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Aldvar s'Endrin

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Update [18 Jul 2005|08:25pm]
Miora si Beldran and Kornan Olvendi have been cast. Other parts remain open. Future letters will appear at empire_of_years.
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Remember! [12 Jul 2005|09:44am]
First decisions will be made starting July 17, 2005. Apply soon for the best chance of getting the character you want. This is only five four three two one day away. This is today! This was yesterday. Notifications will be going out this evening (7/18/05).
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Summary [03 Jul 2005|05:05pm]
Empire of Years will be either a very small roleplaying game (as online games go) or a large writing exercise, depending on your point of view. There are currently three letters from Aldvar s'Endrin here, here, and here. I am interested in finding people to write letters from each of the characters addressed in these letters. In addition, I will consider other characters if they are interesting, fit the plot as developed in the three letters already written, and have a reason to correspond with one of the other characters. I will accept no more than six writers, including myself in the count.

I'll be choosing writers based on my own personal taste. I will not make any decisions until July 17, 2005 at the earliest, which will hopefully give anyone who is interested time to put together a good application without worrying that the part they want might be taken while they write the application. After July 17, parts will remain open until I find someone I want to work with.

The game/writing exercise will continue until the plot is resolved. Then it will stop. I do expect the plot to be resolved; I am not interested in doing this forever.

Some questions are answered in the question post, guidelines are provided, and there is an application.

Thanks for considering Empire of Years! I hope to hear from you.

ETA: Miora si Beldran and Kornan Olvendi are cast. I am especially interested in finding someone to write letters for Gerana si Faltora, and am also accepting applications for original characters and characters mentioned in the current letters who don't have a letter written specifically to them. Keep in mind the guidelines above for other characters, and be sure to read the letters at empire_of_years to keep up with what has already been established.

ETA, Dec 2005: This project is currently on hiatus unless and until someone else wants to join in. If you do, apply or leave a comment--I am still interested in continuing, though I can't really promise anything indefinitely. Or, check out the project I'm currently involved with, in_time_of_war, an intentionally small Harry Potter post-HBP journal-based roleplaying game focusing on minor characters.
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Application [03 Jul 2005|05:04pm]
1. What is your name (or a name, I just need something to call you in my mind)?
2. What character are you applying for?
3. How can I contact you?
4. Why do you want to do this?
5. What is your favorite book, books, author, authors, and/or category of reading material?
6. Give a very brief physical description of your character.
7. What are your character's strengths and weaknesses?
8. Write a letter.
9. Anything else you want to say?

Please answer these questions in comments to this post. Comments are screened by default, and will remain screened. You will be able to see your own comment when you are logged in. An anonymous comment is fine, but you won't be able to see it once you've posted it.
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Guidelines [03 Jul 2005|05:03pm]
I don't know precisely what I'm doing but here's how I think it ought to work.

1. Try not to make really big decisions for other characters without asking. Accept with good grace the decisions other people make for you. If it actually conflicts with something that has been established previously, adjustments will be made (or contradictions might be left in for realism, depending)
2. Try to post a letter every couple of weeks or so (or more, of course, but this is the minimum that I feel comfortable with for myself, and comfortable with asking of other people).
3. No horror. For example, but not limited to: No vampires, werewolves, zombies, necromancy, etc. Not my cup of tea.
4. I'm not going to set a rating because ratings are for movies. Strangely enough, no one rates books (that I know of). But keep it to the sort of thing you would expect to find in a typical book in the science fiction and fantasy section of your local bookstore or library.
5. Anything that is written was actually written. People might have been lying. Everyone will have to be reasonable about this.
6. IMPORTANT! Remember this is an exercise in creating a story, not having any one character win (or lose). The point is to be flexible, and incorporate other people's ideas seamlessly.
7. IMPORTANT! Pay attention! Everyone needs to read everything, not just letters to their character, in order to keep the worldbuilding, plot, and characterization consistent.
8. This list is not complete. Be flexible, be reasonable, and be polite, and I believe everything will work out.
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Questions (not frequent, and in fact not asked, but answered all the same) [03 Jul 2005|05:02pm]
1. So what exactly is this, anyway?
A letter game. I like the wikipedia explanation, half roleplaying game and half writing exercise. It's not exactly a traditional letter game, though, because that usually involves two people and I'm hoping for four to six people, which will make the weave a bit more complicated without (hopefully) being so big as to be unmanageable. It will require a bit of flexibility in all the participants. Basically, it differs from a more traditional roleplaying game in that while everyone gets their own character no one is the GM, mod, or whatever (though I do reserve the right to serve as arbitrator and final decision maker if that becomes necessary--I'm hoping that if there are problems, things can be worked out without resorting to the force of 'because I say so'). Everyone has an equal right to contribute major important decisions to the plot, the worldbuilding, and the characterization. It differs from a traditional writing exercise in the number of people I'd like to see involved.

