Forsilvra :: Winds of Change
Old 10-18-2011, 08:19 PM
The Lioness of Forsilvra
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Default [01.5] The Horns of the King

The Five Horns

The Five Horns of Forsilvra are viewed as the five greatest knights in the land, one from each major province in their world. Each carries their own unique title, representing their province. The current Horns, their titles and representative provinces are:

Horn of the Iron Bow - Caelain
Horn of the Gaian Spear - The Vandermark
Horn of the Burning Axe - Ahestere
Horn of the Oaken Mace - Lacharn
Horn of the Flowing Sword - Arbrecht

Each Horn has the choice to use their title in place of their family name. Meaning that were, for example, Adrien Fontenot the Horn of the Flowing Sword (And not the King), it would be perfectly acceptable for him to be called “Adrien of the Flowing Sword.” It is treated as the equivalent of addressing them as “Lord” for they already have the right to be called “Sir” due to their knighthood.

The Authority of Protection, a position on the Royal Council, has always been given to the captain of the Five Horns, a position which has been assigned over the years to the most capable of all the Five Horns. As they have no qualms about female members and it is a process based entirely upon merit, this led to a rather difficult position where the Council position was opened up to the Horn of the Oaken Mace at the time, in 147, who was a female Horn. Tensions had mounted between the Horns and the Council, but with their history and position of trust, the Council were the ones to adapt their acceptance policies. As it is a title given to the best of the Horns, it is interchangeable between each of the particular titles.

They are responsible for the protection and safety of the King of Forsilvra, his family and to a lesser extent the Royal Council members that are travelling to distant provinces as per their duties. At least three, including the Authority of Protection, remain in Forsilvra at any given time to tend to their duties to the King.

The History

Over four hundred years ago, the Linchao Republic, a democratic country, descended upon the then fractured kingdoms. The first such consumed was Lachern and each of the spies from different kingdoms reported back that an enormous force massed in their newly conquered borders. The times felt dark for Lacharn, where all of value, all crops and all their people seemed little more than a commodity for the Linchao Republic to spend and life became little more than that of working for a need that was not of their people. Their foreign ways brought a completely peculiar idea of selecting governors for their areas by popular vote, a thoroughly uncomfortable idea for the now Forsilvrans. The Linchao Republic occupied Lacharn for nearly two centuries, over which the rest of the islands grew distrustful of their intentions and watched them carefully. It was only then, two hundred years later, that the Linchao Republic decided it was time to strike.

Where the Linchao Republic marched for one purpose, the seperate Kingdoms continued to fight alone, which was leading to the armies of each being sorely pressed. It was the radical Jondé Fontenot, who first proposed that they needed to band together to fight back the tide, after winning the first victory against the invaders on the very shores of Forsilvra. A brilliant strategist and reader of men, he saw that the Northlands were in dire straits, but had the most potential to send forth to help others. This was his second battlefield and second victory, brought about by his and a general of the North, a man by the name of Gerald's, hands. He summoned the victorious forces, both his own and Gerald's, next to free the Vandermark. It was a bloody battle, but they emerged victorious a veteran general, Lucius, to lead the armies of the Vandermark and immediately marched on Ahestere. The invaders were pushed into the deserts, or back to their boats, but against the united front that the three other forces now presented, they had no chance. Many were killed or driven to their boats and burned. A knight called Seth was the leader that Jondé recruited from the burning deserts, before they all descended on Caelain. It was yet another resounding victory, where a young man named Cortland was taken into the united forces and treated as Jondé's primary tactician. Riding high on their chain of victories, the five united armies led their forces to the final test - Lacharn.

