Author Topic: [The Ordinary Journal of Aethelwine Silver]  (Read 4248 times)

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Aethereal

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on: August 20, 2019, 01:31:07 PM
I had some of the most real conversations with her. The wolf amongst dogs, Siobhán Iníon Párthalán Uí Díomasaigh Maliere. Some would have called her a monster, and I’d be a liar to deny that she was, but she was a monster who not merely tolerated me, did not just “indulge” my ways as she put it, but also treated me with respect, called me a friend, and I too had named her a friend. The benefit of being helpful, I suppose. Of demonstrating my ability to achieve things, to learn from my mistakes, and to be sufficiently intelligent in the way I walk in this horrid place that is the Realm. She said she was in it for the long haul, but she succumbed to the taunts of those who bound her. Was it the sheer distress of hearing of her brother’s demise at the hands of those who donned the colours she chose to be defined by? What could have moved her to make such a fatal mistake? Whatever it was, it proved that she was far less cold or kept-together than I had sensed. Proving that in the end, she was human, that even she had some warmth beneath that facade of a cold hearted killer. It would be callous of me to say that was a tragic flaw for one such as she who knew her every move, but given how sure she seemed that fate would turn us against each other, how much could someone like her be truly trusted? I am a terrible judge of character sometimes, after all.

What I do know is that she never got the chance to tell me what she believed she would find at the heart of the matter. But I know, in reality I know. It was something she intended to overthrow. To cut it down like she cut down Dynamus – not that that monster should have been denied his just desserts – it was just so terrible, so quick, so pre-meditated. Deadly and ruthless. Not to mention how readily she spoke about how she ripped Ernesto’s head from his spine, cut off his hands and threw his carcass into the Druthers. To think about such things conjures the worst of mental imagery. So dark was she, but I with my own lips called her a friend. In a way, what she did to Dynamus, was really just the same as what Sylyn did to that wretch--PERCY PEACOCK--who sabotaged my ritual.

I just can’t help but think of how hollow such acts of retribution are. Nothing can bring back what they steal. There’s no satisfaction in it. According to Sylyn, the saboteur just thought it was all a joke, up until his last breath. Dynamus wasn’t any better, denying having had anything to do with Eryeth before ... Siobhan cut out his tongue. How that tongueless bloodcurdling scream will haunt my dreams for weeks to come. I didn’t want it to happen, but she did it anyway. My protests are worthless, and so I can’t care anymore, what they all do to each other as long as they leave me out of it.

The realm is not a good place. It is full of these monsters wearing the skin of men, women and perhaps even children. Yet here I am amongst them all. Stuck here with them. Why? What could I have possibly done to deserve this? I, Aethelwine Silver, the Master of Portals, Cosmologist, and Researcher of the Planes. I who have had to abandon my life’s dedication to the Art for it was the wisest thing I could do, in light of my findings. I deserve better than this.

I have fewer friends now but my purpose is as bright as it has ever been. It was never about a stupid Tower, that was but a means to an end. Those powers seeking to control me do not understand what I want. What I strive for. What all who have ever invested in me could want from me. It’s all that I continue to do for them. The Truth shall set them free. I shall set them free.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 06:30:57 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: August 29, 2019, 02:39:09 PM
[Written by someone who clearly had some manner of impediment upon him preventing him from writing clearly or well.]

Gr..ea t I' ve le-ar nt SOme t hing ab--out th e Ar..b--it.ers.

Th-e..y a..r e nO..t t o be t r us..t ed.

A n..e-w b..in-d-..ing.

One w...ee--k.
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 10, 2019, 06:20:52 AM
[The original manuscript of First Contact with annotations and a seemingly more personal reading marks the beginning of this new entry.]

The procedures of first contact are quite relevant though. There are entire civilisations in this City that I have not met and that is not to even speak of what lies beyond it still and amongst the Planes abound. It is nothing new, of course, but I feel I have forgotten some of my old procedures so it is time to review the wisest approach. The main problem with this idea is that most entities have knowledge and experience of us already so there may not be any true first contact, only our personal ignorance of other beings and whatever their established experience and understanding of us might be.

I am reminded most of all of the Rememberers and how different groups and individuals dealt with them. It is also quite curious to see how people react to not merely the sentient but the sapient undead: the ghouls of the Great Feast for example. There is also the Scarabi, the Kenku, and the various representatives of the Planes.

It is the Rememberers who stand out the most, for they seem to treat us on equal terms and without any inherent hostility, seeing us perhaps as their younger siblings yet to grasp at what they have already learned and no doubt paid the price for – but that was their failing, their folly, in their own way, they were not wise. So now they reconnoitre seeking to understand what goes on this side of the Rings. But I know too little to understand them yet for I have not seen with my own eyes the ritual deeper in, heard only bits and pieces from the likes of the Companions of the Quill. These Ringrunners in their mindlessness covet their findings but know not what to do with them. It is so useless, and if the situation cannot be remedied, there may be need of a reckoning.

This is nothing new, since Sylyn grew distracted I’ve had terrible luck finding companions and even then less luck with the alignment of the stars to favour the opening of the 92nd or being present for it. It’s probably my fault for not eagerly agreeing to join the Companions of the Quill. Though their ilk have always underestimated me. Stupid transmutations. Stupid Amonkas and stupid Selena too. Where even is she? She owes me a reward for that crossword she messed up. But I digress: first contact.

Why has it come to mind at this hour? Well, because I have learned of the Six. It is my personal first contact but something that has long been established in the history of this realm. So I must seek answers in the annals and archives open to me. Yet also consider what the wisest way of dealing with the unknown is.


