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A Rebuttal
A Rebuttal

My Lord Varen, I put forth this rebuttal to your musings, to bring sharper point to the piercing of thy reasoning and a finer edge to the sword of thine consciousness. They are, admittedly, from not as lofty a station as that which thou doth hold, but as thou shouldst truly know, those below seek the example of those above, as do all Rykerrians seek to emulate the prophet Torin Lawbringer and bring themselves nearer to the most holy essence of Ryka.

It is the calling of those of noble birth to lead those not of noble blood. Within the ranks of the nobleborn, there is a purity of essence, marked out by Holy Ryka, and that some vessels doth hold an abundance beyond the measure of their station, whilst others are have barely a glimmer when they should be a beacon unto all others. Such is the nature of man, and such is the nature of the gifts of Ryka, that not always does the lush tree bear ripe fruit. Being of noble birth does not make a man Noble, but it does imprint upon a man the responsibilities of being noble, to lead by example and by command. For no matter how faint the light of Ryka may shine within the lamp of the nobleborn, the hand of Ryka has not snuffed it out. Therefore let no man who has not had the gift of Holy Ryka laid upon him rise up above the ranks of His Chosen without trial, let no common-born man claim higher privilege than the lowest of the nobly born before proving their worth in the scales of Ryka’s judgement. And likewise, so that all of Rykerria not fall into chaos and sloth, let no nobleborn son of Rykerria throw off the duties to his blood and House. Let every noble be thine watchdog, lest we all fall into irresolution. Let no high son of glittering bloodline be allowed to go wither and dither without holding accounting to his heels of his actions, word and deed.

Duty. Faith. Sacrifice. Integrity. Humility. These are the echoing hallmarks of a truly great soul worthy of Holy Ryka’s blessings. Courage is meaningless if there is no Faith in a greater cause. Valor is empty if there is no Sacrifice. Honor is the plumage shown in public, the fanfare of praise. Does the Man who has sagas sung of his courage in battle, in casting down Evil, have more Honor than the man who helps his neighbor harvest the crops? Integrity is what is not shown to the world, the hidden measure of the soul. There is no Loyalty without Duty, and Duty calls for responsibility from the nobleborn to lead the lesser man, and asmuch, gives the common-born the loyalty of the noble and the noble the loyalty of those common-born.
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Tags: nobility , Rykeria
Through the eyes of a Knight Protector
It is not enough to simply stand up to overwhelming odds, though this is a good start, to be able to call yourself courageous. You must be willing to stand for what is right when no one else will. Even if it means standing up to your King when you know he is wrong and paying whatever price because you know that the ideal that you stand for will be strengthened and upheld despite what happens to you. Courage is standing up for the right things. Standing against odds simply to be able to call yourself courageous is not courage. Do it for the right reasons, as with all virtues.

Do you stand with those for whom you have sworn loyalty or do you betray them when it is easy? You must be a good judge of character so that you know that the person you swear the oath to will not ask you to do something dishonorable. Blind loyalty is an excuse used by the weak to justify dishonorable acts. Do you defend those who are just when all others dispise them? It is easy to act as the group would act but you are called to do more and you should be proud of that.

Why do you fight? Is it for the thrill of killing and to prove that you are the best on the battlefield, or is it something more? Do you enter just and noble battles or do you delight in showing your skill at killing? To be courageous in an ignoble battle does not show valor, nor does simply charging into every battle just because a fight exists. Staying in a losing fight for petty reasons is also not valor. No shame is placed on those that leave a fight if leaving does not endanger others or it is done in an honorable manner. Again; why do you fight? What are the reasons and are they the right ones.

Justice and revenge are twin brothers and sometimes it is easy to mistake who is at your side. Does the punishment fit the crime or are you just taking pleasure in dealing out punishment because you have the power to do so? Asking yourself why you seek justice will help you discern whether you are truly seeking justice or revenge. Do you allow people you know to get away with crimes because you don't think they are hurting anyone and if you do, is that just? Do the people that trust that you are a good and honorable man know that you will do what is right or do they wonder if you can be bought? Do you stand up to the criminal element when it threatens those close to you or do you let them intimidate you? It is not easy to give someone what they deserve, what is easy is giving them what you think they deserve.

