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Found 15 results

  1. Only two nobles left between him and completion of the mission. This could have been completed much earlier, if it weren’t for the unfortunate accidents that had befallen his compatriots. No matter, soon Alethkar would finally be under Ghostblood rule, though of course no active member would be sitting on the throne. Everyone involved in this debacle would disappear, never to be heard from again. One of the other nine Highprinces would be selected as the new king, potentially a Sadeas. Ularid had heard the Ghostbloods maintained ties to that family, though he didn’t pay a lot of attention to politics beyond his goal of ousting the Kholins. Such a shame he’d been forced to kill Brightness Dedja, who’d allegedly shared the same goal. She’d have made an excellent scapechull for the murder of the entire Kholin family. Perhaps he would be outed as the assassin and be hunted down by the new king at the Ghostbloods’s order. Ularid couldn’t bring himself to care. He didn’t want fame or power, and at his age, even life was nearly worthless. He just needed to survive long enough to see Alethkar freed from tyranny, and to do that he had to kill Brightlords Jumae III and Straw. Ularid was confident in his chances. His skills as an artifabrian had brought him to this point, but it was his talents as an orator that would allow him to finish off the remaining obstacles. Straw still opposed him, as expected. The straw man was a near perfect likeness of Gavilar the Butcher. Ularid could barely stand to look at him without feeling the urge to blow his cover and strike him down. Even knowing that this was not the same man who had ordered the annihilation of his city and the homes of anyone else who dared resist his senseless power grab, Ularid could not help but feel sickened by the effigy’s presence. Especially because, if Straw could be believed, Ularid would have been killed by that Grandbow-wielding assassin had Straw not intervened. Any gratitude he might have felt was drowned out by his sense of duty and his emergent need for vengeance. He would settle this today. Attaching his longsword and a newly cleaned short sword to his belt, Ularid walked into the warcamp to challenge Straw to a duel. Straw was waiting for him in the middle of the camp, clearly prepared for a challenge. Ularid was not afraid, he had survived a full Shardbearer duel only days previously and a being made out of Straw should prove no challenge, even if he was working with Jumae III. This battle would not be fought with Shards, but with clean honest steel. Straw agreed with the unspoken sentiment, drawing a common blade from the table in front of him. Somehow running towards him on legs lacking in muscles or bone, Straw swung his first blow at Ularid. This effigy was skilled, Ularid thought, though far from the level of swordsmanship the real Gavilar had attained. Ularid deflected the first blow with a counterstroke from his short sword and plunged the longer blade into his enemy’s left shoulder. This caused no apparent injury. No blood poured from the wound and Strawappeared not to feel pain. This wasn’t completely unexpected, but Ularid was still not totally prepared for the riposte that slammed into his simple steel plate, denting it. He staggered backwards, resolving to be more careful. He would have to destroy Straw utterly to be sure of killing him. As Ularid set his feet in preparation for his next attack, Brightlord Jumae III strolled out of his tent, bedecked in the elegant emerald Plate that had previously belonged to Tleir and carrying the graceful curved Blade that Tintallë had nearly murdered him with. Ularid shuddered a bit at the memory, but Jumae didn’t seem to be immediately hostile. Indeed, the full Shardbearer was pointing his weapon at Straw. The Blade sang through the air and cleaved Straw’s now insignificant weapon in twain. Continuing its arc, the Blade swang into Straw’s right arm and rebounded, leaving no mark in the straw. Ularid stared at the impact site, loosening his grip on his weapons. Surely this man couldn’t be wearing Plate under there, and even if he was, the Blade shouldn’t have reacted that way. Ularid knew firsthand that in a confrontation between Plate and Blade, the latter gave way first. Whatever force blocking the Blade hadn’t prevented his own steel sword, and so Ularid drove forward once more with both blades. Ularid tragically dies here. The die had been thrown, the bets had been placed, and the knife’s arc was nearing its completion. Failure was the result. Actions, and reactions, provocation followed by provocation. Blades dancing in the daylight, glinting in the sun. Mraize took a torch to the room, lighting the various records alight, before tossing it to the wall. There was a reason the Ghostbloods holed up in one of the few wooden sections of the war camps. All traces had to be destroyed. Executions, and swords at dawn. Nightly gambles, and daily mistakes. He slipped out of the building, even as the flames slithered through it, the tongues licking his feet as he left. A sacrifice had been made, a battalion for a single soldier. The fire made his eyes into ruby spheres, the stormlight of malice filling them. He climbed onto his horse, taking in the destruction as it spread through the marketplace. It would provide a cleanser of its own sort. A tragedy of a greater magnitude to distract from the multiple of smaller mistakes. A broad sword to cover a prinpick. Desperate times whispered of its necessity. He took his horse to a canter, avoiding the soldiers as they rushed to quench the flames. He was soon out of the warcamp, and onto the cold stone plains. He slipped a spanreed from his pouch, and turned it on. The connection made, he wrote four words, “Target Eliminated. Evacuating Location” He pulled his hood high, and slipped away. Amanuensis has been lynched! He was a Ghostblood Artifabrian with a pain knife, a half-Shard, a reverser, and a spanreed! Vote Count: Aman(1): Stink Straw(1): Straw The Nobles have won this game! Jumae III (STINK) has been crowned King of Alethkar and Straw was appointed Highprince. Master Spreadsheet The Ghostbloods The Victorious Dead Player List:
  2. Domand had not come to the Shattered Plains, for once, to stop chaos, but to begin it. It would please neither his inferiors nor himself—which was, of course, why he had to do it. The ASWA was highly selective with its field agents, in the general case, but to the bewilderment of all, an exception had been made for him. An untried initiate, sent to the Shattered Plains to preserve order in a situation which hung on a knife’s edge? Who could count on such a one to uphold the integrity of this crucial mission, in the most probable vortex for a Shardic conflict since the...unfortunate… levelling of Scadrial? Nobody in the Council of Seven expected him to succeed. Darrel’s wisdom had been called into question, and only his invocation of the sole privilege to send out field agents except by unanimous consent of the Council had stifled the staunch opposition of Lerdal and Radler. Funny, how the vote had failed by one member. It always did, when matters were important. Dominion purred, pleased with Darrel’s expansion of authority, but Domand quickly shoved the Shard down and away from his mind. It was a tool. He could not afford to be borne away by the Intent, especially with so much work left to do. The Council was subdued; that was the important part. With Domand safely on Roshar, the real work could now begin. Beginning to count to ten already in his head, he moved through the still night air, weaving towards the bunk of Highprince Sebarial. Shrouded in darkness as he was, he would be hard to spot, and those who saw him should take little notice anyway—it was part of the magic of the cloak, but also partly human nature. Who cares about a nighttime wanderer, when you yourself were one if you were out to notice him? Rounding the last corner and finding himself immersed in pitch blackness, Domand summoned his Shardblade, weaving it experimentally through the air in front of Sebarial’s bunk. It would take all his willpower to take this next step. He hated being obtrusive, hated overt violence, yet certainly did not hate Sebarial. He lifted the Blade, arm trembling slightly as the point was raised, quivering, into the air. God Beyond save us, he thought. And then plunged the Shard through the stone wall. Kay watched with narrowed eyes as a man shrouded in darkness walked past her hiding spot, looking both determined and rushed. A poor combination, that. At least, for whoever the Almighty willed that the man should meet. She chided herself inwardly for attempting to reason out the result of the man’s visit. Nothing is knowable apart from the Almighty and his Heralds, she thought, reciting the first article of the faith of the Devotary she had always been a part of. It was her job to carry out the will of the Almighty and his Heralds—which, incidentally, involved a removal of the king (at this time; who knows what the Almighty may require of you tomorrow?). His embrace of practices such as a hierarchy based on eye colour and the maintenance of ardents who invented Callings and Glories at random had destroyed the kingdom and brought the Almighty’s disapproval. Worse, he sought no guidance from the Almighty or from the Heralds in this troubled time, but rather forged ahead as if not to bother with such “myths.” They would see how mythical they were, if the Almighty did not continually will that their existence be maintained. Heretics these days weren’t just outside the devotaries. Except when they were, like that detestable woman Jasnah Kholin... Her thoughts abruptly snapped back to the walking man, who she had lost track of. Moash would be disappointed in her; how was she supposed to discover who shadowy visitors to highprinces were if she could not even keep track of them for three feet? Kay could not let herself be seen, however, so she crouched further down behind a crem-coated boulder, peering intently at the wall behind which the man had vanished. And screamed as a thin line of light appeared in it, and a hole gradually widened. Sebarial was under attack. And the man she had seen wrapped in shadow was none other than a Shardbearer. Highprince Sebarial, It is with exceeding joy that I write to you, knowing that the dastardly attempt against your life last night was a failure, and that you are in good health, if somewhat shaken (like us all). I do not know who the Shardbearer was or why they had occasion to attack you, but it should rightfully make us all fear for our safety. I understand your concerns that the assassin could have killed you but chose not to, but such conversations are not for the public ear. We will have speech together at the next banquet regarding this. Until then, I will instruct my Cobalt Guard to double their watch against any hint of an attempt against any life in these warcamps. With your aid and vigilance, I am confident we can crush this threat beneath our heels. Elhokar, King of Alethkar My apologies for a shortened writeup; I will hopefully get the chance to fix that tomorrow. Regardless, welcome to LG61: A Radiant Light! The rules are in this doc, and are nicely formatted. If you want immediate formatting-free access, use the spoiler below: Yeah, it’s a lot. I suggest you read over it a few times before the game starts, and send me rule clarifications before the game starts in earnest. Please? It makes me a happier GM. Signups will last a week, and will close Saturday 2 November at 9:00 PM EDT (-5:00 UTC), unless an extension is required. Please sign up if you are able, as the game will be much more fun with a lot of people, as I can do cooler things with item and role distribution. Also, the way the faction system works means that you’re almost guaranteed to be in a doc, and with a team who will help you understand the rules and collaborate with you on them, which always makes SE more fun. (And will probably alleviate some of the stress from looking at that giant ruleset. ) My wonderful co-GMs are @Devotary of Spontaneity and @Snipexe. Don’t be surprised to see them in your PMs, in thread issuing clarifications, etc. And be sure to upvote them both for agreeing to work with me on such a crazy game. Player List: Rule Clarifications and Modifications: Quicklinks:
