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Messages - CryptCypher

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A few things to note here:

I absolutely agree that new players should be treasured and inducted into the game with a welcoming touch, rather than punished and excluded. I'm not, however, a new player. To Eponllyn? Alright, I'll give you that.

The reason I fell in love with BM around a decade ago took place on my 2nd BM reincarnation. The then-duke of Phantaria, marshal of the Phantarian Pride, took me under their wing and mentored me. They educated me on in-game mannerisms, politics, social contract, mechanics, country intrigue, and even let me learn how to fight and lead by making me Vice-Marshal of the Phantarian Pride. Their mentorship taught me enough about BM to feel useful - but its their patience and kindness toward a new player that made me want to stay. Their influence led directly to Alura Aurea becoming an active member of the community, and eventually ruler of Terran, upon which I linked up with Rynn JeVondair. JV later took me under their wing, opening my eyes to so many unique aspects of the game I never knew existed. In time, another player would do the same for me - that of Renodin. Miss you, man.

This experience was vastly different to my earlier, original attempt at playing BM in the early/mid 2000's. I don't recall much of my experience back then, so I cannot comment reliably. Suffice to say, I just didn't feel meaningfully engaged, valued, and unique as a character.

Twice over the last decade, following my departure from Terran and BM, JeVondair personally reached out to me via email and convinced me to return to BM full-time and actually stay for a while: including my 3rd account where I played Magnus Aurea who together with JV founded the Greater Xavax Imperium.

Then, as Yxevarii Auru'in in Obia'Syela (BT) via my newest and current account, JV apologized for some of the things that had taken place during our time in Xavax, then proceeded to engage meaningfully with what was entirely designed as a throwaway Hero. Yxevarii was made to fizzle out and die gloriously after what I assumed would be yet another temporary bout of disappointment. This was not the case. OS had, and continues to have, a vibrant community of wonderful players - both RPers and otherwise - who make effort to include one another, or at the very least not actively sabotage the enjoyment of our characters by actually giving a damn about each other as if we were playing among friends. This includes those who they technically have perfectly-valid IC reasons not to welcome into our theocracy. Still, they see one another as players here to have fun as friends playing a fantasy game, and do their damn best to respect everyone no matter their playstyle, activity levels, or class preference. Yxevarii's rivalry with Astros Renodin was conducted in a healthy manner, whereby we behaved as two friends having fun by playing diametrically-opposite characters who constantly try to murder and foil one another's plots at every turn. Renodin was a gentleman, despite being my greatest enemy IC, and regularly made effort to ensure that what we were doing was still fun for both of us. My experience in OS was, and continues to be, vastly more enjoyable than that of Xavax, or even Terran. Though I inevitably quit after playing from 2017 to 2018, leaving Princess Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in of the Xavax Goldwings, and Yxevarii's rulership of OS behind, it was for perfectly healthy reasons this time. I was busy, got burned out, and took a step back to focus on RL.

Before I explain a few more issues I believe to be relevant here, thank you whoever changed the account deletion protocol. Your efforts allowed the Auru'in account to still exist when Renodin convinced me (via discord!) to give BM one more try, a few months ago. It is so disheartening to have remembered BM, hoped to give it another chance, and find out that my past efforts and history was wiped from existence the other times I paused out. I've spoken to other returning veterans who delayed their return by months or even years due to the loss of an old account. This has made a major difference, allowing me to step back into Sigrid, Yxevarii, and Masalu's shoes. I'm profoundly grateful for your consideration of old, paused-out players, who might one day return to the fray.

The second time I quit BM, circa 2012-2013? Was around the time of Aurvandil's multi-account situation. Knowing that some among our adversary skewed the game through unfairly-advantaged tactics made me feel disenfranchised - like players were fighting an uphill battle we could not hope to compete with. The prevailing feeling was that where there's one, there's likely more - and putting in all the effort of creating content was doomed to be steamrolled at the hands of someone who could just make a bunch of fake accounts and tip the scales. All this for the sake of winning a game never meant to be won. (outside of a single, specific island made for precisely that purpose.)

I've always felt that the point of BM is to play together as a community of content creators. That, win or lose, the purpose of it all was to weave a collaborative story of glory and sacrifice; of faith and hopeless. It was at a point in my life where I was heavily into the Dwarf Fortress community, where as we say, "Losing is fun." The unfair, meta-gamed advantages exposed by Aurvandil made it so that losing didn't feel fun anymore, and winning was a forgone dream one couldn't not aspire to without bending the rules... And that isn't what BM was supposed to feel like. Not to me, at least. It has always been about the journey, not the destination, and both felt equally pointless. So, I quit - but a few years later, circa 2015/2016, I came back.

The third time I quit was especially relevant to this thread. I made the mistake of letting scars of Aurvandil cloud my judgement - alongside an even worse problem: as a result of trying to outmatch potential/perceived meta-gaming alongside my own personal baggage, I dumped far too many hours of my life into meticulously hand-crafting a realm, culture, and faith for the sake of "beating adversity to the punch." I should have taken a step back, but instead doubled-down - sacrificing countless sleepless nights to the glow of a computer screen. In fact, I got far too attached to my character, took what I'd created to heart, and felt pressured into behaving a certain way when things didn't go according to plan. That's where I messed up the most - I stopped playing for the journey and made it all about the destination. I am at fault for not moderating the "bleed" - allowing myself to get emotionally affected by things that should have begun and ended IC; alongside my obsession with creating a legacy that would stand the test of time in the face of those who might bear some unfair advantage I might not yet foresee. I tried to be everywhere, do everything, and stretched my self painfully-thin in ways no one can excuse or justify. I did not handle IC attacks as well as I would have liked, but I completely lost my cool in response to ooc attacks against my personal character as a human player. I'm not proud to admit that I eventually resorted to same-similar toxic behavior when I responded via that now-infamous Xavax forum thread - the one that resulted in Kellan Dodger's player being banned, and myself quitting shortly thereafter. I was not in a healthy place in RL and allowed that to bleed into my IC life, which went full-cycle and affected my RL emotional state in one hell of a negative feedback loop. The more I tried to squeeze out the happy juice by playing BM, the worse it got. In a way, it became a sort of addiction: if not a self-fulfilling doom-scroll prophecy I was destined to lose. In the end, I'd completely forgotten that losing was supposed to be part of the fun.

