The Tale of July Edit
Once, many years ago, there a travelling warrior. She hailed from the far southwestern shores, where the Emperor of Fanvik-Neht had no power and was barely known. This was the land of Teiemeffae, a small kingdom where the threat of Marizu was rare, and many of its people were avid followers of the Scientific Theatre of Three Thousand Mysteries. This was not enough for the girl, for she was but a girl at the time - she did not wish to reside peacefully within Teiemeffae's walled borders, but desired to ride forth and strike down the Marizu herself. The girl's elders - many vaunted former knights who once rode out in the name of the Saint themselves - warned her that it was not so simple, that she was, perhaps, too young. She should wait, and instead continue learning from their archives.
Eventually, she traveled forth, ignoring their warnings and leaving Teiemeffae, for its golden era was long past even in her youth, with but a journal and pen in sack and staff in hand, and made her way east, and north, for there she had heard tales of the Marizu's power, and thought herself capable of taking them on.
After some time, she reached the borders of Fanvik-Neht. There she heard word of the Knights of Harpwire, recently driven away from Fanvik-Neht. She found the tales encouraging, and did not heed that two experienced knights found themselves at a loss faced against the alliance of Xing. The girl attacked, and fell easily. The warnings of the elders held true after all - it was not simple, and she was too young. She found herself easily fought off and ignored, and she left to tend to her injuries and wounded pride, leaving through Fanvik-Neht's southern borders, and skirting the Marizu League's lands.
She traveled well and long until she found herself someplace south of Somath-Aful- first the growing kingdom of Cockerelgnash, where she found herself falling in with a group of young lads who were willing fighters with little direction beyond the art of mah-shin-nema which entertained the peoples there, and once she learned their ways and found little else to challenge her there, she traveled to the artistic Keen lands, a southerly domain where each lord's domain varied wildly in how the laws were upheld, where she fell in with the Deegan band, a group of lawless outlanders who were willing to bloody each other in their occasionally cruel fights for dominance, and occasionally ventured into the dangerous outlaw lands of Bie, which bordered Somath-Aful.
And yet, she still remembered her original goal, the purpose which led her to leave Teiemmefae in the first place, and found herself at a loss - was her quest still a good one? Was she worthy to continue on to it, after her years of near-outlawry and wildness? She decided to seek her answer at home, but found no answers - Teiemeffae's gates were closed, its walls shored up against all potential invaders and no one in sight.
It was an answer in and of itself. Home was gone, the warrior could only travel forward.
From there she made her way forward, learning the art of the sword in the Nova Imperium, which bordered the Are-Pea Alliance; the citizens of the Imperium were often torn as to whether they should join Are-Pea, but in her time there they were actively against it, often fighting skirmishes in the borders.
Again she made her way to Fanvik-Neht, and this time she was able to stand her ground against marauders; now she was wiser and older, and could truly call herself a warrior. She traveled northward to the wastes, tracing to the best of her ability the route the knights of Harpwire took, though for a time she was lost, and ended up in El-Jhey.
From there, she finally set sail with intent to reach Konti-Nyuum, and upon reaching the island she promptly wrecked against the reefs and southern cliffs that helped stave away Marizu invasions. Rather than waste the time she perceived it would take to travel to an open port, instead she began the process of climbing upwards.
By the time she finally made it to the top, she was fully acquainted with the cliffs of Konti-Nyuum.
The Larninkurv Mountains were a far easier feat to travel after the cliffs, and it was there she became enchanted with Wechi, swearing to return there in the future. The next time, however, would be with better supplies than only a length of rope, a sack, a stave, and a sword. (The journal and pen were still with her, and came in use, but were only helpful in penning down information for the future.)
From there, she eventually made her way to Borrd, and immediately bade for permission to join in protection of Plort as a knight. To the surprise of none but herself, as a stranger to the land, she was told to wait, and prove herself first.
With that, she immediately returned to Wechi, where she helped with the process of settling it, bringing law and a vague understanding of the way of roads and how to not make sinking boats with her.
With time, word of her actions soon spread, and she was joined by Neshomeh, who aided her. Between the two, Wechi soon began to flourish.
And yet, the young warrior grew restless, even as she worked; she came here to fight the Marizu, instead she was building in the wilderness. Her sword was not being put to use; her staff only somewhat more. Her skills grew and developed, and eventually she could navigate the Rhedlenc Mire and the Blulenc River with ease in a coracle made by her own hand. Wechi’s waters and mountains were now hers to command.
Finally, she departed, bidding her companion goodbye for now, and undertook the pilgrimage to become a knight and full protector of Plot. She succeeded, and returned as a knight.
Her first campaigns she undertook alone, but she found she favored company, going to battle alongside the knight Trojie (who with time became one of Plort’s barons), among others.
The young knight’s time in Wechi had inspired a new ambition in her: no longer was battle her only desire, destroying the ranks of Marizu as she had longed to do for years, but so was creation; Wechi became her home, a roofless that she had made her own, but there were other forgotten places that called to her as well.
