I can no longer see green...but it is better this way

It started the night of the pirate fight at the top of the hill. Of course, being a man of faith, I did not partake in your ritual. You all claimed to be wearing red and green spirit vials around your necks, but this is not what I saw. I saw red and gray vials.

The next morning, it would appear that those of you who wore green on your outfits were wearing a dull green instead, as if the pigment had been washed away. This was when I started to become concerned. Eventually, the green pigmentation faded entirely, leaving varying shades of white and gray in its place.

But this was just the beginning…

By mid day, the green of the trees, grass, and flowers begin to fade. It almost appeared as if they were withering, changing as they do in fall. By sunset, the color had faded entirely. The ground and trees now appeared as they do in winter, and the sun shone off them white as snow; the ground devoid of color, almost as if it were blanketed in snow.

I’m afraid I can no longer see the color green. The Fae of Winter I spoke with said this was a punishment for my lateness.

But yet, this Fae of Winter spoke of relieving the burden that green was upon me. Initially it made the world seem like a much more unforgiving place, devoid of joy.

But I now see the world as he intended me to see it…and I truly believe I am better for it.

It is beautiful…and I am thankful.

But there’s so much green here! Are you able to negotiate?

Negotiating with a Fae is presumptuous.

But I think I can say that the Winter Court is much more agreeable and perhaps even benevolent to those willing to listen than the other Fae we have encountered. Winter said that Spring took everything it had away from it and it is certainly no friend of Summer.

Yet I was encouraged to stand with the town and by doing so I would gain an ally.

They are watching…

I think that I can say that this punishment is perhaps less of a punishment and more of a way to bridge the gap between the town and the Winter Court.

I am certainly willing to speak on the town’s behalf if given the opportunity to do so. But I shall require the full support of the town…and I shall stand with you in return.

Dearest Julien,

I believe you know that I am a member of the Knights Belligerent, and our religious views hardly align, but I enjoy your company nevertheless, and am consequently concerned about the degree to which you seem to be increasingly isolated. Some of this, I know, is the fault of the townsfolk, many of whom have been less than tolerant of your unusual beliefs. Much of it, however, seems to be self-imposed.
I have seen several people extend hands to you in friendship, only for you to turn away while stating your feelings of isolation. I believe you meant this not as a rebuff, but rather because it is more than the color green that you have not seen clearly, of late.
I worry that your easy acceptance of this new development is a further symptom of this tendency to withdraw. You are not my vassal and I not your countess; I have no authority over your decisions, so I hope you will instead take this as the advice of a friend.
I know you must seek what you believe to be right, but take care, and don’t turn away so easily from those who would offer advice or a helping hand. I do not see the fae at all as you do, but I believe there may be merit in this idea to deal with the least antagonistic of them. I would meet them, myself, though I’d understand if you are not comfortable with such an introduction. Additionally, I am quite sure I am not the only unlikely ally you may have in this matter. Be willing to see those who would stand with you. And please, be careful.

Your friend,


The flower cannot speak for those whose graves it blooms upon. Soon, the fire will rage. You will need to choose: will you put out the fire or fan its flames?

They are watching…

Forgive me if I misunderstand your meaning, but do you intend intend for us to be the flower the blooms on your grave? While I might not share all your beliefs, I do also care for this town and community, and that includes you. You choose to walk into the cold of this winter, and if you seek to stand with us, you must let us walk with you as well. Your choices and sacrifices are yours to make, but I ask that you share more of yourself with us so that you do not find yourself getting lost in the drifting snow.


I believe he means he is the flower. Seeing as one meaning for his last name is “Beautiful Flower”

Julien may well be the flower in this riddle, but he is not the original speaker of it, so I’d hesitate to attribute any intent to him directly from it.

Are they, Julien?

Having left the conversation the previous day, Julien presents himself this evening in front of Lady Annaliese and the others in the tavern from the previous night. Julien lets out a long, exacerbated sigh

Well, I was hoping that scripture from our betters was going to be enough to put an end to this conversation, and avoid any unpleasantness but I can see that it will take more than that to satisfy you, so I will engage with you.

For those wondering, I am the flower spoken of in this verse, and I am not the originator of this limerick. These words were sent to me by the Winter Court, and uttered again to me in similar fashion by the Fae I met. But, I digress.

Initially, while considering the best way to deal with your skepticism and your frankly, offensive Knights Belligerent rhetoric, I thought to myself why one might react in such a manner. Of course, who would have the most to lose from the reemergence of the Fae? It would have to be the nobility, a challenge from the Fae to their authority would certainly be threatening, and indeed I would be afraid if I were in your shoes, especially if I openly believed that I was superior enough to defeat the Fae as our ancestors mistakenly did once before…

I appreciate your concern for me, but I believe it is misplaced. I think you misinterpret my withdrawals from you as withdrawals from the town at large; perhaps this is more of a symptom of you and your kind than it is me. Being a Knights Belligerent certainly doesn’t help matters. I am well liked by many circles in the town, they just don’t happen to be the same circles you travel in.

However. HOWEVER. I would like to put any previous misunderstandings behind us.

If there’s anything my new gift from Winter has taught me, it’s temperance. It’s amazing what a shift in color can do for your perspective.

Before I came to Port Katherine, I was actually quite different than many of you know me. I was quiet and reserved, with a yearning to learn. You see, I lived in a small village in rural Tojima…one which I rarely left save for a yearly pilgrimage to the capital as sort of a holy rite. I was born in this village, and before the establishment of Port Katherine, I had little thought - nor desire for that matter - that I should ever leave. Everyone in town helped each other, provided for one another, looked after one another. Of course, getting a long was much easier. We were all one large extended family, and we all belonged to The Children of the Fae. It was rare that doctrine and precedent was challenged there.

