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Written By Dagon

Sept. 5, 2017, 3:30 a.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

It feels good to be proactive, especially now when my mind so often wanders to shadowed places. The letters are sent. I hope soon the officers will have made their list and sent off their troops. Training these men and women will provide Tyde with a new group of well trained warriors, pad the upper ranks with knowledgeable men and women, and give me something to occupy my mind with. I run through the exercises I will drill them on in my head. Some time ago Abbas challenged somebody to a duel using Thraxian skiffs -- a good idea for an exercise, no doubt.

The overhead on getting them here... well, that's why Margot manages the books (Gods, hope she's okay). Good soldiers are priceless, and these ones will go back to teach their respective units. Education: the gift that keeps on giving. May behoove me to seek out others interested in helping these troops, whether through financial support or actually teaching them.

Possibles:
1. Velenosa/Edain
2. Abbas (? assess troops first)
3. Gideon
4. Archeron
3. Tyde-Friendly Thraxian merchants (safer oceans are a + )

Written By Eilonwy

Sept. 5, 2017, 1:28 a.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

Relationship Note on Aodhan

Fierce warrior, I will always trust you.

Written By Mia

Sept. 5, 2017, 12:47 a.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

Journey from the Gray Forest, Day 4

It seems that for all of my preparations, the layers of wool and leather did very little to keep out the biting cold. No wonder, I should think. Not only is full plate quite heavy, but suspect that while it does a very good job of keeping out the wind, it only seems to make the cold even worse. Perhaps I should have let them pad out my borrowed cuirass with pillows after all -- not for a better fit, but simply in the hopes that the down would keep out some of the biting chill.

Still, I won't freeze to death -- not tonight, at least. The Tribe that we tracked through the woods was being chased, being hunted even, by a pack of bears that had been tainted. I have never, in all my life, seen such fearsome and terrifying things. Covered in green ichor, they had decimated the Tribe and attacked our party without hesitation, despite the number of weapons drawn and the fires burning. Even grossly outnumbered, they simply charged. Given the damage they had already caused, I suspect they would have succeeded, too, were it not for the warriors among our small party. Inquisitor Crown and Dame Wyrmfang fought bravely despite their wounds; Lady Clara Crovane felled one of the great beasts in a single blow. But Lord Corban Telmar proved to perhaps be the savior of us all. Two blows; two bears. He single-handedly dispatched half of the animals himself and I can see clearly as to why he was placed in command of the mission.

The Tribe was so grateful that we camp with them tonight, sharing their fires and what few blankets they have to spare. Very little, I think, given how quickly they had to move, how many people they lost, the homes they were forced to leave. I doubt they would have lasted even a few more days if left to themselves in the forest. A young mother, her babe still an infant in her arms, was weeping when we first arrived. She was so convinced of their doom that she was ready to smother her child to spare her, as I heard her say, from being taken by the taint. One of her elders stopped her, thank all of the gods, but with so little hope left to them, I only imagine it would've been a matter of time before even I would've thought such a desperate act to be one of mercy rather than one of fear.

We will return to the Grayson camp with them in the morning and speak to them and their leader, Brunnhilda, of their future when they have full bellies and clearer heads. Whether they will join the Compact or not, I cannot say, but they will certainly mount no attacks against us. It is a beginning, at least.

Written By Marius

Sept. 5, 2017, 12:44 a.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

Greenmarch children learn a great many stories growing up. The ones who do a good job of remembering them make great shamans. I, however, rarely remember any of them until a shaman starts it up. This, however, is my favourite.

"Centuries ago, when the dew of creation was still fresh upon the ground, the sons and daughters of men and women were faced with a terrible threat. Abysmal and horrific, the demons were seen crouching in the dark places, huddling outside the cities and towns of men and women, sharpening their claws as they salivated at the prospect of devouring those inside. And it came to pass that the sons and daughters of men and women could stand the demons' threat no longer, but found they had no means to fight, nor warriors sufficient to the task.

"The sons and daughters of men and women called out to the oldest gods for deliverance, and the oldest gods replied in a whisper, 'Sleep now. Your deliverance is at hand.' And the sons and daughters of men and women slept and the oldest gods took from each of them one hair and one bead of sweat. And when morning broke the sons and daughters of men and women found that the oldest gods had formed stalwart warriors, each with a terrible weapon. 'These are your defenders,' the oldest gods told the sons and daughters of men and women, 'they will deliver you.'

