-----------==================THE KAEZARIAN EYE==================-----------
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
ARCANE CONSTRUCT ERADICATES AE'RACHA HIVE!
It had been some Months since those most undesirable sub-terranean Denizens, known reluctantly to our Acquaintance as the Ae'racha, had troubled the city with their prodigious Tunneling, shaking the very Ground and putting all the people of Kaezar into a state of great Worry and anxiety. All seemed quiet beneath the Streets – or at least as quiet as a space packt full of enormous scrabbling Spider-people could possibly aspire to be – when on the evening of the Sixth daye of Kolbre Captain Elli Sojourner of the Royal Guards emerged from her usual Patrols of the Hive with a most unusual Artifact in hand. This Artifact, to wit, a metal Canister boldly inscribed with the legend "POISON" on one side, she Averred to have been recovered from a Dwarven Corpse found within the Hive. Moreover, this Corpse did not appear to belong to any common sort of Explorer, or hapless Citizen dragged awfully from the Streets above, instead being rather extravagantly Accoutred in mithryl armor of the highest Quality.
Informed Supposition held that this unfortunate Dwarf must surely be the Expert in dealings with the Ae'racha who had daily been expected by the Castle, and such was ultimately found to be the case. Considering that the Sixth marked a Year to the daye since an Imperial Courier had been way-laid by Orcs and murdered with quite unexpected Brutality, it must certainly be accounted an Unpropitious day of travel for any important Personage coming from Penthras.
Now lacking any person of Experience to consult with, there was some Uncertainty over how best to address the Threat posed by these creatures to the city and its Residents. Although the Ae'racha seemed in no Haste to carry out whatever Malign scheme they were in the process of hatching, after some weeks had passed a most Unsettling situation was discovered by Curan Norremitore, a Bard currently in the Employ of Lord Regent Trantris Esselyon of Seton Keep.
As Master Norremitore was making his way down Avanil Way on the afternoon of the Eighth of Winte, he found all of a Sudden a most Gruesome scene before him: severall Corpses lying upon the ground, seemingly drained of every drop of Blood in their bodies. As the daye wore on into night, more such Macabre discoveries were made in other parts of the city, tho' generally close by the Filk Museum, within which there exists a Passage-way to the Ae'racha Hive.
A number of Ae'racha were also found roving through town, and were necessarily Dispatched by alert Citizens wherever the creatures chanced to be sighted. In an attempt to Monitor the activities of the Spider-people and uncover whatever additional Details might be forthcoming, Captain Sojourner conducted an Emergency patrol of the Hive, wherein she was most Alarmed to find teeming mobs of Ae'racha surpassing in numbers and Activity anything that she had witnessed there before.
Deeming that the situation could only grow ever more Dire, a date was set to launch a decisive Assault on the Ae'racha's lair, using the great Power of Master Vikias' golem to deal what was hoped might be a Final blow upon the Hive. On the Seventeenth daye of Winte a band of valiant Adventurers set themselves to guard the entrances to the Hive while the Construct was sent down into the uttermost Depths of the place, there to set off the very same canister of Poison-gas that the ill-fated Ae'racha expert had brought with him for that purpose.
The Golem being sent off on its mission, the tunnels leading outwards were Collapsed with the judicious use of explosive Materials, and all Ae'racha attempting to exit were Slaughtered with as little Mercy as they deserved. As the blast from the canister was felt and the Poison-gas spread throughout the caverns, the swarm of Ae'racha attempting escape Swelled in numbers, until it seemed that there was a veritable Flood of them spilling through ever crack and Crevice through which they could push their Grotesque bodies. At last, however, the tide of hideous Spider-people began to ebb and finally ceased entirely, at which point it was concluded that the entire Hive had been utterly Obliterated from beneath the earth.
Unfortunately, it was not long before the Awful discovery was made that a handful of Ae'racha had escaped Destruction after all, though no one knew in what Manner such an escape might have been made, when the tunnels had been Demolished and all exits heavily guarded. Nevertheless, a new Hive was soon discovered by hardy explorer Naje Kam'pala in an old Keep some distance northeast of Kemstead, where it seemed a new Ae'racha Queen had taken up sinister Residence far below the crumbling walls. Given the promptness and Efficiency with which this new Hive was founded, one might Suspiciously conclude that the creatures had planned such an Expansion of their Dominion all along, and were but forced to show their Hand somewhat earlier than anticipated.
And so the matter stands, with Peril from the Ae'racha still looming on the horizon, but Kaezar at least preserved once more from imminent Destruction.
[Below is a woodblock print of a valiant warrior with sword raised, in combat with what appears to be a spider with a woman's upper torso, head and arms.]
-----------==================THE KAEZARIAN EYE==================-----------
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
MYSTERIOUS DOCTOR MAKES ABBREVIATED VISIT TO KESSIA
The month of Winte brought a most Unusual visitor to the Kingdom, a man curiously Gifted in the Arts of healing and calling himself by the rather poetical-sounding name of Alquillio. This man has provoked among the local Populace a veritable Storm of Curiosity and Amazement on account of his astonishing Feats of healing, and his sudden departure from Kaezar proved no less a matter of Excitement and controversy, involving as it did acts of Violence quite Stunning in their suddenness, though perhaps being not quite unprecedented in Kaezar on the whole.
Before the time of this Abrupt departure, however, the Doctor was responsible for the quite Miraculous Restoration of severall Persons once touched by the zu'Wrathe, and still suffering divers of the effects from that Malign contact. Master Ashinara De'Alera, now serving as Mage Protector of the Royal Guard, was one such Person once playgued by the Vile influence of the Wrathe, and who still bore the terrible scars of that Encounter even yeares after the fact. No Healer previous had been able to do any thing whatsoever to affect or Relieve the scars, but Doctor Alquillio's technique, whatever its nature, proved miraculously capable of doing away with them entirely, while also removing the pernicious Taint that the Doctor stated had remained upon Master De'Alera, oppressing body and Spirit alike. Doctor Alquillio performed the same Procedure upon Miss Ailaesyne Essait'ss, a young Nymph lady who had herself suffered the Attentions of the Wrathe, and this undertaking concluded with similarly Positive results.