This third time was a prime example of "playing to win". Perhaps not in the classical sense, because I failed to realize how I was pitting my personal feelings against a fantasy world that should have been a source of joy, and not misery. I remember dreading every log-in during the events leading to and from Xavax Civil War. By then, the game had stopped being fun. It had stopped being a game, in fact. The personal attacks had become a source of emotional turmoil - but I refused to do what I perceived as being pressured to give up and step away from everything I had struggled to create. It wasn't merely in-game events that made me feel this way, it was a specific kind of message from a specific character, and later, that specific player's ooc insults - alongside a separate but related situation where I felt like a trusted friend had thrown me to the dogs while asking me to stay quiet about it. While one can justify not wanting to give up in the face of adversity, I should have taken a step back, assessed the situation, and if need be, reported it to the admins for mediation. Instead I took things to heart and made a total ass of myself by failing to control my emotions.

Ironically, considering its a chain of events from a fantasy world, the fallout of the Xavax civil war directly led to me going to therapy and figuring out some of my RL character flaws, anxieties, and stressors. For that, I'm thankful to Dodger, JeVondair, and the Xavax - rivals and friends alike. I was not in a good place mentally due to RL events, and that bled horribly into how I played the game. In many ways, I was living vicariously through my character, and that isnever a healthy behavior.

Since then, I've spoken to and made peace with the players of JeVondair, and especially Kellan Dodger. We've all analyzed, accepted, admitted, and apologized for being emotionally-charged jackoffs taking a game way too seriously because of RL drama clouding our judgment.

Sometimes, due to circumstances IC and-or OOC, we can lose sight of the meaning behind BM. When that happens, we must take a good look at ourselves and think:

What exactly is my goal here? Am I doing this for the right reasons? How would I feel if someone else did this to me? Am I playing for the journey, or have I become obsessed with the destination? Am I playing as a healthy, constructive member of a community of friends?

Most of all, we have to wonder,

Am I still having fun? At what cost to myself and others? What can I do to remedy this situation?

Sometimes, as I had to learn the hard way, the best thing we can do is take a step back and reassess what it is we're really doing here. Sometimes, unfortunately, we're so focused on not giving up our place in the sun, and others have to do it on our behalf. Sometimes it other players. Sometimes its the Titans. Sometimes, its people in RL. Either way, an intervention was usually long-overdue and we just didn't realize it yet.

Whether by an Aurvandil multi-bolting, an Atamaran refugee turned Xerarch's personal feuds blown wildly out of proportion, or just feeling burned out, I've been in your shoes, Bartica/Gold/etc.

Sometimes for the right reasons, but not always. Not usually. Please understand that this was for the good of the community - and for you as a character, player, and human being.

Please, take this time to ask yourself the questions listed above. Let this situation be a driving force for positive change - help give you a healthier perspective on BM; so you can come back a fairer, healthier, and productive member of our community of friends.

Enjoy the journey, and remember: losing can be fun too, my friend.

Hey, I don't think it's cool to share cherry-picked in-realm IC messages on the public forum, even if some of them are fairly old.

What did I even do to you? :(

This is why so many sensitive discussions these days happen among a few trusted nobles, while most new players get cut out of the fun. Too many players think "to everyone in the realm" = public.

Wait, what? I don't recognize the username, my apologies. Which missive is this in reference to?

Also, pardon me if I'm incorrect and just don't realize it, but I've always been under the impression that non-RP 'everyone in the realm' missives are, in fact, absolutely public, and to be treated as such.

I do believe a recent addition to remedy any potential misunderstandings related to RP inclusion was the "private/public-ask/public-open" options, but I'm not sure if this is at all reflected upon copying an RP/missive to be quoted.

If the above posts weren't crystal clear indication, I'm one of those "hyper-active" players folks like to harp on about.

I can deal with IC drama - that's a normal, natural, and welcome part of community interaction. Rivalries, enemies, all that is awesome.

But please don't try to paint me as a metagamer, or someone who made a split-second decision, who never spoke in-realm, and who never participated in Xavax events leading up to us being in Eppy,

I have an ocean of missives proving otherwise, and was far more involved in such events than I would usually bother admitting.

Now, after hours of dredging my harddrives for proof and a lot of angry typing, its 4 am and I'd like to grab some coffee before heading to work.

Say what you want about my character, from your character's perspective, according to your character's narrative and goals, but do not attempt to drag my name through the mud and tell the community I did not have perfectly damn good reasons to do what I did, every single step of the way.

Now, with more focus on proving the precedent behind Sigrid's actions long before, and leading up to, abandoning Eponllyn - as well as showing that discussion did happen in Eponllyn regarding her feelings and various discussions about our troubles and differences in opinion:

"Letter from Lionel Kinsey
Message sent to all nobles of Eponllyn (13 recipients) - 1 hour, 6 minutes ago
As for nobles leaving Eponllyn and retiring, I will say this:

When the northern realms began taking region after region, the southern realms whined, and the Titans decreed that the number of regions a realm may hold was now tied to its number of nobles.

