[MR] Fwd: Fw: WoW Backstory (LONG)

Jonathan Blackbow via Atlantia atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org
Tue Sep 27 13:56:06 PDT 2016

Apologies if this is a double post -

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Ritterskamp <jonnyb70 at hotmail.com>
Date: Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 4:51 PM
Subject: Fw: [MR] WoW Backstory (LONG)
To: "j.blackbow at gmail.com" <j.blackbow at gmail.com>

*From:* David Ritterskamp <jonnyb70 at hotmail.com>
*Sent:* Monday, September 26, 2016 1:04 AM
*To:* Garth Groff
*Subject:* Re: [MR] WoW Backstory (LONG)

War of the Wings XI

Part I


Part II


Part III


Part IV

Part V

Part VI

and since I'm sure somebody will squawk that they shouldn't have to read it
on facebook, here they all are, except part IV, because it's a video.  It's
quite funny in context.

Part I

War of the Wings XI
Part One

"They live for war, Mistress."

Smoke rose from yet another shattered battlefield. Only the crows moved
through the wreckage.

As we surveyed the carnage, Alianor of the Swan shook her head sorrowfully.
Tears could be seen tracking down her begrimed face.

"I knew they loved what they did, and I begrudged them not, for it is what
they are best at."

"But I never expected that they would ensnare my lord Mark into the same
foul trap."

We looked at her as she wept. Finally I said "what do you mean, Mistress?"

"Look around you," she said. "All wreckage. All carnage. All the things
used for this foul war, things we could have used to better ourselves.
Metal. Grain. Cattle. Cloth. Beans. Canvas, wood, arrows, swords, banners,
heralds, pages, squires, knights, folk of all walks of life."

"But His Excellency stays at home and works at his forge, Mistress. 'Tis
what he enjoys. He has not-"

"Has he not?" She said softly. "True, he works at his forge. Coal, and
iron, and sweat, and toil. But what does he build there? Weapons. Naught
but weapons. And all the things that go into those weapons. He *has* what
he wants. And normally that would be enough, I think. But he wants more.
And who put that thought into his head? 'Twas not the populace, assuredly.
They *have* what they want, and lack for nothing. They toil, look you, and
they accept that this war is a part of their lives. For some, this war has
existed as long as they have. They support us, unstintingly, and they
support this war, because they believe in it."

She shook her head slowly. "No. He has gone beyond the pale. *Everything*
that comes into this land is made to serve him and his desire for war. Not
the betterment of his people as a whole; merely those that follow his
cause. War. You said it, goodman. They live for war."

"Then tell us what we must do, Mistress," I said, "for surely this cannot
stand. There are those of us that do not live merely for the battlefield.
Put a name to those that fight solely for the sake of fighting, and we
shall unite against them."

"There are many," she said. "The Clan of Two Clubs is famous for their love
of war. The Company of the Iron Lance did little else. Blood's Guard, well,
their very name flaunts their enjoyment of it. From far-off Caid, the
Myrmidons shake the earth when they take the field. From our very own
kingdom, Prince Guillaume Tomas le Lou and the Guard of Mountain's Keep-"

"But Mistress! Surely not! He is a countryman of yours! Atte Red Swanne, de
la Flamme, Tomas Le Lou, d'Artagnon, du Guesclin, Valmont, good Frenchmen
all! Surely not!"

But she was shaking her head again. It was a terrible thing to see, this
sorrow. "No, goodman. l'amour de la guerre knows no nationalities. My own
Baron, Mark d'Aubigny, as French as they come, is overcome with it. The
English have William Marshall. The Scots have William Wallace. The Vikings
love war as well. Our own Queen, Thora Heri, can scarcely be dragged off
the field, and she is of gentle birth. I know not which she favors more;
war, or the gentler arts. I suppose we shall see."

