The Serin Mystique, Volume 12, Issue 3

Welcome dear readers to the latest issue of the Serin Mystique!

In this book you will find the most recent juicy updates and news from
across the realms. Entertain yourselves with the works of our newest
generation of Heralds, and catch a glimpse behind the facade of one beloved
immortal! If you've an interesting story you want to share, shout in our
direction or send us a pigeon. We'd love to hear from you!

1) Highlights (see Interview, Interview2, Interview3, Chaos)
2) Cabal Affairs (see Knight, Justice, Legion, Warlord, Keeper)
3) Coterie Affairs (see Herald, Mystic)
4) Gossip (see Misc, Inflation, Rumors)
5) Travelers (see Travelers1, Travelers2, Travelers3)
6) Events (see Race)
7) Stories (see Zero, Gourmands, Swapped)
8) Poems (see Luck, Sylph, Heart, Toad, Alas)

This issue brought to you by the Heralds Extraordinaire and their mascot,
Vanisse.

Do enjoy!



1) Highlights

Interview

"Interview with Varliv"

Damsels and Gentlemen: I ink...

the Yellow-toothed Sage, Encyclopedia Multi-Monicker, Master of Odd Sorts,
Gourmand of Toads, Minotaur-Flinger, Lone-Beard and Vikka's Yarn-Ball:
Lord Varliv.

The interview itself was splintered into parts. The Encyclopedia of Anci-
ents is either extremely busy or too restless to stay in one spot
for too long. Though the the interviewee was Lord Varliv, he made the und-
ying supremacy of his own whims' influence painfully clear. From the word
"toad" I was made one. Then I was launched running for my life around three-
fourths of Seringale several times over. Lady Luck was entertained, guards
lost their breath explaining how serious the laws are and Vikka opened the
flood gates for the start of a rumor that she and Lord Varliv have a history
of sorts. "Ooo-la-la." Well. That's not what I'm saying.

Anyway.
Moving on.

Every corner I turned in my desperate retreats from the wizened duergar, I'd
hear Vikka cackling after him some moments, then cursing his uncooperative
hobbling from her at most others. Ask yourselves, -what- in -that- visual
doesn't depict a pair of sweethearts serenading their latter years together
in utter, endearing intolerance? Ask him yourself, and I promise you won't
walk away on amphibious nubs. For good measure, do somersaults in front
of him. You'll never be safer.

Lord Varliv redefines "hobble," by the way. No longer descriptive of a cri-
ppled gnome's vain attempt to add distance between their self and Lady
Vanisse, it may very well become the new speed to which all fire giants can
aspire when fleeing the hiccup of an unstable ice cap.

Boasting a mere one thousand and sixty-two years of existence, Lord Varliv
graciously bestows the 'Crown of Olde' onto Lady Vevier, who's apparently
much older than he is. Still, we can all rest assured our resident toad
lover will remain with us for countless eons to come, having said this
much about his life: "Started long agos. Still no end in sight."

Lord Varliv was a fighter before he became a Mystic, and helped a number of
Cabals in his mortal days. He explains his title "Encyclopedia of the
Ancients" to be an arbitrary endowment from someone or something in a
manner he didn't elaborate on. In like manner, he deferred to secrecy when
asked about what his diary contains, where he likes to linger in this coil,
what divine he worshipped in his mortal days and how he managed to own a
slice of Lady Vevier's soul. "Flay" doesn't quite say it all, does it?

He has no tenets, and to all that may seek to worship him he closes out the
interview with the words, "Good luck."

-----he also produced a roll of fly-paper that suggests Lady Vanisse has a
child out there...somewhere. I know a troll giving away his bridge that
says you can find it.


-Cyprian

Interview2

"Interview with Iryn"

I was lucky this morning to catch-up with Duke Iryn this morning as I
was practicing my spells, I asked for and was given his undivided attention
for an interview on the war. I asked Duke Iryn about the war between
Knights and Keepers and he expressed that it is not an affair in which he
consumes himself with. When asked about Duke Frewan and his actions leading
up to the war, Duke Iryn said he was not informed on all that had occurred
and therefore had no opinion on Duke Frewan. Duke Iryn did say that the war
has cost him nothing as he doesn't involve himself in such matters and that
as of the present he has not been harmed nor even threatened by the Keepers.

Seeing as Duke Iryn has not been harmed, perhaps the Nobles as a group are
not being targeted as was the rumor. Perhaps it is a personal Vendetta
between the Keepers and Duke Frewan.

