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Written By Niccolo

Aug. 28, 2016, 12:53 a.m.(6/2/1004 AR)

Most people think of wine when they think of the drink of choice in the Lyceum, but while the people of the south certainly prefer it, they do indulge in the imbibing of all sorts of spirits and liquors. So when it came to planning the tasting, it felt right to ensure all manners of liquor were included. I have to first commend the efforts of my protege Acacia Culler, for without her I don't know that things would have gone as smoothly as they did. My daughter Isolde opened the event with some very heartfelt words, an invitation blessed by the Divine to enjoy ourselves. These are troubling times, but she's certainly right, the people need that reminder that even during difficult times, we must find enjoyment in our lives. The moment we stop doing so, I fear we will find ourselves lost.

It was interesting to see how an evening of drinking brings people of all walks of life together, from high lords to guards, to denizens of the lower boroughs. I was grateful to see Lady Dawn, Prince Darren, and Prince Edain present and taking time to spend with the people. I was touched by the support of fellow Lycene in the likes of Lord Eos, Lord Prospero and Lady Calista. I hadn't seen Lady Lydia in sometime, and her taking the time to show up was certainly noticed. Of course, my ward Talen made an appearance, and even a guard such as Sir Silas Mercier, known for his dislike of whiskey decided to participate.

I'm sure Her Grace, my daughter, will be thrilled to know that one of the vintages personally chosen by her was favored, but as the hosts, it didn't feel right for House Velenosa to claim our placement. Others were kind enough to participate, and they deserved the recognition for it.

My thoughts are often dark, these are after all and as I've mentioned dark times. But today, today I found myself relaxing. Today, I enjoyed myself in a way I don't often do. That was a wonderful gift I was given, and I think one that we managed to share with the people of the city. Slowly but surely, I can see us enduring this journey the people of the Compact find themselves in, just to emerge stronger and more alive when all is said and done.

Acacia named the tasting the People's Choice, and the people chose House Grayson. It was a curious and thought provoking choice. Theirs was certainly a very good liquor, deserving of the vote. The people also seemed interested in seeing this tasting happening again. Perhaps we can turn it into a seasonal event. I am proud of what we accomplished, and as my dear Isolde alluded, I feel that by celebrating our differences we honored the strength and unity of the Compact.

Written By Silas

Aug. 28, 2016, 12:29 a.m.(6/2/1004 AR)

I admit, after tasting a few of the wines and liquor, I was doubtful my submission would top them. The reasoning behind choosing that particularly brandy over a delectable wine - even over my own family's brewery - was that it needed to be noticeably different in order to distinguish itself. And I bet somewhat on the wealthier commoners being in attendance, too, and I was more familiar with their palates. It seems hanging out at Trader's all the time finally paid off!

For my efforts, Lady Dawn graciously rewarded me the quill she had been given for House Grayson's victory. I think it may be the most expensive quill in all the land, and it fits in my hand quite well! I'm using it right now. You might notice the lack of dripping.

My vote went to Mountain's Thunder. The hint of mint kept it from truly thundering in my mouth, but it was a noteworthy touch which put it ahead of my list. I quite enjoyed the citrus-y Valardin white wine and the White City Cider, too. House Valardin is not to be underestimated when it comes to interesting alcoholic concoctions; I can tell they're willing to experiment and have a wide range of flavors available to them.

Stone Mountain White Whisky was popular. I guess some people like to be metaphorically punched by their drinks. I am not one of them.

Prince Edain has sent me a commission requesting a large table with a map carved into it's tabletop. This one will have to be left up to me: my apprentices are not cartographers. Thinking oak or white cedar so the map isn't difficult to distinguish.

We'll see.

Written By Acacia

Aug. 27, 2016, 11:53 p.m.(6/2/1004 AR)

While there was a number of entries, there could only be one winner. That status of bragging rights and alcoholic people-swaying mastery went to House Grayson, with their Riverstreet Brandy. Although House Velenosa's Shadow and Flame came up second in the running, as Hosts, they declined, with the honor of second going to House Blackram's Mountain's Thunder and third for Stone Mountain White Whisky from House Nightgold.

