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Written By Orazio

Jan. 12, 2017, 1:40 a.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Nekarris

I failed you, and in doing so, failed my sacred duty. If the gods are kind, may your soul fly free to Elysia, to dwell without fear or sorrow, in the protection of those who, I pray, are less fallible than their servants.

Written By Audric

Jan. 12, 2017, 1:38 a.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Nekarris

You kept real good care of my hat when we went to kill some Bringers. The hat will miss you.

Written By Dagon

Jan. 12, 2017, 1:33 a.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Nekarris

The Countess sacrificed herself for the Compact. I did not know her very well, but I once shared some rum with her when we were going to meet with the Nox'alfar for the first time.

When it comes time to lift my sword and strike at an enemy, I will say her name and kill one of the bastards that threaten this compact in her honor.

Rest well Countess.

Tears in our wake, never at our wake.

Written By Cassandra

Jan. 12, 2017, 1 a.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

What is victory won without honor?

Today a woman stalwart spirit came to the shrine of Gloria seeking prayer and guidance. She had taken part in battle, with the godess' name on her lips and noble purpose at heart. She had fought against the evils that come from beyond the Mirror and came out victorious, a deed which glory she puts to the guidance of Gloria, but even in victory she was troubled. For this victory was earned without honor, her comrades took to ill deeds that banished the souls of others from ever making the journey to The Shining Lands.

A poignant note, seeing the discussion of the souls lost to the Teind earlier today.

This woman took up arms against her comrades, to stop them from such vile deeds. A difficult choice, on some levels it mirrors the troubles the realm faces itself in these trying times. To battle the evils of the Abyss and beyond, do we forsake honor? Do we turn out gaze from Gloria and the Sentinel?

We must not.

Let this lady of birth unknown stand as an example to all. Even as you are pure of heart, look to your fellows and judge their mettle. Do not allow their wickedness and fear turn you from the righteous path, stand your ground and show them the way through our time of strife. We come upon the hour of need, and men and women with the will and purpose to remain true to the gods must rise to lead and stand defiant in the face of darkness.

What is victory won without honor?

It is no victory at all.

Written By Calista

Jan. 12, 2017, 12:54 a.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

**Tor Plaza has been transformed into an enchanting and magical space. Illuminated by a myriad of colorful paper lanterns hung with care across the courtyard, the gauzy spheres billow softly in the evening breeze with the illusion of floating gracefully overhead. The sultry Summer evening is filled with the intoxicating scent of gorgeous Torean roses in full bloom from both the gardens scattered around the plaza as well as from the large, lush, labyrinth at the heart of the plaza. The large verdant structure is known to house some of Tor's most famed flowers and provides a bit of privacy to anyone who might wish to wander through the maze.

Decadent delicacies, craved confectionaries and licentious libations are offered all night long by white gloved servants. Finely dressed tables and other seating frame the edge of the dance floor; Entertainers perform traditional Lycene dances while musicians set the tone of the evening with their sensual rhythmic beats.

Throughout the night, guests are treated to the breathtaking sights of stilt walkers, fire-dancers, sword swallowers, jugglers, and contortionists.**

How could I forget all the work our people did in such a small amount of time. It was nothing short of a miracle. The food was decadent, the drinks were flowing, people were dancing and engaging the entertainment. It was a veritable Who's Who and while I felt overwhelmed with the knowledge of what is to come my way, I needed to offer the people of Arx a moment of respite from the dark days. I believe for a brief moment in time, they were able to forget the horrors and remember what it was like to feel joy. It is these moments, small as they may be that will keep us going and keep us fighting.

There was also an afterparty but I think I'll be prudent and scribble a few words in my Black Reflections about -that-.

Written By Khanne

Jan. 12, 2017, 12:39 a.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Cassius

A man I trust with my life and the truest friend anyone could want.

