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Lord Bandos

Over lord of the Bandit Tribe of the Desert

0 · 298 views · located in Empyrean Sea Beach

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Drunken Master

Description

Height-6'0
Weight-170 lbs
Eye Color-Grey
Date of Birth-1/1/1000
Blood Type-AB+

Personality

Laid back and cool-headed until danger is near, or he feels that his tribe is in danger. His usual visage is a caring and soft feelings towards his people until disaster strikes or his people or him feel threatened.

Equipment

WEAPONS-
Main Weapon-Dagger (held in a backwards position)
Secondary Weapon-Bow and Arrow
Defensive Weapon-Steel Gauntlets
Special Weapon-Master Spear
OTHER-
Pick locking tools

History

Born into royalty, he was constantly spoiled throughout his younger ages and was always finding ways to get into trouble. At age 13, his mother died of a strange infection, and at age 16, his father dies of the same, making him the Tribe leader at an unusually young age. He now watches over his people with a kind and caring heart, showing little thought for fighting or violence, except for when the times come for him to protect his people.

So begins...

Lord Bandos's Story

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Character Portrait: Lord Andolen Thatcher Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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Over the course of several weeks, over three hundred men and women had gathered in secret camps along the stretch of the beach. It had taken months of preparation, but now everything was ready.

The three hundred acolytes gathered and formed into groups, and these groups began the ritual summonings to open portals to another realm. Within a few hours, the portals would be complete, and the conquest would begin.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lord Andolen Thatcher Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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As the camp had gathered together to unleash their conquest, a long figure would soon take to the scene armed with little more than a sword and a black cloth hakama. He stood in the face of this rather large force. "Halt! I do not know what intentions you all have however I will warn you all. Go back from whence you came, this planet is peaceful. And in order to protect that peace I will stop you." The man spoke without fear.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Urakena Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Echo Wolf (Alex*) Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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 “ Who am I? you may ask, and this is what I shall tell you;
I am your Guide, Your Omen, Your Guardian, I am your Follower, Your Leader, Your Protector, I am in your Nightmares, yet you love me to your hearts content, I am Afraid, yet strong. I am the Echo Wolf ”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Urakena Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Echo Wolf (Alex*) Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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Echo Wolf (Alex*) Wanders Around

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Urakena Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Echo Wolf (Alex*) Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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 “ Hmm.... Where are all of those Humans I saw Earlier.... ”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Aquari Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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The sky had raged, and the sea boiled, as the cataclysmic maelstrom stretched across the horizon. Tornadoes dotted the sea, stretching from the thrashing waves and into the hurricane like massive fingers. Lightning danced among them, bouncing between heaven and ocean. Then, just as quickly as the storm appeared, it fell inward as if it was sucked down a massive drain. It collapsed into a horizontal cyclone that snaked across the sky like a gargantuan serpent.

A dot floated in the sky at one end of the strange maelstrom. It hung there for a moment, suspended by unseen forces, and there was a flash of light.

Boom.

A dull roar drifted through the air as the serpentine storm structure shot across the sky towards Siv’en and the Exalted Mountains. It drew closer. The heavens roared with a fury unseen in countless generations as the speck, now revealed to be a floating mountain, screamed through the air like a meteor.

RRRRRBOOOM!

A blink. A single moment. The mountainous projectile passed overhead, leaving a shockwave that flattened the tide and disintegrated and clouds in its path for miles. Mighty gales cast off from the stormy contrail crushed trees and rolled boulders as it passed.

Then it was gone, leaving untold destruction and collateral damage in its wake.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Aquari Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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Empyrean Vikings - Hethel's Saga

House of Hethel: 1st Generation:

- Hethel Svensson the Dragontamer (king/founder)
- Fudørn Ivansson the Wise (jarl/shipbuilder)
- Engöll Corysson the Archer (jarl/mapmaker)
- Stryder Alvirsson the Horseman (jarl/spearman)
- Sjonn Jonasson the Skald (poet/lyre player)
- 50 other personages (unnamed)


Hethel Svensson and his band of ulfhednar had once served Ungrulf "Ulfric" Ellrufsson aboard the Örmbátur longship as members of the House of Ellrulf in a time since forgotten. After the extinction of that family line, Hethel Svensson inherited the Nuörmbátur longship and became a jarl under the late great King Sigurd the Ringtaker of the House of Munso along with all the original ulfhednar who had served the previous household. Fudørn, Engöll and Stryder were promoted to jarls. Sigurd Hring sent them forth in the Nuörmbátur to establish a new colony along with Sjonn the Skald and 45 other Vikings whose names are unrecorded. They established a settlement on the Empyrean Sea Beach which flourished and evolved. After the death of King Sigurd and the Iskjerne Vikings, the new colony chose Hethel Svensson to be their new konung or sovereign. King Hethel the Dragontamer ruled peacefully for his entire reign and was praised after he died of old age, being given a large burial mound close to the Empyrean Sea Beach known today as Hethel's Barrow.


House of Hethel: 2nd Generation:

- Ingvar Hethelsson the Highruler (king)
- Ivaldi Fudørnsson the Alchemist (jarl/inventor)
- Gudrød Engöllsson the Hunter (jarl)
- Vindal Strydersson the Rider (jarl)
- Finn Sjonnsson the Poet (skald)
- 200 other personages (unnamed)


King Hethel was succeeded by his son King Ingvar the Highruler, who also had a peaceful reign. King Ingvar was a younger contemporary of an elder Ragnar Lothbrok in the days of old. King Ingvar would expand on his father's kingdom by building upon King Hethel's original establishment. Fudørn Ivansson's successor Ivaldi would become a famous inventor at that time, having purchased a magical purple crystal from Volund the Archer, one of the ljosalfar who had stumbled upon it by pure chance at Iskjerne Forge and sold it to Ivaldi in exchange for silver, along with many other broken remnants of lost technologies that King Sigurd had once confiscated from his Taiyou enemies in the days of old. Ivaldi wasted no time in studying and reverse engineering some of those technologies, using magic and a bit of Nordic alchemy. Using a mineral solution to grow more crystals on the surface of stones, Ivaldi greatly contributed to the accelerated advancements of the Empyrean Sea Beach settlement, helping the House of Hethel to jump several hundred years ahead of Gaia's other Viking settlement at Iskjerne Bay.


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House of Hethel: 3rd Generation:

- Svein Ingvarsson (king)
- Auric Ivaldisson (jarl)
- Korri Gudrodsson (jarl)
- Alvis Vindalsson (jarl)
- Jona Finnsson (skald)
- Ásvald Ulfsson (karl)
- 500 other personages (unnamed)


King Ingvar was succeeded to the throne by his son King Svein, who continued to expand the House of Hethel and grow his kingdom. King Svein was alive during the fall of the House of Munso under the rule of Ivar the Boneless, but did not get his own kingdom involved. Instead, he used his resources to order the construction of 3 magically advanced longships that could leave the planet and sail through outer space. The first ship was called the Stjorndrekr (star dragon). The second ship was called the Stjornkona (star maiden). The third ship was called the Stjornhestr (star horse). At this stage the Empyrean Sea Beach settlement had grown tremendously and evolved into a small nation, or Type II civilization that was fully capable of harnessing the natural elements in their local star system and utilizing Gaia's native magical defenses, something that the Iskjerne Vikings had tried to accomplish with the Hreggdreki longship many years before them but had failed to do.

