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Written By Donrai

Aug. 25, 2016, 1:32 p.m.(5/23/1004 AR)

If one ever thinks to send me a messenger, one with all appearance of sincerity and lucidity, to proclaim me kind and generous to my face before my court, I am left with precious few assumptions:

Perhaps the sender had me confused with Prince Darren Redrain, the Prince of Farhaven and highlord of the Northlands, who is still young enough to consider kindness a merit and generosity a virtue, and has not yet faced the reality that removing a foot from an adversary's neck produces no satisfying outcomes for any involved.

Perhaps the sender had a personal animus with the messenger, through some real or imagined slight, and hoped I would take the message as mockery and had them flayed living and presented before the sea. The temptation was strong, mind you, but babbling about orphans to me was amusing enough that it stayed my hand. A few of my vassals laughed, when they were certain that doing so would not see them executed after I indicated they had leave to do so.

Perhaps, most troubling of all, some mummer, singer, or other version of fool dares to spread word that I am kind or generous? Most disturbing of all, by far. Kindness is a weakness and generosity is foolishness. Kindness buys one nothing, and invites all to take advantage of their nature for naught in return. It is invitation by one's enemies to participate in one's downfall with smiles. Generosity is reminding others that one is wealthy enough that they should be taken advantage of. Kindness and generosity together is sheer folly. King Alaric Grayson IV is a kind man, and a generous man, and the realm will bleed for it.

So no, while I approve of any efforts to see a convenient labor force such as fatherless children go idle and believe they should be yoked, I reject the notion that I am kind or generous. I will endeavor in the future to remind others this is not the case.

Prince Donrai Thrax, Prince of Maelstrom, Highlord of the Mourning Isles

Written By Calista

Aug. 25, 2016, 3:01 a.m.(5/22/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Eos

When I learned of Lord Saik's arrival to Arx, I greeted him with a simple note via messenger, sealed with the Fidante stamp, and tied to a beautiful and brilliant red Tor rose. They are so fragrant and sensual, but I thought nothing of it other than a kind gesture.

I had the pleasure of making Lord Eos and his young son, Lord Vomas' acquaintance this evening at the Hundred Cities Inn. In return for my gift I was given the most precious kitten I have ever seen. Eight pounds of saggy-skinned, round-eared and dun colored "lion cub." And while he's not a real lion, he will grow three times the size. For now, he finds his home in my arms or in my lap. I'll have to honor Lord Eos by giving his gift a most worthy name.

Written By Brianna

Aug. 25, 2016, 12:52 a.m.(5/21/1004 AR)

Don't give me that look, like I'm shirking my duties not coming in here. You try coming in when you're vomiting up ale and dinner, see how well you scribe your thoughts to paper. And you best not be writing that part down; no one needs to hear about me vomiting dinner back up.

It's wonderful to be walking outside of the Villa again. It feels like it's been weeks that I've been sitting in bed, fawned over by shamans and healers alike, and I do hate being fawned over. Of course, I was hoping that when I got back on my own two feet, Arx would have its King back.

It doesn't.

The King is still a carrot, and though I don't think he's the best King, he was a good friend to me. Arx feels different without him to go hunting with. Valencia plugged up some of the hole left behind, but she can only do so much, and really, she's terribly concerned with making me a lady. I refuse to wear pins in my hair. I look like a giant beet when I do. The red hair really does wonders for looking like some sort of vegetable.

I'm sure I missed plenty of things to distract me. Prince Sherrod's funeral; I should have been there. Prince Sherrod was family, married to father's cousin, and you stand by family even when they've gone back to the earth and the spirits. There's quite a bit of guilt in me for not attending, despite my previous condition.

The worst part of it? While holed up in bed, I thought of a leviathan. Damned Thrax. Maybe I'll stalk the training grounds tomorrow, hm? Good place to find leviathans.

Written By Isolde

Aug. 25, 2016, 12:35 a.m.(5/21/1004 AR)

    Inquisitor Alistair has given me the most intriguing challenge. After some tough negotiation, I've agreed. It is my hope I will gain some good perspective, and not end up dead. But, without risk, life would be so boring, wouldn't it? The only question to remain is how do I train for this challenge? I think it is worth it, and will expand my skillset dramatically.

