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Written By Edain

Dec. 4, 2016, 2:58 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Niamh

Niamh Greenmarch, the Sword of Greenmarch. She is cut from the same cloth as her cousin Princess Marian and she is a stark reminder that despite all our differences with the prodigal house, we are alike in the ways that matter. She seems possessed of a sincere desire to leave the world a better place than it was when she found it. I believe she can, and I hope she continues to remind us that the differences we wear on our sleeves mean nothing in the light of the honor we hold in our hearts.

Written By Edain

Dec. 4, 2016, 2:32 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Leona

Lord Commander Leona has a great burden to bear. When I saw her again recently she was pleasant and friendly but I could see that it weighs on her. I understand how that feels. My uncle cast a long shadow and his loss feels as if it is impossible to fill. But my uncle was more than just the greatest knight of his age. He was also one of the wisest. He believed in her to succeed him, and because of this, so do I.

Written By Orazio

Dec. 4, 2016, 2:31 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Few knew the Legate of Concepts. As is common among the higher echelons of our Faith, most of her time was devoted to serving the institution of the Church in ways that were invisible to much of the laity, but which were vital to the continuance of all the good that the Faith does across the Compact. When a Knight of the Silver Order walked with the cold and lonely on pilgrimage, the Legate was there. When vows were spoken under Limerance's eyes, the Legate was there. When the destitute but innocent found a voice through my own priesthood, the Legate was there. The Shield of the Faith showed the devotion and service expected of her station, and her loss will impact us all, both on a spiritual and practical level. Fewer still even knew of her retinue, Holy Templars who served her faithfully and bravely to the end. They had names, these men and women, and stories, and pure hearts. We do not just mourn one person, but many.

While some may begrudge the Faith for indulging in a time of mourning and contemplation, I recognize that this is because they are too deeply mired in their own concerns to realize that even the servants of the gods can grieve.

It is my hope that during this dark time, the Faithful will forgive the time that we selfishly spend in prayer, in memorial, in the notification of friends and loved ones, and in the solemn contemplation of the future. May the gods watch over us all.

Written By Myrinda

Dec. 4, 2016, 2:03 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Fawkuhl

This is bullshit and we all know it. How rich does the Faith of the Pantheon need to get and whose pockets are they going to rip the coin from?

Because I guarantee you, it isn't the other rich pricks that are going to feel it. No, they'll pay their tithes and get married as they want, but they're not going to splurge on that extra for an aeterna gown or commission a painting for the betrothal or do all of that other nonsense that allows us crafters to put food on the table.

Whose backs do you really want to profit off of, while putting more and more gold on your robes, eh?

The Faith is officially banned from shopping at my place, at least, until this ridiculousness is lifted.

Written By Isolde

Dec. 4, 2016, 1:41 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

All good things must come to an end, I suppose. I didn't realize how much I wanted this to after all.

Written By Kima

Dec. 4, 2016, 1:39 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

To say things have been eventful of late would be an understatement. From the melee to my appointment to the Low Council, to other, more personal travails, emotions have run the gamut. Adrenaline-fueled elation, sombre reflection, frustration, dejection, helpless anger and, yes, even the ghostly lick of fear.

Awash in such things, it is important to take stock of the little moments. The things that, in the swirl of chaos, are like deep-rooted trees of calm. For me, one such instant was the spar with my brother much earlier in the week. It reminds me of old times, when I yearned for life's grand adventure. You see, the more things change, the more important it becomes to have that which remains the same. The bond with a brother, for example.

Unshakeable ground on which to walk.

How many of us have lost a loved one? Too many. Not through life's natural causes, or accidents, but through malicious acts. If seem akin to the doom-saying prophet covered in ash, then so be it, but the worst is yet to come. So hold on to your loved ones, those that remain.

And mistake me not - I do not tell anyone to cower, but to gird themselves.

I come now to my last point: I am now a member of the Low Council. Politics are not my strong suit, the gods only know. Yet this isn't meant, in theory, to be entirely the realm of verbal sparring. It is meant to be a means of doing, of enacting plans. To any and all who might be wondering at why one such as myself was nominated, I care not to justify with wheedling words of ink. Instead, I hope to prove myself through action.