During the reign of King Svein, a terrible event happened in the heavens which shook the mountains, leveled forests and left a huge shockwave of destruction throughout the land. By this time, however, the Empyrean Vikings had expanded their kingdom and had established such mighty and powerful defenses that it was able to withstand the storm brought on by the meteor as it passed overhead towards Siv'en and into the Exalted Mountains before crashing in the distance. To those peaceful Norse settlers behind King Svein's walls, it felt like a powerful earthquake. But the kingdom did not break. After the waves stopped rolling in and the earth ceased to tremble, and all the debris and thundering storm clouds had rolled overhead, the walls and towers of the Empyrean Viking settlement were still standing. After some time, life returned to normal and before King Svein died, what little forest that had been destroyed was already starting to regrow.


House of Hethel: 4th Generation:

- Halfdan Svensson (konung)
- Fudørn Auricsson (jarl)
- Engrel Korrisson (jarl)
- Goffre Alvisson (jarl)
- Snorri Jonasson (skald)
- Thorvald Asvaldsson (karl)
- 2000 other personages (unnamed)


After the collapse of the Iskjerne Kingdom under the wrathful Titan deity Sigurd the Divine, during the time of Ivar the Boneless, the distant colony on the Empyrean Sea Beach just kept getting stronger and stronger. King Svein was succeeded by his son King Halfdan, the current ruler of that kingdom. King Halfdan was now the sovereign of a dynasty that had lasted four whole generations. Like his father and their fathers before them, Halfdan Svensson was a wise and peaceful king. He had skalds who could recall the legends and sagas of such famous heroes as Harald Wartooth, Ellrulf Trygvirsson, Hethel Svensson, Sigurd Hring, Ragnar Lothbrok, Bjorn Ironside, Harald Fairhair and others whose deeds served as lessons and teachings to the Empyrean sea king.

Halfdan the Great was a follower of Odin and a lover of wisdom who prayed to the gods and made daily offerings to the elves and land spirits. He would continue to provide a sanctuary for all the dragons, dwarves, unicorns, witches, pagans and exiles in his kingdom. In return, he received blessings from the land as the forests grew taller and the gardens grew fuller with an abundance of crops and flowers. Song birds greeted him with their beautiful songs as the grasses flourished above Hethel's Barrow and over the hillsides. There were many pleasant springs and ponds where frogs, fish and turtles nested, where crickets, ladybugs, bees and butterflies fluttered during the summer months, and the Empyrean Kingdom seemed like a quiet remote paradise. Life was good, and the Empyrean Norsemen lived without care, farming and crafting, forging and living in leisure without any needs or concerns.


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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Iskjerne Vikings Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Aquari Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Wolfgang Yorisson Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Lord Bandos
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It was a warm sunny day on the Empyrean Sea Beach, with the almost year-round parhelion of Gaia's three suns casting a magical circular rainbow-colored halo of shining sun-rays over the subtle pastel blue skies over beautiful blue-green waters and foamy white waves as they washed ashore along the long white sandy beach, moving inland from the treacherous Empyrean High Seas before lapping gently across the shoreline. Seagulls, pelicans and other oceanic birds squaked and sang as they flew by or hovered above the beaches as scattered white puffball clouds hung in stillness overhead like cotton flakes in the sky. It was a hot day, but the occasional gentle breeze brought relief from the heat, providing a mild uplifting wind which allowed the gulls, falcons and pelicans to linger in the air as if motionless as they scanned the shallow waters from above.

Many a crab and sea turtle had dug holes in the sand where they built their nests. The sandy shore was also riddled with fish bones, star fish, sand dollars, clams and colorful seashells, and on one of the sandy banks there was even the whole sun bleached skeleton of a whale, dragon or sea serpent which had been washed ashore and picked clean by the crabs and birds. Also along the shoreline was a rune-engraved, stone built dock and boatyard where humans, shipbuilders and fisherman gathered, working together to maintain the harbor and cast their nets or reel them in, hoping to catch a large variety of fish and other treasures which might be lurking in the sea. These were the Empyrean Norsemen, a strong and hardy stock of tall Nordic pagan folk with a variety of hair colors and hair styles, with a great majority of them having bleach blonde hair or ginger red hair with braided mullets and long or bushy beards.

Most of the men and women on the docks were dressed in plain workman's clothes, with simple gowns, highcut v-neck open laced shirts and baggy trousers, either barefoot or wearing sandals with their long sleeves and pantlegs rolled up. Some of them had blueish green tattoos in the shape of Nordic symbols and spiraling vine-work which extended from the length of their necks all the way to their knuckles, and sometimes even on their legs and feet. They were a healthy and muscular stock, well-toned from the exercise they gained from their daily work routines. They seemed peaceful and happy as some of them sang joyful songs while working together to accomplish their goals. Next to that was a small and quiet beach shack, which appeared to be from a different time period. Further inland and higher up on the beach, the sands turned to grass and formed a large naturally formed embankment which plateaued into bright green luscious hills, full of tall grasses and lovely flowers, wild weeds and many other natural landscapes. On the horizon, a forest of evergreens, elm trees, ash trees, oaks and pines stood thick and tall beneath the heavens.

Just before the treeline were two hills. One of them, overgrown with small white flowers was actually a burial mound. This was Hethel's Barrow, the final resting place of a very old Nordic king who had been buried there for over 200 years. The mound next to it, though much larger in size, was actually not a mound at all, but a vast stone ring fortress surrounded by earth which had been piled up to form a perfect circle around an unseen stone wall with entrances perfectly aligned to the four cardinal directions, and the phases of Gaia's moon, which could sometimes be seen even during the day when all three suns hung in the sky. Behind the earth-supported stone circle enclosure was a large moat and bailey, with a keep or watchtower sitting atop a raised scarp where the Norse king's castle could be found, attached to the great mead hall. These too had been made of bricks and stones piled with natural grass rooftops, and the splendor of that Viking kingdom dwarfed even the previous Norse kingdom at Iskjerne Bay.

Just beyond the scarp, down the drawbridge ramp and over the moat was a large shire village hidden within the ring fortress and formed in perfect shapely design. This centuries old Empyrean Norse Kingdom was almost a spitting replica of the Viking settlement at Iskjerne Bay, only its walls were thicker, its buildings were much larger, and its Ringerike styled artwork was much more elaborate. The post carvings weren't just carved by hand, but the entire stone fortress had been inlaid with gold and silver embroidery so that even the chains on the drawbridges were dipped in gold. There were runic carvings everywhere, some appearing like stained glass windows but inlaid with magical glowing blue and pink crystals instead of glass. It was far more advanced and a far more impressive society, one that seemed almost more like Alfheimr or an elf-haven rather than a human kingdom.

There were other differences as well...

Unlike the colony at Iskjerne Bay, there were no mountains close to the village. The closest mountain range was the Exalted Mountains to the southwest, whose peaks barely shown over the forested horizon. So rather than placing their dungeon lookout tower above the mountains, the Empyrean Norse Kingdom had its own lookout tower built closer to the shore, fitted with an enormous golden bell which shined like a beacon to travelers at sea. Also unlike Iskjerne Bay which had a statue of the late great Sigurd Hring placed out in the open near the gates, this newer establishment instead had a sacred hóf or pagan temple located in the very center of the village, surrounded by a protective spiked fence made of pure silver. Only priests and priestesses were allowed entrance to that holy place, which had walls made of spears and a silver rooftop made of shields, decorated by a thin gold chain which hung like tinsel around it. Inside that hóf was not just one statue, but a whole circle of stone carved heavy statues depicting many Old Norse gods and goddesses.

The oldest such statue depicted Odin, the king of the gods...

