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Offline Mogsam

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The Election!
« on: March 28, 2013, 06:08:30 PM »
Three times the staff hit the floor. The thuds causing the men who stood in the throne room to be silent. Twenty seven men sat on their chairs in a giant circle whilst one more stood with his staff. The nine most powerful lords sat at either end of the circle whilst those lesser lords sat opposite them. Ar Ulric called the meeting to order and puffed out his chest before starting the procedure.

"We are gathered here to elect the next Emperor of Middenland." he bellowed. "By the grace of the mighty Ulric this gathered council of nobles will vote and select he who is favoured by the one true Gods will."

"By Ulrics will." murmured the crowd in response. The traditional words spilling from their collective mouths.

"One by one I will call upon each of you to make your choice before your peers, declaring your selection for the Emperor. We will begin at the seat to my left and move in a circle until it reaches the elector on my right." He motioned with his hands as he spoke. "You will speak clearly and loudly as tradition commands. Do you all understand what is expected of you?" he asked. No one responded negatively, the question was largely rhetorical and each elector had been briefed before they arrived at the event. "Should the election be inconclusive the palace will be shut off and we will begin once more tomorrow until we find a clear winner. This election is the will of the church and by extension that of Ulric as his representatives on this mortal realm." He moved away from his chair and moved to stand in front of the first elector. The old man stood up in response and took a single step forward. "Herkus von Altenberg, ruler of Leichlingberg. How do you vote?" The man took a deep breath and his barrel of a chest increased in size before he spoke not far from a bellow.

"I cast my vote for myself, Herkus von Altenberg. Ruler of Leichlingberg." he looked very enthusiastic as he said the words, his eyes glinting with excitement.

"Ulric hears your vote." replied Ar Ulric before slamming his staff onto the marble floor. "A single vote for Herkus von Altenberg." He moved theatrically towards the second voter as Herkus sat down. The second man to stand was an older gentleman with a full beard.

"Ludwig von Rusdorf, ruler of Caroberg. How do you vote?" he asked.

"I cast my vote for Titus-Augustus, son of Duccia. Ruler of Delburz." replied von Rusdorf, his voice monotone and serious matching his dress. He was wearing a toned down costume with only the hint of his usual cyan.

"Ulric hears your vote." Ar Ulric declared with another thump. "One vote for Herkus von Altenberg and one vote for Titus-Augustus." He moved to the next candidate with a brief respectful nod to Ludwig. The next candidate was already stood before the priest reached his position. The young man was dressed in a gilded costume showing off his wealth in a very untraditional choice of outfit for the humble vote. "Titus-Augustus, ruler of Delburz. How do you vote?"

"I cast my vote for myself, Titus-Augustus, ruler of Delburz." as he spoke his eyes were staring straight at Urenbach with obvious disgust. Ar Ulric made a note of ignoring the distraction.

"Ulric hears your vote." thump "One vote for Herkus von Altenberg, two for Titus-Augustus." Titus quickly sat back down barely moving his eyes from Urenbach despite Urenbachs obvious attempts to avoid such a glance. Ar Ulric continued on, this time however it was a young boy who rose to meet him. The boy was obviously nervous and almost looked like he wanted to burst into panic when Ar Ulric shouted the words at him.

"Nathial von Orseln. Ruler of Wahnsinningen, how do you vote?" The boy paused for a second before being prompted by the look or Ar Ulrics face.

"I...cast my vote for Unc...Herkus von Altenberg." he managed before realising he hadn't finished. "Ruler of Leichlingberg."

"Ulric hears your vote." The boy jumped at the thud so close to him before hastily retreating back to his seat as the priest moved to the first minor elector.

"Franco von Hornhausen, elector for Estorf, how do you vote?" Reuss von Hornhausen's son stepped forward, concentrating hard on saying the right words. Von Tiefen frowned slightly - Franco had gained his electorship at the expense of Gunther von Jülich. The previous elector of Estorf had been executed by von Horhausen's men for declaring for von Tiefen.

"I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug."

Ar-Ulric raised his eyebrows. He looked at Reuss for confirmation. Reuss nodded, very slightly. "Ulric hears your vote," Ar-Ulric said. "Gerhard the Elbow-high, elector for Calden, how do you vote?"

The halfling hopped down from his chair, his bare feet slapping on the floor. In a very loud voice, he declared, "I cast my vote for Herkus von Altenberg, ruler of Leichlinberg!"

"Ulric hears your vote. Karl von Malberg, elector for Schoppendorf, how do you vote?"

Von Malberg's feet also made an unusual sound on striking the floor - in this case because he wore ornately-carved wooden clogs. Smiling broadly, he said, "I cast my vote for Titus Augustus, ruler of Delberz."

