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Who could ever forget Cagliostro? It deserves a special spot in the The Briar Archive Scrapbook. #Throwback?Cagliostro w...
09/23/2021

Who could ever forget Cagliostro? It deserves a special spot in the The Briar Archive Scrapbook. #Throwback?

Cagliostro was born with magical potential, including the gift of foreknowledge✨

He inherited the mantle of the Cagliostro from his predecessor. In the process of gaining the title, he became controlled by the Cult of Cagliostro, which had some unknown power over him. He lived a presumably lavish lifestyle, performing magic shows for the cultural elite, and owning properties in major cities such as New York City, Turin, Marrakesh, and London.

In an email conversation with Martin Rank, it was revealed that the cost of a ticket to the Cagliostro’s magic show is a MILLION dollars.

The Cagliostro was first encountered in Fragment Five, when recruits gained access to his private email server and database. It was revealed that he was in possession of Volume Three of The Monarch Papers, which recruits were able to use to solve fragments six and seven.

Over the years, the Cagliostro took on many apprentices, before finding his final, true successor, Lauren Ellsworth. During the course of Phase Two, he utilized the Monarch Papers to test Lauren’s will and aptitude, with her passing the test after burying the journal in The Ramble and unlocking its pages. He seemed to have had some connection with Kemetic Solutions, as they host his email server.

In an email with Lauren, entitled ‘The Book,’ Cagliostro described killing a Cagliostro as “nearly impossible.” After his final performance, the Cagliostro stated that “they” would call for him, proceeding to have one last supper before draining all the blood from his body. His successor would then feed on his blood, while the Cagliostro was magically transported to a location holding a device that “rends all matter, even impervious flesh and iron bone.” Once he was dead, the “fire” that holds the power of the Cagliostro would be transferred to the nearest person. The Cagliostro claimed to have seen the machine, though he seemed to accept his fate.

Unwilling to accept Cagliostro’s death, Lauren attempted to harness Sullivan Green’s spell, used to shield an individual from magic, in order to prevent the Cult of Cagliostro from killing him. But ultimately failed. After skirmishing with Cole Sumner in the Morgan Library, Lauren obtained an Ackerly Green book, Seven Cradle Songs, but she unknowingly allowed Cole to escape with the spell, which was inside of the book.

“Perhaps I have traveled beyond the lying veil, to the source of all this power. Or perhaps I am atoms scattered in the dark. Either way, I am free”.

Who could ever forget Cagliostro? It deserves a special spot in the The Briar Archive Scrapbook. #Throwback?

Cagliostro was born with magical potential, including the gift of foreknowledge✨

He inherited the mantle of the Cagliostro from his predecessor. In the process of gaining the title, he became controlled by the Cult of Cagliostro, which had some unknown power over him. He lived a presumably lavish lifestyle, performing magic shows for the cultural elite, and owning properties in major cities such as New York City, Turin, Marrakesh, and London.

In an email conversation with Martin Rank, it was revealed that the cost of a ticket to the Cagliostro’s magic show is a MILLION dollars.

The Cagliostro was first encountered in Fragment Five, when recruits gained access to his private email server and database. It was revealed that he was in possession of Volume Three of The Monarch Papers, which recruits were able to use to solve fragments six and seven.

Over the years, the Cagliostro took on many apprentices, before finding his final, true successor, Lauren Ellsworth. During the course of Phase Two, he utilized the Monarch Papers to test Lauren’s will and aptitude, with her passing the test after burying the journal in The Ramble and unlocking its pages. He seemed to have had some connection with Kemetic Solutions, as they host his email server.

In an email with Lauren, entitled ‘The Book,’ Cagliostro described killing a Cagliostro as “nearly impossible.” After his final performance, the Cagliostro stated that “they” would call for him, proceeding to have one last supper before draining all the blood from his body. His successor would then feed on his blood, while the Cagliostro was magically transported to a location holding a device that “rends all matter, even impervious flesh and iron bone.” Once he was dead, the “fire” that holds the power of the Cagliostro would be transferred to the nearest person. The Cagliostro claimed to have seen the machine, though he seemed to accept his fate.

