-----------==================THE KAEZARIAN EYE==================-----------
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
A NOTE ON THIS PRESENT EDITION, DIEN 648
It has been once again some severall Months since this Publication last appeared upon the News-stands, and still Kaezar lies under the seemingly interminable Threat of the Veil Lord. For a time all was quiet enough that one might have thought Velkan to have given up in Boredom and gone off on Holiday somewhere, but if this was in fact the case, such has come to an end, and the disagreeable Being has returned to plague our World once more, apparently refreshed by his Sojourn and ready to Pester us all anew. For all of those who still follow the seemingly endless Saga rather than having packed up and moved to more sensible Environs in which no one has ever heard of Crystal-beasts and Veil Lords and Pales unrelated to Color or Complexion, this Edition of the Eye shall once more attempt to shed whatever faint Beams of Light on the Situation as may be possible.
-----------==================THE KAEZARIAN EYE==================-----------
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
SETON KEEP MAKES ASTONISHING LAST STAND, THUNDEROUS FALL
All who read the last Edition of this Publication learned of the sad series of Events leading to what then appeared to be the final strange Chapter in the long Saga of Seton Keep, and long-time Readers have been treated to the Accounts of the Multitude of unusual Occurrences that once made up the quotidian State of Existence for those who inhabited the place. However, events of the last severall Weeks have shown that the Keep had still one final Adventure ahead of it, this one perhaps surpassing even all others in sheer Bizarrity.
The evening of the 15th of Raine had seemed to be a quiet one, until suddenly there sprang over the Thought-net the vague but peculiar Message that Something was Coming. It being eventually intimated to the Populace that Seton Keep had been mobilized, it was assumed that the long-dreaded Crisis had come to pass, and the crystalline Monsters that had infested the place for so long were making their way down Seton Road in the direction of Never-Upon-Vinre and the Ferry across the Vinre River. This being clearly a quite Dire state of Affairs, the Citizenry of Kessia comported themselves with the usual Courage and complete Disregard for their continued state of Health and Liveliness, and made their way hastily from Kaezar to the Wilds of Seton Road.
It was upon arriving in this place that they were met with an astonishing and deeply Disturbing sight, for it was not merely the malign Forces residing within the Keep, but the entire Structure itself, that were making their ponderous Way down the Road towards Civilization. Seton Keep, rather than continuing to exist merely as the benign if somewhat Sinister-looking Construction of dark stone Walls and looming Towers which to this point had been located with persistent Reliability at the very end of the Road of the same Name, had become a mobile Composite not only of these Materials, but of the strange fibrous Crystals that had been found to Permeate the place the previous Yeare. These had now seemingly grown into one disharmonious Whole, becoming the Skin, Muscle, and Sinew of an enormous Crystal Behemoth the likes of which has never been seen before in this World and, one fervently hopes, never shall be again. The ruined Citadel, Walls and Gardens and Towers and all, was now shambling down the Road in puce-colored many-legged Splendour, like some enormous Land-kraken bent on the destruction of all Kessia.
[ The text is broken here by a woodblock print picturing what does in fact appear to be a gargantuan creature whose form is nothing more nor less than an entire crystal-smothered fortress possessing enormous staring eyes and rather too many appendages. Half hidden in its massive shadow, an ancient traveler's hut stands on the fringe of some woods near the river. It is in a sad state of disrepair, but considering it is only a few feet away from being trampled by a massive crystal land-kraken, things could clearly be much worse for it. Some distance away and partly cut off by the edge of the picture lies the mangled corpse of a viviceptor, lonely in death. ]
If this were not enough -- and most would opine that it certainly was, but the vengeful Fates of Kessia never pay any Mind to such impressions -- the Keep was accompanied by a zealously hostile Entourage of the crystalline Creatures with whom the Denizens of this Province have become so tiresomely well acquainted these last two Yeares. Even as the would-be Heroes gazed upon the mobile Kraken-building in Wonderment and Horror, they were assaulted on all Sides by wave upon wave of deadly crystal Foes, who seemed to swarm in ever great Numbers despite valiant Efforts to hew down their Ranks with Spell and Sword.
Meantime, as the battle raged on, the Keep itself did not stand by idle, but rather attempted with quite disgusting Persistence to rid itself of its Antagonists by simply opening wide its gaping Maw and devouring them all alive. The Defenders could be grateful only for the fact that either their Persons were generally not Agreeable to the Diet of a giant Land-kraken, or else such Monsters suffer unexpectedly from a Delicate Constitution, as each Person that was gulped down was soon heaved back up once more from the Creature's tender Stomach.
[ This print illustrates a disgusting scene that one might wish had been left to the reader's imagination. A strange luminescence, appearing to emanate from viscous digestive fluids, illuminates pendulous sacs of gelatinous membrane, which protrude from the walls of this repellent space. Fibrous crystals wend their way about the area, covered in slime. Overhead hangs a massive growth covered in corpuscles, and below is a surging pool of some substance you probably are just as glad you can't identify from a woodblock, carrying with it decayed remnants of bone and other probably organic materials.
This print is graced with the incongruously lyrical caption "In the Belly of the Crystal Beast." ]
Thankfully for all those who did not relish the Prospect of being eternally devoured and Spit back up again by a gargantuan crystal Keep-behemoth (and it seems likely that this Category is a fairly inclusive one), the Defenders discovered that it was possible to scale the massive Legs of the Beast to reach the more Vulnerable portions of its Anatomy. As they made their way through the Surreal landscape perched atop the Monster's broad Back, they found it to be nothing but a blasted Jumble of crystal-shrouded Stone and Wood, the whole of which had become still less recognizable since the last visit to the once-stationary Keep. Nothing daunted, however, the band of Mages, Warriors, and other irrepressible Combatants shattered the Behemoth's massive Eye-balls and fought their way to the very Heart of the Beast, which lay deep within the Well from which the Crystals had appeared to stretch their sinister puce Tendrils some months previously. With its internal Defenses breached, the Land-kraken gave one last great Shudder and fell to the Ground with an impact like an Earth-quake, to lie where it fell in splendid Ruin.
[ Two of the walls pictured in this print have been reduced to jagged, waist-high heaps of tumbled stone and plaster, while the remaining two meet in a roofless corner beside a snapped-off stairway which climbs into empty air. All the flagstones of the floor have broken and slid like a frozen wave to either side of an upthrust ridge of milky-white carapace, which spreads out into a crystal-infused substrate stretching far beyond the room's boundaries. Perched at the highest point of the ridge, a carved high-backed ebony armchair lists drunkenly to one side, its ball and claw feet lashed to the rubble by tendon-like filaments of crystal. Smashed furniture, torn banners, bent candelabras and lumps of rough-cut stone still roughly mortared to one another lie in jumbled piles wound about with mottled crystalline growths.
The legend beneath the print reads "Atop the Behemoth's Back." ]
[ On this page is another print, this one showing what might once have been the bottom of a well but which now rivals the stomach shot in sheer disgustingness. Its curving walls hung with clotted strings of viscera and webbed with tangled strands of fibrous tendrils, the vile chamber in this picture is a gruesome mixture of the organic and the crystalline. Nearly black in color, countless crystal tubes emerge from the walls and disappear into a bulbous cardiac organ which lies half-exposed in a pit on the scabrous floor. Noxious dark fluid continually shivers from the entry point of the tubes to drench the monstrous heart, running briefly along its cracked and discolored surface before being reabsorbed into the tissue. In the ceiling, ridges of crystal-infused flesh have grown around the stone-lined opening leading to the outside, but have not yet managed to seal it off.