"Ulric hears your vote. Heinrich von Wallenrode, elector for Fort Schippel, how do you vote?"

Von Wallenrode's clothes were worn and faded. The deep lines on his face had been made by years of worry. He took a deep breath, then said, "I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug."

"Ulric hears your vote. Tobias van der Maacht, elector for Esk, how do you vote?"

Esk had changed hands several times during the election campaign. No less than four men had held the title of elector during that time, and one of them had even been arrested on spurious charges of treason. But only van der Maacht mattered now.

"I cast my vote for Herkus von Altenberg, ruler of Leichlinberg."

"Ulric hears your vote. Poppo von Schwarzburg, elector for Bokel, how do you vote?"

Bokel was a place of pilgrimage, and its elector was a former priest of Ulric. He bowed respectfully to Ar-Ulric, then said, "I cast my vote for Herkus von Altenberg, ruler of Leichlinberg."

"Ulric hears your vote. Werner Zöllner von Rothenstein, elector for Suderberg, how do you vote?"

Suderberg had fallen to von Urebach's forces, but von Rothenstein himself had been campaigning with Titus Augustus. When Suderberg was reclaimed he regained his electorship also. "I cast my vote for Titus Augustus, ruler of Delberz."

"Ulric hears your vote. Martin Küchmeister von Sternberg, elector for Leudaldorf, how do you vote?"

The self-proclaimed Grandmaster of the Wolves of Holy Winter looked very excited to be in the presence of Ar-Ulric. He saluted, then said, "I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug."

"Ulric hears your vote," Ar-Ulric said, with mild distaste. He moved on quickly. "Wolfgang 'the Fat,' elector for Wurzen, how do you vote?"

Wolfgang, who wasn't particularly fat at all, replied, "I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug."

"Ulric hears your vote. Hartmann Cureus, elector for Arenburg, how do you vote?"

Cureus was a physician, given the electorship as a reward for services to the late Empress. He didn't respond at first, but then snapped out of his daydream and stood so hurriedly that he nearly fell over. His apology died on his lips at one glance from Ar-Ulric. "I cast my vote for Herkus von Altenberg, ruler of Leichlinberg," he said, rather quietly.

"Ulric hears your vote. Dietrich von Queden, elector for Senden, how do you vote?"

Von Queden could hardly wait to give his answer. He began to speak while Ar-Ulric was still saying his name. "I cast my vote for Titus Augustus, ruler of Delberz."

"Ulric hears your vote," Ar-Ulric said, emphasizing the word 'hears.' "Burchard von Plauen, elector for Eldagsen, how do you vote?"

Burchard had the same stern, uncompromising expression as his cousin, Grand Prince Otto. Von Rusdorf's agents spent many weeks winning him over to their cause. "I cast my vote for Titus Augustus, ruler of Delberz."

"Ulric hears your vote. Ludolf von Wüllersleben, elector for Castle Lenkster, how do you vote?"

"I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug," Ludolf said. He was well known for choosing his allies carefully, and never sticking with the losing side. His declaration for von Kerpen raised a few eyebrows.

"Ulric hears your vote. Commandant de la Man, elector for Krudenwald, how do you vote?"

The mysterious leader of the Order of the Black Shield had replaced the noble but inflexible Conrad von Braunschweig as elector for Krudenwald. Dark rumours claimed that Conrad had been murdered by the Commandant's soldiers, without even the pretext of a trial. Angry eyes watched him as he delivered his vote.

"I cast my vote for Reuss von Hornhausen, ruler of Ahlenhof," he said quietly. The electors looked about the room in confusion. This was the first vote Reuss had received. Even his own son had not voted for him! Reuss himself looked a little surprised. Von Kerpen's face showed barely-contained anger.

"Ulric hears your vote. Mieszko von Swantopolk, elector for Winsen, how do you vote?"

"I cast my vote for Herkus von Altenberg, ruler of Leichlinberg," the merchant replied. The more observant electors noticed that he wore a small pin with the arms of Marienburg on it.

"Ulric hears your vote. Hermann von Plötzke, elector for Kuttenholz, how do you vote?"

Hermann glanced at von Kerpen, his brother in law, then shook his head very slightly. "I cast my vote for Titus Augustus, ruler of Delberz."

"Ulrc hears your vote. Let it be known that the count stands at seven votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven votes for Titus Augustus, one vote for Reuss von Hornhausen and five votes for Wladysaw von Kerpen."


Now that the secondary electors had been polled, Ar-Ulric came to the second group of primary electors. The first of these was a Reman, who most of the others viewed as an outsider.

"Marius Riccardi, ruler of Fort Denkh, how do you vote?"

