Account of the Kingdom of Gera: History and Current Day

Unlike the other tome titled “Tales from the Kingdom of Gera” this tome is simply titled “An Academic Account of the Kingdom of Gera: History and Current Day” and is in much better condition, though some pages have been removed, other pages glowing unable to be read, through censorship of some mage against the information contained or a mishap from the spells preserving the tome is unclear. The writing inside is quite neat, tidy even, and there are several illustrations in place, some having words below them that when said creates a minor image in scale that can be manipulated and observed in detail. Several battles, recreations from the founding of Gera, can be found this way, observed and recorded through the hard work of several diviners no doubt.

The kingdom of Gera itself is an ancient place, a place that contains more environments than a single plot of land should have really. The magic of the place is old, older than the elves that once lived there, and alive in a way that even humans and dwarves can’t discount it. The Kingdom itself, in many ways, predates most of the established countries on the continent, likely being at least as old as the Isles or the Dynasty Lunaris, though both of these two countries might feel this claim to be unfounded or up to debate.

The above text has several illustrations with dates predating the current accepted calendar by several hundred years, as well illustrations of both elves and the fey that offered comment on the history of the place as they remember it. The interviews and comments actually have the dialogue recorded but between accents and time sound is fuzzy and hard to understand, partially due to spell decay of some kind though one would have to know the kind of environment and the area in which the tome was kept to be sure.

Back before the kingdom was as it is, the land was a place of chaos, ruled by warring Lich Lords the general people had no real freedom, though the lich lords did their best to give a perception of such. The first king of the land, Alric the Young, was also Alric the Betrayer, called such by the Lich Lords who had trained the young man in magic and the arts he used to free the people. While he himself was only a kinder tyrant than the lich lords he destroyed his family has generally been overwhelmingly kind to their people, starting with his daughter Cassandra the Benevolent. While in this day and age many things are lost on to how they ruled, it was know that much of Gera was ruined at that time due to the spread of necromancy and other foul magics. During the first war, the war for freedom from the undead kings, the land itself bucked and changed, the myriad waves of magic used interacting violently with the lands own living, primal, magic.

This bit shows several views of the land, seen through scrying the past, most of which is bloody or blackened. Several of the more consistently available rivers, like Silver’s Run and Magi’s Font are seen clogged with dams consisting of broken bodies and skeletons, the living and the dead piled high upon each other as the undead kings fought for total control of the land and it’s magic. Other things detail the harsh backlashes the primal magic of Gera inflicted upon the people and it’s foul rulers.

Now while there are still old growths of forest to be found in places like Irist’s Stand, called such for Alric’s right hand, Irist, a priest of Magic itself that stabilized the place and raised the land to fight for them and their cause, and the Blood Crags of the southern waste, other places don’t have weather so much as they have changes in environment, during the colder months towns might be found on mountains that hadn’t been there the last year, or in valleys filled with deep snow drifts. Summer might find one having a shore to a ocean that doesn’t exist, or hadn’t the week before. Each year brings new changes and hardships to the people, which might be why there is such acceptance amongst the common folk, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you worship, Gera is a harsh land with a hard people, however friendly, and despite their hardships, or because of them, they’ll welcome a friendly face and a helping hand.

This part reads more like a pamphlet for reasons to immigrate than anything else, showing pictures of current Gerians bringing in the harvest, or helping another family affected by a surge, people of all races and creed helping on another. Several interviews with deacons among the Church of Gods and The Fallen can be found here, as well those more known people amongst the University within the capital, as well as a note that anyone with the capability for magic or the desire to learn can come and do so without worry of any charges for the learning, which is offered by the kingdom for free to any citizen that wishes the knowledge.

While the forests of Irist stand tall in the north, and change rarely, the Eternal Fields where the capital city of Sanctum is found is the most unchanging place within Gera. However the method to which they made this place so stable is a secret from most, if not all, of the Gerian people. The last great working of necromancy, held in place by the dying wishes of a thousand good Gerian folk during the last days of the war. This stabilization would later prove to be the foundation of the greatest city of magic in the known world, and the greatest working ever to be seen on the continent of Elegris.

