Author Archive: Renco

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#7 Bertrand the Bandit

| November 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

#7 Bertrand the bandit

Bertrand is a young man from the western border of the Empire, and was born and spent
most of his childhood on the land of the vastovs. His father was a soldier for the Vastovs
who died in a border skirmish with the Westerlings before General Antonov brokered a peace with those people
His older brother went into professional soldiering just like their father and died during one-on-one combat with a bandit
while he and his regiment were clearing a forest of the outlaws about two months earlier.
Bertrand is cynical and bitter, seeing the sacrifices his family made for the Empire, and the little they got in return.
Abandoning his ageing mother to her fate at the family’s farmstead, Bertrand fled to the capital in hopes of making
his fortune there and took his mother’s savings with him to start a business. Instead, he was rendered destitute and
was forced to flee the city to escape debtors. He has since taken to banditry in order to stay alive. His mother froze
to death the following winter, unable to chop new wood for fire after spraining her wrist.


I am leaving this note so you know what happened to me. I am leaving for the city to make my fortune
and I shan’t be returning. I took the bag of gold you kept hidden from me under the floorboards,
you weren’t doing anything with it anyway. Now that Bertold is dead too, the army will come for me
next time there is a war, and I don’t want to die like some pig on a spit like my father and brother.
I don’t know what kind of business I’ll set up yet, but you can be sure it will be a huge succes. I might even repay the money I took when I’m rich.
I know you’ve gotten used to having my help around the house, I can tell because you got a little fat there, Mother.
You’ll do fine on your own, you always ask me to help you because this leg hurts or that joint creaks, but nobody ever died
from a little pain.

Your only remaining son, Bertrand

#6 Ahere

| November 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

#6 Ahere

Ahere is the mother of Hatarei, daughter to the chieftain of the Redmane tribe and Akamu’s widow.
She married Akamu after the tribe’s shaman, Atawhai, played match-maker. She was one of the few people to
whom Akamu would open up. When her husband died while she was pregnant of Hatarei, she attempted to commit suicide by jumping
off of the summer village branch. Atawhai found her ready to jump as he was doing his morning meditations and talked her out of it. The
two agreed to speak of it to nobody. She cares very much for Hatarei and has been accused by the other villagers of coddling him.
She has long, curly, reddish brown hair and the red mane that her tribe is named for, though both are starting to get streaks of grey.


We need to speak about Hatarei. Please, convene a tribemoot but make sure my son doesn’t notice anything.
His Changes aren’t what they were supposed to be. He was too much like his father to begin with, I knew this would happen.
Please father, I don’t want to have to do this on my own, he’s the only thing I have left.


#5 Corporal Edelbrecht

| November 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

#5 Corporal Edelbrecht

Edelbrecht is a young guard at the General’s palace in Mulgrad.
He was born in the murky marshes near the eastern borders of the country, and spent his first fifteen years tending to the fertile, if unstable,
land that his family used to call home. When war came to Edelbrecht’s home, his parents and three sisters were murdered in their bed by
looting mercenaries hired by the Merchant Protectorate. When the officer that was lord of that land came to collect the levies due to him
to fight the aggressors, Edelbrecht was first in line, and he has stayed with the army ever since. He quickly earned the respect of his commander,
and was eventually given a post as palace guard after the General himself had seen his fighting prowess.
He is a quiet and brooding man, not given to fraternizing with fellow soldiers. He is fanatically loyal to the General, and a particular hate for
mercenaries and soldiers who loot. Unbeknownst to anyone but himself and his allies, Edelbrecht is under the direct command of Inquisitor Malagyze.
He is tall but otherwise unremarkable in face or stature, and wears his hair close-cropped in a sodier’s cut.

Watching Hen,

The Vastovs have arrived and we are almost sure that he’ll make his move tonight.
I’ll try to extract the boy and his father, wait for me at the usual place with horses as soon as you’re done in the kitchen.

