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Author Topic: Troi Ciosa: Founder of a Nation  (Read 12959 times)
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« on: 11 February 2011, 06:48:55 »

Well, here is Ciosa himself, for your reading. I hope that

1) The references to the Darians and the Shendar are correct - if Ta'lia wouldn't mind checking that, that would be great. I may have missed something when I read her entry.
2) Cruci will be able to find my grammar errors - both the three deliberate ones for a challenge (I know where they are) and the unintentional ones that probably crept in.
3) The language is appropriate. A certain passage refers to Ciosa quite harshly, as a "bastard whore's whelp" (it's literally true, not gratuitous bad language by me). I'm not sure about it, so I'm flagging it up to be noticed.
4) You like it grin

Passages from Nikolf's diary marked in PINK ITALICS IN 9-pt.

Changes suggested by Dek in GREEN.
Changes mk.ii (Ta'lia) in unimaginative orange.


Troi Ciosa (born ca. 11370 b.S., died ca. 11320 b.S.) was captain of the Svarring Joling, the Glandorian exploration vessel which, caught by storm and sea, was adrift for ten years before finally landing on the coast of what is now Manthria, approximately 13,000 years ago. He was the leader of the small band of brave souls who established a foothold on this "unknown island", and the founder of the city which bears his name, Ciosa, a mere few strals from where the ship was reefed. He is almost always referred to as simply "Ciosa", and we have kept this practice here.

Appearance

Very little information remains as to the appearance of Ciosa, and those accounts which do survive contradict each other in many details. The one thing upon which all accounts agree is his height. The typical Avennorian of today stands at about a ped and two fores, and it is believed that the Glandorians of old were even shorter, yet no report of Ciosa places him at anything less than two peds, as nearly as the Compendium has been able to calculate the old Glandorian measurements. This may well be exaggeration, or he may truly have been a giant among his people. There is also the possibility of a combination of the two - while Ciosa may have possessed abnormal height, the amount by which he towered over people has been greatly exaggerated. This, according to the scholars and historians of the Compendium, is by far the most likely of the two. The opinion with the most credit among experts is that, while tall, the national hero Ciosa has been idealised for hero worship; as heroes are all tall, his height has been heavily mythologized in order that he might conform to the ideal.

Having agreed - or very nearly - on his height, accounts go on to differ on almost all counts. We will be drawing in the main from the accounts of Nikolf, who is said to have been a close friend and confidant of Ciosa from his birth - according to Avennorian lore they were born on the same hour of the same day - to his death. From his writings, it is possible to piece together an image of the founder of the great Kingdom of Avennoria. He mentions Ciosa's height, but unfortunately does not specify just how tall he is, merely that he "towers over one like a giant - it was quite terrifying to see him rebuke Leif for his theft." Nikolf was a prolific writer, keeping the ship's log and his own diary, but unfortunately did not seem to regard description of Ciosa as particularly important. However, references to his "transfixing brown eyes" and the "constant determination of his countenance, brow furrowed as he ploughed ever on to greater things for the Glandorian exiles" have provided two vital pieces of information about this enigma. Nikolf also records that when he was a young captain, just about to set off for - though he did not know it - a new life, he was "youthful, energy radiating from his handsome features", and that as he stood at the helm of the ship he "appeared like the son of Hanranns1, his finely proportioned limbs stout and true and his hair flying in the wind", but that by the time they reached the spot which was to become their springboard "to heights unknown", Ciosa appeared "wearied and weathered, lines creasing his noble and once-handsome face. Only his eyes remained unchanged, shining from his face with overwhelming determination, moral worthiness, and above all a desire to do right by the people he led. Looking into those eyes, I felt ten years younger, as though we were about to cast off from Glandor for the last time once more - and for him, I would have done it."

The picture we have collected so far is that Ciosa was once a handsome man, but the ravages of responsibility and the sea aged him before his time, giving him creases and a look that in a man less determined would be described as weariness. Ciosa was a man of the sort that strengthens with time, trial and tribulation, however, and although the details of his precise appearance are scanty, the great artist Faugar has captured with startling precision the look of Ciosa in his later years, perhaps a decade or so after the disembarkation at Gebl's Nose Cape. [Insert portrait here]. As can be seen, Faugar has also managed to keep true to Nikolf's description of Ciosa, right down to the colour of the eyes.

Personality

Ciosa's personality can be summed up in one word - determined. By the accounts of all his contemporaries whatever he set out to do, he did. He sailed a ship of over one hundred people, plus births on the journey, for ten years, preventing fights, mutiny, and simple despair. He founded a civilization as great as any ever seen, which ruled lands larger than the modern day province of Manthria, and he did it all with this most important aspect of his personality - determination. Even in death he represents this, his grave lying in one of the most inhospitable spots in the entire area of the city which bears his name - in point of fact, he rests a full two hundred strals from the city, in a cave at the base of the Caeytharin Mountains.

However, lest you think that this man was more an implacably superhuman demigod than a real man, it must be said that there was another side to his personality. Ciosa appreciated art and music and beauty, and before he left on his life changing voyage was a great patron of these disciplines, but ten years at sea, dealing with the harsh and day to day realities of ship life for so long, stripped his priorities of anything not vital and practical, and he became the hard and focused man of iron that he is remembered as. The combination of these traits gave him an almost irresistible charisma that was the only way he could have kept so large a ship under control for so long, especially lacking, as he did, the advantage of experience at command.

Ciosa should also be remembered for one more aspect of his personality - his impetuousness, which led also to his at times almost foolhardy bravery. While many leaders have been reflective and calm, Ciosa was much more likely to see the solution to any problem in action - immediate action - even when his ends would have been best served by the formulation of a plan, he would charge in head-first, quite possibly risking his life, unless cooler heads and wiser councils prevailed. In most cases, this meant his childhood friend Nikolf, who was a steadying influence on Ciosa until his death. This impetuousness seems to have fuelled his legendary loyalty to his friends, and the lengths to which he would go for his crew and, later, his people.

Biography

A biography of Ciosa, from his birth to his death, follows. All the dates given are, naturally, approximations, as it is impossible to obtain accurate dates for a man who lived over ten thousand years before our modern dating system was even dreamt of. Much of what we have is authenticated by the records of his friend Nikolf, but many other parts can only be based on hearsay and so, while the Compendium has done its best to distil the truth of these legends, parts of this biography are not verified in contemporary documentary form.

Childhood and Young Adulthood

Illegitimate Birth and Early Life (ca. 11370 b.S. to ca. 11365 b.S.) - Ciosa was born in Glandor, believed to be the son of a lord of Glandor named Kof Andulsskun, and a prostitute whose name has not come down to modern scholars. color=orange]The irregularity of his birth is one proposed reason for his distinctly non-Glandorian looks, such as his brown eyes and his hair, which is said to be darker than that of his contemporaries.[/color]After his first few months of life he was taken from her care together with his friend Nikolf, son of one of his mother's fellows. It is reported, in the oral lore which surrounds Ciosa, that the child, by now perhaps a year old, refused to leave his friend, and so this low-born son of a merchant and a prostitute was brought, along with the illegitimate son of a lord, to the realms of the nobility. When asked about this in later life, Ciosa is supposed to have said: "I'd never met my father, and I felt nothing towards him at that time. But Nikolf was my best friend. I knew I wasn't going to leave him behind just because a lord asked me to." This was typical of his steadfastness and unselfishly simple worldview. While such reasoning and determination in a baby may be hard to believe, the Compendium asks that its readers remember how great a creation of later generations Ciosa is, and that many widely accepted claims may bear no more relation to the truth than a full-grown Eur'oak does to its seedling bloom. We have no way of sifting the complete truth from these claims, and so in cases like this merely offer what we can, leaving it to the reader to decide what he or she thinks is the truth - rest assured, many will disagree.

