Zeitgeist: The Gears of Revolution

Letters to the Old One 1

Old One-

I do not miss our captivity, but I miss your companionship. Not a day goes by where I do not think about all that you taught me, and of the cruel twist of fate that took you from this world before your time was right. I reflect about the mistakes I made that night, and vow never to repeat them.

I think your child is still well, though I have not seen him in some time. His pack is strong, and to fulfill my debt to him and to you, I have joined with it, despite my being slow to understand the ways of this pack. I have been sent to a large settlement and am now in a large, distasteful building which you would have hated. I do not belong in an office. Where my temporary lodging reminds me of home, this place reminds me of a twisted amalgamation of order and chaos.

I am supposed to protect what is called a steam-ship- the largest in the land. The Coaltongue sets sail this evening, according to the pack leader. He is a strange man, who leers at women and spits at furniture. He does not seem to take his job seriously, which disappoints me. Regardless, one must respect the niceties of this “society,” and I will do what I can to work towards the goal set forth. If not for him, then for the cause your son finds most dear.

I am stationed with 4 others- more of your race, and one of the fey-blooded. I have seen their names while reading what I could of the paperwork available, but to meet them is completely different. Jackson Caine seems a man obsessed with the ins and outs of office life and politics, which of course I find distasteful. However, to each his own, and his skill in this field will no doubt come to be of use in the future. He seems to be amenable to logic, and I hope that he meshes well with our amassed grouping.

Lysander Cernach is quite interesting- despite our not having known each other more than a few hours, he is very helpful with his trade in the alchemical arts. He has already given to me a few items of use, one of which has surely staved back my own end. \I regret raising my voice to him, but I sometimes forget that those who live in these larger settlements sometimes think in a manner very different to that of my own.

Marolyn Vinoshae is a mystery to us all, but I feel that she and I might have one of the closest connection based on our being “outsiders.” She does not waste time or bandy about- she gets straight to the point and does her job well without tolerating nonsense. I wonder how old she is, but it would be far too impolite to inquire.

Jonathan Talmadge is equally a mystery, but that may be perhaps because humans are far too used to each other to notice when things seem…”off.” He is an old soul, and the first to really make an interesting impression. Few can enjoy a moment of quiet in the midst of the chaos of the daily world. His methods and mannerisms are impromptu and sometimes seemingly dangerous, both to himself and others. It would be wise of all of us to keep a close eye on him, both for his benefit and for the rest of the group.

We have been assigned to guard the iron ship, and make sure that nothing untoward happens during the ceremony. Despite our best efforts, I do not think that all has been allayed. We have attempted to waylay what we could, but none of us are as you were in life. I am sure all would have gone well had you been alive and with me to help keep the king of the humans safe. While I do not know if he has earned his title, I cannot forget that mere titles to not make anyone entitled.

Still, for you and your son, I will do what I can to keep your leader safe.

I will meet with you again when the time is right and the all-encompassing blanket of chill covers the world at last.

Yours until the end, always true to the cycle-
~Marreck

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Mission Report (ongoing)

Risuri Homeland Constabulary



    Office of the Chief Inspector


    Report of the R.H.C. mission on the protection of the R.N.S. Coaltongue

    I. Summary

      1. Three weeks ago, Asst. Chief Inspector Stover Delft was requested to assign a team of constables to ensure the security and stability of the R.N.S. Coaltongue opening ceremony. The team, consisting of Jackson Caine, Lysander Cernach, elf, Jonathan Talmadge, and Marreck was chosen to utilize the constables’ particularly unique backgrounds.
      2. While the physical ramifications of a security breach aboard the Coaltongue would likely be quite minor due to the size and scope of the assigned guard as well as the strength of the warship itself, the public relations crisis that would ensue had the mission failed could have been catastrophic.
      3. Despite the paramount nature of the mission and its publicity, timing of the mission was significant in that the individual team members were introduced and deployed as a group on the eve of the ceremony. The team was briefed on the specific details and risks of the event at that time.

