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by Elparia herald publisher. . 161 reads.

Elparia Herald Issue III

Roleplay News

Chuukango - Trekan War
Reported By The cavian state

New Trekan Schiller Volstaffer Class Destroyer
Chuukango is now a fascist nation. A month ago, elections in the nation chose Éric Broudeur of the Federate Fascist Party as the new President. Brodeur’s first act as Chief Executive was to update the nation’s colors and pretitle accordingly- the flag was changed to red, yellow, and black with the nation now officially known as ‘The Fascist Federation of Chuukango”.
Then, three days later, the Imperialist Trekan fleet flagship HES Worcester, was sunk in Piscataquis Harbor after the ship magazine caught fire and detonated. Brodeur’s reaction was first noting that the Trekan ships were “inferior to even the older Confederate State Ships”, while also denying Chuukangan involvement, closing Chuukangan ports to Trekan vessels.
Despite Presiden Brodeur’s claim that the Chuukango forces were innocent, Trekan high command declared war on the nation and confirmed the 453 deaths of the Worcester’s crew. The Portown Press released a government communique stating, “On Behalf of the Chancellor, Parliament, Kaiser, the Trekan Navy and Treka as a whole, We declare war on Chuukango- “Gott mit dem Kaiser, für immer kann er regieren””. The German roughly translates to ‘God with the Emperor, forever may he rule’.
The Trekan Chancellor Camden Hanscombe then made an official speech four days later threatening to “take the blood of every Chuukango soldier”. He warned that “the Trekan soldiers who take your Parliament building killing every supporter of the war in there will win medals for valor and bravery in the line of duty.” His entire speech could be summed up into the three words he uttered next: “You will die.”
War preparations then began at once, with Imperialist Trekan insiders reporting conscription quotas of 7,000,000 troops. The government also released a statement pressing for regional governments to “sanction [the] fascist government of Chuukango”, citing the unprovoked incident regarding the Worcester.
New plans released later also saw Treka promise to build ten new state-of-the-art warships, and reported that Trekan morale and patriotism was “the highest in years”. The Herald can confirm that the size of the Trekan navy is unparalleled in the region, boasting 700 seaworthy vessels ranging from destroyers to battleships.
A sickening blow then struck the already-outnumbered Chuukangan forces, as over 1,300,000 Chuukangan troops defected to Imperialist Treka. Chuukango later confirmed in a press conference that they had taken with them “five ships: three cruisers, a carrier and a dreadnought” as well as sabotaging “an undetermined amount of arms and munitions”. Many Trekan immigrants were deported or sent to internment camps, a move that was condemned by many civil rights group and governments.
And a day later, the Trekans struck marking the first engagement of the war. A total of four Trekan cruisers accompanied by twenty destroyers launched missiles at the Chuukangan coast, including strategic military targets such as ports, airfields, and military bases.
International reactions then arose from world leaders around the region. Protadaros announced in a press conference that it would seek to “join the Trekan people in the fight… [to] raise the torch of freedom”.
The Cavian Prime Minister Mochi Williams announced that Cavia would be sending aid to Treka’s military in the form of arms, munitions, and monetary supplies, but would not deploy troops near Chuukangan territory. It was also reported that Cavia’s DEFCON rating had risen to 3, signifying that Cavian naval forces were on standby. Cavian Minister of Commerce Jackie Wilshere announced that the Cavians would also cease all trade with the fascist government. Volitopia declared itself neutral but also remarked that its Parliament was considering a bill to embargo the nation, however this is still in debate. Then, the regional government polled national governments to find their stance on the war, with three declaring themselves Imperialist Trekan allies, one in support of Chuukango, and seven neutral. Among the Trekan supporters were New Ducklands and Concordaia, while the The Chuukangan supporter is a small Nordic nation that is also ruled by a fascist government.
The war is still ongoing, and it is unclear whether the Trekans will make a second strike.

