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Vernaris: Future Dark Lord or Misunderstood Loner?


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The longest chapter yet. Tried to do an ordinary siege until I remembered that mages would completely change the playing field. Some dark content. Finally to my readers, do you wish to have chapters this long or smaller ones?



It has been two weeks since the battle at Magister’s Fall with the result being a Vernaris victory. Cassius managed to save the day and turn the tide through a flanking cavalry charge,routing the Hartlys from the field of battle back to their castle. Now the young man was to siege Hornhall, the ancestral castle of the Hartlys, with the forces that survived the battle. Miron was to bring the supply train along with some reinforcements, that was supposed to be a week ago.

Truth to be told, Miron didn’t want to go at first but his father believed that the soldiers may be inspired if people believed that their highborn lords are willing to lead them even if he was a child. So he went towards Hornhall along with the soldiers and supplies, perhaps he would gain glory or fame. Accompanying him was a young man about Cassius’s age called Pazzi, bodyguard and servant in one.

It was a most boring ride and Miron could not wait until it was over, though Pazzi’s conversations relieved some of the boredom. Every time the army camped, Miron would try his hand at painting. He wouldn’t be called a master but he is getting better at it. The slow movement of the army allowed ample time.

Eventually the relief force managed to reach the siege lines of Hornhall, Miron was not impressed with what he saw. No guards and the perimeter was woefully lacking. How does one screw up such an important task? Cassius must have been neglecting his studies. He scanned the camp and found the commander’s tent, promptly went there and opened the tent’s flap after getting the relief force situated. His brother was standing around a table with a replica of Hornhall at the center of it.

“Oh, brother..... Nice to see you have arrived, took you long enough.” Cassius said with a very condescending tone. “What? You got lost?”

“No. The quartermaster didn’t get everything we need. Took him a while.” Miron stated with a bearable whisper. “Besides. What is wrong with your camp. No guards at the entrance and a barely sustainable perimeter. Been drinking?”

Cassius’s face turned grim with a menacing glare. If looks can kill, then Miron would be very dead. Cassius opened his mouth a bit before closing it back up, clearly deciding his words.

“What do you know about war anyway, you’re like nine?” Cassius said with much venom. “Leave war for the men.”

“I am actually eleven as of yesterday and you are right. I know very little of war.” Miron said in the same tone of voice as before. “However, if I was supporting Hartly all of your soldiers and you would be dead by now. I was unchallenged when I arrived.”


“I assume you are going to stay then. Catch some of the glory.” Cassius said after a long pause. “I don’t believe you can return either way until it's over.”

“Of course I am staying.” Miron replied nonchalantly. “War doesn’t come often on this island and I want my part in it before it's over.”

“Fine.. but I get majority credit for this siege.” Cassius offered.

“Fine.” Miron accepted as both brothers stare at each other intensely.

The Next Day

“The walls?”

“Multiple layers, hard to breach.”

“The gate then?”

“It's protected heavily, hundreds will die.”

“No, thousands.”

Cassius sighed as he discussed the siege with his right hand man. Hartly has shown no sign of surrendering even when his brother brought even more soldiers to commit to the siege.

“Are you sure? Hartly has not issued any forms of surrender?” Cassius said once more to his commander.

“No, Lord Carl Hartly is a very stubborn man.” The Vernaris Commander answered. “If he thinks he is justified then he would fight to the death unless the people are suffering from his actions.”

Cassius sighed as his brother and his brother’s servant enters the tent. Miron took a seat at the center table and grabbed some slices of cheese to eat.

“Siege engines should be done by the end of the day.” Miron said while chewing. “Bombardment will occur as soon as possible.”

Cassius looked as brother, contemplating what to say. When Miron was about to pour himself some water, Cassius spoke.

“The siege is taking too long.”

“Too long? It has only been three weeks.” Miron said while taking a sip. “Besides all sieges take a long period of time to complete.”

“Still too long. I am thinking about challenging Hartly to single combat.” Cassius said after mustering the courage.

“Single combat?”

“Yes, single combat.” Cassius said firmly this time.

“I still say that it is a bad idea, with due respect milord.” The Vernaris Commander stated. “Lord Hartly is an accomplished fighter or at least in tournaments. Single combat would only tip the scales toward him.”

“Out of the question then, siege continues as planned.” Miron said as he picked a squab wing to eat.

Two weeks later

“What do you think Pazzi?” Miron said as he was painting on a easel. “It looks off.”

“It looks fine, milord.” Pazzi said.

“No, it's off. Put it with the others.” Miron sighed as Pazzi removed the canvas and placed another on the easel. Pazzi’s highborn lord has been painting Hornhall under siege for the last week.

“Permission to speak milord?” Pazzi requested.

“Speak.” Miron said while painting the undercoats.

“All of these paintings are beautiful. Why do you toss them aside?” Pazzi questioned. “Is something wrong?”

“They are imperfect, a mirage. Ugliness pretending to be beautiful.” Miron answered. “The whole painting lacks something.”

