Author Topic: Letter to Horatio Flynn  (Read 574 times)

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Duna

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on: April 02, 2020, 06:45:18 PM
Mister Flynn.

This letter, while it may bear mark of Velstra, is outside of the matters you have been engaged in over the claim of my Lord's holdings. In fact, this letter is concerning your published work: "A Murderer's Memoir". If this is not something you have wrote, then disregard this letter.

But if it is, I would like you to know that it was an encouraging read. Much of what you had to say is something I have related to in one form or another. I am a hunter, you see. Bred and blooded as part of family heritage, as low as it is among my peers. And so your struggle to find pursuit and payment for these commissions is felt. In fact, your explanation of the great amount of patience, diligence, planning, and cost allowed me to wonder whether you had attempted to sell your talents to the Peerage? It is a great tale that you've a vast amount of experience in hunting men, and such a thing would be a greatly valued commodity to a Lord of House and Name. My assumption has been made, that perhaps you did not wish to be 'owned' in some way. Bound and branded by an oath of loyalty to something other than yourself. And if is so, then once more I may relate to such a thing.

Or perhaps your experience with the Peerage was perhaps too politically charged. But not all who serve are subjected to such disputes. And quite frankly, in hearing your response to my fellow retainer; You seem quite learned in it already.

My second question is thusly: Is Ringrunning truly as thrilling as hunting men?

As I mentioned, I am a hunter first. For much of my life, it was all I ever knew. My quarry, however, is not solely men but changelings. Werebeasts. To someone who has never pursued such a thing, it is a difficult feeling to describe. But I assume you do not have to be told of what the feeling is, or could be. But you know. So is it as sweet? Does each excursion feel proper, but left wanting? Or, does the activity sate such a desire and need?

Should answer my letter, I would offer gratitude. But I will not be insulted if you think it unwise.



Sign,

Retainer in Service to House Velstra



Random_White_Guy

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on: April 02, 2020, 11:07:30 PM
Hunter,

If there is one thing I hold time for it is missive. I mostly wrote the book because I grew tired of people who learned of my reputation still trying to hire me to hunt for them while I had moved on to preparing for the pursuit of the Rings. Meeting after meeting I was left to dissapoint Retainers and Merchants and many citizens of Ring Ninety Nine alike.

The situation of a few I know better than to let dictate terms at large, for all too often in my comings and goings from the Ring have I met need to strike new accord, these growing pains are vexing but nothing new. To your first question I sold a great many of my skills to the Peerage Ward. When I awoke to the House of Nephezar I hunted blood of Sorcerors, To the House of Orza I hunted the Mongrelwoods Turnskins and otherwise, to the House of Velstra I hunted game from the Royal Huntmaster, and to the House of Sunpurse I hunted Prestigious relics from the Swamps of the 95th ring, Bullywug in particular. As my reputation grew I found myself invited to treating with the likes of Retainer Frick of Lord Velstra before she rose to Knighthood, Steward Thrikzlos, High Thaumaturge Acathos Nascira, and many of Orza's bravos relying on my talents for information and hunting of bounty.

A great many doors opened to me, for in the Peerage, as you know, Reputation bears weight above all else.  I enjoyed the Spinning Groat Casino's ameneties and deal with a great many for quite some time. For a time I nearly found myself joining each of the Houses for one reason or another. A veteran censor hunting the blood of the Foes of Nephezar, a Knife of Orza, even your own Lord's House I had considered.

it would be the singular actions of Visimar Stormchild, the means by which House Velstra let him run untamed and unhampered, as he urinated on an elderly steward of Sunpurse after defeating him in the alleyways with a number of his, soon discovered Knave, cronies.  A man pissed on another in a back alley, an elderly man, and brazenly bragged of it. The Peerage continued to rally around this man because he was adept with a blade. None rose to challenge him, none even spoke out against him. It was at this time the Adamantine Vault extended offer of Guildmembership in exchange for services. It was all too easy to tell the Peerage our business concluded so long as they abided such. It would be days later Visimar exposed a fraud, his Knave allies slaying his betrothed, your Lord's daughter.

