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Written By Sunaia

March 5, 2021, 10:31 a.m.(1/21/1015 AR)

I think one of my favorite things to see is the light in someone's eyes brighten when they talk about anything they're passionate about.

Written By Sunaia

March 5, 2021, 8:34 a.m.(1/20/1015 AR)

Amanita Whisper sent the most beautiful present to me. Seriously -- it's just -- well. It's shiny. No telling here. It's very fine and I'll keep that surprise until - the - right - time. Oh. Then, the sly Lady Mabelle -- she swooped in like a very fashionable bird of prey and sent me a gift too. Which, like the previous, will be awaiting the right time.

They're almost too delicate.

(Mark my words, Scholar Einar.)

I have to remind myself that I can be delicate if I want to be.

(Yes, I do look well rested -- thank you for noticing!)

Written By Deva

March 5, 2021, 7:27 a.m.(1/20/1015 AR)

If you have to give up everything that makes something meaningful in order to save it, is it really worth fighting for? I suppose if it still helps others, yes, even if you'll never see it yourself.

Written By Ember

March 5, 2021, 7:24 a.m.(1/20/1015 AR)

On the twelfth day of the twelfth month of 1013 AR, I made a decision. It was then that my life began, as I know it currently. I spent some months wondering if I had been correct in my decision.

On the nineteenth day of the first month of 1015 AR, I made another. It is not a new beginning. It is further vindication of that decision in 1013. I made the correct choice. I stopped fighting, and embraced myself. I could have spent my entire life struggling in vain. Instead, I am strong.

To you reading this, be you scholar, noble peer, common folk, historian hundreds of years on... You can be strong, too. Fight your enemies. Fight them and win. Do not make yourself weak by trying to be something you are not. Do not show the world your soft belly and ask it to take pity on you. Show the world who you truly are.

An enemy who has found inner peace is the most dangerous and frightening enemy of all. Be this enemy to those who oppose you.

Written By Dycard

March 4, 2021, 10:26 p.m.(1/20/1015 AR)

I had an interesting round of drinks with some friends new and old today after returning to the city after a brief hiatus and a curious idea was jokingly mentioned - a wedding gown of sharkskin. While nobody really took it seriously I thought the idea sounded excellent, though it could have been the booze talking.

As a man who has done much to avoid the bondage of marriage I have to admit that if I found a woman willing to give it a whirl I might be willing to take the plunge - I believe Lady Mabelle volunteered her services for any hopeful women in designing such an outfit.

Written By Cambria

March 4, 2021, 9:32 p.m.(1/20/1015 AR)

Politics will never about planning - it is about opportunity. This is true regardless of the political system. Politics is about human behavior and people are too irrational to fit into a plan.

Written By Sydney

March 4, 2021, 9:05 p.m.(1/20/1015 AR)

1015.

It still seems so strange to write, but the passage of time marches inexorably forward. I've grown weary of this new habit of mine to look backward, if only because so much of my life until now had been looking forward. It's hard not to look forward as time sweeps you along with it, as you cling to your fingernails to your own survival.

I wonder often about that which I can't control - decisions I've long since made, things I saw and chose not to see. More than half a lifetime effectively blind to the world around me, and all of that changed by a pissy, secretive woman. Changed further by another who accepted me for who I was, and another who helped inform who I was. I really need someone younger than me to swoop in and change my life for a change. I suppose with the march of time, that's more and more likely to happen.

It'd be a hell of a thing to say I feel 'old' at twenty-two, but I sure as hell don't feel the brash eighteen year old, either.

Four years can change everything. Four years can also change not a sharding thing.

I relish and lament both of these statements.

Written By Khanne

March 4, 2021, 8:36 p.m.(1/19/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Volya

Volya said: "Either I look good in a vest, or I'm accidentally setting a new fashion trend."

I ask -- Why not both?

Written By Piccola

March 4, 2021, 3:19 p.m.(1/19/1015 AR)

It takes a wiser, strong warrior to subdue an opponent with her hands than to slay them with a sword.

