The Chamber heaved with the ever growing crowds of clan indentured and rites, banners flapping in the recirculating wind from the overhead fans as the blades slowly wafted a cool breeze into the tight space. The sound of a thousand voices clashed with one another, a cry of a dozen different clans grating with one another and at the same time the voice of one people reverberating into the darkness of the ruins beyond. Walking amongst the various bands adjudicators traced the lines like lone wolves amongst hounds, every watchful for the first sign of weapons being drawn as old enemies we’re forced into close proximity with one another. Sat in the midst of this sea of barely contained violence sat a wide open pedestal platform, no more than a foot higher than the ground but almost 30 metres in diameter, a set of 5 banners stood proudly behind 5 figures at rest up upon seats made of various scrap and broken wears. One Lone figure stood above it all on a singular balcony built into the wall of the chamber; a two handed blade rested on its tip as the figure silently purveyed all below them, each of the lone figures marching between the clans standing motionless at the merest nod as the five figures rose from their seats. Silence spread like a wave of calm through out the chamber as the thanes of the 5 most powerful clans stood to address the various clans present, from the lowliest gutter clan to the highest war hold, all silent before the very presence of the council and the High Adjudicator. “Clans men and women of the Cellborn, another cycle passes and another matter draws our blades from their rest” the high adjudicators’ voice boomed throughout the chamber “Heed the words of the council and your thanes, and you may bay their notice and slack your thirst for bond and pay”, a ripple of applause ran through the clans supported by roars of approval and the rattle of weapons brandished in salute, one of the council thanes bearing the mark of the Skull rakes beckoning them on with a great cry and roar of his own. “The Skull bound marks our words with strength of conviction” chuckled another of the council thanes, a shield slung over his back as he sat back in his chair, the metal creaking, “And so I will again shield born, our blood is up and scalps are for us to claim” the Skull rake boomed to the snarling crowd who roared in reply. “We have matters to discuss that require all clans to know and feel not just your lust for blood or your faith” a voice cut through the two thanes cries like a cold sword through flesh. The thane of the Grey Blades stood, resting his weight upon a stick made of warped metal that would form a mace should it ever be swung covered shades of burnished metal that had never been washed ascertaining to this very fact. “Our outriders have ridden through the ruined lands and seen many thinks that we should mark with care” He walked slowly into the centre of the pedestal before halting and resting both hands on the mace cane, “We have foes to once again teach the strength of our arm and new friends to show the meaning of loyalty formed through blood” the other council thanes sat quietly as the elderly thane of the Grey blades spoke. “The War born of the old world, the Hive-sec, march to wars unknown as do our old friends in the north” he turned to look at each of the council thanes in turn, “Our stocks grow smaller and smaller by each day as we seek to ascertain new supplies of food for our clans, our oldest friends see derision and strife amongst their ranks and who answers their call to aid?” He stood straight as he pointed at each of the clans in turn “The Faithful Shield born whose shields guard our ways, or the skull rakes whose blades teach the ruins to respect our honour?” he shook his head “Do the silence of the shadows prey into the darkness or do the lives of the Verves seeking to strengthen their body?” He clicked his neck as he shifted his stance “None walk that path, none of the might that makes us who we are, the strength to stand by those that stand by us when the banners are called and the clans make war” He hissed in disgust, turning he beckoned an adjudicator over accompanied by a single clansmen who had been sat by the side of the pedestal, a two handed axe rested over the adjudicators shoulders. “Our Adjudicators walk the path as our eyes and who do they see treading the green holds to show our strength?” He turned and rested his hands on the clans-men’s shoulders “The banner of Clan Earl, a clan from the lowest of the Vaults that makes to stand taller than us all” He smirked at the clansmen “They work the path to show our strength as a people to be feared and held in regard, they know what it means to put everything in the strength of your arm and your