Not to confine himself to any particular Malady, howsoever Miraculous the cure might seem, Alquillio examined a number of other prospective Patients possessing complaints of varying degrees of Severity. The Doctor showed that his Abilities were not restricted to the already Impressive kind of work involved with Curing various Persons of the Wrathe's mark upon their Soule, for he also restored function to the Arm of a Guardsman whose Complaint had formerly prevented the full use of the aforesaid Limb.
However, while others Consulted with Master Alquillio as to prices and Procedures, many of those chose to err on the side of Caution and ultimately Declined his services.
While his abilities were beyond Remarkable and hardly to be denied, yet a certain air of Shiftyness and sly Subtlety impinged upon even his most marvellous and Generous acts, and made certain of his prospective clients Wary of his intentions and Practices. It seemed that Secrecy shrouded his every act, for not only was the patient given over to a state of Unconsciousness for the entire duration of the Procedure, but also no Person was given leave by him to remain present as Witness to his work, not even for reasons of Propriety or Support for the patient.
One exception alone was granted by the Doctor, being that which allowed Master Mackival Aeterna to stay by the side of Miss Essait'ss as Alquillio labored to free the young lady of the scars left by the Wrathe. However, Master Aeterna was only allowed to be present on condition of maintaining the utmost Secrecy regarding the Procedure upon its completion, an Oath which he promptly made and continued perfectly to Uphold, to the extraordinary Vexation of all inquisitive Persons in the vicinity.
Still, despite even that reluctance on the part of some Persons to subject themselves to the Doctor's Procedures, there were yet other individuals who might have been inclined to do so, but were denied the Opportunity due to the entirely Unforeseen actions of certain others resulting in the Doctor's precipitous Departure from the city. It seems that Alquillio was deep into his work on a certain young woman of some Repute, the Lady Zanzi Blackmoore, who had like Master De'Alera and Miss Essait'ss suffered the Grim touch of the zu'Wrathe upon her Soule some yeares back. In spite of the supposed Delicacy of the Procedure, and the absolute Privacy in work that the Doctor consistently demanded, the young lady's Father, Lord Blackmoore himself, intruded upon the Operation at a critical point, resulting in some mild Harm to the poor woman's Person. Flying into a great Rage at the terrible things he thought being done to his Daughter by Alquillio, Lord Blackmoore straightaway drew his sword and ran the Doctor through on the Spot. Unsurprizingly, after his fortunate Resurrection Master Alquillio soon found it most Convenient to withdraw from the city and take his Business elsewhere.
Even now, the Doctor's means and motives remain a Mystery to everyone that is not likely to be resolved any time soon.
-----------==================THE KAEZARIAN EYE==================-----------
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
RESTLESS UNDEAD STALK STREETS OF KAEZAR!
Tho' this Mylywyth just past may have been slightly less Eventful than Mylywyths previous, the terrible Fort-night of Trost still found Kaezar playgued by numerous strange Horrors, some quite new and each as Awful to behold as the next. The Skeletons and Ghouls so regrettably familiar to Kaezar's denizens from the preceding yeares made their Appearance as Promptly as before, and likewise pursued their aim of Exterminating the entire living Populace with exactly as much Zeal as they had displayed previously. However, they were joined in this Endeavor by an entirely new variety of Apparition, a kind of shambling Horror formed of the Corpses of once-living creatures, now granted an uncanny Undeath by the sinister Powers usually associated with Trost's Holy-day and the weakening of the Veil.
These creatures, known by the name of Zombies, proved just as ill-tempered and Aggressive as most other Mylywyth Apparitions, throwing themselves at hapless by-standers with a disconcerting lack of Regard for the fact that many of the Zombies, after severall dayes of undeath, appeared just as likely to fall Apart themselves as to bring about the Destruction of others. Chiefly the higher kinds of Animals proved susceptible to resurrection in Zombie form, with Wub-wuvs, wolves, weaver-birds, and other commonly hunted Creatures invariably rising immediately upon being Struck down by local Adventurers. The threat appeared less from the lower Animals, as numerous Persons reported being able to fish without their Catch (or, for that matter, the Bait itself) leaping back to life within the anglers' fishing-creels. Less fortunately, sentient Creatures such as Ae'racha also showed themselves greatly Liable to Zombie-ism, as such were indeed among the first of these Undead terrors to wreak their Vengeance upon the denizens of Kaezar.
For most of the Season, it seemed that the people of Kessia could at least take Comfort in knowing that no Daun, Elf, or member of any of the other Civilized races was susceptible to being resurrected to such a Mockery of life after perishing during the hunt or at any other time or place. Unfortunately, this Happy state of Affaires was doomed to come to an End on the final day of Mylywyth, Vos'Siddix, at which point the Veil is at its weakest and all Sorts of strange and Horrible events commonly contrive to take place.
This time proved no Exception, for it happened that upon this day various Persons chanced to die, and, upon their deaths, subsequently had their Corpses resurrect themselves as the dreaded Zombies. Being not at all inclined towards peaceable Pursuits, the presence of such Zombies very soon contributed to the creation of yet more of their macabre Kind, as they threw themselves Violently upon all living Persons with the misfortune to happen upon them. Numerous brave Citizens fell prey to these undead Horrors, and, some of them being quite Powerful in their own right, caused to be created new Zombies of singular Potency, whose abilities threatened to make of the entire city a vast peripatetic Graveyard.
