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Written By Malavaunt

July 8, 2016, 2:53 a.m.(12/19/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Talen

The Sword of Lenosia is a fine lad, he is. A fine lad. All bright eyes and good intentions when he bought leather from me. Fine work it was, for the materials. Indeed it was. Didn't save him against the Sword of Setarco, but she's a demon with a blade. But he asked of demons, he did. And I told his very self that the people he should be asking are closer to home. Blood calls to blood. It always does.

Written By Hadrian

July 8, 2016, 2:10 a.m.(12/19/1003 AR)

Say what you will about the Lyceum, we know how to throw a party - and despite our alleged subtlety, we're remarkably good at showing each other where we stand in each other's eyes.

Or _are_ we?!

I know you know I know you know, but sometimes it's fun to pretend we don't. You know?

Written By Gustave

July 7, 2016, 3:39 a.m.(12/16/1003 AR)

People always look at me strangely when I say we don't duel in the Stoneburner Hills. Maybe its because the difference between social strata is not quite as defined. Maybe its because the concept of individual honor was so utterly alien to our ancestors. There was no such thing as a disagreement between two men: it was a matter of families. You didn't have right to kill a man until his family agreed he had gone so far that his life was a stain on their honor. Until he's gone that far, you just got to work it out. Tomorrow you may be mustering with his father and his brother and his cousins beside you, and personal honor doesn't replace his pike in the lot. Let it be done quick, and let it be done with both sides agreeing wasn't no other way to work it out.

As a sidenote, Sigrun will probably want to know who wore what and who danced with whom. Hopefully notes taken will be sufficient. Additional hope that she will not try to pick a wife for me based on dress worn or the cultural and political assumptions of a seven year old.

Written By Ophelia

July 6, 2016, 5:32 p.m.(12/15/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Talen

Oh! Talen is marvelous and ever-so-helpful. If he weren't so refined from his upbringing, I would squish him down into the clay shape of a house guard and request that he follow me around wherever I felt like going to see if he could keep up. He's ever-so-delicate on reminders instead of being brash and lecturing and he glides through social situations as if he was intended for each. He's like an effervescent cloud of... cloudliness... can we just forget that last line?

Written By Ophelia

July 6, 2016, 5:26 p.m.(12/15/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Alarissa

Princess Alarissa seems very proper and ladylike. I'd love to see her positively gush about something rather than being the iconic emblem of reservation, though I think she tries to do otherwise. It might be just the contrasting differences between her and my own Cousins. It isn't that we don't have a lot in common, but sometimes I wondered if what I was saying was heard by her at all. It felt like I had to rephrase over and over again. She's sweet though, as Princesses should be, with just enough dark sprinkles to make you want to strip back the drizzled layers of syrupy refinement and see what's inside.

Written By Ophelia

July 6, 2016, 5:18 p.m.(12/15/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Viviana

Lady-Cousin Viviana is so daring and adventurous. Although some might balk at her choice of clothing with her leathers and silks, I find it inspiring and bold. I missed her Rite to Gloria, but I heard she exhibits such speed in her swordplay that the metal almost seems to blur. At least, I think that's what the poet said. It might've been something that rhymed with that. She seems to have all the logistics of men-catching down to an artform which is so very much beyond me. I'd love to see the one who manages to catch her in turn, but I'm not sure if it's possible.

Written By Ophelia

July 6, 2016, 5:08 p.m.(12/15/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Valencia

Princess-Cousin Valencia is ever so-so lovely. Although the bears might've been fearsome and she's yet to understand the thrill involved in a hunt, she's a phenomenal woman when it comes to social graces and charm. She doesn't stray from proper etiquette, but the talk is juicy and engaging, her style sinful without being ribald, and she's been so helpful when it comes to things I wish to know, or do. I wanted to compare her to the best piece of pie in the Compact, since while I'm dictating this, I suddenly want pie, but she's really better than that.

Written By Viviana

July 6, 2016, 9:22 a.m.(12/14/1003 AR)

I love my house.

Some might think that's odd or point to House Pravus' dark reptuation but what you need to understand is that that is only part of who they are. House Pravus is like the Lyceum of the Lyceum, and yes that means their darkness is darker, but it also means they're more mercentile, more liberated and more fashionable than any of the other houses too. They embrace life and liberty more than any other and that is an amazing thing.

Have you ever been to Setarco? It is a place everyone should visit at least once. The smooth blue water leading up to a cove with sands as white as diamonds. Then the city itself rising up from the beach, white stone and red clay, the fountains and gardens and trees scattered throughout as the city climbs every higher towards the peak... The Pravus house grounds, a sprawling white mansion with ivy coated walls and lush green gardens filled with marble statues and fountains.

