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#12977276 Jan 10, 2017 at 12:21 AM
195 Posts
The throne room of the Kings of Stormwind was vast, echoing, and no number of gaily-dressed courtiers clustering and murmuring along its walls ever seemed to fill it. Their many colognes and perfumes mingled incomprehensibly with the smell of torches and armor and stone, as their voices blended into a single drone of meaningless syllables.

They stopped talking when the herald called out the next name: "Sir Jeremaias Auromere." Their eyes, clouded with suspicion or bright with curiosity, watched keenly as the bespectacled, armored young man made his way from the entrance to the dais, a linen-wrapped parcel under his arm.

Jeremaias was born to this world, a world of nobles and politics and too much attention to appearances, but he did not feel fully at home in it. He felt every eye on him as if it were a beam of arcane light, burning into him, burning away his pretenses, judging him. It was only thanks to years of practice in concealing his true feelings that he could manage to arrive at the foot of the throne and kneel without quivering with nerves.

King Anduin Wrynn greeted him with the kind familiarity he used for everyone, received the book, and only then revealed that he had already read it; he had received an advance copy from the printers.

It was a great deal of ceremony for something so small, something so ordinary as Jeremaias had done. He had wondered at all the state and pomp. To his great surprise, King Anduin began listing not only the book itself, but many other things Jeremaias had done these years, things even Jeremaias had forgotten or thought too minor for notice.

There were his service with the Army, the revisions of the field manual, the reform of the Stormwind Auxiliary. There were his battles with demons, with the undead, with elementals, with the Horde; he had fought in most of the wars that had happened since his ordination. He had brought home to Stormwind some of the knowledge of the draenei, helped the warriors of the Alliance better to use crystalforging and jewelcutting. He had lifted up the poor and created wealth. Lives saved, souls redeemed, intelligence gathered, charity done in humility. And now, he had proven that he knew the ways and minds of the least of Stormwind's enemies.

Jeremaias had a vague notion that he had done these things, but for the life of him, had never thought it was quite to that extent.

"And so, for us, our heirs and successors, do appoint, give, and grant unto you the name, dignity, title, and honor of Lord of Redgold in Ashfall, baron in-chief of the king over that and all other lands in Ashfall which you conquer in our name."

There was no applause, there were no bows nor even outcry; perhaps this was something that happened regularly in Stormwind. But before Jeremaias could make any sort of sense of the matter, King Anduin ordered Viscount Phineas Townesende to acquaint him with his holdings.

The keep's library was far quieter, and Lord Phineas led Jeremaias off to a large table that was already laid with several maps and ledgers.

"Here," Lord Phineas said, pointing to an area that was outlined in red on the map. "At least, to start."

"Is this why you wanted me to write that book?" Jeremaias asked stupidly. He felt stupid. His head was swimming with the suddenness of it all.

"Yes, yes, we wanted to prove that you could fight whatever is over there for us. And you certainly know how."

Jeremaias adjusted his glasses and squinted at the map, trying to identify the landmarks. " outside of Stormwind's territory," he said at last.

"Ashfall, yes. It was lost to us during the First War and we've never quite gotten around to reclaiming it."

Jeremaias frowned. "So it's an empty title," he muttered.

"Not at all," Lord Phineas said. "It will be as full as any title, as soon as you retake it. And you can take possession of Cinderwatch--here, on the border--right away; it's a border watchpost. Now, look here." He tapped the northwestern border of the duchy. "That is the border with the Burning Steppes--the Morgans' holdings there. The Blackrock orcs and their allies have run rampant over this region, until recently.

"But thanks to their recent setbacks, they've pulled back all the way to Blackrock Mountain. They're weakened, so now is the time to strike, to take back what we lost all those years ago. And the King is convinced, thanks to your demonstrated understanding of the enemy and how to fight them, that you are the man to do it."

"And...what do you want me to do?" Jeremaias asked. "Help Duke Maxen deploy the First--"

"No." Phineas smiled an oily sort of smile. "The King wishes you to deploy your own forces."

Jeremaias tried several times to form words, but they did not come together into a sentence for some time. "I have no forces," he managed finally.

Phineas waved him off. "Then gather some. As a baron in-chief, you will have to provide levy troops for the king, whether you have your lands or not. Start building them now."

Jeremaias stared down at the map without really seeing it. "I cannot command my own private forces while I serve in the First Regiment," he said finally.

"You are sworn to serve the King, as a knight and a soldier, and now a peer," Phineas reminded him. "This is the service the King has decreed for you. If you cannot remain in the army, then you must resign."

The word "resign" compressed Jeremaias' heart and stomach like a band of iron. He struggled for a moment, trying to make it all fit together, trying to find the path that would not require this of him...

Instinctively, he reached for his ragged notebook, taking it from the inside pocket of his coat and opening it. The book fell open to his list of "action items": training to conduct, concerns of the troops, Roy's apprenticeship...reforms...mad ideas...none of which he would be able to do should he resign.

"I didn't even make Knight-Lieutenant again," he murmured.

"Have you gone mad?" Lord Phineas blurted out. "This is a promotion well above that--not just in warfare, but socially! Why are you so concerned with something that...small?"

Jeremaias frowned. "Because I mean to earn the things I receive."

Phineas' voice became smooth as silk again. "And you have earned this. Didn't you hear the King recite all of your works and deeds? By the Light, Auromere, you're being given the chance to do what you were born to do. Indeed, the King commands it."

Jeremaias sighed heavily and closed his notebook.
#12977278 Jan 10, 2017 at 12:22 AM
195 Posts
((TL;DR: I'm leaving the First Regiment, folks. This story was to share the IC reason, but now it's time to explain the OOC reason.

((It's been a fun experience, and I've enjoyed roleplaying and working together with everyone, but it's time to move on. I'm going to be starting a guild to explore some concepts and some plotlines I've been dying to do, but just don't fit with this guild's style and plans.

((But fear not! These plotlines and so forth are big enough for all of us, and I still want to share them with the First, and with the rest of the server as well. I will be joining the Grand Alliance and other interguild organizations, and seeking the opportunity to build these excellent stories with all of you.

((I'll still be here until Thursday, the 12th. If I can do anything else to help you while I'm still around, please feel free to ask!

((I have enjoyed my time here, and I'm grateful to everyone, and wish you all the very best!))
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