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Written By Caras

Jan. 11, 2017, 6:11 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Avary

For many years now, my closest friend and confidant. I trust her implicitly in all things and have come to rely upon the strength of her faith, the fortitude of her will, and the kindness of her heart to carry me through difficult times. With her influence I have become a better priest and better devotee. We have both been recently appointed Archlectors serving under the same Legate and it will be good to continue our close and profitable partnership. She is an impressive woman and a capable priestess.

Written By Verity

Jan. 11, 2017, 4:12 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

All these words and not one about the sweetness of oranges shared between strangers. The flash of diamondplate in sunlight or the hum of rubicund striking true. A crowd all holding its breath as one. The release, after. Much needed, that release. The city's gone sideways and the Crownlands gone the other. May there always be oranges.

Written By Margot

Jan. 11, 2017, 4:02 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Harald

Pleasant company for a Grimhall, pleasant enough company for a Thrax man in general really.

I can hardly remember the last time I had a civil drink with one of our Reavers with no profanity, or uncalled for oogling. I really do hope that Abbas and Victus take a note from Lord Harald....

A Tyde recommending a Grimhall for anything, who would have ever thought? Perhaps next fish will walk ashore and deer begin to fly.

Written By Orazio

Jan. 11, 2017, 3:39 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

To the Faithful Reader:

Only a few days ago, two men dueled in the Ward of the Lyceum. This was not, precisely, over a point of honor, but rather a test of strength, courage, and passion - one which, I must mention, was passed with flying colors on all accounts. I believe that Gloria was pleased by the challenge, the battle, and the grace both winner and loser showed in accepting the match. Some thoughts on the custom and etiquette of dueling follow; these are my own musings, not Holy Writ.

The concept of dueling is one that often causes consternation among the more compassionate and peaceful souls of the Compact, but it has centuries of both historical and theological precedence. Gloria, as the goddess of war and honor, calls upon us to defend our own honor as ardently as we defend our families and our land. This is a show both of courage, and a willingness to trust in the gods to guide the righteous to victory. To fail to respond to a public challenge is, unequivocally, a show of cowardice - unless the challenger is so far beneath one in both competence and honor that to take the challenge would, in itself, be dishonorable. And be warned about choosing that justification; blood feuds that have lasted generations have started for less. It is far better, if an apology or discussion will not mend a dispute, to accept a duel and lose, than to refuse to meet a called challenge.

Likewise, it is imperative to be gracious in both victory and defeat when one duels. At the conclusion of a duel, the gods have spoken; the point is resolved. The winner demands no further abasement than the point of conflict agreed upon in the duel, and the loser (should they survive) provides whatever apology, concession, or restitution is asked for swiftly and without resentment. The point of conflict is ended - it should not come up again, nor should family members or relations urge further actions regarding it. These two combatants may find themselves on the field of honor again, but it should never be over the same point, insult, or conflict. Should the loser of a duel resurrect an insult or slight after the situation has been resolved, the winner is not obligated to give them the honor of issuing another call to duel; they have proven that they do not heed the judgement of the gods. Instead, all righteous people should call out the lack of honor displayed, and both they, and the family which has taught them so poorly, should see consequences throughout society, until the point is rectified and an apology is made. Those who cannot be trusted to uphold the result of a duel cannot be trusted to uphold any agreement.

The question of Champions is one that often comes up in regards to a duel, as well. Should they be allowed? Of course. A Champion, during a duel, serves as vassal to their employer, and thus represents their employer in every regard. Just as a lord might elect a Voice, or a monarch an ambassador, it is to be assumed that the Champion's sword is the employer's sword for the time of that conflict. However, that also means that the Champion's behavior during the duel absolutely reflects upon the employer. Should a so-called Champion cheat, or act with dishonor or a lack of dignity, it as if their employer has done so. Thus, it is important to choose one's Champion not with just an eye towards martial skill, but also honor and piety, that they not feel the test of the gods requires additional aid by dishonorable means. You will be judged, for good or ill, by the quality of your Champion.