It would be Royal Court Wizard Thunzi who later rekindled my business with the Peerage many weeks later when I found him in the Rings. Which led to reuniting with the High Thaumaturge for business, and introduction to Ser Vladislav Orza, and a great deal of business done. Suffice to say I found great joy in my work, offering a service much like the Spinning Groat Casino - To the Houses each, for favor and service, as so often than not each House had need of my talents. Even as Guildmember of Ticker Square, the Houses did not care, for I was able to secure results for each and every exchange of favor.

It would be Lady Mairead Glitt who earned the pinnacle of my favor as we did what no other could do, escorting her and her Captain through twelve rings to prize, and returning to raise force and march to absolute victory over the Skudge of Glitt and her Father's restoration as the Peerage shaken in raid.

To your second question-

Patience, diligence, and planning are the mark of any Hunter. It is... a different kind of thrill but I have found each ring tackled like stalking a large beast. You study it. The patterns, the habits, the challenges, the inhabitants and potential threats within. You gauge and measure, you estimate, you prepare. Perhaps it's traps, perhaps it's riddle, perhaps it's challenge, perhaps it's outright conquest. There's always something to use those same skills and engage the mind in the way one would from a blind of a tree or mapping the lay of the land.

I would not say it replaces outright but it is a comparable balm to the itch in my skin when I grow bored and require the satisfaction.

I imagine that is what sticks in my craw the most of your House's recent flagrant outbreak against me. I was a soldier, I was a pirate, I was a hunter of man - and I earned this Title through peaceful means. I then extend invitation of strengthening the alliance I once held with your House, honoring the good business done in the past. For I prefer remember those who have done good by me and I was met with threats of warn and demands of me that I kneel as if I would buckle beneath the weight of such.

Perhaps they take my peaceful bequeath of such as weakness, daring me to show my mettle, demanding I fight for what I have earned.

I would have thought though cutting a bloody swath through one Great House be enough to earn a measure of respect among this new cropping of Retainers.

Horatio Fynn
Baron of the Grey Marches
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Duna

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on: April 03, 2020, 05:19:25 PM
Mister Flynn,

As promised, my gratitude for your response. Also, to your more inviting details  of such events. Admittedly, I paid little attention to the politics of recent times.  Although what you share is concerning.  But it is not outside the realms of what has, and did occur, before. And some retainers have found great success and praise from their Lord for such outrageous and undignified behavior. They have even been knighted. I suppose it is a vote of confidence and courage that a man can do such a thing and be presented as 'untouchable'.  Such is the struggles betwixt the Houses that be.

That being said, it is also why I believe you to have greater value to the Peerage. You have clear intent. You understand what service is, what it means, and why it should be respected. What it is should be respected.

Ringrunning has often been on my mind as a potential to do as you had. Seeking shelter, and to  do as you put it "live off the land".  However, much concern has kept me tied closer to ninety-nine, and the ward itself. I was born here, you see.  Raised to be what I am today by the second generation of hunters of Chaeonen; My father.  I became a retainer because so many had been swallowed in the darkness of ring one-hundred-and-one. Leaving the ward weakened, and thusly, open for attacks from the changelings in the bog and mongrolwood.  And it is still very much a concern at the present.

They have been attacking from concealment in the commons.  And just recently have apparently the intent on infecting those with their curse and affliction, rather than outright killing or maiming. Which, in itself, is vastly more sinister.  From what it sounds we deal with something more than a changeling. A malformation of different animals. Akin to a chimera from what descriptions have been given. Those who have seen it, fought it, or been taken captive by it and it's pondscum protectors say it has goat like legs, horns, but a face like a beast. Something of a dog or lion.  Tracking it has proven difficult. Likely it moves only when it cannot be  seen with magical means, but I have not been able to recover tracks to find where it sleeps. A hunt that will take days, weeks. It is uncertain without aid.