conviction” He turned to face the other thanes, an arm arcing out to encompass all those surrounding them “Who will stand with them, who will lend their strength to be ours?” he roared to the crowds of baying Clans. A wave of war cries and oaths to stand by the earls erupted from the various clans, Silver wolves howling their electric cry whilst Blackened hounds roared and beat their shields in unison to the beat of their thanes’ war cries. These were cut off almost immediately by one of the council thanes standing to their feet as the movement drew the eyes of the clans, a banner of pure blackness waving gently behind them as they did so. “The Shadows will answer the call and watch from the darkness we bear” The Thane of the Shadow clan placed one fist to her chest in solemn salute, those shadows standing behind her repeating the gesture as if the darkness itself were alive. “Good, the shadows themselves will tear back the darkness as the blades of the earls drive it from our new claims” The thane of the Grey blades smiled, his eyes sharp with purpose as he thumped the ball of his cane against the metal platform, “then we shall settle the other matter that calls us here” he sat once more as the adjudicator escorting the clansmen walked themselves from the pedestal, clans cheering and offering their blades to the adjudicator and clansmen in support as they passed by. “Our old friends, the nomads of the ruins, to the north wage war on the foul spawn of the ruined lands,” he paused for a moment as he settled into his chair “our oldest friends fight a war within themselves against Ro’ni that spit on their brothers and sisters” The old Grey blade lent forward slightly, throwing something into the midst of the pedestal with the flick of a wrist, a pendant disc bent and covered in blood, “We show our hand once more as our lowest clans show that our friendship is forever loyal to our oldest friends, that our strength is no less strong no matter the humblest of origins” a silence answered his words as the other thanes studied the pendant with curiosity “We have hunted these Ro’ni and know their lair as it is in turn hunted by new blood to the ruins, a shadow calling from beyond our sight, yet it is not the nomads of the north who walk beside us as we fell upon them” a low growl and the sound of bones crunching began to come from the various clans around the council as the hatred for any Ro’ni began to boil over as they in turn jostled to study the pendant. “The Ancient hounds that we so regularly spar with in the ruins spilt their blood besides ours to run these separatists down at the cost of two of their clan” He looked each thane in the eye before pausing for a moment, his hands clasped firmly around his mace cane “What say you to this, to the strength shown to us by the Hive-sec, Blood spilt in offer of respect demands the same spilt in kind to their enemies”, the other thanes looked to one another as the various clans let rip with an ear splitting roar of approval and oaths in kind. “They make war to the east far beyond our holds, do we make war upon those that would spit on the respect shown between honour bound warriors, do we show them what the respect of strength begets amongst fellows born of war?” The chamber exploded in a roar as the grey blade sat back in his chair as the various clans bellowed for honours due for the loyalty shown to them whilst others roared for the hunt offered to them, the scent of war and blood calling to their very souls...
Military Campaign Progress Edit
Strength and the expression of its will can be found in many forms within a culture, from the simplest denial to back down in an argument to the willingness to stand up in front of a crowd of people many times your own size. At its most base it is the psychological statement to say no and to never submit to another when faced with the threat of oppression or pain. For the Cellborn this simple denial to ever back down in the face of danger can be expressed in the millennia old form of its willingness to fight, to take up arms and stand shoulder to shoulder with those at home you would call your foe, and drive those that would stand against you from your lands and from existence should the need arise where an example must be made. As such the movement and deployment of any army from the Cellborn is not the neat parades of soldiers or silent bands found in other cultures but the cry of thousands of voices as one beneath a sea of banners, matched by the rhythmic thud of boot soles pounding out a chorus to the sound of war horns and drums, every clansmen and women proudly donning the colours of the Iron blade and taking up their arms as the army marches to war and into the tales of legend amongst the clan holds.
