Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pages From the Cthonique Library: The Pipes of Saint Sylvanus

Collection of religious music gathered at various Shadow Wood shrines and abbeys.  Quite beautiful, if rather slow moving and repetitive.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: The Grim Ensemble

Story which claims to tell of a secret society of criminals in White Pine, who control all illegal activities (and many legal ones) in the city.  Now widely agreed to be a hoax, it is still a fascinating tale, and may have inspired some later groups in their methods...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: Lays of the Mad

A collection of poems allegedly collected from the ramblings of lunatics.  Quite haunting and disturbing.  The author (or perhaps compiler) is unknown.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: The Book of the Questing Beast

A tale of a brave chivalrous warrior who searches throughout the Lands of Night and beyond for a great beast which he has been charged with killing.  The book is incomplete, and indeed, in the last chapter, he has still not even seen the Beast, much less fought with it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: Travels on the Great Road

A lengthy description of a pilgrimage undertaken by a group of Hardheels from Albracca to the Alts in the Shadow Woods.  Filled with vivid descriptions of the landscape, cities and lands through which they travel, though some aspects of the book are quite outdated.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: The Celestial Music of the Light

A popular collection of music created by minor Mikhelite prophet Sallust, who claimed to have been taken into the heavens by the Lady, and shown the great egg where the yet to be born Mikhel awaits.  (Sallust belonged to the Alysian Mikhelites, who believe that Mikhel has yet to be created.)  Sallust claimed to have heard mystical tones on his journey, which he forever tried to recapture in his work.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: A Listing of Dragons

A fastidious listing of all known dragons in the world, albeit one spiced with much speculation on the great beasts.  All dragons therein are named, though as no dragons (besides of course, THE Dragon) speak to any not of their kind, it is a mystery where the anonymous chronicler came by them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: The Inner Mirror

A religious treatise that, on the pretense of providing a series of mental exercises for meditation, proceeds on an elaborate cosmological exercise that is frequently baffling to the reader.  Among the many things described (frequently in startling vagueness in some matters, baffling detail in others) are the Hundredfold Celestial Realms, the Thousandfold Infernal Realms, the Perfect Pearl of Enlightenment, and the Great Carp of Wisdom.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pages from the Cthonique Library: The Enchanted Glockenspiel

The marvelous, symbolic tale of a young man given an enchanted glockenspiel by Mother Night with which he wins the heart of princess, defeats a sinister wizard, and travels to the moon on a gryphon where he battles the giant Error.

It's all highly symbolic. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pages From the Cthonique Library: "When Marduk Blows His Horn"

A popular song, in various versions, that has been used to rally various pro-Cthonique factions in the Plains of Dread.  Most recently, popular during Mansemat Cthonique's successful war to retain rule over the Plains after his father's death.  The song usually takes the form of the singer asking the listeners what they shall do "When Marduk blows his horn", calling upon them to fight for freedom, justice, and of course, House Cthonique.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pages From the Cthonique Library: The Black Knight of Birchwood

Tale of a Gonzaga knight who battles against rivals both within his family and out of it for his fiefdom in the Shadow Woods.  Famous for a lengthy duel, fought with sausages, that is heavily suspected of being a later interpolation.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Around Again It Comes--Part 60

"And here it is!" stated Nisrioch grandly.  "The Gustathopathon, which harnesses the raw power of wind, allowing us to travel with immense speed over great distances."

"Oooooh!" declared Antea.  "It is impressively large."  She peered at it more closely.  "Though is it supposed to have such large and jagged tears in its structure?"  She glanced at her father.  "I would imagine that would be quite damaging to its function."

Nisrioch stared at it for a moment.  "Oh yes.  I rather forgot that I have not checked on this for... some time.  Bother."  He considered things.  "I suppose we could use the Aviamulitpator--oh, that's right.  I never gathered those eagles for it."  He sighed.  "Probably for the best.  It has been over a decade since I came up with the idea."

Antea patted him on the arm.  "I will appreciate traveling with you however we wind up doing it, father."

"That is grand," said Nisrioch.  "How does a carriage sound?"

Antea smiled broadly and clapped her hands together.  "With cushioned seats?"

"Exceedingly cushioned!" answered Nisrioch, as he lead her out of the hallway.  "Ahh, my offspring, you are proving such a consolation to me.  So much of what I have planned has failed, but you, who  I most assuredly did not, are a balm.  There is a lesson there, but I can't quite figure what it is."

"I am sure you will think of something," noted Antea.  She sighed.  "I must confess, Father, I found Cousin Armida's tale... strangely heartbreaking."

"That's because it was," noted Nisrioch.  "It is funny.  We think of a matter as finished and done, but the wheel turns, and around again it comes..."  He gave a laugh. "It never ends."

"What father?" asked Antea.

"All of it, my dear," he answered, taking her by the hand.  "All of it."

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Around Again It Comes--Part 59

"Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen," counted Arsinoe as the carriage made its way up the Great Stony Way.  "Hmmm, sure are a lot of cows here."

Her sister rolled her eyes, and glanced at Semele.  "So... what now?"

Semele shrugged.  "We make our way to Rhea, pledge our service and then..."  She sighed.  "I don't know.  We put so much into this... and so much just... got destroyed."

Leucippe bit her lip.  "A lot of the others are probably going into hiding and destroying what they can.  It'll take some looking to find them after this.  One night has probably set us back twenty years."

"Twenty, twenty-one..." Arsinoe turned to glance at Leucippe.  "How do you know that?  You're... only twenty-four years old, Ippe.  You really have no idea what the Necklace looked like twenty years ago."

Leucippe glanced away.  "I... Armida told me.  Stuff.  Way back when."

Arsinoe continued to count the cows.  "Twenty-three, twenty-four...  She told me stuff too.  But can we really trust anything she told us?  I mean--she said this would work.  And it didn't.  It really didn't."

Semele chuckled at that.  "Wow.  You're not as ditzy as you let on."

"I prefer 'whimsical'," said Arsinoe.  "And yes, I am, but that doesn't mean I'm stupid. Twenty-seven, twenty-eight..."

"Point," said Semele.  She glanced at Leucippe.  "Do you have any answer to that?"

The young woman grimaced.  "To the thought that everything we've served might be a lie? No, not really.  It's occurred to me before.  It's occurring to me a lot right now.  But... what else do we have?  What else?"

"Thirty-three, thirty-four... ooh!"  Arsinoe turned to the others and pointed.  "Look, look, that one has spots that form an amusing, slightly obscene picture!"  She turned her head.  "If you look at it from the right angle, anyway."