Growing Up (ca. 11365 b.S. to ca. 11355 b.S.) - During these years, Ciosa lived in his father's town house. His parentage was an open secret: officially, he was the beloved godson of the childless Andulsskun, but when a wealthy and influential lord takes on the care and education of a prostitute's son, the most uncomprehending of city folk understands the situation perfectly. However, he was never recognised or even adopted, and kept his mother's name of Ciosa. Ciosa learnt, from his tutors but also from his own natural flair for oratory, how to inspire men and how to control their passions; how to calm them to a millpond's smoothness or whip them to a whirlpool's frenzy; how to evoke their emotions and how to placate them. He also learnt, along with Nikolf, how to read, write and play a musical instrument, the Glandorian hol-boh - a type of flute - as well as how to organise at a fundamental level.

Bravery (ca. 11360 b.S.) - Around the age of ten years, Ciosa is said to have been passing by the sea, about five hundred peds from the docks, when he heard a shout from the water. Spinning instantly, he observed a young girl, aged perhaps nine, floundering in the waves. Without a moment's hesitation, Ciosa dived into the sea, fully clothed, and swam out with a powerful stroke to where the girl was sinking below the waves for the third time. Wrapping one arm under her arms and across her chest, Ciosa supported her head with his other hand and swam back to shore using only his legs. By the time he had reached the shore, he was exhausted. Half walking, half crawling through the surf, he managed to drag the girl out of the water, before he collapsed and vomited brine. He tried to rise once more, but his body couldn't support him; he fainted and would have slumped to the ground once more, had a docks worker not been there to catch him, as he fell.

When he came around, the young hero was fêted and praised for his bravery. People queued to shake his hand and congratulate him, but the one person Ciosa wanted to talk to studiously avoided him. The girl had been taken away to be dried and dressed in clean clothes, and when Ciosa tried to catch her eye, she refused to meet his gaze. Too polite to insist on a conversation, Ciosa only managed to pick up her name - Heiana - and that she had gone out to swim, but the current had been too strong for her - which he had already guessed - and she had been swept down the beach faster than her nurse could follow on foot; luckily, the current at that point ran parallel to the shoreline, or she would almost certainly have died.

This event seems to have marked a turning point in Ciosa's life. He was treated more as a man than a boy, and began to attend social functions with his godfather.

Romance (ca. 11355 b.S.) - At around the age of fifteen, Ciosa attended a large event with his father in honour of the birthday of an important noble. The events that followed are recorded in Nikolf's diary, but due to the length of the entry, the Compendium provides here only a brief précis of these; the full passage is available in the reproduction of those fragments of Nikolf's diary which may be of interest to the reader.

As Nikolf did, we begin with Ciosa's arrival, along with his godfather and closest friend, at the birthday celebrations of Lord Okerth. As they greeted their host, Lord Okerth introduced them politely to his daughter, a Lady Heiana; the same Heiana, in fact, that Ciosa had saved from drowning more than five years before. Shocked by this realisation, Ciosa made his excuses and followed her as she hurried away shyly; upon trapping her in the corridor, Nikolf reports that he repeatedly questioned her before eliciting a response, at which point a tender scene too delicate to be described other than with the words of an eyewitness ensued:


I watched with abated breath, as first one, then the other, spoke in broken and emotional sentences, and then delicately, almost worshipfully, Ciosa drew her face towards his own, and kissed the very lips he had no less carefully kept from the brine a third of his life ago.

After this the union received the blessing of both parties' guardians, albeit reluctantly on the part of Lord Okerth, who was horrified that his daughter would marry a boy of no birth, or, as he termed him, "a bastard whore's whelp". Despite this opposition, the two were betrothed and later married as they wished to be.


Command (between ca. 11355 b.S. and ca. 11350 b.S.) - At some point after his marriage and the birth of his first son, Ciosa was granted command of a small vessel, and a crew of just twenty men. As they were patrolling, they encountered a pirate vessel - the universal scourge of seagoing societies through all time - and rather than following his direct orders, which were "on no account to fight; but rather to run before the wind and alert a ship of war", Ciosa ordered his men to tack towards the vessel. His excellent leadership and steady nerves through the encounter allowed him to lead his men to victory: already he was displaying by instinct a fine touch that most admirals must learn through experience. Although numbers have been inflated through the lens of millennia, we can safely say that the pirates numbered at least two score - twice Ciosa's number, but his skilful leadership and personal bravery ensured that the day was won by the Glandorians, at a cost of only a few lives. When he returned to shore leading his prize behind him, he was praised for his bravery and spurned for his disobedience in one breath, though not punished - it seems that the Glandorian theory on orders went along the lines expounded by later Avennorians: "If you break them, make sure you succeed". In any event, this feat won him renown, and he was soon captaining larger vessels and giving excellent accounts of himself in all areas. However, it was not until his son was nearly five that Ciosa was granted a large command.

The Voyage of the Svarring Joling

The Svarring Joling (ca. 11350 b.S. - 11340 b.S.) - Ciosa's first sizeable command was to captain the Svarring Joling on a far-ranging exploratory expedition to the south. As was customary on long voyages, several of the crew were women - the superstitious Glandorians believed that thus they could placate the wrath of Meanra - and these included Ciosa's wife, Heiana, who was at this time great with her child. Although she was in no fit state to travel, Heiana was socially expected to attend, in accordance with the strict traditions of the Glandorians. Records show that four ships were launched that day, of which the largest were Ciosa's Svarring Joling and the Fijor Skull, and that all were under Ciosa's overall command, though only three would go on to reach the coast of Manthria.

Launch -  As the four ships were launched, a sacrifice was made on the shore. The precise nature of this sacrifice is unknown, as the Glandorian word "kith" can mean both a kid goat or a young child, and while many have suggested that this was a human sacrifice, there is no evidence to suggest that such a ritual was practised by the Glandorians; for that matter, there is little in the way of evidence pertaining to the Glandorians at all. At any rate, a sacrifice is known to have been carried out, and the Svarring Joling, her sister ship the Fijor Skull were launched without a hitch. Among Ciosa's crew were his eldest child, his son Asgeir; his wife Heiana, who bore his as yet unborn second son; and Nikolf, Ciosa's truest, and oldest, friend. Ciosa also gave in to his wilful daughter's demand that she be allowed to accompany him - she was around three or four at the time. It was at this time that Nikolf wrote his journal entry recording that Ciosa appeared "like the son of Hanranns", with "energy radiating from his handsome features" - this was "the youthful demi-god of Glandor, strong and self-sufficient, and, so it seemed, immortal. The idea that such a well of vigour could every run dry, that such energy could ever grow tired or such youth old, was inconceivable", as Nikolf writes in one entry believed to be about halfway through the legendary voyage of the exiles. Not a note of this wistfulness touched the proceedings, and Ciosa embraced and saluted his godfather on the gangplank before boarding and waving to the people of Glandor.

Difficulties - However, things began to go wrong almost from the start. Separated from the Fijor Skull by a storm, Ciosa's remaining three ships were further thrown into chaos by the birth of the captain's third child. A boy, named Thorgeir, was the latest scion of his line, and Ciosa's life began to admit hitherto unknown stresses and strains, far beyond either those of fatherhood or of captaincy. After sailing in their originally planned direction for the five or six months agreed upon and finding nothing, Ciosa was urged by his crews to continue just a little further - having been at sea for so long, they wanted to find land, fresh water and food other than dead seabirds and dried biscuits. Against his better judgement, and the counsel of Nikolf, Ciosa acceded to this reasonable-sounding request, and so they continued for another two weeks before sighting land. Heading directly for it, the sixteen-score sailors had hope of reaching land at last.

