I’m sure this is completely wrong and anachronistic with respect to the actual 13th age history. And I’m taking liberties with other people’s characters again. But whatever. 🙂
A battlefield. The victorious army makes pyres for its dead, and buries the bodies of its enemy – thus do their comrades ascend to the overworld, and their enemies are consigned to hell.
The vanquished are the usual – goblins, hobgoblins, a smattering of orcs. The victors humans and elves. The humans wear the devices of their clans – the dragon of the overking, the lion rampant, the chevron argent, the three mallards. The elves wear no insignias. Excepting those few – human and elf alike, who bear no weapons, and wear a simple robe bearing the sign of the lotus. Between the three camps is the careful politeness of allies by force of circumstance.
The leaders are conferring in a muddy pavilion, examining a map. “The bulk of the remainder of the orcs are here, to the north. The scouts can make it in a day, but it will be at least three days to move the army. Four would be wiser.”
“Agreed”, replies Sir Grace. “And Geoffrey, will you bring your troops, or will you stay and take your new barony in hand?” The man with the mallards replies “Of course I will bring my men as agreed. We will all extend the overking’s lands and drive these orcs out once and for all.”
An elf quietly interjects, “to the border of the forest”. “To the line between the peak of CloudHome and New Falls, yes.” replies the man in the dragon surcoat, somewhat carefully. “Your Queen was wise to lend us aid – we will not forget that what we hold we hold because the the Queen helped us take it.”
The moment – passed.
But there was another source of tension in the pavilion. The monks of the grandmaster had been even more silent than usual. “And to the grandmaster, too, we must extend thanks”, he said, inclining his head to the elf of indeterminate age at their head.
“We welcome this effort,” said Mis’than’ar, “your course is a course of honour.” There was a curious stress on the word ‘honour’. It was not lost on the men at the table – fighters and politicians to a man. “Mis’thanar”, said Sir Grace – stumbling a little over the name – “If there is a difficulty among us, then we must resolve it before proceeding. “There is no difficulty.”, said Mis’than’ar, at which one of the younger monks, a human, spoke up. “The men with the birds on their chests have named the adept ‘bloodstone'”.
Sir Geoffrey Mallard shot a look a his sergeant. “Is this true, Wilks?” “Aye milord,” he replied, “for his fists – like stones, you see, and covered with orc blood.”
Sir Geoffrey considered for a moment. “You understand, Mis’than’ar”, he said, taking care to pronounce the name correctly, “that the men mean to do you honour.” The elf nodded, but said “Is an ill-aspected name. We do not eat blood, nor use weapons that draw it.”
Sir Geoffrey declined to mention the gushing compound fractures that Misthanar’s fists tended to inflict. “Nicknames among fighting men are earned, not chosen. If the men have named you Jasper,” he said – shooting a no nonsense look at the sergeant, “then Japser is how they will call you.”
Mis’than’ar considered for a moment. “Jasper is acceptable.” A small sigh of relief escaped everyone, and Wilkes nodded his understanding. “I will see to it, my lord”.
“Well, that’s sorted out then!” said Sir Gravel. “We’ll clean out the rest of these orcs, and then a christening at Geoffrey’s castle.”
There’s more to tell about Sir Geoffrey du marais des colverts, later Baron Geoffrey (he had the ‘marais’ changed to ‘lac’), first of his line. Despite the careful formality in that pavilion, he was rough around the edges and a notably dirty fighter. Oh, and he married a young witch. They were very happy – four kids.
He was a pretty good baron, as these things go. Well-liked, charismatic, and his lady had a knack for bookkeeping. It worked out well. Times were rough, and there was always plenty of fighting to do.
The barony was extinguished long ago, but his family line lives on.