  3. Dedja had initially admired the Ghostbloods. They had consistently proven they weren’t afraid to confront the Kholins, and their campaign against Elhokar had filled her with hope that the entire rotten family would be replaced by someone with proper Alethi views. That hope was shattered the very next night when the Ghostbloods assassinated Brightlady Ellarel. The woman’s actions had been foolish, but she had not deserved death for the crime of trying to protect Adolin. Dedja remembered a time when she might have taken a dagger for Adolin, back before she’d realised that he was merely his father’s mindless pawn, who in turn offered blind devotion to the useless pretender to the throne of Alethkar. Any remaining possibility that the Ghostbloods were on Alethkar’s side were extinguished when they continued to pick off nobility instead of taking the fight directly to Elhokar and his axehounds. They could have secured alliances and helped install a leader who could finally defeat the Parshendi, but instead the Ghostbloods seemed to be content with making the whole country burn. That would certainly never do, and so Dedja endeavoured to find the remaining Ghostbloods, and if they could not be persuaded to target the true enemy, they would have to be destroyed. A week later, the number of nobles in the warcamps had dwindled alarmingly while Elhokar was still sitting high and mighty, almost as if these murders were merely a Kholin scheme to purge the warcamps of anyone suspected to have anything less than unswerving obedience. A second tattooed individual had been found dead earlier tonight, but if the deaths were part of a secret conspiracy then they wouldn’t stop until Dedja herself was dead. She saw no reason to wait for the murderers to come to her, and so she prepared to head out towards the Kholin warcamp and find out the truth. Just as she reached out for a small dagger, she heard footsteps inside her tent and quickly whirled around, blade in hand to face a dark robed killer wielding a short sword. “Have you finally come to kill me?” Her voice sounded more fearful than she would have liked, but she compensated by taking a step towards the masked intruder. The Ghostblood said nothing but drew a dagger into the left hand and flung the dual blades at Dedja’s throat. She managed to deflect the projectile from its lethal trajectory by crossing her arms diagonally in front of her, but the distraction gave the assassin time to close the distance between them and bury the short sword hilt-deep through her heart. Dedja dropped dead the ground, her final request that the Ghostbloods overthrow the Kholins for her remaining unspoken. Her hatred had burned for far longer than passion ever had, but in the end neither were a match for cold steel. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Far, far away, a man named Brightlord I.N. was experiencing the joys of freedom for the first time since he’d bonded with Tolb and been pressed into service. Here at the foot of the Horneater Peaks, he could finally live out his gardening dreams in peace. The land was suitable for agriculture, and the Ashyn plants were already growing quite well. The Highstorms like the one currently sweeping in were enough to provide the plants with water, and him with Stormlight that for the first time in his life could be used for his own purposes. He laughed delightedly as he inhaled power from his newly infused spheres. He could, at long last, experiment with the Surge of Transformation and perfect his garden. A shovel to dig up new places to plant, a watering can to store water from the Highstorms, perhaps even a greenhouse to focus the power of the sun. Sadly, Transformation could only work if one was prepared to use it, and no amount of stormlight could have healed the pulped remains of I.N.’s head as a boulder was thrown loose from the Peaks and smashed into him from above. Separated from Tolb for the first time in years, I.N. returned to the Cognitive Realm one last time for his final journey. Coda has been killed by the Ghostbloods! They were a Noble with a half-Shard, an Alerter, and a Spanreed! Rathmaskal/Young Bard has been killed by the inactivity filter! He was a Noble with a Pain Knife, Shardplate, and a Reverser! Day 7 has begun! It will end in approximately 46.5 hours, on Sunday 1 December at 9:00 PM EST. Any PMs that were created by Coda are now closed. Good Luck! Player List:
  4. The Ghostbloods were not the only secret society who had infiltrated the nobility of Alethkar, and not all sought political change. Brightlord I.N.’s immediate mission was far more botanical in nature: his goal was to transplant samples of Ashyn flora on Roshar’s rather more inhabitable surface. So far, things were not going well. Roshar as a whole may have been intact, but the Shattered Plains were a terrible place to grow vegetation. Any plants that managed to take root in the bare rock were washed away by the frequent highstorms that were at their most devastating this far east. I.N. had complained to his superiors after every failure, begging them to consider a more arable location for their plan to preserve the dying Ashyn species. Every time, his superiors had refused, saying they couldn’t afford to have their only Rosharan agent give up his position in the Alethi hierarchy. When I.N. brought up the possibility of inserting a second agent somewhere with agriculture, they had not even considered his request, instead demanding that I.N. acquire another of the dwindling number of native plants, submit it for approval, and begin the journey back to Roshar with his precious cargo. Even with the Surge of Transportation and the general nonexistence in the Cognitive Realm of the vast distance between the two planets, the trip back to the Shattered Plains was a lengthy one. One did not physically tire running through the solid expanse representing vague thoughts about space, but making the same run week after week took its toll. As always, his spren Tolb tried to convince him to circumvent his orders. Like all of her kind she was bound by oaths, but she felt there could always be a way to fulfill promises while still undergoing to most reasonable course of action. Last time, she’d persuaded him to try and create a duplicate plant. I.N. was paid well enough to possess emerald broams, and such gemstones could be used as a focus to Transform any material into a plant substance. The results of this experiment had not been especially promising, as being able to produce a plant did not mean he could replicate vegetation perfectly, but he had planted his hybrid species in Jah Keved anyway. He would check on it when he arrived at the Horneater Peaks; perhaps he had been more successful than he’d thought. Just as he was thinking of them, I.N. found himself at the Perpendicularity that led to the top of the Horneater Peaks. Being merely a third ideal Radiant, this was as close to the Shattered Plains as he could get from the Cognitive Realm. Leaping through to Roshar, he summoned Tolb as a shield and began to sled down the mountains. So far, he had never died doing this, and it was certainly the fastest way down. This time, I.N. managed to only obliterate half his bones and didn’t even end up with a concussion, which qualified as a rousing success. After repairing his shattered body with all his remaining stormlight, I.N. ran at normal human speed towards is makeshift garden and stopped with subpar human grace when he saw someone else already there. I.N. recognised the man as an Alethi, one of Leiken’s underlings. I.N. panicked and began to reach out his hand to summon Tolb as a weapon, but the other man raised his hands in a calming gesture. He explained that he was merely a messenger, informing I.N. that the other nobles had voted to strip him of his title and holding in his absence. I.N. remained in shocked silence as the messenger turned to leave, recommending that he stay here and tend to his garden instead of returning to the Shattered Plains. As the man disappeared from view, I.N. couldn’t help but think this was a good idea. And the LORD answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain GM, which made an LG for his community, and sent forth his co-GMs to call them that were bidden to the game: and they would not sign up. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are in Discord: Behold, I have prepared my game: my NPC character and my co-GM’s character are killed, and all role PMs are ready: sign up for the LG. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his college work, another to his pressing RL obligations: And the remnant took his ruleset, and entreated it spitefully, and slew it. But when the GM heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his bot armies, and destroyed those unwilling, and broke up their Discord. Then saith he to his co-GMs, The LG is ready, but they which were entreated were not worthy. Go ye therefore onto the Shard, and as many as ye shall find, invite to the game. So those co-GMs went out into the forum, and gathered together all as many as they found willing, both villager and Eliminator: and the LG was furnished with players. And when the GM came in to observe the players, he saw there a man which had not posted for two cycles: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having posted for two cycles twice? And he was speechless. Then said the GM to the co-GMs, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into the spec doc, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. Brightlord Ekard was sleeping again. As the congregation of nobles discussed who to kill, and seemed intent on disposing of those who spoke up and were suspicious, Ekard felt that the best way for him to carry out Mraize’s work was to simply say nothing at all. Then, he wouldn’t be killed. The solution had worked wonderfully thus far, with Elhokar’s men largely ignoring him. Moreover, he had found an outdoor pavilion which made for an excellent resting place, and carried the additional benefit of being screened from obvious notice. Much trouble—too much trouble—would have to be gone to in order to do anything with him besides criticise his absence and move on. Unfortunately, having closed his eyes earlier last night, Ekard could not use them to discern the unplanned highstorm which brewed above the horizon, moving with unnatural speed towards the warcamps. The Stormfather was determined to punish apathy this time, and Ekard’s own strategem of avoiding notice had worked too well. Not having seen him, all the people of the warcamps fled inside for cover as nature’s wrath was poured out around them. The stormwall hit the warcamps with a deafening rumble. Ekard started, awakened at last, and his eyes widened as he realised the dire straits he was in. He sprinted for the door of the nearest barracks, but was not nearly quick enough; a gust of wind threw his body into the air and over a chasm, and a defiant yell was the last heard of a man who truly placed himself at the mercy—or lack thereof—of the Almighty. Young Bard was lynched, but survived! Vote Count: Bard (3): Aman, Coda, Stink Drake Marshall died of inactivity! He was a Ghostblood with a Spanreed, Pain Knife and Reverser! Night 6 has begun! It will end in 48 hours on Friday 29 November, at 9 PM EST. Everyone have a happy Thanksgiving. For my part, I’m thankful for the chance to moderate and be a part of this wonderful community, and am also thankful for my co-GMs, who have helped tremendously this game. Please show your thanks by upvoting Devotary, who did the writeup for Bard’s not-really-death. EDIT: I’m also thankful for @Elbereth, without whom none of you would know which items deceased players held. Spanreeds may open new PMs during this Night turn at the cost of an action. Good luck! Player List: 1. Elandera as Brightness Ellarel, a flighty scribe who nonetheless remains tethered to the ground Noble 2. Rathmaskal/Young Bard as Brightlord I.N., whose reversed name conceals his role as a secret member of the Knights of Ni 3. Butt Ad Venture as Brightness Hmynyes, a connoisseur of classical Vorin music Noble 4. Xinoehp512 as Brightlord Rashor, a man who determinedly believes that blue wine is a plague from the Voidbringers Thief 5. Araris Valerian as Brightlord Arilar, a recently arrived spy with ties to the Kholins Noble 6. StrikerEZ as Brightlord Nalakor, a professional chull breeder and racer and close friend of the King’s Wit Noble Spy 7. Furamirionind as Brightness Dohila, a lighteyes who insists on wearing only orange and green lace Noble 8. Hemalurgic Headshot as Rat, a pet of Brightlord Joe and a secret worldhopper Noble Pet 9. Sart as Tleir, a Purelaker trying desperately to impersonate the missing Brightness Drella while House Sebarial hunts for her Ghostblood 10. STINK as Jumae III, a Brightlord whose eccentricity in fashion contrasts sharply with a docile and even temperament 11. DrakeMarshmallow as Brightlord Ekard, a man at the mercy of the Almighty Himself Ghostblood 12. Amanuensis as Brightlord Ularid Leiken, a man hunting a chull with a green shell which once insulted his mother 13. Coda as Brightness Dejda, one of Adolin’s former girlfriends who now hates the Kholins with a passion 14. Straw as Brightlord Straw, an effigy of Gavilar which was officially recognised as a lighteyes of the fourth dahn 15. Elbereth as Brightness Tintallë, whose title has come under charges of redundancy by expert Quenya scholars Noble
