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Written By Sydney

Jan. 17, 2021, 4:42 a.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Everywhere I turn of late, I see those about me who were trained to hold a blade, spear, or axe or shoot a bow from the moment they could safely hold a stick or manage the pull strength of a particularly forgiving string. It's of little secret that I find the lives of those born into such circumstances baffling.

From the moment I could sit a horse, I was guiding the family mare.

From the moment I could hold a stick, I was putting holes in the earth to drop seeds into, or breaking up weeds. I split wood for the fire. I worked with my hands to lay snares to supplement our meals so that we didn't tire of endless vegetable stews, with mixed results.

Didn't get in a fight right and proper until I was into my early teens, and I fumbled my way through it. No fancy footwork, just adrenaline and anger, same as most any youthful scuffle over love and hate's intersection. Am I to gloat here, and say I beat him within an inch of his life, and made him regret striking me in the back of the head? I'd be lying to say I gave even half as good as I got, but I stayed upright, staring him down until he backed off, knowing I wasn't as easy to lay out as he'd assumed.

Never underestimate the tenacity of those who cut their teeth on working hard to keep alive every day of their turn on the wheel, and not merely when it's time for 'practicing'.

It's those who make light of their opponents that risk the most, and lose the most when it matters.

For every fight in this life has equal weight, and you never know the story of who swings their blade at you, not for true, 'til one or both of those stories end.

Written By Duarte

Jan. 17, 2021, 4:40 a.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Journal

After a rather rocky start Belinha and I reached an accord. Though I apologized for my ill-mannered temperament, and for threatening her, she was yet convinced I had capacity to follow through. That there'd be no admission for me to the House of Silken Sighs was a thing outside her control.

Our arrangement was thus: she would meet with me twice a week and provide private tutoring in basic matters of etiquette. It was very droll stuff at the time. I remember wondering why so many forks? I remember how silly it was that there would be so many depths of bows that each communicated quite different things and fit different situations. Such nonsense that something as quotidian as sipping soup should be turned into an elegant and unvarying dance.
('Like ships that go out to sea, I spoon my soup away from me.')

If you want to know how it is that Whispers and Suspires and many courtesans across Arvum are so adored for the fineness of their craft, much of it, I challenge, rests right here. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of motions as precise as any clockwork that fit so exactly into the moving system of our lives. These are so drilled and polished in our courtesans - the good ones, anyway - they needn't even think of them. These points of manner grease the rails of life so as to prevent friction.

But I digress too far to the end.

"This is stupid," I said, after the 500th time of greeting myself in the mirror.

"Do it again. Your posture was slouched."
"This is stupid."
"Do it again. You held the hand too long."
"This is stupid."
"Do it again. You held the hand not enough, like it was an insect."
"This is stupid."
"Do it again. You didn't smile."
"This is stupid."
"Do it again. You smiled too much."
"....I did smile too much that time."

It was 20 sessions with Belinha before I could greet the boy in the mirror properly enough for her to move me along. There I was, a petulant orphan boy, being greeted by a well mannered orphan boy. She must've noticed some way I looked when that occurred.

"It's not for you, Duarte, to look and act important. People are important. It's your manners that tell people they are important to you."

The orphan in the mirror was suddenly important to me.

Written By Mirari

Jan. 17, 2021, 1:52 a.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

I feel an itch just below my skin. At the tips of my fingers. In my eye teeth. I feel an itch and cannot quite seem to scratch it. Anticipation is humming through me. Soon.

Written By Drake

Jan. 17, 2021, 1:31 a.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

I think a little rain is quite romantic.
Though Thea said... I can make anything romantic.
I'll accept that.

Written By Lucita

Jan. 17, 2021, 12:09 a.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Such a lovely trip to Saikland Greens this early fall. We explored the area around the Platinum Guard Castle more thoroughly and followed a map through many a forest and up and down hills in the area till we found a cave and explored part of it. It was too vast to look through it all but there were glowing mosses and a blue glowing fish and so much more to delve into and explore. We simply did not have time to investigate all the tunnels and chambers and need to return with someone more skilled at map making and someone who knows about some of the rocks and metals.

Written By Lucita

Jan. 17, 2021, 12:06 a.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

I finally got around to updating my will.

Written By Delilah

Jan. 16, 2021, 11:08 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

When we're young, we feel immortal.

When the face of danger resolves itself, then what?

Life is precious, fight all the more for it.

Written By Lisebet

Jan. 16, 2021, 10:16 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Today's tea is a green tea, redolent with ginger and peppermint. You might think those things don't go well together, but they do.

No, I'm not with child, but I would heartily recommend this tea to anyone who is suffering morning sickness.

I wish I'd had it when I was.

Written By Savio

Jan. 16, 2021, 9:42 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Relationship Note on Orland

I have so much to say about everything, and I talk all the time -- ALL the time -- so to be left speechless is perhaps something to note. It has taken some time to find the right words for Orland.

