-----------====================THE KAEZARIAN EYE====================-----------
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- THE STRANGE DEATH AND TERRIFYING REBIRTH OF THE DARK GOD TROST2
- GRIM PIPER HERALDS DEATH OF LORD BENTON MCVAHL13
- PLAGUE OF PERNICIOUS PACKAGES PERSISTS16
- ODD AND BLOODY DISTURBING CREATURES TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN KESSIA19
- A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY LOST23
- VERY LARGE BOX SPARKS CONFLICT, NEGOTIATION BETWEEN KIVIAN AND
- WINTER CELEBRATIONS MARK THE PASSING OF THE YEARE35
- NEWS IN BRIEFE27
- CONVERSATIONS WITH LENIRI NANDRAE41
- THE FOOD CRITIC REVIEWS: Pava's Tea Room31
- IN THE PUBLIC EYE: Letters and Opinion45
- FOR THE PUBLIC NOTICE53
- HOROSCOPES: Whispers of the Night Sky54
- EYE ON KESSIA59
- NEWS OF THE WORLDE60
- AS EYE SEE IT62
- NOTE FROM THE EDITORS64
-----------====================THE KAEZARIAN EYE====================-----------
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
THE STRANGE DEATH AND TERRIFYING REBIRTH OF THE DARK GOD TROST
It cannot have escaped the notice of anyone in the entire Country, nor perhaps indeed of this entire Northern Continent, that an event of the most Drastic proportions has come to pass whose effects no one can yet be sure of, whether in their extent, Severity, or lastingness. Late in the evening of the 4th Daye of Storme, a most terrible Sensation swept across the whole of Kessia, as of a Symphony of breaking Glass, seeming to stop the whole country in its Tracks and shattering one's very thoughts and indeed one's Perceptions of the entire World, and feeling as if it could be nothing less than a Rupture in the Fabric of the Cosmos itself. And indeed the Truth of the matter was hardly anything of less Import, as hard on the Heels of this Disastrous sensation came the most terrible News that the dark god Trost, the Worm himself, had passed into whatever dark and formless Oblivion that deities do in those rare and desperate times whenever a god shall perish.
The Public, beyond being in a state of some understandable Turmoil and Anxiety, must be wondering what exactly can have happened to bring the world to this deeply Alarming pass, whether it can have any Connection to the strange events of the previous Months, the City being rife with Demons and strange Enchantments and suspiciously unprovenanced Pilgrims, and what one may expect in the Wake of the perhaps still more alarming events of this past 9th of Storme, when Blood rained down from the very Heavens and some of the most appalling Abominations yet seen appeared upon the Streets of Kaezar. While even this Publication surely cannot claim to have all the answers to these Questions, let alone to be able to predict what even the immediate Future may hold in the aftermath of a god's Demise -- if indeed a true Demise it can claim to be, with Trost's reappearance soon afterwards in slightly altered Guise -- yet we shall endeavour to lay out in the following Pages something of the strange Course that events of the past few months have followed, and which the Reader shall not be disappointed in expecting to be exactly as strange and Fantastic as every previous Story to fill this space.
~ The Heralds of Death ~
The first definite idea that something very strange and Troubling was afoot came on the 2nd Daye of Morde with the death of Lord Benton McVahl, as described in greater Detail in the article following. For the purposes of this accounting, however, it was not even so much the death itself that was deeply Unsettling, as much as the Events preceding it, as Lord Benton's passing was heralded but a few hours in advance by the eerie Dirge of a ghastly undead Piper, whose strange playing filled all who heard it with an unspeakable sense of Dread, the more justifiable once the news of His Lordship's death came shortly thereafter.
This, it proved, was but the very beginning of a series of events both Perplexing and Perturbing, as it happened that on the 6th Daye of Morde another Piper, of that same sort that had heralded Lord Benton's death, appeared in the Crop-fields west of Kaezar in company with a number of others of its Ilk. When it was inquired as to what exactly they wanted, the Creatures replied that they desired Blood, and proceeded to rend one of their own Number Limb from Limb in the process of some bizarre Demonstration that makes little more sense in Retrospect than it did in the moment, involving painting a Board of Wood in the medium of their hapless compatriot's Blood such that it was made to resemble the Visage of the deceased Lord Benton, and then dragging this Effigy in a Circle about the Field. In the wake of their stumbling Movements, the sickening scent of Decay and Putrefaction began to rise in smothering Waves from off the field as the Plants there began first to Wilt and then to Rot outright, their forms blackening and falling away to Dust and Slime.
The usual crowd consisting of the more Adventurous and Fool-hardy elements of Society being present to witness the freakish Ceremony, none among them were yet entirely sure how best to respond, whether to let the Creatures continue in their Peculiar way until they should shamble off or fall to Bits, or to rush in smiting and reduce the remainder of the strange Band to the same Dismembered state as the one felled by its own Comrades. They were perhaps even less certain of their Ground when all the Creatures together turned as one to fix their collective Gaze upon one among the crowd's number, this being Mistress Gulnara Sadko, and groaned out that He Heard, being equally unclear in their indications of who He was as they were to what he was hearing.
[ North of the road that winds through the foreground of this woodblock print, the thatched roof of a farmhouse rises out of the waving grain fields. To the east, the road begins to snake southwards while the road west cuts through the grain fields. A shimmering glyph marks the ground, seemingly having no effect on anything or anyone around it. A crowd of people is strung out in little knots along the road, watching in bemusement, horror, or general apathy as a bizarre assemblage of undead highlanders shamble about in a nearby field.
Recognizable among the bystanders are Rogue Lady Gulnara (holding the reins of a Murkhish Barb mare), Eleanor (standing near Gulnara), Keeper Vivien of Reklar Asylum, Head Chirurgeon Marian of the Kessian Medical Society (standing near Vivien), Shadow Mistress Constance (standing near Vivien), Rascal Vladimir, Firebrand Aurorah (leaning on Vladimir), Hooligan Demens, Captain Merow of the Imperial Guard, Dame Elli, Malo, an animated silver-edged teacup, High Sorcerer Astolpho of Duvan, Ivy, Lout Gladston, Yun, Healer Suede, Captain Ashinara of the Royal Guard, Rowan (standing near Anolisse), Grand Surgeon Anolisse (standing near Aelonzo), and Aelonzo himself, who appears to be in a very excited state. In the field that is the focus of everyone's attention, a decaying revenant highlander, a moldering revenant piper, a decomposing revenant drummer, and a decaying revenant highlander stand in a circle, doing something absolutely incomprehensible with a large wooden board.
The caption to the illustration reads "Onlookers Bear Impassive Witness to Bizarre Ritual". ]
It was at this moment, with all Persons present sunk abruptly into a veritable Bog of Befuddlement, that Aelonzo, Watcher of Serene's Tower, swept in and began to berate the Assembly for their lack of action in the face of clear Evil and Corruption, and to likewise berate the dead for being themselves Evil and Corrupt. With a stab of his blessed Sword into the festering ground and a prodigious Bellowing that smote the air like a thousand Sledge-hammers, Watcher Aelonzo banished the Corruption's spread across the earth, the grim Band of Death falling straightaway to ash and the Adventurers finding themselves likewise Chastened and desirous of being elsewhere, none the less so for being informed that the dark god Trost was now ascendant, and that where Mylywyth should have ended its effects continued apace, and would do so for as long as could be foreseen. Warning all against Trost's rise, the Watcher cautioned those present that this must be considered a brazen Flaunting of Power on the part of that god, and that all must be wary as something new and Troubling must be happening, the Workings of which were so unusually subtle that even he could not see.
~ The Gathering Storm ~
As further information on the nature of Trost's activity came gradually to Light, and additional Parties stepped forth to express a Vested interest in the manner in which Events were to play out, most Kessians found themselves no more certain regarding the appropriate course of action than they had been back in the Crop-field as the Dead played out their peculiar Pageant. The enigmatic Pilgrim Plidic began to show himself more often, at least to those select Persons whom he seemed to judge as possibly being sympathetic to his Cause, even while this remained Hazy in its nature and Scope.
Proving himself to be the Adherent of Trost that many had long surmised him to be, Plidic conveyed certain Inside information to the effect that the Worm was dying, and this not by some strange accident of Fate or any loss of Faith in his powers, but as part of some dark Scheme of Trost's own devising to appropriate for himself some Portion of the Nameless One's power, starving himself to slow Oblivion, and through his Self-denial somehow consuming Hunger and Decay themselves. This, said the Pilgrim, would allow Trost to obtain the Power of Unmaking lying even beyond Decay, absorbing into his godly Substance something of the ominous force of the Void itself and thereby becoming something more than he was presently, if such Abnegation did not in fact result in the dark god's true death instead. This seeming to be a rather Risky sort of plan on the whole, there was concern on the part of some of those who heard of it as to whether Trost should in fact be allowed to starve himself thusly, as the Consequences seemed likely to be grim regardless of whether the dark god should fail and die utterly, or succeed and gain some additional measure of Power with which to influence mortal and godly Realms alike.
With either one of these Possibilities borne uneasily in mind, not only Plidic but a number of other Individuals devoted in Service to their own particular Deities began to take a naturally intent Interest in the current state of Affairs, these other clerical Devotees including Watcher Aelonzo, the Lightbringer Rory Glenallison, and the Thinist Inferno Alejandre. Despite the Zeal displayed by these Nivian Champions, however, Plidic himself seemed to be their equal in Fervor and far more Insideous, attempting to turn people to his Cause and throwing himself into an effort to acquire certain sources of Power that might be used either simply to save Trost from the danger of perhaps perishing of his own Starvation in the course of pursuing his Scheme, or to actively aid in his assault upon the Nameless One's domain, its being uncertain which of these two distinct Causes the Pilgrim truly supported, or whether the first might actually act in favor of the second.
As part of this effort Plidic attempted to secure the Cooperation of certain Persons in the search and Securement of those items that he had lately discovered to be infused with the Substance of Demons, this evidently being considered an especially remarkable Concentration of Power, but while some were willing to lend an Ear to the Priest's concerns, few or none felt exactly inclined to commit themselves to a course of action that might ultimately prove of greater Detriment than Benefit to the present state of things. Perhaps still more controversial was the suggestion that Plidic would be willing not only to take the demon-enchanted Items into Custody in order to deliver them as a Sacrifice to Trost, but would be equally willing to do the same with the Person of Miss Leniri Nandrae, who had by this time absorbed something of the Demons' Essence from certain of those same enchanted objects and into her own Self, lending her something of the Aspect and Powers of the infernal Beings themselves.
Perhaps most distressingly of all, the remainder of the Gods, both Nivi and Onu alike, seemed to be standing apart from the oncoming Conflict, as if whatever Storm might be approaching were something even beings of Divine power did not care to find themselves in the middle of, a Surmise that could not be calculated to make the mere Mortals of the world feel any more at their Ease. The degree of remove which the Pantheons assumed was evident to those who could normally lay claim to a particularly Close relationship with their chosen Deity, as they found themselves unable to sense things in the world that they once had, even to the point that such devout Jakobites as Dame Elli Sojourner and Captain Ashinara De'Alera of the King's own Guard found themselves unable to sense their God's divine Presence any longer, and their Prayers to him feeling Hollow and empty. Even in the face of certain shocking Defilements that were discovered to disgrace a number of the Holiest spaces of both Nivi gods and Immortals, still these deities appeared to have receded back behind any Bounds of influence upon the World, leaving its Inhabitants to whatever their Fate might be.
[ Pale white strands of a murky miasma shroud the primordial sarcophagi that line the walls of the crypt in this camera obscura print, and although ringed with the mold of antiquity, they are still awe-inspiring. In the center of the chamber, a stone tome lies on a tall narrow altar and, looking incongruous, an ancient birthing stool, broken in half and covered with dried blood, dust and sand, occupies the space next to it. Standing in the foreground and off to one side are Malo and an animated silver-edged teacup, the former of which is studying a skull symbol scrawled darkly on one wall. The teacup itself doesn't seem to be looking at much of anything, though who can really tell.
In one corner of this picture an enlarged image of the graffitti marking the wall is reproduced, the broadly smeared lines that make up the crude symbol suggestive of dried blood and gods only know what other more disgusting substances as well. It depicts a haphazardly-drawn skull in its center, with odd, wormlike scrawlings around its edges.
The print is labelled simply "The Desecration of Eyssa's Temple". ]
The sole Exception to the gods' retreat came from Trost's own opposite, Ghent himself, who of all deities evidently found himself compelled into Opposition of the Worm's schemes. One devotee of Ghent, the talented metal-worker Miss Asuka Kaneko, was granted Perceptions of certain things to which all others were Oblivious, not least among these a View into what must surely have been the malign Wickedness of Plidic's Soul, as Miss Kaneko reported seeing on the man's Face whenever he was about an expression of the utmost Hatred and Contempt for all around him, while others who had perhaps already formed such a negative idea of him saw nothing untoward in his Countenance in the same Moment.
