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Author Topic: Rekj Snivild~Avennorian Pirate  (Read 14507 times)
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« on: 04 June 2010, 06:30:06 »

Hello, and welcome to my first People entry ever, and I believe Shab's first entirely fresh entry as Mod of this forum. I understand that a few days before the update may not be a good time to post entirely fresh entries, and if anyone wants me to delete this thread or put it "on hold" until after the update then that's fine by me. Anyway, Ladies and Gentlemen - and Orcs - and Bots - I would like to present to you the Merciful Pirate!

Apologies are also presented for the reading error which put all dates in the 20th Century as opposed to the 17th, and thanks to M`ruk for spotting it. All, I believe, have been changed.

Changed back to ! - sorry I missed that after latest changes.


Changes Round One (Shabakuk) are in RED
Changes Round Two (Shabakuk and Deklitch) are in GREEN
Changes Round Three (Masterwork Present for Shaba) are in BLUE
Changes Round Four are inORANGE

Rekj Snivild is an Avennorian pirate, who raids trade ships and other vessels with valuable cargoes up and down the east coast of Manthria. He would be entirely unremarkable - insofar as a pirate can be unremarkable - were it not for the fact that he has, allegedly, made a promise never to kill, and so he uses instead of a cutlass - the traditional weapon of a pirate captain - a Hrkje whip. He was born c.1636 a.S. in Altnamm, a small village in Manthria, near Ciosa, but at the age of 15 his father, a drunkard, died and Rekj left his home forever. He was near death when a pirate captain took him on board and made him a slave. When Rekj was 20 he killed his master, a cruel and heartless man. His oath never to kill is said to date from this time. With ruthless determination, he then took over the ship, and forced it to his rules. The men were sceptical at first, but he had a genius for strategy and quickly earned their respect.

Appearance
Rekj has been, for a pirate, extremely well documented, as he leaves all passengers and sailors on the ships he raids alive to describe him. Thus we have this very comprehensive report from a merchant, Veireck Arnloff Fjorcolm. The Compendium apologises in advance for the tendency to wordiness displayed by the aforementioned:

[Rekj] strode along the decking, a tall and imposing man, with broad shoulders and an air of confidence. I had heard of the horrors perpetrated by pirates for gold, and I do confess that I was quite alarmed by his imposing air. He was un-naturally tall for an Avennorian, and maybe stood at two peds or even more, and I could myself clearly distinguish his lack of similarity to our revered Glandorian roots. He had calloused hands, and methought him rather similar to the Darian peasantry of the small villages around Port Cael. Then, he bespoke himself and I do say that his voice had none of the harshness I would connect to a man accustomed to killing ruthlessly - indeed, I was in no small measure surprised that I still did breathe, though I did expect him to effect a change in that with some speed, or worse to humiliate me in slavery. However, his voice was calming, like the end of the storm. "Don't ye be worryin', master merchant - how should I be callin' ye?" Befuddled, I responded, and he resumed his speech "Well Arnloff, ye needn't fear, I'll never kill or allow a killin', so yer crew an' ye're safe for now." He was crouching now, and I perceived his eyes were thoughtful and in some measure introspective. Deep blue I saw them to be, and yet with a hint of the living green of the ocean, and streaked with a soothing grey. Methinks indeed that the eyes of Baveras Herself could be of this hue. His hair, which fell to his shoulder and had most probably been braided, was of a dark blond, and he wore an outfit that I deemed most uncomfortable, although he did later assure me it was quite utilitarian in design. Around his waist was tied a length of rope, which also formed him a diagonal body sash, and he, in line with his claims to mercy, carried no cutlass. It came to my mind that he, as his crew, fought with this, a Hrkje whip, a weapon I have seen many times on the ports, and this would seem to fit with his professions of mercy.

Fjorcolm goes on to detail his conversation with Rekj, who seemed to enjoy relating his history to a third-party even after the original ship had been allowed to leave - he records that he was placed on a beach a few strals from Ciosa after he had spoken with the captain at length. From this description of Rekj, a mental picture can be formed which we hope will suffice for the readers of the Compendium.