New Football Leauges
Reported By Volitopia
There’s plenty of wars going on these days, so why not take a break and enjoy some good old football? Or football, if you prefer that instead. Let’s start with the Elparian American Football League, founded just two weeks ago by Imperialist Treka as the first-ever Elparian sports league that plays a real life sport (here’s the one that doesn’t).
The american football league contains two conferences of teams, each randomly divided into ranks. Currently the highest-ranked teams in conference A are as follows; the Portown Hammerheads in division 1, with a stunning 4 wins no losses track record are on top, for second place Khaybar Calamities in division 1 with constant wins of about 30 points per game and 3 wins total are tied with Vader’s Fist in division 3, who have the highest number of touchdowns in their conference (followed closely by Treka’s team). In third and with a 2-2 win-loss count are the Cosa Dartfish in division 2, most known for their stunning 46-0 win against the Georgian Exploders on the third day. Conference B hosts the undefeated Mandalorian Crusaders in division 3 as their champions, in second place are the division 1 Mochiville Cavies who win about 40 points per game, and there’s a stunning 4-way tie for 3rd, each team with an equal number of wins and losses; the Volkstown Cuirassiers, who either win big or lose big, the Snake Bear City Snake Bears, who lose by an inch and win comfortably, and the Volitopian Hurricanes, who win double or get nothing, are all butting heads.
Cumulatively Holocron of Revan’s teams are the best in the region, with a strong focus on offensive moves and great team coordination, followed within the margin of one game by Imperialist Treka, who has the Hammerheads killing all opposition and the other being average. You can view EAFL divisions, standings, and the schedule in the links there ←.
Another form of football league is seeing fans cheer in stadiums across the world - the Elparian Association Club Football League. Created by New Ducklands shortly after Treka’s league, it has perhaps among the most complex scoring systems and comprehensive detailing in a regional sports league. There is no division of teams as in the EAFL, and each team plays two games per match date.
The top team after one day of matches is Paisley Standard A.F.C., coming out with an intense 3-2 win against Breslau F.C. and a crushing 3-0 victory against Hartsberg F.C. later that day. Second out of the whole league is Oscar Palace F.C. who are just one goal behind first place with the greatest victory of the season so far; 4-0 against Hartsburg F.C. despite their 1-2 loss at Carnsby. The bronze-level team in this league is Korusberg, who have won each one of their games with two goals in; their opponents at Westland & Sunderland United A.F.C. managed to get one shot into the net, but Rigeta F.C.’s defense folded in the early morning hours of the first match of the season. In the fourth place we have a tie between Carnsby F.C. and Kingston F.C. New Ireland the 5th’s team won 1-0 against Rebellion F.C. with a total of 29 attempted shots, and scraped by a 2-1 victory from Oscar Palace, while New Duckland’s team won 1-0 against Tooshish Royal League with a total of 22 attempted shots and a 2-1 victory against Korusberg.
Nationally speaking, New Ducklands teams are far above the rest, scoring a total of 9 goals, yielding only 3. The silver league nation is Neo-georgiria, whose teams have lost only one of their four games. Third place goes to The cavian state, whose teams got 5 goals in and lost 3 (although Corusconia’s teams got 2 more shots in, they also got 6 out and lost 3 of their games, putting them below the guinea pig teams). The central dispatch of the EACFL can be found here, and schedules and scores here.
Whether you prefer football or football, just keep playing and cheering on your teams!

CoW RP Updates
Reported By Volitopia
First RP

Second RP

Third RP
Following the successes of the first CoW RP, New Ducklands made two more for those who were conquered in the first round or wanted to play multiple games in parallel. But what happened to the first RP? A long story short, Poland beats up Germany, Finland, Sweden, and Morocco, the USSR takes Imperial Russia, the Cossacks, the Caucuses, ¾ of Algeria, most of the Mediterranean islands, Iceland, Greenland, and a little exclave in America. Yugoslavia builds too many nukes, conquers the south of Morocco but later the whole thing, and launches an invasion of Canada. Canada conquers America, but is invaded by the British, who are fleeing the Empire of Greater Romania that ends up swallowing basically all of Europe and wins the game.
The second RP is seeing a battle of the giants (but all of them except the USSR and Spain are inactive), as seen in the map above/right. At the start, Sweden, Germany, USSR, Italy, and Turkey make an alliance to conquer the rest of the world, and they do so (except for Switzerland and Spain), but then everyone starts going inactive and so the USSR invades Italy (once the greatest military in the game - but now Rome is communist), Turkey, and Sweden. Spain, not wanting to be left out, invades Italy and Turkey, mostly for Africa. This game is now a race to the finish - both Spain and the USSR can win without declaring war on each other, but the number of victory points is slipping fast.
The third CoW game, however, is still a dance of empires. Italy was first to act, invading Greece, Portugal, Cuba, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, Greenland, Lithuania, and most of Poland. The Ottomans decided to go wild and took the holy land, the middle east, Egypt, and every province in the USSR, Estonia, and Latvia. The UK took back the colonies and then some, annexed Iceland, and is currently invading Sweden. Yugoslavia was actually stronk and took most of the Balkans and some of Poland going all the way up to the Baltic. France went inactive after annexing Belgium and the Netherlands, and Spain has been neutral so far.
So far, no plans have been announced for further games, but hopefully once the last two games make their grand finale (and trust me, in both it will be grand), regional CoW game maker New Ducklands can use some of the many unique maps on Call of War to mix things up a bit.

