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Written By Larissa

Jan. 8, 2017, 2:21 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Sigurd

A chance meeting with he and his Uncle at the Salon had me completely and utterly charmed. Yet another reason to fall absolutely in love with the Nightgold family.

Written By Eirene

Jan. 8, 2017, 2:04 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Juliet

Smarter than she looks, and she looks very damn good. A newfound appreciation for her above and beyond flirtation and good alcohol.

Written By Sigurd

Jan. 8, 2017, 1:57 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

As I sit here, surrounded by missives and reports and proclamations of these dire events, and all the myriad of things people have to say about them, I worry that /this/ is the danger of our new system.

Too many voices. Too many voices, all with more voices in their ears. A multitude of different aims and different goals. Oh, perhaps the same overarching states goal: to save Arx and Arvum. But the idea for '/how/ to do that? We are of as many minds as there are stars in the sky.

It is the enemy of progress. I only hope that our esteemed leaders realize this and can be strong. especially now.

Written By Darrow

Jan. 8, 2017, 1:36 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

Thirteen.

Thirteen gods, thirteen sacrifices. I have killed - put down, a dozen of Thrax men, pirates, their minds poisoned. In one single battle - a slaughter. The crews, put to death, and their boats scuttled.

My sword a cut down a drop in the tide of blood we saw spilled. Agents of these Stewards, of those Houses, of whomever we face - the Silence, murdered hundreds and left as many more mindless. Chattel to be executed.

And these bickerers bemoan the loss of a family member, of thirteen men and women? Against the chance of stopping a such greater toll? It is a grain of sand against an ocean. Two crossmarks on a page. The number of a small fishing family.

Death is what awaits us all - all we walk is our journey to the place behind the mirror.

My sisters, my brothers - died upon crosses, sacrificed for vengeance and greed by the Tydes.

I suppose they should feel lucky that there are at least thirteen who think there is aught worth saving in the Compact...

Written By Bethany

Jan. 8, 2017, 1:17 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

[ The following letter has been added to the Archive in place of an entry. It is written in overly-meticulous script, blocky: ]

Dear Father and Mother,

It has been some time since I penned a letter, and even longer since I left the city to visit the Vale and more specifically, the Estate. I hope that you are both well, and keeping safe with the Guard that Lazarus sent over. Between us, I know that Lord Tobias is honorable - despite the betrayal of the former Lord Commander, Everard. It was a shrewd decision that Lazarus made, securing those forces, and I hope that you will understand why considering our enemies and the devastation that follows in their wake.

Certainly, you have been given news of the events as they unfolded at the most recent Assembly of Peers - so, I will avoid the reiteration of thoughts and opinions that are possibly best kept to myself (and out of this letter.) Otherwise, I know, that Father will send me a lengthy response and will refer to papers and texts that I should possibly read.

Also, please remind Father that he should remain seated for the following: yes, I have accepted new employment. I have gained so much more momentum beyond those days of that pianoforte performance that impressed the Lady Alarys so - (as I told Silas moments after I sent in my resignation) - my ambitions have outgrown the position. I have a patron, now, and the freedom to pursue my own interests. I know that you both wanted more for me, a higher place in society, and I understood your reasons for doing so were for the betterment of our family.

Ultimately, everything is for the advancement for the family. There are times, in fits of pique, that I utterly resent you for it. Other times, when my heart swells with so much emotion that I could burst from gratitude for it. I suppose that is the strange and complicated relationship between a child and their parents. Moving forward, I take steps toward my advancement - for which I hope you will not begrudge me for. I shall always strive to have you be proud of me in word and deed.

(There is more, Mother, but I will detail the more personal news to you in another letter.)

Of course, despite all threats, I am hopeful that the season will be a fruitful one for us. I will organize to make a visit in the early autumn to assist with the harvest and with the seasonal accounts.

Always, your youngest,

Beth

Written By Lou

Jan. 8, 2017, 1:11 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

I have finally made it back home. I had left the city after feeling like an empty glass in a room filled with thirsty people. I spent time out in the wild, enjoying the bright moon, sparkling stars, beautiful scenery. However, I discovered that during my time out there, I felt I was missing something. I need my family just as much as I need the wild and the skies. I need these things like a thirsty person needs water. It warmed me to know that my family welcomed me back home with open arms. Especially my husband. Mason showed me his true love immediately. We took time to bond once more and enjoy time together with our daughter.

Written By Samantha

Jan. 8, 2017, 1:10 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

There are many who have wondered at the full story of my origin, and so I offer it now in the White Journal, to the edification of any who care to read it.

I was born at Deepwood, at around the same time as Samantha Deepwood and given the name Ivy. My mother was a servant of the House, my father unknown - though it has been speculated by many that given my uncanny resemblance to the original Samantha, it is likely that my father was the Marquis as well. Samantha was born with a birthmark on her right thigh - a star just like that which represents one of the Lost Gods. This was the deity worshipped by the Rex'alfar before they turned to the Silence, and despite the Marquessa's efforts to hide her daughter's birthmark, they found out, and set their agents to the purpose of murdering Samantha Deepwood.

