Author Topic: SONDER: The Big Book of Little Stories  (Read 500 times)

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TsunamiWombat

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on: May 23, 2022, 01:15:18 PM
FORWARD

The essence of this project is the acknowledgement that we are all the main characters in our own tales, each of them occurring independent yet interdependent of one another in a simultaneous cacophony that weaves the weft of our times. There shall be no unifying theme or style; merely the tales and profiles told by and/or of each person, as they see matters. Accuracy will be prized, but is entirely dependent on the self awareness and honesty of the submitter. The unfortunate limitations of language mean we must depend on the ability of both the tale teller to proficiently and honestly express their tale, and the audience to process it. Interpretation will vary. If it is not already apparent, this is not meant to be a historical document.

The world is full of strange people, and it is my hope that by getting to know each other better, we shall find a measure of peace with one another.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2022, 12:47:17 AM by TsunamiWombat »



TsunamiWombat

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on: May 23, 2022, 01:53:42 PM

PROFILE: Saoirse O'Dalaigh

By my own relating:

"I was born and raised in the castle-town of Caer Callidyrr, capital of the Island of Alaron, the largest landmass in an archipelago of isles known collectively as The Moonshae. My parents were minor landowners sufficient to be classified as nobility, though principally renters of land to farmers and share-croppers.

The Moonshaes are such a different place from The City, i'm not sure how to describe it. So much more green, and the seemingly ever-present eternal sea stretching in it's vastness. Imagine a Wealdath that stretched on for dozens of rings, or a canal likewise. That was my island, that was my ocean.

This isn't the place to go into intricate detail of the culture of my home, but at the age of 12 I began apprenticeship as a Fili, when it became apparent this was the best use of my natural talents. A fili is much more commonly known as a Bard, and functions as a repository of oral tradition, law, and philosophy among the Ffolk (our name for ourselves).

This wasn't entirely to simply set a course and trade for myself, though that was a fortunate side effect. Instead my training was meant to increase my value as a marriage prospect. My family were extremely minor, and my father possessed of ambition. He felt that if he trained his daughter to be useful, not only could be bring honor to his clan but use her to 'marry up' the fortunes of the Dalaigh. This sort of duty will be all too familiar to any who grew up in the peerage. It is through the tangled net of marriage contracts that long term alliances and benefits are secured, the intermingling of blood an assurance against treachery or uncommon interest.

For myself though, this meant I grew up absorbing the stories and histories of our greatest heroes. Corwyn Caethatch, whose battle-spasms would turn him into a horrid cyclopian berserker that laid waste to hundreds of Northmen at a pace. Luirreach Lamalt, who sucked wisdom from the head of a divine crawfish and learned the secrets of birds. Larger than life figures whose adventures had defined forgotten eras. My privileged upbringing also afforded me the opportunity to read books and scrolls from afar, tales of the realms collected by the likes of Volo and others.

I grew up learning so much about adventure, but never experiencing it myself - I scarcely left the walls of the city, except to the nearby farmlands, or to ride for leisure. I hungered for an excitement I felt denied to me. As I grew up, I coerced my brothers into teaching me how to hold and use a sword, something not strictly approved of by my father but seen as a way to corral my rambunctiousness. I studied a wide number of subjects to prepare. I was a girl with a head full of fancy. I didn't really understand, of course, how could I?

Finally, there came a time when the pressure to marry was too great to ignore. I was grown, my training was finished. It was time to be a debutante. Time to marry a hopefully wealthier noble. Time to have children. I would live my life never knowing the adventure or struggles I spent so much time of my formative years memorizing, and I was appalled.

So it was I did what many reckless young girls did in the stories I often read - I cut my hair, packed a bag of supplies and an old sword, and snuck out. I planned well, and managed to make it out of the city with my old horse, riding speedily into the setting sun. I had no idea what I was doing, or where I was going.

So fixated was I on my foolish escape that my horse struck a stone in the road. She was a gentle old thing, but unused to such exertion, and reared. I was tossed from my saddle into the ground where I smacked the back of my head upon the soil and blacked out.

