Choice of Rebels Fanworks

At some point, I intend to get some fanart done of my MC.

However until then, I had a bit of fanfic in my head. I won’t pretend to have writing as good as Havenstone, but this was my indulgence at taking a brief look at the doings of my noble MC from the perspective of her cousin.

There are no spoilers for anyone who played the game, and I did take some liberties (especially for time, etc.)

[spoiler]Early Spring

Location: Keriatou fields

Calea pulled the reins back, and brought her horse to a stop as she looked off toward the Rim. It had only been two weeks since she talked to her cousin, reluctantly giving Alya detailed information on all the nobles who escorted Hector on his hunts.

You better not die on me, Calea fumed silently, At least until you’ve served your purpose.

She gritted her teeth at the thought her family was at the mercy…and survival…of her rogue cousin.

Shaking her head, Calea tried to banish those thoughts by scanning the field. Her lips quirked upward as she spotted one or two helots who might provide her with some diversion, at least until they inevitable bored her.

Her musing came to an end when she heard a loud rustle coming from the wooded brush. Her hand dropped to her sword, and she got ready to make her horse flee in the unlikely event a bear emerged.

Instead, a male figure emerged, his once richly tailored clothes practially torn to shreds. The broken shaft of an arrow poked from his shoulder. He glanced upward, and groaned, “Calea?” before collapsing onto the ground.

Calea felt a surge of surprise fill her body since she had never seen her brother in such bad shape before, even after their weapons training. However, she quickly regained control of her emotion, and slid off the horse. She kneeled at Hector’s side, and quickly assessed his health. Other than his wounds, and exposure, he was still breathing regularly.

“You and you,” she shouted at the two nearest helots, “put my brother on the horse…carefully you clods. Well, what are you waiting for? Get to it.”

Quickly, the chosen helots draped Hector onto the horse’s back. A low moan escaped his lips, but Calea paid it no mind as she quickly headed home.

Keriatou Castle - 3 Days later
Hector was propped up in bed the next day. The physician had spent the better part of the night caring for Calea’s brother, and managed to remove the broken arrow, stating that Hector would retain use of his arm, but it was a near thing.

Calea bit her lip, as she remembered her cousin’s words at their fateful meeting: I will spare Hector if I possible; that’s all I can promise. Calea had to admit Alya had kept her word, even if it nearly cost her brother his arm…or worse.

Calea marshalled her thoughts, as her father and brother talked. Hector was propped up by a number of pillows, though his face was still rather pale. Her father, Lord Keriatou, was almost like a statue in his demeanor.

“Where are the others?” Hector asked, “There were at least three behind me as we retreated.”

“Dead,” Lord Keriatou said, a stern gaze settling on his son.

“Dead? That’s impossible, they were just a bunch of…” Hector stammered.

“Of what? Just a bunch of helots?” Calea growled, knowing that the only way she might get through Hector’s pride and stubborness was with the plain truth delivered as coarsely as possible, “Maybe it has escaped your notice…brother…but Alya is more capable than any of us gave her credit for.”

Xthonos forbid Hector finds out I helped her Calea thought.

Hector’s face reddened, and made a fist with his one good arm, “I will be better prepared the next time…”

“There will be no next time,” Lord Keriatou said.

Hector lurched forward, another grimace of pain contorting his face, “You will deny me the right of claiming her head?”

Lord Keriatou’s fist slammed against the wall, and in a voice as cold as the grave, “If you disobey me in this, I will personally have you whipped thirty times in Rim Square. Do I make myself clear?”

Hector bit his lip, but quietly said, “Yes, father.”

“Funny you should mention heads,” Calea said, trying to steer the conversation, “Alya left us a little present two days ago. That’s how we know none of your veneurs left the wood alive.”

“Calea, I’m too tired to play your games,” Hector groused.

“Fine. She left a neat stack of heads in Rim Square arranged into a little pyramid. Every single person who rode out with you…was there,” Calea said. Silence filled the room, since Calea was the one who had to go see the gruesome sight. Though she was quite used to the casual spilling of blood, even she felt a little uneasy by staring into the lifeless eyes of the women and men, fellow nobles she had grown up with and commanded and in one rare or two cases, considered friends.

“You’re…you’re lying,” Hector said in disbelief.

“Your sister is telling the truth,” Lord Keriatou said, “The fact only you survived…well, the other noble houses are demanding a reckoning. Your little jaunt has cost us dearly.”

“Already Lady Pelemetou is making her insinuations,” Calea added, “Since only you survived…maybe you made an arrangement with Alya de Eramant which saved your life, but at the cost of your veneurs.”

“I would do no such thing!” Hector howled, then screamed as another bout of pain tore through his body.

Lord Keriatou gave a sympathetic glance at his son, “Which matters little in the court of public opinion.”