Someone has unforgiveably labeled this print with the words "All was not Well in Seton..." ]
A more careful Exploration of what remained of the Keep produced little more than scenes of appalling Corruption and Decay, along with a Stash of unusual Armor and Armaments left over from the brief Conquest of the Orcs last Spring. The Victors of the Battle having distributed these Spoils amongst themselves, they descended the now limp Appendages of the vanquished Keep to make their way down the Road to where the mighty Citadel had once stood. There they found themselves standing upon a great shattered Shoreline with a single Tower keeping lonely Vigil in the distance. For, filling the gaping Hole left by the Keep's unexpected Departure, there remained nothing but a great chilly Lake, home now to nothing more than the Fishes, and perhaps within its cold Depths, other things better left forever unseen.
[ Concluding this article is a woodblock print picturing a strange and faintly melancholy moonlit landscape. On the far side of a muddy loch, the massive stone walls of an old citadel tower perch on a rocky hillside. Rising high above the surrounding land, the distant keep is crumbling and appears to be quite ancient. Dark water laps its rusted portcullis and lowered drawbridge, which hangs somewhat askew and dips directly into the opposite side of the loch. Thick brush follows the curve of the shoreline on its northern side, interrupted by a few oddly-placed crenel blocks and the stumps of broken trees.
A caption at the bottom reads simply "Loch Seton". ]
-----------==================THE KAEZARIAN EYE==================-----------
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
MACHINE REPAIR EXPERIENCES VIOLENT SETBACKS
The first few Months of the Yeare saw much accomplished in the continuing Repairs of Dhond's teleportation Contraption, the Completion of these being long anticipated as an important and necessary Component of the plans for Kessia's Salvation from the Veil Lord. With all the missing or broken Parts of the Machine replaced or repaired, Tests were run proving its Capacity for transporting people immense Distances, even to the very bottom of the Sea, and a Malvaunt from another Realm entirely made a Journey of its own through the Portal to our Plane of Existence, and then back to its Home again. In fact, the Machine was found to function so much according to Plan that there has been no reason to believe that Creation of a Portal leading to Velkan's own Pale should prove any Impossibility.
Thus it was with every Expectation of the Machine's successful Operation that the grand Assault upon the Veil Lord's Pale was set for the 16th Daye of Sune. And indeed, this might have been carried off without a Hitch had it not been for the entirely unexpected Actions of a Man theretofore deemed more of a Threat to himself than to the greater World at large. As a small handful of Persons stood gathered before the entry to Dhond's Tower, a terrible and Ominous cacophony of Crashing struck upon their Ears, sounding as if it had emanated from far up in the lofty Heights of the Tower itself. This not being a sound calculated to set the Mind at Ease, those present made Haste to ascend to the Laboratory at very top of the Tower wherein waited the repaired Contraption.
It was there that a most dismaying Sight met their Eyes, as their arrival had interrupted someone engaged in a frenzied Attempt to utterly demolish the Machine that was meant to be the Means to our beleagured World's Salvation. This Someone, it turned out, was a man by the name of Daern, whom some may know as the unfortunate Royal who has been suffering under the terrible Burden of the Crystalline Plague this last Yeare and more. Though this poor afflicted Man had been confined to his Quarters within the the Royal Palace and attended closely by the Royal Chirurgeon, yet he had somehow managed to escape these Confines unnoticed and, for reasons known solely to himself, made his way to Dhond's Machine to achieve its Destruction.
This Endeavor might have proven somewhat more taxing to him had the Imperial Forces guarding the Entry to Dhond's Laboratory not been mysteriously Reduced in number that night, allowing Daern to gain entry to the Chamber with what appeared to have been very little Effort on his part. Once there, he proceeded, with no Compunction whatsoever, to take a very large Hammer to the Contraption that so many Months of hard-pressed Labor and Ingenuity were expended in Repairing.
However, Daern was not allowed to destroy the Machine uncontested, for he was interrupted in his destructive Aspirations by the gunshots of Iiro Takala, the Society Engineer who had been overseeing the work on the Contraption these many Months. While this might possibly have proven the Salvation of the Machine, it likewise proved the Destruction of the hapless Daern, for, though he was shot only through the Hands rather than in some Vital portion, soon succumbed to loss of Blood and the Shock of the situation, and expired upon the Floor of the Laboratory before he could be questioned as to the Purpose behind this unexpected Assault.
A close inspection of the Contraption revealed that while its innermost Workings were intact and its various and sundry Parts not damaged beyond Salvation, nevertheless it would be some time before it could be restored to its previous state of Functionality, requiring much Labor to repair beyond even the Necessity of replacing once again numerous of the specialized Components which it required in order to run. Thus it was with a profound sense of Frustration that those gathered at the Tower, who had so lately hoped to put an end to all their Troubles that very night, conceded once more the Necessity of postponing the final Assault upon the Veil Lord's realm.
As for the unfortunate Daern, he has not been seen nor heard from since this night, neither in our own mortal Sphere nor upon the limitless Obsidian Plains of the Ul'Mydar. One can but hope that his tormented Soul has found peace in Death, and that the Souls of those yet living have not been too greatly imperiled by his Actions.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
LEGENDARY SERENITE BLADE RECOVERED
At the time this Publication last appeared upon the busy Streets of Kaezar, Mr. Curan Norremitore, Royal Bard Emeritus and Devotee of Serene, had but lately recovered the last of a series of armorial Accoutrements from the enigmatic Entity known as the Black Strider. However, there remained to be found one final Artefact, the Strider's Blade, without which this doughty Serenite Champion could neither rest nor rise to Battle against the Foes arrayed against the beleagured Denizens of Kessia.
In this Hour of Need it now fell to Miss Anolisse Thr'eyan, another of Serene's Faithful, to rally the Populace in the search for the missing Blade. This Task she performed with great Zeal and Courage, the which became all the more remarkable given the nature of the Obstacles set upon her Path. For it soon became apparent that these were many and Dire, as she found herself opposed at every Turn by terrible hound-like Howler-beasts, corrupted to their Core by the fibrous crystal Growths, and led by an equally Plague-ridden Huntress who pledged to destroy those who sought the Sword unless they agreed to relinquish it to her mysterious and sinister Master upon its Recovery. Naturally, they agreed to no such Thing, and thus they steeled themselves for further Battle against the crystalline Enemy in anticipation of the Blade's eventual Discovery. However, with only Faith and the barest Handful of Clues and Visions to sustain their Quest, it seemed uncertain whether this could be accomplished before Disaster befell Kessia.
On the 12th Daye of Raine, Miss Thr'eyan had planned to bring together a number of Citizens for what she had proposed as a simple Gathering of Serenites and other Persons sympathetic to their Cause. However, this peaceable Plan was thrown all into Disarray before it could even properly begin, for just as they had all assembled for the Purpose, the wild Calls of the terrible Howler-beasts spread chillingly through the night Air. By the time that most of this party could assemble at the Docks along Trenkin Way, these Beasts had begun to make an appearance, threatening those gathering there with incipient Violence. Despite such strenuous Opposition, the band made its way across the Lake to Blackfish, and from there progressed to the Tower of Light, on the way beating back Attacks from numerous of these crystalline Creatures who seemed determined to dog their every Step.