Rule I) Diplomacy demands attentiveness. Listen and pay attention to everything that is said, everything that is done, and how it is done. Reserve judgement in the moment but prepare to analyse everything to come to an informed decision.


Rule II) Make no immediate agreements but offer no insult through refusal either. It is always better to give something you can live without even if nothing is received in return than to later suffer the loss of something that would cripple you or worse. This is for everyone’s good, there is no point making an enemy when it is unnecessary just as long as you aren’t opening yourself to exploitation either.


Rule III) Have an open mind. Sometimes those things that appear ugly and horrid, are merely misunderstood and if you treat them right, they might be the greatest ally you could ever know. Other times the grotesque consider themselves ordinary and beautiful be it due to shared experience in foreign society, sheltered upbringing or simply being of alien origin to oneself and it may be insult to state otherwise, yet other times the malformed have adopted wickedness to get by. Ensure you identify which it is as soon as possible and prepare accordingly.


Rule IV) Do your research. If a foreign entity, being or even unknown person presents to you new information be it from their words, inexplicable behaviour patterns, or their very existence when revealed brings about uncertainties it is paramount all avenues are explored to understand the implications of these revelations and how it all fits into the bigger picture. Your powers of empathy, awareness, memory, divination and other resources of the mind, tome, reality and the very cosmos may be tested. Do not hesitate to inquire with beings greater and wiser than you (Razael comes to mind).


Rule V) As it is with wizardry and strategy, always have contingencies. Come into negotiation with well explored potential outcomes with at least three acceptable and probable possibilities and the equal number of undesirable ones already in mind. Steer the course accordingly and be prepared to react to the unexpected!


Rule VI) Always carry your trump card. If worst comes to worst you’re going to need it.
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 14, 2019, 09:47:34 AM
For now it appears the wizards who have more recently arisen in the Realm are possessed of greater temperance than some of those of the past, but I do not expect it to last. Magus Stywell I am least certain of, as he has destroyed something rather than seek to learn from it but Magus Ebersol seems to, at least outwardly be possessed of wisdom especially for one in his line of specialisation. Then there is Magus Ithroniel, who with her words is able to impress me easily, but I think my bias is my downfall in my dealing with her, she is a fellow conjurer and I am turning a blind eye to some of her traits as I am again, with all the others. At least this time I am aware I am doing it, I will adjust accordingly.

Nonetheless, I am confident that a fellow conjurer to aid in the work that is to come will be of immense boon, and I have now taken her under my wing and so may curb her worst tendencies. Maybe that is inappropriate to say of one of tel’quessir, but I think she is not much older than I, at least in equivalencies of mental maturation, perhaps in her late first century or maybe early second century at best. I must contemplate whether our arrangement should become a binding of apprentice and master, as I do not feel ready for responsibility for another again. That stupid Mattermead Gold book is right about one thing, the privilege and burden of leadership is responsibility – I was never ready to be a father for Ordo Arcanum, I wanted them all to be individually responsible. I still want them all to be individually responsible. They need to be. It is not my duty to take on their burdens, it is only my calling to offer guidance and counsel against the greater threats.

Soppira – refuted.
Beodda – impossible, not going to enquire.
Billy – definitely not but not enquired.
Velastra – maybe, but it seems a bit unlike her to not be direct.
Clyde – maybe, probably, he’s been greeting me while others have been silent and even claiming it’s a pleasure to see me, that’s  very suspicious. He out of all people has motive.
Magus Myron Brenn – he’s still at it, out there somewhere, but this is not his style.
Nephzarim – possible but unlikely if they remember they need to remain in my good graces.

Who else could have wrote it? Who else has blamed me so openly as the ‘summoner’ of Ib’javi and remains alive to write a mockery of a parable clearly based upon the spurious lies and allegations that I have both repented and paid penance for despite being the work of others AND demonstrated was beyond my control? Nobody. It’s that damned Clyde of Gibbensdale, I’m sure of it. Now, I just need evidence. That bloated carcass and his fickle as fey attitude needs a good slapping. If only I could summon Agamast to slap him so hard it threw him out of his consciousness like it did me. That was quite a Nephzarim slap, I should learn how to slap like that.

But for now I have the element of surprise. A new war has begun, fat man. A war the likes of which you cannot possibly understand. Like I put down Errilam’s advances, I shall once more stand against these treacherous Velstran intrigues.

I am not just a wizard.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 09:51:03 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 16, 2019, 11:09:13 AM
What are some words to describe Clyde?

Fat – not very creative and very overused.

Useless – mostly accurate, perhaps too accurate.

Gluttonous.

Obese. Obeast? Obeast... yes.

Spineless. Gutless  - no, this clashes with his great distended gut, he is hardly gutless at all, we can work with this.

Filthy. Yes, filthy, he’s very filthy and the rats love him. He’s a rodent. He’s vermin. That’s what he is vermin! I don’t mind rats, but I have to let go of my biases or lack thereof and do my very best to reveal his deep dark filthy truth.

Deep, dark, filthy truth. Like the black hole that is his gaping maw. Yes, yes, we’re going somewhere with this.

He also does nothing good for the Realm and never has, he’s a parasite of the highest order. Yes, he has fed and gorged upon the backs of others like a bloated tick.



Wait, I haven’t found evidence yet. Let’s hold back these thoughts a moment... guilt has to be established or else we are not righteous in our work.



No matter, the timelines can permit me this diversion, and he has tried to undermine my agreements with Velastra to help with my pilgrimage. He is not undeserving of my scorn.

This war... will be beyond all mortal comprehension if he is found guilty though.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 11:12:08 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 16, 2019, 03:13:24 PM
A letter is left at Towertop for Court Wizard Aethelwine Silver


Salutations Court Wizard,

I hope my letter catches you well.    Her Draconicness does not know I am writing this to you.  I shall get right to the meat of it, there are a few small inaccuracies that should perhaps be corrected.