With the plains and farmlands found in the middle of the country one can go north and find the Irist Forest, with the small village of Irist’s Stand found within. One must be careful to follow the path, as while the forest doesn’t change drastically, the forest is much larger than what it appears to be when one goes off the past. The last scholar to attempt to map the forest was found years later, in the company of the fey who had saved the poor soul and attempted to do their best to restore him to health. Thankfully for him the dryads of the forest are a friendly sort, now there are new paths that can be found to the Scholar’s Grove, which has turned into a sort of outreach to the fey populace of the forest.

Here they show the dryads, and some of both the Seelie and Unseelie court conversing with those people that wish to talk to them. Somehow the author got an interview from several of both the court and the visitors at the time.

One of the largest reasons that Gera remains so peaceful and well adjusted to their chaotic land is due to the Royal Messengers and the Traveler’s Guild, while one operates under strict supervision of King and Country to protect and stabilize, the other is the adventuring sort within Gera. Both do a great deal to stabilize certain areas, and clean out nests of unsavory things that find their way to Gera due to the changes. Making use of the Traveler’s Waystation, a series of connected portals that connect to the Waystation Hub in the capital which is in reality an extra dimensional space, constantly maintained and monitored by both the Royal Messengers and the Traveler’s Guild. Passage for the common folk can be purchased at small sums of a few silver, however this small fee makes it more readily available and enables trading across the entire kingdom at a rather rapid pace, which generates more than enough funds to pay for the upkeep of the Waystation network itself.

This bit continues on, showing several towns with Waystations and the central hub itself, along with a map of its many rooms and places in such a way to be a working model of the building itself at the time this tome was printed. Other such images were likely here at some point but seem to have been removed, leaving only mundane illustrations, though they lack labels and dates on these pages. The tome continues in this vein, talking on other parts of Gera such as tourist attractions and the royal family, but in nowhere near the detail the above parts mentioned.

Tales From Gera – Lore Building

The book before you is a fine thing, bound in supple black leather with a simple gold lettering on the front. The pages aren’t paper, but fine vellum, the ink faded and light but still clearly legible. The first page seems to be a forward of sort, having no name of the author but containing a simple message, scrawled in an imperfect script.

Perhaps I should call this the ramblings of an old man? Or maybe not, I’ve not written something I’ve assumed would be read you see. Most of what I write will never, should never, see the light of day.

But this will, for whatever reason. Perhaps, hopefully, in sharing this you’ll find some amusement, something to be distracting ye from yer troubles. Either way, I suppose it’s a fitting memoir, the stories of others from a man never known by the world, whose own story should never be told.

C.

There are several pages missing from the book, but a bit of the tome still remains, the fine pages preserved somehow from the ravages of time and civilization, the first story, a collection of events and personal knowledge, is simply titled “On the Matter of Slavers” and refers to a country that borders the kingdom of Gera, that kingdom of wild and unstable magic.

Really, when one thinks of slavers one inevitably thinks of the Pits, and who or what they are, but well, while the tools that feel they run things can be described I hesitate to say such a strong word as describe can be applied to that which they serve, and don’t seem to realize they serve at all. You see it started quite some time ago, when Arthur and Roland weren’t yet even born, that was, around, nearly six hundred years or so again from this day and age. Gera wasn’t yet truly unstable, there had been no need for a Sanctum yet and the country that would be known as The Slave Pits to all but those that live there hadn’t even been formed.

You see that area had always been a bit dark, a bit wrong, those wastes. Even the magic that caused Gera to bloom left that place untouched, barren and scarred. Suppose that shoulda been a sign, but nay, we didn’t take it. Those that were there, meself included, or a me I can barely recall, we were bandits, just rogues looking for a place the Guard couldn’t, wouldn’t get to us. The land was hard though, and the only way to get things to grow was with sweat and blood, and yet more blood.