But at last the Bells of the Crossroads tolled the hour of Midnight, and from this point forth no more Zombies appeared, no matter how many Unfortunate deaths any Person should happen to suffer. With some effort and Persistence, the existing Zombies were dealt with and sent on to a hopefully much more Permanent rest, and a great sigh of Relief was breathed that another Mylywyth was past.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
SEANCE PROBES MYSTERIES OF HAUNTED HOUSE!
Faithful readers of the Eye over the past Yeare may recall the Chilling tale of investigations last Kolbre into the strange History of a certain abandoned Dwelling, whose state of Decay alone could not account for the unsettling Atmosphere permeating its musty old rooms. Lying somewhat to the west of the equally Eerie village of Raven's Hollow, likewise long ago abandoned to some terrible Calamity, the Dwelling in question sits along the Sunderland Road amidst fields long since run to Weeds and Ruin. Last yeare's intrepid Investigator and indefatigable Ghost-hunter, Ashinara De'Alera of the Royal Guards, along with the Head Reporter of this Publication, had inquired at some Length as to the certainly Terrible history of the house, but were at last compelled to give up in Defeat, as no-one seemed to know anything whatsoever of the matter.
This past Mylywyth, Master De'Alera determined to try his Hand once more at Discovering the causes for the strange Phenomena surrounding the house: its disturbing Aura, bleeding walls, disembodied laughter and Screams, etc. In consultation with Lord Blackmoore, he hit upon the notion of conducting a Seance in the house, thereby to summon up the Spirits of those who had once Dwelt there and must surely be able to tell something of the Awful incidents that had Befallen them. On the night of the Thirtieth of Kolbre, Vos'Siddix Eve, De'Alera and a crowd of Curious and Fearless lookers-on assembled in the front room of the haunted Abode, where it was hoped that the use of certain Rituals, performed just as the barriers between the Veil and the Mortal world were growing weakest, would prove Successful in drawing out the restless Spirits of the house.
Once everyone who wish to Participate had arrived, De'Alera passed out Votive candles to four Persons besides himself, and bade everyone arrange themselves across the room to form a five-pointed star, or Pentacle. He then began to chant the Ritual phrases to summon the Ghosts, commanding them to show themselves for the purpose not only of learning their sad History, but also of helping them find Peace, if such were possible. Immediately upon uttering these words, De'Alera's head gave a peculiar Jerk and then sank down upon his Breast, as if he were in some kind of supernatural Trance, as indeed seemed to be the case.
There forthwith emerged from his own Mouth a Voice quite unlike his own, seeming to belong rather to a small Child. This Voice proceeded to call out plaintively for its Father and to beg to be taken into the Warmth and Light, as it was "so dark and Cold where it had been Left." When any Question was put to the Child, De'Alera's head would roll in a most Alarming manner, and he would turn a blank-eyed Gaze upon the Questioner, tho' not usually to make any Answer other than to ask very sadly if that Person was its Father, or knew where he was to be found, or whether the Child could now emerge from its dark Hiding-place into the Light. All that could be Gleaned from the Child was that it had been told by its Father to hide against the coming of "the Dark Ones, the biters, the cutters, the Minions of the evil Lord," and that its name was something that sounded like Bay.
At length the poor Child hit somehow upon the notion that one Person in attendance, Royal Magus Ariano Azor'i, was in fact its long-lost Father, and pled most Piteously to be allowed to return to the Warmth. Magus Azor'i, readily adopting this role for the Child's sake, assured it that was certainly now safe to Emerge from the cold and Damp, and seek peace in the Light. No sooner had he given those Assurances than there appeared in the room a misty Shape resembling a Daun-sized Child, which seemed to seep up from the cracks in the Floor-boards of the room. Before anyone could do much more than Gape at the sudden Apparition, another Spectral form appeared at the top of the Stair-way to the second storey, this one in the shape of a grown Woman. Crying out to the ghostly Person as "Mother," the Child-spirit drifted upwards to her as she Beckoned to it, and as they were joined there by the larger Figure of a Man, they all began to Dissipate into air (tho' not before the ghostly Woman had Disintegrated an intruding Bear with her mere Gaze).
All in the room had just begun to Congratulate themselves for their Role in re-uniting the ill-starred family, even while it had not been possible to learn any great Details from the Child, when quite Suddenly they were interrupted by a great Bellowing that Echoed throughout the house, immediately followed by the appearance of an Ominous Figure that seemed to freeze the very Air as it Stalked through the room and up the Stairs. Their curiosity once again aroused by this new Spirit, the group pursued it to the second storey, where they proceeded to Search the decayed and disturbingly Blood-stained rooms for it.
All were quite Puzzled as to what might have become of the Apparition, until it re-materialized as abruptly as the first time and displayed a rather Shocking lack of Manners as it shouldered a number of the group aside on its way down the Hall, and once out of sight began to yell loudly and quite Rudely at them to leave upon the Instant. As if this were not enough Insult to be Borne, the Spirit began to cause a number of other Bizarre and unpleasant things to happen; e.g., the walls began to let loose a volley of Nails at everyone gathered in the hall, one poor woman was accosted by invisible Hands in a most Lewd manner, and even the Liaison to the Council of Mages was treated with what could only be deemed great Contempt, being repeatedly lifted into the air and slammed down onto the Floor with gleeful Violence. What was still more Puzzling was the repeated Exclamations of the Ghost that some mysterious "She" belonged to it, and that it would agree to relase this unknown Personage under no Circumstances.