Part II

War of the Wings XI
Part Two

"They live for war, Master."
Smoke rose from yet another shattered battlefield. Only the crows moved
through the wreckage.
Only the crows disturbed the bodies.
The crows, and the warriors stripping the dead, taking their swords,
shields, spears, arrows, bows, belts, helmets, armor, and of course any
spare coin purses.
As we surveyed the carnage, Marc d'Aubigny shook his head in disbelief, a
half-grin frozen on his face.
"I knew they were good at what they did, and I begrudged them not, for it
is what they are best at."
"But I thought there would be more."
We watched him as he stared over the battlefield. Finally I said "what do
you mean, Master?"
"Look around you," he said. "Carnage. All the things used for this war.
Armor. Weapons. Arrows. Bows. By God, soldiers. By any normal standards, a
well-fought battle, with a good haul at the end. But I thought there would
be more."
"To be fair, Your Excellency," I said, " 'tis only recently that anyone
could call you away from your forge. Before that, your forces had no one to
command them, and so they concentrated on simply maintaining your holdings.
Now that you have taken the field-"
He was smiling again, obviously at the mere thought of battle and carnage.
Finally he said "The brotherhood of war knows no nationalities, my friends.
I endeavored to make Baroness Alianor see that fact, and accept it; but she
will not, and rises in rebellion against me. She is part of the Rebel
Alliance, and a traitor. Even the King and Queen may have fallen victim to
her entreaties. Well, I wager by the time things come to a head they will
no longer be King and Queen."
"we hear and obey, Your Excellency. Our ambassadors have sent word that
Prince Guillaume is en route with his forces, the fabled purple of
Mountains Keep. As well, Blood's Guard of the East marches with the
Myrmidons of Caid. The Clan of Two Woodchucks-"
He glared at everyone. "That's Two Chucks, you fools."
"Sorry, your Excellency. The scouts' handwriting is sometimes hard to read."
"It matters not," he said. "They fight for beer and sausages. And I have
much of that. What of the rest? What of William Marshal and his forces, and
the Celtic Nations? Those savages fight simply to fight against *everyone*."

"Your Excellency, our reports indicate that all of them are en route to
Elchenburg. It may take some of them several weeks to butcher- I mean,
fight their way through the opposition. Some of them have indicated that
they are coming by way of Cooper's Lake, which is somewhat out of the way,
but they will likely gain more allies for the detour."
"Excellent," he said, and then he did not speak for some time. Finally he
turned and faced us all.
"....I want *more*," he growled. "Do you hear me? I want it ALL. I want it
ALL. I want it ALL, and I want it NOW."

Part III

War of the Wings XI
Part Three

"They live for war, Mistress. And they are unstoppable."

A crossbow hummed a bolt on its way. A soldier screamed and fell.

"Not any more, they aren't."

The battlefield at Crecy once again groaned under the weight of horses, and
soldiers, and spears. Crows and vultures circled far above, safely out of
crossbow range, waiting for their turn at the wreckage.

"But he said it, Mistress. He practically *sang* it. He wants it all, and
he wants it now. Surely killing a few of his soldiers will not slow him in
the slightest."

A crossbow loosed again. Another soldier dropped.

"No," she said. "No, it won't. " Her face was sad, just as it had been
since the beginning of the conflict.

"But *those* soldiers were standing in the way of *that* squire."

Another crossbow bolt winged across the field. A squire dressed in red and
black tried to scream, clutching uselessly at the bolt protruding from his
chest, and sank to the ground.

Tears were running down her face. "He used to babysit my children. Taylor,
and Brandon, and Erika, and Kaleigh, and my grandchildren Shepard and
Lorelei... and I tried to tell him that living only for war was foolish.
But he would not listen. And he followed Baron Marc."

More French troops died, crossbow bolts protruding. It was as if one mind
was directing the withering fire of the archers.

"And now," she said, "now I must kill my lord. 'Tis the only way to end
this, this... slaughter. My loyal citizens die to slow their advance, and I
scarcely know which side should win the day. God knows I have no love for
the English, but if they back my cause, then I must support them."

"But Mistress, surely the Baron need not die! There must be another-"

A crossbow bolt flew again across the field.

Methinks 'twas naught but Providence that caused the bolt to miss, for
certainly she was aiming for the eye. As cruel as it sounded, she sought to
spare him pain, and end his fight quickly.