The writing in the following bits grows a bit sloppy, as if written by a shaky hand, the diction of the words changes as well, more anger showing in the harsh lines of ink set down by the quill, the splatters of ink across the faded vellum. Its obvious that, whoever the author is, this part is close to home, and closer to the soul. Merely writing this bit was hard, thinking about it, remembering it, must have been a thousand times so.

Ye see, in Ulsir, the name the Slaver’s have for their own kingdom, the land isn’t fertile unless you feed it. That’s what we did then, all those years ago, we fed it, and then we were fed. We thought we’d find a new calling ye see, that perhaps with this we could be farmers, away from Gera and magic and just have a simpler life. Should have known it wouldn’t be that simple, it could never be that simple.

The brambles grew in a week, the forests coming in quicker. A haze, the blood mist, rolled in with it all and then, well, then the thoughts started. The idea of having others work it for us, having others do our toil.

Having more to feed that hungry land.

The writing, already scrunches together here, pulled tight on itself, as if the author was fighting against the next lines, forcing them to be small, to go unnoticed.

It gets in yer ‘ead ye see, draws ye in pulls on ye and ye hear it, hear it, and it echoes, and repeats nigh constant it is.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

Blood for the land, souls for the dark.

The lines Blood for the land, souls for the dark continue for two pages after this, a large portion of pages have been torn from the binding before and after this bit before the next bit of legible writing can be found, continuing the story being told.

Every day that repeats, and every day we listened, and things just…got bad and even here, talking as I am, ye can feel the pull of that can’t ye? The corruption of it all. It turned a bunch of bad men worse, and they’re all still there. All of us that’d gone and been making that place into a power, we’re all still around ye know. Sem of us, well, some of us learned, some of us went to feed the land, unable to take the voice of it all. Idiots don’t realize we can’t stay dead, we don’t go that privilege. As long as that land is fed, we’ll be here, it’s gift to us for waking it.

Let that be a lesson to ye, ye find something left alone by near everything else? Leave it the hell alone. Else ye might just find out why it’s left alone…and that reason?

That reason might just be hell. Still don’t be knowing what be claiming me, don’t be knowing what caused the change, or near anything else, but that’s one thing I learned fer sure. Ye find something like that, something wrong, something, a bit off? Ye can be sure there is a thrice be damned reason for it. I can put a name to it, tell ye what it is, but describe? Give a reason to it? Ye might as well ask why we exist at all to ask such a question.

What is it? That’s simple, it’s Evil, what else could it be? Don’t be going thinking we were misguided men mind you, weren’t no good then, ain’t no good now. If there is one thing a bad man can be claiming well..

I know Evil when I see it, and that? That’s about as evil as it gets. If you value yer sanity, and yer morals, I’d say leave well enough alone and let em sort themselves out. I’m sure they’ll be dead or monsters, jes give it a few more centuries.

While there are yet many more pages that aren’t torn the writings on later pages seems to move and change, blurring or simply forming the lines Blood for the land, souls for the dark, visible on each page before you blink and the writing clears for a time. Whatever it was the author talked on, one notices it once they read of it, once they view it clearly. The issue stands however that when one does notice something so vile, so foul as the corruption of that place…it notices you in turn.

A Letter – In Reply

Dear Ms. James,

I appreciate you telling me about your mother, perhaps, appreciate is the wrong way to say it, but I’ve no other way to word it. By the time you receive this letter, I’ll likely have visited her, I have the time after all. I have always liked your mother, perhaps that was a sign of some sort.

I’m trying to keep any, hostility, from this letter, considering the news. I, wish things had gone differently, I still do, though I know it won’t make it so. I can safely say the anger is mostly abated at this moment. Really, I’m just, sad, I suppose. I never did like an empty home, and that’s really all I have. My friends were all your friends, and it seems I lost them in the split. Strange to realize that I never had friends of my own, and seemingly they all appear to think I’m a horrible person for being angry at you. I don’t get it personally, what did any of you that knew what was happening expect? I mean, I’ve never been one to hate a person, but I hate that, man, you’re with. He has an infantile grasp on language, the one time I’ve met him, he came with the movers you know, he acted as if you were a prize.