In the face of the Withdrawal of all other gods from the Fray, Miss Kaneko felt herself obligated to attempt some Act which might allow those who would oppose Trost's dark Machinations to discover how they might best go about this, and with this in mind had struck upon a Ritual whereby Ghent might reveal some form of Advice to them, but such had not yet been carried out when all Schemes and Suppositions were quite abruptly shattered by the roiling Waves of cosmic Chaos that were the heralds of Trost's death, rendering all such Strategems moot.
~ Demonic Redux ~
In all this Turmoil one might have been forgiven for letting it quite slip one's Mind that Demons had walked the streets of Kaezar but a few Months previously and had instigated a goodly amount of Chaos of their own, these events now seeming well removed from present Troubles, aside from the reminder that the self-same Plidic who now displayed such an ominous Predilection for the darker Gods had been involved in Discerning the true Nature of the mysterious Myl's demonic Enchantments, and now was evidently desirous in laying hold of the Objects of these Enchantments for his own pernicious Purposes. However, Plidic's interest in these Artefacts of demonic Power proved that Kessians had not in fact seen the end of those Ripples produced by the Demons' Thraelian visitations nor, as it happened, of the Demons themselves.
In the last Edition of this Publication, the Eye reported that the Demons had quite vanished from off the Kessian stage, for reasons none could remotely fathom, as reported to the Eye by its own Miss Leniri Nandrae, then a Reporter to the Newspaper as well as one who had been possessed of a direct Link to one of the Demons who had purportedly befriended her. Choosing to believe the personal Account of one in its trusted Employ, the Eye duly conveyed these Facts, as they were thought to be, to its Publick, but in recent Dayes we have found them to be an utter Fabrication as we, among many others, were grievously misled by the young lady in question, in all Defiance of the professional Confidence placed in her. It seems instead -- admittedly by subsequent Confession of the young lady herself, which must now be held deeply Suspect, but at least has the Virtue of being in Accordance with all other Information learned since then -- that the Demons did not truly disappear at all, neither becoming Dormant nor ever vanishing from Miss Nandrae's perceptions, and that in fact these Beings were active all these intervening Months in steering events in Kessia in the direction of their Choice.
While we refer the Reader to the Interview section some Pages on for the alleged details of the affair, the Crux of the matter turned to be that the items enchanted by Myl, herself one of the Demons in Disguise, had been infused with the Substance of the sixth demonic Sister, and that since learning of it herself, Miss Nandrae had been intent upon laying hold of each Item and infusing her own Self with the fragments of demonic Being contained within, thereby hoping to provide the sixth Sister with a Resurrection of sorts while simultaneously freeing the remaining Demons from their Bondage to Thrael. Miss Nandrae, however, found herself opposed on all Fronts, as the various godly Adherents and their Allies found the release of the Demons to be uniformly opposed to their multifarious interests, the Nivians being leery of allowing any such Beings free Rein upon this Plane, and the Trostite Plidic desiring to use the Energies of the Demons, whether contained within the enchanted Objects or within the Person of Miss Nandrae herself, either to fuel the Ascendance of the Worm or simply to stave off his Demise.
For such reasons of her own Self-preservation as well as what appeared to be a genuine desire to aid these Demons whom she perceived as worthy of Compassion, Miss Nandrae set upon a grand Campaign of Misdirection for the salvation of both herself and her own otherworldly Allies. Over the course of a few Weeks, Miss Nandrae was successful in gathering to herself each remaining enchanted Items and drawing the Energies into herself in a shimmering cloud of Essence, with each absorption of the Demon-sister's Essence becoming progressively more like unto a Demon herself, to the point of not only bearing Horns and an eerie pupil-less Gaze, but even becoming Immune to such Effects as the killing Force of a Bullet shot directly into the center of her Forehead.
In the meantime, however, others among the Citizenry of Kaezar were involved in efforts to at last track down the demonic Source, the initial Quest for this mysterious Object having met with no success the Yeare prior, and it now being deemed essential to keep the thing from the Grasp of Plidic, though beyond that no one was quite certain what might best be done with it should it finally be discovered. On the 27th Daye of Morde, Mister Astolpho Mandel gathered together a small group of Daring individuals willing to help him perform a Scrying for the Source, in hopes of its being in some accessible place from which it could be retrieved and then studied for some Clue as to what to do with it, as well as simply to keep it from the Hands of all those who might abuse the Power contained within it.
[ Deep within the veil of its leaves, the branches of an aged drael willow form a sheltering curtain around an old stone bench in this print from a camera obscura. Carpeted with moss, fallen leaves, and a generous amount of blood, the ground is covered by a tangle of the willow's shallow roots, while bedraggled vines trail in pieces over the uneven ground behind the bench. A sturdy tea mug lies overturned to one side of the picture and some ways from the crumpled heap of a mink throw, which was probably quite luxurious prior to the addition of the blood with which it is now liberally spattered. Central to the scene are the corpse of High Spirit Master Astolpho of Duvan (lying down, covered in blood, partly exploded, and in general dead in a very pronounced manner), Asuka (kneeling near the partly exploded corpse of Astolpho), Alexei, Rogue Lady Gulnara, and Malo (all staring at that same partly exploded corpse), and an animated silver-edged teacup (paying no mind to the corpse but leaving little tracks of blood as it skitters about). Also here is a snapping turtle that appears to be placidly observing the bloody fragments of what might be the vigorously shattered remains of another snapping turtle.
Small print beneath the illustration labels this "The Price of a Scrying". ]
While the Scrying itself was not carried off entirely without Cost to Mister Mandel's Person or Possessions, the Demons doing everything in their power to block his Efforts and to turn the Astral energies of the attempt back upon him, the Ritual did reveal to him a Vision of the Caverns lying deep below Kaezar, in that exact Spot where the sixth Sister had attempted to manifest a physical Form in Sune of the preceding Yeare. Venturing on his own to the Caves the following daye, Mister Mandel discovered in the darkness there a most Exotic and unusual Pipe, cunningly crafted from an Antler, and through which it happened he could hear the Voices of the Demons, and speak to them in turn.
Thus having safely secured the Source, for such this strange Artefact truly was, Mister Mandel was unsure what Course next to take with it, not knowing whether releasing the Demons would make them easier to deal with or only exacerbate the present perilous Situation, and the Demons themselves unable to offer any Promises either Enticing or Reassuring enough to make such an action worthwhile. After an uncertain period during which an ominous Calm descended upon the City, and none of the concerned Parties seemed inclined to take any further steps that might upset the precarious Balance in some way, a Party made up of Lightbringer Glenallison, Captain De'Alera, and Mister Ariano Azor'i came abruptly to Mister Mandel and demanded that he relinquish the Source into their Keeping for the purposes of Cleansing it by means of some divine Ritual. Mister Mandel, having been given little choice in the matter, thus dutifully gave up the Fruits of his Labors, and so the Situation seemed to be moving irrevocably towards some kind of Resolution, whatever the ultimate Result might be.
~ The Death and Rebirth of a God ~
It was on the following daye, the 9th of Storme, that Lightbringer Glenallison intended to attempt the Source's cleansing, and a number of Persons had ascended to the Heights of Jakob's Temple to await the performing of that Ritual. After feeling the shock-wave that was the death of Trost but five evenings previously, all were in a state of somewhat Fragile nerves, yet hopeful that whatever Action the Lightbringer was about to take would at least bring them some way towards resolving at least one of their present Difficulties.
However, the mild Anticipation of this event was shattered and re-fashioned into an Anxiety of much keener Pitch when instead of the Lightbringer, Watcher Aelonzo dashed frantically into their midst with a call to sound the Alarm, as he bore grim Tidings far beyond anything to do with Demons and their Ilk, but rather of Trost himself and his advancing Legions of Undead. The Watcher proclaimed that, in fact, the Worm had not truly perished at all, but that this had been merely a Feigning produced for the purpose of confusing and Unsettling those who would Oppose him, and then taking them off-guard by precisely such an Assault as they now saw descending upon them. Having succeeded in his Bid to usurp some portion of the Nameless One's domain, namely power over the Undead, Trost had re-formed himself and his newest Facet had risen from a Void of immeasurable Depth, thenceforth to lead a teeming Horde of those ghastly Minions down upon the City and towards what Aelonzo felt must be defended above all things, the various Temples of Kaezar and Kemstead.
The valiant Citizenry of Kessia immediately coming together with their usual insouciant disregard of death and Destruction, even as what seemed a sure Omen of Disaster in the form of a blood-red Comet streaked across the face of the Stars overhead, plans were straightaway laid for separate groups to form in the Defense of such key Nivi Temples as were near enough to be in the likely Path of the oncoming Horde, these being the Holy grounds of Jakob and Ghent within Kaezar, and lastly of Duvan at Kemstead Abbey. As these protectors took their places, the Heavens themselves proceeded to open up in a rain of foulness and Death, warm drops of some substance better not contemplated plummeting groundward to shape themselves into the form of terrible oozing Heralds of Death, their forms but tenuously held together with Bandages, yet driven onwards by a matchless Tenacity that sent Wave upon Wave of the fell Creatures against the defenders of Life and Light.
In spite of this, their Ranks held firm against the Onslaught until the time at which it was conveyed with much Alarm over the mental Aether of the Thought-net that some terrible Phenomenon was emerging over no other place than that very Nexus of all Disaster and Bizarrity, the Crossroads itself. Those who had been arrayed in defense of the Temples thus relocated their Forces to the site of whatever this newest Disaster might be, there appearing before their Eyes even as they went a terrible swirling Vortex, its center indeed hovering directly over the Street outside Breen's Inn. As the defenders assembled there and prepared to do Battle once more, the roiling Storm not only spread its bloody light across the Sky but began to descend upon the Road in churning Tendrils of Essence, these spreading out across the Ground until there emerged from the very Heart of the malign Vortex a truly ghastly figure which, looking past the blasted Ruin of its Eyes and into the Depths of the Evil tenebrous Aura that surrounded him, the defensers recognized with a thrill of Horror as he who had once been Plidic.
[ This illustration shows in hideous clarity the shattered shell of an il'lthye corpse, every inch of its naked flesh stripped and cracked as if subjected to repeated flayings. Its eyesockets are blasted, bloody craters that stare outward from beneath dirty medium-length black hair, leaking a strange dark vapor that pools above its head in a boiling mockery of a halo. From within the roiling vapor of the halo, shadowy arms reach outward into the air, appearing to claw and grasp in a spasmodic, seizure-like frenzy. Around this nauseating and ravaged entity's feet, the ground itself looks to be frozen in a raveling, twisting motion, as if trying to escape physical contact with it.
This appalling being is declared in a short caption to be "Plidic the Null-Eater". ]
Plidic, such as the horrible Creature before them still could be considered to be that gentleman, then spoke to those gathered there to say that he had been born but was at the same time Dead, the latter of these at least being beyond any reasonable Debate. Threats towards the dead man's Person had just begun to be tossed about when a Knife was likewise hurled into the Fray, which, this being the usual way of such things, served as a Trigger for a great Maelstrom of Magicks, Blows, and additional Knives to be directed at Plidic, who for his part seemed inclined to do little more than stand there and bleed in great Gouts from whatever Abuse they should decide to deal out, mocking them for the Futility of their efforts as he screamed out for them to give to him their Hatred and thus feed the power of the unfillable Void.
After some time in which Plidic railed on, proclaiming himself rather dubiously to be the Glory of the Void bound to Thrael, his Attackers seemed grudgingly to accept their Efforts to be as Futile as described, and left off the Assault to summon the Faithful of Jakob, Serene, and Thine to their sides. This proved a prudent Decision, as Plidic promptly called out for his own Heralds of Death to sweep down upon the City in greater Force than ever before, demanding that they show the world that Undeath belonged no longer to the Nameless One and the Void, but to Trost and himself instead, before melting away in a disgusting Pool of his own vile Blood, with the final message that Death came to all. And indeed it seemed likely to come rather sooner than anyone had hoped, as the Heralds obeyed their master's Summons and rose in Legion to throw themselves upon the Defenders, while the very Heavens themselves seemed engaged in a mirrored Battle of the one below, the argent light of the Stars and the Moons of Serene clashing against the lurid red Fire of Plidic's deathly Vortex
[ Sitting largely in the shadow of the clock tower to the east but presently illuminated in harsh ominous light by an immense swirling maelstrom directly overhead, a large stone building occupies the entire side of the block as portrayed in the chaotic confines of this woodblock print. Appearing almost fragile below the stark violence of the sky are a mob of armed men and women, the tight cluster of their ranks mostly blocking the view of a wooden placard that is fixed to the wall in a prominent position above a bench near the building's lantern-lit door. Pockmarked with holes and loose stones from the carts and wagons that traffic to the northern, eastern, western and southern sections of Kaezar City, the cobbled road is riddled with frozen slush and icy puddles, in which the swirling vapors of the vortex are uneasily reflected. A leathery fern, a shimmering glyph, a red circle, and a large snowbank make an appearance but are nearly obscured in the melee that has engulfed the entire area.
