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Author Topic: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir  (Read 12183 times)

Rainman

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Re: Contribution sent to the library of Vastiir
« Reply #30 on: July 15, 2018, 10:07:42 am »
We must all have some tea and discuss your latest submissions to the Library

Normal payment, of course, will be provided

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian
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Re: Contribution sent to the library of Vastiir
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2018, 05:36:58 pm »

Greetings, Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian.
I, Sharifa Mel'Amen, who currently holds rank of Seeker in noble house Skettus, gathered some my notes from my travels around Empire and decided to contribute it to Valstiir Library if you think they worth to be here.
I was born and arrived from distant Mulhorand and common language not native for me. It means you can find some mistakes in my notes.

If you will find this notes worth for library then I will wish to meet in person. I am interested for work what you offers and interested to take position of person who will help to gather books and scrolls for Valstiir Library.




Field notes on Giants.
By Sharifa Mel'Amen, Seeker of House Skettus.

Spoiler


There many different humanoids of large size can be found in Empire. Despite their very different outlook, habits and culture - this all large-size humanoids can be united under one name. Giants.

Giants as race have own history which covered by many secrets and mysteries. It is easy understand why there so little known about giants. Many giants making raids on distant Empire's villages and assaulting travelers and adventurers on roads. Some of giants enslaved by different noble houses and wizards from enclaves. In constant war between giants and other races - there no opportunity to learn more about their history and culture. But some things is clear and revealed.

But first. What humanoids considered as giants?
Mostly any humanoids with very large size. Known by me giants:
Ogres, Trolls, Two-headed Giants, Hill Giants, frost giants, fire giants.
I am sure there can be met more exotic and rare types of giants in distant places. For example dwarfs have long history of war against giants. Not just ogres but they fight against all giants. It points what despite size of giants they can be found deep in caves and even in Underdark.This giants looks very different, some of them larger than others. Some of them acts slightly different and may look even somewhat friendly. Different giants have different abilities as their bodies looks different. As good example, everyone knows what trolls can be killed only by acid and fire. It is unknown why different giants rarely can be met together somewhere and what relationship they have between different groups.
But important to note, what there is one thing what unites all giants. Their deity. It is common to find altar or shrine of one deity in any cave or other places where lives giants.

Annam All-Father. It is hard to know more about history this deity or try learn more about deity in general. Scrolls, any books or other sources of knowledge mostly always hidden behind unknown giant's language. Curious to note, what different groups of giants shares single language. Which again proves what different groups united by single culture and history.

Many giants what I met had rather primitive and simple place of living. Their caves was full of primitive tools and weapons. They not tried to contact or speak. Despite of this it is common to encounter with giants who have arcane talents and able to use magic and read magical scrolls.Trolls, ogres, hill giants, two headed giants mostly always acts very primitive and predictable. Fire giants using more improved tools and acts more intelligent. I never had opportunity to meet frost giants but I heard and know what they exists too.

Different giants prefer different places to live. That may be one of reason why it is uncommon to meet different giants together in one place. Trolls prefer moist and warm places, ogres prefers caves and so on. But most common place to meet giants - it is mountains. I may suspect what giants feels more comfortable between large rocks because of their size.

Giants not known for their exceptional knowledge in arcane and crafting different items. Their primitive tools not looks very different what uses humans of Empire. Their magical or divine tools looks very simple and not powerful. Giants for their items using bones, wood and stone. More progressed tribe/society may have better tools, may using smithing and other types of crafting. Usually giant's tribes and societies not very numerous because of many obviously reasons. Giants takes many space, they need large amount of food and so on. They never was known to unite in single large towns or even kingdoms and never tried unite against humans or Empire.  Giants steals everything what looks very different for them, what may looks very shiny or just looks powerful. Their tribes may usually hold some divine giant's relic what have connection to their gods or ancestors. It is very unlikely what giants may keep any artefacts what may threaten to enclaves but each their old artefact may help reveal more history about their past.

Rainman

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Re: Contribution sent to the library of Vastiir
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2018, 09:21:20 am »
Sharifa,

We take all books, those of fiction or truth. I would first discuss such a move to the Library with your Lord, he is large benefactor of the library but he might take issue in taking your services from his House.

I will put the tea on for our meeting. 

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian
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Re: Contribution sent to the library of Vastiir
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2018, 03:02:27 am »

Greetings, Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian. Sharifa Mel'Amen again writes letter to you. I finished book about battle what happened on Valstiir. I tried reveal some history what was behind conflict. Also one nice woman helped me with book, her name is Morgaine Pritchard. She must be rewarded same as me for work.
Have nice reading!