The main entrance to the ring fortress faced north towards the sea, and just outside of it, the legendary longship known as the Nuörmbátur was resting peacefully atop a pile of round logs which could be employed as a sort of sled or wheels to help slide the vessel down the hillside and into the water. Right next to it stood 3 other ships, also with elaborate prows, only they were much larger and of a later time period than the first longship. These three were not made of wood, but were cast of metal and silver, with prows made of gold. These too were inlaid with magical glowing crystals, only these particular crystals were pinkish purple and seemed to have an entirely different purpose. King Halfdan the Great was sitting upon his cushioned red silk throne inside the mead hall, wearing a silver crown and a bright stainless blue velvet cloak, surrounded by two of his three jarls and one of his skalds along with a hall full of Nordic settlers from various families and backgrounds.

"The stjornhestr is now ready your greatness," Fudørn Auricsson said out loud after taking a swig from his 24 ounce tankard of mead and setting it down on the table.

"Wonderful... Goffre, you shall lead our expedition tomorrow. Is your crew ready to sail?" King Halfdan responded before asking.

"Aye my leige, all five hundred of us are ready to set sail... Women, children. Vary a man between fifteen and fifty," Goffre Alvisson replied with a nod, taking a swig from his own mug.

"Good to hear it Goffre, I knew I could count on you in such short notice... Well, it is settled then. When the second sun passes at mid-day tomorrow, the Stjornhestr will sail... Are you absolutely sure about this my friend?" the wise king asked calmly with a sense of humbleness in his voice.

"Never moreso my king. It has always been my dream to reach for the stars." the jarl answered, to which the king raised his own golden jewel encrested goblet and nodded quietly. Everyone else at the king's table would then raise their own drinks as well, following King Halfdan's example. Without speaking another word, the konung gestured for the feasting to begin, and soon the hall maidens would go around placing silver spoons, knives and bowls on the tables in front of everyone as the chefs walked in, setting a whole large roasted wild boar on a platter down in the center of the king's table along with a giant dish of mixed fish oil veggie and crab salad and a gigantic kettle of hot steaming soup, rich in potassium, iron, protein and several natural vitamins containing potatoes, carrots, cabbage, roasted horse and chicken broth with alfalfa, yellow morning glories, seaweed and onions, enough to feed all 500 of them, along with all the hall maidens and chefs who served.


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Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: LONELY
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Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: LONELY
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One fateful day, a massive galleon arrived from the Empyrean High Seas, hoisting three large black sails with a white cross down the center, and waving a small blue and red banner. But the banner was neither a white horse, nor a black raven, or even that of a boar. It was a navy blue flag with a red serpent devouring its own tail. The galleon itself was three times the size of the Nuörmbátur, and roughly the same size as the Stjornkona and Stjorndrekr which rested next to it on the shore. Engrel Korrisson was the first to notice the large oddly shaped, slow moving galleon as he sat on a hilltop, mounted on the back of his brown shire horse, staring at the ship through the eye of his leather bound looking glass. Engrel would quickly turn his horse around and ride towards the entrance of the ring fortress, crossing the moat drawbridge and passing the outer stone wall into the open bailey just in time to see King Halfdan Svensson and a small band of accompanying bodyguards descend down the scarp ramp from the great hall. Apparently, the king's men had already informed Halfdan of the situation.

"My Lord," Engrel said sternly while stopping his shire horse and nodding respectfully to his king.

"Jarl Korrisson, what does your looking glass see? Are they friendly?" the king asked.

"Hard to say your greatness. They are many deep, with cannons," Engrel answered.

"Cannons?" the king inquired.

"Aye my Lord, old ones. Could be Greek fire, or worse. They are flying a banner. A blue flag with a red serpent," the jarl said loudly, informing King Halfdan and his closest men.

"A serpent? Whose clan is that?" King Halfdan motioned for his servants to fetch his horse and gear.

Meanwhile, the large galleon continued to drift inland slowly. By now, the workers on the docks had noticed the approaching pirate-like war ship and had started to withdraw from the shipyards back up the embankment towards the settlement. King Halfdan would mount a black shire horse and grab his sword from his young servant before riding off beside jarl Engrel Korrisson towards the beach, accompanied by the king's men. But the galleon would never approach the shore. It's rudders were too long and the ship too big to coast as far up shore as the smaller Empyrean Norse fishing ships. Instead a huge iron anchor and chain was cast over the side of the giant vessel as it got close to the shallower waters. King Halfdan and his men watched closely, Engrel Korrisson again raising his leather bound looking glass to spot four armoured men and a young blonde boy being lowered off the side of the ship into a canoe or dingy. The young boy was dressed in fine clothing and wearing a green cape, while the men in armor appeared to be knights or bodyguards of some sort.

"It's a silk swathed messenger boy," the jarl informed them. Halfdan's men would relax and laugh, lowering their weapons. "He's got guards with him. Could be a prince," Engrel suggested.

"A young prince, with a ship like that? Ha! He might as well be a king," Halfdan said deeply, a hint of astonishment in his voice.

Engrel smirked quietly for a second before looking through his eye glass again. Only this time, he noticed that the boy in the canoe was looking back at him through his own makeshift telescope. After seeing Engrel through his eye glass, the boy lowered his telescope and started using hand signals, waving to the Empyrean Norsemen on the shoreline that he was unarmed and meant no harm. Engrel observed the hand signals through his looking glass and relayed what he saw back to King Halfdan, who ordered his own guards to be watchful and cautious as the tiny boat neared the beach, being paddled along by two long wooden oars. Once the canoe was close enough to land, the boy cupped his hands near his lips and shouted to the king on the shore, in a dialect that the king and his men had not heard in quite some time.

"Ikke drep oss, vi er som deg! Ikke drep oss, vi kommer i fred! the blonde boy shouted over the calm waves at them. He had simple bowl-cut hair and bright blue eyes which reflected the sky.

"What's he saying?" Jarl Engrel asked quietly.

"Hm, that's odd. He's speaking an older dialect. They're Norwegians, but I can't make out his accent. Sounds native, almost as if he's from our country." King Halfdan remarked. "Rufus, you speak fluent Norwegian, what is he saying?"

"He says he is one of us. He wishes for us not to harm them," Rufus, one of the king's taller guards answered. Rufus was a bald and beardless man with a large facial scar which looked like it had come from a rather bloody fight at the local tavern, no doubt from a knife blade. Rufus was a brawny, strong man and was known to be one of the king's toughest champions.

Soon the canoe came coasting up to the shoreline and the two armoured knights ahead of the boy stepped out, dragging the small boat the rest of the way to the beach. The young boy would step out on to dry land, flinging his green cape behind him as the two other guards behind him followed him on to the dry beach, all of them forming around the boy with their hands resting on the hilts of their swords. But these were not viking swords, they were much longer and sharper, and their armor seemed more akin to Romanized Western European armor than to traditional Viking armor. The young boy bowed respectfully on one knee to King Halfdan, exposing the silver arm-ring close to his shoulder. King Halfdan nodded quietly, squinting his eyes as the boy stood up and approached him.

"Jeg er prins Logan av Quaking Oaks, sønn av prins Haakon, sønn av Reidar, sønn av Duran, sønn av Lodin, sønn av Erling Skjalsson og Astrid Trygvirsdottir." the young boy said, looking up at the king with both boldness and desperation in his bright blue eyes.