Unwilling to accept Cagliostro’s death, Lauren attempted to harness Sullivan Green’s spell, used to shield an individual from magic, in order to prevent the Cult of Cagliostro from killing him. But ultimately failed. After skirmishing with Cole Sumner in the Morgan Library, Lauren obtained an Ackerly Green book, Seven Cradle Songs, but she unknowingly allowed Cole to escape with the spell, which was inside of the book.

“Perhaps I have traveled beyond the lying veil, to the source of all this power. Or perhaps I am atoms scattered in the dark. Either way, I am free”.

Walking sticks are magical implements in the Briarverse and I have collected a lot of them over the years, including the...
09/22/2021

Walking sticks are magical implements in the Briarverse and I have collected a lot of them over the years, including the handmade props from The Monarch Papers, which are imbued with photosensitive epoxy that glows when exposed to sunlight.

The first walking stick that appeared in The Monarch Papers was previously owned by Sullivan Green and was passed down to Deirdre along with his journals and chronocompass.

In the narrative, walking sticks are conduits for magiq. The more a magimyst travels, the more stories they make, the more they experience in places rich with magiq, the more the stick gathers.

It’s useful for quickly conjuring, and most skilled magimystics find their “true stick” at some point in their lives. However, they are not intended for the mundane world, and will splinter and eventually break the more they are used.

Occasionally, I like to walk with my walking sticks. It's similar to finding a large stick in the woods as a kid and feeling like you could cast spells like a wizard. It's a very powerful feeling!

Did you experience that too, or is that a neurodivergent "me" thing?

Walking sticks are magical implements in the Briarverse and I have collected a lot of them over the years, including the handmade props from The Monarch Papers, which are imbued with photosensitive epoxy that glows when exposed to sunlight.

The first walking stick that appeared in The Monarch Papers was previously owned by Sullivan Green and was passed down to Deirdre along with his journals and chronocompass.

In the narrative, walking sticks are conduits for magiq. The more a magimyst travels, the more stories they make, the more they experience in places rich with magiq, the more the stick gathers.

It’s useful for quickly conjuring, and most skilled magimystics find their “true stick” at some point in their lives. However, they are not intended for the mundane world, and will splinter and eventually break the more they are used.

Occasionally, I like to walk with my walking sticks. It's similar to finding a large stick in the woods as a kid and feeling like you could cast spells like a wizard. It's a very powerful feeling!

Did you experience that too, or is that a neurodivergent "me" thing?

"Children aren’t fragile like people think; they’re soft, yes, but that enables them to sway. They can mold themselves a...
09/17/2021

"Children aren’t fragile like people think; they’re soft, yes, but that enables them to sway. They can mold themselves around tragedy, warp themselves under uncertainty, grow callous around places of pain. Children can bend. It’s adults who break." - The Book of Briars

Children are more resilient than adults. It's when we get older and wiser that we realize what was fair, unfair, and able to view every side of life's story. As children we are like soft clay. As adults, we become hardened to protect the soft core.

"Children aren’t fragile like people think; they’re soft, yes, but that enables them to sway. They can mold themselves around tragedy, warp themselves under uncertainty, grow callous around places of pain. Children can bend. It’s adults who break." - The Book of Briars

Children are more resilient than adults. It's when we get older and wiser that we realize what was fair, unfair, and able to view every side of life's story. As children we are like soft clay. As adults, we become hardened to protect the soft core.

09/15/2021

FRAGMENT ONE: FRAYLILY

A classic, the first puzzle from The Monarch Papers. It will always be a favorite of mine!

Sullivan Green, once the owner of Ackerly Green Publishing and later a recluse, was long thought by The Mountaineers to be the key to uncovering the truth about magiq being hidden from the world. When he passed away in 2016, the Mountaineers were afraid that their last hopes had been destroyed until they discovered he had a daughter.

After some investigation, the Mountaineers discovered the identity of Sullivan’s daughter, Deirdre, by finding her blog “Deeds Done.” Deirdre never knew her father and had only a few scattered childhood memories of him, having been left to be raised by an aunt in Ireland when she was very young. Deirdre flew to New York City to attend to her father’s last wishes and discovered he had left her a pocket watch, a well-worn journal, and pair of mysterious loose pages.

