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Tales of the Acropolis 1.0
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Colu
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SZABAD

Ah, such a thing is a sign like none other! A god whose duties forced him to leave our world would not return if this wedding was anything less than a perfect union! As Lady Nyx and Lor Surya have worked together, and Theresa and I now bond ourselves together, so can it be for our City. I have been speaking lately about this unity. The marriage of a High Priest and a High Priestess, presided over by another High Priest, and blessed by two other High Priestesses, and Libidinäl's presence... This is a sign that none can miss! If Sun and Dark - what might, at first thought, seem an impossible match - turn out to be the strongest attraction imaginable, and bring together so many different elements, what greater differences could possibly exist among you that can only be resolved with violence and deceipt?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theresa, still overcome with emotions, simply nods agreement and smiles, crying all the while.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warm yourself by the fire, son,
And the morning will come soon.
I'll tell you stories of a better time,
In a place that we once knew.

Before we packed our bags
And left all this behind us in the dust,
We had a place that we could call home,
And a life no one could touch.

We are the angry and the desperate,
The hungry, and the cold,
We are the ones who kept quiet,
And always did what we were told.

But we've been sweating while you slept so calm,
In the safety of your home.
We've been pulling out the nails that hold up
Everything you've known.

*****************
We are the strangers here, the refugees the women and men.
Without a home.
We are the strangers here, the refugees the women and men.
Without a home.
The refugees.
Without a home.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lady's Dance

Unseen, flitting, dancing, unseen,
street by street, door to door,
arms swing hips sway
feet skip,
twirl, spin,
lips titter,
trill, shout!

Unseen, unheard, unknown, felt,
dancing to strife's tattoo,
fear, fight, fear, fight,
something's coming,
peace is over,
paranoia,
paranoia
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The daily regimental parade wends its way through the City, led as always by members of Virelai's Corps, and the citizens return to their business with smiles on their countenance and peacefulness in their hearts.

But wait! What is that? The irregular staccato beat of a tabla becomes heard, as well as the stamp of bare feet along with the clinking of tiny metallic discs and bangles. The whirl of diaphanous robes and gossamer veils follow the same parade route, luring those along the route in to watching the movements of arms, legs, hips and the undulation of torsos.

Dance to see yourself
Dance to be yourself
Dance to free yourself...

Dance your essence...

Dance your essence
Back into your presence
Around you spin
Back to life's begin

Dance your essence
Beyond your presence
Close your eyes
As your body sighs

Dance your essence
Away from your presence
Let go of your fears
Watch them disappear

Dance your essence
Within your presence
Spin and twirl
Into a spiraling whirl

Dance your essence
Outside your presence
Let go of your being
With your 3rd eye seeing

Dance your essence
Trance into your presence
Where all are one
Like when life begun

Dance your essence
Right into your presence
Feel yourself transcend
Beyond your mind's end

Dance your essence
Into your presence
Trance to become one
With the whole of the sum

Dance your essence.
~ Savannah Skye


Trills are vocalized along with shouts of "Virelai!" as each dancer comes to a pause in her movements before catching her breath and continuing along the parade route.

As their debut winds down, the dancers make their way to the Harper Hall, and introduce themselves to Melody where they explain they were taught and trained by the seashore touring performance troupe. Melody smiles to herself, as this enhancement to Song is warmly embraced by the City with males offering sacrifices whenever the dancers perform and the women of the city attracted to the new Art for both exercise and beguilement.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The daily regimental parade wends its way through the City, led as always by members of Virelai's Corps, and the citizens return to their business...

But wait! What is that? The irregular staccato beat of a tabla becomes heard, as well as the stamp of bare feet along with the clinking of tiny metallic discs and bangles. The whirl of diaphanous robes and gossamer veils follow the same parade route, luring those along the route in to watching the movements of arms, legs, hips and the undulation of torsos.

Dance to see yourself
Dance to loathe yourself
Dance to free yourself...

Dance your essence...

Dance your essence
Back into quiescence
Around you spin
Back to life's begin

Dance your essence
Beyond your presence
Close your eyes
As your body sighs

Dance your essence
Away from your presence
Remember your fears
Watch them rear

Dance your essence
Into quiescence
Spin and twirl
Into a spiraling whirl

Dance your essence
Outside your presence
Loathe your being
With your 3rd eye bleeding

Dance your essence
Trammel your presence
Where all are done
Unwanted life begun

Dance your essence
Right into your presence
Feel yourself bend
Approach your mind's end

Dance your essence
Into quiescence
Trance to become numb
With the whole of the sum

Dance your essence.
~ Savannah Skye


Trills are vocalized along with wails of "Virelai!" as each dancer comes to a pause in her movements before catching her breath and continuing along the parade route.