But the bolt missed. Just as it arrived he turned slightly, and the bolt
transfixed his arm. Whoever he was engaged in killing at the time did not
realize how close they came to death, but the bolt spoiled his aim.

He did not scream in agony. He was too fixated on the battle for the pain
to intrude on his consciousness.

His head jerked up and saw her watching him. He grinned, and tried to go
back to the fight, but his arm refused to work.

Their eyes met, and in that look was exchanged all that needed to be said.
He had lost the battle between them, but his soldiers were winning the day.
Gathering his household troops around him, he retired from the field.

The battle continued.

A crossbow hummed.

Part IV

[the video is many pictures of Baron Mark set to "I want it All" by Queen.]

Part V


"They live for war, Mistress."

Far in the distance, vultures circled around yet more wreckage. Crows
flocked just behind them, eagerly awaiting their turn.

" 'tis no longer just war they live for, Goodman. They seek to assert
themselves across all the fields, granaries, towns, guild halls, and
everywhere good folk gather."

A sliver of light showed in the window no larger than an arrow-slit where
the small group hid.

"I don't understand, Mistress. I thought that once we explained to the King
and his court that we were besieged, aid would follow. Is that not why you
made the journey to Coopers Lake?"

She did not answer. I said "Mistress, what is it that tears at you so? All
know that you care for your people. Long have you striven to see your
people better themselves, and to bring themselves up from the roadside when
they have fallen. When they have hungered, you have fed them. When they
have thirsted, you have given them to drink. Any time they have been in
need, you have done your best by them. That is, in fact, what this entire
war is about. That is why you sought assistance from outside your lands.
The fact that your attempt to do so was treacherously brought to nothing by
agents of Baron Marc does not lessen the valor in the attempt."

She turned from the window, and started to answer. And her face was
beautiful and terrible to behold.

Then she checked her answer, and said, merely, "summon the scribes. For I
have somewhat to say, and I wish not to have to repeat myself."

When they arrived, and had lit candles, and set up their writing materials,
and dipped their pens, and motioned that they were ready, she indicated
that she wished what she said to be set down for all to read, across the
entire kingdom, and the entire known world, if needs must.

And she spoke. And I felt the world tremble as she did. I count myself
privileged above all men to have been one of the first to hear it, for it
went thus:

"I am Alianor of the Swan.

I make no bones of the fact that my lord Baron has chosen to glorify War,
and subvert all he touches to that end. I sorrow in it, but I knowingly
lead the people that choose to follow me to both ameliorate the damage he
does, and to thwart his efforts.

But in doing so, in trying to resolve this conflict without further
bloodshed, I have met with obstacles at every turn. Folk who stand to gain
naught by doing so have shown themselves to all as nothing better than
carrion from the battlefield for the vultures and crows to fight over.

Some of this was expected. Some of this, however, was not. I sought an
honest conflict, not daggers in dark alleyways where no self-respecting
person would travel. I sought an honest conflict, not my own Baron
traveling in secret to the Eastern Kingdom to seek yet more bloodthirsty
counsel and aid. Yet, while I traveled to Coopers Lake in search of aid, he
did just that, and did so in secret, in shadow, for such is the level he
has stooped to.

But war is made by the lowest common denominator, it seems.

Therefore do I, Alianor of the Swan, seek to emulate my namesake, for all
know that Swans are both fiercely loyal, and yet terrible to behold in
defense of what they hold dear to them.

I call upon all who fight on the side of Light: all those whose sabers of
light burn blue, or green, all those who ride the Companions, all those who
serve the Royal Navy of Manticore, all those who wander and are not lost,
all those who live for the One, and die for the One, all those who say "so
say we all", all those who stand between their loved homes and the war's

I say to you all, come to me now, for I needs must set you against those
who would subdue us.

I am Alianor of the Swan."

I wiped the tears from my eyes and looked to the scribes. To a man, they
sat enraptured, and none had taken down a word.

So I sat down, and penned what words she had spoken as best I could
remember, that they not perish from the Earth.

Part VI

War of the Wings XI
Part VI

"They live for war, Master."

