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8 mos ago
Current V.1.26 (House of Caecilius Iucundus); 4091: Whoever loves, let him flourish. Let him perish who knows not love. Let him perish twice over whoever forbids love.
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1 yr ago
Hello and good tidings to thee! What brings you to this line of text?
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1 yr ago
People of Jewusalem! Wome is your fwiend!
2 yrs ago
dun dun dun du-dun dun da-dun dun dun du-du-du-dun
2 yrs ago
Lo, tis a creature of the avian category! Lo, tis a mechanical elevating carriage! Lo, tis Especially Competent Bipedal Sentient Creature!

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". . . WHAT!?" roared the great Sumtagus Bogudus, king of Imasicia. His hand was gripped about the armrest of his chair so hard Masinissa wondered with an idle corner of his brain as to whether he shall break his hand first, or under the pressure begin to warp the very wood from which the rest is made. Judging by the king's rage, he suspected the latter. The spirits were a powerful peoples, and are attracted to the tempting emotions of anger and fear. They provide the man who is given to such feelings with unfathomable strength, and steal away his mind, turning him into a machine built to create death. That is the sort of humor the spirits revel in, cruel and uncaring are they, unless tempted with sacrifice. If the king were to lose his mind . . .

"As I say, Excellency," chirped the censor. He adjusted the glassworks about his eyes, humming in delight as he did so and jotting down some more notes in his ledger. "Shall I repeat the figures again, Excellency?"

"Yes. Do," Bogudus said. Masinissa simply stood there, under the enflamed gaze of his sovereign, hanging his head. Somewhere, in the depths of his mind, his child self calls to him, commanding him to just concentrate on the king's shoes. Perhaps if he stared at the shoes hard enough, the man above them would disappear. With a little more wishful thinking, perhaps the entire court would just vanish into mist, absolving him of his public shaming.

"Legii XLVIII through LVIII have gone missing, Your Excellency," said the censor, reading off the book. "Legii L and LI are partially depleted, in combat against the barbarians of the west, the rest have last been ordered into reserve, and thus theoretically should be in full condition." He shoots a withering stare at both Tingitus Gauda and Inumedigus Guba, both of which return their own. "Thus, the manpower currently missing in action totals . . . forty seven thousand . . . hmm . . . seven hundred and . . . let's see here . . . apologies, Excellency, the logistics are never so precise . . . eighty two."

"Ten. Whole. Legions." Bogudus said, enunciating each word. He stood up suddenly, throwing the chair behind him as he did so. It flew back with the harsh creaking of wood meeting with wood. In that moment, despite Masinissa being the taller of the two, he felt very small indeed, and the form of Bogudus grew in his eyes to rival the pillars themselves. "Praetor Masinissa?"

"Excellency?" Masinissa squeaked. His voice could barely be heard. The court's eyes were locked onto him, covering him in their judgement.

"As of this moment, by my decree, you are dishonored. You have betrayed your command, as well as your kingdom. You are lucky you once served with distinction. Most traitors I behead." Bogudus' eyes shone dark in the bright room. Light itself seemed to be absorbed into his pupils, dark voids tugging, tugging at Masinissa's soul. "Now GET. OUT. OF MY SIGHT." Masinissa dropped to a knee, resigning himself from a lifetime of banishment from the court, and perhaps the city. By the sun, the moon, and the stars, he would consider himself fortunate to even remain within the kingdom. Then, a centurion burst into the room, panting like a dog.

"Apologies . . . Excellency . . . I have . . . a message," he says, between breaths. Two house guards rush to him, helping him to the meeting table. He plops down on a vacant chair with little regard for ceremony in the presence of his king.

"Go on then," Bogudus says, seeming to have completely forgotten his earlier judgement. They wait in silence as the messenger relaxes, and begins to breathe normally again.

"We have encountered Legatus Fesus Badis on our border," he said. "He bears grim news, and is recovering from his long travel. He tells us that the Surabhi have sent us a threat. Either surrender Praetor Masinissa or face the wrath of Surabhumi." If Bogudus was angry before, his face revealed to the entire court just how much angrier he could become.

"So, Surabhumi thinks they can send us threats!?" he shouts. "Surabhumi, who killed my grandfathers, and their grandfathers, and their grandfathers as well!?" The courtiers look at each other, fearful of what the king might do to them should they dare to enter their sovereign's line of sight. "You . . . find someone. Return a message to the cow-kin. They will not have as much as a single hair upon any Imasician's head. Should they come with their armies, we shall meet like with like tenfold. GO!" The messenger sprang up and rushed from the room. Bogudus then turned his eye on Masinissa. "And you . . . go into the forests. Take ten days labor, and seven days to seek the spirits' wisdom. Then, I want to hear everything you have seen of the Surabhi battle strategy. From you and your uncle."
Just use the discord to communicate
Busy, but fine
Two sources elemental . . . Mardex slumped and rested a talon on his snout. Riddles were not his strength. He was a soldier, damn it all. He had not a head for flowery language or . . . whatever this was. He wracked his brain, trying to find an answer. All the time, the mage's eyes watched him, steady as an eagle and double as predatory. He began to ramble, piecing his knowledge together in a stream of barely coherent phrases.