Ascender, one of original leaders of Basecamp 33, was able to contact Deirdre to get a copy of the pages for the Mountaineers to look through.

Much investigation and Photoshop exploration followed, and a hidden message within the page was discovered. It seemed that the floral elements, previously thought to be merely decorative, could be cut out and assembled into an image that formed a flower.

A Google reverse image search led the recruits to someone who had seen it before: Cole Sumner. He had dreamt of the flower and was moved to sketch it. He called it the Fraylily. This word turned out to be the first fragment

Looking at these images makes me totally nostalgic! Can you believe it's been 5 years since Fragment One? 💜

09/10/2021

Basecamp 33 & 34

AN OLD FRIEND WITH NEW WORRIES.

Strange things have been happening at Lion’s Heart. After weeks of silence, the Mountaineers finally hear from Eaves and the rest living at the castle. But what they hear deeply worries them. Their friend Eaves is behaving strangely, and that strange behavior is somehow reflected in the castle itself. How will the Mountaineers be able to help their friend, even if it seems he may not want them to?

The Briar Society

ODD BEDFELLOWS GO HOUSE HUNTING.

Bruce has been working with Maya, the patron of the current Cagliostro, trying to help Lauren escape an unknown danger. But in order to help, Maya instructs Bruce to find the House of Blackweather. During his search, he comes face to face with the Lady of the House herself who sets him upon a globe-trotting task with an unusual and, at times, frustrating partner.

I’ve delayed writing this for months for a lot of reasons (bwaha, that’s the perfect first line for a post about ADHD)I ...
09/08/2021

I’ve delayed writing this for months for a lot of reasons (bwaha, that’s the perfect first line for a post about ADHD)

I thought that post-diagnosis, I was starting on the road to understanding, treating, and maybe even managing ADHD, it turns out, one year later, I’m instead still figuring out which parts of “me” are ADHD, which parts are the trauma that comes with growing up neurodivergent, and which parts are the mental and emotional scaffolding I’ve built over the years to help me function in this neurotypically designed world, under neurotypical demands.

For me, and I can only speak for myself, having ADHD is kind of like this:

The world is an ocean 🌊

And the different kinds of creatures living in the ocean are having all sorts of different experiences, but *they are all born in the ocean*, and living there is second nature to them.

Fish, plankton, sharks, whales. The ones who can only survive at the bottom. The ones who have to surface every now and then to breathe.

And where do I fit within this biosphere as a neurodivergent person?

I don’t. I’m not a sea creature.

I’m a SCUBA diver.

I don’t breathe like everyone else or see like everyone else. I certainly don’t swim like everyone else. I am *always* aware that I’m not really built for the world the way it currently exists.

It just wasn’t made to accommodate me.

To do anything beyond just existing in the ocean means I have to train, and figure out the right equipment and proper chemical mixtures to breathe, and wear fins and swimsuit to protect me from the cold, and above all, I need a well-fitting mask that I can’t take off.

While ADHD is often considered a manageable and even positive “quirk,” it can also be a devastating and painful disability.

A year later, I have days of contentment, productivity, joy, and weeks of loneliness, confusion, fear, and pain. Some of it is pre-existing, some of it specifically because I now know what I know.

I’m getting to know who I am under the masks I’ve worn my whole life while knowing that some people in my life won’t recognize the person underneath, and maybe I won’t either.

And believing it has to be worth the work 💜

I’ve delayed writing this for months for a lot of reasons (bwaha, that’s the perfect first line for a post about ADHD)

I thought that post-diagnosis, I was starting on the road to understanding, treating, and maybe even managing ADHD, it turns out, one year later, I’m instead still figuring out which parts of “me” are ADHD, which parts are the trauma that comes with growing up neurodivergent, and which parts are the mental and emotional scaffolding I’ve built over the years to help me function in this neurotypically designed world, under neurotypical demands.

For me, and I can only speak for myself, having ADHD is kind of like this:

The world is an ocean 🌊

And the different kinds of creatures living in the ocean are having all sorts of different experiences, but *they are all born in the ocean*, and living there is second nature to them.

