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Written By Niklas

March 22, 2018, 9:26 a.m.(5/27/1008 AR)

This discount book of bird training isn't worth the money I didn't actually pay for it.

Written By Mydas

March 22, 2018, 9:24 a.m.(5/27/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Serafine

I am sorry you did not live to see these times, sister, when we could acknowledge each other as such. That your death proved to be the catalyst hardly seems to make up for it, does it? I've looked back on our correspondence, our promise to find the time to spend with one-another, when we would not be so pressed for time.

It's those little things that hammer in the fact that you're gone. I hope your next spin upon the Wheel gives you what you enjoyed of this life and more.

Written By Orazio

March 22, 2018, 9:14 a.m.(5/27/1008 AR)

Further commentary, of likely little use to any but myself:

I believe I have already mentioned that I am no great fan of unity as a virtue - if a fight must be had, if a stand must be made, than one must have that fight or make that stand, though all the world be arrayed against you. Likewise, if all the world is agreed in a wrong action, then you get no points for committing that action in order to 'get along'. Thus it is said by all the gods, and by the Church, and thus it will continue to be said and done.

There is, however, place for respect and for compassion, and a time and a place to have those fights. Now, I feel, is a time for mourning, and for recognizing the great losses which everyone, in nearly every demesne across the Compact, has faced. The people of Crovane sacrificed their largest city for the sake of defeating the enemy - I will not call that a tragedy, for it was a stand that had to be made, but I will stand in awe of their strength and courage for making it. Likewise, every army, Northlands, Oathlands, Crownlands, Isles, Faith, and Lyceum, stood and fought and died with unflinching courage so that the pirate king and his forces could not gain a permanent foothold on Arvum. The opposition they faced was of a number and kind that few among us could ever have imagined. And yet, none faltered, none failed. Every one of the dead, and every one of the living who prevailed, stand honored and loved by the gods for their display of the Virtues.

Whatever my personal or theological disputes with any person or land, this remains the truth: I honor you, I salute you, and I mourn those of you who will never return home. And the Church will continue to work to try and ensure that such grave losses and sacrifices will not need to be repeated, as well as to aid with those who have lost homes, livelihoods, and loved ones.

In other news, I understand that the High Lord of Valardin wishes to aid with my ignorance in the matter of oaths. I, of course, humbly accept this gracious and generous offer from the Prince of Sanctum, and am happy to instruct in the history of the Compact and theology of the Church in return, as His Highness desires.

Written By Vano

March 22, 2018, 9:12 a.m.(5/27/1008 AR)

I have no been back in Arx for even a day and I see the topic of heretics have come up again.

Out of respect for Prince Edain, one of the few Arvians who's actions have backed up the words he first spoke to me and therefore, I respect, I'm not going to comment too strongly. And reality is because I'm not going to change anyone's mind with something more long-winded and eloquent. I'd be wasting my words. So I'll just say this.

For those of you that take issue with the Rivenshari's shamanistic faith, as we are some of those shamanistic Oathlanders, and feel the desire to hold judgement over a people that you don't even know: go fuck yourselves.

Written By Edain

March 22, 2018, 8:03 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Orazio

I was going to send a private missive on this, but since you seem to decide this is your arena where you can try and paint public perception as you wish it seen rather than how it actually is I make this offer publicly.

You have spoken recently as if you have some great knowledge of the Oaths between the lieges and vassals of the Oathlands. If you would like me to educate you so you can stop embarrassing yourself when you speak in ignorance of what it means to be from the birthplace of the Faith I would be happy to help you. It is probable an important thing for the Legate of Concepts to know.

Written By Thena

March 22, 2018, 8 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

The Faith Militant troops at Stormwall were asked not to interfere with the shamans' worship and work. I do not know what orders Redrain troops were under but they did not interfere with our worship either. If we could not agree, we could at least fight beside each other, and we did. I don't know what was in each of my soldiers' hearts regarding that order and to be honest I don't care to. Everyone, not just my troops or Knight Marshall Preston's, did their job. We all suffered together and we all drove off the darkness together. That's what matters.

The Faith and the shamans have fought as one like this in the distant past. I think it would be folly to assume we will not have to do so again in the near future. And I think this was an important step towards coming to an understanding that will only help us greater serve our purpose...a small contentious step, but a step.

Written By Felicia

March 22, 2018, 7:48 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Even with a little distance, and time, I find myself reluctant to write this for the sake of posterity, even if I agree with Prelate Stillwater's words that it's important to do so.

