Written By Tikva
March 18, 2017, 11:25 a.m.(2/12/1006 AR)
When I grew older and came to understand the duty that I held, it was as an adopted child recognizing with every ounce of her heart, every fragment of her being, that some debts cannot be repaid, but must be paid on.
Then I grew older still, and because I was a teenager or because I fell madly in love, I knew -- KNEW -- that the oath I must take would draw me away from those ties, to a new family, that I swore myself to serve. Now my love is gone, though his mark will live on my heart forever, but I still get ... some solace from serving that oath with all my might.
But of course, true love is Tiber. Who literally has heard me talk about gods so much that he tried to say Limerance yesterday. At least I think that's what he tried to say. "Limance"?
Maybe I should give the kid a break ...
Written By Aureth
March 18, 2017, 11:13 a.m.(2/12/1006 AR)
She is Death, which does, indeed, make her the end of life. The moment of transition between your life and what lies beyond. The last instant before your heart fails as your eyes look into the gathering shadows and see-- what those of us who still live will never know and likely never remember.
But she's not going to keep you alive. She's not going to protect you from dying. She's not going to haunt your enemies. She is the weaver of souls, the guardian of the Wheel, the hand that will guide you to what lies beyond . . . she will protect your soul, because she loves it, as she loves all souls. But she's not interested in whatever bullshit is happening around your dying. Souls belong to her. The lamentations of your enemies do not.
I highly doubt she would not even find them interesting.
The only exception is the Bringers, really. Kill them, tan their hides, stuff them and mount them on your walls: Death will thank you for it.
Written By Freja
March 18, 2017, 10:36 a.m.(2/11/1006 AR)
As time marches on, that steady and irrefutable drum, traditions become old and antiquated - subject to rust just as much as the blade. Brittle, worn, hung on the wall more for decoration and a sense of hereditary obligation than actual use.
Redrain is not so. We do nothing without purpose, even if the means to the end will be written off as 'savage nonsense' by those who harken from outside our borders. Back home in Farhaven I remember father taking red clay from the courtyard while one of the Shaman of the house spoke the words, the ritualistic marking and Woading of his three children to each receive the three red marks of our House on our face for all to see. We would enter the fray, the reminder of what we fight for written on our skin for all to see. He always found it worth a chuckle, father that is, he had enough children with fighting spirit to 'embody the three drops of Redrain'. "Torrud's Bloody Brood" as some back home would call us. Charming, but doesn't really inspire the suitors to come piling in.
When I began my steps to follow Aunt Drea into our Path of Shamanism I was honored, overjoyed that I could learns the words to match the woads father always insisted we paint on our skin before battle. My tradition would not rust. I will see carry on as much as the blade Fergus now carries.
That said, and with the host that now marches towards our gate, I will extend this tradition past "Torrud's Bloody Brood". I invite all those of Northern blood who have fealty to Redrain, whether through direct oath or our esteemed and honorable vassals, to join me at the cusp of light's break at Redrain's Grove to receive the ritualistic markings as I beseech the spirits for their help to guide us, to help us, to make the flight of the arrow swift and the arc of the blade true.
Redrain will march, Redrain will fight.
We will stand - Until the Last.
Written By Frederik
March 18, 2017, 1:03 a.m.(2/11/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Gregor
Written By Arcelia
March 18, 2017, 12:19 a.m.(2/11/1006 AR)
I admit there is a reason beyond simply missing my mother and father or the warmth of my home. My stomach is all in knots right now, butterflies attempting their escape and caught in the twisting maze. That reason is that I came to Arx to find a husband and someone has finally expressed serious interest in taking me as their wife. I have never been too keen on the idea of being married and it is not something I have reflected deeply upon so that is what I am doing right now. I am thinking about why the idea of getting married makes me so nervous.
First, what I do know is that I am afraid of falling in love. I have seen that it has a nice bright side but I know that the light can be taken away from you as quickly as it is given. I have seen people suffer not being able to be with their loved ones because of station, I have seen people ripped away by Fate. And so the idea of letting myself fall in love is insanity to me, I do not want to feel that ache.
Perhaps my next fear is of what time will do to the marriage. Will I be a good enough wife? Will I live up to the expectations? Will I still be desired in ten years when my hair begins to gray? Will I fail my husband and find him hating me for it? Will I fail my family? These are questions that keep surfacing into my mind and I do feel guilty for it, I admit.