Pazzi thought to himself wondering how can something beautiful actually be ugly pretending to be beautiful. He decided it was highborn eccentricity. Insanity was not where he wanted to go.

“I know, Pazzi tell the head engineer to aim the trebuchets at that wall.”

“Of course milord, right away.” Pazzi replied as he went to find the head engineer.

Two Days Later

“Perfect, the best of the lot.” Miron proudly said.

“Yes, milord.” Pazzi affirmed even as he can’t tell the difference between the current painting and the previous ones.

“This calls for celebrations even if Hartly doesn’t surrender. Bring some chickens and lavender drink.” Miron ordered while taking in his latest work. Pazzi moved at once.

It was a while as he moved through the camp towards the camp cooks or more specifically the Highborn lords’ personal cook.

“Hey Pazzi.” the cook greeted. “Another errand for the young master then.”

“Yes, some chickens and rose water.” Pazzi said with a grin on his face. The cook immediately went to work and the two chatted and traded stories until the chickens were cooked. A happy moment in these dark times.

Three weeks later

The siege still continues with no signs of Hartly surrendering, a fact that infuriates Cassius who expected victory a week before. Another meeting was convened to discuss the siege.

“Why can we not just assault the castle?” Cassius demanded to know.

“Well milord we been through this before, the walls are strong and we would take heavy casualties.” The Vernaris Commander said. “Besides even we attack, the second wall would still have to be breached.”

“I want the walls to be torn down, intensify the bombardment!’ Cassius screamed. “This is taking too long!”

“But milord, the mages within would just repair them.” The Vernaris Commander said while trying to calm down his highborn lord.

“Mages and wizards still have to take a break, intensify the bombardment. Build more engines if you have to.”

That night, the siege engines fired non stop with no pause except to reload. By the next morning, the walls have been repaired by magic. Cassius’s screams of anger could be heard even from the capital.

A Month later

“We need a shift in plans.” Miron spoke to his brother and the commander. “The mages are keeping the castle from falling and no matter how much rocks we throw at the walls, it will be repaired.”

“Then what should we do?” Cassius asked.

“What are the things Hartly most prize in the world.” Miron said

Cassius pondered a bit but the commander spoke up.

“His family and his people.”

“Exactly, his family are inside the walls with most of the peasants sent out to extend their stores.” Miron continued. “And from what I seen, most of Hornhall behind the walls are made of wood.”

“Your point being?” Cassius said

“We burn the countryside, only Hartly’s land. Kill as much as possible, destroy the buildings so the survivors won’t survive the winter. Considering how long we take, we will be here the whole summer and autumn.” Miron said like it was the most obvious thing in the world. “If he doesn’t surrender then, we launch burning rocks into Hornhall. Perhaps a lucky shot will kill some of his family.”

Cassius was shocked at such suggestion, the soft tone his brother always spoke in made it much worse.

“Th-That’s barbaric.” Cassius said. “Our family’s reputation would change for the worst. Out of the question.”

Miron turned his head sideways slightly. “If we don’t, we could be here for years. That would only breed more rebellious thoughts among the vassals. No it must end within the week or at least in two months.”

“Lord Hartly would surrender to protect his people.” The Vernaris Commander said. “It may be our only choice.”

“No, out of the question. Our family would be ruined. Heroes don’t do these things.” Cassius said firmly. “I would not sully our honor.”

Miron sighed, before speaking. “The Grand Game has always been about intrigue and plots. The only thing that matters is the appearance of honor.”

“This is not the grand game.” Cassius spoke as he poured himself some water. “This is war.”

“Everything is part of the Grand Game. Buying better furniture than your rivals, destroying their holdings.” Miron said. “If you are so concerned with the family reputation then I would take all of the responsibility for it. I am certain the court would tolerate my actions here.”

Cassius considered. “Fine, only if Hartly doesn’t surrender after the parley.”

“Fair enough, I will make plans with the commander. You go parley with Hartly.” Miron said, instantly taking a piece of paper and a quill.

Three hours later

Cassius stood in front of Hornhall’s drawbridge, anxiously awaiting for Lord Carl Hartly to come out for parley. It felt like forever but Cassius wanted a bloodless outcome or at least a minimum of bloodshed, any chance for peace would be preferable than what his brother has planned.

After a while, the drawbridge fell and an imposing man step forth. Carl Hartly was a giant of a man with a large red mane and beard. His armor covered by a crimson cloak with a silver stag as the centerpiece. If they were not enemies, Cassius was sure that they could have been friends or at least Cassius would have been this man’s squire.

“I see your father prefers to send his children to fight his battles.” Carl Hartly spoke with a booming voice. “Is Inrell so cowardly?”

“My father has some things to take care of back home.” Cassius said with a hint of fear. “That’s not the point. I have orders to end the siege as soon as possible so I ask for your surrender.”

“My surrender, hahhah.” Carl Hartly laughed “I have seen your siege but it’s pitiful, my five year old daughter can do better. My supplies are still well stored, I believe you will be spending more time here licking your boots. Nothing you say can persuade me to surrender..”