Written By Cain

Aug. 24, 2016, 11:15 p.m.(5/21/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Calandra

I admittedly know Calandra mostly through Acacia, although she and I've ran into each other, of course, when I've worked for the Mummers. In fact, if I could get her to just sing to everyone I'm entertaining, I think it would work quite well. With her being Acacia's sister and all, I do feel a little compelled to keep an eye on her, to make sure she's alright.

Written By Donella

Aug. 23, 2016, 1:30 p.m.(5/17/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Dagon

My younger brother. He's everything a prince and heir should be-- if that prince were not born to the Thrax. He was indulged with fantastic tales of knights and quests, honor and chivalry, his head stuffed with fluff while I was learning everything that would have actually been USEFUL for him to know. Only I can't inherit. What were my parents thinking of? I have to help him, and protect him, until he can be the man we need him to be.

Written By Ida

Aug. 23, 2016, 9:51 a.m.(5/16/1004 AR)

I was really stuck on what to make for Market Day. I must have gone through a hundred pieces of parchment trying to scribble some designs or anything, really. It was during this frustrating process that Master Hammar happened by the shop to purchase a dagger I had up for sale. Chatting with him made me realize that commissions are easier because they have a soul - bear with me here because that probably sounds very crazy.

The piece will belong to someone and if you know just enough about that person, you can put that into the weapon or what have you. A piece of who they are, maybe. Still sounds crazy, but so be it. Sure, people wear their masks or hold things close to their heart, but I work with what I have. ANYhow, leave it to Master Hammar to make something that seemed so hard, so simple. I realized that I had to try to design for someone and ended up with a matching sword and hairpin set that I'm pretty proud of.

Also, I've half a mind to get Master Hammar a pet. It would have to stay at the shop, as it sounds like his landlord isn't an animal lover by any means.

Written By Silas

Aug. 23, 2016, 1:07 a.m.(5/15/1004 AR)

Finished my pieces for Market Day. They're a little unconventional, save for the table; the latter of which can't fit within the booth and will have to be set-up elsewhere, I'm afraid. It might be my favorite piece, though.

Lady Dawn sent me a nice letter of thanks for having attended the hunt and held Game Night, which was a good way to start the day. Grayson royalty treat their commoners well, I must say. It may explain why they're so good at stewardship.

Written By Max

Aug. 23, 2016, 12:18 a.m.(5/15/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Nadia

Maximilian is unsure what to think about Nadia. There's a grudging respect for her (as much as Maximilian could respect a land-loving woman), and while her exuberance makes her an opposite to him, he's willing to drink at her table in a tavern and treats her more like an equal compared to the rest of the Ladies of Arvum, whom he's known to have to force himself to bow to. She shares with Valencia the humored nickname for Maximilian: the Dread Count Darkwater.

Written By Acacia

Aug. 22, 2016, 4:51 p.m.(5/14/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Esera

There's something about the way the Grand Duchess enters an area that draws the eyes, as if when she moves, the focus of the room moves with her. She manifests with a flawless, unequaled grace, whether her expression is softened by the cut of her smile or burning, fierce and intense. In person, even in private conversation, she remains regal, composed, infinitely gracious and considerate. Yet, she was one of the few I never sought actively, content merely to watch and witness - but without measuring weight or applied judgment. You can't assess someone like that when you're someone like me. You can only hope you manage through their own assessment. She bestowed the kindest kiss upon my cheek and I remembered a feeling best never forgotten. I greatly respect her. I'm also perhaps terribly envious.

Written By Freja

Aug. 22, 2016, 4:30 p.m.(5/14/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Valerius

At a whim between princesses, Jaenelle and Freja traded brothers for a week in jest. Freja's end of the deal was a toad in a box gifted by none other than this Prince. He is as much in love with his reflection as he is building something of worth from what she gleans. Valerius isn't all fluff after some whiskey and conversation. She may even get him to sully his too clean face with some dirt after a few spars soon.