Do you know what it means to have honor? Do you act on the right things? Do you know what the right things are? Will you defend that which is honorable to your death? Do those around you know that you will carry through on what you say you will do? Are you honest in all of your dealings? Are you so prideful that you think you can do no wrong or do you own your mistakes and make ammends? Do you show honor on the battlefield or do you stab your enemy in the back? Do you look for any opportunity to get an advantage or do you respect your opponent enough to give him a fighting chance? Allow honor to guide all your actions and your courage will be limitless, your sense of justice will be true, and your path will be shown before you as if by the divine. Be proud to die honorably, or be as the walking dead.

How do you treat those around you? Do you command them as slaves and throw them into battle so as to protect yourself simply because you have the power to do so? Do you talk of the everyday man as if you could do without him? Do you know the difference between a nobleman and a noble man? Do you show respect to those you have just met or do you treat them with disdain because you think they are beneath you? Do others look upon nobility as something to be respected or hated and is this because of your own actions? Do you insult others and then have your champion fight for you or do you accept the responsibility of your own actions? Nobility is something that should be looked up to because the actions that the nobility have shown are good and just and honorable.

Are you willing to lose everything you have to do what is right and just and noble. Are you good enough and strong enough to follow these tenets or are you among the those who think themselves above such things and as such can never call themselves: Knight.
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Prelude, part III
Rafael tightened up the cinch on his saddle. The horse snorted and looked back at him. He continued on to check the straps on the saddlebags. The ivy-leafed motiff of House Raudsdale wound across the well-maintained leather. Absently he followed the branching with a finger. He turned to find Gregory, the house steward, standing in the stable gateway.

“Whatever it is you have to say, you know this is what must be done,” he said carefully.

“I would not dream of trying to persuade you otherwise, young Master Raudsdale. I have just come to suggest a few things I think you should have. Better they ride with you than stay under this roof. If you will follow me? I am certain Anthil will make sure Faran is ready for your journey.” Gregory nodded at the small boy perched on the ladder to the hayloft who watched the men.

Rafael followed the steward into a side entrance of the manor house, out of sight of the main entrance. “These are the hereditary arms of the Raudsdale family. Your father has no use for them now, and the women… do not know of their existence.” The old man grabbed the bundle on the floor.”Your armor. I would suggest you get it fitted properly at once. You are a tad bit larger than your grandfather, the last to wear it.” He turned again. “Hedera, the Scythe of Dudenfall. If I recall the family history rightly…”

Rafael interrupted, eyes riveted to the gleaming wood and metal, “The weapon used by Raud Blackhammer, founder of the Raudsdale line, in defense of the Heir of Nevinor, Geloni Tyrimus Sotorios, during the campaign against the Pogethi Sak Chan incursion in 933. Blackhammer stood over the wounded Sotorios heir against the Pogethi horsemen after an ambush wiped out most of the family guard. When the rest of the Nevinor forces routed the Pogethi, there were over twenty horses and nearly fifty men dead around the pair. Geloni elevated Raud and granted him the valley we stand in now under the Ivy banner of Raudsdale.”

Gregory placed the long-shafted weapon in Rafael’s hands. The wood haft was covered in deceptively gentle carved ivy leaves, inlaid sporadically with traces of silver that glinted like dew on the leaves on a misty morning. The head of the ransuer flowed out as a three bladed leaf, the points sharp and the edges gleaming. Beautiful and deadly, Rafael felt the depth of his family’s strength and purpose flow through him as he held the weapon his line had been forged from.

“Now, you should be going. At some point this morning those women will arise, and it would be best if you were out of earshot. I will send word if your father…” Gregory trailed off, his grey-framed face at a loss.

“As my lord and father commands, so shall I obey, as a dutiful noble son of Rykerria.” Rafael almost kept the sarcasm from his voice. “Keep the women from bankrupting the estate. No more than what they need as traitor’s widows with no prospects.” He turned with Gregory’s bow and headed back to his horse.

Along the way, Watch Strativos fell in step beside him. The Watch was all that remained of the household guard, grey-haired for as long as Rafael could remember. In his gravel-rough voice he coughed out, “When you get to Nevinor, seek out Master Centurion Glendenfir. Tell him Strativos vouches for you.” With that he clapped a heavy hand on Rafael’s shoulder and turned away.

