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Written By Elisha

June 18, 2019, 6:46 p.m.(4/22/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Alaric

Sent off to inspect remote provinces, King Alaric's envoys and teind-collectors duly return to Arx'daja and to the gardens of magnolias in whose shade the king strolled, listening to their long reports. The ambassadors are Blancspine, Oathcene, Eustarrea, Dustmarch, Winterborn; the king is he who is a foreigner to his subjects, and only through foreign eyes and ears can the empire manifest its existence to Alaric.

In languages incomprehensible to the King, the envoys relate information heard in languages incomprehensible to them: from this opaque stridor emerge the military disposition of foreign lands, the hidden names of officials dismissed and decapitated, the dimensions of the canals that the narrow rivers fed in times of drought.

"On the day that I learn all the languages," the King asks the dreamer, "shall I at last truly possess my empire?"

The dreamer answers with a bowl of black sand.

King Alaric is displeased: "The other ambassadors warn me of famines, extortions, conspiracies, they inform me of forgotten turquoise mines, the price of marten furs, suggestions for supplying demonscale blades. And you? You return from lands equally distant and only tell me the thoughts of a woman who sits on her doorstep at evening to enjoy the cool air. What is the use, then, of all your traveling?"

"It is evening," Aion says. "We are seated on the steps of your palace and there is a slight cool breeze."

(I smoked the black sand and this is what I heard: "How many groups of twelve were there? Eight, ten--a dozen dozen? She thought she should count. The numbers might matter one day. The teind of teinds was led, each one with their hands tied behind them, past the marketplace of the abandoned village, and there, each with their hands tied behind them, they were decapitated and—glory be to the Fourteenth!—their headless bodies tipped into a ditch. She thought she should estimate the size of the ditch. The dimensions might matter one day. ‘I will measure tomorrow,’ she said, ‘when it is too late.’")

Written By Juniper

June 18, 2019, 4:43 p.m.(4/22/1011 AR)

We have no oceans in the mountains, nor did we plant very many crops in need of rain, but Mangata touched our lives all the same. We enjoyed her extremes: the howling storms, come winter time, and in summer the beers and whiskeys which allowed tired bodies to clap and dance and sing. My father'd say when the winds rose up, the keening they made through the trees was her voice. I was so young then, that's what I remember best of her (since I only had a sip of beer or whiskey now and then on special occasions). Her voice.

Those storms were dreadful things, leaving our little camp buried under snow, and I couldn't understand why a goddess would put our lives at risk until Da told me once that she wasn't looking specifically to hurt us, when they'd come down on the camp. Winter means storms, and they're our reminder that the Dream, the world, is bigger than us. It's not ours, we just live here, and she's not just our goddess, she's a deity of the whole Dream, which means land and sky and all the things that live in them, not just people alone.

More importantly, when the wind rises, they remind sometimes all you can do is huddle together. Sometimes, all you can do is remember that no wind lasts forever and when the keening stops, the sky left behind is blue like a promise. There's an end to every storm.

My father's advice boiled down to a very important fact: it's good to remember we're small sometimes, so we don't get too big for our britches.

Written By Monique

June 18, 2019, 4:27 p.m.(4/22/1011 AR)

The books are finished. Six different exceptional personages, six different languages. The Tournament approaches, and now all that's left are copies to be made for the day. I wonder if anyone will be able to translate them all...

Written By Preston

June 18, 2019, 3:52 p.m.(4/22/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Tikva

You have excellent taste in protogees, your highness. Dame Ida is a most skilled smith - but more than that, she is devout a true. A friend of the Templars, and a trusted ally.

Written By Carita

June 18, 2019, 2:38 p.m.(4/22/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Venta

Former Darkwater Countess

Written By Elloise

June 18, 2019, 1:12 p.m.(4/22/1011 AR)

OH I AM SO MORTIFIED RIGHT NOW. So painfully horrifically mortified.

Written By Brianna

June 18, 2019, 12:30 p.m.(4/22/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Jasher

You're welcome.

Written By Thea

June 18, 2019, 11:45 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Martino

Dear Brother,
If telling yourself makes you feel better about things, then so be it. However just remember, he's a grown man and he certainly doesn't blush when he answers to you! I should send him some cookies or write him a nice letter. I feel it is a thoughtful idea as he has to work for you on a day to day basis. I'm sure when I come around, the view is much nicer......

