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About Xarkly

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    man with a plan
  • Birthday 04/23/1872

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    Conor #8203
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    Tíocfidh ár lá.

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    a loyal haenseni patriot
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  1. The world will move on. That was not a though that would occur to Sigismund - now, or ever. The duties of King were not easy ones, and with those duties came solitude which only a few could truly ever ease. Despite those precious few, fate seemed to have been deliberate in leaving them dead -- it had started with his firstborn son, the one person who was meant to grow up and inherit Sigismund's burden; then it had been Marus, his innocent and beloved, if foolish, younger brother, left dead right as he had begun to understand what it meant to be a man instead of a boy; and now Petra. His older sister, who had been the one to hold Sigismund's hand when he first left the Palace, when they walked down Crown Avenue and were given dolls of their parents as gifts. Petra, who had coached Sigismund into making friends, and even meeting the first woman he had loved. Petra, who had been a constant in his the brief days of freedom and fun before he had been forced to assume the Crown. Now, she too, was dead. As he heard the news, Sig's face was utterly still, but the leather of his sword-grip creaked audibly as he clenched it with a bone-white grip. He wanted to use that sword on someone. He was not sure who yet, but he did. Someone deserved to pay.
  2. Ve Stezdsa i Andrik's Goszk THE LEGEND OF ANDRIK'S CUP When King Andrik fell upon a chase His liegemen rushed him home with haste In their rush they left their retreat Whereupon the King’s Cup did poachers treat The looters squabbled, for who would own this treasure? Until from the Cup one drank, and killed his kin with pleasure For within the Cup lay the fire of the King And he who drank could face all fate would bring With the Cup in hand, the poacher roamed the land He razed farm and village, and hundreds died to his hand For he was the Knight of the Cup and a brigand true With the strength of King Andrik, all challengers he slew A court of thieves he raised around the Cup Though compared to he, each one was a pup For generations of pillaging they endured And in the eyes of justice they remained obscured The Knight did spite virtue and died of age But he passed down the Cup as he left his stage Thus the legend of the Knight of the Cup was born anew And judgment did the Knight eschew - An anonymous Haeseni folksong
  3. Yeah, this was sort of what I meant about attaching your sentiments to the name rather than what it represents. I'm content to have my Haense judged for its own mistakes, but I do think it's unreasonably and unfair to have this "sins of the father" scenario -- I'm sure you'll agree it's massively problematic if issues with the old generation are attributed to the new, which in turn creates OOC tension between the new generation and whoever is attributing those problems to them. Each generation is going to have enough of their own mistakes to account for without also having to deal with those who came before. I'm also a bit dubious about your metric for judging the community to be unpleasant. The instances you're referring to in your first paragraph happened, from what I can gather, over two and a half years ago. That's a long time for LotC and accounts for maybe half a dozen NLs if not more. To apply this discontent for actions taken over 30 months ago to now just feels a bit unrealistic and unconvincing. Again, you're perfectly within your rights to dislike a community - that's what there's plenty to choose from on the server - but I think if you want to reasonably make that claim you shouldn't cite what happened two and a half years ago (and more) as evidence. I'm not saying what happened back then is right or wrong, or whether Oren/Renatus/Norland shouldn't have been given the same opportunities, but I just don't think harkening back to the distant past is going to do anything but perpetuate OOC tensions among people who probably weren't even around for those incidents (for context, every single person on Haense's council did not play in the nation during W2E). Ultimately, there's no way you can ever get redress for your grievances if you look through the lens of 2018/2019. Holding OOC grudges against a community like this - however justifiable they might have been at the time - is only ever just going to lead to OOC conflict with future generations, and I'm sure you'll agree for the sake of a pleasant community/server, we should all work to avoid that.