"But the sons and daughters of men and women chafed at the indignity of being denied the glory of a victory over the abysmal horde. They cast out the warriors into the forest. And there they fought, defiant and merciless. The oldest gods caused great trees to grow to aid the warriors, and the abysmal horde crashed against the steel of the warriors' weapons and the forest trees like waves. And they broke, like waves against a bulwark.

"Unconquered, the warriors made their home in the forest, choosing communion with the oldest gods. Untamed, they found their already wild hearts growing ever more wild with each passing year, until the sons and daughters of men and women looked on them with disdain. Faithful to the oldest gods, the warriors remained steadfast in their defense of the sons and daughters of men and women. And they remain so even to this day.

Stories should stir the blood to action, and generate a sense of the noblest purpose. Even the ones that may not be entirely factual. Perhaps especially those ones.

I'm no shaman. That's the only story I can tell that didn't happen to me.

Written By Corban

Sept. 5, 2017, 12:36 a.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

Prince Calarian and Princess Reese:

On Princess Reese's command, I led a team of diplomats and soldiers to investigate reports of Abandoned and dire animals west of camp. Approximately one-half-day's march from camp, we discovered two sets of tracks in opposite directions: One belonging to what was believed to be four dire bears and one belonging to what appeared to be a Tribe of Abandoned. Upon further investigation, we determined that the Tribe was primarily civilian in nature and was significantly injured. I deduced that the Tribe may have been attacked by the dire bears and was attempting to flee them, and I ordered the team to follow the Tribe's tracks.

My deduction appeared to be correct. The Tribe had posted warriors and archers in a last stand against the pursuing dire bears, but it was clear they would be wiped out without help. We organized the defenses as best we could in the short time available, posting archers in the trees and melee warriors in front of the sick and wounded.

Battle against the dire bears was pitched, and Dame Alexa and High Inquisitor Alistair were slashed by their claws. But Lady Clara -- nominally the healer of our group -- felled one with a strong blow of her axe. A team effort then brought another bear to heel, and I removed another two from the fight.

After the battle, we debriefed the Tribe's leader -- Brunhilda -- and her warriors, learning that they have been under repeated attack by Abyss-tainted animals, including wolves, bears, and badgers. We camped overnight and provided what aid we could. Then, upon sunrise, we led the Tribe back to camp to heal further and re-provision. I leave them to others' inquires regarding the larger threats we face.

The entire team performed well. I recognize especially Lady Mia for her translation and diplomacy with the Tribe, Lady Clara for her incredible skill with an axe, and Lord Killian and Lady Monique who made key discoveries while tracking the Tribe.

I remain available at your convenience for further questions.

Respectfully submitted,

Lord Corban Telmar

Written By Edward

Sept. 5, 2017, 12:35 a.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

(Six stick figures stand on a wall with Ds in their hands and near them imitating bows in flight are poorly drawn arrows. At the foot of the wall are more stick figures clustered together with one larger than the rest in the back, a large conical cap on his head and his arms up like he is excited.)

Written By Calaudrin

Sept. 5, 2017, 12:28 a.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

Well, fuck.

Written By Leona

Sept. 4, 2017, 10:16 p.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

Relationship Note on Titania

I did not expect to witness an apology. (For those of you nosily snooping, I was not owed one and did not collect - I simply witnessed) It seemed heartfelt even seen through my surprise. I hope your chosen path is one that brings you blessings and joy.

Written By Daemon

Sept. 4, 2017, 9:47 p.m.(2/24/1007 AR)

Arx. It's a city I've heard many a tale of, but one I've never had the pleasure of seeing for myself until now. It has been a long time, Arvum. Longer still since I took my vows. Now here I am, a Knight who's place has withered with only the family sword to my name.

But I don't aspire to digress into such complaints. This place is beautiful and its people are plentiful and so very interesting! I must give many thanks to Marquessa Demura for meeting with me the very same day I arrived. A hot meal and a warm bed have been two things I've left without for far too long.

Here it shall be that I retake my vows and find purpose. To the Oathlands continued growth and to my dear father, who I miss every day.

Written By Margot

Sept. 4, 2017, 8:26 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

I killed a man.

