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Ok, I admit that I've failed somewhere before. But anyway welcome. Just a brief intro on what you should expect here:
1. Football. Not gonna post much of that any soon since season is over. :S
2. Anime, Games, etc. Just abt anything conceivable under the Japanese radar barring anything and everything Rule 34. Now that's illegal. Period. -.-;
3. Music. Everything to do with it is listed under the tab.
5. Unacceptable humour: Anything and everything is fair game here. As long as I don't get rounded up by the ISA. -.-'

6.
The Known World=Fantasy world building in process. I: Used to be glossary, now devoted to random rambling; II: Character Concepts; III: Lore.
7. der Wolf=my Fictionpress account under the moniker Tsumujikaze no Soujutsu. A Ranger's Tale is hosted under this page. :)
8. New section now upped. Maybe I should also gun for upping A Ranger's Tale here since I do have this funny feeling that traffic coming to here is way more than whatever I'll get in FP.

Statement of intent: Everything said here is a figment of personal opinion, be it me or anybody commenting. I try to be responsible, but my parents=/=parents of the world.

@Druid of Luhn: Crap. Should have remembered far earlier to give you the credit for your CSS text box code. :(

A/N: But sadly, it seems that your CSS text box code has now been halved efficiency wise. :(

That most important note I should have added: Any images posted in this blog are NOT my own stuff. I got them from Google image search, I don't earn any shit by being a thief and liar. Those responsible for the pictures, rest assured that you all are great artists in your own regards. Sadly, we all know what limited space means in terms of posting.

Latest Note: Changed alignment for my page widgets due to my worry that I can't centre align the thing.

Note on A Ranger's Tale: In case any complaining fella wants to have a legal case with me, let this be known that A Ranger's Tale is rated M by default. I've upped the swearing and somewhat a bit on the dark/gritty factor. You all have been warned, let no little boy and girl enter the forbidden realm.

Latest on ART: A Ranger's Tale now starting to kick back in gear. But I really hate the insanely fluctuating climate here in S'pore.

P.S: Oh, and one more thing. Vid below is yet another ideal OP for A Ranger's Tale.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Advent of Destiny

Fortune favours the bold, ill fortune curses the reckless. From east till west lies the Endless Straits, above the Northern Continent brave victims are mocked.
~Eliador de Lioncourt


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A Ranger's Tale

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NE 241, Spring

“Welcome to Teesside!” grinned a stocky brunette, his companion wearing a dour look, “C’mon, Moggray. Lighten the fuck up!”

“I’m lightening up here,” grunted the Gaffer of Teesside Division. Or rather that was what he used to be, “Nothing changed here, Southgate. Been some time since I left office, anything new?”

“Only because you only saw the lads and nothing else,” answered his companion wistfully, “They call our home a shit place to live in. A fine accolade if I say so myself.”

“Is that so? We have ore and coals, mines and miners. A shame to see no agricultural lands about,” retorted the Northern Lion with a cynical snort.

“Fields belong to farmers and farmers belong to nobility,” replied an equally cynical Southgate Garatt, “That’s why we got priority status.”

“Southgate, enough of…”

“…this,” cut off the brunette soldier, his grin widening like a fool, “Louthes Eliaden is a good man. Fine commander, but piss poor ruler. His little lass, on the other hand, is someone quite the opposite. Little wonder why war and peace are each other’s bitch.”

Nothing stated by Moggray Tonn’s assistant could be anywhere further from the cold hard truth, all around them were buildings built from rock and wood while they had seen finer houses made of bricks and tiles. Little boys ran around the spacious square naked waist up, such a show would have easily earned an earful otherwise. Thankfully, little girls were not considered brazen since all feared the Inquisitors storming their homes down.

“River Market,” quipped a shrill voice from behind, the speaker revealed as an apish midget with green skin and small pointed ears, “Only attraction counted as local pride.”

“Son of a bitch,” smiled Moggray Tonn finally, “So how’s business going, Big Gun? Still wearing leather overalls, I must say.”