When I woke up, it was on top of a pile of trash in a garbage scow, being fished out of the Ring 100 canal as so many others have. And that's my short little story."
« Last Edit: May 29, 2022, 12:44:36 AM by TsunamiWombat »



TsunamiWombat

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on: May 28, 2022, 03:46:46 PM

PROFILE: Carawain L'Sarte

By the ladies own relating (not exact quotation):

"I was born the daughter of a lutemaker in service to House Velstra, one Caradoc L'Sarte. My mother, Agrawynn, sadly died in childbirth. I was raised in my fathers workshop and learned to play his lutes at an early age - especially when it was doing that or chores!

When I came of age I tried to begin a career as a courtier and minstrel in the House of Velstra. It did not go well."


"So instead, I was forced to make ends meet working as a scribe for hire, a courier, and sometimes a mercenary. I travelled abroad with many strange companions, and amidst the dangers of the Rings I learned the value of heroism and villainy, the stark contrasts of life and death. I came to believe it was these things that mattered most, and I wished to be there to experience them and write about them first hand."

"When the Rings became too dangerous, I returned home to 99. Here now I plan to accompany would be heroes and adventurers, learn their tales, and sing their saga's. The greatest matters of import are written in blood, and so I write my own music and poetry in my own blood, pricking myself to gather ink."


Quote
Like birds to air
Do my words now share
A singing verse
The heart might nurse.

With blood on stone
The sound a wife’s moan
A gallant hero’s end
To her a villain did send.

And her heart’s loss
Weighed with the cost
Of the fiend’s price
She did not think twice.

Sonder, O Sonder!
Keeper of their hearts, yonder!
Solace, O Solace!
Gentle love is your offer!

Memory of the heart’s love
Gifted by the Lord above
Now as her voice did keen,
Tears of glee did she weep.

Sonder, O Sonder!
Keeper of their hearts yonder!
Solace, O Solace!
Gentle love is your offer!

Never will blood spill ‘pon stone
For the Lord keeps our love alone
The hearts of those who mourn
Comforted in the next dawn.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2022, 04:19:48 AM by TsunamiWombat »



TsunamiWombat

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on: May 29, 2022, 12:28:54 AM

PROFILE: Deithard Cholers (sometimes known as Deerhide)

By the mans own relating (not exact quotation):

"I am an awoken, who has completely forgotten their past, moreso than many i've met here. This is not a story of origins, but of my first experience of The Rings.

My first week of being here, I was hunting in the weald with a friend. We were ambushed by two women, their flesh cloaked in shadows. We dropped our hides and tried to flee, but they hamstrung me and dropped me to the ground. My partner got away. After coming back to me, they knocked me out.

I woke up a few times while being transported. Once in a cave beneath the weald, another time on a muckboy raft. Finally, in their lair. A ruin. It was small, like a boarding house room. Two of the walls were stonework, another had a door. The fourth was black. Darker than a night on a new moon and silent, it ate sound and light.

They bade him step into the dark wall. To witness what they would offer him. Then, a man stepped through the door on the opposite side. Large and rotund, it was Doran Moonspear, brother of Lyon Moonspear.

He congratulated the two, called them 'The Princes Martyrs'. Then he looked at me, welcomed me as a subject of the King, and told me my tithe was required of the Prince. Enter the 'Substrate' or die.

Having no choice, I walked into the darkness. Absolute blackness. No sound. No breath, no heartbeat, no hot, no cold...

Nothing.

Then I beheld a shadow, in the shape of Doran, a few feet from where I stood. It didn't speak, but I heard it's words, felt them. It made an offer. Become a Princes Martyr, learn the "truth" of things, bring others where I had been brought. I turned and ran, trying to flee - vanishing further into the darkness. The deeper I went, I felt something pulled from me. I've heard it called a piece of my 'soul'.

Once I felt it rip from me completely, I woke up in Ring 100. Some people found me, and a large search party was organized. There was fear. People who knew me, who had worked with me, didn't trust me anymore - including my hunting partner. They took me to the Cradle to interrogate me, where I retold the story I am telling you now.

Eventually, it was decided i'd be exiled, rather than killed. Two men freely chose to be exiled with me. Talbert and Emmett of House Belmore. In keeping with my poor fortune we were even ambushed on the way to the ponds, first by bandits then by Winter Court. We narrowly escaped.

