Fire Reigns and Mercury Falls.

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The Twenty-First of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four

My Dearest Margret,

No doubt you’ve received my invitation to the festival but I have poor news. The festival will be put off until the Twenty-Fifth at the earliest. As you know part of the festival will include a ritual to one of their many fire spirits and, well, the Pagri claim that the spirit has been informed as to what the ritual entails and has been enraged. I believe that one of the Pagri became intoxicated and had taken leave of his senses. The tent they had constructed to house the spirit until the ritual caught fire. The flames danced across the town, most of it is superficial damage with the sole exception being where my assailant was being held and two sheep. I do hope the farmer will be reimbursed.

My feelings are still mixed on this fiasco. On one hand I am ecstatic that is he free, at least for the time being, and on the other I jump at every shadow now. I have given an order, a declaration, no servant is to enter a room without announcing their presence. While that does defeat the purpose of a servant, to be heard and not relatively invisible does for the most part assuage my fear.

I know his punishment, I had a panic attack last night during supper. A footman walked behind me at the table to refill someone’s drink, I know not who put possibly the caretaker Uncle has taken to having her for dinner the past few night. It was dark, nearly midnight since that is when Uncle likes to take supper, and he surprised me. I became hysterical, I went at the footman with a knife. Do not worry he is fine; Uncle tried to calm me or at least contain me but, I think I might have bit him. It seems it is very easy to fight off a Child of Venus.

Our physician was called to tend to me and he gave me an ampoule of an infusion of fleeting mercury. In a scant handful of moments since the quicksilver liquid touched my lips my limbs dropped like stone and I slumped onto the divan. It must have been a very strong infusion for I have had Fleeting Mercury before and I have some in the sideboard in my suite, it has never been that effective that quickly. It usually just slowly draws me into sleep.

I do not know if physician Folami has ever imbibed the drug at that strength but it did not drag me under. I could feel him undress me before the Lord Regent and examine me, slowly cataloging the bruises as he ghosted his fingers lower and lower. I wanted to scream or cry as he inspected me and proclaim no damages. Folami lingered for a time after I had been redressed, by one of the maids based off of the conversation and the handling. They spoke of the man’s punishment for a time before Uncle came to a decision. I do not know if I should see it as a form of divine retribution or some kind of cruel joke on the man.

Accept no missives of mine that do not bear my seal and sign, nor a trusted messenger. Erycina-Venus.

Fleeting Mercury - A quicksilver coloured drug that acts as a sedative slowly drawing the imbiber into sleep. In large quantities it paralyzes the body giving the impression of sleep while the imbiber is fully conscious and aware.

As I Declare, So Must It Be

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The Nineteenth of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four.

“As I declare, so must it be.” I have heard those words more times that I can count, nor would I wish to recount them all for I am assured it is well into the thousands. I am well acquainted with those words, that phrase, and one day I will use it. That is a declaration of a Noble Lord, their word is the word of the King, it is in essence sacrosanct. If one Greater Lord states that it takes a single day to walk the breadth of the kingdom then it is true. A shrewd and cunning lesser to such a Lord would merely say that they’d left their place of departure the day before as to not provoke their lord’s ire.

The caretaker of the Temple is a kind and well meaning woman which is the sole reason she has spoken with our Lord Regent. She informed him of the ‘altercation’ that took place in the temple. I have only seen him that angry once, when our cousin broke the chandelier and I have not seen her since. He himself inspected me, not a physician. Imagine my humiliation when I was requested to disrobe before him and the temple caretaker. That was a day ago, three days after the incident, and the bruises had blossomed. I was of a mind to keep it quiet and not to mention it. No one would have found out since I no longer have a maid who helps me dress or to draw my bath. Once Uncle saw the damage his fury was terrifying, he snapped his favorite pipe and bent the fire poker in his rage. Our Lord Regent has called for this man’s head.

