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  1. Shout out to Narthok your NL posts give me life. We approach a total uruk cultural victory 👏

  2. Sermi sat back in her chair, reading the news. It all had happened so fast. Shouting, bounding up the streets shoulder-to-shoulder with half a dozen other sentinels. Even then, she had only seen the scant moments of a figure being loaded atop a horse. Recognizable names, colors, faces, voices. Old enemies, newer friends; all acted as one. There was something beautiful about the Hunt. About staying alive just one more day in spite of them. They wouldn't find her. She thought. I'm too clever. She thought. But - then again. Surely, even the burnt must have felt that way, once. Keeping the bare steel next to her bed, sleep would rarely find her tonight. Paranoia slowly started to seep into her skull.
  3. It had to have been enough. The sound of cannonfire rang still in her ears, as black-blood trickled down the back and side of her head. The undeadslayers blow had done no small amount of damage. Battered half-plate had been stripped away, beaten to the point of uselessness. Her eye shut. Victory sometimes, looked strange. Sermi thought. How long would it be until they had figured out their folly? A quick glance to the other she had served alongside. No lance through the chest, not even an arrow. Only snow and dust. The Devil wondered, looking around the small space they had confined themselves to recover, how long that luck would hold out. How strange it was to be on the other side.
  4. Deep in the libraries of the Ak’vei, the devil Sermi worked tirelessly. Knowledge was a gift, and books were just as wonderful food as a full meal. Tireless hours burning candlelight led to something she had never expected. For one of the books, the Ars Belica, returned a word so familiar yet so unknown. Xionism. Her eyes were gripped by each word as she read, and realized the horror of what was coming to plan. It took only a moment for her to fetch her quill, ink, and parchment. In the early hours, the following letter was sent to the Pharaoh and those invited by name or title to come. “Pharaoh Atemu-Ta and those of the Lightener Summit, I know a man who has referred to himself as the ‘Scholar’ before. He had revealed himself at a peace summit in Valdev, for his actual name would have gotten him executed. You may know him as Arthur Burke. I would advise caution on accepting any information from this man. He will doubt my pedigree, but what I speak are facts. I have listed them below. - During his time in Haense, he was whipped fourty-two times due to his constant harassment of woman in the court. Lord Marshal Leonid will be able to provide a report on this. He was burnt on the pyre, later, for abandoning his post as a member of the Brotherhood of Saint Karl. - He was previously executed in Haense for the crime of his anathema magic and beliefs. This was long before even the whipping. - He is wanted in Celia’nor with a bounty of one-hundred and fifty mina. Copies of this missive are freely available but I have transcribed the crimes below. They are, in order listed on the poster: Theft of corpses for alchemical usage, murder of civilians in Celia’nor & Hohkmat. Ties to the infernal court of Hallowcliff. Aided in the creation and feeding of Vampyrs. Threatened Krugmar diplomats in Celia’nor. Consorted with necromancers. ‘A known walking obelisk of voidal magics, threatening to destroy Celia’nor in a void explosion’, lured a member of the Church away for murder. Further, he has previously mentioned to me that he is what is referred to as a ‘xionist’. He associates with this group freely, and has for many years. He had even attempted to pull me into such an awful scheme. For those unaware, the xionists believe in the ‘Old Dark’. That we ought to /kill/ every God, Godan included, that we might unbind ourselves and return to nothingness. If you wish, a copy of their manifesto is available at the Ak’vei library. Be advised that he is a very powerful void magi, who has delved into the forbidden art known as ‘void-stalking’. His very presence is harmful to the sanity of those around him, and the purity of ones soul. There is no grand conspiracy. Darkspawn are a threat we all face. While the necromancers feast on the corpses of the Adrian war, their numbers bolstered; he would have you turn away and hide himself as a ‘lightener’ when his soul is stained darker than near all I know. Please, be careful. If you do not wish to take me at my word, investigate. You will find all the same truths I have. I have known this man for many years and hunted him for just as long. He has injured many, and if you give him a platform; he will twist it all to the beat of the Xionist drums. It is very well possible another has assumed the mantle, but the mention of Hallowcliff and his discussion on faith is enough to convince me that it is him. Notice that he also mentioned Celia'nor in his missive, a state that has declared an open bounty. Similarly, to Haense. Because he has been executed before. Finally for Hohkmat. He has fostered a deep hate against Lord-Magister Haus for many years as a rival. This is a political act in an attempt to leverage force against states that have done no wrong. Light Preserve and Prevail, Sermi Ulveryn.”
