Fiction

A compendium of lore, player submitted entries, and tidbits of flavor to support The Eternal City.

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On magic and the Prohibition Thereof ~ By the Butterfly

On the sixth tablet of Iridine law, the crime of using forbidden magics is listed as one of the most serious crimes against the Republic itself, placed above all save for treason. So it has been for many years, and those who govern us reassure us that we are the better for it. Magics are used only by those who serve evil, and have no place in the Republic.

Yet we are not free of evil magic due to the prohibition. One has only to trek through the tunnels of the sewers beneath the City and witness the fate of the Altene mercenary Feysal to realize this. As Moonfall draws ever closer, the threat from the magic of the Ravanites and other evils becomes ever greater. The prohibition does not prevent the Ravanites from wielding magic; it merely adds to the aura of fear surrounding them and magic in general, giving them greater power to use terror to control the populace. For as long as the prohibition is in effect, the people of the City have little or no defense against the spells of our enemies.

Imagine if ordinary people were allowed to learn magic. Then, whenever the Ravanites attempted to attack us with their powers, the people of Iridine would be able to resist their attacks. Curses such as that placed on Feysal could be studied, understood, and lifted.

It has been rumored that the Cult of Ereal is studying the lore of ancient religions in an effort to understand the force of magic and apply it towards their own goals, which at the moment are in general noble and good. Yet, once the Ravanites are eliminated and the Erealites are left the only group allowed knowledge of magic, what is to prevent them from using it for deeds as evil as those of the Ravanites? Any time a tool - be it knowledge, weaponry, religion, or magic - is kept concentrated in the hands of a small minority of the population, the potential is there for it to be used for control and exploitation of the majority.

If the Republic is to be kept free of the influence of evil magic, then the ban on magic must be lifted, completely and immediately. The right to learn the ways of magic must become as integral a part of the rights of the Iridine people as the right to speak freely and the right to wield a gladius. For as long as the Senate keeps the ban in place, for as long as magic is kept only in the hands of a criminal underground or a small elite segment of the population, for as long as there is an aura of fear and distrust kept on those who practice magic, the people of the City will be forced to live in fear of what those who disregard the ban may choose to do with their forbidden magics.

I, for one, will not bow to the law in this instance. If the opportunity is given to me to learn the way of magic, I will take it without fear of the constables, and use it to defend my friends, my loved ones, my fellow citizens of the Republic, and all men of all other nations from those powers which might choose to harm or control them.

The Parcine People ~ By ElCapitan

Over the last several centuries, the Parcines have evolved into a sturdy, adaptable, secretive and warlike race of people. Labeled as outcasts for their animistic religious beliefs, which are decidedly against the norm on Midlight, and ridiculed as uncivilized and barbaric, the Parcine people have learned the hard way to flinch back from direct encounters, and never to use force unless you are certain to win. But as cold and unyielding as the Parcine culture looks from the outside, it can be as nurturing and warm as any in the more civilized countries.

The first thing that any Parcine learns from birth, aside from who his ancestral spirit guide is, is that Parcines can not trust the outsiders any more than you can trust a rabid wolf. Any Parcine worth his salt trains with a weapon, and quickly. While most Parcines prefer the brutality of the axe or club, other, more exotic weapons can find themselves being brought into bear. Above all else, the Parcines are able to adapt, and that shows in their fighting technique. Given a lack of other options, Parcines will use natural weapons- rocks, trees, or small mammals- to beat an enemy.

Life in the Blackroot mountains, where most Parcines live, is hard. With a high infant mortality rate, it is assured that any child that survives infanthood is strong and able. Weaker infants that manage to survive are shunned and made to fend for themselves; there is no reason to feed useless mouths. The hard existence breeds hardy men and women, that is certain. There are few in the world that can best a Parcine at simple brute strength, and most have instincts which you could sharpen a knife on. A Parcine is not the enemy that you wish to have; they are patient and tireless, and if you've offered them a blood insult, they will collect no matter what the price.

The society of the Parcine people is calculated to produce strong fighters and hunters, but is not known for turning out scholars or theologists. Parcines don't question why they have a family spirit that watches over them and gives them as much luck as they deserve; it simply is. As such, those that spend their time on foolish thoughts will more than likely receive a whomp on the head for their unproductivity.