Tommy Ball
Reported By Volitopia
Lately there has been much excitement over the new football and football sports leagues, but let’s look back to the first-ever league born in Elparia, playing a game as silly as Elparia itself can be at times. Too too’s Tommy Ball League was made on the 11th of January, some time after the first international game drew curiosity about the exact rules of the strange game. There was interest, and the roster was marked with the Too Too Snake Bears, Portsmouth Fulisers, Portown Hammerheads, Oscar City TBC, Rophilus Rams, Volitopian Vultures, RTTT, and Searachow TC teams.
The game is like Calvinball - the only permanent rule is that it can never be played the same way twice. There would often be some form of orb to catch or get into varying nets, along with a plethora of randomized mini-games of other sports within each match.
The first round (Too Too Snake Bears vs Volioptian Vultures) was a hot mess of a game as the local butterfly population was caught multiple times over by each team to a backdrop of bakers and acrobats passing around a strangely glowing orb. In the second match Chuukango and Neo-georgiria’s teams faced off and ended with a win for Searchow by a narrow 3 points in a daring pass in the last few minutes of the game. The Rampaging turtleducks Tommy-ball Team (RTTT) barley snatched victory out of the hands of the Portown Hammerheads in a game that included an easter egg of the golden snitch. The fourth game saw The cavian state and Rophilus facing off in a stadium with a giant pit of fire suspended in zero-gravity - the game was intense as animals were lobbed across the court, and ended with Oscar City winning by completing the hardest move in Tommy Ball. On the 17th of February, the first semi-final game between Too too and Neo-georgiria began. It included a swimming pool with live sharks, and so ended up the tommy ball match with the highest casualties on record and a Snake Bear victory.
After the match, the commentators promised a final showdown with Too too against one other team for the league championship title, and signs point to The cavian state’s smashing victory as possible indication they may face off against the Snake Bears, but that has yet to arrive.
Although Tommy Ball didn’t cause many waves in Elparian Sports RP, its surprising nature and interesting commentary retained a little token of silliness in our community.

Gameplay News

Ever since the founding of Elparia, the question of who should have access to the Founder Puppet has plagued this region’s politics and caused the greatest chaos in regional history. After the events of the coup, Rophilus and New Ducklands (being the ones who did the coup) were the only ones with Founder access, although the debate was reignited during the last few weeks of January. Chuukango proposed a bill that would limit founder access to the elected Prime Minister, which was followed by a vigorous debate on discord that spanned several days.
Rampaging turtleducks, one of the proponents of resolving the issue by holding a plebiscite, stated, “ because the argument against Ducky is centered around him having too much power … choosing to resolve the issue any way besides voting wouldn’t make sense to me. We can’t keep calling this a “power struggle” if we aren’t giving everyone a voice”
Indeed, the majority of people with opinions on the subject agreed in holding a referendum, but what it would decide was the key question. Some favored full popular sovereignty - a poll to decide what to do and a poll to carry it out, while most people agreed to decide the functionality of the poll beforehand and let democracy do its thing in one poll. Most of the people who were involved in the debates agreed to the second option, and so on (roughly) February 1st, a temporary channel on discord was made to house the compromises, and within a day all those involved agreed to a set of terms that would both make New Ducklands happy and keep the founder puppet stable in the eyes of the Elparian public.
The agreements included the passing of regional discord adminship to whoever was elected as Prime Minister, to be exchanged each election cycle in order to keep the channels stable. Most importantly, it mandated that New Ducklands and another elected neutral nation would share Founder Puppet access to keep the balance.
And so, people began to nominate others to serve in that high office. The rule was nominating only one person, and no self-nominations or self-votes when the poll came around. Aquias received nominations from Chuukango and Fahran, Volitopia received nominations from New Ducklands and Imperialist Treka, Fahran was nominated by Holocron of Revan, Revan was nominated by Volitopia, Treka was nominated by Tsakistan, and Aquias and Rophilus both decided to remain neutral with their nominations.
And so, the polls opened. After a tense three days, the results stood; Aquias - 10, Volitopia -10, Imperialist Treka - 3, Holocron of Revan - 1, Fahran - 0. A tie stood between the winners, with 4 votes in the balance. So another poll was opened, this time only between the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. There was a greater turnout in this poll, and the final result came up as Volitopia with 17 votes, Aquias with 15.
It would have ended there, but after Voli raised questions about possible puppets voting in favor of him, New Ducklands decided upon a further investigation into possible puppeteering, and chose to instead hold the referendum by Linksurveymonkey, which after over a week of the three polls, came back with Aquias as the winner, 12 to 7.
And finally, the long debate over founder access was over. New Ducklands got to keep his job, and the public got a neutral balance on Ducky’s power. NS political discussions cooled down, and there hasn’t been internal strife for a good month in Elparia. The government is currently trying to move forward, and the reiteration of a new map promises better Elparian RPs down the road, but the stagnation of a new Constitution promised in early January does not bode well. Happily, many people have become discontent with the slowdown in government activity and are demanding change. New Ducklands, Chuukango, Holocron of Revan, and Fahran have all promised to submit their drafts for a constitution soon, and many nations expressed desire to look over and help with legal developments once the drafts come out.
The sharing of the founder puppet has helped heal the scars of mistrust left by the coup, maps and other activities are getting Elparia moving again, but now we must create a comprehensive law that will prevent the misuses of the past and help us be united as Elparians.