Written By Lisebet

June 18, 2019, 11:16 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

It is interesting to learn about the history of one's family. I just learned something that happened way in the past, that I was not aware of. And who knew that I am now distantly related to Marquis Fairen Leary?

How amusing.

Written By Kenna

June 18, 2019, 11:05 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

It is important to lock your door at night, especially your bedroom door. It is no protection if someone else has the key though.

Written By Alecstazi

June 18, 2019, 10:35 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

It has been at least eight years since the last time I was in Arx. Unsurprisingly, quite a lot has changed. The city is louder than I remember. Some of the landmarks are familiar, the markets, the city squares. But so many details are subtly changed. Walking through the sanctums, I expected the shrines of Lagoma and Jayus to have changed, but the Shrine of the First Choice and Shrine to the Queen of Endings are new. What was once the Shrine of the Lost now seems to favor the Dreamer.

Change, often said to be the only constant. In many ways this city seems to feed on change. New people, new Houses, new politics, new beliefs. From moment to moment, breath to breath everything is in motion. It is a frenzy at times. I stand still and watch and it seems as nothing stays still for longer than the space between heartbeats.

My question is this: When did we become a people of gamblers? Our ways are what they are because we know what works. What has always worked. This rush to adapt to the new ways feels reckless to me. When we begin to let our traditions slip away, we let our identities slip away. Once we say one thing is no longer sacred, soon all constants are lost. That is the slippery slope that leads to chaos, lawlessness. It starts with small things. Little shifts. Compromises. But it grows, it becomes easier to justify more and more until the moment it becomes clear that all we are all we were is lost forever. It cannot be coincidence that in this time of unprecedented change we are met with a rapid succession of challenges and threats. Perhaps this is the gods way of warning us that to continue along this path is dangerous and unwise.

I do not know the full story. I do not know the whys. And that is why I crossed the Mourning Sea and came to Arx. To hear. To listen. And I pray that I will begin to understand. So that I can go back to the scared people of the Mourning Isles who see their entire way of life changing, who are crying out, feeling abandoned, feeling unheard. I can go to them and explain. To reassure them that the world is not ending.

Written By Rook

June 18, 2019, 6:33 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

Another successful trip around the market in service of the good Nobles of the city turning their work into the finest silver in the Compact.

Now this is done, attentions can turn to a visit to the docks and an assessment of the damage.

Written By Tikva

June 18, 2019, 1:22 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Elloise

Lady Elloise, Baroness Consort of Stormbreak, born of House Leary, has also agreed to accept my patronage. She has done all she can to ensure that her house pays reparations to the shop that was inadvertantly damaged in the Ward of House Grayson the other week, and I'm certain that with a steady supply of reagents and vials and whatever else scientists need -- I'm no expert -- to outfit her lab, we will be able to avoid future mishaps.

I'm tremendously _curious_ about where this relationship shall go. But then, is that not why we both serve the House of Questions?

Written By Tikva

June 18, 2019, 1:20 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Ida

I am delighted to report that the master craftsman, Ida Ferron, has agreed to be my protege. I look forward to promulgating her beautiful work to any and all who have not already seen it. I've never seen a weapon she has made that has failed to delight me and I look forward to seeing what she creates next.

May Jayus inspire you always, Dame Ida!

Written By Aureth

June 18, 2019, 12:29 a.m.(4/21/1011 AR)

Be you the fool, or the madman?

Be you the one who questions, or the one who knows?

Do you know the path, or would you seek a map?

There is no shame in ignorance, for it is the absence of knowledge, and acknowledging that absence is the beginning. But remember that it is the beginning of wisdom, and not its end.

The art of teaching is, ultimately, an act of empathy. You must remember in your own heart the time in your life when you knew nothing, and remember the fear you had of asking a question.

The art of learning is, ultimately, an act of courage. You must set aside the shame in your heart that comes of looking foolish before your teacher, and remember that your teacher is there to help you.

Finally, I do not preach humility as the doctrine of a particular god, but that does not mean it isn't, occasionally, a good idea.

Written By Monique

June 17, 2019, 10:52 p.m.(4/20/1011 AR)

The final game leading up to the Tournament of Thorns has begun! There is a betting pool that's been set up to allow anyone to bet on the winner of the Tournament of Thorns. It's 10,000 silver or 40 resources of any kind to place a bet on one person. Participants may only bet on one person, but they may change who they're betting on once, up until the day before the Tournament. The prize money will be divided by the amount of people who guess right, plus one, with the plus one portion going to a charity of the Tournament Committee's choice.

