Aerion [IC] Rated M
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May 29th, 2013 (8:34 PM). Edited June 2nd, 2013 by Legend.
Eldur. The pride of Raelus. A impregnable fortress of steel and stone. It's high, thick walls and strong imposing gates tower over the surrounding rural villages. It is a structure that has continually evolved, having adapted to the military culture that first gave it life. Eldur has grown and grown into an greater fortress, having lasted through many sieges. It is said that Eldur's might is so great that no army has even come close to taking it. Some legends say that Eldur has never even been scratched. An unscathed fortress. Untouched. Undefeated. Perhaps it is because of the Twin Towers of Eldur at the center of the city, at the heart of this demonic fortress. The Twin Towers of Eldur act as the seat of the King of Raelus, being the tallest and largest towers of the central castle of Raelus' steel capital. They appear as two spear-like towers of stone and steel, anointed at the top with an observatory. Rivaling the greatest towers constructed by man (Oculus Tower excluded) the Twin Towers of Eldur have crafted a great legend since their construction in 873 FC. They are great watchtowers, said to see much of Rolston at the highest vantage points. It is said that such a structure strikes fear into the hearts of soldiers for Raelus can see all. Know all. Defeat all.
Or perhaps it is simply the smoke that rises from the city, obscuring it in a black aura of mystery. For none know the horrors of the machinations of the industry within the high black walls of Eldur.
Within the walls of Eldur are the oldest of the modern marvels dubbed "factories" and its most esteemed military academies. "Factory" is a term coined by the Raelusian engineers that first conceived the idea of "mass production", another term coined by the warrior kings following the second war with Ellessar in which the countries came to a conclusive tie. A compulsive need for more weapons and armor came to being. There needed to be a "mass production" so to speak of military equipment. Anything from swords, to shields, to siege weapons. The tools of war. Of conquest. Hence the "factory" was invented. Factories first sprouted by in Eldur, developing new machines to rapidly produce weapons and armor at little to no cost to equip soldiers, employing blacksmiths and engineers to operate them. Soon, as the experiment continued to evolve, they sprouted by in smaller locales and the military ports along the coast, employing trained workers to maintain the machines. The military academies had a similar tale. First opening in the early 800s FC, the first and finest academies opened in Eldur as well, but later moved to local villages to train soldiers at a lower cost for more rural families. For Raelus needed soldiers. Raelus always needs soldiers.
The journey to the great city of Eldur had been a long one. Hardly an arduous journey, for the sea between Shingou and Rolston was the ever calm Trader's Waters, a body of water seemingly designed for easy traveling. The Trader's Waters were aptly named, bestowed upon the first adventurous merchants of the Heroic Age. It was a body of water that rarely experienced the harsh storms of the Sea of Storms. In fact, it appeared to always be calm, easy to navigate, often with favorable winds. The only difficulty would be the crowded ports because of how popular and easy the waters were. Everyone wanted to cruise on the gentle Trader's Waters. Clear skies made ancient navigation easy as well. It was because of these conditions that shipbuilders consistently built smaller ships in the south. They took advantage of these conditions, favoring the fast voyage over the secure one. Journeys were to be short, efficient and economical. Unless you of course happened to be a merchant vessel chosen as a victim by the vigilant Privateers of Raelus. Then your journey would be cut even shorter.
Luckily, the Knights were not such a group and their captain had guaranteed a safe voyage. A small stop at Old Zealand made the lengthy journey slightly more relaxing as their were welcomed by the so called "Harem Prince" Declan, who was appropriately named to say the least. A brief stay calmed their nerves and allowed the weary Knights to experience land, if only for a brief moment.
Following the excursion on the small island nation, the voyage continued until they made landfall at Raelus a few weeks later. Raelus lacks in trading ports, with every port town founded on the military principle of the nation. Within every port, a military base is built right on top of it, crowding the small merchant outposts and smaller merchant ships. Ports instead are filled to the brim with the large warships that drive the "Burning Navy" of "The Burning King" Christian Calason, Second of his Name, High Admiral and King of Raelus.
