Bjarni, Worshippers of
T94, Ottoman Empire: The Istanbul prefect was puzzled to find, upon arriving at the office one morning, his staff lying dead in their offices - transfixed by icepicks. His puzzlement continued to grow as reports arrived indicating that several buildings in the Old City had been consumed in exceptionally hot fires and that the harbor had yeilded up no less than one hundred bodies, all bearing peculiar signs of mutilation. The mutterings and rumors of several members of the intelligentsia about "Koolu" and "Azagtoth" were ignored.
T165, Swedish Empire of Russia: The Bjarni Icepick Shop on Koningstrandd also had a going out of business sale and emptied the shelves of its stock.
T165, Church Spiritual: Ceremonies at the Papal Court celebrating the passing of the Heart of Winter in 1659 at the feast of St.Nicholas were disturbed by two young children who stepped forward from the celebrating crowds to the great pyre of the rising of the Sun with a glazed expression on their faces and cried out the following strange words:
The victims shouted these words three times in a great voice like thunder, startling all those near them, then collapsed in a faint. When they woke and were questioned by grim Jesuits, all that they remembered was a falling sensation and the distant sound of vast wings, like a great bird.
T173, Persian Empire of Bokhara: The Shahanshah did, however, perplex his advisors with the question: "What is all of this Byarni drivel about, anyway?".
T176, Swedish Empire of Russia: Prince Piotr ... spent a month in Stockholm praying in the Cathedral of the Blood of the Lamb - a very boring period broken only by an attempt by thugs in purple frog masks to mug him. The Prince's Iroquois guards took great pleasure in chopping the assailants into tiny bits.
T176, High Kingdom of Colorado: Tyrean Pirates continue to harry shipping in the Bahamas and Leeward Seas. Survivors of one luckless vessel, the "World of Bargains" from Lienster, reported that their captors sacrificed some of their prisoners to the "Great Purple Emperor Who Lives Forever Under The Sea".
T176, Aztec Empire: Having freed their waters of the threat of the Tyrean pirates, the Aztecs stepped up their ties to the Hussite economic bloc in Europe with the allocation of a large quantity of new shipping on those routes.
T176, Kingdom of New Granada: There was some consternation in New Hiquito at the end of 1679 when it was reported that several merchant ships had been attacked by pirates flying a solid purple banner. One of the ships to escape the attack, the Goose of Frey, reported "we wuz nearly cooked!"
T177, Swedish Empire of Russia: The Empress, concerned with the rising incidence of "Byarni-worship amongst the young" called a great ecumenical council to address the issue. The government even went so far as to provide funding for a combined effort against the cultic organizations that were apparently threatening the health of the state.
T177, Great Britain: (The King's) captains in the Carribean, however, were exercising some caution and thus avoided an unfortunate death at the hands of an obscure religious sect that attacked Captain Drake and his party on one of the thoroughfares of Mahair. The purple-robed and bemasked ascetics were shot down by Drake's guards, but not before hacking several of the seamen to death with heavy machetes. Drake was troubled by the attack - "who are these men that hide their visiage behind masks of amphibians?"
T177, House of Procurare: The merchantmen of the House of Doors were busy, making trips to Copenhagen, Kingston-on-Hull, Lorient, Debrecen and Cerkes. All of these efforts met with good success, the Tyrean Pirates having abandoned their depredations along the western European coast for more lucrative prey in the New World.
T177, Duchy of Burgundy: Duke Gunter travelled to Brest in Brittany along with a whole herd of relatives, hangers on and attendants to view the launch of the first squadron of Burgundian warships. This new fleet was tasked with the protection of shipping along the Burgundian coast - particularly in the light of the threat posed by the Tyrean Pirates.
T177, High Kingdom of Colorado: Coloradan shipping in the fringes of the Carib seas was plagued by freebooters flying the purple insignia of the cult of the Happy God, whose adherents do not seem to be very happy at all.
T177, Shawnee Empire: The Granadan governor of San Salvador denied reports that the Tyrean Pirates had been active in the vicinity of Hymirholm. The governor, who was under investigation for certain irregularities regarding his finances, said "No follower of the Happy God has ever used the port of San Salvador, either as a refuge or as an entrepot to hire crews and dispose of treasure." The Governor was cleared of any suspicion of wrongdoing soon afterwards.
EDITORS NOTE: Eh, heh. Amazing the kinds of difficulties that can be averted when you know what to say that benefits the right people.
T177, Timor Seahold: Prince Kolos regarded the lowly acolyte with distaste. For his part, the priest, aware of the potentional for misfortune that threatens the bearers of bad news, was visibly frightened.
"You are sure of this?" snarled Kolos.
"I am afraid so, Lord. The islanders, encouraged by the recent rejection of the vile foreign religions, have returned to the faith of their forebears and..."
"Donned purple robes?"
The priest flinched back from the expression on the face of the Prince and nodded.