"Two sources elemental . . . fire? Earth? Fire and earth . . . " he mused. It sounded about right. "Chore is ore, aim is flame . . . metal. The metal itself, or a metallurgist . . . so what do I hope to gain?" He readied his answer, expecting the worst. "Strength. The strength found within metal, both firm and yielding. The riddle is about a blacksmith, is it not?"
"I understand . . . I think," Ardasa said. There was a reverence in the way the older woman conducted herself, that commanded her own respect. It was almost as if Aerta were the empress, and she a mere dignitary. "Fate will move by its own hand, we shall see about the rest."
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"Look about you, blacksmith," Mardex said. "This is your home. The beating heart of an empire blessed by gods, dragons, and fate. The future birthplace for scores of kobolds, to number as the stars. The seat of the emperor, and the emperors after, for as long as time shall stand. Here, you will find that fighting for glory, the empire's, your own, mine, it is all the same. The only question that remains is whether you will or you will not fight. Dare I speak to the emperor, and tell him of my failure in securing a strong and steady hand to wield a sword in his legion? Dare I mention your name to him, and hide my face to cover my shame?" Mardex willed his eyes up to meet the other's. The fire has become especially potent, he could see. He is playing with forces too powerful for most kobolds to even comprehend.
I'm having difficulty writing, is all
Ardasa fell silent, listening to the fire and brimstone warning of the dracon mother. Never trust the soothsayer, the old folk saying goes. Yet, the woman sitting before her was no mere soothsayer. She was possessed of power, easily comparable to the magic of even the greatest kobold magi. The question remains, whether she shall use her wisdom in the preservation of Xigyll, or its destruction. Perhaps there will never be a certain answer, until these future events come to pass.

"Please, tell me of the future," Ardasa said, reverence in her voice. "I want to know what must be done to protect my people, who love me as I them. I need to know of the threats to our livelihood, to our humble existence we have sought cradled in the arms of rivers and mountains. Please. If you truly are a friend to Xigyll. Advise us on our future, that we may follow and prosper."
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"Zandex," Mardex mused. "A pleasure to know your name. Forgive my priests, they are . . . zealous, in their loyalty to higher powers, be they the gods, the emperor, or myself. It is one of the traits I seek within a priest. I find religion to be a comforting influence, in a life such as mine, surrounded by war and danger. The gods, through their mortal voices on the earth, tell us of their grace, that we may reside in upon our own passing." He took a swig from his own mug and set it down with the clack of wood upon wood. "You say you are a fighter? I am surprised, my friend, that you either left the imperial legion following the treaty of Merat, or had never joined in the first place. That is a shame, for the empire finds itself still stretched of its precious army, and my own forces especially so. I believe your glory still awaits you in battle, if you would allow me to say." His eyes. They were all-seeing eyes, possessed only of kobold wielders of magic. Whether or not they could truly divine the truth from lies simply by sight, the legends do not say. However, they are unmistakable to those who would recognize it. They glow in low light such as this tavern, flickering as if a pair of fires sat behind the retina. This power Mardex must gain hold of, he is so close!
"Certainly," Ardasa said. In her mind, however, she was less certain than ever. "Wait right here, I'll have everything brought." A passing guard caught her attention, and she quickly ran up to him. "Quickly, do we have any fruit?"

"Erm . . . " the guard stuttered, wracking his brains. "I don't think the fruit comes until tomorrow. We have bread . . . "

"Don't worry about it, just . . . here," Ardasa said, shaking a few coins from her pockets. "Go down to the market. Search every stall for some fruit." The soldier gave her a strange look, but shuffled off, pocketing the silver as he did. Ardasa returned to the room, splaying her hands and smiling. "I'm sure it's no trouble at all," she said. "It truly is good of you to worry about our state. I'm sure Kali would not have called you here if she didn't believe you could do good by our little empire." She nervously paced about the room, rearranging the books on the shelves, then placing them back. "If it's not too much to ask . . . you wouldn't happen to have the ear of any prominent leaders of your homeland, would you? We are always in need of friends, and if you are a friend of ours, then they ought be as well. I don't want to impose this task on you, our guest but . . . politics, I suppose."
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"Who's yeh?" a rowdy soldier shouted, as a stranger entered the Pig's Hoof tavern. He raised his tankard and took another large swill of the drink. "Get outs here, ye daff, this is a legion's bar!" He spit in the general direction of the newcomer. Mardex grabbed the soldier's arm.

