Lore

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6 years later…..

Sso who is Usifan if you don’t mean the present heir to the duchy?” Asked the orphan quizzically, his voice crackling in a sign he had eventually embarked on the path to manhood. His lips were lined with soft fuzz, though of course he couldn’t see it. The teacher answered patiently: “Tales say the original Usifan was one of the sons of the banished Qin “Mann”.”

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My loyal reader, I have described to you the recruitment, training and equipping of the forces that you command, now I shall show you the optimal way to organise and deploy your forces to the field. The military establishment consists of three parts, the cavalry, infantry and marine, I am not an admiral so the following chapter shall focus solely on the first two.

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To My Reader

It has been custom in the past that when writing an educational works to address such things to their kings and dukes, from a persuasion that no work can be published with propriety but under the auspices of the King, and that the knowledge of a duke should be more general, and of the most important kind, as its influence is felt so keenly by all his subjects.

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Tthough my responsibilities for the kingdom take up most of my time, I am still able to travel the lands from time to time, and one of the things that always shocks me is the misunderstanding about Nirath religious beliefs. I will try to shed some light about the matter, because I realized the issue might lie deeper into the knowledge of the Qin.

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 Tthe flock of children crowded around the blind storyteller, peppering him with one question after another. Their parents stood behind them, indulgent smiles on their faces as they watched their sons and daughters’ faces light up with joy and wonder as old Sam’uel regaled them with tales of the high and mighty, the low and infamous, and the wicked yet alluring. They had listened to the same tales as youngsters at the feet of Sam’uel, when his hair was as black as coal and he still had most of his teeth.

His mane was now more salt than pepper and he had but five of his teeth left, yet he could still spin a tale that would entrance the hearts of young and old. No one could sit in his presence and not be beguiled by the words that fell from his lips in a soft, deep timbre. That he had returned to the village after six years was a cause for celebration. The villagers had not had many visitors since the war began, being too close to the border, and they had feared that Sam’uel had died. But now that he was here, the headman had called for a celebration and the entire village had set out a feast, with their finest casks of ale cracked open and relished by all.

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Hhis Grace the Duke of the Zabi Demesne regrets to announce the death of Lord Sasro Zabi, called the Unifier, previous Duke of the Zabi Demesne. Lord Sasro with his dying words commended the souls of his enemies to Daemon’s light, asked forgiveness for his sins and praised the just rule and good governance of King Dragor.

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“You can sit there all day, it won’t grow any faster”.

Hhis mother had never entertained his hobbies. To think she’d begin to any time soon was nothing short of quixotic. But Gekon didn’t mind. He’d sit on the same crumbling boulder as he always did, and stare at those peas until they were persuaded to grow, if he had to. There was nothing else to do anyway, and peas could be unthinkably stubborn. That year had been a particularly difficult one for a novice herbalist so far; Gekon’s rather rebellious pet Conifer rat had already managed to eat every single flower bud in the garden. His mother’s recipes had all threatened to incorporate Conifer rat meat the very same day and the munching menace had disappeared ever since. On top of that, it was as if every last drop of hydration had been sapped from the soils that now appeared a hopeless grey under the everlasting sun. The wheat, tomatoes and carrots had all perished; it was almost a certainty that these peas would not enjoy any other fate.

Unless…

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