Propaganda Paintings

9th of Cylus 720

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Yrmellyn Cole
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:09 pm
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Propaganda Paintings


Propaganda Paintings
9th Cylus 720 in Rharne
Continues from here

Yrmellyn had volunteered to help out with the preparations for war in Storm’s Edge. She had spent the beginning of Cylus in the keep. Her love for Rharne, her home town, had been her reason to go there. After working a bit as a lookout in the towers she had seen that the kind of battle that would come was not for her. She wasn’t the powerful soldier or strong labourer they needed there. In an attempt to be useful in another way she had offered to take on to call for reinforcements. She had designed a recruitment campaign and gotten it approved and so, she had left the keep on the 7th of Cylus. After a stop in Mistral Village on the 8th of Cylus, she had continued to Rharne. A small escort had ridden with her there, but they had parted ways when they arrived in the city. Yrmellyn had gone home, exhausted and colder than it was healthy to be. Her partner and friend Ha’zel had ordinated rest, hot tea and soup. Later, she would begin working at propaganda paintings.

After a big dose of hot tea and spicy soup, Yrmellyn had felt the warmth return to her body. The journey from Storm’s Edge to Rharne via Mistral felt almost surreal to her now. It was like a memory of a nightmare, riding through the frozen landscape in the darkness and the cold. The only light had been the moonlight. In hindsight, she saw that they had been lucky that no accidents had happened.

And before the nightmare journey there had been another very real nightmare, that of Storm’s Edge. She thought of how she had stood at the tower top, watching monsters attack the people on the ground. Then, she had doused after things unknown, deviant frequencies in the ground, teeth, whatever. She had discerned a hot spot there, a limited area of different temperature. But, she had stopped as she didn’t want to overstep.

Yrmellyn had reported the hot spot as a good lookout ought to do. But, she doubted that it had caught any attention even from her temporary fellow lookout. Mathias. The man had seemed as eager to leave the ice-cold tower top as she had been. No wonder! There had been so many other things going on. The troubles the keep faced had been stacking. More hands had been needed for running around and putting out fires. Everything had been top acute.

Alas, she hadn’t found herself well suited to deal with any of it.

Instead, she was a travelling recruiter now. Her task was to persuade more people to go to Storm’s Edge and join the fray. Way better, if not for the long tough rides the job entailed. But, Yrmellyn was happy that she would at least be able to work by using painted and written propaganda. It would save time compared to personal recruitment and make it possible for her to keep to the schedule.

It would be a lie to say that the campaign wasn’t daunting. She would be in Rharne the next day too, the 10th of Cylus. That was when she would try to connect with those other people from Storm’s Edge. She would refer donators of supplies to them and they would refer potential recruits to her. If they would turn up, that was. Many things could happen when people travelled. She couldn’t build everything on the assumption that they would make it. A grim reality, but that was how the world often was.

She banished those thoughts because she needed to paint the propaganda messages now. It was perfect to do them here in her home. She had all the materials at her fingertips. Choosing between paper, canvas and parchment she settled or big sheets of parchment. It was less frail than paper and unlike canvas, she didn’t need to fasten it on frames.

Given the available time, she wouldn’t be able to make as many paintings as she first had planned. There was nothing to do about it. She would do as many as she could. Rharne would get several. One should suffice in Caervalle as the town was small. It might be enough with one in Volta too, as she didn’t count on many people from Volta being willing to volunteer. She would be flexible though. Zynyx would get the leftover propaganda paintings she had when she got there.

It was a rough plan but time didn’t permit any fine-tuning.

Yrmellyn began by deciding the content and layout she wanted. In the background, people would see the keep. In the foreground, the threats, like monsters and flame-beings. In the middle, brave knights standing their ground. She would add text where it would fit it. It was a later thing.

Ordinarily, it could take her a long time to complete a piece of artwork. But, this wasn’t her usual kind of art. She would have to speed-paint. Then again, it could even be good if people could see that she had done the work in haste. It might make the picture tell more than a thousand words. Yes, that was it. Imperfection would give an impression of urgency. A sense of urgency was what she wanted the paintings to inspire in people.