It was here that they suffered their first bitter defeat, for the Linchao Republic still held their garrisons fast in the lands, but while Cortland continued to organise the forces, Jondé hatched a plot. He spread rumours about the Linchao Republic's intentions in Lacharn and convinced many key leaders that they needed to fight for their freedoms before their "masters" buried them all. Among these, a woman named Rhianwen declared that it had been decreed that Lacharn was to be free by a higher power and gathered a sizable revolutionary force to her side. Seeing his opportunity, Jondé and his allies took the opportunity to attack. Thus pressed from both outside and losing key positions due to revolutions on the inside, the Linchao Republic lost their hold on Lacharn after a full four centuries of holding the land. But they were not done yet. When each general returned to their own lands to organise their defenses, the Linchao Republic sent another invasion force to Caelain and arranged a feint against all the other islands, to keep them occupied. Jondé did not falter, commanding a vehement defense of Forsilvra for nearly a hundred days without letting them establish a strong foothold inside their islands. This bought the rest of the champions enough time to push back their respective forces and under the leadership of Cortland, they brought their forces forth and finally crushed what was left of the invasion force. It was when he saw each flying his banner, that Jondé laughed and loudly declared that "With my Five Horns protecting me, forever will I be safe!"

Jondé, for his decisive part in the battles, was soon after declared King of Forsilvra and asked the Five generals to join him as his personal guard and commanders of his armies, while the provinces recovered. Sadly, however, the first to aid was also the first to go as Gerald was found to have fallen in battle. This caused Jondé to command Cortland, who had been the de facto leader, to arrange another candidate and led to the establishment of a clearly defined succession system. In the centuries since Forsilvra was truly formed and the provinces returned to true strength, the commanding of armies has instead become the responsibility of the Provincial Lords, rather than the most famous knights. So as not to render such an important part of their history invalid though, the Five Horns instead honour their roles by being the personal guard of the young King Adrien. They serve with diligence, skill, honour and above all else loyalty to the crown.

The Culture

To become a member of the Five Horns is, simply put, the greatest of privileges. There is no age, gender or culture limitations except those imposed by the culture of each individual Horn. If a female would be able to serve as a knight in the culture, then that same female would be allowed to serve on the Five Horns for their country. Equally, if the limitations are that one cannot reach fully fledged knighthood until the age of thirty, the Horns recognise this and take it into account. There are no predefined limitations to the Horns, however. As long as their sword arm is strong and they can still flex a bow, they are not relieved of service.

The selection process begins at an extremely early age. It is every knight’s duty to report to their representative Horn on a squire that shows particular promise. The existing Horn, or a representative, will then test the child as to their attitude and their natural ability. It is then down to the particular Horn to decide if the child is indeed potential material for the Horn or whether he or she is simply not cut out for service. There is no limit how many potential squires that any Horn may have lined up from squires, for they are not yet in a position to prove themselves or their worthiness, but when the squires become fully fledged knights, the rules tend to change.

Upon being made a knight, any who are “marked” for the ability to be a Horn are tested once more, to establish that they are still a viable candidate and providing that they continue to be, they are encouraged to enter tournaments and prove their skills against other knights. At times, full tournaments have been known to be set up made up entirely of candidates for the Horns, or "Young Horn" as they have come to be known. It is imperative that a Young Horn has won at least two separate tournaments to be considered any further at this point, each tournament being in a separate skill. For example, it may be that they win a tournament of Jousting and one of Archery, or one of Sword and one of Axe. It matters not as long as it is two seperate styles. There is no boon granted for those who win more tournaments than the requirement, nor is there a penalty if a Young Horn is on the end of failure more often than not. It is more to test the drive and willingness of the potentials, to see how they cope with failure and success and to ensure that they are among the best of fighters. It is, however, in their best interests to win a tournament in the weapon that their Province’s Horn represents, which has led to many young squires being trained from the start primarily in these such weapons.

Once the Young Horn's worth is proven, the true Horns are to choose no more than five true apprentices, all down to the Horn’s personal observations and decisions. They will alternate which stays with the Horn each month, acting as the Horn’s squire, accompanying them on any duties and generally shadowing their lives. After the first five months, the Horn is expected to be able to judge who their most fitting successor is and from then on, the next Horn is trained in his duties by the current Horn.

A true Horn is expected to have unwavering devotion to their duty, the crown and their other Horns, particularly the Captain. They are expected to be almost unbeatable in the weapon of their region and to be the very pinnacle of knighthood, holding staunchly to the values of honour, discipline and loyalty. To be a Horn is to be above base corruption and their image is taken very seriously. A Horn who is publicly disgraced due to poor behaviours can expect to not be a knight for much longer, the Captain being the very embodiment of the “Perfect Knight” and responsible for maintaining the Horns beneath them.