As their debut winds down, the dancers make their way to the Harper Hall, and prostrate themselves to Melody where they explain they were violated by the approaching horde. Melody winces, as this perversion of Song is grimly embraced by the City with males offering sacrifices whenever the dancers perform and the women of the city attracted to the new Art for both escape and atonement.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marziale lay on the polished metal shield, his undergarments the only thing offering him any protection at all, not that they amounted to much, from the reflected rays of the Sun. The shackles which bound him were linked to chains staked in to the ground next to him, and his spread eagled body had already progressed past the redness of sunburn to cracking and blisters on the skin. With parched lips he looked again at his captors; their crude armor and weapons festooned with bloody fetishes, not the least of which were the grizzly new trophies comprised of the remains of his comrades who had accompanied him on this failed quest.

Though they had called on their gifts of Influence through their musicianship after words were met only with puzzlement, and the detached divine sound of a Harp had played along with them, every one of the members of Virelai’s Corps who had journeyed with the priest of Song on this mission was slaughtered to the last when the music stirred up angry and violent emotions in their audience. For unknown reasons at first, Marziale was spared. He eyes were too dry from dehydration to leak tears as he watched his comrades’ instruments be smashed as the horde danced around him in the unforgiving sunshine.

The barbarians’ victory dance came to an end with the setting of the Sun and Marziale watched as preparations for a bonfire was built next to his position. As the fire was slowly assembled, a crude structure was cobbled together next to it. When the fire was ignited, Marziale felt himself lifted along with the shield he lay upon and was soon strapped upright on the shield facing the quickly-growing flames. A giant of a man decorated in far more fetishes than the others strode to face Marziale directly. “You have the look of an educated man,” he grunted. “Educated men tend to know their own people. Tell us the tale of your city, your people, so we may know how to crush them.” Marziale glared balefully back at him, yet remained mute.

The chieftain made his way over to the fire and picked up a burning brand. Holding the flaming branch directly under Marziale’s chin, so that his eyes watered from the smoke despite his dehydration and there was no doubt as to the intensity of the heat of the flames as they redoubled the pain of Marziale’s sunburn, the barbarian spoke again, brandishing the sputtering torch as he emphasized his words. “Tell us the tale of your city, your people. So we may know how to crush them. If your tale rings true, you may yet live to see the sun once again.”

“With the forbearance of Virelai, Mistress of Song, I will sing the Lay of Eternal Moments, as she had her traveling Voice Bardsley sing it in the amphitheater of the city,” Marziale begins. “No!” the chieftain hisses, bringing the brand in closer. “Speak plainly. We shall have none of your words which rise and fall in unfamiliar patterns and stir strange and unsought feelings within.”

Swallowing to moisten his dry mouth, Marziale stares the chieftain in the eye as best he can and slowly nods. The brand drawn back, the chieftain takes his seat in the center of the arc of barbarians who have gather around the bonfire to listen to the bound prisoner priest speak. Choosing his words carefully, so he can not be accused later of falsehood, yet striving to not tell of the current situation in the city, the tale of the city’s founding slowly unfolds…
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After he was released from the shield, Marziale struggled to find a place within the ranks of the slaves and prisoners of the horde. That is, until he found that much like the citizens of the city until very recently, these barbarians had no written language; no means of recording their own legends and stories besides the oral tales told by the evening fire.

Scrounging discarded parchment from crude maps, and retrieving scraps of burnt coals from the cooled hearth in the mornings, the priest of Song gathered together scribing supplies and compiled together records of what tales he could of his captors as he heard them.

One day, these tales may come in handy in learning of our brothers to the north, he thought to himself as he stored away yet another potential ballad.
**********************************

As the Lucernarium adeste fades away, a receptive processional is heard to be played on a disembodied harp while congregants gather to hear the words of this week's sunset sermon. Melody, with several Master Harpers and priests of Song in tow, attend as they are able, the scribes Writing the weekly message to be posted around town for those who were unable to hear them as they are given to be inspired from the words. Melody brings as many of the refugees with her as will come, seeing the comfort and solace many find in the Song and words of evensong in a community setting. An inspiring recessional is heard as those at the gathering partake of Love's mead and departs.

