Hither They Came...   Posted by The Talesmith.Group: 0
The Talesmith
 GM, 16 posts
Fri 24 Aug 2018
at 14:24
Hither They Came...
When at last the crown of the Aquilonians appeared to fasten itself upon the mighty head of Conan of Cimmeria, the western half of the world came to know and bear the semblance of a lull, even though cynics and the wise, ever the naysayers, portended that it was not the way of things to abide quietly thus. King Conan I had valorously sought only what he saw just, and no more than that. Even when the battlements of his realm had been rent and riven, not once, but twice by great, nefarious hosts, and his imperious faculties sorely and excruciatingly tried, there was in his erstwhile tameless and thunderous soul that shred of innate vestige of a merciful sense of proportion still left that he eschewed those rapacious ways which were the unhappy staple of all other monarchs of his age. Perhaps, behind the gaudy veneer of civilization, men of seemingly nobler descent had faltered at the simple task of simply knowing where to stop.

It was Aquilonia's throne that he had wrested from the loathsome tyrant Numedides, and it was with Aquilonia that he remained, rather content. Often enough, his limbs ached wistfully to set out along the nameless and interminable paths that he knew and loved so well, and visions of great, shimmering seas were blown in upon his dreams with the winds that stole in through the windows of his palace on nights of rain in opulent Tarantia. Age had now begun to cling about his sinews, and being well past fifty-five, His Majesty longed mainly to see his young Prince Conn take after him in matters of war and vigilance just as much as in matters of state, though, as his close confidantes knew too well, these latter only vexed and wearied his free-flaming mind. And indeed not even he could say aught against Prospero's incessant efforts at gently guiding the Prince in the direction of learning to keep kingdoms he already possessed rather than acquiring any new ones.

For just as Conan's years were beginning to draw into the sere, there were murmurs across neighbouring lands that were growing too obvious to ignore. Already, since statecraft awfully got on his nerves, he had had to send in Prospero and his clique of consuls on two major occasions to keep the peace in Khorshemish, the city now a tottering vassal to Aquilonia while the remainder of Koth groaned under petty barons, their populace ground under the trampling heel of the ruinous taxes of their masters out of which they paid Conan tribute. Things were undoubtedly better in Koth while Pelias remained in Khorshemish, but strange, as Conan knew only too well, were the ways of sorcerors, and Pelias stranger still. He had gone off one day with nary a word, and that was all Conan ever knew or heard of him, or probably even wished to know, for deep within, Pelias never failed to unsettle him. Yet Prospero's verdict was clear on the Kothic question. Now effectively the sum of several frugal fiefdoms baying for each other's blood, turmoil was sure to erupt, and it was all Aquilonia could, or even needed, to do to play for time and try to contain them.

Just south of Koth, in Khoraja too, there coiled skywards the first spiraling tendrils of the smoke of something that threatened to burst into conflagration, with its withering Queen Regent, the famed Yasmela, who had once had her little realm and very soul salvaged by the master of Aquilonia, now doddered in the face of several nameless sicknesses, and a frontier blasted by frequent Shemitish raids. Her resources were stretched even more precariously when vast contingents of the Khorajan mercenary fraternity parted ways with her in hopes of better coin in Koth with the ever increasing feuds that now were the norm of a once mighty kingdom. King Khossus, though rescued by Conan from the Mountain of the Mountain of the Moon God, had been swiftly outlived by his sister, succumbing to an insuperable illness. But little word of this ever reached the Cimmerian, his ears and brain far too clogged with endless scruples of state.

Yet hither, in motley sojourn, they came...

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:25, Fri 24 Aug 2018.