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Ultima Terra seems to be struck with a plague of frogs shortly after the one in Ancient Earth ceased.
The sources seem to emanate from a pond near Malus palace and from the city of Duluth.

At the same time there has been a similar plague of frogs also impacting the capital of the Duchy of Karmways.
Seems that French cuisine in both places have a lower price of frog legs.

Reports are that Princess Deirdre broke down and started to weep over the cruel fate befalling all those poor innocent cute froggies. She reportedly was consoled by sons Joseph, Gregor, and Lazare, possibly stepson Avon.

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Reports coming in to foreign journalists based in the Parys capital suggest that while Parys and its Silver Circle Empire has been relatively unscathed, there have been multiple catastrophes that had occurred in the ‘other side of Parys’.

The so-called Other Side of Parys was speculated about by Parys theologians and academics for years however the Parys government did not find them that geographically close nor that economically valuable to develop relations with.  “That is wonderful news for the Royal Government and the Parys Economy,” said Deputy Finance Minister Astard des les Cochons. “I am delighted to say this mishap will not do much damage to Parys proper, its vital communications and transportation lines.”

Asked about reports of whole worlds being cast into the Abyss, “Well,” the bureaucrat gives a Gallic shrug, “We do not know everything. If it is there it will be  mourned for them not having the chance to be art of our empire. If they were not, they meant nothing anyways.”

He also mocked the conspiracy theories and social activists, “Of course there rumours of looters being punished or mountain pirates attacking mail trains. We do not know a complete picture at this time and for me to speculate is irresponsible.”

“There are rumours of lost colonies belonging to alleged reincarnations of Lucius or were pledged to allegiance to Lucius,” the minister said carefully, “It would be so incredibly rude, uncouth, and low class to even think of recruiting, subverting or building colonies on the other side of Parys. Such a move had it been done, may have provided offence to our own Beloved Majeste, though of course, such a terrible thing is not proven to have happened as that terrible disaster was so complete.”

Pressed for additional information, the minister did share the following,” Territories such as St. Sigo, St. Saturnius, St. Wivina, St. Nicasius, St. Benildus, and St. Prosper which are not part of Parys, did suffer a catastrophic event though quite possibly natural and non anthropomorphic.” he explained, “Unfortunately these settlements who had been established by rogue heretics who worship the Holy Apostle Glen’s red jackets over the Sacred Quadity. I am not a theologian but this seems rather odd.”

“These regions plus a border area called the Vexin, which was considered uninhabited wilderness, are no longer connected to any lands affiliated with Parys or the Parys pattern. In one terrible night, these lands and their benighted heretical subjects found themselves hurled into the black oceans of the Abyss, never to be seen again from the shores of Parys.” the minister acknowledged adding, “Our thoughts and prayers follow these innocent fools and their that of their families.”

“On the other hand, Parys remains, Parys and will be open for business.” he brightens up, ignoring some gunfire, “We are going to always be open to business and will continue to show unconditional love, loyalty and support to our most gracious merciful Majeste.”

“Vive Chistophe de Parys, Vive notre ROI! Christophe les plus Quaditian Roi!”

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A terse communique out of the Elysée palace in Parys reported that King Christophe, Queen Jorrah, their children and the rest of the royal household, the senior members of government, the less senior members of government, the junior members of government, the members of the opposition, members of the police, fire, municipal waste management, utility, street cleaning and lamplighters unions, teachers, artists collectives, boulangers, patissiers, epiciers, cremiers, fromagiers, viandiers, charcrutiers, all other related and unrelated crafts and trades, regular families, irregular families, unmarried youths, unmarried non-youths, and all other citizenry to include both legal and temporarily undocumented immigrants, with certain named exceptions whose deaths could be attributed to accident, old age, disease, mischief or other statistically meaningless event, are in good health, except those members of the above mentioned cohorts whose health was already not good, in which case (with certain named exceptions attributable to medicine, miracle, exercise or reporting irregularly) their health remains bad.
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Providing a unity of service in Antilla Station, the Antillan Railway Empire and the Island of Antilla in E1,King Matthew came on the air by radio and television. “We are delighted to build this remarkable intershadow communication system.

In more news, “Matthew says, “There was a terrible disaster in Parys where much of their hinterland has been swept into the ocean of the Abyss by an unknown phenomena or by deliberate sabotage against the Parys Government.Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family of Parys and all the subjects that owe them true allegiance. My sister Jorrah and her husband, my cousin Christophe are well and have not been injured in this tumultuous and unprecedented calamity.”

“At the same time, my brother Lucius, in a similar incident has found a large calamity where his new colonies have been swept into the Abyss. Many of his family, my family were present but were able to stabilize their new offshore abyss beach front property.  Our thoughts and prayers are with my brother and other kinsmen of mine in these new brownwater dominions.”