  5. Silent night! Holy night! All is calm, all is bright Round yon Ghostbloods, Hidden with Blade Silent Kill’rs, to the shadows they fade, Sleep in the grave’s embrace; Sleep in the grave’s embrace. Silent night! Holy night! Bridgeman quake at the sight! Brightlords fear of assassins above Ghostbloods laugh as the knife in they shove. Blades, the sharpest, be used! Blades, the sharpest, be used! Mraize put his head into his hands and let out a sigh. Around him the crowd applauded the young Ghostblood. He looked around the tavern, his eyes still refusing to believe what was before them. Someone, who he noted would not be around for much longer, had decided that rather than actually doing their assigned work, that of killing people, it would be a great idea to throw a party celebrating some Thaylen holiday or another, while they should have been out killing people. He slipped the mug of wine into his hands, sipping it through a tube into his mask. It was terrible. But it was better than what was assaulting his ears. Whoever was singing needn’t bother with knives. A few warbling notes, and their victim would kill themselves. He finished his drink, then held it up. He would need quite a few more to stop himself from killing everyone in the room. Domand surveyed the night, looking alternately down by the narrow light of his spheres at his feet, and up at the stone silhouette of the warcamps. A fall was not fatal to one of his talents, but it was inconvenient, and surviving one of them raised questions—as experience had borne out. He picked his way through the crem-covered rock formations which topped the chasms, peering out at the camps. An eerie quiet hung over them. No chull racing; no duels; no screams splitting the night air. It was a nice evening, and he intended to make the most of it. Smiling slightly at himself, and at the nostalgia of being a street vendor in the alleys of Silverlight, Domand began setting up his booth. It was always profitable—only the marketing needed to be changed. No longer Shard-invested items, the technically correct term which made the highly intellectual Silverlight scientists salivate at the prospect of studying them, but “blessed by the Almighty” for these more superstitious people—never mind that Honour was in very few of the things he was selling. The enemy was in more of them, in fact, as he knew himself. As was now a common occurrence at night, a light black steam began rising from the poorly dyed pink leather gloves which Domand wore. He tried not to think of what that meant. He was not here to see if Dominion could hold sway over the Lord of Hate, and he was not about to find out. After his conversation with Arrdel, the Council had largely stopped giving him grief publicly, but if he tried something like that, he’d be lucky to not be killed on the spot by the very group he’d founded. And for good reason. Realising he’d allowed his thoughts to wander, Domand shook his head. I need to stay more alert, he chastised himself. Adonalsium alone knows what could happen on this forsaken world. Indeed, as he stood underneath the black sky, Domand slowly heard a distant yet approaching rumble; looking east, his suspicions were confirmed. A mere line on the horizon now, the stormwall would strike in hours. He sighed, packing his booth back up. It appeared the lasting peace which he sought would still need to be achieved, and the temporary truce keeping the king and the Ghostbloods apart would be torn to shreds by the coming storms. And with nobody any closer to consolidating and creating order, the reaction was bound to be even more violent. Watching the chull who had adopted her after the death of the previous owner, Kay once again questioned why the beings best suited to understanding the Almighty’s will were among the least able to abide by it. Any animal was capable of blasphemy of course, but for the most part they did not attempt to predict the future or otherwise usurp the Almighty’s domain. This chull appeared more intelligent than others of her kind, but she still tended to limit her behaviours to those promised to have a specific outcome. Consuming rockbuds, cremlings, and grain had been declared to provide sustenance, and so eating these when hungry was not heresy. Experimenting was not forbidden either, so long as no firm conclusions were drawn and the outcome remained in doubt. Kay questioned whether her new companion truly understood this second part though, as failing to provide grain upon a plaintive bleat merely led to louder, more insistent cries. Yet Kay was sure that this creature didn’t spend time wondering whether the people who had killed her former master would be caught and executed. Kay tried to avoid these thoughts as well, but every time she saw the chull she was reminded of the circumstances by which they met. There could be no evident solution to this conundrum, as any plan to remedy it would require an attempt to shape the future. It wouldn’t do to imagine the possible steps required to offer the chull’s services to a Highprince as a beast of burden, or return her to the races to find a new rider, or sell her to a chouta vendor for food. Instead, Kay made the decision as she’d been instructed, impulsively and impermanently. Every time, Kay decided to keep her new friend. And every time, the decision became a little easier. Nobody was attacked! Day 6 has begun! It will end in approximately 47 hours, on Wednesday 27 November at 9 PM EST. Should a Night 6 be necessary, it will be 48 hours as well. Americans, enjoy your Thanksgiving with whomever, and don’t worry about getting orders in for SE. Spinach casserole is far more important. An obligatory reminder that spanreeds may not open new PMs. Thanks to Snip for an inventive parody of Silent Night, and to Devotary for continually excellent character development. Good luck! Player List: 1. Elandera as Brightness Ellarel, a flighty scribe who nonetheless remains tethered to the ground Noble 2. Rathmaskal/Young Bard as Brightlord I.N., whose reversed name conceals his role as a secret member of the Knights of Ni 3. Butt Ad Venture as Brightness Hmynyes, a connoisseur of classical Vorin music Noble 4. Xinoehp512 as Brightlord Rashor, a man who determinedly believes that blue wine is a plague from the Voidbringers Thief 5. Araris Valerian as Brightlord Arilar, a recently arrived spy with ties to the Kholins Noble 6. StrikerEZ as Brightlord Nalakor, a professional chull breeder and racer and close friend of the King’s Wit Noble Spy 7. Furamirionind as Brightness Dohila, a lighteyes who insists on wearing only orange and green lace Noble 8. Hemalurgic Headshot as Rat, a pet of Brightlord Joe and a secret worldhopper Noble Pet 9. Sart as Tleir, a Purelaker trying desperately to impersonate the missing Brightness Drella while House Sebarial hunts for her Ghostblood 10. STINK as Jumae III, a Brightlord whose eccentricity in fashion contrasts sharply with a docile and even temperament 11. DrakeMarshmallow as Brightlord Ekard, a man at the mercy of the Almighty Himself 12. Amanuensis as Brightlord Ularid Leiken, a man hunting a chull with a green shell which once insulted his mother 13. Coda as Brightness Dejda, one of Adolin’s former girlfriends who now hates the Kholins with a passion 14. Straw as Brightlord Straw, an effigy of Gavilar which was officially recognised as a lighteyes of the fourth dahn 15. Elbereth as Brightness Tintallë, whose title has come under charges of redundancy by expert Quenya scholars Noble
  6. Rat squeaked, feeling the tumbling of Joe’s ash taco cart as the man enthusiastically wheeled it ahead of him, heedless of his rodent cargo, which was being jostled about quite severely. He could share in the Brightlord’s thrill, however—who knew ash tacos would sell so well in Roshar, where the warcamps’ only consistent consumption seemed to be wine? Yet it was counted as a foreign delicacy, and Joe’s last worldhopping had brought with him a large supply of the ash so crucial in their construction. The chouta merchants seemed baffled by the innovation, unable to sell their wares as they had in the past, and times seemed to be looking up. Except for the rattling of the cart beneath his claws, of course. As the cart neared the warcamps, Joe began rambling enthusiastically, addressing Rat in a low voice. “Maybe I’m not completely useless after all!” he exclaimed, gesturing at the full pouch of spheres tucked inside his cart. Having said this, and just after having made the turn into the warcamps proper, Joe tripped, sending the cart rolling along the uneven rocky ground. Miraculously, it remained upright, but even so Rat was nearly thrown from the top of the cart, and was forced to make an awkward scramble and a quick dart under the canvas layering towards the bottom of the stand to remain safe and out of sight. The runaway device did not stop with Rat’s safety, however, and the small rodent found himself jarred by the sudden collision with...something. He couldn’t see anymore. “...this cursed ash taco stand!” a bellow came, sounding like Brightlord Ularid. “Joe, storm you! Get over here!” The scurrying sound of footsteps made Rat believe Joe was coming nearer, but the folds of canvas were too heavy. He couldn’t see! He clawed more frantically, looking for a way out. As he squirmed, he could hear raised voices, Joe exchanging words with the crowd of nobility he had apparently interrupted. “...no clue why you keep this out-of-control stand in operation any longer. We have infiltrators and spies to root out, at the King’s orders, and your only concern is turning a little profit for yourself!” Definitely still Ularid, who was close by now. “Look, I’m useless, okay? Leave me alone; I’m not trying to get anyone hurt here. I tripped and fell, and whatever rocks you have in this area are very unforgiving on the knees.” That was Joe. Scrambling, Rat managed to free himself, and found himself looking up at three figures with weapons drawn, staring at the hapless Joe and his cart. He froze, hoping none of them had noticed his appearance, which was limited to a bulge in the canvas from which two eyes peered out. One of the three, neither Ularid nor Joe, cast a greedy eye over the pouch of spheres hanging on the cart. “Look,” he said to Joe, “I might not suspect you like Brightlord Ularid does. But we do have the rights to do customs inspections on your merchandise, which we haven’t done yet, unless the Highprince of Investigation has. Have you seen him?” Joe gulped. “No.” “Good,” said the man, and began heading toward the cart. He found his way blocked by the thick arm of Brightlord Jumae. “I don’t think so, my lad,” he said quietly. The tension in the air crackled, but no move was made. Rat grew increasingly uncomfortable with Ularid. Not looking at either Jumae or the Noble he was restraining, and keeping Joe back with one arm, he seemed to be peering...directly at Rat. His eyes narrowed, and his muscles tensed. Too late, Rat tried to scurry away. “How now, a rat?” he cried. “Dead for a ducat, dead!” The thrust came; Rat gave one last gibbering shriek, and was forever lost. The last thing he heard were the tears of his faithful master, Joe, and the cries of the other nobles as the cart was overrun and plundered. Hemalurgic Headshot was lynched! He was a Noble with an Alerter, a Spanreed, and a Painrial! Vote Count: HH (3): Aman, Coda, HH Aman (1): Stink Night 5 has begun! It will end in approximately 23 hours, on Monday 25 November at 9:00 PM EST. New Spanreed PMs may now be opened. If you have a PM open with a player already, it is acceptable to re-open that PM with your spanreed instead of creating a new one with identical membership. Good luck! Player List: 1. Elandera as Brightness Ellarel, a flighty scribe who nonetheless remains tethered to the ground Noble 2. Rathmaskal/Young Bard as Brightlord I.N., whose reversed name conceals his role as a secret member of the Knights of Ni 3. Butt Ad Venture as Brightness Hmynyes, a connoisseur of classical Vorin music Noble 4. Xinoehp512 as Brightlord Rashor, a man who determinedly believes that blue wine is a plague from the Voidbringers Thief 5. Araris Valerian as Brightlord Arilar, a recently arrived spy with ties to the Kholins Noble 6. StrikerEZ as Brightlord Nalakor, a professional chull breeder and racer and close friend of the King’s Wit Noble Spy 7. Furamirionind as Brightness Dohila, a lighteyes who insists on wearing only orange and green lace Noble 8. Hemalurgic Headshot as Rat, a pet of Brightlord Joe and a secret worldhopper Noble Pet 9. Sart as Tleir, a Purelaker trying desperately to impersonate the missing Brightness Drella while House Sebarial hunts for her Ghostblood 10. STINK as Jumae III, a Brightlord whose eccentricity in fashion contrasts sharply with a docile and even temperament 11. DrakeMarshmallow as Brightlord Ekard, a man at the mercy of the Almighty Himself 12. Amanuensis as Brightlord Ularid Leiken, a man hunting a chull with a green shell which once insulted his mother 13. Coda as Brightness Dejda, one of Adolin’s former girlfriends who now hates the Kholins with a passion 14. Straw as Brightlord Straw, an effigy of Gavilar which was officially recognised as a lighteyes of the fourth dahn 15. Elbereth as Brightness Tintallë, whose title has come under charges of redundancy by expert Quenya scholars Noble