“Then consider this. Surrender and your family will be spared along with the smallfolk.” Cassius insisted. “Or I will be forced to take more extreme measures.”

“Extreme measures.... You don’t the guts boy.” Carl Hartly said with confidence. “The Vernaris family will never tolerate such actions. You will be banished from the island.”

“It’s not me. My brother would be the one.” Cassius said this time with confidence as he surely has the upper hand. “You don’t know him.”

“You think a ten year old boy would be willing to do the things you are implying.” Carl Hartly said without wavering. “I refuse your surrender.”

With those words, Lord Carl Hartly turned his back to Cassius and walked back to his castle. Cassius stared on in silence before returning to his own lines.

“So, how did it go?” Miron asked as his brother sat down at the table. “I assume he did not accept our ultimatum.”

“No.” Cassius sadly replied.

“Good.” Miron said while taking out the piece of paper from earlier. “I have conducted a symphony that the stars themselves would cry from its magnificence.”

“So everything is prepared?” Cassius questioned his brother.

“Yes. I will ride out with the raiders as soon as possible.” Miron said with a smile etched upon his face. “Fear not, the siege would be over soon.”

“One more thing before you, I want a rider sent to me after each village burned so I can ask Hartly to surrender.” Cassius said. “This doesn’t have to go on if doesn’t have to.”

“Fair enough, I should get going.” Miron said. “May the sun shine on us when we meet again.”

“If only the Maiden wasn’t heartless.” Cassius replied to the traditional farewell at once even though the two brothers never exchanged the traditional words. “Don’t get killed.”

Miron only waved to acknowledge as he went out of the tent. Pazzi was already standing nearby wearing the most basic of armor with a jeweled sword on his hip. In one hand was the reins of a small horse, the other carrying a banner.

“Is that it?” Miron inquired with excitement on his face.

“Yes milord, as you requested.” Pazzi said as he presented the banner.

The banner was black in color which only made the fairy on it appear even more striking. Instead of the sapphire wings, the wings were ruby red like fire bursting from the back. There was also a golden trim of roses arranged in a pattern. It was perfect in Miron’s eyes.

“Pazzi, you will carry my banner from this day to your end.” Miron said as he went on the saddle. “Consider this to be a promotion.”

Pazzi kneeled out of gratitude ,social mobility was notoriously hard on the island. “Milord, I swear to follow you until my last day.”

“Good, now get a horse.” Miron said “We got a schedule to keep.”

Ten Days later

“Surrender Hartly and no more lives have to be lost!”

“Fly up to the sun brat!”

“No, you fly up to the sun!”

The exchange has been going on for a while. Cassius was getting tired of the whole affair but he wanted the bloodshed to end. The immediate villages have been burned and his brother was on his way back.

“Blast that damn Hartly.” Cassius shouted in the safety of his tent. “I am trying to save lives but he insists on fighting!”

“Perhaps the young master is wrong about the way to make Hartly surrender.” The commander said as he arranged the pieces on a map. “Hartly may be justifying his resistance or trying to gain support by holding out.”

The tent flap opened and Miron stepped in, clearly tired and have dirt on his face.

“All the villages nearby have been burned, I doubt the survivors can find shelter.” Miron said pouring himself some lavender drink, quickly downing the liquid. “How is it on this end?”

“Not well, Hartly refuse to surrender.” Cassius said, disappointed in himself. “I don’t think your plan is working.”

“Hmmm.” Miron pondered a while before speaking again. “Looks like we need to step it up a notch.”

“Intensify the bombardment?” The Commander asked. “We have already been doing that.”

“No. No. No.” Miron said with a soft laugh. “I will tell Pazzi to gather up the survivors of our raids and bring them back here. I need your men to build me a catapult.”

“A catapult? For what purpose?” Cassius inquired. “You going to catapult them towards the castle?”

“How astute of you. Yes that is what I intend to do.” Miron said while sipping his drink. “I am pretty sure even Hartly would surrender after this....spectacle.”

“Oh, just like your earlier plan.” Cassius said throwing his hands up in the air. “Well since I am out of ideas, you go ahead. Tell the head engineer what you want.”

“I will get on it right away.” Miron said while pouring himself another drink and leaving the tent shortly after.

“You think my brother’s new idea will work?” Cassius asked his commander. “There is absolutely no way this can work can it?”

“It could. I doubt Hartly is even that cold to ignore something like that.” The Vernaris Commander consoled his highborn leader. “I wouldn’t want my wife and children to die like that.”

“How bad would this affect my family’s reputation?” Cassius asked once more.

“Well not a lot, I am pretty sure the high court would not speak of it in public.” The Commander said. “However behind closed doors, I would presume the lords and ladies would look less highly at your family.”

“So I should stop it. Prevent it from going further.” Cassius said.

“On the other hand, this action could prevent future rebels from revolting against us.” The Commander suggested.

“Or it may breed more resentment among the lords and ladies.” Cassius countered. “If only Hartly surrendered. It would never have come this far.”