  5. [!] Another day, more missives. Posted on the gates of Balian, of Amathine, Kaethul, and elsewhere: the following message stood. ┏━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┓ ON THE MATTER OF LIGHT & DARK Recently, I have been made aware of a variety of misinformation that has started to creep through Aevos. They claim conspiracy. They claim a vast ‘shadowy network’ has ties to nearly every nation here. I would put my foot down and say; enough. It is the work of Iblees to drive our descendants to fight each other. With no trust between each of us, the very fabric of our society will begin to wither and fail. This is what they want. Do not let it happen. Safeguard your soul from their foul lies and words. Below, I will share a tale of how the Church works to root out such things in our day to day lives. Many such occurrences are not seen, for news of the Good does not spread as fast as news of the Bad. For those who may not know, my name is Sermi Ulveryn. I was recently put to trial in Whitespire for the supposed crime of being a darkspawn. Many years ago, I was cursed by warlocks; agents of iblees who lingered and hunted near Haeseni land for many years. To this effect, after an inconclusive darkspawn test (later revealed to likely be another of Iblees’ work, tampered salts unbeknownst to any involved) I was brought to court. Many were in attendance, Fathers, Bishops, Cardinals – and so forth. It is the Canonists Churchs TIRELESS commitment to the TRUTH that is the reason I stand a free woman today. There are those who claim darkspawn testing, aurum testing, does not work. I can assure you that in all my years of research, it does. Do not let these agents of Iblees convince you that everyone has the possibility to be a darkspawn. Whatever was put into this salt caused it to bubble and fizzle. Twisting the truth of a most sacred foundation of our society. LET IT BE KNOWN this was not the work of any mortal hands, for the salt was pure. IT WAS ONLY possible through the foul magicks of Iblees. Even now, they seek to make you doubt the words of our valiant protectors. This troublesome plot was found after a total of five aurum tests and a templars flame. This revealed the truth; that I was alike to you, reading this poster. By hoping to put doubt on this, the Ibleesians hope to make you question all you knew. If darkspawn tests did not work, how can we be kept safe? How can we be sure that no King or Queen or Prince or Lord is touched by the shadow? It is simple. They are lying to you. I stood the templars flame, unburnt, and once proof was rendered of a clean test; this dark work began to unravel. This was only possible through the patience and good grace of the Tribunal, to ensure every aspect could be explained with reason and logic. Not just raw emotion. I no longer fear for the innocent, for no matter what: the clergy believes in proof and fact and GOD. No amount of shadow can stop the Church from finding the truth. In these uncertain times, you all have offered a glimmer oncemore of fresh hope. To this effect: I would like to offer praise to those listed below. In times of trouble, you have proven to be inspirational figures and beacons of GODANS light. His Holiness, Sixtus the Sixth. At what you had witnessed, many would move to have hung or burnt immediately. Your Holiness, it is safe to say that I am alive only because of your commitment to the truth. You have my deepest respects. Knowing it is your discerning eye that drives the clergy to act is of great warmth to my faith. Bishop Villorik, of the Jorenic Clergy You are a strong man. Once in a generation. We have often spoken of our faith, of the trials that we endure as Canonists. It is your words that, through this dark time, I have held fast to. No amount of darkness can ever snuff even the smallest light. You taught me that. I cannot thank you enough. I hold every bit of faith that the White Comet Tribunal will show the rest of the Church that the Jorenic Rite is as sacred and pure now, as ever before. That it will expose those damned, to the light, that we may put to rest the fears over Haeseni loyalty once and for all. A proud, loving, GOD-fearing people. Our people. As a shepherd tends to a flock, you tend to our souls. Without your powerful light standing resolute, I fear what may have happened to them when the wolves closed in. Cardinal Albarosa When none believed me. When my times were the most challenging. As I sit there, covered in cuts from so many aurum tests. It was you who took the stand and demanded further proof. You demanded to be shown, without a doubt, that I was an agent of Darkness. Those who thought that have been found *wanting*. Your counsel, and steady eye, were a steadying breath amidst a tumultuous sea of worry. I fear that you might be very busy, as the tempters further try to slander our people and church. Father Nerium You have long provided calming words, and conversation that has pushed me to better myself as a Canonist. I think back to the words we have shared, when I feel the agents of Iblees turn their eyes to me. You have helped arm me, to find the TRUTH. Father Yann I remember when you rolled that barrel of salt up into the court. The way my heart was about to leap out of my chest. A chance at the freedom, and truth, provided by you. I cannot thank you enough. I hope that one day, we can speak under better circumstances. Brother Rainier One might think I hold an anger towards you for what has happened. But you were doing your GOD-ordained duty. You saw