At this point there began to be some Uncertainty as to what was to be done, as this Spirit seemed evidently Hostile and not to be Placated by such simple gestures as had proven helpfull in restoring the Peace of the house's family. Moreover, no-one present had any great experience in Ghost-banishing or knowledge of Rituals of Exorcism. A young Spiritualist practitioner attempted to control or Banish the Spirit with the use of Summoning-circles, but in the end this proved as Futile as all other attempts. At last everyone was forced to the sad Conclusion that they had done all that they reasonably could, and left the Spirit to its Malevolent Hauntings, yet secure in its sinister Mysteries.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
KING HEARS PETITIONS AT ROYAL AUDIENCE
Many months have passed us by since last our good King Vek staged an open Audience for all his Subjects to attend and present before him whatever Concerns might lie heaviest upon their Myndes. It was thus a most wellcome event when just such an Audience was scheduled for the Eleventh daye of Winte, to be held as usual within Malcomb Castle at ten bells past Noon.
At the appointed hour, Lords, Ladies, and Persons of lesser social Station gathered in the King's Throne-room to witness or take part in the Proceedings. To start off the Audience, the King gave a passionate Speech on the rare Industry and valor of the people of Kessia, ending with a call for all-out Warfare upon the Ae'racha lurking beneath the city. His Majesty also commended Court Magus Ariano Azor'i and Royal Bard Beckah Lotheniel for their continued and exemplary Service to the Throne. The Audience then made an Intriguing departure from Tradition in offering for those attending a short period of musical Entertainment, sung by the Royal Bard with accompaniment upon the Harp by Curan Norremitore, a Bard currently in service to the Lord Regent of Seton Keep. The song was simple but Excellently well perfomed, being of a Homely theme quite appropriate to the Season.
When the Diversion was ended, all Petitioners were encouraged to step forth in turn to be Heard, but it chanced that there was but one Person there present with the aim of delivering such a Petition. Master Malo Haithcock, a well-known Illusionist recently involved in the historic creation of Mage Council Liaison Baigan Vikias's Golem, had with him a Petition from the Liaison himself, consisting of three parts: Firstly, extending Gratitude towards the Court for its Assistance in Master Vikias' numerous magickal Projects; Secondly, informing the King of Master Vikias' intended implementation, approved by the Council of Mages, of magickal proficiency Examinations, to be conducted upon all new Practitioners of magick, and granting Certification upon completion.
And Lastly, the Third, a reminder to the Court of the availability of Master Vikias' arcane Construct, or Golem, for the settling of important matters of State, and suggesting that the Golem might be observed upon the Instant with a snap of His Majesty's fingers.
Upon soliciting the Advice of the Royal Magus, and being given the Recommendation to proceed according to the suggestion of Master Vikias' Petition, the King did snap his Fingers forthwith. He had not long to wait for a response, for hardly had a few ticks of the Clocks gone by before the Construct appeared in the Doorway, its arrival Heralded by a surprised Clamor from the guards without. As King and Construct regarded each other, the latter proceeded to praise His Royal Majesty's health and to request, upon instructions from its Master, that it be granted a Knighthood from the Crown – a request that was, to the surprise of no one at all, promptly Denied.
After Liasion Vikias's Petition had been duly presented, and the Golem dismissed once more, Master Haithcock brought forth another Petition, this one from himself. Master Haithock here stated a request for the aid of the Court in some novel magickal Researches of his own, involving experimentations in Warding systems against Spells, and necessitating Sildok and Gems in quantities beyond that which he could easily obtain himself, as well as Tools of a specialized nature. Hearing these words, His Majesty requested further information be Imparted to him, and recommended a meeting be scheduled with Master Haithcock to discuss Details.
No further Petitions being brought forth, the Audience was adjourned and the Crowds dispersed, to discuss the events of the night at their Leisure.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
JEWELS OF KESSIA LEND SPARKLE TO WANING DAYS OF AUTUMN
This Autumn marked the Establishment of a new Society in Kessia, one which aspires to bring together Women from all walks of Life and unite them in good Conversation, enjoyment of fine Food, and engagement in womanly Pursuits. This Society welcomes all Women of Quality, referring not necessarily to social Station, but moreso to good Character, native Wit, refined Morals, and general good Breeding. Taking as its name The Jewels of Kessia, the Society already includes within its ranks such outstanding women as the Lady Vivael Wethrin'aer and Royal Bard Beckah Lotheniel, as well as talented practitioners of magick and even a very fine Lady and Story-teller from the Sunjo people of Ziguran.
In addition to serving as social gathering, the Jewels of Kessia have as part of their Mission the putting on of various Entertainments for the local Populace. The fist such of these events, the Toast to Autumn, took place in mid-Kolbre, and featured a rousing boar-hunt through the King's Woode near Never-Upon-Vinre, followed a few nights later by Feasting and games upon the lovely shores of the Lonesome Beach near Fishbourne.
The great Boar from the hunt, which was roasted up to a lovely golden-brown and crisped to absolute Perfection, assumed the Center-piece of the feasting board on the night of the Toast, but the hearty spread featured numerous other treats, such as Candied caramel apples, stuffed Pumpkin-leaves, and a spicy mulled Cider of superb quality. In addition to the excellent Repast, various Entertainments were provided, most notably a Gourd-tossing contest and a tale-telling session from Lady Ajozi. Both provided great fun and Diversion for those present, and Prizes were even awarded to the three Contestants who had Excelled most greatly at the Gourd-throwing, those Persons being, in order of Luck and skill, Lord Rayth Blackmoore, Master Malo Haithcock, and Master Somyr Sheehan.
After this first ample demonstration of their Talent in regards to the provision of Entertainment and Levity for the Province, the people of Kessia doubtless look forward to seeing what these intelligent and refined Ladies may devise in the Future.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
THE EXTRAORDINARY CONSTRUCT OF KAEZAR,
An ILLUSTRATED Account of the Creation and Capabilities of the Arcane Construct, or GOLEM, Conceived of by Wizard BAIGAN VIKIAS, and Brought into Existence by Himself, and Numerous of His Esteemed COLLEAGUES.