    II. Key Issues

      Security Issues
      4. Asst. Chief Inspector Stover Delft briefed the team on three groups likely to cause potential security risks during the ceremony. The team agreed to split up in order to investigate each group seperately in the interests of the limited time available.
      5. The Dockers were mentioned, as protests against the Coaltongue and rallies in support of worker’s rights had been growing in frequency and intensity as the deployment of the ship approached. A man named Thamas Grimsley was mentioned as an individual of note among the Docker community who might have been planning a violent protest during the ceremony. Constable Marrack volunteered to investigate the group and was able to meet with Grimsley, establishing an agreement of cooperation.
      6. Adherents and priests dedicated to the Old Ways were also thought to be among those who might bring violence, as the ideologies of the faith are often at odds with the interests of industry. Frequent protests against the industrial rise in Flint, and specifically against the Coaltongue had been on the rise in the days leading up to the opening. Constables elf and Talmadge, given their backgrounds, investigated people of interest in the faith, reporting no evidence of violence on behalf of the priests they interviewed. Constable elf also believed the elf, Gale to be a serious enough risk and commendably investigated the matter herself, thankfully finding no evidence of her involvement.
      7. Additionally Inspector Delft noted that a number of Yerasol veterans had been publicly displaying anger and antagonism towards the Coaltongue project out of prejudice against Geoffrey Massarde, the ship’s tiefling chief engineer. Myself and Constable Caine interviewed Massarde at his factory in Parity Lake. The constable’s service during the Yerasol War gave him a unique knowledge of his military brethren and an informed perspective on several security considerations to improve the safety of the ceremony.My experience working under Massarde helped gain access to him and persuaded him to move to the interior of the ship to prevent any agitation from attending veterans, and to remove the ship’s gun ammunition in case of sabotage. We were to determine any evidence of significant violent aggression among the veteran community.

    Addendum: Principal Minister Harkover Lee has requested the presence of myself and my partners aboard the Coaltongue during its maiden voyage. I will extend this report as necessary upon our return.

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Letters to the Old One 2

Old One-
I have stared into the icy end of the world. I was not frightened by the bleak emptiness…what pained me most was that you were not there to meet me. I expected as much, but hoped for more. Your face was not the first I saw when the black had vanished, and still I live. A new face was there to meet me, and I was not alone. Our time will come, Old One.

As I suspected, not all was well in preparing for the iron ship to embark. The Dockers, which I think you would have liked, stirred up more trouble than I expected. Their leader, Thames Grimsley, proved himself in the hour of attrition, however. He is a gruff human, but he displayed his character and honor during a small Docker uprising. I am not upset that I gave my word to send a message to the Governor for him- I do not think he is a violent man at heart, but he is not afraid of using it to achieve his goal of easing suffering and uniting his people.

Once all was at relative peace once more, your king and his retinue arrived. His litter-mate was with a fey-blood handmaiden; the king with his trusted advisor. And we were soon to join them aboard the colossal ship for a “party.” I cannot understand why your people enjoy these functions so- it is frivolous small talk and the various hoops of societal niceties. It is not to my taste…perhaps that was why you were so far from home?

The others with me took well to the environs, however. Caine navigated through the crowds with a high degree of success, maneuvering in the linguistic channels of the “upper echelon” far better than I could ever hope. Lysander met with his technology-enthused friend, who seemed more enthusiastic with the liquor. Vinoshae and Talmadge attended to the king’s litter-mate and toured the gullet of the monster ship. I imagine you and I would have sat quietly and simply observed…that is nearly all I did, for I am still apprehensive of these gatherings, where I am clearly out of sorts.

I got a chance to speak to the Governor, but I am not convinced that he will actually pay heed to the message I was to deliver from Grimsley. He seemed more focused on the ends and not the suffering endured to get there…even more because he had not worked himself and experienced the hardships of his people. I wonder if he ever ran from his enemies, carrying on his back the people who made his life what it is today. I will give the man some time, but I warned him that I would be watching him. I will not back down on my word.

Lysander helped my thick Beran tongue with the intricacies of your native language in preparation of the national anthem. I thought I saw you in the crowd- cloak splendid and new, smiling with pride at your pack leader. Reality snapped back in when Talmadge came to alert us of even more trouble- the king’s litter-mate had fallen overboard. We did not see her flailing forms in the swath the iron beast cut through the waters. Even still, duty boiled the blood in all of us, and our “team” sprung into action. While Caine and Lysander pushed their way through the prideful crowds in an attempt to mitigate the situation, Talmadge and I navigated the cavernous insides of the ship and found that accident had transformed into treachery.

Vinoshae was holding back a pair of seeming assassins, showing the bravery and calm of her people in time of crisis. We were in time to provide the assistance needed to win the day and save her life, but this was all a diversion. It reminded me of the mocking calls we made whilst in captivity…I should have known better. Once you know all the cons, you would say, you can never fall for them. I suppose that lesson was never fully learned, as our attention was in the wrong place. The heart of the beast was being sabotaged, and should it have stopped in the manner these villains were attempting, I believe it would have been the end for a great many on a day of celebration at this gathering of peacocks.