The members of The Hall's Artisans Guild picks up on the request for a permanent location for a Unity Temple. The Arts District is a buzz with talk of possible locations, donations of materials, and scheduling of time to volunteer in its outfitting for use once found. Meanwhile, the artisans embrace the refugees, and screen the talents of those interested in the Arts for potential apprenticeships.

While concern for the city and the threat of the horde is paramount of every citizen's mind, these weekly sermons unify and hearten all who attend: merchant, artist, farmer, student, slave, noble. Praise be all the deities of the city, who work in harmony to protect and enrich the lives of those they serve!
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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All across the city, scripted copies of the sunset sermons are to be found in places of business.

Having been taught to read them by the priestesses of Virelai, tavern-keepers captivate their patrons with their newfound ability, bakers regale housewives in the pre-dawn queues, farriers practice their discourse on their horses before sharing with their customers.
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Wharf district, on the southern bank of the river, almost in the Shanty Town in fact, is a small non-descript building. The windows are boarded up, so no light spills out to show it's occupied, except when the main door is opened. The only way to know this is a public house at all is the plaquard hanging over the door. At one point, perhaps twenty years ago, now, the sign and been gaily painted with a picture of a pleasant ship and a jolly cloud blowing it into the harbor. The Safe Haven was once a popular tavern with the welthy merchant class. But when the newer, larger peirs were installed to the North, all the welthy merchants started docking there, and storing their goods there, and soon the Trade District was to the north. Leaving only the Shanty Town to the south, and the wharves and warehouses there began to decay.

These days, the Safe Haven's sign is just a board, hanging by one hook. The other hook broke years ago, so the sign dangles haphazardly, flapping in the wind. The cheerful paint on the board has long since been bleached away by the salty wind, leaving just a grey plank over a grey door in a grey wall. Still, the place stays in business from a healthy word of mouth in the area. New sailors in town will ask their shipmates where to go for a drink, and the word stays alive. Their drinks aren't the best, and they aren't fancy. But they don't water them down too much. The patrons are there seeking something that burns on the way down, so too much water in the jug can be discerened pretty quickly.

The place's owner is an older man named Zed. He had been a marine in his youth, and had lost his leg and several fingers in some fighting. The pay for that engagement was decent, especially since so many of his fellows didn't survive it at all, and he decided to take his cash and buy the tavern. Stay near sailors if he couldn't be one himself, he thought. Little did he know that the reason the tavern was so cheap was because the former owner knew that the new docks would ruin the business. But, lacking any other options, Zed has managed to eek out a living. Zed is unmarried, still. Every once in a while, one of the tavern wenches will try to cozy up to him for concessions, thinking that his protests of near poverty are merely a cover. Once they find out the truth, they don't stay around much. Those kinds of women are willing to put up with his boorish behavior and incredible mysogany under the assumption that he's secretly rich. To discover that he was brutally honest as well as simply brutal, they find no reason to continue pretending he isn't a cretin.

The interior of the tavern is one large room. The front is the short dimension, and the hall extends for a fair ways once you've entered. Along the left-hand wall are two stone fireplaces, evenly spaced. On the right-hand wall, in roughly the space between the two fireplaces, is a bar, behind which stand Zed or his backup. The rest of the room is filled with long tables and benches, with a few secretive booths along the right-hand wall past the bar. There's a door behind the bar leading to a storage room for supplies, but things are arranged so that there is no way to walk from the tavern into the bar. Certainly one could vault the bar itself, but otherwise one must enter through the rear entrance and go through the supply room. Zed found that the patrons were less likely to rush the back of the bar when they were drunk, if they had to climb to do so. Due to a recent increase in thrown mugs (and the occasional person) he'd also been forced to add a wooden skirt over the bar, leaving only a two foot section through which he could dispense liquid happiness to his patrons. He considered mirrors there, but the expense and the likelihood they would be used to cheat at cards disuaded him. Instead, he's attached various discarded nautical parephenelia from ships, empty portals, sail rigging, and the like.

The wenches who work in the place don't usually stay very long. The job isn't very glamorous, and Zed continues to be both poor and aggrevating. That being the case, one woman continues to work there, year after year. Darla isn't a young woman anymore, though she's not nearly as old as she looks. She lived in a room above the tavern with her daughter. Darla's boyfriend, or at least the man she allows to defile her, stays over frequently, though his group of ruffians are frequent patrons of the tavern. Depending on when she's asked, she'll profess that she loves him, that he loves her, that she's only with him because his ruffians are so imbedded in the neighborhood and it would be dangerous to leave him, that she's going to leave him, that she has left him, or some combination of these. In the end, her situtation changes very little from year to year, except that her daughter is now getting old enough to understand what's going on.