Written By Caras

Jan. 12, 2017, 12:27 a.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

A man came to the shrine today to ask me why we had a platinum altar when so many still struggle and suffer. It was something that had been bothering him and his concern is shared by many people who do not fully understand the goddess Gild. So I will write it here for safekeeping with my brothers and sisters of Vellichor.

Wealth is not an inherently evil construct. It is not evil even when modified with 'necessary.' Wealth is only one sign of prosperity and only one aspect of charity. It is something some possess and some do not. The show of wealth is not immoral, nor is it evil. Those who have wealth should spend it. They should prosper and feel blessed by Gild. But with these blessings come responsibilities. It is a give and take relationship between mortal man and the divine. Receive the blessings but give something in return. In the framework of Gild, what one gives is charity.

The onus is on the wealthy to use their money responsibly and for the common good. Plan and throw a fete, supply enough wine to last a normal house weeks, spend lavishly on gifts and entertainment. But do not forget your responsibility to serve the common good. Tithe. Donate. Give freely and cheerfully so that those with less can survive and thrive and you will be beloved of Gild.

So why a platinum altar? Wealth is not evil, prosperity is not a sin, avarice builds cities. The order of Gild serves as an inspiration to those who do not have what the monied elite have. It is something to aspire to. we display our own wealth without shame or fault, but do we behave responsibly with what we have? Indeed we do. All those in need are welcome here in the Shrine of Gild, any who have hardship are offered aid and assistance, all those who would otherwise starve or see their children starve are brought in and shown the blessings of Gild's charity. We have a platinum altar because it serves as an example not only of what the poor may become, but how the wealthy should act - with kindness, compassion, charity, prosperity, and under the auspices of the teachings of Gild.

Written By Max

Jan. 11, 2017, 10:46 p.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Women are nothing but trouble and frustration.

I swear to Mangata's swelling tits, I hate every last one of them.

Well. Probably not really. But I am so tired of standing in confusion trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Written By Orazio

Jan. 11, 2017, 9:13 p.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Cassandra

The Archlector of Gloria. A warrior, through and through. Honorable, competent, and honest. She reminds me in some regard of a priestess of Gloria I knew back when I served with Southport. And in other regards, not as much; that long ago priestess drank like a fish and swore like a Thraxian reaver, which do not seem to be habits the Blessed Cassandra shares. But the core of integrity, and the courage of a warrior, I think both of those things are there.

Written By Orazio

Jan. 11, 2017, 9:11 p.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Caras

The new Archlector of Gild. Like Avary, he is not a man who I have had much of a relationship with. Unlike Avary, this Blessed is one whose work and reputation I know less of, although the paperwork I have on him suggests a solid and honest advocate for the Goddess, so I am happy to have him in the position.

It will be an interesting challenge; a new Legate and two new Archlectors, but with the grace of the gods and our own hard work, we shall prove worthy of it.

Written By Orazio

Jan. 11, 2017, 9:08 p.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Avary

The new Archlector of the Sentinel. I would be lying if I said I did not feel somewhat protective of the post, but although I have had no close and personal relationship with the new Blessed, her work in the field has always been impeccable, and I am happy to see her rise to fill the space.

Written By Nekarris

Jan. 11, 2017, 8:29 p.m.(8/20/1005 AR)


Well, Arx. It's been real, and it's been fun, but it's not been REALLY fun.

Thrax - you guys are adorable. Also way, way too easy to manipulate. Actually, you were all pretty easy to manipulate. Act stupid, act puzzled, and people will tell you anything.

Regency Council of High Lords or whatever - good job on voting to pay the teind and then totally not doing it at all and leaving it up to one woman to get it together. Super responsible! This isn't all sarcasm. Good job on voting to pay the Teind. I mean, you wouldn't want Oroboouriougous' Nightmare wandering down here looking for food with all the Nox gone.

Chanse Grayhope - I grayHOPE someone will read you this in prison, if you're still alive. I sold you out, sucker. Nox rules.