Unfortunately my fellow retainers, despite this, seek greater glories in you, Mister Flynn. I do not see your attempts to bestow gifts as a slight, or sign of weakness. But one of strength. It is all too easy to be consumed with the idea of bloodshed as a means to an end. But I am not a diplomat.

I do know this: What is being said is that you have stolen such a claim from our Lord, Norbert Velstra. That you, and yours, are nothing but cut-throats and thieves who are lying from the protections of distance in order to keep it for as long as we allow you too. That is the narrative. Whether you earned it or no is being denied or questioned loosely. So the retinue are very much in favor of routeing you out and reclaiming it for praise and favor.  Cutting down retainers of houses only bolsters this to be an achievement to them, unfortunately. For a Retainer does not get coin in exchange for their loyalty, mister Flynn. We are rewarded for our actions in service to whatever the interests of that Lord should be. And if the word is that House Velstra had a castle stolen from them, and held with impunity, then House Velstra as a name is no longer a House to be taken seriously.

As I said, I am not a diplomat. I do not know what is best for you, or I, or we. How this can be handled, or sated, or buried.  But I do not think it wise that Velstran swords march into the deeper rings to lay siege to a pretender in a holding, and these changelings who grow bolder with each day,  attack the Peerage while we deal with this.

It is likely we will come to blows. It would be my hope that you would consider kneeling your loyalty to Velstra, for it could not be the worst of outcomes.

Indeed, yes. You would no longer be your own. And while that is a disappointment, and a blow to one's heart, you would gain the alliance you speak of. You would be working together with we, and you would be rewarded for your contributions. Perhaps, even, in securing and managing the lands you currently station. Your men, they would not have to immediately bend the knee- And I'm sure there are some who would look upon this action as a betrayal of sorts. But it could possibly be the lesser of evils, for should we come and attack, they could end up dead. Or better still, our attack could be quelled- And this narrative continues. Perhaps Orza marches next. Perhaps Nephezar.

With that, I think I will conclude this letter.  It is perhaps taken too hard a turn into politics, when truly this is meant to be more of a personal interest into another Hunter and his life.



Sign,

Retainer in Service to House Velstra



Random_White_Guy

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on: April 04, 2020, 11:56:50 PM
Huntsman,

I got no doubt if it comes to it, it will be blows, but i'm no stranger to keeping the personal and professional seperate. So feel free to keep the letters coming if you're so inclined. The warnings are real. No stranger to the threats posed by the Mongrels, aye mate. It's a festering hole to say the least and you're not the first to bring word of new threats and woes. Careful in dealing with them and beware the roads after Dark.

The letter is appreciated but the dilemma I have with taking knee before Lord Velstra is twofold.

Firstly - I know well and true that Damian and his lot have never been past the 92nd. After the push made by Merry and Visimar before their demise there's been scarce few if any from Velstra seeking to cut into the rings Proper. So even if we did strike a knee for Lord Velstra it is not exactly as if any grand march of reinforcements or otherwise would be making way to us. We would still be on our own and moreso we would then be subject to any and all who have an axe to grind with Lord Velstra. If matters were different, it may be less so a sour pill to swallow.

Best case scenario it would be a month's time if not longer for a crew of the House to cut this deep, meaning after taking knee we'd have to endure an onslaught from every direction. We're already dealing with the Merchatn's Guild putting a price out on our heads, we're already dealing with Skudge sending reinforcements, and similar likewise. There's nothing Lord Velstra can do to stop those problems and so it's losing our autonomy, it's losing our footing, and its compounding the threats against us.

Secondly - I've done business with House Velstra. If along the way there was even the slightest attempt by the House to hire us to help them through the rings? We'd have been glad to oblige. Royer and I were doing earnest negotiations and we could have easily slipped in having something about helping you lot out to the deeper rings fit into such. Instead? Arkwrighte dickswung demanding we abandon our already tenuous footing One day after securing the keep that we send envoy or otherwise, before my crew could even get our boots dried.