You see, I was reading the first chapter of your exciting new publication "The War of the Rings: 'First Contact", when I came across the following paragraph:

Quote
None of them are familiar with the proper procedures of First Contact. None of them seem to see what lies beyond their petty concerns: the downfall of us all. The last 'first contact' between us and the depths was with the demon-lords of rot and filth, where Ser Errilam Winespill defeated the Dark Knight of Pestilence while I closed shut the horrid seams through which they came, saving the Ring. These vulgar entities blindly invited into the 99th by the Ringrunners, those Tears of Blood: Varthan Yannavich, Velastra Quarterdragon and the bloated form of Clyde of Gibbensdale all infected, all carriers of the key to the pestilent invasion from somewhere deeper in the Rings.

Her Draconicness and my Tears of Blood companions did certainly not invite that evil into ring 99, nor did I as I was not by their side that particular eve (despite the words in your book say).  You would perhaps realize what had happened if you had ventured a bit further into the rings and met a certain person - writing a serious publication without all the facts is a hazardous affair to be sure.

I just thought I'd present you with a missing fact or two, I'm certain writing non-fiction is difficult.  Fiction can be fun.

Thank you for your time.  Best wishes as always, and congratulations on your new book.
Clyde of Gibbensdale

One part of me feels terribly guilty if it is true that Clyde of Gibbensdale himself was not infected by the plague deeper within, yet it remains true that the Tears of Blood most certainly did bring the plague-rot to the 99th. They were literally carriers, incubating the plague within themselves until such a time that maggots burst out of them to create seams leading back to wherever in the Rings that hideous place is. I know this as we the Ordo Arcanum had studied it. Where is my file... ah, here we go:

Quote from: Soppira Hinkley’s research on the Plague dead, and their source: a curse in the rings.
This recent threat has deemed me to open a file for any new discoveries to be uncovered in regards to the illness that this cursed source spreads.

The source:
The information on the source is as of yet, currently unknown, The Tears of Blood runners cannot share more information on the source due to the curse of the rings. Kowl relayed one bit of knowledge, and it is foreboding. This source would be known as soon as it is scene, that means its nature is obvious for all to see should we encounter it in the deeper rings.

The Illness:
The Illness for the most part is still mostly a mystery other than its contraction, and symptoms, and what results from it.
Symptoms:
-The victims take on a bloated appearance
-Pale sickly appearance.
Result:
-The Victims vomit maggots of a magical and planar nature. Forming into portals.
-The portal made of these maggots react violently to fire, causing more powerful creatures to spew forth.

The Plague Dead:
The plague dead emerge from the portals created by these maggots, seeming to have one specific behavior of note, they head towards ring 99, or seeks to pass through to rings beyond. Several other creatures make up their number beyond the zombies, they shall be recorded here. (As more are encountered and reported they will be added here)

-Zombie: The most simple, a sickly looking figure of undead, has a disease ridden bite. The first to arrive in great numbers, fairly weak combatants but sturdy.

-Plague Toad: Large bipedal beast covered in pustules that burst with swarming insects, can breathe a foul breath with unkown effects

-Insects : Spawn from pustules on the Plague demons/toads when they die.

-Plague Knight: Last to arrive through the portals, Well trained soldiers in heavy armor with heavy weapons.

Contributions:
-Magus Gemkin: Details on creature behavior and appearance.

The illness is well documented. The Tears of Blood did carry the illness. I am not wrong in stating that they were the key for the Rotlands to invade the 99th! I am not wrong to go so far as to say it is they who drew our presence to the plague-demons of entropy from wherever it is deeper in the Rings that they came.

So, in part, I rationalise that Clyde seeks to shrug off the same blame that he casts about willy-nilly on others, recklessly and most of all upon I - I who only ever seek to do what is best for us all. But, if he personally was not involved, then I cannot in good conscience name him and a second edition of 'First Contact' shall be necessary.

There is only one recourse for now, further research. As I have had to bear the pain of others' culpability, and idiots like Clyde mindlessly make verbal attacks against my character, I will not tolerate injustice, and most certainly not by my own hand. But I will, just as they have done to me, ensure they do not live without consequence for their actions, that responsibility is not just thrust upon the First Magus, it is thrust upon they who would rush out into the depths of the City unthinkingly. It is thrust upon us all, if we are to live in a world worth living in... but unlike them, I believe in teaching, not merely mindlessly punishing, defaming or acting in self-interest and issuing fine or penalty.

I still don't like it here. I miss my Ordo Arcanum. And it is times like this that I miss my home the most, Silver Tower and my family... Warrenwatch is home, but it also is not. Maybe I need to focus upon my pilgrimage to the Great Library, but then there is also the matter brought up by Al'Sha-ri...
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 03:25:08 PM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 19, 2019, 11:35:04 AM
A bit of introspection today. Nothing quite like being dissected and put under the lens of other peoples’ minds, it’s always curious to me, yet this time insightful. They gave of their thoughts and analyses so openly and in so doing said a lot more about themselves than they did about me.

Apprentice Penrose, well, suppose I should call her Coriander since she is not my apprentice, or so Melkoth says, not sure I should heed that old man though, it’s not Peerage nomenclature or tradition this challenges. I think I can call her apprentice if that’s what she is, that’s how it’s always been. The apprentices at the academy all held that title by virtue of being only a novitiate of the Art. No matter. The apprentice... I mean Coriander seemed to think I underestimate women, ‘and their capacity for many things’, in her words. How absurd a notion and such a terrible misunderstanding of my person, one that was thankfully clarified, but also one that I shall dissect myself in turn.