I stood at the Stormwall passes, one of the dozen King's Own to be there. Our duty to help protect the shamans and healers in the passes above the city proper. Although I consider myself a devotee of the Pantheon, and it is to those Gods whom I choose to pray, I write here that I was close enough to the circle of shamans to hear their pleas to the spirits of the storm, and to see the immediate response in the striking of the enemy's fleet by lightning.

I do not find discomfort in stating this. It is not for me to know the providence nor will of such things, it does not make me question my faith in the Mother or the other gods, but I believe I would dishonor the Pantheon by denying what I saw with my eyes and heard with my ears.

Word was passed, from the city below, that the dead were rising to join our enemies host, and those beyond the grace of Lagoma and Her Mercies needed to be beheaded to insure that they would not swell the ranks of our enemy further. This is a task that I performed myself, to help insure that the healers could continue their work for the living and insure that the passes remained free in case retreat was needed.

I was there, when the cavalry came up the path around Stormwall, and the terrible chorus of voices which followed in their wake. The word 'Feast' will never hold quite the same meaning to me as once it did.

On my honor, a horde of emaciated men, most of them on all fours as if beasts and bound by leashes crawled up the path in the wake of the cavalry, the host held by the hand of a creature whose nature I can only call 'demonic', for lack of a better word. This thing stood twice the height of a normal man, with wings leathern like those of a plucked chicken. It was not a creature of flesh and bone in its seeming, but formed of a dark mist bound by armor.

This thing affixed its attention upon Dame Greenblood and proclaimed its intent to consume her, loosing its horde to consume those that remained in the pass while the wounded were evacuated. It struck down Lady Eirlys Greenmarch in its effort to reach the Dame, and from the trees emerged a thing of similar proportions, formed of motes of spring green. And it bellowed in a voice like thunder 'You do not belong here!' before it struck its counterpart with force enough to shatter its armor. What remained was then dispersed by as much of our host as could reach it or its horde.

It was after this, with the bulk of the enemy host still in the city, that the decision to raze the city to put an end to them was carried out. The loss of the city is tragic, and I look forward to seeing it rebuilt, but given what I saw in the passes, I cannot fault the decision to purge it with fire to insure that they did not gain a toehold in the North.

Written By Orazio

March 22, 2018, 7:44 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

A few points of clarification.

There are few 'true' heathens in the Compact, and none who are rulers of any part of the Compact. All members of the Compact are, of course, devout members of the Faith of the Pantheon unless they have publicly declared otherwise, or they have been excommunicated. Some of these devout members of the Pantheon also practice certain ancestral and provincial customs which honor local spirits, and they have been permitted this by ancient treaty in the Northlands, a treaty the Faith has no interest in altering or breaking at this time. It has been a relationship which has served both lands well for centuries, and most Northerners are as devout members of the Faith as anyone in Arx, regardless of certain cultural customs which they continue to respect as local traditions.

The matter of the recently added shamanistic houses in the Oathlands is a different affair, as it is in the heart of the birthplace of the Faith, and done without the guidance or oversight of Redrain, who has centuries of practice in building and maintaining syncretic worship of the Pantheon and respect for those local traditions. Also, the houses of the Oathlands have no treaty protecting their own traditions, and the Church was not consulted on their inclusion into the Faith of the Pantheon by anyone involved, which would have solved a great many of the ongoing issues, had it happened. Still, I am assured that their ruling houses, too, have converted to the Faith of the Pantheon, in addition to their native traditions. Some people, I am told, juggle geese, while others honor spirits. So long as the Faith maintains its proper place in these Houses and lands, the Church has no quarrel with them. Should any lords, ladies, or leaders of these houses declare that they are /not/ devout members of the Faith of the Pantheon, regardless of whatever other local traditions they may enjoy, then that would be cause for concern, distress, and possibly direct action if the local lieges of the Oathlands refuse to handle the matter.

Regardless of any of the above, the Faith deployed its forces not out of a desire for gratitude, but because the cause was righteous and well within our charge to protect the Faithful from the faithless. The Faithful, most of whom were disciples from lands and fealties all over the Compact, fought side by side with their brethren with pride, valor, and honor. None considered themselves to stand above those who fought and died with them on the field of battle, nor did they consider themselves to stand beneath them. Sir Preston is very young, and as the young sometimes will, he sometimes gets overexcited on subjects about which he is passionate, and there have been a great many letters to write on behalf of the dead (as have all the commanders in both battles discovered).

I am advising him to take a much needed break from the white journals until his tasks of memorial are complete, and he has had a chance to recognize when he is feeling ill-suited to engage publicly as a representative of the Templars with people of the Compact.