Water: The First Calamity - After a short spell they alighted, and Ciosa brought the ships alongside the island. Island it can scarcely be described as; according to Nikolf's description, it was little more than a rock sticking out of the sea, smaller than the ships, with a solitary tree and three bushes growing in a forlorn patch. However, it was at least relatively dry and in the centre, at the highest point, there was a large depression filled with water. Ciosa was said to have drunk from this, and proclaimed triumphantly that it was fresh. Nikolf records what passed next:

At this there was a great shout. "Fresh water!" called the men; "Water!" called the women; and the pool was rushed by a great horde of people. Ciosa brought me a skinful from the rock, and we sat together on the edge of the island, staring out to sea. Suddenly, Ciosa swore a violent oath. "Nikolf!" he uttered sharply, "Nikolf! Is that a wave or a cloud?" Peering over the ocean - he has so much better eyesight than I - I squinted into the setting sun, and suddenly saw what he had indicated. Not a hundred paces away over to the west, there was a huge wave rising from the surface of the sea, moving swiftly towards us. Ciosa was on his feet in an instant. "Run!" he bellowed. "Everyone onto the ships - now!" The rush towards the pool stopped, reversed and poured back to the vessel in a frantic scramble not for water, but for life. Ciosa and I both leapt aboard as soon as he had shouted, and he stood on the prow urging people on. Everyone was running pell-mell for the ships, save for a round two-dozen whose thirst, not yet quenched, urged them to stay for one drink. That one drink was the undoing of them. No sooner had the last of the runners scrambled aboard than the wave was upon us. I did think for a moment that the fleetest of those who stayed might make it, but he was swept away within knots of Ciosa's grasping hand. Aboard the ships was a flurry of activity, as we struggled to keep them afloat in the turbulence, but at last we rode the wave and settled again. The mood, until recently so triumphant and jubilant at the discovery of water, was broken, dejected. Those who had lost friends to the wave were offered wordless comfort and those who took no part in this reflected on how brutally aware of their own mortality they had been made. Only Ciosa still stood, compassion writ on his noble but tortured face. At one side of the deck, a boy of eight rose, our cabin boy, Leif. Staring over the rail into the deeps, he swung first one leg and then the other over, and stood on the outside of the ship. When Ciosa noticed this, he moved instantly for the first time in over an hour. At once he was by the boy's side, talking to him gently. I followed more slowly, and heard Leif's reply.

"My father, sir. He - I couldn't help him." I heard no more, as Ciosa began speaking in that low, personal tone of his. I feel intensely rude when I hear what he says in that voice to any other. Those words, perhaps his greatest gift, are not for any ears other than those of the addressee. Gradually, however, Leif lost his despair, and began to look at Ciosa with something akin to worship. Eventually, Ciosa reminded him that he was on the wrong side of the rail; shamefaced, Leif scrambled back over.


From this time on, Leif was like another son to Ciosa, who regarded it as his duty to raise the son of his dead crewman - a sense of responsibility haunted him, and this was the first of the tragic episodes which turned the carefree and handsome young man into a haggard and weathered one, aged before his time by grief and stress.

The Svarring Joling Lost at Sea - Unfortunately for the crews of the three ships, the next night they were surrounded by a fog which made the night as thick as mud and at around midnight a great wind blew up. All the crews' energies were expended on keeping the vessels afloat and together - tasks which, almost miraculously, they managed - and when three days later a calm morning came, the storm spent, and the impenetrable wall of fog wispy coils melting off the glasslike surface of the open sea, Ciosa realised that he had no idea where they were; no idea which way was which; and no idea how far out of their course they had been forced. The clouded sky gave no indication, and in a time when navigation by sea depended on the sun, the stars and dead reckoning, with the occasional fortunate landmark in the form of an island or a coastline, this was a blow indeed. So, choosing a direction at random, Ciosa led his crews honestly and forthrightly, but hopefully, into the unknown - home, death or glory awaited.

The Voyage Continued - None knows how long the exiles were at sea for. The diaries and ship's log kept by Nikolf are unreliable, as several pages and some say even whole tomes have been lost or rendered unreadable, and the unfamiliar skies, seas and weather precluded any accurate telling of the date or the passing of days. Some legends put this exile at over a dozen years, while some say it was scarcely more than half that: in any event, food was generally seaweed, seabirds, fish and, on the occasion that they made land on some rock, shellfish; while fresh water was a luxury gathered from the all too frequent storms and the boiling of seawater over an ever-dwindling supply of coals for the braziers.

Water Supplies - This last problem was solved by Nikolf's ready mind. While he is unwilling to sing his own praises even to his diary, he recorded this:

The water issue, over which we worried, is no longer so pressing. Ciosa asked where we were going to get fuel from, so I suggested we could burn seaweed; it works. Leif observed that certain types of seaweed, when dried, burn as well as some woods, and he is currently working out which are the best and the worst. He is also going to try bones of fish and the like.

From here it is clear that the idea was Nikolf's alone, and we can infer that he suggested Leif sort through the different types of seaweed as well, but modesty prevents him from bragging. While this modesty may be very admirable in a man, it is less so in a historical document, which is to be read by people attempting to gain an image of the truth. Nevertheless, Nikolf is a generally reliable source, and certainly the best that exists, especially for the details.

So with food - that is, fish, shellfish, seaweeds and, if one of the sailors had a lucky shot, seabirds - and water - that is, rain collected in a tarpaulin or a jar, or seawater distilled over a brazier - the exiles survived their decade 2 at sea. Little more of import occurred for most of that time: they were blown off course time without number, and Nikolf records that they often thought that they were going to die, but the sheer determination of Ciosa's will kept the vessels under control and riding the waves.

Heiana's Death: The Second Calamity - Tragically, about five years into the journey - although some who believe the voyage lasted only half a dozen years say it was fewer - Heiana died of an illness. Nikolf records the symptoms, which are indicative of severe scurfy. Ciosa grieved greatly, and withdrew for several days into his cabin, so the legends say. When he emerged, he was tired and careworn, but fiercely protective of his position at the tiller, often going nights without sleep; Nikolf records that

I am greatly worried by the change that has come over my friend. He stands at the helm all day and all night, he never sleeps. I believe he is fleeing the nightmares and the visions that come to his as he closes his eyes, the horror of gentle rest - yet only gentle rest may cure him. He must not contain this grief, allowing it to fester in the open wound in his heart, but rather must pour it out, open it to the world, and let the fresh air of day cleanse it from his hurt. Yet I am - I, his oldest friend - I am rebuffed when I approach him. I can neither comfort nor succour him in his anguish, instead finding myself forced to allow him to mourn as he sees best. Yet I do hope that his powerful nature will win through his demons, for it is upon his determination that the fate of this ship rests. If he is lost, we are all lost.

Ciosa never told anyone what he thought during those long days alone; or if he did, none ever entrusted these thoughts to the page or the bards. However, it is clear that the burden upon his shoulders was great and grew greater with each passing day. Raising three children on his own, in addition to a boy who was like a son to him, was quite enough for him, and captaining a boat was almost a responsibility too far. But Ciosa was one of that rare breed of men who do not crumple at trials beyond all human comprehension and merely endure whatsoever befall them. A father to his men and women, a stalwart pillar, Ciosa's ethic did not allow the cracks in his personal life to mar his duty; rather, he was quieter, less carefree, but always a pillar of support to those in need, never hesitating to lend his strength to another even when his well was running dry in those dark days after his wife's death.

Pirates: The Third Calamity - While lesser in scope than either the death of his wife or several of his men, this event scarred Ciosa deeply. A sudden dawn attack by pirates is said to have occurred at some point after his wife's death; while these things were not uncommon, and the longest legends report several attacks, this one is mentioned in almost all tales of the exile and had a lasting impact on Ciosa's already damaged psyche. Unfortunately, Nikolf's record of the events is sparse at best, probably as a result of his anger and horror at what occurred, and so we rely on one of the myriad legends which tell of the voyage.

Ciosa's daughter, Heia, named after his wife's mother, was up in the rigging - against her father's express instructions - and called out suddenly to the world at large. "Boat!" she called. "Boat!" The lookout turned his head instantly and swore. "Pirates!"

In an instant, the ship was alive. Ciosa dashed from the prow to seize his weapon - his preference is most often said to be for an axe of some description - and gather his combatant crewmembers. The pirate ship was soon upon them, and Ciosa's determined leadership allowed his men to repel the boarding and then board themselves, ransacking the smaller boat and taking anything useful or flammable - without a single casualty.

Or so they thought. As they returned to their ship, Ciosa stopped dead. Kneeling in the centre of the deck was Nikolf, next to the prone form of a pirate and that of Heia. A bloody blade lay on the blood-soaked planks, and Nikolf was weeping gently. As Ciosa approached, his oldest friend raised his head and choked out the full story. The pirate, seeing the massacre taking place, had clearly crept around, perhaps leaping the gap at one end. As Nikolf - who was utterly incapable, in normal circumstances, of being a man of action - had looked across the deck, away from the fight, he had seen the pirate climb the rigging to where Heia looked at the battle in innocence. Cruelly, he had killed her to prevent his being noticed, but Nikolf had seen and Nikolf had seen that red skull of which the Glandorian legends speak - the one that enables men to fight on when covered in wounds, even when a dozen of which are mortal of themselves, and kill all who oppose them. Snatching a blade from where it leant neatly against the wall, he had run across the deck.