I am also afraid of the loss of my own independence and having to change. I will be married, I will likely have to move to living with new people that I know nothing about. I rather like my present family and home, moving from them will be difficult for me.
And then the thought of children... beautiful creatures that grace our society, they make me smile when I see them. But... when I think about having a child of my own I cringe. What if I am a terrible mother? What if I hurt them? And then there is the rather natural fear of pregnancy itself. I am not afraid of being fat, I think pregnant women are very pretty, but the idea of something growing inside of me is horrifying.
My biggest question is just this... Will I be enough for my future husband and children?
With marriage being a serious topic of my life right now I keep thinking about this... The butterflies attack more and more and I have to resist the urge to run away from it. I won't, of course, I love my family and will serve my House in any way I am able. If this is how I must serve them than this is how I will serve them. And I will not complain about it because it is my duty to them.
It is not that the man is bad either, though I think he would have the world believe he is a terrible jerk. I know better, I have seen otherwise. We met in The Grotto... of all places. And we were naked... of all things. You would think that this might mean that there was fondling and sex but we never touched. Our first... date? We went sailing together and found ourselves caught in an abrupt storm. He suffered the cold to warm me and helped me warm back up after, still no sex, just the respectful and kind act of thawing me back out. After we took a nap together, clothes on, and just kept one another warm while we regained our strength. We laid in bed together and talked about somewhat philosophical topics and I admit I got some kisses but even his hands did not travel away from my back and side.
Then I was on the beach, sitting by a fire, and the man crawls out of the water! He jumped off his ship to swim over because he could see me on the beach. He was like a small sea monster! He nearly scared the life out of me! But then he was sitting next to me and asking me if I would be okay with being his wife. I was shocked into silence, I didn't know what to say, but in the end when the silence broke I told him that I did not think he was repulsive and I would gladly be his wife if he could get permission to have me. Then... he told me he had already sent Baroness Kima a letter asking. Which I find amusing. And then there was kissing again, still very respectful and sweet.
I will mention that he has been teaching me the Shav of the Isles but I will not go into detail. It is exactly as it sounds. So, the next time I saw him was an accident. I had just been working with his sister at her forge and she was showing me how to make a ring. I ended up doing designs with him in mind, a yellow moonstone with little waves around it. I had never done it before so it was a bit lopsided. He came into give his sister some supplies for something he was having made for me and I got to give him the ring right after it was made. He seemed to like it even though it was lopsided, I am glad because I am proud that I actually made a ring, lopsided or not. His sister is interesting, quiet and a bit like a mouse but very sweet. I like her.
And today... today he CLIMBED up the side of Saik Tower, I can only imagine after telling the Guards what he was up to because he didn't get turned into a giant pin cushion. But he CLIMBED up the side of the tower to tell me that he was leaving for battle with everyone and he gave me a gift.
The gift was in a black box, a beautiful ring, the most beautiful thing that I have ever or will ever own. I promised I would wear it and so I am, proudly so. But he did not need to do that. I love it but he didn't need to do that.
Conclusion... I am nervous but hopeful and I am going to try and trust myself and my family. I already can honestly say I care for him. IF I end up marrying this man, I hope that love follows for both of us.
Wish me luck!
Written By Silas
March 17, 2017, 11:46 p.m.(2/11/1006 AR)
I have good friends.
But I feel the flab encroaching.
(Still worth it.)
Written By Orazio
March 17, 2017, 11:38 p.m.(2/11/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Fairen
Written By Aleksei
March 17, 2017, 11:20 p.m.(2/11/1006 AR)
So every day I spent in a shrine, that's what I thought about. I sat and I wrote down the thoughts and memories of where each of the gods has appeared in my life. And this is what I came up with.
Surprise! I was never a very good student growing up. I didn't have the patience for sitting still and reading books, so it's been as much a surprise to me as anyone else that I've actually started /reading/ things in the past year.
But I can still remember getting that feeling for the first time when someone came to me with a question -- "Aleksei, I need help, do you know anything about this" -- and I had...an answer? I'm now someone who knows things that can /help/ sometimes, and that -- makes a big difference. I wouldn't have gotten to where I have if I hadn't had people who knew answers themselves, that /I/ went to for help and who freely offered up whatever information they could to get me closer to where I needed to be.
So thanks for that.
