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Written By Shard

Oct. 15, 2019, 12:23 a.m.(1/7/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Rysen

This is wishful thinking, and it's naive.

I can answer your question. They both want Arvum. And because they both want Arvum, if one of them attacks and invades, the other one will too, and they'll be directly at war, which is not something they want to do, at least not yet. It's why they're still sitting out there in their ships; neither one wants to leave while the other's still here.

But no, we're not too strong, at least in their eyes. We aren't. Don't fall back on this. It's a comfortable lie that people will use as an excuse not to worry, not to prepare, and not to change.

I'm not arguing that people shouldn't try some sort of diplomatic solution. Fine. By all means, try. But don't just start giving them things because you think you can somehow trick them into respecting you. And don't go into it thinking that you've got some kind of card up your sleeve that will suddenly put the Compact on top, just because you're the Compact. You need to stop thinking like you're the biggest, strongest piece on the board, just because up until now you haven't run into anyone you haven't been able to eventually crush. You aren't. You never were. You cannot browbeat, bully, or threaten either the Undying Empire or Cardia, you can't declare you're in charge, you can't force them to do anything they don't want to do. You talk about burying your head in the sand; that's exactly what I'm telling people to stop doing. Look at the situation for what it is, and understand that you're the underdog and if they want to take everything from you, if they decide that's worth war with the nation they actually consider a threat, they can and they will.

Work from that position, not the imaginary, more comfortable one. As far as they're concerned, /you/ are the savage, backwards idiots who don't know what's best for you and who are, at best, squatting on territory they either want, or already consider theirs. I'll note from experience that it's not a very safe or comfortable place to stand, but it's where we all are.

Written By Miranda

Oct. 14, 2019, 6:52 p.m.(1/7/1012 AR)

My aide-de-camp, Brenlin, was attacked.

I had a horrible nightmare that seemed so very real. It was.. traumatic, at best.

And then I woke up, thinking it was just that - a nightmare, only to learn that my nightmare had barely begun.

Upon arriving at the barracks, the injuries Brenlin sustained were... horrible. Again, there are no words.

From my nightmare to his injuries... I believe they are related.

And the note that apparently only I can read that says: I see you.

This... is personal.

Written By Vitalis

Oct. 14, 2019, 5:54 p.m.(1/7/1012 AR)

Cardian steelsilk would be better called Cardian slavesilk. If you wish to know why, beyond the obvious that Cardia is a nation of slavers, please contact me.

If you wish to wish to wear something nearly as good as Cardian snakeskin for a fraction of the cost in silver and an immeasurable saving in misery, please contact me. Or better, my protege, the inestimable Apollo Oakwood.

That something exists is not a reason for its continued existence, particularly if it is a tangible manifestation of misery.

The solution to having something better is making something better.

Written By Celeste

Oct. 14, 2019, 2:02 p.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

As a matter of clarification, the embargo against goods was declared against those from Eurus, not Cardia. I acknowledge my mistake in the previous journal entry, but maintain my point as to inviting slaves into the city via the Embassy.

Written By Rysen

Oct. 14, 2019, 1:52 p.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Shard

Keeping one's head in the sand exposes the neck and the whole body. 'Tis better to look your enemies and rivals in the eye, I think.

While there's been a lot of talk about the initial offers made by the empires, there's very little discussion of counter offers or negotiation. Perhaps the situation has changed, and those empires who made an initial offer in hopes of maximizing their benefit at our expense, will now accept an arrangement that minimizes their losses.

It might also be worth asking why, if these empires are so powerful, have they not simply invaded Arvum already? Perhaps we are mightier than we think we are, and all we need is a little bravery as some have suggested, or perhaps the wider world holds a delicate balance of power, and they are reluctant to commit many resources to oppress a people who prize freedom, sovereignty and the gods above all else, a people who will never surrender, and who will fight to the last, while other powers stand ready at their own doorstep.

Perhaps they remember something we don't. It would not be the first time an ancient treaty that we had somehow forgotten was affecting the Compact, in which case our brightest researchers and cleverest diplomats might find us leverage with other significant powers.

Embassies are putting the cart before the horse - but it not an option that should be foreclosed upon forever. Let us first find a worthy ally.

Our diversity is our strength. Let those who excel in negotiation negotiate, and those who excel in the application of force prepare their weapons. In that way, when it comes time to deal with the greatest threats to our sovereignty, we will know all of our options, and trust in our leaders to choose the best of them.