But I have encountered many things here in Port Katherine that have challenged my beliefs. For one, the people. But how can I blame them; the mainstream group of shatterites that holds view opposing your own - the Penitent Order - is far more moderate and dare I say - watered down version of the Children’s teachings. But yet, just the other day, Ffion and I were able to set aside our differences, and find common ground. What was the common ground, you might ask?

Skepticism. Even lovely Ffion has encountered much skepticism in Port Katherine.

I believe everyone is free to choose to believe however they wish - only the Fae can truly judge us, after all - but you must admit the lack of faith in Port Katherine is slightly strange. I mean, especially considering we’ve met emmisaries of the Fae not once, but twice - and I’ve even been blessed to meet Winter out of season - and you can bet that the Autumn Court will make an appearance come next season.

But set aside our personal differences and the Fae for a moment, and consider all the other strange things we’ve been exposed to. Revenants, elementals, entire towns of corrupted, marauding bands of pirates, arcane sciences, strange plants and animals, people who have survived having their souls ripped from their bodies and returned to them.

But why have we survived all of this?

By working together.

Now you might ask, Julien, you certainly have contributed your own share of troubles to the town.

And you’re right. I have. I accept responsibility for my actions. I can’t change what I’ve done in the past, but I will put my best foot forward.

Why you might ask? Well, how better to prove myself, and all of ourselves, to the Winter Fae than by living life by his wishes.

He made of me a simple request of me that I now extend to you: Stand together.

In doing so, we will gain an ally.

So I ask you to choose:

Will you fan the flames…

…or help put them out?

Friend Julien, if you are indeed the flower, than that question is addressed to you, not I.

You say you find the lack of faith in this town strange, but I find the assertion that there is such a lack far stranger. I have my faith; I have always believed the fae would return, and that we must fight them to retain our freedom from the tyranny suffered by our ancestors at their hands. If you wish to return to them willingly, far be it from me to stop you, though I will mourn your loss.

That said, the possibility of an alliance in which we are not subservient is not one that had occurred to me, and if it is on the table I am more than willing to consider it; I have never been partial to violence.
However, I find your denunciation of my beliefs to be quite inconsiderate. Never once have I ascribed to you a selfish or harmful motive, even when your actions put the town in danger.

Now, however, for all your talk of putting out the flames, you greet my offers of friendship and assistance with arrogance and discourteous accusations.

I want, as I always have, three things, in this order: the safety and prosperity of those in my charge, the well-being of my family, and the advancement of humanity’s knowledge. I would willingly lay down my life for either of the first two, and in some circumstances also for the third.

Perhaps were you not been so quick to judge those who would be friends and who attempt to find common ground across vast ideological differences, you would know that about me.

You say you wish to put misunderstandings behind us, but you say so only after attributing to me the most abhorrent of motives. I do not believe humanity can truly prosper or reach it’s potential under the fae. The prosperity of my people is and always has been my first priority. It is that simple.

I have tried to understand that you feel differently; that you believe humanity can prosper under the fae. I find such beliefs to be dangerous to you and those around you, but mostly to you, and I have never attributed malice to them. I had thought the success of our previous collaborations indicated that you would grant me the same courtesy, but if not then I must return to my first point.

Julien, if you are the flower, then the question is meant for you, not I, so I must ask; why do you speak of putting out the flames even while you pump the bellows?

Lady Annaleise, Annaleise…may I call you Annaleise?

Julien bows his head

I am sorry that I have offended you. I am so used to everyone around me believing the same thing, that I often times forget that the wider world doesn’t necessarily share my beliefs. I’m also not used to level of decorum that you might typically be accustomed to. For that, I am sorry, and I shall attempt to educate myself on the proper etiquette that your station demands when speaking with you in the future.

What can I do to prove to you that my motives are pure. I truly mean it when I say I wish to stand with the town. Some of my past actions could definitely be seen in a questionable light; I know this. Please understand that while we are both from Kithira, the world and its customs are very foreign to me. I am trying my best to work within it. I also know that we’ve worked together in the past and together we achieved great things. What can I do to put you at ease and ratchet down the tensions that exist between us now?

Julien bows fully before you, remaining so

I am at your command. You need only give the word.

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No; I’m sorry, Julien. Please do stand up. I’m afraid I let my temper get the best of me. It’s not something that happens often but I’m afraid you questioned some motives that are very dear to my heart. I see now you did not do so on purpose. I understand how this must all be very difficult for you, when what was but a theory so dear to your heart is so suddenly a reality, physically present in our lives. Anyone would lash out a bit, given the circumstances. I shall try to have more patience in the future.

As I said, I never saw anything malicious in your past actions, and as far as I am aware you have endangered only yourself with them. I don’t hold that against you, though I do wish you’d have a bit more care.

And please do not worry about the formalities. It can be a bit refreshing to forget about them for awhile, and sometimes I have trouble keeping track of all the rules, myself; I certainly don’t expect you to remember them all.

And of course you may call me Annaliese, if I may call you a friend. There is no need for titles between friends.

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Julien stands

Yes, I would like to be friends. It has been difficult, but I am starting to come around to the idea that, perhaps, the town can serve as my new family.

I shall reflect upon your words and our conversation…and I shall try and exercise greater care and restraint when it comes to our dealing with the Fae in the future. When they next appear - we should expect and perhaps prepare for a visit from the Autumn Court - I shall stand with the town and abide by our collective decision.

Again, I’m sorry and my offer stands…if you need anything that you think I can be of assistance with, please ask.

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