Friends at the Table

Friends at the Table header image 1

Winter in Hieron 29: Slow Justice

I write this with no knowledge of where you are, or if you are. Yet, still, I write.

And as I write, my words are overtaken by memories. Your finger pointing at verse in some ancient text—I have forgotten the book’s name in favor of remembering your eyes, bright. Your voluminous generosity, as you led me into inquiry I dared not pursue. Your voice, angry, confused, and honest in the face of terror. And then, for the last time, your stark figure silhouetted against early moonlight on that hill south of Rosemerrow.

Has the paladin protected you, I wonder? Could I have offered my own protection instead of simply suggesting I hide you away like I did the others? I thought I was presenting you a gift, but in retrospect, I fear I was too vague: Perhaps you believed that I felt you were important in general—like the others I saved—instead of important to me.

I’m moving now, Pupil. I'm retrieving the book and with it, I will build us a home. All of us. I’m moving now because I must. Because I will not let your memory be still stone in my mind, but will treat you instead as a river in my heart, a path to follow towards a bright, distant sea. 

Perhaps I will lose myself on the way. Or, perhaps, I will find you.

Your Tutor, Always

This Week on Friends at the Table: Slow Justice

 

 

 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

 

00:0000:00

Winter in Hieron 28: What Life Looks Like

Living Blood of Fire,
 
I had reservations, but your so-called ‘Fel anchor’ captured the curator Havelton after my own scouts could not. I am a proud man, but not too proud to see utility in action.
 
Despite their effectiveness, I plead with you to not yet move on the island. It is imperative that we know exactly what is on in that place before we attack, and my interrogation of the witch scholar provides is already providing answers.
 
For instance: That blade of the Queenkiller’s is not of Ordennan make at all. It is something much, much older, built by occultists before the erasure. They called it the “Blade in the Dark,” and it was supposedly a tool to fight some ancient nemesis.
 
She said that it held something older than the Ordennan Empire, though that seemed obvious—old blades draw blood for long times. When I demanded the heretic tell me more, she looked me in the eyes with the ferocity of Impetor Mall and said, plainly, that for all of its sharpness, the blade in the dark is first and foremost a place. “It is a gateway and a manor both, and invitations are always at the ready.”
 
I am not sure what that means, but this alone gives me pause. Give me another day with “Sunder” Havelton. The answers will be our shield.
 
Justiciar-Captain Stornras Unblooded
 
This week on Friends at the Table: What Life Looks Like
 
Her blade is not Ordennan yet kills the cursed and the uncanny? Then it—like the Queenkiller herself—must be retrieved. Whatever other secrets Havelton knows can be obtained after we recover Hella Varal, dispatch her traitorous allies, and deal with whatever power has drawn them here.
 
You say that we should not yet moe on the island, Glasseye. Yet as we speak, I raise ballast so that our ship may take flight: The island is moving on us.

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

00:0000:00

Winter in Hieron 27: A Good Metaphor

I swear on my life and on the pattern, Collector-Curator, it was a mistake! A tragedy! A deception! I was misled!
Tel bewitched me. He is a hexer and a conniver, and he put me in step with his quick words and devious gestures. I thought only that the “bard” was providing components for the pattern, not that he would be the traveler himself. If I helped, it was only to remain in my role as your agent and not too quickly reveal my true allegiance. I thought that the gate would remain open long enough for you to see my signal and arrive, but before I could even send it, the boy was gone, violin and mask in hand.

Please, Ferr. I know I’ve failed you. I know that this must be mended—and if you will allow me one more apparitive pattern, I can make it right. But please, please know that my loyalty was never compromised.

Your most loyal agent,

Zhan Kurr

This time on Friends at the Table: A Good Metaphor

Kurr, your loyalty was never in doubt. Only your ability

They cry out in the streets. They rush to Corsica's banner. Now, more than ever, the people of the archives require something solid, something with weight. We do not need your painted air. We need the original pattern fixed. And if it is too far to touch from here, and too late to "mend it" without your illusions, it is time for me to act—as I should have all along.

I have held the book tight to me for months. It is time I open it. You have a choice: Help me, or stay out of my way. 

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)

Featuring  Andrew Lee Swan (@swandre3000), Andi Clare (@captaintrash), and Keith J Carberry (@keithjcarberry)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

00:0000:00

Winter in Hieron 26: A Shattering Note

Archivist van der Dawes,

Thank you for your interest, and the letter you sent. Your inquiries are extensive, and I’ve always thought of that as a good thing. Find enclosed the requested index of names of the principal figures of The Illustrated Concordance of Marielda. Please know that this isn’t an index for the book itself, as writing one of those would effectively only be a reproduction of the Concordance itself. Also find inside a copy of the figures missing from the earlier edition that you are working from.

As to your final question: ”What ever happened to the Blade in the Dark?” Well, Devar, you need to understand that however powerful the Blade is, however dangerous, it is not special. It is not guided through time towards us. It is just one more brick in the tall wall of history. And eventually, bricks, they break, or they fall out of place, or they’re covered up by a new layer, or they are taken away by someone, placed in a garden, maybe, as trim.

What I mean to say is that the Blade vanished into time. I can track it but so far: Scavengers, traders, mercenaries. Survivors. A cult, briefly. Briefly. A hero who drew it only one time. A villain who never dared touch it. And then, ages ago, it vanished.

This is not something to correct or to concern yourself with. You do not ask about the petard that set Samot’s tower to fall, nor the gauntlet that Samantine left on the Eastland Shores. These, like the Blade, have served their purpose. To be an archivist is to keep everything in its place. But to be a historian is to swim, curious, in a sea of unfinished stories.

 

Keep studying,

Semiotician-Emeritus Uklan Tel

 

This week on Friends at the Table: A Shattering Note

 

Man, don’t take this the wrong way, but why are you like this? You write about the foolish plans of jealous gods, about arrogant wizards, about people who were so dedicated that they rearranged history itself. I’m not saying that the Blade has some Chosen Path Through History, man. I’m just saying you put a weapon like that in a world with people in it—you know, our world—and it ain’t just gonna vanish one day. I read your concordance carefully, Tel, and I know one thing real well: That thing ain’t a brick in a wall, it’s a door no one’s opened in a while.

-D

 

Hosted by Austin Walker (@austin_walker)
Featuring  Ali Acampora (@ali_west), Art Martinez-Tebbel (@atebbel), Janine Hawkins (@bleatingheart) and Jack de Quidt (@notquitereal)
Produced by Ali Acampora (@ali_west)

Cover Art by Craig Sheldon (@shoddyrobot)

Episode description by Austin Walker

Music by Jack de Quidt

00:0000:00