There surely can be no incident of greater Note to occur in the last few months than the Conception and subsequent Fabrication of that astonishing Creation of metal and magick that is Baigan Vikias' masterful Arcane Construct, the Golem. Tho' dogged by strange Thefts and Assaults and the extraordinarily Negligent disappearances of various Collaborators, the Project ultimately bore fruit in the form of an Ingenious and Versatile Construct, capable of following detailed Orders, defending the city against Hostile intruders, Teleporting and Levitating, and indeed performing nearly any Action that his creator might deem necessary.
[Here the article is accompanied by a woodblock print showing the golem in all its arcano-mechanical glory. Fashioned from a whitish metal, the humanoid figure looks to float a small distance off the ground, where it lists ever so slightly from a vertical orientation. Spindly metal legs terminate in wickedly glittering points, and it holds its long, graceful arms limp at its sides. Its right hand lacks fingers, instead terminating in an articulated cluster of six razor-sharp claws, while its left arm culminates in a thick-fingered hand inscribed with a dizzying array of runic patterns. Gracing its chest is a massive seven-pointed sigil that winds up around its neck and envelops four dark crystalline spheres inlaid in the front of its head. Beneath the print is the neatly-typed caption, "Heigan, Arcane Construct"]
The Creation of such a Construct had long been a Dream of Master Vikias, which had finally become capable of Realization with the assembly of essential tools, rare and powerful Materials, and the co-operation of severall greatly Talented Mages, not to mention the gradual Perfection of the mode of magickal Inquiry necessary to achieve such a Complicated goal.
Consisting of the Spirit of an Elemental housed within an intricate Body of pure T'elt, the Golem was designed to carry out whatsoever Orders its master might impart to it, yet also to be possessed to some degree of the Faculty for Reason and even Creativity, such that it might follow orders, yet be not entirely Dependent on the word of its master for every action taken in the fulfillment of those Commands.
Construction of the Golem was no mean Feat, as it involved the efforts of numerous magickal Practitioners working together over the span of some months. The Golem was conceived as consisting of two separate Parts, the Body and the Core, which upon their creation were to be combined into one Entity in the course of a final arcane Ritual. The t'elt Body, assembled by mechanist Mackival Aeterna with assistance from Simon Telsinder, consists of an ingenious Array of clock-work and delicate machinery, all housed within a sturdy Frame of generally Humanoid appearance. Unlike any Daun or Elf of most people's acquaintance, however, this Construct is possessed of a quite Impressive collection of wicked-looking Claws, and its standard mode of Locomotion is a seemingly effortless Levitation over the surface of the ground.
[Another woodblock print shows the golem again, this time clearly in motion as it floats into a large and elaborate room beneath a high-vaulted ceiling. Gazing down upon it from a majestic wooden throne is a figure immedately recognizable as King Vek, his expression cautious but curious as he considers the strange new entity before him. The caption underneath the print entitles it "The Construct and the King"]
The other part of the Golem, the Core, was if anything even more Complex and obscure, for this was the genuinely Magickal portion of the Construct, within which would reside the Entity that was to give it life. This Entity was raised directly from the Weave in a delicate Ritual, being a sort of Elemental Spirit described by Master Vikias as "an entirely new breed of Sentience, the arcane Law itself given a Voice!"
The Core was designed such that it consists of a Sildok body containing a variety of gems of great rarity and Puissance. Each gem has a specific and highly essential Role to play in shaping the Golem's nature and Abilities, as well as in Powering the Golem in all its activities, including Levitation or Flight.
[The print inserted here reproduces a meticulous drawing of a strange cubic device, which bears underneath it the brief legend "Arcane Core." Dark-colored sildok has been fashioned into an open-ended container, whose dimensions have been labeled to indicate that it is precisely one foot on a side and slightly over two inches thick. The latticework within contains a number of gems and small slivers of some kind of metal. In spite of being just a diagram, the device somehow manages to look not only complicated but incredibly potent.]
Apprentice Ena Somhairle, the Lady Vivael Wethrin'aer, Malo Haithcock, Ariano Azor'i, Edyn Sunvirea, and Ashinara De'Alera assisted Master Vikias throughout the various stages of the Project, though an unfortunate bout of illness cut short Master De'Alera's involvement in the latter Phases of the process. While receiving their Instruction from Master Vikias himself, it was these Colleagues' ingenious Innovation that devised specific Enchantments to lay upon the gems, which would then enable the Golem's various Powers. They additionally worked with Vikias in the Rituals whereby the Elemental Sentience was summoned and bound to the Core, and the Core finally fused to the t'elt Body to complete the Construct's creation.
[A woodblock print here shows a high-ceilinged office lined with bookshelves and amply lit by a hanging cluster of mithryl lanterns. Stationed around the room in various attitudes of intent interest, detached curiosity, and bored inattention is a group of people with meticulous labels floating helpfully above their heads, reading variously "E. Somhairle," "A. Azor'i," "M. Haithcock," "V. Wethrin'aer," "A. De'Alera," and "E. Sunvirea." They all appear to be gathered loosely around an imposing wooden desk, behind which a Daun man sits accompanied by his own levitating label of "B. Vikias." Some distance from the tall silvered glass windows that dominate the back wall, there sit upon the floor a hunting sack and a wooden crate, both apparently crammed to the brim with a spectacular assortment of gems, metal ingots, wands, flasks, and even less identifiable objects. Beneath the woodblock is the somewhat obscure caption "Meeting of the Minds"]
The project was not entirely without Trouble, as the Golem upon first being Activated suffered from a certain unpredictability of Behavior. On the night of the final arcane Ritual, the Golem performed somewhat Erratically, apparently misinterpreting some of its master's Commands and injuring certain members of the Audience gathered to witness the historic Occasion, tho' thanks to the swift actions of Empath Beckah Lotheniel, none were Wounded beyond Aid. Additionally, some of the Construct's remarks occasioned some Puzzlement, not simply in their Opacity, but for the degree of seemingly independent Thought evidenced by the Construct. Nevertheless, given the vast Complexity of the Construct and the multifarious magicks that went into it, it is hardly surprising that Master Vikias failed to anticipate the Golem's every action, and when the entirely Novel nature of the Project is taken well into Account, then one should rather be more Amazed that the Construct has operated so much to plan at all.
