01: The Spark
Two guilds: Moonjack, led by Templar Quark; and Crescent Fall, led by Templar Zaniel, have begun fighting outside the gates of Klaipeda.
It was Crescent Fall’s leader, Zaniel, who made the official declaration of war against Moonjack… but that was not how the conflict began.
Twenty-four hours ago, there was a dispute between certain members of the two respective guilds, regarding the capital markets. Due to Klaipeda’s high taxes, marketing has become a cut-throat business. A member of Moonjack claimed to have been scammed out of their money by Templar Zaniel himself. Zaniel had allegedly sold that consumer a weapon that was in poor condition, and broke the moment they armed themselves with it, while Zaniel lined his pockets with well over one hundred thousand silver coins from the sale, even after the market tax.
Rumors abound that Templar Zaniel was a major supporter of an underground black market organization that hardly anyone dared to speak of, other than its name, granted by the people of the capital: the Racketeers who Monopolize Trade, or RMT for short.
When the rumors reached the ears of Zaniel’s followers, they became angry with the supposed Moonjack victim, whose rumor-mongering was anything but subtle. Zaniel kept his peace for the time being, as he used his gentle words to calm the swift tempers of his highest ranking guild members. Zaniel had a message delivered to Templar Quark, requesting audience with the leader of Moonjack. Quark responded, agreeing to meet with Zaniel to discuss the matter of Zaniel’s “crime.”
Templar Quark wasn’t alone; he brought half of his guild with him. The people of Moonjack were fearful that Zaniel would try to have their leader captured or killed, and that was why they accompanied Quark to the meeting. Zaniel’s followers were of like mind; despite Zaniel’s protests, his guild members insisted upon coming with him to the meeting place in West Siauliai Woods.
And so the meeting began; two leaders stood across from each other, both bearing numerous armed guild mates standing behind them. Most of the leaders’ energy was spent making sure neither of their guild members’ bloodlust took hold and cause them to launch some kind of attack.
After an hour long discussion, Templar Quark agreed to have his followers drop all accusations of being involved with RMT against Templar Zaniel. They turned their backs and began to lead their guilds away, Zaniel heading north, and Quark moving south. The issue had been solved peacefully…
…or so Zaniel and Quark thought.
As Zaniel was walking away, one of his guild members shouted his name and jumped behind him. Before Zaniel could turn around, he heard the arrow pierce his follower’s leather vest. The guild member choked and fell, with an arrow protruding from his chest. Zaniel caught him and lowered him, gently, to the ground. In the distance, two of Quark’s guild mates were standing there—both of them holding bows. One of them was standing as though they just fired that shot. Zaniel ordered his only Cleric to quickly mend the wounded warrior, but it was too late. The man who saved Zaniel from the sniping attempt died, and the Cleric was not yet skilled enough to perform a resurrection.
Other members of Moonjack were trying to deter the two stray archers, forcefully ushering them to leave.
Zaniel tore his gaze from his dead follower to the retreating archers. Quark wasn’t anywhere in sight. Summoning all the strength and fire of his enraged guildmates, Templar Zaniel used his power to amplify his voice, and across the land did he shout his declaration of war against Moonjack.
The members of Moonjack continued to walk away, without an answer to Zaniel’s challenge.
It wasn’t until the next day that the war between Crescent Fall and Moonjack officially began.