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Author Topic: On the Razor's Edge: The Sagas of clan Vudnisstukos  (Read 802 times)


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On the Razor's Edge: The Sagas of clan Vudnisstukos
« on: December 31, 2022, 05:09:40 pm »

This post is for preserving the stories from my main world, Elathu Inala. I'm primarily writing it from the perspective of an in world character, Goden Niletes, Geographer and Scholar of Glazedmarks and former member of the Rimtar Scholid [Glazedmark's governing council]. I will continuously edit and amend some of this for flow, as I feel is needed. It's been a long time since I wrote like this, so I feel the need to work out the kinks in my writing. I hope you enjoy.

This is an account of the efforts by clan Vudnisstukos, originally of the Northeastern spar of the Continent of Safety, to settle the lands of the far west. May Kogsak guide our Queen, Lokum Olonbakust Gearurge, overseer of our people and defender of Oiledhonor and Flaxenmanor. It was in the year of our lady 104 she granted my request to lead our expedition here to the Isle of Disemboweled island, and it is from there in the library of that hold that I now record this for posterity.

The island itself was first identified for me by the scholar Urdim Lebesasob, a dwarf of Flaxenmanor when we parted ways in 102. I had been his scribe then, but I was inspired. There had been 2 expeditions to the Crazed Seas to establish the Fortress of Wallpearl by that time, and there was some wisdom in those expeditions to allow clan Vudnisstukos opportunities we could no longer afford in the lands surrounding our ancestral home in the Crowded Desert. When the first expedition leader of Wallpearl was stolen from us by ways of poor planning in 101, I had begun to join the army in the north. Yet, on the eve of joining the Clergymen of Kesting (A regiment stationed in Flaxenmanor), the bounty of Wallpearl came in on the merchant caravan.

So I began to plan, to gather resources, and to seek help for this expedition. With time, Urdim blessed my idea and gave me leave of his service to pursue it. The Queen had come down from Oiledhonor then to see Urdim in the winter of 102. It was then, that I asked for her blessing to travel to the south to the lands of the Continent of War and the barrows of Taupe Hills. Still barely having secured the necessary provisions, it was only when our Baron Nodal Sosadoddom spoke in favor of me (At Urdim's behest, for we were otherwise unacquainted), that the queen granted me an expeditionary squad under the command of my dearest Kosoth Towerwheel. In 103, we departed.

I sit now by the heart of the mountain, looking out over the crazed sea. It is 109. As the decade turns I have hung up my spear at the behest of Kosoth and dedicated myself full time to the upkeep of this library; for I was made to choose between it and service, when the Mayor declared our dwarves were to stand at the ready from then forward. The Mayor's council had granted me this library before then, and in appreciation for my service as expedition leader I'd been given quarters here in it. All in recognition of my work to keep us alive through the first years we were here, I suppose. So, I will keep it. And, I will expand it. Perhaps Urdim will visit one day. Or perhaps we can do more than he did, here in this refuge form the insanity of the continent, where war is never ending.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2023, 09:47:10 am by ash12181987 »


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Re: On the Razor's Edge: The Sagas of clan Vudnisstukos
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2022, 11:38:11 pm »

A Brief History of the Expedition to Settle Wallpearl: Part I
Recounting what occurred at Wallpearl is important for setting our history in context.

I am by preference, a scholar in Geography. Our homeland, the Crowded Desert, sits at the northeasterly most extent of the north-south oriented spar of the Continent of Safety. The desert is situated between Akil Stistras (The Point of Plays) to the south and Limilurdin (The Golden Towers) to the north. The bounty within these mountain ranges, allowed clan Vudnisstukos' to become a regional power with the rise of King Dishmab Cryptspiraled. The wind pushed down from the glacial flats of Kekath Kaguth, creates long seasons of extreme cold that are deadly to men and beast. Settling further into the Braided Desert to the northeast of the Fortress of Oilhonor, in defiance of this chill famously lead to the death of the Monstary of Charcoalbridge. The remains of that human religious expedition, occasionally found in the frozen fields outside of Oilhonor to this day.

This, coupled with the the Goblin tribes having traveled down from Kekath Kaguth to settle in the warmth of the jungles around the hillock of Fortressmerge, the clan's prospects for expansion had long been considered limited.