Hector’s father sat on the edge of his son’s bed, and placed a warm hand over Hector’s colder one, and added, “However, at least this…failure…convinced Archon Leilatou about the seriousness of the matter. The Phalangites will march this summer. That will be the time to reclaim our house’s honor.”


Calea looked toward the mountains, and she wondered what was happening in those craggy peaks. At great cost to herself, she sent word of the forces which had ammassed in Rim Square.

Six hundred people she thought Four hundred of them Phalangites. She shook her head for even with her help, she saw no way that Alya could survive against such a force, especially considering they were supplemented by five Theurges.

Calea took a deep breath as she remembered her brother’s boast, a promise that he would bring back their wayward cousin’s body, and have it paraded through the whole of Shayard.

That was one time she didn’t dare to change her father’s mind of letting Hector go since it was expected the nobles would provide support, and if a Keriatou wasn’t there, tongues would wag.

Not that worry for her cousin and brother was the only thing on Calea’s mind. A rumor was circulating among the helots and the yeomen…a rumor which the replacement Ecclesiast for Zebed would deny if he heard it…a rumor that an Eclect was in Shayard once more. Calea would have chalked this up to wishful thinking until another name surfaced as well…one Alya de Eramant. Officially, Alya was being held responsible for the murder of the Archon’s beloved cousin and his loyal retainer…unofficially, why would an Eclect kill the Ecclesiast who proclaimed her?

Calea remembrance came to a halt when a bright flash of light flared from the mountains.

“By the Angels,” swore one of her attendants, making the sign of the helix, “what…what is that?”

Calea felt a visceral chill flow through her, and for a brief moment, she wanted to make the sign of the helix herself. “If I had to bet,” Calea answered, “That was cousin Alya.”

Several days Later…

It was four days later when the first stragglers started to come out of the woods. Among their number were the remnants of the yeomen, peasants, and nobles who went along with

the main body of Phalangites. Calea was present when a lone figure separated from the returning survivors, almost as ragged looking as the day he returned in the spring.

“Hector,” Calea said quietly, “What…what happened?”

“Alya,” Hector said, spitting on the ground, though his tone was much more subdued than normal, “She was waiting for us.”

Calea crossed her arms, and Hector quickly added, “And before you say ‘I told you so’…you were right. The whole area was trapped…rock slides, hidden pits, sharpened stakes…if you can name it, she had it.”

Hector got a far away look on his face, “I don’t know…but I think I saw her. Just as I was trying to get our war-party out, I saw someone on a ridge. She pointed down at me, smiled, and drew a thumb across her throat.”

Remembering the amount of abuse she and Hector heaped upon Alya, Calea readily believed it was their cousin.

“Then…there was a flash,” Hector said swaying uneasily in his saddle from tiredness, “I…I don’t know if you saw it…”

“Everyone halfway to Shayard City probably saw it,” offered Calea.

“That…that was the baggage train,” Hector explained, “Alya hit the Theurges first. Killed two of them with no problem…”

“But how…” Calea said quietly, and then her mind gave her the answer before Hector could reply, “Goety?”

“That is my assumption,” Hector said, “And the reason I’m back here. The Tagmatarch ordered me and the others back, saying it was time for the professionals to do their job. She called us a drain on the food they did have left, that she didn’t need us as a distraction.”

“And that’s why you’re back,” said Calea quietly.

Hector grinned, “While I won’t have the pleasure of seeing our cousin finally die, her days are numbered. They were talking of unleashing the Plektoi before I left.”

3 Weeks Later:
Calea wrinkled her nose slightly in disgust at the skeletal figures standing before her, especially the Tagmatarch. Calea remembered the fit, muscular woman who led the Phalangites into the woods, only to see a stick-thin person return with a small handful of people.

“Thank…thank you…for the hospitality” said the Tagmatarch, eagerly eating the food arrayed before her, “I’ve been living on leaves and berries the last two weeks.”

“What happened up there?” asked Lord Keriatou.

“The stuff of nightmares,” the Tagmatarch said, “You…you know about our baggage train?”

Calea and Lord Keriatou nodded slightly.

“We had three Theurges left,” the Tagmatarch continued, “While surprised by our foes display of Goety, they assured me they could handle her. They raced on ahead to corner her and her followers…”

“Then what happened?” asked Hector.

Wiping crumbs from her chin, the Tagmatarch said, “I…I didn’t see it first-hand, but a survivor said she took on at least one Theurge and one Plektoi simultaneously. She killed another Plektoi by dropping part of a mountain on it, and her followers took care of its handler. After the last Plektoi was killed did its Theurge come back to us.”

Shaking her head, the Tagmatarch finished, “We advanced on their position…only to be attacked. Alya must have killed thirty-five soldiers herself, a third of my surviving force…and her rebels…pardon me, her thieves…took care of the rest.”

“And the last Theurge?” prompted Lord Keriatou.

