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Written By Dio

July 4, 2020, 9:26 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

Not all languages need be written or spoken. Much can be conveyed, and deep bonds formed, in the language without words, and some employ it with surpassing eloquence.

Written By Lydia

July 4, 2020, 9:09 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

It was difficult to watch myself as I ran the Gauntlet at Victus' party. But I managed to get this first hand account of the matter, and I include it here for my memoirs in its entirety.

---

[Lydia] At the cake table, Lydia carefully sizes up her target. She rubs her chin as she looks down upon it. She crouches table-side to observe it layer-on. Nodding to herself she picks up a huge double-headed axe, struggles briefly with its weight, then brings it down upon her cake broad-side. Pieces of cake fly everywhere. Like shrapnel, taking out many nearby the table. A good portion of cake splats against Lydia's face and slides down her d├ęcolletage. Satisfied the cake is in at least 4 pieces, Lydia moves on.

Lydia rushes the line of dinghies, hopping one, two, three. It is on the forth that her toe catches the rim of a dinghy and spinning heels-over-head into the drink she goes. Some of the cake is tossed from her body by centrifugal forces, the rest spreads about her in the water to feed the fishes.

Climbing out of the ocean, her silk dress is stuck to her body. The Shark Fishing is pure luck. But it helps to read the rules before rushing in. Crossing her fingers and adding please, not a shark, not a shark, she casts her lure. Of course she gets a shark! Exactly what she didn't want! She turns it in with an adorable pout.

It is at the Kraken's Pass that all hope of getting the salt water out of silk goes out the window. Cloth drenched in oil slap at her body, ripping holy terror out of the silk, but she dances her way along. She almost seems to enjoy the tentacles having their way with her body, using each blow to spin herself along the plank. That is, until the dog-headed whale knocks her right in the back of the skull. She tumbles from the plank, a sickening thud upon the sea. It is a few moments before she can be seen climbing up the side of the next ship waving, looking like she's shouting "I'm okay, I'm okay" over her shoulder. But it might just be "ow that hurt", it's hard to tell.

Talk about a wardrobe malfunction, the torn neckline of her dress is more open, significantly lower than when she started. Her dress has lots of slits now to show off her graceful legs. She races toward the foremast, oily feet sometimes slipping on the teak deck, but she keeps her feet and climbs the rigging. She claims jewels, dangling bottles of perfume, anything she can toss about her neck and keep moving. From the foresail line she tucks a stuffed kraken under one arm. At the end, she snags a couple strips of fabric and tosses them over a descending line, holding both ends. If there are cries of "are you crazy" from the crowd she doesn't hear them. She slides down the line like a... um... like anything but a pro, crying out in delight.. um.. or maybe abject terror as gravity adds to her momentum. Her prize necklaces flail about her neck, beads and perfume and ribbons in wild chaos. But through it all she hangs on to her kraken and delivers him, and by some miracle every gathered prize safely to the deck.

Oh no, the dinghies again. With more care, she tries to make her way across, but after everything she's already beyond the limits of her stamina. She takes a graceful stumble and hits the water back-side first. Holding her stuffed Kraken above her head and out of the wet, she slowly returns to shore.

Climbing the sands, she simply plants one bare foot after another, non-stop. It is at the tree she catches her breath, and picks up the Conch shell. She shouts out aloud, "Bless you, Mangata, Goddess of sea and breeze, for all those who keep their composure as they face adversity. She presses her lips to the shell and blows a single, pristine note, clear and loud, as if the Goddess answers her in its tone. And, satisfied, she saunters her way off the gauntlet, drenched, bedraggled, and clothed in silken shreds that by some miracle give her a last remaining modicum of modesty. Nothing can take away her dignity.

(OOC) TL;DR Don't. I survived. I had way too much fun writing this and I'm very very sorry.

Written By Piccola

July 4, 2020, 7:30 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Magnus

If what you say is true, Lord Marquis, then it serves all to remember the baseness of war.

War is the true nurse of a noble's self-aggrandizement. For a nation in war: an army is to be created and directed by its lord's will; the public treasures are unlocked and used by its lord's will; the honors and emoluments of office are multiplied and subject to its lord's will; and the patronage and spoils for the victorious are reaped and enjoyed at its lord's will. In war, by our praise and beliefs, laurels are gathered and bestowed to whom prevails. And so, it is obvious that the strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses -- ambition, avarice, vanity, pride -- are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.

When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men and woman observe no bounds of moderation. Any suggestion of wounded pride or instigation of resentment will carry a nation to any extremes necessary to avenge the affront or to avoid the disgrace of submission. For those in the Compact who bend to the Thirteen's traditions is there a fragile peace in the form of honorable resolution, but outside of the same boundaries there is no such satisfaction. And for so long as there are those who will not follow such paths the art of war shall always be an important element of statesmanship, one that is often forgotten in the intrigues of politics in peace-time.