Gloria has been the first guess of a few different people in terms of which god in particular might have drawn me to the Faith. I guess I can't blame them for that: I've clearly made a living for most of my life as a swordsman, and I don't think anyone would mistake me for someone drawn to Sentinel, despite duels falling under its purview. And I've certainly always been a fan of Gloria, because who wouldn't be? Or -- what professional fighter wouldn't be, I guess. I do fight fair. I know that maybe I haven't always seemed the most honor-bound sort of guy, but I don't fight dishonorably. And that, at least, has always been true.
This one took a little thinking. I'm not a craftsman -- obviously -- but there's so much more to dig through with him. Stories -- that I get. Inspiration. Dreams. It's funny, because I think that dreams are a little sacred to Skald, too, just -- in a different way. The stories you receive while you sleep versus -- your aspirations. Where you want your choices to take you. But this is my Jayus portion! So it ought to be about Jayus.
I love stories. I love stories that are so true they sound made up, and stories that are made up so well they sound true. And while I'm not a craftsman, I've fallen in love with swords before. On -- multiple occasions. Have you ever held a /perfect sword/? It's one of the best feelings in the world. That something could fit so perfectly in your hand that it feels like part of yourself.
When I was growing up in Sanctum as a kid, there was this one bit of cliff next to the ocean. My father would always tell me to steer clear of it, that a kid he knew when /he/ was growing up tried cliff-jumping from it and died. Hit the rocks, drowned. He forbid from trying any shenanigans around it.
So of course I went there. I didn't die, although I did break my arm. But I can still remember that crack when I hit the water, the smell of the salt when I plunged in. I mean, sure, it hurt like the Abyss and I was probably screaming, but that drop through the air and the embrace of the sea -- it was worth it.
Terrible at boats, though. I just vomit up my guts the whole time.
I left home -- Sanctum -- when I was sixteen. I was eager for it. In the years that followed, before I finally made it to Arx on a more or less permanent basis, I made my way up and down Arvum doing whatever work with a sword I could find. I slept under the stars far more nights than I slept with a roof over my head. I got to go up north where my mom and her family is from. Went as far as I could in every direction. Saw every inch of Arvum that I could see.
Sometimes people have asked which bit I liked best, and I have a different answer every time. The real answer is: all of it. Because every inch of it is perfect and exactly what it ought to be.
For a long time, I thought I was already sort of living a Lagoma-approved life. After all, I didn't ever like doing the same thing more than once. I was always looking for something new, which seemed to me to be some sort of change. Keep moving. It's easy to mistake constant motion for change.
It's not really the same, though. Because constantly moving forward can be the same thing over and over. Trying to find something new every day can be a sort of stasis. Life is funny that way. I spent a long time doing the same thing in the guise of doing different things.
But there's no point in trying to tell any other story except for this one: all my life I've been a swordsman. Soon I'm going to be a gods-honest priest.
Never would've fucking guessed it.
Limerance is the Patron God of the Morgan family. Anyone who's met my brother in the city likely's gotten a bit of a taste of that, but growing up with all that weight and expectation when all you want to do is escape for adventure is...well. It's a bit /stifling/, to say the least. I always figured that Limerance was probably disappointed with me, what with how I ran off instead of staying in Sanctum and serving the Valardins like every other Morgan in history. I was allergic to responsibility! You couldn't make me take any oaths! Et cetera, et cetera.
Except someday said something to me recently. They said that there's a responsibility in not taking oaths you don't believe in. That it's far worse to take an oath or make a pledge you're not truly ready for. I have to admit, it's at least a little vindicating to think that maybe my years of wild irresponsibility were somehow -- more responsible than the alternative. It's probably not /completely/ true, but it's a nice perspective to consider.
The truth is this: I never wanted to swear an oath I didn't really want to keep. I guess I could say I was saving it for something important. The gods seem pretty important.
I have a lot of complicated feelings about the Sentinel. I've never really been a /bad/ guy, just -- someone who tends to end up in trouble. Accidentally! Mostly accidentally. I mean, I don't go out of my /way/ or anything. (Sometimes I guess I go out of my way. If it seems like particularly fun trouble.) I'm sure that Legate Orazio will read this and make all sort of brow-furrowed, disapproving faces about it. But the truth is: I have a hard time with pure truth and justice. Always seems like there's so little room for nuance. Or subtleties. Or -- mercy, I guess. There's something so harsh about just putting everything on the scales and seeing where the weight falls. I like to think that life is more complicated than that. That people are more complicated than that. That even when we make terrible mistakes, there are ways to move forward with better ones.