The fey-blood handmaiden seemed behind the plot I learned, once I could feel the heat from the beating heart. They shoveled into the beast’s core the crystal fires representative of their hatred in a twisted sacrifice designed to have the beast consume all that was within and without. Their actions confused me…but I know that we all have our reasons and we all choose the path to our own end in our own way.

I imagine they did not expect the chosen of your pack-leader to stand in their way. It was their last mistake, but very nearly my own. A twisted birth of fury and flames would have torn the beast apart, and with it the people that you so cared about. I would not let that happen, and I was ready to trade my life for those of your people. I still owe you that much.

Alone I was, waiting for the cold chill to envelope me and any who would dare threaten that for which you and your child fought so diligently to protect. But I was not alone for long- the team to which I was assigned would approach the heart, and each would do their part to end the threat. As the whining cry of a dying beast flooded our heads, all were in their place and all would do their part. Lysander and his mentor would calm the nerves of the beast, Talmadge would bring the forces of the world to bear even inside a metal shell, Vinoshae brought the swift justice of her eternal people, and Caine showed once again that human ingenuity and timing could sway the tide of war, as I imagined he showed time and again on campaign.

But my efforts were not enough. I would fall to the chill, and my time would end. I had done all I could, and rested only knowing I would meet you again.

And yet…your face was not the first I saw when the black had vanished, and still I live. A new face was there to meet me, and I was not alone. The battle had been won, and Lysander once again pulled me from the brink, postponing our meeting in a far more substantial way this time. He reminds me of Jannor, in many ways. I know that means a lot to you, but I am not sure if he knows exactly what that entails. I see my debt to him, and at the very same time, I have a feeling that he would say that it is not a debt at all. He is so very like the child who pulled me, and would have pulled you, from the clutches of dark men under the banner of your homeland.

Despite the victory, I think we all lost something that night. I cannot be sure, but I think this team was more impacted than we realize. Caine, the loyal patriot who would give his all to save his homeland…his pride in its advances may have been as wounded as the ship because of this act of domestic terrorism. Talmadge would wonder if we truly did all work towards the same goal, and wonder if the stars that would speak in obfuscated enigma would provide the answers he so needed. Vinoshae would stare into the mirror of her people, and fight at once with and against a shade of what could have been. And the shape of a broken, vivid red orb would reflect the spirit of my only pack-mate thus far. The glow of the moon was captured in the tears of this man, and as his pain mixed with the ocean below, I stood with him, he with his orb and I my cloak…so different our memories, but so similar the emotions they evoked.

I spent some time away from the office to collect myself. We met with your pack-leader, and he makes promises that I fear he cannot deliver. I made him swear that he would do all he could- I hope that in doing so he will honor a death about which he did not even know. I am sure you would have wanted peace…and I intend to make your pack-leader deliver. I fear neither Governor nor King, for I know that their true power lies in those with whom they surround themselves. I hope that he can prove himself worthy of the respect that you had for him.

We are soon off to another mission, I suspect. I hope that we are all ready to face whatever is to come next. My thoughts were with my pack-mate, and I gave him some of the minerals and ores that the brigands that kept us had stolen from my people. It is a memory I give away with those metals, as you know I have very little of my homeland left to provide me comfort, but I think that Lysander will not be whole without fixing what is very dear to him. I think maybe that the skills you gave to me may help the repairs along- who knew that tinkering inside of an old lock during the midnight hours with you might actually prove useful in providing comfort to one in need.

My time grows short, as our furniture-attacking leader has need of us once more. I will write again provided my time does not come in the meantime.

I will meet with you again when the time is right and the all-encompassing blanket of chill covers the world at last.

Yours until the end, always true to the cycle-
~Marreck

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Mission Report (concluded)

Risuri Homeland Constabulary



    Office of the Chief Inspector


    Report of the R.H.C. mission on the protection of the R.N.S. Coaltongue-continued

    I. Summary

      1. Upon completion of the initial mission to secure the site of the ceremony for the commencement of the R.N.S. Coaltongue’s maiden voyage, the team was approached by Principal Minister Harkover Lee who requested our presence aboard the ship during its maiden voyage to serve as extra eyes and ears and if need be, extra security to ensure the event carry on smoothly.
      2. The majority of the evening proceeded without incident with no discernible clues revealing the events to come.
      3. As the music of the national anthem began, Constable Talmadge approached myself and Constables Marreck and Caine, warning us that the Duchess had fallen overboard from a room below deck he and Constable Vinochet had escorted her to earlier in the evening.
      4. Hearing this, I made my way through the crowd in order to warn the captain that he might stop the ship while Caine made his way to warn the King and Merrick returned below deck with Talmadge to examine the Duchess’ room.
      5. It became clear shortly after, that several terrorists had boarded the ship in disguise with the intention of overloading the ship’s engine and killing all aboard (including themselves) however the team, along with aid from Geoffery Massarde were able to save the passengers and the ship, although not before the engine became severely damaged.