Having nearly achieved their Goal, the courageous Band was quite dismayed to find their Path once again blocked, this time by the repellent Form of that same unnatural Huntress who had taunted severall of these self-same Persons previously. Moreover, this Huntress now gripped in one crystal-infused Hand the very Object that had been sought for so long, the great War-blade itself. Upon spying the would-be Heroes she seemed determined to prove at some Length that her Manners had not undergone any noticeable improvement since the occasion of their first Encounter, as she proceeded to mock the Efforts of these bold Adventurers and claim for herself the supposed Distinction of being the Pinnacle of Perfection, which they might all aspire to becoming were they only to give themselves up to the tender Mercies of her Master. We leave it to our Readers to decide for themselves the Truth inhering in this Claim:
[ An illustrative print of what must be the Pinnacle of Perfection herself appears here. Lithe and long-limbed, the huntress appears capable of moving with a sinuous grace. A multi-faceted, crystal skeleton glows with a faint inner light, limning gelid, near-transparent skin and musculature which suggests a vaguely feminine shape and structure. A writhing mane of tendrils sprouts from her skull, framing two faceted growths of crystal which jut, antler-like, from a smooth brow. Two swollen-shut eyes ooze a watery fluid and her lips are pulled back, revealing an unsettling amount of small, needle-like teeth. A slender, sharp-clawed hand caresses an obsidian-tipped horn fashioned from a strange, glass-like substance slung over her shoulder on a thin, silver-linked chain. ]
The Harridan waxed on in this Vein for some time, but was not suffered to do so by any great Tolerance on the part of her Audience, but rather because some strange Spell of Protection had been laid upon the area that prevented all Attempts upon her Person. Whether this Spell was an Effect created by the Huntress herself or, as she claimed, an Aura laid upon the area by Serene, this state of inadvertant Truce came to an end when the Crystal-woman called mockingly for the Party to attempt to take the Sword from her if they desired it so greatly, and the Enchantment abruptly dropped. After a short but intense Struggle, the monstrous Woman and her Howler-beasts fell and the Blade was prized from her lifeless Grip, along with a peculiar Horn which the woman had used to command her Creatures.
These sinister Adversaries vanquished and the Blade thereby recovered, the Adventurers made haste up the stairs of the Tower and proceeded immediately to that Edifice's Work-room, where the Black Strider himself lay waiting upon a table. Miss Thr'eyan took upon herself the Honor of offering the ancient Sword to the Strider, and as he took the Weapon in his ancient Hands, the entire Chamber was suffused with an ethereal sort of Glow, as if the Moons themselves had entered the room for the purpose of illuminating it with their cool Light.
Hereupon the Strider, who had previously lacked even the Strength to sit, began to appear much restored by having his Blade in his Possession once more after so many Multitudes of Centuries. Surveying those who had brought the Artefact back to him at so much Peril of their Lives, he gravely repeated a Promise he had once made to Mister Norremitore, that he would either lend the Strength of his Arm to their Cause, or else grant a Boon from Serene herself. The decision being left up to them, and many present feeling Compassion for the Strider's long Yeares of restless Un-death, Serene's Boon was considered by many to be the more appropriate Choice. However, the precise nature of the Boon to be given is yet uncertain, and very likely will remain so until such time as the Battle is finally brought to the Veil Lord upon his far-off Pale.
[ This elongate woodcut of an impressive sword takes up an entire page, serving as a divider between this article and the next. Featuring an expanded cruciform hilt with elaborate side rings on both sides of the quillion block, this blade is flame-shaped, with strange dark sigils embedded in a generous ricasso which allows the blade to be safely gripped below the quillons and wielded effectively at close quarters. Triangular flukes project from the base of the ricasso to defend the hand. The shagreen-wrapped grip is bound with blackened mithryl wire. A series of ray-like lines emerging from the sword create the impression of a glowing aura, while the addition of little licking curlicues around the blade give it the appearance of being surrounded by small tongues of fire. ]
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
LOCAL MAN FREED OF VEIL LORD'S VOCIFEROUS CURSE
The world shall be quite Pleased to know that Former Royal Magus Ariano Azor'i, for some time the unfortunate Possessor of an additional Mouth courtesy of his Dealings with the Veil Lord, has been once more restored to that number of Mouths more befitting a person of normal Circumstance. Mister Azor'i had obtained the Mouth severall Months previously as part of a Deal gone somewhat awry, in which Azor'i had reportedly attempted to coax from the Veil Lord information that might prove useful in the Fight against him. However, as many such Bargains are wont to do, the Dealing resulted in some unintended Consequences, namely the addition of the extra set of Lips whose oft-expressed purpose was to summon Azor'i to inquire whether he still wished to serve the Veil Lord. The answer to this question clearly by this point being in the Negative, the Mouth continued to exist primarily as a Curse and a reminder of the Veil Lord's Displeasure.
After having been plagued by this unwelcome Addition to his Visage for well over a Yeare, Mister Azor'i was unexpectedly rid of the Nuisance following a meeting to discuss Strategy in the ongoing Struggle against the Veil Lord and his Minions. His Deliverance from the unnatural State came when his Head quite suddenly exploded, giving no prior Indication that such a violent Convulsion was to come. While one might not find it entirely unreasonable to expect that one's Head might explode after such a Meeting as everyone had just sat through, it surely lay beyond everyone's Expectations that such an Explosion might in fact be instigated by the superfluous Mouth launching itself from the man's Cheek, and subsequently growing into a Duplicate of Azori's own Face, save with the addition of a number of Tentacles sprouting from the Neck.
Azor'i not being in any shape immediately afterwards to report upon this astonishing Occurence, the News was quickly relayed by Miss Miriel Re'Ghat, at which point a small group assembled at Ayron's to quiz the unfortunate Azor'i upon his return from the Dead, and to witness his Face now free from the unsightly Blemish of additional pairs of Lips. However, even as Mister Azor'i recovered from his Ordeal, the free-floating Head continued on a vicious Rampage across the Countryside, forming itself into a complete Doppelganger of Azor'i and using this Form to attack three Persons and inflict upon them such Magicks as Azor'i himself possesses.
Fortunately it was no more than a Day that passed before the rambunctious Duplicate was tracked down in Barkbane Woods by Captain Elli Sojourner of the Royal Guards and efficiently despatched by her Blade, bringing the entire sorry state of Affairs to a long-awaited End, and leaving Mister Azor'i himself perhaps wiser and certainly quieter.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
EXTRAORDINARY CREATURES APPEAR ALONG SETON ROAD
On a day late in the Month of Storme, auspiciously close to the Advent of the Spring Equinox that heralds the return of Light and Warmth to Thrael, word arrived in Kaezar that a brand-new type of Creature had appeared without warning in the Vicinity of the still crystal-plagued Seton Keep. Appearing much like the typical Badger with which any person in these parts is familiar, these Creatures were nevertheless distinguished from the common run of Badgers by their unique Physiology and generally otherworldly Appearance. These new animals were, of course, the inimitable Entities known as Pale-Badgers, whose noble Aspect and stoic Bearing clearly mark them out as among the most admirable Beasts in the whole of this marvellous Cosmos of ours.
Pale-Badgers echo their redoubtable Thraelian counterparts in Form but possess an additional pair of Legs, and rather than being marked with a deep Sable on the Face and Back, these otherworldly Creatures instead boast markings in the loveliest shades of Blue. Observation has revealed that Pale-Badgers likewise behave similarly to Thraelian Badgers, and are powerful Diggers capable of swift Excavation using the Claws upon their foremost four Legs. In fact, this Reporter has timed one such Creature's abilities, revealing that they are capable of digging, within 30 ticks of a Pocket-watch, a Burrow deep enough to vanish into entirely. Such alacritous Tunneling, however, does not occur commonly, merely when the Animals are feeling inordinately Pressed, or Harried by Pursuit. It is perhaps Prudent to note that attempting to retrieve any Item of value from a Pale-Badger, particularly if the Item in question is judged Delicious by the individual Animal in question, is under any such Circumstances a fruitless Endeavor.
