The Serin Mystique, Volume 12, Issue 1

We proudly present the first issue of Volume 12, in which the ascension of Varliv
to the heavens results in many shenanigans, and interesting events unfold...

1) Battles (see Battles, Varliv)
2) Cabal Affairs (see Keepers, Untitled, Untitled, Untitled, Untitled)
3) Coterie Affairs (see Untitled, Untitled, Untitled, Untitled)
4) News (see Untitled)
5) Stories (see Untitled, Untitled)
6) Poems (see Untitled, Untitled)
7) Gossip (see Untitled)
8) Events (see Untitled)

Brought to you by Lore Keeper Blyx, Novice Grell, High Herald Naredak, applicant
Sorina, and nosy Immortal Vanisse


1) Battles

Battles

Bloody Battles
--------------
Naredak vs. Termas: 0-1

Monk showdown! Naredak asks warlord aspirant Termas not to use his expert
leopard style. Instead Termas uses the strike of the mantis while Naredak
starts off as a crane. Midway through Naredak switches to leopard and
Termas switches to crane for the win!

Naredak vs. Grimjark: 1-2

Herald versus Warlord! First round in the Ford, Naredak outfoxes the
warrior to victory! But in the tiny arena, the Warlord reigns supreme. The
third round is a draw, with Naredak succumbing to... Thirst? Don't tell me
the absinthe did you in...

Blyx vs. Noath: 1-1

Herald pixie-bard and monk sling it out in the arena. Blyx skims to first
victory by a lucky hand of cards - no doubt all those hours at poker
provided good training! Noath wins round two by pretending to be a cheeky
monkey. Good show all around!

Termas vs. Lariel 0-3

Monks monks and more monks. Round 1: Termas tries mantis against Lariel's
crane, but the swiftness of that leggy bird just outdid Termas's best
efforts. Maybe pitting a bug against a bird isn't a great idea anyways.
Don't look at me, I'm no martial artist! Round 2: Lariel kicks her way to
victory again with a crane, despite Termas bouncing around as a panda.
Though he switched to crane eventually, it was too late to avoid being
pecked to death. Wait, they're not really birds? What have I been... Must
have been the mushrooms... Round 3: Termas tries starting out wielding a
fancy bow, but this is no match for Lariel's combination of crane and
leopard. (Catbird? Lariel says she prefers pecking cats. Hrmm.) A
delayed switch to crane turns the battle again into a loss for Termas - but
a very, very close one!

Varliv

Showdowns with Varliv
---------------------
...In which an old man whups some uppity young'uns.

Termas vs. Varliv: 0-1

Termas was caught bullying a lost old man named Varliv in the Arena. The
senile Mystic managed to show an incredible amount of resistance, however,
but that did not stop the beating this grandpa took. In the end, a strange
noodle somehow came into combat, and its unorthodox whipping could have been
what confused this grandpa-beating monk.

Grimjark vs. Varliv: 0-1

Another Warlord tests his mettle against the little old man. What gives,
Warlords? Stop beating up on old people! Anyways Varliv gives him a dose
of what it's like to be an old man. First Grimjark can't sleep. Then he
can't eat. When he does eat he has to use the bathroom a lot, and it's
messy let me tell you. Sometimes he can't see too well out his eyes either.
And then at the very end his dignity is taken away by being slapped with a
limp noodle. That noodle was cooked about a hundred years ago and it's a
miracle its still in one piece but, too much for Grimjark's weak old man
stomach - he crumbles! Varliv for the win.


2) Cabal Affairs

Keepers

Cabal Affairs

-------------


[KEEPERS]



As the Keepers currently have no appointed leader, we spoke with one of

the members Grimfrakk for the latest insights to the Keeper cabal.


He confirmed that the Keepers have been aligning with the Legion of late in

order to shore up the flagging Dark Army. As Executor Morzan and the Archon

Vidar present formidable challenges to any evil who oppose them, the Keepers

find themselves inclined towards aiding the weaker Legion at this time.



Indeed, an apparent agreement between Grimfrakk's fellows and the Knights is

that the Keepers only seek to prevent capture of the Skull when the Legion

are absent. They seek to impede attempts to capture the Skull when no

Legion are around to defend the Temple. If the Skull is indeed captured,

the Keepers aim to invade to retrieve it for the Legion. Interestingly,

only minimal contact has been made between the Keepers and Legion, and it

seems that the decision for this likely unprecedented action was made

entirely by the Keepers amongst themselves.



