Author Topic: Chronicle of the Wardens  (Read 1453 times)

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on: March 13, 2021, 02:38:27 PM

But two of us emerged from our long nepenthe;
My brother is Gwalchmei, son of Cadfael, Warden of the Realm and Keeper of the Vaults.
I am Seirian, daughter of Gwythyr, Warden of the Realm and Keeper of Histories.

So the mists brought us, and the mists now beckon our Lady. They cannot be denied.
Where the other Wardens are, I do not know.

Thus, we are few and we are diminished, but she remains Rhiannon; daughter of Mairwen, born of the mists and Lady of the Lake.
We will bear her hence.

Through all the lands, to the throne of our King, for the good of our Realm, Ever Young.
This is our errantry.


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on: March 13, 2021, 07:39:23 PM

Alas, that we should return to see our fair Realm in this state.
Lakes and glades to filth and alleys, where men prey ‘pon one another.
Fallen scions of fallen houses, mandates thrown to the wind.

Wherefore art thou distant and silent, good King Owain?
The Realm crumbles, thy people starve,
and here ‘midst the Peers of the Realm, a usurper reigns.

Thou wert the best of us, my liege. What hath befallen thee?
What is the name of thy bondage?

As the Realm waxes, so does our Lady.
Now, as it wanes and teeters, so does our Lady.
We cannot stay here.

Yet, passage to the throne is obstructed.
Walls and trials impede us. We do not remember them.

The King raised them, they say.
The King chokes the City, they say.
The King is dead, they say.
The King is a madman, they say.
The Crown is lost, they say.

There are those who guess, and there are those who shalt go to see.


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on: March 14, 2021, 11:54:50 AM

But one ring-gate deeper is another world entirely.
The Lady is drawn to these places, to ponds and willows and streams.
Her heart bleeds for the ancient, and every day I remind her of our quest, lest she languish.

We have joined with two of the fair aelfin folk, and we are much delighted.
Saevros and Elenya are they, and we are humbled by their deeds
 and heartened by their words.

Let the Realm Ever Young be once more dotted with elf-lights,
Guides and havens for the younger races.

We are all touched by the wyld, the Lady and her Wardens, in ways great or small.
Willingly we went into the mists, to the halls of the Horned King of the Winter Court.
We learned less than we had hoped, but more than we had feared.

Our fires are warmer, having felt winter.
Our fires are warmer, having seen their hearts.
Our errantry continues.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 11:59:29 AM by Auri »


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on: March 14, 2021, 02:46:35 PM


Wishing for something that can not be,
Mine heart yearns to share the road with thee,
Responsibilities abound, starcrossed are we,
Yet -under the moon thy heart heard mine plea.

Each day 'pon the road, I am stricken with woe,
Where art thou, where doth thou go?
T'is a dangerous dance, of fang and claw,
Willst thou withstand, or be swallowed by t'pumpkin maw?

Thine eyes, an ocean o' starlights,
Night sky, an ocean of thine eyes,
Oh, woe, why canst thou go with me and mine?
Leave, that which binds you, behind.

But thou canst, I know, I understand, I respect.
For t'is the same duty that guides me inwards.

Never fade away, mine friend, nor lose that smile 'pon thy visage.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 05:31:08 PM by annwn »


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on: March 15, 2021, 12:29:25 PM

At the behest of our friends, we have been joined by two retainers of the Ward.
I would be troubled, for such oaths are no simple thing to navigate, yet I trust them.

Luitgard is a noble spirit, and the oath of the Keywarden aligns with our own thoughts.
“If they can no longer walk, I shalt carry them.”
“Once a companion, forever in my heart.”
We are not so different.

Peony’s skills shalt serve us equally well, for none among us offer what she does.
She is blunt, I think, but better that than dishonest. Far better.

And so we are seven.
A number auspicious and bitter in equal measure, for when the Realm was fair and green
Our long table held seven Wardens.

We have collected, now, not one but two collections of relics.

Our first trial as a company.
It is time, then.

May the mists keep us.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 02:30:43 PM by Auri »


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on: March 15, 2021, 01:34:08 PM

One trial for another.
Each draconian gate, a gargoyle witnessing passage.
Anthropomorphised, stone basilisk.

