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Written By Aconite

Dec. 1, 2023, 11:47 p.m.(4/17/1021 AR)

I'm so happy for the new warmth of spring. It helps to brighten a world that just months ago seemed to be getting washed out into black and white. I would do well to remember that there are more colors in the world than I can ever see...

And that is why it's beautiful.

Written By Skaldia

Dec. 1, 2023, 10:17 p.m.(4/17/1021 AR)

I have returned to Arx after a short time away. I will not go into such boring details. Suffice it to say, I couldn't stay away when my family needs me.

Upon my return, I immediately joined the Society of Explorers, and I think that was a wise choice all things considered. I hope to resume my duties as a Disciple of Petrichor as well. It will be so very good to see my family again, though I suspect the birds and the trees and the unfurling of spring's glory will soon be calling my name. It is hard to enjoy such things as much as I normally do, however, when worrisome things are afoot.

Written By Duarte

Dec. 1, 2023, 7:39 a.m.(4/16/1021 AR)

The name Shreve Tyde, once whispered in hushed tones throughout the city, now resounds as a stark warning of how power, when sought without conscience, leads only to ruin. Not ruin for the powerful, but ruin for all.

He was a man as enigmatic as he was feared. He met his end in a manner befitting the tumult he sowed. The allegiances of the former Master of Questions had long been the subject of speculation. It would only be a matter of time before he was outed as a traitor.

In hindsight, Shreve's rise to the role of Master of Questions was a dark omen. His reign was marked by ruthless efficiency and lack of moral compass.

The crux came when evidence of his treachery emerged. The High Inquisitor, Prince Laric Grayson, began a meticulous investigation, unraveling Shreve's web of deceit. A plot was then hatched. Duchess Belladonna Pravus would lure Shreve to Pravus Manor where he could be seized and dealt with. Leaning on my access to the man, I was to leak word to Shreve that the King's Own were planning to move King Alaric out of the palace. Assuming Shreve took the bait, the King's Own and Inquisition would ambush Shreve's loyal, while the Iron Guard barricaded the bridge to prevent retreat.

Both ploys proved successful - but at cost. Shreve was apprehended at Pravus Manor. After refusing to surrender, Shreve and some of his fellow traitors were cut down.

But I, I was at the palace.

At the precise time I had fed to Shreve, twelve of his most senior members of the Inquisition, led by Inquisitor Trevino, appeared crossing Sovereign Bridge. A summer storm had blown in from the Bay of Thrax and rain engulfed us and became torrential as Trevino began slicing open his own hand and asking for His Majesty.

Such is his way, Prince Alistair (before he was Prince, you know?) stepped forward and cut through all pretese and gave no pretext. "Let's just get to the part where you all die very painful deaths." He must've known there'd be no easy surrender.

Trevino proceeded to advance and lay accusations against Dame Leona Thrax - accusing her of treason! He began choke. The storm grew intense, shrouding the scenery with sheets of heavy rainfall. But the beating of precipitation against the stone ground could not mask the sound of Trevino's screaming. As he was overcome by some force within himself, he drew that very same dagger he used upon his hand and took it to his throat. He fell forward. Lightning struck. His blood pooled around him and refused to be washed by the rain. It drew together and congealed and - sure as I write this - began to take the shape of a man with large monstrous wings like those of a bat. The thing spoke, in a growl low and loud enough to cut through the pattering rain, "None of you will survive..."

Inquisitor Tikva drew her bow and with passionate voice belted a song that harmed and enraged the demon. The terrible creature bellowed and drew in the storm with winds so heavy they blew several Iron Guardsman off the bridge to their death. The rain turned to blood and beat down on the forces that guarded the palace and bridge: the Crimson Blades, King's Own, Iron Guard and Inquisition.

The 11 traitorous Inquisitors - those that were led by Trevino - donned looks of terror as they seemed to be controlled like puppets and were impelled forward in attack. The squall become overpowering. It swirled around the bridge turning day to night with a thick, ruddy opacity. Battle ensured.

The 11 inquisitors were quickly met upon by the swords of Alistair and Silas Whitehawk and the arrows of Narciso Artiglio, whilst Dame Leona with her sword, and Inquisitor Tikva with her arrows, honed on the demon.

