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Commedia di Sangue

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Thlayli, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,568
    Location:
    In the desert
    Hi all, I have a few intelligence reports still outstanding, so as a result I am delaying the order deadline to Monday. For those who still need information from me, I will be lenient with accepting orders after the deadline.
     
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  2. Terrance888

    Terrance888 Discord Reigns

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    13,621
    Location:
    Workwork Workshop
    A cloaked figure looked peaked the plaza carefully. Centered on a small fountain and with only light traffic, even here flowers and vines grew, a symbol of Duchess Ersinoȅ taste and generosity. However, there did not seemed to be guards, or other disruptive agents. The figure nodded, and disappeared into the alleyway.

    A few minutes later, the figure returned with sound of music. Not the blaring trumpets and beating drums of a noble’s entourage, or the playful flutes and tambourines of a foreign merchant, but the bright tang of a Pietsuppi lute, and the song of a shepherd, seeking shade from the blazing noon sun. Heads turned to a motley retinue, several cloaked figures, one bearing a ragged banner of unfamiliar design - a hammer over a mason’s square.

    The quiet chatter of business and leisure slowly died down as they circled the fountain. She bowed as an another figure, taller and with an air of dignity, stood before them. He took his hood off, and all can see the cut of his hair and of his collar - this is a man of the Godhealer. He raised his hand, and slowly, the gossip and chatter stilled. This is no man of power condescending to the commoners to deliver, but one of them, requesting the floor from his fellow man.

    And so, once he judged he has earned sufficient attention, he spoke:


    Brothers, Sisters, People of Alaescia. You may not know me, or what I stand for. Who I am is unimportant. But what I stand for, well! I stand for the dignity of all people, the same dignity the Godhealer himself blessed these streets centuries ago! But I bring no sermon of ancient times, but a message. For too long, the needs of people like you and me have been ignored, shackled to the yoke of masters and lords like cattle. Instead of dignity, they demand duty. Instead of bread, they give us flowers. My friends, we are not cattle! We are men! We are all blessed by the light of the Godhealer!

    I am Renato, and I sought to bring this message, the message of the Cricca, to the palace of the Duchess herself. I wanted to tell her, that regardless of how much she cared for the beauty she of your city, she has not cared the souls of those who live within it. But that it is not too late! That working together, we can build a place that respects the dignity of all. And yes, we can keep the flowers.

    Do you know what happened, friends? My words, my voice was ignored. And that means, YOUR voice was ignored. Brothers, Sisters, People of Alaescia, the nobles play their game of flowers, scheming over which balcony displays which colors, while your daughters starve, your sons march to war, your dignity taxed into the grave. They believed that no one would dare speak up. Perhaps, but things have changed. The Cricca are here, and the Cricca will NOT remain silent. Injustice must be confronted everywhere, even when it presents itself behind a bouquet of flowers, and claims your soul a slice each day.

    Now you have heard my message. Even though you may not know it yet, you have taken the first step in joining us. Now I must be away, before her minions and informants silence us - but know this. The Cricca are here, and the Cricca will fight for YOU. And if you can help us in anyway, you will be helping everyone. Your fellow neighbors, your friends, your family, and your future.

    With that, Renato bowed and drew forth his cloak, and the gathered figured scattered, to reconvene elsewhere, at some safe house or under a secluded bridge, to plan another display of The Cricca!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    Thlayli likes this.
  3. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    10,568
    Location:
    In the desert
    Paisani e patroni, I await indications from the following groups:

    Ut Sanguinis (Angst)
    Gipiani (Ork)
    Dallafiama (bombshoo)
    Chenail (Iggy)

    Due to the lateness of (some) stats and information, I'm waiving any penalties for late orders, but as the narrative starts to become more interconnected, I will not update until I have them all. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  4. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,562
    Location:
    Yukon
    “This assembly of the Council of Chenail is now called into session. Let it be noted that Renate has once again brought snacks. A hand for Renate, everyone.”

    warm applause

    *****

    “Yes, the weather has been very clear as of late.”

    “Very clear indeed!”

