You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: INTREPIDUS  (Read 559 times)

Imperial

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INTREPIDUS
« on: February 05, 2023, 08:20:14 AM »

Imperial

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Re: INTREPIDUS
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2023, 09:49:27 AM »
Quote
"Won't be gone for more than a few days..."

She pecked her husband on the lips. She felt her guts twist about for a brief moment, and yet she did not know why.

"You'll miss the Darkest Night ceremony..", he gently teased. "His Majesty himself is going to lead it this year, I'm told."

"You are just going to have to tell me all about it once I return. I'm sure it will be just as dull an affair as when the Sentinels lead it, honestly. No offense meant to His Majesty, of course, that business always just put me to sleep..."

"You're an elf, dear," he remarked with some bemusement. "You don't sleep."

"Yes, exactly. That's just how boring these things are for me. But.. you do your part, make sure the dead don't rise again, and I'll be back before you know it. I promise."


"I promise."

"I promise."

"I promise."

"I PROMISE."

"I PROMISE."




Imperial

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Re: INTREPIDUS
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2023, 03:11:24 PM »

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She had lost nearly everything. Bryce wasn’t the only thing Death itself saw her parted from; their modest home together, all proof of her work in academia in the University of Il-Aluk, her beloved garden of amaranths that she spent her free time cultivating - all taken from her.

With no hope and no prospects, Vesnia was exactly what the Bards’ Guild in Martira Bay was looking for: clay that they could easily see reshaped into something they could use.

Through rigorous training and regular beatings, the clay was molded and she went from a mousy scholar to a rising star among the Bard’s Guild, a burglar whose burgeoning career as a second-story woman looked all too promising.

She hated the constant abuse she received from the guilds’ veterans, the mistreatment dealt to her. More than anything though, she hated herself for developing enjoyment from the rush each heist she took part in gave her. In the end, drugs couldn’t fully numb the pain of losing him, nor the bottle, nor the presence of a different warm body. The thrill of being where she shouldn’t, though… the adrenaline that pumped inside her as she made the climb up the mansion walls and slipped past the armed guards and watchful hounds… it helped her to forget.

To her, it didn’t even matter that she wasn’t truly free. The control the Bard’s Guild had over her did not matter. In her mind, she deserved a fate far worse.

In her mind, it should have been her.

In time, she knew well to conceal her true feelings. She knew to guard and lock off her emotions from her fellow thieves, lest they come to think of her as weak and easily pushed around. She stopped speaking of Bryce, out of fear that evoking his name would bring the memories of him back to the fore where they could prove the most agonizing.

There was no happiness, nor was there contentment… there simply was.

Until one evening, there wasn’t



Imperial

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Re: INTREPIDUS
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2023, 01:51:53 PM »
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Ruminations on Il-Aluk

This is a difficult topic for me to write about. It is hard to put to parchment anything about my years spent living in Il-Aluk without thinking of what and who I have lost due to the Requiem, and the sorrow I feel when those memories well up to the surface remains keen to this very day, despite it being over twenty-eight years ago for me.

Nevertheless, as time marches on, more and more who survived the Requiem will pass on and their unwritten accounts and stories about how this cataclysmic event affected them will vanish after they pass on. Thus, I am in a way a piece of “living history”, a looking glass that allows those in the present to see the Il-Aluk that was.

There are many treatises and essays that have been written about Il-Aluk and the Requiem from an impersonal and academic point-of-view; this is not one of those. Looking at a tragedy like the Requiem solely through the lens of empiricism does not give historians the complete picture; how is one expected to wrap their heads around a number as massive as thirty thousand and picture it as more than just a number? How does one visualize “30,000 dead” and perceive it as more than just a statistic?

It is my aim to provide a personal look into what life was like in Il-Aluk prior to the Requiem, and for one who found themselves caught up in the aftermath. Thus, we shall start when first I moved to Il-Aluk…

My husband Bryce Endymion and I moved into Aluk Septentrion in 736 BC. Aluk Septentrion was one of two boroughs in Il-Aluk, and nominally operated independently from Il-Aluk proper (also known as Aluk Meridian). It was largely self-governing, with its own council, its own constabulary, and its own city ordinances. In practice, Aluk Septentrion’s council answered to Baron Karl Ranherdt, and yet unlike the four satellite villages that found themselves devoured by the city proper, there was at least a pretense of autonomy. Councilor Hilla Limoges, herself an elf, went above and beyond her duties to make Bryce and I feel welcome in the borough and like part of a community. She also imparted upon me some pieces of the borough’s past.

Over a century ago, after the Great Fire of 617 BC raged through much of the borough, the ruler of Il-Aluk at the time, Baron Vestmar, saw an opportunity to transform Aluk Septentrion into a center for culture. Of course, Vestmar had an ulterior motive for this grand project of his and sought to use his city beautification projects as a pretext to remove the non-human population from Il-Aluk entirely, starting with Aluk Septentrion. A far younger Limoges was a part of a community-wide effort made up of elves, halflings, dwarves, and gnomes to blunt Vestmar’s ambitions. In the end, Vestmar and his family fell out of favor with His Majesty, and he would ultimately find himself replaced with the families Marchio and then later Ranherdt.

Vestmar’s agendas aside, Aluk Septentrion was beautiful when Bryce and I lived there. We used to take long walks through the sprawling Botanical Gardens and admire all the colorful blooms. We would regularly attend plays and performances put on by famed dramaturge Dzungaria Tao at his Pangolin Theater. I remember when my best friend Imogen Radcliffe would come over for dinner, and she always brought over something delicious and I miss them I miss them I miss them I miss them

[The essay ends abruptly there, punctuated only by the scratching of a quill made in frustration.]