Written By Alarissa

Aug. 22, 2016, 2:19 p.m.(5/14/1004 AR)

Today I tried my mother's old dress. If not this drawing of a talented artist, I am not sure if I could remember her features now. She was a very beautiful woman.

My father used to repeat that I have her eyes. Maybe that is why this gown fitted me so well. This blueness of the fabric...

Though, I can't wear it for simple occasions. I am sure an event will be thrown where this gown will look just perfect.

I wish my mother could be here.

Written By Calain

Aug. 22, 2016, 7:35 a.m.(5/13/1004 AR)

The fable of Lisa and the one-eyed Inquisitor

(This story was collected from a town North of Caith.)

Lisa was a willful child, which worried her mother terribly.

"You mustn't play in the witchwood Lisa, the one-eyed Inquisitor will see you and lock you away for a thousand years!" She would warn her daughter, but Lisa would continue to play in the witchwood.

"You mustn't bring home herbs from the forest Lisa, the one-eyed Inquisitor will see them and lock you away for a thousand years!" She said but still Lisa kept bringing home herbs and plants she would find.

"You mustn't make fun of the Lord's fat son Lisa, the one-eyed Inqisitor will hear and lock you away for a thousand years!" She claimed but Lisa would still make fun of the lord's fat son.

The one day when in the market Lisa's mother's neighbours came to tell her that the Inquisitor had come and taken her daughter away. She ran all the way down to where the Inquisitor's kept their prisoners only to see Lisa skipping back up the path towards her. She crouched down to hug her child, weeping and asked her what had happened.

"Well mama," The girl explained, "The one-eyed Inquisitor came to the house to take me away, he said that he had heard that I played in the witchwood, that I brought home herbs and that I made fun of the lord's fat son. He said this proved that I was an evil sorceress and he was going to poke and prod me until I confessed and then lock me away for a thousand years!" The girl admitted. "But then on the way back to his home we passed the witchwood and I pointed to where his blind eye couldn't see. "But isn't that the girl people have heard about playing in the witchwood Inquisitor?" I asked and he turned to look but then I sighed and told him she'd vanished using her magic."

"The Inquisitor scowled and said even it if had been I'd still brought home herbs and made fun of the lord's fat son and I was still a sorceress. Then we passed the glade where all the best mushrooms grow and I pointed to his blind side again. 'But inquisitor look, there's the girl taking home all the herbs.' I said and he turned to look again but I told him the witch had vanished once more as everyone knows witches can do."

"Maybe so little girl." He admitted to me, "But everyone knows it was you who told the joke about the Lord's fat son, there were many people who saw, it was no disappearing witch who did this. Only evil girls are rude about the nobility, so you must be locked away for a thousand years!" And he dragged me off, but then we passed a great field mama, and I pointed and said. "Oh no Inquisitor, there's the witch from before, she's going to cast a terrible spell upon us!" I pointed to where he was blind and he had to turn his head to look, but then I pointed again. "Oh no Inquisitor she's over there now, she's going to cast a most dreadful spell!" And he turned again, and I pointed again, and then while he was chasing around and around in a circle to try to see what was in the spot he never could see, I came home."

Lisa's mother asked to see the place and Lisa took her hand and led her down to a field where they both watched the Inquisitor run around and around and around while cursing the evil witch that was trying to lay a terrible spell upon him. Then they went home and left the one-eyed Inquisitor to chase in circles for a thousand years.

(Author's note: Possibly originally an allegory about how to avoid being taken in by the Inquisition, avoid areas with mystical repuations, avoid medical practices, avoid insulting the nobility.)

Written By Isolde

Aug. 22, 2016, 12:21 a.m.(5/12/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Dawn

Lady Dawn is, frankly a delight, though I appreciate her more for her insightful conversation than any superficial disposition. She's more than worthy of title, and I mean to see her legitimized, somehow. Beyond that, she challenges my perceptions, when I take for granted that I challenge others, and it was refreshing to say the least. I look forward to more conversation, and hope a strong friendship is the result, even if she wears her diplomatic tendancies like a suit of steelsilk.