“This crisis requires action on our part to protect our friends and relatives in these areas stricken by calamities. I have acted to keep my railways to both kingdoms open despite enormous challenges.

“I have suspended habeas corpus in Antilla Station and all railway territory  that is not a settled province indefinitely. Properly settled provinces will have their laws, freedoms and liberties that is their creator given right. However Antilla Station is a different problem and we must be vigilant against Communism and its behaved little brother, Socialism. We have banned Amnesty InterCreation in Antilla Station and forbidden any of their members from using our Railway. They are not banned in the Railway Empire but police have been unable to protect them from the huge majority of the loyal population who do not want them around.

“We have been also helping our allies in UT and Parys distant domains protect themselves against communists, rebel scum and social justice warriors who illegally seize public and private property. In those cases martial law had been raised and the loyal populations were armed to protect themselves, their system of life and their property.”

King Matthew then issued a blanket pardon in perpetuity for those who kill communists or slow track communists – He also made it a crime for any legislator in any of his lands to try to issue an apology for these actions.

Amnesty InterCreation called this “The Tripartite White Terror brought to you by Christophe, Lucius and Matthew. Do not believe their phony wars and imaginary sinking lands in the Abyss. They are ruthless dictators.”

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Parys Crisis?

By Kelric | Filed in Uncategorized

Skeptics, Sinners and Stinkers President Alfonze Colombe issued a press release stating that any crisis in Parys, nearParys territories or in the Silver Circle are purely political or geostrategic and do not constitute any geographic crisis. He said to a rented community centre in St. Amant shadow that this is perpetuated by the Parys King and his cousin the Antillan King to pursue a crackdown against leftwing social justice warriors.

“We already know that Antillan reserves have armed pro Christophe militias in areas outside of the Silver Circle to slaughter Red Parys factions without provocation and warning.” he cynically notes. “We know that Parys will soon declare a crisis or a state of emergency after some contrived weather changes and small tremors to claim that territories no body knew existed that paid Christophe no taxes, that did not have deputies in the Parys Chamber of Deputes – has sunk into the Abyss. We do know that the Parys secret police with a ferocity not seen since the Bree Rebellion has hammered on their political enemies .

Colombe said further, “The Antillan Railway Empire’s armed blond haired blue eyed thugs have already been shooting Parys railway workers who seized Antillan Railway track in the name of the Parys Worker’s Council. We know that King Matthew has moved an additional 100,000 soldiers into Antillan City together with an additional 400 Urban Tanks to make a huge show of force when rumours surfaced over a possibly general strike in support of Parys workers.

“We know that Christophe and Matthew’s brother, the fascist blond beastie Lucius von Palatine have worked out a scam where they will denounce each other for crimes against one another to justify Parys’ crackdown on the leftwing. We also know that Lucius controls and had developed the UT Orwellian state including the universal control system of mantling. We also know that Lucius like Matthew is brother to Jorrah, Christophe’s wife who unleashed tonks on her husband’s people during the Bree Rebellion for Freedom.”

“Let’s join the dots, Lucius and Matthew and Jorrah are Brand’s children. Brand of Brandenberg who occupied Parys under a brutal occupation for centuries. Christophe and his scheming trollop mother Dara are planning to implement a mantling system which together with Confession Rites in the majority Quadity religion will make Parys as much a police state as UT.

Meanwhile Jenny HoofyFoot of Amnesty InterCreation has indicated that there are mass arrests in Parys with many of her Social Justice Workers have been arrested for demanding Equity over Equality.

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The sun set, quickly, and unexpectedly. In a matter of minutes, the main base observed the sky turning dark ochre, the rapid-onset sunset lighting the clouds first one beautiful share of orange then another as the heavens darkened, a rolling chorus of crickets rising with the falling of night.
Reports began to come in of tidal shifts and coastal incursions of slow-moving walls of water, ships at sea reporting their compasses turning suddenly in their cradles.
But soon the situation stabilized, and the bases reported in one after the other. There was no evidence of attack or changes in the environment that would presage the arrival of some force.
Then amid the flurry of communications one of the bases submitted a report, missed at first, but then passed up through the chain of command.
The luminosity of the moon was changing.
Staff meteorologists were called on to model this and quickly reported back that it was, in fact, changing, and developed a graphic that showed the varying degrees to which the luminosity was changing, more at the outer edges of a named circular geographic area, less as the distance to the center decreased.  They had no real explanation for this.
Or for evidence that the location of the moon in the sky wasn’t changing either.
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King Swayville has announced Dara will share Prime Ministerial Authority with two new deputies.
These new appointments include:
Princess Gilva Hendrake, wife of Prince Edward, and
Duchess Athena Helgram, Head Mistress of the Academy of Helgramways
They will cosign with a majority for any acts where the Prime Minister can act unilaterally.
Princess Dara welcomes this with a warm smile and says she looks forward to working with Gilva and Athena.
In an unrelated announcement, Prince Dave of Sawall, Duke of Daveways has been honoured with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Dragon and also has been named to the Royal Society of Chaos. Lord Bances has also issued him with a religious knighthood, Knight of the Order of Justin the Stern.
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Dara makes HUGE Donations!