"So you stabbed him." Ciosa is reported to have interpolated. But it appears not. Nikolf certainly intended to do so, but as he climbed the rigging with murder in his eyes and vengeance in his heart, he dropped the blade within just a cable of the pirate. However, his fury brooked no delay; he had seized the man and, wrapping a loop of rigging around his neck, throttled him. Letting the body drop, he retraced his climb and began to stab at the corpse. His diaries record that "on no account was [he] going to let the foul beast get away with a strangling" as "he took the sword; thus he must taste it in death", and this uncharacteristic brutality and violent force showed how deeply Nikolf cared for the daughter of his friend.

Despite Nikolf's rough justice, Ciosa's daughter was dead. The pirate's body was cast overboard and in a final act of vengeance, Ciosa ordered the by now empty shell of the pirates' vessel to be broken up for firewood and the dead pirates to be thrown, ignominiously, into the sea, rather than the traditional rites of burning or being left on a ship to float out to Meanra. That this was not afforded their enemies is indicative of his fury, as even pirates were customarily given this treatment.

Arrival - After many years at sea, Ciosa's lookout spotted land. At first, no notice was taken, but as the ships moved onwards across the sea, he called down that this was no mere rocky peak, or five-cord isle, but rather a large island - he couldn't see the other side, as he should have been able to do were it as pathetic a place as they had come across before. Suddenly, an almost-dead hope began to rekindle in the breasts of Ciosa's followers. Land! After so long, land! Recklessly, they made straight for it.

This recklessness was to lead them into trouble; they travelled at full speed, running before the wind, for most of the night until, approximately an hour before dawn, as the pale grey spread across the sky and the first flecks of pink teased the horizon, Ciosa's own ship stopped with a sudden jolt. Looking overboard, peering through the fog, one of the crewmen announced that they had hit a reef, which poked above the water here and there. The boat was not badly damaged, but she was well and truly stuck.
   
The other ships, to their credit, refused to continue without their captain, and instead came as close as they dared in order to provide help. Fortunately, neither of them hit the reef, and their vessels stayed safe, although Ciosa's was unusable and was taken to pieces for supplies by the explorers when they had landed, as was one of the others - the last they managed to land safely and repair after a few weeks.

Ciosa conferred with Nikolf and they are reported to have crossed the reef at dawn. They came just a little on the wrong side of the low tide, and so they found it a difficult journey, but Ciosa's hunch and Nikolf's hope was proved correct; the reef connected to the land, and they had a means of reaching true land after all - they had already decided that is was too risky to try taking the other boats in any further. Overjoyed they returned to the ship and ordered that everything of use be gathered and packed; and the next morning, this time perfectly in line with the tide, they crossed. Many legends attribute Ciosa a heroic personal rôle in this, swimming to shore with a raft carrying a large amount of useful supplies, but it is unknown whether he actually did; the page from Nikolf's diary is blurred by water beyond legibility.

Be these events as they may, the Glandorians were landed at last, and Ciosa's determination would be needed more than ever to carve out their niche and leave an indelible stamp on the region even after the kingdom which sprang from them had gone.

The Founding of a Kingdom

The Early Years (ca. 11340 b.S. - ca. 11335 b.S.) - Over the first five or so years, the initial camp of the Glandorian settlers is believed to have expanded - first to a wooden fort and then to a town of sorts, as the population also experienced a sharp rise. Ciosa's inspirational leadership and determination to conquer the odds, coupled with Nikolf's considerably sharper mind, whose coolness tempered Ciosa's rash tendencies, kept morale high even in the midst of an unknown land, bare of all that was familiar or comforting. Of course, the contrast with the ship is not worth drawing. This takes Ciosa to thirty five years of age by the end of this period, but aged by his woes and his tribulations. In this time his sons grew to the ages of around twenty - for Asgeir - and fifteen or so - for Thorgeir. As his father had, Thorgeir around this time became enamoured of a girl his own age; she returned his feelings and, with Ciosa's blessing given with more than a little reminiscing, they were married - according to Nikolf, on Thorgeir's birthday.

Asgeir, at this time, was unwed, and showed no desire to marry. He had been very close to his younger sister, regarding himself as her protector, and was absolutely devastated by her death; some say that he blamed himself, in a perverse way, for allowing her to be on deck at the time. He had taken Nikolf's lessons well, and seemed more like his father's friend than his father.

During this time, Ciosa's men and women came into frequent contact with the locals - a very friendly and very helpful people called the Darians, who were farmers, and who had largely given up the tools of violence, having only a few bows for hunting and axes for cutting down trees - facts which the Glandorians were almost unable, in their militaristic minds, to understand. These Darians, however, were very helpful, providing food and clothes to, and even intermarrying with, the Glandorians.

The Darians - the First Explorations (ca. 11335 b.S.) - At the end of the early years of limited expansion and consolidation, Ciosa and Nikolf felt comfortable enough in their society to send out scouting parties further afield, and attempt to explore the rest of the island - as they thought. One of these parties, headed north-west, returned after a month or so of travel to report the existence of other men, more Darians, who lived by the base of a huge mountain range, almost certainly the Caeytharin Mountains - although these are only a few furlays from the fort where the Ciosans lived, the scouting party were moving by foot through completely untended wilderness, and so took much longer than a man on horseback would now, were he to retrace their steps. They were also much more exploratory than most travellers - examining the trees and the geography so that they might make accurate report.

The Glandorians were very scornful of the Darians, both the ones at the foot of the mountains and the ones in their immediate area - the "primitive" tribes carried no weapons of warand had no military structure; rather, they seemed simple, almost round-faced folk with very little in the way of anything beyond a farming existence, although they were very kind and helpful - perhaps too trusting. Since they lived such a considerable distance - for the time: the Avennorian kingdom did not yet reach from the east coast to the west - from the Glandorian settlement that they were regarded as very low down on the list of priorities. However, this meeting was a milestone for the Glandorian settlers under Ciosa, for they had learnt that this was not a large island that ended soon, but stretched for many more times the distance to the far mountains in most directions.

Asgeir's Marriage (ca. 11330 b.S.) - Around five years later, at the relatively late age of five-and-twenty years, Asgeir married. He didn't marry so much for love as to please his father, it is believed, and by this time it was already clear that the succession would in all probability fall to Thorgeir, his younger brother. Nikolf wrote of how Thorgeir reminded him of Ciosa as a child - "impulsive, carefree, loyal and openhearted, yet with the same touch of steel that means he and Ciosa can lead where neither I nor - I fear - Asgeir could".

The name of Asgeir's wife varies; some say she was called Hjale - sometimes written Hjalen, others claim that she was known as Hjamtha - sometimes Jamtha. She bore him a son, who was as unlike his father as possible - he resembled his grandfather more than anything, and had a very close bond, so it is said, with his uncle Thorgeir. Some claim that she was a Darian, and there would seem to be evidence to support this view. If so, this was a large step by the son of Ciosa towards closer relations with the Darians; the first, it is believed, of many such marriages, due to the disproportionately small number of Glandorian women on the expedition. If she was a Darian, her original name has not come down to us; she is known by the Glandorian name she was given, whichever of the two it may have been.

There are many theories as to why Asgeir chose such a wife; the most likely, in the opinion of serious scholars, is that Asgeir decided to make some move towards closer relations with the Darians with his marriage - since he had no personal reason to choose, he used a political one. It is unclear whether he decided to do this in agreement with his father or independently, and it is probable that we shall never know.