If he is your friend, you will know loyalty.
If he is your confidant, your secrets will be safe.
If he is your ally, he will stand by you long after others have failed.
If you are an idiot, he will let you know.

Tenacious, sharp, difficult to impress, impossible to fool. If you don't know him, then you ought to; Amadeo's Voice is worth hearing.

Written By Bianca

Jan. 16, 2021, 9:22 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Relationship Note on Ciro

If a brew does not place in a contest, to me it is not decidedly a failure. I'd hate to see the efforts of a crafter and inspiration granted by Jayus taken for granted simply because the palettes of the judges of said singular contest may have preferred another.

Tastes are subjective and unless it causes illness someone undoubtedly will enjoy it. That is not a failure.

Written By Yuri

Jan. 16, 2021, 9:17 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Relationship Note on Baz

What a shame that it went to the patronage of the arts and appreciation of the work put on display. With all the excess silver, we can see to hire someone else to attend the next auction.

Written By Haakon

Jan. 16, 2021, 9:04 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

Good counsel for all the unwed menfolk of Arx:
Find a wife who takes an arrow, breaks it off herself, and calls for the archer's head.

Written By Cirroch

Jan. 16, 2021, 9 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

War is war. never let someone try to tell you otherwise.

Written By Kiera

Jan. 16, 2021, 8:29 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

A man with a helmetful of kittens in a casino has got to be one of the most incongrous yet delightful sights i've seen since coming to arx. I wonder if thrax could give away its sudeen surplus of cats to lucky gamblers. yes, i know i'm being silly but one has to find something to be cheeful in these times doesn't one scholar?

Written By Eirene

Jan. 16, 2021, 8:07 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

It's always hard to prepare to go off to what could be your last mission. It's even harder when you have people who love you and need you waiting back at home. For years I avoided attachments because I was afraid I would break my heart. I'm glad I found the courage to love and be loved. Aww, sentimental shit. If I die, I would hate to have something like this be my last journal entry, so I'll sign off with "Fucking A, of course I'm coming back from this."

Written By Acacia

Jan. 16, 2021, 6:53 p.m.(10/7/1014 AR)

War is coming and the Cullers are busy setting up for what is to come. It's hard on the crew and our women and men. But we have always stood under one banner and, bless them, they don't mind a good fight. In fact, most kind of like it. The glory and all that shite.

But armies and navies and great cities don't run on empty bellies nor rise on personal war stories and tales of heroics. They need supplies and someone has to do the unglamorous work to keep things going. The goods must flow.

So often most forget that we all have a part to play in a victory and the credit goes to those at the top or at the front.

That's not so say that those folk are not worth praising and raising a drink to. They deserve it. But those who lay their lives down to make sure that those who seek glory can fight without worrying about food, medicine and supplies, and that their families are safe and not wanting, they deserve a tip of the hat, too.

That goes for our crafters, smiths, alchemists, tradesmen, farmers, medics, support crews and the many others as well. All of them are part of this machine that keeps us safe and paves the way to victory.

I'm sure our, and the other crews like ours, will see our share of the fighting along the way. Enough to take the edge off their appetites for a grind and meeting of blades, anyway.

I understand it. I want to be in the thick of it, too. I like the rush of a good fight, when someone shouts out my name in pride or I can save a friend's life just as anyone might. But sometimes you have to sacrifice what you want for the greater good of the whole, you know?

Sometimes the fight is not at the front, but what you do to cover your comrades' behind.

Written By Yuri

Jan. 16, 2021, 4:01 p.m.(10/6/1014 AR)

Relationship Note on Medeia

For all you hold dear, my friend: do not hesitate on acting when you could have.

Send that letter when you can. For I wish I had more time to do so in my past, and I will never get that chance again.

Please.

Written By Lustry

Jan. 16, 2021, 2:22 p.m.(10/6/1014 AR)

I think my rum contest went very well and I am very excited for the mead contest I am now in the process of planning. Prince Grimgar gave me the most lovely earrings while I was hosting. Truly a very thoughtful Bear. I am very blessed he has decided to court me. I just hope that he doesn't get scared away like the others. I know I have my quirks and I do have to organize things a specific way after all. I am curious where Princess Valencia and I will decide two host the mead contest and also who we will acquire for a third judge. Who loves meads? I should try to acquire someone who is as obsessed with mead as I am with rum, truly.

Written By Baz

Jan. 16, 2021, 2:22 p.m.(10/6/1014 AR)

Watching two Silks settle whose coin purse was bigger was a remarkably disgusting display. With all that excess silver they ought to hire someone to think for them.

Written By Kastelon

Jan. 16, 2021, 2:10 p.m.(10/6/1014 AR)

When next I am considering what to learn in my adventures in soldiering, perhaps it is not swordplay that I ought seek to master, but dodging. I am clearly not as evasive as I'd thought. That, and perhaps poetic justice that it's not a sword that caught me, but another archer's arrow.

My shoulder should heal, I hope, before anything too serious comes lumbering into my path again. If life is kind.

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