Author Topic: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread  (Read 24527 times)

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Howlando

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on: January 20, 2019, 05:51:39 AM
Chapter 1 - Escape from the Underdark

Chapter 2 - Escaped from the Underdark: Archipelago

Chapter 3 - Escape from Undeath: Mistlocke

Chapter 4 - Escape from Uncertainty: Revelations

And now the story of EFU breaks from its tales of the End & Apocalypse to turn to a different time and place, slumbering sleepers confronting a whole new region of the realms.

A recent surge of travellers through the Rings have descended upon Ring 99.....
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 04:11:28 PM by Howlando »



Ironside

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on: January 26, 2019, 03:11:06 AM
The 99th Ring of the City shakes and thunders with the voice of the Herald.  But this eve, he does not announce the arrival of a dispense of the King's table... but the first of the royal taxes...

A tithe of blood and revelry is to be taken from all in the Ring, as the Tourney of Awakening is called.

The Five Houses of the Peerage convene, and as is their duty invested by the distant King, aim to compete for the prize...

...the right to claim the mysterious 99th Banner, the mystical artifact conferring stewardship of the Ring to whomever holds it.

A grand melee is called to ring in the week of Tourney, and Jagga Brissthbene emerges from the bloodied arena, soaring high on his victory.

And so the games begin...



Vlaid

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on: February 01, 2019, 10:08:32 AM
On the heels of a long day of violence, bloodshed and scandal that ran through the streets of the Peerage unchecked, the Royal Archivist made a sending late in the evening.

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City Sending by The Royal Archivist : Hark, Retainers and Peers of the ward. Gather yourselves before the old gates of the Peerage with steel away prepared to engage in a forgotten art of conversation. There will be a reckoning for the deeds done this day.

An elderly and singularly displeased figure stood just inside the gates of the Peerage in the dark of night, rain dampening not just the cloaks but the spirits of all in attendance as the Royal Archivist addressed the the crowd .

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"Today many of you have forgotten who you are, you have forgotten yourselves in the preening for stature between the houses. I do not fault you for this, it is one of the oldest traditions to the Peerage, but you have forgotten today why the houses  stand over this ward and from where you draw you claim to nobility. It is not so you can send this ward into open war and stain it red with the blood of one another's houses. It is not so that you can send the streets into the chaos of unending war and strife in ever greater displays of violence. You have disrupted the natural order of this ward, the charge of all five houses."

The Royal Archivist rose a crooked and aging finger in the rain and wagged it at the the gathered crowd of the Peerage in a somewhat absurd display of admonishment.

"The houses stand to maintain this ward. Have you forgotten the tradition of challenge and duel? The prestige your houses strive for by besting one another in public displays befitting your houses? Do not answer, I know the answer. You have. Now we must lower ourselves, to replace once proud and old traditions with something lesser....laws. This Ward will have order to it! No more will the Peerage be stricken by war and bloodshed across our streets! Forbidden, these debase acts of violence between the houses through the streets of our Ward except by rite of challenge from this day henceforth!

This shall be known as the First Law of the Peerage, the platform from which all other laws will stand. You five houses will now decide how it shall be enforced and how all laws to follow shall be. I have done my duty, now you all /will/ do yours for our King."

At the end of the Royal Archivist's address to the Peerage, a scroll detailing this First Law was tacked to the wall of a guard tower and he departed to leave the houses to bicker and argue over how the laws of the ward aught to be.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 10:13:22 AM by Vlaid »



Pigadig

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on: February 02, 2019, 07:43:53 AM
Whilst the Peerage's tourney events continue unabated, all has not been well in Ticker Square.

Today a swarm of oversized insects broke through the cobblestones of the Square itself, bursting out to attack all they could encounter. It was only thanks to a group of valiant defenders enduring the corrosive liquids spat at them and the sharpened mandibles lunged at them that the Square was held. The insects eventually were driven back into the depths.

Oddly, after the chaos subsided, witnesses spoke of strange details: the insects dragging the fallen back with them into the depths, along with anything else they could put their mandibles upon; an oddly shaped and differently coloured insect seemingly scurrying about, observing the whole situation from behind the rest of the chitinous hordes.

Whilst many took shelter after the onslaught in the Open Door, a few hardy souls ventured elsewhere in search of the creatures. Eventually they returned victorious, with a dead example of the odd observer insect, along with a few rescued fallen from the Square battle.