From Trial to Trolling
Reported By Volitopia

Flag of the USUC
THE UNITED SOVIET UNION OF COMMUNISM has had very minimal interaction with Elparia, save for the healing of relations in early December. Although by the end of February, this breakaway region from the former Rossferry had been thrust into the spotlight. A week ago, suspicions about USUC spy puppets in Elparia began to mount. Multiple nations who had joined without being recruited or recommended by other Elparians and just sat there or did little but spam had been trickling in.
So on the 24th of February, a series of bans were handed out to suspected spies by the Minister of Security, after discussion with the rest of the cabinet. Too too and a few other nations expressed indignation, so Fahran clarified the purpose of the bans, stating, “We know they’re puppets. Two of them admitted as much, their movements were erratic, and they all made statements insinuating raids against Elparia, going so far as to create a region to troll us. They’ve been active for about a week and have mostly just spammed our RMB with seditious or irrelevant material.” Several other such nations left after the bans without being targeted, signalling their possible involvement with the USUC.
However Chuukango put the brakes on, countering that “we cannot ban people merely out of suspicions of them planning to raid”, and declared the need for an official trial to determine the validity of those claims.
On that same day an official trial was opened in the Elparian Courthouse discord, with Fahran as plaintiff, defendants Kaikaya,New scenariolandia, Uraniun, World communist union, Del terra, Galactic libertopian order, and Holocron of Revan as public defense attorney.
Multiple witnesses were called forth, and presented several damning reports proving the USUC’s deployment of puppets and previous actions. For the safety of the witnesses their names are not given, although curious Elparians can view the proceedings of the trial in the LinkCourthouse.
After many hours of deliberation and discussion in the courthouse, Judge Chuukango declared the results of the trial, “Kaikaya, New Scenariolandia, Uranium, World Communist Union, Del Terra, (and) Galactic Libertopian Order have been found GUILTY of Treason (Title 1, 113b) … They (and any future puppets) face an indefinite ban from the region”. Multiple Elparians nodded approval to this action, although Too too continued to be annoyed at the proceedings.
In a move that ironically only further solidified the prior existence of USUC spies in Elparia, the communist region “declared war” on Elparia. Attempts at baiting the Elparian public were made on the USUC and Elparian RMBs by puppets, but that’s really all they could do. The supposed declaration of was was more of a declaration of future trolling - Elparia has almost 8 times the amount of WA members that the USUC has.
As Chuukango put it, the USUC are “some old communist secessionists who have spent the last year and a half trying to “war,” us because they can’t accept that they got caught using puppet votes in the first Rossferrian election”. They’ve done this sort of thing in Rossferry, and because trolls will keep on trolling, they do the same thing here.
New Ducklands said, “Just, we're should stop bothering with the USUC. They are an absolute waste of time and cannot harm us with more than a few posts here and there. We can easily handle those. All they do is bother us, and as previously experienced with the last two conflicts we've had with them leave them a week and ignore them and they stop … They can't even raid, last time I checked they WA multi'ed to do so and got banned from the WA”
But what should the average Elparian do? New Trimainia puts it best, “Just ignore them, that pisses them off”.

Troubles in The Wolf Clan
Reported By Volitopia
In an interesting mirror to Elparia’s issues with the USUC, our neighbors in The Wolf Clan have been undergoing conflicts with the fascist regions The Iron Fortress and Angvar. A month ago, TWC military, which sometimes sells the regions it captures, successfully raided the longtime fascist region of Fascist Military Powers and sold it to The Communist Bloc. This angered the fascist regions TIF and Angvar - who declared a “demilitarization zone around The Wolf Clan” (presumably meaning attempting to halt all military operations of the Clan), and declared war against The Wolf Clan’s puppet region the Realm of Anubis. Even among the threat of war, however, The Wolf Clan has continued to grow and expand its influence.
The Elparian government’s official policy, as agreed upon by the Prime Minister and the cabinet, is armed neutrality - “...We have reached the consensus that as the war between the two sides has not reached any definitive conflicts yet, Elparia will remain neutral. However if The Wolf Clan is deliberately attacked, the Elparian military will be put on alert”
The Elparian military has not had to deploy, and hopefully never will in this manner, as after several baiting and general trolling matches on the RMBs of both sides, The Iron Fortress has agreed to negotiate with The Wolf Clan. It remains to be seen whether these talks will yield a lasting truce between the three regions, but hopefully The Wolf Clan, The Iron Fortress, and Angvar all can go back to doing what they want to do without conflict.

Creativity

Polandballs
Reported By Volitopia
The Polandball scene in Elparia didn’t really exist - until the start of February 3rd. On that day, Imperialist Treka unveiled a project of his, “Nations of Elparia”, featuring simple polandballs of 24 nations.
Nations of Elparia by Imperialist Treka

Chuukango by Chuukango

Treka on a Battleship and Tank by Imperialist Treka

Following this, and the applause given for Treka’s work, other nations made simple polandballs of themselves, including Chuukango, Treka (who placed his polandball on a backdrop of the forward guns of a battleship and the gunner’s seat of a tank), and others. Although the best self-portrait yet must go to New Ducklands, who drew his nation with a fashionable hat and two eyes, one with a monocle and one with an eyepatch in the design of his seal.
No other notable polandballs have been made since the first full week of February, but these sort of simple yet delightful creative pieces have a habit of bouncing back once their creators get some attention.

