Art, Writing, and Learning: The Clerisy Quarter => Writing, Poems, AARs, and Stories - The Storyteller's Hall => Stories and AARs => Topic started by: Jubal on March 29, 2020, 02:05:47 PM

Title: The Tales of the Ytrair: A War of Realms AAR
Post by: Jubal on March 29, 2020, 02:05:47 PM
Randomly did a new War of Realms AAR recently, in the form of a pseudo-chronicle. Hope you enjoy it!

The Tales of the Ytrair

These are the tales of the Ytrair, as were collected in the time of the Republic of our Cities, by Syesh the Writer, grandson of Kyv who was the first leader of the Republic and the first woman to rule the Ytrair. It has come to me to set these tales down upon parchment, so that it should not be forgotten what passed in the time of the Kings and how the Republic came into being, and so they should learn from so as to rule prudently and in harmonious accordance with our world as we have come to find it. In this duty I have spoken to the oldest who remember my grandmother’s time and the voyages of the great explorers, so that my account should not be found wanting and should be true in all its details, being written from the memories of those closest to the events. If my meagre pen should be nonetheless unfit to the task, I can plead only that no other pen has been set to this duty in such a way, and that it falls to me by merit not of my virtues but of my duties that I should be commanded by the sea and the open plain, the words of the oracles and the memory of the Kings, to write these tales, as they were passed down to me. And if there are things here unsaid, it is because they have been lost to the fast-flowing river, time, that pulls us all toward the open water.

The First Tales

And first it was said: we wandered alone on the plain of Yian. There were no people we knew but ourselves, and the wild ox, and the high-soaring eagle, and the ground-squirrel that comes when the days are warm. It is said that we could talk to the creatures of the earth then, for we had not yet come behind stone walls, which they shun, and we did not yet know the ways of wisdom, which the creatures of the earth have not.

These things the river taught us, that is called the Isa, for the river knew that we were more than beasts. At its mouth we raised buildings at Ysrin, which has ever after been our chiefest place, and even now holds the gathering of the leaders of the cities.

From that place the Ytrair chiefs gathered, and they were four, and they quarrelled. And the river told them to depart from each other, and be at peace. And one chief went west down the river, and came to Yldhin with his people, and made his dwelling there. Another went south across the plain of Yian, and came to the lake of Sylam, and he planted crops and took that place for his own. The third went to Snusam, which sits at the bay’s peak, stone-walled Snusam where the wild oxen roam, and he built stout houses there for his people. The fourth remained in Ysrin, and his name was Tepka, and the others of the chiefs acknowledged him as King. And he ordered roads built across the plain, and channels dug so that we should be the river’s teacher, and not the river ours, and the days of wandering ended, and the time of the Kings began.

Of when the Ytrair were first a Kingdom

When the days of the kingdom rose, the Estelians came to Yian, and did often threaten and bargain, and they came with great score of men to the lands of the Ytrair. They came with rock-throwers and horsemen, with beasts of war and men of iron, and the Ytrair stood afore them and taught them the making of coin, and the ways of the gods, and the making of ink and parchment, for they had no steel, but only their knowings.

The Ytrair were known for they had an oracle of great wisdom, who gave them the words of the gods and brought contentment to the people. Those dissatisfied were made content, and those content were made happy, those with anger were soothed and those with melancholy were cheered, for they walked among the knowings of the Gods.

The Ytrair sages gave the Estelians more and more wisdom, until their brutish natures became atamed, and they no longer spoke of threats and spears but of friendship and amity. The Ytrair were not deceived by these fine words, but gave them promises of victory over their enemies and friendship likewise. So they were left in peace.

They did not then have the sea-knowing, but they built a great chapel in their foremost city, and the people rejoiced at this and saw that it was good. And they turned their minds to coin and books, for these things seemed good to them, and the spear rested upon the rack, and harsh words went unspoken.

The Estelians returned eventually, with lance and armoured men, but they did not make either peace or war, at that time. And raiders came upon the coast in great strength, and the wild forests of the coast were full of fierce men at arms, but the gates of the cities were shut to them, and they could not pass through. This was in the time of Syesh who was King.


The Time of Yska, the brother of Syesh

Then it was the time of Yska, who became King, for he was the brother of Syesh who had no son. And Yska had a great longing for the sea that beat upon the shore by Ysrin, and watched the fishermen there, and he chose that the Ytraian folk should take wood from the forest and learn the ways of building boats with it, of keel-shaping and carving the small gods of the prows, and should learn to sail upon the salt ocean.

