true King returned. To achieve these goals, Melysa knew that it would mean dealing with people she did not like. Compromise was necessary in order to bring about certain outcomes and so she would let the others know that she was willing. All she did, she did for Stromgarde. Ever had the Marwyn's been loyal to the house of Trollbane and Melysa was no exception.
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