Writing
Reported By Volitopia
Following a spate of snippets of creative writing posted by Elparians in the discord server, a new chat was created (#potato-quality-writing) where all Elparians could post their writing. Although the stream of short stories went dry after the initial excitement in the last few days of January and suggestions for a regional writing contest in early February never materialized, the chat remains open to submissions.The Herald looks back on one of the first stories posted, an untitled piece by Aquias.

Vincent

Residents​ ​of​ ​Roseborough,​ ​a​ ​port​ ​city,​ ​looked​ ​up​ ​in​ ​wonder​ ​at​ ​the​ ​majestic​ ​ship
approaching​ ​the​ ​city,​ ​along​ ​with​ ​the​ ​man​ ​standing​ ​upon​ ​it.​ ​​ ​A​ ​striking​ ​young​ ​man,​ ​with​ ​predatory
eyes​ ​and​ ​a​ ​chiseled​ ​jaw​ ​stood​ ​at​ ​the​ ​prow​ ​of​ ​the​ ​ship,​ ​arriving​ ​at​ ​the​ ​port​ ​city.​ ​Vincent,​ ​the
captain​ ​of​ ​“The​ ​Fallen​ ​Serpent”,​ ​a​ ​magnificent​ ​carrack,​ ​capable​ ​of​ ​sailing​ ​the​ ​high​ ​seas.
“Nothing​ ​is​ ​more​ ​great​ ​than​ ​returning​ ​to​ ​your​ ​home​ ​after​ ​a​ ​long​ ​trip​ ​at​ ​sea.”​ ​He​ ​thought​ ​as​ ​his
ship​ ​approached​ ​the​ ​city.

“The​ ​Fallen​ ​Serpent”​ ​arrived​ ​at​ ​the​ ​docks,​ ​and​ ​vincent​ ​walked​ ​onto​ ​the​ ​docks.​ ​As
Vincent​ ​looked​ ​around​ ​he​ ​saw​ ​her,​ ​a​ ​tall,​ ​pale-skinned​ ​woman,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​beautiful​ ​smile,​ ​his​ ​wife,
Alice.​ ​Vincent​ ​hurriedly​ ​approached​ ​Alice,​ ​and​ ​they​ ​embraced.​ ​“I​ ​missed​ ​you.​ ​This​ ​trip​ ​was
longer​ ​than​ ​usual.”​ ​She​ ​said​ ​to​ ​him.​ ​“I’m​ ​sorry,​ ​Alice.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​delayed,​ ​there​ ​were​ ​some​ ​storms,
and​ ​we​ ​had​ ​to​ ​get​ ​repairs.​ ​I​ ​couldn’t​ ​get​ ​word​ ​to​ ​you,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​truly​ ​am​ ​sorry.”​ ​He​ ​replied.

Alice​ ​looked​ ​happily​ ​at​ ​Vincent,​ ​“Well,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​together​ ​now,​ ​shall​ ​we​ ​head​ ​home?​ ​I
believe​ ​we​ ​have​ ​some​ ​missed​ ​time​ ​to​ ​make​ ​up?”​ ​Vincent​ ​grinned,​ ​“Of​ ​course,​ ​Alice.​ ​Let’s​ ​go.”
They​ ​walked​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the​ ​docks​ ​into​ ​a​ ​nearby​ ​street.​ ​The​ ​happy​ ​couple​ ​walked​ ​down​ ​the
street,​ ​headed​ ​to​ ​their​ ​residence.
A cowled figure turned away from the couple as they walked past. He hissed excitedly as everything was going as expected.

Vincent and Alice entered their residence and into their quarters. They changed into sleepwear after they entered their quarters and laid together on their bed, cuddling together, enjoying the warmth and happiness they brought each other. They soon fell asleep, in the embrace of each other.

A piercing scream suddenly woke Vincent in the middle of the night. He looked around around the room looking for the source of the disturbance. His room looked undisturbed, but for one thing that perturbed him, Alice wasn’t in the room. He warily walked towards the door out of his room. He slowly opened the door, and cautiously looked out of the room. He continued until he entered the living quarters. As he entered the room, he saw three guys, attacking his wife, Alice.

Vincent, overcome with rage attacked the 3 intruders with nare but his fists. The three intruders turned around as he came running at them, laughing as they saw Vincent running towards them. Vincent punched one in the bridge of his nose, but the other two grabbed hold of Vincent, and restrained him, holding him back. The one he hit backed up, and started grinning as he punched Vincent in his stomach. Vincent groaned as he was hit. The intruder continued to attack him. Vincent looked across at Alice, who feebly reached out for him, as the light of her eyes slowly disappeared. Vincent whispers, “I’m sorry, Alice.” As he slowly lost consciousness, sure of one thing- that Alice was dead.

