Author Topic: Leopold of the Radiant Spark  (Read 407 times)

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Random_White_Guy

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on: October 01, 2020, 10:41:15 PM
Salutations, Castellan Leopold.

As a recently awoken I offer my sincerest congratulations upon your Dame's victory at the bridge. It was thrilling to see such a force of raw power dispel the horrific nothing, the terrifying shade, and the gloaming darkness that embodies the souls of so many men and women who walk this city. I myself have had to deal with many of their shadowed woes, the blackrains wreaking havoc many of the City merely ignored. I write to you this evening with a question in mind and I understand it is a tumultuous one in every conceivable shape and form.

You are not unknown for your actions against the famed Wolf. Soon now you are to inhabit the Castle Miserth steeped in its own histories deep within a bountiful forest teeming with life and swelling with all the Nothing despises. The Motley of Miserth are renown and known as the bitter holdouts loyal to whatever son or daughter of the Peerage Ward bestowed the land. However given the Peerage's guided miseducation the Motley are robustly and roundly steadfast against any overtures- peaceful and otherwise. 

In commune with the spirits they have shared that the threat of the Nothing is as manifold as it is eldritch and an ancient battle that has been pursued by many over the ages of this realm. There are spirits of mirth, of benevolence, of joy, of splendor, and more who have long fended the encroaching bitterness. There are spirits primeval of the order, of peace, of stability that have long stymied the apathetic and the corrupting chaos that the Shadowed King would impose. Since a time before man even sought to keep time or outlaw it this battle has raged.

I cannot help but wonder in my meditations if there is not in any chance, as your mandate places the Nothing above all else, you have a wider gaze of scope and scale than the footment who have long served the Peerage's selfish interest.

The question I would ask:

Would you welcome a guide to these forest spirits benevolent and meaningful?
A representative of those that seek only to stymie the influence of the Nothing?
Changeling as they may be...

If you worry this some matter of blackmail or otherwise you are welcome to burn this missive.
If though curiosity holds you merely leave a Chalkmark X upon the back of the roadsign to Castle Miserth and envoy can be dispatched who does not infringe upon your Oaths as sworn.

Otherwise if you are not so worried feel free to leave missive at the Ponds. I do so rarely get letters and I find them the rarest treat.

- A Changeling
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WriterX

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on: October 05, 2020, 11:35:37 PM
*Almost a week after the original message, a response is finally received at the Ponds*

Unfortunately, as colorful and enticing as your letter and offer is, I have my oaths and my beliefs. While it is true I had a singular instance where I allowed for changeling magic to be performed before my very eyes (not counting an army of changelings and gnomes in the Ponds, a few nights past) it is not something I can approve of, and as such I must strongly decline your offer. I am a Servant of the Dame, and by extension I serve the King. The King sees Changelings as a foe, and while I am not as rabid about hunting down every single supposed changeling as many past Inquisitors, I will not walk alongside them.

You may ask for my reasoning behind this, but for this I have a simple answer, I follow the King's edicts. I may question their logic or aim, but he is my King, and his word is Law. There is no greater authority than that of the King. Until the King declared something that would be contrary to all I believe in, I will follow his edicts to the letter.

Sincerely,

Leopold Sobol



Random_White_Guy

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on: October 07, 2020, 10:53:23 PM
Castellan,

The words back more already than anticipated. There were many who said my effort folly as you all would merely kill me for the attempt. As you contacted me again I have been watching, listening, observing between my times knocking upon the clouds.  The works of your Order undertaken have been long needed and bring a great deal of balance back to the outer rings, for too long did they slither and lurk with ill conspiratorial intent. I wonder though in earnest - Where is it you see the King's hand in all this?

I do not deny the power of the King as a symbol as it galvanizes many of the Ward and that order does keep a degree of structure in the otherwise tribalistic tendencies of those feuding families who are bound by pride. I only wonder why the King is raised so on high while the deeds of men and women themselves so readily discounted. The spirits are all around us. Each and every day, every waking moment in this wondrous world we inhabit. They can be seen, heard, influencing the world around us in any and all events. Just as men there are fair spirits and foul ones, chaotic ones and those that flourish and thrive when structure brought.