I do not look upon a person then their gender and think to myself how much less of a threat they are when they are female as compared to male – neither consciously nor subconsciously. I do not even look upon a person in general with the thought process of how dangerous or threatening they are, unless the context demands it. Perhaps this is to my own weakness, and perhaps I ought to change the way I think and look upon this world as full of threats at all times. But, what a horrible way that would be to live, always afraid... I’ve been there, and when I’m there, my spells are prepared to... deal with such things. Horrible spells, spells of a frightened boy who lives somewhere deep inside of me, afraid of everything.

I don’t want to live like that, I’m sorry Sylyn, that part of me and my ‘innocence’ is something that might stay with me forever, no matter how many beatings you want to give me. I can’t live like a wretch, I just can’t do it. Part of me hopes you will forgive me, but you never did it for yourself, I know, you did it to protect me. I’ll try, I’ll be more careful next time. I won’t trust the gnomes. I won’t even trust the elves. I won’t trust anyone. I’ll try not to trust.

So I think it was a bit of projection on Apprentice Coriander’s side, made with a lack of a greater context of who I am and a generous dose of insecurity of her own. Men and women are equally threatening, but it’s the ones who appear innocuous who are the most threatening of all, it seems. Which brings me to the delightful Joan-Cecile, the very Gnomish Bandit-Queen.

First of all, why did I grant her request for privacy? You know, I don’t even know why I did it. I did it because I could and she was courteous. I chose to trust first based upon the courtesy she had extended to me. She seemed earnest in her enquiries and she and I conversed so long sharing in each others’ truths. She even extended her hand in aiding me upon my great quest. So there is one truth the apprentice (who cares, I’m just going to call her that now) and Melkoth learned, my weakness for courtesy. Sylyn would be both disappointed that I let myself be taken advantage of and I feel very happy deep inside, to know that this Realm has not destroyed the Aethelwine she knew.

I was not made for intrigues or politics, I was not made for deceit and subterfuge, I am a righteous person, full of righteous ideals, and as Melkoth says, ‘honest men wear their hearts on their sleeve, Silver. It gives them strength and is their greatest weakness.’ So be it. I am who I am.

But you know what the most amusing part of all of this is? Hon hon hon.

Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.
Hon hon hon.

Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!
Hon hon hon!

HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!
HON HON HON!

What an experience it was, when she took from me my silver spoon.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 11:47:53 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 20, 2019, 10:40:31 AM
My thoughts return to my time with the Bandit Queen, Joan-Cecile. Hon hon hon (I think it is quite true that I am far too enamoured with this manner of laughter, it has such an amusing quality to it, just making the sounds ‘hon hon hon’, and as I write it, so do I produce it out aloud, to no small amusement; is this not the gift that just keeps giving? I can’t help it, I think I am addicted to it. Hon hon hon hon hon.) In any case, I think back to my Rules of First Contact, otherwise known as the Rules of Engagement for the Unknown or Alien and recognise that how I dealt with Joan-Cecile was a perfect application of my approach. I am quite proud of myself.

You see, I engaged her in diplomacy and we extended to one another the utmost courtesy. She told me of her woes and I spoke to her of my own pilgrimage and plight, it was a fair and honest exchange of both meaning and feeling. Hon hon hon. And when she escalated things, raising her mallet and saying that she had to take from me a token, what can I say? I was receptive and open to the idea, why? Because I saw in her a Righteousness, and she had thoroughly won me over with courtesy, and I, in turn her. Yes, she stole from me my silver spoon of the Royal Court, this much is true but what she gave to me in turn was a most beautiful memory. Hon hon hon. And of course: hon hon hon hon hon.

It also raises a delightful thought, that the wizard being a risk of tearing up reality is in fact the ultimate defence mechanism. Instead of casting magic, the very threat of magic is sufficient, why indeed, it’s all left to the implication of a wizard’s magic. Isn’t that delightful? ‘You do not want me to use my magic, it wouldn’t just rip you up but your entire reality too!’ And well, I don’t want to have to use it either because I both abhor violence and need to avoid certain issues with the Source (for now). My point here is, I am confident that I could have also escalated matters with the Bandit Queen in response to her escalation but why would I? I truly am all about mutuality and consensuality despite these bindings, I don’t just tell people this, it’s my Truth. Then again, isn’t the implication of Jean-Cecile’s mallet also her offensive overture against me? It was I who gave in... because of the implication.

On the other hand, the gnomes are a curious bunch. Such utter bundles of chaos contained inside delightful little minds and bodies, I think they are my weakness of a sort. I was always far too fond of Magus Presto Gemkin (Maestro Frogkin the Croaker hon hon hon) and the way his curiosity rivalled my own, and I protected him more than I really should have, given how much pain his works have caused me. In the world-that-was we knew the gnomes to be of fey origin, but like the elves of Nestirtye, and the orcs of Gnasharim I think they are an alien species... the Toyfolly and their factory has answers, yes I’m sure of it, but Morty has very tightly sealed lips, I’ll have to practice my courtly manner yet to get to him.

I’m a xenophile through and through, there’s no doubt about it – I wouldn’t have nearly as many friends as I do if I was a discriminating sort, which is why I take offence to what Apprentice Penrose had to say about me. Not that my most recent interactions during her silence would have left the best impressions of my character, I could have died of shame after realising what I’d done. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I could be giving off a message, I’m really not the best with this kind of thing. I hope she can see that things are not as they appear, I didn’t even realise what the Anthophilious Society was about until after a flower came on to me. But it does remain the best place for some proper peace and quiet in the 99th, when I deign to visit this Ring.