"I suggest you wait outside," he growled. The soldier tried to protest, but Mardex stood up to his full height, marginally above the soldier's and he meekly ambled out with a weak salute.

"I'm sorry, stranger," Mardex said, sitting down by the newcomer. "Let's have a drink, on my tab." He tried to hide the grimace on his face, thinking about the coins he had spent today. The legionnaire was no more drunk than he. It was an act they play, every once in a while, watching the door as kobolds entered, drank, and exited. He must have bought a tankard for everyone who walked in. However, this was the investment he knew he had to pay, if he wanted to take the future at all seriously. Any one of them could be the mysterious mage, whom his spy had convinced to meet him here. "They call me Commander Mardex, of His Might's legionary order. And your name?"
Having a lot of difficulty writing for this rp. Is it alright if I keep my posts really short and simple for the time being?
"Why did you ask me to meet here? You know you're not allowed within," said Guba, calling out to the darkness. The moonlit chamber was massive, stretching far above his head. Large enough to fit a court, which during the day, it did. At night, however, the government, like all other institutions, return to their homes to rest, and one man within is very lonely indeed. Pillars dot the great expanse, casting shadows about and shrouding all but the sections nearest to the massive window in pitch. It was before this window Guba stood, peering out at the moon and the land that basks in its light.

"Sas ney tafeca sli, Unitas idir," responded a voice, somewhere in the shadows. His voice, yet someone else's. Guba did not bother to turn.

"Too true," Guba said. He could feel in his bones that tonight was a night of fate. The future called to him through the glass, beckoning him in a way none other than the voice may ever have a chance to understand. "Come join me by the window, brother."

"I would," said the voice, followed by the tapping of sandals upon stone. The dim light exposed a face, Guba's own, and yet not. They were of a form, nearly perfectly in all ways. Two they were, and yet one, so the wise man had once said. Indeed it seemed true, but for their spirits, for the many paths of fate had seen to it that their spirits were made differently. An ironic joke of the universe, perhaps, or a mere error on the part of the cosmos, or less likely, a path intended for them to take, unexpected as it is to them now.

"Gugurta, dare you wear the sword in this hall?" Guba snapped. It made an unmistakable rattle as he walked with it. "With a single demonstration of it, you were thrown from the favor in the palace. Not even our brothers in cause would tolerate such radicalism." Gugurta let his hand travel to the fine hilt of the sword. A Varacci sword it was, light and elegant, so different from the harsh spathae of the legions.

"Do you not like it, brother? I myself find it fetching. We are, after all, of the belief that the poor orkh be lifted of his oppressions in the inner isles. Unless, of course, I had forgotten the day on which we changed causes." It was as if Guba could hear the impish smile on his face. It led him to deepen the furrow in his own brow.

"You're lucky the new king is of our sensibility. I fear the executioner's axe comes baying for our blood. Let us go into the night, brother mine, before your little joke of meeting in this hall grows weary, not only to us but to the eye of the barbaric Optimates. After all, I hear the Cohorta is performing its induction ceremony tonight." With that, Gugurta pulled the head covering tighter around his face, and the two strolled out.
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"Today, is a day of greatness!" shouted Mario. A roaring cheer followed, deep and bellowing. The roar of the Varacco. It carried over the waves, into the sky, so loud even the spirits must hear it. "Greatness for the sun, and greatness for the Sumitaga!"

"Greatness for the sun, and greatness for the Sumitaga!" shouted the young Varacci that joined him. Mario looked into their faces, and saw the conviction he and his cousins had beaten into them.

"When you raised your swords, and swore yourself Cohorti for the first time in your lives, you were but boys and girls." Boos, hisses, and low growls punctuated the words. "Now, as I have seen your tusks grow long, your brave vigor strengthen, I may no longer find these children. I find men, and I find women. Cousins to further the greatness of the Cohorta!"

"Greatness for the Cohorta, greatness for the sun, and greatness for the Sumitaga!"

"I swear to you, my cousins today, and in battle my brothers and sisters, that I, Mario di Aggiapo, shall in my life guide you on the Cohorta warpath, to serve with honor the sun-king's crown, to defend our land, a land of imperator's pride and doge's reverence!"

"Greatness for Mario di Aggiapo, greatness for the Cohorta, greatness for the sun, and greatness for the Sumitaga!"

"Watch the moon rise! Watch as the spirits descend from the sky, and inhabit us, for but a few moments! The moon! The moooon! Agh . . . agh! AAAAAAAAAAAAGH!" Mario tensed up as he felt the familiar sensation wash over him. That moment, when his spirit falls away and a foreign one rushes in to fill the void left behind. The war-shamans called it "il vegliare somo", the waking sleep. Sleep, however, was the least accurate term for what happens next. The wave of fury washed over the young Varacci, and they too were wracked with the great pains and pleasures of being filled with excessive spiritual power. One young male drew his sword, and with a deafening scream snapped it in two, throwing the shattered remains into the sea. A female beat her fists together, not stopping even as they gushed with blood.

