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 Post subject: Only in Memory - The Barony of Byrne
PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 10:26 am 
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Glorwing Elder
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Geographical and Economic Notes

Byrne is a city state located West of Port Sunrise, the capital of Glorwing. Deep in the Misty Mountains, it lies on the banks of the river Deluvian, just downstream of a large lake known as the Dead Lake, Wurlac. Other than the town itself, Byrne also holds a number of farms in the vicinity, whose produce feed the town.

Byrne is self-sufficient with respect to most things, though it's small enough that luxury goods are not made locally, but rather imported. As it possesses little of export value, such goods are therefore rare. Its munitions industry is large for the town's size, capable of producing large numbers of (non-magical) high quality weapons and armour. This industry has its roots in Byrne's dangerous location, and during the reign of Daithi Byrne, the industry underpinned the Baron's war effort.

Most trade to and from Byrne takes place along the river. The roads are not safe enough - undead haunt the path to Port Sunrise, while the dangerous and hostile state of Liana lies between Byrne and Darkwoods. While heavily armed caravans occasionally travel by road, the vast majority of merchants make use of the waterways.

Culture

The people of Byrne are proud, long-suffering and tough. The current government of Byrne is benevolent and supports personal freedoms, which in the majority of citizens has engendered a sense of confidence that has been missing for many years. However, Byrne's dark past and difficult situation, alongside the abundance of dark magic in the area, have tempted many to take advantage of their new-found freedom, to experiment with ways of gaining personal power - especially with the current Governor not being of Byrne himself.

The majority of Byrne's population as decent, hardworking folk who are happier with their lot now than they have been at any time in the recent past, quick to anger if insulted, and quick to defend themselves if threatened. However, while Byrne is free from the tyranny that once gripped it, it is still in a very dangerous location, surrounded by enemies on all sides. The disaffected supporters of the old Baron appear to have joined forces with nearby Liana, turning the attention of that land onto the city, while the Misty Mountains have always been a land where the dead do not rest easy in their graves.

Politics

To a large extent, the political standing of Byrne is and will continue to be defined by the Governor - especially in the current case. The direction thus far has been towards a place where representatives of all nations can gather on neutral ground to discuss grievances and work together on common threats.

History

By the Lord Governor, Mithreas Elendaril

Though I was not born in Byrne it has become my home, and I have familiarised myself with as much of its history as I can find. This Barony is younger than I am, yet its history is far greater. Though much could be written of the heroes and heroines, villains and others who have populated the lively history of the Barony, for the purposes of this introduction an overview will suffice.

The history of Byrne extends back to Drakmark, the land from which the mage Gilmore opened the rift that brought the first expedition to these lands. Among the many noble families in Drakmark where the four who were to become the founders of the town of Byrne: Belus, Gars, Hora and Byrne. Members of all four families took part in the expedition, bequeathing their estates in Drakmark to second sons and seeking to found larger and grander estates in the new world, knowing that the road would be hard but that the rewards were potentially vast. Each family brought retainers and companions, and between them they made up a sizeable part of the expedition.

The early years of the history of Wilwarin are documented elsewhere, and need not be repeated here. Suffice to say that when Victor Lumens I was crowned King of Glorwing, there were those who decided that they would be better off founding a town of their own, and not bowing to the new King. The land was not well known then, however, and the portals were not yet open. These pioneers, led by the four families, set off into the mountains to found their own home.

They settled at the site of what is now Byrne. The river provided water and trade with the nascant Sun Kingdom, the valley was fertile and a fine place for farms, and the site they chose was well-placed for defense against the unknown dangers of the land. The new town took form rapidly, and the leaders of the four families met to decide on a name. Temon Byrne, the leader of the Byrne family, was a charismatic man and had been the driving force behind the new settlement. He was popular among the people, and well-known. Since its founding, the town had been known informally both within its walls and back in Port Sunrise as "Byrne's town", and it was with a good-natured sense of humour that the leaders of the families decided to acknowledge that the formal name. They were less willing to hand full power to one of their number, however: all four families had come here to escape the rule of another. Temon was content that the town bore his name, and agreed to share power. The arrangement would be as follows: the leaders of the families would rule in a council, and each would take turns to hold the pre-eminent place and the nominal title of "Baron" for a period of five years.