Shortly after, I was un-Exiled as a political move by a rival house. I've never seen people so afraid, as I did in the Cradle during my trial. Palpable fear. Worse than any battle. But things calmed down for a while. Then another Awoken was taken.

We hunted those we could. It turned out in the end one of the Martyrs was someone I thought was my friend. They never told me, and I had no idea. It makes sense in hindsight. Two of my first friends were killed by them, but those who did are dead now.

We found out later what the capturing people was for. They were stealing spiritual parts of people, to try and create a vessel for The Prince. So he could come out of The Nothing.

But I know that's not the last of them. For now, the Martyrs rest and wait. We never did find that lair."
« Last Edit: May 29, 2022, 12:40:56 AM by TsunamiWombat »



TsunamiWombat

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on: May 31, 2022, 09:38:58 PM
?

Profile: Mysterious Painter 'M'

-M is a somewhat prolific painter whose works can be found left placed around the peerage ward in public spaces. This artist remains annonymous, even to myself, but I have been honored to receive some of their works and a statement for the book.

By the M's own relation (actual quotation):

"I, myself, awoke here. While my memories, especially of people, are fogged I still remember much of the place. A harbor city, and a large one. How do you explain an ocean to people of the ward when they'll never have seen the like without diving into a seam? The harbor in 97 is the pale shadow of the idea, a glorified canal depot. I remember spending time watching the ships at moor.  The creak of the timber and the cries of the seabirds. The hollers of longshoremen and the smell of fresh caught fish. The taste of salt in the air.

"It seems strange how even the unpleasant reminders of my old life can make me nostalgic, if I slow down to think about it anyway. Whenever I'm away from the Ward long enough that I'm no longer nose-blind to it, returning to it can be an eye-watering experience.

You can consider the painting my entry to your book. To tell my story in more specifics might make it a little too easy for a reader to connect me to a name. I prefer the mystery to personal recognition when it comes to my works."





TsunamiWombat

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on: June 03, 2022, 02:37:23 AM
Genta Mashi     and     Satoshi Hakan


Genta: "I was born.. My mom raised me good... then I went to beat up some Hakan... then the Nothing came and ate up everything and now i'm here, the end"

The Mashi were a clan of mercenaries, raiders, and outlaws who dwelt in a ring beyond 100. They were the eternal rivals of the Hakan, a wealthier but less numerous clan that controlled the arable farmlands, and governed the rings populace. This was Satoshi's clan, making them blood enemies by virtue of birth.

Satoshi was raised as a warrior among the more civilized Hakan, educated and trained from a very young age.

Satoshi: "And while Genta was a farting baby, I studied the blade"

We were interrupted by an Orzan blood alchemist, who claimed after examining samples from Genta and Satoshi, they in fact shared a father. Genta claims his father was a mountain spirit her mother kidnapped to have kids with, which perished due to his mothers 'roughness'. However the Alchemist was adamant - Satoshi and Genta were brothers. Possibly. Satoshi confided his father just went missing one day, possibly taken by the Nothing. Both men were adamant this was impossible.

The Alchemist also claimed Genta was 138th frog. Both men were more amendable to believing this.

Satoshi resumed explaining their tale after the Orzans departed. Heralds of the Nothing came to their ring, and demanded the people submit. The Hakan refused, but were quickly almost overwhelmed by the Nothing. The Mashi came to their aid, for the sake of mutual survival, and the two clans fought together for a time. In the end however, it was not enough, and The Nothing consumed their ring. Only Satoshi and Genta survived.

They fled together, and for a time co-operated. However during their journey, the two quickly became split, despite the necessity of mutual co-operation for survival. Satoshi had managed to recover documents and heirlooms from his home, records of his clans history. Genta, not knowing or caring what they were, burned them for fire kindling. Genta for his part accuses Satoshi of stealing his sandals. They officially split company when they arrived here, in Ring 99. Neither man willing to yield the path before them to the other.

The final piece of this tale is their upcoming duel to the death, to take place one day after the time of this writing. Either man bears a magical blade, which they claim whisper to them in their sleep, telling them to destroy the other. Satoshi claims he found his sword encased in a block of ice, after losing a duel to Genta, upon the peerage ward bridge. He shattered the ice and withdrew the sword, which glittered like clean ice.