2. Isn't it awfully arrogant of you to have people apply for the privilege of writing with you?
In a way, yes. But I see it this way. I'm applying to you first by putting the letters and the rest of this up here, and if I didn't you probably wouldn't be interested in writing with me. So now it's your turn to make me interested in writing with you. I've tried to give you a head start by thinking about the things I'm interested in in a writing partner and asking about them in the application.

Any other questions are welcome. Comment here, or if you don't want your question to be public, comment in the application post, where comments are screened by default. If you comment there, be sure to leave some way for me to contact you to answer the question.
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To Gerana si Faltora, Countess of Doumcen, Lady Parsi [03 Jul 2005|05:01pm]
Right honorable and my singular good Lady, my humble commendations to your ladyship. Perhaps you will be surprised to receive this letter, for we are not regular correspondents, but before I come to the purpose of this letter, I wish to tell you a story. This tale takes place when I was but a child, when my mother, then Lady Inenmar, was the old empress's lady in waiting. My father being away in the wars, I was in my mother's charge, and she kept me very near her--I think she knew my father was very soon to die. It was no secret the emperor had sent him away in hopes he would not come back, though in such cases one may always hope. My mother hoped, and knew it was in vain, and so kept me close to her for safety and for comfort.

It happened that a woman came to see the empress, and I was playing in the antechamber by myself. This had never happened before, for my nurse, a dour young woman from the country, held fast to her duty and rarely left me, day or night. This day, she had left her post for a moment only because she had some sickness of the stomach.

As I said, a woman came to see the empress, and as the empress made a point of being difficult to obtain audience with, she was left in the antechamber to wait. I said to this woman, "Will you play statecraft with me?" Statecraft was a popular game of the time, played with tiles. I had a beautiful set of tiles that had been given to me by the empress herself.

The woman said, "Who are you?"

"Aldvar s'Endrin."

"s'Endrin. I shall play statecraft with you, no doubt, when you are older."

"I want to play now! I'm good at statecraft. Everyone says!"

The woman laughed. "Very well. What will you do for me if I do what you want?"

I stared, and she laughed again. "The first rule of statecraft. Never expect anyone to do what you want just because you want it."

"That's not statecraft!"

"It's the only kind of statecraft I play."

"I don't understand." I fear I whined.

"You will."

My mother came into the antechamber just then, from the empress's chamber. "Where is your nurse, Aldvar?" she asked. "Don't be bothering--" she looked at the other woman and her eyes widened in surprise. "Lady Parsi? Here?"

Lady Parsi nodded to my mother. "Indeed, Joelle. Will the empress see me?"

"She would have seen you immediately, had she known it was you." She ushered Lady Parsi toward the next room, pausing to say to me, "Go find your nurse, Aldvar."

Lady Parsi said as she left the room, "He is getting old for a nurse, Joelle. Have you thought? You have left him to grow untended, and that will never do if he is to survive at court."

"His place will be at Inenmar, as his father's was and will be."

"Don't be a fool! His father may return from the war, but he will never return to Inenmar. And even were it not so, would you limit your son to provincial dealings? Think on it."

She did reconsider, when she was Lady of Inenmar, after she lost and then found herself in the true game of statecraft. And so it is that I write you, to ask once again: Lady Parsi, would you play statecraft with me? I offer my mother's legacy, Inenmar's influence. I want my mage year back, and under my control. Inenmar is too far from Wintercourt to depend on the emperor's whim for its magic. What do you want?

From Inenmar this 15th day of Summer, in the 1034th year of the First Imperial Year,
With my enduring gratitude for your pains, your ladyship's assured friend,

Aldvar s'Endrin, Lord of Inenmar and Protector of Quire

To Kornan Olvendi, Summer Mage [03 Jul 2005|05:00pm]
My friend, my most hearty regards to you and to Isavelle. Have you received anything from Beren? I have not, and I worry that something is amiss with her. True, it is not her season, but even so I would expect something.

I was sorry to miss you in Wintercourt; I would blame the emperor's temper, but perhaps I must first blame my own. I was in the palace seeking the chancellor to discuss the latest news, or lack thereof, on the year assigned to control the weather in Inenmar, when the emperor's wife's wastrel cousin, Lord Pendrin, accosted me. He considers himself a jester, but he must learn that jests are never funny to the one who is set up as the butt of the joke. In the space of five minutes he was able to insult myself, my father, my mother, Inenmar, and Quire, and all this without once seeming to realize the depth of his rudeness.

If it was a trap, I fell into it without hesitation.