The arrangement worked well. With all four families committed to the arrangement, and no family strong enough to resist the other three combined, Byrne flourished for a century. The mountains were never especially safe, but Byrne stood strong under good governance, and if the occasional 5-year term passed where the governor was less than effective, it was never truly threatened. Until something unexpected happened.

A man entered Wilwarin, by the name of Daithi Byrne. A powerful mage and the leader of a mercenary company in Drakmark, he had passed through a portal in search of an enemy called Malin... and ended up in the world a branch of his family had helped found. The Wilwarin branch of the Byrne family at this point consisted of the elderly Gomon Byrne, near the end of his days, and his son Iiliyan. When Goman heard that one of Byrne blood had arrived in this world and was a powerful wizard, he sent for him. For his part, Daithi was shocked to learn of his new position, and learnt all that he could about his long-lost family. It was then that the seeds of ambition were planted. Iiliyan died in a hunting accident a year later. Gomon passed away in his sleep a bare month after, weeks into the his tenure as Baron. Though there is no proof of Daithi's involvement in either death, it cannot be discounted: in any case, Daithi became baron.

With all the experience of a successful adventurer and mercenary captain, Daithi was a fine baron and leader. However, when the end of his term came, he refused to cede power. With his magic, and thanks to the appointment of men loyal to him in key positions, the other families could not stop him. Daithi became the absolute ruler of Byrne, and set about consolidating his power.

However, this was not enough for him: he desired more. Digging into the forbidden arts, he sought and found the secrets of lichdom. To the despair of his wife, a kind and loving woman who was torn between her love for the man he had been and her fear of what he was fast becoming, Daithi mastered the necromantic arts. Entrusting his son with the roles of Commander of the Byrne Guard and guardian of his phylactery, Daithi ruled Byrne with an iron fist.

Then in the year 134 ACR the Queen of the neighbouring Sun Kingdom left on a pilgrimmage. Daithi saw a chance to gain even more power, and began plotting to take Port Sunrise. However, he reckoned without his wife. Monia Byrne, despairing at the thought of all the free peoples of Wilwarin suffering the same fate as those of Byrne, secretly sent word to the court of Glorwing. The messenger reached me...

The fall of Daithi and the liberation of Byrne is a large topic, and has its own book, entitled "The Fall and Rise of Byrne". Suffice to say that Byrne lies free now. The leaders of the families rule in council once more, but no longer trust one of themselves to lead. I serve as Lord Governor, chosen by the Council, and hold the position at their gift. Should I or one of my successors turn against the people of Byrne, we will not have five years to prepare.

_________________
The great thing about D&D is that stupidity is punishable by death. ~ Unknown

That which is eternal can never die.
===
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Mithreas - Elven sage, wandering bard


Last edited by Mithreas on Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:23 pm 
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Glorwing Elder
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The Fall and Rise of Byrne
A recent history of Byrne, by Lord Governor Mithreas Elendaril.

History, the saying goes, is written by the victors. And indeed, I am writing this as the Governor of Byrne, after myself and others evicted the lich Daithi from power and unlife. And yet, while many would write of such events with joy, telling of the good that was done here, and the evil vanquished, I am too close to events to really feel triumphant. I do not regret what was done, for there is no question that Daithi had to be defeated. I will not, however, pretend that his fall was the same glorious event to those closely involved, as it was to those who were simply observers.

Before I tell this story, I will introduce the people involved, for this is where the tragedy of war is made apparant; at the personal level. Glorious victories are for nations, not individuals. The cast of this play, this history of our time, is as follows. The lich baron, Daithi Byrne, should be known to most of you by reputation. A powerful wizard who sought and found lichdom, he had seized unquestioned power in the Barony. His wife, Monia Byrne, followed Daithi from another world. She of all people could still see the man she loved within the shell of the lich, and never truly gave up hope on him, though despairing at what he had become. Their son, Nicholas, served as Commander of the Byrne Guard. Closer to his father - and what his father had become - than to his mother, Nicholas was a skilled warrior whose skills were augmented by his father's magic. Nicholas was also married, and his young son Nick, eight when events began, was a happy, playful child with innate talent for the ways of magic. His spirit had none of the darkness of his father's or grandfather's.

