Vengeance, Honor and War
2 Ch-1 Cainhorn
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Vengeance, Honor and War
Author :AveAnderson
© Gravity Tales

2 Ch-1 Cainhorn

Month of Cold, Year 3034 of Catholic calendar.

Cainhorn Castle, Cainhorn Province, Ryre District, Xerith Empire, Central Continent, Audenia.

The Cainhorn Castle was situated on the banks of the Grey Canal and backed by the Enning Mountains, an extinct volcanic mountain filled with great ores, beasts and treasures. The Grey Canal is a tributary of the Grey River, is a large river filled with grey silt which is very high-quality material to make buildings, especially garrison and defensive buildings. Around the Cainhorn Castle is Cainshire, a pretty big settlement of traders, slaves and merchants who came with the hope of making a fortune in the wildlands around Cainhorn Castle.

The Cainhorn Castle is a large Castle with two sections basically, the Inner Section, which housed the Lord and his family, and the Outer Section, which housed the various miscellaneous stuffs like armory, stables and various others. There are 9 massive stone towers, with 5 inside and 4 in the outside section making the outer edge of the Castle a perfect square, while the inner section a perfect pentagon. The tip of the pentagon of the Inner Section formed by the towers was pointed towards the Grey Canal on the east and was filled with various artillery spots and the huge Dawson Cannon, measuring almost 10meters in total length and the muzzle almost 1meter long. The lip, or the place from where the cannon ball comes out, is as wide as the girth of a 200-year old tree and the cannon ball used is a 32pound or 15kg hard steel, capable of destroying frigates and even damage Man'o'Wars tremendously. Gifted by the Late Duke of Seas, Lord Stephen Hendrickson, this cannon has protected the Dean family naval territories for centuries.

The Castle is also surrounded by a heavy fortification of walls made from grey granite, with outermost wall having a radius of around 500m, height of 6meters and thickness of at least 2meters and had humongous gate laced with wooden spikes. There are generally two walls, but in actuality, there is three with the last two walls merging together to form a tough garrison of soldiers, if needs be, but it posed a danger of infiltration given the relative lax patrols. The inner garrison on the other hand, housed a lot less troops but was a lot more secure and tight. Its walls are almost 3-4meters in thickness and 9meters tall, making it almost impossible for the invaders to climb up. Even the gate of the Inner garrison was steel plated, ½ meter thick and 6meters tall, rendering most battering rams useless.

The granite walls of the Castle were rough and seemed a bit barbaric with rusted torch-handles, oil pots and wooden spikes, but it proved to be effective time and time again. The wall generally had almost no windows and even if there were, all of them were rimmed by the most hardened of the steels and barricaded. And lastly, the moat outside the Castle was filled with fishes most of the time, which are cultivated by the troops of the garrison during their leisure time, but during wartimes, massive crocodiles, at least 5meters in length is released, making it a game-over spot for the enemies. All in all, the Cainhorn Castle was more than enough to take on enemies' multiple times it's troop size.

The Cainhorn Castle is ruled by Earl Dean and the Dean family, also called as the Black Wolfe family, the males of the Dean household are known for their greatswordmanship, chivalry and valor in battles in leading charges. The history of the Dean family runs deep and is said that they were once a part of the Xerith Blades, a council of noble families whose only task was to protect the Emperor of Xerith, but only when the Wardens were in power and prominence. But most modern nobles don't agree on it, given the statement that the family only had a small patch of land and only a title of Baron for all these years. It was only during the leadership of Sir Aston Dean, the current head of the family, did the household had a double rank-up and attained the title of Earl. For centuries, the Dean household ruled the wild forests of the Enning Mountains peacefully without much conflict or power struggles for this uninhabited land.

The reason why the other nobles didn't aim for this patch of land was because of the apparent invincibility of the Cainhorn Castle and the huge amount of woods and wild forests on the way, making it immensely hard for any incoming army to remain undetected for long. Given that the woods around the Cainhorn Castle was haunted by spirits of the forests and the various monsters who inhabit the forests, makes it extremely dangerous and highly open to ambushes by the monsters or soldiers. Contradictorily, it is impossible to sneak upon Cainshire through the forests, due to the relatively less knowledge about the terrain and due to monsters, again.

Along the river, there is the immensely large Dawson Cannon at the edge of the Cainhorn Castle, making it almost impossible for ships smaller than frigates to deal damage to the mighty fortress. Frigates aren't totally safe from the Dawson Cannon and will still be wreaked by one of its shot, but it did possess some fire power against the Castle. But then there are the hundreds of schooner-turned-fishing boats docked along the long fishing docks, who can assist during a naval battle. Along with the various other factors, like the length of the Grey Canal, depth and various meanders, make it almost impossible for bigger ships like Man'o'War or frigates to breach the Cainhorn Castle naval defense, as well as Cainshire.

The other heads of the household understood this very well and did the other nobles. And so, to prevent a deadly party who is invincible at home to bite off other people's land, there was a silent pact between the Dean family and the various other families, which literally meant that if other nobles didn't made things hard for the Dean household, they wouldn't join the fray of this chaos. But it was only until the Wardens were in power.