With the residents of Ticker Square growing afraid of potential further attacks, eyes have turned expectantly to the secretive Stonebuilder's Guild in order to repair the damage and to bolster the defences of their home. It is said that after some odd ritual involving some Ringrunners of Ticker's Square that the Stonebuilder's have stated that once again their ranks will open to new artisans and defenders: but only when the portents of the stone say it is the right time...



Ironside

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on: February 16, 2019, 05:59:21 AM
The Tourney of Awakening has ended, and the Peers have their victor...

Destrier's panted and lances shattered, as the five houses pitted riders 'gainst one another in the tilt of the Joust; and the House Orza won itself no small prestige in claiming victory there... however...

Having triumphed in the preliminary games, and by the venomous blade of Errilam the Viper of Velstra, Lord Norbert's house now holds the sacred and ancient Banner of the King. 

Though much mystery surrounds the particular nature of this artifact, what is known is that the Houses all covet it; for the halls in which it flies are blessed with fortune, and the favor of their distant monarch.

And so with the close of Tourney, so too lift the bonds of peace (however tenuous they may've been!) between the five prime families of the Peeage Ward. 

The Banner hangs high in Velstra Vale...

...And flies boldly in the mind's eye of those who'd aim to steal it...
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 06:01:49 AM by Ironside »



Abala

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on: February 26, 2019, 12:23:54 AM
A great wedding was held recently at the Velstra Vale.

Errilam the Viper, victor of the King's Tournament, was allowed to take the hand of the lovely Emily Winespill, bastard daughter of Lord Norbert Velstra, in marriage.

Things began peacefully, with much feasting, merriment, and indulgence. The lords and ladies of the Ward were all in attendance. Just as the ceremony concluded, however, the "gift" from Kristoff Orza was unwrapped. A host of serpents came slithering out, stinging and biting at the groom. Soon after, reality itself wobbled over the slain reptiles, and terrible creatures of rot and disease spilled forth- creatures that were quick to kidnap the bride and abscond with her.

The groom lead a coalition of retainers from Sunpurse and Velstra, along with some members of the "Ordo Arcanum", through the opened seam, where they traversed a realm of boils and pustules. There they fought and defeated a hooded mage who spoke of the great powers held within the Banner of the Peers, and how the House of Velstra was quick to misuse them for pointless purposes.

While the bride was rescued, and seems hale and hearty, many accusations are now hurled across the Peerage Ward. Was this the work of the envious armies of Orza? The scheming sorcerers of Nephezar? Some outside party yet unknown? Few have any good answers, and all parties are quick to deny involvement.

All the while, the Banner billows high within the Vale...

Inviting.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 12:26:19 AM by Abala »



Pigadig

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on: March 17, 2019, 05:20:10 AM
Chaos has afflicted Ring 99.

It started simply, with a gathering of clouds over the Ring and a strange sensation filling the air. This was followed quickly by more oddities - individuals in all populated areas of the Ring reported sudden onsets of darkness and silence, before their senses returned to them.

This simplicity did not last long, as loud, mindboggling sound of tears in the fabric of the City's reality began to form. Grasping shadowy forms spewed forth seeking any of the living they could find.

Though the tide was initially beat back, a larger threat soon loomed. Darkness began to spill forth over the walls and through the gate to Ring 100 and perhaps even further afield through the Rings. Gigantic and monstrous warpings of reality soon followed in the wake of the tide.

Eventually the combined might of the forces of Ring 99 beat back the shadowy threat. Yet something has changed now. Nothing quite feels the same and many report feeling like they are being watched by someone or something.

Reports quickly began to surface of one, two, or even more shadowy duplicates of friends and relatives forming amongst the dwellers of Ring 99. Some act like those they have mimicked. Others seem to act as a mockery to all their originals stand for. Regardless, while many seem to be violent, the majority are at a minimum hedonistic - as if seeking to quench an endless thirst for experiences.

Into this chaos have stepped forth the Arbiters of the Hundred Scrolls. Nearly silent within their Cube for a long time now, the disruption and chaos inflicted by this planar and duplicate invasion has broken their meditation. Those residents of Ring 99 old enough to remember their last period of activity speak in hushed whispers about their deeds and likely activities. A mixture of fear and hope fills the heart of many, for while the Hundred Scrolls seemingly encourage its Arbiters to deal with things many would consider threats... they have a habit of viewing other, supposedly minor, matters with an equally baleful eye.



Dillusionist

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on: March 31, 2019, 01:19:55 AM
Strange lights and ethereal music filled the rings last night. Now, all of Ring 99 is abuzz with rumor that a retainer of House Velstra has made a pact with the Laughing God. The details vary: some say one of their retainers stole the face of a more beautiful woman; others speak of a Nephezaar servant having undergone a strange transformation to suit Lord Norbert`s predilections.