Members of the second family of Byrne, the Belus family, are also key to the story. Dyneth, the elderly matriarch of the Belus family, was a member of the Council of Byrne that Daithi had overcome to take power. She lived quietly, accepting the burdens she was forced to bear by Daithi, but never forgot what Byrne had been and should be. Lacking the power to overthrow Daithi, she nonetheless showed great personal strength to weather his rule without losing her principles. Dyneth had a daughter and heir, Dyna, whose marriage to Nicholas was arranged before darkness fell over the Byrnes. Dyna, like her mother and Monia, did her duty yet retained her dignity. She loved her son, and taught him much of kindness and love. It is said that the richest rose is the one that grows in manure: Byrne, even in a time of darkness, produced many of the finest people I have ever met, forged in the fire of hardship.

The other two whose story this is were not of Byrne. I served as Royal Bard and Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Royal Court of Glorwing, and as Lord Chaplain to the Royal Victorian Order of Peace Guards. Aware of the rule of Daithi in neighbouring Byrne, I was yet unaware of the many who suffered under Daithi's rule. And Celorfiriel Amastacia served as Commander of the Praetorians, headqartered in Port Sunrise.

The tale begins a month or so after Queen Victoria left the Castle of the Sun to embark upon her quest for Mysilvia. I was returning to the castle from Darkwoods, late at night as was my wont. This was somewhat unfortunate for the cloaked man creeping along the corridor of one of the bedroom wings, who found himself immobilised by magic. To my considerable surprise, however, he died before I could question him... his soul sucked from his very body by an amulet he wore. Searching him, and studying the amulet, I determined that he had come from Byrne... but could only guess why. A week later, however, I found out.

An elderly woman came looking for me. She found friends of mine, and I was called over. She refused to speak to any but me and my wife, and when we met with her in the mountains I determined why. She introduced herself as Dyneth, describing herself as one of those bound to the service of Daithi. She came to warn us that Daithi was building an army to attack Glorwing, intending to take advantage of the absence of the Queen to seize Port Sunrise and proclaim himself King. Her words rang true, and her demeanour impressed me; she had risked much to travel to the Misty Mountains to warn us. We offered her safety in the Kingdom, but she refused, telling us she belonged in Byrne, and left us. Returning towards Port Sunrise, we encountered a spirit near the gates. It taunted us, and spoke of Dyneth's demise. I did not let it finish; I was already running back towards the mountains and Byrne, my wife Heather at my side. In the Fields of the Fallen we spoke to the farmers; they had not seen Dyneth return, but they -had- seen the Commander, returning from the east with a bloodied sword. Fearing the worst we sought and found her, and were going to take her body to the Temple of the Sun back in Port Sunrise. But a man in rags, claiming to be her son, approached us and asked that he be given care of the body, for it not to be raised. We did not know Dyneth well, and were unwilling to go against the wishes of her family. But I have discovered since that Dyneth had no son. I do not know who took her body, but their deed has surely damned them in the eyes of the gods.

Back in Glorwing, we began to make preparations. Regent and Lord Commander Torren Han-Lyle and General of the Sun Guard Brethik Aeluen, assisted by Lord Excelsus Kaveros Sennald, planned for the defense of the capital. Lord Kaveros set the Peace Guard to roving duties in the mountains, to disrupt patrols and gather information. And I and those I trust set about answering the question: how could we defeat Daithi once and for all? There was nothing to be gained in attacking Byrne in force. Daithi would simply return, unless and until we could find and destroy his phylactery. I also began to make other plans, for the peace. It would not be enough simply to remove Daithi, for without his control we feared for what his lieutenants could do. I approached the Praetorians, and asked them if they would be willing to offer to take on peacekeeping duties once Daithi was removed. At a meeting with Celorfiriel and Candor Thorne, it was agreed.