It is said that a wise warrior knows when to fight and when not to. Equally, it follows, that a wise warrior knows when to kill and when not to. A sword has but one purpose, but one's hands have so many more; remember that a soldier uses his hands to bring a sword to bear, not the other way around. The ability to subdue with one's hands is more valuable than the ability to wield a sword, for a mistress of the open hand is always armed and deadly.

To believe otherwise is foolish.

Written By Medeia

March 4, 2021, 1:31 p.m.(1/19/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Sunniva

It has been several weeks, Scholar, since I learned of the passing of Marquessa Sunniva Harthall. I had wanted to say something sooner, but the words wouldn't come. I was so focused on trying to figure out why this happened. I thought if I knew, it might comfort me. I still don't know, not for certain. No one will confirm my suspicions. But if I am right? No. This is not the time for more brooding. Right now, I wish to commit her to our collective memory. To show how good of heart she was.

When I first met her, we had both found ourselves at the Shrine of the Queen of Endings around the same time. It was fortuitous, in a way: she - newly pregnant and nervous, me - a midwife looking to join the discipleship. We talked for a while, and I was struck by how genuine she was, this Oathlands marquessa open to the comfort of the Mother and baring her vulnerability without shame. When we parted ways that afternoon, I wasn't certain that we would have reason to cross paths again, but I was thankful for the opportunity to have met her just the once.

Sometime after, I was seeking instruction on a matter of courtly graces. She remembered me and wrote to me to offer her assistance. I joined her in the Harthall library and we talked for a while. She provided the requested lesson seamlessly within our conversation, and I left her company that day feeling as though I had been truly seen and heard by someone for the first time in a long time. In the privacy of that fire-warmed room, we didn't feel like Marquessa Harthall and Lady Saik, we felt like Sunniva and Medeia.

As time wore on, bringing the birth of Lady Tibella ever closer, she and I continued to exchange letters, resulting in her choosing me to be her midwife. It was an honor, to say the least. The heir to the March of Fair Harbour! There is something wholly transformative about bringing a new life into this world, being the one entrusted to welcome it, being the first to see the child when the mother has been awaiting that moment for many months. Sunniva's trust was something different entirely. Earning it made me want to be the person she believed me to be, to continue to be worthy of it. She had cleared it with her staff that I could come and go as I pleased to see to the preparations. And then, it was the day!

Every mother I have attended has had strength beyond what any man might expect. Giving birth is physically and emotionally exhausting. Even the quickest and easiest deliveries are still an ordeal. And at that this point, Scholar, I'd forgive you for thinking I am exaggerating the qualities of this particular woman in some attempt to speak kindly of the dead. I'm not. Exaggerating, I mean. I returned in the evening, after the very early morning delivery, to find her awake, alert, friendly, and conversational. I had to remind her to rest and took care of a few things for her while she sat in a comfortable chair. And then I settled on the floor and held Tibella while we talked. We were the only three who existed, it felt like, and we let out some of the hurts and hopes of our past. We shared a similar horror from our youth. And she told me then that I was family. She had decided.

One last anecdote to illustrate the goodness of this woman, Scholar. Shortly before the birth, I had joined her in her garden, with additional company from Duke Ryhalt and his wife Duchess Clover. They had mentioned wanting to invite Haakon and me to dinner, the five of us with Marquis Orvyn, as well. I hesitated, explaining that, perhaps, these fine Oathlanders might wish to reconsider such an invitation to a Mourning Isles Prodigal. It was not my finest moment, assuming their values. I get upset at others when they do the same, but they were all so gracious. Sunniva and Ryhalt agreed with me that the prejudice against Prodigals is ridiculous. They've made their oaths before Limerance, it is the duty of all Faithful to respect those oaths. Anyway. They were both so kind and reassuring. Sunniva was such a bright and shining woman.

One never hopes to receive a letter that begins "If you are reading this..." as the words that follow will inevitably break your heart. The day I received such a letter from Sunniva was meant to be a day of celebration. And not wanting to let anyone down, I put on my new dress made just for the occasion and went out to the party. But I left early and went to the shrine and wept before the altar, clutching that letter, the one that asked me to check in on Tibella from time to time, to ensure the little lady has a woman of warmth and strong character in her life.