Within the army proper the Hersekal in charge marshals the various Thaigs and their banner men into a semblance of order, hand picking those that have proven themselves in past wars and raids to lead the greatest cohorts of clan warriors whilst those that show promise are given command of hand picked bands of warriors to carry out specialist roles for the force, be that scouts, scavengers, thieves or assassins. Roughly every Thaig has 5 cohorts they can call upon within the army with each cohort being around 120 warriors, the Hersekal sitting atop all this as unquestioned lord of war amongst their fellow warriors. When war is met and warriors committed the Hersekal omits no disobedience and brooks no argument to their plan as the CellBorn claim what their strength demands be theirs amongst the ruins. This unequivocal truth binds every warrior to the armies cause and to the will of the clans as they march ever onward further and further into the ruins, grinding all those before them into submission or oblivion.
Accordingly within the first few days the iron blade marshals itself from the councils new claim directly east of the clan holds, a flood of bodies coalescing into one cohesive mass beneath a swarm of banners as cohorts of rival Thaigs clash for the right to lead the army out in short brawls beneath the ever watchful armies of the armies adjudicators. With no standing Hersekal the honour eventually falls to the Thaig of the first blades, the cohorts consisting of a large force of berserker indentured and vicious rites as the army begins its march northwards at the behest of the council. The first reports from ranging scouts report that the armies movement has brought them into range of a new land littered with as yet unclaimed spoils to be claimed by those with the strength to do so. Banners are raised across the Iron Blades as the force comes to a halt at the entrance, each thaig standing at the head of their force as they form an unwavering line of steel, shields and warriors. A cry of a dozen horns ranges up and down the lines as the Thaigs order the advance, cohorts moving up behind walls of glyph covered shields as rifle wielding skirmishers duck ahead of the lines, sweeping through ruins like hounds before a hunter. As the month draws to a close the army’s council draws in upon itself as the senior banner-men and Thaigs themselves discuss what has been found and how they should proceed, initial reports from advancing bands of scouts point to the new land being roughly half the size of their previous claim, several banner men and a couple of Thaigs muttering at the lack of anything substantial to let their warriors claim or fight. Some call for letting the cohorts loss to lay claim to their own personal trophies to send back to the clan holds, this is quashed harshly by the adjudicators however as they point to the clans work being uncomplete as yet and that final claim of these lands being a pre-requisite before personal glory being allowed to be met. The Thaigs crumble as they are want to do but agree that final claim must be met by the clans first, fresh orders being distributed by runners to the various cohorts as they march the army further onward.
The Second month passes with nought but the sound of crunching boots and the sound of war songs sung by hundreds of voices as the Iron Blade pushes onward, reports flit back and forth as a jovial mood slowly begins to set in as the multitude of clans begun to joke about the lack of anything to face in battle beyond the odd lone mutant sighting or occasion minor band of bandits that quickly scarper from view when faced with a wall of steel facing them under war born banners. Scouts leave markers behind them indicating that they have reached the furthest extent of the lands, a single route leading onward further to the north beyond the lands themselves. One thing over the course of the month however had become apparent to the Thaigs, the land had been a specialised place before the fall according to the shadow rites accompanying the army, covering the majority of the territory are huge barn like structures filled with rusted machinery, broken piles of equipment, rotting crates and stacks of stained plastics. One of the cohorts sends a runner back sighting a discovery to the west limits of the lands of a processing hall of some form, great robotic arms hanging limp over a single wide rubberised track leading away into ancient tunnels below the barns. A crush meeting held amongst the most capable rites comes to the conclusion that the land used to be a manufacturing centre of some form, producing mountains of equipment for the once prosperous ruins before the great fall. Finds of large storage wells filled with corroded metals and plastics confirms this conclusion as the weeks follow on, two of the Thaigs being rites amongst their clan discuss the potential uses for the discovered hauls as their cohorts advance as a steady pace.
