It is with the greatest excitement that I once again write in these pages! I have discovered civilization on the mainland! Their form and customs may be a bit different from ours, but they observe manners, courtesy, and all manner of polite formalities; this despite their scantily-clad nature. There is much to write about, but first I must introduce my gracious hostess.
I was met by Lady Mystra of the Phoenix Clan soon after I arrived in No. It seems I had committed a rather severe breach of local etiquette, in entering one of their temples without first removing my boots; I was greeted politely once I had redressed this error.
Lady Mystra explained that her people are vampires; and then she explained at length the differences between her Clan's way of life and the notions of vampirism that you or I might conjure from our shared fictions. The Vampires of The Phoenix Clan are a benevolent and outgoing people, welcoming visitors from the surrounding countryside. In point of fact, they protect all mortals who enter their lands, and they pride themselves on civility and mutual respect.
Numerous sources have all given me the same information: that the occasional pool or fountain of blood on their property is derived only from their own vampiric veins; the Phoenix Clan consider their blood to be too precious to dilute it with the blood of mortals, and they vehemently condemn the practices of any Vampires which might hunt humans and drink of their blood. (When I asked Mystra how her body was able to produce such a vast amount of liquid, she light-heartedly replied that she enjoys green tea; she also mentioned something called "bloodstones". I do not know the details, but I gather that they play a role in the sustenance of our hosts.)
I requested and was granted an audience with the Queen, an imposing figure to be sure, who wore even less than Mystra and seemed possessed of twice again her vigor and strength of character. But when she spoke, her manners were as genteel as the Duchess of ___, with the added bonus that the Queen possessed a sense of humour.
I was permitted to shop at a little boutique wherein the Princess of the Clan displayed her wares. All of their art was exquisitely detailed, and possessed of an ethereal, otherworldly beauty. I purchased some of the less risqué textile prints; these compliment the body of Vampire literature given to me by Lady Mystra. I am considering using one of my few precious flares to signal Seven of Seven to come collect them immediately.
It is my considered opinion that Fair Caledon should pursue relations with these fine people. Their manners are refined and their tongues are gentle. I have put forth my recommendation to Mr. Desmond Shang and Duke Lucifer Baphomet that we consider an alliance with these fine folk, including trade, diplomacy, and a mutual sharing of culture.
I quite recommend No to the intrepid Caledonian who desires a thrilling taste of the exotic Mainland, without truly leaving civilization behind. No pith helmet is necessary, as the grounds are quite well-maintained and free of all vermin. Come as you are in your Victorian finery, and be ready to enjoy a brisk constitutional, awe-inspiring architecture, and civil discourse. (One must excuse the constant exposed skin and the somewhat hemocentric nature of the local decorum as a striking but ultimately harmless local affectation.)
One day I look forward to the possibilities of teas and ballroom dances, but first we must meet our neighbors to the north.
Addendum- It seems the King has seen fit to include Caledon as a destination upon their conveyance platform (depicted herein.) Although I do not understand the science behind this mode of travel, I can personally attest to its safety, comfort, and great expediency.
Addendum- The Vampires of the Phoenix Clan have vanished overnight from the sim of No, their grand temples and castles gone as if they had never existed. What remains of their proud kingdom is nothing but the vulgar calamity of the typical mainland sprawl. I have heard that they may have purchased an island in which to make their new home, which would explain their sudden disappearence. I shall endeavor to keep Caledon informed of the status of the Phoenix Clan, should they resurface, as my opinion of them remians quite high.