Vincent slowly regained consciousness, and with it a wave of agony. He groaned as he opened his eyes. He slowly looked up, and saw the body of his wife, Alice. He slowly, painfully crawled over to her body. Despair flooded his being and soul as the love of his life, the only person whom he has cared for, is now dead. He collapsed upon her, crying, as he realized that he is now alone.
Vincent laid there for an unknown length of time. Vincent lovingly closed Alice’s eyes, and rose shakily, and painfully, to his feet. He walked to the main door of his residence, and opened the door. As he went to leave his residence, he looked back at Alice, and a single tear dropped from his eye. He turned back and left his residence, and shut the door behind him.

Vincent shambled down the street, unsure if he will ever be able to be happy again, knowing that Alice was dead. He stopped occasionally, catching his breath, as pain racked his body continually. He slowly worked his way to the end of the street. Vincent no longer felt happy, or love, Vincent’s whole being was filled despair, depression, and revenge. Vincent began his long arduous journey, he began to find those who turned his life into a living hell, a life without Alice.
The tavern was busy, with a hubbub of activity. A haggard man entered the tavern, looking through with sunken eyes, and showing signs of burdening sorrow. He approached the barkeep, looking around, as if wary of possible dangers, and slid coins onto the counter. The barkeep looked up towards him, and quickly took the coins. The haggard man spoke, “I want information. A man came here a few days back, accompanied by a few armed men, where is he?” The barkeep quickly looked up suspiciously at the crowd. He dropped his voice, and said, with fear, to the man, “I can’t tell you, he’ll kill me. You must go, now!” A flash of anger quickly passed through the haggard man’s eyes. He quickly pulled out a dagger, hidden somewhere on his body, and pointed it at the barkeeper's neck. “You will tell me, or I shall kill you, I have no reason not to.” The Barkeeper’s eyes widened in fear. “I don’t know, I swear. I all know is that he went west. That’s it! Please don’t kill me.” The haggard man turned back and left the tavern. Vincent walked away from the tavern, and made camp in the nearby forest. “I will find them, I will find those who killed her, my wife, and I will kill them.” He waited through the night.

Aeva

Aeva, running quickly through the surrounding woods. A man laughing heartily as she tried to run. He whistled, summoning the hounds. Aeva heard them in the background, terrifying her. She continued to run, paying no attention to her surroundings, just trying to escape the man. The hounds were closing in, she heard barking from behind her. She fearfully continued running, and she tripped over an overturned root. The hounds caught up to her, and one of them leaped onto her, ready to take her back.

Aeva sat up quickly, breathing heavily, as she woke up with fright, She slowly calmed down as she realized she was in her room, alone, without any hounds. Aeva started tearing up as she remembered the dream, and the reality that it was based off of. She sighed heavily, “What do I have to do for some peace?” she thought to herself.

Aeva stood up and and got dressed, putting on another sheepskin vest and leather leggings. She went to go outside, for some fresh air. As she opened the door, someone ran in and sat on the bed. Aeva turned around and saw that it was Elise. Aeva looked towards Elise, and saw that she had her head down, quietly sobbing to herself. Aeva walked over to Elise, and sat down next to her. “What’s wrong, Elise?”
Elise only shook her head in response. Aeva sighed to herself, “Come on Elise, tell me, you have nothing to worry about.” Elise muttered quietly to herself. “Come on Elise, speak up. You can trust me.” Elise looked at Aeva, with tears in her eyes. “Are you sure? Can I?” Aeva looked upon Elise, “Yes, you can. I want to help you.” Elise inhaled shakily, “I was running around the village, like I do everyday. I went to return home, and as I reached the front door, soldiers burst out through the doorway. They rushed by me, and I called out, “What were you doing in there? Why were you in my home?” All they did was smile, and continue leaving. I walked inside, and I didn’t know what I would find. I walked into my house, and what I saw was darkness. My mother called out to me, telling me not to come closer. I had not seen her, and she had warned me not to come closer. She said to me, “Go Elise, find Aeva, tell her to go, she must leave, and tell her to take you with her. She is the only one I trust. I am not going to be able to stay much longer, so please, Elise, please leave.” As she said that, I started to tear up, and, as she has asked, I turned, and left the house. I ran to your house afterward.”

Aeva looked at Elise, with sorrow in her eyes. She didn’t want to ask her, but she had to know. “Elise, these soldiers, did they have a picture of a red dragon upon their armour?” Elise looked at Aeva, and nodded her head. “Yeah, they did.” Aeva looked up in shock, she knew those soldiers.
Aeva, returned home after her exile. Standing, hidden, in the forest around her previous home. Looking up in surprise as screams pierced the air. A stench of smoke filled the air, and Aeva, turning towards where she once lived. Running back to her previous home, as she saw flames, licking the roof of the house. Running faster as fear filled her. Quickly hiding against the wall, as she saw armed men, wearing mail plated armour, leaving the house. Silently waiting in fear, and as the men passed by, noticing a red dragon, printed upon the men’s tabard. Aeva, entering the house, after the men left. Standing in shocked surprise, as she saw her parents. Their corpses, lying there, a dagger stuck within each of their chests.