Spoiler
Conflict of Two Archmages.

History of conflict.

Before start to speak about this important battle what happened on enclave Valstiir, it is important to first know history behind conflict of two Archmages. Conflict between two Archmages and enclaves, Roz'dha and Valstiir, have history of few months. Someone may say what this conflict have longer history behind. Truth is, what two Archmages was not able solve this conflict peacefully and in early days few small battles happened in lands of Lower Empire. Rumors says what main goal Archmage Roz'dha it is achieve divinity in other words to become god. Perhaps it is main reasons why Roz'dha fights with other enclaves and perhaps Valstiir was key person to achieve his goal.In majority, Roz'dha used necromancy school magic. Important to say, what Roz'dha not only achieved lichdom but also in past defeated one or more Archmages with their enclaves. Archmage Roz'dha have large experience in art of magic and perhaps Roz'dha may be one of skilled necromancer in Empire in our time. His army, his whole enclave was entirely based around negative energy and so Roz'dha army was mainly made from undeads. Though few veterans speaks what it was possible to encounter with demons and other outsiders from Abyss who was served to Archmage Roz'dha. And of course many armies of undeads was lead by powerful and intelligent undeads such as vampires, cursed warriors, wights and so on. Important to note, what in ranks of Roz'dha enclave there was also alive humans and beings. Mostly it was arcanists necromancers, servants and agents who was enslaved or was attracted by power and promises. Small conflicts and battles what was happening in Lower Empire between agents of two enclaves and their armies was slowly leading to culmination of whole conflict between two Archmages. Nor Roz'dha nor Valstiir not was stepping back and each Archmages was planning to win and slowly small fights between their agents was escalated to large battles between armies on grounds of Lower Empire. It was only question of time when main forces of Roz'dha will come to try claim and destroy Valstiir enclave.

Battle for Valstiir

Brilliant and Wise Valstiir was long preparing for what will come. All arcanists and citizens of Lower Empire was working all together as single tool in Valstiir's hands, following her orders without any words and hesitate. Valstiir was ready for final battle between two enclaves and she prepared not only defeat Roz'dha but and destroy his enclave. Risky but worth effort plan to destroy whole enclave by powerful sun-ray. It was not that easy to make and important part of this plan was to break inside Roz'dha enclave and place beacon for sun-ray. Magical staff what was trusted to one Arcanist.

Roz'dha enclave was slowly floating toward Valstiir enclave. Closer and closer. Air was foul and it had smell of rot and death. All noble houses, all arcanists and few brave adventurers was on streets of Valstiir enclave, prepared for last battle, prepared to give their own life to destroy army of lich and bring victory to Archmage Valstiir. Battle started unexpected too soon. Perhaps Archmage Valstiir not paid too much attention to it or her mind was busy with other non less important tasks or even it was work of traitors and Roz'dha agents, but Roz'dha first assault group was used Valstiir's portals in Lake District which not was closed or warded by magic. Small group was trying fight back against assaulting group of undeads and demons but it was not enough forces and more and more undeads was coming from portals. Valstiir small forces made retreat to Market District where was located main Valstiir's army and Valstiir herself. Roz'dha swiftly claimed Lake District and used portals as source for own army which was already walking in Valstiir streets. Roz'dha clearly had plans quickly end this battle, not trying give any time to his enemies to regroup. Roz'dha started send his main forces from Lake District right to Market District. But brave warriors of Valstiir repelled coming waves of undeads and demons again and again. It was single moment when Roz'dha forces stopped attacking and Valstiir used it as opportunity to create powerful portal spell what was able to bring single group on Roz'dha Enclave. Many brave warriors (and your author) walked forward to portal, promising what they will bring victory to Valstiir. As group of brave heroes teleported on other enclave, battles on Valstiir renewed and continues. Narrow streets of Valstiir was filled with blood and bone dust.Strong spells was casted from both sides and battles in different Valstiir districts did not stops. In same time group of brave heroes inside Roz'dha enclave was already making their own way to deeper parts of enclave. Most strongest undead guardians, demons, nightwalkers, arcanists was trying to stop them but brave heroes was continue their way. Even Archmage Roz'dha himself was trying corrupt and convince heroes change their sides promising to them immortality and endless power. But heroes refused offer of Archmage. Heroes was close to their final destination. Mythallar. Place where trusted Arcanist should put magical staff which would serve as beacon for powerful sun-ray. Mythallar was guarded by powerful vampire of giant size and strange outlook. No any spells or any sword was able to make deep cut to this creature. His wounds was regenerating with great speed and his hits was strong enough to left deadly wound without much efforts. But heroes acted swiftly, they disturbed vampire and arcanist used moment to put staff in Mythallar. After moment - large amount of magic was conjured on Valstiir enclave and it was sent toward Roz'dha enclave. It was enough to destroy whole enclave. Spells and magic of Roz'dha enclave begins slowly fade and large dark castles started slowly crumble. Vampire guardian not was defeated and heroes was in need to leave falling enclave before it was too late. Running long corridors and followed by giant vampire - heroes managed to escape in last moment. Roz'dha enclave was very close to Valstiir enclave and some parts was crushed against Old Quarters of Valstiir. Followed Vampire was turned to dust once it followed heroes outside of Enclave where he was burned by sun rays and spells from arcanists.
     With destruction enclave, remaining undead army on streets of Valstiir was destroyed too. And so heroes of Valstiir which names engraved on statue in Old Quarters was bring victory for Archmage. 

