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Epiccc WIP

one month ago
Working title: Blackbirds**** Tentative deadline: July 31 Length: Hopefully enough to snatch another sweet MHD commish Very rough opening. No editing has been made so far. A lot of it is fluid and subject to change. I've been throwing in "****" to mark names that either need to be changed or, well, named in the first place. The setting is fantasy with the crude emergence of gunpowder. --- You! Yes, you. Are you looking for a life of adventure? Do you want your name to live forever in history? Join the High King’s army today, and all that (and more!) could be yours! *the High King is not responsible for any bodily harm or fatalities allegedly caused by this message. Another poster on a billboard littered with hundreds of them. The entire wall is covered with similar messages, the High King’s insignia proudly displayed in the middle. It’s a simple insignia for a man who is likely the most powerful in the world. Your neighbor to the east, Supreme Leader Fargrave, might not agree. Still, it’s your High King who is leading and profiting from expeditions to the New World, not Fargrave and the territory of Magda****. Back to the billboard in front of you; another catches your eye. And yes, in the center is an upside down sword with a golden crown at the top. The gunslinger’s life is a hard lonely road. The High King offers abundance in both food and comradery! Safety in numbers! Not the most creative of slogans, or the catchiest, but something’s doing the trick. Your peers are enlisting by the thousands. It’s easier to remember who hasn’t enlisted rather than who has. And who wouldn’t join? There are countless stories of treasures discovered, battles won, and wealth sent back to families. The town crier wails every night on the High King’s victory in the New World, seeping his message into the very dreams of the Alteran citizens. Rumors are the New World is even larger than the Old. The High King’s Alteran and Fargrave’s Magda*** take up about sixty percent of the land mass. The rest is littered with various republics and “the people’s blah, blah, blah.” Who even keeps track of those small territories? None present actual threat in either trade, military power, or--well, that’s all that matters. Give it a hundred years or so and they’ll all belong to either the High King or Fargrave. You’ve never had the best of luck in the gambling den, but you’d put your money on that bet every time. Fools. Some things are just too good to be true. The New World speaks to a man. It whispers tender secrets of possession and satisfaction, lining the message with a good ol’ fashioned appeal to man’s stubbornness. Come to me, it says. Your efforts will be rewarded. It’s a hard life, but the payout is well worth it. Or stay put. Live the rest of your life wondering what if? Men with no military experience sign up for the frontlines. For what purpose? To avoid asking themselves that very question. What if? Fools. They can’t think for themselves, needing the High King’s expedition to lead them into a life full of adventure, putting their life in danger for material wealth and prosperity. And you? Heh. You’re the biggest fool of them all. You enlisted before the New World was even discovered. “Were you going to join us or do you prefer the company of the billboard?” You turn to see Corporal Redding. The man’s scraggly beard, now graying, is stained with ale, the top two buttons of his uniform open. The High King’s military uniform. At times it looks too proper for the messiness of war. Still, that’s how the High King governs, with a proper chain of command and regal attire. A long sweeping coat accompanies the uniform, reaching nearly to the standard issue knee-high boots. It’s a dark navy color, stitched with golden trim, seven buttons down the front, gold as well. Redding takes a large gulp of ale as he expectantly awaits your answer. [Dialogue option] “The billboard is a better view than you lot.” “Come on now…” Corporal Redding takes a glance over his shoulder at the men. There’s twelve of you total, ultimately under battalion command of Captain Briggs. Redding, as the ranking officer, is in charge in the captain’s absence. Behind Redding, one of your fellow soldiers emits a large belch followed shortly with deep laughter. “Ok, maybe you have a point.” A waitress passes by. Young thing, sweet thing. Noticing your near-empty cups, she stops. “Can I get you another?” Redding puts his arm around your shoulders. Lightly rapping your chest he says, “Another for my top soldier here.” One of your fellow soldiers overhears from the table. “Hey I thought I was your top soldier.” The comment and its apparent farthest-thing-from-the-truth causes more deep laughter from the men. Ignoring the outburst, Redding continues. “You know, this man saved my life more times than I can count. Pulled my body from a burning wagon while dodging arrows and gunfire the entire time. He doesn’t like to admit it, but he’s one of the few men to earn a High King’s seal.” Bullshit. All of it. But you smile and nod. “Oh...wow,” the waitress says. “I’ve never met a man who’s earned the High King’s seal.” You hope she hasn’t. There’s no such thing for a soldier. “I’ll get you another. And I’m sorry to ask this, but would you help me move one of the ale barrels in the back? Kurd is busy and I hate wandering down to the dark cellar by myself…” “My work here is done,” Redding whispers in your ear.

Epiccc WIP

one month ago
I would love for someone to actually claim one of the commissions, good luck.