We stood and watched as Prince Guillaume Tomas Le Lou approached the camp.
House Mountains Keep followed on his heels, a veritable sea of purple,
moving with one purpose.


Baron Mark nodded. "Of all the households in the Known World, this one
strikes fear into the hearts of those who oppose them like none other. They
are merciless, they are the best, and they are perfect for what I need."

"And they are not bought cheaply, either," said Guillaume, who had advanced
into earshot, leaving the rest of his company to wait while he parlayed.
"They are one of the best, if not the best, at what they do, and unlike
others, they do not fight for beer and sausages."

We waited for the inevitable growl from Baron Mark, followed by the
inevitable shouting of justification for why this most recent group of
fighting men did not deserve the fee they were demanding. For in truth, the
coffers were running low.

But it did not come.

"I expected as much, Your Highness," Mark said. "Look on the table there,
before me, and tell me what you see."

"I see nothing save lumps of metal. We will not fight for that, for there
is nothing to be done with them."

Mark nodded, expecting the reply. "But what would you say, Highness, if
those bars of metal were swords of the finest make? Would that prompt you
to ally with me?"

Prince Guillaume was only human, much like the rest of us. His eyes shone.
But all he said was "Show me."

And Mark got up, and indicated that Guillaume should follow him to the
forges. And there came a rush of fire, and smoke, and steam, and flame, and
heat, and sounds of pounding, that Hephaestus himself would have been proud
of. The forge helpers were passing coal to the forges, and singing a song
to themselves that followed the timing of the beats of the hammer.

Several hours passed, and none of us could see into the center of the
forge, for the steam and smoke covered all. But finally it began to clear,
and we could see Mark, holding an awesome weapon, such as men could only
dream of holding. Its sides were damascened, which was impressive enough,
but as we drew closer, we could see that the pattern seemed to go deeper
into the blade, and the sword seemed to be drawing the air around it into
itself in smoking threads.

"There you have it, Highness," Mark said. "Unbreakable. Eternally sharp.
Guaranteed for the lifetime of the wielder."

And Guillaume took it, and swung it a few times experimentally, and nodded
his approval.

"There is but one problem, Baron."

Mark's head came up. "And what might that be, Highness? Surely such a

"Oh, the blade itself is superb. Never have I seen its equal. No, that is
not the problem."

"Then what?" Mark's face was genuinely puzzled.

"The only problem, Baron Mark, is that... I thought...there would

I had never seen Baron Mark's jaw drop in quite the manner it did then.

And then his mouth closed, and he nodded, and turned to his forge, and
bellowed for his helpers to come to him. They came running, and the fires
surged forth again, and his helpers began singing.

But this time the singing did not follow the beats of the hammer. Or maybe
it did, I do not know. This time they sang a different song. I did not
recognize it until later, when the forge helpers were all dead of

It was by the minstrels known as Dragonforce. And the song was "Through the
Fire and the Flames" .

But a shining pile of swords sat stacked neatly beside their corpses. Baron
Mark looked...indescribable.

And Prince Guillaume had his swords.



DragonForce - Through the Fire and Flames (HD Official Video)

The US & Canada Gold single off the band's third album 'Inhuman Rampage'.
The original uploadhttp://youtu.be/0jgrCKhxE1s now over 60 million views
and stil ...

There ya go.


*From:* Atlantia <atlantia-bounces at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org> on behalf of
Garth Groff via Atlantia <atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org>
*Sent:* Sunday, September 25, 2016 6:51 PM
*To:* Merry Rose
*Subject:* [MR] WoW Backstory?

Noble Friends,

Has anyone seen the backstory for this year's WoW? I can't find anything
on the WoW site. I understand the Baron and Baroness are fighting one
another. So what's the shtick?

Yours Aye,

Lord Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge

                   The Merry Rose Tavern at Cheapside
    List Info: http://merryrose.atlantia.sca.org/
The Merry Rose <http://merryrose.atlantia.sca.org/>
The Merry Rose. Welcome to the Merry Rose Tavern at Cheapside. Here at the
Merry Rose you can find people from all parts of the Kingdom of Atlantia
discussing ...

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