She would begin with one and let it be the model. Then she would make the copies. So ... she grabbed a lump of drawing coal and sketched the main rough lines she found necessary. It wasn’t important with the kind of exactness drawers strived for. She was a painter and she was going to use wet colours. It would be colours that would dry extra fast. This meant that she would paint in thin layers, with paint made of wheat flour glue and pigments. That kind of colour would dry in a break.

Yrmellyn prepared the pigments she was going to use. This done, she made the glue of flour, water and salt. It was not complicated. Neither was the painting she made in a hurry, mixing pigment and glue at the pace she needed them. Yrmellyn settled for colours which would be impossible to miss.

Keep, Monster, Fire, Knight. Chaos!

From an art point of view, it was one of the worst paintings she ever had made. Horrible. But, the war was horrible and ugly. It didn’t hurt if people would get a shock and wake up from their lack of awareness. Hmmm ... she painted black frame around the motif. Better? This was in the eye of the beholder. Finally, she added an encouraging text, telling people to volunteer. It was the kind of rough text that fit the end (and also was easy for her to add). Then she stepped back and looked at the result. It would for sure be hard to not notice...

“Ha’zel! Come and tell me what you think!”

Ha’zel came to look at her creation. He winced. “It looks a...random and chaotic,” he said. “To be honest it’s a pain to look at it but at the same time ... it's hard to look away from. Overwhelming! Is it THAT serious at the keep?”

“Yes, it is.” His reaction satisfied her. The painting seemed to signal how bad the situation was. It might make people volunteer. Yrmellyn hoped that it would have that effect. Her goal was a successful campaign.

She continued to work and made a bunch of copies.

“You are plastering our walls with this abomination.“ Ha’zel sounded tired.

“They will dry in a break or two. Tomorrow they will be ready to use. We will only need to endure them for a short time Ha'zel.”

Yrmellyn cleaned up after the painting. It took time. The glue was strong and had already begun to dry on the brushes. They must be cleaned at once to not become stiff and useless. Ha'zel helped her out. The two people worked at a moderate pace. Meanwhile, Yrmellyn was thinking of the recruitment trip. Tomorrow she would still be in Rharne, but on the 11th she must leave for Caervalle. She spoke a bit about Carevalle and reminded Ha’zel of how they had met each other there one arc ago. This time it would be only her.

“No way. I’ not going to let you travel alone.” The sev’ryn’s tone was firm and final. She knew that tone by experience. It would be meaningless to debate with him. Not that she wanted to say no. It was good that she would have him at her side. The man was more loyal than any other people she knew.

“Look Yrmellyn. I’m going to prepare for the journey tomorrow. I’ll get us layers of woollen clothing and other things we’ll need. Horses. So on. You can go out and recruit and hang up paintings and I’ll take care of the rest.” It sounded simple when he said it but she knew that it would be a lot of work for him to do.

“Thanks.” She meant it. Her escort from Storm’s Edge was returning to the keep. It was her job to deal with the rest of the trip. She had to go alone if she didn't find companions for it. It seemed like the people who had approved her campaign hadn’t found the latter part of it worth the escort. They might be right. Many in Caervalle were old. Volta wasn't particularly nice. At Zynyx Market people might ask for payment.

Yrmellyn was going to try nonetheless as he had promised to do it. It was a long time since she had found the immortal Vhalar worth worshipping. But, once upon a time she had been his follower. Her habit of considering promises holy was all that remained of her belief now. It didn’t gain her anything, except the respect of Ha’zel. That was what she cared about. She smiled at him and he smiled back. Her attunement mutation made a tune of that smile. It resounded in her mind, so lovely and so sweet.

word count: 1720
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Re: Propaganda Paintings


Painting x 5
Persuasion x 1

Wealth: -
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Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
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Comments: Making propaganda paintings is definitely a good idea! I like in how much detail you wrote about Yrmellyn deciding what to paint and how to paint it, and her asking Ha’zel what he thought was a nice touch. Good job, and enjoy your rewards!
word count: 67





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