When the northern realms kept winning battle after battle, the southern realms whined, and the Titans decreed that alliances are now limited by their total number of regions.

And when the southern realms began minting new noble after new noble, the Titans said nothing.

I do not blame anyone for leaving. If I were not still holding onto my oaths to the Xerarch, I would have retired a long, long time ago.

Lionel Kinsey
Talon of Eponllyn
Count of Dulbin
Marshal of the Phoenix Hussars

Letter from Lionel Kinsey Player
Message sent to all nobles of Eponllyn (13 recipients) - 46 minutes ago
And yes, King Kay's terms were terrible, and frankly, insulting. At worst, we really would have ended up as slaves in Perleone, to be used as cannon fodder against Yssrgard. At best, assuming that we somehow won, and Perleone kept their promises, we would have ended up with Xavax city and maybe a few more regions, as another vassal of the "Perleonite Empire".

Lionel Kinsey
Talon of Eponllyn
Count of Dulbin
Marshal of the Phoenix Hussars"

Also, in response to the earlier missives treating Sigrid like she's clueless: Sigrid isn't some new character that just showed up, got bruck, and bailed. There's a LOT of history behind her actions, and countless strings pulled.

Sigrid plotted with Hector Tandaros, Garas Gabanus, Asher Renodin, Smiddich Fontaine, Foxglove, and SO many others across the continent since mid-2017. Some of this, you're aware of. Just because you didn't personally receive (or read) a missive / RP doesn't mean it never happened, either.

"Letter from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (5 days, 1 hour ago)
(Personal message to Hector Serpentis Tandaros)

Xavax demands the blood of Xerarch. Where there were once Three annoited Xavax Princepts in Sirion, I find only two... Is it true then? Where has the third gone off to? Do tell me if he's been slain or imprisoned, that I might mount their [betrayer's] head atop their own walls some day.


And yet... The Xavax desire more. Its as plain as day. Why else would Xerarch Selenia's three princes, and so many other Xavax, have singularly converged in Sirion? Was there not a plot to obtain command of Oligarch, promptly ruined by typical courtly intrigue and divided loyalties...

No more. Let it be known that Xavax will rise again, come hell or high water.

Steadily, patiently, cleverly. Every move a calculated thrust. Every position a step higher up the ladder of power.

Speak of the devil... Ever considered throwing your name in for Judge? Looks like no one's done so yet...

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"

Letter from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (3 days, 16 hours ago)
(Personal message to Hector Serpentis Tandaros)
Duke Hector,


You would be a damn good judge, Hector. You know that in your heart, or you wouldn't have chosen to run. I merely planted a seed which you chose to cultivate. Whether or not it flowers so soon, its roots will continue to grow.

Indeed, your assessment holds water. What we seem to need is a unifying force. A third-party voice, unknown to the masses, who might... Prod things in the right direction. Perhaps I can provide some impetus, however humble it may be. In these lands I am a nobody: yet a nobody may serve as tinder to light a spark.

Soft-power is a good long-term strategy. Cousin Selenia was far too accustomed to wielding great influence and power. Aggression has its time and place, and that is not when Xavax lies scattered like so many ashes. We must calculate each move with great care... What use is the elevation of a Xavax-run state if we are crushed in a fortnight; bled dry of food and funding; or poisoned by enemy presence within our ranks? Our ultimate goal is to resurrect Xavax - in a legitimate, healthy, and intelligent manner above all. Any less might doom the newborn Phoenix to an early grave.

Is Anarionath robust enough to support the minimum of nobles needed to rule its council, duchy, and regions? Food, troops, and gold are what make or break a newborn realm. Manpower is a non-issue: a call to arms can be issued at will to all those who still hold Xavax in their hearts.

Aye, I 've heard of the Oligarch plot... From my understanding, Asher was not alone in that plot. A number of Xavax felt apprehensive in executing the plan, and someone chose to bring it to light. Namely Lionel Kinsey, thereby sealing Asher's fate. From one perspective, this constitutes a certain betrayal of Xavax creed. In yet another, a defense of our overall reputation and neutrality. Aye, perhaps it was not the wisest plan, but it was an option that might elevate Xavax from its current place as mere vassals of a lukewarm patron state. We may have taken Oligarch over from within and soon replaced its ruler with our own, then allied with Sirion for good measure. There goes Sirion's rebel problem, and Xavax' homelessness in one protracted action. Alas, those options - and one of our Princes - have dissipated. Unfortunately, the bilateral ill-will attributed to said plot remains.

What has Prince Godric been up to? Any updates, news, or progress on his front? What, exactly, IS his goal? Has he stated one?

It would be most efficient for the Remnants of Xavax to meet in private council and discuss our options. Then, and only then, can we proceed to delegate duties and work toward resurrecting our slumbering Phoenix.

Are you on speaking terms with Prince Godric, or Prince Asher? Perhaps a discussion between the lot of us would accomplish what three exiled Princes alone could not.

Three Princes no more. Now we are Four. With cousin Selenia, we number Five. A most fortuitous number.

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch

Letter from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (3 days, 16 hours ago)
(Personal message to Hector Serpentis Tandaros)
Prince Hector,

May the Phoenix bless your union! I look forward to attending with great pleasure.

Thank you for not listing me as Princess. That would raise too many eyebrows, after all. Anonymity is a powerful tool.

I'm curious, is Lady Ali'a of Sirionite or Xavax origin? All the same, she will become one with Xavax in your joint-union.
Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch

Proof of Sigrid and Kinsey having communicated IN Sirion IN 2017, I believe June 2017.