But to see the city only by day is only to see half of it. Those of the Silken City usually sleep through the hottest part of the afternoon and stay up far into the night. It is a city that never sleeps and to hear the sounds of revelry as they echo through the streets awash in warm torchlight, interspersed with the cries of sea birds and lapping waves. To see the burning lighthouses that bracket the cove and the gently bobbing lights of the night merchant ships coming to and from the docks...

House Pravus built all this, they took an island overgrown with forest and hostile creatures and raving shavs and they shaped it into one of the greatest economic powers in the world. One of the most beautiful cities in the world. So yes I love my house, I would die for her, I have killed for her, and if anyone tries to birsmirch her or challenge her they best hope they're quicker than my blade.

Written By Viviana

July 6, 2016, 9:20 a.m.(12/14/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Esera

Archduchess Esera is young, but unlike many other rulers she did not have authority thrust upon her unexpectedly. She has been raised her whole life to rule when her mother passed on the reigns and while tragedy made it come sooner than it otherwise would have it did not catch her unawares. You can tell that her every word is considered, her poise unlikely to ever be broken, and her passion for leading the Lyceum burns brightly. She will never lack for champions for her causes, of that I am certain.

Written By Alarie

July 5, 2016, 7:28 p.m.(12/12/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Hammar

I met this simple man in the market. He was demanding sweets from a vendor who immediately called for the guards. I helped to stop an altercation between the simpleton and the guards lest needless blood be shed. In turn, I bought the man a meal. I don't know why I took pity on the man.

Written By Hadrian

July 4, 2016, 8:12 p.m.(12/9/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Donella

Meeting a woman of House Thrax was, I believed, necessary for approaching a true understanding of them.

To my delight, I had the pleasure of meeting _the_ woman of House Thrax: Princess Donella, House Thrax's Voice.

I went in without expectations, for too much is contradictory. The stereotype of Thraxian women is clearly a stereotype, and no one who matched them would ever be allowed to speak for them. I have a great respect for strong women - my mother Duchess Adona was one such, and so is my sister Calypso. In the Lyceum, no one doubts that women and equal are equally capable.

But Princess Donella managed to seem deferential to her brother Prince Dagon while speaking her mind boldly.

Even in talk that might cause some to blanch - call it the discussion of true statecraft! - her concern was only that it might not be the best topic at a first meeting.

She shows restraint and confidence simultaneously. I am not the best at that; in truth, I don't think my people want me to be. In her, it works.

As Lord Victus said today, everyone thinks of Thrax women as hiding in their closets, but in truth, they often have no one to rely on but themselves. There were were two 'fuckings' in his words, but however crudely spoken, his point is sound.

What intrigues me, then, is why they are supposed to seek weak in comparison. Lord Victus himself admitted he would have followed Donella as Prince of Maelstrom, were she born a man.

I'm not sure why they wouldn't follow her anyway.

That is not an appropriate subject for mixed company in the Thrax Ward, I believe, and I do not intend to broach it there.

Written By Hadrian

July 4, 2016, 4:36 p.m.(12/9/1003 AR)

Regarding home:

Speaking with Prince Dagon and Princess Donella Thrax about the nature of our homelands and houses has brought to the forefront what the excitement and risks of Arx had so far kept buried:

I miss Southport.

It came upon me as I was describing my home for them. The herb gardens, in all their diversity and terrariums. The scents of them fill the air at morning and evening so thoroughly that I think only a master herbalist could recognize them all. I'm so used to it that I notice it only by its absence here in Arx.

The wide-open plazas have more than their match here in the capital, but I do not see the same sense of purpose I'm accustomed to among Arx's commoners. In Southport, people know their place and that hard work will be rewarded. As long as they fulfill their duty and don't harm others, we forbid nothing.

Most interestingly, and perhaps the largest difference - everyone in Southport goes through a period of military training. There are swords or spears in nearly every household; we help arm them through House Malvici's own coffers. I believe Arx's authorities would view that policy as madness.

Perhaps, in Arx, it would be madness.

Written By Kima

July 4, 2016, 2:43 p.m.(12/9/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Victus

Who would have thought Victus Thrax would have ended up bell of the ball? He said there were hardly any congratulations, so I have to wonder if he was voted for by virtue of trying to prevent someone else from winning, all the while thinking: surely nobody else will vote for him, they'll vote for me!

Ha. I should have stuck around until the end in order to have seen it.