Fish, plankton, sharks, whales. The ones who can only survive at the bottom. The ones who have to surface every now and then to breathe.

And where do I fit within this biosphere as a neurodivergent person?

I don’t. I’m not a sea creature.

I’m a SCUBA diver.

I don’t breathe like everyone else or see like everyone else. I certainly don’t swim like everyone else. I am *always* aware that I’m not really built for the world the way it currently exists.

It just wasn’t made to accommodate me.

To do anything beyond just existing in the ocean means I have to train, and figure out the right equipment and proper chemical mixtures to breathe, and wear fins and swimsuit to protect me from the cold, and above all, I need a well-fitting mask that I can’t take off.

While ADHD is often considered a manageable and even positive “quirk,” it can also be a devastating and painful disability.

A year later, I have days of contentment, productivity, joy, and weeks of loneliness, confusion, fear, and pain. Some of it is pre-existing, some of it specifically because I now know what I know.

I’m getting to know who I am under the masks I’ve worn my whole life while knowing that some people in my life won’t recognize the person underneath, and maybe I won’t either.

And believing it has to be worth the work 💜

Timeline photos
08/26/2021

Timeline photos

08/26/2021

"I arrived in Greenwich Village only a few minutes late. The house was what could only be described as Old New York. It was five stories tall with decorated eaves and a gorgeous facade of wood and brick that should have clashed horribly but instead worked to create a lovely, if rather ominous, structure. I walked up the steps to the door and, not seeing a bell, used the grotesque door knocker instead. I could feel the clang shake the entire door. When the reverberations finally fell silent, the door opened."⁠⁠
⁠⁠
The House of Blackweather is a mysterious, ancient five-story home first mentioned in The Monarch Papers: Cosmos & Time when Martin Rank was called there just before the Day of Change to meet with the newly-anointed Cagliostro. ✨⁠⁠
⁠⁠
There, he also met the residents of the house, Lord and Lady Blackweather, who he first met during the previous Cagliostro's final performance. They did little to dispel the house's strange sights, sounds, and even its smells (the hint of bergamot, charred cedar, and seawater.)⁠⁠
⁠⁠
The house and its origins are still mostly a mystery to readers, with its shifting interiors, seeming self-awareness, and as we've recently discovered in the current narrative of The Briar Society, its ability to vanish and reappear in other places throughout the world.

Do you have a favorite subscription box?+10 points if it's from an indie brand or small business!Personally, I haven't f...
08/24/2021

Do you have a favorite subscription box?

+10 points if it's from an indie brand or small business!

Personally, I haven't found a subscription box that I LOVE. At most, I stay subscribed for a month or two then cancel because I'm pretty picky and kind of like knowing what I'm going to get and where it's going to go. If a business made a subscription box that could only be opened if you solved an intricate puzzle, then I would be ALL over it. Perhaps in the far, far future, The Briar Archive will have a subscription box of its own. (Nothing planned as of yet! Just a pipe dream.)

I feel like I'm missing out on all the fun! Who doesn't want surprise cool nick-nacks, books, or puzzles every month? If you have a favorite, tell me why it's your favorite in the comments!

Do you have a favorite subscription box?

+10 points if it's from an indie brand or small business!

Personally, I haven't found a subscription box that I LOVE. At most, I stay subscribed for a month or two then cancel because I'm pretty picky and kind of like knowing what I'm going to get and where it's going to go. If a business made a subscription box that could only be opened if you solved an intricate puzzle, then I would be ALL over it. Perhaps in the far, far future, The Briar Archive will have a subscription box of its own. (Nothing planned as of yet! Just a pipe dream.)

I feel like I'm missing out on all the fun! Who doesn't want surprise cool nick-nacks, books, or puzzles every month? If you have a favorite, tell me why it's your favorite in the comments!

