Phalanx, an officer in the army, walked through his home, the home of the Dragonborn, Bern while snapping his fingers.
It was the last day of the second week during the time of Gragrothnir, the festival to honor the dragons past who have solved issues things non-violently.
The Dragonborn were hosting many different visitors, including Tieflings, Halflings, and Elves of all kinds. It is custom during this time for the Dragonborn to adopt non-violence for two out of the three weeks out of honor, mercenaries would be hired during this time to compensate for the lack of normal guards. To enforce these rules, there would be a council held by the elders to determine an “Honor Guard,” consisting of a third of the original guard – the mercenaries would be replacing the other two-thirds of the guard..They would enforce the law if necessary. Otherwise they would bring offenders to the elders for judgement.
It may seem hypocritical, but for the most part, it worked. There were no issues with the Honor Guard at all, and in fact, many of the Dragonborn liked the idea.
While walking through Bern, Phalanx, even though he is not the best at it, noticed that a group of the hired mercenaries were becoming rowdy. They became aggressive towards other patrons at the shops and taverns they passed through – stealing goods, vandalism, harassment, you name it. The mercenaries eventually started a small riot. Some mercenaries joined the charade, others tried (and failed) to calm down their comrades, while others slinked into the shadows in shame through association.
Phalanx was becoming tired of all of this crude behavior in his hometown. He did not want the atmosphere nor the mood of his Riiae and other guests to be ruined by a bunch of hooligans. He approached them.
“Good sirs, you are guests in our hometown. I ask you to please be respectful to us and our land,” Phalanx politely asked.
“HAH! This may be your hometown, but we are only the hired grunts, and the pay is not cutting it anymore!” yelled one of them.
“How is our payment not generous enough? We pay each of you 200 gold pieces for your service for only two weeks!” Phalanx retorted.
“How could we not take part in these festivities to the fullest when they are right here?! This festival is just too good to pass up!” yelled another mercenary.
“We hired you for a rather important task, but we did not say that you cannot enjoy the festivities – you just have to remember that you have an overall obligation to protect, not to party.”
“Yerrright!” slurred one drunkenly. “We willll do whattt weeee waaaaaaant!”
“Fine. If that’s what you want, I will not ask anymore. I am ordering you to know your place, soldiers – get back to work!” bellowed Phalanx.
“Hah, this lizard thinks he can order us, the Hraltin Blades, around!” yelled Rilyil, the leader of this pack of hooligan mercenaries.
“I think I can considering that Bern has HIRED YOUR ASSES TO DO WORK FOR US, Rilyil.”
“No waaay in Helllll are we doing anything else!” the same drunkard bellowed.
“Alright boys,” the leader of the group of hoodlums yelled, “raid this place and have a good time! We are no longer employed by these stinkin’ lizards!”
“First off, is lizard really the best you could do? Second, you are a fool for turning your weapons against us. This decision is against your favor. If you continue through with your plan, I will personally ‘fire’ you from this position.” Phalanx snarkily replied.
“Your custom of non-violence is definitely in our favor tonight! We know how wealthy this city is and how much the festivities have to offer! That was the only reason why most of us took this job! On top of that because we are your defenses, we can do whatever we want and you can’t do shit about it.”
“Have you no sense of honor?!” Yelled a mercenary that sided with Phalanx. “We may work for money and the festivities, but at the same time many of us appreciate how the mighty Dragonborn ask us for help. They may be strong, but that shows how much trust they wish to put in us. when they hire us!
“I thank you for your support, friend. But please do not dirty your hands with this matter. Allow me.” Phalanx said.
A voice suddenly boomed from behind him: It was one of the honor guard, Sit’Fur.
“You must not do that, Phalanx! You know the ramifications of breaking the non-violence oath during Gragrothnir!”
“I do know, Sit’Fur.”
Phalanx began charging at the group of mercenaries. They were not expecting one of the Dragonborn to actually break the oath. Other mercenaries and Honor Guard tried to support Phalanx, but he pushed them back, saying:
“No! Your names have not been sullied! Do not waste your time with these fools who are nothing more than mere brigands!”
An hour passed. Phalanx had managed to quell the riot by himself. He was taken into custody by the Honor Guard after the dust had settled.
“Phalanx,” the voice of one of the elders boomed, “you have broken our honored oath. WHAT SAY YOU?”
“I was protecting the oath of others and the honor of those who did not side with those hooligans.”
“I can see that, Phalanx, and it is admirable that you care for others in that way, To live and die for others is the way of the Paladin, and we have taught you well However, you know the consequences.”
“This is the one tradition we cannot break Phalanx. My deepest apologies – you have done nothing wrong.”
‘I recognize this, and you do not need to apologize, elder, I understand.” He spoke bitterly.
The next day, Phalanx was given armor, weapons, and basic supplies, and was exiled from Bern.. Three weeks later, he was seen carrying an unconscious Halfling and a drunk Tiefling away from the direction of Bern – the smell of Dragonborn ale lingered around them, as the rumors say.
*The 10th day – The Time of Harvests – The First Week of Exile
I’ve barely made it about halfway through Bern. Zarathustra is to the East, but I cannot go there. There are rumors of headhunters spearheading an expedition for an exile, namely me, there. I may not have an official bounty on my head, but there are a few who would prefer if it were on a pike. I best keep moving after this break if I want to pass the group before the week ends.
I will see if I can make it to the base of the mountain range without issue. If I can, I’ll move to Fallcrest, in the far southwest. I can blend in with the crowd and start over, yet I have my honor as paladin – I’ll probably be best suited for cathedral guard at best. Aye, but who knows? Life is always unpredictable.
*The 4th Day – The Time of Harvests – The 1st Week of Exile
There was a change of plans. I must make my way to Zarathustra. The hunting party has shifted to the North. I cannot escape that way for now – I must hide in plain sight. There are plenty of my Riiae that pass through. Some even go there for training – I could probably make the excuse that I am an instructor.
*The 14th Day – The Time of Harvests – The 2nd Week of Exile
I’ve managed to scrape by living on the bare essentials. My coin runs low, and I cannot find a job. I best be readying to move North towards Fallcrest. The whisperings of the street tell me that the bounty hunters are heading towards Bern now. Some other whisperings have me uneasy, I hope they are only rumors.
*The 18th Day – The Time of Harvests – The Second Week of Exile
I’ve made camp in a small cave on the outskirts of Zarathustra. I hoped that those rumors were false, and I was sorely disappointed. The bounty hunters sent a small squad to Bern – they have taken my wife hostage; she had managed to get our children to the safety of the elders before they caught her. As they left, they threw a message for me: “Gilkaad.” A messenger from Bern tracked me down and told me this as soon as this happened – such expediency for my sake, an exile.
I have to return to the main citadel of Zarathustra, where “Ser” Gilkaad awaits. I use Ser loosely here – only in title alone is he a Ser.
The only enemy I have ever made, Gilkaad used to deal in trafficking of all people to satisfy his desire for arcane runes and curses to test out on those he considered lesser (which was almost everyone). A squad of my Riiae and I dismantled that operation very publicly, to put it nicely. Yet, with his status and wealth, he walked away scot-free. Now here he is again, trying to move people around for his benefit. He won’t harm Perth, unless he has a death wish.