[This woodblock print is focused upon a single figure standing in the center of a circular windowless hall constructed of austere stone blocks. As spectators look on in awe or bemusement from their seats upon low spindled benches, the central figure, an impeccably-dressed Daun man, is captured in a posture of almost worryingly maniacal-looking exultation. Head thrown back as he cackles with unrestrained glee, the man faces the apparent source of his elation, the golem floating gently and imperturbably nearby. The print is labeled with the caption "Vikias Triumphant"]
Of course the Golem's greatest Triumph in the myndes of all who reside in Kaezar is its role in the Assault upon the Ae'racha Hive, in which it was Instrumental in the Poisoning of the Ae'racha and their wholesale Slaughter beneath the town. Naturally, not being a living and breathing Natural creature, the Golem was immune to the Poison-gas that wreaked such merry Havoc upon the Ae'racha, and being able to Teleport itself from one locale to another, it was in no way hindered by the Collapsing of the tunnels meant to prevent the Spider-people's escape. Again, however, the aftermath of the Event showed the Construct demonstrating some Peculiarities of Behavior, suggesting that it was developing an astonishing Capacity for Free Will of a sort, in addition to its already impressive Intelligence.
[Compared to the other woodblocks accompanying the text, the print inserted at this point contains a minimum of detail, instead appearing rather starkly dramatic in its simplicity. Here the golem stands in a defiant posture, arms raised high above its head as it brandishes a canister prominently labeled "POISON!!" All around the construct, beneath a ceiling so extravagantly laden with stalactites that it seems they might have more to fear from being momentarily impaled than poisoned, the ae'racha are frozen in positions of terror, horror, and purest malevolent loathing as they face their imminent death at the viciously-clawed hands of the vengeful golem. It does not take an especially astute observer to surmise that this picture more likely represents an artist's fanciful imagining of events rather than a more boringly accurate photograph. The print bears the optimistically rousing caption of "Kaezar Avenged!!"]
Such unpredictability, however, can hardly be viewed as an oughtright Failure, for the entire World must marvel at the marriage of magick and machine leading to the Creation of such an Entity, capable of intelligent Thought and action surpassing even its creator's Demands. The final outcome of this ambitious Project remains to be seen, and indeed must be the subject of a great deal of wonderment and Speculation, but whatever it is that the Future may hold for the Golem, that Future is bound to be Remarkable and different from anything that has yet come to pass.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
*** NEWS IN BRIEFE ***
On the night of the Toast to Autumn on Lonesome Beach, a young il'lthye lady, Miss Vivien La'Fae, chanced most unexpectedly upon a corked glass Bottle washed up on the shore. Upon opening it, she was all Amazed to find within a piece of parchment, which upon further inspection appeared to be a Treasure-map leading the way to some secret Trove. Being put, quite understandably, into a state of some Excitement over this finding, she soon found herself leading an Expedition in search of the mysterious Hoard. At the end of an evening's wandering guided by a Dwarf by the name of Tamanier, who claimed Knowledge of the place represented on the map, the intrepid Adventurers found themselves in the Cemetary of Kemstead Abbey. There, digging down into the musty Ground, they discovered a chest that met everyone's greatest Expectations, being filled with dazzling Jewelry and precious Gems of all kinds. The discoverers of this Treasure split the riches amongst themselves, a most Generous and un-piratical end to an astonishing Adventure.~~~~~
It promises thus far to be an unusually cold Winter, its cold striking early and penetrating deep, freezing Ground and Water alike. While the Snow-fall has arrived earlier in previous Yeares, yet the cold this Season has been Harsher than usual, as even remarked upon by the Duchess Sarafina at the King's recent Audience, where Steward Duncan MacFarquhar similarly remarked that such cold had not been Felt since the winter of 638 AoD. The deep Chill is broken only by days of hardly greater Warmth, which, rather than bringing any great Comfort, send down great quantities of frigid Rain to drench the unwary Traveler. Likewise this downpour, far from lessening the Misery, simply melts down the top-most layer of Snow, which promptly freezes again immediately the Temperature plummets, leaving a vastly Treacherous Ice-layer upon road and field. Whether such Frosty and intemperate weather will continue the whole winter is left to the predictions of Astrologers, Weather-witches, and the more Perspicacious among the Peasantry.
Coming some Weeks in advance of Winter's cruell onset, a nearly equally frosty Enterprise was launched in the Cheerful little town of Briarbrook, where Greter's Premium Super Fine Gourmet Iced Cream Emporium opened its doors to an enthusiastic Publick on the Eighteenth daye of Plade. Iced Cream, a sweet and savory Concoction of frozen and churned-up Milk, may it seems be imparted with any number of interesting Flavors, both familiar and Exotic, and the peculiar Contraption responsible for the production of this icy Treat proved itself capable of creating over a Dozen of them.