  4. Like every nation, Haense has its issues. Its one of the oldest communities on the server, but its a bit different from others in that it has a foundation of a lot subcommunities, mainly for individual noble houses. The natural consequence of this is that it is absolutely hard for newer people to integrate sometimes, definitely moreso than some other nations. It's not the most noob-friendly, which is really unfortunate, but all there really is to be said is that it's something that's being worked on. We've been saying it for months that new player integration is probably our most prevalent issue and have gradually been trying to make tweaks, but it's mostly a matter of cycling out older attitudes and inclinations of how people RP in groups. That said, the nation's still not going to be for everyone, which is why LotC has a lot more to offer. I guess the point I'm trying to make in this paragraph is that -- yeah, for sure we Haense has its problems, but with a bit of luck maybe it can be fixed before the next nation leader faces a new batch of problems. To be honest, I feel like each nation needs to be appraised based on the leader at the given time and the relevant ideals perpetuated, rather than association with the name in general. I know how easy it is to hold disdain towards a name itself -- I was very bitter towards Renatus for their aggression against Haense when I was a much younger and stupider player on Atlas -- but, obviously, we should be really careful not to embed this general disdain towards a name rather than what a community actually currently represents. I'm not saying you don't have valid reasons, but moreso expressing caution at the notion of 'old reasons', because communities and their ideals change a lot from NL to NL. Pr0fit's Norland isn't the same Norland as Mason's and most before him, Nect's Oren isn't the same as those who came before him, the same way my Haense isn't (whether that's for better or worse is up to you). Despite the fact it is, in my own words, built on older and enduring subcommunities, when it comes to the nation as a whole, faces and leaders come and go, and new generations overtake the old. In that regard, it's definitely much fluid than it was in that the same circles aren't the ones in control like they did for years at a time in the past. While the name, whether Norland, Oren, or Haense, persists, what that name actually represents can be profoundly different from what it did years or even months ago. So yeah, I just think we all need to be very careful when it comes to old reasons, and how we OOCly act towards modern entities wearing old names. If you wanna talk more about that you're free to dm me at Conor#8203.
  5. Konstantin Wick wonders if the War of Three Emperors will be as good as the original movie. He has his doubts.
  6. Not one to be outdone, the King of Haense bids two deeds to Du Loc.
  7. Does that count as a bet? The Kongzem inquires. It proceeds to offer two bolts and two golden blades if affirmative.
  8. The Kongzem respects a good bluff, but it's here to talk business. It bids 3,100.
  9. The Kongzem of Haense bids 3,001 mina. It doesn't put the bid in so fast as to draw attention or make people wonder where they're trying to buy it first.
  10. Ve Soeng i Staalcehz THE SONG OF STEELHEART A Haeseni ballad composed in the honour of the late Ser Ailred var Ruthern Lord Marshal, Knight of the Table, Mentor, Father, and Friend Rest in Peace [SANG TO THE FOLLOWING SONG] From the slopes of Vidaus a chill wind blew West it wound, 'cross frozen ground And over Haense it blew The wind told tales of a shark on the hill A knight and lord, who wed the sword And whose talent was to kill The wind cheered for his great wars Of silver slain and dragons' bane Of triumphs on foreign shores But so too did the wind regale Of true love lost, of heart turned frost And yet marched on to prevail The wind spoke of those he raised Sharkborn kin and royals of sin By whom his name was praised And so too did the wind sing of those he led His fabled Brotherhood, beside whom no other stood Who mourned with the wind of the dead For the wind had known and sang from the start Of the courage, the tragedy, and honour Of Ser Ailred Steelheart
  11. "Ea byk zwe zanyotsker zweer ea ter petravezker," Sigismund mumbled quietly to himself as he and the Knight's Table began the long journey back to Haense. "I would have perished had I not persisted." He was glad the Orenian spirit would endure - as the Haeseni had in wars past - and that the war would soon be behind them.
  12. There's a reason why a lot of GMs don't always stick around past a few months, and that's because it's genuinely really tough, and often unrewarding, work where you're basically dealing with the server's shit, and sometimes dark stuff, for hours at a time. You have to deal with players who might be angry or abusive - rightly or wrongly - with people trying to take advantage of you, and literal high-pressure situations that require you to make decisions on the spot. The fact that you did this for a year without backing down, without hiding from conflict tickets like past long-lived mods, owning any mistakes you make, without losing your shit at all the frustrating stuff that goes on behind the scenes, is actually one of the most impressive things I've ever seen on this server. You should be proud of yourself, just as I'm proud to call you my friend. Thanks for your time.