By Kelric | Filed in Uncategorized
Princess Dara, Grand Duchess of Sawall and of Houses Hendrake and Helgram, Prime Minister of Chaos today announced that she was spending a whole year’s income from her vast estates and investments to fund a large number of benevolent projects today.
Included in this –
The Chaos Church Roof Fund. – Dara has committed to replacing every Church Roof and also paying for every major repair in every church in Chaos and the Black Zone including those hurt in the last Civil War
The Swayville and Florimel Foundation – This new organization is being funded to provide for educational scholarships for poor Chaos Lords including all Helgrams in need regardless of residence.
The Motherhood Fund of Chaos – Dara is committing to have homes set up, funded and a trust set up for 50 homes for unwed mothers in Chaos and the Black Zone and 10 in Amber and 1 in each open Earth Zone territory as well as Parys and Brandenberg if they permit.
The King Christophe and Queen Jorrah Fund for Refugees, Originally conceived by Queen Jorrah to help with Jorrahville Refugees, the now disbanded camp, will provide aid for those in need who come to Parys seeking refuge. Once approved by the Parys government, refugees will be sheltered, fed and trained as well as taught Parys French, Parys customs and integrated into Parys society.
The Hellmaid Injury Fund – to support injured and retired veteran hellmaids in Hendrake. Dara is building 30 homes and providing vocational and rehabilitative training.
The Sawall Poor Box – dedicated to providing support and assistance to Dara’s Sawall subjects, especially those who have been harmed through the Mandor rebellion.
King Swayville announced that Princess Dara is proud and honoured to support these funds.
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BANNED by King Bleys in Amber and the Golden Circle and Avernus and Helgramways and all his dominions and territories.
————
Children of the Unicorn is a dynamic yet innovative series running in many Earth Shadow territories. It is uncertain if it is being allowed in modern shadows of each family though the presumption is it is allowed unless banned.

But while it lacks for nudity and dragons and bloody upheavals, this new series makes a solid argument for the exercise of power as the stuff of compelling drama in its own right. The first chapter of this daring chronicle of the rule of King “Bling” Bleys of Amber remains gripping across the entirety of the 10 episodes made available to critics, finding both emotional heft in Bleys’  election, ascension and unexpected suspense in matters of courtly protocol and etiquette. Led by a complicated and star-making performance and an ensemble primed to fill Emmy categories, Children of the Unicorn is surely one of the strongest push yet into the realm of prestige drama.

 

The story begins with King Oberon’s expected demise with the Regent of the Day Prince Gerard presiding over an unruly family of old and young rascals. There are dark rumours that Oberon is still trying to claw for his throne beyond the grave through his favourite grandson, young Marcus who has been given control of the notorious secret police and Star Chamber, the Intelligence Committee and its arm of the Secret Service. He is given a monopoly of control over the pink gunpowder and control of the ordinance in Amber Castle and Oberon’s highly secured villa in Southern Amber in the “olive belt” – Sans Sulci

 

We see King Bleys newly elected then his rapid coronation marrying his beloved ice maiden Elizabeth Channicut. We see Bleys’ fraternal twin sons, the stiff upper lipped Prince John who is the Royal Secretary and consolidated royal power behind his highly flamboyant father. We see Princess Royal Fiona who is the conniving spider at the centre of the web who with John, does most of the palace’s day to day operations. However we see Fiona as not only politically ambitious but damaged following the death of her late husband and nephew Gaius from the Civil War.  She is fierce in protecting her main sons by Gaius – Isaac, Liam and Icarus among others.

 

There is the heart breaking scene where Ian, separated from John and his father and raised under the supervision of Bleys’ previous wife, the Princess Swayvanna, his mother in Tenterden  where he was isolated from his family. We see Ian’s frustration with the flash and glamour of his father, hungry for more substance behind the pageantry, pomp, gilding and gold braid, seeking only to get to know his father and have a beer with him. Bleys, into planning another parade and festival, another grand party or even a new Winter capital in the tropics, hides behind his fall of smiles and good times causing pain to all who know him.

 

The third brother is Brand, currently in the story in the ‘vegetable crisper’ in a coma following his injuries at Patternfall and hidden wars with Corwin. On the verge of a somewhat controversial occupation of Parys,  the insufficiently stationed Jasra, Brand’s wife by Suhuy is willing to reduce the occupation under a friendly son of Corwin. Dara’s son, Christophe, is considered – he is an urbane witty and a light hearted fellow most known for his drinking parties with hundreds of bottles under the young royal section of Amber Palace – the Northwest Wing.