Making up this grand melee are Jalith (standing near a leathery fern), Malo (standing just to one side in the foreground), an animated silver-edged teacup (just barely visible at the very bottom of the scene), Reeve (standing near Eiraine), Gulnara (standing near Alexei), Shadow Mistress Constance (leaning on Requiem), Keeper Vivien of Reklar Asylum (standing on some wooden steps), a red chestnut Murkhish Barb mare, Warlock Dalanoth, Jineen, Guardas of the Kessian Medical Society, Gladston, Captain Merow of the Imperial Guard, Aerwn, Raz, Requiem, Head Chirurgeon Marian of the Kessian Medical Society, Bloom, the verdant harlequin, Asuka, Ariano, Eiraine, Ricven, Alexei, Taiithan, High Spirit Master Astolpho of Duvan, Dame Elli, Society Engineer Iiro, Daere Vala Ilyra, Captain Ashinara of the Royal Guard, Sir Martaigne, Firebrand Aurorah, Woode Lady Silomae of the Kessian Medical Society, Lightbringer Rory, Inferno Alejandre, and some unknowable but especially steadfast Imperial Sergeant, all of whom are arrayed in valiant defense against the merciless charge of a twisted herald (stunned), a twisted herald, a corrupt herald, a deathtouched herald, a corrupt herald, a brutal herald, a diseased herald, a deathtouched herald, and a twisted herald.
The caption to the illustration reads "Life and Undeath Clash Beneath the Vortex". ]
After beating back what one began to fear might be an endless Tide of malevolent Undead Warriors, the grim and desperate Struggle accompanied all along by Flashes of red and silver Light from the skies above them, where the celestial Counterpart of their own battle played out in the heavenly Sphere, finally the Adventurers' efforts were rewarded by the sight of the last leering Visage of Death dropping limply into the churned mud at their Feet. All grew suddenly silent, awaiting whatever else might come, and then the terrible deep crimson bled itself from the dark tapestry of the Heavens, leaving the Moons free to spread their Glow across the entire arc of the Sky, and bathing the World and its Defenders in gentle argent Light like a Benediction from Serene herself. The side-streets and back-alleyways of Kaezar were swiftly purged of a handful of the hideous Revenants that clung stubbornly to their Unlife, but of Plidic himself there was no further Sign, nor has there been any since, leaving all in Kessia to wonder what might possibly happen next.
~ An Uncertain Aftermath ~
It is beyond doubting that many among the Public now find themselves in a state of some Shock and Agitation, and know not how to respond to what surely appears to be a Catastrophe of the most extreme Proportions, not being certain whether to pray fervently to those same Gods that had seemed to desert them in their Hour of Need, or to attempt to continue about their Business as best they may, or simply to fall into a state of utter Panic and Despair, seeing no Hope of Salvation in the face of Trost's newly assumed Power; this being the case, the Eye wishes to conclude on a Note of both Admonition and Reassurance.
We have heard that some Priests (particularly in the formerly Zu-Wrathe-ravaged areas of Penthras, and many of these supposed Divines not formerly considered to be so graced by the Gods, but now seeming to feel themselves divinely commanded to pester the Populace with their frenzied Cant) are beseeching their Flocks to Repent of their Sins and atone for Misdeeds of the past in preparation for the End Times or at least the next Cataclysm, but while this Reporter would certainly not presume to dissuade any Persons from relieving their Consciences howsoever they may see fit, nevertheless we feel it Appropriate to remind our Readership of the many previous Calamities that our fair Country has weathered up to this point, of the divers Abominations, monstrous Invasions, Conflagrations, Earth-quakes, and unnatural Tempests, magickal Disturbances, and Disruptions of Reality itself, that Kessians in particular have faced and triumphed over, and with this in mind, to not fall into a Panic until such a reaction is deemed indisputably Suitable to the Circumstances.
Regardless of whether Plidic be truly a new Facet of a yet-extant God, or some new Incarnation of the dead God himself, the Perturbations of the previous Months appear to have faded for the time being, and one may probably assume that it is at least as safe as ever for the Citizenry of Kaezar and the surrounding areas to continue on with the daily Round of their Lives, knowing that such Calms in the midst of the Storms to which Kessia is extensively accustomed are but a part of that Round, and thus only to be accepted as best one may. The Publick may rest assured that the Eye will continue to keep it informed of any new Developments in this uncertain Situation.
-----------====================THE KAEZARIAN EYE====================-----------
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
GRIM PIPER HERALDS DEATH OF LORD BENTON MCVAHL
The Eye regrets to report on the sad and Untimely death of Lord Benton McVahl, first Cousin Once-removed from our own good King Vek. Those who attended last Yeare's Winter Masque shall recall the state of Infirmity with which Lord McVahl was afflicted even then, his Visage already showing pronounced signs of the Ravages of Illness to which he would ultimately fall Prey, and his breathing much troubled by a Cough of the most Evil sort. No further word reached the Populace concerning His Lordship's health in the Yeare following, but it seems this continued in a state of Decline, culminating in his unfortunate Demise late in the evening on the 2nd Daye of Morde.
While such an event was perhaps not unexpected, given the poor state of Lord Benton's health, yet the Circumstances surrounding his death set it quite apart from similar losses to long Sickness, as the imminent Departure of His Lordship's Soul was unexpectedly heralded by the appearance of a strange ghostly Piper, who played upon his Bag-pipes a ghastly Melody, its Notes described as something like a Barrage of stinging Barbs falling across the Ears and imparting a doomful sense of Eternity, and which could by some Supernatural means be heard for Miles across the Province. Several Citizens of Kaezar not only heard the eerie Tune but also witnessed the Piper's playing with their own Eyes, as the ghoulish Creature plodded up and down the streets of the City playing his terrible Dirge of Death, until at the last it simply fell to Ash and Dust which then blew off upon the Wind.
[ Pulled tightly back by rigor mortis, blackened lips display rotting teeth, and putrefied bones stick out through the decaying gray flesh of the ghoulish piper shown in this print. Unseeing eyes seem to stare straight out from the page past the viewer, and the monster's dried straw-like hair hangs dank and limp to his shoulders. Unnaturally thin, the revenant looks to be about to take a halting step forward, its bony legs appearing incapable of steady movement.
A moldering revenant piper is wearing a threadbare black wool Kenton bonnet, a tattered white muslin leine, some white oak and goatskin bagpipes, a black mourning band, a tattered black and taupe wool greatkilt, and some brown leather ghillie brogues over some light green mud-stained wool hose.
The print bears a simple caption reading "The Dread Piper of Death". ]
The deathly Piper having made his macabre March through Kaezar at some Eight bells past noon, the unsettled Populace had but a few hours' time to reflect upon the significance of this strange Event, as it was before the hour of Eleven in the evening that the Bells of Kaezar's great Clock-tower rang suddenly out in a grim booming Toll, the peal of its mighty Tongue exclaiming to all that some grievous Happenstance had befallen the land. Fallowing swiftly upon this ominous Clamor came the additional Shouts and Alarums of a Courier as he ran through town, crying out to all and Sundry the startling News that Lord Benton McVahl was dead.
A Period of Mourning was announced by the Court very shortly thereafter, such that the streets for a Week afterward seemed a veritable Sea of troubled black and gray, as the Citizens of Kaezar continued about their unstoppable Business garbed in dark Arm-bands and sombre Colors suitable to pay their Respects to the Dead. Though all appears to have been Peaceful in the court of King Vek since this time, the Piper's eerie appearance, the Uncertainty whether the Apparition was the Cause or merely the Herald of Lord Benton's Death, and whether either possibility was not equally Disturbing, followed additionally by the disturbing Conclave of its fellow-Revenants some days after the Performance of the first, left the Citizenry in a state of deepest Unease, as Kessians have since found to be well Justified.
The late Lord Benton is survived by his Wife, the Lady Josephine, and his son Lord Corvin, to whom the Eye wishes all possible Solace in their Loss that the gods may grant.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
PLAGUE OF PERNICIOUS PACKAGES PERSISTS
Kessia's malicious Package-Pranksters have evidently not yet grown tired of their Joke, as mysteriously malign Mailings continue to make their way into the Hands of those who are surely far more Wearied by the receipt of bloody Dismemberments and sinister Notes than their persistently anonymous Senders show any signs of being. Our Readers will remember in particular the severed Hand that greeted Captain Ashinara De'Alera of the Royal Guard upon opening an otherwise innocuous-seeming Box delivered through Bhond this past Ghust, and grim as this particular incident may have been, it seems to have been but the start of a series of similarly malevolent Deliveries.
It was on the very last Daye of Winte, just when one began to think with extraordinary Optimism that one might get through the Old Yeare without a single additional suspicious Incident, that another and even stranger Package was delivered to the unfortunate Captain De'Alera. This Reporter had been enjoying the cheering sight of the great Yule-tree on the Town Green when she found herself personally summoned to the Back-room of Bhond's Shipping by the proprietor's Daughter, who reported with some agitation the presence of a Corpse upon the Floor, after having personally witnessed the Demise of the Individual in question. Having identified the Body as being beyond any doubt that of Captain De'Alera, the most pressing question came in determining what exactly had befallen him, as Miss Alyana Bhond could offer only the information that Captain De'Alera had dropped lifeless to the Ground after doing nothing more Ominous than unfolding and reading a piece of Parchment contained within his Parcel.
[ The print that punctuates the text here shows an interior scene that appears to be the delivery office of Bhond's Shipping in Kaezar. Three narrow windows set high up in the back wall of this tiny office allow faint light to spill in through panes of dusty glass, somewhat softening the weathered gray wood that panels the other three walls and comprises the uneven slats of the floor. A low counter divides the cramped space into two even smaller areas, each barely large enough to accommodate a single person and both nearly filled with stacks of boxes and packages piled in every available space. Near a prominent wooden sign, a wide archway in the northern wall provides some relief, allowing passage to a somewhat larger office outside. A piece of yellowed parchment lies on the floor, not far from what appears to be the stone-dead corpse of Captain Ashinara of the Royal Guard (not surprisingly, lying down). Also in the room are Alyana (looking distraught), Bhond (standing near Alyana), and a sable-hued vulfen woman (standing there smiling mysteriously for no discernable reason).
The illustration has the caption of "Death of a Guardsman". ]
As it happened, the Victim himself, upon being valorously hauled off by his Betrothed Anolisse Thr'eyan to be revived by Eyssan Ayron, had little more to contribute regarding the Particulars of his Demise. He confirmed the account given by Miss Bhond, saying that he had merely opened the letter to read it, and upon so doing remembered nothing more until being returned to Life beneath the dome of Kaezar's ossuary, as it seemed he had been struck Stone-dead upon the Instant. Inspection of the Letter itself proved hardly more enlightening, with the contents of the Missive hinting heavily at Poison, though what Substance could act so swiftly yet with so localized an Impact that even Miss Bhond, standing mere Paces away, should be left entirely Unharmed, was something no one could tell. Nor could Royal Chirurgeon Adain, upon being forwarded the package and its contents for the purpose of conducting more careful Analysis, provide any Insight even with all his Wealth of medical Knowledge.
The Seal of a Rose upon the Letter seemed meant to implicate Miss Vivien La'Faelien of Reklar's Asylum, known for the use of a similar Motif as well as for past Poisonings, but the very Blatancy of the thing, as well as the fact that Miss La'Faelian was not known to bear Captain De'Alera any especially Pointed malice, seemed to undermine any Assumption that this woman might be the Culprit. Miss Thr'eyan and Captain De'Alera both expressed strong Misgivings regarding Mistress Gulnara Sadko and her mercenary Crew, but lacking any firmer Evidence upon which to Ground their Suspicions, no Charges could be filed.
The Eye was given some reason to believe that the Letter was originally meant as a malicious but ultimately harmless Prank, being meant to imply the presence of a Poison that did not in actual point of fact exist, and the deadly results of the Package thus delivering a Surprise to both Sender and Recipient. However, it is difficult to say whether this benign interpretation of Events can really constitute the Truth, unless the Parcel were tampered with in some manner in the course of its Delivery, or if indeed the deadly Poisonous nature of the thing could have been perhaps simply a preliminary Hint of the Ascendance of Trost to come.