In the year 99, blessed of Queen Gearurge, a dwarven expedition funded by Baron Cerol Kilrudemal set out from Fortressmerge. The expedition was lead by Mebzuth Brassoils, who is now exile. This expedition sought to correct the beforementioned issues, by settling far beyond the lands of the clan Id Shis to the west, on an island known as Tangnathir. Selected by Brassoils for it's bountiful timber resources, based on the writings of a now defunct Miner's guild that had traveled there in the early 50s; and, based on the omission of reports from elven courts. When Brassoils delivered his request to the Baron based on this selective information, he met with immediate and enthusiastic approval. Little effort went into verifying his work, for a recent timber shortage had made the Baron especially susceptible to the idea of a new source ostensibly under his control.

The accounts to make it back from there, paint a bleak picture of the expedition's first year; and, while I previously mentioned Brassoils' as being stolen from us, that is admittedly wishful thinking. For, while there is a rather comprehensive list of the bodies found in the abandoned fortress, it was never stated that Brassoils was amongst them. His exile related in abstentia, after the report of the expedition's second leader Nish Goldenforded to the court in Oilhonor. I will quote from that report extensively hereafter.

They managed to establish a stronghold by clearcutting and burning wild timber upon arrival. Building a bunkhouse and a few shelters quite quickly, and sparring little time to scout. The mudstone rock that they constructed, becoming waylaid by a multitude of beasts. Ravens harried them day and night as the burnings intensified, before a stonecrafter by the name of Zas Fikodazin became the first to fall. To quote Goldenforded's testimony:

We had been intent on building an ale hall before the summer, and had been pushing the treeline back. There'd been ravens, but it wasn't something we couldn't handle. Zas and I had gone to cut a tree near the river. I did not see the beast, but Zas' scream was loud enough to wake the camp. That was when he bellowed, drowning out her voice. It was like a horn, but it filled the sky. The ground shook. I ran. I don't like to admit it, but I did. We never knew rest after that.

Fikodazin's corpse was recovered piecemeal from there, and as much as could be located was stored in a rapidly assembled crypt according to residents I've spoken to from the second expedition (Goodwife Zulban Kalursibrek, specifically in this instance). Fikodazin had been killed by what became known as Ibmatnentuk Er, a reindeer of unparalleled size; a creature that seemed per Goldenforded, to represent the fury of the island made manifest. Brassoils' response being largely to wait for a wandering bear taht they had seen during the early spring to dispatch the beast. To further quote the account of Goldenforded:

It took Aben next. He was mangled beyond recogition. Ibmatnentuk was what Aben's boy Asen kept screaming when we found him covered in his father's blood, and I think the name stuck from there. I can't remember who went next. Maybe it was Kubuk or Kosoth? We were throwing people into the ground faster than we could build coffins. Asen had gone weird by that point, consistently lurking in the crypts with his father's coffin. I started sleeping with a knife, when Asen started walking the halls of our bunkhouse at night. He looked dark then, pale and quiet, he would just keep reciting from the scripture of Disuth. I don't know where he got it though, none of us followed the god of death. Sorry, I did not mean to get off point. The bear that Mezbeth waited for and swore would come, did kill a reindeer like we hoped. The problem was that it wasn't the right one. There must have been two of them, or a few of them. Whichever it was, we found the bear torn up worse than Zas the next morning.

The reindeer killed 8, before one member of the expedition managed to secure arms from a traveling merchant. Her name was Mor.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 11:19:15 am by ash12181987 »


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Re: On the Razor's Edge: The Sagas of clan Vudnisstukos
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2023, 11:18:47 am »

A Brief History of the Expedition to Settle Wallpearl: Part II

There were multiple reports that came to the court in Oilhonor about what happened at Wallpearl; but, the most expected: a reproachful response from the easterly elves, never came. In late 103, Urdim was in correspondence with an elven scholar that had traveled to view the remains of the old human monastery in the Braided Desert. Urdim asked why the elves had abstained from directly contacting Wallpearl. Similar expeditions lead by the Id Shis clan had met with angry condemnation a year prior. By then we had also become aware of an exploratory expedition the elves had undertaken to Tangnathir in 75, and testimony had confirmed the initial expedition to Wallpearl had seen elven sails out in the sea during their only summer. The response was succinct:

We felt no need to assist. We saw that those who inhabited that island were capable. Your expedition was simply blind, and needed to be made to see them.

