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.

Isolation, A Deadly Poison

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The Tenth of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four.

To be in isolation, is a dreary prospect. Veiled in one’s own thoughts you tend to get lost and days may pass in moments and on the next they become a never ending span of decades. Such horrific silence can drive one to desperation and that is where I find myself today my scalp itching and mouth tasting dreadful, I would give away land and title for a bath.
Draped on the bed a vial of clear blue liquid in my hand, it is poison, and what is in the common view is that each death by such fluid is unique. Now that is an old fishwives’ tale, a physician would say that there is only seventeen different ways to expire from this poison and that there is no antidote.

One would ask how a scion of a noble house and a child at that, would find themselves in possession of such a vicious substance. I like to think of it as a form of insurance. A child of Venus may not own land, they may be a tenant but never a land owner, and that puts a child of the starry heavens in an awkward position. Those laws are for the common man, the laws of nobility, gentry, are vast and sadly do not encompass beings such as I. One could argue that I will not rule, that a wedded consort would rule in my stead. If my uncle, the Lord Regent, were a lesser man I would think he plans to wed me, his brothers child. I hold the poison, the venom of a rare spider of the south, only to ensure that if he does plan that, that I shall not be his for long.

Tales speak of the spiders from their southern forest, each tree in this forest hundreds of feet tall and the spiders are the size of lap dogs. The story is told that these great trees were once men born of the star strewn heavens, beings the size of mountains. From the few paintings I’ve seen I’m inclined to agree with the legends, these trees pierce the sky. The earth knew only the cool embrace of the night until one day a burning god-thing came to the sky bringing light and heat. The blessed called out to their progenitors for protection and the fiery god was enrages at their insult.

He cast the Starry Heavens far away from the land making them small pinpricks of light. He cursed the children to only live in his light and horror etched on their faces they became the trees. Man was created for clay moistened from the deep oceans and baked in his glorious light. He blew breath and life into them. The Shining Lord, Life and Light, The Cleansing Fire; All of these and more are his names. So he said; I give to you my children the true inheritors: The Land, Sea, and Sky, to rule; Animals and Plants to eat; And the Children of The Cold Distant Heavens. The priest go on about how The Children are to serve man. They fear us. The Sons of Mars were hunted to extinction but a Son of Great Mars now sits on the throne. Maybe the Heavens aren’t so distant.

I believe he has me sequestered away for nefarious reasons, on the second day of my incarceration, the roaring sound of a herd of motorcars. Their infernal racket roused me from my fitful sleep, I have long since ran out of entertainment, I broke my knitting needle and dropped seven stitches on the lace work I was doing for Margret, that was after I hit yet another wall with Fathers cipher. I don’t know if I can last another day and a half alone. I believe dear uncle is trying to arrange a marriage explaining away the sound of supposed suitors. He must act quickly the stars are returning to their places from when I was born, it is close at hand and I will be of age and able to decide and speak for myself. I will have no use for a Lord Regent anymore.

If it wouldn’t risk his ire and drive away any potential suitors I would climb over the railing of my balcony and onto the one beside. Spirited away to the servants’ hall just for an hour or two would be a welcome relief, just to see people. While I can see the grounds and the grounds keepers from my windows it is far from sufficient. If I could just sneak into Father’s study for a few moments I know the key to the cipher is there sequestered among his papers and books, it has to be.

These days are the days that I miss Margret best. Even if he commanded me to my rooms she was my companion and would always join me. I miss laying by the fire and listening to her read the latest penny book. Torture is preferable to this.

Bend and Break, Twist and Change. The Vessel Is Never The Same.