A true Optimist might once again have expressed the belief that such a dire Prank must surely spell the grand denouement of the entire Affair of malign Deliveries, but subsequent Events in Morde once again put paid to any such hopeful Dreams, the likes of which one ought never to hold in such a place as Kessia in any case. In the latter half of the month yet another Delivery was made to Captain De'Alera, the contents of which were subsequently observed by a number of Persons sitting upon the town Green that evening. Captain De'Alera brandishing the Parcel about with a great deal of rather understandable Ire as he stalked onto the Green, these contents were revealed to the On-lookers to principally consist of a severed and very much Bloody Horse's Head, which had leaked its sanguinary Contents all about the box and out through the Joints, presenting a singularly Macabre sight.
Being perhaps rather blamelessly Upset by this newest Delivery, Captain De'Alera has sworn never to make use of Mister Bhond's services again, and has even gone so far as to express the Vehement desire that none should make further use of Bhond's services, and that that Gentleman's Business should fall through utterly. The hapless Mister Bhond, for his part, claims no Knowledge of this particular box's Contents or Sender, and indeed disavows any such Awareness of any other Deliveries sent through his Business due to the Impracticality of keeping close track of every Parcel and Client that comes through his many Offices. As there has yet to be any great Epidemic of Package-victims struck instantaneously Dead, nor a sudden Rush of Limbs and Heads set upon the black market, one may hope at least that these are isolated and highly Personal incidents, or else must resign oneself to live in perpetual fear of one's Post.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
ODD AND BLOODY DISTURBING CREATURES TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN KESSIA
In addition to mouldering Pipers and assorted other horrific Heralds of Death associated with the Worm's vile Activity, Kessia has seen the appearance of certain other Entities equally unsettling and seemingly even more Persistent in Habitation than these monstrous minions of Trost. Within the bleak and boggy confines of Demon's Hollow, and a mere stone's-throw from the the passage of Travelers along the Neronat Levee between Fenway Fortress and Fishbourne, a Host of spindly-limbed, evil-eyed, mind-bending Beings have emerged as if from out of the Swamp-vapors themselves. Now given the name of Reed-wraiths but initially described by one Observer simply as Odd and Bloody Disturbing Creatures, after witnessing them herself this Reporter is hard put to Deny the description; and indeed the epithet may be just as well applied to any of a number of newly-manifested Creatures that in the last month have appeared in the thankfully more out-of-the-way places of Kessia.
These new Reed-wraiths, for their part, seem not content to engage in the usual Bellowings, Brandishings of crude Weaponry, and Smashings of people's Feet that one is commonly accustomed to find amongst one's Sentient adversaries in this country, instead demonstrating a propensity towards such alarming Tactics as sucking the very Air from one's Lungs, manipulating the movements of their Opponents as if they were mere Puppets, and evoking Hallucinations of an extremely Discomfiting sort, with the horror of the Beasts' behavior only being compounded by their very Unnerving habit of cackling and giggling and the hissing of vile Imprecations. While the disturbing nature of the creatures' Behavior can be but thinly hinted at in dry print and the Imagination left to embellish the account, as to the vile and Disturbing nature of the things' appearance, however, we give the Reader leave to form his own Opinion.
[ True to promise, this print displays in all its bizarrity what must be the creature described in the preceding paragraph of text. Unfolded to a towering height that appears by comparison to the twisted trees around it to be well above that of a gharkin, the reedwraith is a filmy creature of slimy and diaphanous membranes stretched taut over an elongated boneless body. Its long spindly arms are angled with too many joints and adorned with skeletal fingers tapering to glassy talons. Wide-splayed feet seem no more than an afterthought, allowing the creature to balance easily on still water. Scarcely distinguishable from its hunched shoulders and narrow torso, the reedwraith's gaunt face is cast in a permanent leer with the translucent skin about its eyes creased with vile humor.
The caption below assures the reader that subject of this illustration is indeed "The Terrible Reed-Wraith of Demon's Hollow". ]
Nor were these distinctly Eerie entities the only dark and Ominous things to appear in the general Vicinity of the Swamp, as a nearby Farm-house, long abandoned to Mould and Rot, has now become home to a very different set of residents, these being no creatures of Flesh and Blood nor indeed of any other genuine Substance, but rather Shadows possessing an eerie Semblance of Life, yet unconnected to any actually living Being. These Shadows have been observed to form at Will and to slink across walls and Floors independently of any thing that might conceivably have cast them, even if any creature or Object were generally given to casting writhing patches of Darkness with cold bright Eye-points of light blazing with all the unfeeling brilliance of Diamonds.
[ Though humanoid in shape, the tenebrous patch of darkness captured in this woodblock print looks capable of shifting fluidly across any vertical surface, here caught halfway between flowing over a wall and a broken-down table. Stark and featureless, the figure appears only in silhouette, its posture promising murder. Two crystalline pinpoints burn in place of its eyes, casting a cold white light which dispels none of the shadow inherent to its being.
The print is labeled, as starkly as its subject, "Shadow-Wraith". ]
Even upon being killed -- if indeed one can properly speak of killing a thing composed entirely of insubstantial Darkness -- the sinister Creatures continued to display a remarkable amount of Resilience and Tenacity for any entity perhaps not technically Alive to begin with, reforming themselves with distressing Haste into coagulated Blobs of some tenebrous matter, which themselves had then to be dispatched in turn, for of course no part of these malignant Entities could be content simply to skulk about the house in sinister Passivity, but like any self-respecting bizarre being only just arrived in Kessia, each displayed an eager Inclination to actively assault all Persons who might be so curious or Fool-hardy to set Foot within the House or equally Ramshackle barn nearby.
As if unsettling Wraiths of Shadow and Slime were not enough to trouble one's Slumber in the darkest Hours of the Night, a quite different sort of grotesque Creature seems now to have taken up permanent Residence in Vaen's Temple, this very latest Monstrosity being a Serpent of gargantuan Proportions bearing the name of Ogriyth. Any Kessian who had diligently studied his Catechism will recognize this Name with a shiver of Dread, as Ogriyth is of course none other than a Facet of Vaen herself, being the dread Patron of all poisonous Plants and Creatures as well as of the Serpents whose Form the Facet bears.
[ The immense body of the serpent Ogriyth appears in this illustration to be as thick around as an ox and sheathed with elliptical scales in a mottled bicolor pattern of stripes. Its monstrous, spade-shaped head is ridged above the crests of its enormous slitted eyes, which even from the middle of a woodblock print appear to survey its surroundings with fathomless intelligence and an inevitable hunger. Its length seems at once infinite and impossible to determine from the complexly twisted form captured in the picture, the heavy coils of the creature's body passing endlessly into and through one another. Its maw, however, is readily observable and distinctly menacing, edged with gleaming scales and easily large enough to swallow a gharkin whole.
The caption to this print reveals it to be "Ogriyth the Insatiable". ]
Why a Facet of Vaen, or indeed any of these other bizarre and Disturbing beings, should have only now decided to manifest itself is uncertain. No less uncertain is the precise Nature of the Shadow- and Slime-Wraiths, whether being the results of some foolish Summoner's Experimenting, or in some manner creatures of Trost, or perhaps somehow spawned by the disturbance in the Veil induced by the dark God's passing and Revival. As is so often the case in our Country, the only thing that may be declared with any certainty in this situation is that the Traveler had best be Wary in his Peregrinations across the Province, keeping a sharp Eye out for anything out of the ordinary, being careful not to set so much as one Foot off the beaten Path, etcetera, or else risking the usual Imperilment to Body and Soul with which most who inhabit this land are so deplorably familiar.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY LOST
Visitors to this past Kolbre's Mylywyth Faire may recall one of the final Raffle-prizes of the Festival, which was described quite mysteriously only as a Unique Opportunity offered by an equally mysterious Anonymous Donor. Following the conclusion of this Raffle and the announcement of six winners, nothing more was heard regarding this supposed Opportunity for some Weeks, with enough time passing that there began to be some doubt whether it had not been simply some Scheme mischievously perpetrated upon them, or whether the unknown Party responsible for the Prize had simply forgotten, vanished mysteriously, or his Correspondence gone astray as in the case of the raffle for the Healer Alquillio's services.
In the final Dayes of Plade, however, each of the fortunate Six received a certain Object, the equal of the raffle itself in Secrecy, this Object being but a featureless Crystal of some lustreless black material, hexagonal in Shape and utterly inedifying to its Recipients. Seemingly impenetrable in both the Metaphorical and quite Literal sense, exhaustive Inspection of the Crystal at last revealed a Secret given up only upon the imparting of one's Breath to the surface of the peculiar Item, which by the workings of some ingenious Magick or Mechanism caused the Crystal to cleverly unfold and display a Message upon its surface, this claiming to be a personal Invitation to witness a so-called Amazing Piece of Craftsmanship, thought to be lost for the Ages. This invitation summoned all the winners to assemble in the Abandoned Work-room beneath the City, at the hour of Eight Bells past Noon on the 11th Daye of Winte.
Thus five of the six Winners were to be found gathered below Kaezar at the appointed Hour, these numbering among them Misters Astolpho Mandel and Gladston Forsythe, and Misses Suede Lidrona and Bresh, along with an il'lthye known as Ejrik. Waiting for some time beneath the shadowy Dome of the Vault, their Patience was at last rewarded by the appearance of a most unusual Gentleman, this appearing to be an il'lthye but his Features being difficult to form an accurate impression of due to a Mask, made all of T'elt, which covered one entire side of his Visage.
Upon observing this Reporter's arrival amongst the winners to witness the Proceedings, the strange man become much Agitated and demanded her immediate Withdrawal from the Vicinity, upon Threat of taking his own Self elsewhere and never revealing to his assembled Audience what the great lost Secrets might be. Weighing the Duty of reporting such important and interesting News to her Readership against the Threat of losing such knowledge entirely, this Reporter regretfully chose to forego the obtaining of further Details and to depart the Premises as requested, only taking the Liberty of obtaining a Photograph of the interesting Scene before departing. However, even this was evidently deemed too great an Imposition upon the mysterious Gentleman, who himself vanished immediately thereafter, leaving everyone, this Reporter not least of all when she learned of it some minutes later, in a state of Bemusement and Dismay.
[ Fitted white granite towers overhead to form an apex dome about thirty feet above the ground, creating the faintly eerie backdrop for this woodblock print. The chamber itself is barren, aside from a few unremarkable stone blocks that seem to have been some sort of bench at one time and a small stone fountain. A large steel door is set in the wall. Gathered in a small knot near the center of the space are Ejrik (leaning on a large stone block), Faitaa Bresh (sitting on a small stone block), Lout Gladston (standing and looking nonplussed), Healer Suede (standing near Gladston), High Sorcerer Astolpho of Duvan (looking out from the image with an expression of imploring intensity), and Hex (conveying a distinct attitude of horror and alarm despite the metal plate that appears quite bizarrely to be directly affixed to one half of his face).
The print has been labelled simply "A Parting Shot". ]
The Eye certainly regrets the sacrificing of any Knowledge that might otherwise have been gained from this subterranean Meeting had the il'lthye Fellow in question not been possessed by such a Horror of the Press, and precipitately fled even in the granting of his Request that all extraneous Observers absent themselves upon the Instant. On the other hand, this Reporter wonders at the guilty Conscience that must provoke such a Horror of honest News-mongering, all such information being printed only for the Benefit and Edification of the broader Public, and feels some Doubt as to whether such does not indicate the thing must in fact have been some malicious Scam to Fleece certain unlucky but hopeful Persons of their Coin in the pursuit of some Treasure of Knowledge as does not in fact exist. However, its being impossible to know the Truth of the matter, or whether such a Treasure might in fact have been gained after all, we at the Eye extend our Deepest Apologies to this and future Generations for the possibility of priceless Wisdom lost.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
VERY LARGE BOX SPARKS CONFLICT, NEGOTIATION BETWEEN KIVIAN AND VECKLISH NATIONS
On the 14th Daye of Storme Mister Gladston Forsythe was occupying his accustomed Post at the Crossroads of Kaezar when he saw what constituted an odd Sight even for that oddest of all locales, this being a Very Large Box that appeared to be moving about the streets entirely under its own Power. After proceeding to investigate the situation by following the Box some ways, it became apparent that the Very Large Box was not, in fact, just a Very Large Box, but a Very Large Box with a Veckle Underneath, which accounted for the means of the Box's locomotion while utterly failing to answer the question of why there might be a Veckle scooting about town underneath a Very Large Box in the first place. Unfortunately for the Veckle, its hiding-place proved rather less Secure than it had evidently hoped, as it was soon found out not only by Mister Forsythe but also by the Imperial Guards that yet patrolled the City in full Force, and which soon put an abrupt end to the poor Veckle's Adventure.
