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Brexton

This is my fable, the story of light in a dark world, of heroes, villians and humanity taming the wild.

The names I use in this piece are the traditional names, but the names will likely evolve as the story itself gains life. I wish the names to reflect the world in which the characters arise. Presently, I do not think that they do.




BREXTON

This is the story of Kaymore Litzenburg. A young knight of mildly noble birth. His heart is innocent and pure, desiring only to serve the people and nation that bore him.

He is born in Bretonnia, a beacon of light and nobility in a troubled and dark world. Bretonnia is one of only two human kingdoms of considerable size, that bear anything approaching the notion of a civilisation. Bretonnia survives at the point of a lance - its knights live to an exacting code of honour, bourne out of pure devotion to the Lady, herself a mere symbol of the Greater Good that seeks the well being of all mankind.

These knights serve not only with honour but skill. Their prowess preserves the land against the threats that eternally arise against the nation. Orcs and ogres prowl the untamed lands within the borders and beyond. Dark elves raid the coast, enslaving and murdering all their wicked hands may grasp. Skaven, the rat men of the deep, seath and bloat with hatred of humankind, and dark magics can summon beast and corpse to the bidding of the soul that has despaired of redemption. All this is but the pieces on the board. Beneath it, scouring its underneath and causing it to quake, is the dark depths of absolute chaos, that threatens to consume the slender thread of security and decency that is in the known world.

So the Bretonnian knight learns fast the requirements of his post. He is a bulwark against the dark, the insane and the evil. He is the cold hard steel of humanity, its cutting edge that carves its domain out of the wilderness of life. The weak and vulnerable depend upon their strength and their nobility. The maddenning realisation of the chaos that lies beyond sends men and women alike into irredeemable fits, that alternate between evil, rage and cackling folly. It is not enough to merely survive. The war on chaos grips the hearts of minds of all of those fragile and precious creatures that the elves of old wisely named mann.

Kaymore is such a knight. He is no longer an errant, no longer so naive as the boldness of his youth is tempered with hard experience. He has learnt the pain of giving too much, but he cares too deeply to withdraw his service. In his devotion to the Good, to Order, he has seen the leading vision. This vision and this vision only motivates him to proceed to a task few have seriously contemplated in the past.

The lands of Bretonnia are not tamed, but they are not wild beyond reckoning. No army marches inside it without the nations awareness. On such an army, hosts of knights rally and descend. Mighty warlords of many races have seen their forces skewered on the Bretonnian lance.

Not so the Border Princes, a wild land beyond the Grey Mountains. Humans do inhabit these lands - there are fertile soils, woodlands and pastures for the taking. But the Border Princes adjoin the Badlands, with only incomplete defence from a single gulf of water. The Badlands are the heartland of the orcs and goblins. These savage creatures delight in the death of human folk, often for no seeming reason other than sport. With vast hostile populations nearby, the Border Princes are naught but a ragtag of tough human tribes. Most of these people live semi-nomadically. They require the ability to move from one location to another, to avoid the greatest gathers of violent marauders. Their key townships are fortified against raiding parties, but are of no use against a determined and aggressive orc warlord that has an army at his disposal.

Life is short and brutal in the Border Princes, and the folk are suitably hardy for the environment. But the Border Princes have served as an ineffective buffer to the raids over the mountains to Bretonnia or the great human Empire. Security and strength in the Border Princes would be a step towards a safer world, one step further from the maddenning chaos that afflicts the wandering mind.

Led by his vision, Kaymore inspires a band of his kinsfolk and supportive Bretonnians to establish a genuine hold in the Border Princes. This outpost of Bretonnian civilisation would be known as Brexton.

Kaymore leads a band of knights with him as the new elite core to protect and take charge of the settlers. His initial band includes twenty knights. They include Sir Raleigh and Sir Walter, his trusted friends, Sir Parravon as a senior leader, Sir Lexis the laconic Grail Knight among others. The sons of this band found a new Order of Knights, the Knightly Retainers of Brexton. In time they adapt their tactics to the rocky and wooded lands, using great flails rather than the lances that suit the plains of Bretonnia.

Joining Kaymore in his southern journey is Paulus Constantinius. Empire educated, but born and raised deeply in the traditions of Bretonnia, Paulus is a firebrand cleric that seeks only the advancement of the Good. His piety is legendary, although his temperament can be equally severe. As his devotion is based on love, he is adored and respected by the masses, and inspires in them great devotion to the Great Good. New chapters of monks and clerics are established, and the genuine and heartfelt devotion of these orders inspires greater manifestations of the Good than is often seen even in fair Bretonnia.

Another curious character is Alfred the Conjuror. A native of Albion, but trained in the Empire, Alfred is a feral sort of a wizard. Seemingly grounded in the harshness of the natural world, he lives for the Life, a sometimes ally of the Great Good. His support, although not fully understood, is deeply appreciated by the folk of Brexton, but less so by Paulus, who remains perpetually skeptical of the Conjuror.

