Currently on hiatus. Will resume in July, or sooner.

Current story updates:

Current story interludes/Side stories:
Every other Saturday

Other pieces:
Every other Saturday (Saturdays I don't run the Interludes/Side Stories)

During certain periods updates may come more often; at other times updates may come less often. This schedule is my hoped-for goal.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sigilian: Interlude #1: Destria

Interlude: Destria

Destria is an island nation forged during the Aeon War.
When Gandon the Ravager brought his fleet to the shores of what was then the Independent Duchies of Trial, Lady Tasha Destria, the current Duchess of a small mountainous area known for its abundance of Sigil Bearers, decided that she would not let the island fall so easily to the hordes.
Gathering the independent Sigil Bearers of her land, she forced them to swear allegiance to her, utilizing the Sigil of Links to bind them to their word.
In this way the practice of Sigil Bearers being lords and bannermen was begun.
The in-fighting that so plagued Sigil Bearers set aside, she began to train her now loyal servants as the first company of Sigiled Knights. The highly disciplined knights started out in the gardens of Lady Destria’s estate, reciting poems and scripture in concert to learn about timing.
While she trained her Sigiled Knights, Gandon was tearing through duchy after duchy, the knights, soldiers, and independent Sigil Bearers of the nations falling before his barbarians like wheat before the scythe.
Tasha had counted on the Ravager to follow his usual pattern; raid a coastal area to a depth of five days march inland, then retreat to his ships; weigh anchor, move along the coast, and begin to raid again. If he had been willing to leave his ships behind and strike further inland, he would never have been defeated. But he feared mutiny, and so was never too far from his ships that he felt he could not catch them before they sailed.
This meant that there were territories that those fleeing could find safe haven in. The inner duchies were swamped by refugees, many coming to the “safe haven” that Tasha Destria’s realm was rumoured to be.
As the swells of refugees grew, so too did Tasha’s domain. Mobilising her soldiers she declared war on the nearest Duchy lest they aid her by sending supplies. They refused, and she field tested the new Sigiled Knights, herself leading the assault from atop her charger.
After she cut her way through three ranks of her neighbours soldiers without taking casualties, she accepted his surrender, and had him, and all his independent Sigil Bearers (who were coming to be called Sketchers), swear their allegiance to her, bound by her Sigil of Links.
Each day her armies and domain grew, and each day new Sketchers came into her service, either to create items, use their skills to help pass messages, or to join the Sigiled Knights.
One year later, Gandon had gotten tired of the coast. However, loathe to leave so much of the island un-ravaged, he did something he had rarely done; he marched further inland.
As he began his march towards the heart of the island, Tasha Destria sent messengers to those Duchies in his path. The messages were simple; bend the knee and I’ll save you.
When the replies came, begging for her help, the Sigiled Knights were deployed.
Three hundred Sigiled Knights, along with three thousand soldiers trained to Tasha’s exacting standards, met the Ravager’s thirty thousand on the field of battle three days after the last duke swore his allegiance.
Tasha had chosen the battlefield well; a narrow ravine that removed the advantage of the Ravager’s larger numbers and had high enough walls to prevent flight or ambushes by either side.
At first the Knights held back, Destrian soldiers holding the valley against the charges of the horde.
But as casualties grew, Tasha called for a fighting retreat as her Knights arrived in their specially crafted conveyance.
Castle Destria, her ancestral home, had been converted into a flying fortress using permanent Sigils on the foundations stones. Pieces of rock fell away constantly, outbuilding and the smaller towers sloughed off like snakeskin. But it held together.
As it flew over the edge of the valley the skies darkened, both with the castle, and with arrows, loosed by bowmen and multiplied again and again by the Sigil of Duplication.
The horde began to fall beneath such an onslaught, and then the castle landed in the middle of the battle.
With the newly landed fortress to rally around, the soldiers surged back to the fight, but they were not needed.
The gates of the castle opened, and the Sigiled Knights flowed forth, armoured rider after armoured rider, raining fire, arrows, death and steel on the Horde in equal number.
Great heroes of legend were born that day; Darrien the Many, Wielder of the Sigil of Duplication copied himself a thousand times, each one that fell only one of many; Alanna Stormbrow, Wield of the Sigil of Lightning called down a storm to rival the greatest tempests of the world; Karzas Swordmane, Wielder of the Sigil of Blades sending his many swords spiralling around himself, a living whirlwind of death; these and many more legends began that day as the horde of Gandon, that which broke the greatest fortresses of Dunesain and The Continent, itself broke.
Gandon himself was cut down by Exas the Betrayer, his wounds superficial when compared to the Sigil of Bodily Perfection; with its leader dead the horde split apart into squabbling flocks that fell to individual armies, both on the islands and wherever they fled to.
Of the island itself, the Independent Duchies were no longer independent. Many of the dukes and duchesses owed fealty to the Lady Tasha Destria.
In fact, many began to call the island “Destria’s Domain”. When the united armies and her Sigiled Knights began hunting down the slave ships out of Lomwar and burning the crews to death, the common folk began to cheer for their saviour, calling her Queen Tasha.
Tasha died without any official heirs; she had never been bothered to find a husband, though she bore many children, each of whom inherited one of the many Sigils she had accrued during her life. The family of her second in command, her most trusted general, ascended the throne after a brief Succession crisis.

Three generations later, the island was called simply “Destria”, and was firmly established as a kingdom.

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