I will close with this, I think that maybe the good Duke Iryn has the right
answer in staying uninvolved in matters of violence and death. I think we
could all learn a little something from such a stand, and perhaps we as a
society would see more of peace and tranquility than we currently do, and
surely much less death.

Until next time,

Grewin Herald Applicant

Interview3

"Interview with Frewan"

I have spoken to Frewan the once Noble, how ask you is he no longer a
noble? Well I will tell you. After reviewing the evidence and listening to
not only a former Knight but to Ulsa herself, Frewan felt that Ulsa was
unjustly judged Anathema. One of the responsibilities of a Noble is to
consider pardons for those of Anathema status and if warranted issue said
pardon. Frewan made that decision, against popular demand and has been
stripped of his Noble title.

This Herald Applicant has heard rumor that Frewan went against the Knights
Immortal leader's wishes in granting Ulsa a pardon. I ask you this... If
an Immortal can interfere in mortal affairs such as these, then why have
they not stepped in to end the war between the Knights and the Keepers? Are
we seeing the swift downfall of the Knights? Rumor has it one has
voluntarily asked to be dismissed from the ranks of Knights and now Frewan a
dedicated and caring Noble has been stripped of title.

I'm grateful that in the midst of this war, that their our those who still
stand for Justice and for doing the right thing even though it may be
costly. Perhaps the Knights should take notes, and learn from the unbiased
decision one of there Nobles made. Or perhaps I am completely off my rocker
and should just mind my quill. I'm still excited to see where all this may
lead and what impact it will have on our future history. I will keep you
all informed as best I can through the coming times, and we can all be apart
of this magnificent future history together!

Penned by

Grewin the Herald Applicant

Chaos

"Chaos"

The events began to fall rapidly in an overlap of descent, one after the
next. I tell you now that if they fled the notice of Lady Nycticora, tran-
smutation of Dinvatana's dung into the finest of gold is just as possible.
Out of all parties and individuals involved, the Knights have suffered the
most. Oh how they've suffered...

Two were they, that were the poles on either end of an axis that set this
all in motion. Two were they, that struck each other- producing sparks,
and eventually a fire. The North and South, the flint and steel: myself
and another. It will come to light eventually and, exactly, who the steel
to the south was; but I'm more inclined to name myself as being the other
that's at least partially responsible for fanning the latent ember.
Though as unforeseen and inadvertent: I, Cyprian, unwittingly provided a
backdrop from behind which the Princess of Chaos may have been tailing all
of these events. Was She behind every steer as circumstances turned? How
far ahead could Her claws have been seen if one could view both sides of
the ether?

What I ink is that Destrian was the first sealed casualty. Eywin selflessly
resigned his position because he did not want to harm the innocent. Sir
Noath and Sir Lolath both stayed their hands as best they could. Knowing
the the taut string on the bow of the Knights' cause, I imagine that sheat-
hing any implement was no easy task. Sir Lufen I assume weighed priorities,
and dubbed that purging an Anathema was more important than observing law.
I'd certainly ask what I'd do in these shoes before I cast an accusing fin-
ger at any. Do good and evil, and the fight between the two, transcend
protocols of order? In being a Knight, should you expect scorn and praise
in unequal measure for the worse? Should the order of a divine patron of
your cabal should supersede all else?

Where the chaos really manifest is a snippet more appropriate for the goss-
ip column. I may include that tale in this Mystique...or maybe the next.

On a celestial day after the the chaos seemed to have ebbed, Frewan abrupt-
ly pardoned the former Anathema. Not even mere moments later, Lord Cerid-
wel reproached him and stripped his nobility. Sir Lolath then approached
the former Anathema to take the Oath one last time. The former Anathema
requested time to consider. What happened next is where I sharpen the
blurs of my beginning sentiments found in this article.

It's here that the vertigo of ignored intuition I felt for so long had
finally manifest itself. While Vanisse thoroughly combed through the soul
of the former Anathema, I am told that the Goddess of Chaos slinked out of
shadows, offering them another option.

The Chaos Goddess' offer was taken. Did what little peace that remained
by the end of all this, water the splinters of collateral damage shorn
off the backs of others? What did it give birth to? What will become of
Eywin? Will the Knights ranks further dwindle or will they rebound?
What has begun? What else might the Goddess of Chaos intend?

Whatever you answer, I notice the sprinkles of a watering can unwittingly
falling from my hand.