“He forced our hand.”

“No, we were impatient.” Cassius said ending their conversation.

On the other side of the camp where Miron’s tent was set up, the small band of raiders were returning for resupply and piling the loot they gained. Pazzi was among them.

“Pazzi.” Miron said beckoning his servant towards him.

“Milord?” Pazzi said. “We just got back. Is it something you need?”

“Change of plans. The raiders are to stop killing and start capturing. Go back to the old sites and round up the survivors.” Miron said and continue once he sees the confusion of Pazzi’s face. “The stag is stubborn, we need to change his mind. Once you resupply, you are to assemble the men and lead them.”

“Yes milord.” Pazzi nodded. “I will do as you say.”

“On the field, your word would be law just like mine. Return with as much people as possible. Raid the outer villages as well, only Hartly’s land, the raiders can keep anything valuable they find.” Miron said while looking back towards Hornhall. “I will make Hartly see.”

“I understand, I will leave as soon as possible.” Pazzi said. Miron smiled and handed Pazzi a captain’s pin along with a small pat on the arm.

“May the sun shine on us until we meet again Pazzi.”

“If only the Maiden wasn’t heartless. I will be back milord.”

Inside Hornhall

“The people are suffering, perhaps I should surrender.” Carl Hartly sighed as the fires burned on the horizon. “I did not anticipate the Vernaris family to follow through with their threats.”

“We can’t surrender, the penalty for treason is death. You rebelled without justification.” Lady Hartly said to her husband. “Our children’s lives are at risk because of you.”

“You don’t think I know that but those accusations damaged our honor.” Carl Hartly said. “I couldn’t tolerate them anymore.”

“Those are just words, actual treason is another.” Lady Hartly said as she began pacing, her blond curls disheveled. “I do not believe that the other lords and ladies would rebel. They have no interests in rebellion.”

“Each day I hold out, the more they believe but the toll on the civilians are too much.” Carl Hartly said as he got up from his chair and looked out the window. “If only the smallfolk didn’t have to suffer.”

Lady Hartly sighed before she spoke “Do you want to see the children before they are put to bed?”

“Yes I do.” Carl Hartly said. “Please bring them to me.”

After a while, the Hartly children arrived at the study of their father. The oldest was Ashley;the second oldest was Taylor; the middle child and only son was Otto; the daughter about one year younger than Cassius was Eliza; and the youngest was Selene. All take the appearance of the traditional Hartly look except for Eliza who has a golden mane rather than red.

“Father.” Ashley said. “Is the siege going to end soon?”

“I don’t know.” Carl Hartly can only say. “Maybe a few more days.”

“That is what you said last time.” Taylor whined. “I wanted to go to the Capital this court season. You promised.”

“Let me ride out Father and I will drive the Vernaris out of our land.” Otto said with suicidal confidence. “A gathering of our greatest knights can plow through them. Everyone knows a Hartly is worth ten Vernaris.”

Lord Carl Hartly gave a hearty laugh as he picked up Selene and embraced her before turning to Otto. “With such courage in your heart Otto, the next generation is secured. I have no doubt this would be over by the summer court session.”

The Hartly family chatted and ate some late night snacks as they discuss their day. Carl Hartly kissed each of his children, wondering what would the coming days bring for them. He wished he never had to let them go.

Vernaris Siege Camp-Miron’s Tent

Miron D’al Vernaris was taking a bath, magic sure made things convenient such as warm bath water and inconvenient such as magically repairing walls.

“You know when I meant to be the villain, I meant more like storybook villain not horror story villain.” The Conspirator said. “Unless you are heading for that then good on you.”

“Those are the same thing.” Miron said as he closed his eyes. “Besides, I wish not to be the hero nor the villain.”

“You said it darling! Aren’t you excited for your performance in the upcoming days?” The Enchanter said singsongy. “I know I am!”

“No, I am sure Hartly will surrender after the first few bodies. This would all be over soon.” Miron said before submerging himself into the water.

“You know, you are holding him back from his destiny.” The Conspirator said to The Enchanter. “All of this is distracting him.”

“Nonsense, I am showing him the world as it really is. His destiny lies elsewhere.” The Enchanter replied. “Better than that villain thing you made for him.”

“Oh, like you know him. You only been here for several months, I been here all of his life.” The Conspirator angrily said.

“Why?! Perhaps if yo-”

Miron tuned out the conversation as he thought about life when he returns to court.

Five Days later

“Should we warn him and convince him to surrender?” Cassius asked while surveying the castle walls. “Maybe he would come to his senses.”

“No, I don’t want to hear say we won’t do it or his yapping tongue about us being cowards.” Miron answered his brother as he was setting up his easel or more specifically Pazzi was. “You should leave so it looks like the whole thing was my idea. Don’t worry, all of this will be done soon.”

Cassius had a frown on his face but left immediately, no doubt to drink some wine. The whole affair was too morbid for him.

“Pazzi, I want you to be my voice. I doubt Hartly can hear me from here.” Miron said as the catapult crew was setting up the siege weapon. “And no matter what happens, you stay calm.”