“Name’s Biggan, not Big Gun. I know this sounds terrible, but please blame my mother instead,” smirked Biggan as two overripe apples were tossed towards the duo, “One bronze per fruit, fuck minimum cost.”

“Lowest standard of currency is bronze, Biggan,” sighed Southgate, “That’s why you don’t get one quarter of any coin.”

“And Teesside is famed for our metal,” chuckled Moggray, meaning of Biggan’s jape not lost to him, “That’s why bronze and steel are common as whores.”

“I’d like say whores ain’t made of metal, but testing the metal can wait later,” said Biggan impassively, his sudden change of attitude proven by a thumb jerked behind, “Fat bastard is waiting.”

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"Huh? You mad, bra?" Parnaby Davow widened his beady eyes, Biggan trying hardest best not to guffaw at the podgy man’s visage.

"You hear me, Parns," commented a grey eyed soldier lined with scars, "I need a ship out for Histalonia. Don’t fret, fat bastard. Moggray Tonn won’t die easy because a lion can never live easy. By the way, nice warehouse you have here."

“Only sacks and crates, stubborn jackass,” smirked the plump jester, “But I got ears and eyes all over.”

“Thanks in advance then, fat bastard,” Southgate offered an open palm facing the front in return, Parnaby Davow’s infamy as the top smuggler justified once again, “You suck in playacting though, ex buddy.”

"Ex-buddy? You’re a lawful citizen, Southgate. I’m merely a reformed criminal," glared Parnaby genuinely, “I've yet to demand reparations from your wife! Lanna doesn't have to know a dime about Gemma."

"Gemma kicked up a ruckus again? Sorry, Parns," apologized the eldest of the trio, Moggray Tonn understanding his second’s constant predicament.

"You're not the bastard cheating behind his missus' bed, Moggray so don't trying acting nice,” growled Parnaby, "You're not born this way anyway unless you want me braying your ass off."

“Inbred bastard…” reciprocating Parnaby’s favour, Moggray’s orbs brought forth a steely glint, “Deal then?”

“Deal.”

With palms smacking together, the agreement was finally sealed. Beating a retreat no longer an option, Moggray Tonn was hell bent on finding answers somehow and somewhere in the middle of Endless Straits.

"One more thing before I forget," grunted Parnaby, a podgy hand raised, "You may want to meet a certain boy. He's heard word on two suspicious weirdos sniffing around and asked this "dearest ex-convict uncle" to refer both you clowns to him."

"Ex-convict uncle?" spluttered Southgate Garrat, attempts to stifle an apparent mirth evidently seen, "Man, Parky sure knows how to select your name."

"Shut the fuck up, ‘tard. I know your body is made of bricks" snapped the portly middle aged man, "Parky's little boy is all grown up already, have to give him credit due.”

“So any changes?” queried Moggray, “Been a year or so since he’s gone missing.”

“Mane's grown a wee bit longer, but still spiked,” interrupted a grinning Biggan, “Grown an inch wider round the chest and two inches taller, you can trust my buggy eyes."

“Everyone knows you enjoy watching any person especially whores, that’s why Goblins have eyes like insects.”

“What about you, O’ bravest lion?”

“I don’t enjoying seeing a lot of things.”

“Okay, let’s break this up, guys,” sighed an exasperated Southgate, “We don’t have much time mucking around. I do have a bad feeling about this though.”

"You should, big bloke. Lad’s currently at Cleven's Square," answered Parnaby, a sly grin betraying what the chief smuggler has prepared for his counterpart, "In Gemma's brothel training her girls some self-defensive art."

"Ge… Ge… Ge," stuttered Southgate as he tried spitting out the name of she whom he dreaded most.

"Gemma," completed Moggray, “See, I’ve done you clowns a favour. Surely Guy has grown in size, stature, and chivalry!”

Unbridled mirth chortling loud erupted from him, Parnaby, and the rest, only one individual was not amused.

"Moggray, please mind your language. I hear children playing outside."

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“Hey, you alright?” asked a matronly honey blond, her beauty somewhat untainted by increment of years and girth.

“Nah, just a cold, that’s all.”

“Stop the lesson then! My girls can’t work if they caught your illness.”