"Letter from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (3 days, 7 hours ago)
(Personal message to Lionel Kinsey)
Marshal Lionel,

That it does. Due to the time and distance involved in travelling to Sirion, I have been out of the loop for quite some time. Whispers, rumors, and gossip flow upon the tradewinds with ease; yet one cannot fully trust the curious mutterings of minor nobles and common men.

<blah blah blah>

That dream you hold requires a fine investment of time, effort, and cunning... Beside a final deposit of land, manpower, and gold to say the least.

Have the three Princes been faithful in their duty to Xavax? Though cousin Selenia has gone quiet in recent times, patience must not give way to stagnancy.

There is much to be done in preparation of a new Xavax state. One must remember that Sirion was never meant to be a permanent home to the Xavax creed: merely a welcome harbor against the storm that threatens to dampen Phoenix flame.  They will be repaid for their benevolence, of course....

...Yet this is not Xavax, nor shall it ever be. It would be an insult to our Sirionite benefactors to expect any different.

The cinders of our beloved nest lie far to the south - beyond the borders of hostile states who do all in their power to keep our creed at bay.

Yet Xavax do not rest. Xavax do not twiddle their thumbs expecting miracles. Xavax do no go quietly into the night.

Tell me, what have our people accomplished to quicken the rise of Xavax? I'm sure there has been some measure of progress... It would be sorely disappointing to discover otherwise.

A Xavax Duke-Margrave. A Xavax Marshal. Perhaps a Xavax Judge in three day's time, provided we cast our vote for Hector Serpentis Tandaros...

...One must begin somewhere, eh?

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"

One valid, perfectly understandable reason why y'all might not recall some details is because... especially after betraying Xavax prince Renodin... Nothing against Kinsey and Ka Habb as players, but these characters were purposely excluded from many discussions as a result of the Princes and various others mistrusting Kinsey and certain individuals connected to him. We did, though, converse occasionally, and I had information purposely (and unbeknownst to me, probably not so purposely) leaked here and there.

Report from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (3 days, 7 hours ago)
Message sent to: Hector Serpentis Tandaros ♂
Letter from Lionel Kinsey
(Personal message to Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in)
Dame Sigrid,

To be honest, House Kinsey has never been big fans of the elves, but war makes for strange bedfellows. Sirion has been welcoming to us, and they are one of the few allied realms large enough to absorb this many refugee nobles.

Of course, I still hold out hope that we can rebuild Greater Xavax someday.

Lionel Kinsey
Knight of Parm
Marshal of the Red Dragons"

"Letter from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (2 hours, 15 minutes ago)
Message sent to: Ali'a Bedegar ♀, Godric Tórrarin ka Habb ♂, Hector Serpentis Tandaros ♂
Who else among Sirion bears the crimson cloak of Xavax creed? Is it only we, along with Kinsey? Surely there must be more...

<blah blah blah personal crap>

Honorem Et Veritatem,

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"

--- --- ---
A few more missives, just to deflate these claims and expose the depth to which Sigrid was involved in Xavax-related discussions and activities, on multiple fronts, with plots within plots within plots, weighing each side and trying to find a balance that gets us back to Xavax city above all, with zero intention of staying in the north. There's much more, but my post has dragged on too long as-is.
--- --- ---

"Report from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (2 hours ago)
Message sent to: Hector Serpentis Tandaros ♂
Letter from Garas Gabanus   (just in)
Princess Sigrid,

I hope such is your title then. As to my own, you may call me whichever way you like milady, I have never cared much for titles. None beyond me will come to know of your arrival milady, not untill matters play out further at least. Selenia has been silent for weeks now, so it is quite likely that she does not yet know indeed, but for now such may be better. The south wishes her removed before they allow the return of Xavax and for now that may be wise, at least untill the north is broken and has given birth to a new era.

Lionel should have been loyal to his realm and the ideals it represented, but he failed at his greatest duty. Prince Serpentis' plans have reached me also and form a threat to our plans as it would exile the Xavax forces to the north, unable to truly act on anything worthwhile on this island. In stead we should push Sirion in that direction, a desolate north for desolate Elvish tyrants. But I am not surprised of the silence of the Sirion Senate, that is Ecthelion's trademark. I was in the Senate long and he would push forth his own plans quickly, but delay or even ignore any plans he did not like for years.

Such facts were already clear to the Oligarchians, but it is good to see others realise it as well. I hope we can reach an agreement between our nations. Right now the south is willing to refound Xavax in Fontan, if you aid us in taking it. At this point I command all the southern armies and we gain ground, but with the Xavax support we will quickly crush our enemies. At first they wished that Xavax becomes a democracy, but I am quite convinced I've been able to remove that change as it is a ridiculous demand.

Sirion from within can only be changed if you have sufficient nobles and subsequently protest their entire government out, or commit a coup while their army is at the Caligus front. Any other method will not work and while an agreement with the south may move you out of Sirion for such attempts, it will grant you a city.


Garas Gabanus
Knight Commander of Highmarch
Marshal of the Democratic Defenders

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"

"Letter from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (1 hour, 52 minutes ago)
(Personal message to Garas Gabanus)
Friend Garas,

Likewise: a title is hot air. Actions, not words, prove a man's mettle. Call a man the Jester for all its worth, but if he wields a blade with the power of a God, even tyrants would fear his wrath.

I am ill-at-ease to trust Kinsey overmuch. I have been matter-of-fact in keeping him out of Xavax communication since my arrival, with his propensity for Elvish bootlicking. Maybe he'll come around one day, but I will make it clear that it falls onto the Xavax to forgive his crimes.

Unlike my fool of a brother, I wish to instate a more democratic approach at empire without the obvious pitfalls it might bring. In his youthful naivete, he tried to cater to the whims of his people but the shouts of treasonous vermin proved loudest of all. In the most ironic turn of events, his very attempt at being democratic gave birth to the first Xavax Civil War. Granted, he was unwise in how he went about it.