“Yes milord.” Pazzi confirmed, staring towards the castle walls.

After a few minutes of preparation, the prisoners were brought nearby in a mobile cart system. The expression on each of their face can be described as extreme terror.

“How fast can you shoot?” Miron asked the head engineer. “I got a feeling, it would have to be quick succession in order to send a message.”

“A few minutes between each shot.” The head engineer quickly replied. “This crew is one of the best milord.”

“Good, Pazzi have one of the soldiers pick a prisoner. At random.” Miron ordered while beginning to paint. “Once that prisoner is picked, you may return the prisoner when ready.”

Pazzi shouted to one of his underlings to pick a prisoner as quickly as possible. That soldier along with his friends grabbed a middle aged man and dragged him towards the catapult. Cries for mercy began immediately. Hornhall’s walls bustle with activity clearly attempting to get their lord.

“Please milord, mercy! I got a family.” The prisoner begged.

Miron ignored the man and continued painting. The screams did help set the tone for his latest work. The prisoner was loaded into the catapult and was sent toward the wall....only to hit the midsection.

“You missed Cornelius, I thought that crew was one of the best.” Miron said. “I need the bodies to hit the top section.”

“Apologies, milord.” The Head Engineer said before turning to yell at his men for embarrassing him. Another prisoner was taken as well.

“I know, you got a family.” Miron said when the prisoner began to beg for his life.

This time the prisoner flew up to the top, breaking his bones before the wall just as Carl Hartly arrived.

“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?!” Carl Hartly demanded.

“Surrender immediately Lord Hartly!” Pazzi shouted towards the walls. “Or my lord, Miron D’al Vernaris will continue.”

Another body flies towards the walls.

“If your lord does not stop, then I would not surrender!” Carl Hartly stated.

“Keep firing, he will break eventually.” Miron said motioning the engineers to continue.

Another prisoner gets released and their body slammed the wall.

“I am serious! I will not strike my banners!” Carl Hartly shouted down though the people around him are horrified.

“Stop Pazzi, tell the engineers to stop.” Miron ordered.

“Halt!” Pazzi yelled towards the siege weapon before turning to his lord. “Milord?”

“Release two prisoners at a time. And tell the men to take women and children as well.” Miron nonchalantly said before looking towards the wall.

“Milord?” Pazzi asked. “For what purpose?”

“Pazzi, Hartly cares for his people since he sees them as his family. Killing the men won’t cause that much effect. We must target those he considers innocent.” Miron answered his servant.

After a long period of deliberation, Pazzi nodded and ordered the soldiers to do what was asked of him. He didn’t like it one bit but the logic seems sound.

Carl Hartly can only look on in horror as more bodies hit the wall and the boy below did nothing but paint. One of his archers shot an arrow only to miss the easel by a foot, only to receive a boulder to the face in response. The boy was testing him, if he surrendered then all those lives would been lost in vain but if he didn’t then more innocent lives.

Another person flew towards the wall and lost their life. He recognized her as the midwife that helped in the birth of his children. At that point he knew what he had to do.

“Alright. I surrender!” Carl Hartly said. “On certain terms.”

The only answer was more bodies, more death.

“Unconditional surrender Lord Hartly!” Pazzi shouted. “Only unconditional surrender.”

“I agree, unconditional surrender!” Carl Hartly hastily shouted.

Two more bodies flew toward the walls, Lord Hartly was dumbfounded.

“I already agreed!” Carl Hartly yelled. “Why did you killed them?!”

“For inconveniencing my lord and making him wait several months.” Pazzi replied.

Hornhall’s Great Hall

Inside the great hall was a treasure trove of hunted animals stuffed and arranged in regal positions. At the center was a large circular table though it was currently divided as the two families discussed what would happen to the traitors.

“You will get to keep your castle though portions of your lands will be taken and given to more loyal members of the court.” Cassius started. “I could install a garrison but I don’t really want to. Perhaps a hostage?”

“Fine.” Carl Hartly said while staring menacingly towards Miron though the boy completely ignored.

“Of course we would pick the hostage and in four hours time, that hostage would accompany us to back to the capital.” Cassius continued. “My brother will begin preparations immediately to return back.”

Miron only nodded before moving out of the hall with the chatter turning to the chosen person.

Vernaris Siege Camp

Cassius was late by two hours, Miron gathered the entire camp to move with the help of Pazzi and the commander but the entire army stalled waiting for their main commander.

After a while, the delay was obvious even to Miron. His brother had became smitten with Eliza Hartly and was chatting her with utmost enthusiasm before letting her mount her horse. He would be traveling with her instead of being at the head of the column.

“She is the hostage?” Pazzi said bewildered. “That was a horrible pick. Hartly would easily restart the rebellion.”

Miron nodded as he saw the complete advantage his family had go to the drains. All of it for a girl, Cassius has only met. Things would have to change if his family is to remain supreme and a thousand ideas began to form in his mind about such reforms.

