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Messages - merrychase

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I really enjoyed playing with Meryl. A very compelling mix of lightheartedness and tragic themes. Always elevated the roleplay.

And I appreciate the nonstandard barbarian strats :D well done!




2
Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Igor Morozov, Master of Monsters
« on: November 14, 2022, 06:35:23 AM »
Well done!


3
Suggestions / Re: Make Peerage PVP free between retainers and non retainers
« on: November 09, 2022, 07:08:03 PM »
The pvp rule boundaries with regards to peerage and other areas is not ideal, but it is rational for both setting reasons and practical reasons.

This suggestion strikes me as stemming more from sour grapes than well considered improvement.

The server is big, and so much of it is pvp-free that giving some characters more latitude to initiate single-party consent pvp without some balancing change could, overall, decrease the quantity and quality of roleplay and character interactions.

As for the complaint about some characters avoiding or minimizing exposure to pvp in NPC populated areas, that could very well be explained by in character reasons, e.g. those characters were forewarned about such a plot. But, even if its not, frankly it could say just as much about you as it does them as role-players. I would rather strive to have a conflict of this type be something all involved players can see as engaging, worthwhile, consequential, and consistent with the characters  and their interactions - and barring that, at least sportingly fair. This may be one reason why retainers are incentivized to engage in formal duels with honor stakes and so forth, rather than drive by shootings in the checkout line.

I really do think if players of retainers put their minds to it, they can come up with lots of other things to try or do in the sort of situation you have described; and indeed both examples in the past, and those offered in this thread are worth considering. Besides, being quick to subdue or kill people may not cement a character's reputation as a lawful authority figure of the realm. Currently, that does seem to me to be something a character has to establish and maintain, rather than be granted by membership status alone.

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Suggestions / Re: Remove Peerage doorkeeper or make Peerage non-PvP
« on: October 18, 2022, 07:41:26 PM »
Moving it inside the peerage might be a happy middle.

That is, the PVP rule boundary (a concept that may be necessary, though is not exactly natural) could remain where it is, since attacks by the doorkeeper's transition are not the only reason fights do occur in that area of the map. Though as you point out those occurrences because of the sendings are probably the most frequent and have a relatively high risk for generating rule violations/grievances/cheese.

And there's precedent for such an arrangement, e.g. Ticker had that, and the Drill to some extent has it, other doorkeeper in the rings have it.

Like you say, the issue isn't pvp free areas leading out to doorkeepers, or pvp not-free ones; both exist. Its a combination of it being frequently used and in an area where the distances make it prone to those sort of situations occurring where it can start but not finish because of the rules.

Doesn't address what I see as some of the less than ideal customs and practices around sendings, but that's probably a harder problem!

5

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Metamorphosis of Crowsong, the Death of the Willow

To affect the metamorphosis on the appointed day, we first followed Ser Wolfson into a grove deep below the surface, tended by myconiods.

There, we came upon Geriand in conversation with the fungus folk there. The fungus folk are keepers who abhor all manner of violence, who spend countless hours communing with great living web, and have in this way become wise to the currents and causes of life in the largest spans of time and space.

This grove was to be a great resevoir of life of all manner, during the long chill, and would, at the appropriate moment aid the full blossoming of Spring once the thaw had arrived. Indeed, that animals and plants of all kinds were led there to be spared the winter, had been one of the labors of a previous Groundskeepers, Ser Cecil Sommerset.

Geriand spoke to me there in that grove; he told us that the change would cast away the curse Zarano had placed on the line of Sunpurse and would serve to warm and keep the promise of spring and provide a means for mankind to survive the apocalypse of the onset of the Nothing. Though all these blessing would necessitate a great and heavy cost. He said that the circle we had diligently tended, hid and safeguarded these years past would be unmade, and that the Great Willow's life force would be required. He did not however explain that he himself would give of his body, and see his spirit transformed, along with Mai and Phelan. It is my considered opinion he reserved that price to be paid as a matter entirely of their own accounting.

