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I can pause only long enough to say three things for the moment: Firstly, despite additional duties which I have accepted, do not favour any one nation over the others; not all are fit for this land here or that land there, and I attempt to ensure information about all of the Steamlands is evenly distributed. Do not presume to correct me without comprehending my mission. I believe my record of support will prove my point.

Secondly, I wish Professor Philbert Foglio the happiest of birthdays. Were it not for the popularity of his histories, I would not be hosting Walpurgisnacht for the third year running.

Lastly, after tonight's Walpurgisnacht in Kittiwick Town, Caledon, at the Consulate, this album of photographs will be available for public viewing.

Bitte, enjoy the holiday.

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Although I am out-world today, Fraulein T. Davies was kind enough to send me snapshots of the new land, which I am pleased to share here. The last image, as you see, was sent by Sgt. Birdsan Weezles-Timeless, one of the Jägers posted to the grid.

Davies - St Helens 01 Davies - St Helens 02
Davies - St Helens 01
Taken by Frl T. Davies ' It's here! Steelhead St Helens is here! A view from one corner.'
Davies - St Helens 02
Taken by Frl T. Davies ' Differing water levels ...due to the dam.'
Davies - St Helens 03 Davies - St. Helens 04
Davies - St Helens 03
Taken by Frl T. Davies 'CHEESE! Missus Tensai obliged one of the scamps.'
Davies - St. Helens 04
Taken by Frl T. Davies 'Cheese St. Helens mit Jaegermonster. The dam and waterfall at the Boomtown border.'
Weezles - St. Helens 05
Weezles - St. Helens 05
Taken by Sgt B. Weezles-Timeless 'Mt St Helen's with Moon & Jager. Spot the Birdie!'

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I have summed up the past few hours of mysterious happenings in Palisade thusly: The Curious Situation of the Denied Gargoyle
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I may have to switch dimensional translator clients temporarily. The new version of 'Emerald' ( has very helpfully remembered my log-on information in such a way as to prevent me from logging on. Repeated inputs produce the same error message, whether everything is retyped, checkboxes checked or not. This will cause issues with event attendance for the nonce.

[starts disassembling devices]

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To my profound dismay, I missed notice of this abruptly-assembled ceremony this afternoon; however, one good citizen has shared photographs of this unique event, being the first dual dubbing of Knights of Caledon.

My hearty congratulations to the well-deserving new chivalry.

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As I knew Frau Lowey would have problems seeing in such a crowd, and in such a large cathedral, as well as having a particular point of view from my position behind the groom, I was able to take photographs at the Antiquity royal wedding with minimal trouble. I believe the Primgraph might be publishing a short account of the event as well, with their own selections from my proofs.

Thumbnails of selected images with links to the full-sized copiesCollapse )

As pleasant as an occasion as this was, this is still somewhat frivolous to document. I have some notes on JIRAs and scripts which I hope to have in proper order soon.
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His Grace, the Grand Duke Gregg of Antiquity did me the signal honour of requesting I be one of his groomsmen at his long-anticipated wedding to Grand Duchess Angel. The rehearsal is in the morning; the wedding in the late morning. This should be a very... interesting experience.
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Although I had some vexing technical issues which removed me from the dance for a short time, I found the Third Annual Bookbinders' Ball hosted by the Prim Minister of New Toulouse in association with her Librarian, Frl. GallateaSu Beaumont, to be a delightful and creative event. Their theme was this: To come dressed either as a heroine from some work of literature, or in some wise to evoke a heroine. Obviously, in my case, I would have to choose the latter. I also had the issue of Steelhead's Friday dance overlapping with this worthy event - and it was a special occasion this Friday, as it was officially welcoming Steelhead Shanghai into the city's fold.

One of my oldest friends is from the far East, and has a most distinguished family line. The book Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century, is a Chinese historical novel based upon events in the turbulent years near the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of China, starting in 169 and ending with the reunification of the land in 280. One of these kingdoms is known as Sūn Wú or sometimes Eastern Wu. The Sun family eventually claimed the title of emperor to counter the claim of the ruler of Wei, to the north. They controlled a large area south of the Yangtze River down to the southern coastline, and east roughly 'facing' the island known to the mainland people as Liúqiú, but in its native language as Taiwan. Most appropriately to their military prowess, they were decendants of the strategist Sun Tzu who lived several centuries prior to the foundation of Eastern Wu.

Sun Jian was a respected general who put down rebellions; he had five sons and a daughter - and it is this daughter, known to history as Sun Shangxiang and referenced in Romance of the Three Kingdoms (as Sun Ren), who was represented in spirit at the Bookbinders' Ball. Her father took the prudent measure of making sure the warlord's daughter knew how to handle weapons; the story goes that when she was married off for alliance purposes to the Emperor of Shu Han (the westernmost of the Three Kingdoms), she moved into her new husband's household with one hundred armed maidservants - and he feared for his life whenever he visited her. She is often spoken of as an equal in spirit to her brothers.

Two of her brothers were most notable: Sun Ce built on his father's successes and built up a militia and power base that eventually his brother Sun Quan was able to declare himself emperor over the lands the two warrior brothers had brought under their control. Sun Quan ruled until his death at age 70; he was succeeded by his son, then his grandson and his nephew before Wu was conquered.

The costuming I wore to these social events was labelled 'Kongming' by the tailor. Kong Ming (his courtesy name, given at adulthood), or Chu-ko Liang, was also from this Three Kingdoms period, and a character in the novel. Most appropriately, from all historical evidence, he was a Spark - but more on that in a moment. He was associated with the Sun family through his wife's family connections, and they by marriage to Lady Sun. It was Chu-ko's plan that allowed Wu one of its greatest victories in battle, although he actually served the Han Dynasty in their land of Shu. His greatest victory would have been the defeat of the Kingdom of Wei in order to re-establish the Han over all China, but despite his generally superior tactics and strategies, his attacks were always turned back. His cleverness earned him the nickname of 'Hidden Dragon'.

Chu-ko's inventiveness made him a part of legend. Story has it that he invented the mantou (a wheat-flour steamed bun), the landmine and possibly the wheelbarrow; rendered improvements on a semi-automatic crossbow; created a maze with unusual properties and created paper lanterns which were able to use the hot air from a flame in the manner of balloons for wartime signalling and a method of spycraft. The last may be a respectful attribution instead of a historical fact, however.

He is usually depicted wearing formal robes and carrying a fan of crane feathers - and indeed, my costume came with a fan of this nature. Although I am not hidden at all, I should like to think I was able to represent someone likely a peer and who had challenges not unlike the ones I have faced in Europa.
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And apparently not following doctor's instructions. Caladon Rae went to the hospital the evening before last, as SLT time goes, with her leg badly swollen. She has reported they had to perform surgery to relieve the problem, had complications (no detail), and is now on strict bedrest for a week.

Which means she'd best not be reading this. I have staff watching for her showing up where she should not.

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Fraulein Llewelyn of the CDS and elsewhere posted this some time back as a guest writer; she has some useful and interesting points to make, as do her respondents.
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