They infiltrated the household by the time she and I were five years old. I don't know how they did it, only that when the Marquis heard that shavs (manipulated by the Rex'alfar and the Rex'alfar's agents) were coming to destroy Old Oak and the family, they managed to convince him that the best course of action was to sneak the family out disguised as commoners, and use decoys in their place at the manor. This would deliver them to the human agents of the Rex'alfar, who slaughtered every single one of them.

As a child, I was solicited, tricked, and manipulated into becoming Samantha's decoy. I was told repeatedly that I was Samantha, cultivated both through punishment and reward into beieving it. I believe their intention was to see me grow into adulthood as a dedicated servant of the Rex'alfar, infiltrate the noble class, and be a poison from within. They then proceeded to torture and kill the other decoys, a sight I witnessed with my own eyes and haunts my nightmares even to this day. But they were not expecting the arrival of Duke Bisland - or if they were, they could not predict the result. He and his forces destroyed those remaining and rescued me, amidst the blood and torture and horror. I spent much of the rest of my childhood at Pridehall, the foster daughter of the Duke and Duchess, and the foster sibling of their natural born children. And for much of that time, I genuinely believed myself to be Samantha Deepwood. As I entered womanhood, I was able to realize that this was a falsehood.

But by this time, it was too late for me. I had come so far, been raised as Samantha, and had been Samantha for most of my life. The penalties for impersonating a noble, however unintentionally, were harsh - death, at the worst. I was trapped in this life, and so I decided the best thing I could do was use the principles taught to me by House Bisland - about honor, duty, and loyalty - to be what I believed the nobility should be; people with the power to raise those beneath them for the better, to protect them and care for them. If you are given power, it should be used to do good in this world.

Shortly after I came to Arx, I was contacted by a man who knew my birthname. He tried to extort me into betraying the people of Arvum by forcing me to push the agenda of the Rex'alfar - encouraged me to promote military action in the Gray Forest to the Crown, or he would reveal my true origin. While the King's Rest allowed me some means of belaying him, when Lady Dawn became Regent, I knew the time would come when I could no longer keep him patient.

That man is Chanse Grayhope. He is currently at large, and it is my sincere wish that he is brought to justice. He is an agent of the Rex'alfar, and I believe I may not be the only person of noble rank in this city he has tried to extort on their behalf.

This is my story, for good or ill. It is my hope that people recognize that if the Rex'alfar are willing to go as far as they have, they truly fear the Teind, which means it obviously holds some power to stop them. This is not an idle thing to dismiss. May the gods help us all in our time of need.

Written By Leola

Jan. 8, 2017, 1:08 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

Business this week
- 2000 silver from Lady General Calypso

Spent at the Leathers to improve my armor. Spear next. Brier coming along nicely. Now constantly outpacing the other horses of the stables.

Explained my ongoing commitments with Valardin to the Lady General. Need to dress smartly for visiting the Minister of Agriculture next week at her stables next week.

Lady Juliet Fidante arranged an assistant for me. A very sweet girl called Lindsey, who seems to be as busy constantly around myself as I was about my family. She's a great boon, and I am thankful

Written By Margot

Jan. 8, 2017, 12:50 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

The Teind?

I am struggling, my place, my duty, my role is to be empathetic to and understand those mindsets alien to those of the isles.

In that I understand the outrage of those who have lived in worlds where war is minimal, where they have the luxury of grieving over every life lost. Where survival is, perhaps not easy but can be achieved without blood shed. Perhaps their morality and religious dedication has become more developed than ours with the much more frequent contact they have had with each other as a means to prevent constant, large scale battles between them that would result in massive losses of life.

I also understand the simplicity of this decision among those raised on the isle. It is not as many would believe a willingness to throw thralls blood to the elves. I know when Donrai Thrax says I will have 13 who will willingly sacrifice themselves for the survival of the rest of us that those are not thralls but free men. They are our Reavers, our sailors, our warriors. Every time they man a ship to go out and defend us against any threat they are making that very same decision. In the Isles we honor those sacrifices, and respect them, they are not abhorrent, they are the cost of survival in isolation from the rest.

I look back on my own history and wonder, had we existed any where else and I had see what I had seen, would it have destroyed me? If even the idea of the loss of one family member to my peers is so great a threat that they are filled with fury and rage, what toll would it take to not only be parted with every single one of them, small to large, powerful to powerless, but to have witnessed each one?

I am not immune to grief, but I will not drown in it either. My family broke it's agreements and oaths. A blood price was paid as a result - far less willingly. Such is the cost of breaking one's oaths. That understanding is intrinsic to my existence now.

I cannot help but feel that the mathematics of it are simple now, having a view the whole board as it where - with the threats of the Rex'alfar and the brings of silence to the north, south and west, and Gyre to the east. Silence and Oblivion cannot be allowed to win, but they will should nothing change from it's current configuration.