And before we could even tell her much off? Damian starts shrieking of "War with us if you dare".

It's been pretty fucking clear from jump that any work done meant fuck all and they just want to steal the credit for the hard work me and my people have done. And while that may be what the Peerage is used to, me and mine? We've fought and bled and died to get this far. Without your help. Without your Retinue. Without your Colors. Without your Resources.

I don't disparage Retainers. I've had the pleasure of working for a great many of them. Most of them have treated me with respect and recognized good work done for good cause. But in this instance? if this "Sacred Land" were so valuable? Y'all would have had some fucking men posted here. Or hired us to get it back from the Wizards. Or done much of anything.

Instead it's all coming after the fact. That's not brazen. That's not bold. That's not some grand play to earn the Lord's favor. That's fucking scavengers and vultures.

 So aye. They want to play Vulture and call it War? We'll war. I've even sent Damian some playful terms of gentlemanly conduct and some safe passage and similar so you and your Retinue can continue to prosper and such in the 99th. My hope is he grows weary of the proxies I send to make your Rank's life hell, that he gets his head on straight, and realizes sooner or later we're better allies than foes.

Because I an assure you this - You know how Hunters hunt. if I wanted this to be over, it would be. Be it by arrow, be it by blade, be it by bomb, be it by any hunter's tactic so chosen.

I'm banking on anyone with a brain to realize the kidgloves i'm dealing with this shit. And that the likes of yourself, Royer, and others to help those shitheels realize this before someone, on either side, does something categorically stupid.

Because my endgame in all this?

We're looking for legitimacy in the eyes of the Ward, autonomy from any of the Houses, and our own colors to fly in the Peerage.

That's how we get more people Ring Running, instead of it being all Tick Crews. Since the Great Houses are tending the 99th and the Nothing and all that mayhem, small house like Ours can lead shit inward.

But no one's gonna follow if we take knee and are House Velstra's vassal, retainers, and/or chamberpot cleaners, because then it'll just be mired in the other House's politics.

Same shit happened to Quarterdragon, I'm trying to help folk learn from her mistake like.

Near every House hired me to murder for them. Once we're legitimized I got no difficulty believing every House will want to trade Courtly Favor to handle Ring Business.

That brings a boon to the Ward at large while everyone else focus on the Ninety Ninth.

Horatio Fynn
Baron of the Grey Marches
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Duna

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on: April 05, 2020, 02:29:30 AM
Mister Fynn,

I extend my apologies for my mistake. I have been inscribing Flynn, and that is not your name. I hope you to forgive my mistake.

I've little to speak of when it comes to Arkwright, and Winespill's decisions or tact in this matter. While it is an excuse that is used loudly, and often, I do not consider myself their equal in our rank. I am a dying man. They are young and worthy of what my Lord Norbert Velstra will offer them for their service. My actions are to those who would better suit the benefit of the house, and so I cannot be their watchman. No one learns a thing they are told. They only learn it through experience.

And that being stated, I will defend them with my life.

You speak logically and with wide precept. There are many barriers of which we must undertake if we can truly enact this burden of war. And that is precisely why it is to no one's benefit. And when I say no one, I mean not that we as retainers would be trudging through field and forest for weeks at a time, gambling our supply on each challenge and withdrawing when we are bested by something we hadn't anticipated. I mean, those who would yet suffer while we aren't where we are meant to be. Which is in the Vale, in the Peerage Ward, to protect our Lord and; The citizens of the Peerage. Mothers, fathers, daughters, sons. Servants. Tradesmen. Cooks. Chamberpot scrubbers.

We are not the only house who bears arms to protect them, assuredly. In fact, we do not have the reputation to even have the strongest of arms. But we are apart of that protection, and as it seems to me, at current one of the most active efforts. This day alone, Sunpurse marches to the marshes to trial. Will they return? Probably. But there is a chance they won't for some time, or not at all. A whole host of retainers from Sunpurse, Orza, and Nephezar. Only the Vale remains.