To pick back up with Nish Goldenforded:

Mor had come with the one migrant train from Flaxenmanor. I think she was some kind of drifter, before she came to the island. But she seemed to understand it. And she was uncooperative because of that, from the start. Mebzuth, didn't come out much by that time. He stopped helping us assemble the ale hall, he'd just give us orders through me. When someone would fall, he'd say the bears would come down in the fall and go back to his writing. Mor got angrier every time. It was after we found the weaponsmith Feb's hand in camp one morning that Mor convinced me to square away enough supplies to buy equipment. The bears weren't coming, but we couldn't make Meb understand that. He just kept burning things in his fireplace and waving us off.

The merchants from Adilkovest provided me with their ledger, showing the sale of 1 crate of food for an old copper mace that they had bought from some human's in a settlement named Newbrush. Nish continued:

Mor said, she had to do something. She wasn't ever the most physical of people. I tried to stop her because of that. She refused. She left camp one night, when we knew Ibmatnentuk Er was around. The ravens had gone quiet. When the birds went quiet, that meant he had killed them, and would be coming to the camp next. Mor shoved past me as I was locking up for the night, barricading the door as we'd taken to doing at that point. There wasn't much. Just a bellowing howl, and nothing else. When we went looking for Mor in the morning, we found her because she had struck Asen, as he tried to steal her mace from what he'd thought were her dead hands. She looked horrible, but it was the first time I'd seen her smile in weeks. Her mace was covered in fur and blood, and she clutched it desperately. Using it to drag her useless legs along as she pushed to the treeline, as another howl let out. We were starting to run back to camp when we heard it. But she crawled towards it.

For a month, the settlement stabilized. Attacks from the beast had ceased, though their makeshift guardswoman disappeared. This gave them time to build a wall that stands at Wallpearl to this day. The cuttings stopped as well. It was found in recovered notes that the expedition leader sternly objected to this, striking a member of the expedition when they refused his orders. By that point though, he'd already been replaced by Nish as expedition leader. Much of Nish's account from here is likewise filled in by his books that he kept. There is much about the efforts of obtaining the stone necessary to construct their defensive keep. Hours recorded for the working day, run into the 12 and 16 hour shifts. Israthian and Kestian elements of the expedition offered parallel petitions to commemorate the Beast for the settlement's victory against it and for it's valorous defense of them, before both petitions dissolved as they fell into infighting over which it was. The statue was still built, and erected in the town square, where it stands to this day.

It sounds insane, but it did defend us. I don't know, what insanity it and Mor had for one another, but they slew countless creatures out there for 2 seasons. Running about and brawling themselves, before melting back into the forest. I think I saw the beast once then, at the edge of the settlement. It stood at the gate, and saw our statue. Covered in blood, it was red. Like a ruby idol. It simply turned away. I think it was satisfied then. But that, was right before the end. We had a village meeting. The few of us that were left. Meb had taken to saying that a relief force would arrive in spring, but it'd been 2 seasons since we'd seen anyone by that point. We lit the signal fires, on the coast to hail a passing ship for aid.

The remaining accounts come from the merchant sailors that recovered the expedition. What they found, was a flight of birds too numerous to count having ravaged the village. One especially large bird being found beneath the foot of Nish, collapsed in exhaustion by the doors to the bunkhouse. Which is why his account stops there. Records from the boat, and the receiving port, indicate that there were 2 dwarves barricaded in the keep that were likewise retrieved. Mebzuth being amongst them, refused to leave. Remaining in his room, and saying that he would hold out until relief arrived. Insisting that it would, and barricading his door until he was left to his fate.

It is difficult to tell what mania took him. Fey, enchanting dwarves from afar drive us to insanity, can we not fulfill our goals for them. There are persistent rumors that the Baron of Fortressmerge had discovered the misdirection Mebzuth Brassoils had used upon him, and that there was a hammerer waiting for Brassoils to step off the boat when they reached port. It is simply known that when the relief force, lead by future expedition leader to Wallpearl Alath Toradzuntir arrived a season later, Mebzuth's study was abandoned. All of his papers having been burned.

