Monday, December 26, 2016

Apologies and Explanations

I have been absolutely swamped by the sheer amount of information that has come to me, from other researchers around the world, regarding Kirrac, Jovan Dorr, and a number of other individuals either lucky enough or unfortunate enough to have experienced that world. It seems that the experiences of Jovan Dorr are not entirely unique, but I am doing my due diligence and parsing through the information to weed out the less-reliable accounts. Seeing the interest in this subject and the success of our little experiment, I have extended my contract for this website for an additional two years. I hope to have new and revelatory content for you soon.

--R. McCarrick

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pencil Sketch of the Baenrahls

I stumbled across this interesting drawing the other night. It's a pencil drawing on a loose sheet, looks like it was done with the aid of a compass and ruler. It was tucked in one of the journals, but does not seem to pertain to the section where I found it. There are no other notes on it or any reference that I've found so far in the journals and papers, but it is most certainly a diagram of the
regents and I am going to assume that the symbols are the actual Baenrahls. The outer ring is the names of the urathear and the line below must be a more common title used by the people. I don't know the significance of the alphabet, though there are a couple extra characters shown there in the Seerindi entry. Very interesting stuff.

I tried to enhance it after scanning it, but the results were mixed.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Baenrahl is Romantic Rivalries & Love Triangles

There is much carousing and consorting in the tales of Jovan Dorr and one would expect no less in a world whose cities house so many people in such close proximity. The great density of population on Kirrac tend to make the Baenrahl Papers rife with decadence, infidelity, and a certain laissez faire attitude toward sexuality. This is not to say that there is no love or that romance is a rarity. In truth, there is much romance in the Baenrahl Papers and it is as much a driving force as drink or honor or gold. Jovan Dorr is a man who is easy to love, who loves easily, and is frequent in his affections. Admittedly, these romances tend to be short lived, but they have spurred him to do great and brazen things in the name of his love or the love of his companions. Their short duration is most often a result of the difficulties and problems that must arise from such involvements.

There is always a great deal of spice in these relationships, which inevitable occur with members of high aristocracy or occasionally even royalty. Either such love is fraught with a dangerous rival or the love itself is forbidden fruit in some way--betrothed or married, about to enter temple, belonging to a hostile family, belonging to a different social class or group, etc. the list goes on. In love, Jovan Dorr and friends, seem to lack a certain amount of foresight or common sense. Even when true love is found by one of them, it is inevitably complicated by having a political marriage hanging over one’s head, as in the case of Orlan ch Klent, who was forced to choose between a rather advantageous arranged marriage and his one true love. But that is a story for another time.

I have read enough of these journals to see the love that Jovan Dorr himself seems blind to, it seems obvious to me wherein his destiny lies, and I think once you have read these tales it will be apparent to you as well. But oblivious as he is to such, it is common for him to complicate his love affairs with a certain shortsightedness that tends to generate triangles and rivalries where none need exist. But the nature of he and his companions is such that emotional involvement without chaos is something virtually unheard of in their circles. So that there is an almost unlimited amount of romantic motivation pushing them ever onward and forever complicating even the simplest of situations.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Baenrahl is Carousing

It would be fair, I think, to say that of the impressions and knowledge most of us have of the early 17th century come from the swashbuckling romances of Alexandre Dumas or are from such issue as to be directly influenced by those stories. So it would be fair to assume, knowing as we do that Jovan Dorr lived on Earth during said time period, that we have a certain grasp on him and the life he led. And in my reading of the Baenrahl Papers two things become quickly evident; first, that Dumas was not far off when describing the lives of 17th century courtiers, and second, that despite leaving earth and travelling beyond known space, Jovan Dorr, did not much change his lifestyle or habits, despite being on another world.