Your Rooster Guard

#4 General Ivan Andreyovich Antonov

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

General Ivan Andreyovich Antonov

Ivan has been general of the Old Empire for nearly fourty years now, and is
the longest sitting ruler it has ever had, according to most historians.
Ivan makes extensive use of trusted advisers to handle things for him to make
sure that his will is law in every situation. Spies have infiltrated the courts of ever notable officer, sons have been bought with promises
of promotion and favour. Nothing happens in the Empire without General Ivan knowing about it and having amde a decision about it.
He is garrulous by nature, preferring to play the friendly and beneficent ruler while his agents threaten and extort those who oppose him.
Ivan is old now, though he still rules the empire with an iron fist through his advisors. He is considered mild in his stance towards
the Westerling realms and the Merchant Protectorate, and under his rule the first peace treaty with those realms was established, opening
a tenuous supply route through the Protectorate-controlled Eastwall.
Ivan is the last of his house, and his wife died in miscarriage. He is very proud of his dead family’s status and history,
and as very fond of pomp and military parades.

Mulgrad, 143rd year since the retreat, 4th month, 13th day of the 1st week

From: Ivan Andreyovich Antonov, General and steward of all the empire
To: Dusan vastov, First Lieutenant in the General’s army, liege lord of Vastovtsi Castle and the lands belonging thereto.

My old friend,

I wish I were writing you for pleasant reasons, or even a simple matter of state. Instead, I find myself turning to you
in an hour of great need. I am politically besieged, my enemies are at my gates and assassins and spies stalk my halls.
Our old friend’s son is not the man we hoped he was, and I fear he plots against me. My body grows weak and my mind restless,
soon I may pass away to join my ancestors by the Dragon’s side, but right now the Empire needs me, needs us both.
Make your way to the capital with all haste and bring your heir, young as he is he needs to know what I have to say.
I cannot say more in this letter lest it be intercepted.

Till we meet,


#3 Akamu

| November 3, 2011 | 0 Comments


Akamu came to the Redmane tribe as a young boy. He was born to the Nagai tribe of Seastriders, but had developed Changes incongruous with his tribe and
enviroment. The Nagai sent Akamu to the Redmane tribe as part of an ancient pact between the two, to send young members of their tribe who developed
traits better suited for their respective enviroments to each other’s village to keep the bloodlines fresh and the people in question useful
Akamu had to learn many of the hunting techniques that the Redmanes used along the bark, and had to learn the tribe’s history and symbols as well.
Akamu married Ahere, Hatarei’s mother, and begot one son on her before he lost his grip during a hunting expedition and fell to his death.
Akamu never really felt at home along the bark, nor among the people of the Redmane tribe. He often climbed to the tip of the branch the tribe had
built their dwellings in order to look down at the sea. Like most people born as Redmanes, Akamu was possessed of climbing claws and a red mane of fury,
as well as a vestigial tail. Akamu was always a boisterous young man untill he was sent from his home, after arriving at the Redmane village he was
quiet and withdrawn. It was only through the matchmaking of Atawhai, the Redmane shaman, that Akamu found a wife in Ahere, though the bond the two shared
was strong.

From: Negheia, Nagai shaman
To: Atahwai, Redmane shaman

First day of the third moon of the fivehundred and sixth year after the fall, Nagai village

This letter has been sent by Fyoom-ki caravan for the urgency of the message it bears, I hope your tribe will accord all proper
hospitality to the caravan drivers.
I am writing to you concerning an ancient pact between our tribes, a bloodbond.
A boy of our tribe has recently, instead of the Changes usual in our tribe, developed red fur and claws.
We believe he would be more suitable to life amog your people, and if you would be so kind as to send a return missive
with the caravan that bore this letter detailing your tribe’s acceptance of this boy, named Akamu, we will send him
within the turn of the new year.

Negheia, chief shaman of the Nagai tribe

From: Atahwai, Redmane shaman
To: Negheia, Nagai shaman

Twentieth day of the fifth moon of the fivehundred and sixth year after the fall, Redmane winter village

We honour your dedication to the ancient pact, Negheia, and we accept this boy into our midst.
We will treat and teach him as one of our own, and we uphold the bonds that bind us to one another.

Atawhai, shaman and elder of the Redmane tribe.