It was not the King that bade you all hunt Kastian, but your oaths. To protect, to be decent, a scarcity in these parts by any sum.  You decried Kastian long before he was named a traitor, as they all preened and fawned over him in the Tournament. I saw no act of kingly glory that laid Kastian low. It was the work as you said - of many including the Witch of Sunpurse who himself works the Shades. Of those of the people that came to march in support of your Dame. Of yourself and others all moving in tandem. Of the Blackjacks who sow corruption and torture publicly by whispers and merely say "Oops I had meant interrogation" as if such erases the mind of all that was just heard and throw the King's name out as a soothing balm.

But this abstract notion of the King, some Man, or Entity, beyond our ken dictating terms to a select few chosen? It does not sound a kingdom, it sounds a cult.  And given the sadistic workings of the King's Dispensary as his Herald belittles and demeans and takes such pleasure in people shedding blood bucket by bucket every few days?

Blood shed and poured out willingly upon his site of ritual magic?

This does not sound a particularly benevolent cult, which leads me to ask of the final line of your missive.

"Until the King declared something that would be contrary to all I believe in, I will follow his edicts to the letter".  I've chewed upon it for days and It is a riddle I cannot solve.

Declared by whom?
What entity shall declare the King something that would be contrary to all you believe in?
The Dame who has raised you on high?
The Spirit of the shrine you knelt and bent your oath?
Or would it be a choice made yourself?

Even if you wish never read one of my missives again or ever respond again likewise I must know the answer to the riddle if you could please be so kind.

A Changeling
« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 10:55:41 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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WriterX

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on: October 08, 2020, 06:37:40 AM
Changeling,

 I suppose in order for you to understand what I mean, I need to address something that may not be too obvious.

 The King did not speak to us directly in a very, very long time. His Herald and his Servants did, but that came in many forms, and even during the tourney when the Archivists and Scribes spoke of all that had happened during the tourney, I suspected foul play. It is no secret that the state of our city degraded greatly over time, and I put this blame upon his servants and his nobles. I do not know why the city is the way it is, I do not know why the Dispensary exists, why non-humans are hated in the Ward so, or why except for two small areas, the Peerage and Ticker, everything else feels like a ruin, swarmed by monsters and bandits.

Whether it is laziness or a greater tragedy unfolding over time I do not know, but now I can answer your question.

The King is as much a man, as he is a symbol of how great things once were. Of a time when the Sibilant were truly defeated, when apparently one could pass through the many gates simply by knocking upon them, when chivalry and honour truly meant something. When Harad organized his "Parties" I looked to the banners that described how Harad became in the state that he was now, and it showed that the King who, while perhaps ruthless to some degree, punished those who were clearly in the wrong.

The King was a symbol of chivalry and justice, unlike anything or anybody who walks with us now. He is as much our ruler, as he is a symbol of things that once were.

I look up to the King as both a Ruler and a symbol of a past. A glorious past that may never return, but that is something I wish changed. A rebirth of chivalry, of honour, a return of the glorious day of our realm. I want to hold on to that idea, by holding onto my King, until I can see it through.

And that is why, if the King ever completely became a symbol of something other than this idea, that I hold close to my heart, I would have to oppose him. If his servants performed an act that was against my ideas, I would oppose them. If our nobles, those who technically stand far above us, did so in turn I would raise my sword and oppose them.

It is also why I so rabidly stood against the Black Crown. Why the King of Nothing fills me with rage. How the Scribes in their ineptitude almost caused a tragedy. Why people willing to parley with the Nothing are worse than any other traitorous scum.

There is only one True King, and I wish to save his Realm so that, perhaps, one day, he will speak to us again.

Kind Regards,

Castellan Sobol



Random_White_Guy

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on: October 10, 2020, 09:00:07 AM
Castellan,

Decay is a natural part of life. The ebb and flow of the tide, the land giving way to the river, and onward. There is no denying the power of the Symbol and that you aspire for such is admirable - many I meet in my travels crave the same nostalgia. A time in which these Walls were not raised, when the populace could travel where they wished and how they wished - nothing sadder though than the fact that traversing through the Rings is far less dangerous than seamstry or other activities indulged in among the Ninety Ninth ring.