All Parcine clans do have a Grand Spirit that watches over all of the family spirits, and makes sure they do no ill to their charges. The family spirits are in charge of making certain that each family has the amount of luck that is due to it from the brave and strong deeds of that family's members. The more fortune that a family makes for itself, the more that its spirit rewards them with. If a series of bad fortunes hit a given family, then that family is deemed to have done nothing brave or rewarding to deserve the luck of their spirit, and need to accomplish more deeds for the spirit to reward them with. Many of the most successful, and the most lunatic, endeavours ever completed by any Parcine were due to a need for more good luck.

Any good Parcine will feel ill at ease in a city, with all the potential threats and constrictions that a city holds. Most would much rather be under the stars and away from the civilization and the law of the 'civilized' peoples. This does not, though, mean that any Parcine is allowed to commit acts that would offend his spirit or the Judger, who is a rough appropriation of Ravan, and risk being sentenced to hell or another term as a human being. In addition, any Parcine that violates the goodwill between clans is charged to die by any other Parcine that finds him. This makes sense; there are far too many outsiders to fight to waste good warriors on each other.

Although the Parcines have a rough time of it, in many ways they are freer and less culpable to man. This freeness is bought at a harrowing price, when you consider the life that one of these men must lead.

Compiled from the notes of Bawtun Gilsesh

A Fighters Prayer

Ereal, o wise, bright and brave,
Help me strike my foe,
Help me send them to their graves,
And cause them uncounted woe.
Give me the power to o'ver come
All obstacles in my way.
Send me your grace, oh fair one,
To help me win the day.

Zante's City ~ By Armgdn1999

Sunrise. I sit at the Harbor of Moons, its waters gleaming golden under the soft light of the early sun. I stare peacefully out to sea as the morning rays caress my skin with their sensual warmth. Behind me my city wakens.

Many a tale of love and friendship have unfolded here, but not for me as I have never loved or been loved and exist without friends. Many heroes have risen and fallen in this city, their lives a saga retold and remembered forever. But not I, I will be forgotten when I die. I know these people not as individuals, but as a whole they are my family. I would fall in battle for these people, though my life may not seem much to them. Without them I would be even less than I am, but in my absence, their daily lives would not change. And yet I am content here, sustained by the love and happiness of others, fueled by their hopes and dreams, as I have none of my own. I belong here, heart and mind, body and soul. For this is my haven, my city of never-ending love and life. This is Iridine. This is the Eternal City.

A Simple Prayer ~ By Kurlac

Thank you Ereal. Thank you for your blessings, and many gifts. Thank you for the strength to live each day. For my life I give the greatest thanks. Even though you are not here, we can see you. Even though you do not speak, we can hear your whispers. Even though it is dark, we can see your life. Thank you.

Challenge ~ By Dice

The following comes from an Iridinian fight song:

"I am a man; I am a horse; I am one with myself," shouted out the first voice; I can whip any man in all of Iridine, by Ereal!"
"I am a wolf, half man, half horse," cried another; "I can defeat any man on the Invex, by Ereal!"
"I am a man, answered the first; "have the best sword, best hunting hound, best horse, and most beautiful wife in all Midlight, by Ereal!"
"I am a devil rat," rejoined the second; "have the claws of a crab, the teeth of an osecar, the wings of a raven, and and a serpent’s tail; can whip any man, by Ereal!"

+++Idyan Battle Prayer ~ By Cyanicus Ulyssia
Ancient Idyan Battle prayer, 4th Archer Company, Iris’ legion. (Recorded by Nysus the scribe before the battle of Cresis) 326 years before the founding of Iridine, 17th day of Iris.

May Ereal grant us with his blessings for our coming battle, Give us the hands of stone, with which we can fire our mighty bows.
Give us the eyes of the hawk, so that we can smite our enemies from a distance.
Give us the legs of the Cheetah, so that we may run and live To fight another day.
Please Ereal, we don’t want to die.
May we engage the opposite Direction of the enemy with no dishonour to our name.
Please Ereal, we don’t want to die.
May we run faster than the Quickest soldier bearing even the smallest knife So that we may serve our homelands another day.
In exchange for your blessings, we humbly give you three things, A small rock, a present from our mother Midlight.
A bronze arrow, cherished by our finest archer And a silver bow, used by the purest of our warriors.
Thank ye Ereal for granting our humblest demands.
May we serve you With honour as the finest archers on Midlight, fighting in your name.

(After the battle, the 4th company suffered no casualties and had the highest kill rate out of the eight archer companies of Iris’ legion)

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