From memories of one hero.

I grew up in Valstiir, but I left the floating city when my family cast me out for reasons which are not relevant here.  In the following months, I settled below and divided my time between Hadrian and Southbank.  I rarely returned to Valstiir apart from the occasional visit to the Church of Tyche which is one of the few places there I have fond memories of.
     When the threat of Rozdha rose once more, I was conflicted.  I had little affection left for the enclave above or the family that had disowned me.  It was tempting to simply let matters happen as they will.  But my best friend, the elf Allania, had been bestowed with something that was both a great boon and a terrible burden- a helmet of Amaunator that many believed could turn the tide against the undead villain.  I forced myself to board that airship with the sole intention of supporting my friend.
      We assembled near the solar collectors of Valstiir, machinery that I could not ever hope to understand.  My intention of standing by Allania’s side were quickly ended… we were all separated into groups with varying missions.  Allania would be on the front line, away from me.  I saw another friend, the halfling Bosco Fries, join a group that was infiltrating Rozdha’s enclave.  He wished me godspeed as he departed.  It was the last time I ever saw him.  The group I was assigned to was ordered by Lord Dukkarus to protect Archmage Valstiir as she performed a ritual.  Stronkonov was leading this party, and someone gave me the simple orders “protect the Archmage, and stay close to Stronkonov”.
    We repelled the first few waves of undead horrors with relative ease.  I fired bolt after bolt into their masses and sang my songs and cast my spells to inspire my fellow defenders.  Stronkonov was an unyielding wall of muscle.  The Archmage worked with incredible discipline, seemingly oblivious to the swirling violence so close to her person.  I saw Will Rogers leading the line of defenders close to us, shouting orders as he cut through the enemy.  At one point a wounded bone giant managed to smash through the line and approach the Archmage.  By some miracle I was able to finish the battered monster off with my spear and a song of curse before it could reach the Archmage.
     In a lull in the fighting, I was tasked with helping to clear the street of the shattered undead corpses so we had room to fight.  We had just barely finished that when the assault began again.  Yet another horde of shambling monsters of splintered bone and rotting flesh hurled themselves upon us.  This time, our line began to creak and  Will Rogers ordered a retreat to the council district.  My blood was up.  I was fighting harder and better than I ever had before, and in my youthful arrogance I thought I could cover the retreat.  But it was too chaotic.  Warriors far greater than I fled past me, and I did not realise the danger I was in until my retreat had been blocked by a mass of festering walking corpses.
With any hope of reaching the council district now lost to me, my thoughts turned to self-preservation.  I remembered the streets well enough to flee down some narrow alleyways and lose the bulk of my lumbering pursuers.  I found an unlocked door and hurled myself through it.  As the monsters attempted to pound their way in I piled up every scrap of furniture I could to make a barricade.  With time to think now, I despaired at my foolishness.  I could not help my friends or the other defenders, trapped as I was.  My exhaustion suddenly dawned on me and I slumped against my barricade, dozing off despite the noises of the walking corpses attempting to claw their way inside.
      When I awoke the city was almost silent.  I slipped out of my improvised sanctuary and found the undead that had trapped me had been slain, presumably by adventurers or the town watch.  As I staggered towards the airship back to Hadrian it was clear that Rozdha had been defeated and Valstiir had survived.  From the people I passed I heard the most startling tales.  A servant of Amaunator had manifested and fought alongside my friend Allania.  Rozdha’s enclave had fallen and crashed to the earth below.  But it was not until I arrived back in Hadrian that I saw Allania again and knew that she had survived, and I learned the tragic news that Bosco had not.  He would have been proud of me if he’d seen me fight… he told me once “you are more powerful than you think.  If someone comes at you, you put them in the ground”.   After surviving the battle of Valstiir, I am actually starting to believe in myself.


