To Be Set Apart From Ones Caste


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The Twenty-First of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four,

If, in the secrecy of letters and in the sanctity of my mind, I am to do away with your station and we would be made equal, I would ask you to grant me the same advantage in this game of letters. I would also kindly ask that you not refer to me as Lord, it breaks of the illusion you are attempting to create. I must give you credit, Cytherean Lord was quite creative; How many astronomers do you have on retainer just for that wit?

A governess, whom we’d employed years ago, mentioned it to me in a letter that arrived just before the festival. Uncle still has yet to mentioned it to me himself, I can only assume he wishes to keep me in the dark. Just as he kept me in the dark about the guest we are playing host to until a few scant days before her arrival. I worry that Kyran will win the Lordship from me, I do not doubt that the peerage would see him as a much more viable and useful addition. I am an anomaly, an aberration sowing seeds of chaos and dissension in the ranks.

As you know: My grandfather held the original Lordship which passed to my father, whom was my grandfather’s first born, overlooking his own brother and my fathers brother. With my father’s death the Lordship passed to myself. As I was much too young to rule the Lordship was passed on to my uncle to be held in trust until I am of an age fit to rule. Honestly I do not know how I feel about reacquiring the Lordship that I am entitled to by blood and birth order. Being a Child of The Starry Heaven’s is just one mark against me, the second is the seal I bare: The mark of Venus at my collar. If the peerage were to declare it, I would never bare the title of my father. If I were to marry would Lord or Consort rule? That is the question some would ask. I must wed a peer or I must never marry. Forever a virgin Lord, I would have to name one of young Kyran’s children as my heir; Assuming he will have any. I already believe my uncle has entertained the notion of wedding my himself, as he is my regent he would still retain the title and powers. He would not be a consort; I daresay that I would be tucked away somewhere, a distant estate and locked inside. Of course I believe that also to be a form that Kyran wishes to utilize as well.

Enough of my monologuing and boring with the trivialities and mundanities of my repetitious life. You like to think that you are a gentleman yet you treat me like a child? Forgive my anger for I might have forgotten my place or I might yet have believed you when you’d said that behind the secrecy of letters, the illusory veil we do weave, that we are equal in station. It is that backwards, Lord of Light thinking that dictates that one such as I must be sheltered from the brutalities of life. We are fertile little things to be hidden away in whore houses. Toys to be played with and then put away on a dusty shelf. It is that divine thinking which would have any noble title or position that is mine by right to be stripped from me at lain at the feat of my brother or any Consort I would take.

Yes, Evandrus, I do think you rude. If you were to ask me, I would be able to tell you of what I know of Striecialian Sorcery: I could tell you that it would take an extremely powerful sorcerer to remove a whole legion, a much more powerful sorcerer still to do it from outside the confines of our nation. But, the question was not posed to me. Obviously I am just an air-headed Child of Venus and the two summers I spent in Striecial included sunbathing and eating teacakes; Not visiting the capital, raiding their libraries, watching them practice their sorcery, or even watching the performance they put on during the banquet. So no, I know nothing of Striecialian Sorcery. I don’t even know where Essililon is, I can’t even find it on a map. Shut your mouth dear, it does not do one well to catch flies.

I should apologize for my tone, I assume it is quite pointed. Do you wish to remind me of my station? How about my lot? If the only answer is Sorcery and we are not in Striecial it would would seem that the answer is not in fact Sorcery. Onto more pleasant topics before I must debase myself before you to apologize.

I am quite touched and amused that you would treat such a trinket as if it were apart of the royal jewels. I must say that I did not realize it was a betrothal ring; As you know my father died not long after I presented as a Child of Venus and I have fleeting memories of my parents. I have yet to step foot in your palace and yet I have already set about piquing interest and rumour. If I had known that I held such a power I would have been sowing intrigue for an age, I assure you. To think that your people believe me to be some Alazian prostitute wrapped in silk, bedecked in emeralds, and blanketed in perfume. In comparison I have more in common with a novitiate of the Order of Pity and Piety than an Alazian whore. Am I a spider with an incredibly large web?

The Rahsere wine you mentioned is quite terrible. It is supposedly Ice Wine, Uncle bought three cases and has been attempting to pawn as many bottles off on as possible. I believe he donated one crate to the Pagri for the festival, whatever was left he then donated to the Shining Lord’s church in town. I wonder if they will actually use it, I will ensure that I am unable to visit the church for a month or more. While after the beginning of your letter I would very much enjoy seeing you in the stock or wreathed in chains I would have to say that it is not petty. Poor wine can lead to a nasty political incident. I would not be surprised if that had been Uncle’s plot. Then again I see an enemy at each side and one in between. It might not keep you happy but paranoia does keeps one alive.