She had arrived after Chaett’s union with Plort, but aspired to hopes to a new, similar place, where the citizens of Konti-Nyuum could gather and easily share knowledge and commerce between themselves. With it, she began her attempts to bring about Iric.
It quickly became a barely hidden disaster.
Iric attracted the worst of the worst, soon becoming a penal colony of sorts. The lowlives and criminals who weren’t tolerated in Borrd, whom the knight was asked to keep in Iric, and away from the more civil lands of Plort soon gathered in Iric, and there was little she could do to stop them. Jacks who tried to prey on women, and Orangemen who spouted virulent hatred against others of all stripe and vaunted their own superiority; in a land of women knights, should they not take advantage?
Unsure of authority, the knight let it pass, until it went too far.
With it, she struck the Jacks down, and the Orangemen, driving them from Iric. By then it was too late, and her actions struck a discord. Iric had grown used to anarchy, and had a form of disobedience borne through their blood, because the Constitution of Plort had no reach here.
Iric, and its immigrants from Tivit soon became the source of the knight’s downfall.
Whispers of her cruelty and a thirst for power began to spread, fully indoctrinating new arrivals to Iric until nearly all there believed them, and absconded to meet in secret, carefully selecting those who would stand against the knight.
These rumors eroded at the knight, driving her to madness and desperation as others ignored her requests for help; her brashness and occasional heavy-handedness were the reason, they said, and with time they would become allies, if she allowed them the chance.
In the end, she retreated from Iric during the rebellion, setting fire to Castle Flayme in the process.
Things did not improve, and the knight despaired, even as she received the honor of becoming a baron. Everything she had done in the past amounted to nothing, now.
Before long, she found herself pressed fully out from all sides- she received no aid from others, and her ability to do anything repeatedly limited by cries that she was infected by madness, a secret traitor to the Marizu League, a iron despot.
Eventually, she traveled to Borrd, from which she announced her departure for good, appointing a successor, and left to the sea.
Time passed, and the wanderer- she could no longer call herself a knight, or even a warrior - traveled once more. She returned to the Nova Imperium, and then to a recently formed land - Dedubya, which took up much of El-Jhey’s former territory.
She did not forget, even as she built anew, leaving the Marizu menace to others to deal with. Her sword she kept sheathed.
And yet, she could not help looking seawards, towards the island that had for a significant amount of time had been her home...
One of the many places July wandered, once she built a vessel worthy of traveling to sea was the land of Dedubya - a place that had taken up much of El-Jhey's domain after a combined mass rebellion and emigration.
Dedubya was a strange place, where the culture shared much with Are-Pea, but had changed it to suit themselves. The collection of masks - called Aikawns - were of great import, with a large focus on collecting as many Aikawns as one could through either creating them or purchasing them from others. Aikawn thievery, however, in Dedubya, makes up much of its black market. In Dedubya, performances were contingent on the quality and variety of masks.
Those willing to fund the rulers of Dedubya - called Dreemeers and led by the sorceress Danees - were allowed to collect more Aikawns, but only through a constant support of the Dreemeers were they allowed to keep them.
It was in Dedubya that she also discovered the small island nation of Plerk - a name that gave her surprise, given its similarity to the land she had left some time ago.
Plerk was colonized by Dedubbers, many of whom made a regular travel between Plerk and Dedubya.
And so, in her curiosity, she traveled to Plerk.
The island itself was small, but busy and bustling - she found that there, compared to Dedubya, Plerkians widened their circles to more discussion. The emphasis on presentation was still important, with each new thing catching eyes and appearances being prized, but here Aikawns were not a major cultural event.
One thing that Plerkians did emphasize, however, was spreading news- by repeating exactly what had been said by the original person while adding their own opinions or input. 'Re'plerking was important, and status determined often by how much someone responded to someone's news or replerked their original words.
As strange as it was, it was not En-Sain-Jawno, which was rumored to be even stranger, and cultlike at times, and the wanderer found it enjoyable enough to stay for some time and create a circle of friends from locals.
A new calling found her, and with only a short time left to prepare before she left, the warrior found herself reminiscing. Should she return? Was it worth it? Or was she truly an ill-made knight, one who should never have been in the first place? Her younger days had been spent in near-to-outright outlawry, it was true, but she had put those behind her when she travelled to Konti-Nyuum. Looking back, she could only wonder if her actions were disguised by her own perceptions at the time. What if she had been in the wrong?
Only going back could answer her questions, she decided, after seeking advice.
The wanderer gathered her things, sword, stave, and journal, and then returned to the shore, where she put her shipbuilding skills to use, and made her way back.
This time she avoided the reefs, and the cliffs, instead heading to Borrd.
There, she made her way to one of the many gathering place, finally back again.
It is here that this tale ends for now, dear reader, now that I am here once more...