Fate conspired to grant entrance.
A gesture not taken, not untested.

We marched.
Not unafraid.
In fact, terrified.
Yet, all the same.

Would you give life or limb, as so many have before you?

Dare you peek and see what they hide?

Thank you, my friend.

You, above all, proved worthy.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2021, 01:35:45 PM by Loops »


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on: March 16, 2021, 11:13:54 AM

When these foothills are wreathed in mists rich and plentiful
My heart yearns for a time that has gone.

Will I find thee riding on the mist, pennants aloft?
Will I find thee on the long road, in the spirit of errantry?

Will I find thee around the great table in the King’s Keep?
Will I find thee in the courtyards or the gardens?
Ah, look to the fore, Seirian, not to the past.

We fought to the base of the Ziggurat under black skies
And baleful green pyres.
Our first trial was denied to us; a greater ordeal in its place.

No matter.
We adhere to the rites of the Keywarden, gathered by the ring-gate.
Ninety-two walls remain.

We shalt leave this infernal device far behind us.
Though ‘tis never far from our minds.

Peony has fallen, and I scarce had time to know her.
Luitgard is frayed and who here can even begin to console her?

We tell tales and sing songs in the mist ‘round the fire,
Our number is lessened but our fellowship grows
And our resolve is  not diminished.


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on: March 24, 2021, 11:18:38 AM

These few days of respite affect us all in varied ways.
We can scarce contain brother-warden Gwalchmei’s wanderlust
And ever is he the first of us to push forward.

There are several, now, wishing to join with our fellowship:
Everly, whom we had shared the road with, now met in full in Towertop,
Frobo, a kind and stout halfling, well liked by us all.

We can only take one - this is the oath of the Keywarden.
Some of us hesitate to take a seventh at all,
Peony’s loss still too near.

Thus, for now, we remain six.
We look to the spirits of our friends;
May they heal warmly ere we continue.

The Holy Grail!--I trust
We are green in Heaven's eyes; but here too much
We moulder--as to things without I mean--
Yet one of your own knights, a guest of ours,
Told us of this in our refectory,
But spake with such a sadness and so low
We heard not half of what he said. What is it?
The phantom of a cup that comes and goes?'

« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 11:21:04 AM by Auri »


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on: March 24, 2021, 04:20:34 PM

There is an old echo in these flowerbeds
Something of the Realm That Was, that defies and comforts.
Still, none of us are at home.

The cobblestone roads are dusty, but not quiet
In the long shadows we met Agnes,
Seer of Moonspear.

More of the same;
The King is dead
The Crown is lost

She urges us to look to Lyon, the Son,
And, aye, perhaps we owe him our allegiance.
Yet, ‘tis not given on word alone.

Henriette’s stew and wine and cider
Here has the taste of alley-dust
And quenches nothing

There are others here, once more;
Ghestadt of the line of Uld, Oathsworn,
Yonqush, the keyrich bewitched, traveling merchant,
Nadine, once of the Archives, now… hmm,
Rivaros, a traveler from deeper rings.

We went as six, for the time was right,
And this was our trial.

‘Tis a unique pain, to bleed cold and  weep seam-stuff
As a stone flower burrows into angry flesh.

We cleave to the rite of the Keywarden,
Though every breath and every step
Is a clamor in these rings.


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on: March 24, 2021, 05:22:01 PM

Portents o'doom, a seed o'doubt,
Dreams began, merriment's drought,
Sinister cackle that rides the wind,
Amidst friends, hope's nay thinned.

I float, 'pon the surface o'mine lake,
Moonlight basks mine fair skin,
A faceless man, 'pon the shore,

Away, from his dead and crimson eyes,
The mists recede and float away,
His hands raise, and something stirs,

A hundred, a thousand, or perhaps more,
They float up from the lake's bed,
Some auld, some fresh, embalmed and wrapped,

Amidst their endless lake I am trapped,
Their eyes open, with their lifeless gaze,
I sink, I sink and I drown, I drown.
All this time in mine wedding gown.

I wake.