I can assure you that no porcelain object was damaged nor were the curtains set alight. I was quite upset, but Mrs. Argall is from Lighthurst and as you may know, they tend to be blessed in religious fervor in the extreme. What she said was not intended to hurt me, but to soothe me in some twisted way. They say that the Stars are cold and distant, but the servants of their god are as cruel as burning steel applied to soft flesh.
I look upon the church of the Shining Lord and all I can see is an enemy. I cannot see the forest for the trees it seems. I cannot step beside my own bias. A bias well founded mind you. They would see me performing my duty locked up in some whore house if they had their way. Had I a Heirophant dining at my table I daresay that I would see to him as if he were a hooded cobra, all writhing coils and spitting venom. You are a better man than I.

To my knowledge young Kyran does yet dwell in these walls. Uncle has yet to mention him for many months and at times I almost think he were a fever dream of my youth if it were not for the letters he has sent. I have not received a letter from him in over a year, I gave up sending them seven months ago when my last we sent back unopened.

I believe I once heard my mother say that the privilege of correspondence is as always purely selfish in nature. Plots and scheming, late night rendezvous and illicit affairs. I believe I must entertain your frivolity. I do most enjoy the deep hues of sapphires offset with silver. I believe I enjoy theses colors most because of my mother; Before she wed my father and joined him here on the estate she was well known as “The Lady Sapphire” in your father’s court. As she once told it, your father was quite enamored of her. If it was not for your mother’s russet feathers I daresay we would be siblings.

What is the window of opportunity you speak of? Must you spin riddles wherever you go? Obviously I know the language of flowers; I accepted them, didn’t I?

You and I weave a dangerous dance. Two alien elements dancing among the aether marked by two luminous godsigns.

A Note of Roses


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The Eighteenth of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four, The Royal Palace, Opris

Cytherean Lord,

I must first apologize for my delay, I received your letter two days ago but I have been much too busy to respond. No doubt you’ve heard of the incursion in Essililon, a third of a legion dead or missing with no known cause. I will be visiting it in a week hence. Over a thousand souls in Ulblne just gone. I almost think that it could be Striecialian Sorcery. I must once again apologize, I should not worry you with the current geopolitical climate as of late. While I am a forward thinking man of culture and learning, I still do not believe that a Child of Venus should be forced to grasp the indelicacies of war and strife. Yet a third time I must apologize. Please do not think of me as rude, I just wish to grant you some shelter from these events. Forgive me?

In the secrecy of letters, and the sanctity of your mind, I would much prefer you to call me Evandrus. Or perhaps Evan if you are feeling over bold. I do insist that in such correspondences as these, unsanctioned and private as these are, that you would do away with calling me “Your Grace” or “Your Highness” at every second line. While it is flattering, if I wanted to hear someone fawn over me I would amble about the kitchens and gardens for an hour, no doubt I would garner a whole host of servants falling over one another to bow and scrape before me. That is if I had the hours to wander the grounds or haunt the kitchens. We are close enough in station that I would not be insulted if you were to act as if we were the same.

You have not insulted me, in fact your letter made me smile, a luxury of which I have had few in the previous months. I don’t think you could ever be timid or simple, I have heard of many Children of Venus and as I understand it a fire burns beneath their breast. Nor do I believe either of those qualities are a curse. Dangerous beauty and beguiling grace, those are weapons that have felled kings and toppled nations. Perhaps they are a curse to ones enemies and a boon to ones closest allies. If you were timid you would have had your Lord Regent respond to me, as would be proper. You also would not have sent a gift in return, at least not one with such personal value. Something thing tells me you very rarely do what is proper when something you value more than standing and reputation are at stake.

I really must thank you for the ring; Sapphire is thought to calm and focus the mind and release tension. It has only left my presence for one hour since I received it and that was for it to be cleaned and ensure the setting was secure. Do not worry, I have treated it as if it were a part of the regalia itself. It also fits perfectly. Now I assume you do not know this, but perhaps you do but do not realize it; Sapphire is a stone of fidelity and integrity. The ring is actually a betrothal ring, I would assume that it was given to your father by your mother when they finished or neared the end of their courtship. The gift has sparked many rumors and for that alone I should thank you. The rumors are quite fascinating and outlandish: One I overheard last night was that I was betrothed to an Alazian prostitute.

Your regards and condolences were well received, they were much more heartfelt than what your Uncle sent; A bottle of Rahsere wine. It wasn’t very good. Does that sound petty? I daresay is does. Is a prince allowed to be petty? I would think not, maybe I should have myself put in the stocks. Why do I have the feeling you would enjoy that?

When I next visit the Great Cathedral I shall stop to see your mother, I assume your father is interred beside her? I think that I would have loved to have seen that tantrum. I can picture it now, with my own embellishments certainly. I see you smashing a small porcelain dog and lighting the curtains on fire. I can’t believe one of your staff would have the gall to say that, had she been your governess maybe, but even so at your mother’s funeral? I do hope she was dismissed.

I believe our nation is too wrapped up in religious dogma; Just last week I listened to a sermon in the Cathedral and the Heirophant went on about how only one god lives in the breast of our people. Last night while he dined at my table I pointed out that gone were the days of one religion. He agreed with me, to a point. He went on and on about the many different branches and sects of The Shining Lord’s worship. The hour was late and the wine was flowing, I didn’t have the heart nor the strength to inform him of his folly.