When issuing a challenge, it is also important to maintain the honor and the courage that Gloria expects of us all. Do not issue challenges frivolously, and always seek a polite redress of the grievance first. Should the trespasser be willing to rectify their error in a reasonable fashion, there is no point of honor to be disputed. When issuing the challenge, ensure that the challenged has time to respond and to gather his or her second before the duel must meet, and do not seek to make a challenge impossible to be met, either in time, location, or in the restitution asked. One should not duel to the death for a petty insult, nor should a loser be required to cede lands or title. Petty insults or points of etiquette require only first blood. Stronger insults may require a duel until concession or unconsciousness, with a public apology to the wronged, if one loses the point. Only dire insults to one's personal or family honor warrant a duel to the death - accusations of treason, of betrayal of one's sworn oaths, of grievous trespass against a family member or loved one. If one is not certain of the best path to take, seek out the wisdom of an experienced confidant who is not involved in the conflict; priests of Gloria and of the Sentinel will often be happy to fulfill this purpose.

A duel is always a risk. Even a duel only to first blood can become deadly. This is what makes the duel so valuable; an insult to honor must be answered with blood, and with risk - both to make and to defend. In this way, we encourage men and women to consider their words and their actions carefully, as well as to understand the value of their honor, as well as that of their family.

Written By Calypso

Jan. 11, 2017, 3:39 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Saedrus

I learned a valuable lesson last night while shopping with Master Saedrus. - Apparently there is a wide variety of pink and choosing the correct shade means everything. Its not just pink, its dust rose and fuchsia and something that was described to me as what an elderly lady wears when she no longer has keen eyesight to be able to distinguish the truly horrible and offensive pinks from the acceptable ones. And not just that, all colors say something about someone. Pink, apparently, has nothing to do with confidence and power.

We went with crimson in the end. Thank the Gods for Saedrus.

Written By Tristram

Jan. 11, 2017, 3:08 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Dawn

I've been thinking about Dawn more and more lately. It's impolitic to say that one noble is better than another, or one commoner is better than a noble, because who are we to judge? Sentinel and Limerance will make that call when the time comes. Yet whatever I might feel about the necessity of the Teind, no one can doubt that Dawn is making her sacrifice out of loyalty, love, and duty to all of the people. Those who voted for her suggestion did not (with one notable exception in Niccolo) also volunteer to sacrifice as necessary. People think that we Valardin are all of a stripe, and no doubt some will blame Edain for his vote against, or me because I spoke against it, thinking it a chink in the Valardin's reputation for loyalty. What they do not understand, I think, is that being critical, or giving honest opinions, to a ruler is not the same thing as disloyalty--in fact, I feel it is a duty. Those who would blow smoke up ruler's ass to their face about how wise they are yet speak negatively about them in private bacause of what is "proper etiquette" are hardly paragons of loyalty.

Written By Jeremiah

Jan. 11, 2017, 2:23 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

[This entry is written in a precise, flowing, almost delicate hand. It is titled The Crisis Before Us, and is an easy-to-read explanation of the political situation of the Compact as of the August 1005AR Assembly of Peers. The introduction begins: 'BEFORE us stands a Crisis and Conflict the likes of which once forged what we know as the Compact itself, nothing less than a WAR OF SHADOWS. What we prepare to face is the heat of the forge: the East and North know this well. We may let it refine us or destroy us, and either choice rests solely on our shoulders. A cold cruel winter Redrain and its vassals have ever readied themselves to face; a violent sudden raging storm Thrax and its vassals turn into to sail against. What we prepare to face is also the long contest of intrigue, patience, and tests: the South and West well know these. We will be tempted by many vices--we may look to Valardin to guide us in remaining stalwart and true. We will be tested as well in ways subtle and unseen--House Velenosa and her vassals have trained to see them on their mother's milk. We may let it corrupt us and throw us down, and our actions will lead us to or away from those disasters. House Grayson and her vassals put the unity of the Compact above all, ready to lay their very lives down in sacrifice--the Assembly of Peers alone showed two instances of this.. We are forearmed in the bonds the Compact has binded us by and shielded us with. If we trust and teach eachother, we will perserve. If we do not...we may lay the blame of our final fate at the feet of none other.

This war that will grow in seeming scope and danger...yet do not be fooled. The war is at its most dangerous stages even -now-, the war is being fully prosecuted -now-...' It continues, at times flowery and praising, and at times scathing of supposed, potential entities unwilling or unable to do their part...none named, simply suggested that they might exist. 'For now, it is excuseable of Houses, organizations, and individuals--great and small, Great and Small--to not be fully mobilized against the danger to come. Yet--as time marches onwards?--the inevitable weight of the coming conflict will make each day of delay, inaction, and unwillingness to bear unlikely and unwanted burdens cost lives.'