I do not reveal the name of the former Anathema, because there are many
out there who know the answer. Mingle. Ask. I do not reveal their name,
because I'm both Herald and cleric. The quill, mystique (both concept
and publication), faith and healing are my focus. If I find anything
spilled on my hands, it should be ink from a jar, not the sheets of blood
from good-hearted they've soaked thus far. They're stained more than I'd
even like to have inferred.

-Inked of Cyprian


2) Cabal Affairs

Knight


"Knights of Valour"

The Knights. They bear a clear burden hard to misunderstand. The weight
of matters in Dame Shaldwyn's eyes were a testament of sorts all their own
toward that. I saw the staid concentration cloud her as she silently
collected her thoughts. It's no wonder. So much has happened in a short
span of time, and they've taken a couple losses without so much a yelp.
It's the footsoldier's hope, or if I may take liberty to narrow it further:
rooted intent, to "rise above where our brothers have fallen."

"We may not have the experience of our enemies, but I believe we have the
will to earn it in time," she stated.

The divine leaders of the Knights of Valour are Lord Olyn and Lord
Ceridwel.

Mortal leadership of the Knights of Valour is an open spot, waiting for
one stalwart and faithful.

In the Knights' roster are the names: the knights Lolath, Lufen and Noath.
Footsoldiers Shorien and Shaldwyn. Squire Jolquin. Six total.


-Inked of Cyprian

Justice


"Justice"

Thank a Justice today, or even thank them often. I've noticed it myself,
but the gargoyle Auhror's remarks really steal some thunder away from
further elaboration as he states, "The Halls of Justice are iron-clad...
we have overpowered all adversaries of late." If you sense an outlaw, or
even notice any as 'wanted,' you might crack open a book in your guildhall.
Apprehension may very well conclude itself in as little as three pages into
your read. Auhror was astute to speak of the reflection of Peace upon
cities, and an absence of mercy for criminals in the same breath. For it
very well is that levels of peace are proportionally equal to the mercy
or lack thereof toward transgressors of Law. To those that have it in
mind to skirt their adherence to it, Auhror warns, "The breaking wheel
is their answer. I have no mercy for petty thieves."

The Justice divine leader is Lord Davairus.
The Justice mortal leader is Kedaleam.
Thamu, Cedowyl, Auhror and Kedaleam are the names found in the Justice
roster.


-Inked of Cyprian

Legion

"Legion"

Although much effort and even more time has been spent trying to locate
a member of the Legion, alas I have not been able to find or speak to one.
The most I can accurately speak of them is I know first hand that the avian
Ulsa seeks to become nobility of darkness. She actively creates Chaos
within the Cabal of Knights, doing as she wishes within Valour and teases
the Knights with their inability to catch her.

As for the Legion proper, all is very secretive and if they are active it is
all out of eyesight. I have to believe though that they are regrouping and
filling their ranks quietly. It is more concerning not being able to locate
them and know something of their actions than if someone knew even the
smallest tid bit of knowledge of their doings.

Until further information comes about I know at least I shall be wary of the
shadows, and will keep a keen lookout for anything amiss. To all of our
readers, if you hear anything or see something we would be appreciative of
the information.

Penned By

Grewin the Novice

Warlord

"Warlord"

I had the honor of speaking with Grimjark of the Warlords, he was most open
to speaking about the affairs of the Warlords, and I learned much. Grimjark
stated that they are eight strong and led still by their Immortal leader
Lorne. As of the current day there aren't any plans for a mortal leader.
Grimjark stated that all is well in the halls of the Warlords. When asked
about the war between Knights and Keepers and how it affected the Warlords,
he said that they were not concerned with it. That the Warlords fought only
for honor and fun.

I asked What long-term plans were in store for the Warlords and was told
only training! I was very impressed with how Grimjark conducted himself, he
showed respect and was very articulate. I enjoyed our conversation and look
forward to more interactions with other Warlords.

Penned By

Grewin the Novice

Keeper

"Virgil's Keepers of Balance"

A brief chat ensued after Astenos was tagged IT! Having asked the Keeper
about the growing tensions between the Valourian Knights and their protected
and harbored Nobles, he claims he wants to be present if a court takes place
to speak his part. Grimfrakk has ascended to leadership within the Cabal,
and the passing of Lord Hrimoyan has not much affected the morale, although
it was definitely a harsh blow against them.

The hogs are as fast as ever. It had to be asked given the smell of this one,
or perhaps that was in fact those hairy beasts that were licking their chops
beside him. The Keepers of Balance have been doing simply that, keeping the
balance, whether it is confronting Valourian folk, or the evil ones to the
East. This has always made them a bit unique, and quite honestly, completely
untrustworthy to an extent, considering the frequent shifts in balance across
our beautiful landscapes. We can rest this overview knowing that the followers
of Virgil are ever-vigilant, and as ready to leap as ever.