Written By Lark

Jan. 11, 2017, 8 p.m.(8/20/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Barric

Pragmatic. Fickle, only where it is required and appropriate. I see so much of myself in my young brother even despite our many differences.

I have only pity in my heart for an enemy that this man -- Sword of the Bastion -- my heir -- and I share in common.

Written By Cassandra

Jan. 11, 2017, 7:07 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Souls of Arvum

We find ourselves in times of war, and it is in such times, even more so than in times of peace that we must not lose sight of Gloria.

The very soldiers meant to protect this city revealed as treacherous, having turned their back on honor and the gods. Many of these souls I knew myself, not a strange thing, many souls of war turn their faith to Gloria for guidance in their duties.

And so it is that all souls of war should steel their spirit, we do not wage war with blades alone. Harden your hearts for what is to come and pray to Gloria that you will not fail her and the realm as these traitors whose souls will forever be lost in the Abyss.

Turn your eyes to the Shrine of Gloria, try your steel against The Holy Knights of the Temple and they shall test your mettle, in arm and heart both.

Written By Caras

Jan. 11, 2017, 6:11 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Avary

For many years now, my closest friend and confidant. I trust her implicitly in all things and have come to rely upon the strength of her faith, the fortitude of her will, and the kindness of her heart to carry me through difficult times. With her influence I have become a better priest and better devotee. We have both been recently appointed Archlectors serving under the same Legate and it will be good to continue our close and profitable partnership. She is an impressive woman and a capable priestess.

Written By Verity

Jan. 11, 2017, 4:12 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

All these words and not one about the sweetness of oranges shared between strangers. The flash of diamondplate in sunlight or the hum of rubicund striking true. A crowd all holding its breath as one. The release, after. Much needed, that release. The city's gone sideways and the Crownlands gone the other. May there always be oranges.

Written By Margot

Jan. 11, 2017, 4:02 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Harald

Pleasant company for a Grimhall, pleasant enough company for a Thrax man in general really.

I can hardly remember the last time I had a civil drink with one of our Reavers with no profanity, or uncalled for oogling. I really do hope that Abbas and Victus take a note from Lord Harald....

A Tyde recommending a Grimhall for anything, who would have ever thought? Perhaps next fish will walk ashore and deer begin to fly.

Written By Orazio

Jan. 11, 2017, 3:39 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

To the Faithful Reader:

Only a few days ago, two men dueled in the Ward of the Lyceum. This was not, precisely, over a point of honor, but rather a test of strength, courage, and passion - one which, I must mention, was passed with flying colors on all accounts. I believe that Gloria was pleased by the challenge, the battle, and the grace both winner and loser showed in accepting the match. Some thoughts on the custom and etiquette of dueling follow; these are my own musings, not Holy Writ.

The concept of dueling is one that often causes consternation among the more compassionate and peaceful souls of the Compact, but it has centuries of both historical and theological precedence. Gloria, as the goddess of war and honor, calls upon us to defend our own honor as ardently as we defend our families and our land. This is a show both of courage, and a willingness to trust in the gods to guide the righteous to victory. To fail to respond to a public challenge is, unequivocally, a show of cowardice - unless the challenger is so far beneath one in both competence and honor that to take the challenge would, in itself, be dishonorable. And be warned about choosing that justification; blood feuds that have lasted generations have started for less. It is far better, if an apology or discussion will not mend a dispute, to accept a duel and lose, than to refuse to meet a called challenge.

Likewise, it is imperative to be gracious in both victory and defeat when one duels. At the conclusion of a duel, the gods have spoken; the point is resolved. The winner demands no further abasement than the point of conflict agreed upon in the duel, and the loser (should they survive) provides whatever apology, concession, or restitution is asked for swiftly and without resentment. The point of conflict is ended - it should not come up again, nor should family members or relations urge further actions regarding it. These two combatants may find themselves on the field of honor again, but it should never be over the same point, insult, or conflict. Should the loser of a duel resurrect an insult or slight after the situation has been resolved, the winner is not obligated to give them the honor of issuing another call to duel; they have proven that they do not heed the judgement of the gods. Instead, all righteous people should call out the lack of honor displayed, and both they, and the family which has taught them so poorly, should see consequences throughout society, until the point is rectified and an apology is made. Those who cannot be trusted to uphold the result of a duel cannot be trusted to uphold any agreement.