One cannot be simultaneously democratic and undemocratic. Both empire and democracy bear inherent weakness, and the mixing of both most often leads to inheriting the vulnerabilities of both - and the strengths of neither.

The one redeeming feature I can recall of brother Magnus' plans were the eventual breakage of the empire into numerous smaller republican and democratic realms, free to pursue their own designs so long as they remained faithful to the creed of Xavax.

With a wiser rule, and more time, perhaps it would have worked.

...As such, he tried to accomplish too many divergent plans in too little time, with too many enemies calling at the gates.

Cousin Selenia did a damn good job fixing his mess, but at what cost? She tossed out his dreams of democracy in favor of a veritable tyranny.

I will not become a tyrant, nor will I favor the return of one. Cousin Selenia's right to rule has come and gone, and she knows it as well as I.

The time has come for a somewhat softer approach.

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"

"Report from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in   (1 hour, 35 minutes ago)
Message sent to: Hector Serpentis Tandaros ♂
Letter from Garas Gabanus   (5 minutes ago)
Friend Sigrid,

Very well, we shall remove the titles and focus on our true actions. Many things have gone wrong in the past, such is certain, but we can no longer change it and only the future lies in our grasp.

If yourself and Prince Asher can rally sufficient Xavax and join Highmarch in order to restore Xavax within Fontan City, coupled with my military guidance, I am certain we will see the rebirth of both our nations within a year. Even now the north fails to beat us, with the Xavax joining they will stand no chance and we'll accomplish a new north from the outside, with blood and steel shall the north be reborn.

If on top of this you wish to make Xavax more democratic, then the southern rulers will tumble to aid you to rebuild your realm, but even if you choose not to, you will have their aid. They now too understand the path I've shown them, why the Xavax are so important to all upon these lands.


Garas Gabanus
Knight Commander of Highmarch
Marshal of the Democratic Defenders

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"

....So. With all that said,

Hopefully this is just a trick of forgotten memories and not an attempt at "character assassination", as I understand that a lot has happened over the years and details are easily forgotten.

If further doubt arises, I have dozens more where these came from. When in doubt, text-files are your friend ;)

The colony effort is not new. It was started IC months ago, my advie heard about it through the grapevine from other advies, joined the colony effort guild, and eventually even actively spied on and reported details of the gradually-evolving colonial discussion to Blood King Carstein of Eponllyn, weeks ago. Sigrid was also involved in an advisory role to the Blood King and has discussed the colony. Here was her overall assessment:

Report from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
(Personal message to Gray Von Carstein) - just in
If I understand the stakes correctly...

They claim to want Kalmar, Kazan, and Kazakh - regions that would create a tactical bridge from Perdan, to Chaos temple, to Kalmar, right into the heart of the north. It'd be a dagger poised at the heart of Sirion, set to swipe down on our heads at that. Its very existence, empty claims of neutrality as they often are, threatens the north with twin-front wars for the foreseeable future.

Nivemus has 13 regions, and this war would deprive them of a quarter of their land, assuming they actually take -only- those three. Noble threads when skillfully weaved, but if they get Nivemus on the retreat... Big ol' eyes have a habit of thirsting for more. I'd bet on Gadlock and Juazeiro to really lock Nivemus out of future fights and secure the colony's multi-front advantage.

Gadlock might be badlands but its also a perfect staging-point for a siege against Kazakh. Juazeiro's a rural breadbasket with a rich port beside roughly sixty percent of Westmoor's population just outside of Old Rancagua's former capitol.

With both regions they'd effectively deny the north its easiest avenue of naval invasion, prevent an easy siege-point against Kazakh, and secure their own future siege against Oroya. Worst of all, they could gobble up the roguelands east of Juazeiro and arguably create twin colonies; effectively cleaving the north from within.

Either I'm a better strategist than they are, or I've merely uncovered the long-game behind their clever plot. Something tells me I'm not the first one to consider such a plan.

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch

Also, might I remind you,

"Letter from Lionel Kinsey Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: combat
Message sent to all nobles of Eponllyn (13 recipients) - 1 hour, 6 minutes ago
As for nobles leaving Eponllyn and retiring, I will say this:

When the northern realms began taking region after region, the southern realms whined, and the Titans decreed that the number of regions a realm may hold was now tied to its number of nobles.

When the northern realms kept winning battle after battle, the southern realms whined, and the Titans decreed that alliances are now limited by their total number of regions.

And when the southern realms began minting new noble after new noble, the Titans said nothing.

I do not blame anyone for leaving. If I were not still holding onto my oaths to the Xerarch, I would have retired a long, long time ago.

Lionel Kinsey
Talon of Eponllyn
Count of Dulbin
Marshal of the Phoenix Hussars"

"The flip of bruck was by a player/character who was bored, which is fine, but growing discontent was never known outside of discord."

Do you not recall the massive argument, and RP's, and unfortunately personal OOC attacks, over a month ago, resulting from Nabarl bringing up a series of events that included the whole Perdanese slave thing?

Or when Sigrid stated publicly that she wanted to find Goldwing Renodin, and Kinsey called him a traitor to the Xavax? Or any of the other of a series of discussions that took place?