Knowing then of some of the costs, ignorant of others, Geriand left the choice to us. As first among the Druids at the time, I agreed we ought proceed and see the change done. The men and women of Hulbert's cause likewise assented.

So we ventured, resolved from that place. We entered the manse quietly, from the catacombs. Aveline Pettwoode, Sweetgrass, Isaiah ibn Hazr, Elinny Irnimane, Hubert Borwyn, the Marquess de Fungal, Rin of Oldflowers, Ser Hulbert Wolfson, Mai the Dryad, and Phelan the Crowsong were present. We were transfixed by the presence of the boy - made quiet and demure as we each privately wondered what would happen next exactly; though the feeling that the axis of the world was turning in that very room was inescapable. Those few of us who remain who can speak and listen to the Spirits felt their hopeful clamor.

As Geriand and Mai took their positions for the rite, Phelan spoke softly to us gathered. He said simply that he had but one thing left to give onto us, for our service. He pardoned us. Absolved each there of their oaths to his noble line, all promises and obligations of fealty having been satisfied. He bid us one and all to go from that place, free - that the line of Sunpurse from that moment forward, was no more. That our charge was to flourish and survive.

Reader, of all the hopes I had placed in my young Lord, I confess to ye a smallness of spirit in that moment. In some ways, this was what I had most feared. I was, and perhaps always will be, of an obedient and nurturing disposition - to my Lady Audrey Oldflowers and the woe-form children we midwifed, to the Last Lord of Sunpurse, his Reeves and Knights, to Geriand and his promise to Desmond. These men and women, I submit to thee as proof that nobility, true nobility, can be found amongst us. That they would give of themselves fully for all our sakes, abandon position, station, even body, for our benefit and ask nothing, but instead lift some of the weight of our conscience and leave to us our freedoms not only intact but enlarged; it is this very quality paradoxically which makes their departure from our lives so painful. That we should have to live without their light.

And with the dawning realization that I would no longer be able to serve, we watched on as Geriand, Mai, and Phelan began the transformation - our part in stealing the aspects of nature finished, now our only use, to witness.

Their bodies such as they were would be given, their spirits transformed. The life of the Ancient Willow would be bent and reshaped, transformed to connect them. A new root of the world sprung from that place; the first time such has occurred since the ring walls were raised. Of what the Three in One said, I have recorded above in the previous chapter. For this account of that moment, I recall the words of my comrade, that orphan raised by Ser Hulbert, Sweetgrass.


Quote
Lord Sunpurse the Unconquered, the Tenth and the Last, led the ritual. His last command was the disbanding of House Sunpurse, a gift of our freedom to walk our own path, and the end of our oaths of duty to him.

Bid by his merciful heart, he chose to save the ungrateful people of the Peerage Ward, among many others who did not realize that they needed to be saved.

A terrible cycle of darkness and suffering has been sundered.

When the End comes, when the King turns his face away from this place and leaves us to die forgotten in the shadow of his contempt.

Then will the prophecy of Crowsong be fulfilled, for in his arms we will find salvation, a hearth unbroken, a Garden of Unconquered Hope.

A chance to survive. A door of sunlight. A place that will defy the sorrow of the coming void and the hate of the coming winter.

His are the hands of Spring.

Following the transformation, a crowd gathered, gobsmacked, and in a great confusion and wonder at the incredible sight of the three towering trees and abundant life that sprang forth. Monty Owlstone in some haste to pass judgment caused a minor stir. And yet, the crowd there instead of joining in riot, lowered weapons and bid one and all be at peace with one another in that place so clearly meant for peace. And so, for the brief moment, it was so. As I escorted the excited Owlstone from the grove, a brace of Orzans attacked just outside the grove. A regrettable melee ensued. It was in this riot that tragically Ser Hulbert Wolfson, the last Knight of Sunpurse, was slain by an Orzan.
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6
Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Haggahwhisp, the Visitor
« on: September 30, 2022, 05:18:28 AM »
A very textured character. Terrifying, mighty, uncanny, insecure, gullible, curious - he came alive from the screen, a very human portrayal . Credit to the form. Really enjoyed all the hours we got to play.