The "Burning Navy" was the igneous idea of then Admiral Christian Calason. Ship to ship combat, at least in the southern seas was very basic. The entire goal was to corner your opponent's ships with the hopes they will either crash, be overtaken by the elements or you could board and raid the ship, sacking it completely. It was formulaic and predictable. Christian Calason, a master tactician, sought to change it completely. Incorporating the Mage's Guild of Raelus into his crew, he invented the idea of launching fireballs at his opponent's ships either as a means of trapping, or better yet, attacking the ship bringing it down in a blaze of glory. It was a deadly innovation. After several trials by fire, the new idea spread throughout the navy, earning his epithet and bestowing a new title to the branch "The Burning Navy."
Percival found himself at the mercy of the Raelusian welcome, with only Captain Crewe having the tact to effectively communicate to the Raelusian guards at the port. They demanded comprehensive statements of intent, cargo listings and intended length of stay. Captian Crewe handled the majority of it, fearing the Percival or Roland would speak out of turn, fearing that their quest to save Aerion would end before it truly began. Luckily enough, they made out of the small port town with enough horses to make the four day journey to Eldur alive and well. Captain Crewe had to bid farewell, apparently receiving another job in mere hours of landing. Percival had hoped that people of Raelus would be more welcoming and he would not been Crewe's eloquence of speech to get through the fiery disposition of the people of Raelus.
The military lockdown on the ports were only the beginning, misplacing Percival's hopes greatly. The paved roads of Raelus made the journey easy enough, however, frequent checkpoints existed on these roads. Common folk were hardly welcoming to the travelers when the Knights stayed at smaller villages for rest and food, seemingly shunning the outsiders. Was it fear? No. Raelusians are hardly fearful. Was it a sense of national pride? More likely. The people of Raelus always saw themselves as superior, not needing to associate with others. Roland called them "elitists" but was he really one to talk? Percival only bowed his head. He tried to be polite to the people of Raelus. It seemed to help, at least at times.
The long journey to Eldur, luckily enough had come to a head. Now the Knights stood before the great gates of the fortress. It stood at an impressive height. Percival could not begin to guess what its height was. Quantifying it would be nigh impossible. At least in his state of fatigue. "Halt. You are now in the presence of the great fortress of Eldur! State your name and purpose!" The head guard of the gate ordered. He was heavily armored, equipped in black full plate mail. A platoon of guards had been stationed in the area, many on the walls with crossbows. Others with axes, spears, and swords. Eldur, as to expected, was in lockdown. Breaking through this fortress would be a crowning achievement, if it could be done.
"My name is Percival Grey. We are of the Knights of Ekilore, here to seek audience with your esteemed King Calason, second of his name. We come in peace," Percival stated, calmly as he could as arrows were being aimed at his companions.
"As if I haven't heard such a story before?" The guard objected. "I highly doubt our King would miss having an audience with you. Perhaps I should cut you down instead. Maybe we would get promotions for our heroism instead."
"Why would you do such a thing?" Percival protested, eyes gawking at the guards in total surprise.
"Tell me, boy, do you know anything of our situation here? You could be spies for the enemy."
"Do you know anything of the world?!" Roland roared from behind Percival, before striding beside him. "We are the Heroes of Shingou! Your King would do himself a great favor permitting us to enter your city gates. Also, his friend Yoshuro of Shingou said we would be welcome. Surely, you do want your King's reputation to be stained by your own poor judgement."
The guard paused and looked around the Knights, whispering amongst his comrades. "You may enter. If you wish to see the King, head for the center of the city. Relay the same information you gave me to the guards at the castle gates. They will permit you to enter. I will see to that. May the flames of Eldur guide you."
The massive gates of the fortress swung open and the Knights entered as quietly as they could, taking in the sights and sounds of Eldur proper: a dark, dreary city of stone buildings adorned with red roofs in a grid like pattern of cobblestone streets. It was a organized city with a constant police presence, keeping the populace in check. The city quarters were clearly outline with a military, residential, industrial and commercial district each. The heart of the city was reserved for governmental matters and of course the grand Raelusian castle, with the Twin Towers of Eldur watching over all. The streets themselves were hardly decorated, but clean enough. Trees and and flowers with fiery red foliage outlined the streets with some charm, but it did little to remove the dark ambiance of the city. The people themselves held little enthusiasm for the new arrivals, turning away promptly and going about their business. Overall, the streets were relatively quiet, a far cry from the reception they received in Shingou.
"Home, sweet home, I suppose. Right Tamor? Auden" Percival said to his companions. "Let's head to the castle first."
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