The youth chose not to answer his host, sapphire eyes opting to take the sight around him once more. This was indeed a brothel, a humble one at that. He still could recall what granted him a stay here in the first place, at least he did not have to pay money over food and lodging.

“Hoo’r u, boya? U as’ fer beeting?”

“Sorry, I don’t understand you.”

“Wat de fuq?”

“Can you rephrase your words properly?”

“Sunuvva’bitch!”

“Well, guess you’re right here, mother Gemma. After all, I owe you something.”

“Glad you know why the city’s Watch chose not to pursue this issue.”

“And I know you’re glad for me saving Ithi, that’s why I end up here.”

“Ithi is my property, but any old hen could have claimed ownership otherwise. Unless you’re born a cretin, you should know how much a Sudhlit cost.”

“Unfortunately, I do not…”

“Mother Gemma!” exclaimed an attractive filly, her dark complexion and sharp features complimenting a petite build.

“Ithi? I thought you’re supposed to be outside entertaining the guests?” frowned Gemma.

“The guests got driven out due to three troublemakers creating problems for us! Said they’re looking for…”

“Looking for who? Looking for what?” snapped the honey blond, “What are the bouncers doing? They’re paid to do something, not the other ass backwards order!”

“Calm down, Gemma.”

“How do you expect me to calm down? This is the only job me and the girls can afford! If you’re not related to Southie, I would have fed you to the Watch!”

“I believe troublemakers will rather make trouble in some rich man’s whorehouse than to incite a brawl in a poor man’s whorehouse.”

“And what if they’re our patrons?” squeaked a timid Ithi.

“Then the city’s Watch will be mobilised. They only can’t be arsed doing anything in a rich man’s world. Remember why they made a visit here in the first place?”

Gemma tried answering this difficult question when the lad turned towards Ithi.

“Ithi, do you remember their faces? You do have a good memory and I don’t mean it the wrong way.”

“Only one and he’s Big Gun,” shaking her head lightly, Ithi gave a shrug.

“That son of a green bitch, he better not tell me everything is for the good of technology,” glowered Gemma. However, the most shocking news had yet to come, Ithi’s next statement would knock the wind off Gemma’s sails.

“But there’s no mistaking the other two’s features. One is a heavy built brunette while the other is slimmer, but looks nastier with scars all over.”

“Wait! Surely it’s not…”

“Gaffer and Southgate,” completed the youth for Gemma.

An abrupt gale tore through a now empty courtyard, the strong man who used to be a boy reached out his arm. Flaring gold responding to a willing mind and an open palm, a golden hunting spear appeared in his hand. His sandy blond hair no longer cropped, it nevertheless remained spiked with a short ponytail tied behind. His sleeveless tunic was of flowing teal with belt buckles in front, his breeches woven from forest green. High leather boots completing his appearance, Guy Cody had truly attained a lion’s stature.

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"Milady, please go back. It’s rather cold outside!" exclaimed Jase, attempts to dissuade Karen Tenias from approaching that sleeping figure proven as failure.

"Never mind the weather, for is not House Tenias part of Bridging Steppes?" smiled Karen, “You remember what ‘frigid as upmost north’ means?"

"Erm, Milady…" blushed Jase, "I think such an idiom shouldn't be…"

"Coming from my lips," completed the petite noble with a giggle, gentle breeze caressing her dark raven locks, "I know what it means, Jase. You don't have to address me as 'Milady' because House Steele is after all a Major House unlike House Tenias."

Karen was no fool as she observed Jase's reaction. She had a friend named Joenne Nances, she was quite besotted with that ginger lad. It wasn’t hard to see why though, for an untainted charisma in him was evident. Something so pure and unadulterated, only cruel future awaited him. She hated her father with fervour and logical reason, she knew Granad Tenias was nothing like her. In fact, it was oft whispered that her mother wasn’t his lawful wife. Rather she was nothing more than a raper’s victim, someone whom Karen never got the chance to meet. For Wersin Tenias was considered barren since birth, the smallborne folk assuming this as divine retribution.

Your father took our lands! Your father took our wives! Your father took our daughters, our best livestock, and our sons' very best years!