Upon your desires of legitimization as a House and Name, I find it intrinsically curious. More predominantly because you say that you wish not for politics, and yet wish for them in the same breath. Your men would not follow you because you would be wrapped in other houses, and their business, well that is what will occur. It is to say, that is the very nature of being a House. To be a Lord. A political figure. A list of beliefs, intentions, and ruling of what is and isn't in your lordly court.

True, you say that you will not be in and revolving around what happens within the ninety-ninth ring. That you would serve the Peerage from afar in trade, secure location for wayward retainers to rest. But I don't personally believe that is enough of an offer to entice legitimacy.

Firstly, because it tends to break the tradition of what the Peerage is. The governance bestowed upon the Houses that be, to govern the ninety-ninth.  And politics are more of a way for the houses to mind the time before we're beset upon as a whole. Slighting, picking, and humiliating each other for the love of the struggle. If you're not going to participate in that, then how do you expect them to believe you are their equal? Because you assailed a keep with no one guarding it?

Secondly, it is quite a weight and burden you're asking for. I do not wish to insult you by any measure of the imagination, but you say being a retainer will make you little more than a servant in armor, then you're correct. And I am not offended by that in any respect. It is easy to believe that you are capable of making decisions that effect more than just yourself, but a whole people in one voice. Much more difficult when you're faced with famine, and one choice could send your people into starvation; To a point that they would feast on the weaker number in order to survive. Or to break bread and deal with someone who you thought to be one thing, and was another entirely. Chain and shackling them to whatever strings that were yet tied to it. At least with taking the Velstran violet, your people would have a choice. If you're a Lord, whatever decision you make is their choice.  If they are yours to actually command, that is.


I expected as much, this type of warfare that you describe. That it would be over in a matter of moments, rather than a siege and a day. Because, indeed, that is the quickest way to snuff out a threat is to descend upon your prey like quickened devils. Slice them out of existence with a single swing of your sword. Indeed. That is what I would have done. For that is who I am.

It is, in he same stroke, why I do not and will not, ever prize fight unless I am otherwise bid. It is the way that my enemies that be would know me for the moment they choose to pounce.  But perhaps I am not as good as I think I am. Which is quite likely.

Tell me, do you know this "Big Cheese"? It is believed that she is an avid and vocal hunter of changelings in service to the Rat Catcher's Guild. I seek words, but my brother seems skeptical of her. He believes that perhaps it is a cloak she bears, this effort she shows daily over the bronze bauble. Telling people to beware the were. But I am not so certain.

I will be taking her blood for good measure, but perhaps you have known this halfling in the past.


Sign,

Retainer in Service to House Velstra



Random_White_Guy

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on: April 05, 2020, 04:30:22 AM
You're not the first to call my Flynn, the Scion of House Moonspear reveled in calling me such at times I think. It's a common occurence in this city so I take no insult by it. Only two halflings i've seen in the Rat Catcher's guild - One hidden away in their keep, the other running around in the Sewers with an army of rats on her heels. Afraid i've been afield so I can't tell you much more than that.

To your two points though -

Of the first.

Quote
If it is as you say only a matter of governance of the 99th ring it would not have been here, in the 71st, the Ancestral Lands of Lord Velstra staked claimed. It would not be the workings of the Houses in other rings, though I'd not risk Houndbait. This city at large, service to the King, and more have long been shaped by men and women who struck out with naught but their name and a vision. Those who would pledge to them, in turn, taking up their colors and mission alongside them. By Decree I hold keep as Royal Castellan, I assailed no "Empty Keep" as you put it. It was bequeathed, by the one who your Lord's daughter bequeathed it to, as he felt I could do more of both the lands and the Ring than a family which abandoned it to him. I have faced challenges and obstacles few in the Ninety Ninth can fathom, while they parade about their Seams and take their mercenary contract. I know not how much you know of the House of Glitt but even their salvation, was discovered in the Deeper Rings. As have Knights been raised, Wizards rise from scholar to more, and beyond. It is a challenge laid forth by the King, or so many in the Peerage have told me. It is where the High Thaumaturge cut his teeth, it is where Ser Vlad Orza slew mighty Bear and Tiger. It is a realm where young men depart in campaign, and return victorious. 