Velstra is no stranger to scandal and gossip, of course. The dignified Lords and Ladies of the Peerage cluck their tongues, and dandies at the Groat laugh in their cups. Still, there are whispers that Changeling mischief has wormed its way into the Vale. Servants speak of fretful nobles  pleading for their children, or at least the heirs, to avoid the Endless Feast...



Pigadig

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on: March 31, 2019, 05:38:31 AM
It began in the early dawn of the day: multiple Doorkeeper Whispers made by the erratic and newly sworn-in Retainer of House Velstra, Sylyn Nine-Fingers demanding a duel with the equally erratic former Retainer of House Orza, Siobhan Diomasaigh, who was currently well known to be seeking shelter within House Nephezar's Refuge. Those Whispers were met with reply by the challenged and both parties met upon the Peerage Ward bridge.

In confusing circumstances involving a large group of on-lookers from Ticker Square and Retainers from Houses Orza, Velstra and Nephezar, rumours state that the two madwomen whispered and yelled at one another for hours in the rain, until they parted, seemingly having decided not to fight.

As many were preparing to depart, it seemed that Siobhan had not had her fill of chaos for one day, and chose this moment to heavily insult her betrothed, Adrian Winespill. Whether united in genuine outrage or feigned, the Velstran Retainers jumped at his demands to subdue his future bride, who was swiftly brought low - alongside an onlooker and a few Orzan Retainers who decided to protect their traitor, for reasons unknown.

It is said that his bride was dragged by him personally to the gallows of the Ward, perhaps to be hung, or at the least tortured with some sort of impromptu "trial". This was soon disrupted however by the arrival of Lord Norbert Velstra, who, in disgruntled fashion, berated his bastard son for seeking a way out of the betrothal he had begged his father for and summarily ordered that the wedding he had bestowed the two was to occur immediately.

The wedding was held swiftly and surprisingly uneventfully, given the name of the Lord of Revelry was invoked by the foul and obese priestess presiding over it. Yet those present report that the bride and groom were unhappily wed, whispering venomously at one another from the start to the very end of the ceremony.

Additionally, a public declaration was forthcoming from Lord Norbert that: Siobhan would join House Velstra as Siobhan Winespill, that she would cease wearing Orzan colours and that she would no longer seek shelter within House Nephezar.

What further chaos will come from such a union is unknown, but is eagerly anticipated by the gossip mongers of both Ticker Square and the Peerage Ward...




Halfbrood

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on: April 01, 2019, 11:40:11 AM
Over the past weeks, whispers of some manner of strange creature being released into the City were rampant, as well the involvement of the Ordo Arcanum; some speak of foul pacts with beasts from unknown planes, others speak of foolish errors these so called experts made within their ritual summonings, though none but those that were present truly know the specifics, tongues wag all the same.

Though the rumours swiftly died down, and in particular recently the creature seemed to have disappeared, they seem to have begun to be heard once more. The creature, it is said, is some manner of cat-like being from parts unknown, imprisoned by parties unknown for crimes equally so. More specifically, the rumours speak of how  the creature appeared to a representative of the Guild of Merchants and posed a simply bargain.

Planar secrets, artifacts and goods from the far corners of the multiverse, in return for the Guild's protection and resources as it completes its research into the City.

The thoughts on the matter are split, though few at this time know the Master's own minds on the situation, the people of Ticker are equally wary of such a deal, outright hostile to the prospect, whilst others find themselves drawn to the chance at profit-making enterprises such as has never been seen within the City, nor the Ticker Square markets at any point in the past.

What is certain, the deal will occupy much of the Guild's time in the coming days, and the outcome will have great impact , for good or ill, upon the Ward for much time to come.



SkillFocuspwn

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on: April 05, 2019, 09:48:44 AM
Ticker Square is abuzz surrounding the offer of the mysterious Ib'javi the Unbound and the rift between the Guildmasters made evident by it; to many less savvy of the Tickers and the newly Awoken who assumed the organisation to be a front united, rumours of their politicking and of a proxy struggle called by the Rumour Mill "the Groat Wars" comes as a great shock, with conflicts that had been long simmering under the surface come forth.

As to the nature of Ib'javi, there is little consensus; a small but vocal minority insist it is a creature of evil incarnate which dines upon the newborn and seeks to enslave the City with insidious enchantments, though the majority dismiss this as nonsense, stating the Guildmasters would not even be considering the offer if such were the case. Equally few, however, are those who believe it to be an honest and forthright being with the best interests of mortals at heart; claims that it is a Changeling queen, a ruler of some fiery Seam, or a Wizard whose magicks have twisted its form are common, with fantastical stories of the woe it may inflict or the wonders it might bring on every tongue.