Epilogue.

It is known what Archmage Roz'dha not was presenting on his own enclave. Perhaps he was prepared for his defeat and it is question of time when Roz'dha will gather new forces in attempts to claim enclave of other Archmage and try ascend to Divinity.

Sharifa Mel'Amen, Morgaine Pritchard

Rainman

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Re: Contribution sent to the library of Vastiir
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2018, 09:00:37 am »
Great Work

I shall put it on display as Book of the Month in the Library

But I feel this tale is not over and there is more to tell, that can be for another time

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian


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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2019, 08:04:12 am »
*Sherina delivers a cleaned-up copy of a manuscript. She looks a bit older than you remember her, different from the cheerful girl who've come to ask about the bronze and silver dragons in the past.
A seemingly fresh scar stands out on her face, leading from her upper lip to the tip of the left cheek bone*

*a postcard-like note is clipped to the front page, reading... :*

"Good day to you, mister Pendragon!
I'm happy to announce the publishing of my first book - a studies about the wild Patrician wyverns. I'm stopping by before the main office hours, due to the fact I headed here as the first thing, knowing that the busyness of Hadrian would drag me in like  a maelstrom again.
My sincere apologies, mister. I'd surely love to catch up with you over a large cup of tea and homebaked sweets soon in the future.
Yours sincerely,
-Sherina Tsirak-Copperfield"



Spoiler
Tsirak's Observances and Studies of Patrician Wyverns
written by Sherina Tsirak-Copperfield


--()--

Patrician mountain peaks host many creatures. Some of them peaceful, some of them hostile.
In an environment where the prey items are scarce, predators have grown to be tougher, stronger, faster and more determined than they would be in any other place. Wyverns, bears and bullettes, each of them deadly, graze the ascending grassland turning into steep, rocky peaks.
Usual prey, due to the absence of forested areas, is small and mountain chain's prey population consists mostly of rabbits, small game hidden in the bushes, and, well - of other predators.
Due to the size of adult and old wyverns, the large bears are being hunted and torn apart by these magnificent, feral wild creatures.
I welcome you to the study on Patrician Wyverns.

--()--

•Body•
The scaly, muscular and dextrous body of a wyvern bears, aside from a whip-like tail with poisonous stinger on its tip, a pair of giant, strong wings, muscular hind legs, and a draconic head.

The head of a wyvern is a beautiful sight of nature.  Balance of tan-brown scales and greyish fur growth, with their cold eyes staring from under a thick brow bone, and their maw, able to tear apart a dire bear with the sheer strength of its jaw and fangs. Their ears are hidden beneath a small tuft of fur behind fin-like shapes on the sides of its head, so the sensitive organ is being protected from strong winds.




Their wings, able to fly and glide through the sharp mountain wind, are strong and often used both as wings and as front legs.
The wing thumbs allow the wyvern to climb cliffs and rocky mountainsides, thus allowing it a chance to sneak up on its prey.

Besides their blood and scales, their tail stinger and poison can be used for weapon crafting.
As soon as the poison gets into a bloodstream, the victim suffers a great pain, and can succumb quickly if their body is frail.
Their hide, scale spine plates and wing membrane can be used to craft light armor. And by using the wing membrane for joint areas, the movements of the wearer won't make any detectable sound.

•Behavior•
Territory markings of wyverns include claw scratches, rubbed trees (which matches the territory marking of bears), and faint trails of poison-tinted rock or foliage. In fact, a wyvern will rarely steal the prey of another wyvern.

•Social•
Even though mostly solitary, the young wyverns of the Peaks can be found in groups, wandering the lower grassy parts of the mountain chain.
Another exception seem to be giant bear hunts, where a handful of wyverns will swoop down onto the back and head of the monstrous creature, beating it down with their wings, rending its flesh with their claws while they use their beastly maws to crush and snap through the thick bones of their prey.
Sherina Tsirak
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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2019, 09:47:43 am »
Looks like we have the ' Book of the Month '. I will put it on show as soon as possible.

I will enjoy some tea to discuss the finer points of your book.

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian
Build it and they will come.