It is where names are made, conquests won, and challenges tackled. It is then returning to the Peerage we may enjoy the spoils of our conquests, while the Great Houses govern and attend affair and ensure the Ward not fall to the entropy and anarchy of the Outrings.

While I am no young man I and mine have made our way. Yet before I could even return to enjoy my victory, to return to the Anthophilous Society to partake of the flowers and the fine wine, to see what could be brought to the Peerage - as after all I did indeed offer to bring forth our game and more, I was beset. Beset by a woman who earned favor buying Trinkets from Luke Danebluff, if local gossip is to be believed, to name herself a Veteran. Her raving echoes parroted by the Lord's son, seeking undoubtedly to prove himself in his father's eyes.

As a soldier most of my life I knew politics was unavoidable, I simply had the luxury of station to not need worry myself of it.  Such changed when the Deed to these lands, and indeed the title, were imparted upon me by the King.

It was no different than the magics of the dispensary, the explosive showing of light as the Wizard gifted Warrenwatch. As if to say to each of us - "You are where you belong".

To your second point-

Quote
I do not mean to sound callous but if you seek famine, if you seek hardship, if you seek misery and woe, if you seek the soldier's march and watching your brethren perish, if you seek hard choices made as scared eyes look to you upon the ramparts as thunderous explosions and rain of mud fall beneath spellfire and siege weapon? You need look no further than the rings. An army has the luxury of supply lines, encampments drawn, and more. In these rings we are five to seven, chasing down what we may to survive in the harshest of territories. As you we know little of one another I do not expect by missive alone you to know my past but where others have returned from the Rings to resupply we have endured and faced the famine of which you speak. We have faced these challenges of the Rings, we have faced famine and terror, we have battled monstrosity I cannot put to parchment lest I be feasted upon by Hound. But we found a land of plenty, those who have taken up my colors and who look to me for answers in the harshest moments.

I suppose the reason I drag my heels is to preserve some sense of me no longer being the callous hunter I once was. It is far easier to send sellswords and more to temper him for the challenges to come, if he truly seeks these deeper rings. He shall need a full crew he trusts, loyal and true to his banner as mine are to me. He shall need to face the famine of you which you speak, and he shall need to grow as both a soldier and a commander if the rumors spread of his brash actions and feeble attempts are merited as they circulate among his foes in Ticker Square.

I smoke this cigarette and pen these words gazing upwards before me is the terrible Smoulderpeaks, a titanic challenge that in these rings spoken of only in the most fearful of whispers and terrible of curses...

I suppose I don't see the need for a young boy to die for his misguided attempts to earn his Father's favor, when he can do just as much in the 99th Ring or with you in the Mongrelwoods, or anywhere in these rings.

I gaze on the Peak not knowing if I and my crew shall even return alive. So perhaps I see little need to put a boy to his death only for me to die on my next conquest, as is so sadly the Soldier's fate. That if for a time at least one of us live if I meet my end beyond. Or perhaps the reason I refuse to bend Knee over a plot of land is over the Peak I shall find something more moving to me than this Keep, and may be more inclined to see the Deed returned to your family for a sizable and pleasant reward.

I only know that when I offered forth my generosity after the hardest challenge of my life faced, the House of Velstra spat and howled like beasts. Casting forth naught but vile and venom and insult upon me, who in the past once treated in your Vale as friend. Not even a congratulations, not even a day of respite, not even a chance to enjoy my spoils before tantrum began. Only that I was false, that I was a pretender, that I was a liar and a cheat and a thief and all so many things I have prided myself fully on never being while I cut a bloody swath through both these rings and my contracts I was hired for. Still I have heard none with fury with the Wizard for passing on Ancestral lands he was trusted to by your Family, to a stranger.