Men and women of Bretonnia also join the effort. Initially hundreds, but very rapidly over a thousand and more settlers join the new colony over the mountains. There are farmers and laborers, some shepherds and pastoralists, as well as smaller numbers of smiths, artisans and merchants. Jeremimus the scholar, born and raised in Nuln of the Empire, joins the quest, considering it his duty to record the trials and triumphs of the people.

Kaymore leads the folk to a fertile river plain, several tens of miles inland from the sea. On a lonely hill raised in the plain, he establishes his central citadel and township, and the plain is rapidly tilled for agriculture. This is Brelatain, the capital of the tiny principality. Villages rapidly spring up on this central plain. Beyond, past the woods and hills, especially along the waterways, plains are settled and enlarged with the lumberjacks axe. Not without trial, Brexton comes to cling to the soil in the Border Princes.

The folk produce barley, oats and wheat. They drink a light ale, as it is safer than water. They eat mutton and the knights occassionally dine on beef. In the south, grapes are grown by the sea, and vegetables are grown throughout the domain. Metals, especialy silver and iron, are found and mined in the nearby rocky outcrops. Where the river meets the sea, a natural rocky harbour is turned into the township of Peretain. It is the only settlement in Brexton other than the capital that cannot be dismissed as a mere hamlet. Here both fishmongers and traders look to the sea, and the merchants soon find willing markets for Brexton silver and foods in the eastern lands of Tilea and Estilea. These ships become, irregular as they are, Brexton's key source of interaction with the wider world (and then, only those small secluded states).

Kaymore's presence in the Border Princes is not unnoticed. Dagrak Gobsmakka, the local orc chieftain, see that his presence is not unfelt. In the early stages of the settlement, he exerts his forces towards the destruction of the Bretonnians. These early battles with the orcs are bitter, and it seems the death of the settlement was at hand. With an unforseen intevention, the orcs are finally arrested in their attempts to annhilate the humans.

Two things are unusual in this process. First, the humans and orcs reach what can only be described as a truce. And whilst they are never technically allies, Dagrak comes to place upon Kaymore the kind of respect reserved for a fellow orc cheiftain. There is an uneasy peace and the two forces cede each other territorial rights, and do their best to stay out of each others ways. This means Dagrak's orcs essentially become a territorial buffer for Brexton against other orcs. Even more remarkable, the time does come when Kaymore intervenes for Dagrak's benefit in intertribal orc warfare. Whilst many of Dagrak's Gobsmakkas fail to understand the importance of the relationship and continue to conduct occassional raids on the fringes of Brexton, Dagrak comes to understand the importance of Kaymore to his own security, and he never attempts to attack Kaymore en masse again.

The critical support for Brexton in this war comes from a self appointed guardian - Tothmar El'Torris. The highest noble blood remaining in the Wood Elf folk courses in his veins, but the elven folk of Loren do not respect nobility like their High forebears. Still, loyalists to his line remain, and Tothmar commands a deep and abiding respect of no small band of the elven folk. This force, including Loren's only heavy cavalry force in the El'Torris nobles, seek refuge in woods near Brexton, establishing their own outpost, Tilandriel. Tilandriel is not a colony, but more of a military camp, and Tothmar's band frequently return to Loren as their affairs require. However, their intevention to defend Brexton becomes suitably critical on more than one occassion.

After the mutual understanding with the orcs is reached, Brexton begins to flourish. The road from Brelatain to Peretain is made into cobblestone, and several keeps are constructed other than the Citadel. For a bit over a decade, a degree of peace falls over the tiny nation.

The rumours of piracy by barbarians and Dark elves off the coast. Fear begins to grip the land when the Dark elves discover and map the location of Peretain. Occassionally the elves land and give battle, but soon realise they do not have the numbers to take the harbour, especially when, to their astonishment, significant reinforcements in the form of knights, templars and clerics begin to rapidly arrive from inland.

A new threat begins to grip the soul of the tiny dominion. Corruption is slowly eating at the soul of the colony. Trusted friends are revealed to be corrupted by chaos, and Paulus leads the nation in a dramatic witch hunt where justice and sanity themselves fall under question. Behind the madness, a dark force is suspected. Only in visions do Kaymore and Paulus see Tzarichwrath, who attempts to consume their souls with the maddenning power of Chaos.

In the insanity, knights slay settlers, and merchants betray knights. It is a troubling and difficult road to sanity, and whilst achieved, Kaymore is never the same again.

Paulus and Kaymore die within a short space of time of each other, both at a good age. Their respective institutions and houses reorganise, and Brexton survives the transition, and continues to grow, slowly, in the face of hardship and trouble.

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