How is your brother doing? I had heard he arrived around the tenth. I met young Kyran at a gala hosted by Granner and his wives four months ago, Granner mentioned that Kyran would be returning home around that time. Granner said that he was sad to see the boy go but with Kyran’s upcoming responsibilities it would be best for him to return home.

Might you favor me with one question more? I would hope so, but if not I will still ask them. That is the privilege of correspondence as it is. It is a purely selfish question, but I do hope you see fit to indulge me my eccentricities. What colour do you enjoy most? I do hope you answer soon, the window of opportunity does draw to a close.

Do you know the language of flowers?

A small yellow rose is secreted in the envelope, devoid of thorns it’s stem is twisted into a complicated knot.

Opris: The capital city. The name is slated to change.

Essililon: A province or county within the country. Pronounced Ess – ill- leon

Ulblne: A town in the province of Essilion. It sounds much like Gruel-Bane

Striecialian: The Nationality of people from the country of Striecial; Purported to practice sorcery.

Striecial: A country purported to practice sorcery. The government has yet to be decided but I am leaning toward a mageocracy. Pronounced Stri – Shawl

The names of Opris and Ulblne may change. I’m not completely happy with them so if they spontaneously change you’ve had fair warning. In the comments below please let me know what you think of the post and and the names. Feel free to suggest names or ideas.

For Want of an A’Ladrea Mind Snare


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The Fourteenth of Ivaris, Sixteen Seventy-Four

Is it sorcery or enchantment that draws my mind to him, and draws me in to indecency? I cannot recall the beginning of my relationship with Margret, if I could I might know if it is decent with Tam. Oh to have an A’Ladrea Kudar here. I have read that they can ensnare a mortal mind and lay its secrets bare, to think what I might learn from my young varlet. Distance is the only true problem, and of course the antiquated laws outlawing most form’s of magic. I think it to be unlikely that the A’Ladree practice thaumaturgy, let alone thaumaturgy warranted by the Shining Lord and his ilk. He returned twenty minutes earlier than I had expected, thankfully I had the letter written and sealed before he had returned. He returned because the silversmith’s apprentice had dislodged one of the stones which warranted my attention.

On the ride to her workshop we chatted and I found out more about him, well, more than the fact that he can drive a motorcar. Tam is his only name, it seems that he was born to a Child of Venus in a chapel in Jarrow; Chapels such as that are little more than brothels. As Tam was born with green eyes, his father assumed the Venus-born whore was trying to pass off another man’s child as his own. He refused to pay for the service and the green-eyed baby was sent to the orphanage a few streets over. Cast out of the Star-born orphanage at twelve he found work at a small guest house for a year or two before he felt the calling of the night sky. As a child born of the Starry Heavens he has always held a fascination for the pin pricks of light that dance across our night sky. Little more than fifteen he’d made his way to this very town and signed on with the Southern Viscairn trading company. The story is such that if it is a fabrication I can almost believe it to be true.

While he doesn’t bear any of the celestial seals — that I have seen — it is still a possibility. It is almost unheard of for a Child of The Starry Heavens to not breed true, but I have read of cases of such. It happens from time to time. Priests of the Shining Lord insist that it is their god exerting his will and dominance over the Heaven’s forcing them to relinquish their claim over a mortal. A fanciful thought but I believe I agree more with the theory posed by astronomers. Astral tides. Well Astral Flux actually. Which could be considered by some observers as the Lord of Light ‘exerting’ his luminous will. Maybe. Honestly I believe astronomers and the like may be fabricating evidence or, more likely, suffering from deluded flights of fancy. I have never felt any difference when Venus is at its zenith nor when it is at its nadir. Is it possible I am broken and that other Children do feel the thrum of the Celestials? Perhaps it is because I was not born to a Child of The Starry Heavens that I have never fully felt the calling. But I digress for the day is short and that is a subject that could be discussed until the end of time.

It is true, I am a vapid and vain Child of Venus. While I speak about the possible snake in my midst and wonder if he holds venom in truth Tam is far from my mind. I can only think of the letter I have sent to our Crown Prince– soon to be King. By train it takes at most two days to reach the capital. Should I have sent one of the spare footmen or housemaids to ensure that the letter was received? No, Uncle would have been most annoyed if I had done that; He would have suggested that I send Tam and that just is not an option. A telegram maybe. Would the prince see that as too familiar? No, telegrams are never an option in private correspondence. The letter passes through too many hands, too many people could read it. Here I am worrying if he will respond, I should be worrying that he even will read it. To him I am just a Child-Lord and of little consequence.

There is always a price on your head. Every action drives that price higher or lower. Do not make that bounty any more attractive than it is.

A’ladrea: Pronounced Ah-La-DRee. An ethnicity/nationality.

Kudar: Pronounced Coo-DaHr. Essentially a Shaman or Spirit Speaker.

Viscairn: Pronounced Viz-k-AIR-n.