King Halfdan, Jarl Engrel and Rufus all glanced at each other for a brief moment before staring back at the boy with bewilderment, not because they didn't understand him, but rather because they understand him perfectly well. Prince Logan of Quaking Oats was apparently the great great great grandson of Erling Snake, the former mortal enemy of Sigurd Hring, and Snake's wife Astrid, the daughter of King Trygvir, whose house all the Empyrean Norsemen had once served under many centuries ago. King Halfdan was quite familiar with the Snake Clan from the House of Norway, for although he had never met any of them before and had actually presumed them all to be extinct, Halfdan's skalds had preserved Erling Snake's lineage and exploits in their sagas many years ago. Standing before one of those Norwegian princes now was like standing before a ghost, or lost tribe which had long been forgotten.

King Halfdan and his guards would escort the young prince and his four armoured companions up to the ring fortress and accompany them to the mead hall. There they would get their formal introductions out of the way and discuss business. Prince Logan recalled to King Halfdan how Erling Snake had been defeated by Sigurd Hring but had survived with a dozen others who took refuge in the forest. There, some of them died and most of the rest of them faded into obscurity. But Erling and a few of his die-hard knights survived, being catered to by the Elves and Dryads who healed their wounds and kept them alive in secret, hidden deep within the Quaking Oaks, where the young prince was born. Unfortunately, as he recalled to King Halfdan, he was the last remaining Nord from that land and the sole survivor of Erling's bloodline, for all the rest had either died from the plague, old age, sickness or bad health. Prince Logan was all that was left, for even his personal guards were neither Christian Vikings or Norsemen, or even humans, but were hired Elvish mercenaries in knightly armor who were indebted to Logan's father and had sworn to protect him. Prince Logan had arrived at the Empyrean Norse Kingdom to ask King Halfdan for help, and in exchange, to swear allegiance to him by switching arm-rings.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: LONELY
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The following weeks were uneventful for the Empyrean Norse Kingdom as the good King Halfdan the Great made arrangements for Prince Logan Haakonsson and his Alfarian mercenaries to join their ranks. The Norsemen were now 1500+1 strong at the Empyrean Sea Beach settlement, with an additional 500 elvish knights to support them. These Elves were unlike anything the Empyrean Norsemen had ever seen before, with their new pirate-like galleon fitted with 300 cannons designed for naval warfare and seiges from coastal waters. Unlike the Norsemen who were mostly just farmers, fishermen, hunters, gardeners, beekeepers, traders, merchants, craftsmen and blacksmiths with civilian occupations, the Sea Elves, or Dryads, were professional warriors. Swift, strong, and clever, these Sjóálfar were not only good at fighting in the Empyrean High Seas, but were just as skillful on land, in the hills and forests surrounding the Norse countryside, as infantry or mounted warriors.

Each and every one of them had two curved swords, one long and one short, an even smaller curved dagger, a spear, and a quiver with silver bows and magical elfshot arrows. They were equally skilled in fencing, archery, and mounted warfare, and their bright shining magical silver armour was light-weight but extremely durable, resistant to rust, heat or frost, while their coordination and formation tactics were beyond description, for despite their numbers, these Sjóálfar could move in sync with perfect timing like a single unit. This was true for their oarsmen, their archers, their infantry, and even their armored horses who pranced proudly before King Halfdan, each step in complete unison as they trodded and paraded before their Norse companions, showing off with brightly colored peacock feathers and horned visors resembling silver unicorn skulls.

Their cannons too were also magical, relying not on ordinary wicks and gunpowder, but rather on the whims of faery dust, and arcane fire which ignited like blueish white ghost flames, capable of harming both physical beings and spiritual beings alike. Although the Norsemen could see the tiny winged creatures who accompanied the Elves, the good King Halfdan Svensson was not aware yet of their strength in numbers, for the faeries or faefolk, akin to the Dryads and Elves they served, would prove to be an important asset to the Norseman's kingdom. These tiny little faes, just like their elvish cousins, were skilled in a variety of things from tinkering, pollinating, lockpicking, swarming and subtle assassination, to mounted warfare on the backs of dragonflies and rhinoceros beetles. But they too, like the Empyrean Norsemen, were much more concerned with farming and cultivating the surrounding environment, something which the Empyrean Norsemen were extremely fond of, and they would often treat these little ones as no different from their own kinfolk.

All was well in the Empyrean Norse Kingdom, until one fateful day when a lonesome faery came buzzing through the countryside at great haste, whispering something into the ear of one of the elves, who relayed the message to the great prince in his native elvish tongue. Prince Logan Haakonsson, in turn, informed King Halfdan the Great that an army was forming across the high seas, one which threatened the broken establishment at Iskjerne Bay, and which could potentially pose a threat to his own kingdom. King Halfdan Svensson nodded quietly, but made little effort to respond. Both of his jarls, Engrel Korrisson and Fudørn Auricsson volunteered to take their own leidangs across the sea to meet them. Instead, he summoned two of his best Norsemen to go investigate the situation. The first was Rufus the Red, the king's champion. The second was a karl named Thorvald "Bloodyfist" Asvaldsson, a Norwegian outlaw and murderer known throughout the land for killing people with his bare hands.

"But your Grace, this man is a criminal, and an exile. He can not be trusted," the jarl Engrel Korrisson explained. But the konung simply waved the matter aside with a flick of the wrist.

"He has done no wrong in my kingdom, and therefore he is not a criminal. Besides, I have not heard any word back from Jarl Goffre, and I will not sacrifice another one of my most trusted councilmen. I need you both here my friends, you understand." Jarl Engrel and Jarl Fudørn both nodded at King Halfdan's plight.

"As for you, Prince Logan, the king thanks you for your council. You are no doubt a loyal advisor to your majesty. I wish you were my own son, to be honest, and without sons of my own, I hereby declare you the king's heir. Should something happen to me, or my jarls here, then you must ensure that our lineage continues. Do you understand me boy?" King Halfdan explained before asking.

"Yes, your Greatness, I understand" Prince Logan nodded. "Good," King Halfdan said before ordaining Prince Logan before the court. Prince Logan would take a knee before the king's throne and kiss his ring finger. The king's ring itself had been passed down for several generations, from King Halfdan's father's father's fathers, a ring that had once belonged to King Sigurd the Ringtaker himself, who had gifted it to the forefather of the Empyrean Norse Kingdom over 200 years ago. That same exact ring had once belonged to King Trygvir, a loyal vassal of Sigurd Hring's uncle Harald Wartooth during the Battle of the Brávellir many many years ago, from which King Halfdan and Prince Logan were both directly descended. The irony of this occasion seemed almost fated from the beginning, as King Halfdan removed the twin-headed serpent armband from Logan's upper arm, and placed on him the twin-raven armband of the Empyrean Norse Kingdom signifying that he was now one of them.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Erik Thorvaldsson Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Thorvald the Great Character Portrait: LONELY
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One fateful day while combing the beach for Murex rock snails, a predatory sea snail which produces a purple inky substance known as imperial dye or royal purple, Snorri Jonasson the skald stumbled upon something interesting buried beneath the sands. As he hit the object with his walking stick, he heard a tinkering sound. There was something hard and metal hidden in the sand. He bent down and dug up what appeared to be a metal helmet. It was a warrior's helmet of some kind, of an almost Roman-like design, embroidered with thin linings of silver and gold. The front of the helmet featured the symbol of a bull in full body with horns and a tail. Despite a small dent on the side of the helmet, it appeared to be in remarkably pristine condition.

But there was more...