But I guess that's just the thing. If you're going to have Lagoma advocating for change -- like a person trying to change for the better after making missteps -- and you have Skald advocating for choice, then I guess you really do have to have someone weighing it all. The point of the Sentinel isn't to temper itself. I've had a lot of conversations in the past couple months about the purity of the gods. Not necessarily a purity of goodness, just a purity of -- concept. They are exactly what they are, and they can't be anything else. Humans? We're all messy and complicated, and we've got a bit of everything going on. So in our lives, we can try looking at the black and white truth, and maybe we also look at things like how a person has changed or why they made the choices they did. But I guess that means you have to have something encapsulating truth and justice in its most pure form.
I'll be totally honest: part of me recoils from it. It all seems harsher than I'd want in my own life, so I have -- trouble with it. But maybe that's the point. Sentinel's not always comfortable. But it's always fair. It's always -- reliable. You can always count on Sentinel to be exactly what it is. True. Just. And I know that, for some people, there's a comfort in that.
A lot of people have asked me over the years how I won my knighthood. I always tend to gloss over it a bit, because the title's never quite sat right. Always a bit uncomfortable. But honestly, when I think of it now, I think of Gild.
I was on the road in the Oathlands. Stopping off to water my horse when I heard the yells. I swear to gods, it's like I almost tripped over them. The older of the kids couldn't have even been more than eight, but she still stood in front of her little brother with that stick like it was going to do anything about those adults with actual swords who had clearly been hunting them down. I didn't really think about it, you know? They were just people trying to kill kids, so I stopped them. It wasn't supposed to be a big deal. The /only/ reason it was a big deal -- bigger than some heartfelt thank yous, at least -- is because they turned out to be noble. And then suddenly I had a title shoved at me that I didn't quite want and a lot of expectations that I /really/ didn't want.
Which I guess has a lot to do with Limerance, but when I think back on it now, I keep thinking of Gild. I think about that day traveling on the road and nearly tripping over these kids who had been traveling on their own road. Whose retinue had gotten attacked and scattered. I think about moments in life where you have choices like that in front of you. I know that I had different choices I could have made. But at the time, I remember only feeling like I had the one. What else could I do?
I'm sure I could talk more about Skald than any other god. I'll try to simplify it.
All my life, I felt like something was missing from the Pantheon. I felt a calling to a sort of freedom and wanderlust that my family didn't really understand. After all, it wasn't something we really learned about, was it? No God of Freedom lying around the Pantheon.
Well. Now we have one.
The thing about Death is that she's not only about death. She's the Queen of Endings, sure, but also of Beginnings. She's about the cycle of it all. The story of each life.
I know a lot of people who have met the Nox'alfar don't understand how they can be so careless with their lives and the lives of others. But the thing is: their patron god is Death. When they die, they are simply reborn. If death is little more than falling asleep and waking up again, why should they fear? They understand her cycle in a way that we've lost.
Really, she's almost not about death at all. She's about souls. Everyone dies, of course, and I don't think she has much to do with that. But she's there to pick up our soul when it happens. Take it to wherever it needs to go. And I don't know about you all, but I find that something of a comfort.
It's hard to know what to say about Aion. Of the three lost gods, we know the least about them. (And it is "them." "Them" and "they" and "their.") The creator. The Dreamer. The one who took the primum and gave it form and shape. Made a world and gave it gods.
I'm not a creator. Well, nobody's /that/ kind of creator. But -- then again. Then again. I guess right now, I really am trying to create something. Not from nothing, not -- like that. But something new. Something that maybe existed a long time ago, but who knows in what form. It doesn't matter. We get to make it anew now.
And the Thirteenth. Aion's counter, I guess. For every creation, a reflection.
Listen: I grew up in the Oathlands. I know firsthand the sort of aversion that Tehom inspires from people. I didn't exactly go seek him out just to be contrary -- which I did with a lot of things the Oathlands didn't agree with. But it's enough to get a guy curious.
There's still a lot of questions there, but I'll say this much: I heard a bit about the recent Invocation of Strength. People offering up their personal Darkness. Acknowledge, accept, master.