Well he wasn't a man so much as an insane man-shaped creature infected with demonic influence. Still, my axe bit into his skull, there was a crunch, and then a mush and then I had to put my foot on his chest to pull my blade free again. After, the fight was over I felt heavy and light, proud and horrified.

I know now what I can do if I need to. And I genuinely hope I never need to again.

Written By Clara

Sept. 4, 2017, 3:33 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

Relationship Note on Calarian

Snuggle. Wait? No? Really? Fine then. I don't think yer pretty either! -- Just kidding.

Written By Merek

Sept. 4, 2017, 3:28 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

Winter is my favorite season. I know it is a curiosity for one from the Lycene, but perhaps it is that same novelty that makes me like it so much. It seems my fellow brethern do not. Alas. Snow is beautiful though. In the spring, with the sun's love, there comes roses!

Written By Merek

Sept. 4, 2017, 3:27 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

I hope when His Highness Aiden is back around, he does more of that pet contest thing. I liked writing about mine. I think the many events, like the one Her Highness Katarina hosted, were wonderful for bringing people together. Also, snowball fighting alongside a King is not something I'd ever dreamed of in my youth. But it seems that I've done it anyways!

Written By Merek

Sept. 4, 2017, 3:24 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

Relationship Note on Denica

You are quite an intelligent woman, and I applaud you for the charity you do for Thrax with getting it back on its feet. If there is any way that I can assist Thrax further, I am willing. Velenosa and your people have long been allies, and I seek to make sure that I'll be an ally as much as possible. You all face something that needs us all to come together. Despite differences in people's opinions, I'd hope all would see through that just for the sake of protecting your people. I'd expect the same if any other House was in such a condition. We all need to stand together. I applaud recent decisions by your leaders, Your Highness. I believe together as a Compact we can face anything.

Written By Harlan

Sept. 4, 2017, 3:16 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

Duty is heavier than a mountain, and bloody inconvenient as one. I left Aislin in charge of the men. To my men I told them to protect Ashland at all costs. It is all I can do, other than freeze on the trip back to the city.

Written By Denica

Sept. 4, 2017, 12:38 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

( A starry night sky in dreamy watercolors. Swirls of indigo, cobalt, deepest violet, and bright yellows for the stars. The moon is oddly oblong, robin's egg blue, with a zig-zagging crack going down the center of it, breaking open. Beneath the hatching egg moon there is a boy with a tousle of springy black hair, alert eyes, and a hawkish sort of nose. The boy's arms are flung open wide. The look upon his face is that of innocent wonder.

A lion's tail flicks out from behind the egg moon.

A few feathers, soft and pale, are at the boy's feet. )

Written By Denica

Sept. 4, 2017, 12:32 p.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

Relationship Note on Regla

Aggressive Diplomacy.

( The Sword of Escuma. One of the Voices of Navegant. Her profile rendered with quill and ink. The beauty of fierceness. The portrait honors a woman that uses her strength to the good of herself, her family, her House. Her features are delicate, yes, but there is an element of determination in her expression that holds her place where others would flee. It's a brilliant wildness in the eyes, the wind-blown hair around her brow and shoulders. )

Written By Reigna

Sept. 4, 2017, 10:49 a.m.(2/23/1007 AR)

Relationship Note on Eirlys

But Lady Eirlys, you *are* family. You are close as a sister to Lady Shae, and therefore you are welcome into the greater Keaton Family. Our home is as yours. You are more than welcome to come by any time you wish, for food, or drink, conversation or simple meditation. And healing, though in truth I hope not to see you for that reason with any frequency. Perhaps after Squall is born you can teach me how to be a better warrior and I can show you how to stitch wounds? Something to think about!

Written By Harlan

Sept. 4, 2017, 8:45 a.m.(2/22/1007 AR)

Can one train a mountain lion? If so I want one. If not then perhaps a huge moor or wolf hound. Something needs to protect me if the enemy gets in close as I am likely to do their task for them. Expert with a bow yes, a long sword in my hand is more a danger to me then them. I must correct this. Damn, how Lillian will crow over this...

Written By Harlan

Sept. 4, 2017, 8:41 a.m.(2/22/1007 AR)

Relationship Note on Shard

You had best keep your bow under lock and key Captain or I may steal it. Damon it is a fine bow. Look at her strength, the way the recurve add to its power. You can put an arrow through a tree trunk with it. I must get one.

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