    II. Analysis of Events

      6. Constable Talmadge warns of the Duchess falling overboard, also alerting that Constable Vinochet witnessed the Duchess in the clutches of a kraken as it sped away from the ship at high speeds.
      7. While rushing towards the bridge to alert the captain, I noticed the steam rising from the smokestacks to be rapidly diminishing. While a small decrease would be expected as the ship slowed during its turn around the Ayres, the massive drop in exhaust was my first indication of a problem with the engine itself.
      8. Captain Smith as well noticed the issue and prudently sounded the evacuation alarm as I informed him of the Duchess.
      9. During this time, I learned later that the remainder of the team below deck thwarted several halfling assassins, and Constable Merrick was able to descend to the engine room and witness the sabotage in progress.
      10. Constable Caine, having warned the king and assisted him in the evacuation of the passengers, located Geoffery Massarde and quickly followed as I likewise descended below deck fro mthe bridge. Shockingly, the Duchess’ chambermaid, her true identity as an Eladrin disguised, appeared to be the overseer of this terrorist operation.
      11. Their goal was to overheat the engine by overloading the firebox with crystals, also loading the engine with an imprisoned fire elemental. Thankfully the technical expertise of myself and Massarde was able to slow the reaction while the other constables disabled the criminals.
      12.I was forced to utilize my “device” (its existence and use having been approved by the Office of Inspectress Margaret Saxby per form W411-B on 5/27/99) in extracting the elemental crystal from the firebox.
      13. After the crystal and terrorists were disabled, Constable Caine was able to quickly gather the multiple fire wards and use them to cease the overload reaction. Unfortunately, the extreme and sudden drop in temperature damaged a large portion of the engine array and will have to be repaired.

    III. Conclusions

      14. While the discovery of this plot is shocking, and the damage to the Coaltongue as well as the public reaction it has caused is regrettable I would classify the mission as a success, though not one without serious cost. I am pleased with the performance of my fellow constables during this assignment and include my individual assessments of each below:
        -Jackson Caine: Caine possesses a uniquely focused perspective that has given valuable insight into the specifics of our defined objectives. His military experience, and apparent academic background with Pardwright University have imbued him with a quiet pragmatism that seems to assist him in making unbiased analyses. This attention to the objective has been helpful though it may also prevent him at times from recognizing more implicit goals.
        -Jonathan Talmadge: More outward and driven than his appearance might indicate, Talmadge seems to have a certain knack with people that allows him to further employ his unique manner of charisma. He pays heed to the overall goal of a mission though his behavior is far more unpredictable and chaotic than I would expect a Skyseer’s to be. He’ll get the job done though I worry the freedom hat living among nature provides has made him somewhat ignorant of the more delicate necessities of social interaction.
        -Merrick: Merrick has quickly shown himself to be a man of intense devotion and unyielding morals. He possesses a marked sense of justice and will freely voice his opinions with a no-nonsense bluntness that maintains any action to an exemplary standard. Similarly, he has shown to pursue such goals with a determination I have seldom seen. However, Merrick’s direct and unceremonious manner of interaction could deter cooperation from others.
          Note: I would like to note in this report Constable Merrick’s exemplary service in defense of the R.N.S. Coaltongue. He battled alone against four of the saboteurs, giving the passengers time to escape and the Constables time to reach the engine room before disaster struck. Without hesitation he did what was necessary to hold the saboteurs at bay and was willing to sacrifice himself by enduring near fatal injury in carrying out his duty. Such service goes beyond mere courage and is worthy of recognition.

        -Marilyn Vinochet: Out of the entire team, Vinochet seems to be the most independent both in thought and deed. Likewise I feel I know her the least of my fellow Constables. It is clear she has a strong code in which she follows, or at least a very strong list of priorities which dictate her reactions. She knows what she needs to accomplish a goal and is relentless in getting it. If she sets her mind to a task, Vinochet will not give up until it is resolved to her satisfaction, this steadfast initiative led her to go the extra mile in investigating the likelihood of the terrorist “Gale” in attacking the Coaltongue and keeps her commited to getting the job done. That same sense of determination however, I worry causes her methods to be too harsh and uncompromising at times.

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