“At the ready....March!”The Commander ordered when everything was in place. The army moved as one towards the capital and in the front was Miron’s own banner carried by Pazzi. The siege was finally over though the seeds of rebellion still lingered even if the tallest plant was cut down.

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Hahah thanks (I am a big fan of the Warhammer franchise). Funny enough I was watching grimdark things while writing that chapter, it was originally more realistic but then I thought of doing what I imagine a insane being would want to do and pass that thought on.

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Well succession tends to go towards a male-preference on the island especially those families more knightly in nature. Otto would have been logical as the only son of Carl Hartly which means if Otto dies then the entire male line is wiped out ergo the Hartly's name is gone forever unless a noble is willing to marry one of Carl's daughters and take her family name as his own. However that rarely happens to traitors since nobody wants to be associated with them unless they want a target on their back. Even if Cassius didn't pick Otto, he should have picked the eldest daughter as according to custom. Nobles on the island can't marry before their older siblings according to gender. So Otto can marry once he comes of age but Eliza can't if Ashley and Taylor are chosen as hostage unless the hostage taker permits it. Is this more clear or create more confusion?

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Well succession tends to go towards a male-preference on the island especially those families more knightly in nature. Otto would have been logical as the only son of Carl Hartly which means if Otto dies then the entire male line is wiped out ergo the Hartly's name is gone forever unless a noble is willing to marry one of Carl's daughters and take her family name as his own. However that rarely happens to traitors since nobody wants to be associated with them unless they want a target on their back. Even if Cassius didn't pick Otto, he should have picked the eldest daughter as according to custom. Nobles on the island can't marry before their older siblings according to gender. So Otto can marry once he comes of age but Eliza can't if Ashley and Taylor are chosen as hostage unless the hostage taker permits it. Is this more clear or create more confusion?


A marriage could help with alliance or at least discourage the Hartly from being hostile, however?

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A marriage could help with alliance or at least discourage the Hartly from being hostile, however?

It could but alliances on the island don't usually require marriage and even marriage is no guarantee for hostilities to end. In fact a marriage is a great excuse for one family to bring their troops into the other's castle.

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It could but alliances on the island don't usually require marriage and even marriage is no guarantee for hostilities to end. In fact a marriage is a great excuse for one family to bring their troops into the other's castle.


Marching on a family that married you despite having you at their mercy is a possibly very dishonorable move, isn't it?


I am looking forward to the in-school angst :)

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SIDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Anyway what college should Miron go to? I was originally thinking Vernin but I thought a charmless Hedi or a Dastardly Durand to be cool angles as well.

The Future?

Court was finally to start on Isla Vernarae and everyone was eager especially those about to come of age. The first dance was the time for the social elite to gather and is usually the place where initial alliances for the season are cemented. Needless to say the palace is vibrant with life especially on the day of the first dance where it seems all of the nobility and well to do attend in hope of moving that much closer to stardom.

Miron stood in the corner of the ballroom observing everyone that attended. He didn’t know most of their names but could tell their familial loyalties based on the colors they wore or the flowers that adore their hair and clothing. However the most interesting thing he saw was his own mother dancing with Carl Hartly. Now it is custom for the host and hostess to dance with each of their guests but he can see their mouths moving animately in conversation, however what they are saying he would not know.


“Your husband was supposed to be there.” Carl Hartly said but softly for he did not want to attract attention.

“He was but instead he sends my son.” Lady Alaine replied as she twirled. “It ruined our plan.”

“One duel and the whole affair is done. I get more land and you get to be regent for your eldest.” Carl Hartly sadly said. “The cost was too high.”

“Enough, what is done has been done. The only recourse is to wait for another chance.” Lady Alaine reassured.

“Unless something happens.” Carl Hartly said as his eyes wandered toward the boy that caused him much pain.


Miron realized Carl Hartly was currently looking at him and made eye contact with a faint smile before looking away towards the other dancers and guests. He saw his brother with Eliza Hartly and shook his head. That girl would be the death of Cassius and it should be to no one’s surprise that Miron hated her ever since she came to the capital. Practically treated like family from day one.

But that hatred had to examined another time for Miron D’al Vernaris spotted a stranger completely out of place. An individual with tanned skin with scars and the most curious thing, a streak of blue hair. Obviously a Sunlander and so Miron approached out of curiosity.

“Hello why there you” the Sunlander said with much enthusiasm. “Party nice how. Noble great king stand out. You tend who?”

Miron cringed at the butchering of his native tongue but didn’t know how to reply. The man next to the Sunlander turned and quickly attempted to translate.

“Apologies milord. This Sunlander came with a group from the Empire, and is trying to learn our language. He extends his greetings and compliments your father the Lord Protector, and ask respectfully your name.”

“You know what it is.” Miron’s only reply is. The translator nodded and gave Miron’s name. “I want to know what his name is and where he is from.”

“Tarvixio Sido is his name and he works at a place called the Academy of Magic of Mineta or the Academagia for short.” the translator said.

