You are approached by a thing (... person?) that looks like a mash between clown, mime, and jester. Whether makeup and prop or some terrible twisting of flesh it waits patiently for your acknowledgement, shifting back and forth on its heels with only the faintest squeak accompanying it. If you acknowledge it or say a word a fresh "paper" is pressed into your hand, written in pencils and inks, dotted with wax colors and a little dog-eared. You get a nod from the courier in response, its purple eyes narrowing in as though it's examining you, and then whatever words you need to keep yourself going spill out from its mouth. Afterwards it leaves, picking up speed the farther away it gets. Every step it takes squeaks. [You may choose to have been handed a copy of "The Vampire Bites" by Pulcinella no matter your character's location (unless it's inaccessible), or have a copy shared with you by someone else. Every copy is handwritten with slightly different phrasings and spelling errors.] Spoiler: A Paper. Pulcinella knows a great many things about nothing and everything. Pulcinella also knows you, and thinks you might be concerned about how all things came about. The answer is simple, but will explain as though you are two anyway. Vampirism, Sanguinism, Scourge—what words used no matter. Truth that came into existence to serve purpose, and purpose now at odds with Regalian government and good citizen. What know though? Am simple mail carrier. Mail carrier who see and read thing, but not privy to big politick, only small politicking and ever constant Ailor Human squabble. Some say Sanguine rightful place on top, other say on bottom. Pulcinella think this is useless binary when proper thought should be help. Am always helping of course, fulfilling objective for the betterment of mine neighbor. Cahal neighbor, unafflicted neighbor, and even Vampiric overlord neighbor who ignores my existence. This help bring perspective. No one shudders at thought of animals in wild feasting on prey, but when conscious thought brought into mix suddenly world ends. So what if Ailor get bit? Is that not the natural order of things? Is disease not part of history, downfall, and revival? Instead cure, Ailor legislates with fist and kills with sword. Makes mail delivery harder. Dead people send no mail. Dead people speak most though. Dead people are example of past failure, and this overturn of government is one for this year. There will be one next year, and year after, and after and after because Pulcinella see the big loop. The giant time wheel that predicts and predates on ignorance and same ruts. Ailor always sticks with known, rarely ever tries new. Too scared to try maybe. Always with the pretty speeches from pretty people to lift spirits, and then when thing settle return to the same. No one learn from suffering, even when experienced by self. Only seem to learn from heartfelt word and careful written message, so Pulcinella tell message, send word, shares thought in hope people are understood. Some get this, and are helpful. Other are very concern about how Pulcinella get where and know who. Not matter, so long as big picture is seen. Pulcinella not preaching coexistence or ignorance. Issuing warning for people who would get haughty and decide they have won when battle has only started. Society does not crumble in day, and people do not live forever. Only word is constant. Perhaps what wanted was series of events. Been living under rock since city’s downfall, or slept through clash of swords and cannon fire? Will oblige for now. It has been seventeen days at time of writing since Arken struck and Lich Lord took advantage of confusion to install himself as local leading power. Ailor held up in safe zones outside city, took prisoners, instigated fights, and were saved from Sanguine status by their god. Much to be said about that, but unimportant and hand starting to cramp. Now Ailor live in palatial princely people palace and plot to resume status quo. City blockaded, couriers who are not me surging through street and countryside to spread news. News is Regalia’s capital city is not that important. Strange. World continues to move. Fights sparked and wars fought, desprinces working for unknown ends in the skies of Ellador. In all ways times are unsure. Lich Lord’s fiefdom. Lesser covens were created out of the space this Lord left behind, but no one has made names quite as big or long lasting except the oft talked about dead. His Dread Fort floats in the sky above Greygate, cannons pointed and ready to volley shot if needed. Firepower is commendable, but knowing when to use it moreso. Xilthruum is crafty one, and holds power by saying little and showing power less. Blowing up sandcastles is perhaps most action the Lich has seen in centuries. His death has been coming since he became what he is, but murder and assassination seem unlikely to succeed. Capable of bleeding or no, Lich Lord has successfully bled hope from a generation of people more than once. He need only do it again. Bingo is lovely clown-jester-brethen of mine. Perhaps bite people once or twice, but not want take over world or fight losing battle. Goal is fun, and fun can happen any place or time even in darkest night. Bingo has invited all to festivities to lift spirits 4 days after you will read this at festival ground. Maybe you go. Maybe you do not. Maybe you fear for safety, in which case Pulcinella will hold hand and walk to destination free of charge. Journeys are important. Pulcinella also think there something to be said about comfort in difficult times. Taking solace in what given and what people around, not fighting for scraps or sticking neck out for leadership and stress. Have fun. Could die tomorrow. Could die today. Should always be thinking to self about what want last words to be, what foot you want end on. Were last words said to family nice? Did express love to friends and people estranged but cared about? If not, Pulcinella will be there to deliver message to any and all. Truth is, Pulcinella know nothing of tech people or where live and work, only that they are accused of treachery less than Voidspeaker but more than anyone else. Scapegoat of sanguine community. Silent despite supposed work with machinery, and run by Tech Princess Pulcinella not seen since arrival to cratered and pocked streets. Would say not much threat, as continued mail service is priority and not been hassled for no reason. Dais of Nocturne For group whose name is random mishmash of parts meaning something Pulcinella would go into if had not forgotten point, this coven does much fighting and losing. Always at the forefront of conflict to take spoils and credit, but just as quickly abandoned by disorganized allies and conscientious objectors. When they win they win. When lose it is fault of everyone else. Pulcinella has confirmed with own eyes. Mystiari Coven Sad to say no doodles accompany these people. Mystiari no word Pulcinella ever heard of, and no name either. Lead by Merellien, right hand person of Lich Lord? Or something to that effect. Nice enough to listen to ramblings, but has penchant for conquest and takeover that would make imperialistic ancestors proud and native peoples weep. A product of the Empire working to make it a new world order. The Cahal are numbered many and controlling Arena Court, Claw Court, and Rose Court. Surprisingly expansionist for people who are supposed to combat Sanguine. Only move when bolstered by rhetoric or threatened by stepping toesies over imaginary territory lines. Sharp teeth, strange forms, and questionable politics. Have made themselves at home as “protectors” of any willing to live in their territory, but wonder how soon before people get eaten. Colorful people make home here. Some wear their colors deservedly. Pulcinella is vaguely aware of some performance ranking system that is probably languishing right now. For a group who take job with extreme baggage and few good expectation, mercenaries of Regalian keep turn out for fight after fight and scurry in sewers like rat when need to hide. Like undying cockroach, mercenary exemplify continued high spirit and unwavering will. Would be compliment if people with such devotion and strength were in few supply. Knowing when to quit is also great skill to cultivate, and Pulcinella met few mercenaries with such skill or or piercing gaze. Will be first to admit have not approached since Saturday showdown, but not much to say. Full of same people who made Calvonth home. Many nobles, some non-rich who have made themselves useful or quiet to stay. Knights and handful of mercenaries ferrying word as though Pulcinella not always listening for mail call. Microcosm of what greater society looks like when collapsed in on itself. Ransk devolve, people try and fail to take charge, and Ailor only know fighting. Fighting is bred into Empire’s races and comes out when backed into corner. Do not use images from this post. There’s a mixture of paid and free assets used. This also isn’t news. It’s weird ramblings from a character you may have heard of, if not personally seen running around. Regular posting will resume post-occupation. Consider this a test or me finally losing my mind. EDIT: Fixed where the image cut off the last sentence in the mercenary section. Thank you Meyer.