Graduation Day – Our Story So Far
(How Tylo Ghent Got Promoted)
(cue music “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas)

Attentive readers will no doubt have noted a new byline as of the last entry, and may be wondering why that is and how that came to be.

This entry will explain the curious events leading up to Master Ghent’s “career change,” in addition to shedding more light on the subject of life on Devil’s Isle in general, and inside the REALM in particular.

It began as “Graduation Day” approached.

You may recall a certain Scribe’s trepidation about the Chimera, back when he thought they were actual monsters who ate Elven slaves…back before he became one of their number and went from being a fan of the alliance leader, to being profoundly suspicious of him, then back to being a fan, actually joining Chimera, and getting a posting in the Court of the HighLord.

All this, after what he felt was an attempt on his life via weather spell (possibly called ‘Stormbind‘ though that term may be related to something other than the name of the spell), which left him rather waterlogged and stranded very far from home.

After the nasty business with the undead general (courtesy of the Melders and a misfired spell to ressurect the unfortunate man), which left the City of Calimba a shadow of its former self (war and famine having reduced the population from nearly twenty-six thousand to less than eight thousand), there followed a period of rebuilding.

It was backbreaking work, yes, even for the members of the HighLord’s council. It appears that before REALM’s HighLord was a HighLord, he was a man of the people. A commoner, if you will, and because of that, he did not shirk from physical labor, and made sure that none of his Court did, either.

Busy_day_in_the_neighborhood

“Hard day’s work with sweat in your eyes and cuts on your hands…good for the soul.” He told an unhappy Scribe in the midst of one of the innumerable sixteen hour days that followed. “And, since we’re in leadership positions, when we’re done here, we’ll sup, then convene for a few hours to discuss the events of import in the REALM before catching a few winks and starting all over again.”

“Sounds charming.” Scribe muttered drolly.

And so it went.

Rebuilding Calimba stone by stone, yes, but also, taming the once fearsome jungle. Mastering it, and as anyone who has ever wrestled with Devil’s Vine will tell you, that is no easy task.

Fortunately, it was a task made somewhat easier by virtue of the fact that the alliance had drawn the attention of several folken who had recently migrated to Kumala. Among the new arrivals were Timrath, and his brothers Apollonius and Wazdakka, from…well, they were somewhat unclear in that point, but apparently from far to the north and east, with Wazdakka, the youngest of the three, (bearing strong signs of Orcish ancestry), actually having been born aboard a ship as their family left (or were chased from? – again, these details are unclear) an island that is supposedly not unlike our own, but in the extreme eastern portions of the Kingdom.

These brothers were not islanders, living north of Devil’s Island itself, in the lush and fertile lands that run north from the coast until they hit the great burning desert (more on that later). The elder and youngest brother made their homes in these endless forests and rolling savannahs, while the middle brother, Appolonius, struck further north and made his home in the desert proper. Why this is so, we cannot say, but it apparently has nothing to do with a familial feud or the like…the three are always together in Court and seem to get along famously. One can only speculate then, that the middle brother has a love of sun and sand.

In any case, they joined our merry band of madmen, along with a trio of Orcs (Mudd-Slinger,Clermont, and UnWritten, followed not long after by a dwarf known only as “The PeaceKeeper.”

Zagar the Elf Lord and his travelling companion Sidhe joined at around that same time, as did the human called Baych, so the Court could well be said to be expanding at a rapid clip.

Of all the new arrivals though, none brought quite as much buzz as the arrival of the Dwarf called Bezi.

The day was steamy and muggy, which is to say it was like almost every day of the year on Devil’s Isle, and Lady Kleodora was out picking herbs in the garden just behind the Main Hall in Cerilon.

I was on a bench within earshot when one of her dogs (she never went anywhere without at least one of her great Mastiffs) suddenly went stiff and alert, a low growl in his throat that made every hair on my body stand on end.

The three of us…Kleo, myself, and the dog heard the snap of a twig and a muffled curse, then, emerging from the jungle came a gruff-looking Dwarf who appeared to have walked from the western end of the island to the eastern without stoping to bathe or sleep. There were bugs in his matted beard, and his axe oozed with the sap of the Devil’s Vine.

He speaks to her in his native tongue, but she (not being fluent in Dwarven) does not understand.