Personality
From the accounts of Veireck Fjorcolm and others, we can see that Rekj is a man of seeming contradictions. He is both a man of mercy and kindness, but also, according to his detractors, a "destroyer of decent men's livelihoods; a vile pirate" and other uncomplimentary things. Fjorcolm's account is scornful of him and his station, with not a small amount of racial prejudice, but also understanding of him as a person. Of course, as a native born Avennorian, Forcolm himself feels the same wanderlust and desire for success that drives a pirate - merchants of other nations are not quite so understanding. Rekj is reported to have been exposed to high amounts of brutality in his life, and this, rather than in turn brutalising him, has made him sick of cruelty and bloodshed - hence his vow never to take life. It is even reported that he will not partake of animal flesh except at direst need, and looks with disapproval on those of his crew who do. Consequently, his ship has attracted men like him of sensibility, not killers, and his grasp of navigation, with the related ability to bring home large hauls, has earned him respect, perhaps keeping men with him who would not otherwise stay. So the picture which can be formed of Rekj is one of a compassionate man who refuses to kill and likes to talk, but with a sadness underlying his demeanour from his past - a drunken father and a sadistic master.

Biography
The following is the best biography this researcher can piece together of the pirate Rekj Snivild, although as he went from obscurity to pirate, and that gradually, very little certainty can be had about dates.

c.1630 a.S. Father comes South. Around this time, Rekj's father Jepploff is believed to have come south to Ciosa from the reeking town of Barekmahr to find a job which did not involve processing human waste. He worked hard and was admired by all his fellow workers for his willingness to do any job (little knowing that the jobs they hated were nothing in comparison to wading in sewage).

1633 a.S. Mother comes to Ciosa. From the records of the company for which Jepploff worked we know that in this year his young wife Kjulas came to join him, when he had saved enough for a nice town house.

1635 a.S. Parents move to Altnamm. In this year Jepploff left his job and moved to a small town outside Ciosa, Altnamm, where he lived with his wife.

c.1636 a.S. Birth. After Jepploff left his job, there are few records and we are forced to rely on conjuncture. It is believed that in this year, or thereabouts, Rekj was born.

c. 1636 a.S. Death of Kjulas. It is not known whether Rekj's mother died in childbirth or not, but she certainly did not live more than a few months after the birth of her only son.

c. 1637 a.S. Jepploff turns to Drink. Unable to cope with the loss of his wife, Jepploff turns to drink in order to drown his sorrows.

c. 1638 a.S. Jepploff becomes Criminal; Loses Job. Jepploff is believed to have lost his job around this point for tardiness, and to have turned to petty crime in order to fund his drinking habits.

c. 1638 a.S. to c. 1649 a.S. Unloved and Abused. During his young life, Rekj was frequently abused by his father, and learnt the value of keeping his head down. He grew up with no-one to love him or take care of him, and frequently suffered from minor contusions.

1649 a.S. Rekj Knocks Out Jepploff. When Rekj was about fourteen, a town constable records how he heard a disturbance in the Snivild household, and entered to find Rekj in the act of knocking out his abusive and drunken father. When he smelt the huge amounts of alcohol on Jepploff's breath, he decided to be lenient with Rekj and make no more of the matter. However, Jepploff never tried to harm his son again - weakened and permanently slowed by drink as he was, he had no hope against a physically fit young man just coming into his full strength, with the suppleness of youth still green within him.

1651 a.S. Jepploff Dies. Whilst "drowning his sorrows" one night, Jepploff strayed too close to the docks and drowned himself. Rekj is not reported to have grieved greatly at this occurrence. The records of Jepploff's creditors give this year accurately.