Let us for now call it... Sour grapes, for the poor reception from a House once touted for its diplomatics.

Enjoy the hunt of dwarves if it comes to such, enjoy treating with the Silver Hats as they are fair hunters like yourself, and the quarreling with Danebluff. Perhaps in a few weeks if I survive my coming challenges I shall return to the Peerage with far finer treasures, and we may share drink at the Anthophilous.

I march deeper for now but I am growing fond of your correspondence, so rarely do I find time to sit and simply put my thoughts to parchment, do feel free to send more.

Horatio Fynn
Baron of the Grey Marches
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Duna

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on: April 07, 2020, 07:46:50 PM
Mister Fynn,

The days have been long, and not without terror. Terror. Just when you believe it cannot be anymore worse , the Nine is rolled and you find a great labyrinth of living, breathing fanatics who have been steadily killing and mutilating the weak of any like.  Feeding it spoon by spoon to their master.

What they speak over whispers is true. The Arbiters and their Cube have vanished. And if you would venture forward into the Scrag to see it for yourself, you would be met with far worse dangers than low ranking thieves and feral dogs. All of it, seemingly the result of whatever unholy ritual took place beneath it's road ways. This was not shadow men. This was madness.

I marched with thirty or so men of all likes, and I am not sure how many survived. I am not even sure how I survived. But we failed to stop it, and so now we have to deal with the consequences. And deal with it without the Cube and it's men.

The Arbiters were not my ally, but my brother and I have the opinion that they were certainly not an evil that needed to be dealt with. Many of the Scrolls they tended to preach on were really no different from the laws we already enforce. I think the only one that was even disputed was their scroll on planar beings being present within our world. And mostly hotly debated to those willing to take such risk such as Ticker, and Nephezar. We will see the extent of how heavy their influence truly was in the coming days. If it is as some have predicted, Ticker Square will be the first to know.

The Nothing, the Changelings, and now this cult and what it has done on the surface, and the unknowns beneath. It all seems to ring the death knell of the Ring. A great war comes, and it's not the one you or I have been discussing. And dare I say, we are not ready. The Ward has not yet recovered from it's loss, and Ticker Square seem quite preoccupied with an . . . Election? For a mayor? A farse, shall we say. A thing that will make little difference, and is yet a promising distraction against the tide that would soon swallow them whole.

Rather a short letter, but there is much I must see too. We've a few traitors who have abandoned the Peerage for some promise of coin, as well as a partial few who have yet not been seen or spoken in a great many days. But I will leave you with this:

My points stated in letters previous were not a signal of what we intend. They were stated  as query. The mention of famine, and the theoretic situation that you would be given choices was all example of what could happen. It's design was to get you to think about what the difference between powers of a Lord, and a Captain of a ring-running squad. Nothing more.

As for your hiring of three companies to dispatch and scatter us, it is an interesting choice. It shows me that you're not as committed to the idea of war as you might say. Why risk your own men when you could pay others to take the risk for you? Why march back through the rings, when you could have your cake and eat it to. But if they succeed, will it be your victory? Or Ticker Square's? A question for the future.

Be well. Your castle may just become contest for a great many if this Ring should fail.


Sign,

Retainer in Service to House Velstra



Random_White_Guy

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on: April 08, 2020, 09:43:54 AM
No response is forthcoming at this time...
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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 10, 2020, 03:55:38 PM
Hunter,

Apologies for the delay. With no Door Keeper handy your letter was left to languish in their care. The Rings have not failed to offer challenge and I've had something of a notably eye opening experience as only can be provided. It was a very taxing few weeks but suffice to say I am feeling particularly hung over from the victory celebration and pretty much still in shock from what transpired.

It still all doesn't feel quite real, in truth. That feeling after a big hunt when you're sitting there knife in hand covered in blood looking over your prize. Physically you know it's done, in your head part of you knows, but another part just doesn't... quite click it yet.