  13. Haense Ambient Project: SEASONS OF HAENSE The Kongzem of Haense has always proven itself a harsh land. This is true both in its history of struggle, war, and endurance, but also in its physical landscape. From the craggy coasts of ancient Siegrad, assailed by seaward winds, where the land of Haense was first born, to the crimson walls of the Royal Capital of today - Karosgrad - which defiantly face the Rimeveld from the north, from which freezing gales and blizzards blow, the Haeseni people have always built their hearth in inhospitable lands. The affinity for settling harsh lands is intertwined with the identity of the Haeseni people as a whole, who, for their entire existence, have weathered crushing defeats such as that in the Great Northern War and have endured overlords for whom they have no love. It is this constant struggle, and this consequent endurance of the Haeseni people, that has defined that very people -- for without these defeats, this Kongzem would have never basked in victories akin to the Greyspine Rebellion, and the mantra of persistence in Haeseni history. It should thus come as little surprise that this iron-willed people choose more difficult lands to settle as a constant test and tempering of the Haeseni spirit, and so that slothful living in warmer, southern climates does not lead to lethargy and weakness. For, as the Reinmaren say, he who rests will rust. In recognition of the importance of our harsh homeland, this scroll records the characteristics and customs of the Haeseni seasons on Almaris. THE HAESENI SPRING The spring months of Haense consist of Jula & Piov (Common: Malin's Welcome) to Vzmey & Hyff (Common: The First Seed). Unlike the regions of Almaris to the south, the spring in Haense is a time where the winter cold slowly fades with great reluctance, and the hibernation of nature slowly winds to an end. Symbolically, the time of Haeseni spring is a time of rest, contemplating, and waiting -- the hardships of winter have been left behind, and the battle of survival won for another year. The reward for victory is only the calming of the snows, and a few brief weeks of peace before warming temperatures necessitate the need to begin toiling for the new farming season. The Month of Rest Jula & Piov The heavy winter snowstorms no longer blow down south from the Rimeveld as Almaris gradually begins to warm, and although the thick snows cloaking the capital regions of Haense begin to melt after the first two weeks of Jula and Piov, it takes the entire month before it completely melts. Lighter snowfalls typically continue throughout the season, though nothing compared to the blizzards of winter. In the latter half of the month, it is common for Haeseni to have to take advantage of the calming weather to call upon the service of thatchers and slaters to replace roofs damaged by snow and hail. In the final days of the month, rain begins to replace the snow. Though planting season does not begin until the cold abates much later in the season, farmers typically begin to allow their hardier animals to graze. Goats, sheeps, rams, and furry oxen become a common sight on the grazing plains between Astfield and Valwyck, while livestock such as pigs and horses are kept in barns until the weather warms towards the end of the month before letting them graze. Consequently, the warmer, final days of Jula & Piov serve as mating season for many Haeseni livestock, stretching into the middle of Vzmey & Hyff. It is only towards the end of the month that winter hibernation begins to end. Juniper, ash, cedar, willow, and maple trees begin to cloak their once-bare branches in buds, though they do not bloom until much later into spring owing to the lingering cold. Wildflowers and berries do not begin to bloom until the final days of the month, during which time wild animals such as bears begin to crawl out of their dens after the long winter hibernation. Serfs often mark the end of hibernation as when ‘bearflowers’ bloom -- hardy, yellow dandelions that are among the first flowers to regrow. Haeseni folk consider Jula & Piov a month of peace and rest. No longer must they contend with the wrath of the Haeseni winter, and not yet are they required to begin the arduous planting season for their farms. Consequently, serfs take the month to tend to damage to their farmsteads and homes caused by the winter storms, and let their animals graze again. Among the peasantry, it is considered a time for family and rest. The Month of Rust Vzmey & Hyff The second half of winter marks a departure from the calm and quiet of Jula & Piov. The beginning of Vzmey & Hyff is usually marked with the arrival of the infamous freezing rainfall of the Haeseni spring. In the place of the soft snows of Jula & Piov, Haeseni must contend with frequent downpours of chilling rain that frustrate work and drive most folk indoors whenever possible. The frequent rains often leave those forced to work outdoors with illness, known as ‘Shephard’s Cough’. Despite the disdain held for the rain, it vanquishes the last