The decay you worry of though I hope brings with it understanding. For destruction is the natural want of all things. Even your Dame's proposal to destroy the Brimstone Lodge, even the efforts of those I meet in my travels who wish a more primal life, it is far easier to destroy than it is to build. Easier to unravel a conspiracy than weave a future. Even without the Lodge, or the Bone Collectors in the Sewers, or the efforts of the Nothing Cult you hunt, the problem is endemic.

I hope in time you may find legitimate holding in the 98th Ring of Castle Miserth, if only to be free of the Ninety Ninth Ring's influence. Yet rather than the neutering of the Spirits of the forest as was done to the Steadings you take pause. A pause to listen, to reflect, and consider. That there was upon a time so long ago a moment your King walked these lands without walls, without claim, and he himself experienced for the first time the majesty of all that it beheld.

A glorious past that may never return, but that is something so many who are labeled changeling wish changed, a time in which the realm of the Ninety Ninth ring resembled the Sheppardnine Hillocks. With verdant hills and a flourishing Canal free of refuse and waste and otherwise, and similar hopes for an idyllic and symbolic past in which life was valued. It was not without its dangers but there was a harmony to the place mankind had with the world around it.  Such atrocities committed against the 99th Ring in the name of such hopes, the angry and distrusted and fearful turning feral. It is a matter I seek to curb but it is a jarring thing for both the awoken to be thrust into this terrifying place where we are hunted merely for our beliefs in the First Faith and those born here who dwelled dwelled watching the same decay as yourself.

You have answered my question though and for that you have my gratitude, whatever such may be worth to a man of your station and pursuits.

As I seek balance in all things perhaps one you wish ask in kind?

A Changeling
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Random_White_Guy

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on: November 21, 2020, 03:40:28 PM
Castellan,

It has been quite some time and yet from time to time the leaves rattle with the whispering of your name, your continued deeds, and it's pleasing that not all efforts of benevolence are stripped from the realm. I take up charcoal once more because I find myself with a curious dilemma and I am wondering how your wisdom and insight to both your Oaths and the affairs of the Peerage ward may shed light upon it.

 Giuseppe Orza delivered a woman's soul to the Nothing and yet lives. The Bannerhouse seemed content that saving her from such clutches enough? I heard little of any grand denouncing or pursuing him as a Cultist of the Nothing or otherwise. Or is there to be further upon the man who perpetrated such a vile act?

I only ask because in the auld faith of my people we view the Nothing as an entity which has ever existed. It is one to be combated without question, at every turn, but it can never truly be destroyed. No more than the Spirit Realm may be sundered.

But of the Peerage though there is always such wisdom spread of the righteousness of the faiths, the efforts of honor and prestige, of glory. I understand the romance of a Knight upon a Dragon, the lust for honorable retainers against the dastardly Knaves of Ninety Nine, but that a Wizard traded a Soul to the Nothing? What was gained by the boy who did this from the Moonspear? What was his punishment?

For all the bluster over the Lord Departed and the demands of singular faith and more even the Vestry has left crickets to chirp and locusts to buzz over the matter Or, like so many other things in your King's domain, does having a cruel and powerful father excuse any and all reprocussions for actions?

I merely have difficulty wrapping my head around such, and the more I weigh, the more I am confused. How may I preach that balance must be had against the vile and basest greed of a Red Dragon when those of the Nothing permitted by the King's own?

For surely a Red Dragon is a vile thing, that I cannot deny, but the Nothing... whom so many for so long shook the stones and trumpeted horns about defeating remains influential among the Peerage?

A dissonance in my head with every breath while I try to advocate the Peerage should be fostered over the Dragon. Or am I mistaken in such a choice, if it merely means the Nothing and other Dark Force may act with impunity so long as the veneer of pomp and familial ties protect?

A Changeling
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WriterX

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on: November 21, 2020, 04:12:45 PM
Changeling,

 If I may be frank with you, on these matters, I am not pleased with the end result of what happened in regards to Guiseppe. While one could say his intention was not to release the woman's soul into the Nothing it was, at the very least, an act most vile. One which, as you might imagine, I would had pursued to be punished, as harshly as possible.