Skirmishes continued. Our scouts located the body of Daithi's troops, mercenaries and undead for the most part, with an elite core of highly trained and well-equipped Byrne guards. Daithi raided the town of Delta, but his forces were beaten off by guards and adventurers. And a young boy called Nick started making appearances in the Kingdom, generally around the Standing Stones and portals in towns. He charmed everyone who met him, and it was not for a while that we realised who he was, at a time when attempts to reach peace by diplomatic means had ended with Commander Nicholas striking at me as I stood unarmed to speak with him.

We learned that Nicholas held his father's phylactery. This explained his apparent authority (for it had been he who had spoken for Byrne during the attempted negotiations). I offered young Nick the chance to stay with us, and offered to teach him to better control the talent for magic he had shown. I had several reasons for doing this. Not only did I enjoy the boy's company, and wish to see his innate potential realised, but I did not wish to see him learn at the feet of his grandfather. And the other motive, the one that still draws criticism from some quarters even today, is that I wished to use Nick to end the conflict. With Nick in Glorwing, we would have had a powerful lever over Nicholas and hence his father as well, and by protecting Nick from the influence of his father and grandfather we would have given Byrne a future. There are those who believe that it is always wrong to use a child in this way: I believed then and believe now that many died who did not have do, because this plan was never used. Including Nick himself, but that belongs much later in the tale.

So the skirmishes continued. Scouts into Byrne recovered an attack plan targetting the Western gate of Port Sunrise, and delivered it to the Regent to inform the defense. Skirmishes continued on the fields. And young Nick became smitten by Celorfiriel, talking to anyone who would listen, in Glorwing or Byrne, of his "princess". Then one day, he brought her a gift; a gemstone, glowing with power, that he had taken from his parents' home. She guessed what it was immediately, and brought it to me. Daithi's phylactery.

Another saying for you all; you're probably sick of them by now. "Politics is no place for a moral man". What were we to do? To use Nick's innocent, loving gift to defeat his father and grandfather? Or not to use it, and to allow the war to continue? Was I to betray Nick, or to betray Byrne, and those like Dyneth who had died because they believed in a Byrne that was not ruled by a lich, that was free? Gaining the phylactery should have been a moment of triumph, but it was ash in our mouths.

We struck, a small, hand-picked team of a dozen to minimise casualties. We confronted Daithi, destroyed the phylactery, and after it, the lich. Nicholas charged us immediately after, intent on fighting to the death. I watched as the finest warriors of Glorwing gave him the death he demanded. But we were not fast enough. Those I had sent to ensure Monia's safety found only her blood covering the walls and floor of her room. Others celebrated the victory, but those few of us closest to events felt no triumph. And when Nick emerged from hiding, from where he had seen everything, he called me out, cursing my name. Some tried to silence him, but I silenced them. I had made my decision before we had left Glorwing, and I had betrayed his trust for what I believed to be the good of Byrne. I offered him my life, his vengeance, for what I had done to him. I do not know if he even heard my words through his pain. He left his ring for Cel, and ran off. I let him go.

We returned to Daithi's throneroom, for we had to ensure that our actions did not destroy Byrne itself. Cel started organising those with us into a temporary guard, to keep the streets safe, and I bid them carry a message to the leaders among the people: come to the keep, and determine how you shall be ruled. Three answered our call: I know them now as Dyna Belus, Selah Hora and Belil Gars, the leaders of the three other families. Dyna spoke for them, and bid me serve as Governor. I refused: I could not tell whether the decision was made from fear, and knew that much had transpired that day that might cause Byrne to wish me gone. I accepted instead the post of Interim Governor, stating my task as being that of returning Byrne to stability and health, whereupon I would ask the Families to choose whether or not they wished me to continue.

Stability was brought, and Dyna and the others chose to confim my position. Nick went missing for months, and returned a grown man, fully in command of his powers and with a man's experience from another world. He claimed to bear no grudge against me, and resumed his rightful place on the Council. An assassin, thought to be loyal to the old regime, stalked myself, my wife Heather, and Cel. Members of the Old Guard based themselves in the caves Daithi had gathered his army in, or fled to Liana to offer their skills and training in exchange for respect and employment. And we restored Byrne's strength, as quickly as we could, the Praetorians taking a hand in training and bolstering the new Byrne guard until it became strong enough to see off the threats of Liana, the Old Guard, and the endemic undead.