So many screenshots, but somehow this one seems the most fitting.




7
Screen Shots & Obituaries / Re: Fernando de la Vega, a simple ghost.
« on: September 26, 2022, 04:28:48 PM »
Not many characters that can pull off such a wide range: Fernando had plenty of light-hearted moments, but also deeply moving tragic ones. A joy to play with. Bravo.

Why did the man in black have a scarf of green?



Snow pressed on new lashes, flogged by Orzans for keeping the wrong company.


He was also a teenage mutant ninja turtle



8
Correspondence / Bartley Eustacius Fulmineth II
« on: September 25, 2022, 05:10:09 AM »
A simple note stuffed in an envelope addressed to Bartley Eustacius Fulmineth II let at Minchin's Boarding House

BEF,

I am familiar with the existence, but not all the contents Grynith's Grimoire, after having witnessed the dealings of Enesto the Turncoat with Brie Cesme.

Ye are certain - Soto-eg's name appears in that work?

-Rin of Oldflowers.

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Books and Publications of the City / The Seven Labors of Ser Hulbert Wolfson
« on: September 22, 2022, 06:17:19 PM »
Quote

-- The echos of three voices, made one, breathe into the open air of rings 99, 98, and 97 as though whispers upon the winds. They are warm, they are sudden, and they invade your thoughts with no resistance. --

Thus the curse is broken! Ten, the final time. Nine the last sacrifice.

In absolute resolve and finite determination have we sundered the final hold upon your freedoms.

A key is left with you. A path forward curved from Auld Stones.

By aspects stolen were these gifts delivered: By Unmeasured Growth, by Protection and Life, by Transformation, by Sacrifice, by breaking of Cycles; and by Purification of Blood.

We leave with you a Hearth for the long Winter.

Bereft of the Willow, the Curse, and given life by paths upon the Oldways.

Flourish and survive.

The Seven Labors of Ser Hulbert Wolfson

Ser Hulbert Wolfson was a Druid and Reeve who Desmond had entrusted with the task of instructing his son on both the manner and purpose of the change, to be completed before the curse could take effect. Ser Wolfson had witnessed the massacre of the Students. He knew that Orianna was an instrument of Zarano's by Geriand's auguries, and so had made the tent in the south eastern part of the park his dwelling after Desmond's murder, there to prepare and keep his oath. Though his hair was white, and his service to the Lords of Sunpurse had taken all his good years, and many more besides, he did not despair or sit idle. He charted the ley and the aspects of nature. He raised the orphans of the slain Students, and watched closely over those that yet remained who were loyal to Desmond, in the once but brief paradise of Willow Park.

Now that the young Phelan was returned to his ancestral home, among the ward, Zarano away on the drill, out past the whispering ways, and Orianna his mother undone as was described in the previous chapter, Ser Hulbert Wolfson knew his task was at hand. Phelan, Geriand, and Mai's part in the change was the greater, but not singular component required for the metamorphosis. He knew that seven Aspects of Nature were required, along with the Spirit of the Ancient. He gathered quietly the few who remained that had served Desmond, and would serve Phelan Crowsong. They were the following:

Sweet Grass - A young swordsman, and son of two Sunpurse gardeners who were slain in the massacre of the Students. He was raised since by Ser Wolfson.

Aveline Pettwoode - The last scion of the House Pettwoode, cousins to Sunpurse. A mystic whose parents had taught the rituals and the meaning of the Great Wheel from the vast desert.

Hubert Borwyn - A veteran footmen who had served Desmond. He sought redemption in service to Phelan for the shame he felt at having lost the father.

Myrd Duckweaver - A fowler who had remained in the Willow Park, following the death of Desmond, he had deserted from the House under Orianna.

Tiktika the Mighty - A mushroom farmer and Druid who was elevated to the rank of Wise One among the Students, a companion and teacher to Crowsong during his Guardianship by the Druids.

Rin of Oldflowers - A retainer of House Oldflowers, vassals to the House of Sunpurse who returned to renew their oaths on the event of Phelan's return in the Ward. Groundskeeper of Willowpark.