The tavern's clientele are a mixture of people from the Shanty Town heading "uptown" for some spirits when they have a few coins to spare, dockworkers and coolies from the more rundown warehouses, and sailors from the less reputable ships that come to port. The typical pattern is for the sailors to start with the nicer places to the north of the river when their ships first make port. By the end of their stay, several days later, they've lost most of their money and / or gotten thrown out of those finer establishments, so they find themselves at the Safe Haven. Fights are common, causing Zed to attach the tables and benches to the floor, use only wooden flagons, and limit the amount of breakable items in the common room. Games of chance are common, and are commonly the cause of the fights.

There's no set entertainment in the place. Sometimes amateur bards, or semi-attractive women who think they can dance, will attempt to earn money by performing in the place. Few ever repeat the experience, for fear of being caught up in another fight. Heckling the entertainers is almost as likely to spawn melee as someone losing at a game of chance.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shawn stood on the hill, surrounded by the army of Aditya. With him is Marziale, Priest of Song, and the commander of the forces. He looks out to the lines of soldiers before him, trying hard to ignore the fact that behind him was an even large number of barbarians, equally bent on destruction. To the west, the sun has just begun to touch the horizon, typically when Libidinal's goblet of mead would be handed around. This moment, however, did not lend itself to Love. Quite the opposite, in fact. This would be a night of blood and death. Shawn kept his back to the setting sun, watching the shadows creeping up the bodies of the soldiers. To his missing eyes, the shadows brought vision, so it was like slowly watching the bodies of these men manifest from the ground upwards. Past the men were more barbarians arrayed to the east. And above them in the sky some early stars were already starting to glimmer through the darkening twilight.

"Soldiers of the City, hear me. Tonight, I speak to you on behalf of both Surya and Nyx, both of whom have gifts to share with you tonight. Other gods of the City also have gifts for you, or for your enemies. First, Surya asks that you all look upon his disk, as he sinks below the horizon. Let the last glimmers of his light enter your eyes now, though it may hurt just a bit. For when he leaves the sky, he will be truly gone from our city for the night, except for what glimmers you catch now. When Nyx takes over the sky and the countryside, she will bring forth a blackness so complete all will be blind. No moon, no stars, no fire will light any man's way, except for those of you gifted by Surya now. So, look now on Surya's glory. Capture it within you."

The line of shadow crept upwards further, finally revealing the faces of these men, all facing to the west, as Surya's disk vanished behind the ocean. In that moment, Shawn raised both hands, facing to the east and said simply, "Now!" With the sun's passing, everything went black. All the stars to the east. The orange sky to the west. The lamps and torches from the city. The camp fires here and in the camps of the savages.

The Soldiers of the City looked around themselves in the sudden darkness. They knew that there was no light now, and yet they could see. It was a strange sort of vision, all the world looked as if it was a brightly lit day, but all of it black at the same time. But they could see the enemy spread across the plains now, and they could hear thousands of enemy voices calling out in surprise.

To Shawn's vision, different from that granted by Surya, it was as if every eye of every soldier there was a bright lamp. The light obscuring their faces from his view, it was a very strange experience for him. Nyx is with me, all around me, as well as within my soul. But there is no time to revel in this joy; there's pain and death that must be meted out instead. He turns to the leader of the army, "I suggest you start now, General. There are many barbarians to kill before sunrise. Even blinded as they are, this will be a difficult night for all of us."
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A short distance to the Southwest lies the village of Blood Cove. While the other six villages around the city of Aditya are dedicated around farming, Blood Cove is more of an enclave of the wealthy, outside the walls of the city. Of course, there are farmers there, usually serfs working the land of the village's wealthy. But most of the village is the grandiose estates of a few merchants. The cove itself is small, not nearly deep enough for an actual ship to enter the waters. But smaller boats, especially the personal vessels of the wealthy, make much use of it's protection from the ocean's whims.