#2 Atawhai, Tribe shaman

| November 2, 2011 | 0 Comments


Atawhai is the shaman of the redmane tribe and has been for as long as any other
living member of the tribe can recall. He has become as much a fixture as a person in
the village, and young and old alike seek his advice. His advanced age prevents
him from exiting his lodge often, only coming out for the monthly tribal council and
other important occasions. Atawhai only recently took a new apprentice under his wing after his first one died in an accident Atawhai blamed himself for,
and many members of the tribe are worried that he will die before passing on all the tribe’s secrets.
Atawhai braids his grey hair in the traditional style for shamans of the Redmanes, into three braids which are then further braided together.
He wears loose-fitting robes of red squirrel’s fur, the tribe’s namesake, draped over his bony frame.
Like many members of the Redmane tribe, his neck is overgrown with fur, though his has long turned to grey and then white.
Atawhai has long claws that served him well in his climbing days, and is one of the few Redmanes that can boast of a tail that is more than a vestigial
addition. Atawhai is too old to handle the education of the youngsters on his own now, and leaves most of the work to his apprentice. He does always
take it upon himself to tell the legend of the People’s origin to young children who attend the shaman’s words for the first time in their lives.

Gather ’round younglings, sit closer to the fire. Yes, just like that. Now, you are here to be told a story, but it’s no story like your mothers
ever told you before bed, nor a hunting story like your father boasted at dinner. No, this is the first story, the story that birthed all the other
stories like the tree gave birth to our souls and our mothers to our bodies. This is the story of where we come from, and not just the Redmanes, no, all
the people share this story. We were always one people, even before coming here. We lived in a fertile place, where many plants grew. Great magic held
the sea back from sand, and we lived and died on that sand. Let me start at the beginning.
Before the first day, when there was no sun in the sky, nor stars or moons, but only the world, without life and a sky without stars.
The sky and the world fell in love, and in their embrace were born three sons, the sun, two moons and countless stars.
When they were born, the fluids of the sky’s pregnancy splattered onto the world, and therefrom sprang life.
The earth realized that without both sons and daughters, his line would end. So he made us, humans, much different then than we are now, to
steward life when he was no longer there to do so. But the humans were cruel, greedy and curious, and they opened
up great wounds in their father in search of riches and wealth. They found substance there that would bend only to fire, and from it made a new god,
a great dragon with scales as knives and teeth like daggers, a god of fire and war. This new god told the humans to conquer and murder in his name,
but not all heeded his words. Our ancestors still remembered the old gods, and upon seeing what the dragon they had wrought was capable of, reverted back
to their worship and fled south, across the sea. They were followed by demons formed from the same material as the dragon, who could trod across water as
if it were solid and who would not give up the chase. Now you may remember earlier that the earth begot two moons upon the sky, where there is only one now.
One of the moons took pity on our fleeing ancestors, and threw himself into the sea. From his body grew a great tree, our tree, and our ancestors took
refuge on the shore. But the demons kept coming and so the people fled again, this time into the roots, leaving behind the soldiers and warriors in their
number to try and fight off the demons. The demons defeated and broke the warriors though, and many fled for their lives, they were the ancestors of the
Seastriders, the People that still live on the shores of the tree. The people were once again pursued and fled up the trunk of the tree, leaving behind
the hunters and trappers to set their traps among the roots. They, too, failed to stop the demons and had to go into hiding, they were the ancestors of
the Rootwalkers. The demons chased the People up the trunk, and the artisans and craftsmen among them bravely picked up their tools and vowed to give their
lives defending the People. They, too, failed against the demons, and became our ancestors, the first Barkrunners.
It was not untill the demons were upon the elderly, the infirm, the women and the children that the tree himself interfered.
He threw the demons back into the sea and summoned a great serpent to coil around his roots to protect us. From that they forward we have been
endebted to the tree, and from that day forward every child who comes of age is changed in some way to mark him as a child of the tree.
When the sky weeps for her lost son, it rains, and we must always remember the terrible mistakes we made and how the gods saved us from our own
foolishness, even after we hurt them.