And so, Ser Wolfson and these few began the great labor of gathering the requisite Aspects of Nature. These aspects can be manifested at the conjunction of a place in nature where they are strongest. And yet such places are also known to powerful spirits who either love, or hate, covet or protect them, in accordance to the aspect. As is written above in this chapter, all who were present in the Ward the day the metamorphosis took place heard their names given sound. These names are but imperfect notions for these aspects, as nature does not conform itself always to fit man's tools to understand, yet they are instructive enough:

1. Unmeasured Growth
2. Protection
3. Life
4. Transformation
5. Sacrifice
6. Breaking of Cycles
7. Purification of Blood

We saw then in these works both wonders and horrors. We did great and good deeds to reach those places of power. We also committed crimes and outrages. I submit as personal testimony, that

I saw nightmares and altars to things terrible and dark, old as Agartha, dark offerings held by bones that once wore the colors of Flevas deep in the underwood, offerings to shadows and spiders beyond time and reason.

I bathed my hands in the blood of a spirit who was as pure as white snow, deep in the wilds of the Weald, and felt the world shake with cries.

We raged, grappled, and snapped - overpowering the baying pack of Scarvall's children in the Woe-formed wood.

We battled legions of the Old Masters before ziggurats, draped with great snakes who grew and ate their tails in a wild perfect balance.

We witnessed grotesquely beautiful mutated and overgrown gulls splashing in a great fountain as if it was a delicate bird bath.

I saw the withered bodies of retainers, staked and bled as offerings, blood ankle high, a dark tribute of loyalty before an altar surrounded by ghouls, tended as it was by the oldest liches and Rememberers in the cemetery of that still smells as that sweet flower.

These then were the labors of Ser Hulbert Wolfson we undertook. In each the old Druid manifested the aspect, in the end. Though the tasks were great and the guardians of all kinds mighty, and our pains many, our collective will did match the terrible and great things we resolved to do. The price was high. Not all of us survived. Moreover, these aspects left unguarded as they were, would in time fall under the power of the Fey, the subject of another chapter. Yet despite the prices, and their were yet more, the prize was a worthy one, and that is the subject of the next chapter; the metamorphosis of Phelan and death of the Willow.



 

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Books and Publications of the City / Return of Phelan, Death of Orianna
« on: September 20, 2022, 06:28:07 PM »

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The Return of Phelan, Death of Orianna

The Cinquefoil Rose rebellion did bloom, as planted and planned by Reeve Jodfry a'Valar, Actress Elizabetha d'Auvergne, Adrian Velstra, and others, about a year after the Count's return and occupation of the Peerage Ward. The Grand Vizier Sardistan was defeated, and the strange memories and visions of Arrenhius, in the old Sunpurse Manse by the Pond's shore were witnessed and indeed given human form, and not so very long after, came to pass onto Sverri the Small, parts of whose biography we have detailed in the previous chapter.

With the new reality of the Cinquefoil Rose rebellion, the tenancy of once widowed, now remarried to the object of that rebellion, Orianna nee Sunspyre was a difficult political fact to reconcile. Anders Orza wanted to marry her, others wanted her dead no doubt. Many were as of yet unaware of her true nature, and perhaps regarded her, as always, a widow worthy of pity and admiration. This thorny issue however was resolved seemingly miraculously by the sudden and well-planned kidnapping of her person by the undead forces of the Pallid Prince from the Sunpurse Manse inside the Ward. The Pallid Prince who dwelled in his city of bones in the darkest crypts of Ergnyium was an ancient and powerful lich, who required for his pleasures and indeed his immortality, wives. And so this is why he seized Orianna. That is three men who have had the dubious honor of being Orianna's husband, Lord Desmond who she murdered, Zarano the Wight, and the Pallid Prince.

