Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Vialdami Chapter 3 - The Monarch

Ivan enters his castle to search for his royal advisor Noah to tell him about the enemy ship and to come up with a plan.
Seeing his advisor Noah making light conversation with the Merchant Princess of Tredony immediately irritates him. 
King Ivan walks over and interrupts Advisor Noah’s conversation.  “I am so glad to see that you are safe here in the castle making merry with some princess while I have just come back from a ship attack,” Ivan says sarcastically.
“Pray pardon my Lord… I had no idea.”

“Obviously,” Ivan answers quickly.  
“You must show me on the tactical map where this attack took place,” Noah says, not taking the King’s chiding words to heart.
“Anon…first you must clear the room.  This information is not to be overheard,” King Ivan orders.  
“Certainly… right away your majesty!” Noah answers.
King Ivan retreats to his sleeping chamber  briefly while Noah works clearing all of the nobles and high borns out of the King’s strategy room.  He pulls out a whistle to summon his parrot.
Cruel flies down from high up in the ramparts of the castle to King Ivan’s arm.  “There you are!  Who is your king and future ruler of the largest kingdom of our time?”  Ivan asked the bird, which has become sort of a daily affirmation ritual.

“You are, you are… you are!”  The birds squeaks his answer.
As a young peasant child growing up, Ivan scrapped together coin for bread and milk for his family by training  wild birds and selling them as pets.  As he aged, his talent  level improved and he learned how to train birds such as Cruel to attack on command...a skill that often comes in quite handy.
Ivan gives Cruel a treat and dismisses him, before heading back to the nearly emptied strategy room.
“Where did this attack occur, Your Majesty?”  Advisor Noah asks.

King Ivan places a marker on the map, “About two miles from the coast, right about here.  We were attacked soon after we found the wreckage.”
Noah responds by placing his own marker on the board.  “Hmm, that is close to Tredonian trade routes… those waters are not known to be dangerous.  Maybe there was something in the wreckage that the attackers wanted.”

“Does it matter the reason… no one should dare attack a king unless they desire a war!”
Advisor  Noah stares at the map, going through every possible scenario in his head.  “Mayhap it was the pirates of Aarbyville involved.  Tredony and Aarbyville have been at each other’s throat for years, but generally they do not involve other kingdoms in their conflicts.”
“Well, they have involved the wrong one… have they not?”  King Ivan asks angered with no patience in going through possible reasons for his attack.  Left up to him, the waters around Vialdami would be tinted red with the blood of his attackers by midday. 

Advisor Noah does not agree, “ My Lord… we should not be so hasty.  There could be another explanation and as of yet… we do not have the defenses in place to engage in war.  I shall summon our scouts.  Maybe they can tell us more.”
Ivan realizes that Noah is correct.  Great kingdoms are not built with impulsivity… they are built with patience and smarts.
Ivan walks over and stares at the map once again, taking as much in before walking away…
… he walks downstairs to his throne room realizing that the best thing they could do at the moment is gather knowledge and be prepared in case things become dire.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Vialdami Chapter 2 - The Monarch

 Ivan walks closer to the wreckage attempting to take in as much information from the scene as possible.
 He can see that someone has sorted the wreckage, but no one has bothered to attempt to revive the poor wretch of a sailor.
 Annoyed, Ivan calls out to his royal advisor, “Royal Advisor Noah!  Report to me at once!”

Noah, responding to Ivan’s tone, walks over with the authority that he knows his king expects from him at all times.  
 “I am here, Sire!”

“Why has this sailor not been revived and questioned?” Ivan asks, although it comes out in more of a demand than a question.
 Noah’s response is calm, showing that he is not easily intimidated.  Ivan is pleased that his advisor is not weak.  In fact, he would expect nothing less from any member of his court.  “I wanted to do so under your authority my Lord.”