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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2019, 08:25:25 am »
*two thin document envelopes arrive, bound together with a sky blue ribbon. Under one corner of the ribbon, a letter is snugly secured*

"Greetings, master Pendragon,

I haven’t seen many plays and poems available in the ‘Varied’ section of the library, and that inspired me to look for some works of budding artists in Valstiir and surrounding region.
"
*no signature is given*


Open Door (A Dramatic Poem)

Spoiler
Open Door (A Dramatic Poem)

Author:  Ivory Leithien


I.
I sing of Tyrabeth, the Maid of the Axe,
Who could fell a full elm with two hatchet hacks.
She could rip apart Reilwood just for the fun.
She studied under Alfhedil in city of Nualla'n.
He taught her the jabs, the strokes, and the stance
To make an ax-swing into an elegant dance.

He taught her the barbed axes of the Orcs bold,
The six-foot-long axes favored in Northerhold,
The hollow-bladed axes of the Elves of the West,
Which whistle when they swing through flesh.
With a single-headed axe, she could behead two men.
With a double-headed axe, she could fell more than ten.
Yet where she lives in legend has most to do
With the man who hacked her own heart in two.

II.
Nienolas Ulwarth the Mighty, who hailed from Conch’s bows,
The only man who could best Ellabeth with ax blows,
In a minute, she chopped fifty trees; he, fifty-three.
She felt at once that he was the only man for she.
When she professed her love, Nienolas just laughed.
He said he loved more his ax handle and shaft.
And if they weren't enough to slake all his desire
There was another woman named Lorinthyrae.
Fury gripped the Queen of the Axe, the maid Tyrabeth,
And her thoughts turned to pondering musings of death.
Moander and Shar gave her a revengeful scheme
And for weeks, she worked on it in a state like a dream.
In the still of the night, she kidnapped her rival
And then told her choices between doom and survival.

III.
Lorinthyrae awoke in a house in the moors
In a room lightly furnished except for three doors.
Ellabeth explained that behind one of the doors the lass
Would find Ellabeth's and her love, the great Nienolas.
Behind the second lived a ravenous demon.
And behind the third, an exit to freedom.
She must choose a door, and to aid her decision
If she pondered too long, the axe'd make a division.
Lorinthyrae wept, and Tyrabeth felt contrite,
And opened the door to her immediate right.
It led to the moors, and as she slipped through the gloom,
She advised Lorinthyrae to likewise abandon the room.
Lorinthyrae ignored her and did not feel her will bend.
Nienolas was largely behind the first door she opened.

IV.
Tyrabeth had lied; there was no demon of lore.
The top third of Nienolas was behind the third door.


——————


Maid’s Allure (a Ballad for Four)

Spoiler
Maid’s Allure (a Ballad for Four)
Author:  Karizee Aislit


Women's Verse I:

Every winter season,
Except for the reason
Of one war or another
*whispers audibly* Really quite a bother,
The Queen of Nauseef and her consort
Request their vassals come and cavort.
On each and every ball,
The first man at the Hall
Is Lord Ogin Jornibret of Glair,
The Curse of all the Maidens Fair.

Women's Refrain:

Oh, dear ladies, beware.
Dearest, dearest ladies, take care.
Though he's a very handsome man,
If you dare to take his handsome hand,
The nasty little spell will be cast
And your first dance with him will be the last.

Men's Verse I:

At this social event
Everyone who went
Knew the bows and stances
And steps to all the dances.
The Queen of Nauseef and her consort
Would order a trumpet's wild report,
And there could be no indecision
As the revelers took position.
The first dance only ladies, separate
Away from such men as Lord Jornibret.

Men's Refrain:

Oh, dear fellows, explain.
Brothers, can you help make it plain:
The man's been doing this for years,
Leaving maidens fair in tears
Before the final tune's been blast.
And her first dance with him will be the last.

Women's Verse II:

Lord Ogin Jornibret of Glair
Watched the ladies dance on air
The loveliest in the realm.
A fellow in a ursine-hide helm
Said, "The Queen of Nauseef and her consort
Have put together quite a sport.
Which lady fair do you prefer?"
Lord Jornibret pointed, "Her.
See that bosom bob and weave.
Well-suited for me to love and leave."

Women's Refrain:

Oh, dear ladies, beware.
Dearest, dearest ladies, take care.
Though he's a very handsome man,
If you dare to take his handsome hand,
The nasty little spell will be cast
And your first dance with him will be the last.

Men's Verse II:

The man in the mask of a bear
Had left the Lord of Glair
Before the ladies' dance was ending.
Then a trumpet sounded, portending
That the Queen of Nauseef and her consort
Called for the men to come to court.
Disdainful, passing over all the rest,
Ogin approached she of bobbing breast.
She was rejected, saved a life of woe,
For a new maiden as fair as snow.

