Started by Shalooonsh, October 24, 2020, 12:21:10 PM
QuoteThe Templarate. Everyone sees the shiny medallion, the snazzy robes, the leisure, the power, the fame. They see the result, but you saw the suffering path that made you into the Force of Judgement that you are. You were taken from your family at ten, sold or bartered over to the Templarate for some favor or another, or even being part of a bribe or fine depending on the exact situation. The small chest of personal effects you were allowed didn't contain much: a few sets of clothing, a couple small toys, momentos perhaps such as a letter from your mother or father, and enough paper and ink to write letters home when you felt like something more personal than a Way conversation. You were escorted through the gates of The Dark Quarter, possibly carrying your own goods, and brought to the mansion of the Great Lord who now owned your entire life. The mansion, naturally, was sumptuous. In many ways equal to the home Estate of your Family, though at the same time very much lesser. You had your own room, though it lacked all the personal touches and any feeling of belonging. Your silken sheets were no more, unless you brought them, and the linens that lined the bed were soft enough that a commoner could have mistaken them for silk... but to your refined tastes? It was like sleeping on sandpaper. Your first night was a study in misery, or so your young mind thought. Your studies most likely followed the course of the career of your patron Great Lord. If Ministry of the City, you learned every nook and cranny of the city proper. You learned crimes and punishments. You learned interrogation and torture techniques. You learned the markings and heraldry of all of the Houses of Allanak as well as the better known desert tribes and lower merchant families. You learned meanings of gang tattoos and most likely locations for a hideout. You learned riot control techniques, arena capture practices, and patrol routes. You learned endless bureaucratic tactics. If your patron Red was in the Ministry of Trade, you learned the most profitable trade routes around the Known world, and which groups were most likely to be bringing them back through His Gates. You learned about taxes, you learned how to properly instill hope in a handful of obsidian, and you learned how to guide successful mercantile folk on the way to hopefully growing into their own House. Within these lessons were couched many, many examples of when the blooded merchants of the Great Merchant Houses were allowed to act 'outside' of the scope of His Law, and when the Templarate's hand should turn from cupped and ready, to a grasping claw around their throat. Studying under a Minister of War almost always leads the first night with a beating (as young noble eyes would see it, though the Templarate calls it 'sparring' as you find out) which ensures that your open scrapes and cuts will stain those cheap linen sheets. The first years of study focus largely on troop movements and logistics, famous battles of the past, and studying the notable threats that have faced Allanak and fallen. You learn strong arm tactics with diplomacy lessons coming as a back up tactic. You learn external patrol routes, when and how to present a weakness without creating one, and you learn a variety of capturing practices in order to bring back prisoners from a successful campaign. The first four years of lessons are interspersed only with combat training. Though much of it is tutelage and theory, you are still subjected to a few live sparring fights (or quite a few if you are under a Minister of War) to bolster your training. The basics of literacy, history, philosophy, geography, and languages are also common foci for the daily lessons, and magick does not come to the fore for many years. During this initial four years, you start to realize how soft your noble cousins are, and how much more potent you are through the pain of teaching. When finally that last step towards gaining the robe comes, it becomes slowly apparent that the small riddles, mind games, and curious phrasings that you had been taught were all build up for this moment. The hand gestures used for invoking His Will, the phrases of Tatlum, and the singular focus you need to guide that power are all well practiced by this point, without there being a single 'formal' lesson. Your first spell, most likely Ball of Light, speaks of your first true success within the training, and may be the first time you've actually witnessed your patron smile. Then it is back to more months of rigorous study and focus on your mental lessons, most likely with the implicitly stated rule that your magicks are off limits for use until you fully graduate as such things are deeply tied to the medallion you have not yet earned. After much more work perfecting your lessons and your magicks, you are turned into the finely tuned lethal law machine that Allanak needs. Oooooorrrr maybe you aren't. Maybe once your patron Lord sees that you can command the magicks required for the position, you are largely forgotten and allowed to study as you wish. The quality of education that young members of His Templarate receive is largely disparate, based entirely on the blue robed tutors under that Great Lord in Red. Perhaps you learned swordcraft from a Fale Templar who kept daydreaming about whiskey? Perhaps you learned from a Tor Templar who was raised and trained to fight since age five. Each templar of Allanak is a unique individual, fully capable of dealing His Justice as they wish, or of letting any crime they deem below them to happen literally right in front of their eyes with no recourse. Only one thing is for certain with His Templarate: Once you don the robe and medallion, there's only one way they come off forever.