 The only reason Guiseppe lives, from my point if view, is the following:

Firstly, Orza immediately offered to "make things right". They sent their men into the Nothing, hoping to resolve this incident.

Secondly, there is a permanent status quo between the houses.

The first point needs no explanation, but I shall elaborate upon the second one.

The Houses, despite their grandeur and size (in some cases), are weak. For all the presentation, armor and talk of chivalry, honor or prestige, there is very little of it to truly go around. If you consider the fact that most incidents are not resolved by armies of Household Retainers, but instead by handful of more experienced or Elite ones, this leads me to believe that even Orza, the mightiest of the five houses in terms of military might, is still fragile.

Consider the fact that it took two Ballistas and Nicholas Velstra's Lionguards to not only cause visible damage to Castle Moonspear, but also to put Orza in a visible situation where they wished to avoid an open conflict.

This is very uncharacteristic for a House that has been known for very violent outbursts in the past, as Grigori's sons have already shown before.

All this said, why I believe this is important for the final piece of my answer, is because if all Houses are equally weak they know that removing one of them, by punishing them for something like what Guiseppe did, would leave a power vacuum. A vacuum none of the houses could quickly seal up, exposing the already fragile Peerage to outside and inside influence, the sort none of them would want.

Perhaps that is why we rarely, if ever, hear of the House Lords doing anything on their own. They never give explicit orders, and instead of truly aiding their retainers in any manner they hand out the same repaired and re-patched equipment, over and over again.  It was even said that something as small as re-opening the Velstry heavily Taxed House Nephezar, which, considering the relatively small size of the building, is a bit surprising to myself.

It might also be why none of the Lords offered immediate aid to the Steadings, as they simply cannot afford it, instead hoping that their Retainers take the initiative, or in a more unfair or brutal perspective, do it for them.

The overall state of the Peerage is poor. There seems to be a lack of motivation to do anything to improve the state of the Ward. A single peak into the Refuge of House Nephezar makes a visitor realise that there is rubble in the main hall. The bridge to the Peerage is also in a poorer, rather than better state. With the current holes in Castle Moonspear, I do not know when or rather whether, they will ever be fixed.

While I do love my home, I'd wish I could find somebody to help rebuild it. Where instead of reacting to multiple disasters we would be able to make things better for those living there.  But, whenever we seem to defeat one threat, another springs up, in greater force. The Tournament of the Nothing, the Torcs, and all manner of other threats appear in such a dauntingly regular manner all we can do is hold our shields up and block these incoming blows, hoping we will remain standing.

There is nobody we can reliably rely on, because thanks to the poor management of some of the Lords and their Retainers, we have no allies. The only allies one has is those he knows personally. I would not trust, at this time, neither House Orza nor Sunpurse, at this time. And allow me to say, I found the list of demand, created by Lady Oriana, to be simply farcical. I do not even understand why the Dragon would be interested in tying the knot with a fallen and cursed house, such as this one.

While I hold no ill toward Lady Oriana herself, as I have never met her in person, time and time again her retainers have managed to surprise me, almost as much as all of the Orzan Infernalists and Traitors.

However, I feel I have drowned you in parchment by now, I do not know how I will fit it into an envelope, but I hope the ink does not smudge too much.

Castellan Leopold Sobol



Random_White_Guy

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on: November 21, 2020, 11:18:24 PM
Worse things to drown in than parchment, Castellan.

And it is commendable you continue to fight for your home even with all that happens to it. In my time in this city I have found many of the Ponds who share the same belief. It is a difficult thing to watch over, and over, and over as one attempt after the next grind's a man's will to dust. There are those who it bend and compromise, those who break and debase themselves, and otherwise. To hold firm is admirable.

It is why despite the misgivings of politics I have always enjoyed our parchment conversation. In a time before, a lifetime ago it feels, I too knew oathtakers. There is a kinship felt as those who believe in not just any one idea but a notion larger than themselves. A matter and force to consider as it drives and shapes them. It gives one hope, purpose, desires overlap with duty, and it brings out such possibilities.