Written By Costas

Dec. 4, 2016, 1:31 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

In the evening last I attended a prayer ceremony in the shrine of Mangata, hosted by the Princess Natalia. The shrine here in Arx is an odd thing to me. It is streams and waterfalls and a little grove that plays home to some charming birds. In this way it resembles the city herself: constructed for the pleasure of the eyes, evocative of superior notions, home to many fetching creatures. Yet this is not the house of the Lady of Waves that I know. Mine is as terrible as She is beautiful; for Her endless labor in birthing all things into this world, She has a devastating hunger. I think I shall conduct my future oblations at the edge of the sea, where I can feel Her touch in the salt spray, and hear Her voice in the waves. Despite my preference it seems that She however does pay heed to what is done in that place of worship. In the late evening I wandered the city unable to shake a deep foreboding from my heart, only coming to my bed as the dark eastern sky fled from morning's glow. Though I expected to find slumber but fitfully, I fell instantly and deeply into sleep as if caught by a rip tide.

Who can say why the gods do what is done? Perhaps She found my simple offering unworthy of the blessing I asked. Or perhaps She tests me, or simply takes in advance of what She shall give. Though I suspect (and hope) it is the last, this is as far as I will meditate on Her intentions. Whatever the reason, Her dreadful punishment came in the form of a dream most premonitory. In the dreamscape I walk amidst a flock of shrikes, those little birds I have come to admire so thoroughly. They swoop and flutter round, beaks laden with wriggling prey. Laughing, I follow them to a bush where I know they will alight to conduct their grim ritual. But it is not a thistle. In stead of long, sharp thorns there are little flowers shaped like bells, the bruised purple of a sky before storm. Landing among the wide leaves the shrikes release their catch, now only drawn to the small black berries that hang lustrous and ripe with promise of sweetness.

In the dream I try to raise my voice in alarm, to warn them that which shines is poison, but find I have no voice at all. My little friends gorge themselves, devouring all that they can find. I cannot summon the strength to move, only bearing witness as they fall one by one to the ground. Motionless, eyes vacant, beaks stained wine-red. For a long time I stare at the pattern of their corpses in the dust but I am no haruspex. Can find no meaning. The dream ends as I too take a handful of the berries into my mouth and, laying myself down amidst my departed companions, crush the ripe flesh between my teeth. They are as sweet as promised; more so, I think to myself in the final moment, for the touch of oblivion renders all things into sharp contrast.

Lying in bed this morning I recalled one of the old salt-stained tomes from my collection. Included in its philosophical musings was a contradiction on the art of oneiromancy, the interpretation of dreams as divine guidance. The author claimed our sleeping reveries are but the rational mind's reordering of the contents of our experience. Random strands of our past woven together into a tapestry without meaning, and only the foolish thereafter ascribe some purpose, born of their own hopes or fears. Though I respect the logic I am too superstitious to dare hold the opinion in much esteem. Be it a warning or my Lady of Wave's acknowledgement of the winds I have tacked sail to, She made me as I am, and I shall do as I was made to do.

Written By Aislin

Dec. 4, 2016, 1:21 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

When I was younger, I used to imagine myself exploring the world with a partner at my side, a bit like Lou and Mason have done. But the truth was, as I got older, I never found a partner, and so I chose to explore alone.

There have been occasional companions on one expedition or another, and friends I've made along the way. But in general? I've traveled alone.

I'd forgotten how pleasant it can be, sometimes, to have a few people with you. To not have to do everything yourself. And especially when everyone has their own varied skills; there's a sense of balance to the traveling party you never have when it's just one—or even two—with shared interests exploring together.

Lady Eirene, Lady Kima, Lord Victus, Archlector Orazio. Not necessarily the traveling party I would have traditionally chosen for that recent trip. And yet it worked well; we achieved our goals and returned safely. Maybe we'll have a chance to do so again, sometime.

Written By Anze

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:57 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

I keep getting let down by the lack of hedonism I see from the Lycene. I guess I shouldn't expect orgy's in the streets or anything, but you hear all these stories about how they do things and it makes one curious. Luckily a helpful pair of Lycene's pointed me in the direction of two others to ask my questions to. I will get to the bottom of if the debauchery is all rumors or not soon enough.

Although it will be kind of disappointing if I find out it is all true because I wont be able to participate. Maybe its best not to know...

Written By Sylvie

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:43 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Niccolo

Even when we disagree on principles, I have a deep well of respect for the Voice of Velenosa. I cannot fault him for his positions and his strategies, even if they do not align perfectly with my own wishes and desires.

And I believe my parents would be proud, that I am continuing the not-so-formal tradition of providing friendship to Velenosa.

What is it that has been said? Something along the lines of 'Zaffria serves Velenosa as the wind serves the flower, carrying its seed to places it would be unable to reach without.'

Written By Sylvie

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:37 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Talen

The Sword of Lenosia was kind enough to accept a request to teach me the basics of self-defense. I am not sure that he found me so charming on the field (that is what it is called, is it not?) but I have certainly learned a lesson of him and myself. One, that I have no hope in defending myself and should hire a champion. As for two--.