Two stories are told for how the village got its name. The "official" version has it that on many evenings, almost the entire summer, the sun setting in the cove would turn the whole thing a deep blood red. The more sinister version, whispered from one spoiled to the next holds that before Aditya's ships could effectively patrol the area, the cove was said to have been used by pirates. They'd wait there, hidden from the passing ships, then row out to board them, often killing everyone on board and then burning the ship at sea. It is said, though none have bothered to confirm, that just outside the cove, where the water is deeper, one might fight dozens of charred and sunken ships, entombed beneath the waves.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Windsong

The Wind is the whisper of our mother the earth.
The Wind is the hand of our father the sky.
The Wind watches over our struggles and pleasures.
The Wind is the goddess who first learned to fly.

The Wind is the bearer of bad and good tidings,
The weaver of darkness, the bringer of dawn.
The Wind gives the rain, then builds us a rainbow,
The Wind is the Singer who Sang the first Song.

The Wind is a twister of anger and warning,
The Wind brings the fragrance of freshly mown hay.
The Wind is a racer, a wild stallion running
And the sweet taste of love on a slow summer's day.

The Wind knows the Songs of cities and canyons,
The thunder of mountains, the roar of the sea.
The Wind is the taker and giver of mornings,
The Wind is the symbol of all that is free.

So welcome the Wind and the wisdom she offers,
Follow her summons when she calls again.
In your heart and your spirit, let the breezes surround you.
Lift up your voice then and Sing with the Wind.

Lalalala...

~Master Harper John of Danes Crossing

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kavya was surprised. He knelt before the dark altar, but was unsure of whether he wished to speak to his Lady or not.

The scales of justice had not been what he was expecting, and the wailing workman had been something of a shock. All very well to balance the deeds of man when they were dead, but for the living to be afflicted was beyond strange, although that was what had happened here.

His resolve firmed, and sparing a thought for the souls of the slaughtered barbarians who must even now be thronging the Halls of the Dead, he bowed his head again.

And prayed for guidance.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tale of the Warrior Priest

Short weeks after the Battle in the Night, Captain Keneb was training his company. Just as he did every day. And, as usual, they were training in the sun. The blazing noonday sun. In their full armor. And they had started with the dawn. The men were panting and groaning, and sweating rivers. And complaining, and bickering, and...

"Is everyone feeling warmed up yet? Ready to begin our workout?" Keneb laughed. Several clumps of dirt were flung in his direction, but only two had enough power behind them to reach him.

It is true enough that training under such conditions strengthens the men. At least those who survive the training. What battle conditions will the men fear when they're trained like this? Keneb always went to great lengths to make sure his men feared nothing. And he was always right there with them. Always in full-armor. The first to swing a sword when the exercises began in the morning, and the last to slide it into its scabbard when the sun set.

But, for Keneb, it was more than simply ensuring they would not drop from exhaustion before any enemy. For Keneb, it was the sheer joy of being in the sun. Since he was able to crawl out of his home as a baby, he had been drawn to the sun. Of course, that's nothing unusual. What child does not want to go out and play in the warmth and light? But Keneb was different. As a child, he never complained that it was too hot. He never missed the ball because the sun was in his eyes. He never got a sunburn. He noticed that he was more able to deal with the sun than others, and people would occasionally mention it to him anyway, but he didn't think much of it. He simply loved being in the sun.

The Battle in the Night was a greater experience than he could have imagined in a hundred years. This priest of Nyx, Shawn, had told them what would happen. But Keneb didn't actually believe him. How could a priest of Darkness tell them about the Sun? This god, Surya, that he was hearing so much about lately hadn't done anything that Keneb had noticed. He wasn't sure he even believed Surya existed.

Until the barbarians had burst into flames the other day! That was something Keneb couldn't deny! There truly was a God of the Sun! Keneb fairly trembled at the thought.

But here was Shawn, someone Keneb had never heard of, but who clearly represented Darkness, telling them the Sun's plans. Surya. I don't know if you can hear me. Shawn seems to be a nice enough guy, but I don't know how he can be speaking for you. Doesn't make sense. But I just wanted to thank you for getting us this far. And, if you can, please help us again. We're badly outnumbered. We can't get through this without some kind of help. And without us, the city will fall. We're the only thing standing between the barbarians and all we love.

[This one seems to know me more than most. I need to keep my eye on him.]

"Now!"

Darkness...

And light! For several seconds, the only sound from the King's army was indrawn breaths of shock and awe. Then some whispers and mutters. "I don't believe it!" "This is amazing!"