something unorthodox, and you investigated. Along with all other names here, you too, committed fully to the unveiling of the TRUTH from the Ibleesian LIE. None can ever doubt the actions of the Ordermen, or indeed, you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Tireless work will be needed to ensure we are safe, and with men like you; I am certain GODANs will be done. And all my Canonist brethren The days grow longer, and more fierce. It feels like every day, we are attacked in a different light. Sometimes, it is our faith. Often, it is our faith. Look now to the Jorenic Church. I understand many have concerns, but it is men like Bishop Villorik leading the charge to purge any hint of shadow from within the clergy. We are weakest when we are divided. This is what they want. By throwing doubt on the very bonds that keep our society dear with foul lies (That aurum does not work on darkspawn? Even a child knows better), we will soon have these bounds tested. Hold fast to those you love. Hold fast to your prayers. In these times, remember that while the shadow may seem long. His light, GODANs light, will always root out the shadow. The Truth is out there. Not hidden, not locked behind doors; but in plain sight. Tenete, fratres. Lux eius aeterna est. ┗━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┛
  6. Screaming. It always came with screaming. Countless nightmares burdened to her by the carved marks on her back. It had always been a curse, but rarely a blessing. As Sermi felt herself wake from one dream, only into another; the weight crushing on her shoulders further started to split the woman at the seems. Clawing at her face, she tried to commit the words to memory. Harsh, guttural tongue sputtering out in between hysteric laughs. Descendants, much like metal, had a bending point; and one of breaking. Perhaps it was coincidence, or yet further part of his grand design that she would be pushed to such lengths. Caught in between dream, nightmare, and prophecy; she awoke in a cold sweat, and immediately went to work turning this inspiration into written work. What did it all mean? Was there ever hope of an answer?
  7. Sermi scanned through the missive, sat alone, hooves swayed as that soft hum kept her from silence. The devil seemed /very/ pleased. A click of her tongue. "...-Keep this up long enough, and you'll be King." she proffered to only herself and the empty room. Alone, she felt no reason to hide the elated curl of her smile. This was going to be good.
  8. Sermi, in the middle of a meeting in Haense, having been provided a copy of this report; laughed. A small nudge to the man at her side, murmuring off. "Is Ser Gerard aware Hallowcliff was even destroyed?" The devil added, with a contented hum. "This is truly the best the Church can do? Ah - disappointing."
  9. Somewhere, sometime, Sermi was very pleased when she read the missive. Though, the description of what was handed over gave her pause. For long had she hunted the same. Even if it was not hers, something deep in her chest was quite entertained at the prospect of it finally finding a /use/.
  10. (How do I upvote something twice? :3 :3 :3)
  11. [!] Posters had been nailed to the back of trees, behind the tavern. Places that could spread the truth, yet not immediately be seen. Illustrated above: A clash of farmers and knights in an unknown Valah city and era. ┏━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┓ A CALL TO ACTION FOR THE PEOPLE OF HAENSE The CROWN of our proud country would have you believe that our dear King, Aleksander II, was stricken with a festering infection. Do not listen to their LIES. The King was stricken with injury, but all of Valdev can attest that he VALIANTLY rode out not but two Elven days ago. AMONG HIS PARTY were Amaya of Venzia, and Walter of house Weiss. On his steed did the Weiss carry a most majestic box. They rode out, together, and yet only three returned, and without their precious cargo. Now the Court tries to hide it. Why is this so? Why would they try to DECIEVE US? They threaten us with treason, with execution, for speaking the TRUTH. They are SCARED of us. They REVEL in the Shadow. Sin is in Aleksanders’ BLOOD. His son sired a bastard, and now too the father reveals himself with the utmost treachery. ACCORDING TO FIRSTHAND ACCOUNTS our loyal King sold treasures and gave tribute to an ARCH-LICH. He then simply was said to have vanished. He is not ill. He is not missing. They know exactly where he is. In the clutches of the furthest shadow after willingly bathing in the filth. I CALL UPON all upstanding, RIGHTEOUS, GOD fearing citizens of Haense to LET THEIR VOICE BE KNOWN. We did not fight Aleksanders’ war for him to run like a coward. For him to betray us, after all was said and done, to the darkest and most vile of creatures. Even now, the Crown seeks to bury this. That we might honor a liar, a heathen, and a betrayer. That we might sin in his place, and turn our back on GODS light. In these shadow-cursed times, let us all turn to the Creator for light. Let us remember that without the horror in the world, we can not rise above the temptations of Iblees. But this does not ever mean that we should accept this burgeoning shadow into our life. If we do nothing. If we let them hide the truth. That shadow will spread. And it will consume us all. ┗━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┛ Strong words aside, the poster had little on it. No makers mark, or signatory. The pensmanship came in thick, bold letters written with confidence.