    “Melt was early this year, didn't need to keep the snow clearers for the full season length, that will be a good savings on the annual budget. Perhaps we could invest some of that into the resurfacing plan-”

    “We're getting to the resurfacing Hector, it's in the agenda. But first, is anyone thirsty?”

    *****

    “No, I'm not saying that the weather hasn't been good this year, I'm just speculating that it'll be a rainier summer.”

    “Based on what?”

    “Based on forty nine years, damnit, I know what the weather does here. Do you really spend all your time under a roof and not looking up?”

    “Order!”

    “I know the damned weather, Renate, I just wanted to repeat that it varies from valley to valley, it can be hailing one minute and-”

    “We all know that Hector, everyone says it. We were supposed to get started on the schedule for the harvest fair half an hour ago.”

    “And the Pallatine Highland Music Festival.”

    “Could we move it earlier, it keeps on interfering with the time when I need my boys in the field.”

    “And I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a rainy summer, so the harvest might be off schedule.”

    *****

    “So how's your son doing?”

    “Very well, very well! He's so tall, you should see him. Your boy, how's he these days?”

    “He is... also taller now.”

    *****

    “It is a very lovely depiction of Euphrete the Shepherdess.”

    “So lifelike! It belongs in the Priory! Should we put her on a retainer?”

    “Do we even have the budget for that kind of expenditure?”

    “This isn't in the agenda. You brought in your daughter's painting in and introduced it when we were about to bring up the road resurfacing.”

    “She's a homegrown talent! Trained under Master Taballo in Vosta.”

    “That does seem to undermine the 'homegrown'. Your daughter's brushwork is lovely though.”

    “Oh, certainly!”

    general murmured agreement

    *****

    “And that's my proposal for the new cheesery.”

    “An impressive plan Renate. Doubly so because you're proposing that I use the town's funds to build you a new workshop, in the town proper, with you sitting on the town's council. You do recognize how this would come across as... something of a conflict of interest.”

    “I... suppose. Okay, fine, proposal withdrawn.”

    “I would quite like to talk about road resurfacing now.”

    *****

    “Yes, the letter from Proctoris Bellucci is concerning. Hector, you're comfortable explaining the situation to our neighbour's new representative, correct?”

    “Of course, same as ever.”

    “Some welcome gifts couldn't hurt.”

    “I could provide some cheeses.”

    “Good, good, and perhaps a sturdy mountain dog too?”

    “A puppy!”

    “Mm, good idea. Make sure it's a cute one, and not too nippy. Gertrud, you have some honey you could add to a gift basket, right?”

    “Funny you should bring that up Genaye, I had a proposal for the expansion of our apiaries that ties into this quite well.”

    “Go on...”

    indiscernible background mumbling about road surfaces
     
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  5. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    10,568
    Location:
    In the desert
    Just a note that I am still waiting for orders from ork and bombshoo.
     
  6. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Messages:
    24,562
    Location:
    Yukon
    The Land and Languages of the Vale of Chenail



    The Vale of Chenail is a relatively small, arable altine region, an array of seven valleys surrounding one of the major north-south passes which crosses the montane spine of the continent. It is home to a population in the low tens of thousands and lies near the triple point of the Alten, Valian and Taricien cultures, bearing influences from all all three, mixed with the ancient people who came before.

    In ancient times, this highland vale was the home of the Cunii, who had lived there since time immemorial, building strange pagan stoneworks, clearing forest for the first farms, and establishing the first villages in the region. The young Valian Empire, which lay just to the south, made the Cunii one of their first conquests outside of their homeland, and for centuries the land was an integral part of the empire. Heavy Valian settlement and linguistic influence led to the dwindling and assimilation of Cunic, which heavily influenced the local dialect.

    As the empire aged and, ultimately, fell, early ancestors of the Alten folk encroached into the region, bringing about a second transformation of its ethnic character. Cunic Valian continued to diverge from its mother tongue at an accelerated rate, driven by a sever reduction of regular contact with the outside, leading to the genesis of the Chenil (sheh-NEE) language. With the growth of the post-high Valian Kingdom of Tarice to the west, traders brought their own sibling language, Taricien into the area. A similar trend has happened in recent centuries, with a more standard Vostan Valian dialect being introduced from the south. Given the cultural preeminence of Valian, it is the prestige language of the region, even though it is only natively spoken in the two proximal valleys.