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Who could ever forget Cagliostro? It deserves a special spot in the The Briar Archive Scrapbook. #Throwback? Cagliostro was born with magical potential, including the gift of foreknowledge✨ He inherited the mantle of the Cagliostro from his predecessor. In the process of gaining the title, he became controlled by the Cult of Cagliostro, which had some unknown power over him. He lived a presumably lavish lifestyle, performing magic shows for the cultural elite, and owning properties in major cities such as New York City, Turin, Marrakesh, and London. In an email conversation with Martin Rank, it was revealed that the cost of a ticket to the Cagliostro’s magic show is a MILLION dollars. The Cagliostro was first encountered in Fragment Five, when recruits gained access to his private email server and database. It was revealed that he was in possession of Volume Three of The Monarch Papers, which recruits were able to use to solve fragments six and seven. Over the years, the Cagliostro took on many apprentices, before finding his final, true successor, Lauren Ellsworth. During the course of Phase Two, he utilized the Monarch Papers to test Lauren’s will and aptitude, with her passing the test after burying the journal in The Ramble and unlocking its pages. He seemed to have had some connection with Kemetic Solutions, as they host his email server. In an email with Lauren, entitled ‘The Book,’ Cagliostro described killing a Cagliostro as “nearly impossible.” After his final performance, the Cagliostro stated that “they” would call for him, proceeding to have one last supper before draining all the blood from his body. His successor would then feed on his blood, while the Cagliostro was magically transported to a location holding a device that “rends all matter, even impervious flesh and iron bone.” Once he was dead, the “fire” that holds the power of the Cagliostro would be transferred to the nearest person. The Cagliostro claimed to have seen the machine, though he seemed to accept his fate. Unwilling to accept Cagliostro’s death, Lauren attempted to harness Sullivan Green’s spell, used to shield an individual from magic, in order to prevent the Cult of Cagliostro from killing him. But ultimately failed. After skirmishing with Cole Sumner in the Morgan Library, Lauren obtained an Ackerly Green book, Seven Cradle Songs, but she unknowingly allowed Cole to escape with the spell, which was inside of the book. “Perhaps I have traveled beyond the lying veil, to the source of all this power. Or perhaps I am atoms scattered in the dark. Either way, I am free”.
Walking sticks are magical implements in the Briarverse and I have collected a lot of them over the years, including the handmade props from The Monarch Papers, which are imbued with photosensitive epoxy that glows when exposed to sunlight. The first walking stick that appeared in The Monarch Papers was previously owned by Sullivan Green and was passed down to Deirdre along with his journals and chronocompass. In the narrative, walking sticks are conduits for magiq. The more a magimyst travels, the more stories they make, the more they experience in places rich with magiq, the more the stick gathers. It’s useful for quickly conjuring, and most skilled magimystics find their “true stick” at some point in their lives. However, they are not intended for the mundane world, and will splinter and eventually break the more they are used. Occasionally, I like to walk with my walking sticks. It's similar to finding a large stick in the woods as a kid and feeling like you could cast spells like a wizard. It's a very powerful feeling! Did you experience that too, or is that a neurodivergent "me" thing?
"Children aren’t fragile like people think; they’re soft, yes, but that enables them to sway. They can mold themselves around tragedy, warp themselves under uncertainty, grow callous around places of pain. Children can bend. It’s adults who break." - The Book of Briars Children are more resilient than adults. It's when we get older and wiser that we realize what was fair, unfair, and able to view every side of life's story. As children we are like soft clay. As adults, we become hardened to protect the soft core.
FRAGMENT ONE: FRAYLILY A classic, the first puzzle from The Monarch Papers. It will always be a favorite of mine! Sullivan Green, once the owner of Ackerly Green Publishing and later a recluse, was long thought by The Mountaineers to be the key to uncovering the truth about magiq being hidden from the world. When he passed away in 2016, the Mountaineers were afraid that their last hopes had been destroyed until they discovered he had a daughter. After some investigation, the Mountaineers discovered the identity of Sullivan’s daughter, Deirdre, by finding her blog “Deeds Done.” Deirdre never knew her father and had only a few scattered childhood memories of him, having been left to be raised by an aunt in Ireland when she was very young. Deirdre flew to New York City to attend to her father’s last wishes and discovered he had left her a pocket watch, a well-worn journal, and pair of mysterious loose pages. Ascender, one of original leaders of Basecamp 33, was able to contact Deirdre to get a copy of the pages for the Mountaineers to look through. Much investigation and Photoshop exploration followed, and a hidden message within the page was discovered. It seemed that the floral elements, previously thought to be merely decorative, could be cut out and assembled into an image that formed a flower. A Google reverse image search led the recruits to someone who had seen it before: Cole Sumner. He had dreamt of the flower and was moved to sketch it. He called it the Fraylily. This word turned out to be the first fragment Looking at these images makes me totally nostalgic! Can you believe it's been 5 years since Fragment One? 💜