The Tilean paused for a long time, shivering visibly despite his thick fur cloak. He glanced at von Hornhausen, then seemed to make up his mind. "I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug."

"Ulric hears your vote. The count stands thus: seven votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven votes for Titus Augustus, one vote for Reuss von Hornhausen and six votes for Wladysaw von Kerpen. Otto von Plauen, ruler of Wolfenburg, how do you vote?"

Von Plauen stood straight-backed, despite his advanced years. He smiled confidently, and then said, "I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug."

"Ulric hears your vote. The count stands thus: seven votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven votes for Titus Augustus, one vote for Reuss von Hornhausen and seven votes for Wladysaw von Kerpen."

Ar-Ulric moved on to Achiatus von Tiefen. His footsteps sounded horribly loud in that chamber of baited breaths and strained nerves. The vote was tied three ways -  the remaining electors would decide who was to sit upon the wolf-throne.

"Achiatus von Tiefen, ruler of Hergig. How do you vote?" Ar Ulric asked the man stood before him.

"I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen. Ruler of Aukrug." he replied through the thick drooping mustache surrounding his lips and heading down towards his provincial looking clothes.

"Ulric hears your vote. Seven votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven votes for Titus Augustus, one vote for Reuss von Hornhausen and eight votes for Wladysaw von Kerpen." came the declaration. The room became nervous with anticipation as he moved on to von Sangerhausen in his foreign finery. "Wilhelm von Sangerhausen, ruler of the Brass Keep. How do you vote?" Sangerhausen coughed before speaking.

"I cast my vote for Herkus von Altenberg, ruler of Leichlingberg." he said. It was not as loud as the booming voices of many others and was one used to speaking in front of crowds.

"Ulric hears your vote." came the statement before the clatter of the staff. "Eight votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven for Titus Augustus, one for Reuss von Hornhausen and eight for Wlaydslaw von Kerpen." With only three electors left even Ar Ulric began to seem excited as he took the next few steps, his white fur long cloak dragging along the floor. His next elector could barely lift himself off his seat under his own power.

"Georg von Urenbach. Ruler of Grosseferee." Ar Ulric announced with obvious distain, he could barely keep the disgust from his voice, Georg had spent his time since being escorted to the city in custody and had only been allowed to attend through tradition. "How do you vote?"

"I cast my vote for Herkus von Altenberg. Ruler of Leichlingberg," replied Georg quietly whilst looking at the floor. He immediately sat back down with great effort and had the decency to look ashamed of himself when even the man he voted for looked upon him with scorn. Ar Ulric paused before speaking reluctantly.

"Ulric hears your vote." the noise from the staff hitting the marble sounded far louder than before. "Nine votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven for Titus Augustus, one for Reuss von Hornhausen and eight for Wladyslaw von Kerpen." Ar Ulric announced. There would be no doubt over whom the next vote would fall.

"Wladyslaw von Kerpen. Ruler of Aukrug, how do you vote?" came the redundant question. The northern lord was bristling with nerves with the vote so close. Only one elector remained after his own vote.

"I cast my vote for myself. Wladyslaw von Kerpen, ruler of Aukrug." he replied with attempted nonchalance. He failed to display such emotion.
"Ulric hears your vote, nine votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven for Titus Augustus, one for Reuss von Hornhausen and nine for Wladyslaw von Kerpen." the electorate were edging closer to the rim of their seats as Wladyslaw sat down and the attention shifted to Reuss von Hornhausen, the last elector.

"Reuss von Hornhausen, ruler of Ahlenhof. How do you vote?" Ar Ulric asked the young man stood before him. Dressed all in muted near black and stood ever so straight. He paused before he answered in a dramatic fashion.

"I cast my vote for Wladyslaw von Kerpen. Ruler of Aukrug." he replied curly and with an air of confidence as though he was just ordering a loaf of bread made. A strangled cry of joy mixed with anger came from various people in the crowd before being silenced by Ar Ulrics thuds and look of disappointment towards the crowd.

"Ulric hears your vote, nine votes for Herkus von Altenberg, seven for Titus Augustus, one for Reuss von Hornhausen and ten for Wladyslaw von Kerpen." he said loudly and clearly. He moved back to his original position before a quick clack of the staff. "The election is over." he announced raising his hands. "We have a winner in the first round, a new Emperor for Ulrics divine state. Let it ever be noted that he is first among the princes of Ulric, Wladyslaw I, Wolf Emperor!" The room was silent still as the ritual went on. "Tomorrow we will hold the coronation of our new Emperor. Rejoice men of the Empire and be ready to swear your allegiance."
Curse you and your ability to stay within the lines.