“Dead, though I couldn’t tell you how,” answered the Tagmatarch, “The last time I saw five Theurges get defeated was by the Hallasurqs. And tracking her won’t work.”

The Tagmatarch pulled out a small device, one which bore a red arrow which continued to spin around in a circle.

“We…we are unable to track her further,” the Tagmatarch said, “Probably more Goety.”

“So what do you intend to do now?” inquired Calea.

The Tagmatarch took a deep breath, “Return to Shayard City and report my failure.” Though the woman didn’t say it, Calea could read the fear on the woman’s face of being Slow-Harrowed for her failure.

“I…I don’t know how it came about, but this Alya de Eramant…she is the most powerful servant of Xaos I ever met,” said the Tagmatarch.

Evening of the next day:
Calea brushed her hair as she made ready to go to bed. From the corner of her eye, she saw a small scroll awaiting her, a piece of tendon wrapped around it, a small stag’s head drawn on it, the symbol of the de Eramants. Out of habit, she glanced around to make sure no one was present before unrolling the scroll.

Hello cousin, Calea read, recognizing Alya’s handwriting, Normally I would wish the recipient of one of my letters good health, but considering our positions, I will forgeo the pleasantries. As of the time you recieve this, I will be on the move again…and with this, I consider our debts quit. Thanks to your assistance, my band survived the spring, and triumphed in the summer. This alone should keep the Keriatous on their precious aristarchate.

For that matter, I went one step beyond my word. I kept Hector alive, not once, but twice…one more beyond our agreement. Consider his second chance at living a sign of good faith; if he crosses my path again, there will not be a third time.



Nothing special, just something I felt like doing for my noble MC and her closest friend among the helots.

[spoiler]Time: Summer, after the defeat of the Phalangites

Suzanne de Firiac stared into the fire, grappling with elation and sorrow; happiness in the fact that despite her worst fears, the band emerged triumphant against the Phalangites, and sorrow to all the comrades who lost their lives in the process.

“Angels guide them to Elysia,” she murmured, raising her drink in a quiet salute. From across the fire, Elery reciprocated the gesture, then closed her eyes. Despite the poisoning, she seemed to be doing better.

Suzanne’s stomach churned at the thought that a traitor still lurked in their midst…but even with that threat, the band was still victorious.

She looked around, and immediately looked at the ground while her cheeks burned red as she saw the various band members pairing off into twos and threes, growing rather intimate before heading into the shadows. Suzanne gulped deeply, biting her lip to try and quell her own desires for the one woman who made her heart skip a beat. Raising her head once more, Suzanne was surprised to see Alya de Eramant was gone. She had been there to share in the victory, but seemed to have disappeared in the middle of the celebrations.

Rising, Suzanne flicked the last of her drink into the fire with a satisfying hiss, and quickly scanned the encampment to see where their leader was. Worry quickly started to fill her stomach as she thought, It wouldn’t be the first time a kryptast took down a leader on the night of their triumph.

She stalked away from the camp, trying to remember the direction where the hiera last was. Just as she was about to raise the alarm, she heard a soft, gentle voice coming from the direction of a small brook, the source of the camp’s water. Moving with utter silence, Suzanned glided through the brush and stopped as she saw the band’s children, sitting on the ground and looking at Alya with great interest.

“…and that is how cut harp strings came to represent friendship,” Alya said. She glanced toward the main campsite, and said, “And with that, I think it is time for everyone to go to bed.”

A collective groan rose up and Alya smiled gently, “You need your rest; we need to be on the move first thing in the morning.”

Slowly, the gathered children made their way back to the raucous campsite until only two people remained, Alya, and a young girl of thirteen.

“Hiera,” said the girl.

Alya shook her head, “Pilyin, please call me Alya. We are friends after all?”

“Maybe,” Pilyin answered quietly.

“Maybe? Is something the matter?” Alya asked.

The girl crossed her arms, “All my friends call me Pin, all that is but you. What…what am I supposed to take from that?”

Alya’s smile slowly changed into a frown, and she replied, “If it is that important to you, I will call you Pin.”

Alya took a deep breath, and continued, “I never had any friends growing up. If I’m honest, when I started to meet with all of you, you were all my friends…or so I thought.”

Alya closed her eyes, “Yet another thing I was wrong about. Almost everyone from that time hates me.”

“That’s not true,” interjected Pilyin.

“Isn’t it? Breden hates me for not making him my second, Elery hates me because she’s friends with Breden…and because Zvad is gone, Radmar hates me for sparing Breden…” said

Alya, “Anyways, sorry for the digression. But one of the things my mother taught me was that if I respected someone, I should use their proper name.”

“Respect me?” said Pilyin slightly in disbelief, “Really?”

“Yes, really,” Alya answered, “I can see a strong, intelligent young woman before me, and Pilyin is a beautiful name for such a person.”