Genta claims he simply bought his from a bandit. It's saw toothed and burning.

Having looked at both blades, they were certainly magical, and powerful at that. What ancient spirits dwelt within them I could not say. Regardless, both men face their conflict tomorrow without fear or regret, convinced it is fate. Or in Genta's case, that he will defy fate. One will live, one will die. They refuse to put aside the swords.


Addendum

The appointed hour came and both men dutifully went to their fates. After a brief, brutal struggle, Satoshi quickly defeated Genta and killed him with a single clean stroke. Afterwards, overwhelmed with grief, Satoshi took his own life with his own blade. Both men - brothers, died together under the moonlight.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2022, 04:08:10 AM by TsunamiWombat »



TsunamiWombat

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on: June 08, 2022, 11:31:43 PM
?
An Anonymous Knight

This individual wished to remain anonymous for reasons that will become evident.

"My Father is a retired retainer and now a gentleman of some means living here in the Ward. My mother was a retainer as well.  They married and retired together"

"I was born healthy and strong, and they believed their life would continue in the contentment of retirement. And so it did... until it did not."

"My mother became pregnant again, but this time her pregnancy was troubled with pain and ill health. My father worried but there was little he could do. I was scarcely three years old at the time and did not understand much of what was going on"

"Finally came the day my mother would give birth, but it was not a happy occasion this time. She struggled hard and the midwife did her best, but it was too much. She passed away afterwards."

"And then my heartbroken father faced another tragedy. My newborn sister... her little body had been born twisted and deformed. She had been born a mongrel."

"My father faced the same dilemma that many parents of the ward had over the centuries. He couldn't possible keep her. Apart from ruining the family, my sister would never find happiness here, and certainly not a long life."

"Hoping against hope that some mongrels may possess the heart to keep her, he also left gifts of food in the basket, small toys and a silver amulet. He went home and never heard of her again."

"And this is where my tale stands. Having followed tradition, my father wounded himself, and it took a long time for him to recover. And I... I may have a sister among the folk that hate us and wish us all dead - and not entirely without reason"

"If there is a lesson in all this, I am uncertain what it is. But this old wound is one many in the wound share, and ought to be remembered."



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on: June 10, 2022, 01:33:44 AM
Thomasina Mayborne

"I'm Thomasina Mayborne. My father was Captain Timothy Mayborne. He was from Selgaunt, in Sembia. My mother was Lilith Mayborne, she was from Waterdeep. I guess i'm from the sea? Lived on it my whole life really. I've been all over. The Purple Rocks in the Trackless Sea. We sailed up and down the Sword Coast. By we I mean my Captain and I"

"My Mother and Father were killed. At least, that's what i've gathered. My father stuffed me in a barrel and threw me overboard when the Mutiny began. Got scooped up by this unbearable ass of a man from Neverwinter. Captain Loren Shanks. Still, he took me in. Made me his cabin girl. Even if he did raise me like a boy. Now that I think about it, I've never been to Neverwinter... he avoided that place like the plague."

"We sailed all over. He'd sell salvage and whatever we'd picked up at the previous port, and we went on like that for ten years. One day we were sailing north towards Luskan. The Captain was taking us North by Northwest to steer clear of Neverwinter, even if it meant more days in the cold. A carrier pidgeon arrived."

"He swore up a storm, broke a lantern and threw it in the ocean, made me put out the fire. Then turned us straight north. Next day we spot a sloop on the horizon. Couldn't have been more than fourty feet. They eventually came alongside, and two men loaded on. They seemed to know the Captain pretty well."

"He said they were old crewmates, signing on for a special job. He wouldn't say what though. Everyone was nervous. Erin, the cook, even spilled a pot - he never wasted a drop of anything. Even when he was completely pissed from his stash, never a drop hit deck. Anyway, we turned straight west. Right for the trackless sea, I reckon. Was going to be a long trip, and there's nothing out there worth seeing. The crew started getting more and more antsy as the days went on."