If one were to find himself amongst the company and comrades kept by our erstwhile narrator, it is certain that life might be said to be one of leisure and lust. The lifestyle of the rich is one of indulgences; drugs, alcohol, sex, and gambling have as much a place, and an influence, as pride and violence. These courtiers have reputations to maintain amongst themselves as well as that which is known to their patrons. Drinking, wenching, gambling, and fighting, are all high on the list of activities preferred by these men and women. Lords forbid, that they should ever be seen to pass by such an opportunity; that is how reputations are ruined. And as these things are prone to do, a drunken revel almost always leads to greater dangers, wilder adventures, and higher rewards.

Whether they occur in the inns, taverns, or ballrooms of Kirrac’s towns and cities, such activities are want to create complications as well, which may in fact, be the source of such adventure and reward. Insulted guardsmen are a danger. Jealous spouses and rivals can put a damper on the most heated encounter. Drunken insults often lead to hungover duels. Blackouts. The occasional unremembered killing. Drinking games and loud singing often lead to wild bets with outrageous stakes and questionable dares. For no matter how drunk one might be, there is always personal honor to be considered, and one would not want to be seen to be dishonorable through reluctance or fear.

In every port, every city or town, it seems, there is at least one favorite tavern frequented by Jovan Dorr and his companions. Places where he and his friends are well known and might even be said to enjoy a certain celebrity status. These are places where everyone knows their names and stories are told of the many past drunken evenings. Throughout his travels and adventures, Jovan Dorr, has sought to cultivate these second homes as places to hold court, gallivant with friends, and of course they are places to be found by anyone who might be looking.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Baenrahl is Spiders & Stratagems

The world of Kirrac, as presented by Jovan Dorr, is one of swashbuckling action and adventure, he and his cadre of comrades are constantly confronted by challenging foes who inevitably have more influence, money, and power than they themselves. But such is the life of a courtier to be bathed in politics and constantly faced with the malice of one’s rivals. It is a life that should be full of wenches and wine cups, but is instead fraught with distressed duchesses, betrayed barons, and endangered emissaries who turn to these flashing personalities for protection and justice.

Being moved to action in the affairs of such notables means confronting powerful individuals who can threaten a courtiers’ aspirations and way of life. A jealous princess will destroy a reputation without a second thought and with even less remorse. A thwarted guild master will conspire to evaporate an adversary’s personal wealth and then use that same wealth to orchestrate a revenge. An angry Templar can imprison an enemy with little cause and even less oversight, effectively eliminating an enemy’s freedom and their interference. These are people who not only can, but regularly do, use the tools of menace and threat in their schemes. They care nothing for the friends, family, and loved ones of those who get in their way. Such powerful individuals will step over the reigning authority and sacrifice the interests of their state if such things get in the way of their goals. They are in fact quite comfortable in taking such actions, usually with great aplomb and in the most grandiose way practical. A courtier goes into such matters expecting that his opponent is already firmly ensconced in power, expecting they will be facing someone having the ability, the influence, and the freedom to work their schemes through a maze of intricate plots and layers of deception. Such an opponent is sure to be as colorful and as intriguing as they are menacing.
I have run steel through many a foe, thinking to solve a problem, only to find that my true antagonist is mostly untouchable by me. That is the way of such villains, they are hidden like a tiny spider secure in a very large web. The web itself hidden high in the rafters, hidden in a dark recess, unseen. But each strand of that web reaches out of the unseen dark place and through no direct path reaches out to those who do this person’s dirty work, leaving the spider unscathed by their actions.
--Jovan Dorr, the Baenrahl papers
Such a master manipulator might be a trusted advisor to a powerful noble, a high ecclesiastical dignitary, or a royal relative, someone with too much prestige and protection to be assailed directly. Only when schemes have been unmasked, or plots fully revealed, is there any hope of bringing such a villain to account. But even then, such a powerful individual is rarely more than inconvenienced by such revelations, justice is a commodity bought and sold among the rich and powerful of Kirrac.