[ The woodblock that appears here is, unusually, printed in shades of blue ink rather than the plain black of the text. Protruding from beneath azure eyes, a tapering muzzle is the origin of the dark-on-light patterning of a thin Pale badger's nearly translucent fur. Broad stripes of deep cerulean laid atop a paler blue run across the cheeks and over the head, dispersing into a single narrow line that spans the length of his back. Pert, blunted ears tipped with white top off the head, and six squat legs terminate in beclawed paws that appear useful for digging. This particular Pale badger seems to have been captured in the act of attempting to devour what looks to be a wooden box full of small cakes.
The print is titled with the typically dramatic caption: "Behold! The Pale-Badger" ]
Speculation is Rife as to how exactly these Animals came to inhabit our Plane of Existence, as they had seemingly appeared with no great Omen or Event to herald their Arrival, but rather to have quite matter-of-factly manifested themselves upon Thrael. However, there can be no Doubt whatsoever that they originally hail from that mysterious Pale which the Veil Lord Velkan calls his own. It is uncertain whether Velkan is familiar with these Creatures and their Habits, if it was he who created them, or if they simply spontaneously Generated themselves in the process of fulfulling some deeply important Role in the greater Workings of the Universe. Inexplicably, none of these profoundly important Questions were asked by any of the Citizenry present during the 21st of Sune's Conversation with Velkan, and the Pale-Badger's true Nature remains at this time a Mystery. Being as the Creatures have now sadly vanished from the Road as suddenly as they appeared, it may well be one that remains eternally unsolved.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS BRING MIRTH AND MERRIMENT TO KAEZAR
Another winter Season has come and gone, and with it the Delights of the annual Winte Masque, whose Theme this Yeare was Heroes and Villains. Not only did the Attendees arrive bedecked in a dazzling array of Finery, but the entire Crowd together formed a great Panoply of Luminaries and Scoundrels past and present, with sinister Sorceresses, mighty Champions, and legendary Beasts of all sorts roaming the Halls and Garden-walks of the Royal Palace, and forming most unusual Alliances in their Maneuverings about the Dance-floor.
[ This woodblock print shows a scene that manages to seem exotic and dazzling even in black and white. Hundreds of cut glass snowflakes shimmer overhead in this airy space, dangling from the cleverly-crafted branches of crystal-barked banjar trees which form the framework for the massive pavilion. To the north and south, immense fireplaces circulate warmth throughout the interior, and the open entry is flanked by two tall censers which hold back the chill of the courtyard. A collection of low couches, each draped with plush mink throws, circle a small, glowing brazier set below a slitted opening in the peaked roof. Set with dozens of gently flickering hurricane lamps, a refreshment table runs along the wall opposite the entry. Also here is a golden-furred vulfen (standing near a masked vulfen), an enigmatic dragyn (standing near an alluring naiad), Squire Rhiovasta of House Pendeleu (standing near a rugged-featured daun), a regal Kynan-Tremaine woman (standing near a rugged-featured daun), a masked nymph (standing near an impish Byra), a masked vulfen, a rugged-featured daun, a pale woman of uncanny beauty, an alluring naiad, a sneering skeletal lich, a grinning red and white fox, an impish Byra, a jet black oylet (sitting), a masked daun in a cloak of the Royal Guard, and a margol. ]
In addition to the opportunity for Dancing, a round of Entertainment was provided for King Vek and his Guests, who included among their exalted Ranks Duke Conell and the Lady Ambassador Caritas. Miss Elondriel sang a heartfelt Tribute to our good King himself, extolling the Justice and Wisdom of his Reign. Having begun on this fine Note, the new Royal Bard, the Lady Melissandra Pendeleu, made the Attendees welcome and elaborated upon the evening's Theme. It was prior to these, however, that the most satisfying Amusement of the Evening surely came, as an unexpected Farce was staged by renowned playwright Mister Cedaven Mas'Roui, resulting in the Death of his Accomplice in the Affair, the mysterious Mr. Black. However, this being but a Fantasy, the On-lookers may have found the most Disappointing moment of the night following hard on its Heels, when the latter Gentleman rose unharmed at the end, and the two men took their Bows.
The event was distinguished this Yeare by a veritable Surfeit of fine Foods of all Varieties, from an Assortment of whimsically shaped Cheeses and Pasties, to sweet Sorbets and cinnamon-dusted Comfits, to an entire roast Swan, its graceful Neck bedecked exquisitely with a wreath of Snow-drops. The already well-laden tables Groaned yet further beneath the Weight of Braggots and Bocks and Barley-wine in their heavy Kegs, though by some terrible Oversight the Coffee that was surely meant to furnish the crowning Touch of the event had inexplicably been mislaid.
[ A small woodblock print is inset within the text, showing a magnificent ice sculpture surrounded by frozen desserts that are lined up like little soldiers around the thickened base. Sculpted from a thick, glacial blue block of ice, this elaborate frozen sculpture depicts a young woman as she removes her festive mask. Narrowed at the shoulders, the woman holds a jagged ice mask in one silver-tinted hand; the mask's visage carved into a serene expression with lips pursed lightly together. ]
Following the success of the Masque, a few Weeks later the beginning of Spring was heralded by Caromarrio, Leta's own Holy-day. This day of topsy-turvy Revelry was celebrated this Yeare by a Reverse Ball held in Kaezar's illustrious Silver Plum, where Women garbed dashingly in the Finery of the stronger Sex looked to ask the Hand of a fancily-clad Man in a boisterous Whirl across the Dance-floor. Sadly, as there were but a handful of Persons in attendance on this night, with not a single dress-bedecked Fellow featured amongst their Number, the Women were compelled to make Merry for some time by themselves, which was accomplished to great Success in complete Despite of the Disappointment dealt them by the city's Menfolk. One can only wonder at the nature of the Pursuits engaged in by the remainder of the Populace that should have kept them away from such an interesting Affair.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
NEWS IN BRIEFE
After a hiatus of severall Months in which the Post lay vacant, the Lady Melissandra Pendeleu has offered her Services to the Court as Royal Bard for Kessia, and happily been accepted for the Position. Lady Pendeleu made her grand Debut in this capacity at the Winte Masque, where she officially opened the Event with a Reflection on the nature of Heroism and Villainy, and has since then been striving to bring the light of the Arts to shine upon a Populace dulled by the interminable looming Threat of the Veil Lord.
Mister Astolpho Mandel, eminent Scholar and Duvanite, has but lately received a prestigious Appointment of his own. Having received attention for his influential Role in the ongoing Veil Lord difficulties as well as for his tireless Advocacy of Opportunities for Learning and Discovery, Mister Mandel has been named the Emissary of the Greater d'Anjour College of Duvan, in which Capacity he shall serve as Representative to Kemstead Abbey on behalf of that venerable Institution of his native Country. The overaching Purpose of this position being to foster the open sharing of Knowledge and Learning, it was stated by Mister Mandel that the post would involve large amounts of diligent Correspondence, in which the Fruits of the latest Scientific and Spiritual Researches would be swiftly conveyed between the two venerable Institutions.
This past Winter has been noted in the Almanacks as a distinctly Unseasonable one, whose unusual Mildness was surpassed only by the extraordinary amounts of Rainfall that the Clouds saw fit to dump upon the Countryside in a never-ending Deluge. This excessive Damp continued throughout the whole of Spring, with unfortunate Consequences for Roads and Fields alike. Many a Farmer has been heard to complain Dolefully this Yeare of the unworkable Muck to which his Crop-fields have been reduced by the unceasing Rains, and also of the burgeoning Numbers of Pests creeping and springing and Devouring their way through whatever sorry Flora has managed to drag itself up through the Mire.