The reported members of Keepers are: Grimfrakk, Astenos, and Temur.


3) Coterie Affairs

Herald

"Herald"

Our ranks swelled again recently with the additions of Cyprian and Grewin,
some of the most prolific writers we've seen in ages! Amongst Blyx,
Brumblwitz, Cyprian, Grewin and myself, the Heralds have kept up a lively
presence this celestial, though little sightings have been made of Naredak
or Nyhlis. Possibly the two have drunk themselves into a stupor somewhere.
If anyone finds them, I'll give you five thousand gold to blow a large conch
in their ear...

The Heralds are currently led by Blyx and immortally guided as always by me,
Vanisse. Members include Naredak, Brumblwitz, Nyhlis, Cyprian and Grewin.

Mystic

"Mystic"

Catching a Mystic is about as easy as catching a flea. When you want to
grab one, they are elusive as all heck and then when you're not looking,
you're swarmed! This time, around publication time, we've only stumbled on
one Mystic, the most recent one named Talyira. She's a follower of mine and
announced to me that she wanted to join the Ivory Towers to dust all the books.
Since there are so many books in that tower, it is no simple feat. Not
convinced? Just ask Azerayhna, who's been dusting the Herald offices for
centuries...

Rumored members of Mystic include Iryn, Tendria, Kaeam and Talyira. Their
Immortal guides are Varliv, who keeps to his cane, and Vevier, who can only
be found by the trail of muffins popping out of the shadows.


4) Gossip

Misc

"Seringale Trade, Grimwood Forest"

Serin has never seen so much trade and GARBAGE upped for auction. Rimath
has let out little to no complaints over this, but that is because he is
getting payed. Why last eve, I saw, a lone rock being auctioned for a
THOUSAND gold coins! It's blasphemy, when market prices are so ridiculously
high, and yet even more madness, when they are ridiculously low. At least
for now the new recruits of lazy Kedaleam will half-heartedly try to pick up
the trash around the city that the beggars and other guild-like beggars have
been spreading.

Human refugees have reported a dragon landing somewhere on the Eastern side
of Grimwood forest. The children say they can hear a great beast belching
after a noxious gas flows outward from the gloomy forest. Some people might
be quite upset with the disappearance of mushrooms, but we're not that sure
few mushrooms make dragons breath noxious... We'll test this theory soon!

- Blyx

Inflation

"Seringale Trade and the Cost of Inflation"

Meandering adventurers pass through Seringale on a daily basis, and one
of the greatest attractions always catches a glint in their eye. Such a
lure is Rimath's Auction House. Some folk don't realize Rimath is a gnome,
but that is quite hard to miss for those who notice the abundant collection
of nothingness stacked a giant's length throughout the house.

However, not everything inside the confines of the Auction House is trash.
Behind the counter Rimath operates a flourishing business market, where all
walks of life visit him to set up auction on their goods, for a small fee.
Rimath has been making a killing for centuries, but rumor would be that a
wave of inflation has left many gold-sick. Ever since the emergence of the
Mystic relics, and the Herald chip, and even newer currencies exposed to
warring Cabals, not everything can be purchased with gold.

Establishments such as the Herald Hop, Peaches 'N Seams, and Magewares, all
have struggled to remain in competition with 'ol Rimath's house. Though you
should absolutely know one individual has kept in close range of Rimath for
quite some time. His name, Noliperus the Hero. It is particularly his
tokens that keep customers coming back, not to mention the magic armor you
may also purchase from him, and the candy canes. It could be a matter of
time before newer currencies are introduced and representatives of different
factions are holding post somewhere in the lands, anxious to sell you
something unique from their own halls.

- Blyx

Rumors

"Gossip from Cedowyl"

Oh joy! So much wonderful gossip flitters and floats about Seringale. I
spoke with Cedowyl the Justice and he let go that Ulsa is looking to switch
from the darkness to the Light! I have never heard of such a thing but
apparently it is rumored that our dear Vanisse is even involved! Cedowyl
seems to think all things are possible with the assistance of the Gods, but
that Ulsa's Anathema status will get in the way of the Gods going through
with the purification of Ulsa.

It was said that Cedowyl thinks Ulsa is the cause of all the drama between
the Knights and Heralds and may even be involved in causing the war between
the Knights and Keepers. How accurate this line of thought is, is quite
unreliable as I have heard others speaking of a Noble Frewan being the cause
of at least some of the tensions between Knights and Keepers.

