My time, in brief - Khestor. (Autobiography)
A semi-autobiography written by Khestor Thidirlun during Chapter One of Dwarves! whilst escaping Zietal Mar on The Cuckoo. You can also read about The Fate Of Zietal Mar.
And so this is the beginning of the end, my friend.
Zietal Mar will in all likelihood be in ruins, down to no fault of its own but simply the wrangling of powerhungry Bormarian Lords, and valuable gems. I hope Fort Thidir may remain in some form - It would be nice to know I’ve left something behind. My name and reputation living on past my inevitable death.
It would be nice, seeing as I have no direct kin of my own - apart from my brother wherever he may be.
Let’s go from the start...
The Arrival & Marshalhood:
When I stepped off the ship into this new Outpost ‘Zietal Mar’, it was a complete, disorganised mess. With no defences against the local, seemingly aggressive, population of Grol or even Trolls, let alone packs of Wolves and flocks of Murderowls in the tallwood forest nearby. There wasn’t a single Guard, nor a Molir and Law enforcement. Leadership was, for a while, bearable - until Overseer Kadol stepped down (queue powerstruggles, inefficient votes and ‘democracy’).
At first I remained quiet, writing some political and philosophical pieces to plant the seed in the minds of the population of what is right, what is powerful, and what good leadership is. After laying the groundwork, I established relations with the Chief Priest - a good contact to have - the Overseer at the time, and others within the community.
On my own initiative, and with support from the Overseer, I established the Molir. It’s structure, purposes and all. Those with a keen eye will have seen how its power from the get-go was significant. Whilst its duties were based on those of all Soldiers, they were in my favour. You should give the Molir handbook a read have you not already. Had I thought the ruling Overseer was a danger? Removed. Was someone getting in the way? They’re a threat to the Outpost. I’ll have them tied up and dragged to the deepest part of the forests and left to starve. Whilst in hindsight I never needed to use these draconian routes to power, they were there. In the event that, one day, I felt the need to save the Outpost from its inevitable downfall. Though luckily, in time, the people of Zietal Mar soon came to their senses. But I digress.
Work as newfound Marshal of this Molir was exciting, enjoyable. I had the reputation, the power, responsibilities and work to do - without having to be directly accountable to anyone but myself, something I do miss. Walls were constructed, the Upper Holding developed, Towers erected, Fort Thidir began being carved into Greencrown Peak. Progress my friends, progress.
My reputation, my name, my Molir… We became renowned, our popularity growing by the day. Though, this would lead to bigger things...
The sudden resignation of Overseer Kadol, Ogrona - a kind, good-willed, democracy loving, afraid to displease others and unable to make her own decisions dwarf - taking place in his footsteps, a halt in development, the Outpost was falling to its knees, leadership was weak… The Molir, Marshal Khestor, was an extremely favourable option in comparison.
It was at this point that local newspapers such as the ‘The Public Servant’ and the general public supported my leadership, and although I had not thought the moment would come so soon, I had to do something, otherwise Zietal Mar would lay in ruins far sooner than it might do today. I caved and put my name forward to a “Vote” - something I regret, but either way, by pulling strings and talking to contacts within the Outpost I won the election by over 90%.
And so my reign begun.
Overseer became Governor, the former had too much attachment to democracy, and taking a step back. I didn’t want to “Oversee”, I govern. The Lower Chamber was abolished, and replaced with a set of Consuls. Which *I* elected, and with no power to remove me as Governor, much unlike its predecessor.
I had control. It was time to set Zietal Mar onto the right path.
Deeptunnels were built, the Consuls got on with their work on my behalf, the Cuckoo was saved and repaired, Festivals held, Fort Thidir developed day by day, the Outpost grew in number - adventurers joined us often - the economy grew, Taxes were introduced, all in all, prosperity - much like I had promised - was on course to be achieved.
Now, whilst there were hiccups - such as my attempt at harnessing the criminal underworld of Zietal Mar - through Grabhol (after he offered it to me on a silver platter) - these problems were soon eradicated, and any trace of them removed. They did my bidding, and then disappeared without /much/ interruption.
I had, in many respects, achieved the status of a Great Leader - much like I wrote about in ‘Amoral Politics’.
During my stints as Governor and Marshal I not only discovered the Ruined Jounrnals and Tattered Pages through my travels in the Red Hills, nor from confiscating them from the Reaper, but I was also made privy to them by Ogrona, one of my Consuls for a short period of time.
My collection and information had to grow, as Ogrona refused to work together. Unfortunately I was convinced to use Grabhol to achieve this, something I regret, but all things work out in the end.
The All-Gem is a Bormar treasure of legend. A gigantic gemstone the size of a melon, composed of an intermingling of ruby, sapphire and emerald - all in one, woven together, a gift from the gods themselves. It is said that, for centuries, it was the very symbol of Bormar, of its prosperity and its grand destiny. It was in the Isles of Zietal Mar.
Apparently Lord Voman had been after it before, we weren’t the first Outpost to be built in Zietal Mar - this was also evident through remnants like Bastion and other ruins throughout the islands. Those peoples had even gotten hold of the All-Gem, but refused to give it back to Voman due to his so called ‘criminal intentions’ - though I am personally not aware of what they may be.
In any case - I gave the information I had to my new Consul, Gib Andosk, a hard-working, intelligent albeit naive dwarf. He rediscovered the All-Gem, and it was taken back to Zietal Mar. Though, the peoples of the Outpost now lived in fear of Lord Voman, they thought he’d cause havoc - perhaps rightly. They chose to destroy the All-Gem, and flee on the Cuckoo which is where we are today… With Lord Voman or his armies on the shore of Zietal Mar, ready to raze it to the ground.
The Foggy Nights sailing to Bormar:
On the Cuckoo, we return to Bormar, where some wish to incriminate Voman using the evidence we have, yet I wish to bring the All-Gem to the First House, collect my reward, and live life comfortably till I die knowing my name will be in history books forever. That’s right, the Gem wasn’t destroyed. Though most think it was, and Gib believes it may even still be in Zietal Mar. I have yet to decide whether to walk to the House with him or not.
I know now not what the future will hold, it is as uncertain as ever, though it is in times like these where often the best outcomes are forged and born unknowingly. I will make it through this, one way or another.
I hope, in hindsight, dear reader, that I, Khestor Thidirlun, have become a household name, or have at the very least left an imprint on the world we find ourselves in.