  7. Ularid was exhausted. Physically, he hadn’t had to exert himself in combat for years, although the Plate had made everything easier. No amount of armour could erase the the sheer panic he’d felt when Tintallë had swung her second Blade to sever his spine, or the sickening shock of Tintallë driving her Blade through her own throat. Ularid found himself reliving those moments continuously as he sat alone in his tent that night. He stamped his foot angrily. He was supposed to be good at this. A master of wiping unwelcome memories from his conscious mind. These days, he managed to never think of how his former home had looked as it was being razed or the screams of the dying, soldiers and civilians alike, or- he shook his head violently and stood up. He needed to be outside, never mind the danger. Salas had just set, and Ularid could barely see anything in the moonless darkness. Instead, he was treated to yet another recap of the duel’s final moments. He began to sprint through the camp, heedless of any chasms that might be in the area. Running away never solved his lingering resentment towards Gavilar, but it did allow him to dodge the massive arrow that sailed through the air behind him. He froze, as incapable of motion as he’d been while in shattered Shardplate waiting to die. The second arrow whizzed right in front of his face, close enough to clip his nose. Only a Grandbow, or perhaps a ballista, could have fired a projectile of that size. Ularid’s old combat instincts reasserted themselves and he dove to the ground, hiding behind a nearby tent. Surely his attacker wouldn’t notice him or the slowly dripping blood now pouring onto the ground. Holding his nose with his left hand, Ularid slowly snuck into the tent, careful not to startle any of its occupants. All of them were fast asleep, and none stirred at the presence of an intruder. Slowly, he eased himself behind one of the beds, out of the line of fire for a bow. He drew his knife, prepared to defend himself should the assailant come to finish him off. He sat there for hours, crouched on his hands and knees waiting for an attack that never came until he collapsed unconscious as his weariness finally caught up to him. Sometimes, the quietest people live the longest, Brightlord Arilar mused as he watched the undercurrent of bustling activity in the warcamps, and I have been talking far too much recently. Certainly, it was unlike Arilar to place himself in what he dismissed as “real politics,” the changing of opinions, personal conversations, and generally dangerous intrigue which his masters seemed to relish with unwarranted enthusiasm. He was a silent observer, listening, listening, but never raising his voice more often than he had to. When he did, it was sharp, direct, and quickly forgotten—little wonder he escaped the notice of most, and could retain his position as an active listener with ease. His masters liked it that way. Spying on the Kholins was dangerous, and the ability to keep one’s head down was central in such a task. Yet he had broken from his usual pattern, this time. This time, his words would not so easily be ignored by his enemies. And the increased presence had done what for him? Put a target on his back. Arilar sighed, pivoting to face the too-noisy “stalker” behind him. His footpad started, but produced a short, sturdy sword in his right hand almost faster than Arilar could track. In his left came a throwing knife, which left his hand with equal speed. Arilar flattened himself, feeling the steel bend the air around his head—he had just missed that—and unsheathed his own weapon, scrambling to face his attacker. So the Kholins had found out about him after all. He chopped down with the two-handed sword he had, which the footpad barely sidestepped, and a corner of cloth from the man’s jacket came free, exposing the open skin of the shoulder. On it was tattooed three interlocking diamonds. Excellent, Arilar fumed, now the group that hates the king is after me. He swung his sword up again, this time to parry, and the two held that position for a brief second, swords locked. And then a sudden pain flared in Arilar’s side, and he looked down, feeling his sword drop from numb fingers. With his spare hand, the Ghostblood had taken another knife from his belt and plunged it into him. Arilar sank, dropping to his knees as his assailant straightened. “You’ll...never win this...you know,” he gasped out. “Whoever you are…” The figure’s hand flew up to the mask, tearing it off in one fluid motion. Recognition dawned instantly, and despite his mortal wound Arilar pushed himself to his feet. “You!” he bellowed. “How, after everything, could—” The sword swung again, almost lazily, and further words from Arilar’s head were cut short as it rolled to the ground. Aman was attacked by a Grandbow, but survived! Araris was killed by the Ghostbloods! He was a Noble with a half-Shard, a painrial, and a Spanreed! Day 5 has begun! It will end in approximately 45 hours on Sunday 24 November, at 9 PM EST. Good luck! Player List:
  8. “I denounce you Ularid!” Brightness Tintallë’s voice rang out as she strode through the warcamp wearing the slowly reforming Plate that had once belonged to Brightness Tleir. “For too long, you have been allowed to murder your way through our ranks, but no longer! I challenge you to a full Shardbearer duel to the death, today at noon.” Ularid blinked in surprise. This was not how he had expected this day to go. Still, he could not refuse a challenge issued by a Shardbearer. He stood up from the table where he had been eating a leisurely breakfast. “If my lady desires a duel, I will of course accept. Still, I must ask you to reconsider. Our numbers are dwindling; we must work together if we are to root out the Ghostbloods.” Allë stepped right into Ularid’s face, forcing the man to step backwards instinctively. “You’re welcome to submit to a full body search, ‘Brightlord’”. Your associate had the most fascinating mark etched into her shoulder. Who knows where we’ll find it on you?” Ularid said nothing. Satisfied, Allë turned to leave, pausing only to call out “I suppose we’ll be searching your corpse instead.” As soon as Tintallë was gone from view, Ularid’s right arm began to shake involuntarily. Irritably, he grabbed it with his left and forced himself to calm down. He had been a fair hand with a blade in his prime, though he’d never gotten to wield a Shardblade except for brief practice sessions. He hadn’t fought in actual combat since the days of Gavilar’s campaign to reunite Alethkar under the Kholin banner. He didn’t know if he could hold off an opponent who would be trying to kill him, but now he had no choice. He would go before the son of the man who had ordered his home assaulted and request the tools necessarily to potential allow him to survive the day. News of the challenge spread quickly throughout the camp. Brightlords Jumae III and Arilar tried to make Tintallë change her mind, but there was no stopping a duel once it had started. King Elhokar himself presented Blades to both Tintallë and Ularid, providing a set of Plate for the latter and enough stormlight to repair the cracks in the former’s. At noon exactly, the two duelists walked into the arena, trailed by their entourages. Allë was trailed by Dedja, Straw, and the ferocious creature who had unmasked Tleir. Jumae and Arilar followed Ularid into the entrance on the arenas other side. The noncombatants took their seats, and the arena doors slammed shut, right in the face of Brightlord Ekard who had been trying to catch up with Ularid. Once everyone was seated, King Elhokar rose to address the sparse crowd. “It is my honour to preside over this death duel today. May the Almighty smile upon the virtuous, and strike down any who seek to inflict harm upon Alethkar. Combatants, ready your Blades. Begin.” As soon as the words left the King’s mouth, Allë was charging towards her opponent, the Thrill racing through her veins. While not well-used to lethal combat, she had been practicing her Smokestance for years now with borrowed weapons. The Shardblade she held now was far longer than any sword she’d practiced with, but no heavier. Giddily, she swung the massive blade at Ularid, aiming for his neck plates. Ularid executed a two handed counterswing without moving his feet and the two weapons collided with a clang. Still grinning, Allë disengaged and stepped to her right, swinging this time at her opponent’s leg. This tactic worked far better with a knife in the left hand which could be simultaneously plunged into an exposed chest, but Allë had no knife today, not that one would have accomplished anything against intact Plate. Ularid accepted the blow, choosing to shove Allë backwards with his left hand. She stumbled backwards, noticing the shattered section of plate above Ularid’s left knee. Steadying herself, she jumped right back into battle. Ularid couldn’t feel the Thrill, not anymore. He remembered what it had felt like, the pure joy of battlelust singing as he cut down enemies in Kholin blue while his city burned behind him. Back then, he had been proud to fight for his lord. Now, he felt nothing as he desperately tried to keep himself alive. Battle was just another job, just something that needed to be done. He settled himself back into Stonestance as Tintallë came in for another strike, still trying to think of a way to end this without bloodshed. His left leg was no longer moving with full power, but that didn’t matter anymore. There was no reason for him to run. He deliberately left his guard low, and Tintallë obliged, swinging a vicious horizontal blow that shattered his breastplate. Ularid stepped forward and grabbed her blade as she tried to swing again, wresting the weapon from her grasp and letting it drop on the arena floor. Once it left his hands, it vanished, disintegrating back into mist. Tintallë stepped back startled as Ularid dismissed his own Blade and stood unable to move at the arena’s centre. The king’s voice cut through the shocked silence. “The duel is over. Attendants, assist Ularid in getting out of his armour.” Allë heard her heartbeat thunder in her ears as the king spoke. One. Two. “No,” she cut in. “This is not over. That man will kill us all in our sleep. He will assassinate you, your Majesty, and bring our kingdom toppling down.” Elhokar made no response. Five. Six. Darkeyed servants had reached the arena floor now, and were stripping the intact pieces of Plate from his immobile body. Allë snarled. Nine. Ten. Her own Shardblade dropped into her hands, nearly two meters long with gentle curve. The tip of the Blade glittering in the noonday sun, she charged towards the unarmed, unarmoured Ularid. Alarmed, the darkeyes scattered. Just as she was about to cleave Ularid’s worthless head from his shoulders, Jumae and Arilar stepped in from of him protectively. Allë stopped her swing before it could cleave through all three of them. “You don’t understand, he’s the one we need to kill,” she implored the intervening Brightlords. She glanced at her own supporters for affirmation, but even they seemed hesitant. A duel was one thing, striking down a helpless man without verifying his innocence was another. Gritting her teeth in frustration, Allë took up the Blade in her right hand and held it aloft. “Fine. If you don’t trust my judgement now, then what was the point of all this? Let Elhokar die. Let the Ghostbloods burn Alethkar to the ground. I’ll be laughing from the Tranquiline Halls. I expect you’ll all be joining me soon.” So saying, she removed her helmet, reversed her grip on the hilt and drove the Blade into her own neck. Her eyes burned out and her body collapsed onto the sands. The Shardblade fell to the ground, ownerless. The blade clattered to the ground, continuing its arc as it cut through the challenger. They had her. The shardbearer. The one responsible for this mess, for Mraize burning through cells faster than addict with moss. Had it been worth it? The women had ended her life. That spoke for itself. She knew she had been in too deep, drowning in hidden knives and secret poisons. She had played her cards, and the Ghostbloods had had the upper hand. It was inevitable. All that was left was to quench the fires they had started, extinguishing lives as quickly as the blaze had begun. The knives that had flashed in the night without discrimination, were now to be turned to far more surgical strikes. He slipped from his perch and slipped a note to the women watching the chull stall. It had the necessary instructions on it. Elbereth was killed in a duel! She was a Noble with a Shardblade and Shardplate! Vote Count: El (4): El, Aman, Stink, Araris Aman (3): HH, Straw, Coda Night 4 has begun! It will end in approximately 22 hours on Friday 22 November, at 9 PM EST. Spanreeds may again be used to freely open PMs of up to three players, provided the GMs are included. Very special thanks to Devotary for El’s death scene, and the entire duel, in fact. Please send out the upvote mobs against her most recent posts. Good luck! Player List: 1. Elandera as Brightness Ellarel, a flighty scribe who nonetheless remains tethered to the ground Noble 2. Rathmaskal/Young Bard as Brightlord I.N., whose reversed name conceals his role as a secret member of the Knights of Ni 3. Butt Ad Venture as Brightness Hmynyes, a connoisseur of classical Vorin music Noble 4. Xinoehp512 as Brightlord Rashor, a man who determinedly believes that blue wine is a plague from the Voidbringers Thief 5. Araris Valerian as Brightlord Arilar, a recently arrived spy with ties to the Kholins 6. StrikerEZ as Brightlord Nalakor, a professional chull breeder and racer and close friend of the King’s Wit Noble Spy 7. Furamirionind as Brightness Dohila, a lighteyes who insists on wearing only orange and green lace Noble 8. Hemalurgic Headshot as Rat, a pet of Brightlord Joe and a secret worldhopper 9. Sart as Tleir, a Purelaker trying desperately to impersonate the missing Brightness Drella while House Sebarial hunts for her Ghostblood 10. STINK as Jumae III, a Brightlord whose eccentricity in fashion contrasts sharply with a docile and even temperament 11. DrakeMarshmallow as Brightlord Ekard, a man at the mercy of the Almighty Himself 12. Amanuensis as Brightlord Ularid Leiken, a man hunting a chull with a green shell which once insulted his mother 13. Coda as Brightness Dejda, one of Adolin’s former girlfriends who now hates the Kholins with a passion 14. Straw as Brightlord Straw, an effigy of Gavilar which was officially recognised as a lighteyes of the fourth dahn 15. Elbereth as Brightness Tintallë, whose title has come under charges of redundancy by expert Quenya scholars Noble
