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Art and Music


Inks And Writing Implements

Answer: Q: Arx writes, a lot, but with what?

A: Quills are most common, and on parchment. Vellichorian Vellum is a rarer parchment used specifically for black journals that was started after the Great Fire of Arx, and Vellichorian Vellum is completely inflammable. To the point that Great Archive scholars have used the vellum to smother and extinguish fires.

Q: For Inks: Is black the go to with other ink colors exceptional rare, or is there some variety available?

A: First I hate you for making me google, 'The history of Inks' and reading through some of the most boring stuff imaginable. Other pigments are rare and very expensive, as they would be from grinding in rarer plant extracts, while animal glue and soot is readily available and the city size of Arx being a half a million people with the sheer quantity of commerce makes it able to keep up with black ink demands.

Q: For Pens: Do we use quills, dip pens, fountain pens, or something fancier?

A: Quills.

Q: Are pencils, either charcoal or lead, in use?

A: Not commonly no, graphite isn't frequently mined for it to catch on.

Marginalia in Books

Question: It used to be, prior to the printing press, that marginalia - the practice of writing notes in the margins of books - was seen as a good thing. There are some famous texts that have full translations into other languages in their margins, and even a few that were intentionally designed to have conflicting historical accounts in the same books that way from the period of the 100 year war. In Arx, what is the opinion of marginalia? Is it seen as a valid addition to works, or as a ruining of the original text? Is there perhaps a short example of why it is seen how it is?

Answer: Alternations of white journals doesn't happen due to fear of destroying text, it's intentionally done on vellum that is difficult to alter once it sets. But it's not uncommon at all for books to have maginalia as they don't have the same religious prohibition about the fear of loss of knowledge by potential destruction or alteration.

Music Instruments

Question: Q: What instruments might be used here? (Lyre, Lute, dulcimer, recorder/flute, harpsicord, something else?)

Answer: Any instrument that saw common, widespread usuage in europe by the 13th or 14th centuries. So harpsichord would be a no, as that didn't see widespread usuage till later, but pipe organs and clavichords saw use during that period as relatives. So stringed instruments that are probably okay: Harps, lutes, rebecs, psaltery, chittarone, citterns, dulcimers, gittern, viol, vielle, mandolin, mandore, clavichord. While for woodwinds, I more would want to avoid culturally specific instruments, like bagpipes I'd find too close a direct analogue for a specific region that's distracting, but anything that saw widespread usuage in the middle ages by the 14th century is fine (so flutes are fine). For percussion, unless someone is trying to desc a modern drum set, probably not going to be anachronistic.

Paean of the Faithful

Answer: (Intended to be sung as a choir, either of one voice, or as a round with three parts for each of the Tetrads.)

First Verse (All Together, even if sung in round.)

O sing, all ye believers, of Dawn and of Dream,
Of the gifts of the gods which we here receive.
O sing, Faithful and Pious, of Virtue awoken,
In every heart let Thirteen stand as One, unbroken.

Verse of Creation

I shall feed my hungry brethren; I nourish as a mother;
I shall honor soil and seed; I am fertile as a father;
I change as the world changes; I light the path ahead;
I return to my ultimate beginning; I face the end without dread;

Verse of Concepts

I swear no oath I shall not keep, I love without reserve;
I speak no lies before gods or men, I judge every soul by its deserve;
I accept the kindness of the gods, I give freely of my charity to all;
I keep no brother or sister in chains, I claim my choice come rise or fall.

Verse of Arts

I learn all the gods have to teach, I take in wisdom respite;
I act with every breath in honor, I surrender no righteous fight;
I create with hue and light, I bring forth new life with my every mark;
I praise the Dream Eternal; I swear my life to protect it from the dark;

The Silent Verse

(*This is a verse length time of silence; some Lycene claim that there was once a line or a verse to honor Tehom here, while the Oathlands strenuously disagree. Pragmatists have suggested the compromise that it may represent the Reflection, or simple contemplation, as one feels most appropriate.*)

Final Verse (Sung together, even in round.)

O sing, every heart enflamed by faith and love;
Let your voices rise to fair Elysium above;
Thirteen, to you we sing, this joyous day;
To you we give all honor; to you we pray.


Question: Q: So, I have some questions about setting appropriate music. I know that there is a goodly amount of leeway given for flavour items in the game as well as recognizing that the setting is not a direct analogue for RL history, but I've been noticing that there's several instruments that were invented about 300-400 years after the basic time period we've been directed to as reference. For example, pianos. Modern pianos, to be precise.

The inventor of the piano (then called an arpicembalo or "harp-harpsicord") worked for the Medicis at the sunset of their power (early 18th century), which is where we find the first unambiguous evidence of Cristofori's piano (1700 AD). Are we allowing instruments this late (Baroque period) to be used in the game? I have largely been RPing instruments and musical works associated with early music (Medieval and Renaissance). Further, if we are, are we using the modern day iterations of these later instruments? Technology has advanced significantly since the early Baroque years, and the sounds of modern instruments are drastically different from their earlier counterparts.

A: Baroque is just a little too late, imo, I would prefer trying to keep instruments to medieval and early renaissance. Dulcimer is okay, I think clavichord is pushing it imo but I think pianofortes is too far forward as much as I like piano music.