Expansion of Ciosa (ca. 11330 b.S. to ca. 11325 b.S.) - The village around the fort of the Ciosans was expanded into a small town, and the children born after the arrival reached their fifteenth season. Ciosa became very inward-looking over this period, spending long periods contemplating his life and his problems. However, he never stopped leading from the front; often, especially towards the end of these years, he would leave on the long scouting and exploration trips with his men - as the camp became more and more permanent and mundane, his spirit of venture pulled him more and more firmly from his everyday tasks into the unknown, to conquer as he had in his youth. Aged nearly half a century, he was no longer a young man, but was yet strong and determined, and the spark still glinted in his eyes, the spark of which Nikolf waxes lyrical - that lit his way over the seas and into history.

Thorgeir is Named Heir (ca. 11325 b.S.) - In this year, on one of his now rare extended stays in the city, Ciosa convened all of the Ciosans and said to them, in words which Nikolf recorded - he claims faithfully - that the time had come for him to choose an heir.

"I realise that I have put off this moment, in which I must finally name one to take my place when I do not return, as I may soon fail to do, and so I have considered it hard. My elder son, Asgeir, has spoken to me, as has my eldest friend Nikolf, and I have decided on my heir.

"But first, I must say that you who now call yourselves Ciosans, and flatter me by doing so, must change your name; for when I am gone, will Ciosan not be a label for one who dwells in what was, rather than what is? Nor shall we be Glandorians, for no more do we inhabit that nation. Your name must look forward, not back.Only these two stipulations do I make.

"And so, I call upon my heir to choose for you a new name, that will signify what you are and will become, and be not so transitory as to be an unsuitable label when I or any man is gone. Thorgeir, choose them a name!" At this Thorgeir was startled, and looked mute at his father and brother; however, being a true son of my true friend, he soon recovered. Looking over the people, half shocked and half worshipful, he considered; and suddenly, only one name seemed suitable, as he said afterwards to me.

"Av'ennors [the ones who have arrived]" he said. "If these are to be my people, we shall bear the name of Av'ennors; thus will we remember and honour our roots while staying true to our destination, though none of us know it." The crowd loved him: the children hung on his every word, seeing here a demigod; the parents, the older ones amongst us, saw in him a reflection of his father. I know not which appeared the greater.


First Trade with Darians (ca. 11325 b.S.) - Although neither had moved significantly closer to the other since the first meetings, Ciosan - or rather, Av'ennor3 - explorers began to trade with Darian villagers for food and knowledge, bringing back information on how to cultivate the soil to best advantage and enlarging their range. Despite this, and their comparative lack of stature, the militaristic Av'ennors, being of Glandorian descent, always regarded the moon-faced, soft-bodied Darians as inferior. The Compendium researcher Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels has suggested that this may have been caused by a feeling of defensiveness on the part of the Av'ennors towards the taller and more numerous Darians, with the result that they retreated into the superiority of their military values; the counter-theory to this is that those values truly were the values by which they judged the world, but the fact of the matter is, overwhelmingly probably, unknowable.
 
Over time, the trade levels rose, but roads allowing large-scale transport of goods were not built until after Ciosa's death, and so levels were kept within bounds.

Ciosa's Death (ca. 11320 b.S.) - Around this year, at an age of half-a-century, Ciosa was on a far-ranging expedition on Mount Evermourn when his aged legs could no longer support him. All the men with him were young, the oldest being Leif, his erstwhile cabin boy, who was still over a decade younger than his leader. None of the men ever described the events of that day in written form, though tales abound about what happened. All that is known about this singular and, for all who knew him, earthshaking event is that he died at some time between that evening and the next morning, whether he fell, as some would have it, or merely slipped, or just could not keep his body going in the cold, demanding conditions; it is a matter of general consensus that when the sun rose the next day, he was dead.

The men of his expedition carried him to the base of the mountain that morning, in the cold morning light, and laid him to rest in a cave. Old, uninhabited, and hewn by elemental forces from the rock itself, it was the perfect place for a man whose determination could level any obstacle, any objection. This mountaineer's funeral seems strangely appropriate for such a one.

And here ends the tale of the life of Troi Ciosa, bastard son of a Lord, Glandorian naval captain, but ultimately, and most importantly, the man of iron will who founded a nation.

A Brief Summary

11370 b.S. - Ciosa born. (Nought)
11360 b.S. - Ciosa saves Heiana's life (Ten)
11355 b.S. - Ciosa and Heiana meet once more. Later that year they are married (Fifteen)
11350 b.S. - Ciosa leaves. His first large command. Takes his son, his daughter and his pregnant wife (Twenty)
11340 b.S. - Ciosa reaches Manthria, (Thirty)
11335 b.S. - First exploration to the Darians (Five-and-thirty)
11320 b.S. - Ciosa dies (Fifty)

Importance
It is almost impossible to overstate Ciosa's importance, or his impact on the region which he through fortitude was to win for himself and his descendants. His impact is not only in terms of the Avennorians, who of course would not have existed without his being, but also, according to Compendium researcher Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels, on the development of the Shendar tribe; as the Av'ennors forced the Darians out of their land, those who went south are the ancestors of today's Shendar.

Thus, we can account to Ciosa all of the influence of the Avennorians from his time to the first century b.S. and the forming of the United Kingdoms; yet even now, the Avennorian psyche exists, and the impact of that people is felt upon the world. In a very real way, Ciosa is one of the most important figures of history in terms of his influence on its very shaping. The Tethinrhim elves would likely not have formed their Academy of Archery were it not for the wars they waged against the descendants of this man; the Shendar tribe would not have developed as it has today - perhaps at all - were it not for the driving out of the Darian tribes by the second and third generations of Av'ennors; and the Santharian Kingdom would almost certainly have developed differently if there had been a power vacuum in the areas of Manthria and Brendolan.

1Hanranns was the male of the two Glandorian deities, with dominion over "the Land, and the Breath of the Land which is language and the Gift of the Land which is strength" - his sister was Meanra, mistress of "the Sea, and the Breath of the Sea which is wind and the Gift of the Sea which is life".

2 An approximation, of course, based on the rough starting date of 11350 b.S. and rough arrival date of 11340 b.S.

3 Later, when the Glandorian tongue was lost, this was to be corrupted to "Av'ennorian", then to "Avennorian" and so the name "Avennoria" was formed.
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« Reply #1 on: 11 February 2011, 07:23:26 »

Oh, is that long! Too long for tonight!

First impression is good!

*moon-faced, soft-bodied*  pah! did I write this? ;)
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« Reply #2 on: 11 February 2011, 07:24:31 »

*moon-faced, soft-bodied*  pah! did I write this? ;)

 nod
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« Reply #3 on: 11 February 2011, 07:34:42 »

Ath, I skimmed only very quickly over the part with the Darians, I might have missed something.

As I see it, they met the Darian only later, when they had settled in already. I know, my submission is not on the site, therefore not binding, but I had something else in mind when writing the Darian:

Quote
Some of the  Glandorian conquerors described the people they met soon after they had shipwrecked near Gebi‘s Nose as asinine and boneheaded, called them rootmuncher, pigfarmers and ballad-monger, despite the help they had received when they were stranded on their shores. Others were considerate and said they were friendly, calm and honest.

Do you prefer to not have their help? But well, I may have missed something.

My idea was, that they got along well in the beginning, even if the Glandorians looked down on them, at least a few, but that the differences only occurred later, when the Glandorian claimed more land than just that around Ciosa. I assume now, that there were more men on this ship than women, and that those men might have already had Darian wives.

A little bit like it was, when the white settlers came to North America.
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« Reply #4 on: 11 February 2011, 07:39:57 »

Maybe that older son who married late had a Darian wife?

I fear I do have to correct the Darian image a bit, you write as a compendiumist, not out of the view of the Glandorians !

tomorrow
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« Reply #5 on: 11 February 2011, 07:40:56 »

Dek, you can stop at the foundation of the kingdom, if you want, for I have to do this in any case.
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« Reply #6 on: 11 February 2011, 07:44:33 »

Ack, I seemed to have missed that. I'll see how it can be changed; I imagined the Darians inhabiting more the centre of the country, not much further east than the mountains, but that can, I'm sure, be worked out somehow.

EDIT: That :
Quote
Maybe that older son who married late had a Darian wife?
is a very good idea. I will consider that when I don't have French reading prep to complete, English essays to write and German orals to prepare. That means tomorrow. I hope.

