Friends at the Table

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Marielda 11: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 1

Today is Sunday, and not just any Sunday, it is the Sun Day, the Long Day, the Day of High Sun.

Once a year, sometime in the final month of the calendar, the sun offers its light to us for 20 full hours. Each year, this event comes on a different day, and it takes the applied knowledge of scholars and mystics to narrow down its arrival.

But the moment that the particular day is known, people across Marielda prepare for the festival. Special dishes are made: fig-and-fishtail pies; huge, communal bowls of pasta; slow roasted pork cooked for weeks over the heat of the sea. Adults set aside holiday outfits, and children begin building their bracelets of iron ring—ready to be shook in arhythmic joy at the arrival of the warm glow on the eastern horizon.

On the day of High Sun, Marielda celebrates life, safety, and contentedness. The city gives praise to Samothes for providing them protection and sustenance, even in grim times. In Chrysanthemum, people celebrate the day privately, among close kin and kind, sitting on roofs with a glass of cold cocktails. In Helianthus, they march down the street in parades and challenge one another to holy, ritualistic competition. And everywhere throughout the city, whatever is drab becomes bright. It is the one day in the year that Black Slacks, with their garish shirts, do not stand out.

(And all of that says nothing about the hats. Oh! The hats!)

And then, when The Long Day, the Day of High Sun, finally ends, the year turns over. That day—whatever it was before—becomes the first of the year, and Marielda moves forward. The days get shorter from there, but only by a bit—for the months that follow, the world glows with heat and energy.

The Day of High Sun is a promise: The light of Samothes will continue burning eternally, and under its light Marielda will flourish.

This week on Marielda: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 1

Enemies gather to dance with me

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Marielda 10: Four Conversations

According to the scholars at the Sonorous Academy, there are three important songs in Marielda. The first, “High Pyre Adagio,” has its origins in songs of performative devotion, and emulates the distant, yet deep affection of the God-King Samothes with a temperate piano. The second is “The Last Eve of Summer,” a chamber sonata composed by the so-called traitor Samot during his stay in the City of Light—allegedly written for a particularly talented clarinetist, though no records support this claim. The third, “The Autumn (Lasts A Long Time Here),” predates both Marielda and the City of Light. Built around a memorable guitar melody, it has no clear origin—both the elves of the Western Wood and the refugee population of Emberboro independently claim that it has been in their respective cultures for centuries.

These, say the scholars of the Sonorous Academy, are the three songs that matter in Marielda. But the people in that city by the sea don’t care what the scholars say. They’re too busy dancing to a tune that hasn’t yet left the island.

This week on Marielda: Four Conversations

Is it time already?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Marielda 09: The Valentine Affair Pt. 4

The nearest pub to Memoriam College is called The Blue Boar and, on the night of the Valentine Affair, the publican leaned out of the door and wondered if she smelled smoke. She ducked back inside and picked up a broom, swept the floor absentmindedly. Customers would be arriving soon, she could ask them if anything was burning. Inside The Gardeners, just down the road, two regulars were engaged in an argument about whether or not a rank of pala-din marching past the window were headed for Memoriam, nonsense, no, it’s a legitimate patrol. It is! By the end of the night, you could smell the soot from The Lamplighter’s Rest, a mediocre coaching inn on the far side of town. In cramped rooms on the third floor, people pressed up against windows to see the red glow on the horizon. The distant sound of gunfire.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 4

Dark smoke fills the air

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Jack de Quidt

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Marielda 08: The Valentine Affair Pt. 3

The citizens of Marielda close their eyes and dream of fire and water. On some nights in Canopy Row, people dream of crisp leaves, and residents of Emberboro wake suddenly with the taste of smoke in their mouths. Some years ago, a pamphlet was distributed in the city that purported to identify the difference between dreams and visions. Sceptics passed it between themselves and scoffed, others pinned it up in the windows of shops and apartment buildings. It described the difference between a lake and an ocean. The details are unclear in the memory, more than that is hard to say. There was a lake. There was a wide, black sea through which no lava flowed.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 3

Hey... pinch me. Am I dreamin'?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Marielda 07: The Valentine Affair Pt. 2

The bells of Memoriam College ring out from high in the tower. At the top of the hour, The Diligent Peal marks the start and end of classes, ushering students from room to room. At half past, The Indolent Peal chimes, waking students who have slept in, letting them know exactly how long they have to get to class. The bells don’t ring cleanly; the first note is pitched differently to the third, for example. The fifth sounds as thought it belongs to an entirely different tower. There is a rumour that, on the foundation of the college and the building of the tower, one bell was taken from the spires of each of Marielda’s parishes and installed in Memoriam. Perhaps it is untrue. Who could say. Climb the bell tower and look out at the other churches in the distance, hear their distant notes. What a beautiful view. What a beautiful city.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 2

Shh! Quiet in the library!

