Friends at the Table

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Winter in Hieron 25: Twenty Two Brown Birds

I don’t know if this device will transmit over this distance, so I’m gonna be brief.

This place is just like you said it would be.

The Sonorous Academy still stands.

The Paladin and the Ranger are here. Phantasmo, no, the Wizard is not, but I must confirm what they claim. I don’t understand.

I’m closer to the Original Pattern than any archivist or mage has been in ages, but I cannot close the distance. The nearer I get, the more twisted the route.

This place is a maze even when it is straight. Do not put the second pattern in motion. They will be lost without him.

 

S U N D E R

 

This Week on Friends at the Table: Twenty Two Brown Birds

 

I don’t know if you will receive this message or not, but our time grows short.

H&D spreads in the west, held at bay by tall tower and white wall.

Time is shorter now than ever before, and I cannot wait longer to hear from you.

I must finalize the second pattern before it is too late.

 

T E L

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 24: An Open Mind

Prelate,

I do not understand.

The Northern Exarch and the Paladin walk only on the Surface Path. Why did we not educate them? Why did we not bring them into the Warm Shade of the Son? If we had brought them into His Mystery, they would be able to better sew the north for His return.

I defer to you here, in your parish, but do not forget that Exarchs and Prelates are equals under His Eyes. I have every right to begin the initiation that you do. And if I sense hesitation instead of Confidence, I will act. Just as He did.

 

Ex. Braeven

 

This week on Friends at the Table: An Open Mind

 

Sister Exarch,

Remember: Not all Confidence is hasteful. Have Faith that His plan is in action, even in rest. The Paladin draws nearer to Him as we speak. Believe in your brother. He will act when it is time.

Pr. Springe

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 23: Make the Library Smile

Collector-Curator

They pursue two patterns. They showed me only the first until today, but I’ve finally gained their trust! I’ve marked what I understand with an X, and seek your guidance on the rest. Brackets are lacunic markers, as in Roak’s Notation.

A Lukewarm Sun, Bowing - X

A Room of Seeded Prisms

Two lodestars that carries [the banner of the queen of death] - X

    One which sees [the old world] - X

    One which destroys [the old world]

The Second Face of the [Bright Boy]

A tower of [tomorrow’s light.]

A new archive of “broken, whole mirrors” - X

The Cooling Embers of a God’s Verse - X (Though we must find this book)

A stolen fiddle in its home - X

I do wish you were on terms with Tel, Collector-Curator. Your goals may be different, yes, but competing merchants are both benefited by the construction of roads.

 

This week on Friends at the Table: Make the Library Smile

 

Kurr,

My relation to Tel is not your concern, nor do we compete like petty shopkeepers. Our differences will shape the future of the Archives and of Hieron. If you can, you must walk the road for me. If you cannot, show whoever goes the value of your apparitives before they go. Their utility is ideology enough.

As for the missing parts of the sequence… You use Roak’s terms yet do not remember her greatest lesson: When you do not understand an element of a pattern, do not bang your head against the wall until you understand it. Instead, move the world until it is uncontrivertably true.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 22: A Holy Place

Jer,

I write to you in fear.

“To be Justiciar,” I was told “is to be unwavering in loyalty, determined in diligence, and zealous in the pursuit of justice.” I was not told that it would be like herding lions. Couriers come and go with reports and notes. Blood of Fire and Blood of Steel bicker over what I ought do with what I’ve found:

A world, underground. No, not a world. Worlds. They reflect a eerie past I do not know, but echo beauty, too, the beauty of irregularity, of uneven possibility. I told them about this place, this new civilization—real civilization, an exchange, you know? An exchange. Yet when I receive note from Fire and Steel, they wish to press its shifting allure flat just to be sure that our targets are halted.

I hunt four targets. Just four. Yet Steel sends a full detachment of his newest models. And as it is and as it must be Fire demands fire.

I am bloodless, Sea and Smoke, but I am loyal. I am diligent. I am just. Is that not enough?

-Glasseye

This week on Friends at the Table: A Holy Place

Oh good Stornras, you misunderstand the living duty of the Justiciar. In the past, you may have had it right, but under Quatróna, the primacy of the call is not to be loyal, diligent, and just; it is to be unwavering, determined, and zealous.

Find your prey and bring them back, vital or hushed. Do it quickly, before Malle’s army arrives, before Quatróna’s fire is set. Do not trust your couriers and scouts. They are not yours.