And the leader of the men who had come into the north forests was captured, and they paid for his ransom in gold, for their men had come to the gates of the cities and found that the Ytrair had sharp spears and cold stone awaiting them, and they had fled, leaving their leader, who sorely lamented at his fate, purchased back by his ailing people with gold.

Gold too they had aplenty from trade, for the Ytrair bought and sold money itself, and they made silks, and fine things, which were the jealousy of their foes, and which brought them great favours in the markets of Leress, and Tyend, and Mosene, and all the Estelian cities that lay beyond the plain and beyond the swamps.

And they built vessels to sail upon the salt ocean, but nothing did they find out to the far seas. Yska called to him his men, and he said to them “who will go hither and tell to me what the sea has to bring me”. Many of them were afraid, for they had heard of boats wrecked on the seas, but he found men, and Chaska led them, who sailed south along the shores of other lands, and saw islands with unfamiliar cities upon them.

Chaska fell in the following way, that they came to a land whose flags were golden, and who sailed deep-bottomed ships, and one of the two ships that he had with him came upon one of their ships, and harsh words being said, sank it beneath the sea. But the men with the golden flags took their ships, and they had many, and they destroyed all the vessels that Chaska had, and this story was told only by some few traders who had heard it from far-off peoples who knew of such things. And that was the tale of Chaska, who died because he could not keep his men from quarrelling.

And that was the time of Yska. And Yska also commanded that a town be built upon the hill of Aydhram, and that was where they buried him, so that his grave looked to the open sea.

The Time of Ilhyn, Yska’s son

Yska’s son was called Ilhyr, and Ilhyr became King. And Ilhyr saw that Estelian men with strange helmets and great halberds walked in his land, and he saw that the Elantians, who lived south of the Estelians, spat upon the Ytrair, and he became wroth. He commanded that the noble men of the Ytrair should come to battle, and they obeyed, though with heavy heart, for it was in the counting of gold, and the silks and wines of the cities, that they had their greater pleasure, not in the rough sport of spear and wild place that Ilhyr demanded.

Ilhyr sent men to an isle of the Elantians, which they called Bhyrsin Kyistir, for Kyistir in their tongue is an old word for a fortress, and they had such a place on the island. And Ilhyr’s men were slain, so he sent more men in their place, under Kyvar. And Kyvar stood upon a hill at the south of that island, and he fought many and slew many, but they had spears as sharp as his and they slew him also. And know this of the Elantians: that they had a way of pouring air upwards, so that it could pull a whole vessel up into the sky, and they destroyed a third ship of Ilhyr’s with one of these sky-vessels, for they could pour rocks and fire down upon it from a great height. And Ilhyr was enraged by this, but his rage brought no spearman back from the cold river, nor any horse back from the shedding of its blood.

He made his people build deeper ships, so that they could take more men to the islands and coasts far to the south, and they did so. And some went back to the hill on which Kyvar fell, and fortified themselves there, but they were not enough in number or strength to take the city below them. And pirates came, and sank their ships, and tore them from that hill. Others sought to attack from sea the small place that the Elantians named Ouerhyn, but these too were defeated and all aboard those ships were lost.

The Tale Of Syva

When Ilhyr was an old man, there came Syva, and Syva was a man from stone-walled Snusam, which sits at the old bay’s peak. Syva was granted three things. One was a shining face which all agreed was fine to look upon; one was a staff of ash, tall and slender and polished; and one was a wanderlust with feet that could never halt. His paths could lead through mountain peak or swamp without faltering, so long as he planted his staff in front when he walked.

It came to be that Syva wandered beyond the hills of Snusam, to where there is a plain to the east, and he saw Leress, and he saw Atep, two great cities of the Estelians. And Atep sits at the edge of the great forest in which the Estelian cities are, so he went into the forest, down to the swamps at a place called Yeryos, and on until he reached a great shore where he could not see but for sea, and he was surprised, for none had yet found the sea beyond the Estelian cities. And that bay they call the Syvadheryn, Syva’s bay, for it was first seen by Syva.

He passed through more dark swamps at the head of the bay, and passed beyond the great river Setyr that runs through the swamp-woods there, and came by Mosene, the southern market of the Estelians, where they buy the silk from Snusam. The people of Mosene told him of a city with dark red towers, called Kampyan, and he went to see it, but it was occupied by the Elantians, and upon hearing that he was a Ytrair by birth they spat upon him, and sent him away. He did not go back to his home country though, but wandered through the Elantian lands, and hid from their mail-armoured warriors and their great machines of siegecraft and their long-speared followers.

