You walk toward the tower rooms used by Marlan and Garion.
Marlan once told you that Master Arasemis actually made this painting himself. You like it very much and wish he would make more of this. Marlan said it depicts a former member of Candlestone that Arasemis would like to find, if he is still alive.
Nathan is said to be very knowledgeable about arcanae, and Marlan said that Arasemis considers Nathan to be the most knowledgeable teachers of arcanae since Ermosarch. But for reasons unsaid by Arasemis, Nathan disappeared by choice, forsaking the Order.
So Arasemis imagines him to be a hermit in some faraway place. Marlan said Arasemis has occasionally swapped letters with Nathan through the Sable Letter Exchange.
Marlan does not ask about the contents of the letters. But Nathan must have mentioned that he had built a rustic dwelling for himself, because Arasemis once quipped in frustration that he hoped Nathan’s home was leaky and uncomfortable by his own hand. Arasemis added that he only lamented the poor condition that Nathan’s many books must be in by now.
You wonder why Nathan vanished, and what Arasemis wants from him.
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There are three things that define the physical dimension of a knight or any sword-bearing warrior of our time: the body, the weapon, and the armor. A true master of the sword uses all three with great skill. There are many ways of learning the sword, and many cultures have devised their preferred techniques and materials, each with their own unique advantages and weaknesses.
The attentive student learns not only the techniques and materials of his own school of swordcraft, but must also be familiar with those of his enemies. This is the way of Candlestone. Do not let pupils under your care become comfortable only in the swordcraft of their own culture.
This is a very unusual painting, and at first you think it is an abstract depiction of the giant maelstroms of the seas between Pemonia and Almeria. But you think the title is a reference to the War of All Kingdoms, an event prophesied by the early Order of the Candlestone to be a final series of battles. This will mark the end of the modern era and a return to the small, tribal societies ruled by elected chieftains, just as the natives of Pemonia lived.
You have heard Master Arasemis speak of this many times. The task for you and your fellow students is to overthrow as many kings and tyrants as possible while you live. The War of All Kingdoms is the great goal of Candlestone, and you are proud to be part of it. You are also slightly jealous that Marlan has this wonderful painting on his wall, but he has shown great leadership and deserves it. You presume he will take Arasemis’s place one day.
You see Marlan’s special gauntlets that he uses with his gladed sword. These were masterfully made with an alloy that incorporates scoria, just like the ancient Gallerlander Maluram smiths. Without this ancient craftsmanship, his sword would get hot enough to melt through standard steel gauntlets.
I have found that introducing aerina arcana as akin to the body to new pupils is easy for them to understand, given that all martial arts begin with learning how to manipulate and harness the movements of one’s own body through the airs.
All can understand this, as these skills can be as mundane as learning to increase speed or strength, or as advanced as learning to run up walls and trees. Most of them have experience with hand-held weapons and the wearing of armor as well, so for them aerina builds on what they already know. I also tell them that aerina is the original or traditional arcana, since it is the foundation for the others.
The two parts of aerina are acrobatics and swordcraft. With acrobatics, students learn how to use their bodies as instruments, including for fighting, speed, and stealth. With swordcraft, students learn the sword, the most sublime weapon. Attached to swordcraft can be attached all other weaponry, which the student must learn how to use and defend against.
You recognize the name from a story about a frontier fortress built by the Brintilian Empire to protect the Durgensdil Colony. The colony was founded as a small trading post with the Raffen tribe, which opened the door to closer cooperation and eventually a strong alliance between the empire and the Raffen.
The colonists were permitted to build the port of Orringholm and expand the colony north along the cliffs, along the north and south banks of the Orringholm River Valley, and to the eastern side of the valley where they encountered the Gallerlanders. It was here, where the river valley opened to the wild interior of Gallerlandia, that the Brintilians built Haradholm to protect the path from Colbrint to the coastal colony.
Before the fortress could be completed, however, the Gallerlanders attacked and wiped out the soldiers that had been garrisoned there during construction. The Brintilian colonists blamed the Raffen for not warning them of the attack, as if the Raffen could have. The fortress was eventually built, but not until the Frontier Corps had begun the crusade into Gallerlandia. Until then, the ruin was a reminder to the colonists of the dangers of Pemonia.
You reason that Garion chose this painting for his room to remind him of the Gallerlanders’ strength, and inspire him in his dangerous tasks against the king.
You see an unusual folding blade in Garion’s chest. Having been a student of Master Arasemis much longer than you, Garion has trained on tribal and other unique weapons that you lack the skill for, at least right now.
You can see that this menacing blade has a small spring along the side, and many frilled blades along its outer edge. Given its size, you think it is unfolded and held so that the frills splay out along the forearm like a wing. But this is clearly crafted with knowledge of machina, so you don’t dare touch it.
You see that Garion left the layout of Eglamour Palace on his desk. He probably memorized it for his task, and probably wanted to avoid these plans being found on him if he was caught by the king’s guards, the Crownblades.
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