Also: I write as a Compendiumist, or I don't and should do?
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« Reply #7 on: 11 February 2011, 11:16:54 »

Right then ... back from the hairdressers I read through the entry several times, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Aura from me for your work on such an important historical figure as this one, Athviaro.

Firstly, I'll address your four questions ...

1) Yeah, I'll leave that to Tal'ia

2) Yeah, I'll leave that to Cruciform

3) I personally had no trouble with that language ... it seemed to describe him pretty well, but it might be worthwhile to see what Master Anfang, Artimidor and others feel about it.

4) I loved the entry ... quite a polished job already, I believe, Altviaro.

I did have a few thoughts to raise, a few questions to ask, a few clarifications to seek and even a couple of corrections to suggest. Oh ... and his first name, Troi, made me think of Deanna Troi from Star Trek The Next Generation ... I had a massive poster in my room of her during my high school years :D

I'll break this up according to the sections ...

Overview
The template asks that we provide the birth and death dates of the person being written about in this section. Maybe something like 'Troi Ciosa (ca. 11370 b.S. - ca. 11320 b.S.) was captain ...' would be sufficient
On first reading through, I felt there was a word missing from the following sentence ...
Quote
He was the leader of the small band of brave souls who established a foothold on this "unknown island", and the founder of the city which bears his name, Ciosa, a mere few strals from where the ship was reefed.
... but on subsequent read throughs, I'm not sure on that. I felt an 'is' or 'was' was needed in there.

Appearance
First Paragraph
Quote
... as heroes are all tall ...
I'd suggest that only most heroes are tall ... I'm thinking of, for example, David from the Biblical story of David vs Goliath, little more than a boy when he took out the Philistine Goliath with a sling and pebbles. So maybe considering putting something in to show that most, not all heroes are tall.

Second paragraph ... 2nd sentence ... you have ...
Quote
... the were boron on the same hour of the same day ...
boron should be born, I believe.
Later on, in that same paragraph, you say
Quote
... "appeared lie the son of Hannransl" ...
I'm unsure who Hannransl is ... maybe you could clarify that somewhere?

Also, would it perhaps be better to use ' and ' instead of " and " when simply quoting descriptions directly from the diary ... I kept on looking for details of the person who was saying all of those things.

Personality
First sentence ... shouldn't that Determined have a lower case d?

Also in that first paragraph, maybe name the spot in the city in which he was buried?

Biography
Bravery
I'm not sure but I think the docks needs an apostrophe before or after the 's' to indicate that the worker was a dock's worker or a docks' worker ... I think that docks worker isn't correct.

I couldn't find anything else to comment on, I enjoyed the entry, however, and I had a feeling in parts that it was somewhat similar to the Odyssey in places. I especially enjoyed your use of the diary to give us a contemporary account of the events and happenings and look forward to seeing what others have to say about it.

I also haven't looked past the section titled 'The founding of a Kingdom' apart from my initial read through of the entry.

Well done! an aura from me!
« Last Edit: 13 February 2011, 05:47:45 by Deklitch Hardin » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 11 February 2011, 16:31:54 »

Thanks Dek,

I now have added my footnotes; when I mention Hanranns, there is a (small superscript) number "1"

I think, on your first point, the "was" applies to both parts of the sentence.

I'll address your other points, mark them, and put it back for comments.

Ath.
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« Reply #9 on: 13 February 2011, 00:39:06 »

Note: I'm not going to change the quotes from the diary as it is, as my understanding is that all first-quotations should use the same form of quotation marks; as I use " ... ", I will only use ' ... ' for an interior quotation.
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« Reply #10 on: 13 February 2011, 01:05:20 »

No more boron (uncoloured)

determined now (again, colourless, like bromine water with an alkene)

The resting place is named.

"Docks worker" - compare "factory worker", "office worker". If it were one dock, it would be "dock worker" or "dock's worker", but as it is I think it's right.

Also: Do I ever spell "Hanranns" "Hanrannsl"? If so, I need to change that. I'm not sure whether you C&Ped that, or whether it was a typo. You did it twice, so I'm worried that I've given you the wrong idea.

Asgeir is believed to have married a Darian.

Dek still calls me Altviaro.

Any more for any more?
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« Reply #11 on: 13 February 2011, 04:45:55 »

Hanranns
I typed it out myself. I wasn't sure if it was a 1 or an l at the end of it ... I thought an l made more sense, as I wasn't aware of the footnotes at that stage. :)

I also can't see your footnotes. :)
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« Reply #12 on: 13 February 2011, 06:03:28 »

Odd. I'm sure it should have footnores; I added them. I've readded them now.
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« Reply #13 on: 13 February 2011, 19:42:58 »

First Part


Athviaro, a warning first, as you are not used to my way to comment: When I read a submission, I let my thoughts flow and write down what comes to my mind in this instant - that may be quite a bit at times and not really useful or you answer my question later. Just see most of it as proposal or ideaproviding. When I think you must change something, Darian concerned e.g., I‘ll mark it! I don‘t look for the best English either and sometimes the right or correct word flees me - so rephrase it!



Troi Ciosa (born ca. 11370 b.S., died ca. 11320 b.S.) was captain of the Svarring Joling, the Glandorian exploration vessel which, caught by storm and sea, was adrift for ten years before finally landing on the coast of what is now Manthria, approximately 13,000 years ago. He was the leader of the small band of brave souls who established a foothold on this "unknown island", and the founder of the city which bears his name, Ciosa, a mere few strals from where the ship was reefed. He is almost always referred to as simply "Ciosa", and we have kept this practice here.

Appearance

Very little information remains as to the appearance of Ciosa, and those accounts which do survive contradict each other in many details. The one thing upon which all accounts agree is his height. The typical Avennorian of today stands at about a ped and two fores, and it is believed that the Glandorians of old were even shorter, yet no report of Ciosa places him at anything less than two peds, as nearly as the Compendium has been able to calculate the old Glandorian measurements. This may well be exaggeration, or he may truly have been a giant among his people. There is also the possibility of a combination of the two - while Ciosa may have possessed abnormal height, the amount by which he towered over people has been greatly exaggerated. This, according to the scholars and historians of the Compendium, is by far the most likely of the two. My personal opinion is that, while tall, the national hero Ciosa has been idealised for hero worship; as heroes are all tall, his height has been heavily mythologized in order that he might conform to the ideal.

Hmm, if he would have been two peds tall - half a ped taller than his fellow Glandorians, then there would be more reports. So, I would not say , This may well be exaggeration‘, but ,this is surely an exaggeration. .. Sholars now assume/are conviced, that he was about one ped two fores and a handspan tall, a ,fact‘(?) which is strenghtened by the length of the stone cave found in the area called Ciosa‘s Rest, which is assumed might be the place Ciosa was buried...

Having agreed - or very nearly - on his height, accounts go on to differ on almost all counts. We will be drawing in the main from the accounts of Nikolf, who is said to have been a close friend and confidant of Ciosa from his birth - according to Avennorian lore they were born on the same hour of the same day - to his death. From his writings, it is possible to piece together an image of the founder of the great Kingdom of Avennoria. He mentions Ciosa's height, but unfortunately does not specify just how tall he is, merely that he "towers over one like a giant - it was quite terrifying to see him rebuke Leif for his theft." Nikolf was a prolific writer, keeping the ship's log and his own diary, but unfortunately did not seem to regard description of Ciosa as particularly important. However, references to his "transfixing brown eyes" and the "constant determination of his countenance, brow furrowed as he ploughed ever on to greater things for the Glandorian exiles" have provided two vital pieces of information about this enigma. Nikolf also records that when he was a young captain, just about to set off for - though he did not know it - a new life, he was "youthful, energy radiating from his handsome features", and that as he stood at the helm of the ship he "appeared like the son of Hanranns1, his finely proportioned limbs stout and true and his hair flying in the wind", but that by the time they reached the spot which was to become their springboard "to heights unknown", Ciosa appeared "wearied and weathered, lines creasing his noble and once-handsome face. Only his eyes remained unchanged, shining from his face with overwhelming determination, moral worthiness, and above all a desire to do right by the people he led. Looking into those eyes, I felt ten years younger, as though we were about to cast off from Glandor for the last time once more - and for him, I would have done it."

