Postby Guillaume » Thu May 11, 2006 1:17 pm

In groups of ten, they'd patrolled Myrkentown streets some months and more ago -- and now they do so again, this Brotherhood that wears Straka colours. They are an odd lot, alike in uniform but motley in origins: originally composed only of Councilor al'Nerun's own men, they'd absorbed some of Straka's finest, when that Order was disbanded; had taken some of the Militia under their wing as well, when crops went bad or went simply to dust. Men new to the sword, those had been, but not strangers to backbreaking work, not by any means -- and they'd been trained well, during the winter months. What walks the nighttime streets now is far greater a force, and even some Lothbury guards walk amongst them; they hold their torches high, all those who march, and their lanterns as well.

Scattered amongst them are men who've lost children to the drow. This year; several years before; when a child lies dead, who bothers to keep count?

Several of the Brotherhood have been set to guard the homes of certain Councilors -- al'Nerun is exempt, as one would expect, and Lothbury sports its own guard as ever -- but the vast majority have been set upon the patrol, and those spectators who watch from balcony or rooftop are treated to quite the spectacle indeed. Great snakes of flame wind their way through those streets, driving back the shadows from their corners; great bonfires rage in the two town squares. Under better circumstances, the sight would be festive and rich with cheer; hah, even given recent events, this is almost true. Almost.

For there have been broad posters nailed to the doors of businesses, the walls of homes, each bearing the Governor's own seal. Less-literate townsfolk had eyed their text in frustration, but not for long; word spreads swiftly, when it's of this sort -- and in any case, criers had soon recited it to the length and breadth of Myrkentown's streets.

[INDENT]Citizens of Myrken Wood:

We enter a time of hardship...but we have known hardship before.
We enter a time of danger... but this, too, we have known before now.

Cultists have bedevilled our youths. A vampire coven wars in our woods. And now the drow Audmathus thinks to hold this town for ransom -- or even claim it for his own. He makes appeals of your Council, perhaps thinking that we forget his fell deeds here several years ago: the innocents slain, the ancestors made to rise unnaturally from their graves. He makes threats, perhaps forgetting that it was Myrkenfolk who once slew him; perhaps imagining that we have faced no greater horror than he.

In this he is sorely mistaken.

Some condemn Myrken Wood as cursed, and perhaps they are right to -- but it has made strong citizens of us all, we who have proven too stubbon, too proud, to flee past its borders. We have weathered the Fivefold Blight, those of who survived; we have seen war amongst the vampiric Kindred -- and slain their monstrous Lucian. We have endured even the filthy Baie's predation, and not once have we bowed in despair.

We shall not learn to at this animal's behest.

The Brotherhood walks your streets: with them tred your kin -- merchants and farmers and clerks alike. Perhaps you will follow their example, and hang sturdy lanters from your eaves come nightfall. The hero Coran D'zir, he who turned away floodwaters from our streets three years ago, returns to us soon with all the aid he can muster. Keep to the light; keep close watch upon your children; if it becomes necessary, safehaven will be arranged in Foggy Bottom for those with families who feel that danger is too near.

But do not despair. We have known danger worse than this before, and as in the past, we shall endure -- to rightly elect Councilors to your government; to rightly select a Governor for your guardian. In days yet to come, we shall prosper -- but for now, we must conquer.

Giscard Guillaume
Governor, Myrken Wood

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Postby Hajmat » Thu May 11, 2006 2:51 pm

So many spectators watched the line of soldiers from sills and alleys; some did this alone and some en masse. However, this was no precession of wonderment and joy. Children did not excitedly cling to mothers’ aprons as minstrels strummed lutes and jesters danced. No, this had a different tone all together. The music was replaced by hushed whispers; the merriment with concern.

There was one in the crowd, however--shrouded in robes, visage hidden from sight--who found this more enjoyable than any festival’s parade. He stood back, away from the march, away from the spectators, but close enough to feel the tension.

Behind his mask, the Chimaental smiled.
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The Stirrings of Something

Postby Rattrap » Thu May 11, 2006 4:55 pm

Ariel O'Cynen listened to the crier with crossed arms. Her lips were straight and neutral - unhappy at large with the presence of Myrken Wood's Council in recent past. Happy, though, to see that they were here, now, acting...though it would still stink that their activity came only at a time when they themselves were specifically being threatened by Myrken's newest threat.

Such was life.