1651 a.S. Rekj Leaves. After his death, it transpired that Jepploff had vast debts, and no money to repay them. Rekj's house and other possessions were taken by the town and sold to cover these debts, and Rekj leaves town with nothing but the clothes on his back. This date is known through town records and those of Jepploff's creditors.

c.1651 a.S. Piracy! It is believed that around this time Rekj, on the point of freezing or starving to death, was found by the pirate captain Ekjerth Arnskun, a vile and sadistic man who took pleasure in the misery of others, as Jepploff had in his latter years - though he did not need drink to be thus. This date is speculation, but it is unlikely that a fifteen year old boy could possibly have survived very long without supplies or equipment, and he most certainly would not have been able to find shelter in the fishing villages that littered the coast, ragged as he undoubtedly was. He was made into a slave by Ekjerth, forced to lift and carry and do all the horrible jobs that no-one wanted to do, and that he was not brutalised by this ill-treatment seems even to a Compendiumist dedicated to logic and order to be interpretable as indicative of divine intervention - and has often been cited as such by theologians.

c.1651 a.S to c. 1656 a.S. Slavery! In this time we draw, from accounts such as that of Veireck Fjorcolm, the conclusion that Rekj continued as a slave of the loathsome Arnskun, badly maltreated and exposed to such cruelty and wickedness - the pirate was reported to have been fond of four things: having virgins, gathering gold, inflicting suffering and drinking ale - that it was "a miracle he was not brutalised entirely, abased to the level of an animal, bestial and feral", in the words of Veireck Arnloff Fjorcolm. This, coupled with Rekj's experiences with drink as a child, led to him banning drunkenness on board his ship. He also bans his pirates from abusing captives, and raping women. This would seems to be a good place to mention the penal code of a pirate who believes in mercy. When questioned by Arnloff on this issue, Rekj responded that in place of the usual corporal punishment and marooning - the staples of most crews - his mercy extends, as one would expect, to his own men. All offences have a monetary value, which must be paid from the pocket of the offending pirate. If he does not have enough money to pay - an unusual occurence, as the majority of Rekj's crew are fairly wealthy due to his instinct for finding ships with valuable cargoes and the fact that most crews surrender fast, knowing that they have little chance of winning against a pirate crew, and that fighting entails a real chance of death or injury - he goes into debt, and until he has paid it off any money he earns is taken from him and
given to the "Crew Purse", a device whereby Rekj can compensate pirates who become injured and unable to fight, and pay for such needs as materials, medicinal herbs and ship repairs.


c.1656 a.S. Murder! This date is extremely hazy, but at the Compendium's best guess it was then that Rekj, disabused of romantic notions of piracy and sickened by the depraved and horrific conduct of his master, finally gave way, for what is said to be the first and only time in his life, to the urge to kill. One night, after seeing his master raid a village and kill five men, just for the prize of a small amulet from the Temple of Grothar, he crept like a thief into the cabin where the animalistic brute snored. The alcohol had sent him to sleep, and with a quick thrust Rekj's dagger ensured that he would never wake up again. As he knelt by the side of his murdered master, it is said that Rekj swore a silent oath that he would never sink to such a level, and to ensure this a contemporaneous oath never to kill again - this would be the first and only death at his hands. This story is almost certainly vastly exaggerated, as the sheer improbability of a pirate captain managing to last for over a decade whithout a killing is too great an obstacle for this tale to be true. The next day, he spoke from the forecastle to the men on board. Their drunk of a captain was dead, and he, Rekj, was taking control of the ship. His grim determination melted away all opposition, and even the most sceptical decided to follow - they didn't care who led, as long as they were paid. Over time, those who could not stand Rekj's ways left and those who admired his courage and charisma, not to mention his honour, flocked to his banner. His incredible charisma has ensured that the latter outnumber the former, as does the fact that Arnskun was cruel even for a pirate and most other pirates, even his crew, despised him.