"AWWOOOOOOO! AWWOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Together, they howled at the moon, demonstrating the fury of the Varacci, the fury of the sea and the sky itself.

From a distance, Guba and Gugurta watched, as they had year after year, for many years, beginning when they were children. They knew that hidden in the shadows, many Imasicians enjoyed watching the brief lunacy, some with disgust, others with wonder. They were a magnificent spectacle, these induction rituals. When the shreds of civilization were wrenched away while the flesh remained. Guba, in his heart, longed to be as wild as they in those moments. "Imagine," he whispered. "They serve the king more closely than we."
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"My lord Lucca," said the servant. "A message for you."

"Throw it in the fire," Lucca responded. In his hand was a bottle of rum, once full, but now half empty. "Do not give me that ridiculous look. I know, as well as you, that it was sent from Lady Amara. I wish not to hear from her."

"As you command, my lord," she said. The crackle of the fires intensified for a moment as it was fed fresh parchments. "I take my leave now, if it please you- oh!" she winced, and clutched at her arm.

"What is it?" Lucca asked, standing up. He swayed a bit under his weight, but his eyes remained resolute. He stumbled over to the servant, leaning on the wall for balance. She shook her head, but an intense glare from the near-legendary doge led her to meekly pull up her sleeve, revealing a distinctly spatha-shaped cut wrapped sloppily in cloth. The blood was still wet, by the looks of it. "Where did you get this?"

"I was not careful, my lord. I was visiting the blacksmith's. I asked about your spad-"

"Where? Do you think me stupid?" Lucca was too far gone to contain his usual composure. Lucca the Wise, they called him, despite him being one of the youngest Varacci to ever serve as Serene Doge. They think he does not know, but he realizes that in the far islands, they call him Lucca Augustus, for which they would be killed if the human authorities ever heard.

". . . Il taverna, my lord."

"Who was the dog that would dare lay a hand on my employ? I would castrate him with his own sword!" His nostrils flared, so large they could perhaps swallow a grape.

"A . . . a leggionare, my lord." She shrunk away at the answer.

"Leggionare? On Sendimenti? They would not dare. Why did you not fight, as is your right on this island?" Lucca's face fell from anger to shock. He could not feel them, but he could hear his teeth grinding like stones together.

"I could not! I was afraid. He said . . . if I did not stand still . . . he would tell the Leggiato, who would tell the Senatores, who would break our peace with the Imazzicci." Lucca huffed, and he turned to leave. "Wait, my lord!" the servant cried, descending to her knees. "Do not write to the Imazzicci! I am a woman of the peace, I do not wish to attract the ire of the human signori." Lucca sighed, and rested his hand on her shoulder.

"I will investigate the matter thoroughly," he said, trying to return to his regular, calm tone. "Let it be known that you need not fear any false hands from now on. I shall rest, and think of the matter again in the morning." He stumbled up the stairs to his bedchambers, clutching his head. As he did so, another servant descended the stairs, stopping to bow absentmindedly as the doge passed him. Lucca did not seem to take any notice whatsoever. When the servant reached the bottom of the stairs, he tiptoed over to the other.

"Did you sway him?" he asked.

"Perhaps I did, perhaps I did not," she responded.

"Perhaps," he mused, looking up at the stairs. "You have done a great thing for the Varacci. In time, we shall find ourselves free again, led on by mighty Lucca. Until then, we may only hide and wait. Rest easy tonight. It took much courage to suffer as you did." He pulled an Imasician spatha from his pants as he did so, cracking a wry smile.

"No courage at all, knowing the risk," she responded. The two of them began to chuckle, as old friends do, but immediately stopped, remembering not to awaken the sleeping.

"Good evening, then. Greatness for Amara di Molobenini."

"Greatness for Amara di Molobenini."
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Masinissa leaned over the railings, and vomited into the sea. "Will we see land soon?" he asked.

"Soon, boss," shouted a sailor. The deck roiled and rolled, and Masinissa felt the influence of another mouthful of acid threaten to pass through his lips. He hated this, and he suspected many of his men did as well. But what choice did he have? It was his solemn duty to win the necessary glory for his king and rightful ruler. If that meant traveling near a thousand leagues by ship, then so be it.

"I will not have soon. I will have sooner. Tell your rowers to make double time for this final stretch. I will- hulph!" He could not hear quite clearly, but he thought he heard the Drakon mercenary laugh. He grimaced, wiping the yellow bile from his face. He hated those Drakonese as well. One could never tell, by their seemingly honest faces, what they were thinking. "Courage, man," he told himself. "Courage, for a few leagues more. Surabhumi is on the distance now, I need but reach out and take it for my own."
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