Pilyin’s face glistened slightly as a couple of tears ran down her cheek. Sniffling, she rubbed her face with her hand, and asked, “You really are leaving in the morning?”

Alya nodded, “Theurges will be hunting me. No one will be safe while I’m here.”

“Then let me go with you,” Pilyin volunteered, “I can protect you.”

Alya offered her a wan smile, “I can’t let you do that. Who will look after the little ones here? They look up to you…they need you.”

Pilyin wrapped her arms around Alya, and whispered, “Then be safe. Okay?”

Alya reciprocated the gesture, “Xthonos willing, I will. You know…I wish always wished I had a sister…if I did…I think she would have been like you.”

Suzanne bit her lip as she felt a sudden pain rip through her heart, an intense sorrow for Loanne.

Meanwhile, Pilyin smiled, “I…I would have liked that. You know…we could be…”

Alya, puzzled asked, “Could be what?”

Pilyin’s smile grew larger, “Sisters.” The young woman pulled a small knife from her belt and gave a small cut on her palm. “You never know when you are going to be Harrowed,”

Pilyin said, “…and for those who are close to you, you don’t ever want to forget them. So, if you cut your palm…and clasp hands…that will make you blood sisters.”

Alya hesitantly took the knife, and caressed the edge, “I would like that.” The noble took the blade, and slashed her own hand, letting out a tiny hiss of pain. Alya and

Pilyin clasped hands…and Suzanne felt a little bit of revulsion course through her. Although de Firiac counted many helots as her friend, she couldn’t escape the Ecclesiast’s warnings and threats about mixing blood with helots.

While Suzanne was lost in thought, Alya pulled back, and said, “Now you need to head to bed. I promise to say good-bye before I leave tomorrow.”



Part 2:
Suzanne stepped to the side when Pilyin approached, allowing the girl to leave the glade unimpeded. Alya took a seat near the brook, running her fingers idly through the water. Suzanne cleared her throat, the sound of which caused Alya to jump slightly.

Alywa glanced backward, and asked, “Is something the matter?”

“For your own safety, hiera, I would recommend returning back to the camp site,” Suzanne said calmly.

Alya shrugged, “Afraid the poisoner would kill me out here? I admit, the thought has crossed my mind…but I would think you would welcome that possibility.”

Anger boiled within Suzanne’s breast, and for a moment she felt like smacking Alya’s face for the insult. Instead, Suzanne replied through gritted teeth, “How could you even think that of me?”

Alya’s brow knitted with anger, and she hissed back, “You said I had no honor, that I couldn’t be trusted just three days ago. You avoided me for as much as you can…at least until tonight. So what am I supposed to think?”

Suzanne’s emotions churned inside of her, and she said, “Do we have to argue this once more? What you proposed…”

Alya growled, “Was to honor you in love. Do you really think I would ask you to give what you didn’t wish to?”

Suzanne closed her eyes, “No, Alya, but our honor as nobles…”

Alya gave a short, bitter laugh which stoked Suzanne’s anger even higher.

“This is no laughing matter kuria Alya de Eramant,” stated Suzanne.

“Isn’t it? You called me a noble, when we both know that I am no such thing,” Alya chuckled sadly.

Suzanne’s rage was dampened as she asked, “What does that have to do with anything?”

“You were there the night my own father disowned me,” Alya explained, “Declaring himself the last of his line. Him, not me. When word gets back to Rimsquare…well, if my rebellion wasn’t bad enough, then my father’s condemnation certainly would be.”

“So,” prodded Suzanne.

Alya started to walk quietly back and forth, “Suzanne, if you don’t mind humoring me, perhaps you’d like to answer this question. Do…do you honestly think I’m one of the Eclectoi?”

Suzanne nodded, “Linos annointed you as one. If there were any doubts…well, your victories were nothing short of miracles. So yes, I believe you are.”

“That at least makes one of us,” said Alya, “Myself…I am not sure. After all, the Angels certainly haven’t spoken to me…at least not directly…but if I am…I am certain of their plan for me.”

The blademaster took a deep breath, and asked “What is it?”

Alya looked off in the direction of Shayard City, “It is to end the divide between noble and helot.”

Suzanne looked at Alya incredulously, “Are you saying…that noble and helot…would be the same? Hiera, how can you say that? You’re nobly born…”

Alya shook her head, “Am I? All my life was leading up to this, though I didn’t know it. When Calea mocked me, called me little better than a merchant? When my father failed to arrange a betrothal for me? When you rejected my desire for your heart?”

Suzanne looked back in aghast, “What you propose is blasphemy!”

“Is it?” questioned Alya, “If I am to right the wrongs in Xthonos’ name, does that stop by just defeating the Karagonds?”