Thirteen lives, given freely to spare hundreds if not thousands? To Lady Dawn Baseborn and her 12 I give the same respect I would to any of our fierce and mighty reavers. And thank her for her sacrifice rather than cry over it.

Let us not waste that sacrifice but ensure that it accomplishes what it is intended to.

Written By Aislin

Jan. 8, 2017, 12:29 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

"Why pay the Teind?"

Gods and spirits, how many times am I going to be asked that question? Messengers, and conversations, and even chance encounters in the street.

Why?

At best, the ritual may stem the tide of these cold, emotionless creatures spilling across the Crownlands.

At worst? It restores a treaty—a treaty /we/ broke by attacking /them/—which grants us the alaricite weapons we'll so desperately need to face abyssal threats.

"Why the Teind? Why the treaty?"

Because Queen Alarice and the high lords of her time—who knew far more of how all this works than we do, of the nature of magic and of the threats facing us—thought the benefits outweighed the costs enough that they signed a treaty to ensure we would work together against what we now face. If I know /nothing/ else for certain in all of this, I know that.

The treaty we broke, and were offered one more chance to fix.

And so even where my knowledge is guesswork, or has gaps, and even though I loathe the idea of the Teind itself, I choose to trust the judgment of Queen Alarice and her peers in preparing a treaty to stand against this threat.

If the leaders of that time, with all their greater knowledge of magic, of the world, of all the things we've forgotten -- that were stolen from us, by the Great Fire or other means -- thought this was a necessary evil to face a greater one, who am I, with my fragments of history, to say they were wrong?

And besides, why do people question it /now/? Payment has been arranged, as dear a price as it is. At worst, if the Teind does nothing else, it will buy alaricite to fight the darkness.

And I hope everyone remembers the cost of that shining metal when they wield it.

Written By Margot

Jan. 8, 2017, 12:18 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

I am reminded that we all are sailors, simply those of us who are not asea are navigating the tides and winds of the social and political here in Arx.

We cannot always control these forces greater than ourselves but we can adjust our approach without losing sight of our destination.

Written By Cicero

Jan. 8, 2017, 12:17 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

A sweet reunion.
Youthful playmate found again.
Trouble. Such trouble.

Written By Cicero

Jan. 8, 2017, 12:09 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

A subtle tease. Blush.
A challenge for future days.
First attempt? Failure.

Written By Cicero

Jan. 8, 2017, 12:07 p.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

The idiocy.
Is delegation unknown?
The chase of glory?

Written By Max

Jan. 8, 2017, 11:54 a.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

Ordering the death of men should never be easy.

But we were not given title and rank, we were not given wealth and privilege, to do the easy thing.

We were given these tools to better defend our people. To make the call that no man wants to make. When to make war and kill men. To end lives and start vendettas that will last the memory and lifetimes of the survivors.

I am not afraid of violence. I am not afraid of war. But one with the duty and courage to do these things, we must measure with our wisdom, when it is appropriate.

I can't sleep.

Written By Eirene

Jan. 8, 2017, 11:23 a.m.(8/10/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Juliet

**At note left in the pages of Juliet's entry re: the mysterious note***

Wasn't me- E

Written By Juliet

Jan. 8, 2017, 10:43 a.m.(8/9/1005 AR)

I was handed a note by one of the guardsmen today. Apparently a very inebriated man had taken up a job as an impromptu messenger, and was very insistent the note be given to "the one with the tits". Which I presume could be any of the women in the Fidante villa, but I suppose it's flattering the guardsman thought of me first.

The scrawl was barely legible, but seemed to be a transcribed exchange. About the sharpening and rubbing of sword.

Possibly it was a piece of erotica. Sometimes it's difficult to tell.

Whatever it was, it stopped before it got to the good part.

And the guards never found out who the damned note was from.

Written By Silas

Jan. 8, 2017, 10:36 a.m.(8/9/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Aldwin

The Archscholar is incredibly knowledgeable and cryptic at the same time.

But I enjoyed being led to the conclusion.

Written By Max

Jan. 8, 2017, 10:28 a.m.(8/9/1005 AR)

War is never without cost.


I mentioned this in my last entry. That war is never without cost.

Sometimes, it costs a storm its sea.

The storm draws power, it draws its glory from the heat of the sea. You might think, to look at it, that the sea was cold. That it lacked for warmth, but I assure you, the sea is a storehouse of heat and power and the storm is only its reflection.

What is a storm without its sea?

I know not.

Perhaps but a breeze.

- Maximilian Darkwater.

Written By Max

Jan. 8, 2017, 10:26 a.m.(8/9/1005 AR)

The Teind.

I see the Teind as the cost of war.

There is a war raging. Most of you don't see it. But I see it. I have always seen it. The way our history is culled, our brilliance dimmed and our wisdom silenced.

I accept the cost of war. I accept that good men will die for no seeming reason. For a scrap of beach, for a point of pride, for a duel between a prince and a lower ranked noble woman.

Men -die- every day.

And they die for far less, far worse reasons than 'Saving their brethren and keeping a compact whole'.

Keep your perspective, Arvarini.

War is never bloodless.

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