Christophe is barely considering the crown of Parys, but it isn’t long before he is thrust atop the tenuous monarchy of Parys with Jasra and Brand’s girl scientist daughter, Princess Jorrah.

 

Brand’s many sons include at this time, his eldest Geran, his hard right wing triplets of Dalt and Dieter. Dieter was involved as an ultra totalitarian rival later father in law to Ian. Geran had a younger brother the difficult and mouthy son of Brand Matthew who’s mother is Elizabeth Channicut. Matthew is also the main student of Dworkin who arranges for a Sovereign Principality of Garnath to be carved out of Amber’s Medway River Valley

The first season stretches only Bleys’ first years, on the brink of the Remban War, and builds its drama on several fronts, cleverly balancing episodic spikes in action — the Cabra Crisis-  for example, is the backdrop for an hour sure to warrant award consideration for its cinematography — with numerous ongoing struggles including the waning health of King Swayville the Eternal and the greedy machinations of Prince Mandor of Sawall; Ian’s feelings of marginalization; sister Deirdre’s rule-breaking love life with Mandor and her sons; and the periodic intrusions of ghost of King/Prince Eric who remains adored by the citizenry of the most of Northern and Eastern Amber even if his usurpation nearly crushed the House of Barriman in Amber.

 

It’s a story of overwhelming privilege and, in most cases, the least relatable of dilemmas, but the series’ great gift is in foregrounding the characters’ choices in ways that feel universal. You might not think you’d care about which lavish residence Bleys calls home or whether or not his children take their father’s name, but Children of the Unicorn makes you understand the stakes for Bleys and then possibly the stakes for Amber even after Bleys is poised to inherit the Grand Duchy of Helgram which is a powerful support base.

 

The vast writing is masterful, even if it’s probably a wholly theoretical empathy for real people who hardly are in the business of confessing their innermost insecurities to the public.

These are characters who are symbols for many in Amber, Chaos and the Golden Circle and abstractions for most in Shadow and the series makes them prickly, complicated, frequently unlikable and always justifiable in their own heads, to the benefit of the actors, if not to hero worshippers.

 

King Bleys starts the series as an intentional cipher, unreadable and unknowable because the eyes of the world needed him to be merely a light weighted son, a prince and a dilettante. In those initial episodes, Children of the Unicorn is dominated  by Bleys’ story.

 

When he becomes King and maintains Bleys as his regnal name, Bleys is able to split into two entities, constantly in conflict — the fun loving man fighting his inner demons and not wanting to wreak vengeance on those who murdered his sons and the Crown with the obvious needs for national unity and cohesion. He’s simultaneously a deer-in-headlights, educated mostly on the art of swordsmanship, war and horses, and instinctual and ready to learn. Bleys is punctuated by moments of fierceness with uncertainty and moments of doubt with cleverness and he parries wonderfully with his siblings, children and nephews.

 

Armed with the Charter, produced by Dworkin in exchange for Garnath, Bleys’ Crown is threatened by younger brother Random who is armed with a Jewel of Judgement given to him by a demon disguised as a Unicorn. War is inevitable with Random backed by the Abyss loving Rembans.

 

In a cast without weak links, I’d also single out the performance of Random as a snivelingly vindictive and also righteously indignant little weasel, the no-filter Queen Mother Clarissa, especially Prince John the  no-nonsense royal secretary  and Princess FIona, whose take on the Chatelaine of Amber will be revelatory to audiences who only know  her later years as a cherished intellectual and academic icon.

 

Much has been made of the high budget for Children of the Unicorn, which is evident in all facets of the production. Directors situate the tremendous performances within layers of varied opulence. The production design celebrates the differences between Amber Palace, Port Royal Palace, Guildhall against the Brass Cat and Boar’s Head Pubs, between the wealthy and the absurdly wealthy, with contributing marvelous frocks, gowns and uniforms that outshine Bleys’ real forces themselves. The score accentuates grandeur, but, like the direction and overall pacing, is never stuffy.

 

The costume drama done right because for all its scope, the audience’s fascination has always been process and the clash between individuals and institutions. This series favors brainy intimacy, and even a royal wedding and coronation are negotiations of power. That’s probably why it’s left to the imagination to carry the aspects of fairy tale romance. Bleys and Elizabeth talking dirty isn’t something that worked for me at all, but they keeps it to a “These are real people and of course they had sex” minimum.