Back on the note of the humanoid races, I still find it very peculiar how the Daring Swords appear to have different incarnations. So far Alledha Amastacia takes the form of elf (Ticker Square) or human (Wizard Warrens), sorceress or wizard; Bomor of the Cave is either dwarf (Bulwark) or human (Hall of the Builders); Vincenzo Vunco is either halfling/hinfolk (Vinny) or human, both versions depicted in Ring 97; and lastly there is Dorvant Drinnaught who for now appears to only be human with a griffon companion but may for all I know be depicted as something else elsewhere in the Rings. I have theories, of course, I always do, but I think it is more than just a matter of Peerage propaganda. It speaks to the heart of the City and its Reality.

There is some interest now in my pilgrimage, enquiries are being made. I will begin adding to my notices to help people understand what the Royal Arcane Society is about. Not like I’m in a rush though, hon hon hon. I still need to decide how to handle Clyde hon hon hon and finish up with the updates to my written works. Hon hon hon.

Hon hon hon hon hon.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 01:42:13 PM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 22, 2019, 09:12:46 AM
My thoughts yet again return to the Bandit-Queen, her supreme Gnomishness, Joan-Cecile. Does she recognise or realise that it was I who named her? I who gave her her epithet. I who created her? Hm? No, she looked me once in the eyes and in her shame looked away. I saw it, I knew it. That look was a look of shame. She knew the secret between us, she had in fact betrayed that secret but dared not to speak about it ever again, like a forbidden tryst she'd seal her lips but could never deny what we had done together. Maybe somewhere deep down she knows that it is I who made her, but I can’t claim all credit. She has that essence of righteousness coursing through her just like it courses through me, she resists those who would disparage or worse condemn her because of who and what she is, she seeks to show them she is better, to prove them all wrong. Yes, I identified with that, she is a kindred spirit, an honourary Wizard of the Realm and she deserves all the success in the world in her own little petty games, hon hon hon.

But that’s not where my mind is in regards to her, it is in examination of her approach. She could have selected any of the Nephzarim, but she chose me. She came to me as I attended the Wakefield Detective Agency, and even then, she was possessed of such wondrous courtly manners.

Wait...

Am I obsessed? I think I may be obsessed. Do I have an obsession with Joan-Cecile? Hon hon hon. I...

I think I do.

How has this happened? I think I admire her. I admire her energy, her will to, as even a mundane, shape the world around her, for the better. It’s for the better, isn’t it? She’s too good to be a simple bandit. She’s no simple bandit. She only does it to teach them a lesson. How dare they underestimate her? How dare they!

Back on topic though: how pre-meditated was it all? I feel, given how amused she seemed to be throughout our discourse, she always had in mind that she would need to take a token from me and demand I deliver a message. It feels like a waste, someone with such vision and capability. In her own words...

Quote from: Joan-Cecille the Supremely Gnomish Bandit Queen
You would like to invite me to accompany you, because I am a little brute with a mallet? Hon hon hon... zhat is very flattering, mon ami.’

‘I think I believe I know what you are trying to say to me, mon ami. And zhe answer is, oui, but zhere would be a price.’

‘I am not here to ponder zhe truths of our world... I will leave it to zhe girls who want to appear smarter, non? I am a free woman, mon ami. A soldier of fortune... and I will carve out zhis part of zhe city, for myself.’

‘I also seek to spite zhe Peers... I seek zhis because it amuses me, and I do not have anything else to do with my time in zhis city. I do zhis because it makes me feel alive... which is why I have brought you here, mon ami. I intend to take something from you, in order to humiliate zhe Peerage houses.’

‘Oui... call it a trinket, of sorts. It is a token... something zhat a gnomish girl like myself should not hold. I would rather not bloody you if I would have zhe chance, mon ami. But I am a brute... and I will do what I must to navigate zhis world, non?’

And when questioned about the value in choosing me as her medium, she was so right, so wise, how can I not admire that?

Quote from: Joan-Cecille the Supremely Gnomish Bandit Queen
‘Hon hon... it does not matter. You are zhe Court Wizard! You hold a position zhe highnesses' court. Zhey care about zheir appearances... It is all zhey care about. Zhey are slopfeeders... and bootlickers. Ugh.’

I tried to warn her about the consequences, but she was so self-assured, so certain. And because she was mundane, it was hardly a risk if she was wrong, the worst that she could do was harm herself, but even then, she knew. She knew how to deal with it, and heeded my counsel to some small degree.

Quote from: Joan-Cecille the Supremely Gnomish Bandit Queen
‘I do, mon cheri... I have thought about it for zhe entire evening I have wanted to rob you, oui? It is a well formed plan... somewhat.’

‘It is not to threaten zhem... I do not care to fight zhem, constantly. I do not get paid enough to do it, anyway... I only want you to chastise zhem, to embarass zhem for not doing more. From me even, perhaps. I will take care of zhe rest... do not worry about me, mon cheri. I do not care about zhis. What good is life if you have never risked anything in it?’

‘Besides, it would make my legend as a mercenary and soldier of fortune grow, non? Zhere is some thought to zhis plan of mine...’

‘Tsk... you are not my father. And I have left my parents to be free of zhem, whether zhis King was zhe one to take me, or not. I do not care... I only wish to bicker with zhe people I wish to bicker with, and make my fortunes where I see fit. I wish to reclaim my life. Zhis is not so peculiar, non?’

‘Besides, if I am to fear some noble retainers wearing some silly uniforms in zhis land... how can I ever be my own woman, mon ami? What good am I in your pursuit of zhis library in zhe rings, if I am not even safe in zhis one?

I only wish she comes back to me one day, after her mallet is bloodied, her legend is grown, and she remembers. Remembers ... remembers the Royal Court Wizard who made her the Bandit Queen.