c.1656 a.S. to c.1660 a.S. Captaincy and Mercy. Over this ill-defined period, reports began to surface of the "merciful pirate" who had sworn never to kill. As with all such legends, the truth of these tales was quickly hidden behind the myth - that Rekj was seven fores tall and had arms like the masts of his ship, that he wouldn't step on an ant, that he took the share of one of his men away if he harmed an enemy and broke his arm for a death. In fact, Rekj kept his men in line by dint of his forceful personality and his skill as a navigator - the ability to locate treasure and accurately intercept it was a skill the importance of which did not go to waste on his crew. Pirates will do anything for gold - after all, that is why they're pirates. When deaths have occured - which they must do during the raids - it is reported that Rekj has let the ship go and forced the offending pirate, in line with his system of fines, to pay compensation to the family of the dead man. Of course this is only for immediate deaths - men who die from later infections and the like are logistically impossible to compensate.

1666 a.S. Family Ties In this year the pirate ship Ekeijerth the Swift, captained by a man who would later die at the hands of the Port Cael authorities, Geir Sinskun, attacked the village of Altnamm, Rekj's birthplace. As Rekj pursued a merchantman across the Adanian Sea, going from Ciosa to Marduran, passing close to the coast, he saw the ship bearing down on his home town. Breaking off the chase, he urged his ship into the cove and saw people running and the grinning pirate crew with bloodied cutlasses. Ordering his men with shouted commands to attack the other crew and protect the citizens, he dived into the water and swam a powerful hundred peds to the other ship. Climbing aboard, he drew his eating knife and slashed the rigging, before removing the pegs that held the rudder in place and throwing them overboard. His men, meanwhile, had landed and taken the attacking crew by surprise. When Rekj swam to shore, the short and brutal battle was nearly over. His men, experienced in fighting cutlasses, beat or wrenched the enemy weapons out of their hands or snapped the blades before sending them to the floor with a powerful swipe to the side of the head. The landing boat had been deserted, and Rekj quickly grabbed the oars to prevent Geir's men from making their escape. Improvising with these, having had no time to make ready his whip, he struck one man on the base of the skull and another in the face before confronting the captain himself. According to eyewitness accounts, Rekj cast one of the oars at Geir before leaping forward and swiping at his side. The cutlass blade dug into the oar and Rekj dropped it. As Geir struggled with the two items, Rekj struck him around the head with his Hrkje.
When the Ciosa authorities arrived, they found the entire crew of Ekeijerth the Swift bound and gagged on the waterfront, along with a rowboat missing its oars and a pirate galleon with the rigging expertly slashed and the rudder lying neatly on the decking.
Reports of the battle in progress were also obtained from Captain Morok Jaek of Ciosa, who captained the merchant ship the chase of which was broken off by the assault, and who circled back to have a look.


Present Day (1670 a.S.) Fame and Fortune. Thanks to his habits of mercy Rekj has gained great fame - a product of the fact that there are people to write about him and a very interesting character facet to write about. He is willingly followed by his crew, who all wield Hrkje whips or similar non-lethal weapons, although some carry daggers for an emergency, or to inflict non-lethal wounds such as gashed muscles. However, it is greatly doubtful whether the man himself lives up to the myth that has been built up around him, and it is quite possible that we will never know.

Importance
Rekj's importance lies in the fact that he is the first man even to be claimed to have blended piracy and mercy - while not all pirates follow the example of the Crimson Blades in killing all aboard, he is the first pirate captain said never to have had a killing under his command. He also is well known for his antagonism to such ruthless groups and figures as the Crimson Blades and their leader Arkan Delath, and of course for his heroic rescue of the town of Altnamm from a rival pirate crew.

Compendium Notes
Firstly, the Compendium would like to point out that it in no way endorses piracy, and any praise of Rekj Snivild's merciful ways must be taken in context.

Secondly, thanks are most humbly presented to Veireck Arnloff Fjorcolm and others, whose memoirs form the large part of our knowledge of this pirate, and the core of the section on the physical appearance of this man.

Lastly, the records of Captain Morok Jaek of Ciosa were most useful in constructing the account of the assault on Altnamm.
« Last Edit: 28 August 2010, 16:18:41 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 04 June 2010, 06:41:05 »

Just a quick read through it tells me that I'm going to love  reading this entry more fully ... not that I condone piracy, of course!