  9. Chullracing was a dangerous sport. As Salas hung low in the sky, and Nalakor gripped his saddle, it was all he could do to stop himself from shaking. He had trained for this, practicing everyday since his brother’s accident. He needed to win this race, needed to use the emerald sphere reward to pay for Valtor’s treatment. He slipped his saddle over Dusty’s shell, before leading the animal over to the starting line. Both had been a gift from King’s Wit, who’d taken a liking to him after he had stolen his flute. He claimed to have stolen them from a top racer, but from what Nalakor could tell, the beast was nothing more than a work animal. That said, he’d formed a bond with Dusty. She had been his only friend since the accident, his only friend since the fire that ripped through Roion’s warcamp, taking his parents and leaving his brother comatose. Dusty had helped him through his grief, and taken him farther than he could have ever imagined. He was in the final for the Grand Warcamp Prix. The last race of the season before the weeping began. He was the only here because of sheer luck more than anything else, hanging on by the skin of his teeth. But, now? He needed to win. He rubbed Dusty’s eyestalks, slipping the animal a stonebud. Around him, the top racers from around the warcamp’s chulls were being carefully rubbed and oiled, as their drivers stood by, talking strategy with their coaches. On the next plateau over, the spectators sat, making bets, or watching just for enjoyment. Despite Chullracing being illegal, it was still one of the most popular forms of entertainment, and betting on, while heresy, only added to the fun. Nalakor hopped up onto Dusty, adjusting the saddle as he did so. He carefully began warming her up, walking her forward and backward, getting her used to both his presence, and the way he nudged with her feet. His lead system was homegrown he knew, nothing a true pro would use, but it may have been the only thing that could give him an edge. For while others were restricted to using one hand to steer, and only leaving one free, Dusty could use both to swing the long pole he lifted from a strap on Dusty’s side. The bat was the reason Chullracing was illegal. While one’s chull was doing the actual running of the race, it was the jockey’s job to take as many of his opponents down as possible. Needless to say, it was not a sport without mortalities, and when everyone was needed to fight in the war, needless harm was seen as a waste. The officials walked out from the spectator plateau, and onto track in proper. They carefully walked the length of the string that bordered the track, making sure it was both up to standards, 1000 paces long, and there was no foul play. As they did so, Nalakor turned to watch his neighboring racers, as they mounted their chulls. One was a young woman seemingly from the Reshi isles. He dropped his gaze and blushed when he realized her safehand wasn’t covered. On his other side was a tall and dark figure in a mask, some of the more prominent racers did such things to hide their identities. His chull was skinny and sharp, less like a chull, and more like the fin of a Skyeel. A whistle sounded, and the twenty-four racers lead their chulls to the starting line. An official walked down, checking to ensure that they were all in fact behind the line. The man, stepped back to the edge of the line, pulling out a simple whistle. He blew once, signalling the racers to ready. The audience drew to hush, eyes watching the main event of the evening. Nalakor felt himself tense in anticipation. In the distance, Salas was making its final descent, a small crescent hanging over the finish line. A long whistle sounded, cutting through the air like a shardblade. Nalakor kicked Dusty into motion, rocking as the chull began to move forward. Around him everyone was doing the same. A bat slammed into his back, knocking the breath out of him, and nearly knocking him from his saddle. He whirled with both his body and his back, and met the eyes of the Reshi woman, even as her pole met his own. He flipped it around trying to do one of the simple patterns he’d taught himself from his father’s spear training. She was too fast, blocking him at everymove, even as her other hand pushed her chull faster. Dusty let out a trumpet responding to his desperate attempts to simply run away from her, even as Nalakor took another hit from a different racer, the sound matching his own. The man was taken down quickly, but by then the woman had taken advantage of Nalakor’s distraction to land a punishing blow. He slipped, feeling himself begin to tumble from the saddle, his leg hanging over space, held on by his arm on Dusty, and his left. Storms it hurt. They were matching the leaders of the pack now, though whether Nalakor would even make it the next 5 paces was yet to be seen. He let out a prayer to the Almighty, begging for strength. The Reshi woman lifted her bat to finish him. And was taken out from behind, the masked figure capitalizing on her distraction. Nalakor wrenched himself up, his arm screaming from the pain, and looked around him. 500 paces to go, and he was. He was in the lead! It was only pure instinct that saved him. The masked figure’s bat was swinging towards his head, and only a flick of his bat saved from a near instant knock out. His arm rang with the blow, and he grunted. The masked figure bat whirled then came into strike again, and again, Nalakor barely blocked it, batting it away, this time using both of his hands. He still winced, but it seemed that both arms could take the impact. In his peripheral vision he could see, 400 paces. The masked man’s chull had caught up to Dusty, and it trumpeted, sounding like the grinding of metal. Dusty hissed in return. The bat came in again, then again and again. Nalakor’s arms were beginning to ache with the sheer stress of blocking the thrice cursed blows. 300 paces. He let out a sob, the two chulls were neck and neck, even as their riders fought. He was squeezing with his legs as hard as possible, wishing there was someway to tell Dusty just to go a little bit faster, but nevertheless the two animals continued to match each other’s pace, seeming to almost to want their jockeys to fight, seeming to want Nalarok to lose. An especially powerful blow rattled his already numb hands, and then another knocked the bat from his hands. It tumbled to the ground and was lost. The race was lost. The audience screamed. Desperation filled Nalarok’s mind as he realized there was only seconds until it was over. Until his brother was dead. In that brief moment, he flashbacked to the night of the fire, when Voriav had saved him, leaping to push him out of the way of a doorway, and hurting himself in the process. And Nalakor knew what he had to do. He leaned right, towards the figure, then leapt directly at him. He seemed to hang in the air forever, time slowing down as he saw the masked figure’s shock. He slammed into the figure with all of his body weight. They never stood a chance. They slipped off of the back of their mount like a bag of lavis grain, dropping their bat to grab the side of the saddle, hanging on with only a hand. Nalakor himself began to lose balance, standing on a chull was nearly impossible when they were walking. Next him, Dusty still ran. Good faithful Dusty. He took a breath, then leapt back to his mount. A hand gripped his ankle pulling him down. The figure had pulled themselves enough to grab him as he leapt. He felt himself swing in the air, hand grasping for something, anything. They felt the saddle strap and clutched them tight. He lay, stretched across the abyss between the two chulls, the figure pulling at his ankle with all their might even as he held on with his. He kicked with his other leg, slamming the foot into the figure’s hand. It hand slipped, and it was enough. Nalakor pulled himself, exhausted. He looked up to check how close they were to the finish line. They crossed. First. The audience roared, and he sagged. He had done. He could save Voriav. He could see his brother again. Brightlord Nalakor smiled as his chosen chull barrelled across the line, earning him one of the largest returns he’d had in a while—all from a shadowed man who still did not identify himself. But his spheres were on the table in front of the finish line, so despite his weakened state Nalakor wasted no time in nodding to the arbiter and sweeping his winnings into his purse. “Sorry, friend, and thank you for playing the game,” he offered the shadowed figure, who had shown no reaction. He did mean it—he got little enough business, having to bribe officials into looking the other way when he did conduct it, and any participants were appreciated in such a violent and bloody sport as this. “Better luck another time.” The man’s lips were drawn in a thin line, dramatised by the light of the red sphere by which Nalakor was seeing, but he nodded and began collecting his things, heading away from the pens. Eyeing the retreating figure, Nalakor backed up himself, pretending to fumble with one of the chull’s straps as he waited for the visitor to fade into darkness. You didn’t survive as long as he did in this sort of business without some underlying mistrust, unfortunately, and the bruises he had would take long enough to heal without his accruing new ones. Nalakor sighed, moving the exhausted beasts back to their pens, to lie down with their other companions who were lowing quietly. Tending to the beasts, in the end, was remarkably simple—not much could be required by normally docile and tempered animals—but it was his only trade, so he kept to it with a vigour which infused even the changing of water and food for the pens with meaning akin to a sacred ritual, a way of giving the ordinary importance. His chulls were perhaps the best cared for in the kingdom, and he intended to keep it that way to keep bringing in the lighteyes who enjoyed such sport. Keeping it that way also involved another precaution. Over the door to the pen, a heavy razor blade, attached to a rope pulled taut, lurked. Hidden behind a design in the ceiling, and further concealed by virtue of nobody having ventured inside his pens except him, it was the perfect security measure—if the rope was placed across the doorway from the inside, an opening of the door would send that blade falling to cleave in two the one who opened it. He armed the trap, yawning already, and went to his mattress in the middle of the pen. He did not often sleep in here, but would tonight—with the spheres he had on hand. a trapped door looked increasingly appealing to guard against intruders, and he doubted he retained the strength to make it back to the warcamps after his drubbing from the masked man. He yawned contentedly, and was asleep in seconds. Nalakor stirred, started out of his sleep by a noise near the wall of the pen. A...hammering? It was lighter than that, he thought, but certainly he had heard the stone being worked at. Someone was trying to enter the pen through the wall! No doubt it was the masked figure, seeking to recover the spheres lost in the race. His body on fire, Nalakor managed to stand, feeling a vague dread as light filtered into the dark pens through a hole in the wall. Around him, chulls snorted, shifting in their sleep, but mostly too dumb to rouse themselves fully. Peering from the curtained corner he was in, Nalakor could see a man’s silhouette block off the light, and enter the building, sword out in the dark of the pens, looking for him. He bit back a scream. There would be only one way to evade him—getting out the door quietly enough and then shouting for help before he was murdered, to apprehend the intruder. He might lose his spheres, but he’d keep his life. Masked by the bleating of chulls, the beasts themselves, and the pitch darkness of the far side of the pens, Nalakor edged along the side of the pen, feeling frantically for the panels of the door. The intruder was now in his corner, searching