Quote from: Joan-Cecille the Supremely Gnomish Bandit Queen
‘Hon hon hon hon... [She laughs, seeming more amused and hapier than normal at the joke] Zhe bandit queen... I like zhis name. What would my parents think?’

The Truth of how the Royal Court Wizard Aethelwine Silver was ganked by the Bandit Queen Joan-Cecile
Only gaze within if you are able to separate OOC knowledge from IC, for some secrets will SPOILER forever
Yet at the same time, the juiciest Truths are always worth paying the price, BEHOLD THE GREATEST PVP OF ALL TIME:
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« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 09:36:04 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 24, 2019, 09:34:46 AM
I liked Maria and now she's gone, forever.

She came to me and when I asked how she had been, oh what did she say, what did she say...

Quote from: Maria Courtenay, the Substitute Cotte
‘Miserable.’

I was sorry to hear that. I told her that she was not just a friend of the Wizard Warrens, but a friend of mine. That I was here to help...

Quote from: Maria Courtenay, the Substitute Cotte
‘Everyone is forcing me to drop everything to focus on destroying the Inquisitor's Hand,’ she said.

'Everyone is insistent on telling me what I must do, but nobody is willing to help. They keep naming conditions and terms that are unacceptable.'

'"You must conduct a ritual to draw the hand in, Maria"', she said in mocking tone, '"and you must include the Arbiters or I won't help, Maria."'

'Fie on them all.' She muttered angrily.

'Annie. Grace. Muriel, too. She's more loyal to Grace than to the Thaumaturges. But she isn't as bad as Grace.'

I told her that they should know better, that they all deserved a good slapping, it amused me because it reminded me of Agamast’s slap. It amused me because I could already see the outrage upon their faces were they to be slapped like that.

Quote from: Maria Courtenay, the Substitute Cotte
'And this is all Morgan's doing.'

'She's spreading her slander again, at every opportunity.'

'She goaded and insulted me until Muriel felt she had to defend the House's honor... then she lost the duel thanks to a helm that summoned a sword spider.'

'So Morgan took that opportunity to declare that my guilt and complicity was in fact true.'

I told her how ridiculous it sounded, that I’m glad I’m not in the middle of this kind of Peerage madness. But I also knew that was very Morgan, she had no clue how a duel of honour worked.

Quote from: Maria Courtenay, the Substitute Cotte
‘I hate that woman,’ she said.

'I hate how she has all of the peerage wound around her finger.'

'It makes no sense. She's a disloyal, slathering moron.'

I mentioned that it was Velastra who seemed to be controlling the Peerage.

Quote from: Maria Courtenay, the Substitute Cotte
‘Oh, everyone flocks to Morgan's side. Even the retainers of my House,’ she replied.

'My, as in the House I am a part of, not "my" House.'

That made me appreciate her more. She was righteous, not a simple bootlicker or slopfeeder, as Joan-Cecile rightly called them. I tried to offer support and counsel, as is right of a friend, but she was tired, she was hurting. She slumped and sighed.

I reflected that I didn’t mind Morgan, even though she may have once wanted to do bad things to me because of that stupid ‘Sherran’, but that she may have gotten over it since I helped patch her up. That’s when she brought up Eryeth.

Quote from: Maria Courtenay, the Substitute Cotte
'She is complicit in Dame Cotte's murder.'

'I let her involvement slide, because I was more interested in catching the killer... I Should have gotten all of them.'

'She knew of the murder, tried to cover it up. Never confessed to her involvement.'

'She had Eryeth's Croizer.'


I told her about Dynamus, our Certamen. The flashbacks took over. I saw Siobhan and the Morgans around that ‘wizard’s’ body. I saw Siobhan cut out his tongue again...

...
...
...


Maria only wanted justice, she said. I was still involved in the House back then. I remember. I remember wanting nothing to do with any of it. I hate this place. I hate it so much. I hate them all. Why are they like this? Morgan killed Maria, I know this now. Maria didn’t deserve to die. It’s flimsy to say she was the reason the Orzans turned on each other. The Orzans just do as they do, and Siobhan was not above any of it.

These... these things around me. They are not people. They are all monsters. I am surrounded by monsters. I must have my Truth, I must lift myself up and out of this nightmare.

The Truth will set me free.
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 25, 2019, 03:49:19 AM
I told Lucile about my experience with Bandit Queen Joan-Cecile. She was rather enthralled by the story, though I could see in her eyes a hint of concern that I had attracted that type of attention. She came back later and presented me such a wonderful little picture, she's quite an artist it seems! I call it:

'Magnifique'


//Art was created by the ever talented Waffle/Happybot
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 03:58:00 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 26, 2019, 10:19:32 AM
Resentment. That’s what it is. Yes, I am feeling deeply resentful. It’s not just one thing either, it’s many things. But most recently, I think it is the apprentice. I think I feel slighted. Entering this Realm, seeking a master to learn under... and instead of choosing the best possible option (yes, I’m biased, but it’s also objectively true) they pick Ebersol. I don’t think I have any issues at all with Fairbrace’s decision, given what I have learnt about the struggles one of the hinfolk like her have to deal with but Coriander, why would she too apprentice under Ebersol? It feels humiliating, and I know it’s all in my mind, but it does and I resent that. I’m only human, I’ve never denied my human flaws – there’s a bit of pride in me, and I’m sure that is the source of it. But it also just feels so conflicting and dishonest because she is now my rival’s apprentice and anything I tell her could and probably would be used against me. I dislike that, I dislike it a lot. I think for my own sanity in attempting not to break the etiquette Ebersol subscribes to I shall just avoid her from now on.