of the lingering winter snow and nourishes growth as wildlife returns to the Kongzem. Wildflowers bloom in meadows, the trees grow out their leaves to paint the forests a patchwork of green, yellow, and red, and bears begin to roam the forests while wolf packs, paradoxically, migrate further north and away from farmsteads as game becomes more common. It is unfortunate that such a wet month is also one of the most important for the Haeseni serf. Planting season begins in Vzmey & Hyff as the rain quenches the fields and the temperature climbs just high enough for hardy spring seeds to begin to grow. The first of the Vzmey & Hyff rainfall is the traditional day upon which farmers plough their fields and plant seeds for the first harvest. This only includes the hardiest of crops for the lingering cold, which include potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, cabbage, and kale. Contrarily, animals actually graze less in Vzmey & Hyff to protect them from the rain. Whereas Jula & Piov is a month of rest, Vzmey & Hyff is a month of work where the common Haeseni serf begins planting season, flowers and trees bloom, bears rule the forests and wolves rule the north, and the rain makes everyone miserable. Popular Reinmaren tradition names it as the Month of Rust, for those who let the rest of Jula & Piov overstay its welcome. THE HAESENI SUMMER The summer months of Haense consist of Gronna & Droba (Common: The Grand Harvest) and Tov & Yermey (Common: The Sun’s Smile). Given the far northern climate, summer in the Kongzem of Haense is comparable, in temperature and weather, to early spring in most southern regions of Almaris. Still, it is undeniably pleasant when compared to the region’s other seasons: heavy snows no longer clog the paved city streets, and icy rains no longer churn the country roads to mud. Poets and bards sing of summer as a season of contentment and, interestingly, of war -- poems of ancient Ruskan origin often portray summer as a season in which the Boyars would choose to do battle to settle their disputes, as the poor weather for the rest of the year made it too difficult to muster troops. This gave rise to the saying “don’t put it off past summer”. The Month of Life Gronna & Droba Blessedly, the freezing rains of Vzmey & Hyff die down as Gronna & Droba begins, marking the start of the Haeseni summer in the Sigismundic Calendar. Visitors hoping that summer would bring warmth akin to the more southern regions of Almaris will be left severely disappointed by the Rimeveld chill that lingers in the air throughout the season as an eternal reminder of the Kongzem’s natural inhospitality. Even on the warmest days of the Haeseni summer, the faintest of winds carries with it a faint reminder of that fact. Gronna & Droba marks a busy month of work for farmers, who spent the lengthened days weeding fields, tending crops, and fattening animals on fresh grass. While even turnips - the fastest-growing of the traditional Haeseni crop - are not ready for harvest in Gronna & Droba, the month is still marked by feasting when the first of the fattened animals - the oldest, usually - are butchered and cooked. Farmers also busy themselves in Gronna & Droba by planting crops that would have been unable to withstand the cold in spring -- namely, beans, gourds, pumpkins, and, of course, wheat. The nominal increase in temperature in Gronna & Droba prompts rapid growth of wildlife warmer climates would have long since expected in spring. Wildflower meadows bloom across the Kongzem, stretching from the hills east of Karosgrad, beyond the Krusev Forest, and all the way into the Attenlund Frontier. The end of the first fortnight of Gronna & Droba is the beginning of the proper hunting season, where men and women take to the woods with bows, spears, and slings to hunt the replenished game since last summer. The occasion is usually marked by a hunting race between the serfs and the local lord, harkening back to an old Ruskan tradition whereby a poacher would be pardoned if he proved himself a skilled huntsman. Gronna & Droba is a time of contentment for the Haeseni people. The hardships of winter lie yet months away, while the warmer temperatures and fairer weather offer long and pleasant days. The length of the summer days are often used to their fullest extent as the farming season grows demanding, with the first crop of turnips expected mere weeks away in Tov & Yermey, and time not spent working is well-utilised for leisure, whether it be hunting in the thawed woodlands of Krusev or fishing in the melted waters of the Staal Eada. Bards term Gronna & Droba as the month of life, in which the grey rains fade in favour of lush colour in the Kongzem’s landscape. The Month of Blood Tov & Yermey The Sigismundic Calendar marks the Summer Equinox - which the Scyflings call ‘Moonfire’ - as the day on which Tov & Yermey begins, where the days are longest and warmest, though a southerner might disagree on the temperature being termed ‘warm’ at all. Though the eternal Rimeveld chill persists on the