Following the pitiable Creature's untimely demise, Mister Forsythe took the opportunity to appropriate the Very Large Box for himself, seeing as it was still perfectly usable for the wonderfully useful purpose to which the Veckle had been putting it, and not wishing to waste the Providential gift that any such Box obviously constitutes. However, Mister Forsythe was not alone in setting the Value of such a Very Large Box so highly, as it was but a short time later that another Veckle appeared, this one described by the same Mister Forsythe as being not only the latest in an ill-fated line of Veckle-Kings but also as the Fattest Veckle he had ever seen, and which proceeded to make its own Demands for the return of the Very Large Box, which presumably it set such high store by on account of its Very Large Person. Mister Forsythe being loath to part with the obviously quite amazing Box, the Veckle's request was denied, and so this injured Party departed in all the Fury that an aggrieved Veckle may muster, after treating Mister Forsythe to the usual sorts of Threats, which were received with the usual sort of Apathy.
After perhaps another hour had passed by, the Veckle returned to Mister Forsythe once again, this time bearing not Threats but Gifts or perhaps, given the nature of the Gifts, both at once. Whether meant to instill fear, gratitude, or simply sufficient Disorientation to allow the Veckle to achieve his Ends, the Object offered Mister Forsythe in exchange for the Very Large Box was certainly in its own way equally impressive, for what the Box could boast in terms of Size the Barrel rolled in by the Veckle could easily surpass in Hideousness.
[ Somehow able to retain liquid, the hideous, poorly crafted driftwood barrel shown in this camera obscura print is wrapped around with metal bands that are lumpy, misshapen, and made from a blend of different colored metals that somehow seem to clash with one another even in black-and-white. Massive jagged chunks of pyrite and prismatic glass have been embedded into the sides of the barrel in a mockery of decorative convention.
Just in case there were any doubt to be had, the caption states definitively that the subject of the illustration is in fact "The Very Hideous Barrel". ]
Difficult as it might have been to believe upon witnessing the monstrous thing that was the Very Hideous Barrel itself, its contents were exactly as Intriguing as the Barrel was Hideous and the amazing Box was Large, as it turned out to contain a number of the usual sorts of uncommon and unusual Objects that no one would ever expect a Veckle to be in possession of, but of which they invariably are. These included a set of Daggers and a chunk of very rare Metisine, both of these together being steeped in the overpowering substance of some ghastly unknowable Blend of perhaps dozens of powerful Liquors, and which, as the Reader will instantly know, either from personal Experience or from having read the Articles in previous Editions of the Eye, was sampled by those present as soon as the Lid could be prized off, and which somehow did not result in any additional Fatalities. As for the Metisine, it was found to be capable of coherent Speech on a range of unusual and interesting Topics, which must certainly set its abilities significantly above those of its former Owners, as well as perhaps most of the Persons who might be present on any given daye at the Crossroads to witness such strange Encounters as these.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
WINTER CELEBRATIONS MARK THE PASSING OF THE YEARE
The longest night of the Yeare, unlike many other nights of much lesser significance, passed with a refreshing Lack of great eventfulness, with many of the Kingdom's denizens celebrating the Date in different manners according to their own Custom and Inclination. Mister Astolpho Mandel, never one to shy away from planning an interesting Evening for the residents of the Realm, hosted a small Solstice Gathering on the grounds of Kemstead Abbey, where people were invited to pass a portion of this dark Night in Companionship and good Cheer. Food and Drink of the usual Excellence and Variety that one has come to expect of Mister Mandel was freely available, the Quality of the Repast marred only by a very regrettable lack of any kind of Coffee, despite prior Requests.
In a Gesture perhaps meant to offset the Greed and self-absoprtion that characterize the Goddess whose Holy Day it was, Mister Mandel included as part of his Gathering an exchange of Gifts among the Guests, whereby each Person might bring an Object, either singly or as part of a set, among which the Guests would choose from at the end of the Night, with none among them knowing exactly what each package contained, save for the Person who had brought it. Among the interesting Presents exchanged in this manner were such varied items as a Prize-certificate from the Mylywyth Faire, a prettily carved Flute, a Poem, and a Shark of quite remarkable Size, whose presence among the Gifts none chose to question too deeply.
[ Dark slate flooring edges up to the pale stone walls of the abbey's entry as displayed in this reproduction of a camera obscura photograph. Duvanal symbols fill every space between the chinks of the block walls and tumble over the columns that support the tiled roof; even the wide wooden door to the west and the archway that leads to an anteroom towards the southwest have been inscribed. Easterly, a room filled with books can be seen through a wide opening. A hallway begins to the north; a set of tread-worn stone stairs leads upwards to a corridor. A handful of gelatinous slime lies to one side of an ebony hand-tied Tanshui rug piled with sacks and boxes, while a primitively made varnished knotty oak trestle table and a simply made varnished dyrewood trestle table are covered in an assortment of refreshments.
Various persons recognizable as Astolpho, Asuka, Gulnara, Gladston, and Ashinara gaze down at the stone floor with varying expressions of bemusement, dismay, and incipient hilarity, while Leniri, gaze likewise fixed on the ground, has just burst into tears. At the center of the scene and evidently provoking these reactions, however improbably, is the small pitiable corpse of a koi fish flopped limply upon the stones.
The caption to this scene proclaims it to be "Mister Mandel's Solstice," and otherwise explains nothing. ]
On the same night, but a few Hours later in the long evening, another Gathering took place, this one more darkly inclined but perhaps thusly more fitted to the nature of the Date, as a number of Persons assembled at Vaen's Temple in the Ayr'Dane Mountains to pay appropriate Homage to the Cold Woman herself on her Night of Nights. As at Mister Mandel's gathering an interesting Assortment of Refreshments and Souvenirs was available, these of a rather more Exotic Bent and perhaps not well suited for the Squeamish, including Skewered Scorpion, plates of Blood-jelly, and for Favours small Enamelled Pins in the shape of venomous Spiders. Properly sober Observance of the Holy Day was encouraged by Miss Nina Highstone, who presided over the Gathering and gave a short Speech on the Whispers of the Dark Mother that insinuate upon our Minds and guide our more Selfish thoughts and Actions here in the mortal Realm.
With the long Solstice night successfully weathered, there came a fortnight later, on the evening of the 4th Daye of Morde, the annual Burning of the Yule Tree, as the Denizens of Kaezar assembled in their usual Custom upon the Town Green to participate in the ritual Firing of the great Kirche, the Smoke and Flames from the intense Conflagration of its branches lofting towards the Heavens with their burden of people's Hopes and Regrets. Such marked the ending of the festive Yule Season, and heralded the beginning of a new Yeare and the long cold Months until Spring should come to the land once more.
[ Flames crackle around the mighty branches of the towering kirche in this illustration, the limbs like Kel himself arranged in perfect order, the lowest sweeping out to brush the ground and the highest tapering gracefully towards the top. The brilliant sparkle of glass ornaments, festive garlands, and seasonal decorations can be glimpsed through veils of smoke as the inferno consumes the tree, its limbs spread upward as if ready to ascend to the heavens above.
This picture is labelled simply "The Yule Tree Burns". A smaller line of print below this reads, "Original Photograph Provided Courtesy of Mistress Gulnara Sadko". ]
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
NEWS IN BRIEFE
The old Yeare went out not only in the usual chaotic Blaze of the burning Yule-tree, but also in a Flurry of Break-ins, the target being various official and professional Offices about the City of Kaezar. Trespasses were made upon the premises of Reklar's Insane Asylum, the office of the former Mages' Council Liaison, and even upon the offices of the Eye itself. Given the fact that the maintenance of each of these Establishments touches closely upon the Authority of either the Royal Court or of the Kivian Imperium itself, the Situation was felt to have some Gravity, particularly when the Intrusions were made on multiple Occasions. Eventually this serial Office-breaker was caught in the Act, and was found to be one Shalimar Wildcat, well known to this City as an incorrigible Reprobate. While it is uncertain what official action may have been taken against him, the Break-ins have very fortunately ceased, though this may owe more to the Replacement of Locks than to any reform of Character through Repentance or Threat of Punishment.
~ * ~
On the 6th Daye of Morde an Experiment was carried out for the purpose of investigating certain properties of spatial Reality as manipulated by Vedic magicks, and to see whether it were possible to create a Pocket-dimension that, through the use of an infinitely repeating Paradox, would persist indefinitely beyond the original Exertion of the caster's Will. Miss Eleanor Plaskitt, a practicing Illusionist with a concentration in Res Mox magicks, invited some members of the Public to attend the Experiment and to witness whatever might come of it, this audience including noted Illusionist Malo Haithcock and the recently-revived Grand Mage Baigan Vikias. Recruiting the assistance of the Vedics in the group to aid in her Focus, Miss Plaskitt was able to open up a Corridor leading into a very peculiar Space evidently wedged into some Wrinkle in the Fabric of Reality, which she declared with confidence was certainly being maintained through the Momentum of its own Existence. This Reporter never before having visited any other Pocket-dimension to which a meaningful comparison might be made, we shall take Miss Plaskitt's Word as well as her continued coherent Existence as being evidence for her Success.
[ It is hard to get any feel for scale or distance in this very unusual print, which showcases a massive glassy black structure in the shape of an inverted pyramid suspended silently in a vast and empty skyscape. There is no color in this bizarre place, only an astonishing vista of endless gray firmament above and below filled with clouds that swirl and churn in patterns that twist and repeat maddeningly into themselves. Also here is Eleanor, Faizah, Grand Mage Baigan, Rogue Lady Gulnara, Alexei, Malo, and an animated silver-edged teacup.
The label beneath the picture describes the scene as "Miss Plaskitt's Infinite Pocket". ]
~ * ~
Never to be outdone in the matter of Science, Mister Astolpho Mandel put his own Astral Talents to the test on the 27th Daye of Fraostmonth, when he attempted an Investigation into the nature of the Soul and its relation to Material objects. The general Publick having been invited as usual to attend, a number of curious Persons assembled in Kemstead to witness the attempted binding of the Soul of a Rat to a physical Object, this latter being a Fetish of molded Clay and containing some portion of the Creature's own physical Substance, this in the form of Fur, Whiskers, and Blood mixed in with the Clay.
After the pronouncement of an Astral Incantation that left the Rat senseless and to all appearances Lifeless as well, Mister Mandel not only observed the Fetish to begin to Glow within his Hand, but felt it to go so far as to give him what he at first described as a Bite, but which on further consideration he felt was better described as a Discharge of Astral Energies. Whichever of the two it may have been most accurately described as, the startlement of the Sensation caused him to drop the Fetish to the Ground, smashing it into Bits, whereupon the Rat itself jerked back into Life and proceeded to go about its Business, quite as if its Soul had not only just been transferred from its own Body to a lifeless Object, and then back once more. While the Ramifications of this Experiment are still Uncertain, this demonstration of the possibilities of Soul Transferrance will surely intrigue all Persons of a curious and speculative Bent, and serve as a Foundation for future Investigations.
~ * ~
The Eye is pleased to report that its faith in the Good-will and Talent of Master Healer Alquillio proved well-founded, as this Gentleman did in fact return to work his Miracles on Mister Jurion Tamerlaine, winner of the aforementioned Faire Raffle this past Kolbre. As described in the previous Edition, Mister Tamerlaine had long borne the marks of past Brutalities upon his Person, even to the point of losing the use of his Hand due to the severing of his Fingers. Though no Empath or Healer of any Stripe had previously been able to mend these grievous Disfigurements, Mister Alquillio was astonishingly able to Banish all of them nearly in their entirety, leaving but the Trace of a Scar in their wake. This being an impressive Demonstration of both Skill and Graciousness, this Publication applauds the Master Healer for his Accomplishments.
~ * ~
An Assault upon the Person of an Imperial Guard has resulted in the Imprisonment of the infamous Vulfen Bariinco, known throughout Kessia for his implication in the criminal Hanging of an Imperial Captain of the Guard some five Yeares past, as well as for a number of additional Infractions both during and subsequent to his Employment under the former Lord Regent Trantris Esselyon at Seton Keep. On the evening of the 6th Daye of Storme, Mister Bariinco was observed to attack, without any evidence of Provocation, an Imperial Sergeant of the Guards that had been assigned to patrol the City during the unsettled time directly following the death of the god Trost. The man being mortally Wounded, his Corpse was taken to Eyssan Ayron by Mister Gladston Forsythe, who witnessed the incident, and the Sergeant thereupon revived. Charges of Aggravated Assault and Attacking a Servant of the Imperium were duly filed against Mister Bariinco, who quite surprisingly turned himself peacefully into the Guard before the daye's End, explaining his behavior as the consequence of Nerves resulting from the presence of so many armed Guards about town.