This is not the first time y'all have forgotten what happened and accusing me of making things up or doing things without precedent. I have missives dating back to 2017 when Sigrid came to Sirion and kicked off many of the events that came to pass. But, for now, back to Eponllyn:

Sigrid spoke to the King of Eponllyn -extensively- about her feelings on the current state of Eponllyn, and went so far as to state she was planning to leave. The Blood King tried to convince her to stay, and she ended up being being made countess of Bruck after providing counsel about the ongoing colony effort's intel her spies were gathering and forwarding to the Blood King, despite repeatedly stating she wanted to leave Eponllyn to go on to bigger and better things. She made a massive hullabaloo, publicly and privately, accusing the Redwing Xavax of being out-dated, wrinkled old men chasing after phantoms of the past via their hate of a Perdan now populated by noble families who don't even know, understand, or in any way took part in the Xavax wars. She publicly demanded both Nabarl and the Judge of Eponllyn explain themselves regarding the Perdanese slave accusations, and ended that whole bit with effectively telling everyone to screw off. So on and so forth.

June 6th or 7th (ish) is when most of these took place. I will post some of the public ones as proof of Sigrid's ongoing feelings, arguments, and public discussions.

"Letter from Lionel Kinsey Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: combat
Message sent to all nobles of Eponllyn (13 recipients) - 9 hours, 41 minutes ago
Dame Sigrid Gudrun,

Perhaps you will recall that Asher Renodin was a traitor who defected to First Oligarch just as we were about to storm Oligarch. He and Garas Gabanus fled to Perdan after we destroyed First Oligarch.

After that, Asher climbed quite high in Perdan, and was even crowned King for a while, but he later disappeared in circumstances that remain unknown to us. If the Perdanites knew why he disappeared, they did not tell us.

And some time after that, a noble named Nemean JeVondair Renodin appeared in Eponllyn. Several of us questioned his loyalty, but Xerarch Selenia insisted that he be allowed to stay, likely because he is a relative of the Xerarch. But two months after the Xerarch retired, Nemean fled across the border and joined up with Perdan. He serves Perdan to this day.

... And I see that Smiddich Fontaine was just elected as the new King of Perdan. The Perdanites seem quite fond of electing former Xavax traitors as their Ruler.

Lionel Kinsey
Talon of Eponllyn
Count of Dulbin
Marshal of the Phoenix Hussars"


"Report from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to all nobles of Eponllyn (13 recipients) - just in
Strategos Kinsey,

Many years ago, in the final hours of his reign, First Xerarch Magnus named you Strategos of the Xavax Imperium - that you might safeguard the peace beside our half-sister as she took to the throne. You sacred task was to bring war upon those who would dare silence us. For both First and Second Xerarchs, the end goal was never an eternal war. You know this, and yet you have faltered.

Have we been exiles for so long that we've forgotten the essence of Xavax? What we cannot secure by force, we finesse through guile. We have become a bitter people incapable of seeing past the red tides of Perdanese blood.

We ground Itorunt into dust and sacked Semall. We brought the imperial vanguard to the very root of the bandit kingdoms and wiped clean the slate of their unspeakable crimes. Unto ashes and dust are our enemies, but their friends remain... How many, exactly? How many of the traitors, the Dodgers, still live?

Who are we fighting... Striking out in fear of shadows from the past. Grizzled old men who can no longer remember what we were fighting -for-. Itching for blood and fire; war and righteous annihilation...

We lost our sense of peace long ago. All that remains are the wraiths of a dead empire whose souls refuse to rest.

"1) The Enemy of my Friend is my Enemy.

2) The Friend of my Enemy is my Enemy.

3) The Enemy of my Enemy is an Enigma.

4) The one who Fights Beside Me is my Friend."

– Noiram'Kah

"This is where I will be laid to rest...At first I fought because I didn't know how to do anything else. Then I found something to live for. Now I have something to die for. If that isn't worth the trouble, the grief, and the heartache, then I do not know what is. I can tell you for certain, if I was still a Knight of Partora, living comfortably and rich in gold, I would not know any of the peace I know here and now."

– Sir Gilth Gildre

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"


...Or when Sigrid publicly threatened to execute Nabarl after y'all accused him of being a Perdanese spy, while simultaneously being pissed at the Talon and Arbiter alike, and also mentioning publicly why she was in Eponllyn in the first place, which had also been discussed in private with other characters prior and after these events.

Request from Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: rp
Message sent to all nobles of Eponllyn (13 recipients) - just in
Royal Nabarl,

Watch your tongue when you address the blood-heirs of the Phoenix. You may have qualms with some of us, but to insult Xavax is to insult us all.

While we're on the topic of spies, I have something to say.

I was dispatched to Eponllyn years ago on a mission to spy on the reigning king, in the midst of a potential deal where I would be married to them as 'Xavax princess, heir to the First Xerarch' in order to solidify relations between our realms, and possibly form a new home for the Xavax.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I was not a fan of this deal, or the stupid bloody title. Still, if it meant an avenue toward the reclamation of our homeland, I was willing to make the necessary sacrifices and sell my soul to the devil.

In building a dossier on civil, military, economic, and political realities within Eponllyn, while influencing the king's perspective on Xavax relations and the boon our warriors and strategists would offer, I dispatched valuable data back home to our Xavax - with which we would gauge whether or not this deal had merit, or if the former king just wanted a Xavax trophy-wife on the side of an already profitable deal of taking in a massive influx of well-trained immigrants to populate their dying realm.

During negotiations I fell ill and entered the long-sleep. Oh, my surprise to awaken and find my fellow Xavax... Rather, a select few Xavax... Here in Eponllyn.

Apparently negotiations proceeded well in my absence? That or fate took an ironic twist and we ended up here by some other means.

So please, with that in mind... Please do not talk so lightly about spies when we Xavax have so proud a history of employing espionage to further our goals.

Royal Narabl,

Answer to someone who knows a thing or two about the topic.

Did you spy on Eponllyn on behalf of foreign powers or did you not. A simple answer to a simple question.