Veiled as they are, it is rare for such individuals to have stratagems that are less than labyrinthine and goals that are anything but grandiose. Inevitably the goal is to capture a crown, betray a state, or topple an existing hierarchy; be that religious, political, or mercantile. Those who find themselves embroiled in the matter and in need of aid have doubtless intercepted correspondences of a sensitive nature, overheard secret conversations between conspiratorial agents, or simply found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. In order to extricate themselves from the matter they turn to such courtiers as we have mentioned, with the hope that an individual of sufficient bravery and skill may frustrate or thwart such schemes. Something that Jovan Dorr seems to quite excel at doing.

While nearly everyone of wealth and privilege on Kirrac is possessed of a certain skill with a blade, most do not exercise such skill. True power lies in being movers of people. And as such persons tend to pride themselves as being master manipulators, they have spies and informants to keep them appraised of everything of note in their city. They most likely will have a personal guard full of bravados and bashers to influence events and keep their people loyal. They may even have an assassin or poisoner to take care of difficult problems. But the actions of all of these agents rarely if ever reflect directly back on our spider, because such folk always have one or more capable lieutenants to do much of their dirty work and to take the fall when things get troublesome. It is these lieutenants who are typically brought to justice only to have another rise to take their place.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Baenrahl is High Society

While there is no lack of poor and downtrodden peoples on Kirrac, the Baenrahl Papers do not tend to reflect accurately the reality of that world. The great cities of the Regents are divided most dramatically between the haves and the have nots, but even outside these great metropolises in the contested and shared cities, towns, and villages the division of rich and poor is stark. One does not freely move between the two and no one is encouraged to try. Jovan Dorr and the bold companions that surround him tend to be people of means, men and women arising from the higher classes or from the aristocracy itself. Even when stripped of wealth or title, through circumstance, imprisonment, or slavery, the privileged upbringing of these individuals is shown to shine brightly through in both word and deed. So much so that they are constantly interacting with the aristocracy, getting embroiled in the issues of their betters, and being pawns in the struggles of the regency. Because none so love a dashing rogue as does the wealthy.

Jovan Dorr and his rogues gallery of dashing fellows would tell you that they are ‘meant’ to go around saving dukes, wooing countesses, and confounding Templars. Their employment and lifestyle typically requires them to hang around the courts of royalty and the high lords of the land, and to take missions for or against people in high places. Actions, which undoubtedly, lead them to being invited to notable events such as masques, grand balls, hunts, and parlor games amongst the wealthy and powerful. Jovan Dorr would tell you that, "It is all part of the great game of life."

On a world as magical and wondrous as Kirrac these scenes and encounters play themselves out in grandiose locations – palaces, castles, formal gardens, and cathedrals – and require a sophistication of character not found inside the dueling arena. A proper sense of fashion, an ability at conversation, and a knowledge of the arts and sciences are as important in their world as is one’s ability with a blade. Jovan Dorr and friends are magnets for, and regularly find themselves, awash in the shenanigans of the wealthy and powerful. Propositioned for love affairs. Embroiled in power struggles. Privy to family secrets. Swept up in the machinations of heirs and heiresses. Through it all their mannerisms and sophistication are being scrutinized for weakness by friend and foe alike.

“Give me a blade every time,” Jovan says, “least some faux pas of etiquette lead to disaster.”

Such environs, as are found amongst high society, result in challenging social encounters, delicate political maneuverings, and often require a lightning fast wit and a tongue of equal merit. These are places where manners and etiquette are complex and of the utmost importance. To be seen as a cad or a boor amongst this crowd is the ultimate sentence to one’s reputation. In the society of the high and mighty, a man finds himself walking a delicate path, one fraught with double jeopardy and perilous morale dilemma. Such an environ is full of dangers, for it is a place where one is as threatened by the maneuverings at court as they might be by the flashing blades of their foes.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Celestial Heavens

The mythology of the heavens says that Kirrac sits in a great crystal sphere that houses all the objects that make up the solar system. At its center are two suns, one as red as the brightest ruby, the other as green as an emerald. At the edge of the great crystal sphere the light of these suns reflects on the millions of facets that make up the surface of the sphere, and thus creating the twinkling stars of the night sky. Between the suns and the stars lie the planets that make up the mythological Sphere of Arion. It is said that beyond the sphere lies an ocean of astral ether upon which countless millions of other crystal spheres are suspended. From our earthly stand point, we know this to be ridiculous, however, it is a poetic notion held by a more primitive people.