Following his Incarceration no Word had been received as to Mister Bariinco's ultimate Fate, though given the severity and Number of the Vulfen's past Crimes, it was assumed that the man would surely hang despite his Compliant behavior following this latest affair. However, it was learned right before going to Press that Mister Bariinco had somehow managed to stage a stunning Gaol-break, being spirited away by two unknown men wearing the Uniform of the Imperial Guard, and that no one among the true Imperials now knows where the Convict might be. The Eye will be certain to keep its Readers informed of any new information that may be learned regarding this interesting Case.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
CONVERSATIONS WITH LENIRI NANDRAE
The condition of Miss Leniri Nandrae has been a thing of some Interest these past few Months, as described elsewhere in this Publication, but reliable information as to her Condition and actions has been difficult to come by, not least due to the young woman's own willful Obfuscation of the facts, not only to those who might conceivably wish her Harm, but even to her erstwhile Employer, the Eye itself.
While one cannot fault her for displaying some understandable sense of Discretion in the interests of her Self-preservation, yet her Twistings of the Truth, not to mention her acts of active Violence against it, have given us some Misgivings regarding her Veracity in this or any other Situation she may one daye find herself at the center of, and thus one cannot know how much Veracity may dwell in any Accounting of her actions in the past severall months' Drama. However, there being no other Source to rely upon in this matter other than the woman herself, and the Tale being an interesting one regardless of the verification of every Detail, the Eye has chosen to print within these pages the Story of her relations with the Demons, and the manner in which she dealt with them. We advise our Readers to enjoy the entire Tapestry of the Tale for what it is, while receiving its individual Threads with suitable Skepticism.
The following Conversations with Miss Nandrae took place on separate Occasions and with different Persons, the two being separated in time by a little under the span of a Week. The first took place at the Stumbling Dwarf on the 5th Daye of Storme, and the second at Myldred's Shop and Grill on the 10th Daye. The Eye wishes to extend its thanks to Mister Malo Haithcock for leading the Inquiry on the second Date and for notifying the Eye of it beforehand, and to Miss Nandrae herself for at least offering some version of events for Publication within these pages.
~ * ~
[ The subject of this print, presumably Miss Nandrae herself, is a female half-elf of Lior blood with hip-length hair that flows in loose, luxurious ringlets. Poking from beneath her hair on either side of her forehead are small dark thornlike horns. Intense large eyes with paler flecks seem almost to glow with an inner light, and her small nose complements her full, slightly upturned lips. Distinguished by subtly pointed ears and a delicate face, she appears to be in her late teens. She is short with a petite but pleasing figure and a mottled complexion.
She is wearing a white cotton neck stock, a fitted mohair jacket over a white cotton shirt, some embroidered white kidskin gloves, a smart mohair skirt over a voluminous white silk underskirt, and some double leather boots over some white spunsilk stockings.
In her left hand she holds a feathered beaver fur hat, which she has evidently doffed for the purpose of better showing off the horns emerging from her brow. She gazes down at the floor with a small frown, looking wryly resigned to the taking of her photograph. ]
~ * ~
Leniri Nandrae: There are things I ought to tell you -- to tell somebody, before this all ends. About what's happened. If you're going to print something, it may as well be the truth.
The Kaezarian Eye: I won't disagree there..
LN: Last year I attempted to use my vedic talents to help Vivien La'Faelien of Reklar Asylum. She was having some difficulty after being exposed to Miriel's mind, which had been somehow damaged by the goddess Iantine.
EYE: Yes, I certainly recall that.
LN: Vivien and I grew close during this time, and at length it seemed she was cured quite by accident.
EYE: I thought you had implied it was Suede's doing?
LN: Suede took something from her, a particular mordant emerald that had some hold over her. The problem reversed itself almost immediately, but not before I'd been stabbed during a fit of hysteria by Vivien with the very knife I now seek. I do mean a fit of her hysteria, not my own. I was quite healthy just then.
EYE: A good distinction.
LN: I had an illness of the lungs due to my injury, and grew progressively worse even as Vivien improved. Finally the disease demon made her appearance, but was shortly dealt with by Suede and Vivien. Vivien and I were briefly quite taken with one another after that, and I'd thought her cured, but she very quickly proved herself to be as awful as ever. During an argument, I said I had done with her, and was murdered for saying so.
EYE: With the knife again?
LN: [ nods ]
EYE: That seems to be her solution to everything. Well, that and poison.
LN: I returned from the Ul'Mydar, though I wished I hadn't, and decided to speak to Merow come morning. There's quite a bit of blood when somebody cuts your throat, but he told me he wouldn't pursue it, and wouldn't take my ruined gown or check Vivien's room. There isn't any way she could've cleaned it all in time.
EYE: What reason did he give for not doing so?
LN: That she was an upright and respected member of the community, that I was well known for my hysterical outbursts, and that by my own admission there weren't any witnesses. Everybody said it was my own fault.
EYE: What happened after Ghurak?
LN: I was -- I don't think Melancholy is the proper word.
EYE: No, I would think that rather mild.
LN: Everything had gone all wrong, and everybody thought I was awful and I knew deep down that Pappa wasn't coming, and nobody would listen, they all blamed me and I began to think they were right. I meant to kill myself. To leap from the Tempest Bridge.
LN: I was trying to choose the proper outfit to do it in, when she [Ed.'s Note: The Desire Demon] appeared. She said she'd seen what had happened and that she could help me. She offered me anything I wanted, anything in the world. I knew that she wanted something in turn, and she was honest about what the bond would mean. I told her I didn't really want anything, and she asked instead if we might be close. If we could look after one another, and I agreed. She was true to her word. We've worked together and protected one another ever since.
EYE: What about when she disappeared from your perception?
LN: It was a necessary ruse.
EYE: How so?
LN: They were dormant for a time. I believe they meant to contrive some solution to the sixth sister, who couldn't hide and would betray them all.
EYE: Betray them how? Unintentionally or otherwise?
LN: She was destroyed beneath the city by the combined prayers of the most merciful and just Anolisse and Ashinara, with the help of a few others. The creature was an infant, or near enough to one. I won't pretend to be any better than them. I certainly harmed her enough.
EYE: You did kill her the first time around.
LN: I knew the danger she posed.
EYE: It didn't work, though.
LN: We thought mistakenly that killing her was the only solution. I didn't understand what she was, then, though I had some notion after she spoke. A fragment of her survived. It probably tried to bond with people like the others did. In the end it chose Suede, who nurtured it for a time, then cast it aside. The loss was worse for the creature than her death. The demons were forced to come out of hiding and seal the fragment in the enchantments Myl provided. It was a cruel fate, and I told them so when they came round again.
EYE: How did you learn about all this? They told you when they came back?
LN: I recognized Myl when I saw her, but I didn't say anything. Or rather I should say I saw through her disguise.
EYE: Then who was she?
LN: Some or all of the demons. I didn't dare ask.
EYE: So the whole enchantment business wasn't something done to them against their will.
LN: There wasn't any them. The pieces are all bits of the fragment -- the sixth sister.
EYE: What did they intend should ultimately be done with the pieces?
LN: They meant to hide them. It's difficult to destroy a demon. They did a fine job of it too, except that Gulnara was given one of the pieces by chance and allowed Plidic to examine it. He found the piece of the remnant inside, and asked that they all be brought to him under the pretense of destroying them.
EYE: Yes. That was quite a misstep on the part of the demons right there. But I suppose one couldn't know.
LN: I'd never have been in any danger if she hadn't betrayed me to him.
EYE: I presume they didn't want to be sacrificed to feed Trost. Or have even just their sister sacrificed.
LN: And neither did I. I was in as much danger, as due to the bond, I'd have done for a sacrifice as well. I decided to take the remaining pieces of the sixth sister into myself. Astolpho destroyed one in his incompetence, and I was stupid enough to give the dagger to Jurion after I'd convinced Vivien to give it to me.
LN: I was never in love with him -- or, no, I ought to say that I've always been greatly enamored of him, but pursuing him was only another part of the ruse. I used him and I'm sorry. I'm only glad nothing came of it.
EYE: What was intended to happen?
LN: Nothing, really, but if everybody believed I was infatuated with him, it would be easier to convince them that the demons really had gone.
EYE: Did you always know that they weren't gone, and simply told everyone otherwise?
LN: [ indicates the affirmative. ]
EYE: I see.
LN: Anyway -- I mean to free them, to send them away from here and end all of this.
LN: I need the dagger and it will be over and I'll be like I was. They'll be safe from everybody and everybody will be safe from them.
EYE: And how are you going to get it? Are you planning on murdering Mandel and prizing it from his dead fingers?
LN: I want him to listen to reason. I don't want to hurt anybody. I never have.
EYE: And what constitutes reason in this particular instance?
LN: Reason is allowing them to leave instead of keeping them here. Reason is understanding that just because we call them demons doesn't mean that we have any notion of what they are.
~ * ~
Malo Haithcock: Right. Let's hear it, then.
Leniri Nandrae: Vivien had the dagger all along. I finally convinced her to trust me.
LN: I don't really know why nobody would believe me to begin with.
MH: Did she not believe you, or did she not want to help you?
LN: The former.
MH: So you convinced her?
LN: [ nods. ]
LN: She decided that letting Rory save the city from a plague of demons was too distasteful a notion to allow. I think perhaps she didn't want anybody else to kill me, either. I don't know. She's mad.
MH: So you used the dagger and the demons are free and your soul is intact and everything's back as it was.
LN: So I took the fragment from the dagger and the demons left through me and took the fragments as they went, and -- yes. Well, no. I don't know. I feel different.
MH: How so?
LN: They said I'd always be one of them now, that we sort of rubbed off on each other.
MH: You look as you used to. What's different?
LN: I feel empty.
MH: Are they gone?
LN: I was very used to feeling her with me, even when she was hidden away. But she's gone, they're all gone, and I can feel the empty space they left behind.
MH: Gone where?
LN: Away. They've left our pale I think. I'm not frightened anymore, not like I was before.
MH: They didn't leave you with some lasting boon?
LN: No, and I never asked for one.
MH: They didn't offer one?
LN: She did, but look at me, I've got more money than I know what to do with and live among the wealthiest people in Kaezar.
LN: I mean that there wasn't anything material that I wanted. She offered love, instead. She'd been watching me a while before we met. But she's gone now.
MH: What now, then?
LN: I'd gladly send her away again to protect her. But now -- I don't know. I've got a story, at least.
MH: I suppose you do. Will you stay in Kaezar after all?
LN: I might. On Sartday I was thoroughly convinced I'd be dead by now.
MH: You won instead.
LN: But I did it. I outsmarted everybody, I saved her -- saved all of them, and -- yes. I was right. I was right all along and so long as I stay here I'm going to enjoy rubbing that in everybody's face.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
THE FOOD CRITIC REVIEWS:
~ * ~ Pava's Tea Room ~ * ~
In this issue I am criticizing Pava's Tea Room, or mostly it is called just Pava's because it is run by a haefdin woman named Miss Pava Penderfeet. Miss Pava mostly sells tea in her shop, which you could tell by the name. Miss Pava has nothing to say on the subject of tea, but lots to say about the people who drink it. I was told you can actually pay her in gossip if you are short on crowns. I do not know if this is true.
Miss Pava's is pretty unique because it sells sandwiches, which are very expensive specialty foods that are a little bit like pasties, but made with bread instead of a baked crust. She makes them in advance and stacks them up on her tea tray, so it is best to learn her schedule for making them and be sure to come in when they are fresh, otherwise you end up with a sandwich which has been sitting on the tray listening to gossip for several hours and has gone bad as a result.
1. Akylah Tea Sandwich (20 sovereigns)
Every time I tried the akylah tea sandwich the akylah was wilted. I am not sure what is in this besides akylah. It is probably meant to be food for nymphs.
Taste: It has mayonnaise on it which is a special kind of egg and oil sauce from Quesalia. It is not good. Cost: High. For 20 sovereigns you could buy a whole loin of gymri at the Plum. Alternatives: You can buy a cream cheese and bumbleberry sandwich from Mistress Lundley at Bumbleberry's Tearoom in Never-Upon-Vinre, but it costs 5 sovereigns more than this. However, it's made fresh while you stand there and hasn't been sitting out forever.
2. Rabu and Cucumber Tea Sandwich (20 sovereigns)
Anything other than rabu and this might have been a sandwich worth criticizing. As it is I will just repeat what you should already know about rabu: No.
Cost: As high as the akylah sandwich even though it has "meat" in it.
Alternatives: If you really want rabu this badly take your money to the Plum and buy an entire rack of baby rabu in plum sauce for as much as this costs.
4. Kelfir Salad Tea Sandwich (20 sovereigns)
In this sandwich the kelfir has been minced very small and mixed with a tangy dressing that is probably more mayonnaise. It also has sweet-carrot [Ed. parsnips] in it, which was surprising.