With now both Zarano remote on his drill, but opposed by the Cinquefoil Rose, and the murderess Oriana under the power of the Pallid Prince, Reeve Cooper Crum and many of the remaining Students saw that both the circumstances and time was upon them to return Phelan to the Ward to reclaim what remained of his inheritance there. His Guardianship thus took new form and meaning as the many nobles were stunned by his reappearance from his years spent missing and his presumed death, and now evident safekeeping by the Druids. On one hand, a return to the line of Desmond following the usurpation by Zarano could be a source of healing and unity to that ancient House in exactly the time it was needed, on the other hand, it was clear now to everyone that Desmond's Druidism though extremely unpopular, had in fact saved his House, not destroyed it.

Whatever the sentiments among the nobles of the Ward at the boy's return and his strange guardians, Phelan's plea to see his mother returned could not easily by cast aside. Widows and mothers in distress are a potent symbol, that she was remarried to someone who could have rescued her and wanted to murder her own child  was not well understood at the time and so did not diminish this power, and so a lengthy and hard fought campaign did follow to recapture the Lady Orianna and defeat the Pallid Prince. That campaign was ultimately successful in those aims, though it should be remarked that the defeat of the Pallid Prince did serve Zarano's object of advancing his drill through the 92nd. Thus it stands to some reason that Zarano may have engineered the kidnapping of his own wife so that the noble Houses, in rebellion or not, could at least once more be bent to his intent. House Orza and its Knife Manfred Japes, who in many ways took command of the enterprise, had also the aim to claim the 92nd ring, where to this day they collect revenues. Orza therefore was willing to subscribe to any cause to war, even a seemingly good one, at the hazard of helping Zarano whom all the Houses joined the Rose to oppose.

Immediately following their victory, the armsmen returned to the Ward with Orianna, who was, by all accounts, some manner of wight herself now, following the dark wedding traditions of the Pallid. A confusing scene passed inside Moonspear Castle, whereby Guisppe used some manner of divination to declare Phelan indeed, not a pretender, but the true article and Lady Oriana, now double-wife to a Vampire and Lich tried to also to double the number of murders of Lords of Sunpurse. She was struck down by Knights and adventurers alike, while trying to plunge her own dagger into Phelan. And so this insidious pawn, placed artfully as some avatar of the Lady in Waiting by Zarano, was finally undone.

And it is then in this time, where hardly had the tears of these fresh sorrows dried on the boy's face, that Ser Hulbert Wolfson, began in earnest the instruction of Phelan on the means discovered by his father and Geriand to free his line from the curse Zarano had used to cull its years and also yoke the Ward.



Quote
-- All the Count's rubies and all the Count's men couldn't put Orianna back together again. In a dark tomb turned viridian, a boy is attended by hints of horror and shadows that slither but shouldn't. His hands gingerly hold an instrument. Fiddling, while his soul burns. --

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-- His magistrate attends him, offering the boy imperatives masqueraded as choices. The youth considers, soft in the face but hard in the eyes. The certain sense that something is about to transpire causes many a neck hair to tingle. And time, free again from illegality, inches on... --


11
Books and Publications of the City / NB, How old is the Peerage?
« on: September 13, 2022, 05:37:02 PM »
A foote note appears

Nota Bene: As it bears some relevance on claims and counter claims regarding the history of the Fey Courts and their associations with mankind, in particular the Peerage Ward, consider the following estimate for the age of the Ward.

In the History of the Rings, Volume II, which is copied in the Senuspur Library next to Dorvant's bridge, you will find named three houses as those who founded the Peerage Ward following the events of the Daring Swords. They are Moonspear, Skybloom, and Sunpurse.

Inside the Grove of Phelan, you will find an account of the nine Lords of Sunpurse, and their deaths, all of which occurred, as has been described above, on their thirty-fifth birthday. Phelan was about ten years old at the time of his metamorphosis. On average let us suppose that each of the Lords of Sunpurse gave issue to his heir at age twenty five. That then figures as nine times twenty five plus an additional ten years for the last of Sunpurse's line, Phelan.

The Peerage ward is about 235 years old.

12

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Fury of Winter and the Rite of Sverri the Small

With the transgression of the cycle of seasons by Haremarch, a reaction manifested from the Winter Court.