"Perhaps ‘tis why they say I am no more a Tenias to every smallborne just like how a commoner kneels before any noble…" noted Karen cynically.

Ignoring Jase's desperate protests, Karen could only direct her gaze to that enigma whose face was shrouded in a hood. He saved her life, her father chastised him instead for letting his daughter witnessed blood and severed parts. She still remembered clearly the fight last night. The Orcs were indeed savages, she could not bear to imagine what kind of fate she will face from a notorious race famed for murder, pillage, and rape. And that was why she despised the Kalaran dream. It was a meritocracy nothing to do with theory and everything to do with reality. The dark sellsword should deserve plaudits at very least, yet praise went to those unwilling to fight in the name of pragmatic strategy. Calling themselves the Home Guards, she'd rather call these craven boys thoroughbred mongrels. As for that man, he gained nothing apart from a complimentary nod or two. They said he's a sellsword and a Ranger, therefore survival without remuneration is acceptable.

To think I’ve yet to ask his name…

Taking off her fur lined cloak as a blanket, the least he deserved should be a temporary gift for the night. The wolves suddenly howled from afar, the Ranger springing into action. Like a beast defending its territory breached, Aeranath violently grabbed the hem of Karen's bodice and smashed her against a nearby apple tree. Only minutes ago, his sword was seen staying in its sheath and lain across the lap. Come the next moment, it ended up being released like a hungry wolf set free from its prison cell. Growling like an animal born primeval, the Ranger pressed his weapon's edge against her neck. As fresh blood red and warm trickled down her porcelain skin, Karen Tenias could only taste her own fear. Instructed since young not to associate herself with any dubious company, Karen for once was forced to acknowledge this truth.

Seconds belonging to eternity ticking by, Karen went wide eyed before his azure eyes with sudden perception dawning upon her. Those were never the eyes of people she knew about, people finding comfort in whatever they have. What is he living for? Why is he born this manner? How have he lived his life? When will he reach his end? Countless questions swirled violently within her soul, everything converging as a chaotic maelstrom. Out of the blue, a piece of memory supposedly forgotten assailed her mind.

“Ales, are you serious in writing this?”

“Why? Is there anything wrong, Kar?”

“I know you very well. We’re childhood friends, remember? Time and again, I beseeched you not to indulge yourself in children’s tales!”

“And do you think the True Apostles are merely a myth?”

“I don’t mind hearing Elves being called the Homm’Nua, but creating a race resembling them, yet ten times more powerful? People will laugh at you and call you a daydreaming little girl!”

“They are NOT Elves, Kar!”

“And you sent Jo crying just because of that? Ales, listen to me…”

“No! You listen to me, Kar! I didn’t make Jo cry on purpose, but why are you like her? You all only see Elves as Elves, but I’ve seen a True Apostle with my own eyes! Beings of legend told to me by my mother!”

“And what if Lady Emma Watts was lying to you?”

“Shut up! You’re just like Jo and everybody else! You all don’t believe in me!”

Remembering that stinging slap in courtesy of her best friend, Karen Tenias should not have mocked Alestrial’s naivety. Joenne had tried it before once, she ended up crying with a hand cupping her left cheek. That was when they were merely thirteen, an age where zest and innocence wedded each other as king and queen. Alas, both rulers died at the same time, mayhap that was why both Karen and Joenne were comfortable with Alestrial writing her award winning work. But then again, the past was already consigned to death. The only living entity right now was their current time, a time where she starts understanding certain things and not just certain myths derided as obscure.

‘Tis a pair of jewels like daytime skies, a fort surrounded by walls of ice.

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“Woo! Here comes the bitch, baby!” hooted an ecstatic Biggan, bug like orbs of darkest red shining with glee, “I’d pay a fortune just to spend a year with you. Muah!”

“What the fuck is wrong with him?” asked a bemused Guy Cody, his thumb pointing at the Goblin’s direction, “You can’t make whores out of ships!”

“Ignore this little bugger,” advised Moggray with a chuckle, “He’s a Goblin. You know what it means?”