Nearby, he also found some curious looking metal pellets or small round lead balls which had also been scattered along the beach. But these were not fishing sinkers, for they had no holes or grooves in them for which to hook a line. Snorri Jonasson picked up a small handful of them, placing them into his hanging satchel along with the helmet he had found. But he was not prepared for what he would find next, for there in the sand, sticking out on the shore like an ancient lost relic, was a polymer advanced alloy pistol, the likes of which Snorri the Skald had never seen before. He would reach down and pull it out of the ground, brushing the sand off of it to examine it more closely. There was an inscription on the side of it which said M5, and Snorri knew right away that he had discovered a treasure that was simply not of the beach, or of Gaia, but had to have come from out of this world, from a people who had visited from the stars.

Snorri Jonasson suddenly forgot all about his snail combing expedition. He placed the gun in his pocket and quickly left the beach, going back to the ring fortress to inform King Halfdan of his discoveries. As he opened his satchel and placed the items on the table in the king's hall in front of him, King Halfdan and Prince Logan admired the shining helmet with fascination. It had not rusted over the last 250 years or so, but was still glimmering as if the gods themselves had crafted it. At first, King Halfdan even mistook it for one of the Sea Elf's own helmets, but after consulting the Sjóálfar, the young Prince Logan assured his adopted godfather King Halfdan that this was not one of their makings. It must have belonged to someone else who lived a long time ago.

"And you say you just found these items laying on the beach? All this time, in plain sight?" Fudørn Auricsson asked doubtedly.

"Ay my Lord, they were in the sand. Buried," the skald answered his jarl, who was sitting at the left hand of the king next to Rufus and Thorvald, opposite the prince.

"And what of these little balls here? What do you make of them? If they are not sinkers, then what are they?" inquired Rufus, the king's champion, as he fumbled with one of the tiny metal pellets before dropping it back on the table.

"I'm not sure..." the king answered. Everyone else fell silent for a moment, looking around the table at one another. Snorri then nodded quietly.

"There is something else," Snorri Jonasson said as he pulled the M5 pistol out of his pocket and slid it across the table. King Halfdan would glance at Snorri for a moment before picking up the small handgun and examining it.

"It has a trigger, like our crossbows, and a barrel... I think, whatever that is, it fired these" Snorri suggested, causing the others to nod quietly in deep contemplation. King Halfdan passed the M5 pistol around before picking up the helmet and examining it again. He studied the bull insignia more carefully, making a mental note of it in his mind. "Remarkable..." Halfdan whispered.

King Halfdan ordered the items to be set on display, high up on one of the shelves within the king's hall so that he could always gaze at them and wonder. He was about to send Thorvald Asvaldsson and Rufus the Bald on their quest to Iskjerne Bay, when just then, the doors swung open and two of the king's guards entered, holding a young man with a knapsack over his head by his arms who was fighting and struggling to get free. They were accompanied by the tavern keeper.

"Your Grace, sorry to disturb you, but we have a problem," one of the guards informed him. The king nodded to the guards, who nodded to the tavern keeper as he stepped forward.

"Your Grace, this young man here just killed one of my best customers during a game of hnefltafl and refused to pay for his drinks," the tavern keeper pleaded.

"He lies! I was cheated!" the young man yelled from under the bag over his head. "Silence you thief," one of the guards said while hitting the young man hard in the stomach with the butt end of his club. The masked criminal slumped over silently in pain, having the wind temporarily knocked out of him. King Halfdan rolled his eyes and looked over at the tavern keeper.

"How much does he owe you for the drinks?" King Halfdan asked calmly. "Sixty fennings your Grace," the tavern keeper answered humbly, removing his hat. The king nodded and with a snap of his fingers, Fudørn Auricsson would bring him a money chest. "I will double it for your troubles. One hundred and twenty fennings, and not a penda more," the king said as he counted out 120 pennies and placed them in a bag, tossing it to the tavern keeper, who caught it in his hat.

"Thank you so much your Grace, you truly are a great King," the tavern keeper said, bowing his head before turning and leaving. Everyone else's focus was now on the masked murderer before them as King Halfdan handed the treasure chest back to his jarl, scratching his chin.

"As for you boy, murder is a crime in my kingdom. Punishable by death. I could have you beheaded, and your lifeless body hanged on my display," King Halfdan said, ordering his guards to bring the criminal forward so that he could have a better look at the accused, and decide what to do with him.

"Do you understand the accusations against you?" King Halfdan piped up rhetorically with a bit of sternness and anger in his voice. "Do you deny that you killed one of your fellowmen?" he immediately followed through.

"... I do... And I don't..." the young man answered.

"Good, you will save me a trial then," the king said as he poured himself a glass of mead. "Guards, if you would do me the honor of please removing his mask so I can see his face... What is your name young man?" King Halfdan asked calmly.

The guards would remove the knapsack from over the young man's head, revealing a Norseman with long bright red hair and hazel green eyes. Everyone else in the king's hall would pause to gaze at the murderer before them. Thorvald Asvaldsson's eyes lit up with terror at what he was now witnessing, as Rufus the Bald turned to look at him, then back at the young man before him with a gaping jaw. The young man would shake the hair out of his face before gazing up at the king with remorseless hatred in his expression as he made eye contact.

"I am Erik, son of Thorvald Asvaldsson," he answered.

King Halfdan blinked, glancing beside himself to Thorvald before looking forward again at the admitted murderer directly before him. Thorvald Asvaldsson had widened eyes and a look of horror on his face. King Halfdan the Great was nearly speechless himself as he stared into Erik's eyes, before chuckling at the irony of it all while taking a swig from his glass of mead.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Squidles
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The following weekend was spent sobering up as things slowly fell back to normal within the Empyrean Norse Kingdom, and the people went back to performing their daily tasks and labors. They would bathe in the water on the beach on Laugardag, equivalent to their version of a typical Saturday when everyone in the kingdom participated in cleaning and washing, and preparing for the new week ahead. Villagers could be seen sweeping, doing laundry and playing on the beach, swimming in the shallow waters and just enjoying the relaxation of Gaia's constant sunlight.

A couple days later, one of Jarl Goffre Alvisson's convertiboats would arrive from the Empyrean High Seas, making its way to the shoreline before parking at the docks near the shipyard. It was Karvi-3, one of the lifeboats from the Stjornhestr, which had successfully travelled back from the stars. As the convertible top was raised back, King Halfdan Svensson could see five passengers inside the small knarr-like boat, which had actually been designed to hold ten sailors or more in case of an emergency. King Halfdan and his advisors assumed the worst had happened to Jarl Goffre and his crew, for such a small number to return home.

But the king was quite surprised and gladdened to hear that the Stjornhestr's voyage had actually been a success. The crew sat down with Snorri Jonasson in the mead hall and recounted their adventures to Bastion IV and back, telling him and King Halfdan about the Stjornhestr's encounters with an alien cruiser, the Conflagration, and how Jarl Goffre and his leidang had discovered a new world which seemed fit for habitation.

King Halfdan was so greatly pleased to hear of the Stjornhestr's discoveries that he paid all five of his messengers a handsome sum of gold and silver coinage, ordering his thralls to construct a giant life-size golden statue of Urakena, the beautiful sea dragon which had helped pave their way to the stars so long long ago. The statue was erected directly on the shore, overlooking the entrance to the Empyrean Norse Kingdom from the beach like a menacing guardian, at the exact same spot where Hethel the Brave had once stood before the giant sea creature so many generations in the past. The golden dragon was a marvel to behold under the shining sunlight, glimmering like a beacon for all to gasp and stare at. This marvelous giant statue was to become one of the great Wonders of Gaia, and many Norse travellers, and neighboring Dryads and other wanderers, flocked from all around the kingdom to catch a glimpse of the fine artisanship and craftsmanship of the golden dragon which now towered over the Empyrean Sea Beach, striking an array of emotions, both love and fear, and overall excitement.