in vain among his sheets, and Nalakor’s hand grasped the doorknob. A rush of delirium came upon him—he had escaped—and he threw open the door. The sweeping motion would be his last. Even as he opened his mouth to cry for help, Nalakor’s eyes bulged at the sound of a catch being released and a rope suddenly recoiling, losing its taut arrangement; after all his escape plan, he had forgotten to disarm his own trap. The heavy blade above the door fell like thunder, cutting off the last scream of its victim, and Nalakor was no more. There had been a lot of deaths taking place at night recently. That didn’t stop Kay from wandering outside on a whim on this third night since Sebarial was attacked. Precedent was no predictor of future occurrences, after all. The moons were dim, but light was not needed to carry the sound of bellowing chulls through the unight. Kay found herself walking towards the noise. Chulls were usually quiet at night, and so the increased volume was unusual. The cause of the chulls’ alarm was immediately apparent. A clustered mass of the giant crustaceans were entangled at the end of a flat expanse of stone marked off vertically with string on either side. The Almighty had selected one empty-saddled chull to trumpet aggressively and snap out at the other chulls, none of which were sure how to proceed. Confused, the herd, all of which still had riders, shuffled around awkwardly and bellowed questioningly. Furious, the riderless chull charged forwards at an impressive 2 meters per second. This time, the other chull were able to scuttle out of the way as the rogue chull in the direction of a nearby plateau. Kay turned to follow the chull’s trajectory and saw that the spectators did not look concerned at the animal’s behaviour. Kay’s jaw tightened as she saw some of them were exchanging spheres. Racing by itself could be an honourable way to invite the Almighty’s judgement. Attempting to predict the outcome of a race was blasphemy of the highest order. Even the other Devotaries could see that much. Angrily, Kay headed after the chull, easily overtaking the lumbering beast. Her journey to the plateau was interrupted when the enraged chull reached out one of her giant claws and grabbed Kay by the waist. Though surprised, Kay remained calm as the chull led her not to the heretics flaunting their disrespect for the Almighty but to a fresh corpse still bleeding on the ground. Undoubtedly the man, Kay recognised him as Brightlord Nalakor, had been murdered by someone who valued money over the Divine. With far greater care than she had been shown, the chull picked the dead man up with her other claw and began the journey back towards the camp. Kay made no attempt to resist what must be the Almighty’s design as the three of them returned to safety. Striker has been killed! He was a Noble Spy with a half-shard! Drake has posted, and so will not be killed. Rath has been replaced by Young Bard. Day 4 has begun! It will end in approximately 46 hours, on Thursday 21 November at 9 PM EST. Please upvote Snipexe for the thrilling account of Nalakor's last race. (Fifth speaking: Please upvote both Devotary and Snip for coping marvellously after I dropped the ball unexpectedly.) Player List:
  10. Tleir hid in the chasm the whole night, barely daring to move. The Shardblade wound turned out to be a blessing, as she surely would have passed out from the pain hours ago if she retained sensation in her right leg. The stormwardens claimed there wouldn’t be a Highstorm tonight, but they could be wrong, or maybe the chasms would flood regardless. A chasmfiend could wander by and devour her with a single bite. The Shardbearer could return to slaughter her. Or perhaps a quiet night would pass, and somebody would come rescue her in the morning. Tleir chose to focus on that prospect. After all, she reminded herself, she was Mraize’s most valuable lieutenant, entrusted with a suit of Shardplate for the task of hunting down and killing the Shardbearer who had so recklessly attacked Highprince Sebarial. A lot of good Shardplate did sitting safely in the Ghostblood’s tent while she went for a walk. Foolish, foolish! She hadn’t even been able to identify their foe. Well, there was nothing to do now but wait. Either Nu Rallik would see fit that she survived, or he wouldn’t. Mraize pulled Tleir from the chasm, his arms aching with the effort. It was such a shame to have to do such a thing to one of their higher operatives. The woman had had such promise. She could still serve their sect, though no longer to the degree that a woman of her talents should have been able to. Perhaps working the ledgers. When you had a secret society, the accounting tended to get messy. He left her at the edge of the chasm, there still needed to be some punishment. Without suffering there would be no growth. She had to learn from the scenario, understand what her flaws were. He adjusted his mask as he left her, ensuring his anonymity. He retreated to the distance, a figure on the horizon. The morning finally arrived, and Tleir was still alive. Now, she couldn’t feel either of her legs, but that was alright because the Ghostbloods had seen fit to rescue her. She was still important to them, despite her failure. After carrying her out of the chasm, the masked Ghostblood melted away, leaving her alone. Tleir understood. Despite early successes, they couldn’t afford to confront the king openly. From here on, Tleir would have to ensure her own survival. Weakly, she called out to the guards now patrolling around the chasm. As they rushed to get her medical attention, Tleir smiled wickedly to herself. The Shardbearer would not be long for this world once she was reunited with her compatriots. Apparently, Vun Makak had different ideas. That tide-scorned Brightness Tintallë had continued her denunciations, but nobody else seemed to be listening to her, preferring to focus their ire on the sleeping Ekard. Then at the last second some sort of deformed cremling had leapt up and bitten at her shoulder. Shocked, Tleir fell backwards off the chair she’d been sitting on. As she tried and failed to sit up, she noticed that the Alethi were all staring at her, or more specifically the interlocking diamond pattern etched into her left shoulder where her havah had been bitten away. With one dead leg and the other severely bruised and cramped, Tleir could make no move to escape as Tintallë stabbed her through the heart. And as the Almighty GM reclined at table in the house, behold, many inactives and lurkers came and were reclining with the GM and his assistants. And when the Actives saw this, they said to his assistants, Why does your GM, a moderator, eat with lurkers and inactives? But when the Almighty GM heard it, he said, Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, and not filter deaths. For I came not to call the active and recurring, but the inactives. Blissfully unaware of the carnage and arguing which surrounded them, the Brightlords I.N. and Ekard dozed soundly in their tents, as they had for the past several days of deliberation. Perhaps the greater conflict between the Ghostbloods and Elhokar mattered...but then again...perhaps it didn’t. Getting a good day’s sleep was far more important than such trivial considerations, anyway, and it was easy enough to stay out of the conflict this way. High above, the Stormfather gazed disapprovingly down at the pair. It was truly a waste of air to have those two continue to exist in the midst of such violence and conflict; what right had they to live sleeping while so many of their friends died around them, actively joining the fighting? Irritably, he readied a pair of bolts to strike the pair down, then paused. Could it be that their apathy was unintentional, and that his plan was overly hasty? He would dishonour the men’s families for no good reason if this was the case, as lightning from heaven was a fairly ignoble way to end a man. He would spare them for now, but would return soon with the full force of the Highstorm. It would tear the men apart if they did not arouse themselves. Sart was lynched! He was a Ghostblood with Shardplate and an Alerter! Vote Count: Drake (2): Sart, Araris Sart (2): Elbereth, HH Elbereth (1): Stink Rath and Drake are on one-cycle warnings to either post, be replaced with pinch-hitters, or die. Night 3 has begun! It will end in approximately 23 hours, on Tuesday 19 November at 9 PM EST. Those with spanreeds, once again, may send in orders to use them and then PM freely. Make sure all the GMs are in the PMs. Thank you, as always, to Devotary for her help with the writeup and with PMs. Please go upvote her for all the excellent work she’s doing. Edit: And Snip, who wrote the paragraph on Mraize. Good luck! Player List: 1. Elandera as Brightness Ellarel, a flighty scribe who nonetheless remains tethered to the ground Noble 2. Rathmaskal as Brightlord I.N., whose reversed name conceals his role as a secret member of the Knights of Ni 3. Butt Ad Venture as Brightness Hmynyes, a connoisseur of classical Vorin music Noble 4. Xinoehp512 as Brightlord Rashor, a man who determinedly believes that blue wine is a plague from the Voidbringers Thief 5. Araris Valerian as Brightlord Arilar, a recently arrived spy with ties to the Kholins 6. StrikerEZ as Brightlord Nalakor, a professional chull breeder and racer and close friend of the King’s Wit 7. Furamirionind as Brightness Dohila, a lighteyes who insists on wearing only orange and green lace Noble 8. Hemalurgic Headshot as Rat, a pet of Brightlord Joe and a secret worldhopper 9. Sart as Tleir, a Purelaker trying desperately to impersonate the missing Brightness Drella while House Sebarial hunts for her Ghostblood 10. STINK as Jumae III, a Brightlord whose eccentricity in fashion contrasts sharply with a docile and even temperament 11. DrakeMarshmallow as Brightlord Ekard, a man at the mercy of the Almighty Himself 12. Amanuensis as Brightlord Ularid Leiken, a man hunting a chull with a green shell which once insulted his mother 13. Coda as Brightness Dejda, one of Adolin’s former girlfriends who now hates the Kholins with a passion 14. Straw as Brightlord Straw, an effigy of Gavilar which was officially recognised as a lighteyes of the fourth dahn 15. Elbereth as Brightness Tintallë, whose title has come under charges of redundancy by expert Quenya scholars
  11. Tleir was unused to all this … dryness. It wasn’t right for a woman to spend so much time away from the Purelake. The sooner Brightness Drella could be found, the sooner Tleir could find her way home. For now though, it was a life of stony ground, cold weather, and dim light, with the only water coming from those all-too-frequent Highstorms. Such were the sacrifices required for a woman who gotten far too deep into debt. Tleir elected to take a walk during the night. Adolin had almost been killed last night, but surely Brightness Drella wasn’t on any assassin’s hit list. The need to take a break from the hasty Alethi was overwhelming. King Elhokar was insistent that the Ghostbloods be exterminated immediately, but Tleir couldn’t see why this whole situation couldn’t be resolved over a nice bowl of fish stew. Besides, she thought bitterly, Sebarial deserved whatever that Shardbearer had been trying to do. As soon as the thought crossed her mind, she took a deep breath and tried to think of happy memories from the Purelake. Tleir was so focused on these recollections, she didn’t notice where she was going until she found herself near the chasm where Hymnyes had died the day before. Someone else was already here, reaching their hand out in what seemed like a friendly gesture. Tleir briefly began to walk towards the obscured figure, but quickly changed her mind when a six foot, wickedly curved blade dropped into that outstretched hand. Three months in these Vun Makak blessed warcamps, and she still refused to wear shoes. There were no lakes to dip her feet in, but there was no way she would cover her feet in such a restrictive manner. This was, at times, inconvenient. Her feet were calloused enough that mere walking wasn’t painful, but running barefoot on the rough stone ground was another story. Running away from the angry Shardbearer, Tleir briefly considered whether it may have been expedient to commission some sort of footwear for special occasions. The rest of her concentration was focused on finding a good place to hide. Risking a quick glance behind her, she saw that the Shardbearer was now far too close. There would be no time to reach a tent before she was caught and killed. There would be only one chance to escape, short of fighting the Shardbearer and inevitably dying. Offering a silent prayer to Nu Ralik, Tleir dove to the ground and rolled, narrowly dodging a horizontal slice. Stumbling to her feet, she raced towards the chasm. Ellarel had survived a fall, so surely she could as well. Perhaps the Shardbearer wouldn’t be willing to follow. When she reached the edge of the cliff, she hesitated for a second too long. One swing of the blade later, and Tleir found herself unable to feel her lower right leg. More hurriedly than she’d done anything else in her life, Tleir allowed herself