“Looney bastards,” interrupted Southgate as he readied his gear, “We call this common knowledge.”

Enjoying the harbour breeze ruffling his sandy blond hair, Guy Cody knew it would be quite some time before returning home. Perhaps he might not even survive, but certain things had to be done. He was not the fool people assumed him to be, Merseyside had taught him how to spell the vital word correctly.

Remember, lads! Try breaking down assume and you’ll get Ass, U, and Me! So don’t assume, assuming will only get many donkeys killed. We’re born as soldiers, not jackasses. Understand?

“Assuming that I will survive Histalonia, assuming Alestrial may have gone for good, assuming Alestrial may be somewhere still alive,” Guy was still smiling when a forceful hand got slapped across his cheek. Swearing that he had seen something green and small, the Kalaran lad fell into a daze with shouts of outrage lingering in his ears.

“Fuck you, Big Gun!”

“Why always me? I saw a sea gnat and sea gnats can easily cause fever with their bites!”

“And more sea gnats will try feasting on the boy’s blood soon enough. Get him into the deck and let him rest!”

“Moggray, you know one thing? Guy is gonna make an ass out of Big Gun.”

“Fuck you, Stonegate!”

“Name is Southgate, NOT Stonegate!”

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“What? Are you serious, Louthes?” a mousy middle aged man presented a wild eyed look to Louthes Eliaden, the current patriarch staying unimpressed by his opposite number.

“Do I look like a jester to you? Know the boundary separating me and you, Granad Tenias.”

Louthes was spot on in his damning assessment, Granad had to give him credit due. House Tenias was different from House Eliaden, the only reason why his counterpart became a Humble Noble was down to taking the fall over that failed expedition better known as the War of Mourners’ Ford. House Tenias never got the chance to deploy its most promising men, quite obviously the result would be different if Granad had his way. Louthes was a senile fool believing in his own judgment back then, now history has to repeat itself all over again.

“Look, I’m fine with your suggestion if not for this knave threatening my daughter! You know how much Karen means to me?” snarled Granad, an explosive ire belying his skinny frame.

“I know she means the world to you,” sighed the Knight Lord with an iron mane, his tea sipped slowly as if he wanted to hammer the correct message across clearly, “I don’t remember her mother having an equal value. So where did you dump her body? In the woods? In the swamps? I doubt you would be daring enough to dump a dead woman in the middle of any street, no matter how secluded.”

“Fine then!” Granad threw up his arms exasperatedly, “You can have your man, but he’s not allowed to take the same ship. You get me?”

“There is only one galley heading for Histalonia,” said Louthes as he got up from his seat, “Take it or leave it. As for that Ranger, do not assume torture will suffice in breaking him down. I can try reining him in, but the key word is try.”

As Louthes Eliaden made his exit, he offered one last warning chilling Granad like the north season wind.

Try keeping your daughter away from Aeranath instead. Sellswords are known to be brutally rough when it comes to beautiful women, let alone one like Karen.

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Background notes:

The Endless Straits is a formal denotation referring to the entire stretch of marine territory connecting the relevant portions of the Eastern Seas, Western Seas and Northern Seas into one single channel. Histalonia is basically the defining landscape together with the Unknown North further upwards.

The north season wind is a natural phenomenon where the wind direction will come down south from Slarvea. This will always be the first sign of winter, every noble House affected are obliged to send mounted courtiers spreading the word.

And speaking of courtiers, they are actually the most trusted aid of noble Houses. Courtiers working directly under the Emperor are known as Stewards and it is always rumoured that Stewards, unlike ordinary courtiers, are able to declare themselves as de-facto rulers even with the Emperor around.

Bronze, as a currency, is a slang referring to copper coins. Currency system in the Kalaran Empire is classified into three groups. Copper, Silver, Gold.

River Market is central attraction, if not the only one in the county of Teesside. Spanning three hundred square metres, this is the only place where merchants are willing to do business. At the same time, River Market is also part of Teesside’s High City.

And speaking of High City, it is the formal term referring to specific residential zones reserved for the noble and elite. No matter what, every county in the Empire will have one residential zone. However, size will vary depending on the county in question.

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