Captaincy, or becoming the Authority of Protection, is considered the last and greatest of trials that a Horn has to complete. As each and every Horn must compete for the position, it is a series of trials that test each and every one of them to their limits. This is the most renowned of all, as everyone knows of it. The test is a tournament held in Forsilvra that showcases the talents of each and every one of the Horns. Five tournaments are held, whereby only four horns compete in each. Each tournament is of one of the weapons - Bow, Axe, Spear, Sword and Mace and each of the Horns bar those considered the “master” of the style competes. If there isn’t a clear victor by the end of these five tournaments, then all five compete in a sixth tournament - Jousting. Each must face each other Horn once and the winner of these is declared the Authority of Protection. It takes place in one day and tests not only each Horn’s overall skill, but their endurance.

The Horns are each individually responsible for fulfilling their obligations to the King, performing any extra duties he requires of them and to be the very example of their country for the King’s eyes. They are also entirely responsible for training and exhausting all candidates for future Horns, though a lot is done by proxy as their duties tend to keep them away from their own land. The Captain is responsible for all of this, but also for ensuring the remaining Horns are doing their duties, to command the Royal Guard and to ensure all are equally trained. As the Horns are not allowed to marry, out of concerns of the divided loyalties it could force them to have between family and king, they are also expected to remain chaste so as to eliminate any chance of them having family.

The Fable

Little King, Little King, why had you so many rings?
One of blue, a watery hue.
One of red, a fiery thread.
One of green, an earthly sheen.
One of brown, a wooden crown
One of silver, a metal shiver.
“The rings?” So said the little King, “They stop the darkness coming in.”

As with every story, the ages tend to make every rumour into a legend. The Five Horns are no less so. Each was truly a person in the history of the land, who fought back the Linchao Republic with both tenacity and skill, but what seperates the myth from the truth? Originally, there were indeed five such heroes and each truly did wield the weapon their provinces are now renowned for, but if fable is to become reality, the story changes most dramatically…

At the darkest hour, when all hope had faded from Forsilvra, with none to carry the banner for their freedom, shone five great shafts of light, visible to all in the land. One fell upon each soon to be hero and from this, they knew they were destined to aid the King of Forsilvra to push the evil invaders from their desecrated islands.

In the freezing lands at the north was a man known by many names. Gerald to some, Geralt to others…a man of many names, but all agreed on one thing - He was a giant of a man and bald as a babe’s head, who wielded a two handed sword that he had pulled from the very icy depths of the Northlands. With each swing of the sword, rivers crashed and rain fell at his very command. Known as a man to be at the very spearpoint of formations and able to recover from any wound, he struck the first blow against the invaders as they struck north. The very air freezing around each swing from the trail of water, the seas engulfing the ships of the invaders, the mighty sword wielder was unstoppable and drove back the darkness.

The calm beaches, mountains and plains of the islands known now as The Vandermark began to quake as their hero found their calling. A simple older man, known as Lucius, found that as he continued to plow his field with his sturdy hoe, the earth shattered beneath his strike and revealed to him a glorious spear. He had once been a soldier, well versed in the use and began to practice as he once had. When a blow landed upon the earth, it shook open. When one landed upon a rock, it shattered into pieces. Even mountains moved out of his way when Lucius brought his spear down. All too soon, the invaders came. But faced with the very rock and soil repelling their advance, how could any truly mount a successful invasion? They retreated before the might he represented.

Another soldier, fast and true, was the hero of the south. Outcast from the cities of Ahestere, for refusing to simply surrender before the might of the Linchao Republic, he was, so he was sent to their desert to die. Nearly a day had passed and even he, the hardiest of men, was struggling to go on, for he had ran out of water and food. But lo! Down came a bright light which engulfed him. It called his name, gently beckoning for him to continue. Seth remembered his name and found his purpose, rejuvenated. A rolling flame crossed the desert and engulfed Seth, but he felt no pain as it wrapped him in it’s embrace and formed into his hand an axe, hot to the touch. He found that when he carried it, heat could do him no harm or no discomfort and even heeded his call, spewing from the axe with each swing. He ran back from his sandy tomb and made the lands of Ahestere stay their own, as he had held true to before even discovering such power. The enemy ships were razed to the ground with each swing of his axe, even as they sailed away. Ahestere was safe.