to tumble into the chasm, attempting to land on her now useless right leg. She plummeted through the air and crashed into the ground right foot first, shattering every dead bone. Despite the pain, she forced herself to crawl a few meters away from the landing site and hide deep in the shadows. Far above, the Shardbearer sighed and dismissed their blade. It wasn’t worth it to continue chasing after their target tonight. Brightness Deeli Dohila simply hated her name. The storming alliteration, and the hair's breadth away it was from rhyming lended itself far too well to nicknames of the most annoying sort. It was so hard to get respect when you would go from reveling in the success of your latest scheme to being referred as Brightness DD by Queen Aesudan herself. She sighed as she walked through the halls of the palace. She still didn’t know why she had been called there. The note seemed to indicate it was from the King, but the messenger had been strangely mute on the topic. He escorted her as she made her way to the location indicated in the missive. Even if there was only the smallest chance it was in reality the King, or one of the Kholins, it would be a mistake to ignore the message. She turned the corner of the hallway, then entered a small room. It was small, dank, seemingly unused. A bizarre location for a meeting with a Brightlady of the Fourth Dahn. She had turned to ask the messenger if she was in the right location, when she found the dagger planted in her side. Her breath caught, the pain unfurling through her body as blood blossomed from the wound. She fell to her knees, desperately praying to the Almighty. Her hands scrambled to patch the wound, to cover the rivers of blood as they spread over the field of orange lace on her side, then fell still. Three sharp knocks came on the door to the bridgeman barracks. Lopen stirred, muttering groggily. “We’re supposed to be day shift. Teft, see what that guy wants?” The door had already been opened by a surprised Sigzil, though, who eyed the newcomer warily. His clothes were not akin to anything he had seen in the Alethi courts, but the basic design was Vorin, albeit in the style of a military uniform similar to Dalinar’s, and not frilled with the lace favoured by so much of lighteyed society. It was underneath a bulky blue jacket, with an odd insignia on its breast, and the hood sporting the same pattern drawn up over the man’s head, casting his face in shadow. There was no sword at his side, though Lopen did note the array of knives hanging around his belt and the equally impressive number mostly hidden, which his clothing betrayed. The visitor inclined his head to the lounging bridgemen. “Hello,” he stated simply. “I am looking for somebody to take me to the Highprince of War. It is an urgent matter, and I have something to deliver to him. As you are his guards, will you escort me to him?” “I assume you’re delivering that hefty package of knives inside your coat to him, gancho?” Lopen called back, his hand resting casually on his spear. “I’m afraid the Highprince will have to wait to receive those another day.” He raised an eyebrow at Teft, who slid over and placed himself between the door and the man, who remained at ease. Lopen found himself annoyed at the insolent posture—he looked more like a haughty street merchant sizing up customers than a man surrounded by highly capable fighters. “What do you want? Who are you?” he repeated. Smiling slightly, the man drew back his hood, revealing a face weathered by the years, yet which retained all its vigour in the discerning eye cast upon the bridgemen each in turn. Sigzil beside him squirmed at the gaze, averting his eyes, but Lopen grit his teeth and looked back into them, burning with frustration, which overrode the other feelings within him. “Your bravery is admirable, if unnecessary,” the newcomer replied easily. “If you must know, it is a letter, and contains nothing more than a missive from another who need not immediately concern you. Its contents, regardless, are not for your ears.” He frowned at the second question. “I am known as Domand, but that is not important. The information I have for Dalinar is important. If you’re quite done with me, will you take me to him? I do not lie in saying that my counsel is urgent.” “Not with that coat on, gancho,” Lopen replied. “Every knife you have stays here, and don’t think we’re dumb enough to mi—” Lopen’s voice cut off as a Shardblade appeared in Domand’s hand. “I do not need such instruments anyway,” he said slowly. “I have this—if I wanted to, I could slaughter him and you. Your loyalty is admirable, but it approaches foolhardiness. Let’s go to Dalinar.” Sart was attacked, but survived! Furamirionind was killed! He was a Noble with a Painrial. Day 3 has begun! It will end in approximately 47 hours, at 9 PM EST on Monday 18 November. Any PM which STINK began is no longer open. All other spanreed PMs may be continually used, though no new ones may be opened this cycle. There will be a lynch today, with no vote minimum to kill. Thanks once again to Devotary and Snip for help with the writeup. Good luck! Player List:
  12. Highprince Sadeas, I note with mild displeasure the failure of your investigative efforts to expose those threatening the general peace within the camp. The supposedly accidental deaths of the Brightnesses Hymnyes and Kay have the court in such a stir that our decision-making is impaired; while Dalinar’s bridgemen have been able to hold back the Highprinces’ factions from open conflict, it is by no means a continual guarantee, and I am possessed of no doubts that the remaining Ghostbloods are fostering this division, seeking to thrust at the heart of our stability. Redouble your efforts to round up the leaders of this movement, and if necessary put the captive members to the question if persuasion will not loosen their tongues as to who their companions are, and where they are hiding out. Sebarial and Restares want to meet with you; they believe they have leads, and their counsel may be valuable to the continuing uncovering of all plots against the Crown. As always in these times, keep your guard up and your sword close at hand. With my continued thanks for your efforts, Elhokar King of Alethkar Highprince Sebarial had the right idea, Rashor thought as he sat in his private tent sipping auburn wine. Hunting down Ghostbloods was no job for an important lighteyes like himself. Already, he was fifth dahn, and stood to move up a rank when that land deal finally went through. The warcamps were an excellent source of revenue, but the assassination attempt and heightened security had made it very difficult to move people in and out. No matter. Brightlord Devan would eventually cave to Rashor’s extremely generous offer, especially now that the man no longer had access to Soulcast goods. Rashor grinned at the thought as he finished his glass of wine. Reaching beside him to refill his glass, Rashor found that the barrel was empty. Sighing heavily, he looked at the only other barrel in the room, one filled entirely of blue wine. He hadn’t been able to check the contents while liberating it from some noble’s private stores, and destroying wine was a crime even greater than anything the Voidbringers could unleash. He dared not go outside to find more wine, as the other nobles were rampaging throughout the camp, screaming petty accusations against each other. Rashor thought he heard his own name being called once or twice. There was no helping it; he would have to face the wrath of the Voidbringers and drink some of that accursed blue wine. With shaking fingers, he decanted a small measure of wine into the glass. Grimacing, he took a tiny swallow, shuddering at the bitter taste. He was about to get up and steal more wine despite the danger outside when he felt his mouth start to burn. The glass slipped from his fingers and shattered on the ground. By the time the remaining nobles came to check on him, Rashor was dead, evidence of his thievery clearly evident. Mriaze watched the thief die, silently admiring his handiwork. It was ironic, how the man’s dislike for Blue has revealed so very many of his other traits. The Ghostbloods had been watching the man for weeks, and he had to give the man credit. It took skill to steal from a place filled to the brim with soldiers, and Lighteyes. Stealing from the Ghostbloods had been the man’s first mistake. Hiding like a coward had been the man’s last. The death provided satisfaction, though in truth it was little when compared to his frustration with those below him’s incompetence. It had been a simple execution mission, but that thrice stormed women had to take the blow. A different team was being sent in tonight, the failures having been dealt with. They needed results, and death was the best answer to life’s questions. Mraize slipped out of the tent and turned to the lieutenant waiting for him. “Send them in.” Mraize said with a smile. Xinoehp512 was lynched! He was a Thief with a Reverser! Vote Count: Xino (3): Sart, Straw, Fura HH (2): Araris, Aman Sart (2): Coda, Elbereth Straw (1): HH Elbereth (1): Striker Night 2 has begun! It will end in approximately 23 hours on Saturday 16 November at 9 PM EST. Those with spanreeds, once again, may send in orders to use them and then PM freely. Make sure all the GMs are in the PMs. Thanks once again to Devotary and Snip, who did the second and third parts of the writeup, respectively. Good luck! Player List:
  13. Ellarel would not be attending the feast tonight. All those months worked and spheres saved to purchase a havah styled in the latest fashion and an appointment with a hair stylist squandered in a matter of hours by a few suspicious nobles. The medics had not been able to attend her immediately, as they were busy tending the more life-threatening wounds of Kholin soldiers injured during the day’s fighting. Still, Ellarel was a lighteyes, and within a few hours her broken bones had been splint and a bed provided. The attending medic assured her that she would be walking again in a few weeks. That was several weeks too late for Ellarel. Tonight had been her best chance of getting to meet Adolin, but now that opportunity had passed. Perhaps she could apply to be a scribe for the Kholins. They had been willing to take care of her injuries, so at least they knew who she was. She resolved to try once the Ghostbloods were crushed and her broken bones healed. Perhaps the Almighty would smile on her once again. The medics had let her keep the knife she’d used to kill Brightness Hymnyes. The blade was still too bloody to put back in her safepouch, so the weapon lay on the bed next to her unbroken arm. Ellarel replayed the memory of piercing Hymnyes arm in her head, imagining that she would do the same to the cowards who had attacked Highprince Sebarial. She barely even noticed when a young man wearing Kholin blue strode into the tent, escorted by four members of the Cobalt Guard. Adolin paused when he saw that one person receiving medical attention was not a member of the Kholin army, or even the Kholin warcamp. He walked closer to her bed in the corner of the tent. “Where did you sustain your injuries?” he asked. Ellarel jolted upright, making her head swim and sending blinding flashes of pain shooting up her broken arm and leg. She had gotten to meet Adolin Kholin after all! She tried to take in every detail through blurry eyes. His crisply tailored Kholin uniform, newly donned after the day’s battle. His exotic blonde-black hair, the same colour as hers. His piercing blue eyes, looking directly at her. The closest member of the Cobalt Guard, swinging a knife down towards his neck. Ellarel screamed and grabbed the knife with her left hand, pain momentarily forgotten as she leaped out at the traitorous bodyguard. Alarmed, Adolin stepped out of the way, narrowly avoiding the strike from behind. The Ghostblood’s blade kept going, embedding itself deep into Ellarel’s heart. The last thing she saw before being whisked away to Shadesmar was Adolin rushing off to apprehend the assassin. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “I must congratulate you, Darrel,” the smooth voice of Arrdel came to Domand’s ears, his accent refined and perfectly in tune with the strange speech of Roshar—then again, he was a native. “You came here yourself to ensure that a conflagration was stirred up. Well, you certainly succeeded, but this hardly seems to be the work you intended.” He chuckled softly to himself, rubbing his hands together against the chill of the night air. Domand inclined his head gravely as they walked on, a shadow to the casual eye, though inwardly he seethed. What was Arrdel doing away from his tasks in Marabethia? And how did he think he could maintain the paper-thin glass of Alethkar against the repeated hammer blows of the coming Desolation? The stupidity of the Alethi elite could hardly be pinned upon him. “It will have to do, Arrdel,” he spoke aloud. “My subterfuge has united the country, in an odd sort of way, but any unity is better than none, and while they did unite in fear and not fraternity, the former will often produce the latter. You know why I do what I do—Cultivation watches this planet, but indirectly, and a challenge from the Father of Hate may break her in the end. The only way to stop Odium’s attack is deterrence. And for that we need a Unifier, one which I intend to create out of this mess, who can pick up Honour and thrust Odium away from this system, before he causes more harm than he already has.” “Drive him away? Like the Oathpact?” Arrdel retorted. “It is a frail patch on an old wound. Eventually, we will need to let it scar for it to heal at all.” Darrel looked at Arrdel, aghast. One of the ASWA’s most significant triumphs in thousands of years—the Oathpact keeping Odium bound to Braize—was a “frail patch?” “You overstep yourself,” he said flatly. “Honour and Cultivation can and must check Odiun’s growing strength. I care not for how it is done, so long as it is. However, if you believe an immediate war with casualties in the millions will solve Shardic disputes properly, then perhaps you do not belong in this group anymore.” Arrdel’s eyes flashed, but he said nothing more. “Let us hope that you are right, and that the Ghostbloods provide the distraction and the unifying force we need for this, then. For now, I must return to Marabethia. I must say, I have missed you in the field of work lately—it is good to see you getting your hands dirty now, instead of the Council of Seven. Peace be with you and your works.” “And also with you and yours,” Darrel whispered into the cold night, pacing his way back to the stone bunker in his solitary camp. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Elandera was killed! She was a Noble with a Pain Knife! Day 2 has begun, and will end in approximately 47 hours, at 9 PM EST on Friday 15 November. Spanreed PMs begun during the Night may be used at Day; however, new ones may not be created. Also, questions about your items are best asked at a time not equivalent to two minutes from rollover. Thank you for your cooperation. Good luck! Player List:
  14. Kay watched the argument with fascination. Already, all these fancy Bright Lords and Ladies, plus a Purelaker and some sort of hairy cremling, had been unable to reach a decision. Of course, no mortal was capable of truly making a decision. The will of the Almighty had always prevailed. Amidst the frantic shouting on both sides of the argument, Kay heard someone yelling for both Brightness Ellarel and Brightness Hymnyes to accept the judgement of the Almighty. A bit of a hasty sentiment, to be sure. The judgement of the Almighty could not be taken for granted, after all. Still, Kay echoed the call, as did the people around her. Kay saw in their faces that this decision was driven more by bloodlust than respect for the Almighty, but at least the correct choice was being made. It seemed that the remainder of the supposedly noble mob supported the plan to place agency in the hands of another. Each condemned Brightlady was seized by four others, and the two women were carried to the nearest chasm. Kay ran ahead of the others, finding a spot on a nearby permanent bridge from which to witness the fate of those who rejected the Heralds’s teachings. Hymnyes and Ellarel had barely time for a brief yell of surprise before the crazed ardent, with a willing mob of Alethi sympathisers, sent them teetering over the chasm’s edge. Ellarel felt herself grit her teeth; the nothingness underneath her was freeing, but the rapidly approaching ground, which she normally welcomed as a source of stability, seemed a prospect wholly unappealing. Beside her, Brightness Hymnyes screeched, her voice losing its natural melody it so frequently employed to sing hymns to the Almighty in favour of a hoarse squawk which contained all the terror a noblewoman pushed off a cliff should rightfully experience. Ellarel looked down, with alarm seeing the rocky floor of the chasm rushing up at her, and offered up a brief prayer to the Almighty. And perhaps it was heard. Noblewomen met ground with a sickening thud, their outstretched bodies connecting with a freshly killed set of Parshendi corpses. The pain was blinding and all-consuming, yet after minutes of agony slowly subsiding to numbness, both ladies realised the relative softness of the dead parshman soldiers on which they had fallen had spared their lives. Ellarel made an attempt at movement, and found her left arm and leg to be incapable of motion, and her ribcage was set aflame by every shuddering breath she drew. Falling back down, she dragged herself over to the fallen Brightness Hymnyes, who was softly humming “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” a familiar Vorin song of praise. Ironically, the fourth verse of the tune popped into her head, and she began to softly sing to the unconscious Hymnyes, adopting a mocking tone. “Praise the Almighty, who prospers your work and defends you; Surely his goodness and honour shall daily attend you. Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, as with his pow’r he befriends you.” The Almighty was prospering her work, Ellarel thought bitterly, gazing at the steep walls of the cavern. They could just as well be a prison. What he seemed to have done was saved her from one death to send her into another, and no amount of pondering would change that reality—it was not a question of if the chasmfiends would find her, but when. She kicked the lethargic Hymnyes, then bit back a stream of curses as pins and needles shot up her bad leg. “Get up,” she said harshly. “We need to get moving.” The only response was a mutter of dissent, and a rustling behind her. Ellarel swerved, and came face to face with a crazed Hymnyes, who had picked up a dagger from the corpse of a fallen Parshendi. Ellarel did not have to do much to dodge—she tried to jump out of the way, but yelped as her legs gave way from under her, sending her sprawling in a heap to the ground. Hymnyes’ wild strike passed clear over her head, and the woman overbalanced, her own injuries showing as her hip and knee buckled, leaving her kneeling next to Ellarel. Breathing hard, the two women held their daggers, Hymnyes’ from the corpse, and Ellarel from a concealed region of her safepouch. Neither was able to crawl an inch closer to her adversary, but they were both within arm’s reach. Ellarel’s training as a scribe had made her fingers fast and agile: in spite of her exhaustion, the piton in her hand flashed, and its sharp edge did its quick work on the Brightlady’s arm. Hymnyes howled, dropping her dagger, frantically attempting to staunch the flow of blood from her arm. Ellarel, for her part, left the dying figure behind her, the vain pleas that Ellarel help prolong her life echoing in her ears as she slowly gathered herself energy and crawled away from the dying wretch behind her. The Almighty, it seemed, had chosen her. Perhaps his goodness did attend her, hidden though it was. Yet she had no way of dragging her exhausted frame back up the cavern. “Help up there?” she called to the sky, scarcely daring to hope for a reply. From high above, a knotted rope ladder dropped to her feet. “The Almighty has given you the victory, blessed one,” the echoing voice of the ardent Kay came back immediately. “Therefore come up, to be fed and cared for. We do not wish you harm any longer.” Mraize grinned at the sight of the woman, the blood dripping over her form as she emerged from the Chasms. It seemed that the Ghostblood’s work was being done for them. He watched from his perch on the roof of a barracks, his spyglass held tightly hands. When he finally confirmed that the woman was indeed Ellarel, he turned to the man standing to his left. He was a messenger from one of the more deeply embedded cells, and was bearing news of the other woman. “Dead?” The man nodded. “Was it them?” “No blade” Mraize nodded. Despite how convenient an early death of their adversary would have been, it would have been far too suspicious for one with knowledge of his sect to die from a mere fall. Mraize’s gaze fell to the horizon, to the Shattered Plains in the distance, and the group returning with Ellarel. “Let them know, tonight the axe hounds are to be let loose.” The man nodded, then retreated. Mraize sighed. He felt it was a tad early to be starting the killing, but the incident had only confirmed how at each other’s throats the nobles were. It would only be in the Ghostbloods’ favor to toss some fuel on the flames, lest they themselves become consumed. Butt Ad Venture was lynched! He was a Noble without any items! Vote Count: Venture (4): Elandera, Rath, Fura, Drake Elandera (4): Venture, Araris, Striker, Sart, El Stink (1): HH El (1): Coda Night 1 has begun, and will end in approximately 23 hours, at 9 PM EST on Wednesday 13 November. PMs are closed, except for Spanreeds. If you are using your Spanreed tonight, submit your order via GM PM before sending any PMs. Keep in mind all PMs must have *all* the GMs in them. Please and thank you Please don’t be last-minute with your actions like with your votes, or I as GM will find some way to drive you as equally insane as the two-seconds-before-rollover submissions make me, and I’m a creative person. Please in the future inform me if you’re going to be sending in anything literally last-minute. Thank you Special thanks to Devotary and Snip for helping with the first and third sections of the writeup, respectively. Collaborative writing is wonderful, and you should spread some upvotes around to them. Good luck! Player List:
  15. Highprince Sebarial, Upon further correspondence with the agents planted in our midst—the Ghostbloods who we have identified—their close-lipped silenced and stiff denials only serve to confirm my suspicion that it was they who tried to assassinate you. The Highprince of Investigation agrees with me, and adds that after our raids in which we were able to capture a Ghostblood spy, the camps have had an undercurrent of activity, and the organisation appears ready to make a counter-strike. It is apparent that some of the men around us will not hesitate to knife us in our sleep, and so the only thing we may do is stab them first. That said, the increased security around your warcamp is impressive, and reassures me that the next strike will not come near you. I can only hope it does not fall on me. Keep up your spirits, and tell your troops to be vigilant for absent or suspicious-looking men these next few days. Our continual cohesion in these times is imperative. Elhokar, King of Alethkar Mraize looked around the small circle of men and women huddled inside the stone-walked tavern. His voice was silky and soft, yet carried an undercurrent of pure rage within its low whisper. “Alright,” he said, fighting to keep his rage down. “Which one of you thought it would be a good idea to go out and cut a hole in a Highprince’s wall? You’re all capable Shardwielders, which is why you have the Shards to begin with, so you know the consequences of doing something like this! You know a stunt like this would attract attention! Why? Why would you expose our entire network?” He swept his gaze from side to side. The members looked startled, as Mraize rarely had trouble keeping control of himself, but not afraid—just as they had been trained. Their eyes stared back into his, and one of them replied. “None of us carved that hole.” “It was in the shape of three diamonds,” Mraize hissed. “How could that not be your doing?” “The same three diamonds which we are never to carve into anything important or permanent or official?” “I…” Maize faltered. “Are you saying we’re being framed for this?” “What else could it be?” another Shardwielder sighed. “We’ve already told you that we’re blameless in this, and you’d perhaps literally chew our heads off if we lied; that’s the only other option. Either the king wants a scapegoat for something he ordered himself, or else a third party wants us both weakened to the point of death.” “This is true,” Mraize conceded. “Which is why it will become essential that we kill the king without delay. He is the head directing Alethkar’s efforts against us, and his death will cut that head off, leaving the body, as large as it may be, to writhe.” Mraize felt his voice grow in power. He had to be right about this. “Your new task is to get yourself into his court, convince your way through or slaughter the other guards, and kill him. We cannot afford to let this drag on any longer, or we will all be found separately and killed. And finally, find that Shardbearer who actually cut the hole. I want his Blade!” Three crashes of mugs slamming against the table in agreement greeted Mraize’s ears, and five seconds later the tavern was deserted, the only sign of previous habitation the faint beer flecks on the table and the hushed, echoing whispers of a conspiracy gone wrong. Day 1 has begun! It will end in about 47 hours at 9 PM EST (-4:00 UTC) on Tuesday 12 November. All role PMs should be sent out! Thank you to Devotary and Snip. A brief reminder that one-on-one PMs are closed, unless you have a Spanreed and use it during the Night turn. There will be a lynch today, with no vote minimum to kill. Ties will result in a random death. The updated rules may be found here. Good luck to all! Player List: