Mebril Blackhearth, the Jack Rabbit

Started by Ramc, February 05, 2023, 05:42:25 PM

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Screenshots for June 2022

June was whereabouts Blackhearth as a house came together. It was a period of transitional threats as the Castells/Orza sort of ebbed back away with a few of them dying. The Patriarch business was in the background of this as well but it was mostly glancing blow things. It turned out I only ever 'met' the actual patriarch, twice in passing in the end. Different time zones. The changeling civil war between Rin and Valmoira ramped up here with Blackhearth caught up in it in their way. And Recondites too. Blackhearth hit the critical mass of retainers for a channel this month too as a few curious parties joined up.

The Tourney happened as well around now, and Blackhearth was involved with the politics behind the scenes of that to keep the prize out of Orzan hands. Bristol and the Belmores got the Keep and the Bristol-Mebril wedding happened if not without incident. Oliver and Kinsley invited themselves up with the aim of probably taking a swing at that dastardly Rin Farrell. Rin excused herself from the ceremony before they show up to avoid bloodshed on Mebril's day, but it was bittersweet that she was hedged out.


Screenshots for July 22

The most notable thing in July was almost certainly the death of Isaiah ibn Hazr. An absolute tour de force of a character who met an unfortunate end caught in the crossfire of the Recondite war. The outpouring of emotion and support in the form of the quickly- and beautifully- organized funeral was once more an example of how players can truly make a setting thrive and wring meaning from perfunctory tragedies.

There were other goings on in July. The tension between Kinsley and Mebril continued to ratchet up, though it never quite hit a climax with real life taking over and Kinsley fading into the background.  Wolfgang and Kori wound up joining the house as well and were valuable assets and fun PCs in our time together. Oliver went from trying to get Mebril killed through Kinsley to a begrudging peace for a time between the death of their mutual friend Isaiah and the stint of both of them being caught up in the chaos of Yucky Lucky and pulling each other through to survive it. It wouldn't last, of course, but that was always the charm with Oliver.


Screenshots for August 22

August was a pretty violent month for Blackhearth and Mebril, even if I was gone for awhile in the middle of it. It started off with a summer court elf (who worked for or with Valmoira also) who Mebril had spared coming around to kill her retainer, Wolfgang Choelers, Diethard's awoken brother. Between this and his promise to keep killing his fellow elves that galvanized Mebril into ambushing and killing him. Things were relatively quiet for a little bit even as the Winter court threat against Mebril grew, eventually culminating in the Glitt massacre.

Mebril and her cohort, knowing something was coming down the line, set up alarms outside Phelan's Grove, as well as the Summer Court stronghold and House Glitt. We figured they needed the head of some high value target for Fimbulvetr's curse- a Bernard, a Phelan or a Lord of Knots. Turned out instead they killed a hundred lumberjacks or huscarls so we didn't know until it was too late and the sendings came in. Their coterie made their way to the massacre to see if anyone could be helped. Turned out the Winter folks left alarms of their own and circled around to ambush us after we were ambushed by a platoon of ice trolls. Most people went down and Mebril and Rin escaped despite a Time Stop scroll being employed against them. One of those things where if either of them had been caught Valmoira would have surely killed them.

A few groups continued to make their way into the rings. This was still, I think, when the Torment was there, though rings 89 and 88 had fallen to the Drill. Wolfgang and Kori had helped the pacification of the 88th after, aiding in defeating the sickness there under the Blackhearth banner. Also there was the clash with Ser Loin, the evil cow wizard.


Screenshots for September 22

September was a very dangerous month for Mebril and for Blackhearth. Diethard retired to Coldwater with the death of his brother. Lalena Steel had joined us by then, released from Velstra to Blackhearth as part of a deal with the Vale. Blackhearth would see venison delivered from the Grey Keep. For awhile most of the retainership of the ward had be terrorized into quiescence by the Winter Court and paradoxically Greywood and Blackhearth had been the biggest houses by players active but after the Glitt massacre houses begane to fill up again. Further, Orza and Glitt got very belligerent to any sort of Changeling which meant, as ever, Blackhearth was under scrutiny.

Rin had made headway for a time using the Grove of Phelan as an open Changeling as a peaceful forum, but unable to strike a blow against their actual military enemy, the houses went for the low hanging fruit of flushing Rin out of the ward again. Mebril was in talks with House Velstra to return the Keep to them at this point as well. An app for some minor improvements that had passed months past came to being and the cottages began repair and the skeletons were buried.  Dela would be Castellan and House Blackhearth would take over management of the Velvet for a time.