QuoteAs a young elf in the Sun Runners, you learned very early of the rigid stratification of your peoples. For a communal group, the twisted and interwoven matriarchal bloodlines of the tribe created a vast disparity in respect. Naturally everyone sat around the same fire, drank from the same cups, sang the same songs, and ran across the same coals... but there were always differences. The sons and daughters of the Bahak, those who's blood and heart keep them so close to the ancestors that they sometimes speak through them, always were the first to the kegs and got the biggest and best portions of meat and spice. The brightest clothes went to them. The biggest tents, the brightest dyes, and naturally the softest furs. Along with these children stride the young of the Ir'anaza, the wisewomen and old storytellers. Not far behind them came the progeny of the Sajahain and Zarajiri, those amongst the tribe renowned for having the keenest skill at blade and barter. Naturally some of the strongest and smartest of the tribe, they were more approachable than the aloof attitudes of the Bahak and Ir. They didn't so much rub in your face that they were better, they just knew you knew they were. And they were right. Most of the children of the tribe are in the middle, with common elven parents who are bright, beautiful, and charming, but lacking the prestige or honors of their betters while still steadfastly not in any way lesser. Jovial, jocular, playful, arrogant and above all swift, the children of the Sun Runners grow up everyday knowing that the Abi'li Pah (the tablelands, in roundear speak) exists because of their grace and protections during the times of troubles. They grow up running kegs of water to and fro the Gem of the Abi'li Pah, stitching repairs in clothing, learning to dye as well as learning how to run while drunk. Singing, dancing, and learning to brew the best beer in the Known are skills every Sun Runner child learns by their sixteenth Ascending Sun. The sons and daughters of the Gavram come next. The Gavram, those who are accepted by the tribe yet seen as lesser, may have been born a Sun Runner but be in their social position for some reason or another. Other Gavram are accepted outsiders, allowed to live with the tribe after years of proving that they are worthy. The children of these elves are accepted full members of the tribe, but are still treated as slightly lesser than the others for the first generation removed. Or maybe you were one of the bright pebbles, one of the city elf children who was part of a deal of some Zarajiri or another. Your earliest memories may have been of high brick walls, and endless rounders as far as you can see, but then the bright elf came and stole you away to a new life beyond the reaching grasp of the templars or roundear soldiers. The other children would often chase you, perhaps call you names, or even pick fights and beat you. It was all laughed off when it became actual trouble, but beyond the aloof gazes of the adult Sun Runners, the mistreatment always continued. You grew up harder than the rest, and you know it. Some Sun Runner children grow up running the canyons and the Pah, as children are welcome on the hunt starting at about age twelve. They learn the ways of the grasslands, of the buttes, and of the Waterless Lands. Which roots and fruits are most needed, which cuts and organs feed the most members of the tribe, and how to exact tribute from a passing roundear without it seeming like 'raiding' or some other roundear term. Others grow up bound to the camp, through choice or lack of desire or even weakness, they spend the majority of their years within the tents. Learning how to stitch, braid, dye, and carve the many shiny things of the wastes fills the time between dancing, singing, and of course brewing liquor takes up the majority of the day to day. Some voraciously learn every artistic technique they can, and others idly stitch or haphazardly dye while dreaming of spices and furs. Eventually a Sun Runner will decide they are of age. Following the traditions of their tribe, they set off to prove their will and ability to stand as a full adult. They either succeed... or they do not. Such is the way of the Sun Runners, brightest of the wild elven tribes where only the strong survive, and no one dares drink water.
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