Following this failure, the Guild for Surveyors and Geogrpahers were commissioned to verify all expeditionary plans. The request of Alath Toradzuntir to recover Wallpearl, being the first to undergo that rigorous review. My expedition was the next after that.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2023, 11:20:29 am by ash12181987 »


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Re: On the Razor's Edge: The Sagas of clan Vudnisstukos
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2023, 11:06:31 am »

18th Malachite, in the year of our Queen 112, of the first Era
There was a fight today in the surface Tavern.

When we first arrived here, we worried little about militia. We were all martially trained and our expedition well equipped, as our ranks had been filled from the Queen's own militia recruits from Oilhonor. This was a further reform to the expedition system that our clan implemented after the issues that arose from Wallpearl's first expedition. Militia recruits were used, as they were not as valuable to the home war effort; but, were also trained enough so as to protect a colony from any early threats that it faced.

We instituted a voluntary drill schedule. It made sense to me that were I to order people to defend the island, what I ask of them, I also asked of myself. So I likewise joined the militia and helped to establish our first squad: the Crimson Guard.

We faced few early threats. There'd been a bear. I believe Kosoth killed a rather large snake once. Perhaps it was two bears.

As the island grew, even as far off the beaten path as we were, knowledge of the fortress spread. It was in 108 that the giant came. New threats started to arise from there. It is the Israthian custom, that great victories be celebrated. So their temple holds 3 brilliant statues now, for the victories our Militia have had. It is also a Kestian custom that the valorous be commemorated for their sacrifice in battle. So their temple's hall holds 2 copper statues those that fell in battle to secure those victories.

The Mayor shifted the militia to a standing force. Barracks were erected and the ranks were filled. Everyone was given the choice between staying and eschewing labor, or to return to a non militaristic vocation full time. There were grumblings, but I was the only one to leave the militia in the end.

Fath, was a dwarf that came from Wallpearl's second expedition. He will not speak much of his time there, but the Baroness has said that she served with him in the craftsdwarf guild there. She has also said that Fath served in Wallpearl in their militia. It was then that her knowledge of him wanes, as she undertook the season's long trip south with her family after an incident with her daughter in 105. Around that time, Fath was struck by the death of a compatriot. A craftsdwarf who perished under mysterious circumstances in Hematite of 105.

He left Wallpearl, arriving in Limestone of 107. His Martial experience, made him an invaluable addition to our fledgling marksdwarf unit. He'd was a bard in the company. His songs are familiar to me, as I heard them frequently in the training halls.

Fath had accepted the Mayor's reforms and stayed in his unit. And now, he is in the hospital.

Around late Spring, it was known by his bunkmates that Fath would take to drink and become withdrawn. It was also said that during this prior week, Fath was waking himself and others from sleep by screaming. When asked what was wrong, he would deny their attention angrily.

Fire-Slayer Sodir said that he became aware of the altercation with Fath in the inn yesterday evening when he saw Fath shatter a chair across the lever that controlled the Inn's door. Fath tearing his armor away piecemeal offensively in the direction of another patron. Many patrons took offense to this, and he was removed down the stairs by those patrons and Sodir.

Were this Oilhonor, he would have been stolen away from us by the Hammerer. His name was stricken from his barracks when I went to look at it this morning. His compatriots all embarrassed at the stir Fath had caused. He got reproachful visits from his captain and the mayor while in the hospital, according to his orderly. It wasn't until the Baroness visited that it stopped. Apparently the Baroness spoke to him, and after said that his gift of song would better serve the community in the Israthian Temple moving forward. He saw no visitors after then, until I visited him.

I spoke to the dwarf briefly, between operations at the hospital this morning. He regrets losing his place in the Kestian Halls. He regretted his actions. He wished no comment be entered into the record, except to praise the hospital for their efforts to allow him to walk again.

Perhaps there is wisdom in his continued service. Perhaps it will quiet his nightmares. Time will tell.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2023, 02:16:52 pm by ash12181987 »