Taste: Better than I thought.
Cost: Just as high as the other sandwiches.
Alternatives: Kelfir is sold in a lot of places. You can even buy freshly plucked raw kelfir from Beil's Meat Market and cook your own. If you want a sandwich with kelfir in it this is pretty much the only place you can buy it, although you can get a weaver and melted cheese sandwich for 25 sovereigns at Bumbleberry's Tearoom.
4. Raspberry Cobbler and Cream
This is made fresh but I am not sure where the ice cream comes from. I am also not sure if ice cream and iced cream are the same thing or not. It is possible that haefdin are just strange about it, which would make sense because they are odd about many things.
Taste: Not bad. It has a lot of sugar in it but is also very tart.
Alternatives: The Silver Plum makes a good thaenberry cobbler for half the cost, but if you want a deal on cobbler you can either go to the Inn at Kem for some saxumberry cobbler, or travel out to the Apple Dumpling Inn in Briarbrook for some apple cobbler. Both cost only 6 sovereigns and both come with ice cream.
5. Hot Flaky Raisin Scones
Another pastry from the cart. It is a mystery how it manages to stay so hot for so long.
Taste: Hot with lots of cinnamon.
Cost: High. When you are charging more than the Silver Plum for most of your food and nobody complains or even notices, you are a seller-of-charm [Ed. unclear, has connotations of both swindler and successful merchant].
Alternatives: The Gull House serves breakfast all day and also the exact same scone for 4 sovereigns.
6. Rich Chocolate Brownie.
There is frosting on this brownie, which may be exactly right or may be too much depending on how you feel about chocolate.
Taste: Very rich.
Cost: Extremely high. 15 sovereigns! You can buy an entire cake at the Inn at Kem for 1/3 as much as this one tiny brownie.
Alternatives: Mrs. Etami makes a Special Brownie at the Inn at Kem which is arguably better and only costs 5 sovereigns. If you do not like the walnut on top, she will remove it on request.
7. Raspberry Tea
8. Nellwynian Lumin Tea
9. Hot Hiroko Tea
10. Chamomile Tea
I am told by various people there are as many different kinds of tea as there are stars in the sky, which I have trouble believing. This is like saying there are different varieties of water, which is true, but only because there is dirty water, muddy water, salt water, bloody water, and so on, all of which are more or less undrinkable, which is also the case for tea. Some of this has fruit in it. I do not see the point.
Cost: Disreputably high. Most other teas are only around 15 sovereigns and these are almost all 5 sovereigns more.
Alternatives: Everywhere. See last issue.
11. Wy'ann Mountain Grown Coffee
Coffee grown above ground tends to be pointlessly mild and can have strange flavors depending on how high in the air it is cultivated. This coffee is of poor strength and is probably not as good for the nerves as it should be.
Cost: High. About twice as high as everywhere else, as a matter of fact, although Myldred's imported coffees average 20 sovereigns a cup.
Alternatives: Mrs. Etami sells the same coffee for only 4 sovereigns. Breen's sells coffee too though you have to go to the Beergarden to find it. It is 10 sovereigns there.
12. Kemstead Vineyards Port Wine
Very sweet red wine that tastes like dessert in a glass.
Taste: Fruity and sylvan.
Cost: Very high.
Alternatives: Yrael at the Silver Plum will serve you the same amount of port from the Kemstead Vineyards for 10 sovereigns cheaper.
13. Pitcher of Milk
I think this might be cow's milk but Pava did not know and I did not want to risk it being rabu. It is served hot, which is very strange and probably not good for the digestion.
Cost: 5 sovereigns.
Alternatives: Mrs. Etami sells a much bigger glass of milk at the Inn at Kem for 3 sovereigns, but it is rabu milk. I think there is a market for an alchemical test used before drinking to tell whether the milk you are served comes from a cow or not.
14. Lemon Juice
I do not understand why this has no sugar in it, but it is cheaper than the lemonade sold at the Silver Tankard. Perhaps you are supposed to mix your own.
Cost: 5 sovereigns.
Alternatives: This is only a sovereign more than squeezing your own lemons, so it depends on how you value your labor. Mariposa's has lemonade for 10 sovereigns, if you don't want to squeeze your own and you want it with sugar.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
IN THE PUBLIC EYE: Letters, Essayes, and Opynion
Life, Death, and Rebirth:
Reflections of His Majesty King Vek McVahl
On the Occasion of the Winter Masque
This Past 22nd Daye of Storme, 650 AoD
All those who come to celebrate with us this day, please, be at ease.
This year, we celebrate the themes of death and rebirth. Of life and its conclusion. Of beginnings and endings. It is a theme with myriad variations. No single soul can speak completely of it, for it is a matter concerning our souls and minds themselves. Who so stands in this room and can with a clear conscience say this matter has never weighed upon them is someone we should like to meet.
Yet, this weight is a welcome one. Our lives provide us, by the grace of the divine Eyssa herself, infinite variety and richness. Recent happenings remind us that this weight is often abused by those with darkness within. Yet that is their nature, and we easily rise above them. We are more than mere blood and bone. We are renewed by our struggles, by our meals, and by our friends and allies.
Kessia is no mere place where things happen. Kessia is constantly renewed, for those who stand alongside us are Kessia. We are Kessia. We welcome those who come from the Empire and beyond, and in doing so, are reborn again and again. Stronger, each and every time.
As you cast your gazes upon the illusions of death and life this evening, remember that. It is our duty, our most sacred duty, to never forget the lessons that our changes, our rebirths, give us the opportunity to make.
We celebrate those changes, this night. We revel, we dance, we enjoy, we drink.
In the coming weeks, we shall announce an audience. For who Kessia is keeps changing, and we must never lose sight of that. Prepare to address your King on that date, should you wish to be a part of a change of your own.
~ * ~
A Matter of Some Concern
Addressed to the Kaezarian Eye:
The Tearoom of the Two Moons in Kemstead has a misleading name, and should either stock some tea or come up with something else to call itself.
An Advocate for Clarity in Nomenclature
~ * ~
Addressed to the Editor:
I demand a retraction of your recent so-called "News of the World" reports about the Empire of Vash. These reports of unrest are patently false and it is a travesty of reporting for your so-called Editor-In-Chief to continue perpetuating these lies. I have traveled to Koje myself very recently and find the city as pleasant and serene as it has ever been. It is a disservice to your readers to discourage travel in such a misleading way.
A Concerned Citizen
The Editorial Staff Replies: It is perhaps not entirely obvious to the average person in Peregorne just how vast the Vashan Empire truly is. Koje is a small city at the extreme northern end of the northernmost island in all of Vash. Our reports of Unrest come directly from the Island of Nagosan, which is as far from Koje as our own dear city of Kaezar is from the Laurdian front, and yet you do not expect to see Orcs of the Talone rampaging through our fair streets (except on very rare and exceptional occasions generally requiring Air Travel via Wyverns or other Sorcerous Means). We heartily recommend any persons with similar questions or concerns to first consult a Map before questioning the Veracity of our reporters.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
FOR THE PUBLIC NOTICE:
Be it known to all within the Kingdom of Kessia and the Great Kivian Imperium:
For his crimes against the Empire, the vulfen BARIINCO is hereby declared outlaw and removed from the protection and consideration of the laws of the Kingdom of Kessia and the Great Kivian Imperium. A writ of summary execution is additionally laid upon him, and upon his capture he shall be taken immediately to Punishment Square, there to be hanged by the neck until his demise.
10 FASUL REWARD is hereby offered for his capture and return to Imperial custody, payable upon his execution only.
5 FASUL REWARD is hereby offered for proof of his permanent demise outside of Imperial custody.
Upon fulfillment of either condition, these bounties may be legally claimed by any person within the borders of the Great Kivian Imperium, including members of the Imperial Guard.
[ A seal bearing a death's head is reproduced prominently here. ]
Declared on this day, Kingsday the 25th of Storme, 650 Age of Dreams
Lord High Magistrate Ezram Darkshades
~ * ~
WANTED: Information concerning the whereabouts of a WESSUMBRIAN STALLION misappropriated from the Hill Carriage House and Stables on or around the 28th of Morde. The stallion is black in color, seventeen hands, with a notable white streak on his withers resembling a streak of lightning. FIVE FASULS will be paid for the safe return of the animal, no questions asked. ONE FASUL will be paid to anyone with information about the animal's whereabouts with an additional FOUR FASULS paid if the information leads to the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons involved in its theft. Contact Stable Avener Rodgah, Castlehill, Never-Upon-Vinre.
~ * ~
The Eye wishes it to be known that
Miss Leniri Nandrae, formerly a Junior Reporter with this Publication,
has been Let Go from Employment, and that consequently the Post of
SPECIAL EVENTS REPORTER
for the Kaezarian Eye is open once again.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
Whispers of the Night Sky
by Sivalle Vasanne, A Humble Diviner
Acting Manager's Note: The Eye is pleased to report that it has, for the time being, an excellent Candidate for the full-time Post of Horoscope Writer, who in the following paragraphs demonstrates his Expertise in all matters Astrological. A Naiad hailing from the coast of Quesalia in the vicinity of Aura-del-Mare, Mister Sivalle Vasanne has expressed himself desirous of earning an Honest and productive Living to assist in funding his continuing Studies at the Lyceum, and hopes to be able to find such a Living in the Employment of the Newspaper.
If only Mister Sivalle may prove himself equal to the admittedly immensely weighty Task of producing one Column every three Months, of at least Middling quality, and on the Topic requested, and neither dissembling to a degree unsuited to a Teller of Fortunes nor vanishing for long Intervals in the meantime or Forever, he shall surely secure himself a Permanent place with the Eye and simultaneously demonstrate himself an Asset the likes of which this Publication has never known.
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FOR THE MONTHE OF RAINE
We find ourselves faced with the rise of a'Paen, the Winged Unicorn. My dear readers, as I stare into this night sky, I feel the gaze of the great Rider, Markaeb, as he surveys the sky from the back of the winged beast. The great Unicorn is made up of several stars, each with its own wisdom to share. The favored colour of a'Paen is Green, its metal Damask and its gemstone Diamond. The Unicorn will shine on those who favor it with these tributes.
THOSE BORNE IN MORDE
Children of the Dragyn, read carefully! Saen'uwenae's glory is still fresh in your mind, but fading as time passes. Do not take recent successes for granted, lest greater misfortune follow on its heels. Linger not on affairs of the past, as it is your future that is ahead of you! Numbers of fortune for you: Eleven, seventeen, and thirty.
THOSE BORNE IN FRAOSTMONTH
Those under the Magician find themselves on very uncertain footing. Dween'li is just now passing ascension, and you may find yourself coming down from a time of strong potential. Beware offers that seem too good to be true. The time of risk paying off is past you. You may have a pressing matter to discuss with a loved one, but choose your words carefully. The wrong thing could spell the end of a relationship. Numbers of fortune for you: Three, twelve, twenty-seven.
THOSE BORNE IN STORME
Rejoice, those of Mniolae! This is a month of fortune for you. The Waterfall is just passing its prime, and shares its graces with you freely. Friends in distant places will reach out to you. A friendly gesture will go a long way. Like the light of the Waterfall, try to be a beacon of hope and kindness to those who look to you for guidance. Numbers of fortune for you: One, ten, twenty-three.
THOSE BORNE IN RAINE
Children of the Winged Unicorn find themselves in the good graces of their employers. Your hard work will be noticed and rewarded. That said, your social interactions could be very turbulent. Friends around you may quarrel amongst themselves, and you should not involve yourself in their troubles lest you find yourself the target of their anger. Listen to the wisdom of an elder friend. The wisdom of experience will have the answer you are looking for. Numbers of fortune for you: Nine, eighteen, twenty-four.
THOSE BORNE IN SUNE
Sprite-child, you are in no small amount of trouble. Some might say that you brought this down on your own head, and they would be right. Unable to control your desires, you will find yourself in the middle of a very delicate situation which you are absolutely not prepared to handle. Hold on to something and expect the worst. Expect a dangerous favor to be called in. Numbers of fortune for you: Five, sixteen, twenty-five.
THOSE BORNE IN DEATRE
Starchild of Il'Vlarchi, beware the self-doubt that clouds your judgment. Stand tall and proud, as you are under the sign of the Myrmidon for a reason. Do not take advice from people who you do not trust (myself excluded, dear reader), they are beneath your superior reasoning. On the issue of money, your generosity will be recognized by those it affects. Even though you may not notice, and may not feel appreciated, fear not. They respect you. Numbers of fortune for you: Six, thirteen, twenty.