Who does that? Who does that to a person, that just had their world torn apart?

Now I have news that a person I’ve known all my life, or a large enough portion of it, is dying. It’s terminal and she has months to live, and it’s one thing after another.

So, it seems I rather failed at keeping the hostility out of the letter, maybe I’ll send a different one, and just keep this one for myself, but that would be rather like lying, or leaving a post it note with call me on it. (Yes, that was in reference to your actions, so perhaps the anger isn’t totally gone, but well, I can’t say I blame myself for this.)

As it stands though, despite my anger at this situation, despite what you’ve done. I’ll be there for your mother, and should you need it, I’ll help you with anything you need help with.

I won’t however submit myself to the presence of that asshole, yes, asshole, you decided was more fitting. It makes me wonder though, if that’s what you wanted in a man, how lacking was I in our relationship? No accounting for taste I suppose, apologies are to be extended however, as this letter has become exceedingly rude. It wasn’t my intention when I started writing it, but well, here it is. You however understand quite well my view on the worth of an apology, so perhaps even this final bit is rude.

Sincerely,

Elliot S. Jacobs

P.S. While I’ll be around your mother when I can if I’m not there when something happens please call me my number is (555)-275-000. Really I am, well, Lyn has always been kind to me, I’ll do whatever I can for her in this time and I mean that, truly I do. I’m sorry that this comes after what is perhaps one of the rudest letters I’ve ever written but, I felt it should be said. You know the schools number, call that during school hours if something happens, please.

 

 

Retired – The Kingmaker

Ya know, I used to work for a living, in a matter of speaking anyway. Well, that got old, hell, I got old. Lets see…shit think I stopped counting about, oh fuck, around the sixth or seventh Henry got put on the throne,wait no it was the eighth one. He was the one that did the whole chop to the heads to wives if I remember right. Bit of an asshole really. Then again most kings are assholes, they’re the king.

Though I suppose I’m not one to talk eh?

Retired now though, moved out to the middle of fuck it all no where Texas, why? Cause guns are interesting, cool, and explosions? Shit I’m ancient and I think explosions are fun. When ya own all the land for miles, no one really gives two rats ass what you do.Besides, no one really expects a gun nut Texan of anything other than that really. Stereotypes can work for you at times really, now can’t they?

So I spend my days sleeping, and my nights blowing shit up. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and it’s not dealing with the assholes that actually have known me for any amount of time.

People think being around a while means you’ll find a reason to like someone. Well, people are stupid, damn stupid, and the longer you’re around someone the more you’ll want to tear their heart out, stamp on it, before hitching them to a car and dragging their still twitchin body round for a few miles.

Yes that was oddly specific, no I’ll not explain. This is dinner and a show, sadly, you’ll not be having dinner. Or rather, maybe you can…

Ya see, there are these assholes that just don’t get I’m retired, so here’s what you do, you go, and you tell them I’m retired, I don’t give a shit. However, wait, whats you’re name again darling? Beatrice? Who the hell still uses that dumb ass name? No matter, Beatrice, shit your parents hated you, did they beat you too? You don’t have to nod, just sit there, you go and you explain, that I don’t care that they don’t like me, they can do the village with the pitchforks and torches all they damn well please.

Just keep the hell off my property. I’m old, I’m angry, and I just want to be left alone. Don’t feel that’s too much to ask, what do you think? You can talk now honey, there you go. See? This is the beginning of a wonderful working relationship. Call this number, tell them you’re on retainer, name? Shit, call me King, nah, I’m kidding, names Al, least anymore. No last name, whats the point? No one to remember it but me anyway.

Go on now, git, before I start feeling hungry again.

A Letter – Returned

Dear Elliot S. Jacobs,

Elliot, I’m sorry I hurt you to this extent. I’ve rarely seen you this angry, I…I’m not sure what to say about it. I would say I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I see now that I did, even unknowingly, some part of me must have wanted to otherwise, you’re right, I wouldn’t have picked that day.