The Arch-fey of that court, named Eg-iln-ribs-soto-eg, stirred from their more usual pastoral past times a number of its most energetic courtiers. These fey-touched beings belonged to its Court by virtue of pacts and bargains with mankind. Names such as Moreau and Goldcrest tell of these exchanges, nobles and gentlemen who gave of their children to the Fey for causes and reasons now lost to us.

Besides, the Winter Court's princeps had long nursed a vengeance against the walled city in the outer ring; some manner of betrayal or slight or cunning reversal on a pact it had suffered some generations ago. The precise nature of that slight is still hidden from your historian, though she believes it is knowable. A matter of insight and observation, though the Fey rarely deign to explain more than necessary for their own ends. That Winter follows the cursed House of Ghyl or that its snowy influence bedecks those rings marked by the King's ire perhaps some indication.

Whatever the totality of motives is, recent transgressions by Haremarch, ancient scores left unsettled or others, the outcome is known to your historian. A rite was devised by Soto-eg. Its purpose was to generate among mankind strong emotions of despair, humiliation, anger. The Fey crave and make use of such passions and feelings to craft their glamours. It is also the case that the most practiced and powerful Fey design such spells to cause and strengthen on the very feelings and passions they inspire in man.

And so these courtiers were dispatched to affect this new rite that would cause in mankind a great wave of grim and dire emotions: the rite was to humiliate a champion from each of the Great Houses of the Ward. The courtiers were quick to fan out and make allies and smaller pacts of all kinds to affect their ends. Aatish Aldebrand for example had some manner of understanding with the courtiers. Sverri the Small would enter into their service. Jett Moreau himself approached your historian with an offer, during her troubles with Manfred Japes and the massacre of her Lady Oldflowers and huscarls. The first House to suffer was Lyon's recently returned banner. A formidable woman named Carmine fell to some ambush laid by the Courtiers and her head was removed, as the rite describes. Though it was at some cost to their own number, shortly after a pair of courtiers involved in this ambush were killed by Quick-footed Mebril and other Moonspear bannermen.

The Courtiers meanwhile proceeded with their charge; one such courtier for example tried to overcome Ser Adrian Velstra in a duel, though was unsuccessful. However, the courtiers used any means, and enlisting the aide of Sverri the Small turned out to be their most fruitful and productive in the long run. Eg-iln-ribs-soto-eg was able to use Sverri's dedication to his awoken patron god, Gnipir, and his religiously inspired pre-disposition towards longing for snowy apocalypses to form a powerful pact. Indeed, Oliver Merryweather, and later your own historian witnessed Sverri entering into the sanctum of Soto-eg in the Weald, having been marked by his favor. It is said that the pass-words at the time were "Fimbulvetr is anon," or at least that was the phrase Pavlina had seized from his memory later.

Of Sverri's life and works, much more could and has been said - the fateful choice to place the Augury of Arrenhius with Vivian. Her subsequent death, his bargain with Ishmenka Blacksmile to see her, and other augurs' memories restored in own mind and body, his then connection to the Mists though not entirely unrelated, are also not the subject of this account. What is important however is that he was a patient and diligent lieutenant of the Court, and cleverly used his oversized reputation as Augur to maneuver the Houses to accomplish his goals. For example, he led a rather mighty coalition of Houses into the Court of Summer and there did some violence to the Lord of Knots, the Arch-fey of Summer, and counted-coup against the Seat of Summer with an icy spell.

He also bid his time. And it so came he was in position to capitalize on the humiliation in Glitt Hall and subsequent assassination on the streets of Manfred Japes of Orza by Merryweather and the sturdy pair of Belmore bravos. Brie Cesme, once a servant of Oldflowers but now an Orzan had revealed that Manfred had entered into a rather elaborate contract with a powerful Devil. In that confusion and aftermath of that civil strife and death of a knight, Sverri cut off Manfred's head. It is also known that Sardistan, the Vizier of Senuspur has his head staked in the Winter Court sanctum. This historian had at times seen Manfred with that grim trophy, so I assume it was at the same point Sverri also took that part of the offering for Soto-eg's rite from the slain Manfred.