None came and attacked him, for he was cunning and stayed in abandoned places, in swamps and in forests, so none saw his path, and the lords of their cities of Myrthyn, Herspyrd, and Bylil knew nothing of him, though he saw the walls and gates of each. The lord of Herspyrd saw him not for he hid deep in the forests: the lord of Myrthyn saw him not although he camped on the plain outside, for he could not imagine that any foe alone would do such a thing. And the lord of Bylil was facing the anger of his people, for that was a time when the cities of the Elantians were full of anger at the misdeeds of their lords.

At last Syva came to the deep forests north of the great cities of the Elantians, upon the coasts where Ilhyr often sent his ships, and he came to Ouerhyn, which was a small place with trees to its landward side and only the open sea around, although the coast there was treacherous. But the Elantians of Ouerhyn were not to be found, at least none who were loyal to their lords far to the south and beyond the forests. There were no bright spears or cold machines of war in Ouerhyn that day. So Syva entered the city, and used the third of his gifts, which was his shining face, and told the people that they should leave the Estelian lords and come to serve the king of the Ytrair, and they saw that he spoke fair and looked fair, and they agreed, and came that way to serve the Ytrair.

Syva took to sea, and began to explore the coasts, and the rest of his tale is told elsewhere.

The Tale of Tarkyn, the Sunrise Walker

There was in the time of Ilhyn a man of Snusam named Tarkyn, and he heard of the deeds of Syva and he decided that he wanted to do more than Syva had done. So he left to try and walk to where the sun rises in the furthest east.

He went to Leress first, and asked them where the sun rose and how to walk there. But they told him that to the east was only sea, and that he would have to go south first. So he went to Atep, and then went east past the dark forests where the Estelian cities lie and the great river Setyr flows ever on.

He came to the cities of the Terils, who said that they did not know where the sun rose. The chief men of the Terils spoke together, for they were ill used to seeing a stranger in their midst and did not know what to make of him, and they said “we must tell the lords of his people that he is to return home.” So they sent an emissary to Ilhyn, and Ilhyn was an old man but he was still King of the Ytrair, and he sent the command to Tarkyn who returned home to Snusam. So Tarkyn’s first voyage ended.

On his second voyage, which was in the time of Yteyr, he went to the swamp town of Yeryos, where the ground lies wet and low, and he passed by it, going further south. There he found a people whose banners were gold, and they were the people who had sunk the ship of Chaska in the times of their grandfathers. And they called themselves Yrrsh, and they spoke a strange tongue. But Tarkyn made a peace with those people, whose cities were large, with Malwin being the name of the largest, and who inhabited a wide plain. He came further to a city called Pumpu, and its people were called the Moutani, and he made peace with them as well. He tried to pass by a city of the Yrrsh, which they called Unusyrin, but they did not wish him to go that way, and bade him leave. So ended the second voyage of Tarkyn.

Upon his third voyage, he went again to the Teril lands. This time, though, he did not pay heed when they tried to expel him, and there was much bad blood ever after from the Terils towards all the Ytrair because of his deeds. And he came to Yngen, one of their cities, and hid in the mountains to its north, for Teril men had come upon him with swords and he was sorely wounded. Many months he lived in a cave, until he met some strange green-garbed men. They were the men of Nurelon, a kingdom in that land, and they were fierce. Tarkyn gave them knowledge from the Ytrair lands, and promised them much gold if they helped him live, which they did.
It was at that time that Syva, the hero of three gifts, the deliverer of Ouerhyn, was sailing the far seas. He had come around the far Yrrsh shorelines, and he too found Nurelon, and was told of another Ytrair man who had a great debt promised to them. Syva arranged for most of the debt to be cancelled, in exchange for a promise of Ytrair swords if ever the Moutani were to threaten those lands. Thus the Moutani became the enemies of the Ytrair, for no good reason but to protect a lost wanderer’s life. And Syva sailed further around the land of Nurelon until he came to where the mountains meet the sea. And there he sang an old song from Snusam, and Tarkyn came running from his cave.


They sailed west, and it is said that Tarkyn never did find the farthest eastern sea, or see the place where the sun rose. A traveller will find both friends and enemies who are far from what he seeks.

The Time of Yteyr, Ilhyn’s son

Yteyr was the son of Ilhyn, and he was of like mind to his father, and preferred the hunt and the chase to the book and the school. It was late in his father’s reign when Ouerhyn came into the hands of the Ytrair, andmuch of his early reign was spent building its defence. He kept sending men to fight the Elantians, for now that Ouerhyn was his, he cherished it like a jewel, and it would never be safe as long as the Elantians ruled those lands, for they sent men through the thick forests to try and achieve its capture. These were always defeated, for Yteyr built thick walls and brought swords together in that place.