    There are three main routes into Chenail: the Colle d'Ilsino to Valia, the Col d'Ouest to Tarice, and the Lugenzpass to the rest of Altenland. Various other routes cut through the mountains, but none have the prominence of these three. The Ilsino Pass is the most famous and dangerous, switching back and forth up the saddle between the giant peaks Vagnaliano and Barazziaga, with an ever-more-distant view of Lake Ilsino before one crests the col and reaches the famous Hospice of Chenail, a short distance south of the town proper. The Lugenz 'Pass' is a much wider escarpment, where the Chenail river carves a route down over a thousand feet of elevation, down towards the steepled city of Lugenz. Finally the Western Pass leads through a long, winding valley, ultimately opening into the Taricien Duchy of Morgain.

    To simplify matters geographically, the Vale is a north-south pass with seven flanking valleys, three to the west and four to the east. Each valley has multiple names, disputed between the various local languages, so for simplicity's sake I will name them by the preference of their local majority. On the western side, from south to north, are Segino, Caramon and Chentac. On the eastern side, from south to north, are Langelas, Gabriga, Büggeln and Schappendal.

    Spoiler Map :


    Segino is the most Valian in character, flanked by 45 degree, snowcapped peaks, their sides flanked with thick coniferous forests. While being the closest to Valia proper, it is ironically one of the most remote, having only one route in, branching off from the main road near the hospice. While most of its population knows the area as Segino, its large Chenil minority stubbornly continue to refer to it by its traditional name of Sneiglin.

    Caramon not as physically difficult to reach as Segino, but it is effectively the most culturally remote part of Chenail. Its population is almost uniformly Chenil, having been overlooked by the last thousand years of human migration. Its soils are less suitable for agriculture than the lower portions of the Vale, so Glin Caramon is dominated by forestry and grazing, as shepherds, cowherds and goatherds manage their flocks in the meadows and grassy bottom of the valley.

    Chentac, known as Hunedag and Chendag to Altens and Chenils respectively, is the largest valley and the one with the most diverse character. The agricultural production of this region is second only to the central valley of Chenail itself, and it is home to a large portion of the cheese industry. The broad, largely-cleared valley bottom of Chentac is the closest thing that Chenail has to a plain.

    Langelas, or Lagassi as the Valians prefer, is the smallest valley and is largely a possession of Chenail's Priory of Euphrete. It is the center of Chenail's nascent apiculture, while also hosting many flocks of sheep. Surreptitious summer grazing frequently extends over the steep southern passes and down onto the isolated northern shore of Lake Ilsino which is something of a no-man's land between Chenail and Arx Victrix.

    Gabriga is famously known as the 'mouth of the mountains', and indeed the sharp peaks surrounding it in a near-circular formation do call to imagination a gigantic mouth, something that was surely noted by the Cunic ancients, whose megalithic works can still be found in some isolated corners. It is here that the main branch of the Chenail river is judged to begin, on the southern slopes of Mount Grimbold, or Galibad as it is known to the Chenil. Seated across the valley from Grimbold is mighty Bagrada, reputed by the superstitious to be the King of the mountainous court surrounding Chenail.

    Büggeln, or Bogen as it has been more commonly called in the past, is a predominately Altenlander valley. Rustic and agricultural, Büggeln is best known for its musical traditions, which include singing from the echoing mountains, as well as the manufacturing and playing of the wheel lyre, a popular droning string instrument.

    Schappendal is the northernmost valley, and today is exclusively Alten, although historically it had a Chenil population and was known as Glin Chapin. It is the most distant valley from the central town, and the lowest in elevation, having numerous potential connections to the rest of Altenland without needing to pass through the hub of Chenail. As such, it is often regarded as the region where Chenail's control is most tenuous. However, there is relatively little concern that this northernmost valley might defect to the Cantons. Schappendalers share their same distinct dialect with Büggelners, and like all of Chenail practice the Valian rite, more or less. While they live on the extreme fringe of what might be generously called 'Valian Civilization', they look to Cunerude as their center, not Lugenz.

