About Order & Entropy

Book IBook I – (Index) Book IIBook II – (Index) Book IIIBook III – (Index)
Book IV – (Index) Book V – (Index) Book VI – (Index)

For centuries there has been a tenuous peace through the ruins of the Corinthian Empire.  One bought with the blood of countless thousands, and floundering in the shadows of a cold war fueled by magic, faith, and dragons.  The memory of mages may be long, but time brings complacency, and ambition is a wolf ever circling at the door.

Three children are cast into the royal court of the small western kingdom of Avrale.  A land ever caught between the true power brokers of their world.  Yet the forces of fate spiraling around the Ashton children hint at a larger picture.  That nothing about them is at all ordinary, even if all they want is to live their lives, and find their place in a world that seems to always have other plans.  They will learn that gifts can be burdens, and that great power is never without consequence.


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Commentary VI:21

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What We See in these Things
or, The Best of Intentions
or, An Arcana Cult of Morality

I honestly debate if this bit of opening foreshadowing is necessary, but I decided not to keep second guessing. It gives us a further respite, if under the weight of over arching story, from present troubles. Gypsa is being fairly straight with them as seers go. There is a certain rhyme and tenor that falls out still in words.

I’m also not sure of the timing, but the scene felt like it would have happened. That it was needed as some kind of closure to this sequence, and she would not just let them leave, or it seems Sund stay. I tried to cover over a list of people just entering the tent with a little personal interactions. Only a little less forced, perhaps, but far more digestible, I hope.

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Chapter VI:21

Our enemies will not abide that any live a life unfettered, in peace.
That all not bow low to their great glory, an intolerable compromise.
We’ve all but forgotten the ideas of divinities, ruling from on high,
replaced with contracts of kings, thinly removed from such folly.
So, what are we to do but suffer the swords, spells, and chains,
or commit to war, in the name of a bitter and ever forced order?
Bind these in their own device, and break their hateful pride.
Not all these endless wars, but peace by perennial occupation.
What number of years, would be enough to end the contest?
How long is the memory of mages, and when so at last past,
would they remember only the indignity, to be restrained?
So learn nothing, of what they have in true nobility earned,
and whisper wistful tales, of glory by such violence claimed.
What path have I, but to try, and so fall to the same.

– Writings of Emperor Corinth, 63 E.R.

What Path Have They

“You said you wanted to see us, before we left?” Ambrush asked from a raised tent flap. She looked uncertain of the correct decorum with a fabric door, but short of patience.

“Yes, come in.” Gypsa looked from her great grandson, sat beside her, to those gathered outside.

He appeared no happier than the last time they’d seen him. Kiannae entered beside her twin, who exchanged glances with Liora. They went to opposite sides. Etore seemed a bit closer to Wren than really necessary. Dahlia between him and Ambrush, who stepped in and closed the flap. Each found a place.

“I won’t be joining you,” Sund said as they settled.

Gypsa looked dubious at this statement. “This, is not what I have foreseen.”

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Commentary VI:20

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Neither Here nor There

To anyone who’s ever played a game with such mechanics, being in one place, and then another in the blink of an eye can take some getting used to. That isn’t the mechanic of stepping through shadow in the world of Thaea exactly. We’ve mostly seen moments truly caught, because it’s hard even for the one moving to truly observe others. Nearly instantaneous, I belive it had been described around Etore. More a sense of what one had done. We’ve also seen some of the other side of this, in a sequence where Kiannae managed, that she had trouble retaining it.

Honestly I debate if Raphael is too far along, and it’s almost tempting to call out he is actually advancing very quickly, for reasons that have been covered before. Etore is intent to show no signs however, so this goes by the wayside except for the slightest nod that it feels like they have been at it longer. I do hand wave a bit that that they have been spending time on this, while everyone else is distracted with everything else. Not that Etore hasn’t gone to some meetings.

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Chapter VI:20

Man is not a solitary creature.
Hath he not a wife, then friends,
not companions, cordial adversaries.
Forswear all of these in deepest woods,
and he’ll keep a little cousin of the wolf,
or even a proud and fine silverback,
may with a misanthrope find a pack.

– Of Man and Wolf, 326 E.R.

The Company of Animals

Rhaeus 8th, 1 S.R.

Strike — block. Strike — block. Swing — block. Step — knock.

Raphael stumbled, and fell on his side.

“And here I thought you were getting better.” Etore rolled her neck.

Raphael wiped his lip on his sleeve, his teeth rattled, and ears ringing from the elbow he’d taken to the jaw. Not to mention a poorly braced fall. “I am, getting better. You’ve been holding back. Keep making it look like I’m not improving.”

“Good, you finally figured it out.” Etore shook her head. “I’m that good, you, are still, not getting any better. You still haven’t even figured out how I’m doing it. Not stepping in shadow, not moving much faster than you, and yet…”

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Katrisha a Portrait in Iteration

I’ve tried many times over the years to capture this very particular creature. Kat is full of visual challenges. Catching the exact shape of her cheeks and nose, that particular light-olive skin that is very frustrating to not make look either too pink, gray, yellow, or dark. Hair that is metallic, eyes a little slanted, and pupils a little slit. Lets say it’s still not perfect, but it’s closer than I’ve been… and I really need to share more of these attempts, and experiments.

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Commentary VI:19

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Who is to Judge

There is a lot to unpack, and we will see how well I do at unpacking it. I will say, this was not the mire I expected to get stuck in.

I will start off however, by identifying something not otherwise clear or stated. An important historical character had never actually gotten a name. They are pivotal to the history of the world, and I know a lot about them, or at least their role in history, and what they did or were caught up in. All this, but I never gave them a name, until now.

Jerae of Corinthia, Jarae’etten as he took the name upon his ascension as the first of the Green Dragons, who inspired Alara to seek the same circumstances in hers. (BtB they have some history as well.) He would never officially hold the title Emperor Consort, wear a crown, or I suppose technically be married to the Empress, but as the sole farther of her brood… well, official can be a strange mater. That aside, onto the chapter itself.

This conversation unfolded as expected, until it didn’t. A lot of background information that’s been nipping around the edges found it’s way in first. Sylvia’s history, the rise and corruption of the Clarion faith, the fall of the Ahashi. The last of which is the newest in invention, but is still nearly two books old.

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Chapter VI:19

If I could be, all that you might wish,
lose myself in every whim of the,
be not but a cherished noble hand,
a possession kept at your command.

Oh this I’d gladly be.

If I could give you every thought,
my form, my mind, the whole, the lot,
yours to shape like the wetted clay,
that at your side, you’d let me stay.

– Writings of Jerae of Corinthia,  circa 200 E.R.

That Wished and Willed

Rhaeus 7th, 1 S.R.

“It’s not right,” Liora said. A pained and furious look marred her features. A quite stark expression by the moonlight. “It’s not right. We were… freeing them from this.”

“We freed them,” Katrisha offered behind her, half-way down the dock to shore. She’d followed the woman, when she left the ship after midnight. “Freedom, is choice. I don’t like it either, not that I’m anything but a hypocrite in this.”

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