And do not call yourself Glasseye, not with me, Stornras. Do not call yourself bloodless. You are a captain of Ordenna. And more, you are mine. Walk with pride or do not walk at all.

With you,
Vicereine Jerod Shiraz

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 21: The Shield of Our Will

Semiotician-Emeritus,

Something is wrong.

I am no great pattern worker. I know a few techniques that aid me in my duty: How to lower the light of an already dim bar room; how to sharpen a blade without a whetstone; how to make voice twice itself. Even to call these ‘techniques,’ feels false: They are tricks. I know that. But I also know this: The world is askew.

There is a simple pattern I do when trying to find mirrors: I break an egg onto a large, north-facing rock and then break the yolk with something made of copper. The yolk splits in two, and from how it falls, I know which direction to travel. Except for the past month, the yolk doesn’t split, it shatters.

But even that is not why I write you, Tel. Patterns change, we know this. The earth shakes 20 days from here and that upsets the alignment. Sure. Fine. But my mundane efforts should not be affected. I am not a successful Collector because of some gimmick, but because I can track a horse’s path over stone, Tel, but I lost one in the mud last week. Because I can see in a face the construction of a white lie, but had a thief tell me he was a philanthropist and I believed him. Because I can track the smells of certain plants across distances you would not believe—but I’ve lost track of a man covered in its scent.

What is happening, Tel? And how can I help?

-M

This week on Friends at the Table: The Shield of Our Will

M—,

Your instinct is right, of course—your technique has not faltered, it is only the world that is changing. I write these next words only because I trust that they will go no further:

Something is wrong. The Original Pattern has come out of alignment. H, K, and I work on it still. We are close to achieving a route to it, but we must send the right agent.

Your quarry is not lost on the wind, my young friend. He is drifting towards where he is needed most.

S.E.U.T..

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 20: Pulling You Further Down

Prelate Springe,

Thank you for the hospitality on my visit. Thus far, it has been the only trustworthy thing in this gnarled subterrane.

This place confounds me, brother. On my trip to our Lord, I saw things I know have never been true: A vision of the Fallow Traitor’s cold city spread far and wide thru the continent whole, except it bore a symbol akin to our Warm Sun’s. In another, the sky had been covered, or… no, it was if it had fallen in, as if pieces of the heavens had collapsed and crowded the world. I saw  the ruined college, rebuilt, or, no, it wasn’t destroyed in the first place.

But then I saw Him there, at the bottom, and I felt His heat and I knew my path again. As expected, the ring carries heretical light. He told me it was from “the third stratum,” which I suspect you understand better than I do.

I fear that He could see my bewilderment as He said it, yet I didn’t mind that He saw me like this. We are His in ignorance and power, both. He blessed me for my faith: “Even in ignorance,” he said, “You walk with the Confidence of the First Prince.”

Perhaps this is how you stand this place, Springe. The surface is so far from His fire; it is barren His glow. Even with these twisted environs of impossible pasts, I envy you this closeness. Perhaps I will stay longer.

Yours in Faith,

Ex. Braeven

This week on Friends at the Table: Pulling You Further Down

Good Exarch,

I’ve sent three of my Devout—Rinse, Bringlight, and Lockgood—to retrieve the ring. They know His way and have spilled the blood to prove it.

I am honored that you would share His words with me, and would be grateful to have you remain present at the Cathedral. Our parishioners would be lucky to rest in your reflection of His strength.

But if you stay, you must learn quickly: There are no false pasts here. Only mistakes. Mistakes our Lord rights by fire, faith, and forceful whim.

Pr. Springe

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 19: Make The Spring Last Forever

Collector-Curator,

It took two months, but I’ve finally convinced Tel and Havelton to see things my way.

For weeks, the old man spent the day attending to his dandelions, and dismissing me whenever I ran new apparitive patterns by him. He’d shake his head, cough out a grumble, and rattle on about some absurd, missing component: A “tower of tomorrow’s light.” The “speaking sands of Rosemerrow.” A new archive of “broken, whole mirrors.” A “stolen fiddle in its home.”

But I did it. He asked me for a lukewarm sun, and I’ve given it to him. In their whispers, they still speak against our pursuit, but they can not deny my results any longer.

Havelton packs for travel now. The path is clear. The Original Pattern is within reach.

This week on Friends at the Table: Make The Spring Last Forever

Kurr,

I did not open the restriction on your so-called “apparitive patterns” that you could complain about the complexity of the semiotics you pursued. In future letters to me, do not waste time on such matters unless the pattern explicitly calls for it.