Well, once again, the Sword of Lenosia bleeds rather handsomely, as I managed to nick him with the borrowed blade more on accident than any purpose.

Written By Sylvie

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:34 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Donrai

One would be a fool to ignore the Prince of the Maelstorm or his words. I am not one of those fools.

I can honestly say that I wish I had more time to spend in the company of the man. He is sharp, intelligent, and so experienced. I do not say this only because he called me charming and bold, but because the man, in his own way, is as charming and as bold; many people likely miss that given his appearance and his unwavering stares.

Written By Sylvie

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:30 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Harlan

Lady Aislin's brother with his own convoluted ties to me. His cousin-in-law being my own former sister-in-law. I am surprised that we have not talked more because he is pleasant company, if a little more distracted by hunts and adventures than I am.

It reminds me often of how different our cultures are, we who mingle in Arx. The Compact is strengthened by our differences, as I hope my relationship to Lord Harlan and the Ashfords will be.

Written By Eirene

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:29 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Kima

Bit rowdy as a kid but she's matured and become a good warrior, capable, and worthy of wielding the ancient sword of Southport. Trust is becoming more and more important and she has minje.

Written By Eirene

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:26 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Aislin

How frustrating it must be to have you whole life reduced to 'aww, what cute stories' followed by 'Wait, what, you knew all along?! Why didn't you tell us?!' Capable woman. Good with common folk.

Written By Eirene

Dec. 4, 2016, 12:24 p.m.(4/17/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Victus

As usual, I find myself getting along -very- well with Thraxians. I don't agree with the whole Thrall bullshit but they as individuals are intelligent, cunning, capable, and honorable in their own way. He's no different and I feel a strange kind of 'out of my element' bond with him.

Written By Julea

Dec. 4, 2016, 4:35 a.m.(4/16/1005 AR)

I've managed to stay (mostly) sober now since the night of my arrival but it hasn't helped any with the sea of new faces. I'm not used to being around so many people with their titles and their fancy clothes and have no clue when I need to be curtsying, and standing and what ever else I'm supposed to be doing. I'm surprised I've not already offended half the nobility of Arx and been shown the gate.

In my drunken state in my arrival, I seemed to have rented a room at a place called the Spirits, it looks fancy and it even has a bed. I slept on it the first night, but have been using the furs on the floor since. Too worried I'll mess it up and I'll get charged cleaning or something.

And I hate to think what it's doing to my meagre savings. I'm going to need to find somewhere more suitable, before I've not enough to rent some time on a forge. And if I can't do that, then .. well this whole trip is for nought. Or mostly.

Also, a Princess has invited me to tea. I didn't bring clothes for such affairs. I think if I got it mended my green dress might still fit me. It isn't much but it's going to have to do. I can't even imagine what she'd want me for. Perhaps to chastise me for insulting half the nobility of Arx. Do they hang people for that? This trip might prove to be very short if so.

Assuming I'm not hung, the plan remains the same. Rent out some time on the forge, produce some examples of my work, sell and make profit, and send back home to father.

Julea Sanguine
9am, 16th of April, 1005 AR.

Written By Bethany

Dec. 4, 2016, 2:50 a.m.(4/16/1005 AR)

(Such dreams. Such nightmares. Interwoven and intermingled.)

Thoughts for tea blends:

To intellectual engagement with a thorny wit. A bouquet of fine red roses juxtaposed against the keen edge of hot spices and smoke.

To the breath of wild and tangled. Dried herbs, resinous needles, roots and the suggestion of damp and rich earth. Perhaps an undercurrent of honest mint.

Written By Cara

Dec. 4, 2016, 2:45 a.m.(4/16/1005 AR)

I rode out of the city today in the mid-morning on that sweet little mare I've had the pleasure of riding a few times now; she is a good-tempered one and very gentle. Once we came to the woods I let her choose the path and -- I confess -- I did get a bit turned around.

By the time I made it home we were both all over in mud, soaked through and covered in brambles.

I'll have to make sure she gets an extra treat for putting up with me, poor dear.

Written By Bethany

Dec. 3, 2016, 11:53 p.m.(4/15/1005 AR)

I visited the Shrine to Jayus on my way through the city. There was a book beside the two offerings left from the day of prayer. Forgive the thought, I thought about taking -

(For shame. No, I had no such thought.)

However, I read the book of Uncommon Prayer and committed the following to memory so that I could transcribe it to my journal:

Prayer Against Nightmares
May Jayus touch my eyes to seal them against dark visions;

May Jayus touch my mind to seal it against weakness;

May Jayus touch my heart to seal it against fear;

May Jayus touch my dreams to open them to clarity;

Eyes, mind, and heart bring dreams;

Mine I consecrate to Jayus.

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