“Well, I am here.  Do so now!”
 King Ivan and Advisor Noah’s eyes fall upon the sailor who looks as if he is sleeping off a night of drunkenness.  Noah raises his voice and gives his command, “You are to rise in the presence of your king!”
 As if he were slapped full force in the face… the sailor startles awake and stumbles to his feet.
 Normally, King Ivan would leave the questioning of such a lowly sailor to his advisor, but he has a feeling that what this wretch has to say is important enough for him to hear directly.  “What is your name and how have you come to be here on my beach?”  Ivan asks as if the sailor is at fault. 
 “Many pardons your Majesty.  Name’s Van-Ship.  Our ship and its crew of 30… we…we were attacked in the middle of the night.  We did not see it coming… I swear that to be true.”

“Attacked?  So close to our shores!  I must see about this at once,” King Ivan says to himself more so than to the sailor.
 Without a further word to the sailor, Ivan orders his advisor to see that his own ship is made ready to sail off immediately.
 He must see whether there are any more survivors of this alleged attack, the possibility causes him more concern than he would ever reveal.
 The ship’s crew hurries aboard as King Ivan barks orders of their impromptu mission. 
 Not long after, the ship leaves the dock following the direction that most ships take when coming to and from the coast of Vialdami.
 A few miles from shore, King Ivan and his crew sail into a thick fog where they can barely make out the remains of the wreckage. Close to the ruined ship are the grisly remains of the crew.  Ivan can see clearly that there are no survivors as he scans the debris; as evidenced by the bodies floating in the water or clinging in their death grips to anything they could use to float.
 Just as the wind picks up and the fog begins to clear…a cannon shot rings out, landing  in the water just shy of King Ivan’s ship.  The King’s ship is not currently equipped for such an attack, so Ivan orders his crew to return the ship to shore as quickly as possible.
 King Ivan’s ship returns to shore unscathed.  Clearly the enemy ship was looking to intimidate; not destroy.
 The whole situation angers Ivan.  He cannot allow this type of attack, so close to Vialdami, to go unchecked.  Ivan  is determined to find out who is responsible.
 Before heading back to the castle, Ivan delivers news to the poor shipwrecked sailor.  “We found your ship, but there were no other survivors,” he says completely lacking sympathy with his tone.
 Grammercy your highness,” the sailor Von-Ship says before bowing low at King Ivan’s feet; being careful to save his overwhelming desire to grieve for when he is out of his King’s presence.
 Guided completely by anger and his need for retribution, King Ivan turns on his heels and leaves the beach.  He has no time to nurse the sailor’s melancholy feelings…
 … his only mission now to is find out who has the gall to attack him so close to his own kingdom…
And to make sure that they suffer severely for it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Vialdami Chapter 1 - The Monarch

 Not long after the death of the Great Queen Chalyela…
 Archolia fell into the hands of its enemies after a weak rule by her rebellious, hedonistic son Ivan the 2nd.
 After many years of battles and sieges, Archolia lay in utter ruin.
 For years it stayed that way. 
 But just as people began to lose hope for this once great kingdom, Chalyela’s great-great grandson, Ivan the 5th finally recaptured the land of his forefathers. 

He became the ruler of the land.
 However, Ivan the 5th was nothing like his great-grandmother.  Years of hard living taught him to be evil & cruel.
 His only saving grace was his desire for adventure…
 …and his desire to rebuild the once great kingdom.

He began by rebuilding the castle; which reflects just how different he was from his great-grandmother…
 Ivan grew up hearing tales of how great his great-great grandmother’s kingdom was, but what captured his attention the most… was how it was later lost because she raised weak offspring.
 Now as Ivan makes his way to the beach with the practiced gait of one who was raised under the guise of a royal tyrant… he vows to himself that his heir will be anything but weak.
 He is determined to turn his kingdom into an empire… and weakness has no place in an empire.
 Ivan is on his way to meet with his royal advisor Noah regarding a sailor who has washed ashore along with some ship wreckage.
 On his way, he cannot help but gaze upon the emptiness around him and envision what the land once looked like and even more importantly…
 …what it will be in the future.
 Ivan stands upon the slight decline that leads to the beach below and stares down at the wreckage.  He is here to find out how this sailor has ended up on his beach…
 …and to determine whether  or not this wreckage is just the beginning of a war that Ivan the 5th has been preparing for all of his life.