Nothing But Rust | Tales of Glory and Valour

This short story is based off the backstory of Dolphus Gorov, Nico Markl, and Rook Andreas, all characters in the Boards RP Tales of Glory and Valor . I would highly recommend joining if you like to write.


“He’s charming, isn’t he?”

The younger man turned to face the subject matter, a small infant with worried eyes. The child turned from one ominous figure to the other, unsure with how to react to the menacing faces bearing down on him, filled nearly to bursting with pride and petty vice. These faces, these men were the gallows for many more, the weak, the impoverished, or the unfortunate all cradled in the hollow of the powerful hand of the Gorovs.

“I said I’d go with you on this, brother, but if mother-”

The elder of the pair swung a cruel and heavy brow towards the younger one, a menacing sphere of pearly white nestled beneath which magnified the dark iris and lightless pupil which lay inside it. “Finish your sentence, Pyotr - if mother finds out, her fingers will tear into the Gorov family and everyone, everyone, will be disinherited - correct?”

Pyotr shrugged complacently. “You know she was and always has been vehemently insistent on her selecting which of her offspring will be allowed to produce an heir, to inevitably inherit her massive fortune. The rest of the family will not be happy if word gets out about your decision.”

“And that’s why this maneuver must pay off adequately.” The older man replied, breathing through his teeth. “I made quite the effort to clear you in full six years ago, Pyotr, and I expect you to honor that commitment. You think the fingers of our old matron can crack the Gorov steel, you’re wrong. The sickle is sharpened, dear brother, and the reaper is coming in my carriage.”

“I should have named him Gilmat.” The older man replied, his muscular hands lifting his child into the air. “For the minute that old crone sees this heir to the Gorov throne she will slip beneath the soil and plummet to the grave.”


Pyotr Gorov stood far above the rest of the crew.

The position was literal and figurative, as while centered on the main mast the crow’s nest did provide an excellent vantage point, the position was also metaphorical for how he viewed himself. Grander. Smarter. In every way superior.

No further proof of that could be found than in his relation to the captain, he being only a year older than Pyotr was. The eighteen-year-old commander of the vessel had grown to be quite good friends with Pyotr, and even Pyotr had to admit he felt some camaraderie with the youthful and dedicated leader, he could not allow any superficial conduct to bend his will. His heart was steel, his mind was steel, and his hands - which even now tied a roll of paper to a pigeon’s leg - were steel. Nothing could move them from their task, a task which promised massive financial reward and security for the Gorov family for years to come: betray the captain and his crew into the hands of the North.

The Gorovs were powerful; their dealings with the North gave them impressive leverage to ensure Pyotr’s safe return. There was also a major financial promise from the North for the completion of this mission. But the greatest cost was the loss of the only real friend he had ever known. The only one to ever call him ‘Petey’ out of actual respect and not, as others had done, as a means to demean. Someone who trusted him and his word far more than the military strictness the relationship with his mother held; someone whose name would ring forever in his haunted mind after this choice.

Goodbye, Rook.

Pyotr exhaled and let the pigeon go, having sighted the approaching Northern fleet half an hour ago and sending his final contact to the commanders even further north. The steel of the Gorovs, it had been said, was utterly indestructible, and even now it shewed its invulnerability.

A cry was given from below at the advancing fleet, and Pyotr pretended to swing his spyglass up in flabbergasted shock. But any honesty and decency was dead, murdered inside him at the merciless hands of the Gorovs.


“Enter, boy.” Gregor commanded, his voice quietly hissing, carrying with it the promise of a thousand thundering words were it not followed promptly and efficiently with strict adherence to every consonant and punctual puff.

Dolphus entered, his face emotionless and practically free of imperfections, quietly stalking in like the perfect lifeless spawn of the vulture that was his father. His mother’s estate had only just been handled several years after she had passed, and Pyotr had to admit - the blatant, ruthless, and positively inhuman way Gregor had casually dismissed his wife’s existence after her tragic demise was utterly fantastic in every respect. Truly, his older brother was a master at his craft; manipulation, deception, and cruelty were his tools, and he, the eldest Gorov child, was the best in his trade.

Even now, Gregor presented his offspring not as a trophy, as he had done often before, but as the penultimate weapon in a scheme concocted with absolute secrecy for more than a decade. The ten-year-old boy stood, silently, his eyes devoid of any personality, a hyper-focused lens of the message his father wanted to convey.

The unwilling recipient of such a message, however, took the greatest offense to this little boy’s existence. A haggard old woman, more bone than flesh, propped on a massive iron bed by an unfathomable amount of pillows and blankets with the most delicate of trim, whose red-bagged eyes glared so concentrated a look of death and malice Pyotr had great difficulty observing the scene, despite not being the target of such a look. Her appearance of fright and hatred had been precisely refined over the years, and it was on the fullest display here, but Gregor was the master, and he took the stare with a cocky smile and a sinister brow, lowering the angle of his gaze until he was staring out from under the flat lines of his eyebrows at the old woman, so reprobate a creature that all who knew her recoiled at the slightest suggestion that she might be a lady.

“What in the pits of torment is that thing?!” She screamed, throwing a vile finger pointed right at Dolphus, causing the poor lad to try and backpedal right out of the room, the building, and the whole isles, only to run into the open palm of his merciless father. Some delicious notion crossed Pyotr’s mind that the woman, in spite of her apparent naivety, already knew the answer.