These were the listings of those who submitted:


The Choices of Alcohol: Revealed Names

1. A white dried-grape wine from the Oathlands [House Valardin]
a straw-yellow wine scented of orange peel, ginger and spice
2. Rose' [House Fidante]
a deliciously pink-hued wine
3. Grappa Bradywine [House Fidante]
a clear liquor with notes of sweetness

4. Mountain's Thunder [House Blackram]
a smokey amber tequila of agave and toffeed vanilla leveled by mint
5. Black Velvet Whiskey [House Nightgold]
a molten gold whisky with a cloyingly sweet scent
6. Stone Mountain White Whisky [House Nightgold]
a pale white whisky, unapologetically uncouth

7. Riverstreet Brandy [House Grayson]
a deep copper brandy with a woodsy aroma of roasted nuts and fruits
8. White City Cider [House Valardin]
a dark, fragrant cider with heavy foam
9. Sailor's Rum [House Thrax]
a dark spiced rum that has a warm odor and a hint of cinnamon

10. Flame and Shadow [House Velenosa]
a honeyed amber wine served chilled
11. Shadow and Flame [House Velenosa]
a red wine so dark that it is almost as black as ink
12. The Promise [House Saik]
a red wine that sparkles like vibrant garnet

Written By Donella

Aug. 27, 2016, 10:49 p.m.(6/2/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Margot

It's been hard to put the nature our relationship into words; probably it should be when your families have killed each other, and you are raised together. I was encouraged always to keep her in 'her place' and to never turn my back on her, so we're not sisterly, and we're not friends. But these days, we share some of the same goals; at least outwardly. We can work together effectively. And that may well be as good as it gets, until there are larger changes-- I can live with detente for now.

Written By Ida

Aug. 27, 2016, 7:38 p.m.(6/2/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Joscelin

Mistress Joscelin Arterius is a fellow smith - very accomplished jeweler, to be more precise - and a fast friend from my early days here in Arx. She's helped me with some hairpin designs when my eyes just could not wrap around a delicate enough theme. She is maddeningly generous, sending me something of stunning beauty without a word - or taking my damn silver! I'm going to repay her kindness, in all seriousness; she's just as deserving for such things.

Written By Prospero

Aug. 27, 2016, 6:17 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Larissa

We shall see if I am clever enough to set a riddle for a Whisper and come away better with it. Somehow, I think this is a losing game.

Written By Prospero

Aug. 27, 2016, 6:16 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Eos

Desires to discuss fees and services. Knows his wine.

Written By Prospero

Aug. 27, 2016, 6:16 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Jaenelle

There are many things I expected to accomplish this morning over breakfast; I left with none of those intellectual goals achieved. Instead, I dined with the Princess Jaenelle and I find no reason to call my morning unproductive for it. In exchange for my continued freedom, I now owe her a ride and a sailtrip. I pray to the gods we might survive both.

Written By Aurora

Aug. 27, 2016, 5:06 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Eithne

My sister and I are so much alike and yet so different from one another. The forge is her home, while mine is bending over a table covered in bolts of cloth and thread. She has agreed to let me make her a dress, anything to get her out of those leather clothes she is fond of. I have the perfect design in mind, and it has nothing to do with cherries.

Written By Aurora

Aug. 27, 2016, 5:02 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Alarissa

Princess Alarissa heeded my call for a patron. We had a lovely meeting, and while nothing has been set in stone, I did leave her presence inspired to create something. The inspiration ended up being a lovely white silk gown with beautiful roses twisted around the skirt. She seemed as pleased with the creation as I was, and I look forward to speaking with her again.

Written By Joscelin

Aug. 27, 2016, 2:57 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

I don't remember passing out next to a hammer and a bottle of wine that is strangely empty. Both are in my bed and this journal was on my face.

I need more friends.

Written By Dawn

Aug. 27, 2016, 12:47 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Denon

This Whisper is a true artisan. It has been so many years since I last saw my father; one of my fears is that I will wake up one day and realize so much time has passed that I've forgotten what he looks like. Thanks to Master Denon, that will no longer be a fear of mine. He has crafted a bust of my father that now sits proudly in the entrance hall and it is perfect in every detail.

Written By Alrec

Aug. 27, 2016, 12:37 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Max

My friend, if you weren't as resourceful as you are I would have called you my son but here is a boy, well a man really, who at 13 was already hoisting the flag and sailing alongside some of Darkwater's best captains. If there is anyone who is my equal it is young Cap'n Maximilian. So I'll call him brother. Now, I've watched this young captain go from scoaring the Saffron Chains to sitting at court as Darkwater's Count and couldn't be prouder. He is bound by their court and I understand that my relationship with his family it is not the best. So should the time come that he is order to come after my head, oh, what a glorious day that will be. Where we will be tested both at sea and at sword and only the best shall survive. They will write stories about our encounter. In the meantime know this, a slight againt Maximilian is an insult against this admiral and for that man I would split the sea.

Written By Dawn

Aug. 27, 2016, 12:36 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Ida

I have no real need for weapons, my skill with blades is nonexistent and even my ability with a bow has grown rusty, though with so many guardsmen around me at any given hour of the day, safety is not a concern. Still, I own two weapons and a suit of practice armor made by her, a veritable surplus of gear I can only use rarely or not at all... and yet every time I see an example of her work, I want to purchase more.

