Artistic Ambiguity

Most Esteemed Abbot Euphonus –

Good News! The Fortress Monastery in Stragosa is about to be consecrated. I already burn with ideas. I have an inkling of a notion that to inspire more, I need to move away from this focus on specificity and return to grander, more ambiguous ideas. To inflame the passions of everyone involved in a grand moment of history or a grand theme of art could inspire both those who love goodness as well as those who hate impurity. In any case, I will send you my notes as I compile them. Perhaps you will feel inclined to share your discoveries here with us as well. There is still so much to do!

In Homage to Benalus and with Honor to the Emperor and under the guidance of the memory of Padre Pietro,

Alonzo d’ Melano
Bard Laureate of Silbran

Help Wanted – Concierge

Alonzo d’ Melano seeks a discrete individual to protect his privacy at the Tavern in Silbran. This person must know enough of the Street to deflect the inquiries of the curious (Streetwise 2) and enough Etiquette to create a good impression to visitors (Etiquette 1.) Payment negotiable. Applicants willing to watch over children can expect greater compensation.


“Lift up your hearts Benalus’ friends…”

Alonzo is humming. Putting on clothes he thinks would be good for gathering in food. He’s seen it done, he supposes. He is pulling on a muslin shirt.

“Sarah, where is my hat?” he shouts in Hestron. “Which one?” she yells back in Shariq’a. “The one that looks like a farmer hat.”

Baruk laughs at his desk while Mel and Jin practice a song in the kitchen. “…to taste the joy, the joy the White Lion sends…”

“Father,” remarks Baruk, still snickering. “You look so dashing. What if there’s not enough dirt to go around?”

“Well, boy, I’ll just have to go harvest some songs, I suppose. Are you coming with me? Might do you some good to get your hands in the ground.”

“Wait? Really?” Baruk raises his hands covered in ink splotches. “Instead of… sums? I’ll get my cloak!”

And so they go, laughing into the morning. A moment of light in a world so often dark.

Sarah gathers Mel and Jin and locks the residence behind her, making sure that everything is in order before boarding the carriage to the fields of Stragosa.

“…when I was a little girl, I asked my mother what will I be…”

The Soul and Its Burdens

Blessings Unto Our Lord Benalus Who Protects Us All,

Brethren, it has been commanded to me by the Seventeenth Preceptor of The Tower to write down these words. May Durna strike at the hands of any who would steal this book. May Manach’s doors be ever closed.

It is said that the soul has many parts and that those parts can be seen in every part of life, from the smallest of vermin unto the greatest of Kings. Gratus of Merlanda said it thus: “The animal knows its own life – vir, it knows its needs – apetite, it knows its options – instinct.”

From Gratus we can see that the next step is the Common Man – The common man has all of the attributes of an animal, but those attributes have grown into the Human Qualities.

Vir remains although some amongst the benighted call it Corpus or Flesh. We contend that that is an insufficient category to describe the entirety of the lifeforce that is the physical body and so we will continue to use the ancient Vir to describe what we are attempting to explain.

Appetite grows to the Human Quality of – Meaning. The Human has more than just the essential appetites required for survival. Meaning encompasses all of the things that make a Human live in an appropriate way. While everyone must eat food and drink water, Meaning is unique for each Human. Thus we see the vast multitude of ways to live in our Blessed Kingdom.

From Instinct grows the Human Quality of – Act. Knowing one’s options and strategies to survive grows into the ability to plan and think into the future. The Holy Towers of Menach, may his Name rise up forever, cannot be built on instinct alone, no matter what that fool Ablatius thinks. To Act is to secure one’s Meaning. When these two Human Qualities interact all things can be accomplished.

Now we turn to the Difficulties of the Burdened.

Those amongst us who are born to Rule and to Teach can at times find themselves Burdened by a surfeit of these Human Qualities that can, if not dealt with carefully, become Consuming.

The Hero’s Vir can become Wyrd if they sacrifice the Vir to accomplish the tasks set before them. The Meaning can become sacrificed to the Purpose of the task set before them. The Act can become Judgement when the needs of all must be placated over the needs of the Hero. Hark well, those who would take upon them the Burdens of State – the sacrifices are Great and the suffering is Deep.

This is why we must Honor but also Watch those who would take on the Burden for the benefit of us all. Do not take on the Burden unless you are called to it, for it will burn you to Nothing in time.

Glory and Honor to Our Protector King Benalus on this First Year of His Reign
Glory and Honor to Dread Manach, May His Name Conquer Every Sky
Glory and Honor to Tower 5, May We Grow Forever

True Things

Alonzo finished writing for a moment, brushing off the sand to help dry the ink of his letter to Emeric.

“Such an unexpected thing,” he mused to himself. “I’ve been blind.”

To discover the good where he expected only oppression and paternalistic pandering, to look behind the mask for a moment. If anyone knew masks, it would be himself. But for this one moment, what if it is True?