Travelers likewise have bemoaned the treacherous Condition of Roads and Cart-paths and the Dangers of being swept away upon the swift Currents of Fords, while Townspeople are in utter Despair for the condition of their fine Foot-ware. It is certainly Seasons like these that lead one to a fuller Comprehension of the otherwise inexplicable Quantity of Carts, Wagons, and cast-off Bits of these and other Conveyances that are to be found so liberally littering the ditches and Road-sides of every major Thoroughfare in the Province.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE VEIL LORD
In this Edition the Eye is pleased to present a Conversation with Kaezar's current Arch-nemesis, the Veil Lord himself! While everyone who has lived in Kessia for any span of Time whatsoever has become exhaustively familiar with the diverse supernatural Beings that plague our Land on an annual Basis, it is not every Day that one is presented with the Opportunity to speak at Length with any of these Entities or hear them express in such eloquent Terms their desire for Self-preservation and Conquest at the expense of our entire World. While the Eye is sorry to say that Velkan did not extend our esteemed Reporters the Favor of a personal Interview, yet it may be stated with all Certainty that, this being the Case, the following still represents an Exclusive Interview not to be found in the Pages of any other Publication within the Borders of our fair Country, or in fact anywhere else the World over.
This Interview took place on the 21st of Sune near Arctoi Keep, in the Chamber within the old Cave known to most as the Pentagram Room. The Eye wishes to state for the purposes of perfect Clarity that it is not responsible for the Views or ostensibly factual Claims expressed by either the Veil Lord or any other voluble Person on the Scene.
[ The text is followed by an impressive looking woodblock print of what appears to be the subject of the interview. Unbowed and proud, Velkan stands tall as a daun of indeterminate but youthful age. A delicate nose, slim lips, and pale skin contrast sharply with his brilliant eyes that in this woodcut seem to blaze with an otherworldly light. His obsidian black hair is worn loose and spills over his shoulders, gently falling down to the middle of his back. Velkan is wearing a ruby and bone amulet, a crushed velvet robe over a white linen shirt, some white silk pants, and some ankle-high leather boots.
At the bottom of the print is the caption, "The Veil Lord Speaks!!"]
Miriel Re'Ghat: I have not seen you in some time.
Velkan: Ahh yes. It took so long, but why should you putter with tedious mechanical elements when I can come to you?
Kalanin: You risk angering all of our gods to come here?
Velkan [to Miriel]: Who are you to me? Are you the one who prays so fervently? Are you the one who wished for me? Are you the one who thought and thought, and within you, you formed the thought of my obelisk?
Miriel: You came to me.
Velkan: Parts of me, perhaps. Until this moment, never has my whole being entered this Creation. Your Gods are strong, and even now, I feel my manifestation will die.
Black: Odd how the gods do nothing about it.
Velkan: Your Gods are doing more than you may ever know.
Astolpho Mandel: The veil is not here. If I had to guess, they could not see.
Iiro Takala: [brandishing a pistol] Well, then let's speed up the process, shall we?
Velkan: Your weapons cannot hurt me. Though you are welcome to try.
( At this point various personages, not content to take Velkan at his word, proved far more interested in taking him up on this latter offer. After some severall moments of concerted experimentation, the preponderance of the evidence lay in favor of Velkan's assertion. )
Miriel [to Velkan, attempting valiantly to resume conversation]: Who is Iantine?
Marian: Our Gods will take care of him. He's just a manifestation.
Velkan: Your Gods are not unified. They fight against each other, and against me. They are selfish.
Preldin: So are you.
Velkan: You are correct. I am selfish.
Astolpho [to Velkan]: Some of the Deities do manifest rather self serving traits. There are those, however, who serve other purposes.
Iiro [evidently having not followed along with the change in conversation and the cessation of hostilities]: Holy weaponry, bastard.
( Here it was abruptly decided by certain persons that the hypothesis of the Veil Lord's invulnerability required more extensive testing. A number of additional trials were conducted, at the end of which it was generally concluded that the claim could not thus far be disproven. )
Velkan: Are we done?
Black: One can hope.
Velkan: I have given you a warning shot. A courtesy.
Malo: What now, then?
Velkan: I am a reasonable man. I wish for a part of your Creation.
Black: A reasonable god, which is perhaps an important distinction.
Astolpho: You do not. Ours is a chaotic, messy creation. It would spoil and rot that which you have wrought.
Akri: Haven't you already got your own?
Velkan: Creations are... not Pales. I have worked for interminable mortal lifetimes to create merely a shard of a pale. My Pale: The one you so foolishly wish to rush into. The one where I AM a God.
Preldin: Then you've already got some territory. Why do you want this?
Velkan: My Pale is imperfect.
Black: He wants a real creation. Or part of one.
Miriel: You have usurped the powers of a Goddess. You have destroyed lives in your creating.
Velkan [to Miriel]: What do you believe the woman in white is? Tell me.
Miriel: An infant Goddess.
Velkan: She is a goddess, but she is no infant. She, too, is imperfect. She is the Pale. She is my influence. When you pray to her, you pray to what I have wrought.
Miriel: She has treated you as a child of Hers and accepted that which she should not have allowed. She can be free.
Velkan: She is not me, not me at all. She is something I cannot control, and she is immortal. But she is an artificial God, one without creation. She cannot create, only mend. Your Gods would kill her.
Black: How can any sentient being be incapable of creation?
Velkan: True creation is not fashioning a sword. It is fashioning a world from the chaos of the void.
Miriel: I have renounced my Gods for Her sake.
Velkan: Then convince all of your allies to do the same. Let me into your creation. Do not use the machine.
Iiro: [inarticulate profanity]
Marian: Clearly if your own Gods aren't good enough, you can always worship an artificial Pale.
Velkan: My Pale can join Thrael, expanding it. A new God can rise, and with her, I shall also rise.
Malo: What do we get in return?
Velkan: Your Gods hide, only occasionally toying with you. Like tiresome game pieces. Toy soldiers. They are pathetic.
Preldin: Your pale is too different. It's already caused plagues and monsters here.
Velkan: Do not look to me as the new God. Look to Her. The one in white... she will be the God you allow in. A god of purity and healing. She has never done ill to you.
Akri [to Velkan]: Yes, but do you come with her?
Velkan: I will swear to stay within the lands forever mine.
Miriel: I have always said that all must go back to what it was. Balance restored.
Preldin [to Velkan]: We don't have any issue with her. She seems benevolent. But your world can't connect with ours. Every time it does, it destroys things.
Velkan: Because I am being fought against. My contagions and experiments are mere twisted images, not translated properly by the thing you call the Veil. They are not as they seem.
Serinde: Then what happened to Lieutenant Daern?
Velkan: I have tried to break in by force, and for it, I am poorer. I have sacrificed my only strong force to come in collected, complete form to you all. The lich is dead. This I have done as a sign of goodwill.
Marian: Even if the Peregorne Gods do not oppose you, there are others in this world.
Velkan: They do not matter. Their faith is weak here. Peregorne's Gods are strong.
Serinde: Where is Daern? We could care less about your damn lich.
Velkan: Who is Daern?
Elli: He was twisted by your experiments.
Akri: You want to give us a new god so you can have your own imperfect world all to yourself again?
Iiro: So what you're saying is that you sacrificed not only the lich, but those royal guardsmen for this.
Velkan: I do not know about the one you call Daern. If he has died, I cannot do anything for him but apologize. My awareness has only penetrated this realm in pieces. In shadows, until now. What they have done is not fully to my knowledge. Some of them behaved harshly, even holding a soul hostage. But you have bested me. I now parlay as a result of that, before you make a terrible mistake.
Preldin: Maybe this was all a lot of misunderstandings, and maybe you just want a home. But we can't risk our whole world and everyone living in it on that chance.