If half of what I suspect is true, Marquessa Sunniva Harthall died a hero. Selfless and brave and with love in her heart for the entire Compact. And I am better for having been touched in this life by her.

Written By Volya

March 4, 2021, 9:32 a.m.(1/19/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Khanne

Duchess Halfshav, you might be the third person in so many days to tell me that I should keep wearing the vests. And only the vests. Have to admit, I'm not really sure what this says more about. Either I look good in a vest, or I'm accidentally setting a new fashion trend.

Well, at least I'm not running across roof tops while doing so. Not really sure what that has to do with vests, but someone did make a joke about it. Feel like I'm missing reference to something.

Written By Vitalis

March 4, 2021, 4:59 a.m.(1/18/1015 AR)

I return to an Arx bleaker than I left it. Mentors, friends, kin... murdered, dead, missing. War approaching. It's as if the Queen awoke from some fugue and hurries to catch up.

My late cousin, Count Giulio, urged me in a posthumously delivered letter to remember that though I have walked in shadow I have not lost the heart of myself. He said it was a rare trait. I'm not sure about that. I know many who walk in darkness and shine still.

In that spirit, however, I have some light to share in his honor. Light Giulio helped me spark into life. Not just Count Giulio, but also the Lady Mikani Crovane, and my dear Apollo, Whisper and Guildmaster of the Crafter's Guild.

After years of study, refinement, trial, error, and more refinement - Arvani hand language is complete.

It is a language of gesture that will be useful for scholars communicating in the hush of the Archives, for scouts in the field, and for those who cannot otherwise speak or hear. At one time, I thought to create it and teach it only to my confederates. Strategic. Clever. But now I dedicate it to the memory of my cousin Giulio who always shared his knowledge freely, to Vellichor, the guardian of that knowledge.

That I can 'speak' this language, but no longer 'read' it is an irony not lost on me. I wish I could share it with Giulio finally. Perhaps I will go 'speak' my prayers at the Queen's Shrine and some passing psychopomp can ferry them to his eyes.

If you wish to learn, you have only to ask.

Written By Iseulet

March 4, 2021, 1:38 a.m.(1/18/1015 AR)

I have so many cats I wonder why I even attempt to clean and put things on shelves anymore.

I might as well store everything on the floor.

Written By Iseulet

March 4, 2021, 1:37 a.m.(1/18/1015 AR)

I do not recommend taking a dip in the ocean at present.

It is very cold.

Is it spring yet?

Written By Piccola

March 3, 2021, 11:25 p.m.(1/18/1015 AR)

Warrior, to give a person one's opinion and correct his faults is an important thing.

It is compassionate and comes first in matters of service. But it is extremely difficult when one serves completely. To discover the good and bad points of a person is an easy thing; to give an opinion concerning them is easy, too. People think that they are being kind by saying the things that others find distasteful or difficult to say; however, if it is not received well, they think that there is nothing more to be done.

This is completely worthless: it is the same as bringing shame to a person by slandering him and is nothing more than absolving oneself at the expense of another.

Written By Aiden

March 3, 2021, 11:08 p.m.(1/18/1015 AR)

Nothing matters anymore.

Written By Cambria

March 3, 2021, 9:56 p.m.(1/18/1015 AR)

All public acts are public performances, and all public performances are part of the larger morality play of politics. Facts and the discourse upon facts is purely a private affair.

Written By Lucita

March 3, 2021, 9:26 p.m.(1/18/1015 AR)

Joslyn is missing? My small weapons instructor who used to have such exhibitions of skill at the Sip and Spar arena, gone? It seems my list of friends keeps growing shorter and shorter.

Written By Zakhar

March 3, 2021, 8:20 p.m.(1/17/1015 AR)

The remaining flowers were pruned just in time for the snow to start falling. Now they are simmering over the fire. A gift for another will be applied.

Written By Cirroch

March 3, 2021, 8:18 p.m.(1/17/1015 AR)

Who would have thought that Cake Wars would have prepared me for the feast hosted by Princess Jaenelle Velenosa.

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