 

With its literate affluence and clear-eyed treatment of the compromises and conditions of power, Children of the Unicorn is positioned to appeal to fans of both Downton Abbey and House of Cards, without the blood and murder of Game of Thrones.  I was consistently impressed with how they kept the story interesting even in episodes without big historical events. The coronation and the tour of great powers make for rich hours, but the plot is as confident building an episode around Julian studding a prize horse or the Prince Dave’s trip to a shadow kingdom I found the first season of Children of the Unicorn to be surprisingly bingeable, and knowing some of the historical events to come and having settled into the performances, I’m eagerly anticipating season two

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During all the chatting and awarding, Bances sighs and tries not to
> look at his watch. Isaac and Minerva, veterans of academic conferences and their
> attendant delays and digressions, are more used to it.
>
>
> Finally, Bances manages — between coughs, gestures, and a few bribes
> to shut down the bar for the moment — to begin the ceremony. He keeps
> it short and standard. This crowd can be dangerous when restless, not
> to mention the storied history of surprise attacks during family
> gatherings. And neither Isaac nor Minerva show much tendency to
> value pomp or sentiment. And he deftly skips any invitation for those
> objecting to the ceremonyto speak up.
>
> Bances has Dragon Church attendants forcibly block the bar access to everyone while crossing arms and looking stern.
> Bleys chuckles audibly and conjures a nice chilled glass of stout.
>
> Florimel gives her brother a sour look.

Isaac’s eye twitches like he wants to wink at Bleys. His Uncle has the
right attitude.
>
> Bances uses an Old Chaosite Accented Tharii, common during the time when Oberon married Cymnea. He is very loud, droning and has a vocal sonic ability that prevents anyone from falling asleep unless they have a high psyche. It is not magic but in fact sonics. For anyone familiar with the House of Wolf in Aurelius is the same science as their VOICE (but not their Voice just a ban on sleep)
>
>
> FIRST, the banes [banns] must be asked thre severall Sondaies or holy daies, in the tyme of service, the people beyng present, after the accustomed maner.
>
> And yf the persons that would be maryed dwell in diverse Paryshes, the banes must be asked in both Parishes and the Curate of the one Paryshe shall not solempnize matrimonye betwyxt them, wythout a certifycate of the banes beyng thryse asked, from the Curate of the other Parysh. At the date appoincted for solempnizacyon of Matrimonye, the persones to be maryed shal come into the body of the Churche, wyth theyr frendes and neighbours. And there the Pryest shall thus saye.
>
> – There is a Bann record from Amber City from Theobald’s Chapel in Amber Castle for Isaac from the Church of Amber and a Bann record from the Parish of St. Gregory’s in the Academy of Helgramways for Minerva from the Church of the Dragon.
>
> DEARELY beloved frendes, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of his congregacion, to joyne together this man and this woman in holy matrimony, which is an honorable state, instytuted of God in Paradise, in the time of manes innocencie, signiflyng unto us the mistical union that is betwixt The Ancient Abyss Emperors and their Churche: which holy state Emperor Justin the Stern adourned and beautified with his presence and firste myracle that he wrought with the Dragon of Thelbane, and is commended of sainctly Theodorus the Clever to be honourable emong all men, and therfore is not to be enterprised, nor taken in hande unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly, to satisfye mennes carnall lustes and appetytes, lyke brute beastes that have no understandyng ; but reverently, discretely, advisedly, soberly, and in the feare of God, duely consideryng the causes for the which matrimony was ordeined. One was the procreation of children, to be brought up in the feare and nurtoure of the Lordes, and praise of the Kings of the Abyss Empire now Chaos. Secondly, it was ordeined for a remedy agaynste sinne and to avoide fornication, that suche persones as have not the gifte of continencie might mary, and kepe themselves undefiled membres of Holy Emperor Justin the Stern’s community of the Blessed. Thirdly, for the mutual societie, helpe, and comfort, that the one ought to e of the other, bothe in prosperity and adversitye, into the whiche holy state these two persones present, come nowe to be joyned. Therefore if any man can shewe any just cause, why thei may not lawfully be joyned together let hym now speake, or els hereafter for ever holde his peace.
>
> And also speakynge to the persons that shalbe maryed, he shall sale.
>
> I REQUIRE and charge you (as you wil aunswere at the dreadful day of judgement, when the secretes of all hartes shalbe disclosed) that if either of you doe knowe any impedyment, why ye may not be lawfully joyned together in Matrimony, that ye confesse it. For be ye well assured, that so many as be coupled together, otherwyse than Goddes worde doeth allowe, are not joyned together by the God/Emperor of the Abyss Empire, and the Holy Dragon of Chaos and… that Unicorn (Bances grousingly murmurs) neither is their Matrimonye lawfull.
>
> At whyche day of Maryage, if any man do allege and declare any impediment, why they may not be coupled together in matrymony by Gods law, or the lawes of thys realme, and wyll be bound, and sufficient sureties with him to the parties, or els put in a cautyon to the ful value of suche charges, as the persons to be maryed do susteine to prove hys allegation: then the solempnization must be deferred unto suche tyme as the truthe be tried. If no impedyment be alledged, then shall the curate saye unto the man,
>
> WILT thou ISAAC GAIUS OBERON GREGORY, Prince of Chaos, Prince of Amber, Prince of House Helgram, Lord Chancellor of Amber, have thys woman to thy wedded wyfe, to lyve together after The Holy Dragon and Unicorn’s ordynaunce in the holye estate of Matrimony? Wylt thou love her, comforte her, honour, and kepe her, in sickenes, and in healthe? And forsakyng al other, kepe the onely to her, so long as you both shall hve?
>
> The man holds a card in front of Isaac reading YOU shall aunswere,
>
> I will.