THOSE BORNE IN DIEN
Shieldbearer, your resilience will serve you well this month. Aiyn shines favorably on those who look out for the ones they love. That said, do not let daydreaming of your possible success cloud your thoughts, lest it blind you to the potential for real success around you. Stay close to those who appreciate you, and do not hesitate to show your appreciation in return. Numbers of fortune for you: Two, fourteen, twenty-eight.
THOSE BORNE IN GHUST
a'Paen is not pleased with you, child of the Noble. This month will spell nothing but misfortune for your wretched self. Don't let other people's problems take your attention away from your own. You have too many to be worried about those of others. Stay away from cats. Stay away from cats, for the love of the stars. Numbers of fortune for you: None. None at all.
THOSE BORNE IN THISTLE
The Apprentice gazes down impassively on your workings this month. Do not expect to see El'tiorn's guiding light in your affairs. Expect to find yourself being pulled in two different directions by people whose company you normally enjoy. Although this may make you want to hide yourself away with a nice brandy and a book or two, instead you should go out and be social with those you would normally not. Perhaps new friends can be made. Numbers of fortune for you: Four, sixteen, twenty-one.
THOSE BORNE IN KOLBRE
The Orchid blooms for you and you alone. Oulienae shares the planet Tael with the Waterfall, which in turns showers you with an unexpected fortune. It may seem that you are the target of unwanted attention at first, but that will fade as the month continues. Your unique problem-solving skills will bring you a peculiar opportunity that you should not turn away from. Numbers of fortune for you: Three, twenty, thirty-one.
THOSE BORNE IN PLADE
The Sharl is a twisted, pitiful creature, and you may find yourself compared to it frequently during this month. Spyrae can do little to assist you, as the lesser constellation it is. Don't expect anything to go smoothly this month, as the fates will find new and creative ways to ruin even the best-laid plans. That said, if you feel the need to take a risk, it may pay off better than expected. Numbers of fortune for you: The number nineteen is all Spyrae can spare for you.
THOSE BORNE IN WINTE
Balance is in a peculiar place this month, and Quinael's lights seem uncertain. Every self-doubt you have ever experienced will flood over you, and you must stand strong despite it. Now is the time to avoid conflict and seek refuge with those you find friends. Your enemies will sense your doubts and it will strengthen them tenfold. Numbers of fortune for you: Eight, eighteen, twenty-four.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
EYE ON KESSIA
[ The view from this full-page woodblock print looks out over the heads of a crowd of seated people, their collective gaze directed towards an elegantly-attired couple that occupies the center of the scene. Overlooking a vast parterre garden, the limestone-paved terrace at the back of an impressive mansion is warmly illuminated by many small votives suspended from the ceiling in crackled glass orbs. A scattering of small, round tables are spread throughout, each topped with a festive winter arrangement and surrounded by velvet-covered chairs. Spilling with snowdrop blossoms, decorative urns perch on the posts of the balustrade and a swath of pale satin creates a shimmering archway which frames the steps leading down to the garden. Diamond-paned glass doors lead into the house, and a small dovecote rests to one side of the steps.
Standing side by side beneath a shimmering satin archway and before a carved rosewood altar are Captain Ashinara of the Royal Guard and Grand Surgeon Anolisse, the two of them holding a lighting stick in their clasped hands as they touch flame to the last in a cluster of candles. Dame Elli stands near Ashinara, looking on with a smile on her face, while a host of guests observe the ceremony from the comfort of white velvet-covered chairs, including Rowan, Aldan, Jurion, Captain Merow of the Imperial Guard, Healer Suede, Beckah, Head Chirurgeon Marian of the Kessian Medical Society, Ariano, Leniri, Firebrand Aurorah, and Asuka. Standing to one side of the crowd are Society Engineer Iiro and Sir Martaigne, while Captain Niall stands near Jurion, head bent low to speak with him. A pure white dove just visible in the bottom corner of the picture peers up at the dovecote, head tilted quizzically to one side.
The caption to this print reads "Lighting of the Tapers at the Wedding of Ashinara De'Alera and Anolisse Thr'eyan, Diamond Inn, Never-Upon-Vinre, 7th Morde 650 AoD." ]
Do you have a Photograph that you wish to share with your fellow Readers? Submit one to the offices of the Kaezarian Eye, along with a brief Explanation of the Shot, and our talented woodcut Artists will turn it into a Print for the next Edition of the News! All Photographs shall be returned as promptly as the Creative Process permits.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
NEWS OF THE WORLDE
By Minerva Sartchilde, Owner and Chief Editor
Special Reporte From thee Isle of Chak'a'aa
The effects of thee extraordinary events on thee ninth of Storme on those countries whose inhabitants revere thee Fasul and thee Comhairle Nefol have yet to be fully recorded. Tho' it seems thee bloody raine of darkness and deathe with its gruesome crope of Trostian heraldes was reported from Nanolo to Froja, outside Kessia a variety of troublyng vignettes took playce, of which thys reporter can offer only a handful for want of space to descrybe them all:
- A quickly spreading epidemic of pox and plague arose in thee southwestern portions of thee Xullabecan Empire, tho' evidently it was at leayst partially contayned in at least one affected area by sacrifycing thee sufferers upon black obsidian altars dedicated to the verminous facet of Troste.
- A troublyng resurgence of apocalyptic cultes throughout Quesalia, concentrated mainly in Stella-Sera and Iiera't'elt, which embraces thee tenets of Kydellio and called upon its followers to destroy works and makers of arte, literature and innovation wherever they may be founde, harking back to thee Church of Gond and thee Wyrd of Father Ippel Glynt. Witnessys described a terrible scene in Mariquesto wherein artistes and artworks alike were heaped upon pyres as thee mobs sacked a nearby temple of Ghent.
- In d'Anjour panic was widespread as winter snows receded to reveale blighted landes seeded with strange blood-like crystals, and all freshly killed game and livestock rose up to slaughter hunters and farmyrs in turn.
- In Hersu Mineyi a devastatyng report claiming that every Expectant mother, whethyr they be on two legs or four, from daun to il'lthye as well as the beastes and fowels of the field, did either miscarry on the night of thee 9th of Storme or were delivered of gruesomely twysted Infants, whose fate thys reportyr refuses to speculate upon.
- An abrupt cessation in thee hostilityes along thee Laurdian Front on the nighte in questione, tho' the eerie and unnatural Quiet was soone broken by a resurgynce of orcish violence which resulted in a Tallonean thruste which reached as far as Tesin'kai in Malakvia before thee Imperial Army was able to put them to Rout. Thys reportyr has it on good authoritie that the Emperor himselfe may declare a Crusade upon thee Tallonean Empire and personally lead a sizeable force to lay these threates to reste for once and for alle--although where they shall strike and when is a matter best left unreportyd. It is further surmised that thee facet Mylywyth may haf been loosed in thee Tallonean Empire to spur thee orcin to greater heights of destruction and expansionism.
In other news, it is reportyd that a Leviathan of vast proportion hath been disruptyng thee usual traffick in thee Straits of Adamantus for thee last fortnyght before thys paper went to press, causing thee ruine of much commerce. Attrybuted to thee monster is the destructyon of almoste two dozen shyps attemptying passage between Indrejan and Ziguran, as well as a goodly numbyr of trade vessyls seeking to traverse thee Straits between the Sodalian and Vashan Seas. Rumores that thee vast Creature is being set upon its targyts by vengeful naiads or pyrates of a particularly savvy persuasyon have as yet proved to be unfounded. Eyewitnesses variously descrybe the Beast as havyng a quartet of serpentine Heads or perhaps Tentacles with Eyes and Teeth, that ryse from the sea and tear sea-going contrivances into so much flotsam and jetsam.
Finally, the crisis in our neighboring Empire of Vash doth seem to be on a low Boil at present, with thee Shogun consolidating his forces southeast of Taekota as more and more of his Daimyo forsake their bonds of loyalty to take up thee banner of Lady Gohime or to forge their own Coalitions independent from either side of thee conflict. As the Shogun's troops are withdrawn from thee northwest, thee lower ranking daimyo charged to hold these provynces for the Emperor haf found themselves beset by local uprisings of peasantry, lesser samurai and militant monks. Meanwhyle on the isle of Tanshu'hwa, thys reportyr's sources haf heard a whisper of a rumor that thee Divine Emperor Tenma Genki haf considered moving thee entire Imperial Court from Taekota to Xianghou for the duraytion of thee conflict.
It is further reportyd that bloody stormes and vile raines did fall upon the Empire of Vash on thee ninth of Storme, tho' thee inhabitants therein attributed it to an attempt by Ardu to wrest thee governance of thee Twenty-one Helles from Arani'vait, as thee Strife caused by the present Unrest in Nagosan haf sent such an influx of soules to pass before thee Judge of the Dead that thee goddess declared they were hers to dispose of as she saw fitte, and no longer his Purview.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
AS EYE SEE IT
By Aunty Anony
Hello Hello Hello - Hafe you hearde!
So much to Tell!
Aunty has sad news to report, or mayhap it is happy news for the ladies of Kessia, as it seems Sir Martaigne is no longer Lord Pendeleu and is once again an eligible bachelor, although at his age and with his religious inclinations he might find himself married to Thine before he can land a catch as stunning as Lady Melissandra again.
Is Mrs. De'Alera expecting a bundle of joy? Aunty would be delirious with happiness if the rumors were true, and prays the bouncing baby is the result of Niall Blackthorne's thoughtful gift of tiger wine to the newlyweds and not a product of overly personal attention to the bride-to-be--too bad Mrs. De'Alera is a Bija, or we could just watch to see if the babe was half-muir, half-mustachioed--or perhaps we'll call it muirstachioed and leave it at that.
Speaking of bachelors, we await a list of conquests by the notorious wag and skirt-fancier Baigan Vikias, although thus far his only interest appears to have been in science-ing Miss Nora Plaskitt. Aunty wonders if certain important parts of the renowned wizard have yet to unthaw...
Last month's Masque was once again a hotbed of rumor and excitements, the foremost of course being the dashing Lord Corvin's forthright appreciation of the stellar performances of Mrs. Sadko and Miss Arelear Ruinloth. The latter so impressed the heir presumptive that he arranged to present her with a startling ring of lanakin and emerald, a gift truly fit for a Royal Bard.
Finally Aunty wonders what the Smoking Room in the Plum is come to when a trio of overdressed tarts can sit and relate bawdy tales of lechery in the wee hours of the night. She can only be thankful they avoided distressing the true ladies in Mauve's Parlor with their lewd japes and stories--take it to Cappy's, girls, although even that gentleman has standards of decorum!
Until next issue, Aunty sees all and tells moste!
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
@@@@@ WANTED @@@@@ - Men and Women of the Empire in good standing with the law who are interested in serving their fellow Citizenry by joining the ranks of the Imperial Guard. All applicants must be at least 16 years of age, not have any major crimes on the record within the last two years, and be willing to swear their allegiance to His Imperial Majesty.
- policing the cities and kingdoms of the Empire and upholding its Laws and Ordinances
- defending its Officials, and
- defending its Lands and Holdings against all enemies, both Foreign and Domestic.
A 5000 Sovereign signing bonus is authorized, and a generous monthly stipend included. All applicants should either leave notice at the Imperial Keep, or contact one of the 8th Regiment's officers directly.
Horses Bought! We Pay Gud Pryces for Olde Horse and Mule Flesh. Get Ryd of Dobbyn Here! See Beil at Beil's Meat Market
** REWARD FOR TIPS ** The Kessian Merchants Association is paying FIVE IMPERIALS for tips about stray Pets or Mounts left upon the streets of our fair City. Pets found wandering through the Streetes and Mounts left by their owners in the public thoroughfare whilst their Owners Carouse elsewhere will be reported to the Pinder for confiscation and will not be released until a Substantial Fine has been Levied. ** Help Keep Our Streets Clean **
If you are in the dog house for being neglectful of your sweetheart, now is the time to bring home something delicious from Cherillan's Sweet Shop located on Harrow Road.
Against all Odds and in the face of utter implacable Indifference on all sides, the Kaezarian Eye is still seeking talented, inquisitive, and DEDICATED writers! The Eye currently has Openings for General Reporters, as well as positions of a more Specialized nature, most particularly Interviewer and Special Events Reporter. Any Person hired by the Eye must be willing and able to produce at least one Article per Edition, and will receive a generous Salary from the timely completion of their Duties. All Persons interested in Applying for these positions, or having ideas for other Topics on which they might wish to write, are encouraged to speak with Siovanhe Starsong, acting manager.
Raine Edition, Age Of Dreams, 650
NOTE FROM THE EDITORS:
Thanke you for purchasing, or Otherwyse obtaining, our newspaper.
Until the Streets of Kaezar are paved in Seige Gold, May the Publick Be Wary.
Minerva Sartchilde, Owner and Chief Editor.
Siovanhe Starsong, Head Reporter and Acting Manager.