Do not lie to me. I have no qualms about gutting a royal publicly, ban be damned. I belong to Xavax, and Xavax is dead.

By the Phoenix,

Sigrid Gudrun Auru'in
Dame of Oligarch"


Here's a few more, also from the first week of June. Tell me again how this was a last-minute decision with no basis on Sigrid's general feelings toward Eponllyn, the Redwings, and the direction the realm is taking, beside her own feelings on putting aside the hate of Perdan to pursue healthier things:

...And the one where Kinsey talked down to Sigrid, referencing Titan decisions, after completely forgetting or willingly ignoring the fact that Sigrid was physically IN Sirion prior, during, and after we planned and founded Redhaven; Sigrid was a Lord of Sermbar IN Redhaven; and Sigrid was an extremely vocal part of the many discussions that took place in Sirion and Redhaven among the Xavax. Up to, until, and even after she was rebuked by the dominant Redwing faction for suggesting we negotiate with the south. I went so far as to send a series of missives denoting a 4-part plan, with various potential asides, of major avenues we can take to found a new Xavax colony: one was around Oligarch, one in the Obsidian Isles, and the other two were in the south. One of my plans was to overthrow the Sirion government and use Sirion's long-standing power and economy to carve our way south. Behind closed doors, a further 2 potential colony plans were discussed, which were not mentioned in the main Xavax group because we were being rebuked so aggressively for the more tame concepts, even though I did blatantly state the idea of overthrowing Sirion at least once. When the Redwings refused any negotiation with the south, she blatantly stated she would do so anyway so long as it gets us home to Xavax, and with the private but very vocal support of a number of Xavax within and beyond Sirion, then linked up with folks across the continent to negotiate with their respective rulers and councils. Recall that Sigrid publicly announced she had received overwhelming support from nobles of every northern and southern realm, promises of thousands of gold in funding, and assurances from various dukes and council members of various realms in support of the Goldwing-led colonial planning. She publicly announced that she and her allies had negotiated with Vix Tiramora+other realms both northern and southern to establish a Xavax colony that would specifically split the North and south apart, bring about a ceasefire between all involved parties due to both parties having to march through the Demilitarized Zone that the new colony would form. This ceasefire would last up to three, at the most six months in-game-time, and allow everyone to re-assess their long-term goals, while we negotiated further for a prompt return to Xavax proper as a reward for halting the continental war, tempering the north-south schism, and bringing peace across the land. Unfortunately, we were silenced - despite overwhelmingly achieving everything we claimed we wanted out of the Path of Ashes. The goal was to go home in peace, and we had it in our hands, but the dominant faction's hatred of Perdan won out in the end.

"Letter from Lionel Kinsey Player experience level: mentor Player play preference: combat
Message sent to all nobles of Eponllyn (13 recipients) - 1 hour, 11 minutes ago
Dame Sigrid Gudrun,

Please, I ask that you do not lecture me on the teachings of the Xerarch. While you were gone, I fought for the Xerarch for decades. And after she was gone, I fought on for yet more decades for the sake of her nobles, and for the sake of the Eponlli nobles.

Since you have been gone since before the Path of Ashes, allow me to summarize the broad strokes of what happened. If anyone sees anything incorrect, feel free to correct me. I do not claim to have an infallible memory.

We were fighting the two bandit realms, and winning. They sought help from Perleone, Vix, and Perdan. Fallangard helped us for a while, but then switched sides after they began losing regions. It was then six realms versus one.

Through the Xerarch's diplomatic efforts, Sirion and her allies made the gesture of declaring war on Perdan et al, but they were busying dealing with a rebellious Sirionite duke in Oligarch, who called himself the Grand Duke of First Oligarch. Caligus was contesting Fallangard's claim on Hamadan, and was fighting Fallangard the entire time.

We managed to barely hold the line, but then the Duke of Isadril betrayed us. We were quickly reduced to Xavax city and a few other regions. The Xerarch made the decision to walk the Path of Ashes north. The bandit realms and Perleone swept in and began killing in Xavax city. Men, women, children, anyone and almost everyone who did not flee north with us were put to the sword. At one point, Xavax city was reduced to a few dozen souls.

We moved north and joined Sirion, who gave Krimml to us to set up a new realm. We established the Xerarchy of Redhaven, and then after some time, we managed to help Sirion destroy First Oligarch. Sirion allowed us to take Oligarch as a war prize.

By this time, Eponllyn was being hard pressed by Perdan, and Caligus had already lost many regions to the combine forces of Fallangard, Vix, and Perleone. They set up a colony realm called Highmarch, which controlled the lands around Domus and Akesh Temple. The bandit realms roamed where they could in Eponllyn and Caligus, killing and raping wherever they went.

With the acquiescence of Sirion, Redhaven, and other allies, Caligus's King tried to surrender to the southern realms. All they asked for was neutrality. The enemy's counter-offer was "switch sides or be destroyed".

From that depth, from that pit, we fought back. Redhaven, Nivemus, Eponllyn, Sirion, Shadowdale, and Caligus against the rest of the continent. Perleone eventually began fighting the bandit realms, which helped turn the tide of the war.

We helped Caligus take back much of their lost lands. We helped Shadowdale take Akesh Temple. The King of Caligus convinced the leaders of Highmarch to switch sides, and eventually join Caligus. Caligus finally reclaimed Hamadan and drove Fallangard south of the river, into Isadril. 

Perdan held us off for a long time with the choke-point of Bescanon, but Eponllyn eventually reclaimed Bescanon by magick and by guile. But by this time, the many restrictions the Titans have placed upon us have taken its toll, and the war began to stall as far as territorial gains and losses. Redhaven merging with Eponllyn was one of the many tactics we tried in trying to regain some momentum.

