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.

A Servant Speaks

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This is not from the point of view of the protagonist from the first three posts referred to as a Child of Venus, it is instead a servant in the house. Matthew wrote it and the greater portion of the credit should go to him but I did rewrite it and as I stated in the introduction it is my property. Enjoy.

The Twelfth of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four

I am surprised that I have the time to sneak away to write a bit, it’s that small silver time between night and dawn and I really should be asleep Father should be awake in a few moments but I really must write down my day, some may even hazard to say it’s the damned hour of sorcery. I am thankful for I rarely have this time to myself. Usually my early chores send me around the manor, not having anything to worry about just running back and forth, even maybe seeing a few of the other servants, Mrs. Argall still dotes on me as if I were still nine and not fourteen.

With my chores I find myself running back and fourth through the back halls acting as an invisible servant never seen by the lord regent or his equals. Even though based on what I’ve heard he finds no one to be his equal. At fourteen, I have been a servant in this great house for eight years, my dad works as one of the cooks under Mrs. Argall, a slight if I’ve ever seen one. He has worked for the family since I was three, just after mother fell ill. I ran the width and breadth a dozen times before our dear Lord Regent roused himself; running firewood about, delivering vegetables, and passing along messages to the gossiping chambermaids.

After that is done I was working the halls lighting the gas lamps, I cannot wait for the rest of the wiring to be finished and that chore to be struck for my list, and once again scouring the floor. If I was a footman I would be dealing with the silver but based on the scarlet hue the footmen had emblazoned on their cheeks last night I don’t think that work is for me. I like to think that Father got this job because he has no preference on gas or wood stoves, unlike most. Not to mention that the Lord Regent is quite taken with a few of our family recipes and insists upon them for his magnificent soirees.

The afternoon meal in the servants hall was quite nice and ensured that I was still energized for the afternoon chores, one of which involved a grueling time with the horses that I would rather not go into. It was a rare treat that I had to go into town, on foot mind you, a message for a man, a dozen letters from some of the men on the estate to various women that kind of thing. I did take a bit of a break and had a stint down near the shore, I love watching the waves roll in and fantasize about sail off to see the world. A quick stop to the spinners to put in an order for new stemware and I did tarry for a bit, I just love watching the spill water into glass, mind you we do live by the crystal coast it is only right that the greater portion of the world loves our craft.

As I have grown and time has passed I have found myself wondering if I’m truly a slave and not a servant. Yes it’s true I eat just find, and I have clothes on my back, but nothing I have is more than the most common of fabric. Listen to me talking on and on as if I deserve fine silks and velvet like our Lords Charge and probably soon to be spouse. I have found myself wondering if father is hiding the money from me, or if he gambles it away on knuckle bones and drinks that rot alcohol that our Lord’s Valet enjoys.

Father is waking up, it’s going to be a terrible day on no sleep.

- Alex

A Call from Court

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The Twelfth of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four.

The time before and just after dawn is the domain of the servants. They wake a few scant hours after retiring and go about preparing for the day. Mrs. Argall would yell for kitchen girls to fetch firewood as she prefers not to cook with gas. That is a decidedly archaic view, next she’ll say that electricity is bottled sunlight from the Shining Lord only befit for his churches. Maybe she is more befit in the time of the tribes? Mind you what of her Shining Lord then? I digress it is rude to speak ill of someone for their beliefs, no matter how unfounded they are.

I believe I like the house at these times, quiet save for the soft footsteps of the servants as they light the lamps, open windows, and scour the floor. Uncle was up late last night entertaining his retinue of advisors. If you ask me it was just an excuse to drink my Father’s liquor and smoke and if Mr. Ochoa gropes me one more time I may forget myself and my manners and slip with my dinner fork. I hope that common blood wont ruin the tablecloth, I would hate to ruin it, Uncle says it was a gift from Grandmother. His other advisor, Mr. Beaumont, is always eyeing the silver, I really don’t understand how those two speak collectively as his representatives at court. They are foolish foreign criminals and they are marring the good name of my Father.

I digress from the quick and effective descriptions of the men, I’m sure if someone were to read this they would assume that I am some kind of nattering gossip soaked in gin and eating tea cakes. After dinner we ‘entertained’ them in the parlor, they were exquisitely drunk and what entertained them was dropping crystal stemware on the floor and harassing the maids and one pretty footman. They did mention that Uncle as Lord Regent has been ‘asked’ to attend court. Uncle insisted I retire for the night before I could glean any more information.

The Prince has yet to take the throne, for now his Mother sits as Queen and will rule in her husbands name until her death. Rumor has it that she will be dead before Winter burns and I can see that happening she was old when my Father was a child and she will follow her husband into death. That is the protocol for grieving spouses whom worship The Cleansing Fire, in the time of the tribes one must forge on after the death to keep the tribe strong, mind you there was that tribe that ate a small portion of their honored dead but that is a ghastly thought. She may be stepping down which is an ill though but a good one and Uncle is probably being summoned to witness the coronation and swear his loyalty, my loyalty, to the crown as is the time honored tradition.

I think I may go for a ride today; I would prefer on horseback but no doubt Uncle will insist on the motorcar as I would need a chauffeur and would conveniently provide a chaperone to keep me from making a fool of myself. I find this whole game of cat and mouse to be extremely tedious, three drops would be all it takes to end the game. I understand that it is odorless and tasteless and pairs well with lemon. I have heard no more of the would-be suitors and I never saw them while they were hear but then again I was sequestered away, one would wonder if I am now betrothed.

The wind blows cold today and the waters glitter like diamonds.