Velkan: Using the machine will link this Creation to mine, but not in a controlled way. It was made for another purpose.
Curan: And what purpose is that?
Velkan: Visiting your realm of the dead. There is no death in my Pale, not among my chosen. The woman in white sustains them, mends their injuries.
Dral: A world without death?
Black: You give your chosen immortality?
Velkan: If you join your Creation to my Pale, what do you stand to lose?
Marian: We will fight to the last breath here.
Velkan: Why should you wish to stop me?
Preldin: We wish to stop you because you've caused a lot of death and suffering. And we can't believe you when you say it was an accident.
Dral: What is the price you pay for immortality? It can't be free. It must only seem that way.
Merow: I think people parlay when they believe there's a good chance of losing.
Velkan: Immortality, perhaps not. I could not say how the woman in white would change when exposed to a true Creation.
Malo: How do you choose who lives and who dies?
Velkan: I would surrender her to this Creation.
Curan: So we do not know what would happen?
Velkan: I would not be able to choose. But I would save her.
Akri: So you're proposing to give us a new goddess. Only, you don't know if she'd actually be able to do anything you say she does now.
Miriel: She cannot stand this creation.
Velkan: You do not know that. She is pure in a way this Creation is not.
Miriel: You have said yourself it would destroy her.
( An odd prickling feeling that had been felt for some moments here began to grow in intensity, as if the air itself had been asleep and were now coming back to sensation. )
Velkan: Your Gods come for me.
Preldin: If they come for you, then they obviously don't want this new god. We should follow their lead.
Kalanin: Our gods have already rejected her as they reject you.
Astolpho [to Kalanin]: She was forcing her way in, on a holy site, of an existing God.
Velkan: I leave you with a final warning, but only this: Do not use the machine, or you will accomplish my aims. You will join the Pale to your Creation.
Malo: And what happens to our gods?
Black: They move over.
Akri: If it would, then why are you so set on us not using it?
Malo: What if we say, 'Sure, come on over?' How much say do we really have in this?
Curan: It's not like we're people of great importance. Mildly, at best. I do not see how we have a say in our creation.
Preldin: You're trying to get us to keep the portal closed because you're afraid. If it was really going to just join our worlds, you wouldn't have said anything and you would have just let us do it.
Elli: Gods need willing followers or they are nothing.
Merow: I think it's time for this fellow to head back to his own pale.
( At this very instant, as if they had simply been waiting for the Imperial Captain's words, the spectral forms of a cloaked Sylvan male and a young Daun warrior appeared to either side of Velkan, weaponry in hand. Before anyone could speak another syllable, the sinister Sylvan brought the interview to an abrupt close by using his dagger to slit the throat of the unfortunate interviewee, who fell lifeless to the floor of the cave. The Eye hastens to assure its Readership that this is not representative of the usual mode of concluding an interview, and none should feel any qualms about acceeding to such a conversation in the future. )
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
THE WELL-DRESSED KESSIAN - Conversations on Fashion and Style
By Curan Norremitore
As we in Kessia now draw into the full warmth of summer, it is only to be expected that one's attire change to fit the seasons as well. Yet, with the myriad of different articles, fabrics, and cuts that the tailors of our great state provide, this is no easy task, and one can easily be overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices, both right and wrong. It is for this reason, feeling sympathetic to the plight of the well-cultured gentlemen and sophisticated ladies of this most genteel nation, that I have taken it upon myself to devote this edition's article upon fashion to this very issue!
Following that old saying, I shall begin by focusing upon the lovely ladies of Kessia. As those heavy garments of wool and velvet, the cloaks trimmed in fur and gowns weighed down with embroidery will all serve no function in summer save to give one heat stroke, it is to be advised that they be set aside until the chill of winter is again upon us. Regardless of what style one might choose to wear, a simple linen shift is a good way to start, preferably undyed and with full sleeves. As heat oft makes one sweat, it is good to have some layer between oneself and the outfit one wishes to wear, and linen being both absorbent and easy to wash, this serves the purpose quite well. Yes, indeed, I think barring perhaps those ladies who have taken to breeches and men's clothing, a linen shift is a fine foundation to any style.
But, as I have noted, there are many styles of attire a discerning lady of virtue might choose to employ. In order to keep this article from running far too long, I shall speak to but two styles that one might employ. The first of these shall be in a simpler style, designed for practicality while still retaining that feminine look. As one's top garment, the traditional bodice serves nicely, providing both modesty and support. A light fabric such as cotton, a coarser linen, or cambric can serve splendidly in even the hottest of weather. Yet do not be tempted into yielding to the semi-sheer fabrics of batiste and organdy, for while one's shift may show, some modesty must be preserved. Over this, should the weather turn inexplicably inclement, one can wear a light jacket of linen (or silk, should one feel like paying the extra gryphon!). Matching this, a skirt of similar fabric to the bodice is desirable, along with a petticoat or stockings, of course. If one is fond of ornamentation, embroidery along the hem of the skirt is an excellent way to achieve this, as it will not only contribute a touch of elegance, but will add just a bit more weight to the skirt as well. Last, but not least, a pair of simple shoes or slippers, modestly made, will complete this simple and serviceable style.
'Yet!' you gasp, o readers, 'Whatever if I desire to attend a ball? Will that serve?' The answer is yes, but only for the most mundane. Should one wish to attend a classier soiree or masque, nothing serves quite as nicely as an evening gown. Yet there are many styles of this, and I shall leave it to the tailors to explain the many and varied choices one has at hand. I shall instead focus upon one particular style currently becoming quite popular in Isola - the mantua. Lacking the stiff stays of other fitted gowns, it is a remarkably comfortable article, with its turned back sleeves and long, pinned up train giving it a flowing appearance. To begin, I would recommend wearing one of the finer shifts, perhaps having ordered one that has a lace trim, especially as the sleeves fall only to near the elbows. Since the mantua is often made of silks, brocades, and satins, the linen shift is a must, so that they are not ruined in this most sweltering weather. Furthermore, one should most definitely wear a petticoat, as the mantua has a skirt purposefully drawn back to reveal such, allowing the wearer to display an alluring contrast of fabrics, colors, and patterns. Topping it off, it is ideal that the shoes be both high heeled and pointed at the toe, made of a similar fabric to the mantua and of leather, as such is the current fashion in Isola.
And do not lament, o gentlemen who happen to be reading this article, for I have not forgotten about you! While there are many fashions you may wear, I shall endorse in this article but one, if only for the sake of brevity. To begin, of course, one starts with the humble shirt and breeches. Both should likely be made of linen, which combines a fabric light enough for the weather with a material sturdy enough for labor. Along with this, of course, goes a waistcoat and stockings, two things a gentleman should not be without. I shall make a perhaps controversial statement concerning what is to be worn over this: a gentleman should never be seen without his coat in the presence of a lady. Simply put, to be devoid of a coat is as a lady being devoid of her gown, and is simply something that should not be done in mixed company, much less in some formal audience. In order to make this more tolerable, of course one can have one's coat - the style of the Indrejani justaucorps being immensely popular abroad - made of linen as well. An embroidered trim can easily embellish what may otherwise appear a rather austere outfit. Lastly, either boots or shoes can be worn, based upon the occasion and preference of the person in question, though these should be made solely of leather save for the most lavish of events. Naturally, a cocked hat and knotted cravat may be worn as well, adding a dashing air to an already stunningly sharp appearance.