wind, Tov & Yermey is the month of fairest weather, where the winds are calmest and rainfall infrequent. It is because of the fair weather that old folklore describes this month as the month of blood. Ancient Raevir fables speak of midsummer as the time when the Boyars of Ruska would agree to face each other in battle. While their disputes and feuds would drag on throughout the entire year, it was widely agreed to be too difficult to wage war in spring, autumn, and winter, where poor weather or the need to tend to farms required most men to stay at home. Therefore, it was tradition that when the weather cleared in Tov & Yermey, they would do battle, even if their dispute had occurred many months ago. So popular was this method of battle among the Ruskan Boyars that the serfs came to believe this traditional bloodshed led to a good harvest, and a year of no battles was a bad omen, so much so that serfs would sometimes perform animal sacrifices on their farms if there was little war done that year. In modern times, villages of serfs sometimes honour this tradition by performing mock battles on the Equinox. The first of the crop yields occur around two weeks into Tov & Yermey, starting with turnips, and shortly followed by the first yields of the other spring crops. THE HAESENI AUTUMN The autumnal month of Haense is Msitza & Dargund (Common: The Amber Cold), making it the shortest of all seasons in the Sigismundic Calendar. Autumn is shorter than the other seasons owing to the speed with which temperatures plummet in the weeks after Tov & Yermey, leaving the Kongzem with only a brief period between the end of summer and before the winter snows that herald the arrival of winter. Autumn is considered a season of feasting, merriment, but also preparation for the looming winter, and thus bards often depict the season as akin to soldiers feasting on the eve of battle, both to strengthen their spirit and body. The Month of Memory Msitza & Dargund The days slowly begin to shorten and the temperature begins to fall as the short Haeseni autumn begins, but most serfs are kept too busy by the demands of the impending harvest to take much notice of the changing seasons. Dawn to dusk is filled with farm chores, from tending the fields, to shearing sheep, to fattening pigs, and everything in between. The clear weather of Tov & Yermey persists for a good deal of the autumn, broken occasionally by bouts of rain, hail, and snow, though the air and wind quickly carry a heavier, biting cold. Leisure activities enjoyed throughout the summer come to an abrupt end as farm work increases, which instead birthed a culture of heavy night-drinking among farmers who labour to meet the burdens of the season. The ‘Last Hunt’, occurring in the first week of autumn, does, however, serve as a popular serf holiday where hunters compete for the honour of felling the last game of the year, which is said to be a great omen for the harvest to come. The second week of Msitza & Dargund brings with it the biggest occasion of the Haeseni calendar for the common folk -- the Harvest. While harvests of spring crops such as turnips, radishes, and carrots occur at the end of summer, the main and bountiful harvest happens in autumn. Over the course of the middle two weeks of the month, farmers begin the harvest proper, where all the remaining crops are reaped. The cellars are filled, the slaughterhouses run red with blood, and distilleries are loaded with hops for the yearly brew of Haeseni ales, chief among them Carrion Black. The season’s end is celebrated with ample feasting in every farm and village. The first feast, usually the most bountiful of them all, is held in honour of the dead, particularly those who have died since last autumn. Typically, each meal from the harvest until the start of winter is held in honour of a particular deceased loved one. Consequently, the month, and the autumn season in general, is often termed as the month of memory. In folklore, ghosts and specters, both benevolent or otherwise, are said to be most active during autumn. THE HAESENI WINTER The winter months of Haense consist of Joma & Umund (Common: The Deep Cold) and Wzuvar & Byvca (Common: The Snow’s Maiden). The northern winter is, obviously, a brutal affair. The Kongzem’s proximity to the Rimeveld makes it the subject of bitter winter storms and blizzards, and plummeting temperatures cold enough to kill. The season is one of endurance and hardship, whose threat is usually determined by whether or not Msitza & Dargund yielded a bountiful harvest. On good years, winters can be weathered with furs and blazing fires, while on bad years - such as when famine struck during the Rimetroll War - lack of food can drive serfs to starvation, or even banditry. Bards and poets depict the season as one of ‘truth’, when hard decisions reveal the true nature of a man or woman. Though winter spans two months, the Sigismundic Calendar ends after the first; the second month of winter heralds the new year. The Month of Piety Joma & Umund Rain vanishes in favour of