In fact, of all that he says, there’s only one word she understands….”Machete.”

Nodding at this at least, she inquires, “So…you want Machete. You’re looking for Machete.”
He shakes his head and motions as if in a hurry. again speaking. “Machete!” he says .

Curious and concerned, she bids him follow and leads him toward the Main Hall, and I confess that my own curiosity got the better of me, so I tagged along as well.

We made the Main Hall to find the usual suspects all in their usual places, and Velociryx looked up from his charts and figures as we entered.

“My Lord…I bring this Dwarf, who seems to be looking for Machete.”

“For me ye say?” The Dwarven Warrior asked over a comfortable belch as he stood and wiped the ale foam from his beard. “What can I…”

Suddenly, a smile lit up his face and he roared with laughter. “Bezi!! you old buzzard! what brings you out this far?”

Machete slapped Bezi on his back and led him to one of a number of overstuffed chairs set ’round the seldom used fireplace.

“Kleo…mead for my old friend, if you would?”

She nodded at this and went to fetch a servant, and the two started to talk in low tones.

On her way out of the chamber, she chanced a glance at the HighLord, who pretended to be busy with his figures, but was obviously listening intently.

What they were discussing that afternoon, I cannot say. Neither Lady Kleo nor I spoke the language, and no information about the conversation was forthcoming later, but it’s a matter that bears watching and leads to unavoidable speculation.

Time will tell what it means.

At any rate, all of this to underscore the fact that we were growing, and at a rapid pace.

That was a good thing, because it made taming this unrelenting place all the easier…more hands meaning faster progress, and all that.

So, it was none too surprising when the day arrived that our first two Chimera were ready to cut the strings that bound them to their Sponsors and make their own way in the world.

The first two to meet all the requirements were Renn and the Scribe.

In celebration, a small, quiet ceremony was held wherein both men were presented with a banner and badge befitting of their station. The blazon of the Chimera, which both fly proudly over their own Main Halls.

The blazon of the Chimera contains three main elements: The Lion, The Gryphon, and the Eagle. Strength, Courage, and Generosity…this last bit is of import because each of the Chimera is expected to Sponsor at least one new Chimera who will follow in his footsteps.

Chimera Graduation Badge

(OOC: the badges of both men can be seen in their profiles)

Now, you must understand something about us and our ways. This may seem barbaric to you, but I assure you that it is most necessary, because Kumala is an unforgiving place.

When the ceremony had ended, Velociryx placed a kind hand on each man’s shoulder.

“Run.”

He told them unceremoniously.

They looked momentarily confused.

Run!” He roared at them. “Already there are forces marching on one of your cities, a thing which I have arranged personally. They will do their level best to burn you to the ground. You have these blazons, but you’ve not formally earned them until you survive this last test. Break the siege and stand fully on your own. Good luck and Godspeed, brothers…now run!”

And they did.

Renn broke the siege of Sokkala in two attacks. Scribe took three to break the siege of Sutheron, but both men succeeded.

Now…you may recall reading an earlier entry about a “Trial by Fire,” to be delivered by members of The-Company-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named….this is the trial by fire that was referred to.

This is what the HighLord meant.

A final test to ensure that all who called themselves Chimera had the practical battlefield experience to go with everything else they had learned as they grew.

Interestingly, up to this point, the Scribe had been focused almost exclusively on matters of trade and raw production.

He had just begun focusing on matters of magic, but hadn’t paid much attention at all to his military.

Yes, he had a military, and it even had some combat experience, but that had been a joint effort involving the entire Court…he had not appointed so much as a single General, having relied on the expertise of his fellow Court Members during the incident with the Undead General.

So it was that our Scribe was desperate to find someone…anyone who could actually lead his troops into battle, and so it was that he discovered that Tylo Ghent had spent four years serving as a mid-ranking officer in what he called “The Rift Wars,” where he led mid-sized bands of warriors (with some success, it must be said) against the undead hordes that poured forth to battle the living in years past.

He was, in a word, the best option available at the time, and the Scribe promoted him.

Three attacks later and the siege was broken, and Tylo Ghent the Reporter, became Tylo Ghent the General…a posting he has to this day.

~Nicholas Hanby, Reporting from Devil’s Isle

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