Elise looked up at Aeva, “Aeva? What’s wrong Aeva?” Aeva sighed, “We must leave. Let’s go, I have a place we can stay.” Aeva took Elise by her hand and walked to the door. After they left Aeva’s residence, Aeva spotted a troop of armed men heading towards her residence. She quickly took Elise and went around the corner of the house, hoping that the men haven’t spotted her. Aeva silently, and swiftly, headed towards the next house over, trying to avoid sight of the armed men.

Aeva stood against the rear wall of a house, breathing heavily, holding Elise close to her. Aeva looked around, trying to find some ways of defending herself until she can get out of the village. Aeva quickly spotted the blacksmith. She was wary of approaching the building, as it was on the other side of a wide, open area. Aeva cautiously looked around, looking for any nearby soldiers. Aeva leaned down towards Elise, and whispered “Elise, do you see that building over there?” Aeva pointed to the blacksmith as she spoke to Elise. Elise nodded her head, eyes filled with fear. “When I tell you to run, I need you to run there, and hide somewhere.” Elise solemnly nodded her head in agreement. Aeva looked around the corner. “Alright Elise, now run!”
Elise quickly started running towards the other building, more scared than she has ever been before. As she reached the other building, a red dragon soldier appeared from within and grabbed her. Elise screamed and shouted, and kicked, and tried to escape his grasp.

Aeva kept a watch for any other soldiers while Elise ran towards the blacksmith. Aeva hoped fervently that they would be able to escape the village unnoticed by the soldiers. She circumvented the building she was hiding against, and quickly headed towards the blacksmith from a farther distance so she could keep an eye on Elise. Aeva gasped as Elise was grabbed by the other soldier and taken around the corner. As the soldier started taking Elise away, Aeva ran towards the blacksmith, and grabbed a nearby silver sword. Aeva quickly ran up to the blacksmith wall, and stood with her back to it. She peered around the corner and saw the soldier with his back turned towards her. She quietly ran up to the soldier and stabbed him through the small of his back, causing him to suddenly spasm in pain, then Aeva used her sword to cut his jugular vein, stopping the blood flow to his brain. After his corpse collapsed on the ground Aeva wiped her sword clean on his tunic.

Elise quickly ran up to Aeva, and embraced her. Crying into Aeva, as the danger that has passed still affected her. “He..he tried..he tried to..” Elise suddenly stopped talking, unable to continue. Aeva looked down at Elise, and whispered. “It’s going to be okay, Elise. I would never allow any harm to come to you.” Elise released Aeva, and replied with tears glistening in her eyes. “I know, Aeva. I know” Aeva then turned and said back to Elise, “Well, we ought to get going, who knows how many of them there are, and we must leave the village.”
Elise nodded, and went with Aeva as she walked into the blacksmith, itself. Aeva looked around at the interior and saw naught but destruction and disarray. She tried to find some armour to protect her, yet the blacksmith was void of armour. Aeva, however, did find a dagger. Aeva walked over to Elise and gave her the dagger telling her, “Don’t lose this Elise, you must keep it for your protection.” Elise nodded, uncertain on how to reply. Aeva grabbed Elise by her shoulder and looked straight into Elise’s eyes, and said. “Elise, I need you to be brave, can you do that? Can you do that for me?”

Elise nodded at Aeva, and whispered, “Yes, Aeva, yes I can.” Aeva turned toward the rear of the building, glancing back at Elise making sure she was still there. “Stay there Elise, I’ll be back once I make sure the soldiers are gone.” Elise quickly nodded, and watched solemnly as Aeva left the blacksmith, looking around the corner for any other red dragon soldiers.

**

Elise looked up as Aeva returned, looking worn and haggard, with a bloodstained tunic, as she entered the building. She walked over to Elise and smiled at her. “Come on, Elise, we can go now.” Aeva took Elise by her hand and left the blacksmith. Elise looked around as Aeva took her out the village.

Vincent

Vincent waited that night, and his patience was rewarded. A group of men arrived at the tavern, and as expected, proceed to talk with the barkeeper. Vincent stood up off the ground and proceeded to walk back to the tavern, careful to stay out of sight. He went around the back of the tavern and entered through the rear door, careful not to make any sound. He silently entered the main dining area, seeing the men turned with their backs to him. He walked over to the corner of the tavern, and grabbed a chair. He turned it around and sat down, his back to the wall, and a wide view of the tavern itself. It was there, that he waited.

One of the men stepped forward from the group, towards the barkeep. He said something to him, however Vincent was too far to hear anything discernible. The man took out a dagger the gleamed in the distance and pointed it towards the barkeeper. He then saw the company head back outside, through the rear door he came in from. Vincent waited a few minutes and silently stood up, and exited through the rear door.