Known vocal opponents of the deal include Ted Shopkeepson and the controversial Tristan Caerfal, though many view their arguments as overly moralistic; they have yet to strike a chord with the pragmatic mercantile mindset of the Square who fear no divine judgment and do not wish to be preached to. Another who stands against it is Beodda Aethwin of the Blooded Shields, whose public letter has fared a little better, though his sudden and mysterious elevation to Guild Member is whispered about often, with many guessing which of the Masters' pockets he lies in and some dismissing him outright as a puppet..

Though it is common knowledge that at least one of the Guildmasters is strongly in favour of accepting Ib'javi's offer, that side has been quiet so far. The gossip-hungry population has fallen back on rumours and hearsay; some guess that Guildmaster Tchammorar of the Adamantine Vault would want to accept the offer, with those arguing it pointing at the Kobold slaves already in his employ, and the Minotaur who supposedly protects the bank, to show he is no stranger to profiting from less savoury elements. Others say that Laura Bucklebeak and her Blackstone Mercenaries must be in favour of the deal, calling it the justification for the rivalry between her and Ted Shopkeepson in the first place. There has been no statement from anyone thus far though; in the silence, the name Ib'javi is slowly but surely sullied by its detractors with none come to its defense.

And through it all, the eager reporters of the Rumour Mill can be seen flitting here and there, interviewing the citizenry or joining the secretive meetings of the Guild Members, eager to stoke the flames...



SkillFocuspwn

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on: April 10, 2019, 11:08:48 AM
It has been a busy (and bloody) few days in Ring 99; across both the Peerage and Ticker Square spreads salacious gossip of honour, greed and murder.

In the Peerage, Velstra has stood ascendant for months now, the Banner of the King flying proudly in their courtyard. Errilam the Viper, their most feared retainer, has grown fat and contended in a life of luxury, unrivaled by any of the other Houses. All of this may be set to change, however, after a series of brutal raids performed by House Orza. Some speak of underhanded assassinations, others of open warfare upon the streets of the Peerage; one tale that has gained a lot of traction is of Kristoff Orza himself decapitating a Velstran presented to him. However, all that is known for certain when the dust settled is that Orza seemed to be the victors of the day, their name which had once been crowed mockingly through whispers by the Velstrans feared once more. Whether this was mere blind violence, or the beginning of a plan from the upstart House to secure the Banner for themselves is yet to be seen...

In Ticker Square, meanwhile, the Groat Wars rage on. With renewed purpose, the supporters of Ib'javi the Unbound have flooded the markets with posters in defense of free trade and a Ticker Square free from outside involvement; the Arbiters of the Hundred Scrolls are discussed often, with many citizens of the Square indignant at the idea of these foreign zealots meddling in their affairs. Despite this, a strong undercurrent of resentment still brews; although there are few big names beyond Beodda of the Blooded Shields standing actively against Ib'javi, there are many producing posters and sendings decrying the creature  and calling out to stop the deal.

More exciting to the gossipers are the whispers of foul murder done against a local Priest who was known to speak out often about Ib'javi. Precisely why he was killed is unknown, though many believe it obvious that the ruthless supporters of the deal are undergoing a campaign to silence their rivals. Others still tell convoluted tales of an Orzan spy sent to the Square to spread discord, blaming the entirety of it on the interference of the Peerage.

Of most interest to the adventuring populous, however, are the posters proclaiming a grand tournament hosted by a number of Guild Members in support of Ib'javi. The winner, it is said, will receive a grand prize crafted by the creature itself; however, this is not all they fight for. Whoever victors in these blood sports will also receive a front page interview with the Rumour Mill, and be given a chance to influence the ever-burning decision of whether the Planar being should be allowed in Ticker Square immensely...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 04:06:00 PM by SkillFocuspwn »



SkillFocuspwn

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on: April 18, 2019, 02:57:56 PM
With the vote regarding the fate of Ib'javi the Unbound mere days away, Ticker Square is abuzz with trepidation. Rumours speak of tense rivalries between Guildmasters Webber and Tchammorar, of other Masters changing their allegiances at the last moment and of Guildmembers and outsiders alike busily working away at propaganda and skulduggery to secure their desired outcome.