Keneb was beyond all speach. He nearly passed out from this kind of direct contact with the Sun. It was two full minutes before he actually heard any of the voices around him. Even when they were speaking directly to him, calling his name, his ecstasy was too much for them to penetrate. Finally, one of his men grabbed his shoulders and shook him. "Captain! Are you all right??" And Keneb came back to the world. And smiled.

"I've never been better. Let's go protect our city."

And they went down the hill to meet the barbarians...


After that, Keneb visited Nihon every day. He knew Szabad by sight and voice. They even shook hands once. Szabad was always friendly with everyone he met in Nihon. Pretty much anyone anywhere, for that matter. But Keneb only greeted him once, because he just wasn't sure what he was doing there. He seemed drawn to Nihon, to Surya, as he had been drawn to the sun all his life. But the sun had always been merely an object in the sky. A glorious, beautiful object, but, really, just a thing. Now it was a god. What was Keneb to this god?


Now, weeks later, as Keneb pushed his company, Surya pushed Keneb. He pushed hard.

"My Lord... Perhaps you're going a bit too far...?"

"Mmmm...? No, Szabad. Don't worry. It's fine."

"Yes, my Lord."


And now, Keneb was the only man left standing. The soldiers didn't know it, but the area they were practicing in was ten degrees hotter than anyplace else that day. Those who came to help the soldiers who fell, many unconscious, nearly fell themselves when they entered the practice zone, so shocked were they by the heat. "What's going on here?" "How can this be??" "No wonder they're all passing out!!"

Still, Keneb remained on his feet. Barely. His lifetime of love of the sun, and his thousands of hours in it prepared him for such experiences better than any other. But even he was at the end of his rope. Finally, about to collapse, he was in a state of mind he had never experienced before. He wanted the sun to stop. He looked up at the sun in the sky, and shouted:

"Surya! Is this your doing?! If I ever get my hands on you...!!!" And he fell, unconscious.


"Szabad. He is the one. Go to him."

"What?!? My Lord!! He... He
threatened you!!"

"Yes! It was wonderful, was it not?! I am very pleased! Go to him."

*sigh* "Yes, My Lord."



Two days later, Captain Keneb had his company on the field again, practicing. Szabad approached him when the Sun was at its height. The drills stopped the instant everyone saw him. They all knew who he was. Surya was, after all, incredibly loved by the soldiers after the Battle in the Night. All had visited Nihon at least once. Some had seen him in the castle, going to or from a meeting with the King.

Szabad went up to Keneb. "Captain Keneb. My Lord Surya has been watching you since you whispered your prayer to Him minutes before the great battle."

Keneb looked a little uncomfortable. "Yes. As I've told him every day since, when I've visited Nihon, I am grateful beyond words for what he did. I've never felt..." And he trailed off, the discomfort in his face now mixed with the memory of his ecstasy on the battlefield.

"Captain...", Szabad began. But Keneb interrupted him, anger coming out.

"Look! If he's gonna punish me for what I said the other day, tell him to just get it over with! I was delirious, and almost unconscious! Under the circumstances, I don't think he should be so offended, but what do I, a lowly soldier, know abo..."

"Captain!" Szabad shouted. Keneb fell silent.

"My Lord, please! This man..."

"Szabad."
Szabad felt Surya's smile.

"Yes, Lord Surya."


"Captain, my Lord Surya... Well, it seems he... liked what you said as you were passing out."

Keneb's mouth opened and closed a couple times, but he couldn't manage any words.

"Yes. I am as confused as you. But, be that as it may, He wants you to be his priest. His Warrior Priest."

Keneb actually stumbled backward a step at this. "I'm sorry. What?"

"Your love of the Sun all your life; your extreme skill as a warrior; and *sigh* your... outburst..." Szabad paused to gather strength. "I don't understand why speaking to Lord Surya like that would make Him..." His voice trailed off as he saw the change in Captain Keneb's face.

"He does, Szabad."

"I do, Szabad."

After a few moments, Szabad went on. "Yes. I see that you do. I'm not a warrior. Perhaps that's why I don't understand. But I see it."

The Sunbeam then streaked across the sky, bright enough to be seen even in the noonday Sun. It circled the practice field several times to be sure all saw it, then sped straight at Keneb. There were a few gasps from those who feared such power would kill the captain. The Sunbeam hit Keneb directly in the chest. But this was not an arrow to pierce flesh and bone and organs. Nor was it the Sunfire that destroyed so many barbarians. The Sunbeam simply entered his body, with no impact at all.