In addition to being incredibly skill, she also seems a most pleasant woman, full of energy and enthusiasm for both her work and the people around her. More than one of the gods have blessed her, I think.

Written By Dawn

Aug. 27, 2016, 12:23 p.m.(6/1/1004 AR)

Market Day has come and gone. All of the work put into it, all of the time spent planning, and the reward was seeing so many of Arx's people out in the sunshine enjoying the day. And the crafters! I knew they'd work hard to impress us but they went above and beyond to create true art.

Master Denon Whisper produced a painted bust of my father. When he unveiled his work, it took all I had to keep from tearing up; he captured his likeness exactly and returned me to my childhood when I'd do everything I could to win a smile from him. It sits now in the entrance hall of Grayson Mansion to greet me every time I return to the house.

I knew Mistress Ida's booth would take my breath away, having already received several commissions from her. But no matter that I have a sword from her already, I still found myself coveting the matching sword and hairpin she'd produced. It was beautiful work, and a joy to finally meet a woman who had won my respect already through our correspondence. Duke Niccolo made quick work of securing sword and hairpin for himself, a gift for someone in his acquaintance, I believe he said. Whomever receives that token from the Voice of Velenosa is fortunate indeed.

It has been my pleasure and honor through the years to act as patron to Mistress Joscelin and to have her in attendance was wonderful. I've rarely met an artisan with so keen an eye for design, and determining what will be the best complement in adornment for any individual. She did herself proud with a pair of pewter earrings, which I believe were purchased by another woman I hold in some esteem, Mistress Acacia Culler, and a pearl encrusted set of hair combs designed in the style of mermaids. These I made a gift of to Lady Kima Saik, a southern knight of some renown. They suited her perfectly, as Mistress Joscelin said they would.

Sir Silas Mercier was also in attendance and I confess, I'm not certain how the man does it, even with two apprentices to assist him. He must sleep only a scant few hours every night to achieve the amount of work he does, and at such a high level of finesse. The wardrobe I commissioned from him is one of the finest things I own, and I knew I would be impressed but he too exceeded expectations. His offerings were an impressive trophy case with mirror, a very fine dining set, and a sweet little rocking chair made by his apprentice Callum, which I am proud of having purchased for myself. It will inspire me to find a quiet hour here and there for my reading.

I think the finest thing to come of the day was to see nobles and commoners alike together, sharing a spirit of merriment and celebration. We have all of us had little reason for that of late but it seemed we were all able to set our worries aside for a day, and simply enjoy the comradery and creativity of our fellow Arxians. Inquisitors Alistair and Prince Gareth, Larissa Whisper, Master Hammer my champion of the card table, people from the Lower Boroughs and those who've walked in the palace, or in lands far from this one, they were all there. For a day, there were no divisions that I could see and we seemed to all be of one mind, united in the purpose of remembering what is good in life.

It did my heart good, and also reminded me of a lesson instilled in me when I was small: It is easy to lead when the days are sweet and full of sunlight, but when events conspire and times grow dark and cold, the people need light and warmth the most. Grayson must be that light for they have always looked to us and we have always served.

It was a good day, with good people.

Written By Joscelin

Aug. 27, 2016, 1:17 a.m.(5/27/1004 AR)

Market Day.

I've been working for months to create enough work to satisfy the reputation I want to maintain, and I have to say, it paid off.

Many folks perused the wares, had questions, and I think I've even managed to snag a permanent client or two. Not much to complain about.



Though I may have drunk too much wine there, towards the end.


Was it just me, or did that large, giant Hammar man have a cute tookus?



Written By Joscelin

Aug. 27, 2016, 1:06 a.m.(5/27/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Ida

A local smith I'm proud to call both 'peer' and 'friend'.

Written By Joscelin

Aug. 27, 2016, 1:04 a.m.(5/27/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Ida

A local smith I'm proud to call both a peer, and a friend.

Written By Joscelin

Aug. 27, 2016, 12:55 a.m.(5/27/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Ida

My fellow 'smith was there at the Market Day event, and I caught her eyeing a few of my pieces. The woman -knows- I'll make her anything she likes, but sometimes I have to pretend to just make her things and accidentally send them to her.

Written By Joscelin

Aug. 27, 2016, 12:55 a.m.(5/27/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Acacia

A woman of fine taste purchased a beautiful pair of earrings from me. While I normally dislike working in pewter, I enjoyed making these. Acacia herself was jovial and intelligent, and I hope to speak with her again.

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