And Kurr? There are patterns that even an amateur can detect. When he sleeps, destroy the wind blossoms.

Collector-Curator Kall Fer

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 18: Try to Live Normally

Living Blood of Fire,

As my second reported, and I have confirmed, the first threshold has been sealed. I have walked the remains of that twisted museum myself, through the wing of turned mirrors, under the second sky, past the... chaos. It was chaos there, Fire, nonsense, impossible to comprehend. I reached for a goblet that caught my eye, and when I lifted it, it turned to a leaf. Whatever the star-fiend did there burned more than just wood and brick. It put torch to the real.

I tell you this because there was a new incident. I'm writing from Wharfhurst, a trading post south of the city. The locals—dwarfs, mostly—talk of a tower rising "higher than Hieron itself." I see no such thing, and yet... another threshold is near, I feel it in my blood. We must trust the blood.

Unfortunately, early efforts to find it have gone poorly. One scout dead. The other barely make sense. Rul says that they found a path, but that "it did not want them." Genev says nothing now, but when she first arrived she handed me the goblet from the museum. "Drink," she said. "You need to drink." But it was empty. Once they recover, I will send them again, with fire and rope. As is the way.

Justiciar-Captain Stornras Unblooded

This week on Friends at the Table: Try to Live Normally

You are not the ranger and the woods are not stone, you will neither walk first-path through trees nor will you break them with hammer. You are justiciar—find tainted blood. Track it. It is always as simple as that.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Winter in Hieron 17: Undelivered Resignations

Archivist-Collector,

Please read this week’s classification updates carefully.

  1. For the next month, it is imperative that “textile” carpets be subdivided by specific material (“wool,” “hair,” and “fur” are not interchangeable.)
  2. The ban on the classification of actors has been lifted, and new categories have been established. Use “living,” for traditionally sentient lives, “breathing” for those who retain material form despite mortal wounds, and “being” for those who have lost bodies but not selves. The “dead” remain dead, and the prohibition remains in place.
  3. As part of the ongoing process of reclassifying plants by reproductive traits instead of by appearance, “lion’s tooth” flowers are now classed primarily as “Wind Blossoms.”

As always, your service is considered.

Collector-Curator Kall Fer

This week on Seasons of Hieron: Undelivered Resignations

You are the one who needs to read carefully,

Convincing those to give us what the Archive demands is subtle work. Yes, I wield intimidation, I carry violence. But those are built on a foundation of a cloud-like trust, blowing and breaking with the wind.

You want me to call dandelions "wind blossoms" and chairs "seats"? Fine. You want me to recover only the greyest couches and the most broken clockwork? Absolutely. I break arms as easily as I break promises, and promises as easily as brittle branches under my boots as I walk the world for the Archives.

But when you start to classify people, Fer, the trust is broken, and those brittle branches? They bloom.

Archivist-Collector Morbash

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt*

 *The cow horn at the end of “Broken Branches” was sampled from DANMITCH3LL’s “distant horns”, under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. The source file can be found here (http://freesound.org/people/DANMITCH3LL/sounds/218488/) and the license here (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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Winter in Hieron 16: Is There Anyone Else?

Aloysha,

War is coming to Velas. Ordenna is coming to Velas. And while I believe in the strength of the velasian people and in the resolve of the church and, as much as I would hate to admit it, in the benevolence of Ordenan occupation, I cannot continue to serve our lord if I need to worry about my family, about Rosana and Benajamin living under the heel of Ordenan rule. Of my actions potentially impacting them, of them not getting to see me come home. I know this is a big ask, I need you to get my family to Rosemarrow.

There is another matter that weighs on my mind, Exarch, but I do not know that I have it in me to do what must be done. If you do not hear from me again, we will leave it at that. But if you receive a second letter, please know that it does not come without consideration.

Yours in Service to Him,

Hadrian, Sword of Samothes, Defender of the Undying Fire, Officer of the Order of Eternal Princes

This week on Friends at the Table: Is There Anyone Else?

Arrell,

You offered me a journey to peaceful exile. Well, there is a hill to the south of Rosemerrow, northeast of the Dwarven settlement of Wharfhurst. Wait for me there three weeks from now, at the rising of the second moon. You'll understand the moments our eyes meet.

Your pupil,

Alyosha

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker and Art Martinez-Tebbel

Music by Jack de Quidt

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