Keneb fell to his knees.

"You are now Lord Surya's Warrior Priest. Your life will remain as it has been. You are a soldier of the King's army. A captain. You will Protect the city as you always have. But, as you do so, you will show the world the glory of our Lord Surya, God of the Sun."
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story of the investment of Keneb by Surya himself flew like wildfire throughout the City; the Harpers retelling it far and wide, yet doubly so within the ranks of the City's Watch. Marziale was honing his skill with sword and shield against the Hall's adjunct general representative of the King when he heard the tale. Smiling grimly, he paused in his training to reflect to himself, This now makes three known priests of a warrior class within the city. The Conflicted One, being a High Priest himself, has been the most successful with his known efforts. I wish you success in your future endeavors, Keneb, reflecting on his own captivity as he finishes with a casual salute up towards the sun.

Returning his attention to Liroaka, he makes the formal salute towards her, takes his stance, and awaits her pleasure to resume their bout.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bowron the merchant cursed his god loudly and at length as he watched his sons hold another impromptu meeting in the garden below. In his heart, however, he delighted that they showed such zeal in their current endeavor. Their regular lessons had suffered badly this last month, and they had barely shown their faces at his office, where they were supposed to be earning their living and proving their worth.

But how could a father remain disappointed when all three of his sons showed such aptitude in this new pastime, this mathematics? Bowron’s profits had grown enormously since he had adopted the ways of Chime, and if his god encouraged this diversion, then Bowron suspected that his boys’ fascination would not be detrimental to their father’s business.

He noted with interest that his youngest, Corver, seemed in the ascendancy at the moment. A withdrawn, intelligent child, who often saw the broader picture before even his father, Corver generally did his calculations in the garden, various stones and garden ornaments holding down the sheets of parchment that surrounded him. Bommay, the eldest of the brothers, more charismatic and compassionate than the other two, had left his favoured station in the kitchen and was showing Corver his latest workings. The middle brother, Savin, stood slightly to the side, clutching his handful of notes. Savin, steady and focused, the peacemaker of the family, pale from spending most of the last month at his desk in the cool of the wine cellar.

In the garden below, the boys argued gloriously.

To almost anyone listening (those not engaged in the current competition, at least!), their altercations were pure gibberish:- the relationships between radius and circumference, between points on the golden spiral, between angles and the sides of triangles.

Their fellow competitors would have been aghast to realize, however, that the current argument was not actually about the solution to the competition, but rather about who would claim the glory of the prize!

The boys had profited from their sharing. Bommay had successfully calculated the mystical number, the ratio between radius and circumference of any circle (no matter how large!). Savin had successfully annotated the most difficult task, the ratio between the sides of the golden rectangle (and hence the golden spiral). But it had been Corver, using the broader experience of his work on the relationship between triangles’ angles and sides, which had brought their work together, and discovered that the product of Bommay’s number and Savin’s number proved to be a truly esoteric number! Prime numbers, thought to be indivisible by any other whole number, somehow divided themselves neatly when subjected to this product! ALL of the prime numbers did.

While acknowledging that their brothers’ work was indispensable to their solution, each now loudly proclaimed that they alone deserved the honour of announcing their solution!

Being boys however, logic alone was not to dictate the outcome of their argument!

Bommay and Sarin could do nothing but agree when Corver loudly announced, “Working with the PRIME numbers was my task. ‘Prime’ rhymes with ‘Chime’, therefore I will be the one to present our findings at The Rendezvous!”

Bowron, looking down from the balcony above, smiled and suspected that Chime’s new temple would have circular walls on the outside and square ones within. He wondered which of his boys would realise the significance of THAT, first?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eitri was stunned. Tubal-Cain is dead?!? This news, alone, was sad enough. A great loss. Arguably the city's most accomplished smith. Gone.

But more than that, Eitri had been Tubal-Cain's apprentice for several years. The bond between them was born of fire and iron; sweat and blood. Eitri had lost his master, but also his friend. Even a father figure.

But it was still worse. Tubal-Cain had asked Antaka's priest to take him. Asked! How could this be?!? It made no sense! Tubal-Cain had just experienced what no other smith in history had. He had performed a forging unlike any ever seen! Unlike any ever imagined! Those in the trade who had been able to observe any part of it had often been confused. And sometimes stunned! What was happening? How was it happening? Tubal-Cain's face would often take on an expression - joy; wonder; he had even shed a tear now and then - that had no cause that any observing could see. What was he seeing? Or feeling? At first, many thought the smith was, perhaps, losing his mind.