The Wardens, an order of knights known for their greatswordmanship and charisma in leading sieges and battles. With their honor on line, they fought to their last breadth for their subordinates and their masters. Their chivalry and valor gained them the favor of the Emperor of Xerith, granting them immense amounts of lands and titles, but this is where they started to fail. The Wardens, other than being great at leading charges, were also known for their honor and kindness, both to the enemy civilians and their own. But when they gained huge amounts of wealth, lands and fortune, their mentality changed and they started to deviate from their honorable self. Twisted and corrupted by greed, they started plundering and slaughtering innocents, much like the other nobles did, invoking the wrath of the Grandmaster of the order. With more and more Wardens becoming corrupted and leaving, the order grew more and more weaker and finally, when the string was twanged by the other nobles, the Emperor of Xerith abolished the Wardens as His protectors and they were replaced by the Sisters of Silence, a cult of the Emperor's own concubines and various other females who protect the Emperor from the shadows.

But unlike most Wardens, the Dean family didn't fall. It was partly because they were bordered by the war-mongering Earl Roderick and Viscount Clovers and partly because they regarded their secluded land sacred and didn't want to wager it in the games of power. And another more less-regarded fact is that the Dean family wasn't as greedy as others, but not much people believe it because nobles are synonymous to greed. And so, even after the Wardens had fallen into dust and was now only a small brotherhood of Knights, the Dean household prospered slightly and even helped the order of Wardens by supplying them armors and weapons as frequently, letting them stay afloat in the sea of competition of power.

In the Central Continent ruled by the Knights, Kings and Emperors, people increased their fighting strength by practicing Battle Techniques, a set of techniques, move-set, combos and various other forms of fighting which creates a Battle Will and increases Battle Qi, a special type of inner energy which increases the strength, vitality, dexterity, agility and various other abilities of the user exponentially. There are different ranks and realms of Battle Technique and strengths of an individual.

The heirloom Battle Technique of the Dean household is the Black Wolfe Technique, a technique which deals with endurance, strength, vitality and most important of all, teamwork. The Black Wolfe technique is one of the very rare techniques which deals with teamwork and morale and the technique strengthens as more and more people uses it simultaneously. Just like how real wolfs work. In teamwork.

Lastly, the Dean family.

The Dean family currently only has Sir Aston Dean, the head of the family, Lady Faye and their only child, Felix. Sir Aston Dean, regarded as the most righteous and honorable Lord of all the Dean family head, is well accepted as the ruler of the Cainhorn province, his Earldom, along with his wife. His wife, being once a priestess of the Temple of Earth, is considered as one of the kindest and brightest persons in all of Cainshire. Sir Aston, unlike his other father and grandfathers, didn't stay cooped in his territory all the time, instead, he made a name for himself in the Imperial wars to the barbaric tribes of the north and the eastern cultivators, while keeping his distance to all the major nobles. His valor and chivalry in battle earned him the title of Earl and he also became friends with Prince Hendrickson, the Duke of Eastern Seas. During the heydays of the Wardens, the Dean family was only a small noble with no solid background. Their first head, Lord Cain distinguished himself in the Battle Royales and earned the favor of Late Duke of Seas, Lord Stephen granted him Hereditary title of Nobles and made him his vassal. During later years, Sir Cain was distinguished in battles for his strong brotherhood and fellow-feeling and was incorporated into the ranks of Warden and later into the Xerith Blades. Along with that he was granted the title of Baron and the land of Consby of the Grey Canal, which was later titled as Cainshire and Cainhorn province, under his name. The Castle too, wasn't always this strong but was made strong by his successors.

The world background.

The world of Audenia is divided into many continents, generally the Central Continent, the Eastern Continent, the Western Continent, the Southern Continent and the Northern Continent. The Central Continent is the place where the Empires and Kingdoms of the Great Monarchs are situated. Dominated by the Knights and the Knightly orders, the kingdoms and empires prosper through trade and through constant conquest. The Western Continent, which is many a times considered to be God's Greatest Mistake, is a place filled with mystical landscapes and magical fairylands. Mainly inhabited by the knowledge-hungry Mages, it is a place which is constantly competing amongst each other not in the terms of fighting prowess or warfare strategy, but in the terms of knowledge and profit. Considered to be weak, these Mages can wreak havoc on anything and anyone for their pursuit of knowledge.

The Eastern Continent, a continent so silent and so beautiful, that most consider it to be sacred. Ruled by the mighty cultivators, masters of Inner Qi and Outer Qi, their fingers can pierce the thickest of the woods and their legs can break the hardest of the rocks. Loyal to the bones, their loyalty and servitude to their dynasties and clans run as deep as their blood. The Northern Continent, considered to be so cold and barren, that most think it to be uninhabited. But in the depths of the snow-covered mountains lies the hardiest of the Vikings and their Norse Gods. Little do the people of other continents know about them, but it is always said that they are as fierce as beasts and must be slaughtered to resist being slaughtered.

The Southern Continent. The continent filled with mystery and secrets and harsh terrains, make it nearly impossible for the Knights to traverse. The most the mighty armies of the Knights could go was to the Cape of Giralt, beyond which was the Sultannates of the Sultans, followers of The One. With the Papacy and the Catholic Church's claim of The Origins beyond the Black Seas, hundreds of Crusades has been led by hundreds of heroes, all to fall to their doom to the fearsome cavalries of the Gokaiy Turks. It is conjectured that the Gokaiy Sultannate is the very first of the many Sultannates, each more fearsome than the other and that beyond the Sultannates is the Great Desert, after which are the fabled lands of The Origin.

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