Miron D’al Vernaris’s eyes lit up and excitedly spoke “Magic?!”

Tarvixio Sido did not even have to understand the word that Miron spoke to know what he meant. He gave a big smile and said something to the translator and the translator spoke somewhat in a whispered tone.

“He says that yes he teaches in an academy for mages thus magic.” the translator said.

“How does one join?!” Miron asked.

“Well, one could apply to the school and if accepted then you have to register with a college, which is similar to a noble house from what I gather.” The Translator said with as much accuracy he can muster. “Who knows, perhaps Professor Sido will teach you if you managed to get accepted.”

Miron nodded before giving his farewells while Sido gave an enthusiastic wave. He had plans, an entire school dedicated to magic means he can find a solution to his negation problem. If only there is a way to get his parents to fund the journey and the tuition.

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SIDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Anyway what college should Miron go to? I was originally thinking Vernin but I thought a charmless Hedi or a Dastardly Durand to be cool angles as well.


He had plans, an entire school dedicated to magic means he can find a solution to his negation problem.

Durand is the place to go if you want Negation, and between Flore, Lambert, Magsa and Prudence you're sure to find at least one person there you can relate to/manipulate into doing your bidding/nominally tolerate as polite company.

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Hmmmm, I may go with Durand cause of the heroic blood since it is bred into the bone. Makes sense as well since Durand has a negation master as its regent. Okay so he is going to Durand. Thanks Metis, keep on reading.

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Forced Academic Future

“We have decided after talking to the ambassador and that professor. You can go to that Sunlander school.” Lord Protector Inrell D’al Vernaris said.

Miron’s face lit up for the first time in his parent’s eyes. “Thank you, I won’t for-”

“On two conditions.” Lady Alaine interrupted. “One, you will be ambassador for our people. To bridge our two cultures together. And second, you will join the college known as Durand, I am told that its values correspond with that of our family.”

Miron face fell as he heard it but quickly resumed his smile.

“Fair enough.” He said though he clearly didn’t believe it to be fair, Miron desired another college. “As long as I get an allowance to cover my expenses.”

Lady Alaine laughed and tried to calm herself before speaking. “I think not! You will get some funds before we send you off but that is it.”

“You got to learn to survive my son.” Inrell D’al Vernaris said. “Learn how to obtain money on your own.”

Learning how to obtain money on his own? The Vernaris family haven’t earned a single coin through legitimate business unless you count taxes, and people never count taxes.

“I see.” Miron said cautiously. “Anything else that I need to know?”

“Try to make friends with the powerful, if we are going to establish ties with the Sunlanders. We will need people in high places.” Inrell said.

“I understand. Is that it?” Miron at this point eager to leave, quickly said.

His father only has to lift his hand to know that he was dismissed. Miron left the room and head towards the south tower with a lot on his mind. He bumped into the last person he expected.

“Oww.” came the voice. “Sorry didn’t expect you there.”

Miron instantly had a scowl on his face, a rare thing but then again he hated this person with a passion. Her blond locks and that smile he despised, Eliza Hartly.

“What do you want?” Miron said.

“Sorry, what was that? Couldn’t hear you. You always talk so low.” Eliza Hartly said.


A long pause before Eliza spoke up again. “Well anyway, I wanted to congratulate you. For getting to go to an academy of magic. I always wanted to go to one. It must be very exciting.”

“Yes, quite.” Miron said before continuing on his way.

“You gotta learn how to speak louder if you going to make friends!” Eliza shouted down the hall oblivious to the hostility.

Before long Miron entered his room. It has changed over the years, filled with more paintings then one can count. Mirrors were still broken but it was better than before. He sat on his bed and looked up at the ceiling when he began to lie down. He got the approval, he can begin to apply to Academagia. Miron dreamed of the days to come at that school until a harrowing thought entered his mind prompted by the Conspirator.

He can’t speak or write a single word of whatever Sunlander language is used. A collective facepalm occurred among the fellows even if the other two didn’t have hands. That was a significant oversight. However a quick thought entered his mind. The Sunlanders have an embassy here and that strange fellow was a teacher at that school. Perhaps he can teach him, failing that he can go with the educated fellow that acted as translator.

And so the very next day, Miron traveled to the embassy to seek how the Sunlanders speak.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I missed four chapters! Either way Durand is actually a good choice, though I expect he should keep quiet about the number of people that he had killed when the kids start introducing themselves...


About the siege I can only agree with what was already stated: "If only the Maiden wasn't heartless" - I was reminded of two things; One was a siege that the mongols made, I forget the port town, but allegedly they used plague corpses as artillery shots, causing the black plague to spread into the mediterranean. The other was "the floating world" from japanese culture, from the twisting way you described beauty in the ealier chapter. Considering it though the connection falls a bit flat; I suspect that Miron was facinated by either the trancience of life (inspired by the Conspirator) or (more likely) the palete that this place and this war granted him (the burning standard of his house) perhaps aided a bit by not sleeping for days (and perhaps a willing and influencial spirit). The "floating world", on the other hand, was more a fixation on the pleasures of the world (much like the bacchus cult in greece) which while interesting isn't quite what is happening to poor(?) Miron. Still something about the talk of beauty struck me, akin to "all beauty is trancient" or something along those lines - I can't recall what it comes from though!