I've never been very good at mastering my impulses. A very good friend -- perhaps my best friend -- said to me once that I was good, honorable, compassionate -- and also reckless, overenthusiastic, and very afraid. But that the only thing he'd change about me was the fear. That men without fear are typically heartless or foolish. That the trick was to embrace and acknowledge the fear, but not let it rule me. I didn't want to listen at the time. I'm a professional warrior, after all; it's not in our nature to admit to fear. But the truth is that it's never been dying that I'm afraid of to begin with. Failure? Disappointment? I guess so.
So in a few weeks, I give my vows. I give the Faith my fear, along with all the rest of it. The gods sure know I'll be feeling it when I have to get up in front of a bunch of people and remember the order of all those words.
Written By Orazio
March 17, 2017, 10:15 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
Many among those who worship in the Compact wonder under what circumstances it is righteous to take a life. The most well-meaning among them might say that we should strive never to kill, even our enemies. That the gods do not desire bloodshed, nor the death of others, whatever evils they might have committed. That every dead shav or pirate is just as much a tragedy as a dead man or woman of the Compact.
I fear I must disagree, in part. Every human soul has, at birth, the same inherent worth, it is true. But throughout our lives we make choices. We choose to stand for righteousness, or to become predators on our fellows. We choose to bend our knee to the true Gods, or to embrace heresies. And we choose to defend the Compact, or to raise blade against it. We prove loyal to our vows of fealty, or we betray those who count on our service.
With these choices come consequences. Justice, true justice, is not without mercy to the repentant and those who seek redemption. But it also demands that transgressors receive their dues for their crimes. To spare an unrepentant murderer is not mercy. It is not just to torment such a twisted soul, nor to make of his or her death a spectacle. They receive their right to combat as anyone might. But to fail to execute an unrepentant murderer is injustice, itself. Likewise, when an enemy raises a blade against the Compact, in the absence of their surrender, there is no shame and no sin in killing them before they kill you, or your fellow warriors, or the innocent you protect. To hesitate is the crime, for it enables the enemy to kill more of the Compact's people - perhaps including yourself, but certainly including your fellow soldiers and those whose bodies and lives you shield with your steel.
Take no joy in the blood spilt, or the life taken. But take joy in your skill. Take joy in knowing that you stand between the Compact and that which would destroy it. Righteous war is the province of Gloria, and not something to be ashamed of. Fight with honor, treat your enemies with honor, and if they will not yield, deliver them to the judgement of the gods.
Written By Gregor
March 17, 2017, 9:48 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Dominique
Written By Frederik
March 17, 2017, 9:40 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Dominique
Written By Acacia
March 17, 2017, 6:34 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
What's done is done.
Those dead are dead.
There will be plenty of time for bickering and squabbles, drama and duress when there aren't Bringers a week out from the city. When there aren't dark visions of dire warnings haunting our beds. Those should be the things that keep people up at night. Those should be the problems that should grant focus and dedication and the continued concentration of the Faith and the Crown.
Whatever slights perceived, whatever verbal atrocities committed, so on and so forth, are all small bloody bits in comparison to this very real threat. If you're going to spend your free time doing things that aren't to aid those causes, by the Gods, let it be to enjoy yourself and spend time with your loved ones.
Written By Sameera
March 17, 2017, 4:55 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Arcelia
Written By Valery
March 17, 2017, 2:36 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Gavin
And his songs when he was drunk.
His sadness is so painful...
Written By Harald
March 17, 2017, 1:21 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
I give more respect to the choices men make. When one chooses to break the law, one reaps the consequences of that choice. If one chooses to commit treason, one is a traitor. If a commoner threatens a noble, they are in defiance of the natural order, and deserve punishment.
That any noble could think otherwise confounds me.
Written By Estaban
March 17, 2017, 12:31 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Arcelia
I would do anything for you and I would give my own life to keep you safe, I wish you understood I wish.....
You do what you need to do and you make the family proud but you must understand I made a promise and I will keep it dear sister.
And I will never stop thinking no one is good enough for you.
I just don't know what else to do or say to you to show you this.......
Written By Estaban
March 17, 2017, 12:27 p.m.(2/10/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Caelis
We are different yet very much the same I hope things find a way to work out cause I do not know if I wish to be on the sea or away with out being able to see you again.
Written By Lark
March 17, 2017, 9:41 a.m.(2/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Luca
Written By Eleyna
March 17, 2017, 7:38 a.m.(2/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Luca
Written By Luca
March 17, 2017, 7:34 a.m.(2/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Reese
I clearly should try to be more like her if I want to redeem myself.
Does this mean I need ribbons in my hair and a pink sword?
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