The last of the crier's recital brought a smile to the farmer's lips. What was that? Did he mention elections? Time would tell if the Councilors would hold themselves to that - but if they didn't, the wealthy and popular heir to the O'Cynen estate certainly would. For now, there was Drow to think of. And tonight, there were an unusual number of farmers amidst their fields, working well past sun-down.
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Postby Vanidor » Thu May 11, 2006 5:02 pm

From the highest tower within the Myrken Barracks a man watched the surge of flame in the darkest night. Watched as the streets of Myrkentown pulsed with the flame of the Light, and men bore torches and lanterns to push away the shadow. He knew that this would be nothing more than a symbol. The Drow could (and probably would) do many things even in burning light such as this. Lips compressed behind an expressionless mask of silver and steel. Eyes that seethed with barely with-held hatred swept over the cavalcade of roused soldiery and militia that had surged into the night.

And it was all commanded by his word. No matter what the will of the Council was, it was his mouth that ordered them into the Maw. Lips twisted into a slight smile, eyes dancing with dark stained laughter. Kerrak al`Nerun turned, swept eyes back over his two Lieutenants. "Go. Aeryn, you take this first nights command. Jons tomorrow. Give Tyrol those silver knots, and have him assist with the morning duties." Both men bowed their heads and then departed. Kerrak would swing back around and gaze down into the scene below. Would watch until Aeryn appeared amoungst the patrol gathered at the main gates. Eyes slid closed, and hands rose to grasp at either side of his mask. Fingers undid the clasps and then pulled the metal from his face...

"It will all be yours if you just make it so. Close your hand and grasp it, this is the perfect time to sieze control. YOU can be the savior of these people. Not Giscard. Not the Council. You." Kerrak smiled slightly, then swallowed down the lump that had appeared in his throat. "No. We will serve alongside the Council and Giscard for the time being... There must be... symbology in this. We cannot rise so fast, else our fall will be quicker... Leave me alone. For now."

And all that was left was the distant crackle of burning wood. The soft sounds of men patrolling the streets... and the gentle laughter of the mad.

One should always be drunk. That's all that matters... But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you chose. But get drunk. - Charles Baudelaire

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Postby channe » Fri May 12, 2006 2:36 am

During all of this, Coriolanus Helstone will watch and listen from the window of his upstairs office, sipping tea and watching firelight flicker from the windows of Bakers' Row.

Giscard understands the power of symbol, the power of pronouncement; for that he is grateful. Helstone, like Kerrak and the others, understands that much of it is an empty gesture, that the Council will need to put more behind these words to make a proper stand -- but, surely, things will fall easier for their cause now --

-- ah, the cause; a thought flickers in his head, and he goes back to his desk to continue his earlier work.

And, tomorrow there'd be a visit to Ariel O'Cynen's house by the Councilor and his guard: a personal visit, and quite unannounced.
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Postby channe » Wed May 17, 2006 7:39 am


A young Coriolanus learned long ago that such things were the grease on the wheel of society, and that is why he leaves the O'Cynen Estate as afternoon kicks into high gear, a contented look on his face and ideas spinning in his head. A promise given, a promise recieved. Trust and honor and all the things the treacherous drow would never understand.

That's how it works, the old man whispered many years ago.

Heeding Ariel's advice, he'd be a little more visible to the townspeople over the next few days. He'd assist a hungry family with gaining aid from the fathers at St. Iona's. He'd talk of elections once the immediate danger is passed. He'd talk of new tax assessments created on a fairer scale. He'd lift and embellish sentences from Giscard's pronouncements: "we must come together," he'd say, "we must be strong; we can only hope to survive if we make a [i]concerted effort and support one another. And we can, yes?" [/I]

He would also ask questions.
The list in his office would grow longer.
His candle would burn late into the evening.
Giscard had asked for logistics; he'd get them.
He'd enlist an aide crunching numbers, trying to figure out who is overdue on their taxes.
He'd be out at overdue houses, "extremely sorry for having to stop by and collect at such a difficult time, but if you would just contribute what you can at this point -- paying your taxes, Mister Ballard, could mean the difference between victory and failure in our mutual fight -- as much as you can."

"We care."

And if Helstone himself came to the door: could it possibly be true?

If Ariel was keeping up her end of the bargain, perhaps they'd recieve Helstone's requests in a better mood than normal; especially in such a gossip-prone place as Myrken Wood. And, speaking of -- he'd also begin to rifle through records in a different matter entirely, but only when alone.

Reciprocity in action.

There was another thing, too. Something else the O'Cynen woman had told him still nagged. Oh, rumors of unrest, she'd heard, rumors and nothing more, but were such things to happen -- such things as the Bates matter --

-- he'd bring it up at the meeting, of course.

Helstone had no desire to fight a two-sided war.
In fact, Helstone didn't want to fight a war at all.

He wanted to drink tea.
To hell with living in an "interesting and lucrative place."
To hell with it.

Absurdly, he thought of his mother: "Well, Cory. We don't always get what we want, do we?"
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