Anyway you look at it these are interesting times and I look forward to
having front row seats to the show! So much fun things being said by so
many different people if one just chooses to listen!

Penned by Yours Truly,

Grewin Herald Applicant


5) Travelers

Travelers1

"Fat Hilda Has a Heart"

My friend Cyprian fell into the spider trap behind the colossal tree west of
Seringale. There he met Fat Hilda. She offered him a way a out, by means of
a purple spotted pill, but only if he would give her a kiss. Cyprian was
quite distraught by this because he has a thing for Vikka, the serving girl
in the Mocker's Tavern. He formulated a plan. Sing. Sing the most grating and
uninspired lyrics he could muster. His plan worked! Hilda broke and freed him
from the trap, if only to save her ears. His lesson to me, "Even bitter old
spider women have pity. Spread the word, Fat Hilda has a Heart."

"What is Power?"

I heard Heanth mention, in passing, his quest for immortality. This made me
very curious, I had to know more. We joined together to do a bit of hunting
and after exhausting his guild reward he went on to train.

During his training we had a discussion. He has given up on his quest for
immortality, for now, citing that the search is taking "too long". I wonder
if such a search should be quick, or easy for that matter, but I digress.
He likens himself to a Lone Wolf, and finds cabal politics, and the drama of
others distasteful. When asked if a being written about would be considered a
type of power, or even a form of immortality his answer was short and concise,
"No. only having people actively fearing you. That is real power."

"Dunn Burned It Down"

In conversation with Dunn, he told me about his childhood. He was born in
Timaran, but was raised in the Gnome Village because of an accident that
happened at his home. A fire broke out and burned his childhood home down.
When asked about the cause of said fire, he told me he couldn't be certain
but thinks he was the cause of the fire due to his affinity to fire magicks.

- Brumblwitz

Travelers2

"To Be or Not To Be"

Uncertainty about ones path in life is something that almost all travellers of
Serin face. Shorien is no different. He is at an impasse: become a Squire, or
remain unaffiliated so that he may help whoever he wants when he pleases. He is
another, like Heanth, who seems unhappy with the current political state of
Cabal affairs. Perhaps if he joins the Knights, he could be the solution to the
politics with which he is unhappy.

- Brumblwitz

Travelers3

"A Light Within the Darkness"

Purpose. Everyone has it..or should. It can be seen, it can be heard,
it can be felt; and even beside all these where conscious detection may
lack, the subconscious can piece together what escapes it. Intuition
results in the form of a sense not associated with anything one can
definitively put their finger on. They just know it's there, and they
may feel from whom it exudes.

Depending on who you are, you might've come across such a burden,
borne unseen upon the shoulders of a pale-blonde haired woman. An
elven woman known as Shaldwyn. Tentatively discrete of the lips and q-
uietly dignified of the eye, she said she was born in the Sylvan Vale.
Leaving the dark detail to the wind, her tone expressed it all in eight
words, "..it has not been easy from the start." Her family murdered by
portions of evil throngs that plagued her home, she was accepted by kind
rangers who would train her and provide her a means to escape the same
misfortune. While it might hang as a cloud over others, in Shaldwyn it
serves to further fuel what seemed an unspoken blaze within her to see
something changed about it all: the corruption extant in Serin.

Yet, despite the investment of all her focus into her shared aspiration,
her ears aren't deaf to the weight that may lie in the speech of others.
Our conversation was only opened by something I said in passing to a f-
ormation I shared with her. She displayed an earnest, but controlled
curiosity. I can only hope that if she perhaps sought to know a litte
about me, that she had instead ended up discovering more of herself. Or
at least, that she had an opportunity to expand her view on the mission
she has yet to clearly open up further about. Don't misunderstand, this
elf makes no efforts to hide much of anything. Shaldwyn, having credited
a substantial buffer of aid from priests of Soluminus following her fami-
ly's bloody tragedy, stakes that:

"You must stand in the front, a light within the darkness."

Our talk ended with me leaving be the fertile seeds already in growth.
They will bloom for all to see, much clearer, in their own Time. Or maybe
you should ask her yourself....

The discussion wasn't all solemn, though. We tripped over each other's
dry humor once or twice. So it's not as though she doesn't appreciate some
amount of unwinding. She's also unassumingly patient, so you could proba-
bly get away with many social missteps...depending on their degree of
severity.

I wouldn't recommend it, though. I've heard it said that elves never
forget. I introduce to you all the squire. The ranger.