I’m glad to hear you’re at least looking forward towards the start of classes, I’m sure you’ll do great at being a teacher, I know you always shared so much of what you knew with me whenever you thought I might listen.

Also, this is strange to have in a letter and its coming at such a bad time, but, mom’s sick. Really sick, and she always liked you and she’s angry at me for leaving. She said that even if I was living in sin at least I was happy, but…that’s another thing all together. She’s at the hospital, it’s thirty minutes from the high school, I hate to ask because of what I did but it would mean a lot to her if you could go see her from to time.

As for bridges burned, you’re right and I’m sorry, I could have handled all of it better but hindsight is 20/20, there isn’t anything to be done for it now and I know how you feel about apologies. I’m not sure what I could do to redeem myself as being someone you could be friends with, but it’s only been a week, I think we both need time.

Your friend regardless,

Emma James

 

Closure – A Letter (Fiction)

Dear Emma James,

It feels like I should be starting this with something like I still remember the day, or I’ll never forget when it happened, when we ended and I was alone again, but it’s only been a week so it’s not like much time has passed, even if each day has been a year and a day, and the week seems like it’s lasted centuries, it’s only been a week. A week since the call.

Who does that? Call to tell someone they’ve been with for five years, five years that day, our god damn anniversary, that she’s done? Who does that? That’s what I latched on to, October fifth, 2011, that’s when we actually said we were a couple, dating.

You knew, you knew how I felt about marriage, I didn’t see the point. I still don’t but if you felt we were living in sin you should have mentioned that, or maybe I didn’t understand you well enough, maybe you’re right and this is for the best. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean I’m not angry.

Doesn’t mean you couldn’t have done a better job of ending it.

I get home, you’re gone, the things that were, for the most part, yours, were gone or packed and there was a note saying the movers would be over and that I should call you. You didn’t call me, I had to call you, to figure out what was happening. You’d met someone three months back, and you’d been seeing him, and this was my fault somehow? Somehow it was my fault you felt the need to do this, it was my fault my career hadn’t taken off and I was starting as a substitute English teaching in two months, it was my fault, all of it, everything that went wrong was my fault somehow. Yes, you top this all off with we can still be friends, a smile in your voice and it’s like you’re laughing at me.

You’re willing to throw away everything we’ve built, everything, without any kind of fight for it, on the day we built it, throwing it all away with a post it note a couple of boxes and a phone call, yet we can still be friends? Are you kidding me? How do you, how does that even compute? Where did you come up with that grand scheme? Cause it wasn’t reality, it sure as hell wasn’t with me in mind. No, I’m sorry miss, we can’t be friends, please lose my number. Now, now that I’m writing this, I was sad, devastated, for that week, but now after its all said and done, I’m just angry. I want my five years back, I want my cat back, but I don’t want you back. Not after this, you’ve not only burnt the bridge but you’ve destroyed all the historical records of it to, there is nothing left.

However, despite this, part of me still cares, and that part of me, that small kernel of love I bear for you still, wants to say I hope you can find that happiness, I hope you find it and I hope you don’t throw it away with a post it note and a phone call. I hope you fight for it and can smile again eventually. However, it won’t ever be with me, I can say that, regardless of what happens, the ship has sailed, we’re done and I want to say that with real feeling to make sure the closure is there, to make sure its clear.

We’re done.

I wish you well, truly I do, this is all I have time for. I have to go setup the lesson plan for my classes. Six months as a stint as an English teacher for the local high school, should be a learning experience certainly.

Sincerely,

Elliot S. Jacobs

Greg – the Good Guy Orc

This is Greg, Greg is a good guy that is really tall, really strong and green. Due to his odd face and sharp teeth most don’t think Greg is a good guy. However Greg is fine man and a farmer, and likes to raise his turnips in peace. However, Heroes tend to think Greg is like the other Orcs (Greg can admit that he isn’t actually a common kind of Orc but it is annoying) and often has to defend his own farm from heroes thinking he’s a raider. However he tends to dump them on their behind, or knock them out, then they wake up to a hot meal, an explanation and they tend to go their own ways.  One day however was quite different for Greg.