But they were also smiths. They knew their craft. Each had seen him heading toward disaster at one point or other. He didn't seem to be paying attention! Why wasn't he pumping more air? Why wasn't he putting the metal deeper into the forge, to the hottest part of the flame? A few had shouted warnings. Some had shouted reprimands. But Tubal-Cain had never done more than chuckle in response.

And, moments later, when he pulled the metal out, it was as it would have been if Tubal-Cain had done it correctly. Indeed, it was better than it should have been if he had done it correctly. It was better than it should have been under any circumstances! Leaving the observer very confused.

Eventually, through Tubal-Cain's cryptic hints, and the fact that nothing else could explain it, the other smiths came to understand that he was controlling the flame.

Directly.

With his thoughts.

Impossible, yet nothing else could explain what they were seeing.

Some wondered about the stranger who was there at times, silently watching. Smiling. A few recognized Szabad, the high priest of Surya. What did Surya have to do with this? How had the god of the sun made Tubal-Cain able to do these things?

And the finished product... Oh, the finished product! The new weapon of Surya's Warrior Priest, the symbol of his position, was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. The Sunsword was, simply put, perfect. Perfect weight and balance for the priest, Keneb, of course. A smith of Tubal-Cain's skill could not custom make a sword for someone and not do this good a job of it.

But the metal. Was it even metal?? It seemed as far beyond metal as metal is beyond stone. The edge was too fine to be seen. Too fine to be seen! It seemed to cut the light itself! And many who happen to find themselves nearby when Keneb wields it claim they can hear it hum.

All this, Tubal-Cain accomplished. A forging that none could dream of. A forging for a god.

Then, he asked Antaka's priest to take him.

Eitri was saddened nearly to breaking. Could it truly be that the experience was so sublime that Tubal-Cain could not imagine continuing on in this life that now seemed so very bland? Had he achieved the ultimate act of their craft, only to see no point in continuing on? To see continuing on as pain?

No! It can't be! There was madness in the city at the time. Some heard a mournful, savage music, from an unknown source, when the barbarians were slaughtered. And the barbarians are rumored to have been singing their own funeral song as they were killed. Could this madness have taken Tubal-Cain?

Well it won't take me! Never! I'll show the world what I can do! Tubal-Cain taught me well. I'm as good as anyone. If I was not equal to Tubal-Cain, it was not the difference between the master and apprentice that we once were, but between two masters. And that's only
if I was not his equal. Either way, I will now surpass myself.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having returned to the Harper Hall to retire for the night after the consecration of the shrines and the Singing of the Office of Evensong at the site of The Rotunda, Melody arises, then finishes her daily ablution and personal sacrifice within the Alta Cantabile. Stepping out in to the Arts District, she makes her way cautiously back to The Rotunda ‘ere dawn. As she passes stationed guard of the Watch, they fall in around her, safely escorting her to the construction site of the future temple.

Melody wonders at the attendance for this Office, being the first time it is sung and the early hour it calls for. She is pleasantly surprised as she arrives at the site to a well attended congregation awaiting her with unlit new candles in hand, her twin and fellow High Priest of Song waiting to aid her in her singing of the Office.

The Office of Aurora:

Processional: The Day Begins
Verse: Morning Glory (contained within The Day Begins)
    Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
    Removes the colors from our sight,
    Red is gray and yellow white,
    But we decide which is right.
    And which is an illusion?

    Pinprick holes in a colorless sky,
    Let insipid figures of light pass by,
    The mighty light of ten thousand suns,
    Challenges infinity and is soon gone.

    Night time, to some a brief interlude,
    To others the fear of solitude.
    Brave Surya wake up your steads,
    Bring the warmth the countryside needs.

Hymns: Aurora, [url=youtu.be/aFbDdmKK--c]Dawn is a Feeling[/url]
Unifying sacrifice of candles and drinking of Libidinal's mead
Changing of the Watch
Benediction
: Long Time Sun
    May the long time Sun shine upon you.
    All Love surround you and the
    Pure Light within you
    Guide your way on
Closing: Here Comes the Sun
Recessional: Morning Has Broken
(sung by congregation as they depart)

The Office sung, The Rotunda’s shrines consecrated, the two High Priests of Song step out in to the bright new day, having bid a gracious farewell to Night for now and having once again welcomed the enlightenment of the Sun.
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