Moons of Kirrac

Kirrac has nine recognized moons and one outlier that is generally considered to be a star or distant planet by the populace. As a group these moons are known as the Nine Celestial Guardians. I will not even begin to hypothesize on what effects these celestial bodies have on the tides and currents on Kirrac, but will simple quote Jovan Dorr and say, “It’s both a very complicated and very involved series of calculations best left to those who are dedicated to such matters.” Below is a short paragraph describing each moon.

Davina: Davina is a pale white-yellow moon that can be seen at all hours of the night and day. Of all the moons in the sky, Davina is the most useful to the common people of Kirrac, completing its cycle in a mere 24 hours, it is used to gauge time by those who cannot afford the luxury of a time piece.

Sinope: Also known as the Lytmoon, Sinope is a smallish moon with a creamy, yellowish color. Sinope renews her lunar watch every four days. Sinope is the first moon in the sky most on most nights throughout the cycle.

Leda & Carme: These two moons of middling size appear to be identical, and thus are called the Twins. Both have a soft powdery-grey coloration and seem to have a hazy halo of light about them. Though they complete their watch a day apart from each other, they both do so in eight days’ time. Carme is known as the Eldest Twin, because she appears to chase the slightly smaller Leda across the night sky.

Elara: Every 20 days Elara shows her full beauty. She is known as the Queen because she is the largest of the nine Celestial Guardians. Elara is a bright blue-white moon that dominates the night sky.

Mellote: Shy and reclusive, the Maiden is often seen to be peeking out from its hiding spot behind one of the other moons. Hers is a dance that lasts thirty-two days. Mellote is slightly smaller than either of the twins and is a soft white-pink color.

Rellom: The Passing Moon, Rellom has a watch of sixty days. Many primitive peoples and those who follow ancient traditions mark the months by this moon. Rellom is one of the larger moons and has a pale but rusty, dull red color.

Zain: Shining like a silver coin in the sky Zain is often called the dwarf moon. Small and squat, this is an appropriate name for this warrior’s moon. Being born under this moon when it is full is said to be a very good sign. Many legends and rumors abound concerning this moon. Some even say that it is a great spherical machine. Zain renews his lunar march every 112 days.

Tarnel: The Black Moon, Tarnel, is a strange heavenly body, in that, it grows darker and blacker as it becomes full, and slowly fades into the sky as it wans towards new. Tarnel, when full, looks like a great black sphere in the night sky, the dim starlight providing it with a glittering halo. Tarnel completes its watch in 260 days.

Wolhm: This distant moon is not counted amongst the moons of Kirrac, but is thought to be a star by most of the population. Wolhm looks more like a large, bright star than a moon from the surface of Kirrac. It is far out in its watch, scouting the night sky for signs of trouble. Wolhm can be gone from the sight of terrestrial viewers for long periods of time as its watch is 948 days length.

Suns of Kirrac

Kirrac orbits a binary star system made up of a larger red and smaller green star that orbit a common gravitational point. While our scientific knowledge tells us that there is no such thing as a green star, that is how it is described by Jovan Dorr and so that is how I will present it to you.

Riaz: The giant red sun of Kirrac’s binary stars. Riaz has many names and many attributes associated with it. Riaz is the first to rise on the morn and the last to set at dusk. From Kirrac Riaz appears to be thrice the size of Gathla.