One day Greg, while watering his turnips (Greg does love turnips) heard a scream. Looking out past his farm he saw a young lady in rich gowns running, from a hero! Greg grumbled “Why does this happen around my farm?”

He looked up and saw the lady had tripped, and heard the hero talking of how he would save her and take her to be married! “Well, if she’s not wanting that, that just ain’t right.” Grumbling again

Greg goes back to his turnips before sighing and pick up his ax. Now, while it is a logging ax, it’s still an ax made for an orc, so Greg, for all he has a genial smile and nice demeanor suddenly looks fearsome as he walks down to the lady and the hero.

“Lad, I’ve chased you off my farm before.” The hero, being one of the delusional white knights that just have to have a villain simply attacks…and is promptly dumped on his behind by Greg “Git yerself gone lad, fore ya make me angry. Miss, there’s a house up the way there, you can rest and work out what you wants to be doing.”

Greg sighs and shakes his head “All I want is to be left alone on me own farm, is that too much to ask?” Sighing he turns to the girl, who apparently had fainted at Greg fierce appearance and sighs, hefting her over his shoulder like a sack of unwanted potatoes.

“Damn elves, oh look an orc, he must want to eat me!” He imitates a simpering tone before letting out a guffaw “Humans ain’t much better, but at least some of em are smart enough to not care.”Laughing he carries the young lady up the way safely, trying to not bump her. Sure he could have waited for her to try to save herself, but that wasn’t right, someone needs help ya help em, that’s what Greg thinks anyway.

The next day the lady, the Princess of the realm it seems, wakes up to a large breakfast, including some oversized eggs, a truly large bowl of oatmeal and some fruits. Looking around she thinks at first she is prisoner but the orc is nowhere to be seen. Then she hears a truly horrible singing coming from outside.

“Green and mean I work the land, strong and stout with ho in hand. I’m an orc but I’m ok, I’ll farm my land and say nay to the raid!”

This was a rather ridiculous song, and she couldn’t help but laugh. She looked around and noticed a pair of work pants and a wool shirt on a stool and she looked at her dress. “Well this is a sight isn’t it? Certainly can’t go around in something as nonsensical as a dress!” She thought to herself and laughed again before tying her hair back and working out how to dress herself for once. (Being a noble she tended to, as most nobles do, have complicated outfits, often requiring a rather silly amount of production to get into, or even out of, so this took a rather long time.)

Laughing she heads outside and looks at the orc, who smiles wide, which should be fearsome and would be, if not for the ridiculous straw hat and the large hoe in one hand. “Mornin’ lass! I be Greg, the owner of these ‘ear lands. Help yerself to some rest or whatever ye might be needin’ those heroing types won’t be botherin’ ya ‘ear lass. Ye just think whatever ye need to be thinkin bout through and tell ol’ Greg if ya need any help.”

This gets her to laugh, again. Old for an Orc could mean any number of things, specially if they didn’t go out on raids. Despite what people think Orcs are one of the long lived races, only living a little shorter of a life than an Elf, which is what she is. “I’m Yssa, from the neighboring forest,  someone tried to say my own father sold me out as a bride price, an I don’t believe them but I couldn’t wait for help to come. Then that brute caught up to me somehow an…” She takes a breath and smiles “Would you show me around your farm? Maybe I can help you around here while I work things out.”

Greg nodded and let out a friendly guffaw “Of-course Yssa, ain’t a problem at all! Lets start with the turnips eh? I do love my turnips, best in the land if I say so meself!”

With that Yssa smiled and Greg lead her over to look at his turnip patch, which was a sight to see, as was all his farm really.

After that she learned some of farming, and he learned some of some the bordering countries. (And that his large farm was considered a country of its own according to his neighbors, something he found odd to be sure!) Then they went and had dinner, before going to their rooms for sleep.

They didn’t know it yet but tomorrow would be a busy day. That is however, as they say, another story entirely.