A large number of Pagri have come to town over the last few days. They come to perform one of their rituals and Uncle has called for a festival to be held in the name of the Star-Born Deities. It is a small token of thanks to the caretaker and it allows the Pagri to worship their old gods without violating the treaty. I have asked if I might invite Margret to the festival and he looked at me with eyes so hollow I was terrified, I could have asked him for nearly anything and I believe he would have said yes.

The man was captured and has been detained, I do not know how he fairs nor what his punishment will be. What does it say that I am torn between wishing him to hang and wishing for him to be released, no harm was done but I may be forced to claim a touch and his life. I don’t know if I could bear that. If I was a different Child of Venus, if I was not nobility, I would’ve been absconded to a bower of others like me and I would be knowledgeable of their customs. I have no council, I am alone and unaided. I am afraid.

Because of the price on the man’s head it is now publicly know that I am a Child of Venus and Uncle has been swarmed with letters and telegrams proposing and asking my price. As if I could be bought, like a common cur. That is not to say that I do not have a price but I know for a fact that our dear Uncle is currently torn. Would he rather I wed to a noble above my rank, if so logically he would keep these lands and act as regent in my betrothed stead, or would he rather I wed one of an equal or lesser station? If the latter I would rule as lord beside my wedded love and Uncle would gain little in retrospect. It matters not on this issue, now that it is known that I am Venus-Born I am an even more attractive prize. And one would do well to not forget that our Lord Regent may wed me himself as it is his right.

This thrum of correspondence has made me curious, the men nine days hence who were here during my isolation. If it was unknown that I am Venus-Touched then who are those men? Why did they bide with Uncle?

Envoys bear perfumed letters dusted with poison, be careful whose correspondence you trust.

Grandmother, Grandmother, Bring Me Religion and Bring Me Slavery

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I am very sorry it’s so late but, it is double the normal length so don’t bitch too much! Enjoy and don’t forget if you have any suggestions or critiques just post them in the comments below.

The Fifteenth of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four.

I found one of the servant boys, Alex is his name I believe, outside of my rooms this morning, asleep with a letter clutched in his grubby hands. I dismissed him and was quite surprised to find that it was a letter from Grandmother, it seems that her townhouse has recently been wired for electricity, Unlike Mrs. Argall Grandmother has no illusions that electricity is born of the Shining Lord and should be reserved for only the most holy of parishioner. One would be very thankful to think that that extreme sect is in the minority and hopefully will become even more so when the would-be king, a blessed Son of Mars, ascends the throne.

I am quite relieved that a small movement is starting with some people, mostly factory workers and such, who believe that there are no gods, not even The Starry Heavens. That is not to say that they believe the planets of our solar system do not exist, they just do not believe that they are gods. These people believe that the Children of The Heavens are merely an interesting quirk of our biology and the name is an archaic relic. These are the people far removed from the land and who work much too hard to squander time away in a church.

Then there are the Pagrians who are very much the people of the tribes, they give offering to the spirits of nature but not to the Starry Heaven. They are descendents of the Pagri Tribe, the sole tribe that survived mostly intact. The Pagri were quick to strike a deal with The Bright Shining, the army amassed under the banner of the Cleansing Fire’s clergy. It was agreed in exchange for their safety that the Pagrians would remove the blasphemous Star-Born deities from their pantheon and welcome the Shining Lord into their hearts and hearths. One small concession was made, the Pagrians would be allowed to continue to worship their pantheon of over a thousand spirits if they would surrender each Child of the Starry Heavens born in each generation; failure to comply will result in their deaths.

The worship of the Starry Heavens isn’t technically sanctioned by the crown but, the again it isn’t prohibited. Officially the crown has no stance but, the Queen is a follower of the Shining Lord. Most of those who worship the heavens are born of it; The few others who follow their light are usually Astronomers. I hold no illusions or feelings of kinship when I look to the suspension of starlight above, when I look upon them I see pin pricks of light not the womb that bore me.