... anywho, SIDO! He is honestly one of my most favorite teachers! (I still think that von Rupprect is better, but only due to him being such a magnificent bastard in my mind) Glad to see the old teacher coming around and experiencing new and fantastic places!


What will happen to eager Pazzi when Miron goes away? He did chose to bind his fortunes to Miron.... (ok, to be fair, they are not even teenagers yet - not something that older men in the castle would take particularly seriously - but Miron might though) and he may have need of someone who knows how to make friends...

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Well funny enough I was debating between Hedi and Durand. Metis kinda convinced me that Durand would be the better option and I like the idea of Miron being a black mark on Durand during his adventures. Also from a certain point of view, Miron never killed anyone, the soldiers did but then again from a certain point of view.

Well I have to say that your quote was probably from Bones, a US TV show because I remembered something about beauty there similar to what you are talking about. You hit the point that Miron's ideal of beauty is not really that of the physical pleasure of the world since his is more of the higher, philosophical beauty in a sense, one that seeks purest beauty that last forever. Granted though that his drive for the ideal beauty in all things would probably be his downfall given that his mind does not work as the average person. What is beautiful to many people can be seen very ugly in his eyes, so we only have to wait and see.

Pazzi well he is going to start a cult that is tied to the prophecy surrounding Miron's birth (I joke of course, Pazzi may travel to Mineta or stay home. I mean what is he going to do? He is just a kid though slightly older than Miron.). Miron sees Pazzi in a friendly sort of way like a person does for their pet though he is clearly aware that Pazzi is better socialized than him. Who knows perhaps Miron can make actual friends in Academagia (I wouldn't count on it given the fact that he barely speaks the language and he is not well socialized despite his nature on Isla Vernarae. Its a sort of bravado given that he is born to the most powerful family on the island. We must also take note that he is going to be out of his element.)

And yes SIDO!!!!. I liked him alot, he is probably the only Academagia teacher that I can remember the most despite the fact that only my most recent characters are taking Dialectics.

Speaking of Academagia, I am thinking of having Miron being closer to two students. Casper and Cyrus, given Casper's natural artistic abilities and Cyrus for well his pretty boyness. What do you think?

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Speaking of Academagia, I am thinking of having Miron being closer to two students. Casper and Cyrus, given Casper's natural artistic abilities and Cyrus for well his pretty boyness. What do you think?

Cliques needn't be limited to your PCs college, some people just prefer it that way. Beyond that I'd keep in mind what those student's adventures are and whether it be IC for your PC to do them, since doing a student's adventure is generally the way to get close to them.


Of course motivations for doing adventures can differ, but just keep in mind what your student would actually be doing :).

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Casper is a given, if only to mooch painting supplies of him ;) - I hadn't considered Cyrus but it might not be a bad choice, in part, possibly, also due to Cyrus' bit cynical nature. If I recall his adventure is a bit... predatory in nature,.. You might say that it is a perfection of an art regardless of who suffers along the way. Of cause I have a lot of other ways I could phrase that, but for Miron that might be -a- way to see it!


And I agree, Miron never killed anyone - which is why I tried to phase it as "he had killed" though my english may have reached a wall. What I mean to say is that "he had someone kill someone for him". Hmm this actually puzzles me more than I would like... maybe it should have been "had gotten killed"? - to me it sounds a bit like an accident now, but that may just be that people normally don't boast about giving the orders to kill people... Either way...


Either way, we wish Miron luck getting Sido wrangled up and tied down to study a language properly!



I never saw Bones, but in the shower this morning I remembered that I may have gotten it from Hannibal (The TV series) - though I wouldn't be able to place the time where where this "beauty is transitory" - Grayham does play with the thought of death is beautiful...


yeah, anywho ;)


Looking forward to the next chapter!

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Hmm, well, you learn something every day! To me that seems like... a needlessly difficult way of phasing it, but that may just be because we have a quick way of phasing it in danish. If you were to tell your fellow resistance fighter that that stupid baron again ordered the death of some poor villagers, and then went through with it, would you then say that:

a The baron had 10 people killed.

b The baron had someone kill 10 people on his behalf.

c The baron had gotten 10 people killed.


The danish part of me would claim that a is a valid way to say it, but it may just be in danish. b looks like something my english teacher (back in school) would have approved of, though it seems to be distancing the guilt away from the character (which I suppose is a neat trick to come about it!). c just sounds like it was some accident. "He had gotten 10 people killed when the support beam he made broke"-ish

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Well I wouldn't know exactly considering English is my second language. Though I am sure most of it would work since "gotten killed" could also be used for Its your fault type of situations. And I am disappointed in myself for not thinking about Hannibal considering I rewatched it a few weeks ago and I am also disappointed that I forgot all about Katja! Well life works that way I guess.

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