by Max Barry

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by The Colony of Noneuropean Union Lore. . 1 reads.

Tale - "Edward Conninghton, Explorer and Naturalist"

It is the 14th of January of the year of our Lord 1809.
Two days ago, my dear friend lord Theodore Blackwood came back from an expedition he embarked upon a year ago. We spent the day enjoying our time alongside a few other lieges at the Society of the Occult back at Idunnsdtadt, even if some outside commotion disturbed our peace a while.
He shared with us some of his incredible discoveries from the lands of Arastead - a huge stele made out of a material stronger than steel that is as old as civilization itself, the remains of a giant humanoid who was buried around thirty thousand years ago, and an incredibly enormous underground cavern where some giant creature inhabited. He even showed us photographies, grainy as they were.
This peeked the interest of my friend Francis Fitzwilliams, who did not hesitate on note down all of Theodore Blackwood's findings. It also impressed me, personally; which is the reason why I am preparing for an expedition of my own. It is been years since I last set out to explore the savage lands of the world, and my sights are set on discovering wonderous things that I have heard about from the Kalleniaic jungle. Ancient rumors speak of a great battle having taken place there, so I will need to be best prepared in order to traverse the rainforest and locate this site.

I have already arranged a meeting with my friend the Vice President Elbridge Jefferson, who should have booked a room for my arrival at Kivermouth D.C the next month.
Sailing through the Great Ocean can be a dangerous endeavour, specially with this talk among the Society of 'Sirens' and other such nonsense; although it is clear the main danger only originates from the rough seas. It is not named 'Great' because of its vast size, but because of how incredible it is to conquer it with a ship.
I will be boarding the IPV Saint Alban the next day, and the ship shall sail me towards the eastern shores of the great independent nation of Nonamericus.

I expect decent findings of my own, although I do have to admit that I will need some guidence from the locals. Also, I will have to traverse the hostile nation of the Greater Teunor, who seem to have declared some sort of state of emergency. I am unaware of the reasoning behind this, but it will surely prove to be a hinderance on my journey. Eitherway, alea jacta est.

― ― ― ―

It is the 27th of January of the year of our Lord 1809.
Today I have seen something rather strange in the ocean. I boarded the Saint Alban effortlessly the 15th of January, and made myself home on a nice cabin with all the luxuries of the modern life.
And it is today when I have to scoff at my conclusion that this 'Siren' discourse the Dontknowiumite Society of the Occult was talking about; as I reached the conclusion that it was all bonkers.

To be completely fair, the entire debate started because of my friend Francis Fitzwilliams, who is the owner of a large society of the occult as well, located in the still forming nation of the Northern Federation of Eisenblut. This organization seems to be named the 'Kaiser's Dusk Foundation', although 'Dämmerung Foundation' is also thrown around in its place. In any case - what my friend Fitzwilliams introduced as a topic once was the existance of a race of mythological origins called 'the Sirens' who seem to make a living out of our waters.
I believed it to be mere asinine conspiracy theories, which seems very on character for Francis, but today I got direct evidence of the contrary:

While on the upper deck early in the morning, I could hear a feminine voice calling my name. 'Strange,' I mused; as I had not interacted with any female in the ship so far. I decided that it could be one of the female crew members calling my name, so I turned around to find nothing. But during my turn I happened to stare at the sea, where I could make out a shape amidst the mist. It seemed to be of a human form with some sort of tentacle-like protusions around it, although I could hardly distinguish any actual shapes on it. I am unable to comprehend why such event took place, or what figure was behind this action.
I continued my morning stroll around the upper deck as usual, and proceeded to have a bountiful breakfast in order to distract my mind from such a happening. It did not seem like anybody else among the crew had noticed it happening; so I have to end up rationalizing it as sea sickness or some similar illment.
But what if my dear friend Francis Fitzwilliams happens to be on the true about this, and what I saw was indeed a 'Siren'? What other ludicrous verbosities about 'gods' could be accurate?

In any case, I can not allow this possible revelation to hinder my overall goals.

― ― ― ―

It is the 17th of August of the year of our Lord 1809.
I have managed to establish myself as a well respected explorer and adventurer in these lands. I have, also, found a wealth of information regarding my objective - which is very impressive.
First of all, I believe I should explain how I attained this sudden respect to my person: Quite simply, I have stated who I am friends with. I helped the current Vice President of the United States of Nonamericus deal with a nest of some very peculiar critters - woodland animals who seemed to possess the ability of verbally interacting with eachother with human language. The 'deal' part consisted of making sure both sides signed a truce, which didn't cost much, as their 'leader' seemed to quite like my presence - regarding me as a "fellow true Son of God." I should recollect those happenings in a bibliographic entry.

The amount of enlightenment-inducing material held within the library of Congress is quite awe inducing, specially considering the very recent founding of this nation. Being a former colony of the Sarthalean crown, the Nonamerican state got its independence not more than forty years ago after a bloody rebellion war. The Idontknowium crown did, of course, help the insurrection; as it is within our best interests to weaken the foul and rotten House of Apollyon. Those slimey bastards only achieved relevance because of their ungrateful deity at the helm, who only but commands from the top of the Stradavar citadel his forefathers built with the use of slave workforce.
He, who calls himself Arcturus von Apollyon, is the living proof that gods are not strictly benevolent. I have met with the very intelligent protector deity of the nationstate of Liyue before, during my travels towards the savage lands of the Eastern Reaches; and he had nothing but wisdom to share with a helpless mortal like my person. I have nothing but praise to give to that god, as much as he is not the God that I aspire to meet - even if it is at the end of my journey.