Written By Norwood

March 22, 2018, 7:39 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

My honor is untouched when I fight alongside those I might otherwise not see eye to eye with upon the battlefield. We fought for the same cause.

Written By Preston

March 22, 2018, 7:36 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Shard

I do not think once I have suggested we fought alone, or that those we fought alongside were unworthy - how could I when many were commanded by our own disciples, Dame Esoka, Lord Alban, Lord Ainsley and others? Indeed I have had a great deal of praise to say about especially the Redrain troops, and the sacrifice of Redrain to prevent the enemy from gaining a foothold - Princess Marian and I did not always agree on strategy, but we discussed and in that discussion I believe better things were said. Nor did I say that our suffering is unique, but observed that in that suffering it is possible that the Princess was being unpolitic, and perhaps we should understand that loss rather than seek offense from it.

As for the notion the Gyre's forces didn't care who they were killing, I would suggest you ask your friends who were at Stormwall as to who the enemy targeted when they could. Thankfully I am no-one special to the Gods, or those parts of them you wish to call spirits, or perhaps I would not have returned.

On nose tweaking, it is kind, but I am not a legate or an archlector. So it was not my sweet little nose I spoke of. And I did not say by existing it did so, but that some shamans would rather be offended, would rather revel in their difference and exaggerate them, to annoy the legates. Rather that than come to an understanding. Equally true is that some of the Faith would equally rather those differences remained.

Written By Thorley

March 22, 2018, 6:59 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Violet

They are impossible words to say once upon a time.. but now I say them freely and easily.

You are my wife, Violet Marjawn. And I can't wait to share our lifetimes together.

Written By Shard

March 22, 2018, 6:47 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Preston

I don't think any of us were shocked. Like I said, this is extremely common. Maybe I was a little surprised that it started up before the bodies are even in the ground or on the pyre, before we've even finished notifying families, but shocked?

You both act as though you were the only ones to sacrifice out there. As if the Faith were alone in standing against the enemy, and you all did the rest of us a great big favor in doing so, as if you weren't standing shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the Compact, with every single House, Crownsworn, noble and commoner, Compact-born and prodigal, devout, shaman, and I guarantee you entirely faithless soldiers, every last one dying by the thousands because the Gyre's men and monsters did not give one single shit who they were killing or how brave they were or what they were worshiping or how. By all means, praise your people and the things they did, by all accounts they deserve that and more, but you don't do your dead any honor by stepping on the ones they died alongside or died to protect.

You've seen the casualty reports. The entire Compact is grieving. I watched the detachment of Valardin calvary in Setarco lose half of their entire number in a single charge, but somehow they've refrained from writing about how Setarco was unworthy of their presence. Most of the people Thesarin took north didn't return. Mercenary casualties are always high, given how we're deployed. All of Stormwall is homeless. The Seliki fleet is simply gone.

You talk about understanding, and then you talk about how shamanism 'tweaks your noses' by existing. She talks about unity, and then she says anyone who doesn't pray to the gods should be 'made to see the error of their ways'. Before I left to war, I wrote that I wasn't a crusader, and I wasn't fighting a crusade, even if I was fighting on the side of the gods. I said I didn't want to be mistaken for that if I died. This is why. You talk out of both sides of your mouths, and as soon as the real enemy is out of sight, you start eyeing up your allies, even the ones that absolutely do worship the gods and do follow your Faith, as most Compact shamans I've met do, because they don't do it exactly the way you want them to. And in the meantime, you pay bare lip service to one of your gods while completely ignoring everything he represents, since that's damned inconvenient when it comes to controlling everything around you.

Written By Preston

March 22, 2018, 5:46 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Terese

I am surprised that what Princess Terese said shocked so many. Was it some secret that the Faith does not think errant worship to be, well, errant? And that we class shamanism, the worship of spirits, to be that? Look closely at the treaties - we grant toleration but not acceptance of those practices. Nor blessing. Where you see the lightning from the spirits, we see the work of Mangata to rid her waves of the enemy. Where you see the work of the spirits of the forest, we see the blessed touch of Petrichor, guiding and warding over his flock just as he tends to the forest. Where shamanism seeks harmony with the Faith, it will find it - but that learning and bending must go both ways. It cannot always expect compromise when its proponents so quickly jump to offense and aggression and revel in their 'otherness'.