Peace or war will not always be left to our option, and however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition, of others.

Written By Sunaia

July 4, 2020, 7:23 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

I haven't seen blood in weeks, I thought I was sleeping just fine, and yet - yet - YET this morning - my temper was growing shorter.

I stood at the edge of the Gray Forest and screamed until the unspent energy left my body.

Written By Raziel

July 4, 2020, 6:41 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

Gave a girl quite a fright today when she woke up. Mind you, she was quite grateful after the initial shock of my face had faded. People usually are after the surgery that keeps them from going back to the Wheel too soon.

It's funny, Scholar. Sometimes saving one little girl encountered by chance is more satisfying than seeing the traitor to the Crown pursued for months finally brought to justice. Even if the end of that traitor saves countless more lives.

A matter of perspective. Much like the line between monster and saviour, mm? How swiftly it is crossed.

Written By Oddmun

July 4, 2020, 2:36 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

I have seen some comments lately about duels and challenges and that they are done for reasons that are considered superfluous in the grand scheme of things.

I realized that my challenge with Princess Zara was over horses. I took it very seriously, however. To have lost that duel would have to said that Sanna's horses were not on at least par with Oathland bred stock. The Sanna horse would have never been considered for anything other than a fringe animal and not been considered to be wholesale.

With the victory, I now have others discussing Sanna's stock as viable. Important. Horses that are useful. Strong. Well-trained and dependable.

The duel was enjoyable. I am grateful that it came out in my favor.

Because I know the disaster that would have resulted had Alecstazi lost.

Written By Svana

July 4, 2020, 1:08 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

I have only started to get out of the apartment now and again recently; to be honest, the heat and other circumstances make me wish I was back in the Bonespire, sitting down in the snow and meditating.

But then I have days like today that make me realize how much I have gained since coming to the City.

I have been absent from reading or writing in the Whites due to quite frankly being sick of the bickering in them. But I stumbled across Lord Rysen's sonnet to me... and yes, we've all teased him on occasion about his poetry, but it did move me. Lord Rysen, I have nightmares of my own now. I know what it's like. I am glad that you saw something in me and my babes, something pleasant enough.

I have a husband who adores and treasures me and while we don't get to see each other much, every bit of time we get to spend together is like a sacred prayer that soothes the soul. We talk often of souls who know each other from life to life, and I firmly believe that we have known each other and will know each other again.

I've got my two babes; Rowan, full of smiles, looking like me... and Elanne, who is as pouty as Jules ever was. It's bittersweet. I love them both so very much that my heart could burst. I didn't think I'd be a good mum. But for them I could and would do anything.

I've got friends. Real friends who would give a damn if something happened to me. Friends who feed me, take care of me, even deliver my babies. Thank you all. I love you.

Written By Amari

July 4, 2020, 12:54 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Kedehern

The Dullest Oathlander? Poor Milton! He may well be as you described, but I feel I should defend him all the same. Farriers, by and large, must be calm, patient and steady in their work. Horses can be incredibly temperamental and difficult, and keenly sense when someone is frustrated with them or means them harm. So perhaps, he's simply long accustomed to speaking in a slow and lulling manner as he must with the horses to avoid having his chest kicked in.

Written By Thea

July 4, 2020, 12:48 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

I learned a thing or two today. How to defend myself against a flail. You know, that weapon with spiky balls? Now then you ask, "But Thea, did you really learn?" The answer? No. Because I'm going to probably try again then try and learn to fight with one myself. Because one should probably learn how to fight with as many weapons as they can, right? Even if they're bad it. What could possible go wrong...

Written By Rosalind

July 4, 2020, 12:14 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

Scholar...There is a camping trip being planned. That's right, a camping trip! With Lady Sunaia! Why are you looking at me like that?! Of course it will fine. Everything will be just fine! Did you want to go too? We have openings. Did you hear that?! Anyone else want to go camping?!

Written By Sydney

July 4, 2020, 12:06 p.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

As an addendum to my last entry: I am honored to serve as an alternate.

And I should like to never have to be called upon as one, given the respect I have for the names on the primary list.

Written By Magnus

July 4, 2020, 11:45 a.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Piccola

War is only a necessity because humans are, at their core, base animals. We like to presume we're so elevated and higher thinking than devolving into mindsets based on greed or vengeance or simply 'that's mine and I want it'. And we give ourselves 'reasons' for justifying it. For family. For honor. For influence. That's all it really is. Justification for 'peace of mind'.