A history of the Reckoning and the Sylv'Alfar war both follow--dramatic and generalized, but compelling. Parallels are drawn between these times and now:'...and from this Conflict, at the height of our disasters, was forged one woman, one Queen, she who began the Age of Queens, the Elvenbane--she who made the Elfbone Throne and an Elfbone Crown; Queen Alarice. These are the times which take good women and make great women--these are the times in which the week and short-sighted fall to their vices, and drag others down with them...'

'That we are at war has been made abundantly clear; as the fool may only speak to prove himself a fool, so too may one deny the conflict before us with only one result. All are free to earn that title and badge...' This portion is given almost scant attention: while it is addressed with charisma and ease, it is argued the lightest of any position: it is assumed. Inbetween the lines, it is shown that arguing for the existence of the conflict is behind the Compact; only the tardy remain unconvinced.

This implication continues to the next section--if the war is begun already, then the battleground too must be abundantly clear, shouldn't it? 'The battleground has been chosen; the Compact will take to the field to meet it. Of this we may all be confident, even without evidence--yet Nightgolds and Igniseris and others are already leading the charge, boldly, proudly. Great Houses turn their ears to the conflict--the ponderous weight of the duty and sacrifice ahead of us is daunting, yet Graysons do not balk from it--they march forward ready.'

And here is the full weight of the paper: the Abandoned. The orchestration of Nox'Alfar agents to destroy tribes through the Compact, particularly in the Gray Forest regarding tribes that have been operating the Teind. The destruction of other tribes within Arvum's borders, the corruption of yet more--battle-mad berserkers, men turned to beasts, Lords and Ladies of great Houses and decent commoners turned mad, corrupted.

'These all seem tools of open war, yet they once were not our enemies--these all seem tools of espionage, yet they once were not our enemies. They are tools of division, and as the days ahead greet us: avoid division. Avoid those who would divide the Compact, those who would shatter what must remain indivisible. This is the Shadow War that awaits us, that awaits all Humanity, in Arvum and Out: we must unite, put down ancient wars and grudges, and take battle to the enemy's tools and resources with sword and blood, pen and ink, tongue and tears and sweat. We owe our families, our loves, our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters nothing less. The sacrifice before us is simple, it is obvious--but it is not easy.

It will require sacrifice of prejudice but not suspicion. It will require sacrifice of surety but not conviction.It will require sacrifice of hope of gain but not willingness to pay the price.
It will require sacrifice of all that we have and what remains when we believe nothing is less--it will require bone-deep sacrifice. Now is the time that we must step forward to offer ourselves in these ways, one and all.'

The thirty-page entry--sourced, cross-referenced, and well-edited--ends here, signed simply Jeremiah Arvani.]

Written By Mason

Jan. 11, 2017, 1:40 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

I have done it. After a long time of toil and labor, I have constructed something that I believe will allow us to share to information with each other much better among one another.

A catalog, a guidebook, a reference guide to everything I have learned, sought, researched and information shared. Through my years in Eurus to my time in Arvum. When someone comes to me, seeking knowledge or information, I need only share with them this tome.

It is my hope, my goal, that this will make knowledge shared easier. That some of us, who hold such knowledge, secrets and dark things, it should not be kept hidden from the world, like so many things seem to be or have been done from those who oppose us. It needs, should be brought to light. The more we all know, the better armed we all are.

As people come to me, share their knowledge, the tome will grow as information increases. My skill with a sword is...middling at best. This may perhaps be the greatest weapon I have ever constructed. A weapon of knowledge and of old lore, history, and bits and pieces of lost information that we have been hampered from knowing.

Except for the birth of Safiyyah, this is perhaps my greatest work to date thus far.

Written By Silas

Jan. 11, 2017, 1:37 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

short to-do list
- fix wages (done)
- kennels (w/trained hounds)
- stables (w/horses)
- armory (w/lockers)
- memorial (in progress)

Written By Ferrando

Jan. 11, 2017, 1:02 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

It is difficult to properly summarize the great history of the Whisper House reaching all the way back to the Elfbane Queen's reign in a concise manner, of course. But the Whispers themselves remain timelessly constant.

A Whisper is, above all else, a practitioner of the art of discretion. An inspirational person, versed in arts and culture, always seeking new ideas and experiences. Our generous patrons find the Whispers not just companions to social functions, but muses, confidants, teachers, and more. The Whisper House is a place whose ideals lie in opening the doors to new possibilities, to find personal growth and success, achievement and satisfaction.

A Whisper is a facilitator, not a servant. A patronage is a dialogue, not a contract. The Whisper will try to be what he or she feels the guests need them to be. It's only natural that, comfortable with authority as they generally are, not all our guests are always fully receptive to where they are being guided. But our guests lack not for those who must follow their orders, and so it would be foolish for the House to provide something in such ready supply to them. A path without some challenges only leads to stagnation, not growth.