Oh, I like this description, it says everything and leaves open all to imagine at the same time! As Nikolf doesn‘t mention it, he seems to have had blond hair as most/all Glandorian. I‘m not sure, but do not have most/all Glandorians grey/blue eyes? (--> research), then I would add an ,unusual‘ or something to where you mention the brown.

The picture we have collected so far is that Ciosa was once a handsome man, but the ravages of responsibility and the sea aged him before his time, giving him creases and a look that in a man less determined would be described as weariness. Ciosa was a man of the sort that strengthens with time, trial and tribulation, however, and although the details of his precise appearance are scanty, the great artist Faugar has captured with startling precision the look of Ciosa in his later years, perhaps a decade or so after the disembarkation at Gebl's Nose Cape. [Insert portrait here]. As can be seen, Faugar has also managed to keep true to Nikolf's description of Ciosa, right down to the colour of the eyes.

Ah, the pic, no blond hair. I‘ll read first his bio, then comment on tis later.

Personality

Ciosa's personality can be summed up in one word - determined. By the accounts of all his contemporaries whatever he set out to do, he did. He sailed a ship of over one hundred people, plus births on the journey, for ten years, preventing fights, mutiny, and simple despair. He founded a civilization as great as any ever seen, which ruled lands larger than the modern day province of Manthria, and he did it all with this most important aspect of his personality - determination. Even in death he represents this, his grave lying in one of the most inhospitable spots in the entire area of the city which bears his name - in point of fact, he rests a full two hundred strals from the city, in a cave at the base of the Caeytharin Mountains.

However, lest you think that this man was more an implacably superhuman demigod than a real man, there was another side to his personality. Ciosa appreciated art and music and beauty, and before he left on his life changing voyage was a great patron of these disciplines, but ten years at sea, dealing with the harsh and day to day realities of ship life for so long, stripped his priorities of anything not vital and practical, and he became the hard and focused man of iron that he is remembered as. The combination of these traits gave him an almost irresistible charisma that was the only way he could have kept so large a ship under control for so long, especially lacking, as he did, the advantage of experience at command.

Superhuman - does not ring medieval in my ears, but that maybe just me.

Ciosa should also be remembered for one more aspect of his personality - his impetuousness, which led also to his at times almost foolhardy bravery. While many leaders have been reflective and calm, Ciosa was much more likely to see the solution to any problem in action - immediate action - even when his ends would have been best served by the formulation of a plan, he would charge in head-first, quite possibly risking his life, unless cooler heads and wiser councils prevailed. In most cases, this meant his childhood friend Nikolf, who was a steadying influence on Ciosa until his death. This impetuousness seems to have fuelled his legendary loyalty to his friends, and the lengths to which he would go for his crew and, later, his people.

 thumbup

Biography

A biography of Ciosa, from his birth to his death, follows. All the dates given are, naturally, approximations, as it is impossible to accurately obtain dates for a man who lived over ten thousand years before our modern dating system was even dreamt of.

Childhood and Young Adulthood

Illegitimate Birth and Early Life (ca. 11370 b.S. to ca. 11365 b.S.) - Ciosa was born in Glandor, believed to be the son of a lord of Glandor named Kof Andulsskun, and a prostitute whose name has not come down to modern scholars. After his first few months of life he was taken from her care together with his (later) friend Nikolf, son of one of his mother's fellows. It is recorded, in the oral lore which surrounds Ciosa, that the child, by now perhaps a year old, refused to leave his friend, and so this low-born son of a merchant and a prostitute was brought, along with the illegitimate son of a lord, to the realms of the nobility. When asked about this in later life, Ciosa is supposed to have said: "I'd never met my father, and I felt nothing towards him at that time. But Nikolf was my best friend. I knew I wasn't going to leave him behind just because a lord asked me to." This was typical of his steadfastness and unselfishly simple worldview.

Ah, no, that is not possible, if the child was only a year old! The way you wrote it here suggests, that he was aware of himself and his situation with the age of one year. Even lore would not construct something like this, i fear. You could write though something like this: That he held on with his little fist on the clothes of is friend, so that they could not separate the two until he fell asleep out of exhaustion and that he later did not stop crying (with breaks when he had to sleep) until his Nikolf was brought back to him.  Something along this lines. Lore also, of course, but in my eyes much more believable. Here you can already see his determination!

The illegitime birth could explain his non blond hair etc


Growing Up (ca. 11365 b.S. to ca. 11355 b.S.) - During these years, Ciosa lived in his father's town house. His parentage was an open secret: officially, he was the beloved godson of the childless Andulsskun, but when a wealthy and influential lord takes on the care and education of a prostitute's son, the most uncomprehending of city folk understands the situation perfectly. However, he was never recognised or even adopted, and kept his mother's name of Ciosa. Ciosa learnt how to inspire men and how to control their passions; how to calm them to a millpond's smoothness or whip them to a whirlpool's frenzy; how to evoke their emotions and how to placate them.

How did he learn this, came this naturally to him? Did he have tasks where he could practise this? Did he have a teacher, what about his nanny? Did his father care in any wayfor him? Look after him?

 He also learnt, along with Nikolf, how to read, write and play a musical instrument, the Glandorian hol-boh - a type of flute - as well as how to organise at a fundamental level.

Bravery (ca. 11360 b.S.) - Around the age of ten years, Ciosa is said to have been passing by the sea, about five hundred peds from the docks, when he heard a shout from the water. Spinning instantly, he observed a young girl, aged perhaps nine, floundering in the waves. Without a moment's hesitation, Ciosa dived into the sea, fully clothed, and swam out with a powerful stroke to where the girl was sinking below the waves for the third time. Wrapping one arm under her arms and across her chest, Ciosa supported her head with his other hand and swam back to shore using only his legs. By the time he had reached the shore, he was exhausted. Half walking, half crawling through the surf, he managed to drag the girl out of the water, before he collapsed and vomited brine. He tried to rise once more, but his body couldn't support him; he fainted and would have slumped to the ground once more, had a docks worker not been there to catch him, as he fell.

It would have been cleverer to get rid of some of his clothes.. ;) (Threw away his heavy cloak..)

When he came around, the young hero was fêted and praised for his bravery. People queued to shake his hand and congratulate him, but the one person Ciosa wanted to talk to studiously avoided him. The girl had been taken away to be dried and dressed in clean clothes, and when Ciosa tried to catch her eye, she refused to meet his gaze. Too polite to insist on a conversation, Ciosa only managed to pick up her name - Heiana - and that she had gone out to swim, but the current had been too strong for her - which he had already guessed.

Hmm, inconistent .. 
A girl who goes out swiming in such waters, alone? Rarely... Maybe she fell from her fathers boat and he did not notice or the whole boat overturned.. Oh, wait, she fished elsewhere, her boat was somehow smashed and she drifted on a plank along..  Now, that I know it was Heiana, it is even more unlikely. I think you need to invent a more convincing event where he saved her life!

If the girl is brought away to be dressed and cleaned, she is gone and he can‘t try to catch her eyes...


This event seems to have marked a turning point in Ciosa's life. He was treated more as a man than a boy, and began to attend social functions with his godfather.

Romance (ca. 11355 b.S.) - At around the age of fifteen, Ciosa attended a large event with his father in honour of the birthday of an important noble. The events that followed are recorded in Nikolf's diary:

We arrived, and Lord Okerth and his daughter greeted Lord Kol and Ciosa.

"This is my godson, Ciosa." Lord Kol said, "Ciosa, this is Lord Okerth." Ciosa bowed.

"My Lord. I am honoured to be here." Lord Okerth gave the simple bow of a social superior, and responded formally.

"Stand up. You are welcome in my home, Ciosa." The formal greeting completed, he smiled and continued. "I would like you to meet my daughter, the Lady Heiana" As he said these words, a positive vision of loveliness stepped out from the half-concealing shade and, raising her head, smiled.


"Ciosa, this is my daughter Heiana. Heiana, this is Ciosa." He continued, but I think Ciosa did not hear him. The name had struck him like a hammer's blow.

"Heiana..." When Lord Okerth looked sharply at him, Ciosa realised that he had been interrupting. He swiftly recovered his composure and bowed.