This steady movement continues on for a few weeks after the initial finds as the end of the second month and dawn of the third passes by the army in a stream of continual advance, bands of rites leading their way as the Indentured shield bands stand ready to crush any resistance they may encounter as the smell of final claim whips the army up into a near frenzy, the armies famous berserkers pulling at their chains as they petition the Thaigs and Adjudicators to let them loss to finish the final steps. An informal council is held to decide their fate as the various cohorts bay for the right to first stakes amongst the spoils, within a day a decision is reached and the word is given “Loss the dogs of war”. The final days of the march sees the most berserk and vicious of the Iron blades stream forth in a tidal wave of violence and unleashed anger, bands of rites clearing a path for them before sitting back to watch as the bands of axe and hammer wielding Cellborn shock troops barrel forward, loosing howls and cries of jubilation as they; literally in some cases, smash their way through the ruins, bringing down a semi collapsed two storey building in one case to the sound of laughter and cheers from their accompanying shield bands as the army comes to the great maw entrance that marks the furthest northern limit of the new land. One band bays to be let loss onwards through the tunnel to what lays beyond, a sense of an enemy close to hand grasping hold of the bands leader. The Adjudicators normally would leave the decision to the Hersekal and their Thaig but in this case that Thaigs themselves step forward and deny the bands calls to let them forward as they set about dividing the identified spoils to the various banners before sending outriders back to the clan holds with calls of victory and the right to settle for what clans claim it. Those disheartened at the lack of further room to march onward the bands of berserkers find other things to amuse themselves with as a series of brawls break out accompanied by impromptu betting dens and bars from within the cohorts, barrels of slick brewed alcohol being broken open with axes to cheers. Another land lays in the hands of the Cellborn and though small is may prove highly useful the armies rites remark amongst their fellows as the army settles into its new lodgings…
The Iron blades have secured a new territory for the Cellborn clans, a Teritus grade zone dedicated to manufacturing. A potential treasure trove of spoils lays within the territory as it provides home to a new clan hold once one is chosen by the council. Who this may be however lays open to baying by the various clans as the army settles in to its own amusements as they await a Hersekal to claim their blades to stand with them.
Shattered Oaths Edit
With the other cultures successive excursions into the green holds a single clan has met the call to match the other cultures and make their own mark within the hold for the greater Cellborn. Whilst within, a meeting was held between the clan present and that of the adjudicator chosen to oversee the excursion should any come to blows within the Cellborn and to discuss the situation regarding the cellborn’s old friends in the black market. The situation was resolved with the most steadfast and sort after solutions with the black-marketer separatist being hunted down and slaughtered, the clans when appraised of this held a series of celebrations at the success of the hunt, whilst more quietly the council held a meeting to discuss about what to do about another as yet unidentified party hunting after the same quarry as them. The queries to the black market themselves drew little information though they promised to have their contacts draw something up by the time they encountered the Cellborn once again. Aside from this a series of clans had been repeating their bay-ings about the lack of a Hersekal having been elected to command the Iron Blade, and the adjudicators have raised their concerns about this matter as well. Accordingly the council has called for a vote to be held by the clans upon visiting the green holds once more to settle the matter with the support of an adjudicator from the Outriders known amongst their kind as the lone soldier. Besides this a matter of old accords has been called upon by some of the older clans; particularly the Shal-Fae Clan, over the situation of the recovered supplies and the losts’ duplicity in attempting to hide them from their supposed friends amongst the CellBorn, a vote has been called for on whether to ignore the matter but suffer raising the heckles from several clans who may reign on submitting tribute from the new lands or to vote in favour of stopping all trade with the Lost at the cost of giving the impression that the lost are a free target amongst the Black market. Once more the Council calls all thanes to vote with those in the green hold being summoned to cast their vote by blood to the adjudicators present.
1) Election of the Hersekal of the Iron blades and Thaig of the new lands, All may stand and all MUST vote. Those that fail to become Hersekal of the Iron Blade automatically stand for the Thaig. Again all must Vote to decide the Thaig, results must be submitted to the Adjudicators by the Friday evening
2) Vote upon the issue of Broken Oaths, Vote by clan must be presented by the clan thanes by Saturday afternoon to the adjudicators with their choice.
3)The situation surrounding the black market separatists has been brought up with the council by the adjudicators. The ‘Lone solider’ is expected to arrive some time on the Saturday morning to talk to Clan Earl on the matter, along with any accompanying clans. In particular they will be speaking to John Harrison Earl about the information received.