"Yes, Lord. They talk of the 'god of the sea from the east'. When my fellow priests tried to object, the islanders set upon them and bound them with black ropes. Then they took them to the old stone pyramids deep in the jungle and offered their still-beating hearts to their so-called great god Kon-Kuluz."
Kolos turned to his admiral in disgust.
"Take a detachment of the fleet, find these islanders and destroy them. This foul aberration must be nipped in the bud!"
T178, House of Falcòn: The Korez pursued their ties in Syria by submitting an early bid to for the dye monopoly and also kissing up to the Syrian governors along the Mediterranean (most of the dye trade was focussed on the trade in Imperial purple).
T180, Swedish Empire of Russia: The (Swedish) Empress ... announced ...that various cults, mystic colleges and cannibalistic ritualists were banned. The worshippers of Bjarni were particularly singled out for condemnation and harsh treatment. The governor of Oslo then used these edicts to arrest and deport a passel of Spaniards living in the waterfront area - this was precipitated by the discovery of another clutch of bodies of parishoners who had succumbed to pernicious anemia.
T180, Sisters of the Rose: Ceremonies at the cathedral of the Holy Mother Mary in Tenochtitlan were disturbed by two young children who stepped forward with a glazed expression of their faces and cried out the following strange words:
The victims shouted these words three times, then collapsed in a faint. When they recovered, they denied all knowledge of their actions.
T181, Swedish Empire of Russia: The (Swedish) Empress ... announced on Maundy Thursday of 1687, that the Lencan Church had been added to the list of 'protected' religions; along with Judaism, Azorean Catholicism, Polish Hussitism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Various cults, mystic colleges and cannibalistic ritualists were banned. The worshippers of Bjarni were particularly singled out for condemnation and harsh treatment.
T183, The Church Spiritual: The Inquistor turned the small statuette over in his hands. Candlelight cast macabre shadows over its shiny soapstone base and the obscene purple figure that squatted atop it. He turned to his subordinate.
"This was found in the chambers of the accused?"
"Indeed. There is no doubt as to its ownership. It was found among his most personal effects."
"And he would not reveal where he obtained it?"
"Unfortunately he was weak, and died under the Question, but the papers we found in his personal effects leave no doubt that he had a secret allegiance."
The small man bowed his head submissively. "The Sisters of the Rose."
T183, Sisters of the Rose: The Inquisitor turned the small statuette over in her hands. Candlelight cast macabre shadows over its shiny soapstone base and the obscene purple figure that squatted atop it. She turned to her subordinate.
"This was found in the chambers of the accused?"
"Indeed. There is no doubt as to its ownership. It was found among her most personal effects."
"And she would not reveal where she obtained it?"
"Unfortunately she was weak, and died under the Question, but the papers we found in her personal effects leave no doubt that she had a secret allegiance."
The small woman bowed her head submissively. "The Church Spiritual."
T183, Aztec Empire: Tyrean Pirates continued to attack shipping in the Caribbean. Many of these pirates, when captured, express a belief that they are working to restore 'the Great Emperor Kulhuz, who lies dreaming beneath the waves'. In an attempt to halt the spread of this movement, Aztec authorities have considered banning the wearing of the color purple.
T183, Kingdom of New Granada: The Granadan fleet finally reappeared and began patrolling the sea lanes from the Suriname Sea to the Pernambuco for pirates, particularly Tyrean ones.
T184, Shawnee Empire: Somewhere in Chitimacha...
Night lay across the bayou like a corpse. From his hiding place, the constable watched the small figures writhe before their obscene idol. A chilling sound rose from a multitude of throats, not all of them human.
The constable wished, not for the first time, that he'd refused this assignment, but it was too late for wishes, too late for hope, too late to do anything but resign himself to his fate. He was not surprised when purple tentacles reached up to engulf him.
T184, The Naipon Seahold: The courier knelt, bowed, and began his report. He wore the proper expression of respect, and in spite of his youth his carriage was erect as befit a warrior. His voice gave no hint of the curiosity he must have felt.
"We reached the island, penetrated into the interior, and found the village just as the Italian had described. We had to kill most of the villagers to reach the temple, but that was no problem. Inside, we found the idol. As the Italian reported, it was a shapeless purple figure, taller than a man, perched on a cube of greenish stone. It was surrounded by various signs of sacrifice, but the bones were difficult to identify. The skulls, in particular, were very strange. As per your instructions, we destroyed the temple and all that it contained."
"And the rites?"
"Our scribe made a copy of the incantation. I have it with me."
The courier unrolled a small scroll and began to read. Some peculiarity of the words made his voice sound almost inhuman.
The Daimyo was silent for a time.
"Lord?" asked the courier.
"I'm confused. It was before my time, but wasn't there once a ruler named 'Kulhuz', somewhere in the New World?"
"Yes." The Daimyo grimaced. "Now leave us."