Some time later, in a not entirely dissimilar manner as in the case of Orza's humiliation, Ser Adrian of Velstra was captured by the warlord Hrorgjar during an action in the steadings of that campaign, and the knight's form was changed by the powerful witchstones the warlord had gathered. Sverri positioned himself as an envoy to treat with the woe-formed, and sue for the return of Adrian or his death. Sverri took the humiliated son of Norbert's head.

And so it came to pass that four of the five components of the rite were gathered and given to Winter's Court. The fifth, the humiliation of Glitt, however would prove to be Sverri's undoing. Sverri had invited Kinsley Greylocke and Pavlina, the tutor of Lady Belmore, into the Le Bleak estate. Sverri had abandoned his well appointed rooms in the Velstra Velvet shortly after his maneuver against the Lord of Knots - perhaps it no longer served his aims after that attack, or perhaps he wished to better obscure his intentions from the Velstrans. Whatever the exact causes or means, Le Bleak had died and mysteriously named Sverri his inheritor, and so Sverri had use of the small estate in the Gatelands for his occupation.

It was at this meeting that his many ambitions, pacts and obligations came to head. I have heard it reported by the Skratti that he gave the choice of what to do to Kinsley - complete the rite by offering herself freely, or instead kill him and pass the mantle of Augur to Pavlina. Or perhaps he simply tried to complete the rite and was overcome by the pair of women. The outcome is certain however, Kinsley and Pavlina slayed Sverri and your historian witnessed his body carried out of the estate and buried outside in the garden, under the Royal Favor flowers still blooming in the frost.

And so the rite of Winter was for a time left incomplete. The courtiers roused for the mission had either been killed, Goldcrest for example was delivered to Ojo, or disappeared. Their agents and allies for the time being fell and overcome. Pavlina meanwhile was given to a great confusion, as the sudden transference of the Augurs' memories was a great burden on her mind. Eventually, your historian witnessed her companions, Sorcha the Goat, Earc the Fair, Albert the Best Soul, and her fellow Druids, beloved brothers and sister, Taban who Goes Unseen, Jacho Bunts Alder Kars Cybel Lukeson, and Moonsent Brie Cesme, cross the great desert and pass the gates of Baz'eel towards the Last Keep. They reached the Keep, and whatever they found there, it granted them the means to see Pavlina's mind restored. At once she was made clear and comprehensible again after a flash of a mist sent vision. Immediately upon this miracle, Pavlina heralded that the Winter which grown in power since the rite's commencement would wane, and spring would soon arrive. The Skratti that Sverri had gathered who yet remained re-dedicated themselves to her augury and purpose.


13
Books and Publications of the City / Rin and Hog's Strange Log
« on: September 03, 2022, 11:03:51 PM »
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14
Correspondence / Re: Rin Farrell
« on: September 01, 2022, 06:38:48 PM »

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Brother,

It is true, once not so long ago it was clearer to me how best to love all my brothers and sisters.

Yet in this I see perhaps the largest failing of man's love; it grows in proportion to its return.

To put it another way, consider: it is good to give a buttered heel of bread at a banquet to one's fellow feaster.

But it is also easy to do.

Now imagine you're the heel of bread. To still love the feaster then?

Much harder to do.

But in fact, that is how the Moon loves. If that strikes ye as in-human, well that's because it is, but in a good way.

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As for hidden understanding and wisdom, ye know I have not the knack for stating my opinions and conjectures as if they were natural law as some do. Nor frankly have I any desire to hide much of anything. However, I have taken some pains to better know and understand the changes of our current age, so I will write ye some of what I have gathered. Probably wasted words to some we know, but ye have a curious mind, so perhaps it may help thee some.

The aspects of nature that I helped to steal, and the guardians myself and my fellows bedecked in the rising sun slayed, have indeed permitted the fey to ascend and claim more than once they did. The cycles of seasons, was one such aspect, of the seven.