Should we find ourselves on a battlefield facing the legions of some invader, Captain-General, I hope you trust that no foe shall attack your flank while I draw breath to defend it, but I respectfully ask you to give some consideration to those who wish to test soft power, as sometimes a Whisper or quill may preserve cherished traditions, and allow thousands of souls to flourish a bit longer in the Dream.

Written By Amari

Oct. 14, 2019, 11:31 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

My choices of late have been taking me so far from the expected and comfortable, it's like watching a safe and familiar shore recede swiftly into the distance. I'm not sure I can go back now, even if I feel a small twinge of nostalgia for what's being left behind.

A sapling has to grow taller to reach the sunlight, else it will be shaded out and die.

Written By Aslaug

Oct. 14, 2019, 10:27 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

The snow brings to mind Home.
There is a comforting silence about it when it falls and its presence brings peace to my soul.
I could sit in it and look at it for weeks, I should think.

Written By Rastifer

Oct. 14, 2019, 10:20 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

I spent a lovely morning at the Mercier Tea Shop, the Marigold tea is quite wonderful. I also had the chance to reconnect with Prince Artur Redrain after all these years, he even recognized me.

Written By Victus

Oct. 14, 2019, 9:21 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

There is a certain disconnect that occurs when I look upon Cardia’s society and find many things to criticize, and yet so many uncomfortable similarities at the same time. Perhaps most obviously their use of slavery.

Certainly it is correct to decry them as a country of writ using slavers. But all around us, merchants and peers shall also clad themselves in Cardian Snakeskin, Cardian Steelsilk, or adorn their jewels in precious dragonweep. All of which undoubtedly required chained hands to assist in their creation.

And we buy them as some of our most expensive goods. Handing hundreds of thousands of silver into Cardian hands every day of our lives. Several people of significant standing have probably contributed millions to Cardia’s slaver economy in the pursuit of fame or greater survivability against Arvum’s enemies.

Yet, the pragmatist in me tells me that these lucrative goods provide incredibly useful boons. How the public loves to see tears of dragons adorning the newest fashion craze, how many eyes it puts upon a person, or their family.

How much I and any general would adore their warriors to be protected by the finest steel yet move in the grace of silk. All of these things provide uses, so long as one can overlook the moral clusterfuck of how they came to be.

My conviction that marches toward an Arvum freed of chains tells me to join the denouncing voices. Then I look at the world around me. The food I eat, prepared from farms worked by thralls. The steel I hold, mined and carried on the broken backs of thralls. The ships that are the blood of my people, rowed tirelessly by thralls. So much of significance in the Isles would not be possible without our own share of slavery. It is not something to be proud of.

When the day comes that everything new shall be made by free men and women, it will not change what exists after a thousand years of history. Its already been created, it simply is.

Then there is me. Counting the scars of blades and arrows that have tried and failed to pierce the snakeskin I wear. Snakeskin undoubtedly made possible by slaves. A life saved, recorded into the fabric itself, a dozen times at least.

Were I to cast stones at Cardia as a slaver state, I would dishonor myself to do so while I hold onto possessions of their world. And to not acknowledge what the practice of thralldom has afforded the Isles for as long as it has existed.

By no means would I ever praise the Cardians for their barbaric slaving practice. That is not the point of what I write. It is a personal conflict that keeps me up at night. Putting it to paper may settle my nerves. At least, I hope this scrap to Vellichor serves a better purpose here than in my head.

I dream of the day that Arvum can produce leather and silk as strong and as durable as whatever secrets the Cardians hold. I pray for it.

While I can only lament and loathe the circumstances, I do feel confident that I might criticize something else of theirs.

Please stop murdering us. It’s very fucking rude and easily drowns out your more reasonable voices when these atrocities seem to pile on.

Don’t get me started on those roving lunatics trying to extinguish Valardin. “Can’t help some people falling to dragon worship”? What about when they’re /genocidal/?

Bah. I had a concise thought but now it’s a frustrated ramble. We stop here.

Written By Preston

Oct. 14, 2019, 8:04 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Caspian

I am a fan of Prince Victus, who sets a fine example to all of the Compact - not just because he places his values into practice even when it is not the easiest path, but because when he has erred, since I have known him he has always sought to understand his mistake and seek to make it right. I do not think he is wrong to ponder as he does - nor do I think the idea is evil to ask, and I think it reasonable for the peers to consider it. That is their responsibility, their right, and they answer to many masters. And yes, a great many issues are presented to them for which there is no good alternative, and instead they must struggle and bear the weight of such imperfect solutions.