The conversations with Ansel and Emeric, the feeling that perhaps the Goal is the same after all. The assumption of authority. The burdens that will bring. Still, Alonzo smiles. It is right and good that the world is moving towards Perfection, even in its most shattered pieces.

“I’m going to act as though it IS True. I can at least do that. I can watch them with new eyes and reveal the next part of my work.”

He thinks of Renatus, returned to the World nearly destroyed by it and of the others who fell and would never return. So much to do. So many minds to soothe and then to trouble and then to soothe again.

He writes a new phrase on the inside of his Mask, under where the old motto lies.

“Rivela la verità che brilla” – Reveal the Truth that Shines

The Shield now has a Sword

A Call to the Revived – Posted in Stragosa and Silbran

To Those Who Have Been Revived Upon the Miracle,

We should speak. Our experience is unique in all the world and I think it is worth exploring the effects and meaning of this. I welcome anyone of our company to visit me at the Bard’s College of Silbran, but I also know that it is a long way to travel for some. Let us meet at the Farmer’s Daughter near Eight Bells on the First Night.

Stay strong,


Reverie and Writing

He sits at his desk, this place of peace surrounded by the pounding of metal and the sawing of wood. He turns the crank on the little treasure box that plays a tune he hasn’t heard in person since his childhood.

“Ho finito con il mio cuore senza grazia. Stasera ho intenzione di ritagliarlo e poi ricominciare…”

A whore’s lament, pulling at heartstrings. The heart of the Mask and Shield. Compassion for the lowest, the broken.

He begins to write –

“Sir Emeric,

The moment when the music took me was so surprising. I have been transported by music before, but I also saw the tears in your eyes. I could see how you were tied to Mankind then, how you have shouldered the Chains of Fate to bear the burden, to steer the course. I saw your true power then, unbeholden to the forces of the world that reinjure the already broken.

I have selfishly allowed myself to be misread, in my anger and my pain. I have allowed myself to prejudge those who might be allies in the healing of the world. I thought I would need to be well known to have the power to change lives, but I was squandering my work where the work itself would have been enough.

You and I will disagree more often now than ever, I’m afraid, my new brother. But trust that it will be from love, that it will be about tactics and not about the Grand Event. I am more comfortable amongst the sinners of the world than the saints, and it is in the places where people have hidden and hardened themselves to protect their Meaning that I will be found.

Thank you for your Tears,



The music box plinks along merrily – “Scuotilo, Scuotilo, Scuotilo” Alonzo sighs, touching the blank white mask that always sits near when he is writing, turns it over to see the writing of his mother, the writing he’s written on other masks in his own time – “Diventa chi devi, rimani chi sei”

Turn, turn, and turn again.

Theotokon – Your fortune could be made in Stragosa

Esteemed Theotokon,

The Master of Coin in Stragosa is seeking Apothecaries to accomplish tasks for the city, but a man of your skill could also become invaluable to all manner of folk in Stragosa and Silbran. I can speak on your behalf to people who need the mastery of the Art that you, and very few others, know. You cannot know how much it would please me to speak again of the Wonders of the Natural World and the philosophy that burnishes the Stone of Wisdom to its glistening perfection.


Alonzo d’ Melano

To Mother Amelie regarding Blessed Pietro

Mother Amelie,

I must express my deepest gratitude for your receiving me upon my visit to your fair city. It was such a pleasure to find others to whom the Blessed Padre has influenced so deeply with his songs of the road. Truly his words are inspired by Benalus and the archangels. I am singing his tales in Stragosa and can spread word of his miracles far and wide. If you have any miracle stories that you have heard in your travels, send them to me if you can, so I can compile them together. Soon we will have enough to take to the Curia for initial investigation into his lionization.

Your words have always eased my heart and given me hope that no matter what happens, our world can be healed and humanity can approach its highest calling. Pray for me, a sinner who still hopes to help the world, and I will, with my small power, pray for you as well.

“Tomorrow is a Highway Broad and Fair and we are the Workers Who’ll Build it There.”

With admiration and love I remain your servant,

Alonzo d’ Melano
Dean of the Bardic College of Silbran

On Sin

On Sin

The Pancreator made Humanity with Meaning. Our Meaning has certain qualities one of which is Libertas. Our LIberty is part of us and defends itself. Each of us rebels from the Despair of the World, from the things which would Oppress and Shackle us. Our Meaning demands Liberty.

When we are oppressed by the Sorrows, we assert our Selves beyond any other obligations. Our Assertions remind us of the Pride of being Human, the Ache of Wanting, the Rise of the Blood. These things dispel the Sorrows and Bring Joy.

However, do not be brought low by Vainglorious thinking. The Libertas can become overpowering. It can become a heady wine. When all of us are Drunk at the same time, the world cannot contain it. Let your Libertas flow in small rivers until the day of Completion draws near. The World must grow to join us and until then, the Secret must be kept.
You are the Rose, you are the Dawn, the beauty and light of the world.

For the Conquest of Joy,

Praemonstrator Lumin