“Mother, dear,” Gregor spoke, his voice like sweet molasses mixed with arsenic, “I had not the slightest notion you would be so repulsed by your own grandson. Is this not what we discussed would occur? Pyotr remembers - don’t you, dear brother?”

Pyotr averted his eyes with a smile, looking anywhere he could to not even remotely see the violent glare of his mother. “Quite true, quite true, although I recall her saying she wanted a girl and not a boy. But it’s not like we can arrange that.” He chuckled, looking at Dolphus who, in spite of his flat face, was trembling all over. “Say, mother, he looks just like you - small. Very small.”

“What in blazes is THAT offense supposed to imply?!” The matron Gorov shrieked, threatening to find the strength to lunge out of bed and strangle the man before her. “Look me in the eye, you coward - LOOK AT ME!!” Her rasping cries forced Pyotr to look back in fright, but Gregor’s arm, raised and lowered slowly, drew his attention back to the task at hand.

“You remember that silly little man, the calligrapher, who you had thrown out by his scalp less than a year ago?” Gregor asked, the smile disappearing for a moment and the brow raising to imply some degree of levity.

“The man died, and he deserved it,” She replied, raising her chin indignantly. “And no man deserved it more for that horrible monstrosity he produced with his depraved pen, with the sheer audacity to claim it even vaguely resembled me. That fiend deserved to die far worse than he did!”

“Yes, truly,” Gregor continued, disinterested with the unnecessary details. “It turns out he’s something of a handwriting expert, and I took him the will you signed a couple months ago to see if he could inspect the signature. He said it was quite good and even replicated it for me; would you care to read it?” A worn piece of parchment was extended, which bore the wax Gorov family seal, and Gregor’s prior expression returned.

Viciously the ancient mastermind of the Gorovs lunged forwards, snatching the paper and retreating to the comfort of her throne of pillows, giddily tearing it up and cackling under her breath at this apparent slip-up from her sons’ betrayal. It was only too late that she realized the paper she had torn up was, in fact, the original will.

“I can understand why you’d want that one destroyed, mother.” Gregor softly consoled, leaning forward on the foot of the bed with a smile that could crack a diamond. “But then how will anyone believe it was you, and not someone else? Ah, yes, how smart of you to have your own grandson as witness to show him he will, in fact, inherit everything.”

There seemed to be a fury so great that the Gorov mother was incapable of moving, only breathing out hot blasts of air from her nostrils as her eyes continued their deathly glare. Gregor bowed his goodbyes, turned, and left the room, Dolphus diligently in tow. It was a moment or two before she turned her stare upon Pyotr.

“What’s your part? To stand and look incompetent as your brother outdoes you in everything, uses you as a pawn, until the day he turns on you, too?”

Pyotr shrugged. “They say the Gorov steel is incorruptible, mother.” He picked up his hat. “But then again, rust has the most excellent of tastes, I’ve noticed. And you’ve gotten very rusty. Gregor will get rusty too, one day. His act will slip up, he’ll stop being aware, and all the cracks will need is a little tap to form.”

“Mind if I wait til then?”


The glass shattered all over the wooden floor. The alcohol, too, splattered across the woodwork, seeping into whatever space had not already been filled by the last cup hurled across the room. To Pyotr, there was the smell of rust in the air.

“Nico, you idiot! Where are you?!” The slobbering Gorov captain stumbled around, only saving himself from falling by suddenly clutching the map table and drawing himself upright. “I told you it can’t work! There’s no insurance left, we have eeurbh- we have too much riding on this job and I can’t afford the risk!”

He stumbled about a bit more as the ship rocked, slamming himself into numerous barrels of explosives in his quarters. “You know, I never really cared for this stuff until Gregor passed, just over a year ago - it really hurts to find out your favorite brother died while you were at sea and you couldn’t even get home in time for his burial!” He snickered, his face distorting suddenly into an expression of saddened agony while his mouth maintained a superficial grin. “His kid died, too; got blown into so many pieces they couldn’t even find the body! They buried what was left of his hand, but I can’t eveb begin to comprehend the magnituude of this farciall societey.”

He collapsed partially on his map table, glaring down in a stupor at the harrowing scribbles of the word Gregor which littered the surface. “You know Nico, I heard the Gorov steel was guaranteed absolively positubly incorruptible.

Barely able to drag himself above his papers, Pyotr never felt the calculated blow against his skull. His lifeless body was too intoxicated to feel the warmth of the explosion which tore his vessel into so many pieces the bodies of those on board could not be located. And nothing, absolutely, positively nothing, could break or corrupt the Gorov steel.

Nothing, that is, but rust.


C&C Appreciated.

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Ah this is pretty good. I like the recurring ‘rust’ theme.

What kind of explosives were used if gunpowder doesn’t exist?

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Gunpowder (or something like it) does exist, but it’s not called that. In Goldblood, Gregor Gorov is killed and Dolphus Gorov is wounded in the same blasting powder explosion.

Although blasting powder wasn’t the only ingredient in that explosion, it likely was here. I’ve left the details of this story somewhat vague when it treads into other characters’ backstories, to allow the original writers to interject their own version of events seamlessly.

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its late i need to stop writing and actually post in the rp what have you made me into

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If there was any doubt as to the legitimacy of me being your father

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Good story

But I might have to age Rook up by a couple of years

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