Written By Morrighan

Aug. 21, 2016, 11:43 p.m.(5/12/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Alrec

Ah, the Admiral. What a very curious and intriguing man. He reminds me of my past, of the times before I was a Redrain Servant. It's kind of bittersweet, that. He was an unexpected surprise when I met him, and when I learned of the things we had in common. I don't talk to him as much as I'd like, and it feels like ages since we last had a proper chat. He and his crew stayed in The Spirits for a while, before going over to the Velenosan Ward. One of these days I'll have to get back in touch.

Written By Alarissa

Aug. 21, 2016, 11:40 p.m.(5/12/1004 AR)

I've never felt like this before...

I have new wonderful white steel hairpins with floral ornaments and delicate crushed blue gems. My new gown and my new cloak will be so beautiful! Buying new things used to cheer me up.

I visited some of those orphans my brother used to (is) take (taking) care of. Even if these children had horrible misfortunes in their past, they still know how to spread this innocent, so simple joy and make others smile. I love spending time with children and I wish I could give home and family to all of them. Their smiles didn't make me smile today, though.

I invited one of the servants to sing for me. He has an amazing voice. The songs were funny. My handmaiden was so amused and I could see how happiness sparkled all around her. Though, I just wanted that his performance would end up fast. I used to love music, but I just sent him away quite quickly.

I've never felt like this before...

I do not want to leave my room.

Written By Gustave

Aug. 21, 2016, 11:36 p.m.(5/12/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Larissa

The woman wants to educate my child. I am not sure if this is a golden opportunity or the potential source of infinite gray hairs. Certainly if we are to spend more time in Arx a Whispers mentorship would be useful, I dare place greater female weapons in my daughters hands? My hands are quite full as they are.

Something to ponder.

Written By Gustave

Aug. 21, 2016, 11:32 p.m.(5/12/1004 AR)

I've been asked about some of the mountain stories, and of the peoples who populate it. Hopefully I do not give too much a way and do not give too much away, as not all secrets are mine to give and not all stories are mine to tell. I do feel that perhaps our relative isolation save from the occasional request for aid in repelling raiders and our consistent role as defenders of the Valardin eastern frontier has perhaps made us caricatures. We are the iconic sentinel: tall, often terse, often warriors. Few know of our merits as builders, or that while we primarily subsist on sheep and goat products we have a vibrant experimental agriculture. Fewer still know that the Blackram are just one family amongst the Stoneburner hills or the Greater Cloudspine.

Perhaps some of my vassal families or our comrades will come to Arx. Certainly in this time of great change the perspective of the hill and mountain folk must not be drowned out by our absence or perceived lack of population or our remoteness.

Written By Victus

Aug. 21, 2016, 11:31 p.m.(5/12/1004 AR)

Have some fucking decency and don't write so damn loud. My head hurts, and its a condition I'm more than willing to infect you with, too. I have no great revelations for you. No spiritual fucking insights. I don't even have a real story. So why am I even here, talking to you? Habit, I suppose.

I know, I know. I said I was scaling back on the drinking, and I have been. But I never said I'd stop drinking, did I? No. And sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder. So fond you feel you have to empty every bottle of wine you come across until there's a drought in the tavern. If you don't mind, I'm just going to sit here for a while. Feel free to fuck off in the mean time. Let me gather my thoughts.

What, you're back? Has it been that long? Fuck it, then.

Not much for poetry, but a friend of mine loves to spell them out. So here is, for prosperity, something worth the fucking paper and ink you're currently wasting:

'There is nothing like a breath of air,
when you're choking on your own despair.
For a moment there you thought you were,
free of fear.

Between you and me, I figure the fucker aught to have just jumped off the Crown bridge instead of infecting the world with that maudlin crap. But that's poets for you.

Written By Calista

Aug. 21, 2016, 11:26 p.m.(5/12/1004 AR)

Relationship Note on Alrec

Dark and mysterious, this man is sexy! Who doesn't love the idea of a handsome man with a scar down the side of his face promising safety aboard his ship? Where would we go? Where would he take me? It's a bad sign that I'm intrigued by the idea of being "smuggled" away.

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