Imagine it, if you will. Me, swearing crude insults while his verbal darts pricked me from every side. I blush to think of it. I challenged him to back his words with cold steel, never expecting him to trade his forte for mine, but he did with scarcely a murmur. He was not so laughable as I would have expected, he with his jeweled court sword and his silks and velvets. Even so, the duel went quickly enough. I set myself to defend, and did so with such precision that he soon grew angry and attempted half-learned tricks to get past my guard. I say half-learned because I know the tricks, but I know how to do them without leaving my left side entirely open as he did. Seeing the opening, I meant only to cut the tassel from his sash, but I slipped and his forward momentum was greater than I expected, and you know the rest.

I have considered this many times as I traveled and since I have arrived home, and I cannot come to any conclusion that accounts for his behavior, and the way he fought, that would be in accordance with a minor duel. He was not attempting a polite coup. He was fighting to kill, and that I cannot understand. I am not boasting when I say that no one would think to injure me in a duel. The sword is for me as magic is for you, and while it is never wise to be overconfident and chance is always a factor, I have not met the man or woman who could reliably best me in a duel. What then did he think he was doing?

And whatever he may have thought, could there have been someone else behind him? What did this hypothetical plotter want? I fear it is to remove me from Wintercourt, and in that he or she has succeeded, though perhaps not as well as was intended. I am asked to leave, I am desired to leave, but I was not required to leave. You must keep me informed; if I am needed I will come; remember too the journey is long.

All is well in Inenmar, barring the weather. It is too hot, and it only the beginning of summer. I would you were here, or I were not here to see the ruin the emperor's decree is bringing on this land. But if I do not think of the dessert always encroaching, the days have been pleasant. The sun is bright, the sky is blue, the air is clear, and the breeze is pleasant in the mornings, before the heat of the day, when I sit on the terrace and look out across the land. It is still green from the spring rains, but with the heat I fear that will not last.

Lyrani will be arriving in Wintercourt to attend the academy. It galls me to admit that my aunt and uncle arranged for this without my knowledge; Lyrani deserves no less, but I should have been informed. She left Inenmar the day before I arrived, so even if she travels only half as quickly as I, she will be there by the 26th of summer. If there is a time when you are not overly busy, I would be grateful if you could visit her and make sure she is reasonably happy. I am sure she will be glad to see a familiar face.

I have given your address to my betrothed, Lady Velreisan. I would ask you not to mention Lyrani or Inessa to her. I do not know her as well as I would wish, and cannot predict how she would react.

I pray you, keep well.

I plan to seal this letter as you showed me. If the quality of the workmanship is sufficient, do the same when you reply. It is a relief to write to a friend without worrying about every word, and better to know that one's unguarded words will not be read by someone who was not intended to read them.

From Inenmar this 15th day of Summer, in the 1034th year of the First Imperial Year,
Your very assured friend,
Aldvar s'Endrin

To Miora si Beldran, Lady Velreisan [03 Jul 2005|04:59pm]
Right honorable lady, after my most wholehearted compliments--

I write to you in haste to advise you that the emperor has desired me to leave Wintercourt by first light. I am most sorry that I will be unable to meet you when you arrive in three days time; I know that letters are a poor substitute, especially when we are to wed at the turning of the seasons, and have yet to meet as adults. We must trust to our own self-interests, which pull us inexorably together.

I will tell you the whole tale of my disgrace with the emperor in a later letter. For now, suffice it to say that I was, perhaps injudiciously--though I swear the insult was more than any man could bear in silence--this morning engaged in a duel with Lord Pendrin, the emperor's wife's favored kinsman, and it is feared that he will not live. I was not hurt.

I beg you be careful when you arrive in Wintercourt; I believe there is more going on at court than is obvious at first glance. But when was it ever otherwise? Take especial care in dealings with the emperor's wife and her kin. I suspect--I know not what, but they are too near the emperor for my liking, of late. Their influence has led to too many decisions that hurt our interests, and the emperor's own.

My friend Kornan Olvendi has recently arrived in Wintercourt and will be staying at House Quire; he is a mage and will be joining the emperor's fifth year, in accordance with the emperor's decree banning private mage years, may it soon be repealed. Though he is no longer timeless in my year at Inenmar, he still acts for me in mundane matters; if there is anything you need, however small, he will be happy to oblige you in my name. My steward will also remain at House Quire for some time. Inenmar House will be shut up until I return.

It is not official exile; I cannot say when I will return to Wintercourt. Do not expect me before the first day of autumn.

The carriage is waiting; I must bid you farewell. I will write to you from Inenmar.

Inenmar House, this 5th day of Summer,
Your ladyship's own assuredly,
Aldvar s'Endrin, Lord of Inenmar and Protector of Quire

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