+1 Aura for a creative and well written people's entry.
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« Reply #2 on: 04 June 2010, 15:01:18 »

Of course... lol

Thanks very much for a nice shiny aura!
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« Reply #3 on: 04 June 2010, 21:40:43 »

Very nice, but there is quite a big mistake. All of the dates are in the 20th century, yet it is only 1670 in Santharia.
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« Reply #4 on: 04 June 2010, 22:00:01 »

Aaaaargh! Managed to mis-read the main site! Will fix that right away, and apologies to my fans, all one of them!

Athviaro the Wrong-Headed Reader
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« Reply #5 on: 04 June 2010, 22:01:35 »

Other than that, this looks great to me.

M'ruk
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« Reply #6 on: 04 June 2010, 22:13:27 »

Yay! My fan club doubled in size! Athviaro, meet M`ruk, the newest member - now you won't be alone any more!

That's fixed *crosses fingers*

Athviaro
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« Reply #7 on: 06 June 2010, 03:32:59 »

Hi Athviaro,

Yep, I agree that this is well-written, and the first-person account by a released prisoner of Rekj’s is a nice touch. It’s also great to see that you integrate your pirate well into Manthria. Other pirates receive a well-deserved mention, and so does Barekmahr, which I must confess I had never smelled before.

I have two biggish (but related) comments, and a few suggestions how you might address them, if you agree with me:

First, I think this entry reads a bit  too much like an RP character CD, in the sense that the biography stops where things get really interesting. You describe Rekj’s early history really well, but say very little about the most recent ten years. Yet this is the time during which Rekj is, apparently, at the height of his powers so far.

Second, your idea of a pirate averse to killing is interesting. But how  the heck does he manage to rob anyone without violence? I assume he doesn’t simply let his pirates do the killing for him? But if not, how are the victims convinced to hand over their goods and ship? Not everyone, after all, would be cowed by a whip. Does Rekj do his work simply by threat  of violence? But then, once people get to know about Rekj’s principles, threat wouldn’t work any longer, would it?

So, in brief, the idea is interesting, but I’m not convinced. I’d say either you need to explain better how Rekj manages to do his piracy business given his morals, or you’d need to soften down his aversion to killing. (E.g., it could be that while people do get killed during fights, Rekj never kills prisoners and never takes slaves, but treats all captives well and releases them at the first opportunity ....)


I’ve got three suggestions for things you might want to consider if you decide to expand on Rekj’s life as pirate captain and explain how a principled pirate plies his trade:

1. If your aim is to make a pirate who is more humane than most of his colleagues, maybe you’d be interested to know that some earthly pirates followed democratic and and cooperative principles. Captains were elected, there was a pension for invalids, and the musicians were allowed a day off on Saturdays. (See:
http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/pirate-code-conduct.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_code ).

2. As Rekj is raiding on the east coast of Manthria, I think he may well have come into conflict with the Stormcloaks Shipping Guild. Maybe you can do something with that? How, for example, does Rekj deal with people who might want to pursue his ship, try to catch him, etc. Does he refuse to kill those, too?

3. A suggestion for your merchant witness, currently named “Veireck Arnloff Fjorcolm”: you could follow the principle recently discussed in the “Unentried People” thread and name an already existent person, rather than making up a new one. How about captain Moroc Jaek of Ciosa (mentioned in the Truphull entry)?


A few small points:

Quote
the traditional weapon of a prate captain
… pirate…

Quote
Then, he bespoke himself
Bespoke himself? I don’t know that expression. But maybe it's your intention that your slightly pompous witness gets his expressions in a twist?


… when you give a quotation within a quotation, such as when your merchant reports what Rekj said, you need to use single quotation marks


Quote
Arnloff records that he was placed on a beach a stral or so from Ciosa after he had spoken with the captain at length.
… a stral  from Ciosa? You think the Ciosans would allow a pirate to get away with coming within a stral of their port? I think you might want your pirate to put some more distance between him and the harbour guards?