I would be lying if I did not say I would be glad to meet you, but given circumstance I know that would only end in catastrophe for one or the other of us. By simple virtue of my faith and my beliefs your King would see me hanged.

Yet I would ask - Your King, would he not have affairs to mitigate some if not any of these woes? That why for weeks there has been a flocking of duplicitous "Bishops" and yet no Inquisitor to stymie the brigandry of the Knaves? Or even pursuing we Changelings who flourish? As clearly written by your King's own will?

You once penned to me-

Quote
If his servants performed an act that was against my ideas, I would oppose them. If our nobles, those who technically stand far above us, did so in turn I would raise my sword and oppose them.

It is also why I so rabidly stood against the Black Crown. Why the King of Nothing fills me with rage. How the Scribes in their ineptitude almost caused a tragedy. Why people willing to parley with the Nothing are worse than any other traitorous scum.

Since you wrote these words it was discovered there was yet even after the Tournament people willing to parley with the Nothing.
What is more parley than delivering Souls to it? Gieuseppe Orza, son of Lord Ozra, potentially to rise in his father's stead should he perish?

I too sit in difficult position among my people, but I do not envy your path, fair Castellan.

I thank you for your insights and shall continue to weigh affairs. Dragons sit ill with me, especially the chromatic, but they are at least in part Natural to this world. And while inconsolable greed and corruption and cruel violence are unsavory? Among my people they are far less sleight than Soultraffic.

A Changeling
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 11:22:55 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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WriterX

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on: November 21, 2020, 11:58:44 PM
Changeling,

 A few things make me wonder about the dragon's actions. I can understand it wanting a tighter grip on Ticker, but why is it interested in marrying into house Sunpurse? Does he think he will, somehow, gain more power in the City, by becoming part of a ruined house? Perhaps with his wealth the debts would be erased, but the house is still cursed, and for all I know the Dragon might die the moment it ties the knot. And even, if we assume, that the Dragon survived the multitude of curses and bad luck, he does not, in fact, inherit anything from the marriage.

If Lady Sunpurse is of the Sunpurse line, then her children inherit her titles. Oscar does not gain any of the Sunpurse titles, and if he plotted against Oriana he is not "of Sunpurse". His entire plan, or plot, feels flawed. He would gain only as much power as he could hold until his "wife" passed, and humans do not live nearly as long as dragons.

Unless, of course, the Archives surprised us with some arbitrary rules, as they always do, or Sunpure forged one of the worst marital agreements in the history of such agreements, which could only rival the Clockwork Accord with how terrible it was.

Better yet, the Archives have become completely silent when it comes to answering whether Oscar is, in fact, a "noble". Then again, it might be that Oriana welcomes any suitor, whether beggar off the street or prominent duke, it is only about that list of Sorrows.

I pray to the gods that I witness the transfer of Miserth over to my Dame, because at least then, in that small corner of the city, I will be able to maintain normalcy, to a degree. It will be one of the few places where laws are set in stone, and not changing at the whim of rules that only the Scribes themselves seem capable of uncovering (or, as some of us believe, make up).

I am, also, powerless against Orza, its Lords and many traitors. Politics is a delicate thing, and while the simplest solution would be to punish all wrongdoers immediately, one must be aware that brash actions can lead to even greater disasters. If I did anything to Guiseppe the Bannerhouse, that is already in a poor state after losing many members of its family and house, would only suffer further from an open war with House Orza.

Truth be told, I am surprised the Archives did not remove all of Orza's "prestige" for these actions, or imposed any form of penalty. All these events have shown me that the noble families can do as they please, with absolutely no consequence, but the moment a Retainer so much as waves to anybody not considered a human and they are immediately punished.

At least in the wilds you know a bear might try to eat you, you are aware it is a wild beast. In the Peerage you are surrounded by snakes that seem friendly enough, until they bite into you, spreading their venom until you are dead. The mightiest seem untouchable, while the lowest are punished for the smallest lapse.