I have been informed by the Bravo Tie of Orza that some manner of Peace attempt has been negotiated, that young Master Winespill has permitted me travel through the Peerage ward per First Law, and a few other notions. Suffice to say I have a few offerings which should be more than enough to see this peace be truly beneficial to all parties involved. The rest perhaps can be shared in person, please inform him that I've dispatched Tie ahead of time after we met in the Crossroads.

In a few days time we shall return to the Outrings to settle affairs.

Horatio Fynn
Baron of the Grey Marches
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Random_White_Guy

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on: April 16, 2020, 11:30:55 AM
Off in a non-descript ring smoking a cheap cigarette overlooking an non-descript view, a lone figure reads over old letters and scribbles

Hunter,

Been having to write too damn many of these letters lately.  Got word you perished and it's a damn shame since I was looking forward to hunting with you and your brother. Heard tell it was messy too, but in this city there's worse ways to go than a messy death, hope at least it were quick. It's not something I'm unused to but it never gets much more pleasant. The road's lonely enough and while we never did meet in person there was a degree of solace brought, even among all the turmoil, to get to know folk by parchment. Today were a weird day to say the least. I was outrings tending some contract business and something I didn't expect happened.

 A crowd formed and recognized me. Like... recognized me, recognized me. These wide-eyed ring runners having passed the Ninety Second came to Towertop to extend to me their names and well wishes, their chance to meet "The" Fynn, and... shit. I dunno. I threw them some work and afterwards we sat around the campfire on the roads. I cooked up some panbread, we shared tales, I got to know them and learn about their reasons for taking up the march and all that shit. It was the best i've felt in a great many days. That feeling of optimism in the early stretches, getting a crew together, that bond that only those of us who have done it can know. Hearing them talk of their companions and all they're keen on.

Found out that after striking peace with Velstra, your Young Master killed two oathbreakers and then took a swipe at his Brother, and lived to tell the tale. Can't help but wonder if I had waited to make peace it wouldn't have held in my favor, but I still say it was the right choice. Feels like with every new keystone what buries into my flesh with it is carried the tales of the dead men and women I've treated with and enjoyed conversation with along the way. Where ever you ended up, I hope at least you still got your Brother with you, I know it's hollow solace at this point but if you had to go it was at least with your Brother. There's a comfort to come in that of sorts.

There's so much sad and bitter talk of "Decay" and of "Ruin" and all that in these rings and people just don't stop to realize that it's out there, y'know?  Off the edge of the map there's an escape from all that feeling. With a good crew, with a true life on your terms, just... being alive. It's a harsh contrast, but it's -there-. I've lived it, i'm still living it. Four strangers in a Tavern fawning over my name and keystones, camping out with them for a few hours, drinking and hearing their tales.

Shame we never got to break bread or hunt one another but Velstra's at peace with us now and we've laid the groundwork to help the Red Lion get his claws back.

Dunno what'll come from it but at the very least? We're trying.

You and your brother keep hunting, mate. If I get wherever you and your brother are I'll cut a fire and we can make camp proper.

I'll burn some Deer that you and him caught and share the tale of how I became our Crew's cook.

Stories and companions, That's how we beat this.

Cities have burned to ruins before, monsters have roamed before, mankind's endearingly durable like that and we always find a way.

Warm soup, fresh bread, a kind gesture in the harshest territories?

They can take a lot of shit from us but they can't take that, as much as they try.

The Nothing, the King, the Peerage, the Guild, the Lizards, the Orcs, the Goblins, the Monsters, the Men, everything. Everyone.

Because forever they've tried to take it, and forever there's been men like me they've called mad on the map's edge.

Blade in one hand, bottle of rum in the other, clutching to both against tide and time with the most simple, most defiant of challenges.

"Fuck you."

I'm gonna miss your letters, mate.

Thanks for taking the time to write a stranger.

Horatio Fynn
Captain of the Seven Striders

The stack is taken methodically one by one and burned by the cigarette, the ashes wafting away in the breeze.
[11:23 PM] Howlando: Feel free LealWG
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