Yteyr’s men at last captured Bhyrsin Kyistir, for he had many men, more than Ilhyn his father had done, and with spear and deep-bottomed ship they took that place, threw down its gates and port and temples, and took it for their own, whence they could build it as they pleased. This was Yteyr’s great victory.

But the people of the cities were tired of the war-making of Yteyr and Ilhyn, and had lost faith that a ruler like Yska could be found again. So they talked amongst themselves, especially the men of Ysrin, the chiefest city, and those of Yldhin, the great port, and those of Sylam by the lake. And they said to themselves “we can have a king who pleases us, if we so choose: for we are many and the king’s men are few, and all of them have gone to fight the wars”.

And then another thing happened: Yteyr died. A boar took him whilst he was hunting, and tore him, and so those who had been speaking against him got louder, and Yteyr’s son Urha let them shout, for he was but a child, and they let him leave for Estelia where he lived away from the Ytrair.

The Time of Kyv

Kyv was a woman of Ysrin, and her father was Lierm, and her mother was Ayair of Snusam, sister of three-gifted Syva. And she came to the men who and said “I will be your leader. For my ways are not of war, but I know the art of shepherding coin, and the ways of the wayfarer, and the laws that are just: and these are the things that a ruler should know. And you shall send noble and good men and women, one from each of the lesser cities and three from the greater ones, and these fourteen shall advise me and see that I do right.” And they heard her words and found them good, and so they ended the line of the kings.

And many thought that they had done wrong at first, for there was turmoil in the cities, and people did not know who gave the laws now that there was no king. And things went ill for the Ytrair in the far regions, for bringing mighty siege engines, the Elantians broke the gates of Ouerhyn and entered that place in triumph. And Kyv sent men to take it back, but the Elantians were waiting in the forest with cruel arrows, and killed them.

But Kyv also ended the feud with the Terils that was begun by the trespasses of Tarkyn, for she sent a caravan with much wine and goods to their city of Kueryn, and made a peace with them that way. And she spent much upon the enjoyments of the people in the cities, and they loved her rule greatly, for it was peaceable and did not take too much from them, neither their young men nor their coin, for the fighting of the wars.

Title: Re: The Tales of the Ytrair: A War of Realms AAR
Post by: Phoenixguard09 on March 29, 2020, 02:54:21 PM
I trust there will be more of this at some point? Very well written mate. :)
Title: Re: The Tales of the Ytrair: A War of Realms AAR
Post by: Jubal on March 29, 2020, 03:51:38 PM
I don't know - in some ways I like the idea that Syesh might just have died with his work unfinished, or left it for another project - the lack of a proper ending is common to quite a lot of medieval chronicles. :) And I don't know what more stories I could tell that wouldn't end up being a lot more protracted wars, since that's really all War of Realms is good at simulating and I've done most of the exploration possible. But maybe I'll add more, we'll see!
Title: Re: The Tales of the Ytrair: A War of Realms AAR
Post by: Phoenixguard09 on March 30, 2020, 01:53:56 AM
I'll admit, I'm in the position of not having played the game, nor knowing that much about it. I'm guessing all the names and places are procedurally generated?
Title: Re: The Tales of the Ytrair: A War of Realms AAR
Post by: dubsartur on April 03, 2020, 10:33:27 PM
Thanks for sharing!  I hope I have energy for more substantive comments later.  What is War of Realms?
Title: Re: The Tales of the Ytrair: A War of Realms AAR
Post by: Jubal on April 04, 2020, 10:22:11 AM
I'm guessing all the names and places are procedurally generated?
The map is procedurally generated, and there's a file of placenames and faction names. The personal names are all just made up for the AAR - in Civ II you just get to enter "your" name and are treated as eternal ruler, even when there's a revolution the new ruler is still you with the same name. So there's quite a lot of imagining and randomly deciding changes of strategy and turning points here.

Thanks for sharing!  I hope I have energy for more substantive comments later.  What is War of Realms?
More comments very welcome if energy presents itself! War of Realms is my heavily modified version of Civilisation II (https://exilian.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=2334.0) - mainly notable in that it cuts off the technology tree in the late middle ages/early modern period, and is designed to be played with a memory patch that makes mountains and swamps impassable, so rather than everything accelerating in a huge tech race in the late game, everything grinds down to a slugfest and micromanaging and planning the capture and holding of cities becomes far more important. I quite enjoy playing it now and again.