    The plurality of Chenail's people speak this distinct, but still mutuall intelligible dialect of Alten (40%), followed by Chenil (28%), Valian (17%) and Taricien (14%). Less than 1% are native speakers of a different language. Multilingualism is common in the region by necessity, as most valleys are dominated by a different combination of dialects. Combining first and second languages, Valian is understood by a majority of the population (68%), followed by Altenlander (64%), Taricien (24%) and Chenil (22%). This clearly illustrates the importance of Valian as a local lingua franca, as well as the lack of non-native speakers who fluently speak Chenil. Finally, there is the trade argot (more properly referred to as a pidgin) which incorporates redundant and grammatically simplified common words from Valian, Taricien and Alten, which serves as a somewhat mutually-intelligible language for the purposes of trade, transportation and business.

    As a land of at least four and a half languages, Chenail (sheh-NYE) has many overlapping placenames. Indeed, Chenail itself is merely the most accepted local name of the region- it is also known as Cenilla (cheh-NEE-uh) and Cunerude (kewn-eh-RUDE) to the Valians and Altenlanders respectively. Most of its seven valleys speak at least two languages. Only monolingually-Chenil Glin Caramon (Valle di Cirima) and monolingually-Alten Schappendal (Valle di Ciappino) have fewer. Chentac (Valle di Cientaccio), the largest and westernmost valley, has a mixture of Taricien, Altenlander and Chenil.

    Each language has a different place and status within the vale. The Alten community is, as a whole, understated in its presence. The bulk of Altenlanders are farmers and ranchers in the northeastern portion of the vale, while a growing community of craftsmen and artisans ply their trades in the town of Chenail proper.

    Valian is the language of trade, faith and high culture- even the Altenlanders in Chenail tend to follow the Valian rite, one of their distinguishing characteristics from the rest of their kindred. Valian speakers are a mixture of new arrivals, and native Chenils who have assimilated into their neighbouring language. Even though Valians are a small minority in Chenil, their dialect is nonetheless the favoured second language in most of the region.

    Tariciens are the most limited in their geographic presence, having residing only in the Chentac Valley, although this is the largest valley by a significant margin. However, Tariciens are disproportionately well-represented as merchants and artisans, and punch above their demographic weight as much as Altenlanders punch below theirs.

    Finally, the Chenils are the only speakers of their endemic language. While they are the widest spread through the region, present everywhere but Schappendal (where they were historically present until only a century or so ago), their language is of low status, widely regarded as a rustic tongue, or even a bastardized form of Taricien or Valian. To those unfamiliar, Chenil superficially resembles a creole based on the trade argot, most closely approximating a debased Taricien, with the recent addition of a flood of Valian loanwords, overtop of an older substrate of Alten vocabulary. Chenil lacks the prestige and melodic quality of its post-high Valian sibling tongues, having seemingly adopted much of the gutteral harshness and abruptness of the Alten language. As such, many Valians and Tariciens dismiss it as little more than an unfortunate backcountry dialect.

    A more learned historian or linguist, however, would recognize Chenil as its own language, just as legitimate, complex and expressive as its three more prominent neighbours. Its apparent similarity to Taricien is explained by their parallel histories, both being derived from Valian dialects established over a Cunic population. Both languages borrowed many words from their local precursors, but the fact that Taricien and Chenil adopted largely different sets of words indicates that these borrowings happened entirely independent of each other. Heavy Alten influence created Chenil's propensity for hybrid grammar and unpredictable word order, which has only been partially undone by recent prescriptivist efforts to make Chenil more resemble Vostan Valian- a misguided effort, given that modern Valian has drifted away from High Valian and picked up foreign loanwords just as much as Chenil. At any rate, any speaker of Chenil could confirm what a linguist might need to spend a whole book to prove: their native language and the trade argot are wholly distinct entities, with knowledge of one providing little insight on the other.
     
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  7. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
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    I have now received orders from all the players! How glorious. The necessary work of summer shall resolve soon, that we might have a bounteous autumn.
     
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  8. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

    Joined:
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    I apologize for the delay - I have become ill due to a COVID-like illness, possibly from a hospital exposure at work. The update is partially completed and will go up when I am physically fit enough to write.
     
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