This didn't pan out, though. Anti-changeling sentiment saw Mebril and her house exiled for a few weeks before Velstra countermanded it. This sort of put vassaldom on the back burner yet again with Velstra, but in her time up at the keep and with Mebril negotiating, Dela came to understand Mebril and become one of her closest and most loyal friends as a result. She saw how Meb conducted her key challenges with the Wayfarers in the Grey Keep and became rather enamored of it when Mebril was showing her the ropes ahead of her succeeding her perhaps.

And, tragically, nearly died with the Wayfarers in an ill fated sojourn to the Mongrelwoods. This was when we learned that the Bone Collectors cohort wasn't like 2-3 guys but like 8-10 guys as we got ambushed into the dirt. Mebril, Emily and Fernando were taken aside- having killed Bone Collectors before (Blackhearth had hung Evan Ashengate as a Necromancer and his sister, Alysana, tried to assassinate Mebril in the ward a few months previous and died but was not preserved in screenshots). The remainder were to participate in a ritual and they would get to pick one of them to live. I expected to die, but Fernando and Maus, in their heroics, were slain and the two bodies were deemed 'sufficient' as sacrifices. Mebril skated by with her soul and her life but not everyone else was so lucky.


October 22 Screenshots

October was a rough month, I remember. Valmoira and Haggahwhisp died but the bone collectors were ascendant. The ward and even new retainers in ostensible ally house Velstra were working to undermine and expel Blackhearth yet again. The Torment would eventually fall to the Drill, opening the floodgates for any individual or group to advance as far as the Grey Keep with minimal investment of effort compared to times before and it wasn't long before some new Velstran elements decided it would do to make their bones over Mebril's proverbial ones by forcing the matter.

While Frick more or less tended to have Blackhearth's back on the rare occasions it came up- we were providing food for the Vale, delivered the holy sword Dawnbringer to help fight the Nothing and had been in talks over vassalization with Velryn- once Velryn fell by the wayside the newest gaggle of Velstrans PCs didn't particularly care for us.  Synia tried to murder Rin in the rings (as retainers do), and later tried to murder Daniel too when she found out we caught wind of the vague plan (or possibly fake plan) of the finest military minds of the peerage to defend Grey Keep from the Count by blowing it up.  It was not a high point of Blackhearth-Velstran relations.

Though a lot of Blackhearth retainership had died, retired, or faded as they do we did pick up Daniel Winespill, a cleric of the Divine Alphabet whose religion of literacy, discovery and preservation turned out to dovetail perfectly with some of the house missions. In the middle of this month, too, Rin Farrell was credibly thought to be dead for several days ICly, which was a pretty grevious blow to Mebril and shook something loose in her to finally challenge 64 again, though the party would be some time in the forming. Rin pulled through the death curse though, much to the young rogue's relief. A rabbit led her out of dark waters.

As we both recovered from this misfortune, we would come to know the Sparrows and tried to lead them away from the Count. As MC posted in their own retrospective, our results were mixed. While we couldn't peel them away from the Count, we at least made friends of them. Heron, in particular was sympathetic to Mebril. 

We also pushed those of our coterie not already into the rings deeper, toward 64. Also Bristol's now-wildling sister, Lorelei showed up (played by Loops) and some pretty good drama ensued from that as she tried to go ringrunning while avoiding her brother. Meryl Fitzgerald and Calliope Desdand came up with her, two people who would eventually join our trip to Baz'eel and, in the case of Calli, to the King.


Sort of a pause with the image folders and recounting just as it's catching up to present with possible setting spoilers. When V6 is out I'll probably do the lot of it that isnt still spoilery.

In the meantime, Mebril and House Blackhearth were lucky enough to get fan art on occasion : )

My original concept sketch after a week or two and getting my feel for the character.

Karpie did some early art in Moonspear times. Then one much later as Benji for the the Blackhearth times.

Boots/Runic's Grey Keep Challenge Art

RPG made some Mebril art and also Blackhearth's extremely cool heraldry.

SqT art!

Boots/Runic's art of our Kingward coterie


I really, really appreciate all of it.


Screenshots for November '22

November was a month of trial, triumph and vindication for Mebril and House Blackhearth.