“But the Codex itself,” exclaimed Suzanne “states…”

“What if the Codex is wrong?” said Alya quietly, “We already know the Karagond Codex is false. What if the Shayarden Codex isn’t much better?”

“How could you even think that?” asked Suzanne.

“What if Shayard’s defeat at the hands of the Karagonds was ordained by Xthonos? After all, that is the time when Xaos started to rise…maybe the Karagonds were the sign of the Angels’ punishment,” said Alya.

“That is just speculation,” Suzanne replied, “That way lies Xa…”

“Xaos?” finished Alya, “Either I’m Eclect or not. You can’t have it both ways.”

Suzanne felt a knot of fear rise up within her, “And what would you do with the noble houses?”

“After the helots are freed…the great estates will be broken up. Those houses who were kind to their helots, they will retain some measure of land. Those who weren’t? Well, they will share the same fate that as I plan for my cousin Hector,” said Alya.

Suzanne took a deep gulp of air for she remembered how Alya went up and down the battlefield, and other combat sites, having her followers pull out the bodies of the fallen nobles, and take their heads to display back in Rim Square, a bigger pyramid than the ones she made out of the veneurs.

“If…if I wasn’t sworn to you…” Suzanne said quietly, “I would…”

“What? End me?” said Alya.

“I…I don’t know,” answered Suzanne.

“Far be it from me to hold you back,” chided Alya, “Very well milady de Eramant, I release you from your vow.”

“What?” gulped Suzanne.

“You heard me, you are free. Do with me as you will,” said Alya. She took a step back, putting her arms out to the side, head tilted slightly back.

Unconsciously, Suzanne had her family blade in her hands, the tip pointed at Alya’s heart. A few minutes of quiet passed, and the sword’s tip wavered in the night air.

“What are you waiting for?” Alya said softly, exposing the hollow of her throat.

Suzanne pulled her arm back, still unsure what to do when a loud sound broke several branches and leaves of the surrounding bushes. Within moments, Pilyin somehow was standing in front of Alya…putting her in the blade’s path.

“What do you think you’re doing?” yelled Pilyin.

“I…I was just…” stammered Suzanne.

“She was just following the will of the Angels,” said Alya quietly, “I…I appreciate your help Pilyin, but this isn’t your time for this.”

Alya raised the point of Suzanne’s sword, and said quietly, “You have a decision to make…and one only you can make.”[/spoiler]


Just a little something I felt like writing for Zvad after he runs off.

[spoiler]Somewhere in Wiendrj

Zvad did one last check of the caravan before sitting down by the fire to enjoy his dinner. He sighed happily as he dug into his stew; while most of the others complained about the fare, after spending a whole winter living on grain and half-raw meat, it was downright bliss.

For a moment his thoughts wondered back to Elery, but he took a deep breath and banished the thoughts.

She mad her choice, he thought, even if it left her in a grave.

Off in the distance, he heard the sound of hoofbeats, and his hand dropped to his sword automatically. His hand relaxed when he saw it was Sybla and her personal guard. She had stayed behind in town to wrap up a few final business dealings while the caravan continued on while it was still light.

“Negotiations go well?” Zvad asked quietly.

Sybla dismounted, “Well enough. However, did you have any enemies you didn’t tell me about back there?”

“What? Of course not. That was the first time I’ve ever been in that town,” Zvad exclaimed.

“That’s what I thought,” said Sybla, a thoughtful looking on her face, “Well, I wouldn’t go back there if I were you.”

“Something the matter?” Zvad asked quietly.

Sybla gave a slight shrug, “There were a few bravos in town, looking for someone with your name, and a description that was, thankfully for your sake, half-wrong.”

“By Xthonos, I swear I haven’t done anything there,” Zvad said.

“I believe you,” replied Sybla, “and it is a really good thing you’ve changed your name. However, I still wouldn’t go back there, if I were you.”

“But why?” asked Zvad.

“I gather you left your former…friends…on poor terms, correct?” Sybla said.

Zvad nodded, “They…well, they were going to stand and fight. I told them they were all going to die, and I wasn’t going to be dragged down with them.”

A dry chuckle escaped Sybla’s mouth, “I said pretty much the same thing after the training session. It looks like we were both wrong.”

Zvad’s mouth opened in surprise, and then he closed with a simple whisper, “How?”

Sybla shrugged, “Mind you, the details are a bit of a jumble, especially since its mostly word of mouth. However, it looks like around 600 troops, two-thirds Phalangites…along with several Theurges…clashed in those bloody woods.”

A tremor ran through Zvad’s body as his mind immediately thought of Elery rotting in some Xthonos-forsaken pit, then his mind caught up with what Sybla said, “They…they won?”

“Somehow, yes. It was said the Tagmatarch ran back to Shayard City with her tail between her legs. The bodies of the Theurges were supposedly hoisted up on spikes in Rim Square, no one obviously seeing it. The nobles…” said Sybla.