On this issue though, I may gently suggest there is an alternative - which is not to give them an embassy. If we accept the view that we have no power over the emissaries and they will do as they wish, then an embassy gives us no more guarantee of being able to contact them, or if we can contact them they they are willing to talk, then exists at the moment as with their boats in the harbour. We gain nothing. There is no urgent requirement on us to grant this.

Cardia rejects the Gods' divine nature and obedience to them - they rank them below their own petty leaders. Present on our lands are those who profess to worship their leaders as they should the Gods, cultists who practice barbaric and foreign rituals. A permanent presence of Cardia on our land without their sublimation before the Gods? An insult for every gift and kindness the Gods have ever shown us - we would truly be the most ungrateful children.

Eurus are slavers of the worst kind - they ooze corruption with each step. See how they have tempted some of our own nobility to stray close to their ways. Look at abandoned tribes that now pledge to their banner. At a time when Prince Victus and Princess Alarissa forge on as breakers of the chains of Thralldom, a practice rightly consigned to history but which is no doubt kind compared to Eurusi behaviour, I do not see how we could welcome them either.

They ignore us, they wage war against one another by proxy on our land. In doing so they take from our prosperity and harm our interests. I refuse a notion that we must house and feed them, at a price paid for with insults to the Gods as well as silver, as well. Nor do I see any necessity.

Written By Shard

Oct. 14, 2019, 6:34 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Caspian

Not giving them an embassy is better than giving them one.

There is no magical diplomatic solution that will force two ancient empires to heel, but just openly giving them things without any prompting while they trample all over you sure as fuck won't help. You're just showing your throat.

Doing this after the King already turned them both down and insisted the Compact would and could stand on its own makes it even worse.

Written By Sabrina

Oct. 14, 2019, 4:43 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Tyche

My cousin Tyche was surprised that I remembered her birthday.

The last time we were together for the day is one I have failed to forget. Each year, the day is seared into memory that time fails to wash away. Some things we simply never lapse on.

The message of her gift should be tangible to her. Having known her most of my life, I am not concerned that it isn't. Years have passed to bring us together again, and now our paths have become entwined as never before.

Written By Sabrina

Oct. 14, 2019, 4:20 a.m.(1/6/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Arianna

Few rise to the challenge of a glamorous welcome the way my sister has. The spread hearkened back to our youth, and yet neither of us is quite the same. Arianna's instinct to protect me remains and, I have no doubt, she means as an act of love. But when I am one day weighed for my deeds, will I say I stood with idle hands and a still tongue because I was loved?

That's rhetorical. Of course, I will do neither. I am where I need to be.

Written By Caspian

Oct. 13, 2019, 11:25 p.m.(1/5/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Victus

Though I'm a bit late to comment on this, I think Prince Victus had the right argument. Is an Embassy ideal solution? Nope. Has anyone arguing against it proposed something better? Nope.

Written By Caspian

Oct. 13, 2019, 11:22 p.m.(1/5/1012 AR)

No one showed up to compete in my Team Tournament. Turns out that was a dud.

Written By Esme

Oct. 13, 2019, 11:22 p.m.(1/5/1012 AR)


I am caught up in both finding it horridly freezing. It is definitely not Tor. This is not at all Tor weather. However, I am finding my excitement in everything I can do in it. I have found that I much prefer to soon find a blazing fire and warmed food or drink after, but it could perhaps grow on me.

What do you all do in the winter, please send messages of suggestions?

Written By Kaia

Oct. 13, 2019, 11:17 p.m.(1/5/1012 AR)

Ah, winter!

It was two winters ago when I first arrived to Arx.

How time flies; How things change.

I once loved the winter; Found it quite beautiful.

Why is it that it now only fills me with uneasiness and weariness?

Written By Thesarin

Oct. 13, 2019, 11:14 p.m.(1/5/1012 AR)

Twenty years gone, I rode from the woods to bargain passage through a land of burned fields and mass graves.

Now that land's been made a March.

Kin in Honor we stand.

Written By Sabella

Oct. 13, 2019, 11:06 p.m.(1/5/1012 AR)

Perhaps one of the most exciting auctions I have been to in quite awhile was the one for the steelsilk dress that Mistress Talia put together. The amounts that were bid were incredibly lavish and left everyone guessing as to who would be the winner right up until the very end! I do hope that she has more offerings in the future as I did like what I saw even if I could not justify the expense myself.

At least, not that day!

Written By Tesha

Oct. 13, 2019, 10:57 p.m.(1/5/1012 AR)

Relationship Note on Erasmus

On one of my recent trips to the Ebb and Flow I met a newly returned Lord of House Tyde. I look forward to showing him around the city sometime soon. Hopefully we won't get lost in the snow.

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