Isaac intones “I WILL AND I SHALL” with a gravitas matching Bances.
Minerva keeps her composure.
>
> Then shall the Priest saye to the woman,
>
> WILT thou MINERVA ATHENA CLARISSA JUSTINA Princess of Helgram have this man to thy wedded housband, to lyve together after The Holy Dragon and the Unicorn’s ordynaunce in the holy estate of matrimony? wilt thou obey hym and serve him, love, honour, and kepe him, in sycknes and in health? And forsakynge al other, kepe the onely to him so long as ye bothe shal live
>

Isaac shoots Minerva a quick look at the intonation of her name, and
Minerva suppresses a scowl back. As some will find out, pedantic
Isaac delights in the fact that Minerva’s first two names constitute a
redundancy.

> Minerva shall aunswere,
>
> I will.

And she does. In fact, somehow it sounds like there are four of her
talking at once, harmonizing.
>
>
> Who geveth this woman to be maried unto this man?
>
> ******Athena Helgram defies Bances and gives her daughter away
> Bances gives her a Woeful look.

Minerva and Isaac scowl back.
>
> She says, “King Bleys will give Prince Isaac away too.”

“Loaded coin flip, or cutting marked cards?” a voice asks in the
peanut gallery — or is Isaac committing ventriloquism?
>
>
> ¶ And the Minister receivyng the woman at her mothers handes, shall cause the man to take the woman by the right hand, and so either to geve their trouth to other, the man first saying.
>
>
>
> I ISAAC take thee ATHENA to my wedded wyfe, to have and to hold from thys day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for porer, in sickenes, and in healthe, to love and to cheryshe, tyll death us departe; according to The Holy Dragon and Unicorn’s’ holy ordinaunce, and therto I plight the my trouth.
>
> Then shall they louse their handes, and the woman takyng againe the man by the right hande, shall saie.
>
> I ATHENA take thee ISAAC to be my wedded husbande, to have and to holde, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickenes, ad in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us departe, accordynge to THe Holy Dragon and Unicorn’s holy ordinaunce: and therto I geve the my trouth.