It will never go away. It will always be there. We are not nearly so enlightened as we like to think ourselves are.

Written By Mabelle

July 4, 2020, 11:30 a.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Shae

I find myself lately entertaining thoughts about marriage.
I blame Baroness Fortier.
Enough with the cute babies.

Written By Amari

July 4, 2020, 11:16 a.m.(8/6/1013 AR)

I still recall when I first came to Arx, and how I marveled at all the grand events and the various contests that were held. Not that I could win even a single one; my sad little boat sank in the Tyde garden pool, I couldn't stand in the cold of the sea in the Bay of Thrax for very long nor find an oyster with a pearl hidden within, nearly choked to death on cake at the Queensrest, found a crab in the black pool at the Velenosa estate rather than a prize, half froze after being pelted by snowballs, was eliminated in the first round of a Tournament of Thorns after failing to woo a prince and I couldn't joust or spar to make it through the first rounds, nor could I even summon the nerve to brave the Telmar gauntlet.

Even being a perpetual loser at these various contests, I always won (to be very trite), for the fun had was the true treasure. Oh, but those precious few wins I've secured have been so sweet. I can't pretend otherwise. They've included a poetry joust, a sled race, a very serious contest to not laugh, several Kismet carnival games and now most improbably; a best bathing suit contest at House Laurent's pool joust. As for the joust itself, I was knocked out in the second round by Lord Drake in his very small, very purple shorts. It was a close contest, just as the best bathing suit judging must have been. I thought Princess Zara would surely win for how well she represented Oathlands fashion with all that steel, but even Uncle Norwood in his modest one piece must have been in contention.

It was a lovely occasion. Duke Cristoph is a wonderful host and event planner.

Written By Quintin

July 4, 2020, 9:55 a.m.(8/5/1013 AR)

Journeyman in the Explorers. I really waited too long to get those letters of recommendation together.

A few more preparations and maybe a quick side trip before Brightshore...

Written By Lucita

July 4, 2020, 9:08 a.m.(8/5/1013 AR)

The vegetable and fruit gardens flourish as they are scattered through the Saik Tower grounds, replacing the flower beds. The Saik wards, two strong boys, almost men now, see to the distribution of the surplus, (thank Petrichor, there is a generous amount of that) amid the lowers. Just because the whirlpool is gone does not mean hunger is yet abated.

Written By Sabine

July 4, 2020, 6:31 a.m.(8/5/1013 AR)

I have high hopes for this marriage. Let us pray that those forces which have seen me widowed twice over agree with me.

The ceremony was my largest wedding to date and everything I had planned for. Father Aureth is a natural orator, truly a man capable of commanding a crowd-- a necessary feat, given the setting. I thank those who came to witness the event but I thank this gentleman particularly for his generosity in giving his time. In return, we shall see if we can outdo our last generous donation to the Faith. To my guests, it pleased me to see you, and I thank you for your time and yours gifts. May I prove worthy of them.

To she who designed our rings: you have my gratitude, always.

I must also thank my family. Cosimo, for attending when I know he would rather be in his library. Piccola, for attending when I know she would rather be with her horses. Even Cousin Reve, who understood that yelling like a common creature across a crowded shrine is something I would dislike intensely, yet did so anyway.

Nurie... but Nurie knows what is in my heart, for she is my heart. If others speak of our wedding, it will be due to her craft and care.

It was little Lord Constantin's first official duty by bearing the rings to the altar. He performed to expectation, though we must polish that bow. It has been relayed to me that he earned a great many compliments but as he grows they will be fewer, and he must do more to earn them. Still, I thank my heir for seeing to his duty as best he was able.

And, of course, my thanks to my new husband. For his loyalty, for his charm, for his dedication to my causes, in all of their variety. I trust him to see to the welfare of my people as I have done, though perhaps not always in my manner. But that is to their benefit as well.

Written By Sirius

July 4, 2020, 3:02 a.m.(8/5/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Gianna

It's difficult to tell if these are saddening news or good news, but as are the Queen's wishes, the cycle continues and hopefully the next chapter in your life's just as exciting and meaningful for the denizens of the Compact.

I'm at least happy to have witnessed you as a Whisper before you moved on to focus onto different pastures, miss Delvecchio.

Written By Shard

July 4, 2020, 12:16 a.m.(8/5/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Piccola

So, if someone robs someone else, and then sells what they stole, that's good business?

I suppose the line between banditry and business relies on who's doing the robbing and who's getting robbed.

Written By Jourdain

July 4, 2020, midnight(8/5/1013 AR)

I am proud to see High Hill revivified under the new House Wyvernheart, and was pleased to have some part in the undertaking. I have faith my cousins will continue to acquit themselves well.

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