But it was the song - Tikva's song - that enraged the thing most, for it gathered into its terrifying claw a great cloud and sent a searing streak of flame that cut straight through Narciso. It cried in fury that all Godtouched would perish!

And me, with my little daggers. Me - so ill-suited for combat and surrounded by heroes. It was only off some blinding, primal insistence for survival that I swung and parried at all. But Narciso's sudden demise was a shock that gave me pause. The skirmish resumed around me: Sir Roland, the stablemaster Tristan, Lord Tobias Telmar - and then others came! The Princess Reese Grayson and Abbas, formerly of House Thrax, along with Duke Harald Grimhall and Prince Ainsley Grayson. Heroes - all - descended upon the bloody demon.

The monster was wounded and the blood rain began to pierce the skin like poison. And yet, still, more rushed in: Luca Grayson nee Velenosa, Prince Fergus Redrain, Prince Aiden Grayson, the Blacktongue of Velenosa, Princess Serafine Velenosa!

Under the force of these heroes blades did the demon fall, rupturing into a black cloud whose expanse was diminished by Inquisitor Tikva's carol. It exploded outward, ripping and burning flesh of all it touched.

Others, still, came to defeat the remaining Inquisitors who were puppeteered by some unnatural force. But I lost track, for I was done. Sentenced to die upon that bridge by that abyssal monstrosity, my skin flayed by acidic rain and my abdomen lacerated to my innards.

Melena Black contained what she could, there on the bridge, before Abbas carried me over his back like freshly hunted game to the Pravus estate. "She's going to kill me," I told her.

Written By Duarte

Dec. 1, 2023, 1:14 a.m.(4/15/1021 AR)


In the wake of the turmoil of Setarco that eventually prompted Belladonna's arrival to Arx, and in the shadow of the Inquisition, a sort of reunion beckoned. It was with Lianne Pravus. Though we both stayed at the manor in Setarco, we had hardly occasion to take notice of one another until now, when duty to family saw our paths cross. I had only known of her in those years previous as a bit of a bane to the Duchess who often complained that Lianne needed to be wed. Of course, once decided, she would then complain that Lianne was too indispensable to be married off. Such gossip is commonplace in noble houses, I hardly paid it any mind beyond the amusement that one of the nieces was getting the better of the Duke & Duchess.

But amidst the darkness that had settled over Arx after Duke Piero's murder, Lianne's arrival was like a light - an analogy I know she'd shy from. I am prepared to be soundly tsked for it.

Lianne was a woman of understated beauty and her mind was as sharp as a most honed blade. Her presence balanced grace and intellect with an air of mystery - for, you see, Lianne's subtlety and intelligence are not just in her words but in the spaces between them.

Driven by insatiable curiosity, Lianne was a seeker of truths. Not of the sort I often sought. Her pursuits were into the threads of the very fabric that holds our world together. And this would often lead her into the deepest of intellectual rabbit holes. She had a chilling ability to weave through the complexities of politics and governance - it did not take long for me to see why she was too precious an asset to be given away by marriage.

Our meeting in Arx was a confluence of minds - a blending of our distinct yet complementary talents. Lianne's brilliance in strategy and research, and my knack for the unseen and unsaid.

When a dear friend, co-author, and loyal, beloved servant of House Pravus, was under suspicion of dastardly deeds - and when it became evident that he could not possibly have been in two places at once - was when I began prodding at things that didn't want to be prodded. But Lianne had a thirst for this stuff that could not be quenched. And I was beginning to catch glimpses of what Shreve had promised revelation of in those months before.

From there we located a book of a particular and peculiar sort. Indeed, a whole piece of the world was being discovered that none knew existed as we tracked the bloodline of House Pravus.

How business blossoms into friendship, then to something more. Isn't that a tale old as time itself?

Together we would enjoy the balcony of the Pravus Estate. The bowls of summer berries that settled between us were in many ways symbolic of our time together - sweet, but fleeting. I don't remember much of our talks beyond that we had them. But I do remember how those morsels would stain her fingers all shades of red and purple.