I might be overreacting, it’s true. But I’ve not had to deal with this kind of issue in the Realm before. There is no academy, there is no established accords. And the Magus Ebersol is a resourceful and clever man who takes what he wants and even in his own way, brags about it in the end. I find that disappointing. We could work together but I can see in his own writings what his intentions are. All that unbridled ambition, the grasp for more, and more... it cannot lead anywhere good.

It is also true that my efforts have reached the point of diminishing returns as to what I am able to learn without breaching the Eryngium Courts. I have begun to express my frustration outwardly. I told Maria and Annie of the idea of expanding the Wizard Warrens and annexing Ring 92, upon the casus belli that the usurpers of the Revel and Court below must secede and recede back to whence they came for their trespass against the King, with of course the option to settle agreement by delivering the stolen keystones to us. Yes, it is appropriate. We would wage a righteous campaign.

The only good thing to happen lately, besides Annie amusing me with her nonsense about the Hound is that I have learnt more about it. A very small portion, which was more or less ‘maybe’ to a lot of my expectations. As a very last resort I could always just do what Proserpina did. It wouldn’t even be that hard...

The only thing I can do for now is focus on my work. The Arbiters have at least been helpful and insightful. We'll never be friends and there's a point to which it is unwise we associate with one another but there is a Truth we share - they are after all, also humans.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2019, 11:53:07 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 27, 2019, 04:22:23 PM
I am Ex-Wizard no longer, I am a True Magus.

The magi and apprentices who walk the Realm these days encountered me first as an Ex-Wizard, still transitioning.

I had given up, I had been broken, and I was hurting, even though I had begun to pick up new skills in the mundane world; for one I am now able to unlock, manipulate and even create complex mechanisms and contraptions without the use of magic, instead putting to purpose my fingers and mind like it were a sorcery of its own. I also learned so much as the Royal Castigator, I saw the power of my Royal Bindings and the Writs wrought of them, I tried to restore order to the wretched 99th Ring because I was denied my home, I had no choice, I could not live in that filthy place so full of depravity without doing something. But I was also severely limited, I was vulnerable, and I was not happy, I was very unhappy, my heart was bleeding for I had broken it by abandoning my love. Such suffering.

Then, the knave died. My home returned to me, but I was not willing to accept it. I was still an Ex-Wizard, thinking I had yet lessons to learn in the mundane world, thinking I could somehow merely remain a keeper of the bed I had made. It was not to be, for the powers that be whatever they are and even other magi older and wiser than I came to persuade me in their own... well, I still think they were sick and horrible games that were painful... but in their own way they would not let me suffer a greater pain, would not tolerate my abandonment of my life’s dedication. Why? I don’t know, but I cannot deny the fear that coursed through me when the King’s Hunter plucked me away and cast me upon the altar of the abandoned babes like I were nothing but a babe myself, when the werewolf came after me, when the other men and women came hunting me, even if they were at least either on my side, or not willing to strike me in front of those who came to aid me. I said I would remember them all and I still do. Most of them are now dead or missing though so I shall instead strengthen my pledge to do what is best for the people of this City.

Then there came the moment and point of no return, when the gaping wound of the Void came to consume me and the 93rd Ring, I could have either died and let the wound fester, knowing with certainty that it would grow and grow to consume more and more of the City, for Sahtci could not have possibly succeeded with his desperate plans, but I... of course I had always in mind what I could do, but felt I could not do. Thinking I would let the sorcerers prove themselves and watch to see if they could succeed even though they would require more effort and more sacrifice than I but it would be safer because my magic was unstable. But in the end, it all fell in hand, strangely it worked perfectly to my plan for I had my requirement: the consensual giving of Nephzarim, Velstran and unrepentant Wizard alike – they paid the penance and gave to me the power I needed to mend the Rift.

A superstitious man would start to think that it was divine providence, and I admit, it is easy for me to think it was but I know what succeeded that day. It was the Truth, something deep and central to the core of our Reality that permit the patterns to align, for everything to be just right. For everything to be in its place. And so it was that I was returned to mine – I could not possibly claim to be an Ex-Wizard any longer after that. After Warrenwatch was restored. After that wretch Ruul popped out of his bubble and pretended nothing had happened – how I hate that imbecile, he is everything I stand against.

So as I returned to the Art, my first few days were filled with such incredible delight. To flex my fingers again, to call upon my friends once more, so long denied communion. It was a high after a great low and I rode it, oh how I rode it up and far into the clouds. Sublime. But I had forgotten for a time my responsibility, as new magi began to appear in the Realm once more. Hawthorne Ebersol, Ithroniel, Talion Stywell, and most recently the apprentices. In my time of weakness they arrived and I did not give them what was my duty to provide: guidance, close and careful guidance, nurturing, care and where necessary the firm hand of correction.

But now I am reinvigorated. And though the 92nd Ring remains a great hurdle, at least I might pursue my duty and lead us forward and in many ways far, far back in time to the place where greatness and arcane majesty once stood. This time we will do things better. Like the Winters say, ‘what was built, can be built again, better.’
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 04:25:39 PM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



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on: October 28, 2019, 08:25:56 AM
I had become an Arbiter of the Hundred Scrolls, myself. I grew blind to my own conceit and I did it because I thought it was the right thing, that it would result in the best outcome. I feel I understand them better now than I have ever before. I am not fond of it, it speaks to me of desperation, and so I will shed these ways and find another, better way. It was so easy to bind.

In the mean time, Certamen has a date. Just as I find an apprentice that could learn from me. What did I write about this bed that I made, ah yes:

Quote from: The Newly Awoken Guide to the City of Rings: Of Beds and How to Make Them
'I will say there’s nothing quite like literally making your own bed in a City where all the beds have strings attached and otherwise belong to someone else.