  12. “The angel Epleiades is dead. The Slaver God has abandoned you.” [!] ┏━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┓ Proffered forth to the people of Haense was a profane statement. Deep within the Bascilla, at the very center of Godans glory and light has the scent of death & rot found purchase. Guts lay strewn from the horses corpse, a single slit deep across its throat suggested at least the beast had a quick death. Its purpose given over to the artistic pursuit, as much as it was drawn into literary perfection. Once meaningless pattern was quickly revealed as the unforgettable look of a pentacle around the room. In the very center of this desecrated temple was one last profane attempt on Godans name. Much of it had been covered in a mixture of horse blood and ink. A constantly changing gradient of the mixture resulting in blown-out, erratic lines and the scent of iron with text. Papers had been neatly arranged, selections of ‘inspirational’ quotes and passages from the much-maligned Black Book. But the influence of this work was not just felt on paper, but altar, for the text continued down there as well. Drawn in a mixture of fingerpaint, brush, and quill, with often several layers atop each other. While not covering the entirety of it, someone had devoted a couple considerably taxing hours with instrument in hand. What little could be made out seemed to make constant reference to the phrase ‘Indomitable Wheel’, ‘Dark Star’, and scattered praise to the ruinous influence of ‘Zaitharn’. Whoever the author was seemed to place a great deal of respect for that name alone, for care was taken in the writing of that name which was not given to less important phrases. There was no signature. No makers mark. They came, and went, leaving only the message and wisdom in their wake. ┗━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┛
  13. ┏━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┓ And the Crown of Hanseti-Ruska and The Aulic Council, 513 E.S I will keep things simple. I have liked to think I have served the court loyally under our Majesty, Amaya of Venzia, for many years. Through the highs and lows of our war with the League. Through darkspawn, through every challenge I can think of. When I first arrived in Valdev, I found inspiration and love. I found so much warmth and care in the people, here. None of that has changed in the slightest, my heart longs for the cold now, wherever I might find myself. I have put words to pen time and time again to commemorate those that are no longer with us. I have shed blood alongside you all, from Brasca to Drusco. So when it came time for the most sacred of Haeseni traditions, I think back to what you all have told me. The purpose of this letter is to announce my resignation from the valah courts. For those who have known me, I hope you can forgive this. For those who don’t, I was a court poet. For those asking why, it is because of love. It is not love for country that causes me to turn my back on an office that has been nothing short of life-changing. But rather, the love I have to my partner. As many know, I have been together with a woman known as Illera for many years. I saw fit to finally see through the Haeseni tradition of marriage, only to be told that under Godan such a thing would be sinful. That it was wrong. That Horen and Julia married, and that is the way it will and always will be. I don’t believe that to be the case. It is through marriage that we become one, such a sort of pure love cannot exclude so many who might act otherwise. It is not sinful, love is love. That Horen married a woman, and not another man, might as well be down to luck. I call upon the Haeseni citizens for change. I call upon them to take this time to consider what marriage and love means. Would you deny such a thing to the brothers and sisters who have fought by your side through the darkest of times? Do you not think Godans light shines just as brightly on them as all of us? I have no intent to continue my line, nor does Illera. Are we not holy and chaste for this? For those who say the purpose of marriage is children, what of those who cannot bear because of curse, injury, or malbirth? Is their love not true and pure? Marriage does not even confer rights to commoners. Property does not become bound in my name. My children would have to buy my home back from the state. If children truly were the purpose, why is it that we turn our backs on so many of the people of Godan? For those who might agree, speak in the courts. Speak, as noble Lords and Ladies. Haeseni culture is more than just the Church. Haeseni culture is what we make of it. What we decide. The Church is deciding to push away so much talent and art, for the sake of an antiquated passage that no longer makes sense. It is not in His nature to hate for things that we have no control over. Even half-spawn can find forgiveness through his word. Why is it that a woman loving another is the limit we put on His Holiness? How many loyal descendants have been pushed out because of this? How many have been outcast and drawn to sin for our lack of empathy and care? The Church has split time and time again. How many different forms of our worship has been seen in Valah lands? Over generations? Even Jorendic worship draws different traditions then the canonism of Aaun or elsewhere. There is only one thing we can agree on, that Godans love is eternal, freely given, and pure. All I want is to dedicate myself to Him, to truly know what it is like to be a Haeseni. To exchange cloak and blade with the woman I have loved and fought for over years. Is that truly such a sin in the eyes of our God? I will now take this section to pettily list out those that have wronged me. Adeptus, your brand of Owynism is a joke. You spit upon the image of God and think yourself above the flesh that he has wrought. Your beliefs that His design is flawed are inherently anathema. I hope the Church realizes this, and your sinful nature can finally be revealed. Just because you are metal, and not flesh, as a homunculus; it does not excuse the sin of your existence. Krusae Zwy Kongzem. Ave Haense. Now and forever. ┗━•❃°•°❀°•°❃•━┛
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