Basecamp 33 & 34 AN OLD FRIEND WITH NEW WORRIES. Strange things have been happening at Lion’s Heart. After weeks of silence, the Mountaineers finally hear from Eaves and the rest living at the castle. But what they hear deeply worries them. Their friend Eaves is behaving strangely, and that strange behavior is somehow reflected in the castle itself. How will the Mountaineers be able to help their friend, even if it seems he may not want them to? The Briar Society ODD BEDFELLOWS GO HOUSE HUNTING. Bruce has been working with Maya, the patron of the current Cagliostro, trying to help Lauren escape an unknown danger. But in order to help, Maya instructs Bruce to find the House of Blackweather. During his search, he comes face to face with the Lady of the House herself who sets him upon a globe-trotting task with an unusual and, at times, frustrating partner.
I’ve delayed writing this for months for a lot of reasons (bwaha, that’s the perfect first line for a post about ADHD) I thought that post-diagnosis, I was starting on the road to understanding, treating, and maybe even managing ADHD, it turns out, one year later, I’m instead still figuring out which parts of “me” are ADHD, which parts are the trauma that comes with growing up neurodivergent, and which parts are the mental and emotional scaffolding I’ve built over the years to help me function in this neurotypically designed world, under neurotypical demands. For me, and I can only speak for myself, having ADHD is kind of like this: The world is an ocean 🌊 And the different kinds of creatures living in the ocean are having all sorts of different experiences, but *they are all born in the ocean*, and living there is second nature to them. Fish, plankton, sharks, whales. The ones who can only survive at the bottom. The ones who have to surface every now and then to breathe. And where do I fit within this biosphere as a neurodivergent person? I don’t. I’m not a sea creature. I’m a SCUBA diver. I don’t breathe like everyone else or see like everyone else. I certainly don’t swim like everyone else. I am *always* aware that I’m not really built for the world the way it currently exists. It just wasn’t made to accommodate me. To do anything beyond just existing in the ocean means I have to train, and figure out the right equipment and proper chemical mixtures to breathe, and wear fins and swimsuit to protect me from the cold, and above all, I need a well-fitting mask that I can’t take off. While ADHD is often considered a manageable and even positive “quirk,” it can also be a devastating and painful disability. A year later, I have days of contentment, productivity, joy, and weeks of loneliness, confusion, fear, and pain. Some of it is pre-existing, some of it specifically because I now know what I know. I’m getting to know who I am under the masks I’ve worn my whole life while knowing that some people in my life won’t recognize the person underneath, and maybe I won’t either. And believing it has to be worth the work 💜
"I arrived in Greenwich Village only a few minutes late. The house was what could only be described as Old New York. It was five stories tall with decorated eaves and a gorgeous facade of wood and brick that should have clashed horribly but instead worked to create a lovely, if rather ominous, structure. I walked up the steps to the door and, not seeing a bell, used the grotesque door knocker instead. I could feel the clang shake the entire door. When the reverberations finally fell silent, the door opened."⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ The House of Blackweather is a mysterious, ancient five-story home first mentioned in The Monarch Papers: Cosmos & Time when Martin Rank was called there just before the Day of Change to meet with the newly-anointed Cagliostro. ✨⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ There, he also met the residents of the house, Lord and Lady Blackweather, who he first met during the previous Cagliostro's final performance. They did little to dispel the house's strange sights, sounds, and even its smells (the hint of bergamot, charred cedar, and seawater.)⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ The house and its origins are still mostly a mystery to readers, with its shifting interiors, seeming self-awareness, and as we've recently discovered in the current narrative of The Briar Society, its ability to vanish and reappear in other places throughout the world.