Welcome

The purpose of this blog is to explore the dark, survival-fantasy world of Feorbeund through a series of short stories, art, and character/location concepts posted weekly. Consider these posts as teaser trailers until the full setting is released as RPG adventures.

For more information, see the “About” pages.

The Priest’s Log: Day 56

56th day of Service

I have finally come accustomed to the lack of moisture in the air here; it has been overlong since I’ve been home in Getenge. Praise the Queen for egging me slowly onward to explore the world at large. All I remember of home was the constant focus on taking or cheating away only what was already known to be owned, but now that I have born witness to the greatness of Inmede and the Banner I feel heartened. Weather has begun to warm and dry up since the spring is coming to a close, helping with the efforts of my Brothers and I in carrying on our duties.

On a serious note, the weather is not the only thing that is easing itself in comfort, as the people who are now my flock have begun to take their confidence in me, and approach me seeking the comfort of Our Lady’s peace and solace. I do my utmost to guide them, and the feeling that blooms in me when a poor soul in need leaves with some weight lifted from their shoulders fills me with a serene kind of joy. This is precisely what the Church is for: the people. Even those who are not pious look on me with some modicum of respect. They know we will help should the need ever arise, and no person blessed of their wits would turn away such a helping hand.

On to the business of the day. The usual 7 have asked of beds for the night, with 4 travelers from the Isles of Yon. I see them discussing matters, likely of business, near one of the lit braziers. Their attempts at politely explaining their business only yields the confusion of the others. Despite not accepting gifts of money, several small donations by the people have occurred today. I had not the heart to turn away their gifts, totaling just over quarter stone of silver. The money will be used on lumber to shore up the southeast corner of the roof, and repair some of the wear on the pews. As well as the money, a gift was made of various tubers and roots, mostly potatoes. Some of these are being prepared as I write for everyone to sup on.

There were no confessions today, at least ones of true import. A young lass came in and tried to confess the sin of hiding a sweet-roll intended for her brother, but I could not absolve her of such a silly sin, if it can be called that. She absolved herself, as she informed me halfway through that she returned it to him.

There is a bell ringing from down the hall; the evening meal is prepared. This concludes my writing for the day.

Another short story that will be updated in chunks, come the following posts.

In other news: I’m nearly finished with the adventure, and will begin play-testing it soon! Contact me if you’d be interested in helping out.

Dear Caseld: Day Four

Day four of the harvest season, year six of the Red Banner.

My Dearest Caseld,

I write to you today to commemorate the beginning of my caravan’s journey. Simply being in the presence of some of these individuals is absolutely breath-taking. I am so glad to have been a cart driver in this time. We—my horses and I—pull enough food to last the entire 87 of us for two fortnights. I couldn’t imagine why we would need so much food, even though we regularly stop for the construction team.

Oh Caseld, my love, the things I wish you could see with me! I’m not one to stick her nose where she has no business, but this project the engineers keep stopping us for intrigues me: They have been constructing a small, narrow road, with metal fencing only one hand or so tall on either side. Peculiar, isn’t it? The road is barely one cart wide! Why would we build a road of such distance if it only fits one cart?

Unfortunately, the others do not find it as strange as I do,  and I have no one to muse over the situation with. The Red Banner’s soldiers—Bannermen, they call each other, though I’ve never heard of them—told me that the project wasn’t of their concern, and neither should it be mine. To think: they have not an inkling of curiosity about their mission? The Red Banner may be efficient, but I dare say that it can be stupid, at times.

The inquisitors, on the other hand, aren’t much for conversation. Egbert tells me they’ve all gone and taken a vow of silence. Doesn’t make much sense, to me. One of them needs to talk. Otherwise how do they get orders? Are they just here because they saw us gathering and thought, “My, it looks like something important is happening! I better go up and join them” and just show up?

But enough about me, how is the family? Is your mother well? Is my little brother still helping you at the farm? Has the trade route the Red Banner promised finally been established? Is our son doing well?

With fondest regards,

Nis

The Red Banner is a council put in place to control the five nations of Feorbeund: directing their resources, controlling their markets, and keeping them from war. It values efficiency over all else, which is why it directs so much of the world’s resources towards science and infrastructure. Second to its tenement of efficiency is discretion.

Silent Inquisitors are the standing army of the Silent Church, trained to hunt mages—who make deals with spirits for supernatural power—with maximum reliability: Every piece of Inquisitor equipment, every ring of their chain mail, is consecrated with holy Silence, and makes no noise. The only thing you will hear from a Silent Inquisitor as they charge into battle is their breath.

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt: Journey

Anad: the Final Chapel

My name is Weallian, of the Nation Inmede, and this is my story:

I had only seen eight harvests when spirits set upon me one night, filling my mind with their foul voices, telling me to do horrible things. The following six years would be a lonely battle, as I could tell no one of the creatures laying dormant in my soul. If I did tell, I was convinced—or the spirits convinced me—that whomever I told would’ve turned me in to the Silent Inquisition: an organization built specifically for hunting those who have allowed spirits to dwell inside of them.

And so I kept this secret from everyone. Everyone, that is, except for Aliesednes, my town’s Silent Priestess. She was kind to me, spending months of her own time to help me find solace, but nothing was working. Finally she directed me to this place: Anad, the Final Chapel.

At first I was angry, infuriated by her suggestion, but as time passed—and I was able to vent my frustrations—I soon realized that my anger was simply noise, the essence of the spirits within me. Now I see the wisdom in Silence, which is why I’ve come here.

Perhaps you’re a pilgrim, like myself, exploring the chapel before you finally rest. I do not blame you, friend, for I did the same.