Mine friends, they can nay know.
Nay yet, at least.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 05:24:32 PM by annwn »


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on: March 24, 2021, 06:12:32 PM

'Tis not meant to be like this
Another dream in the Mists?

To the ring I leave behind, an offering of food;
To the ring I enter, an offering of gold.
To my companions true, gratitude and fellowship.

We claim keystones, but
We share uneasy glances.
Whose trials are these?

And, if a man
Could touch or see it, he was healed at once,
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times
Grew to such evil that the holy cup
Was caught away in mists, and disappeared.


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on: March 25, 2021, 02:32:06 PM

Lady Rhiannon has become enamored with the strange traveler Yonqush.
Unsurprising. Fey whimsy is in our lifeblood, but I am more guarded.
Djinn-born and exotic, he offers services rare and delightful.
I shalt be taking his measure, to be cert.

It was Luitgard, Rhiannon, and myself
Who were to face this ring.
The voices and calls of our aelfin friends;
Like a clarion in the haze, to come back to.
Beyond measure, we are blessed.

We reunite, somber and  fragmentary,
and observe the rite once again.

Never were they so dreamlike.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 02:53:34 PM by Auri »


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on: March 25, 2021, 08:11:40 PM

So much has happened.

We apply our sanctified oils, four blazing blades
To cut through filth and terror.

We pray to good and green, and invoke mists
To ride through the storm of anarchy.

And we rest our weary eyes on a dream
Of the Realm That Was;
A paradise of our making, indeed.

Luitgard uncovers the memoirs and confessions
Of the strange lord of her house
‘Tis a relationship I do not grasp and it troubles me,
Though I have faith in my friend.

We hear talk of a dismal scene in the ponds;
Bloodsoaked roots, the Haremarch patriarch dead.

We were told there was kinship.
Alas, we never knew him or his line.

It was I who urged Lady Rhiannon to look away from the Willow
Throneward, always, for good Owain has need.

Perhaps we should have been there.

And if ever holy maid
With knees of adoration wore the stone,
A holy maid; though never maiden glowed,
But that was in her earlier maidenhood,
With such a fervent flame of human love,
Which being rudely blunted, glanced and shot
Only to holy things; to prayer and praise
She gave herself, to fast and alms


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on: March 26, 2021, 07:17:30 PM

Who would have thought, that amidst it all,
Forgotten, abandoned and uncared for,
Life finds its way.

Gwalchy's eyes, keen as ever, find that which I would nay dream of.
And yet, I am unafraid o'corn and callluses,

I enjoy them, truly!

A Lady or a Lord doth need to remember, t'is for them to serve, nay the other way around.
And after a hard day's at work with the soil,
What surprise may come?

I shallt spill this secret, for thee:

They say a way to a man's heart is through their stomach,
What is the way to a woman's heart, then?

The caramelized layer o'crunchy sugar,
And a perfectly chilled and whisked custard,
With a touch o'vanilla.

Oh, Yonqush, mine dear, thou have nay only found it,
But found a place for thyself there.
If only I knew where thy lamp is,
So I could keep thee.

And yet .. I would never, for this must be thy choice.

The perfect crème brûlée...


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on: April 06, 2021, 06:59:07 PM

I woke in this city realm with nearly a blank slate as far as memories go.
But as I walked these haunted, frosty halls, there were memories that began to surface.

It was a vision of a great hall, made of fine timber, hewn into delicate and ornate shapes.
And although the great hall was empty, I had been summoned and passed through one of the walkways.
Within it were statues and paintings upon the wall. It was decorated to memorialise other memories I do not now recall.

There with a man, fair of face and dark of hair, that I now know as Saevros, I gathered before an elderly Elf.
Clad in regal attire, he spoke to us words that I could not make out in the memory.
But with regret on his face, and shame in my heart, did he bid us to do something.
Something that balances on the edge of a memory, but I do not know it.

The seasons had shifted. Now was the rule of winter. And that meant there was no longer a place for us. 

The echoes of this memory left me troubled.
I do not understand what it means to me.
And all it leaves me with is a deep shame.
But I do not remember why I feel this way.

What do subterranean caves have to do with winter?