Rafael rode out of his family home as the sun crested the mountains behind him. His shadow stretched out before him. He raised Hedera, the Raudsdale banner snapping out in the rising breeze, and rode south.
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Prelude, part II
It was raining. Rafael didn’t mind the rain itself. There was something soothing about watching the water run down the panes of the window. The humidity that came after was what he dreaded. The close confines of his cell just made it worse. The two weeks since he had been imprisoned awaiting his trial seemed like an eternity. The food wasn’t bad, but he could barely take three strides within his confinement. He’d finally been notified his trial was for the morrow.

So much had happened in those two weeks. Actually, most of it had happened before then, but Rafael was only aware of it now. He had gleaned some information from the servants. He found it hard to think of them as jailers. They’d overheard him singing; his golden tenor voice had won them into his confidence. From them he found out the gist of what had happened, the truth behind the rumors he’d heard before being seized.

About three weeks before, a trio of Burgöendian dignitaries had destroyed an undead sorcerer that had been manipulating the King’s Court to supplant the Crown. The lich had been masquerading in plain sight, submersing its aura and feigning life, operating unnoticed in the highest rings of society. A young priest from that southern realm had somehow sought the creature out; wine cut with holy water and a toast to the Crown Prince Harrick dropped its disguise. Many nobles had been implicated in the investigation following the discovery, apparently his family as well.

His trial, when it came, was brief. The Crown Prince Harrick led the tribunal as the self-appointed Chief Investigator. He sat on a raised dais behind the panel of Law-Bringers. It was still raining, and apparently the Prince didn’t like the rain; he shifted uncomfortably under the ornate robes of the Law-Bringer. Rafael found the rain steadying. He could feel the Gaze of Ryka pounding at him, any falsehood would be a death sentence, and perhaps even the truth. A few direct questions and it was obvious to all that Lord Rafael was uninvolved in the plot.

As the Law-Bringers conferred after the interrogation, Rafael stood awaiting the outcome. Prince Harrick spoke with a vicious smirk. “It appears, young Raudsdale, that Ryka smiles upon the simple. These esteemed Judges can find no fault in you, in regards to this investigation of treason against the Crown, regardless of how much I favor your inclusion by guilt of family. You, it would seem, are the good apple in the bunch, as the saying goes. You will not be stripped of your title, your holdings will not be seized by the Crown, and you will not be executed as a traitor.”The prince’s words released a pent-up tension in Rafael. He let out a breath he hadn’t been aware of holding.

“It is unfortunate, for your family, that your brothers will not share your absolution.” The prince continued, a harsh glint in his eye. “Were you aware that your brother, Verigo, was slain defending that monster in our midst? His guilt is irrevocable and his ashes already mingle with the mud beyond the wall.” Rafael nearly fell, clutching the rail of the stand for support; he'd had no word his brother was dead! “Ah, I see you didn’t know THAT bit. Well, we’ll see to it that you are kept informed; you’ll be attending the sentencing of your brother Marcuso.” With that he motioned for the guards and Rafael was escorted out of the chamber.
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Tags: Background , law , Rykeria
consulting with my master about the dream
Fore 15, 1628

After all my meditations of the morning were done I sought out my master to discuss my dream. I finally got to see her after she was locked inside the head masters quarter talking to the other head masters about church politics, not the greatest thing to do for most of the day and she dislikes it greatly. So I told her of my dream and we both meditated about the matter for several hours and came to the conclusion that Ryka has sent this spirit to tell me that I most go seek out this person and fight whatever evil must be slain in the south. That night I prepared my journey to start in the morning, I should've left that night. I dreamed of the lady again, but her look changed to a more annoyed look, and stern no softness to her voice it reminded me of my masters voice when I was in training; her hair was darker and showed signs of lighting in it. Her eyes were very cross with me. The message was the same no change to that.

Fore 16 1628
I woke that morning Tired due to the dream, I start to set off on my journey, and my master looked at me and laughed and said "I haven't seen you like this sense your training as a boy!" I told of the dream, she then told me of some rumors of the man I’m seeking. He is in Nevinor and his name is Lord Varen Sortorios so I set off, she tells me to write to her when I get to Nevinor in her motherly voice and I promised I would. It is a nine day travel to Nevinor.
Session: That little tug... - Saturday, Mar 17 2012 from 3:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Tags: dream
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