"My Lady. I trust you are well, and that someone has been near at hand for all of your life-threatening crises." I confess I stifled a laugh, and managed to turn it into a cough with a hint of sneeze - this strange sound had the benefit of distracting my Lords' attention from Ciosa's odd greeting.

"Are you well, lad?" I nodded mutely, observing the way in which my Lady seized on the opportunity to offer me a drink, and rather than calling over a servant went herself to get it, flushed red with embarrassment. Ciosa, however, would not let her avoid him for the second time in as many meetings; with two hurriedly respectful mutters of "My Lord", and not a glance back, he left after her.

I saw Ciosa, just around the corner and out of sight of my Lords, speaking to Lady Heiana. She was clearly embarrassed, unable either to look him in the eye or construct a sentence addressed at him. As I watched, he gently moved her face to look at him, and I saw his lips clearly form the single word: Temi [Tell me]. I hadn't any idea what he had asked her, but she tried to speak twice, and then looked away once more, her lips moving almost silently. Ic kanik [I can't]. Ciosa once again moved her head to face him. He spoke again rapidly - but with a slight hesitancy that surprised me in one who is so confident, so charismatic - of which I could make out only the one word: Temi. She looked at him in wonder, almost adoration, and seemed to summon up her energies before replying, no longer avoiding his gaze but rather meeting it frankly, as she poured out her secret of five years. The two were smitten with each other from the moment they first met, and now cruel Fate's interdiction was no more. I watched with abated breath, as first one, then the other, spoke in broken and emotional sentences, and then delicately, almost worshipfully, Ciosa drew her face towards his own, and kissed the very lips he had no less carefully kept from the brine a third of his life ago.

"My Lord Kol, is that your godson Ciosa kissing the serving-wench?" I heard over my shoulder, and to my shock realised that Lord Okerth had seen Ciosa's distinctive build in the corridor, though he realised not it was his own daughter whom my friend kissed. Upon hearing his name, Ciosa and Heiana sprang apart almost guiltily, and my Lady's hair fell back to reveal her face.

"No, that's my godson Ciosa kissing your daughter," remarked my amused Lord drily. "And they seem to be enjoying it."

"But...but...but..." expostulated my Lord Okerth. Lord Kol looked slightly amused, and spoke again in his calmly incisive voice.

"Is there something wrong with my godson? A defect?" By now, I wasn't sure how far my Lord was joking, and how much he was deathly serious. Surely - I confess I thought - he isn't contemplate allowing this to continue? Despite his love for Ciosa, he is technically lowborn. The next second, Lord Okerth expounded this idea violently to all of us - Ciosa and Heiana had approached, shamefacedly embarrassed, and though the other guests were all at a respectful distance, they knew that something was afoot, and beneath their veneer of polite disinterestedness, I could feel their lingering eyes and straining ears. Calmly, Lord Kol listened, and when my Lord Okerth had finished replied brutally, witheringly and bluntly.

"You always were a fool, Okerth. Far too unromantic, ever since the death of your wife. Listen to someone, for once in your stupid life, and listen to me. Those two are quite clearly in love; it's obvious in the way they stand and the way they don't try to deny it; in the way they were so open about it in a corridor in your own home and the way even now they cast every other glance at each other; and most of all it's obvious in the fact that they're in love. So don't try to fight it, and just count your lucky sails that you're going to have a son-in-Hanranns such as Ciosa. And before you even try calling for your guards to throw us all out, remember: Elsk theowpterij alle [Love conquers (lit. "causes to serve") all]. They'll elope through a window before I've been escorted out of the front door. Bow to reality, you pragmatic social dreamer, and give them your blessing." Just for a moment, the polite façade of the event slipped: people stopped moving, mouths stopped talking, the band stopped playing, moths stopped flying. Just a second, but noticeable - especially to my Lord Okerth. His angry glare startled the party into motion once more like a boot in the rear of a donkey, and his angry hiss to Lord Kol would have silenced them once more had his spin not been so violent.

"What are you saying, Kol? You want your bastard whore's whelp to marry my daughter? Is that it? And you have the nerve to call me a social dreamer?" I could have told him that it wasn't a good idea. Lord Kol's lips tightened in their typical way, and he drew himself up to his full, considerable, height.

"Listen, Okerth, and listen carefully, because I won't say this twice. Your ancient line isn't worth the dirt off Ciosa's shoes. When was the last time one of your ancestors earnt his title - through heroism in warfare? When was the last time you so much as spoke to a true soldier? When was the last time you captained a vessel? Now give this union your blessing or face the shame of a daughter who loved a bastard whore's whelp more than her father. " He concluded abruptly, in the manner of one delivering an ultimatum, but in the same low, angry tone which Lord Okerth had adopted. Lord Okerth seemed on the verge of apoplexy, and his face went first red, then white, and lastly an interesting shade of puce. He walked with disjointed steps towards his daughter and her lover, and joining their hands spoke the ritual words of consent to the marriage. As he untangled the last "consent" from his tongue, Lord Kol looked at him and, shaking his head, tutted.

"The blessing as well, my Lord. We all know how it goes, but we want to hear you say it." Swallowing hard, Lord Okerth, having reluctantly retracted his opposition to the match, now even more reluctantly extended his benedictions upon it. When he had finished, Lord Kol beckoned me to part their hands and then joined them himself, uttering his heartfelt consent and blessing. And now Ciosa and Heiana are pledged in marriage, to be married on the 3rd day of the Month of the Sea - that is, in just over a month's time.



Ah, Ath! I‘ll comment on the story later, but I think, it is too long to have a place in the person‘s entry. I see more of those narrations comming, maybe you need to publish an extra booklet with stories from Niklof?

Then, it is a bit unrealistic. He has seen only a wet, exhausted girl, in the water, for he collapsed on the beach! with ten. And then not again for five years? And then they are so deepley in love after meeting again for the first time after five years?

 I would say, he had a vision of her face, yes, he asked whom he has saved and was told, it was Heiana, daughter of.. He tried to see her again and managed that ..somehow, a few times over the next years, maybe more often when they are aproaching their 15th year, ot not! Maybe not so often, when they get older and the girl comes in an age, where she begins to become a woman and is not child only. But I would only summarise it and only add, if at all, a short paragraph of the meeting, where they are engaged.


As I said, comments to the story later, but a few remarks - the father takes his godson with him? Why is he his godson? I mean, he would not take any child, make it not so obvious, better say, that he is the son of a distinct relative who has lost his parents etc... And why takes he Niklof with im also, friend of his godson but of low birth also, or has he reached a rang of importance somehow, as guard? But not at the age of 15. Or was Nikolf a gifted artist/lute player and he was invited therefore?

Here, Nikolf's diary entry ends, but it has adequately recorded the events of this pivotal moment in Ciosa's life. Later entries show that Ciosa and Heiana were indeed married, and that in the normal course of things she bore a son, whom Ciosa named Asgeir.

Command (between ca. 11355 b.S. and ca. 11350 b.S.) - At some point after his marriage and the birth of his first son, Ciosa was granted command of a small vessel, and a crew of just twenty men. As they were patrolling, they encountered a pirate vessel - the universal scourge of seagoing societies through all time - and rather than following his direct orders, which were "on no account to fight; but rather to run before the wind and alert a ship of war", Ciosa ordered his men to tack towards the vessel. His excellent leadership and steady nerves through the encounter allowed him to lead his men to victory: already he was displaying by instinct a fine touch that most admirals must learn through experience. Although numbers have been inflated through the lens of millennia, we can safely say that the pirates numbered at least two score - twice Ciosa's number, but his skilful leadership and personal bravery ensured that the day was won by the Glandorians, at a cost of only a few lives. When he returned to shore leading his prize behind him, he was praised for his bravery and spurned for his disobedience in one breath, though not punished - it seems that the Glandorian theory on orders went along the lines expounded by later Avennorians: "If you break them, make sure you succeed". In any event, this feat won him renown, and he was soon captaining larger vessels and giving excellent accounts of himself in all areas. However, it was not until his son was nearly five that Ciosa was granted a large command.
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« Reply #14 on: 13 February 2011, 19:43:30 »

More to come - later!
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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