Though Grimfrakk acknowledged that such an act might be very easily

construed as an act of war, he maintained that the Keepers are not yet on

the warpath. What would drive them to an overt declaration of war, however,

remains to be seen.


Thus far, the only reported casualty is Idakisu in the pursuit of liberating

the Skull from the Castle in the presence of a Knight.



Reported members: Grimfrakk, Idakisu, Falox


Untitled

[KNIGHT]

The Knights have been grumbling lately about Keeper activity - and who could
blame them! For some reason the Keepers thought it would be a great idea to
invade the Castle to retrieve items for the Legion! What with invasions and
fending off attacks from random illithids, they were pretty busy during the
first half of the celestial! However, during the tail end things seem to
have quieted down significantly and there are rumors of new rumblings in the
shadows, while the Keepers have been acting more scarce. Alas, Vanisse
spent her valuable time with a Knight playing poker instead of doing Herald
work and so at the close of this celestial we are missing an interview.

Untitled

[LEGION]

Words were exchanged with a member of the Dark Army, a Legionnaire, and his
story weighted itself like the ancient Legion before him. Across the lands
they seek to conquer and dominate, and this flashed true in the conversation
when he regarded the Keepers involvement with Knights as uncalled for, and
that they were weak and should have stayed out of their business. They are
in fact acknowledged, and will be left alone, at least until Legion has a
much more powerful standing, and even then, who will be safe? Lastly the
rather intimidating sorcerer merely grinned at the mention of a secret horde
of draconian soldiers, and a demonic ritual. So who knows what is in store
for the Legion, and what is real, or surreal, and when it is time to plunge
into the face of war and once again instill fear into the hearts of all.

Rumored members: Qurtoc, Sevaush

Untitled

[WARLORD]

I sat down with the Warlord Grimjark and this is what the news from his
perspective and Warlords is. The Warlords are no longer recruiting, the
ranks are up and the foes many. They have many foes and it seems top
contender is Legion, for some reason they fancy to pick on the Warlords. The
Warlords will not take this lying down, they are not happy about that. They
have not done anything to offend Legion according to Grimjark. Another odd
contender is Azhai, seems to have his own little war with Warlords.

The next we talked about the Warlords fighting an Old Man named Varliv.
Grimjark himself said "Varliv seems to take after Warlords and is a Lover of
fighting as well, he likes to test the strength of the Warlords." I asked
if this old one is such a monster when he admittedly said he lost to him as
well. Grimjark said that none will be able to fell the Old One, unless that
is he falls over. Heheh.

Untitled

[JUSTICE]

We would write about a wonderful interview with a Justice here, but we
couldn't find any that weren't fast asleep! Perhaps next issue. There
were, however, sightings of Vhrael earlier, which sent shivers down many a
miscreant's spine...


3) Coterie Affairs

Untitled

Coterie Affairs
---------------



After a long period of Heralds hiding in dark corners and caves, we've burst
back onto Serin's streets, full of energy and excitement! We're angling to
catch all the news in Serin and boy is there news for the fishing as Keepers
scramble to keep the Pendulum of Balance from swinging too far to the Light.
But you can read all about that in the Cabal Affairs, News and Gossip
sections. We're also pushing more events - our Blyx turns out to be a
genius event inventor! (Eventor?) And of course, using these simple
squiggles on a page to make our readers feel happy, sad, mad, or whatever
our quills decide! Hoho. Just kidding, we love you readers.

And now for an introduction to our latest cast: At our helm we have Naredak,
a monk who isn't sure if he's a fox or a drunk but is darned well good at
both! Blyx, the mischievous pixie who can't help but get in trouble while
keeping a smile on everyone's face! Grell, a master chef whipping up some
of Serin's newest tastebud delights! And, a few robes on the hangers with
Wreitha and Prost's names on them. Apparently they went out walking in a
forest one day and got lost. If anyone sees a Herald stuck in a hole
somewhere let us know! They might not look like a Herald anymore, all
overgrown with hair and brambles, but if they babble incoherently at you
about poker that's them.

Untitled



Our mystical advisors have been a tad bit busy as of late, and growing old
in the process, according to the white hairs sprouting from Xyloch's beard
and the greyish white roots coming out of Goron's noggin. Goron has risen
to adept status under the Myth Weaver, and has grown an appetite for
chickens. Some of the other Mystics have waned in essence, but the gnome
Xyloch has no doubt made his inspirational presence known, and has even
shown he is quite skilled with the quill. Those seeking religions could
not be doing so at a better time, as the Towers have direction and insight
to offer the lost like never before. Still, knowledge and wisdom prevails.