That aside, the man is no joke in the ring, even if some simpleton throwing his war hammer around at him /should/ have been funny. Actually, Victus acquitted himself well, for any of you people who think he's a completely uncultured swine - he could have beaten the man into the dirt, or seriously hurt him, and he didn't.

Written By Viviana

July 4, 2016, 6:43 a.m.(12/8/1003 AR)

I attended Princess Alarissa's masquerade the other evening. The event was well run and was a credit to the Valardin Princess, although it was a little more tame than I'm used to. The costumes were rather lacking however, only a very small number of people did more than just a mask although Princess Valencia rather stole the show with her blood spattered arms and crimson leather dress.

There was a vote for best costume, Victus won for the men despite not actually wearing a costume of a hero, and some commoner won for the women. Her outfit was one of the better ones, if obviously not the best, but even if it were the best, who would vote for a commoner in such an event. Sometimes I believe my peers are so scared of an uprising today they willingly throw the seeds of one tomorrow. The nobility rule the compact because we have the blood of legends, heroes, and great leaders flowing through our veins, we are naturally superior to those of inferior blood. Yet this only works as long as the commoners also realise this. As soon as you start treating them as just as clever, or elegant or interesting or capable as nobility what exactly is stopping them deciding they don't really need nobles after all? It is pure foolishness, I really must do something about it.

Written By Darren

July 4, 2016, 12:36 a.m.(12/7/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Valencia

The Northern Fox. I remember when she arrived in the north, everyone treated her as if she was some sort of exotic animal. She's small, delicate, and brilliant - everything that a northerner is not. And yet she's one of us - Angus loved her, of that I have no doubt. I have asked her to speak on my behalf to our peers from the other great houses in the city, for she's far more talented at dealing with others than I could ever hope to be.

Written By Victus

July 4, 2016, 12:21 a.m.(12/7/1003 AR)

Paperwork. Give me a dozen blood thirsty shavs to fight, and I'll rather take them on naked and wielding a stick than have to do one more round of paperwork. If anyone ever questions my loyalty to Thrax and my Uncle, here is the proof otherwise. I'm sitting here at my fucking desk looking at reports and ledgers when I could be drinking ale with Kima and her sellsword buddy until we find ourselves a brothel to invade. Kima is good like that, for a knight. Almost like she isn't a woman at all, except she looks pretty like one.

But here's a truth: Ain't no army and ain't no fleet sail without mountains of numbers, the kind that gives me headaches like nothing else. If you avoid it, someone somewhere is gonna end up trying to fight equipped with fucking broomsticks for weapons.

So here I am. Death is lighter than a feather, duty is heavier than a mountain.

And fuck paperwork.

Written By Victus

July 3, 2016, 3:52 p.m.(12/6/1003 AR)

Relationship Note on Alrec

This fucker.

I ran into him at the Valardin ball, and there he stands smug as fuck and throws me a 'Lord Victus' as if he ain't a traitorous fucking cunt of a man. If you don't know, he used to be a Darkwater Captain, before he butchered half his crew (the ones who weren't party to his fucking treason) and went and sold himself to the Pravus. Now I could understand if not forgive him for selling out for fine pussy and wine and riches. Anyone can be tempted like that. And it's not like I ain't sacrificed my own men for the greater good, either. That's war. But the fuck butchered his own for no good reason at all. And for that I hold him in contempt.

But he's a Darkwater problem. For now.

Written By Victus

July 3, 2016, 3:41 p.m.(12/6/1003 AR)

I went to Alarissa Valardin's fancy 'heroes of old' masquerade ball last evening. My mask was a Leviathan, both because the Leviathan is surely fucking old and hoary and has eaten its share of Thraxian enemies, and because the other Leviathan, the fleet itself, is full of fucking heroes. No? Well. They kill people. That seems to be the general definition of a fucking hero if you go by the Hall.

So they had a vote for who was prettiest pretty little masquerader in the land. I was preparing to sneer whatever foppish fuck got the honors when, and this is the part where I laugh every fucking time I think about it, the fuckers picked me.

Now there's irony for you, eh?

Written By Gareth

July 2, 2016, 11:31 p.m.(12/4/1003 AR)

I worry about His Grace, Edain Valadrin.
House Valadrin can remain pure and beloved becuase there are groups like House Grayson and the Inquisition that is willing to do the dirty work for them.
The crown must weigh heavy on his head, but I worry if he is not aware of how things really work. How long will Valadrin honor last if they must deal daily with Thraxian, Redrain and Velenosan intruiges?

Written By Gareth

July 2, 2016, 11:31 p.m.(12/4/1003 AR)

Edain

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