“Had their heads piled up into a small pyramid?” interrupted Zvad.

“Correct,” chuckled Sybla, “I take it this is a favorite pastime of this Alya de Eramant?”

“She…has issues…where the nobles are concerned,” explained Zvad, “But…why is someone after me?”

“Once again, a lot of this is hearsay, but it seems there was a mass poisoning before the final battle,” answered Sybla, “A lot of the band was hit…”

“The kuria already figured there was one traitor in the group,” growled Zvad.

“This confirmed it to everyone else. Well, a few people, remembering how you took off in the night, speculated you might have been part of it,” Sybla added.

“Xthonos no!” said Zvad in a stricken voice.

“Which leads me back to why you should avoid towns like the plague, at least in this area,” said Sybla, “Considering how the Alastors slaughtered the Pan in Szeric…let’s just saw a lot of pissed off Wiends are looking for vengeance. Survivors of his clan, general hellraisers, people with an axe to grind against the Thaumatarch…many of them are at the boiling point. When you couple that with the belief you might have been responsible with the poisoning…”

“There are plenty of people who want my head,” whispered Zvad.

“Not that I am in a much better position,” laughed Sybla coldly, “After all, I did say she was going to die, didn’t I? I guess I better get used to the taste of crow if I ever see your kuria again.”[/spoiler]


This is the last side vignette I post.

[spoiler]Just a couple other vignettes:

Jac Cabel leaned backed against the tree, glancing with pride at the men and women who fought with him for two decades now. Then he spared a glance at Kestrel, one of his lieutenants and his impromptu spymistress.

“Anything new?” Jac asked.

Kestrel pulled a small pouch from her coat, and said “There’s a few things, but our…informant…also said he won’t be able to send word for at least a few weeks. He said de Eramant’s band was going to be on the move for the foreseeable future, and he doesn’t want to be compromised.”

“A discovered spy is good for only one thing,” Jac nodded in agreement, “Fertilizer. Still, I’m glad to see this Alya has the sense to go on the move. The Theurges can be…relentless…when aroused.”

Jac closed his eyes, and a couple tears ran down his face in remembrance of his mother. Kestrel remained quiet until Jac regained his composure.

“So what do we know of this kuria Alya de Eramant?” Jac asked.

Kestrel pulled some rough parchment from the pouch, and handed one sheet to Jac. He glanced at a charcoal sketch of a young woman, the artist somehow managing to convey a studious look on a rather average looking person.

“She’s the only daughter of her noble house,” Kestrel said.

“Single?” Jac questioned speculatively.

Kestrel shook her head as she saw the calculating look in her leader’s eyes, “Throw your nets in that water, and you will only catch seaweed.”

“Prefers the lasses?” smiled Jac, “Ah well. And I gather there was no betrothal arrangements before her rebellion?”

“Her house was small. Really, really small. Just her and her father,” Kestrel explained, “Certainly nothing to garner the interest of another noble family.”

“Well, if she wanted to stand-out, beating Phalangites is certainly one way to do it,” chuckled Jac. Then his tone became a bit more serious, “Was there any indication she was a Theurge…”

“Wisard,” Kestrel corrected, “That is the term she prefers.”

“Fine, Wisard,” Jac continued, “Was there any sign she had that knowledge before the rebellion?”

“None,” Kestrel said, double-checking her notes.

“So it makes sense she learned it on her own somehow,” he said glancing at the night’s sky, “Which means…she should be able to teach others.”

Kestrel nodded, “Assuming she would be willing to do so.”

Jac shrugged, “One Theurge…one Wisard, isn’t going to bring down the Karagonds on her own. No, if she desires eventual victory, others will have to learn that knowledge…knowledge we might gain for ourselves.”

Jac shivered as he remembered the devastation the Theurges wrought on the Westriding in response to his mother’s rebellion. Though he might bleed the Thauamtarchy here and there, he knew he would be an annoyance unless they could match the Theurges’ forces.

“Smart as she might be,” Kestrel added, “I would rate her as incompetent, at least for managing her inner circle.”

“Oh?” said Jac in a curious tone.

“Take her treatment of this Breden Reaper. All witnesses agree that it was because of him that they started to meet, to talk treason,” Kestrel said.

“But it doesn’t end there, does it?” added Jac.

“No. For a couple raids, there were more guards than normal…possibly fed by information within the kuria’s ranks. And that doesn’t include the poisoning…” Kestral said.

Jac stood up, “Poisoning? Was it deliberate?”

Kestrel shook her head up and down, “Our informant almost ate the stew. A third of the people were made ill…and this Breden Reaper was the prime suspect.”

“And kuria Alya didn’t kill him?” said Jac incredulously.

“I wasn’t using the term ‘incompetent’ lightly,” said Kestrel, “Her other lieutenants seem more trustworthy, just not particularly loyal to her.”