And we eventually lost Bescanon again after Perdan surged in their number of nobles, and overran Bescanon with their sheer numbers.

As for the goings on in Perleone, the bandit realms, and our lost lands, there have been so many betrayals and upheavals over there that it would take another long letter to explain it all.

Lionel Kinsey
Talon of Eponllyn
Count of Dulbin
Marshal of the Phoenix Hussars"


BM General Discussion / Re: Prophet Fame Points
« on: May 18, 2020, 12:29:53 PM »
What are prophet fame points? o.O

Feature Requests / Re: Additional Vote Counting Systems
« on: May 14, 2020, 12:14:26 PM »
This is GLORIOUS. It'd also provide *plenty* of IC drama potential for new voting systems based on shifting culture, population, etc. If the realm's cavaliers have all died or departed, then reform is in order. The resulting debate would be dictated by extant noble population and thus subject to all the whims, backstabbery, and powerbasing inherent to politics. This could provide a major change in direction for any realm, and be quite interesting to watch!

Development / Re: Pets for adventurers
« on: May 08, 2020, 01:36:06 PM »
Heh, lovely concept.

Development / Re: Inter-Realm RP
« on: May 08, 2020, 01:34:36 PM »
SA was a different breed, to be sure.

Feature Requests / Re: Prestige and Positions
« on: May 07, 2020, 08:30:40 AM »
Great idea, actually. Adds a refreshing dynamic that greatly benefits community-building. Now where'd I put that stamp of approval...

Feature Requests / Re: Marketplace Messaging
« on: May 05, 2020, 10:56:31 PM »
Cool idea that makes traders actually interact, good for both RP and from a mechanics point of view.

Shouldn't be clutter at all if you limit it to traders and such. Would allow for negotiation between realms, which is usually a whole process.

Surprised this isn't already a feature.

I like the idea of expanding the Forage feature to include this!  Then you could have fights between the people burning hours foraging, and the people scouting, about the division of the loot.

But milord, where's our cut?!

Development / Inter-Realm RP
« on: May 05, 2020, 10:31:03 PM »
In light of the massive debate that took place in Belluaterra's OOC Ruler/Admin channel...

Its been a humbling reminder of what BattleMaster once stood for, and the intense inter-realm RP I fell in love with over a decade ago. Something needs to be said, so here goes.

At its heart - though each player prefers a particular set of mechanics - BattleMaster has always been a sociopolitical story generator; whether written or inferred.

We inhabit these fantasy worlds; weave our fates; and watch as dynasties, nations, and entire continents are reshaped as a result of our words and actions.

This week I came back to BM because I re-found a Battlemaster timelapse video on Youtube showing the rise and fall of nations over the years. In so many ways it was humbling to consider how many human beings, some of which are no longer among the living, sacrificed countless hours and sleepless nights to shape our history.

With age the tides have shifted as continents are increasingly depopulated, nations grown insular, and communication ever more frustrating.

Many recall how Belluaterra's daemonic invasions influenced every continental power from the freshest noble to the eldest kings - reshuffling our identities  and priorities every step of the way. The truth is that it wasn't the threat of Blight, or the massive armies who accomplished this feat: it was the simple fact that we had an avenue by which to include all nobles, all realms, all facets of continental society, bringing people together and giving them fresh ways to form individual paths toward a future unknown. Now, its too much to ask that admins regularly conduct such events, if even on a minor scale. That requires time, code, and principally, effort and availability. We understand that admins can't be the omnipresent gods we so desire. Not with so little population, so few subscriptions, and actual personal lives.

With these facts and the new experimental messaging systems in mind - perhaps a proposal is in order? What would it require to implement the means for inter-realm RP as a fundamental mechanism?

Perhaps a tab on the experimental messager/reader, or a checkbox that opts-in to sending/receiving RP's conducted across the continent by others who wish to do so - thereby a sailor or foreign dignitary enjoying a tavern crawl can delight the locals with stories of a particular event that took place on the opposite end of the continent, which local nobles can then cite in their own RP's and even pass some new RP forward for everyone's enjoyment.

Perhaps one can opt-in per message, or employ a tier-specific toggle per character/guild/religion/realm that forwards RP to all who wish to partake.

After using the new experimental messaging system, it seems like this might be possible. If not, then rather than a mechanic suggestion, we could brainstorm ways to fine-tune existing communication channels to better allow for meaningful interaction between the players... The existing limitations are why I and so many others grew tired and quit BM/M&F in the first place. There is so much wasted potential - if only it weren't such a massive pain to ease the RP and general inter-organizational process beyond the limitations of a single realm or guild.

Take the current Belluaterran situation for example.

For an Obean faithful of Obia'syela to RP with Thalmarites at all, let alone include Mordokian, Daishi and non-religious nobles, and the other realms involved in the whole transcontinental conflict - thereby making things so much more fun, interesting, and inclusive by allowing everyone involved to have their moment -- every single player involved must spend an inordinate amount of time copying, pasting, and forwarding messages, faithfully and without fail... Just to have organizations with perfectly good IC reasons to have meaningful interaction beyond marching our armies across the continent, being in the same region before a big battle, and frantically typing a short RP because you might get captured in combat and they'd be gone by the time you could post again so what's the point. That or creating a whole logistics chain of people willing to forward messages to and from a dozen different realms, religions, and guilds. Its just too much to manage or ask of anyone.

If we could improve players' ability to communicate between organizational levels, we'd have more time and sanity available to actually interact.

Feature Requests / Re: Relics for Temples
« on: May 05, 2020, 08:06:08 PM »
Wonderful idea that encourages religious interaction, conflict, RP, and makes adventurers valuable and thus more desirable to play and have around :)

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