I have been to the Temple of The Starry Heavens in the town twice in my life, the first time was briefly when it was found that I was Child of Venus her symbol freshly burned on my collarbone. It was little more than a squalid shack then with a layer of refuse on the floor. It had been vandalized time and again, the caretaker has long since stopped replacing the glass panes and I don’t blame her, they are expensive and will just be broken the next day. A dozen or more shallow hollows were carved into the walls barely big enough to house a small statue of the star god and a candle or two. Well, statues should have been enshrined in those alcoves with candles, incense, and flowers fair. The temple was long ago ransacked, any silver and statues have long since been taken and sold off. It is a sad thought that a temple, a sacred and hallowed space, would be so ruthlessly violated. The caretaker is a Child of Neptune as shown by the sign burned onto her left forearm, she is a exquisite painter and I would love some of her work to grace my halls. Just as the sea sings a sirens song for the dark-haired pageboy so did the caretakers brushes and pigments. I have only seen them once but the murals she had painted were breathtaking. From the tragedy she created magnificent pieces of worship that couldn’t easily be ripped from her.

I mentioned days ago that I endeavored for a ride and my prediction rang true; Our Lord Regent demanded that I abide by his will and take the motorcar. Thankfully I was granted a small tender mercy, his valet was not to be my chauffeur, the chauffeur they we retain would take me to town and was to stay with me at all times; I would have preferred one of the footmen, at least they aren’t as chatty and mind their own business. Honestly I was just looking for a haven where I wouldn’t be ridiculed for being born of the Starry Heavens that wasn’t in the house and I thought the Temple of The Starry Heavens would be the perfect refuge. I was only half right, the chauffeur – his name escapes me at the moment – was a barrage of questions and nattered on endlessly.

When we arrived at the temple I quickly found out that it was no longer actively use, it was in essences a shrine and only occasionally tended too – a surprising thought since it was cleaner now than it was when last I had visited. He spoke to a few passersby in my stead since I am loath to interact with anyone in public since my mark must be visible and I would rather not be accosted by men. A new temple had been built near the center of town, allegedly with money from our Lord Regent since his charge is allegedly a Child of The Starry Heavens. I would have presumed that fact was common knowledge and the mere thought that my dear Uncle would even entertain the idea of funding this sanctuary has me a bit touched.

The temple was large, almost rivaling the size of The Shining Lord’s, it was a wood and stone building with a light and airy feel about it. Setting foot in that place made me feel – I can’t really describe it. I have read accounts from Star Born Children, about how they could feel their god in them. Stepping in there I wanted to laugh and dance, I could feel Venus inside of me at that moment and it wanted to dance in my feet and sing in my throat. At least until I began to explore the sanctuary, I was accosted by a man once he spotted the symbol on my collarbone. I really should not have implored my chauffeur to wait outside. The man had me pinned to the wall and groped me while trying to divest me of my clothing. It was a grapple, to think little me in a grapple, as he called me all kinds of dirty things.

Harlot, Slut, Tart. I still feel sick when I think of it and I can still feel his mouth on my neck and his hands ripping my coat and spraying the buttons everywhere. I am a Child of Venus, a sacred thing, my dalliances birth legends, and there I was being molested in the temple of my blood. I was nearly naked before someone intervened, the caretaker-come-priestess quickly had him removed. If he had known how I was I am sure he would be falling all over himself to apologize. I can only think that if it was commonly known that I would not have been handled in such a way. A shirt was found for me, probably from the pauper box – a form of charity frowned upon by clergy of The Shining Lord – she apologized profusely, it was almost comical actually. I look forward to seeing more of the temple but I think I will bring a chaperone next time.

Sing me a song without words and perform a dance without movement.

A Child of Neptune: Like the Son’s of Mars and the Children of Venus you’ll find out eventually.

Pagri: One of the old tribes. Pronounced Pah-Ree, the ‘g’ is silent. It is the name of the man who brokered the agreement.

Pagrian: The people of the Pagri Tribe, well their descendants and effectively anyone who worships their Pantheon of One Thousand Spirits.