I am still not over how Retainer Hazel of Velstra was insulted and hurt, by those who did not treat her as an equal. I can honestly say, without a shadow of a doubt, she has earned the right to be a Retainer, more so than many Orzans or Sunpurse Retainers who have turned out to be traitors, or worse.

  Castellan Leopold Sobol



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on: November 28, 2020, 11:05:50 PM
Where as previous missives delivered by raven, this time a stark and beautifully white Snow Owl makes its way to Leopold. Perhaps an omen? Around its ankle a  missive wrapped neatly.

Castellan-in-Waiting,

I write you now will ill portent. Time has come at long last upon the traffic and trials of the Peerage Ward.  Though it has not yet been raised publicly and no formal Ban is raised, it frees me to offer what I may without breach of my oaths and other secrets I must keep.

I write you in advance as a courtesy not that you may prepare your forces but that yourself and those you have taken swearing to may see the innocent and otherwise fair of your Realm cared and tended. I know you have said you lay struggled to secure Miserth in any capacity, let alone in means to build up your efforts. However by the actions of Gallant IV and the Velstry's incessant calling for more and more Inquisition, and Changeling Hunts, and likewise threats have raised the hackles of many otherwise peaceful.  Those of the Wilds have grown bristled and eyes drift for the Weald.

Dame Eleleth's pilgrimage into the Rings, her fight to come with the Dragon, and more require nothing of the Castle. They have burdened you with a poisoned apple, an untenable position on the edge of a frontier. The steadings burned and ruined and no mean of enduring Siege. Supply lines unheld. Reinforcements sparse. The forests near roaming with Ghylherd, Mongrel, and many more tribes merely awaiting a rallying.

I ask of you to request from your Dame permission to abandon the false fiefdom, that great lie of the Ward, and that you join her and strike into Kingward Pilgrimage as was your Dame's path or find other means to solidify footing in the Peerage proper without requiring any works in Miserth or the Weald.

The Forests and Hills of the Weald have long been unsafe for the Peer but these escalations have drawn auld eyes upon the region. The ground and caves shake and tremble, the spirits yowl, and the drums beat.

I have enjoyed our correspondence, the insights you have offered to the Peerage, and understanding that there is some kernel of worth left in that wretched place. Yet it is a seed that finds no water, finds no sunlight, and will not grow. Not so long as the Houses are given explicit immunity to repercussion and consequence for no matter otherwise than it is convenient they are strong of arms and name.

This shall be my final appeal in hopes that you will find a new path, find some new way to honor your oaths and faith without breach, and recognition that this Kingdom of yours is so very vast. An entire world awaits you out there and is in dire need of those who will work to enact righteousness, benevolence, and good works in harshest territory.  Cast off the shackles of the Peerage Ward and recognize that the King may be served without a life lost in the Weald. Or perhaps it is a time to strike out in reflection of what your King has allowed to transpire and occur for generations with no means, method, or avenue in which a reformationist as yourself can enact true and righteous change within.

Perhaps it is time you consider a life beyond the King's works and foster your own.

I know not what path you will take but I know this - Matters darken. In response to the Vestry and Bannerhouse The Great Druid has declared it; The Peerage Ward's time in the Weald and Underwood is at an end.

Quote
For their ban on free-thinking men and women in the 99th, the Bannerhouse and its subordinates should find no less in the 98th. Subdue them fiercely, search them for artifacts of necromancy or diabolism, and make sure they understand to stay out of the 98th.

As Archdruid I have some leeway, until this is declared publicly and a formal Ban enacted I am free to delicately skirt these words, to offer some semblance of balance and peace to the impending strife. That those such as yourself and decent may quietly act to prevent innocent loss and the weak and the elderly to safety beyond the forest's edge.

Only though a matter of time this shall buy before I am forced to Hunt.

A choice must be made, not by me but by yourself. As matters continue I will welcome correspondence until a time a Formal Ban is raised, at which point I shall have to cast off the inkwell and no more may I converse with the banned.

Though I am hesitant to call you a friend as you would gladly hang me for your King and I may soon be forced by Oath to feast upon your throat...

It has been a unique and rare pleasure.

A changeling
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 11:09:47 PM by Random_White_Guy »
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