This was 1005, and the world is only now coming to awareness of the terrifying nature of what we only began to (poorly) fathom then. Then - when our best foot forward was based on the ravings of madness from a prisoner in the Inquisition's panopticon.

I have some correspondence from the time which I revisit often. Mine were a mix of adoration and concern. I reflected on the darker paths my life had taken, and the effects of our particular studies upon me. Choices, regrets, and a life lived on one's own terms. And a vow.

Lianne's back was like a balm to my troubled spirit. Of me, she made a request. She also expressed her characteristic defiant will and her confidence that our efforts would either break or better the world.

Sixteen years later, my dear Lianne was right.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. There was still the matter of Shreve.

Written By Ann

Nov. 30, 2023, 8:08 p.m.(4/15/1021 AR)

I wonder what getting back to normal looks like? I highly doubt it is any time soon. I am not sure how I feel about that. Time will tell, I guess.

Written By Aelgar

Nov. 30, 2023, 10:07 a.m.(4/14/1021 AR)

Several meetings this week, including those aimed at searching old arcives for some information needed by various projects. Good thing the city has the Archives and the Scholars to collect all these records. I also got to refresh my skills at transcribing by acting as a scribe for one of Archlector Giada's meetings. That was a bit of fun in a way that many would not understand--a revisiting of younger days in training! Finally, I learned there is an outside chance I may be taking my ship southward to explore an island. We apparently need a map and there is an small chance pirates are horboring there. That would be a nice chance from city life!

Written By Sen'azala

Nov. 29, 2023, 11:22 p.m.(4/13/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Raven


Written By Raven

Nov. 29, 2023, 8:59 p.m.(4/13/1021 AR)

It's easy to say everyone deserves a second chance until you are put on the spot and then you have to stare it in the face. EVERYONE. Deserves. Redemption. I am tempted to make excuses, arguments, justifications for my ire. It doesn't matter. EVERYONE. It does in fact mean everyone. So as a disciple of the Thirteenth I will heed that staple of my faith convenient or not.

Written By Raven

Nov. 29, 2023, 8:40 p.m.(4/13/1021 AR)

I am blessed to have so many with such vast knowledge to confer with. The Spirit Walkers have a daunting task before them but not a single quavered or recoiled at the challenge before them.

Written By Titus

Nov. 29, 2023, 3:14 p.m.(4/12/1021 AR)

The Vaevici stand unyielding with our Compact allies to defend the countless futures of peoples we may never know. In the face of this threat we boldly affirm: our fates are ours to write, all nightmares have an end.

Written By Medeia

Nov. 29, 2023, 9:34 a.m.(4/12/1021 AR)

There may come a day when someone looks at me and sees all of me. They will know the stories behind the scars, the pull of my soul, the strength beneath the softness. They will not only accept but revel in the intricacies and contradictions that make me uniquely me. And rather than seeking to diminish the parts they do not understand, rather than feeling threatened by my achievements and capabilities, they will encourage my growth. They will see me and all that I could be, not who they think they can undermine me into being.

If that day ever comes, I pray that I am not blind to them. May the gods bless that person with the patience and fortitude they will need to endure me. They will, at least, have a steady supply of wine to get them through the harder days.

Maybe it is silly to be sitting here, thinking about this when there is so much else going on, needing my attention. But maybe I have not done a good enough job of tending to my heart and protecting it? Maybe I have spent so long focusing on others that I have accepted less than I want and less than I deserve. These are important things to realize.

Written By Renata

Nov. 29, 2023, 9:13 a.m.(4/12/1021 AR)

Today, I found myself entwined in the irony of my own choices, a twist of fate that did not escape my notice. In the pursuit of finding my inner self, I decided to embark on a moving meditation along the expanse of the shores around Arx.

As I treaded the sandy shores, the rhythmic crashing of the waves against the coastline initially felt like a melodic invitation to mindfulness. The salty breeze whispered promises of catharsis, and the sun, a golden orb in the sky, cast its warm embrace upon the landscape. It seemed the perfect setting for a journey within, a communion with the self amidst the beauty of nature.