“Hmmm,” said Jac, “Well, we might have to give Alya a helping hand getting her affairs in order. For her own good, of course.”

“Of course,” said Kestrel, “But until that time?”

Jac smiled, “Well, thanks to her improbable victory, Alastors are rather light on the ground now. What do you think about making use of that?”

“Sounds good to me,” Kestrel said.

Lady Pelematou sat in her chair, glad that the day was finally coming to an end. It had been particularly exhausting of late. While she should be ecstatic at seeing the misfortunes of House Keriatou rise, it wasn’t like her own noble house was unscathed.

She drained her wine glass, as she remembered just how a few days ago, she saw the heads of cousins, nephews and nieces brought back to the family’s estate for their final rest. Not that her relatives were the only ones beheaded, but someone had been particularly savage to the scions of House Pelematou…all had their tongues removed.

And the Angels permitting, Capt. Tychon would be following them, she thought darkly, remembering how confident the Alastor captain had been in the days leading up to the forest assault…and how weak he was when he crawled out of the woods. In that moment, any affection she had for Tychon changed to disgust.

Lady Palamatou sighed , finished the last of the wine, and made her way to her bedroom. Just as she picked up a brush, she noticed a rather rough looking bag on her boudoir. She felt a chill run down her spine since it hadn’t been there before.

Opening the bag, she saw a small scroll, sealed with the insignia of House de Eramant. Unrolling it, she quickly read:

Greetings Lady Pelematou,

In interest of sharing in my victory, I have enclosed a small gift for you. Trust me, it should be near and dear to your heart. Hold it close, and think fondly of your son Geordon. We know what he did, and we intend to exact punishment when the time is right.

Hesitantly, Lady Pelematou reached into the bag, and pulled out a small pouch. A disgusting smell wafted up slightly from it. For a moment, she was tempted to throw it away, but curiousity got the best of her. Opening the bag, she pulled out a small leather cord…and at irregular intervals, several severed tongues made into a macabre necklace.


Well, here I am to bring a small thing I wrote today. Set in the near future, following my aristo MC. I haven’t written anything in quite a while, and even if it is short and a bit bittersweet, I’m happy I managed to finish it. My main attempt was to try and experiment a bit with a simpler, more coarse style, with less adjectives and simpler visual scenarios. I’m happy to receive commentary:

Footsteps weighted heavily on the snow and the man moved his face to inspect the woods from atop a rock. The forest was just below, next to the frozen lake, and all he (and the thirty scouts following) needed was to follow the trail, where they would reach a small clearing. An easy enough task, and one they had become acquainted with these last four months.

The darkness, however, was another matter.

News brought by the second group had forced an early marching, which a led to a small group having to travel in front of the band to make way and map the terrain (again). The man clenched his teeth (the cold was beginning to spread over his mouth). The night was already nested, and the wind was picking up. And he had been here once. Western Shayard, near the frontier; after serving a distant cousin (more like begging to an indifferent relative, he admitted), his father would often let him walk freely through the nearby woods, but then chastise him later for it. The stars, though, those shone brighter than in any other place, as he remembers.

“Kuriós! Kuriós Nikolaos!”

A sudden yell, a sleek shade emerged from the white, thin trees. Butn, a former yeoman archer turned outlaw, was smiling to the rebel leader. Nikolaos de Maeos knew him as an energetic and skilled youth. Observant, no doubt, the young man began scanning his surroundings as quickly as he began to catch his breath.

“Kurios! The other archers, they spotted a bear a few minutes ago! I’m sure that we could ambush it, if we follow its trail!” He began, gesturing towards a deeper, darker fragment of the forest, hidden away by thick bush and stony rocks “We never even got close to one, so many winters ago, but this would be our chance!”.

Nikolaos sighed relieved, and wished he could thank the boy. At least the band had Butn’s cheerful charisma in its dry, unbearable moments. The rebel leader moved his fingers (their tips were almost freezing at this point in time) and pointed in the direction of the clearing. His eyes were tired.

“Easy, Butn. Our objective is reaching that, and marking a way for our fellows back at the camp. There will be a time fo hunting” He tried flashing a smile, but knew it came out tired and resigned “And I might try making a change
when that happens”.

The young scout nodded, and began turning back towards the other scouts. At the last moment, though, his shade snaked towards his commander, who he studied with large, almond eyes.

“Are you expecting trouble, kurios? You look tired and distant at the same time.”

“I am tired,” he admitted with a large sigh “But that is not what worries me. I was here, many years ago. I worked as a tutor to a few cousins. It was the way to keep my family in good standing, and make sure he was more than a few drachems for our trouble”. For a moment, his gaze trailed over the sky, and the same stars observed him with the same mild indifference special to nature, rotating around his world, kept together by the same mysterious force as they did in his youth.