… in the biographical section on the years 1656-1660 you’ve accidentally referred to Rekj by the name of his whip, rather than by his own name.
 (twice)


… out of personal interest: how should we pronounce “Rekj”?


I hope these comments are helpful.

Shabakuk
« Last Edit: 06 June 2010, 04:16:24 by Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: 06 June 2010, 07:17:17 »

Hey Shabakuk! Thankks for the comments.

I will try to flesh out his recent history, but it is all rather indeterminate to the Compendium. I may add a few "jobs" he has done that were famous to flesh out recent years, but the fast-moving stuff was earlier, I think.

Second, I didn't say he never uses violence. If you read my entry on the Hrkje Whip, you will see that it is very hard to kill someonne with it, but fairly simple to knock them out, so Rekj's weapon of choice (and on that note, Rekj and Hrkje are rather similar, no? I will fix that) is the Hrkje. Also, my idea is that when tied to the mast or unconscious, one cannot really stop the pirates from taking one's goods. You are right, he says "I'll never kill or allow a killin'" to the Veireck.

On the ase of that merchant, I conjured a name from whole cloth. I do not intend him to be a researcher, he is just a merchant who happened to meet Rekj. I will replace him if he needs to be replaced - I have no sentimental attatchment, but I though that my move was legit.

Pirates are prats, so... :) I'll fix it, I promise.

The "bespoke himself" is like "bestirred himself" - but yes, for the pomposity.  thumbup? thumbdown?

The quotation issue - as an extract from a "book", as it were, would it not be presented in that way on site? You know, like here. If so, then it would not be in marks. I may re-format that to clarify.

I have to say, Rekj and Hrkje are quite similar! lol Avennorian names are like that - too many "j"s. I think it's the "kj" that does it.

On pronunciation - you don't have to pronoounce it, you just have to type it! No, I always think that the "j" must be almost silent, but has a large effect on the "k" - it is NOT "Rek", there is a definite other sound, but very faint, not isolatable. So quite quiet/faint on the "j", I think. It's a sound peculiar to that race, and it's represented as "kj".

Athviaro
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« Reply #9 on: 06 June 2010, 08:52:42 »

Rekj read like it should be Rr-eck-gee.
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« Reply #10 on: 06 June 2010, 17:34:02 »

Almost, but that's more like Hr-k-jee - there's no "e" in Rekj, it's Rr-eck-j. Like I say, there are some very strange sounds in Avennorian names, and lots of "j"s. You can pronounce it however you like, to be honest.
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« Reply #11 on: 06 June 2010, 20:21:48 »

I thought it might read like Herk-ye
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« Reply #12 on: 06 June 2010, 20:25:54 »

Read it however you wish - it's not a native sound to most of us, we have to make it up!
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"Well, I did nothing as a girl, so there goes my childhood." - Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee, 1934.
The Life and Works of Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
Kalta'hnk - My ramblings on anything to do with the Glandorians - The Glandorian Men (Proposal)
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« Reply #13 on: 06 June 2010, 23:16:56 »

Perhaps I'm influenced by my early exposure to Dutch (Mira, help me out here?) but I would say

'RECK-yuh' or 'hREK-yuh..... like the Hollanse 'je'....
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« Reply #14 on: 07 June 2010, 01:51:21 »

So, yeah, pronounce it however the hell you like!

Seriously, I couldn't say, and I don't mind - there are so many different ideas on how to do it, I had this discussion with the Hrkje.

So, apart from the fact that no-one can pronoounce the name, are there any problems with the entry?  :P

Athviaro
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"I don't care what you did as a boy."
"Well, I did nothing as a girl, so there goes my childhood." - Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee, 1934.
The Life and Works of Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
Kalta'hnk - My ramblings on anything to do with the Glandorians - The Glandorian Men (Proposal)
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