"A week passed. I was napping against the main mast after spending some time staring at the stars. It was clear, and the air was crisp, but not too bad. I saw a flash of light come out of Lorens cabin. The door flew open, and Loren and those men came rushing out, smoke everywhere. Loren turned on them and his eyes flashed. I never saw him do anything like what he did that night."

"Lightning and Ice started to crack between the three. I remember seeing Erin and Jarvis getting thrown overboard. I just tried to hide behind the mast and hold on. After that... I felt everything tense at once. I remember seeing a blinding light, and my ears buzzing and ringing. Next thing I know i'm coughing up some shit tasting water and being dragged out of it."

"A-and that was when I woke up here..."
« Last Edit: June 10, 2022, 01:47:51 AM by TsunamiWombat »



TsunamiWombat

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on: June 11, 2022, 04:14:36 AM
Inavyre

"I do not know exactly where I reign from. Only that it was mountainous and coated in forest. Before my time here, one hundred and five winters had passed. And I do not have any memory of those I had knew before except for one dream that plagues me."

"I remember a woman, with black hair on a cliff. She jumps off, and is swallowed whole by darkness. I know naught of what or who those are mind you - awakening here has been the true grief."

"For the fair folk, we learn from our former selves, the first hundred of our winters we dream of ourselves past, to learn and understand. We venture, so we may dream of what we have come to see. When you awake with nothing, all that you dream of is taken from you."

"Then you awake here, your kin few... your past gone, and all that makes you Tel'quessir, stripped from you, in some haze of forget.(...) When we come of age, we only have our own memories as ones from our former lives fade. I do not recall what I had,  but that does not matter now."

"I wished to make a difference for my kin, you awake here and there is nothing here for you, except for clawing for a home you try to create. I would not wish that on any. Even then, you are looked down upon."

"I asked l'sist d'maine," (I do not believe I can properly pronounce or spell her words here) "for my purpose, and I was given such." (Here she laid out augurs cards) "A card of balance, to restore balance, to find it."

"I am a diviner, cards just make it easier to read what is to come. But even then, it is fickle. So thus, I started my journey Kingsward. To find what I could for my kin."

(I asked her if she thought the King was the answer)

"I do not know... and I cannot share what I do know. I have heard many things, which give me hope that there is a purpose to this journey, that in the end it will all be rewarded. I made a promise, to one I once loved, that I would believe as he did, that the king loves us. But truly... I do not think such. If that is true, then why so all of this? If that was true, then would he still be dead?"

"I challenge you this: Look to what you see here. See it, what it tells you, what it wants you to know, then venture forth. And when you reach the foot of the mountain above you, ask the same question again."




TsunamiWombat

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on: June 12, 2022, 06:14:41 AM
Konstantina Balaskas

"My name is Konstantina Balaskas. My people are from ring 100, though quite a ways down the canal. It would take you a very long time to reach them, though they would welcome you."

"We come from elsewhere, some time ago, a deeper outside ring maybe. It was a time before the city walls, as the elders spoke. A place where a long night had come upon us, as well as cinder and smoke. A place that would have been our last stand, were it not for heroes and horrors, emerging from the fog that crept over the battlefield that once was our home, to spirit us away, to lead us home. To here, this walled puzzle city."

"For this we were grateful with our lives, and swore our loyalty. And when the enemies of the throne rose to torment it's subjects, we would take up spear, chain, spellbook and shield. It was by our hand that the skies came crashing down, to destroy the dragons that ruled over men as tyrants. ...and for..."

(she looks distant and troubled here, taking a moment to recover)

"For the giants, when they towered over men as their superiors, we would make them kneel as our equals."

"At any road, our kings praise was still absent, and the debt of honor for our lives laid outstanding - a debt only His Majesty can satisfy. Every time a generation comes of age, a lottery is held. Those who win are taught in the arts of our forebears - to give halt to the mighty colossi whose long shadows cast over us. We are then sent on the path of tribute. We find allies, and our means to progress, here, then we go into the rings, to either arrive before him and give him our love and praise for all that he has done. Or to die in the rings, to show that our love is so strong, that we would die for him."



TsunamiWombat

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on: November 26, 2022, 01:25:17 AM
*a fresh copy is made available to the bookstore. Just in case.*