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Music by Jack de Quidt

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Marielda 06: The Valentine Affair Pt. 1

Memoriam College only wears flowers for one week a year. On Sunday morning of that week, they send a man called Alexander to fetch them from the florists on Today-And-Tomorrow Street. He carries them back to the building and, balanced on a ladder, arms full of blooms, fixes the arrangements above the balconies. As he works, butchers and chefs down in the kitchens peer at yellowed recipe cards, trying to remember just how they made these dishes last year. In the empty refectory, Prelate Silas practices the grace he knows so well, looking at himself in the mirror. You’re getting old, he thinks. He sounds out the prayer’s vowels and its consonants carefully. He practices a smile. With eyes closed, he imagines exactly the day that lay ahead. Across town, five scoundrels do exactly the same.

This week on Marielda: The Valentine Affair Pt. 1

You did remember to study, right?

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

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Marielda 05: War and Azaleas

For the baker, news of a brewing turf war is a good sign. Hungry fighters are mouths to feed, and so they tend to their ovens and wipe flour from their brows. For the smiths and armorers too, business goes up as neighbors and governesses double up on weapons kept behind doors and under desks, just in case, just in case. Fewer people play on the streets, but the music in pubs and cafes is louder than ever—a good fight deserves a little accompaniment. Flag-makers and seamstresses see a brief upturn in trade as symbols of gangs and factions are hastily embroidered onto collars and lapels. In Marielda’s language of flowers, the azalea has come to symbolise the moment where, just before entering the water, the diver takes one final, deep breath. They are blossoming early this year.

This week on Marielda: War and Azaleas

You better watch your step.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)
Episode description by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

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Marielda 04: The Crosstown Job Pt. 2

To look at a city from above changes it irrecoverably, and so it was for the passengers on Train Day. And say what you like, but the windows in the carriages seemed each to show a different city, a different nest of streets. Those in the engine room saw the smoke from the factories and furnaces, and Marielda hissed and smouldered. Those in the rear carriages looked down upon Canopy Row and wondered whether Chrysanthemum Parish had always been so close. Passengers in the dining carriage looked down onto the parks and boulevards and Marielda smiled back in cypress trees and laurel bushes. No windows lit the pala-din's carriage as they waited in the dark, and for them, in that moment, Marielda barely existed at all, as if a dream recounted long ago. There is a word for all of this, my friends, taking many meanings across our wide city, and the word is reconfiguration.

This week on Marielda: The Crosstown Job, Pt. 2

Just for a moment, you felt safe...

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

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Marielda 03: The Crosstown Job Pt. 1

Marielda is a city filled with scoundrels. Bakers lean on the scales as they count loaves of bread. Men and women in pubs shoot loaded dice. Art dealers swear, solemnly swear, that this is a genuine Sabbatini, just look at the brushstrokes. No, scoundrels in Marielda are ten-a-penny. But sometimes, the sun smiles, and its light shines upon those who have something… particular about them. Look, there they are now. A strongman, binding up his fists in front of a mirror. A dancing master, marking time with a dagger. A little alchemist emerging from a cloud of something purplish. And an alabaster figure, face covered by the wide brim of a hat. Step forward into the light, my friends.

This Week on Marielda: The Crosstown Job Pt. 1

When I see your face, it's like lookin' into a mirror.

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal) and Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

 

 

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Marielda 02: The City of Light Pt. 2

For a while, everything was going just fine in Marielda. Sure, there was some dissent among the citizens—but what city is free of that? In general, people were coming together, rebuilding, taking care of each other. Canopy Row wasn't thriving, but it was definitely surviving. Knowledge was spreading throughout the city. Even them Cobbins had begun to find their place. And then, sometime in the middle of the year, everything seemed to turn. First, the marble-faced pala-din came marching from the sea, half-alive extensions of Samothes' personal brand of justice. Then... well, as we'd soon learn, the pala-din weren't even the half of it.

This week on Marielda: The City of Light Pt. 2

I wonder what ever happened to her...

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring Keith J Carberry (@KeithJCarberry), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart), Nick Scratch (@drevilbones), and  Art Tebbel (@atebbel)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)
Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Music by Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)

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