frequent snowfall at the end of autumn, declaring the arrival of the Haeseni winter. Its first month - and the last month of the Haeseni year - is considered the harshest time of the year, in which the temperatures continue to sharply plummet after autumn. No Haeseni could venture outside and last more than a few hours without heavy furs to keep the deep cold at bay, and even then, thick clothes are insufficient after the few brief hours of sunlight. Indoors, fires are required to burn in every room for most hours of the day to ward off the winter chill, and thus there is a huge demand for firewood in winter. This demand is usually offset by accumulating spare firewood throughout late-summer and autumn, but on a clear winter day, serfs can always be found chopping wood in the forests. Farms and pastures are glazed over in the thick frost and snows. No crop grows in winter, and the animals, both those intended for winter slaughter and those to be kept until alive for future years, are bundled into warms that require constant heating that takes heavy tolls on firewood supplies. Cold is not the only threat, both to men and livestock, but wolf packs that usually hunt further north are driven south by the bitter cold and diminishing game. With the forests glazed in white and lacking food, wolf attacks on farms are very common, so much so that most farms require armed men to stay awake in the barns to ensure no wolves break in. Despite this caution, every winter ends with tales of farmers killed by wolves. Outside of the vassal lands and the Royal Capital of Karosgrad, most farms and villages are isolated by heavy snows that climb to half a man’s height, and permanently cling to the land from around the end of the first week of Joma & Umund and remain until spring comes. Therefore, communities tend to have none to rely on but each other. While the month is known as the month of community to some, more than one grim tale exists of villages turning on each other in harsh winters to plunder each other’s scarce food supplies in order to survive. Some particularly dark stories even speak of cannibalism in the most hellish winters. As demonstrated recently in the Rimetroll War, where mass riots of starving peasants plagued the land, hard times breed hard men. On top of wolf attacks, a much more dangerous threat stands against Haeseni farms in the freezing white of winter -- bandits. With the heavy snowfall making it all but impossible for the Brotherhood of Saint Karl or a local lord’s armsmen from reaching outer farms and villages, brigands can plunder some villages with impunity. Peasant militias are thus required to watch out for both wolves and marauders alike, and villages ill-prepared to face these threats are often found charred and blood-soaked when the snows clear in spring. Sometimes, villages petition the Knight’s Table to have a Knight winter in their village for protection. Such hardship is what prompts many Haeseni to spend the month in deep prayer for the protection of their family from the cold, wolves, and bandits, and thus Joma & Umund is often described as the month of piety. The Month of White Wzuvar & Byvca After the end of the blizzard storms of Joma & Umund, the new year arrives with the second month of winter -- Wzuvar & Byvca, and with it, the Winter Equinox. The new year is celebrated with modest feastings - for the winter hardship has yet to pass - but with great relief among the commonfolk, who eke a glimmer of hope from the lengthening days. While the bitter cold persists throughout Wzuvar & Byvca, the blizzards tend to be replaced by lighter - but near constant - snowfall. The high winds of the earlier month grow weaker, so that the snow lies like a thick blanket of pure white across the Kongzem with little disturbance. The month is thus commonly termed the month of white. On clearer days, a popular game among peasants consists of dressing up in white and hiding throughout the village or farm for seekers to find. Little changes in the new year as to how livestock is kept in the barns and how villages and farmsteads must be vigilant of the threat posed by bandits and wolves alike. Even so, the shimmer of constant soft snowfall allows Haeseni to look upon Wzuvar & Byvca with far less disdain than they do Joma & Umund, with its howling blizzards and killing cold. Once the worst of the winter storms pass - typically shortly after the new year - it is common for serfs to erect crosses of white birchwood on the paths to their village as thanks to Godan for his mercy this year. After the first fortnight of Wzuvar & Byvca, the longer days became apparent. The temperature remains bitterly cold and capable of killing, but the slicing winds lesson, and the snowfall remains light and undeniably beautiful, especially on clear nights when the moon shines bright. The threat of winter is considered passed, an occasion marked again by meagre celebrations, as spring slowly draws closer.
  14. @itdontmattaI've sent you the 10 Haense names
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