It was beautiful. It was terrifying. It was absolutely fascinating and fantastic to witness. Rufus the Bald gazed up at the finished product and smiled, nodding to himself quietly, being absolutely humbled by the size and detail of the golden dragon statue. He pondered silently how bold and brave King Halfdan's great ancestor Hethel Svensson must have been to stand in front of such a frighteningly large sea monster over two hundred years ago, when Sigurd Hring was still alive and the Empyrean Norsemen were still barely even an independent colony.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Squidles
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Princess Alruna Halfdansdottir would spend the next few weeks accompanied by hand-maidens who guarded her, protected her, nurtured her and looked after her every need. She ate three meals a day, starting with rismal, the first meal before the first sunrise early in the morning. For this meal she had plenty of oats, walnuts, berries, hazelnuts, grains and yogurt with milk and honey. Her second meal was dagmal around 8:00 in the morning. At this time she would eat fish soup made from cod, salmon or fermented shark with salt, whipped cream, stinging nettles, dandelion leaves, ashweed, chervil, marjorum, onion, parsley, thyme, bread and butter with a glass of water. Her third meal of the day was nattmal after the third sunset on Gaia when the sky was darkest and the moons were shining. For supper she would eat fried bacon and goose eggs with wheat bread, butter and honey, cinnamon, goat cheese and sometimes horse phallus with a glass of dilluted red grape wine containing motherwort and other spices used to ensure fertility. Princess Alruna sometimes also had gingerbread or oatmeal cookies for dessert.

The poor men, thralls and farmhands in the Empyrean Norse Kingdom consumed large quantities of plain chicken broth, vegetable soup and baked bread. These were mostly free-roaming slaves and paid servants who couldn't afford the finer things like salt, butter, milk and honey. The karls, land owners and freemen cooked calf, and ate beef stew, lamb chops, roasted chicken, and duck or pheasant with milk and butter. The nobles and jarls, people who could afford ships and crews, ate considerably well, consuming large portions of horse meat, fried bacon, roasted goose, and mead made from honey, beer made from hops and barley, glog and other malt wines made from cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, oranges or lemon. King Halfdan and Prince Logan ate mostly wild game, sharp cheese, reindeer meat, whale meat, seal, oysters, mollusks, potatoes, carrots and cabbage, wild boar, and vast quantities of beer and wine.

Life was good and the food was plenty as the Sjóálfar, Dryads or Sea Elves patrolled the borders and guarded the kingdom. These highly disciplined mercenaries were very subtle in making their presence known and felt throughout the region. They were incredibly stealthy, and yet it was by their helping hands that the seas stayed rich with fish and other life, and why the Empyrean Norse Kingdom had no shortage of forest and wild game, successful crop harvests and sparkling clean water. There was magic in the air, brought on by the Sjóálfar Guard and their invisible presence throughout the Nordic lands. They were the spine or backbone of the Empyrean Norse Kingdom, and these elvish guardians, so long as they were appeased by King Halfdan, would continue to bless him more and more. Soon their numbers increased from 500 sea elves to 5000 sea elves or more as they flooded to the Empyrean island, bringing magic, gold and silver trinkets. King Halfdan continued to practice his elvish tongue with Prince Logan over the next few weeks as Princess Alruna was being cared for by her hand-maidens. These nine maidens wore simple tunicas with long aprons , some of them carrying medicine pouches containing flax seeds, mushrooms, onions, garlic cloves, motherwort and other wild herbs for ritualistic magic, fertility and healing.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Grimnir the Hooded Character Portrait: Empyrean Sjóálfar Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Empyrean Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Snorri Jonasson Character Portrait: Fudorn Auricsson Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Richard Lockwood Character Portrait: Squidles
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King Halfdan was at the recession hall inside the Empyrean Castle located in the Ring Fortress, talking to his jarls and other noble aristocrats about ways to expand his kingdom. He was wearing a dark royal purple tunic with gold trim, long red trousers, black leather boots and a black leather belt. He was also wearing a grey wolf skinned cape attached to one shoulder by a golden brooch, and a red fox fur hat or turban fitted with a crown of gold, and decorated with many colorful gemstones. He wore the king's red ruby ring, a gold medallion necklace inlaid with blue sapphire, and a silver serpent-headed arm ring over his left upper arm. King Halfdan's long shoulder length dark brown hair and short bearded mustache were groomed neatly and he smelled of spices and perfume, a clear indication that this was the king.

His most trusted nobles were with him. Fudørn Auricsson, the great descendant of Fudørn the Wise, was sitting to his right. Engrel Korrisson, the great descendant of Engöll the Archer, was sitting to his left. These were the jarls or earls of the Empyrean Norse Kingdom, dressed in bright red uniforms, wearing chainmail hauberks with lamellar cuirasses, metal stripped greaves and vambraces, their armor emblazoned with the logo of the famous dragon which also appeared on the banner and flags decorating the great kingdom, a sharp contrast to the Iskjerne Viking's raven banner, further across the seas to the north.

Snorri Jonasson was also sitting at the king's round table, only his uniform was bright blue instead of red, signifying that he was a man of lesser rank and status, but he was still privy enough to sit with the king and enjoy vintage wine in the company of great leaders. Rufus the Bald was also at the table, only he was not sitting, but rather, standing behind the king's throne. Rufus was also wearing a blue uniform, only his tunic was much darker than Snorri's, being a lesser bright, almost midnight or navy blue. Rufus the Bald had a long white wooly beard and a brown bear-hide fluffy cape which flowed over his broad shoulders, his completely bald head covered in tattoos with a stern fierce gaze on his face, signifying that this was the king's royal champion and bodyguard.

Other karls and freemen were also in the recession hall of the castle, though these were less famous Norsemen dressed in blue garbs who sat further down at the other side of the king's table. There were also three empty seats which had been designated for nobles, and which nobody else dared to sit in. Everyone else in the great gathering hall was either standing, or sitting on the matted flooring around the table. Some wore blue, some wore green, but apart from their attire, everyone in the castle looked pretty much the same. Young maids in pastel green dresses or long tunicas and aprons would walk around through the crowded chamber with silver pitchers, filling everyone's bolvine horned drinking cups and silver mugs.

Jarl Goffre had been away for some time, leading an expedition to the stars. Goffre's seat remained empty, for he had taken a fleet with him to another planet in a different arm of the galaxy, hoping to expand the kingdom and make it an empire. Prince Logan's and Princess Alruna's seats were also empty, for they were now handling other affairs inside the kingdom. Prince Logan was going around throughout the village on horseback, ensuring law and order, and gathering intelligence about the local community, accompanied by his elvish bodyguards, while Princess Alruna, now two weeks pregnant, would see to the temples, forests and gardens, accompanied by her closest hand-maidens as they left offerings for the gods and land spirits, ensuring peace and blessings throughout the marvelous kingdom.

Just as expected, a knarr would appear on the horizon of the sea, carrying merchants and sailors from the continent of Ellaria, bringing with them the merchandise they had gathered and purchased legally from trading and buying. The knarr was much smaller than the Norse drakkar longships, being roughly the same size as the karvis, only with a broader and wider hull which made it slower, but enabled it to carry more luggage. It was not a war ship, but a merchant ship, yet few were those who did not recognize its Empyrean dragon banner, or dared to commit piracy against it for fear of the consequences. The Empyrean Norsemen had been a decent, civilized and peaceful people for centuries, providing sanctuary to their neighbors and other Gaian peoples, and there was no need to provoke the Norsemen to war, especially after word had already spread across the lands about the fervor and violence of their northern cousins.