The question of Champions is one that often comes up in regards to a duel, as well. Should they be allowed? Of course. A Champion, during a duel, serves as vassal to their employer, and thus represents their employer in every regard. Just as a lord might elect a Voice, or a monarch an ambassador, it is to be assumed that the Champion's sword is the employer's sword for the time of that conflict. However, that also means that the Champion's behavior during the duel absolutely reflects upon the employer. Should a so-called Champion cheat, or act with dishonor or a lack of dignity, it as if their employer has done so. Thus, it is important to choose one's Champion not with just an eye towards martial skill, but also honor and piety, that they not feel the test of the gods requires additional aid by dishonorable means. You will be judged, for good or ill, by the quality of your Champion.

When issuing a challenge, it is also important to maintain the honor and the courage that Gloria expects of us all. Do not issue challenges frivolously, and always seek a polite redress of the grievance first. Should the trespasser be willing to rectify their error in a reasonable fashion, there is no point of honor to be disputed. When issuing the challenge, ensure that the challenged has time to respond and to gather his or her second before the duel must meet, and do not seek to make a challenge impossible to be met, either in time, location, or in the restitution asked. One should not duel to the death for a petty insult, nor should a loser be required to cede lands or title. Petty insults or points of etiquette require only first blood. Stronger insults may require a duel until concession or unconsciousness, with a public apology to the wronged, if one loses the point. Only dire insults to one's personal or family honor warrant a duel to the death - accusations of treason, of betrayal of one's sworn oaths, of grievous trespass against a family member or loved one. If one is not certain of the best path to take, seek out the wisdom of an experienced confidant who is not involved in the conflict; priests of Gloria and of the Sentinel will often be happy to fulfill this purpose.

A duel is always a risk. Even a duel only to first blood can become deadly. This is what makes the duel so valuable; an insult to honor must be answered with blood, and with risk - both to make and to defend. In this way, we encourage men and women to consider their words and their actions carefully, as well as to understand the value of their honor, as well as that of their family.

Written By Calypso

Jan. 11, 2017, 3:39 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Saedrus

I learned a valuable lesson last night while shopping with Master Saedrus. - Apparently there is a wide variety of pink and choosing the correct shade means everything. Its not just pink, its dust rose and fuchsia and something that was described to me as what an elderly lady wears when she no longer has keen eyesight to be able to distinguish the truly horrible and offensive pinks from the acceptable ones. And not just that, all colors say something about someone. Pink, apparently, has nothing to do with confidence and power.

We went with crimson in the end. Thank the Gods for Saedrus.

Written By Tristram

Jan. 11, 2017, 3:08 p.m.(8/19/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Dawn

I've been thinking about Dawn more and more lately. It's impolitic to say that one noble is better than another, or one commoner is better than a noble, because who are we to judge? Sentinel and Limerance will make that call when the time comes. Yet whatever I might feel about the necessity of the Teind, no one can doubt that Dawn is making her sacrifice out of loyalty, love, and duty to all of the people. Those who voted for her suggestion did not (with one notable exception in Niccolo) also volunteer to sacrifice as necessary. People think that we Valardin are all of a stripe, and no doubt some will blame Edain for his vote against, or me because I spoke against it, thinking it a chink in the Valardin's reputation for loyalty. What they do not understand, I think, is that being critical, or giving honest opinions, to a ruler is not the same thing as disloyalty--in fact, I feel it is a duty. Those who would blow smoke up ruler's ass to their face about how wise they are yet speak negatively about them in private bacause of what is "proper etiquette" are hardly paragons of loyalty.

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