Lo! Varliv, Encyclopedia of the Ancients, has risen as an Avatar for Denadlyr,
God of Arcane, and way to magical fairies. (I already bought mine!)

Reported members are: Goron, Xyloch, Mollyra, Iryn.

Untitled

of Darkhaven

A chilling mist still flows through the streets of Darkhaven. The seemingly
vacant Black City is for the most part quiet, depending upon night and day.
The Nobles in league with the Dark Army are looking to speak with any of the
Legionnaires that they might find, in hopes to determine a path. While all
the activity seems brushed to the Southwest, the battle of good and evil
will continue on evermore. In such times as these, the Earls, Counts, and
Countesses lay low until gaining council with their beloved death-dealers.

Count Reakonnier may be wanted by the constubalary of Valour, but such a
similar fate is not known for his fellow Noble, Earl Esopus. These two are
so far the only two reported members of the Darkhaven nobility.

Reported members: Reakonnier, Esopus.

Untitled

of Valour

Valourian Nobles are many, but aren't seen as often as the Knights, save
for an old dwarf who multitasks his positions flawlessly. Valour remains
afloat but Nobles and Squires are scarce, and some would argue that the
Executor's recklessness has a true effect on recruitment. Idling Nobles
is by far no strange news, but a decline seems rampant. Crops aren't as
fertile, but evil is kept at bay. The palace is literally a ghost palace,
but evils are made to yield and make oaths.

Reported members are...Goron, but evil is kept at bay.


4) News

Untitled

News from the Celestial of Mercy
--------------------------------

An army of men in uniform is amassing! Some of them have openly professed an
abhorrence for gambling! Is this a sudden invasion of stick-in-the-you-know-
whatses? Only time will tell!

A new restaurant is opening soon in Mocker's Tavern! It is run by none other
than Grell, Master Chef Extraordinaire. The menu, it is said, will feature
delicacies from all over Serin. Get ready hungry Serinfolk!

Varliv, Mystic Immortal, takes on the mantle of the Avatar of Denadlyr!

The silence coming from Darkhaven bodes well for the Knights but worries the
Keepers. Even more worrisome are the rampant acts of illithid Ursla, who
appears to be wreaking havoc with the Keepers for reasons unknown...

Is a war brewing? The citizens of Valour scurry about gathering coin as the
elves of Sylvan Valley whisper of increased sightings of worried-looking
Keepers. Perhaps it is coincidence... or perhaps a storm is upon the horizon!

Anyone who's seen the Mystic leader Goron lately knows he has been even
crazier than usual. Frantic mutterings of gnomes and secrets have led many
a passerby to conclude that the oldest mortal in Serin is beginning to lose
his marbles. Even more shocking when he vanished into Gnome Village for
weeks on end with nary a sighting, while gnome prisoners kept disappearing
from their cells nearby... But today, after weeks of isolated study, he
has emerged from the Temple of Vanisse with a new light in his eye and a
spring in his step, and now bears a hefty new title: the Prophet of
Circumstance.


5) Stories

Untitled

Last of the Elders
------------------

Time never has an explanation. Or a warning for when it will flow quicker
than you'd expect, unless you're fighting a dragon. Time is unforgiving,
and it doesn't hold the door open for pretty ladies. Nor does it make up
exceptions, because really it is limitless, or nothingness, depending upon
how you look at it. Time is rage from the heavens, and time is doom from
the bowels of fire. It will wait for no one, and if it does, you will be
caught asleep, perhaps in a dream. Time you want so much from me, but in
the end I grieve the dreary sound of those weeping for me. Time please do
give me the chance to understand why you take the greatest from me.

- Scribed by Blyx Foulwing

Untitled

The Fluffy Bunny by Sorina

There once was a small fluffy bunny with fur the color brown. The bunny
lamented that its winter coat had not come in just yet, with the Winter
well underway. The saddened bunny one night was out in the forest, there it
found a small child sitting on a stump. The child seemed harmless so the
bunny approached, the child seen the bunny and smiled the most beautiful
smile. The bunny came and sat with the child while the child sat with the
bunny, no words were spoken. Just two together seeming to feel each others'
loneliness. As the night dragged by and the sun came came up, the girl
screamed as her flesh seared and burned. The bunny not knowing what to do
ran away. Later on the bunny came back to the spot to look for the
childlike girl to see if she was ok. The bunny never found her, as the
bunny was beginning to leave her, it heard something. The bunny was scared
and started to run quickly back to his home. Alas the fluffy bunny was not
fast enough for he was snatched up into the arms of the girl no less. Once
the bunny saw it was her it calmed itself down, but something deep inside
the bunny felt all was not right. That was when the girl spoke, "Little
fluffy bunny, you seemed so nice. I enjoyed us sitting together but you saw
my burnt flesh. I am sorry for this." The bunny looked at the girl's face
and caught a quick glance of white teeth and a sting at it's neck. That was
the last thing the bunny ever saw.