Or perhaps you’re a explorer in the far future, here to find this writing on my corpse, and glean what purpose this structure might have had. In this case, I shall tell you, as no other pilgrim’s journal seems to have done so, yet:

Anad, the Final Chapel of the Silent Queen, is built as the final resting place of those who can not find her most holy Silence, otherwise. That’s why it has been built in the Queen’s Expanse, a flat wasteland of ice and wind. Nowhere else do you get so far from the noise of the world, and I must admit, it is truly breathtaking, here.

Truth be told, dear reader, I am afraid to stop writing.

No, that is the spirits talking. Emotion is just noise, and noise is the element of spirits. I must face the Silence. That is why I am here.

My name is Weallian, of the Nation Inmede, and I was alive.

The Silent Church is known to follow the ideal of perserverence in silence. Their patron spirit, the Silent Queen, has been said to be the only being completely immune to the effects of other spirits, simply because she can’t be bothered with their petty noise.

The Silent Church has been humanity’s only uniting force, before the Red Banner was founded. More on that next time!

The Saboteur of Temperence

In a far away land, sitting between a massive mountain and hearty forest was a small plot of land overseen by a young, kind-hearted duke. The duke saw the suffering of his people, and was determined to help them.

“We shall begin building a mighty town, using the lumber from the surrounding forest.” the young duke declared, “This shall be a wealthy place, and we will thrive.”

The duke’s advisor, and older woman who had many a memory of the plight of spirits, warned him, “Be not so determined, else you bring great woe upon your people.”

But the young duke laughed, “Oh wise woman, do you not see? That is the opposite of my quest! My determination will erase the woe of this land!”

And so the duke set about to build housing for his subjects, stables for his flocks, and used the cleared forests to plant crops. Over the course of a year, that small plot of land became one of the grandest cities in the world, as people settled from every surrounding town, for this was a land of plenty.

The duke was pleased, and wanted to hold a festival to commemorate the hard work of his people, and their triumph over the darkness of the land. “Wise woman,” he called out, “gather the year’s harvest! We shall have a feast, and all of the town shall be invited!”

“But your highness,” the wise woman answered, “there is no harvest: your crops have all withered.”

Confused, but still determined, the duke replied, “No matter! Prepare the largest building, we will hold a celebration, to dance in our glory!”

“But your highness,” the wise woman answered, “there are no buildings: your creations have all burned.”

Fear crept into the duke’s mind, but he was quick to wave it off. Still determined, he demanded, “Wise woman! Gather my subjects, we have much to discuss, to rebuild what has been lost.”

“But your highness,” the wise woman muttered, “there are no subjects: your people have all perished.”

At this news, the duke’s determination became rage. He turned to the wise woman, only to see that she was dead, and in her place stood a blind man, leaning upon a harvest scythe.

“Who is this?” the duke demanded, “Explain yourself, foul one!”

The blind man said not a word, but touched the blade of his scythe to the supports of the duke’s house, which immediately erupted into flames, before walking silently away, and disappearing in the smoke.

It was then that the young duke realized what he had done: by gathering so much, he had only increased what he had to lose.

Another parable for the children of Feorbeund: warning of the power of spirits, and the types of actions that draw their attention.

Heolor is another of the Screaming Barons—a group of seven of the most powerful spirits that prey on mortals—whose title is the Saboteur of Temperance, meaning he seeks those with much to lose, and takes it all away. When in human form, his eyes are always fogged with blindness.

The Judge of Charity

A young nobleman in both dress and stature went to see a soothsayer about his fortune one day. The soothsayer read his future and told him what it held. “You will come into a great deal of money soon. But be warned. For if you are too greedy, the sound of a crow shall spell your doom.” Though enchanted by her words at the time, he did not take them to heart:

A few years passed and the nobleman—having forgotten the soothsayer’s warning—had indeed come into a great deal of money after his father passed away. Now the owner of his father’s fief, he had amassed a great deal of wealth, yet he refused to invest it in the well-being of his land, and instead demanded more labor from his subjects.

As he was riding along a road one evening, he saw a beggar on the side of the road who asked him for anything he could spare. She looked to be a kindly old woman, with wrappings over her right eye, and yet the noble laughed at her and threw mud in her face. But, as he rode off, the sound of a crow echoed across the plains, and darkness fell soon after.

Alas, as he could just see the lights of his fiefdom, bandits beset upon him in the night. Swift and silent they were, taking everything that he carried, including his noble robes. Now, with mud on his face and torn undergarments for clothes, he looked nothing like the nobility he once was. It was a lucky twist of fate for him, however, for that very night when he entered his home, his people were in a riot, out for his blood. Using the secret entrance to the keep he slipped inside, only to find himself held at spear point by his own guards.

He spoke with them, explaining his true identity, but had nothing to prove his claims.  The guards were left unswayed, and demanded that he be taken into custody. As his desperate pleas became howling demands, a crow’s call echoed through the keep. It was then that he remembered the soothsayer’s warning, and quickly turned to run, only to be stabbed by his own men. And as he lay dying on the ground, the crow swooped in and plucked out his right eye.

This is the type of story that children of Feorbeund grow up on: a cautionary tale of the power of spirits, as well as the type of people that they hunt down.

Aelmesa is one of the seven Screaming Barons: a group of some of the most powerful, most evil spirits in Feorbeund. They meddle often in the affairs of humans, and deeply enjoy seeding turmoil among those too weak to stand up against them. They often take the form of a crow when they aren’t in the form of a human.

Aelmesa, specifically, is the Judge of Charity, meaning she seeks out those with greed in their hearts and strikes at them with anguish, betrayal, and anger until what they had has been passed off to others. When in human form, she always has one eye covered.