They do that and they behave this round.
>
>
>
> Then shall they again louse theyr handes, and the man shal geve unto the woman a ring, laying the same upon the booke, with the accustomed dutie to the Priest and Clerke. And the Priest taking the ryng, shal delyver it unto the man, to put it upon the fourth finger of the womans left hand. And the man taught by the Priest, shal say.
>
> WITH this ring I the wed: with my body I the worship: and with all my worldly goodes, I the endow. In the name of the Holy Dragon, the Emperor Justin the Stern’s Ghost, the Ghost of Theodosius the Clever, The Ghost of Valentinian The Conquerer, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder and the High King of the AByss Empire and its lands in Creation, King Emperor Swayville the Eternal and the Great. . Amen.
>
> Theobalt quietly adds a small similar prayer from the Church of the Unicorn’s point of view.
>
> Then the man leavyng the ryng upon the fourth finger of the womans left hande, the Minister shall saye.
>
> O ETERNALL DRAGON OF CHAOS and the High Kings before us, creatoure and preserver of all mankynd, giver of all spirytuall grace, the aucthour of everlastyng life: send thy blessyng upon these thy servauntes, thys man and this woman, whom we blesse in thy name, that as Isaac and Athena lyved faithfully together: So these persons may surely performe and kepe the vow and covenaunt betwixte them made, wherof this ring geven, and received, is a token and pledge, and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according unto thy lawes, thorough The Holy Dragon and the Unicorn. Amen.
>
> ¶ Then thai the Priest joyne their right handes together and say.
>
> Those whome I Bances and my younger brother Theobald hath joyned together, let no man put a sonder.
>
> Then shall the Minister speak unto the people.
>
> FOR asmuche as ISAAC AND ATHENA have consented together in holy wedlocke, and have witnessed the same before Their Ancestors The Holy Dragon and Unicorn, and thys company, and therto have given and pledged, their trouth eyther to other, and have declared the same by gevyyng and receivyng of a ryng, and by joynyng of handes I pronounce that thei be man and wife together. In the name of the Holy Dragon, the Emperor Justin the Stern’s Ghost, the Ghost of Theodosius the Clever, The Ghost of Valentinian The Conquerer, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder and the High King of the AByss Empire and its lands in Creation, King Emperor Swayville the Eternal and the Great. . Amen.
>
>
> And the Minister shal adde this blessyng.
>
> Holy Dragon, the Emperor Justin the Stern’s Ghost, the Ghost of Theodosius the Clever, The Ghost of Valentinian The Conquerer, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder and the High King of the AByss Empire and its lands in Creation, King Emperor Swayville the Eternal and the Great blesse, preserve, and kepe you, the Lordes mercifully wyth their favour loke upon you, and so fil you with al spiritual benediction, and grace, that you may so lyve together in thys life, that in the world to come, you may have life everlastyng. Amen.
>
> ¶ Then the Ministers or Clerckes goyng to the Lordes table, shall saie, or syng this Psalme folowyng Beati omnes.
>
>
>
> BLESSED are all they that feare the Lorde, and walke in his waies.
> For thou shalt eate the labour of thy handes, O wel is the, and happy shalt thou be.
> Thy wife shalbe as the fruitfull vine upon the walles of thy house.
> Thy children like the olive braunches rounde about thy table.
> Lo thus shall the man be blessed: that feareth the lorde.
> The Lordes from out of Cornelia shal blesse the: that thou shalt see Justinopolis in prosperitie, al thy life long:
> Yea, that thou shalt see thy childrens children, and peace upon the Abyss Empire.
> Glory be to the Holy Dragon, the Emperor Justin the Stern’s Ghost, the Ghost of Theodosius the Clever, The Ghost of Valentinian The Conquerer, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder and the High King of the AByss Empire and its lands in Creation, King Emperor Swayville the Eternal and the Great. . Amen.
>
> As it was. &c.
>
> Psal. cxxviii.
>
> Or elles this Psaime folowyng Deus misereatur.
>
> Holy Dragon and the Unicorn be mercifull unto us and blesse us: and shewe us the lyght of his countenaunce, and be merciful unto us.
> That thy waie maie be knowen upon the earth: thy savyng healthe among al nacions.
> Let the people prayse the (O God) yea, let all the people praise the.
> O let the nacions rejoyce and be glad, for thou shalt judge the folke ryghteously, and governe the nacions upon the earth.
> Let the people praise the (O God) lette all the people praise the.
> Then shall the earthe bryng furthe her encrease, and the Holy Dragon and Unicorn, even our Gods, shal geve us their blessyng.
> Dragon, the Emperor Justin the Stern’s Ghost, the Ghost of Theodosius the Clever, The Ghost of Valentinian The Conquerer, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder, The Ghost of Cornelius the Elder and the High King of the AByss Empire and its lands in Creation, King Emperor Swayville the Eternal and the Great shall blesse us, and al the endes of the worlde shall feare him.
> Glory be to the Father. &c.
> As it was in the be. &c.
>
>
> The Psaime ended, and the man and the woman knelyng afore the Lordes table: The Priest standyng at the Table, and turnyng hys face towarde them, shal saie,
>
> Lordes have mercie upon us.
> Aunswere. Cornelius the Merciful have mercie upon us.
> Minister. Lordes have mercie upon us.
>
> OUR FATHER WHICHE ART. &c.
> And leade us not into temptation.
> Aunswere. But deliver us from evil. Amen.
> Minister. O Lordes, save thy servaunt, and thy handmaide.
> Aunswere. Whyche put their trust in the.
> Minister. O Lordes sende them helpe from thy holy place.
> Aunswere. And evermore defende them.
> Minister. Be unto them a towre of strength.
> Aunswere. From the face of their enemie.