In any case, some of the information held within the walls of the Library originate from raided colonial-era libraries, including high-ranking military bunkers; which leads to the following discoveries:
There was not an ancient battle of apocalyptical proportions deep inside the jungles of Kalleniah. This alone should have rendered my expedition useless, by definition; but more digging revealed something of much greater importance that apparently remained to be a mystery.
According to my sources, there is a harrowing mention of a mythological race of beings that consumed the dreams of humans in order to communicate. I strongly believe that aforementioned race, which receives no actual name, to be completely extinct by now - albeit I have that belief out of religious bias.
I have decided to reorient my redirect my original intentions towards finding out if this wicked race is still walking on the lands of Torham.

Of the Four Knights and Their Whereabouts

It is with great speculation that I believe to be in possession of an approximate tale regarding the ancient Four Knights of yore. These majestic and allmighty Knights were La Hire the Fierce, Lancelot the Conqueror, Hector the Stalwart and Ogier the Faithful. The Four Knights were the most exalted and dignified of the lands, and they answered to Asem and Asem only. Their loyalty to the Maker of Stars was second only to the Maker of Stars Himself.

When the Mighty Son of the Star-Maker Asem, Able, stole His iron crown and assembled an army of people from all over the lands of Ole Noneurop, Abbadon - which I believe to be northern Arastead, and the Eastern Lands; he embarked on a quest to conquer and subjugate the innocent fair folk of the West - Torham. This endeavour went excellently, and Able returned home with an enslaved, chained Fae princess.
The innocent and nameless Fae princess - as names have a very important place in elven culture - did not intend to arrive to Noneurope, however. She spent all her energies into praying to an old, forgotten god her kin used to adore in times of past, expecting a miracle to happen; and she indeed got her best wishes:

The flagship in which the princess was imprisoned halted midsailing, as her iron chains bursted into flames and took a life of their own. The chains grabbed Able before he could prepare himself, and dragged him into the depths of the frigid and unforgiving ocean, where he likely resides to this day.
I believe the princess never arrived to shore either, but three great profanities struck the land; and this is where the Four Knights become relevant to my highly informed speculative retelling.

The three profanities ransaked the lands of Noneurope and beyond for entire generations before the news arrived at Apollyiana, the capital of Asem's empire. The Star-Maker did not fight Himself, but instead called upon the Four Knights to defend His territories.

"To vanquish the demons and protect the land, your mighty service is required. You swear unyielding loyalty to the King Over the Darkness, and protect His extensive dominion; for a King of the Skies can reach beyond the mortal realm. Your service will be atoned by a great statue and reverence to your self for all the eternities to come. You will obey the orders of your master, He who Rules Over the Skies and the Dark Below, and not from the King Over the Blood; Broken Iron God; Distorted Demiurge; the Forgotten Serpents or the Escapee from Above."

This is the best translation I could manage to make of an oath Asem forced upon the Four Knights.

Here is the best recreation I can muster, hopefully in chronological order:

  • Knight La Hire faced directly against the Profane Dark, an entity said to cause massive internal damage to anyone who even dares to look at it. La Hire became corrupted, and vanished from the Earth.

  • Knight Hector was also corrupted; and upon discovering this, Asem ordered him to sail across the seas of the west - to Torham - and bring destruction upon the fae folk for this. This is where my accounts show their weakness, as it mentions some "Children of the Moon" and their goddess "Titania", but none of my other ancient sources mention these beings.

    • Although, using some of my bountiful imagination and my well versed contacts across the ocean, I think I have a clear image of what these Children of the Moon were: Some sort of fur-covered humanoid, who inhabited Torham alongside the Elf Folk. These humanoids do resemble the multiple sightings my good friend, the Vice President of the United States of Nonamericus Elbridge Jefferson, mentioned to me once; of a being the underdevolped natives call "Sasquatch." Eitherway, I must remind myself that this may as well be a nonsensical connection, as I can not seem to locate other sources mentioning these Children of the Moon.

  • Asem performed some sort of arcane ritual alongside another god in order to fight against an unrelated threat - about whom I do not possess information, and apparently vanished. His son Seth raised Apollyiana into the air with his great magical spells, and I pressume the city is still in the air, hidden from mortal sight.

  • Knight Lancelot fought against the evil Profane Restrictor, also known as the Vitruvian. The Vitruvian corrupted Lancelot; who, on a fit of pure rage, carved a path of death and destruction up to Apollyiana in order to destroy the First City. Thankfully, it appears Seth was able to stop Demon Lancelot, maybe even killing him.

  • Knight Ogier fought against the mighty Profane Adamant, who was only perceivable under the influence of a potent spell. Ogier became enraged and developed a lust for blood and bones, as the Profane Adamant deeply corrupted his being.

The Colony of Noneuropean Union Lore