Gathla: The smaller, green sun of the binary pair. Gathla has as many names as there are cultures on Kirrac and then more still. Once every ten cycles the orbits of Gathla and Riaz are such that for the period of two hours Gathla eclipses Riaz. Normally Gathla rises after Riaz and sets before the red giant. In the summer months Gathla rises higher in the sky than Riaz and in the winter Gathla sneaks below the red sun on its path across the sky.

Constellations and Heavenly Bodies

In the sky above Kirrac there are five score commonly recognized constellations and a decuple of planets. There are many names for each of these heavenly bodies. Here I will provide you with the most common names of those most relevant to your character.

The Planets of Arion

The two great fiery suns that dominate the heavens are not the only objects of note. The solar system, known as the Sphere of Arion, contains 11 other planets. Each of which is given a brief description in the list below.

Apim: A small burnt world whose orbit is dedicated to the green star Gathla.

Magan: The first planet out from the suns. Magan appears as a large, bright star moving slowly across the night sky early in the spring and autumn evenings.

Iaccapin: The second planet out from the suns. Iaccapin appears as a large, blue star high in the sky during the winter months and lower in the spring and autumn. It is not visible during the summer months.

Godiyne: This is the closest planet to Kirrac. Godiyne appears to be a large yellow star that streaks along the horizon throughout the year.

Kirrac: This is the large earth-like planet that most concerns the adventures of Jovan Dorr and that is the prison of the urathear. It is somewhere between three and five times the size of our own Earth. Like Earth it is mostly water, with the estimate being closer to 3/4 than the 2/3 found on earth. Kirrac has ten moons.

Dermiflon: Second closest planet to Kirrac, Dermiflon appears as a large pink star that streaks across the sky at regular intervals. This world is known to be the home of a strange race of beings who have a global society.

Canopdrin: A large orange blinking star seen in the skies of Kirrac at regular intervals.

Djanguraj: A smallish, blue-green star seen in the skies of Kirrac at regular intervals.

Herrelldrin: Small and dim, Herrelldrin is just barely visible with the unaided eye from Kirrac. But it is always in the same place high in the sky and appears to be a faint star.

Hennardrin: A small dim point of light from Kirrac. Rarely visible to the unaided eye.

Godsholm: This strange celestial object flashes and flares in the sky at unpredictable intervals. It is believed that it is not a planet, but is in fact a great throne beckoning to the urathear across the sky. It is said that the Regent who can bring the fathers power together can ascend at last to this throne.

Notable Constellations

There are five score constellations but I will only list those that are of most significance to daily life on Kirrac. Here are the eight constellations associated with the months and two others used commonly for navigation.

Giolla’s Spear, the legendary spear of the giant king. This constellation sits high in the northern sky and is used for direction by both land and sea travelers.

Gyax and his Taurant, this is the constellation of High Summer and is most prominent in the month of Fromeltar.

Hafgygr the Giant, this High Winter constellation is in the sky throughout the month of Kaelok.

Lolith the Spider dominates the sky throughout the month of Rhianna.

Monoceros, or the Unicorn, is associated with the month of Epsilon.

Nicor the Dragon, a large constellation that dominates the sky during the month of Krosthmar.

Parandrus, the winged horse, this constellation shows in the sky during the month of Tristkar.

Sharvan the Surly, or the Bowman, is said to have been placed in the sky by his mother who could not deal with his black mannerisms. This constellation is dominate during the month of Phontal.

The Raurain, this beast of burden is a common sight amongst the farms and villages of Kirrac and the constellation named after this creature sits high in the southern sky. It is used by merchants and sailors to determine direction.

The Ring, this constellation appears high in the sky during the mid-summer month of Aestival.

Beyond all of these objects lies the vast emptiness of space with only scattered asteroids, comets, and cosmic debris that is unknown, unexplored, and undocumented by any mortal being on Kirrac. What the urathear know of these things can only be guessed at because they are unwilling to share their knowledge with lesser beings on these matters.