Shaldwyn, the Wrath of Nature.


-Inked of Cyprian


6) Events

Race

Event News!

Another Great Serin Race has taken place, congratulations to all who
finished! Here are the official times:

Kedaleam the Hierarch of Justice - 00:15:55
Varliv the Hobbling Gobbler - 00:27:02
Glerr the Great Demon Slayer - 00:36:49
Brumblwitz the Stumbling Gnome - 00:47:59

Kedaleam took home a brand new pair of blood soaked boots and
50,000 gold coins!


7) Stories

Zero

"Round Zero"

The escapes I've employed worked before. Oh but no more, not in the wake
of this cleric-tossing embervore! Preparing to leave Serin, I sense Krite
nearby. "Not a problem," I thought. "I can at least egress." Off I went,
thinking to have bought some time on 'Heaven's Cent.' Then I open my eyes:
what a mess! The red, rippling mass was just as near as he was BEFORE I
communed for transport! "Just so," I muttered under my breath. "Still
ahead of him by enough steps."

Just as I fled to a forest, the inertia of wind nearly robbed air from my
lungs as the rapid stomps behind me came to a crashing hault! You'd think
someone kicked his pit bull and he thought it to be my fault!! No time to
think, it was too late! Krite tackled me like I just robbed him of a date!
What's more, he took hold of my robe's collar, tore space & time and tossed
me through like I was lint-fodder. My senses inverted. In a dark rift,
I couldn't tell left from right. This didn't matter long. In seconds I was
out like a shattered light.

The take-away? Don't steal Krite's dates. Don't kick his pit bull. In
Round Zero he might cut your head off to punt your skull.


-Inked of Cyprian

Gourmands

"Gourmand's Court"


Well into the Day of the Fall of Thalos on the 24th Renewal of the Celest-
ial of Piety, I ate like a king. The exorbitant feast was rife with its
meats, greens and grains. Wish Nyhlis were there, I'd have had fish to co-
mplete it. The loaves of bread were compliments of the fluff pouring from
Thamu's mouth. Seringale, North Square: if you weren't there, you ARE THE
MOST UNFORTUNATE, COMICALLY DEPRIVED SOUL for AT LEAST the next thirty
Surges! Liver has never been funnier, toady fingers were never so influ-
ential, vegetarian preferences of a Justice have never been fairer to anim-
als and provocative, suggestive themes couldn't have been clearer.

Spontaneously appointed as judge and jury at a temporary location of Gourm-
and's Court, sampler dishes included were: charges of slander, denial, gross
negligence, defamation of palate, forced digestion, conspiracy, general in-
tent, destruction of property, vegecide, blasphemy, slander and discrimina-
tion of dietary habits.

Somehow, disturbing the peace of Seringale with a two-fold racket of inco-
herence erupting from North Square wasn't found among them.

I tell you: though I were a giant retarded field mouse violently waving a-
bout a gnome-shaped gavel, the attention of neither party would've wavered
from the contention at hand. Not long enough for any sequential deliberat-
ion, neither for- hells, I'm crying....I can't stop laughing! Putting do-
wn the quill-...! *careless scribbles found here.*

Right. Where were we... Oh, right. The contention at hand: salad in the
offering bowl. Or was it planting a garden at Lady Vanisse's Temple? Neit-
her story had a halo's chance in the Heavens to line up with the other.
Not in the slightest.

Our plaintiff: Justice Hierarch Kedaleam. Our defendant(s): Myth Weaver
Vanisse and Justice Sage Thamu. The plaintiff accused Lady Vanisse of
spiking a liver cookie with poison, forced digestion and conspiracy with
Thamu to frame him (Kedaleam) with intent to desecrate. The defendants had
the rest of the charges mentioned above ready at-hand.

So we have a tall, strong, stern and well-groomed Justice at open odds
with a will-o'-wisp and a small pink quasit that's half avian, half hafli-
ng, half angel, half chicken and "Maybe some other stuff," in the center
of North Square. Kedaleam says he planted a garden in hopes of getting a
cookie that Thamu said he'd receive. Thamu says she clearly screeched and
offering of -liver- would grant him a cookie. Lady Vanisse inadvertently
backs this up with the remark, "Kedaleam, you might need your ears check-
ed." The back-and-forth went on and on as one accusation bled into another,
and then another...until I found myself gaping at the mention of something
gossip-worthy.