However, the irony unfolded with each step, for beneath the surface of the cerulean waters lay the unknown, a realm that stirred a latent anxiety within me. The ocean, with its vastness and enigmatic depths, became a metaphorical mirror reflecting the shadows of my deepest fears. The very waves that were meant to bring tranquility began to carry an undertow of unease.

The crashing surf, once a symphony of nature's rhythm, now mirrored the tumult within my mind. It became a reminder that, sometimes, the pursuit of peace requires confronting the unsettling truths that lie beneath the surface. The nightmares that lurked in the recesses of my thoughts manifested in the rolling waves, a paradoxical dance between the desire for tranquility and the inevitability of facing one's fears.

Perhaps, in this confluence of contradictions, I will find the answers I seek, or maybe I'll simply learn to navigate the delicate balance between the serene and the unsettling.

Written By Lucita

Nov. 29, 2023, 8:57 a.m.(4/12/1021 AR)

There are ideas that were thought to be unthinkable, songs thought to be unsingable, fears thought to be unstoppable yet here we are, in the midst of them all and clinging to each other, the familiar, and our faith for stability, for hope.

Written By Mabelle

Nov. 29, 2023, 8:08 a.m.(4/12/1021 AR)

Bee swarms leave very large shadows.

Written By Martino

Nov. 29, 2023, 4:05 a.m.(4/12/1021 AR)

Neither by Chance nor Fate. Several years ago the Shav'Arvani House Nonpurdo declared themselves our enemy after their grotesque attack on Duchess Calypso Malvici leading to her death. As Malvici we declared that there would be no home for these Shav'Arvani within our lands, within our territories and within our home. That we would secure the site where the Duchess was last seen and then turn our attention to our enemies.

At first, House Nonpurdo's home of Asti was defeated and the city was to become ours. Second their allies, two other Shav'Arvani Houses, were to be given the same treatment. We Malvici drew together our forces, our lieges working with us, and with that those who struck against us first and stole from us the Duchess Calypso have felt a reminder that to strike against a Malvici will see the harshest of retaliations.

Asti is now ours, their inhabitants bend the knee, and bloodshed from those in the city is avoided as they saw no wish to resist. The Malvici black and red flies above the keep, the Golden Hawk of Southport hangs proudly.

We now conclude our response, we now see our enemies defeated, neither through chance nor fate.

Written By Raven

Nov. 28, 2023, 8:43 p.m.(4/11/1021 AR)

Do not be the next person who tells me I am being a martyr, or taking on to much, or thinks I might benefit from your views on time management. I promise you it will not be worth it. Bless all those who have offered to help or to promise to look into things and promised to raise a flag if there is trouble so I needn't keep track of everything but rather rely on the army of of the informed and involved so that I can trust that I do indeed, do not have to be everywhere and do everything. Some day it is you all who I will find some way to repay.

Written By Esme

Nov. 28, 2023, 8:01 p.m.(4/11/1021 AR)

Very well.
You have asked and I shall answer.

Written By Raja

Nov. 28, 2023, 3:06 p.m.(4/10/1021 AR)

Someone left a disturbing book in my shop. I don't know if this is some sort of gag, a warning, or a threat.

Written By Sen'azala

Nov. 28, 2023, 7:11 a.m.(4/10/1021 AR)

Two to remember, and one for hope. That's the price of raven feathers.

It would have to be, right? What kind of friend would I be, if I let it be anything else?

Written By Medeia

Nov. 27, 2023, 11:30 p.m.(4/9/1021 AR)

After a lovely opportunity getting to catch up with Duke Ryhalt, during which I noted that I had been meant to be a very-spare lady - one married off to a quiet life - but somehow ended up here, I slipped away to the Great Archive with a burning curiosity: How did I get here?

I spent some time looking over those earliest journals of my time in the city. Ones filled with memories that came flooding back as I read them. They were so vivid! And I wept for that girl, the one who listened as a lord shouted at the sky that she was more beautiful than the moon and stars, the one who had her not-yet husband imply he believed her capable of invading and conquering a barony, the one who cherished every bit of trust put in her as a midwife by new mothers.

I wept because I have always been here.

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