War is a funny word. How can so much savagery, misery, death and glory be compressed into one simple term. I’m hardly one to talk of such things however, though I’ve witnessed battle a number of times never in my life has war been a presence. It’s strange to think that we now find ourselves on the brink of it, Valksbourg against Andorria. It is not that I am afraid, in fact quite to the contrary I find the idea rather thrilling, I have long dreamed of a free Valksbourg and a chance for glory, though I do find myself contemplating the cost. More than just the impending war has been vexing my mind as of late. My compatriots and I have found ourselves on a perilous mission south, as well as barred from my home, Godstone Castle. Following the commands of my Queen, Natalia Bannon, we journey south into the heartland of Morinar to play at cloak and dagger, something that leaves a poor taste in my mouth. We are to travel to Galimond and Kronslund to participate in back room dealings in order to shatter their alliance with the Aesmoor so that further elven allies may be free to aid Valksbourg. Though the promise of additional elven troops is pleasing, it nevertheless seems wrong and dishonorable to sabotage the Aesmoori, a people who have never crossed nor threatened Valksbourg. As such I plan to interpret my orders somewhat more freely than they were perhaps intended, I resolve to simply bring additional support to Valksbourg during my tour of the south, either via the established plan or by other means. I shall keep this decision close to heart, for my plan could potentially clash with the interests of Yb’Sel and lead to unnecessary tension.
How we found ourselves in this predicament, on a journey far from home and our country on the brink of war, is purely a cause of gross Andorrian abuse of power. The “Still-Storm” that wreaked havoc across the globe resulted in the Andorrian King, Frederick Martyn, to proclaim House Bannon, and all their vassals to double their taxes paid to the crown. This gross act of tyranny of course cannot be obeyed, and as such Lady Natalia Bannon summoned a meeting of all the prominent Lords of Valksbourg to discuss a course of action. During the deliberations I spoke vehemently in favour of war, and ultimately all dissenters were swayed. The gathering in Visograd also served to inspire patriotism and camaraderie through song poetry and excessive food and drink. During the talks and feasting I found particular camaraderie in Lady Eredith Bureg. As not to come across as lewd to any potential interloper who stumbles across these passing thoughts I shall remain brief, but Eredith proved insatiable as well as direct and forward in a manner I found most appealing. It was also during these talks that Queen Natalia in a quiet one on one meeting ordered me on the previously mentioned mission.
How I found myself barred from my own home is tied in directly to the preceding events in Visograd. A dishonorable Andorrian buggering traitor informed the King of Andorria about the proceedings and submitted a list of the most ardent supporters of independence for Valksbourg. My name was on that list. House Gregor, the Braye lands western neighbors and true blooded Andorrians through and through, were tasked with my arrest. They acted by trespassing into Braye lands and set about preparing ambushes to capture me upon my return. Guardsman Richard came to warn us of the situation, but was pursued by Jonathan Gregor and a number of troops. With the aid of my uncle we saw them off, but Richard was injured and the very idea of returning home had become a dangerous one. I have no doubt that if my father rallied all the men at his disposal we would see the Gregor’s off, but it would only serve to bring more of the Andorrian hammer upon our lands. My friends and I decided it was perhaps the most prudent option to bypass the Godstone and head directly south, towards our objective and an uncertain future. I worry for my family and people, but behind the stern walls of the Godstone they will be safe from harm, at least for a time.
Though for the time being the world is quiet, I can sense many tribulations in the future, both for myself and Valksbourg. I am surrounded by a feeling of anxiousness as I anticipate events to come and yearn to take action and play a role in the liberation of my people. Lately I’ve taken to composing bad poetry before rest that is clearly the product of a worried mind. Though a certain few passages are of merit, it has mostly taught me that during periods of self inflection I find myself considerably less boisterous and well lacking in any form of eccentricity. I shall leave my ramblings here for now, for the night grows dark and we have a long journey before us. As one last note I will write as a reminder to myself that I shall strive to act with honour in all things, not only for myself but for my people.
-Aiden Braye, Heir to the Braye Lands and Son of Valksbourg