In what was one of the few times DMs would draw the eyes of the server onto Blackhearth, the Count made a public offer for Blackhearth to bend the knee.  House Blackhearth had and would continue to kind of get a lot of shit about being potential committal sympathizers. There were a few reasons for this I think. I unironically think the major one was our scarlet, sable and pewter color scheme was pretty close to the Count's Red-Black-Gold and along with the general vampire aesthetic it was fun to jump to that conclusions and razz us about it. Beyond that being just kind of out in the rings and a bit of a cipher would make folks wonder, after all the Count was closer to us physically than the peerage. The Sparrows would approach us several times diplomatically on the Count/Oliver's behalf.

Joining the Count was probably never going to happen, considering a few things. Zarono was no fan of Changelings (which, 90% of House Blackhearth was) what with his nemesis relationship with pond druid elements. Mebril's adopted mother, Rin, was one of the key figures in the transformation of Phelan and the eventual doom it would spell for him too and they were on the same page about the Count. Also those employed by the Count had a way of being rather thoughtlessly expended and in her time as a spy she had had quite enough of that. So, House Blackhearth publicly rebuked the offer on the bronze.

In reward for their leal adherence to their oaths to Velstra to defend the Keep a passel of about twenty Retainers and peerfolk showed up to the Keep to help 'defend' it but to actually sort of take back command of the Keep from House Blackhearth with a few dozen weapons out retainers in a tense sort of 'negotiation'. Mebril had been planning to give the Keep back for awhile though and had minimal issue simply... doing what her house had sworn to do in the first place and giving the Keep back when requested to the surprise of some Velstrans. No fight broke out, but Dela thank you I did see you standing just-so to lay out the entire room like candlepins.

The true meat of November though was, having slipped the snare of the Keep, pushing into the rings. 64, over the mountain and to Baz'eel, eventually racing Ishmenka's floating fortress to 55. This 'third act' for Blackhearth was some of the most fun I had playing, I think. The unlikely synergy of all our jank or niche builds somehow building something greater than itself, the camaraderie of the journey. There was a purity of purpose to it, I think. We would reach Baz'eel, though tragically Meryl would return to 99 to die the next day in the process of defeating Ishmenka. Necessarily a lot of the screenshots from this point on this need to be omitted or strategically cropped for spoilers.


Screenshots for December 22-Feb 23.

And that's the last of them. December was mostly defined by Mebril's ties to the ward fraying bit by bit. Blackhearth, much maligned and exiled, was prevailed upon to return from Baz'eel to the Ward to help defend against the Nothing, the Count, the Bone Collectors. Take your pick. And for our part we did try. Daniel spearheaded repairing relations with Velstra yet again and struck several blows against the foes of the Ward. But, in the end some things never change. Daniel was murdered by Orzans in a sort of meaningless tragedy that ended with everyone involved dead. When Mebril voiced her displeasure, Kristoff Orza responded by putting a 12 groat bounty on Mebril's head. Mebril counteroffered a 24 groat bounty for Kristoff's death. Only one of these two bounties would be carried out and paid.

Bristol, too, was slipping from Mebril as she saw it. He had grown to love Keithan and Mebril being understandably possessive of him frayed things further. As the city waxed apocalyptic and the gates to run past Baz'eel closing in a tenday, she found herself with fewer and fewer things holding her back from running. She would collect some of her closest friends and set out with her adopted mother, Rin Farrell, on one final adventure together to Ring  1.

Though final fates can only be speculated on beyond the Sultan's Gate, some weeks later the lights would shine over the Final Keep and the auld enmities between Changeling and King put, at last, to rest.



What a journey, thanks for sharing.
This goes back like, six of my PC's, ha ha.
It was a fantastic trip back in time.


Quote from: SN on February 10, 2023, 10:27:30 PM
What a journey, thanks for sharing.
This goes back like, six of my PC's, ha ha.
It was a fantastic trip back in time.

Sorcha, Rajani, Jeremiah T_T

Rajani was the first person to do Meb's GK challenge, I think. Her "I'll allow it" when Meb jokingly asked if she got to live after seeing the dance-kata of her order was pretty good.

Don Nadie

Dammit, I have teared up with SEVERAL of these screenshot dump, even the ones when I wasn't playing at all.

What a bunch of great characters.  :'(


In light of last night's events and current interlude home base, at least one more album for the road of some screenshots with commentary. Some memories from the road.