But the former outlaw cut those thoughts. His eyes met Butn’s, and though there were no smiles, or handshakes, or winning phrases, the young scout looked at him, expectant. Nikolaos gestured with his head towards the old, beaten path, where the rest of the small group awaited him. Both men crossed the way in silence, paying attention only to the cold and the clearing. They had, after all, miles to go before rest.


The sun glistened upon the nearby Harrower as the Phalangite Kentarch made his way to the Command Tent. He and his scouts had sighted and measured the rebel army, and he needed to report it to Strategos Taras. Inside the tent, there were four Turmarchs, each carrying Theurge-forged swords, the former Archimandrite of Wiendrj, driven from there by the rebellion, and two Theurges. “Kurioi, my scouts have sighted the enemy army.”

“What are their numbers?”

“Eighty tourmas of infantry, each armed and armoured in the manner of Phalangites, twenty-five tourmas of cavalry, composed of nobles and their retainers, and their centre has a hundred Theurges, ah, pardon me, I mean Goetes, with the flanks swarming with more Goetes.”

“Damn them all to Xaos. We don’t have a hope of winning against that, with only four tourmas of Phalangites and two of Alastors.”

“What do we do then, Strategos?”

Without warning, he turned and slashed one of the Theurges across the face with his Theurge-forged sword, before he could make a Change. The other Theurge levitated him, but then a Turmarch came up behind him and put his sword in his back. “We surrender.”

The survivors nodded in agreement. They had seen defeat, after defeat at the hands of the rebels, and this army was supposed to be the last stand before a battle at Aekos’ Ward-Walls. All of them knew that the Hegemony was dead, and what was left was just it’s ghost.

“Raise a flag of truce. Iasoun will parley with us.”

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This is speculative fiction on the Grand Shayard chapters, Havenstone’s probably laughing at how wrong I am right now.

In the city of Grand Shayard, fire reigned. Driven by the Rim Commotion, the dockworkers and drudges rose up en masse slaying the nobles that were at the docks, and the hated Alastors patrolling them, three members of House Leilatou were fed into the dock Harrowers, and the rebels were slowly taking the nobles’ district. However, in the intense street fighting, Iasoun Katenatou himself had taken the field, but not on the rebels’ side. He was fighting side by side with nobles trying to fend off the revolt, and burning any rebels who came close with vitriolic fire. He had made a deal with the Archon three weeks ago, to help her escape the city before the inevitable Hegemonic reprisal, for she had failed to hunt him down in “Iasoun’s Season” last year, where he had infiltrated the Court, and assassinated a visiting Theurge of the Third Kyklos. But with the uprising on the docks, she saw a way to regain credibility, and had made a new deal with Iasoun. If he aided the Alastors in the street fighting long enough for the nobles to retreat to the Court, she would supply him with as much aetherial blood as she could get. But even so, they were losing. Most of the Theurges in the city had fled, and the ones that hadn’t were hard-pressed to hold the city. However, there was hope. She had dispatched three loyal Theurges to Wiendwic, Aekos, and Corlune, to ask for Theurgic aid. She was sitting in her chambers, waiting for news. And then her window burst open, and a exhausted looking Iasoun entered through it. He was dressed in Theurge attire, and no one would be able to tell that he was not a Hegemonic Theurge. “We’ve lost the streets. If the nobles aren’t out of there now, they’re all dead.”

“Couldn’t you have stayed longer to make sure they got out?”

“It wouldn’t matter, they had surrounded the place I was holding. One Theurge can only do so much. The other Theurges are either in the Naos Xthonos, here or the Merchants’ Pale for a last stand.”

“Very well, did you see any reinforcements?”

“No, although the ones manning the wind-spitters did a good job of holding them off, before they set their towers afire. If you don’t think reinforcements are coming in more than a day, we have to retreat. The lower orders have no sense of restraint or patience and will storm the Court.”

“We’ll hold for a day, but if reinforcements aren’t coming then you fly me and my family out of here.”

“Very well.”

A day later, the city was falling. The Naos had been successfully stormed, and only a few high-ranking Ecclesiasts and the Archimandrite were flown out by the Theurges. The Merchants’ Pale was barely holding, but then they heard it. One horn, then a thousand more. Reinforcements are here. The Hegemonic Theurges were burning the docks, and setting the siege weaponry used on the Naos afire. Iasoun bowed, a theatrical, clever thing. “Well, kuria, it’s time for me to take my leave, don’t you think? Don’t forget the blood.” And then he flew out of the window, to the burning nobles’ district.

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@Havenstone, when I saw you link the On The Waterfront scene in another thread, I couldn’t help myself:


I do not have enough likes for this.


This topic is temporarily closed for at least 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.

Given the current push to keep threads from proliferating too wildly, I’m happy to wrap this one up and ask people to post future fanworks on the main thread. Or we could start a section on the Wiki.