However, the fey are not incomprehensible, inevitable or even irresistible. Their glamours in fact grow in power measured to the tribute they receive. That tribute, strange as it sounds, it isn't actually spiked heads and smoking murder or wanton slaughter. Those are the means, not the end. The end, the tribute, is the passions they cause; the anger, hatred, humiliation, despair in that example.

Or, to put it another way, if ever ye find yourself passionately believing this or that was true, has always been true, and ye must do this or that mighty, terrible deed to fulfill the prophecy; you're right. That's the way the glamour works. It is like the love of man in that regard. The more of it that is done and felt, the more of it there is.

So, a man for example might believe Summer lasted a hundred years, and that only by honoring an ancient pact of vengeance by spilling the blood of say a camp of huscarls and fishermen, can he do what was foretold by the chosen prophet of his great and terrible patron, and change the seasons (or forestall the apocalypse of the Nothing, the desires of men can be manifold)

Whereas I know, Rin and her fellows fully broke the cycle of seasons, in these outer rings at any rate, among other things, not a 100 years ago, but about half a year ago in order to affect the metamorphosis of Phelan. It may be that Sverri the Small, an awoken and Adeptus of Gnipir, a divinity he remembers from before his arrival in the city, was in fact not an immaculate prophet of a hitherto unidentified godhead of this city for some singular purpose. Indeed, the appearance of Gnipir, and the other wolves of his pack is either the most important revelation about the connection of the worlds of the awoken we know of; or it is a glamour of the Fey to get people to do what they want. Which do ye reckon seems more likely?

Why does Gnipir not seem to really know about the burning wolf? That's a rather convenient reinterpretation of that faith and story. Why does he appear and disappear, grow in size, but only in connection to the Winter Court? As far as gods go, seemed like the pair of us could have done him in when we fought him a couple of weeks ago; not even the hardest thing the two of us have had to fight. So are /we/ godlike? When Pavlina took Sverri's life, and his mist-connected augury of Arrenhius, that mysterious relative of the king, at that time, it was quite a different interpretation - spring was heralded, some new hope filled the men of the ward, winter lingered, but didn't heighten; its power checked for a spell somehow.

Or perhaps its something else, and I'm only seeing what's false, but not what's true. My larger point is this, as I cling to some hope, my brothers and sisters still have full use of their minds and senses. When it comes to fey pacts and the stories they tell and what they want, they can mix history and fancy as easily as any man. Moreover, if ye wish to better know what it is they want, consider how what they ask or maneuver ye to do and how it makes ye feel, or how it will make the many feel. That will give ye insight into its motive. The fey have been involved in the affairs of mankind in this city for a long time; often tricking men into getting what they want and by twisting the desires of men. Occasionally, I am told, men have succeeded in tricking the fey. If they promise ye exactly the object of your heart's desire (appeasing your god, taking power, being feared, forestalling the Nothing) ye may get that, or may not, but whatever it is ye seek, its not what the fey are after from the bargain.

These recent changes are not inevitable, the Fey have new and greater powers over nature because of things I and others did; and because they have succeeded in getting the tribute they sought. Man, or really men, get a say in what happens, according to their wisdom and ability. 

If it happens ye and the others know all that, and rather don't really care, well. That strikes me as in-human, but in the bad way.

-Rin of Oldflowers

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P.S. Letters take time and patience; thinking and understanding, sharing and consideration. They don't really involve much doing. Reckon that could tell ye something good and bad perhaps about those that like them and those that don't.


15
Correspondence / Little Leaf
« on: August 31, 2022, 07:20:12 PM »

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Little Leaf,

I was impatient and unkind.

My cares and troubles multiply, and I gave into a dark mood of some despair at my own smallness.

That loathing was misplaced, it was for myself, but I set some of it on thee.

Ye asked earnestly for my help and perhaps to teach ye what little I know, and in a way, for us to mend and grow, and better change.

I had no standing to dismiss it as I have done. In truth, I think  I owe ye far, far more than what ye asked.

I'll try again, and be better friend to thee than I was.

-Rin of Oldflowers



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