> Minister. O Lordes heare our praier.
> Aunswere. And let our crie come unto the.
>
> ¶ The Minister.
>
> O Dragon of Justin the Stern, Dragon of Theodosius the Clever, Dragon of Valentinian the Conquerer, blesse these thy servauntes, and sowe the sede of eternal life in their mindes, that whatsoever in thy holy worde they shal profitably learne, they may in dede fulfil the same. Loke, O Lorde mercifully upon theim from heaven, and blesse them. And as thou diddest send thy blessing upon ISAAC and the ATHENA to their greate comforte: so vouchesaufe to sende thy blessing upon these thy servauntes, that they obeiyng thy will, and alway beyng in saufetie under thy protection, may abide in thy love unto their lives ende, throughe Holy Dragon and Unicorn our Lordes. Amen.
>
> ¶ Then shall the Priest saye,
>
> ALMIGHTIE Dragon and Unicorn , which, at the beginnyng did create our firste royal parentes at Creation of the Solstice Logrus, and did sanctifie and joyne them together in mariage, powre upon you the richesse of his grace, sanctifie, and blesse you, that ye may please hym both in body and soule, and live together in holy love, unto your lives ende. Amen.
>
> Then shal begyn the Communion, and after the Gospel shalbe saied a Sermon, wherin ordinarily (so oft as there is any mariage) thoffice of a man and wife shalbe declared, accordyng to holy Scripture, or if there be no sermon, the Minister shal reade this that foloweth.
>
> AL ye which be maried, on whiche entend to take the holy estate of Matrimonie upon you: heare what holy scripture doth say, as touching the dutie of housbandes towarde their wives, and wives toward their housbandes.
> Valentian the Conquerer, Emperor, doeth geve this commaundement to all maried men.
> Ye housbandes love your wives, even as your fathers loved the Churche, and hath geven hymselfe for it, to sanctifie it, purgyng it in the fountaine of water, throughe the worde, that he might make it unto hym selfe a glorious congregacion, not havyng spot or wrincle, or any suche thyng, but that it shoulde be holy and blameles. So men are bounde to love their owne wyves, as their owne bodies. He that loveth his owne wife loveth hym selfe. For never did any man hate his owne fleshe, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Londes doeth the congregacion, for we are membres of his body: of his flesh and of hys bones.
> For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shalbe joined unto his wife, and thei two shalbe one flesh. This mistery is great, but I speake of the Holy Dragon and Unicorn and of the congregacion. Neverthelesse, let every one of you so love his owne wyfe, even as hym selfe.
>
>
>
> Psal. lxvii.
>
>
> Likewise the same sainct Paule (wrytyng to the Collossians) speaketh thus to all men that be maried. Ye men, love your wyves, and be not bitter unto them.
> Collos iii.
>
> Heare also what sainctely Emperor Theodosius the Clever whiche was him selfe a maried man (saith unto al men) that are maried. Ye housbandes, dwel with your wyves according to knowledge. Gevynge honour unto the wyfe as unto the weaker vessell, and as heires together of the grace of lyfe, so that your praiers be not hyndred.
>
> Hetherto ye have hearde the dutie of the housbande toward the wyfe.
>
> Now likewise ye wyves heare and learne your dutie towarde your housbandes, even as it is plainely sette furth in holy scripture.
>
> i. Pet. iii.
>
> Justin the Stern teacheth you thus: Ye women, submit youre selfes unto youre owne housbandes as unto the Lorde: for the housbande is the wyves headde, even as The Emperor is the headde of the Churche. And he is also the savioure of the whole bodye. Therefore as the Churche or congregacion, is subjecte unto the Holy Dragon. So likewyse lette the wyves also be in subjection unto their owne housbandes in al thinges. And againe he sayeth : Let the wife reverence her housbande. And (in his Epistle to the Collossians) Valentian the Conqueror geveth you thys shorte lesson, Ye wyves submitte youre selves unto youre own housbandes, as it is convenient in the words of the Holy Dragon and Unicorn
>
> The Holy Dragon and the Emperors also doeth instructe you verye godly, thus saiynge, Let wyves be subject to their owne housbandes, so that if anye obey not the woorde, they may be wonne withoute the woorde, by the conversacion [=behavior] of the wyves, whyle they beholde your chaste conversacion coupled with feare, whose apparell let it not be outward, with broided [braided] haire and trymmyng about with golde, eyther in puttinge on of gorgeous apparell, but let the hidde manne whiche is in the harte, be without all corruption, so that the spirite be milde and quiete, whiche is a precious thynge in the sighte of God. For after thys maner (in the olde tyme) did the holy women whiche trusted in God apparell them selves, beynge subject to their owne housbandes, as The wife of Justin obeyed Emperor Justin callyng hym Lorde; whose daughters ye are made, doynge well, and beyinge not dismayde with any feare.
>
> The newe maried persones (the same day of their mariage) must receyve the holy Communion.
>
>
>
> After it’s all over, Isaac and Minerva shake hands.
>
> “Well done!” she says to Isaac.
>
> “Thanks for assisting me in this,” he says pleasantly.
>
> “Is it done? I think they appear to be waiting for something?” Minvera
> says, looking mildly confused.
>
> “Hmn…let me check the agenda….m’Lord Bances, do you have a copy?”
>
>
>
> And then, from somewhere, a voice sounding much like Lucius piteously
> moans “Kiss her, you pedantic jackass! I didn’t drag myself out of
> the Abyss by my lips and little toes to be tortured like this!” A
> body clad in a toga then falls from the ceiling. As everyone gapes,
> the sawdust spills out of a dummy that reads “made you look!” scrawled
> across the toga.
>
> As everyone turns back to the altar, Isaac and Minerva are enjoying a liplock.
>
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