How to say this delicately... Alright. It involves a bed, two males and
one female. The female coerced the third male to participate. I know noth-
ing else, lips became very tight and nothing else was disclosed. Did you
want to know more? Well, if someone can shed light on it, I'll consider
inluding a brief gossip piece on it. Otherwise, you can huff and cross
cross your arms at Kedaleam and Thamu for lack of material on this one.

Now did Lady Vanisse really poison Kedaleam? Was there really a dishonest
conspiracy to marginalize Kedaleam? Did Kedaleam willfully lie about plant-
ing a garden while he had instead put salad in the offering bowl? Is Thamu
hopelessly devoted to liver? Do livers detoxify the body, or are they some
private joke from the Heavens: that what cleans you will also kill you.

I've made my judgment and know who I side with, but that's not what the My-
stique is about, so I'm not inking it. It's about you. You decide who's re-
ally lying, who's really telling the truth and whether or not promiscuity
needs to be elaborated.

Scroll me your feedback! I'm serious! If you have any, ink away!


"Liver."

"LIVER!"


-Inked of Cyprian

Swapped

"Swapped Plates"

It's not all offerings and glory for a deity. Having a physical altar
for mortals to bow and scrape at is no simple business! Especially when one
finds the altar constantly defiled... By those who would try to change
one's holy diet. Can you imagine insinuating a deity is overweight!? The
blasphemy!

A trustworthy source alerted me to the very desecration of my hallowed halls
by one sneaky sir known as Kedaleam. Don't be fooled by his innocent
demeanor and ribboned epaulets - oh no, this one goes around chucking salads
into bowls clearly meant for Gnomes Only!

This has been a clashing of interests before, when yet another Justice threw
gloppy blobs of liver in the bowl. But unlike salads, livers can be made of
gnome, and Thamu and I came to a sort of agreement...

Well it felt a bit natural to therefore return a favor for a favor so to speak,
and Kedaleam soon found himself enjoying a lovely plate of Thamu's liver special.
Only afterwards he started spluttering and flinging his hands in the air.
"Nooo," protested the commander, "I didn't like the liver at all! I was forced, I
tell you! Vanisse made me eat it!! I LOVE SALAD AND I'LL NEVER STRAY!!!"

Methinks he doth protest too much.

- Vanisse


8) Poems

Luck

"Live and Let Luck"

Rocking a chair, some sit.
Or walking a road, stop at a pit.
Content without destination,
Stand and jump both meet procrastination.

"Isn't that too black-and-white?"
Still the sun, where were the night?
Affix the moon, where's the daylight?
Agreed. Both ride Time's constant flight.

In a world where Time had ears,
Stopping for the weary, rewinding regret,
There'd be no incentive to live.
No reason to accrue, much less protect.

Now flip the coin side in question.
Plant before a mirror, stare the reflection.
Idle the years, you'll learn a lesson.
Your existence inches more obsolescent.

Life itself is not the question,
To indulge some philosophic session.
It's whether you have dreams abreast,
Or see little more than life and death.

Every dream is a rung on a rising tower.
Resting mid-clamber, you still exert power.
Gripping enough to stay in place,
You don't let go, lest you split your face.

Tell me then, who can really coast flat?
While Time forces them this-way-or-that.
Still, absent Luck, Time's a meager measure.
No instant of pain, neither for pleasure.

Here's the descent: eyes glossing emptily.
Reflecting a vacuum, you become vanity.
Saddling another, you live vicariously.
Absent your -own- Luck, Life becomes apathy.


-Inked of Cyprian

Sylph

"For a Sylph"

Stomach twisting for what's pure and good,
I see the dark. Some brazen, some under hoods.
Its wisdom breeds misery. Ignorance-of, its bliss.
Passing by, I draw to cries from a distance.

Variably calm, not far the secluded dell.
Beyond signpost, where furtive nymphs fare well.
At the crossing of fae, feel a gradual menace.
An evil yet so near within Emerald Forest.

Through mist strong enough to block vision,
Dubiety's knocks echo at every decision.
The longer I stare in vain beyond the hedge,
Cries I hear convey their hope at its very edge.

Either side I see trees warped beyond sanity.
Nearby, two vulgar gremlins grinning at me.
In haunting reverb from surrouding darkness,
The hiss taunts me to kiss evil's own lips.

One pace north, frantic pleading amplifies.
Another pace west, abomination meets the eye.
A crude altar, clearly left to its own ruin.
Monumental abcess. "Macabre" doesn't even begin.

So it is they take good, twist it to whatever.
Just like evil, bereft of original & clever.
Violating, ever-reinventing the wheel of malice.
A ravaged sylph on an altar is one evidence.