#1 Thorton Hill

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

This is my first character of this month, technically a reconstituted old one, but I gave him a rather large overhaul and a place in my new setting.

Thorton Hobbleton Schwartzwort Hill

Thorton was born to an impoverished branch of the Hill family of merchants, but through a lucky inheritance from his uncle Swindert Hill and his own ambition and ruthlessness, he clawed himself to the position of Merchant Prince for his city.
Nowadays, Thorton is an indolent amateur archeologist who studies the two walls that guard the Merchant Protectorate whenever he’s not getting shitfaced with some prostitutes or gambling away his sizeable fortune. Thorton is ruthless and ambitious, but not unkind to those who are in need, remembering that his own good fortune is equal parts luck and effort. His girth has grown immense in his old age, and he is usually borne on a palanquin carried by strong manservants.

When Thorton was much younger, he travelled a lot, often solo, to secure important deals in person or to explore ruins thought to hold treasure. As a result, he is proficient in the use of sword and quarterstaff, though his bulk does not allow him to demonstrate his skills anymore.
Much like in his adventuring days, Thorton favours a cleanly shaven head and a simple traveling garb in off-white and brown, though he has learned the value of ostentatious clothing at the negotiating table.
Most of Thorton’s surviving relatives despise him almost as much as they despise his deceased benefactor, Swindert, for naming Thorton as heir te begin with.
Thorton produced five sons with several women, which he each gave equal responsibilities, and then pitted them against each other to see who would be his heir. Two sons remain now, one a succesful trader of exotic goods brought in by sea. The other son took to the life of a mercenary captain, a very lucrative avenue of business in the bandit-infested woods of the Protectorate.
Thorton has selected the merchant son to be his heir, but made him promise to make sure that his brother would always have work on his hand.
Now that his financial empire’s future is secure, Thorton is mostly resting on his laurels and has authored the descriptively titled “Annals Of A Bored Merchant Prince”, of which there is an excerpt below.

Eastwall, 121th year after the liberation, 6th month, 3rd day of the 2nd week

Having secured the lucrative wool trading deal that would provide the influx of cash I required,
I decided to visit my pet project on the way home. The walls are always magnificent in autumn, bedecked as they are in brown and yellow leaves, and the dim sun and clouds speckling it with a most artful pattern. I have oft said that I do not believe the walls were made by the Old Empire, though there are few in my field, professional or amateur, that will even hear me out when I present my arguments and findings. The evidence is overwhelming, though, and it is only through willful ignorance that they could possibly be dismissing what I am discovering here.
Along the length of both the eastern and western wall, collapsed sections overgrown with the vines characteristic to our fair forests reveal that portions of the wall are in fact hollow.
Statues line the interior of these chambers, and in the middle rest great stone tablets covered in a writhing scrawl which I cannot translate, recognise or even associate with any modern script.
This visit, though, I am bringing a skilled (and very nubile and attractive) young woman who is proficient in the arts of caligraphy and stonehewing, a most fortuitous combination of abilities.
I will have her copy portions of the scrawl onto paper, tangible proof that I can then present to my “peers”, too caught up in the delights of fine food and tobacco to go out and see what I have to show them as they are.

From Annals Of A Bored Merchant Prince, by Thorton Hill

Hrmmm, not sure how this works, ooooh, people.

| October 30, 2011 | 0 Comments

Right, I have no idea if I’m doing this thing right, but here goes;

I’m a twenty year old wage-slave and aspiring writer from the Netherlands, which some of you might be more familiar with as Holland, but that’s all LIES.
For the past one-and-a-half month or so me and a friend have been working on a fantasy setting.
My personal intention is to write a serialized e-novel, published in bite-sized chunks every week on the interwebs. Along with building the general outline of the world, I’ve also been busy with specific characters that will be relevant in the aforemention serialized story. I’ve finished pretty much half of the characters now, but still have a large portion left to be done. My attention was directed to this place, so I decided to take on the challenge in an effort to motivate myself to finally finish what I started.
I’m also attempting NaNoWriMo this year, so the characters I’ll be making will be used pretty much immediately.