Of course, I did lie to myself a little, even this bed comes with a price – but perhaps that is what makes it so luxurious and satisfying.’

I believe it and I don’t. I’d rather the calm certainty of something less but without binding even if it comes at the cost of luxury but sadly there is no such thing beyond the filthy outer Rings that I so abhor. So I will see how well I am able to defend my home instead.

I am not sure what has happened to Coriander though. Where has this sudden fountain of bile come from? Is she jealous of my apprentice? No matter, nothing can justify her insults and I will not let her corrupt Marcille. My apprentice will be the better apprentice, the best apprentice!
« Last Edit: November 02, 2019, 05:34:30 AM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof



Aethereal

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on: October 29, 2019, 02:32:33 PM
Quote from: A singed parchment with spots of liquid where the ink takes poorly
Dear Royal Court Wizard,

You claim to want people who will keep your ego in check  and yet your actions prove your words a lie. I saw you swagger into Ticker Tower with an insecure girl at your back, dressed scandalously. When Magus Ebersol told you to make her stand, an evident test of your character, you acquiesced, showing no loyalty at all to those in your charge.

Such disregard and the shockingly, though superficial, similarities between her and myself led Magus Fairbrace to speculate that she was an illusion you had crafted to save face. I thought it more likely that the Magus of Conjury would have conjured up her base components and molded them as a sculptor, crafting the "Perfect Apprentice" for his sordid desires.

I have a confession of my own to make. I've read all your books, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Even now, I can't bring myself to destroy my worn 2nd edition copy of Wizardry is for the Wise, because I still find it baffling that the man who wrote these books could be so egotistical, so amoral, and so UNWISE.

Since your ego continues to control your actions, allow me to lay out your crimes of character and hypocrisy. In the short days since I've met you, I've been witness to you:

* Casting an unnecessary advanced-circle teleportation spell in the Ponds, to show off to a gnomish paramour, as if asking the uninitiated to "close their eyes and cover their ears" was anything more than a child's fantasy.

* Teleporting a gagged girl into the back bedroom of a gentleman's club full of erotic dancers with the flimsy claim that "it was the safest place to anchor the spell"

* Stood witness to Arbiters asking newly awakened mages to join their righteous conquest, saying nothing, only to append their names to your own Scrolls of Magi not to be trusted.

* Grew cross with an apprentice mage for daring not to choose you as her teacher, snapping at her in anger.

* Conjured/Crafted/Manipulated a vulnerable young woman into being your apprentice and dressing her in a lecherous outfit of your own colors.

Do I need to go on, Court Wizard? Are you truly so different from Magus Fitzwell as to be undeserving of my barb? The only apology I should be granting is to your new Apprentice, who is likely the real victim in all of this.

Control is of paramount importance to someone in my field of study, which has an oft-deserved reputation for being full of manic pyromancers who set entire towns aflame, and you are so trying of my control that I can only say the best thing for both of us is that we stay well clear of each other.

I do not disregard the possibility that your best works were written before you reached the vaunted position of Royal Court Wizard, and that perhaps when Magus Ebersol defeats you in Certamen, and you find yourself an "Ordinary" Magus once again, you will do some much-needed introspection. If the man who wrote my favorite book yet lives within the shell of the creature you have become, I would seek him out, and become his apprentice, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sincerely,

Coriander Penrose

I keep reading this letter, over and over and over again. Each and every time it hurts just the same. Is she purposefully trying to wound me? Does she believe her own words? Does she think she is doing me a favour and that her words will help tame – though she seem more inclined to crush – my ego because I agreed that may be of benefit? Or is she just an utterly mad crazy person? Why would I want an apprentice who confesses the desire to violence at even the thought of me, who goes back on her words of saying they understood that I had no ill intentions with my teleportation by instead presenting it as part of a greater argumentum ad hominem?

The emotions go from hurt, to pained anger, to profound sadness, confusion, and end up resulting in disappointment and whatever part of me that remains left over can do nothing but laugh, a miserable kind of laugh borne of Weltschmerz.

No, Coriander Penrose is dead to me now. Or at least part of me feels that way and that part of me cannot easily be overcome. But I would be a fool if I did not acknowledge that despite most of her claims being utterly fallacious that I have received one major input:

That I see the world differently to her, and I think to most other people. If people saw things the way I did, well, for one, I’d be less lonely. The only other person I can think of who came close was the Professor, and more distantly, Isiratuu.

I am also vindicated. Marcille supports me fully and has been a very pleasant apprentice. It is not my ego or any petty interest in seeing her outdo Coriander that motivates me, but I do want to make her the best that she can be, and look forward to seeing Penrose lament her actions, lament turning against me like the monster she has revealed herself to be. That she has gone now and employed the Complainful Whiners, stated how she teeters upon loss of control, and in general seems to be waging a petty war of ad hominem against me settles the matter that she moves closer to Wizard Madness.

I will try to help her see reason, because it is in nobodies’ interest that she becomes one of the Black Magi.

Quote from: A scrap given to me by Marcille
‘Aethelwine Silver is a dastardly dirty debaucher who preys upon the innocent women of Ring 99! Approach this man with extreme caution if your bosom is ample or have spring to your rear. He is a handsy man who abuses his station to fuel his lecherous ways.’

‘Let not his mild mannered demeanor mask his perverted heart! He has no regard for anyone but himself, as his dark wizardly magic tears apart the seams of reality in the rings, so too shall he tear apart your heart!’
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 03:14:47 PM by Aethereal »
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'Even life eternal is not time enough to see, all the folly and despair of poor Humanity.' - To Life - A Shoggoth on the Roof