Men's Refrain:

Oh, dear fellows, explain.
Brothers, can you help make it plain:
The man's been doing this for years,
Leaving maidens fair in tears
Before the final tune's been blast.
And her first dance with him will be the last.

Women's Verse III:

At the first note of the band,
The beauty took Ogin's hand.
She complimented his stately carriage
Dancing to the tune about the marriage
Of the Queen of Nauseef and her consort.
It is very difficult indeed to comport
With grace, neither falling nor flailing,
Wearing ornate hide and leather mailing,
Dancing light as the sweetest of dreams
Without a single squeak of the seams.

Women's Refrain:

Oh, dear ladies, beware.
Dearest, dearest ladies, take care.
Though he's a very handsome man,
If you dare to take his handsome hand,
The nasty little spell will be cast
And your first dance with him will be the last.

Men's Verse III:

The rhythms rose and fell
No one dancing could excel
With masculine grace and syncopation,
Lord Jornibret even drew admiration
From the Queen of Nauseef and her consort.
Like a beauteous vessel pulling into port,
He silently slid, belying the leather's weight.
She whispered girlishly, "The hour is late,
But I've never seen such grace in hide armor."
It 'twas a pity he knew he had to harm her.

Men's Refrain:

Oh, dear fellows, explain.
Brothers, can you help make it plain:
The man's been doing this for years,
Leaving maidens fair in tears
Before the final tune's been blast.
And her first dance with him will be the last.


Women's Verse IV:

The tune beat was furious
He began to be curious
Where had the maiden been sequest'ed.
"Before this dance was requested
By the consort and his Queen of Nauseef
I didn't see you dance with the women."
"My dress was torn as I came to the dance,"
She said smiling in a voice deep as a man's,
"My maids worked quickly to repair,
While I wore a suit of hide, a helm of a bear."

Women's Refrain:

Oh, dear ladies, beware.
Dearest, dearest ladies, take care.
Though he's a very handsome man,
If you dare to take his handsome hand,
The nasty little spell will be cast
And your first dance with him will be the last.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 10:32:09 am by Sherina »
Sherina Tsirak
Zahirra Sa'Laeth

Discord: Ritulienka#3945

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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2019, 11:27:09 pm »
Excellent ... I shall get a fresh pot of tea and sit down and look over your submissions.

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian
Build it and they will come.

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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2019, 07:40:04 am »
A leather case of papers arrives at the Library.  The case is battered and dusty and has plainly seen a lot of use and travel.

Spoiler
Esteemed guild members, may this essay arrive safely, promptly, and find you all in good health.  I was tasked with researching the people known colloquially as the “gypsies” and their unique culture.  Completing my mission necessitated spending many weeks on the roads of Lower Netheril  and embedding myself within clans of this culture.  Thus I can only humbly apologise for the long delay in dispatching this report and assure you it was completely necessary. 

The first important thing I learned was that these people do not call themselves “gypsies”.  Indeed, they consider the term quite offensive and the height of ignorance.  The term is applied to them only by other human societies in which they pass through.  Rather, most prefer poetic names like “Selune’s Children” or “People of the Highway”.  Nevertheless, to ease my writer’s cramp I shall continue using the popular term. 

Complicating matters is the fact there is no single group of gypsies.  Though they share a clear cultural and racial heritage, each gypsy group (and often even each individual) travels and operates separately and develops its own idiosyncrasies, if not appearance.  Confusing one clan of gypsies with another is quite easy to do but is considered a grave insult.  Misunderstandings between these people and the Lower Netherese are all too common.  Tragically, I must then make some simplifications and generalisations lest this essay become an encyclopedia.

Most gypsies have dusky complexions with thick black or dark brown hair and equally dark eyes.  They tend to be stout but strong, rather than tall or slender.  Each clan has its own style of fashion, but many wear colourful sashes and bandannas to contrast with their often utilitarian clothing for travel.  Tattoos and jewellery preferences are entirely based on the clan, and can vary widely to none, some or extensive visual enhancement.  Though an insular people, they inevitably have intermarried on occasion with natives of the lands they travel through leading to some diversity in physical appearances.