There is one final event that in itself completes both the triumph and the tragedy of the tale. The assassin, so skilled that none had proven able to touch him, was eventually slain - by Nick. And yet, Nick himself perished in the battle. His loss is deeply felt by all who knew him, myself included. He was an fine young man, and deserved a better life than he got. With his passing, Celorfiriel sits as his chosen heir on the Council of Byrne.

_________________
The great thing about D&D is that stupidity is punishable by death. ~ Unknown

That which is eternal can never die.
===
Ex admin-type
Mithreas - Elven sage, wandering bard


Last edited by Mithreas on Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Only in Memory - The Barony of Byrne
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:49 am 
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Glorwing Lead DM
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Location: right here but in a parallel universe
The Final Demise and Second Exodus of Byrne

by Allaya Adjanti

Thinking that we had survived Hell many times over, we were too arrogant in thinking we could handle anything. Byrne withstood much of the brunt of Liana's advances during the war. Byrne had repelled the undead constantly through the years during the reign of Mithreas and beyond. Byrne stood firm against Liana's second, short-lived aggression. Byrne stood steadfast against the Kingdom when they threatened an unjust war against Dun-Ammon. Byrne stood by its ally the Kingdom when it was needed most. Its people had endured tragedy and occupation by Daithi Byrne.

We were not prepared for Eve.

All my efforts combating Eve in the world was rebuffed time and again. I thought her nothing more than a spoiled brat with entirely too much power. I underestimated the depths of her intelligence by leaps and bounds, as well as her depravity. Her aggression against Byrne was not something that could be handled with sheer force. Instead of meeting us with force as she did in Eagle's Nest or the Delta, she inflicted a new curse of undeath upon Byrne. An artifact of immense power not only attracted undead from the Misty Mountain, it infected the populace with a disease that quickly purified the living much like a plague and Turned them against those who remained. Its power seeped into the water supply. By the time we discovered it, it was already too late and over half the population succumbed in a matter of days. The magic of the Goddess saved only a tiny handful.

I had to use my own strength to destroy the artifact. I am loathed to use "That", but it was absolutely necessary to ensure the artifact would not survive beyond this plague. Though we accomplished destroying that artifact and started distributing existing alcohol reserves for people to drink until the water table could recover, the people were quickly being driven mad with the grief of so many of their loved ones and friends dying to the plague. They destroyed the Sun Temple, blaming the Goddess for not protecting them. They rioted in the streets. They overran the Keep, finding that the governor and most all of his staff had also died to the plague. I rallied what soldiers remained, and we restored order just long enough to get most of the people out and we made our way towards Port Sunrise. Behind us, we closed and sealed the gates. To this day, those gates have never been reopened.

We saw the fires from the road begin to consume the city. With no safe water, and at that time, no one left living inside, it has likely consumed most all of the city. We do not know what has happened behind those walls since. It has been several years since those days, and though I long to look upon it, I know that Byrne can never be rebuilt in this lifetime. For now, its citizens have long moved on, establishing a settlement further north of the Misty Mountains near the rocky shores of Northern Glorwing. It is a less hospitable land, but at least no undead can be found within a few hundred kilometers. The spirit of Byrne remains very much alive, as does that survivalist mentality of its people. So long as those few survive and thrive, they can never be defeated. Daithi couldn't do it, Melki failed, and so too shall Eve.

Like the former governor and my friend Mithreas, I feel a connection to these people. I may have since moved on, leaving the people to continue without me, but I still feel more at home with them than anyone else in this world. I serve as a Lancer, and currently call Eagle's Nest my base of operations. But when I go home, it will be to New Byrne.

_________________
To all of my children in whom Life flows abundant
To all of my children to whom Death hath passed his judgement
The soul yearns for honor, and the flesh the hereafter
Look to those who walked before to lead those who walk after

Shining is the Land's light of justice
Ever flows the Land's well of purpose
Walk free, walk free, walk free, believe...
The Land is alive, so believe...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgEg8kXmifo


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