The End.


6) Poems

Untitled

Hymn of the Faerie Dragon (Pt I)
-------------------------

Oh glorious, oh magnificent,
Creation of dreams and imagination.
How splendid your brilliance,
Winged twilight of devastation.

Overjoyous, the nightmarish,
Relation of screams and domination.
Vow skeleton your allegiance,
Wicked fortress of Dark Acadia.

Mysterious, meritorious,
Faerie dragon your legend.
From the stars, and from the shores,
Of the lands they call Serin.

Oh magnificent, oh glorious.

- Scribed by Blyx Foulwing

Untitled

Hymn of the Faerie Dragon (Pt II)

Oh wonderous, victorious,
Incarnation, prismatic colors.
Now candid your existence,
Tinged skylight of the forest.

The happiness, vicarious,
Of those who adore it.
Soothsayer of enchanted Losla.
Faerie Dragon your vibrance.

Wild magic that bodes it,
In a vast forest of the fey.
While music and fickle laughter,
Hint of the Faerie Dragon's way.

Oh glorious, oh maginificent.

-Scribed by Blyx Foulwing


7) Gossip

Untitled

Juicy, Juicy Gossip
-------------------

Rumors of unsanitary handling of consumables plagues the Juice Bar in
Seringale! It's said Eithel scoops the Slime Mold Juice right out of the
swamps west of town and stirs em up with troll toes before serving to
unsuspecting customers looking for "exotic drinks". Better stick to
firebreather!

Experimenting with mushrooms is always a dangerous proposition. Especially
when your name is Mirewin and your first bite turns you into a chicken.
Bwaaakabwakbwak! Blyx says the transformation was fantastic inspiration for
some nefarious plan she has in the future... Chicken Wars?!

Word of the Executor's disregard for Serin's very balance has spread amongst
the common folk, and the rumors brood with anticipation that they have begun
upsetting a not-so-secretive group known as the Keepers. Tensions are high,
and exceptionally high after numerous Knights seem to care little for such a
sacred thing that is protected. Such carelessness could be the end of our
very world, according to our earthly friends. Knights have been dubbed just
as reckless as the Legion, and even tyrannous to some held captive by them.

Rumor has it that even Justice is being oppressed by the Knights! Sightings
of dark-knight Dillet appear to show him waving the white flag of Oath over
his head. Is it true? Can the reach of Valour truly extend so far?!

The feared illithid Azhai has been spotted terrorizing the good folk of
Serin! Rumored casualties include Goron, Termas and the poor practice
dummy! Someone told me he's gathering people's clothes to sell on the
auction block so that he can give the money to his master "who's terribly
sick". I can't even BEGIN to imagine how much chicken soup he's buying...
Or how vile that illness must be... Gross.


8) Events

Untitled

Wicked Ale Winter Bamboozle Turnout
-----------------------------------

The Bamboozle came with a trail of pixie dust leading straight to the good
old Wicked Ale. It was quiet at first, but as time passed brave travelers
from different walks showed up, and in such a moment, the Bamboozle was in
fact noted to be the perfect game for those with a tight schedule. As for
those who weren't demanded to be elsewhere, it was a time to socialize and
enjoy the various mini-games found in between card rounds. The event was
kickstarted with the wonderous presence of both Vanisse and Varliv, who
contributed food and a picnic blanket full of goodies. The games progressed
and unfortunately none witnessed death or complete misfortune. Gold was
however lost, drinks were drank, and the food was destroyed.

Those who were lucky enough to participate were: Raug, Fanatiel, Vanisse,
Varliv, Xyloch, Azhai, Tuldila, Vidar, Blyx, two beggars, and the crazed
dog that bit Goron.

The Wicked Ale Bamboozle seemed commonly approved of, so it is a very good
possibility that the event has etched it's place as a recurring event that
will be seen throughout the Winter. Handsome amounts of Herald chips were
given to the winners and those participating, along with unique quests. In
addition gold was won, and kept, and even reputations were formed. Keep on
the lookout for more events, you'll never know what you'll win!


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