Travel is at the heart of their lifestyles.  The clan groups rarely stay in one area for long.  Their love for travel has lead to many adopting Selune as their patron, as her domains include wanderers and navigation.  Some prefer Jannath, since living off the land is a necessity for their lifestyle, or Kozah in hopes of warding off the perils of bad weather.  Still others have taken to strange religions unknown in the Empire, and worship either clan-specific deities or an obscure and apparently quite grotesque pantheon they call the “Elder Gods” or “Old Ones”.  The names of these deities are utterly unpronounceable for an educated person.  I saw no evidence whatsoever for the common accusation that gypsies are agents of Shar, the devious Mistress of the Night. 

Though the gypsy clans lack anything close to the magical sophistication or knowledge of our arcanists, they have a love for magic and many practitioners in their ranks.  Usually these are bards, clerics or blood casters rather than formally schooled magicians.  Oddly, I encountered more than a few who were not true spellcasters yet were capable of feats of divination.  Most gypsies believe strongly in the concepts of destiny and fate, in any case.  Living on the highway means that other gypsies also learn the simpler trades of the warrior, ranger or thief. 

Netherese citizens most commonly encounter gypsies of one of a few professions.  Some gypsies become traders, setting up their caravans in frontier towns either alone or in a group. Their extensive travels usually mean their stalls carry exotic items such as rare perfumes, spices or gems.  Others become mercenaries or adventurers though they are notoriously averse to long-term arrangements.  Regrettably, some become bandits either in gangs of their own or joining gangs of natives.  It is often these bandits and thieves that most Lower Netherese are best acquainted with, so unfair generalisations are made. 

The gypsies are not natives of these lands, but where these nomads originally hail from is uncertain.  Most of the clans have their own tales, for they are a people who love stories and song.  The common thread behind these legends is that they are refugees or survivors of a great war between two mighty nations.  Their nation was either defeated or triumphant but left utterly devastated (depending on which clan you believe), so they have sought survival and destiny on the highways.  Though it is impossible to know how many clans are upon Netherese lands at any one time, I would estimate they could not consist of more than 1 or 2 percent of the total human population.  The point is rendered moot by the fact that few if any of them would consider themselves citizens of the Empire. 

With this research complete, I now move on to my next task.  Expect a new essay to arrive within months.  May the Hidden One ever watch over us

Professor Leviticus Stone
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 08:21:52 am by Fiverine »
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2019, 12:11:30 pm »
ohh I split some tea over your work ...

It needed time to dry out but I am looking over it now

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian
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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2019, 10:00:56 am »
A battered and dusty leather case containing a manuscript once again arrives at the Library...

Spoiler
Esteemed guild members, I pray that this latest essay arrives promptly and safely to your hands.  Alas, this is not to be as idyllic an account as my previous one.  Nevertheless, you must know of what I have witnessed.

I have spent the past few months travelling the great plains of Lower Netheril in hopes of acquainting myself better with the tribes of people known as the Rengarth.  My initial goal became somewhat left by the wayside when I heard some intriguing rumours about a man the Rengarth were calling “The Prophet of the Plains”.  They spoke his name with such a peculiar mixture of adoration and dread that I knew he was a fellow worthy of documentation.  He was both a holy man and warlord they said, who spoke the most brutal truth and was uniting village after village by a mixture of persuasion and force.  When given esteem, he was a man of capable of uniting inspiration.  When angered, he was a man of the most pitiless devastation. 

Seeking to hear this man speak, I attached myself to a band of Rengarth hunters who were travelling to hear an address by this Prophet at the end of their expedition.  They joked about taking me along for emergency rations, and demanded much coin for their escort.  I worried for my safety, but had few other options.  I spent a few weeks on the plains with these men and women, observing their hunting practices as they brought down colossal bovines and swine.  The hunters rode their horses with consummate ease, and would harry a few of their large targets away from the herd, then bring them down with a hail of arrows and thrown spears.  The carcasses would then be stripped with astonishing speed, with little discarded.  The hides would be crudely preserved, the meat smoked in the campfire, the useful bones (chosen by shape and strength) kept, and  most of the offal thrown to the hunting dogs.  Much of the meat they gathered was eaten during travel, with the hides and fur seemingly being the most valuable elements.  Horse-drawn sleds were used to transport the gathered resources. 

I was all but useless to the hunters, and when I made attempts to cast spears with them I received both scorn and pity.  But one of the men was gored by a bull during the hunt, and his wounds became infected.  They drew him on a sled for a few days, but his condition worsened and they discussed leaving him behind to the whims of the gods to decide.  But I stepped forward, and used some of the tinctures and ointments I always carried to treat the man’ s injuries before their sceptical eyes.  His health improved markedly overnight, and within two more nights he could ride unaided again.  Now at least I had some measure of respect among the hunters, and they treated me more like a slow-witted but loved relative than a useless mouth to feed. 