Terese did not call out Shamanism by name, that is something others took from it - so clearly to read that into her comments, even if she did not intend it (and I do not know for I have not spoken to her), they knew of views when they accepted the help, and death, of fully half of the Templar order to preserve their lands. Perhaps it was crass, but there is sorrow driving that - a Princess in her first command saw three quarters of its number gone. Each of those faces, those names, will be seared on her heart. Each a small dagger that seems to wound her again with each beat of that heart. I know because I bear 50,000 such wounds.

Let none of us pretend we do not know the others view of us - that is the politics of children. There is no love lost between the Oathlands Orthodoxy, between the whole Faith, and the shamans. That goes both ways, Shamans in Arx have always enjoyed tweaking the nose of Legates and Archlectors with their difference and protections - certainly something that can be entertaining for those of us who grew up under the robes of the Archlectors and who ourselves enjoyed thinking up creative obstinancies and obscure points of theology to annoy them. But hardly an approach that will build understanding. So, let us see Stormwall as a new chance for that, and if in sorrow people show that we are not yet there, then let us try to be understanding.

As for the rest, yes Prince Edain advances toleration, but unless I missed a small coup, he has not declared himself Seraph of Sanctum yet. The treaty signed after the Northern Crusade grants toleration to those shamans of the Redrain. The toleration shown to those who have moved into other fealties is something that has been quietly allowed by then-Dominus Fawkuhl and Dominus Aldwin. It will come with growing pains, and obviously I hope they will bend to our culture, and accept true worship. The rest is policy, which is far beyond my station.

Written By Petra

March 22, 2018, 5:23 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

I came across a pair of underpants in the street. Arx .. is a strange place. These dryfeets have odd customs, discarding such things in public like this.

Anyway, I picked them up with a stick and carried them home to be washed thoroughly. I am quite curious as to what the story is behind these undergarments. We will see if anyone claims them.

Written By Marian

March 22, 2018, 4:39 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Armel

Grandmaster Armel, I did not know you as well as I would have liked. A measure of a man is the people he cultivates in his inner circle. Lady Eirene and Dame Thena are two warriors I hold in high regard. That is how I know I missed an amazing opportunity to know a great man. Thank you for your service. Your knights made a difference.

Written By Joscelin

March 22, 2018, 3:02 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

I'm reading about people beloved and lost, those left behind, the mourning that goes with it, the intense grief that is the price of loving someone.

And I am reminded that in it all, it's worth it to love these people. Beautiful souls, kind hearts, smiles that just... you live for. A shoulder squeeze, a kiss, a warm word, memories of laughter and joy. And you trust these people.

You heart that? You damn-

TRUST. TRUUUUUST. [underlined, wobbly letters; looks like this was written without dictation]

Like, when you trust someone's word that they will LET YOU KNOW before they run off and do REALLY STUPID THINGS BUT OH NO. NO I had to learn it second hand and even -then- I just got lucky.

Oh my-

I am going to throw so many things at your ridiculous silvery golden haired head when I see you. I'm going to. You hear me? You better -duck- when you see me coming.

Written By Peri

March 22, 2018, 3 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Oona

My Yaya,
When I am with you, I feel as though I am back in Pearlspire. A living bit of home. I do not like that one of your many first topics, marriage was one of them. Still, I have missed you so.

Written By Silas

March 22, 2018, 2:43 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Serafine

It took me a bit to register it when I got the news that you had fallen. When I became the Lord Commander of a tattered Iron Guard in the wake of Everard's betrayal, I relied on you heavily in the weeks that followed to maintain order because I knew your strength. I knew I could throw you at something with confidence that it will be handled, because you weren't just someone who fought extremely well but you also understood people and could easily adapt. You were someone who was fun to hang out with and didn't take yourself too seriously.

We will miss you, Serafine. I will miss you.

Written By Silas

March 22, 2018, 2:32 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Estaban

You, too, have come a long way from an eager young man man I met in the Malvici study -- and we still had much more to do. I regret not keeping in touch as much as I wanted to as both of our fortunes changed, and I will succinctly feel what we have lost when I finally get around to consuming that birthday wine you sent me.

I look forward to the day we meet again. I have no doubt that we will... but I still wish you were still here.

Written By Silas

March 22, 2018, 2:26 a.m.(5/26/1008 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

I'm immensely proud of you. You have come a long, long way from the shy young man I found in the park - but you always had a griffon in you, even then. Even when those around you didn't seem to see it. It breaks my heart to know that your resounding success as a commander - the first time you have been given such a heavy responsibility - has been quickly eclipsed by the news of the death of your best friend when you came home. If you need me, you know where to find me... or I'll find you. Whichever comes first.

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