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By Ruddiwyne: The Travels of Jon Ruddiwyne - Margotta

 
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Dissident
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: By Ruddiwyne: The Travels of Jon Ruddiwyne - Margotta Reply with quote

December 21

It was good to be back on the open sea, but I must admit - signing on with a half-mad gnome with a penchant for whiskey at the till might have been an error of judgement. Manning the bilge pumps for two months solid has left me little time for contemplation or journal entries. However, we've finally made landfall, and here I am. I don't like the look of this place - it's been growing steadily darker and cloudier as we've approached the shore, and now that I am here, it appears as though the sun hasn't poured through in years. Where there should be trees and grass, there are dead snags and brackish marsh. The whole of the landscape glows with the phosphoresence of certain fungi that grow in such decaying places, and everything reeks of death. I wonder if anyone lives here.

January 1

The sun has yet to peek through the black, roiling clouds. We have marched through the stink of this eternal night for something on two weeks, and only just now made it through to something resembling civilzation. The farmland the villagers till yields scanty, withered-looking crops, and the livestock seems lean and underfed. The people of this unhappy land are fearful of strangers - barring their doors as we enter town, clutching their scythes and clod-rakes like weapons as we pass the fields. It was only when we stopped at a tavern that I learned the name of this land - Margotta - but I was bewildered when told that the people had no plight at all. There was not even the customary cold shoulder and fearful glances that indicate a cover-up when I asked - just a simple "We are happy in our work". Curious. I asked directions to the capital, and was given instruction on how to reach it - St. Athene, by name.

January 8

A week's travel down a well-paved road from the village led me to St. Athene. As we walked, the villagers' guarded apprehension grew more and more apparent. A wagoneer turned his ostrices to the side of the road, and hid behind his wagon - I assume with bow or crossbow drawn. For some reason, these otherwise happy and productive (if unrewarded) people were fearful of strangers. Reaching St. Athene told me why. Upon our entry to the city, which was really no more than a substantial town surrounding a palatial castle, it became clear that there had been war. Scarred and blackened buildings, and chunks taken out of the castle wall evidenced a siege of some sort. Ere we'd gone much farther, an elegantly dressed noblefurre hailed us with no guard whatsoever, and entreated us to follow to the palace, at "the personal invitation of his Grace, the Duke Alactor of Margotta". I marveled at the fellow's boldness in approaching a band of strangers in a land where the peasantry quailed at our merest presence, but followed.

January 11

Glad am I to be free of that cursed realm. The palace of St. Athene is nothing more than a masquerade for a vicious host of undead devils, and I walked right into their trap! I shake as I record this, for we are many miles from that city and I still fear for my life. Duty compels me to continue my record, however. We entered the palace at the entreaty of that noble fiend, and straightaway were asked to retire our armor and bathe. I admit that I reveled in that luxury, for candor compels me to admit I had been long without a bath, and fairly reeked like a stablefurre. I asked the attending chamberfurre about the history of this place, and he seemed knowledgable enough. He told me that this land had been ruled by a despotic generalissimo of a duke - a mad tyrant who would frequently descend upon his peasants in a rage, or even for sport, tormenting and executing them by the dozens for his own enjoyment. It was not until the current Duke, the mad devil Alactor, saw fit to depose the despot that the people could live and work in peace. Thus the siege of St. Athene.

We sat at the Duke's table, and his Grace, a furre of noble bearing and handsome visage, entreated us to make merry and tell of our travels. He sighed theatrically, claiming that poor Margotta had so few visitors of a noble bearing (this surprised me some, for as all know, House Ruddiwyne is nouveau wealth of a bourgeoise class). I spun him a merry tale of home in Ansteorra, and the pains we took to reclaim it, and his Grace seemed delighted - both by the tale and by me personally. He bade us drink, and fools that we were, we drank deeply. In my cups, he proclaimed that I should be introduced to his cousin, the elegant Arissa, a beautiful femme of feline stock. She spoke lovingly to me, and held me in her embrace (shameful as it should be at court - but I was ever a fool for a lady!), and whispered to me that I could be happy forever at St. Athene. Some dim alarm in my mind rang, and I tried to throw her from me, but - Primes! her grip was like iron. She smiled like the Devil, and her teeth were like fangs. I was able to throw her down, sobered by fear, and I bolted from court, the mocking laughter of what was clearly a coven of vampires behind me.

In reflection, I marveled that a people could be ruled by vampires who'd cursed the sun to protect them from its rays, but then again, it is not so mysterious to one who has seen firsthand how the people react to the lesser of two evils. Better to wake and find one's brother dead in the night, than see one's whole family crucified by the side of the road. I can see how they might fear a stranger such as myself - why, Primes, I might be eyeing them for my soup stock! I pray that this hateful land someday sees the light of the sun once more.

This entry reads like a penny dreadful. Perhaps my travels will take me someplace more scholarly, or at least to someplace with more furrely women.

~JR

(tl;dr - Margotta is a duchy on the southern shore of Pirostia, some nine hundred square miles of blighted, sun-forsaken land, ruled entirely by a coven of vampires. The Duke of Margotta, himself a powerful vampire, rules the land with a fair, if somewhat whimsical hand, and the people live their lives in resignation. After all, they are no longer being tortured, even if some of them disappear in the night...)
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Dalin Kayde, Veudir X'Tare, Cerris T'Kel, Paran Narel, etc.
"Ansteorra is as high as what I get for being a pelican."
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