The consequences of the Ticker Tournament, held last week, are still echoing; the champion Wilbert Thornspike spoke high words of praise for Ib'javi and for the freedom of Ticker Square trading for all to see on the front page of the Rumour Mill, and is rumoured now to be in the employ of Mr. Blacks himself, a well-known advocate of the Unbound and the host of the tournament. While some call the whole thing obviously rigged, this and the interview with Ib'javi that stood alongside it seem to have dispelled some of the concern regarding the creature.

While those within the Guild opposing Ib'javi seem to have fallen silent, gossip of their backroom dealings is plentiful; where precisely word first came out nobody is quite sure, but it seems common knowledge that Uld's convictions have changed after a meeting with a number of them. What has followed this absence of vocal opposition from the establishment of Ticker Square is a series of anonymous and defamatory posters and publications; images of Ticker Square in thrall to the feline creature are common sights on publication boards, and a grotesquely named "Tumour Mill" paper in the same style as its more reputable cousin is passed around, replete with vicious accusations of foul play from those who support Ib'javi, accusations that have even found their way into the Rumour Mill itself.

All of this, alongside the somewhat labyrinthine voting system employed by the Guildmasters, means none yet are certain on the outcome. Whether free trade or common decency shall win the day, there is still more to be seen; and more to be done by those few cunning enough to act in the last few decisive moments...



SkillFocuspwn

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on: April 22, 2019, 01:35:39 PM
The matter of the vote is settled at last, in a spectacle that was, to many, the first time the Guildmasters had been seen together; all, that is, but Webber, whose seat was absent and whose daughter instead stood beside it. Though it caused some stir among the citizenry, to the seasoned merchants this all seemed expected, with some of the more outrageous rumours claiming that the intensely private and elusive Guildmaster has not left the workshop beneath her shop since the Square broke for independence.

The Chamber of Commerced where the debate and vote would take place housed not just the more prestigious merchants and historical Guilds of the Square, but also its citizenry, Peers and even creatures from stranger shores come to witness the discussion. From the Guildmasters, fiery words were spoken by Oscar Tchammorar, who put forth a philosophy of bare greed to the cheers of a number of the richer merchants and the fearful silence of many of the public, who instead favoured Valentina Webber's well-orated words of caution. Following that was Ib'javi, and then the Guildmembers.

Stepping up to speak were not just the new and influential merchants who had been so active in the debate on Ib'javi, but also the more established traders and the leaders of the petty Guilds; even the rag-shod 'Chief Beggar' of the Worshipful Guild of Alms Askers took the stage to give their opinion and cast their vote. Though a small coalition of traders in the more magical or curious stood up against it, many put this down to a fear that Ib'javi would act as competition. Standing in favour of Ib'javi were a number of the Guilds, including the much feared Solomon Krown of the Butchers.

With the final vote tallied, it became clear that the once controversial notion of allowing the supposed Demon to trade in Ticker Square was no longer quite so alien thanks to the persistence of its proponents. Still, though, it was not quite enough to force a clear victory,  and with the last call finished the vote sat upon a tie. It seemed as if both sides would have to disperse in an effort to sway a thus-far unaffiliated Guildmember when from the crowd emerged a man dressed all in black who refused to speak and left as soon as his vote was cast; a vote that ensured Ib'javi's trade with Ticker Square, a man later revealed to be the Head Accountant of the selfsame Guild, whispered bitterly to be in the pocket of the Adamantine Vault.

With the matter at last complete, the Tickers look forward with trepidation to the first arrival of the curious merchant, and wonder what crafts she will bring...



Mort

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on: April 22, 2019, 10:34:56 PM
...The alleyways beyond the Peerage and the pond shifted and twisted giving birth to a forsaken district of the 99... The Mongrelwoods...

Away from the King's watch, into the shadowy streets, thick vegetation has grown giving a natural wilderness of its own. Stray dogs run wild. Gutter cats hunts, and the Mongrelmen, deformed humans stuck between man and beast live in the abandoned houses living a solitary life.

On behalf of Silas, the owner of the Open door, a group of courageous adventurers traveled into the Mongrelwoods in the search for the missing children - there - a sinister truth of the Ring 99 was learn - that the families of noble and common-folks alike abandoned their children in these woods should they bore any deformities or malformation that might mark them as a Changeling - an old legend speaking that if such children were gifted to the woods, their bloodline would be kept pure of the Changeling curse.

While the path to the shifting alleyways of the Mongrelwoods are hidden to most, some say that this venture is only a sign that they open up oncemore to the people of Ring 99 bringing this wilderness district back within reach of the common men of Ring 99 ... For the better or worst, as powerful and vicious shapechangers are said to dwell in the depth of the woods, and their return would surely signal more dangers for the Ring.