Vincent walked outside, and noticed a light rainfall started. Vincent looked around, seeing the barkeeper laying on the ground around the corner. Vincent slowly walked over to him, seeing numerous cuts, shallow and deep, inflicted upon his person. The barkeeper was breathing, faintly and unevenly, but breathing. Vincent kneeled next to him, and asked him where the company went, where they are going. The barkeeper whispered something to Vincent. Vincent then took out his own blade and put it through the man’s chest. “You shouldn’t need to suffer, you have given me the information I requested, and I have eased your suffering.” Vincent calmly closed the barkeepers eyes and stood up. He turned away and quickly walked back through the woods to his temporary camp. “I shall be heading out tomorrow. I still need a location, but I shall be heading to another town.” Vincent laid down and went to sleep for the night.
Vincent suddenly woke up, unsure what has woken him. He tiredly looked around in the dark, when he suddenly saw a flash of white in his peripheral vision. He quickly turned towards it, when it disappeared behind some nearby foliage. Vincent walked over to it, following a trail. As he followed the trail, a haunting, but somehow familiar, tune drifted throughout the forest. Vincent continued walking, the thing he is going after just barely staying in his sight. Vincent continued this way until he reached a clearing, where he stumbled upon a woman, wearing a pure white dress, facing away from him, humming the familiar tune. Vincent called out “Who are you?” to the woman. The humming stopped abruptly and the woman said to him in a mocking voice, “You of all people should know who I am, sweetheart. After all, it is your fault that I am dead.” She turned to face him, and Vincent suddenly stumbled backward, seeing the face of his beloved, of his dead wife, of Alice. “You, you...you’re dead! You.. you shouldn’t...you can’t be here! It’s..it;s impossible!” The woman, who is known as Alice, laughed malevolently. “Yes, of course I am dead, and you’re the reason for it! I trusted you, you were supposed to protect me! But, I still died! You are the worst mistake I have made in my actual life!” Vincent sagged against a nearby tree as Alice’s words struck him like a blow. “No..no, it isn’t my fault, it isn’t my fault!” Vincent said as he started to sob, knowing that what she said is what he thought ever since she died. Alice slowly walked towards Vincent, mocking him. “It isn’t my fault, you say. Well, it is. I loved you, I cared for you, I wanted you! But you let me die!” as Alice got closer to Vincent she started chuckling menacingly. “You think you will get away with this? You entire existence will end, and you will never again be happy!” as Alice reached him, Vincent finally collapsed from the stress.
Vincent woke up a few hours later and he looked around and found himself in the clearing from the previous night. A misty fog had rolled in since the previous night, leaving the clearing seeming to be part mystical. Vincent started to look for the path, startled when he saw no trace of one. He tried finding the sun, to tell where north is, and found nothing. All the light seems to be without a source. Vincent decided to just walk forward until he can find a way out.
As Vincent continued the venture through the forest, the mysterious mist continued to roll through, nearly rendering him blind. It became so thick that he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face. He continued in this way until the mist suddenly dispersed, leaving him in another clearing, with a ruined tower in the middle. Curiosity aroused, he entered the tower. Upon entry, he stumbled upon some broken masonry. A mystical sound could be heard throughout the tower, unable to locate a source, Vincent continued to venture through the tower, wondering at where to sound came from.

Vincent arrived to a circular staircase, turning towards the right. Vincent cautiously walked up the staircase, watchful as to any source of movement. Vincent suddenly came upon a wooden door, a door that seemed to be wavering in and out of existence. Confused, he opened the door, and headed inside. Once inside the room, the door he walked through suddenly disappeared. He looked around, and saw that bookshelves lined the room, filled from top to bottom with books. Piles of books filled the areas between the shelves, and a golden chandelier hung from a chain on the ceiling, lit unusually bright. A woman was standing on the other side of the room, back turned to the doorway. Dressed for travelling, the woman was browsing the bookshelves.
“Don’t just stand there, come on over so I can get a look at you.” the woman said in a light, wispy voice. She suddenly turned to face Vincent and exclaimed, “Well what are you waiting for? Come here!” Surprised, Vincent walked over to the mysterious woman. She smiled as he approached. He reached her location, and a feeling of peace engulfed him, almost, but not quite, erasing his pain, and anger. The woman peered into Vincent’s eyes, and her face became etched with concern. “Oh, I am so sorry, for you to have all that anger hidden behind so much pain.”

Vincent, confused, replied to the woman, “What do you mean? Who are you to say what I feel about anger and loss?” The woman sighed. “I am merely a caretaker, who tends to these grounds. You may call me Lilith, however. This is the library of the ancients, of forbidden knowledge, of forgotten knowledge. This is where one learns hidden secrets, of monsters in the dark, of the history of the land, untainted by human nature. I am here to keep it safe, and free from harm, for there are many who would seek to destroy it. So, tell me Vincent, what knowledge are you seeking? This tower doesn’t appear for everyone, you know.”

Vincent looked at her questionably, “The only thing I want, nay need to know, is where I can find the people who murdered my wife. I need to find them, and kill everyone who has played part in her death. This I have swore, and I still abide by my oath.” Vincent’s eyes glared with anger as he spoke this, remembering his wife’s death.

Please drop Aquias a compliment if you enjoyed the story - and to all amateur Elparian writers, let’s get some stories started!

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