If you, o devoted reader, have any questions, do not lament! Beginning with this edition, I am welcoming any and all letters from the public, and may well publish any questions or comments in the next edition of the Kaezarian Eye to be replied to. But that is not all. You see, should you wish a bit more practical help, something more concrete than these mere words, know too that I shall be offering my services as both consultant and tailor to those who seek such. Prices for the latter, of course, are negotiable, and fabric can be provided within reason. Until next time, o faithful readers.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
IN THE PUBLIC EYE: Letters and Opinion
Acting Manager's Note: The Eye is pleased this month to offer its Readership a special section discussing the modern Philosophy of Empathic Healing. These Articles have been submitted by two of Kessia's more accomplished Empaths who, as the Reader will see, are well-versed in the Problems and Potentials of their illustrious field. As always, the Readers are encouraged to submit their own responses to the Opinions expressed in this section for possible publication in the next Edition of the Eye.
~ * ~
Empaths Today: One Healer's Perspective
By Anolisse Thr'eyan
It has become a way of life for most, a satchel full of herbs, skins of potions, bandages, and the like. Training in the wilds is tough and if one is not prepared, well, the results can be quite deadly. As an empath I have at times felt as though I was watching our kind fade into history due to independence and self-sufficiency, both admirable qualities and both necessary. I have come to realize that as with all things, change is inevitable. Herbs are more abundant and easier to find, people are more educated in the ways of treating wounds, and while there are those empaths who are willing and even eager to aid, our numbers are not great and progress can not be contained by our limited availability. I have been more keenly aware of these facts of late from the personal perspective of who I am as an Empath and the status of our profession as a whole as it regards day to day life for many of you.
For the sake of clarity I will address two different situations as they relate to empathing on the field of battle. The first is what I consider combat training. I attend to people who vary greatly in skill and prowess on these expeditions. For those whose skills far exceed my own, my presence is not required for their survival, and in some cases, perhaps even almost detrimental as they are protecting me while I try to learn. I will tell you, warrior, if no one has, this type of training for an empath is invaluable. I know I would not have survived the recent battle at Seton if not for that very training. While I am not a warrior and will likely never stand on the front lines of a battle, being able to navigate the battlefield is vital to not only my survival but of those who I might aid.
Secondly, battle empath training. The difference here is that at times I am attending to someone who possesses either equal or lesser skill as compared to myself. This allows me to shift my focus from my own combat so that I can concentrate on monitoring a warrior who is in the heat of battle. War is noisy. It smells bad. It is gory. You must train yourself to ignore some things while being very aware of others. You need to be able to monitor multiple things at once and learn a system of spell casting and transferance that keeps a patient (or patients) alive for sustained periods of time. And while I can tell you that while no two situations are exactly alike, the more experience you have the more equipped you are to handle the battlefield. Now, to be clear, there is no glory in being an empath. In fact, if you do your job right, you will likely miss the peak of battle from a safe distance away, keeping alive those who fight, and they depend on you to understand that. Being able to stand with a friend and fight does not equate to standing in the midst of a war zone. We must, at times, have the confidence to step away and let the warriors do their job while we do ours. You may be a skilled fighter, you may be strong, but there are others who can fight while there are usually only a few who can heal and restore a failing body.
Lastly, in relation to the use of herbs and empaths, both are vital, especially when tending to multiple people in a battlefield situation, both for the empath and the patient. Herbs can control bleeding and ease wounds while the empath sees to the person's energies and severely life threatening injuries and allow him or her to cast on multiple patients while maintaining their own health. If buying herbs is killing your bank accounts, you can also find them on the Abbey grounds and in the gardens near the Diamond in Never-Upon-Vinre. The sketches below were done of the Abbey grounds and mixed in with the flowering landscape and trees are a few healing herbs. Circles indicate the herbs and correspond with the names to the side to help you identify them in the wild.
[ A detailed print of numerous useful plants is reproduced here, with circles and arrows indicating the name of each herb, accompanied by close-up sketches of the leaves and other distinguishing characteristics. ]
Ethics in Medicine: Unsolicited Healing
By Aldan Talvir
While Imperial law often dictates the day-to-day lives of the Empire's citizens, it is not uncommon for one to come across gaps in the law that require one to make a judgment for themselves. This same principle carries over into the realm of medicine. There will be many times during the career of a practitioner of the healing arts when a decision must be made without a particular law or precedence to provide guidance. It is in these situations that practitioners of the healing arts must observe sound ethics in order to preserve the integrity of the healing arts. Unsolicited healing is one such ethical quandary that, while seemingly trivial to some, often warrants discussion whenever the topic is mentioned.
Many times throughout my career as a healer has the topic of unsolicited healing come up. Not only does this discussion occur between colleagues, but among patients or potential patients as well. While it may seem like a simple matter, often opinions on the issue can vary quite a bit. Let us delve into some of these varying opinions in order to better understand why they exist.
I have treated many patients, spoken to patients of other healers, and have even been a patient myself, and I am fairly certain I am not the only healer who has had such experiences. There are many reasons why a potential patient may refuse treatment, both rational and irrational. Some may not wish to show weakness, some simply are not comfortable with being touched or examined, and others feel like they are in debt once they accept treatment. Whatever the reason, no matter how irrational it may be, in the majority of cases the ethical response is likely to be to respect the wishes of the potential patient. Often pressing the issue with a potential patient will cause a breakdown in trust. In order to be most effective, a healer must maintain a trustful relationship with their patients and potential patients. While forcing healing on someone may produce positive results in terms of physical well being, it will likely leave a caustic impression that will prevail regardless of any good that had been done.
From a healer's perspective there are also a number of reasons why one may want to press healing without consent being given first. Often empaths are able to feel the pain of others when they are nearby, so there is a natural urge, particularly with younger empaths, to help others in order to quiet the pain the empath may feel. Since often getting experience and exposure to healing requires one to encounter injuries, a certain eagerness can sometimes develop when a healer sees an injured person and thusly an opportunity to practice the healing arts. It is also not uncommon for some impatient healers to believe that since they are often more knowledgeable on the subject of the healing arts, patients should submit to the healer's expertise which understandably can cause some tension if the healer's methods are not communicated properly to the patient. Simply a strong need to help people, which is not always understood, can often manifest as well. While healers often have to learn to distance themselves from their patients to a certain degree, a healer must not forget that a patient's feelings should always be considered as well.
It would seem that the general consensus amongst most practitioners of the healing arts is that healing should only be administered after consent is given. In most cases this seems like a fair arrangement, however there are some circumstances in which consent may not be the primary concern, namely in the case of when a patient is near death. If a patient is near death or if action can be taken to help prevent a patient from dying, and the patient refuses is when ethics become less certain. According to Captain Merow Ghurak of the 8th Imperial Regiment, there is no law against healing someone against their will and assault charges pressed against a healer who heals someone near death would likely not stand. So while there is little to no legal backing for pressing charges against such actions, the question of ethics still remains. In these situations one must decide for oneself which is the correct action to take.
The issue of unsolicited healing is a topic often discussed and will likely continue to be a source of much discussion in the future. There are considerations to take on both sides of the issue, some more apparent then others. That being said, a bit of understanding between healer and the injured can go a long way.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
NEWS OF THE WORLDE
By Minerva Sartchilde, Owner and Chief Editor
Unseasonably drye weather in southyron Ziguran haf threatenede the coffee cropp and resulted in wydespread drought for thee unfortunate inhabytants of the Naroumbi regione. Refugees haf been moving easte into Xullabecan landes in searche of some relief. Thys reporter fears an incryse in pryces for Kessia's much-imbybed imported brewe!