As an example, if 30 people bet, that's 300,000 silver. If out of those 30 people, 5 people guess right, they will get 50,000 silver each, with the last 50,000 going to charity.

Lists have been posted of all those who have won Thorns and been qualified for the Tournament, alongside the notice of the betting game. These lists will be updated as new contestants win Thorns.

Messengers can be sent to me with bets. Happy gaming!

<OOC - list of Thorn-holders; if you’ve won a Thorn and don’t see your name, please @mail and let me know>

Written By Acantha

June 17, 2019, 10:49 p.m.(4/20/1011 AR)

I'm going to chose a Baron-Consort carefully. Not just the first interested person that comes along. I'm hoping that since it's Spring now I can run across more people. It's sure to be interesting either way.

Written By Miranda

June 17, 2019, 7:09 p.m.(4/20/1011 AR)

From the Journal of Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp to the commander of the Gryfalcon Infantry of Gemecitta, Sword of Gemecitta, Voice of Gemecitta, Lady Miranda Rubino...

The stain upon my good name and my Lady's has become a near-permanent mark. There is not a day that goes by where someone does not point at me and say, "There he goes. The Duck Platter Thief!" The whispers are worse!

One day, I hope to marry and have children. But what proper young lady of Arx will have me with my name tangled upon this wretched mistake I have made? How can I hope to ever progress higher than 'aide' in the future? Do I even have a future?

I am so fortunate that my Lady has not seen fit to dismiss me and replace me with another, more suitable, more proper aide. I try to make sure that I am useful and all her tasks are completed before or by their due date and time. I try to make sure I think ahead, anticipate my Lady's needs so that she will never wonder, as she looks upon me, "Why do I keep him in my employ??"

No, I must work more diligently and harder than ever before. I must remind her that I am the man for the job and that I am more than capable!

More, I beg of the Gods that the Bisland House will someday forgive me and that the mark upon me will vanish. I pray that, perhaps, our Faith will absolve me of such a sin as stealing (though truly, I had not meant to do so!) and that I will be favored once more in the eyes of our Gods.

I pray, daily, that such a stain upon me will not reflect poorly upon my Lady and that House Bisland will not hold her responsible for my ill manners.

- Brenlin, the Duck Platter Thief

Written By Miranda

June 17, 2019, 7 p.m.(4/20/1011 AR)

Relationship Note on Michael

I understand the banning of the Duck Platter Thief from your future parties.

I happen to know my aide is very sorry and would love a chance to make proper amends to you and yours.

Perhaps Lady Kaia or yourself could see fit to provide him a task that would alleviate any concerns you may have upon his character in the future.

It was a first and only offense, grievous as it was.

Written By Elisha

June 17, 2019, 6:41 p.m.(4/20/1011 AR)

You walk for days along the coast. Rarely does your eye light upon a thing, and then only when it has recognized that thing as the sign of another thing: a print in the sand indicates the meadow-goat's passage; a marsh announces a vein of fresh water; a hibiscus flower, the end of winter. All the rest is silent on this unchanging shore; but from the wind-churned waves the sirens call to their brothers, the griffons, and their brothers swoop low in answer.

At each encounter, every siren and every griffon imagines a thousand things about one another; meetings which could take place between them, caresses, gifts, arguments. Yet they never touch; eyes lock for a moment, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping. A siren rises from the waves, her breasts swelling above her rounded hips. A griffon with glistening shoulders beats his plaited wings. A tattooed siren with pearls in her hair looks to a young griffon with quivering flanks, and then looks beyond him.

The exchange of glances connect one with another, drawing thirteen-pointed stars and triangles reversed within circles; once all geometrical combinations are exhausted, seductions, copulations, and orgies are consummated among the sirens and griffons without a word exchanged, without a single spray of water misting a single stiff-bristled mane.

This is the most chaste of shores. Until we embrace our terrible dreams, every griffon will struggle against storm winds that refer to nothing, and every siren will remain barren.

(I have only to hear the neighing of horses and the cracking of whips and I am seized with amorous trepidation. In the Ward of Alarissa, one travels to the stables and riding-rings to worship a beautiful woman who mounts the saddle, thighs naked, greaves on her calves, and as soon as young scholars approach, she flings them on the piles of hay and presses her firm nipples against them.)

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