One night, we could see in the distance a myriad campfires glowing and the wind brought us snatches of music, predominantly drumming.  My escorts laughed uproariously when I asked the name of this great settlement we were approaching.  I learned why this amused them the next day when we drew closer: this was no mere tribal village.  It was a great assembly of many tribes, mostly Rengarth but also including a few of Angardt stock.  All the various campsites were arranged around a great flat slab of granite, quite an anomaly on the open plain. 

We waited for several days.  My escorts traded with the other hunting parties there.  I worried that I would be identified as Netherese by one of these other groups, but a few months on the plains had given me the dusky complexion of a plainsman, and by now through sheer necessity I was dressing as one too.  Nevertheless, I did not speak to anyone outside my group, even though I craved the chance to speak to some of the Angardt and hear details of their blood-rites.  Eventually, the awaited day arrived.  Word swiftly spread through the assembled people that the Prophet had arrived.

His retinue was immense, and his own mighty chariot was encircled by the impressive ones of his bodyguards.  Men and women of Rengarth and Angardt blood predominantly formed his circle, though I saw no few number of half-elves and half-orcs, along with a few men wearing the remnants of Netherese military units.  Though this man called to the Rengarth first and foremost, others seemed to be heeding him too.  The Prophet did not waste time with festivities.  Instead, he left his chariot and stood upon the granite slab, with thousands of pairs of eyes upon him.  He was a man of middle-age, weathered and tanned by the plains and clad in black robes to shield him from the sun.  Even the loose robes could not conceal a mighty, near perfect physique for a man his age.  He wore his greying beard in a trident shape.  The Prophet’s voice rang out, deep and husky, and with such power that every man and woman there felt he was speaking personally to them.

“I am Yusanga Hunn-Bekk, the Prophet of the Plains.  Hear my judgement upon thee!  You dare to call yourselves men and women of the plains?  You are mere CHILDREN.  Weak, afraid, grasping in the dark, terrified of a shadow you call the Netherese Empire!  When others speak of the Rengarth people, they now speak of hunters, gatherers, craftsmen, brewers, shamans… where are your feared warriors?  You trade with the Netherese, and think because you are curt to them that you are brave.  But your ancestors howl in anguish, for you have forsaken them to take coin from their enslavers and murderers!”

I quivered in fear at the ferocious words of the Prophet.  To my horror, I saw a sea of nodding heads surrounding me, including some of my own escort.  Though he spat insults at these proud people, he seemed to be striking through any sense of offence and instead stirring up their sense of injustice.  The Prophet bellowed forth another tirade.

“But heed my words, and I shall set you free.  I have sent forth my most trusted amongst you to observe your zeal.  Teach your hunters to hunt men as well as beasts!  Teach your gatherers to gather the heads, weapons and wealth of fallen enemies!  Teach your craftsmen to make weapons and machines of war!  Teach your brewers to make poisons to season your spears and arrows!  Teach your shamans to preach the hatred of the enemy as well as the love of your own people!  Trade not with the snakes of Netheril!  Completely bar your lands to them, make them pay for trespass with their very blood.  Kill them, weaken them, put fear in their hearts… and await the day that my mighty and ever-growing host arrives to cast down their wretched floating cities forever!  And if you fail me… if you reject my wisdom...then you too will be crushed beneath the feet, hooves and wheels of my hordes!”

The gathered masses cheered, the majority swayed by the empty but alluring promises of the demagogue.  A few of my escort muttered in Rengarthi (which by now I had became fairly fluent) about handing me over to Yusanga for a public sacrifice, but praise the Hidden One the others silenced them by saying I had healed their fellow and honour demanded they not throw me to certain death.  Instead, they led me away that night, gave me a fresh horse and some supplies and told me to ride for my life.  I  rode hard for days, not daring tarry long at any waterhole or village.  Though I have journeyed through many hostile lands, it is rare that I have ever felt such relief as this time when I set foot back in friendly lands.

During my hurried return, I still heard snatches of rumours that Yusanga has been as good as his word in one sense: trusted acolytes of his have been dispatched to monitor villages and kindle their rage.  I fear it is only a matter of time before one of these demagogues arrives near Hadrian…

Be vigilant, my brethren

Professor Leviticus Stone
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Submissions and Contribution Provided to the Library of Vastiir
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2019, 09:05:14 am »
I will update the Library index with all new submissions

Again thank you for your time and effort. If you care for tea or reward come to the Library.

Albert Pendragon, Master Librarian
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