As the knarr reached the shores, it made its way to the docks and was roped off to keep it from drifting away as the small crew worked together with the other workers on the docks to setup a ramp on to the boat's deck. Soon, an assembly line was formed as the crew started handing down large wooden chests filled with merchandise and treasure, new furs and animal skins. They also unloaded some horses and goats, leading them off the docks and over towards the pastors near the farming village. Finally, a small mule cart wagon would descend down the ramp slowly and head for the ring fort, being driven by a familiar face. One of the guards would enter the king's hall and approach King Halfdan, whispering into his ear.

"Your majesty, I bring word from the shipyard. Thorvald Asvaldsson has returned from Iskjerne," the messenger whispered softly. King Halfdan nodded quietly and smiled, raising his silver wine goblet and offering a toast to the other nobles and freemen in the recession hall. "Skál!" the king shouted with glee. "Skál!" the Norsemen shouted back at him joyfully as they all proceeded to down the contents in their drinking horns. Everything was going smoothly according to plan. Little did any of them know at the time that Thorvald's message from the north would be a cause for great concern.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Grimnir the Hooded Character Portrait: Empyrean Sjóálfar Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Empyrean Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Snorri Jonasson Character Portrait: Fudorn Auricsson Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Richard Lockwood Character Portrait: Squidles
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The Great King Halfdan Svensson was still feasting and enjoying the company of the other nobles when Thorvald "Bloodyfist" Asvaldsson walked into the great hall and stood quietly by one of the posts, joining the rest of the crowd who had come to feast with the king. King Halfdan the Great would glance over to Thorvald once he noticed him and signalled for him to approach the king's table and join him. "What news do you bring from the north?" Halfdan asked, offering him a seat across the table from himself. "Nothing you want to hear, your grace" Thorvald answered, removing his hat and sitting down.

"I learned that Iskjerne Bay is no longer a kingdom, but is composed of 3 kingdoms, 2 kings and 1 queen. There are no grasslands, no forests, and no sign of the land spirits. Cold and fever, sickness and death. There are many burial mounds, from the battles they have won. But Hel is like a silent hound, before it clicks its fangs. They are warriors, still, and I felt it better to leave before they started fighting, Thorvald recalled, telling the konung everything about the plague and division between the Iskjerne Vikings. People listened, and so did King Halfdan, who turned to look at Princess Alruna who was sitting beside him, next to Prince Logan, also listening. They had returned from their daily routines.

"You could have taken the throne for yourself," Logan said. King Halfdan glanced at Prince Logan, then turned to look at Thorvald again. "How about you, my daughter? What do you think?" he asked, as Thorvald glanced at King Halfdan before looking at the princess. "I, think... We should have a feast. Decorate our houses and celebrate" she said, smiling. King Halfdan grinned, glancing at the dome shaped rooftop high above the floor before nodding his head. "A feast... Yes. Invite messengers from every kingdom north and south, and send word that the leader of the Empyrean Norsemen is holding a feast, paid for by the king. It will last eleven days," the king said, looking at Prince Logan once again, before nodding his head.

Logan nodded to the sea elf standing beside him, who had purple and blue shiney, scaley skin, large black eyes with V-shaped reflective silver pupils, pointy ears, and long flowing green hair which looked like seaweed. The elf was wearing a dark midnight blue gambeson and a gem encrusted silver chestplate over the top of a silver hauberk and haubergeon, wearing a cone shaped gold-trimmed silver helmet, shoulder guards and arm plates, holding a double engrailed top shield similar to the shield of Tyrell in shape, only pure silver and gold in color and shine. As the elf walked away, King Halfdan ordered the preparations to be made for a feast. Soon everyone would start decorating the halls with boughs of holly leaves, placing mistletoe above the doorways, pine cones and berries intertwined with wreaths on the doors.

Logs were gathered and set by the fireplace, along with one log in particular which they had set aside from the others. Some people would pick mushrooms and decorate the pine trees, completely ignoring the other trees, while other Norsemen prepared centerpieces for the dining tables, each centerpiece having three candles. 1 large swine was prepared for the feast, along with 3 bulls, 6 goats, 9 squirrels, 1 fox, 1 horse and 1 bear. King Halfdan forbid the use of traps, making it illegal and unlawful to hunt anything with antlers. He insisted that they instead decorate their homes and the entire village with candles and magic tinsel, collecting berries and potatoes, carrots, walnuts, hazel nuts, almonds, cashews and pecans to share with everyone. Some of the maidens went to work making different kinds of breads and sweets for the the feast. Others would perform sacred cleansing rituals for the building, and the dining area inside of it.

King Halfdan the Great sent his messengers out into Ellaria and S'iven, and to the Álfaren kingdoms. Everyone was welcomed to participate, regardless of their race, gender, age, language or faith. He also invited other species, and left offerings all over the kingdom for the winter loving animals to eat freely. King Halfdan was hoping that his generous invitation would earn him a more connected, better relationship with his gods and neighbors. Apple and cinnamon, imported sugar and spice. There was ginger, peppermint and more to compliment different varieties of mead and beer, and plenty of food to go around as the fires burned and the Empyrean Norse Kingdom was lit up with lights. It wasn't snowing here like it was in Iskjerne Bay, but the wispy waves and southward winds made the Empyrean Sea Beach chilly at night, so iron chandeliers fitted with dozens of white and red candles would be hung in the recession hall, and above the dance floors and dining halls, along with portable torches, while the great hall and all the guest quarters were cleansed with burnt spices and incense, protecting the kingdom from an outbreak of the Viking Plague.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Grimnir the Hooded Character Portrait: Empyrean Sjóálfar Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Empyrean Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Snorri Jonasson Character Portrait: Fudorn Auricsson Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Richard Lockwood Character Portrait: Squidles
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Empyrean Sea Beach... three months later...

There was a knock on the door. Three consistent knocks in a row, simple and to the point. It was an elfen mercenary from the beach. He was wearing pure 999 golden reflective material, almost resembling aluminum foil and light metallic elven armor so shiny and perfect that it reflected like a gold mirror. His skin was iridescent and shiny with color changing hues of green, blue and purple like some kind of aquatic sea creature, and his scaley skin seemed to blend in and perhaps even merge with his scale breastplate and shoulder armor. The messenger had solid black eyes with V-shaped silver pupils, and at his side was a long curved sabre reminiscent of a silver scimitar.

"It's open..." Prince Logan responded from inside his private chamber. It was a rather basic room of antique design resembling something like a home office. The prince was sitting at his polished wooden desk, examining a tabletop miniature spinning globe of Gaia suspended by its axis points and connected to a bronze base, twirling it around with his fingertip.

As the tall elven naval officer opened the door, he held it open as another, much smaller figure entered the Prince's chamber and hobbled over to the chair on the other side of the prince's desk. Prince Logan could hear tiny footsteps approaching his desk, but whoever it was had been so small that he couldn't see the source of the footsteps over the edge of his desk as the chair across from him seemed to pull away and move on its own. A few seconds later, however, a small individual lifted himself into the chair and sat down, looking up at Prince Logan with just his eyes and ears showing, and the top of his long red cone shaped hat.