Travelers in Wessumbria reporte thee Imperial Guarde garrisone of Mennailecht haf intervened to drive Kitz-Kannaugh bandits backe across the bordyr after theye engaged a small force of King Tergo Farquartz's elite druim'dwer bear cavalry, thee Shatter Keg Lancers, neare the city of MacRae. Thee Imperiale Guarde would not comment on the situation excepte to notee that thee bounties on noted Kitz reivers and Imperiale outlawes haf increased to between five imperiales and ten fasuls per head (thief-takers are encouraged to contact their local Imperyal Guard garrisons for specific wanted listes). A reprysentative of Kinge Byron Sorrenson saide, "Thyse happenings are a sad testimony to thee unwyllingnesse of certaine factiones to accepte the results of a conflicte long synce settled amicably betweene myne own great-great-great-great-great-grandfathere and King Farquartz's late fathere."
Historicallye-minded readers will recall the rootes of thee conflyct dating back to pre-Imperial dayes, when Mennailecht under King Farquartz's fathere Dulor I annexed most of western Kitz-Kannaugh in 428 AoD, with thee last significant conflyct being the Rising of 628 AoD, which marred King Tergo's earlyiest reign. In related newes, loyalists to thee Pretender King Edmund Lockharte II (currently resydent in Sous-Fountegne, Indrejan) swore "thee rebellion would continue until every last dwarfe was dryven from KitzKannaugh and theyr holes filled with thee bones of the collaborators."
Orcish activity on thee Laurdian front is on the incryse, sayeth our sources in thee Imperial Guarde, who declined to be named for thys story. Forces stationed in Kesmuth haf been ordered to the northeastern border of Wessumbria and reinforced by local mylitia from northern Baetana. Rumors of sygnifycant Talone incursions into westyrn Wessumbria haf been denied by the Crown, howevyr, despyte reports of wyvern-mounted Talone striking small keeps and villages seemingly at random far past thee borders of the Empire, ranging from thee outskyrts of Glamercarrick in Malakvia to our own (former) Seton Keep here in beloved Kessia.
Despite the overshadowing conflicte, not alle is grym in Laurdia. A raine of froges haf been witnessyd in thee Nassendanian States, occuring in three small villages on the coast near Hespiatelon, but resydents are taking advangage of the unexpected event in novel culinary ways. "Wee were at first afrayd of what the rain might portend," sayd a local merchant, "but soon realyzed we had a unique opportunity on oure handes and havee requested the aide of a master chef from Val Fleur to assist us in dealing with thyse amphibyans. We welcome all visitores to the regione to partake of our newfounde bounty!"
[ Here follows a woodblock print of dubious artistry, depicting a large collection of fat-bodied frogs sitting and hopping around a marble-tiled marketplace, with locals in the typical long tunics of Hespialiaton gathering them in large baskets. In the background, a portly woman in a chiton appears to be hurling a frog back into the air. ]
Oure last iteme of interyst is an official report from Mr. Suwa, thee Vashan ambassador to Kessia, of signifycant inland floodyng in Sawagashii and Taekota owing to the unusually long rainy seasone, requiring local Daimyo to move their armies into thee affected areas to help in thee buildinge of retayning walls and barriers. Conflicting stories from Tanshu and Dhansang traders haf emerged from the port of Koje, howevere, fuelyng rumors of internal unrest between a number of Tetsu-Ko clans. We will strive to keepe oure readers informyd of the latest developments!
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
AS EYE SEE IT
By Auntie Anony
Hello Hello Hello - Hafe you hearde!
So much to Tell!
Auntie's harte is breaking for Mages Council Liaison Malo Haithcock - so unlucky in love! First the former Royal Magus spurns him for a man twice his age, then a mysterious (and so handsome) il'lthye known only as "Mister Black" keeps stealing away with our own Siovanhe Starsong (newly restored to her own voice). What is the poor boy to do! At least he took her to the Winter Masque.
Speaking of the Masque, Auntie knoweth who was naughty and who was nice! So many heroes and villains, but which was which? "Miss" Niodevi wore a mask of that infamous outlaw Tamerlaine (speaking of naughty boys) and was chastised by the Royal Bard. Next thing Auntie knew, Sir Martaigne was dueling Niodevi's champion, that very same outlaw! How much trouble can one girl cause?
We hear a certain handsome Anjou gentleman hath been squiring Miss Anolisse about town. Auntie wants to know who dresses the dashing young rogue. Mayhaps she can keep him out in public long enough for Auntie to get a look at him.
Mr. Masroui hath been having card games at the Plum, although Royal Bard Emeritus Curan Norremitore was expelled for bringing an oylet to a game. Silly boy, everyone knows oylets are notorious cardsharps! How will the Emissary of Duvan win everybody's money if you let an oylet play?
Are the crazies running the asylum, or is Mrs Faelian -- Miss La'Fey -- Miss La'Faelien -- what is her name, really? And is she in charge of the place now? Oh well, Auntie knows she'll never be as insane as the Abbot, and she'll use less gunpowder to "cure" her patients, too.
And while we are on the subject of asylum patients, we hear an escaped lunatic attended a recent meeting of the Kessian Medical Society and brought a mutilated catstrocity to the proceedings. Ugh! Auntie hopes he was arrested and locked away forever.
And when will the Imperial Guard investigate the goings-on at Bhond's Deliveries and arrest the nefarious ne'er'do'well responsible for mailing poison to everybody, Auntie wants to know? She's afraid to open her packages, and one of these days someone's going to get killed!
Last but not least, Auntie hears our talented Society Engineer hath been designing all sorts of wonderful new things. A pen that never runs out? Sign Auntie up for that one!
Until next issue, Auntie sees all and tells moste!
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
@@@@@ 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.
~~~ BECOME A LAWFUL THIEF-TAKER ~~~ Any persons interested in assisting the efforts of the Imperial Guard to capture wanted criminals and outlaws may submit a written application to Lord Magistrate Jothard Mallas, c/o the Chief's Magistrate Office in the Town Hall of Kaezar, to be considered for a position of Thief-Taker and receive any and all bounties posted for the apprehension of said miscreants. Applicants must be fit, capable of tracking and subduing dangerous individuals, and willing to honorably uphold the laws of Kessia and the Kivian Imperium in the pursuit of righteous justice.
Help Wanted: Stronge Type To Acte As Bouncer and Crowd Control.
Crossroads Inn is seekyng a Stronge sort Who is handy Wyth a Blade as welle as Hys Fysts to mayntain Crowd Control and Safetye for Its Patrons. - See Breen, Proprietor.
Locks opened fer cheep! Approved by the Society fer prevention of Cruelty ta Veckles! Ratsi's Lock Shop, Greys Ramble, City of Kaezar
Magrel the Tailor is offering great deals on sturdy clothing for the gentlemen. Located in Paran Alley 2 blocks west of Harrow Road.
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.
Lost! One Murkhish cat - Brown with white markings and blue eyes. Very fat. Answers to the name Sweetie. Please contact Lord Grilla at Grilla's Haberdashery. Substantial reward given.
EYES PRESERVED * VISION GUARDED * BLINDNESS PREVENTED * In Cooperation with Local Empaths and Glassworks * The Royal Scrivener Fills All Your Spectacle Needs * APERTURE SPECTACLES * BOW SPECTACLES * TINTED SPECTACLES * MONOCLES
Against all Odds and in the face of utter implacable Indifference on all sides, the Kaezarian Eye is still seeking talented, inquisitive, and DEDICATED writers! The Eye currently has Openings for General Reporters, as well as positions of a more Specialized nature, including Food Critic, Astrologer, and Out-of-Town Correspondent. Any Person hired by the Eye must be willing and able to produce at least one Article per Edition, and will receive a generous Salary from the timely completion of their Duties. All Persons interested in Applying for these positions, or having ideas for other Topics on which they might wish to write, are encouraged to speak with Siovanhe Starsong, acting manager.
Dien Edition, Age Of Dreams, 648
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.