Beyond any Doubt the strangest of these was that called by the vague yet undeniably Accurate name of Greter's Indescribrable Concoction, which produced divers unusual Effects in those possessed of enough Courage to try it, of which profound Disorientation and the impression of certain people having assumed a shade of Purple were among the least of them. The other Flavors, being of a somewhat Tamer variety, included fruit flavors such as Silvery Apple Mint Delight and Luminous Lumin Sorbet, besides such treats as Deliciously Dyrenut and Cocoa Rigmarole. Few who sampled the chilly Wares could express anything but Delight over the Emporium, and the Establishment is sure to become more Popular still once the warm dayes of Summer are upon us again.
As the dayes have grown ever more cold and Wintry, people's Heads have suddenly been Turned by the notion of Ice-skating upon the local ponds, which have quite frozen over in the recent Chill. Numerous persons have turned out upon Jendra's Pond in Kemstead in order to try their hand (or rather, their Feet) at gliding across the ice on their brand-new Ice-skates. While some Skaters are more Practiced than others, the activity seems to have provided great Diversion to nearly all who have attempted it, even those few who may at one point or another have found themselves sliding Face-first across the pond into the nearest Snow-bank.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
THE CRITICAL EYE – Reviews of Culture and the Arts
~ Hylaria's Fall Review ~
Another autumn has come and gone, and I am sure my readers are as delighted as I to find that it has been a most MARVELLOUS season for the Arts! I do not think anyone of taste and sense can deny the great talent of our new Royal Bard, Miss Beckah Lotheniel, whose name I surely need not even mention here for it is beyond all doubt that she has become a household name around Kessia, and very likely even to points beyond!
Her very first major event, the Never-Upon-Vinre Art and Wine Walk, was a wonderful success by all imaginable measures, and a JOY to every man and woman of artistic sensibility and cultivated palate. Not only did the paintings display an astonishing measure of SKILL and ARTISTRY, but each of them was accompanied by a variety of wine that matched the paintings for flavor! Though a few of the artistic works were ever so slightly peculiar in theme and execution, one must keep in mind that artists are in general an eccentric bunch and not always to be fully understood by those of us with lesser gifts in the Arts. That said, each and every piece on display was wondrously striking and indisputably UNIQUE!
Following up the IMMENSE success of her past artistic gatherings, Miss Lotheniel played host to another such assemblage of superbly talented creative souls as they sang, recited poetry, and told tales for her Plethany of Plade, held once more at Kaezar's illustrious Ghent Center. I simply never cease to be amazed by the EXTRAORDINARY degree of creativity and style demonstrated by the people of this great country, nor by the wonderfully STRIKING figures they cut!
All who attended the event were treated to some lovely songs by rising star Curan Norremitore, whom no one will be in the least surprised to learn is a very dashing Lior in addition to a most GIFTED poet and harpist!
Even granting him the use of great artistic license, it still beggars the imagination of the listener to believe for a moment that any woman could be immune to his vast CHARM, as he sang in his first song of the night. He also later recited a short poem written by a young lady who could not be present, and one could not help but simply be TRANSPORTED by the sweet sound of his voice, which is exactly reminiscent of the sound of bells borne distantly on a breeze – not the chill sorts of breezes one feels now, that set one's teeth chattering and put one's wings in a fluff, but a lovely balmy breeze of spring, with the scents of lilac bushes and butterflies' wings and new grass wafted gently on it. I am certain that there is not a single verse in the world that cannot benefit from being spoken in such tones, and this one was no exception!
In addition to being treated to the felicitous sound of Master Norremitore's voice, we heard a most RIVETING story told by the fascinating Baigan Vikias, whom most will recognize for his vast talents in the realm of magic rather than storytelling. Nevertheless, Master Vikias showed that his talents are not restricted to a single sphere at all, as his tale was full of a terrible and TRAGIC beauty, full of dark deeds and love avenged from BEYOND THE GRAVE! It was quite remarkable, and I am sure I am not alone in hoping to hear more from Master Vikias at such gatherings in the future.
A short poem was next recited by that nice young mechanist Simon Telsinder, which was a quite CLEVER piece about the contradictions of being unique, as he said, "just like all other men." Hearing him recite in such sweet and clear tones was a fine treat, and made this humble nymph breath a great sigh of delight.
After some persuasion, the acting manager of the Eye itself was also prevailed upon to sing a rather melancholy song, which must have come as a surprize to everybody (the song itself, not quite so much the melancholy) for who has ever heard of a singing editor? She did however prove to have a surprizingly pleasant voice, though perhaps not quite as captivating as Master Norremitore's bells-on-spring-breezes, which I feel can hardly be surpassed by anybody, even if they are newspaper editors and thus surely possessed of great talent in their own unique way!
Although your faithful critic was sadly unable to attend and report on it to her devoted readership, another very interesting event took place in Kolbre, being sponsored by the newly-founded Jewels of Kessia, who are by all accounts a most remarkable set of women of Society. My connexions tell me that the feasting and merriment that took place on Lonesome Beach were simply unmatched, and the games and prizes the equal of any thing in charm. Also, I simply must state in passing that the chilly weather of the past weeks, accompanied by the beautiful drift of fluffy snowflakes that pleasantly tickle the wings on a frosty evening, has been nearly as much a delight as the events of the Art World, and I simply cannot recommend the skating more highly!
TWO WINGS UP for the whole delightful season!!
~ Kholer's Fall Review ~
I was on hand for the Never-Upon-Vinre Art and Wine Walk. I walked down the street looking for some decent liquor; there was none to be had except for some weak elven wine, usually referred as 'horse-piss' by the innkeeper Breen of the Crossroads Inn, so I walked to Boog's Place to partake of a real man's drink, his fine whiskey.
Thanks to that libation, I grudgingly call the night a success, two tusks up.