The next hero to rise was the humble blacksmith of Caelain, a man by the name of Cortland. He was a simple peasant, forced into making simple metal horseshoes for a living to pay his taxes, for all the other blacksmiths had made sure that his reputation for blades was ruined. He was a man who could forge anything from metal, but out of jealousy, they spread rumours that he used false irons. He tried to prove his innocence, but the damage was done and he was only ever trusted for mending and repairing, never crafting. Unable to bring in the funds he needed to pay taxes and to feed his family, he took up hunting and began using that to feed his family as he crafted by night. One day, his forge was lit and the sun broke the clouds to cast a beacon of light onto his anvil, whereupon rested a half completed sword. Perplexed, he began to hammer the sword, an experience he had not had for years, but it became curved as his muscles seemed to move of their own will. He realised, once it had cooled, that he had crafted a metal bow and knew somehow that he could wield it. Cortland tested the bow, hunting, and found that he could bend the metal as if it were wooden. Infact, even his dagger seemed to curve when he willed the metal to bend. Eventually, he used his bow and his control over the strong element to break the shackles the invaders threatened over Caelain.

The last hero to rise was from Lacharn. An artisan by trade, a woman who knew how to handle a hammer was Rhianwen. She was content working upon the strong woods that she was provided and was happy building houses and the like for those she cared for - her fellow Lacharn. But their invaders sought to use her skills for monetary gain, not for good, which made her resentful of what they sought to do. So it was that when a beam of light illustrated an old oak tree, she knew. She knew she was destined for better than they intended her for. She followed the light and gently laid a hand on the tree, watching in horror as it burst into splinters before her. But where the tree had once stood, floated a wooden mace that she knew was meant for her. It wasn’t long after taking the weapon in her hands that she found she could see and hear the woods around her, the nature, that she was even able to bring all the splinters back together and rebuild the tree which gave her this boon. So with the power of nature itself at her back, she led Lacharn to freedom.

Thus having freed all of their lands, the five heroes united and struck for what was left of their oppressors. Cortland led Rhianwen, Lucius, Seth and Gerald to victory over the armies that had assembled to one final showdown, but found they were at a stalemate. For all of their elements, the enemy could equal them. It was then that the King of Forsilvra descended upon the men, uniting them as his Five Horns, surrounded with an aura of light. It was then that the heroes knew where their powers had come from - The divine monarch himself. They united their powers, the King imbuing them with supernatural skill and strength, forcing the Linchao Republic to retreat back to their home country with their tails between their legs.

This is how Forsilvra was born.

Credit: Luke

Last edited by Jenn; 05-25-2013 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:23 PM
The Lioness of Forsilvra
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The Five Horns of the Court of King Adrien Fontenot:

ArbrechtSir Kenneth Montrose of the Flowing SwordPremaximum
The VandermarkSir Izlude Feran of the Gaian SpearOPEN
LacharnSira Torrence Aubrey of the Oaken MaceFriday
CaelainTristan Kyffin of the Iron BowTeagan
AhestereSir Regnier Faucon of the Burning AxeAaron

Reflects current positions as of 3.8.2014

Precedence of the King's Horns:

Horns of Arbrecht and the Flowing Sword
  • Sir Arthur Emmerich
    • Sir Kenneth Montrose

Horns of the Vandermark and the Gaian Spear
  • Sir Joran Wintour
    • Sir Dagonet Harrowgate
      • Sir Izlude Feran

Horns of Lacharn and the Oaken Mace
  • Sir Yorah Maddock
    • Sira Torrence Aubery

Horns of Caelain and the Iron Bow
  • Sir Owen Faerald
    • Sir Geoffry Tanear
      • Sir Victor Goddart

Horns of Ahestere and the Burning Axe
  • Sir Roland Liover
    • Sir Ardeshir SanJar
      • Sir David Saliba
        • Sir Yusuf SanJar
          • Sir Regnier Faucon

Last edited by Jenn; 03-08-2014 at 03:28 PM.
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