Aghast I knelt beside her, fiddled the shackles.
Kept ear for the nearing of ambient cackles.
She pined for release, and it grieved my soul.
Nothing. No rattle. Not so much a keyhole.

Not an idea in my head could grant her wish.
Cleansing the room didn't budge curse an inch.
Try as I did, summons failed time and again.
I returned to the sylph to be her last friend...


Left with little beside hoping her an abrupt end.


This isn't mockery, as a fool on stilts.
As I ink this now, yet she agonizes, still.
Falling short, I know: anything I try to will.
Save genuine words inked for a suffering sylph.


-Inked of Cyprian

Heart

"Heart Within"

Foot against Serin, dusting its tile,
Experiences perch all the while.
Face-forward, you march for miles.

Awake to the morning, see the sky.
What exactly reflects off your eye?
Does it provide you reason to breathe?
What dreams lie under your sleeve?

A woman to share a life with?
A working man to father your kids?
A rainbow's end, where gold resides?
Rest after honest life, that none may lie?

Read Luck's compass, shade her sundial.
Interpret them or drown in Time's reprisals.
Remain ignorant of Her gracious signs.
Fail to read between Her generous lines.

I undergird your voice with meaning.
I provide rhythm to your every feeling.
Betray me and I split in twain.
Betray yourself, I still bear the blame.

Unbridle me, I'll send you trouble.
Train me and you'll earn double.
I work whether you rage or laugh.
My only rest is in your epitaph.

Defer to your mind, trust me to an end.
Speak to me, I know your goings out-and-in.
I even harbor the gravest of your sin.
Discover me at the foot of every whim.

I'm your heart within.


-Inked of Cyprian

Toad

"Ode to a Toad"

Memory recalls I've a tail to the skull.
Weren't it for a gnome, it'd be null.
A tadpole? Thought I used to be a man?
Now aspirations suddenly sink to lilypads!?

Minding my own business, I swim to algae.
Thanks Brumblwitz, my dishes are slimy.
Before I can graze, I look to the rear.
The beak of a bird just scraped my ear!

Oh cruel world, what a farce! What a lot.
I'm just trying to eat! Another Vikka plot?
Once held a staff. Soon wartier than frogs!
What other misery awaits when I hop logs?

Still alive, I'm at the mercy of beetles!
This is Luck only dead men would steal..
Spare me, I know it beats dying on the wheel.
I'll find Vanisse, ask this curse be repealed!

Nine weeks of horror, now nearing twelve.
The fish! The birds! Details I won't delve..
I'm ready to leave water as legs thicken.
Avoiding plates whereon they're like chicken!

Life in the dark, what would vampires know?
I have it worse! I avoid even the moon's glow!
I hide under leaves, my shelter are rocks..
My cutaneous secretions are worse than socks!

Timaran, finally. Oh, an Ivory Tower!
I'll hop over there, seek Vanisse's power.
Entering with angst, I see Her first.
Then I hear Varliv. Heart may as well burst.

I see them laugh, the butt of every joke.
I try to plead but all I can do is croak..
What have I done for this?? Woe to life, alas!
Varliv has a fork. Make "Ribbit" my epitaph.

Vikka enters giggling, Brumblwitz brought stew.
This toad blinks back tears, they're "funny" too.
Hopping madly, I panic. Vanisse plows into me!
I awoke in a cold sweat, what's it mean?

I move a limb and see a hand. Horrible dream...

NO! IT WASN'T!
VARLIV GRINS RIGHT NEXT TO ME!

"SQUEEEEEEE!"


-Inked of Cyprian

Alas

"Alas"

One claimed to see goodness, but saw only evil.
One claimed to desire peace, but shed only blood.
One claimed to wish solitude, but spurred only pursuit.

One preyed upon the goodness of others and was shown mercy.
Each time the heart of a man broke for one's lies, one's shadow grew darker.
Each time the soul of a man cried for one's lies, one's ego grew larger.
Each time the body of a man bled for one's lies, one's light grew dimmer.

The charade might have continued further, the wounds ever deeper.
Alas, one faltered! Too easily the lies unraveled.
The catalyst: the Lady of Air.
Tempted by the promises of Chaos, the bowstring snapped.
The illusion faded.
Treachery was laid bare.
One might have stopped there, but again one erred.
The final coffin-nail, one's misstep showed no care
For the home one claimed to cherish.

One might have become something different, something brighter.
One might have inspired hope and change for the better.
One might have done many things never before seen...

But alas, the gold was merely pyrite after all.


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