Some people had told me of music and stories in Fishbourne, but this Gharkin thinks if you have to hide all the way in Fishbourne to perform your work it's probably not worth the trip. We'll see if they have the guts to perform where people might hear them next time. In light of this display of spinelessness I don't think I need to feel any qualms about giving them two disdainful tusks down.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
AS EYE SEE
By Auntie Anony
Hello Hello Hello – Hafe you hearde!
So much to Tell!
Juicy, juicy, juicy is all Auntie can say about the events of the past season! It seems that Lord and Lady Pendeleu are back in town, that would be Martaigne and Melissandra to those of you who know them, as is Her former Fiance, Lord Vidumavi Blackmoore, whom, Auntie has learned is now Lord Foscari! Word has it he married a rich heiress from Quesalia. All Auntie knows is we cannot wait until the triangle meets. We wish we were a fly on the wall for that one for sure.
Auntie's next question is, where does one draw the line? News hath come to us about Imperials beating and mistreating that rascal Tamerlaine, just because they can, due to his outlaw status. One of our favorite men of the cloth, Pedrak said they even brought him to be raised by the good father himself before brutalizing him once more! Time was when that lovely Jurion was known for his delightful art work, but now it seems he is the one who is all done up in the fine shades of sanguine, black and blue. Is brutality part of Guardsman training now? Pity, we say, is its own reward.
Love seems to be in the air as well this season, but to one young bard in particular, it appears to be flying every which way. First we see Master Norremitore with the very lovely young Dacian, then like a nymph in heat, he flies to and is squiring Mistress Vivien about town, and now we are witness to his kanoodling with bard Aurorah Moonsong. Ladies, watch your hearts, is it Ghent whom the young musician devotes himself to, or Lyra...so hard to tell these days.
And speaking of the Blackmoores, it seems that they are in residence in Pendram's Keep, accepting visitors and making themselves comfortable while cleaning up the squallor left by the former residents, the orcs of Barkbane. My dearest friend, Duchess Sarafina must be much happier with her new tenants that the old, and some say she is naming Lord Rayth to be Regent of the Keep.
Saving the best for last, could there ever be such a Party as the Twelfth Night affair at Seton! The food, the music, the dancing, the fun! We can say we've never laughed so hard as we did at the decrees of the Lord of Misrule, Jurion Tamerlaine, himself, in much better condition than last seen. When he set Lord Esselyon against Master Baigan in a duel with eggs, Auntie laughed so hard she almost wet herself, and when Vikias took the last egg and slammed it in the face of his 'once' good friend Master Malo Haithcock! Well, that was it! Puddle on the floor, we swear to it! No one throws parties like Seton does, and we cannot wait for the next!
Auntie sees all and tells moste!
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
@@@@@ WANTED @@@@@ – Men and Women of the Empire in good standing with the law who are interested in serving their fellow Citizenry by joining the ranks of the Imperial Guard. All applicants must be at least 16 years of age, not have any major crimes on the record within the last two years, and be willing to swear their allegiance to His Imperial Majesty.
– policing the cities and kingdoms of the Empire and upholding its Laws and Ordinances
– defending its Officials, and
– defending its Lands and Holdings against all enemies, both Foreign and Domestic.
A 5000 Sovereign signing bonus is authorized, and a generous monthly stipend included. All applicants should either leave notice at the Imperial Keep, or contact one of the 8th Regiment's officers directly.
The Kaezarian Eye is seeking information on the Whereabouts of one SCARLETT AEGIS, a young Rehari woman, who owes to this publication the amount of 500 SOVEREIGNS in Services unrendered. This woman was last seen in NEVER-UPON-VINRE on the 13TH OF GHUST. She may be in the company of a Daun male, Gideon Faile, a Tinker by trade. If any Persons should have knowledge as to the Whereabouts of the aforementioned Delinquent, it is requested that they contact Siovanhe Starsong at the earliest Convenience.
Suddenly your great helm just doesn't feel so great? Time to put that field plate out to pasture? Then you're in luck. Both Hegnus of Kaezar and Merlyck of Never-upon-Vinre have caught up with the times, and are offering new types of armor and helms in their respective shops. Whether you hanker for some half-armor or moon for a morion, stop by and see their brand new wares!
New Merchandise available! High Quality Tools! Only the best meterials. Feleon's Lock Shop, Meeker Lane, Cannikin Heights, Never-upon-Vinre.
The Silver Plum is actively interviewing for the job of Porter. Must be Strong of Body and Mind. Discreet and Respectful. Able to lift Heavy items as well as Patrol Hallways, insuring safety of Guests. See Horace, Silver Plum, Arymre Way, Kaezar.
Horses Bought! We Pay Gud Pryces for Olde Horse and Mule Flesh. Get Ryd of Dobbyn Here! See Beil at Beil's Meat Market
"Kaezar Story", a musical opera in one scene, will be performed by The King's Players of Kaezar upon the stage of the Royal Wict Theatre, on Moorstag, the first of Fraostmonth at ten in the evening. Tickets are three imperials each. Great fun for One and All!
The Kaezarian Eye is still seeking talented, inquisitive, and DEDICATED writers! The Eye currently has Openings for General Reporters, as well as positions of a more Specialized nature, including Food Critic, Astrologer, and Out-of-Town Correspondent. Any Person hired by the Eye must be willing to produce at least one Article per Edition, and will receive a generous Salary from the timely completion of their Duties. All Persons interested in Applying for these positions, or having ideas for other Topics on which they might wish to write, are encouraged to speak with Siovanhe Starsong, acting manager.
Morde Edition Age Of Dreams, 646
NOTE FROM THE EDITORS:
Thanke you for purchasing, or Otherwyse obtaining, our newspaper.
Until the streets of Kaezar are paved, May the Publick Be Wary.
Minerva Sartchilde, Owner and Chief Editor.
Siovanhe Starsong, Head Reporter and Acting Manager.