Exclusive arrangements are not unheard of. They do require a significant investment of resources, as well. But it is also true that over the House's distinguished history, the best and brightest Whispers were also the ones least likely to agree to such terms. The brighter the light, the more it wishes the whole world to bask in its Radiance.

Written By Lydia

Jan. 11, 2017, 12:46 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

There are so many pieces, so, so, so many. And every time I pick one up and slide it neatly back into place. Someone throws ten to twelve more at me.

What I don't understand is why I'm the only one who seems to care that everything is falling apart.

Written By Lark

Jan. 11, 2017, 12:39 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Ainsley

Regime changes are always difficult. This great chaos that has fallen into my small hands is an entirely different animal. ...Far be it from me to question the great blessing I have in my cousin, Prince Ainsley. He is quite possibly the most virtuous of my kin. His ready dedication to good at the cost of his own personal happiness fills me with pride.

Though the list of tasks that I am honored with continues to grow, assisting him in realizing his noble destiny remains chief among them.

Written By Eirene

Jan. 11, 2017, 11:13 a.m.(8/18/1005 AR)

For all the duels we have back home in our city-states, we Lyceni been surprisingly well behaved in Arx city.

Honestly I'm surprised I haven't pissed off anyone to call me to task yet and demand I name a champion. Poor Kima must be bored.

Maybe I'm actually learning tact and diplomacy. Or maybe I'm just not trying hard enough.

Written By Larissa

Jan. 11, 2017, 10:22 a.m.(8/18/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Max

So maybe I considered stabbing him the first time we met... Can you blame me? Since then I have come to know him slightly better and have discovered his own brand of 'charm'. There is something to be said about a man who can pull limericks from his had at a moments notice and he's certainly never a bore.

Written By Larissa

Jan. 11, 2017, 10:15 a.m.(8/18/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Ferrando

Ever the stalwart hero. I cannot imagine anyone thinking Ferrando an oaf, of all things. There is something to be said about knowing you are safe in a world that seems to be slowly unraveling. He is our Champion, our Guardian and for those of us lucky enough to call him so, our friend. - Don't let the bulging muscles fool you, he's a sharp mind underneath all that brawn.

Written By Larissa

Jan. 11, 2017, 10:02 a.m.(8/18/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Calandra

I've heard stories of her singing and I am humbled to say they are all true. We are no strangers to musical talent in the Whisper House but this little 'Nightingale of the Boroughs" can outshine all of them. Keep an eye on this one, she will be soaring towards the sun.

Written By Agnarr

Jan. 11, 2017, 9:12 a.m.(8/18/1005 AR)

Ought not be too quick with the sword if one wants to keep a wife.

Written By Angelo

Jan. 11, 2017, 6:21 a.m.(8/18/1005 AR)

Time has many odd idiosyncrasies that are quite exclusive to it. For once, it is the most attentive rival of the noble lord. Time will dig through your lies. If you want it to go slow, it will go so fast that you will barely be able to catch up with it, as much as you might want to. If you want it to go fast, it will go so very painfully slow.

In Arx, Time has not abanoned me. Time has heard me and it has galloped from my hands. I have reached one month in the compact, the time I had established for my objective of reconnoitering the political frontispiece. I think I have succeeded. Now it is time to begin my work.

Written By Serafine

Jan. 11, 2017, 4:51 a.m.(8/18/1005 AR)

I found safe harbor.

Written By Leola

Jan. 11, 2017, 2:40 a.m.(8/17/1005 AR)

The dinner at Malvici's was interesting. The presence of Hish Highness Anze was telling, and speaks of closer commitment between the house and that of Redrain, which is good. He agreed to speak more to me of the Stone Grove, when we are both free to do so.

The Stone Grove. I've heard a little of it, how plants grow there that will grow nowhere else. It sounds precisely as the type of place so mentioned in my work; but inside the city and in the care of Redrain. I don't doubt they'll give permission, should I ask to speak there, but it is something to consider.

Poor Mistress Hana. She's been so harassed and busy of late, and her grandmother's death, in addition to this. I offered what comfort I can, and smuggled her into Saik Tower for a night or two away from it all, a place to grieve without dealing with customers or the scene it happened. She brought her grandmother's cat, and Aletta refrained from chasing her at all. Myrinda's sharp tongue lives on, it seems.

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