It was a garden gnome. But not just any garden gnome. It was the commander of the Empyrean Gnome Network, a sentient race of intelligence gathering little magical people who were native to the island and had somehow, despite the presence of the Norsemen, comically deemed themselves to be the sole rulers and guardians of the island, and the most powerful force in all of existence. This bold claim wasn't entirely true, but the Empyrean Norsemen respected the little gnomes and admired their fervor. Prince Logan had befriended the Empyrean Gnome Network, advised by his own elfish counsel, for the tiny domestic soldiers served a purpose and despite being very small, could be either a nuisance to the Norsemen, or a useful alliance. Their commander's name was Cloud Wrestler, and yet he only stood barely over 19 inches tall as he gazed up at Prince Logan with weariness in his tired eyes.

"Hello again young lad," the long grey bearded gnome said sluggishly, looking a bit dazed. The sea elf stepped into the prince's chamber and closed the door behind him, guarding the entrance.

"Oh, your excellency. I didn't know that was you. To what do I owe this great pleasure?" Prince Logan asked, sliding the model globe off to the side of his desk before pulling his seat forward and leaning in to get a better look at the little person sitting across from him.

"I've come to inform you that..." Cloud Wrestler leaned forward to peer into Prince Logan's eyes, raising his index finger to speak. But before he could, the old gnome closed his eyelids and lowered his hand again as his head started to hang forward and he suddenly fell asleep.

Prince Logan waited for a response, blinking as the commander started snoring loudly. "Commander Cloud..." the prince said calmly. But as the gnome started snoring more loudly, Logan slammed his fist down on the desk and spoke louder. "Commander!" he said affirmatively.

Commander Cloud jumped up and opened his eyes again, raising his index finger once more to finish his long lengthy speech, and make his demands. No way was some young punk Empyrean Norse prince going to try and startle him. Cloud Wrestler wasn't afraid of anybody or anything, as he tried to remember what he was saying.

"Um.. ah yes.. the Empyrean Gnome Network is proud to announce that our forces are in position." the commander said with authority, furrowing his hairy eyebrows. Prince Logan had no idea what Cloud Wrestler was talking about, but he was sure it was probably good news as he nodded quietly, listening to what the tiny fellow had to say.

"Zzz... Zzz..." the commander started to doze off and snore again. Prince Logan glanced up at the elven guardian at the door, who stood perfectly at attention, as still as a statue without flinching or even making a sound. Logan began to sympathize with the elven soldier for a moment, before slamming his fist down and calling his name again.

"Commander Cloud!" he shouted, causing the gnome to jump back in his seat and open his eyes again. Cloud Wrestler had to grab on to his red cone shaped hat and look around at first before he remembered where he was, or how he got there. But then it occurred to him. His army was all alone in the field. He had to get back to work.

"Hm? Oh yes, right... Carry on," the tiny leader commanded before hopping out of the chair and making his way back to the door. "Oh, and tell your king that last week's payment was short. He still owes us for the gardens," Cloud demanded. Prince Logan seemed confused.

"The payment was short? But that wasn't the - I had my own carrier deliver that basket..." Prince Logan assured him. But as the elfish warrior opened the door for him, Cloud Wrestler scoffed and retorted back to him.

"We agreed on 86 puffy marshmallows. I only counted 84, you owe us 5 more" the gnomish commander dictated as he scowled up at the much taller prince. Logan blinked again. He didn't understand the commander's logic, math or reasoning, but it actually amused him more than anything. Marshmallows of all things, in such a peculiar and specific amount. It was a small matter to the Empyrean Norsemen, but for some reason the gnomes were obsessed with marshmallows, something that the other Empyreans couldn't care less about. It seemed like a fair trade.

"My apologies, your excellency. I take full responsibility. I will have my servants double count the basket next time, and I will see to it that you are compensated..." the prince said.

As the commander of the Empyrean Gnome Network left the Prince's chamber, Logan would just smile quietly and shake his head while looking at the elfish warrior. The sea elf rolled his eyes and smiled also, saluting Prince Logan before leaving the room and closing the door behind him. Prince Logan leaned back in his chair, slid the model globe of Gaia back in front of himself on the desk and begin spinning it again. The life of an Empyrean Norse prince was interesting indeed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Robbie Wings Character Portrait: Jess Thresher Character Portrait: Maegan Davenport Character Portrait: "Spaniard" Character Portrait: Toh Shirong Character Portrait: Axinn Sparkcross Character Portrait: Yoshiaki Saito Character Portrait: Sayanne Grace Hurra Character Portrait: Thorvald Asvaldsson Character Portrait: Goffre Alvisson Character Portrait: Thad Mulchrone Character Portrait: Huernn Blorb Character Portrait: Isla the Tribble Character Portrait: Empyrean Norsemen Character Portrait: Emys'i Character Portrait: Duri Golzar Character Portrait: Halfdan Svensson Character Portrait: Svegdir Staghelm Character Portrait: Mokou Character Portrait: Karvi-3 Character Portrait: Birger Torvesson Character Portrait: Sora Uchiha Character Portrait: Stjornhestr Character Portrait: Lord Bandos Character Portrait: Stjornkona Character Portrait: Grimnir the Hooded Character Portrait: Empyrean Sjóálfar Character Portrait: Alruna Halfdansdottir Character Portrait: Empyrean Ulfhednar Character Portrait: Rufus the Bald Character Portrait: Logan Haakonsson Character Portrait: Fudorn Auricsson Character Portrait: Snorri Jonasson Character Portrait: LONELY Character Portrait: Richard Lockwood Character Portrait: Squidles
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Days turned into weeks, and after a month of continuous politics, foreign trade and networking, the gnomish commander Cloud Wrestler walked into the prince's chamber one day and reported that the Stjornhestr had returned from a distant planet. Apparently, the ship's entire crew had survived.

The entire kingdom was of course excited to see the return of Jarl Goffre Alvisson and his crew, with Svegdir Staghelm and Borstein the journalist right beside him. King Halfdan the Great welcomed the Stjornhestr's crew of Norse cosmonauts personally, greeting their company dressed formally wearing a royal purple cape with a crown of purest gold. The king congratulated them on their safe journey and presented the jarl and each karl with a golden medal, granting the thralls on their expedition with enough silver pennies to buy their own freedom and change their clothing colors. Halfdan then threw a feast, giving a toast to Jarl Goffre and his shipmates.

The king's royal council wasted little time in collecting Birger's maps, writings, and notebook full of drawings to be copied and made available to them. Halfdan the Great's kingdom was beginning to seem more like an intergalactic empire than a small Norse colony. The Empyrean Sea Beach formed its borders, but the entire island itself was it's capital. King Halfdan then commissioned another quest to the stars. Only this time instead of sending just one starship, the king decided to launch all 3 of them. It was a small armada, but a force to be reckoned with. Initially Goffre Alvisson and his team refused to return to Xamayos, still unnerved by what they had discovered there, but King Halfdan pleaded with Goffre and offered to give the Stjornhestr's crew more supplies, and an even better payout than their first mission. The jarl and his cosmonauts agreed, and soon the Stjornhestr was back on its way to the distant planet of dinosaurs, monsters and megabeasts.

It wasn't long before the smoke from the wildfire on the mainland reached the area where it could be seen from the island. The sea elves reported to King Halfdan that the Argosians had returned to Ellaria and had set the Great Forest ablaze. It wouldn't be long before the forest's native inhabitants came pouring into the shores and asking for sanctuary. King Halfdan was not one to turn them away. His empire was expanding as he gazed out into the great assembly of humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, and other magical races who had somehow come to serve him. Eventually he knew he would have to make a decision to help their Iskjerne Viking cousins to fight off their oppressors, or to help the Argosian foreigners to conquer Iskjerne Bay in order to expand his own intergalactic trading network.