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Written By Rymarr

Dec. 10, 2016, 6:33 p.m.(5/8/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Kima

The Lioness of Lyceum. The Sword of Southport.

I find it endlessly amusing that one of her titles, whether earned or self-imposed, mirrors the surname of the family which I left behind.

I encountered the Lioness at a meeting within the palace but did not have an opportunity to speak to her until afterward. She is opinionated, seems to possess a playful energy, and gives the impression to others (or at least myself) of being quite carefree.

I've heard gossip of her battle prowess. A true wolf in sheep's clothing it would seem. Yet I find myself eager to encounter her again.

Written By Mason

Dec. 10, 2016, 6:18 p.m.(5/8/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Aislin

She is likely one of my most cherished of friends since I have made my way here to Arx. I consider myself blessed by Ahj'on himself to know such intrepid women like Lou and Aislin. I feel it is people like them that make this world for the better.

Her Eurusi is still terrible it really needs to be worked. Along with her reading of it. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to stand the fact that she sounds more like an injured camel than anything else. Yet, I say that with affection.

I am glad to know her and help her in her journeys.

Written By Aislin

Dec. 10, 2016, 4:54 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Mason

I can only imagine that your decision to write your journals in Eurusi causes no end of headaches to the Censor Librorum, my friend. Still, they could do with the practice; learning another language or three is good for the mind.

Thank you for the drink, and the talk; I always find I have much to think about after our discussions.

Written By Donella

Dec. 10, 2016, 4:14 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

إذا كنت لا تمانع في الشراء، ثم، وأنا أشرب معك.

Written By Lark

Dec. 10, 2016, 4:03 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Neither a fearless adventuress nor -- and I say this with the utmost affection -- a fragile narcissist, I often feel very lonely amongst those with whom I share blood ties. What a heavy, gray name we have. Natalia, somehow not nearly the silliest of amongst us, dubs me the most ‘Grayson’ Grayson of us all to tease me for my tragedy airs. Yet, to spend but a little time with any… how did Dawn put it? ‘ to be reminded just how very much alike most of us are.’ I might venture to say not a one believes themselves worthy.

Written By Cara

Dec. 10, 2016, 3:27 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Valkieri

I cannot judge my brother too harshly for his protectiveness, even though at times it is INFURIATING (if you read this, Valkieri, you know what you did) -- it comes from love, and from knowing how fragile our loved ones are. He can be so insufferable, but I love him dearly, and I hope that somehow through all of this he can find some moments of happiness.

Written By Cara

Dec. 10, 2016, 3:26 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Eos

Baron Eos Saik is a kind man, and learned, though I think perhaps wiser in the ways of war than the depths of books as I am myself. But to know him is to understand that he, too, knows grief. I find my conversations with him to be both stimulating and comforting both. (And his lion is charming.) I hope we'll continue to have opportunities to visit with one another, though the gods know we are both beset by full days.

Written By Bethany

Dec. 10, 2016, 3:17 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Bethany

Amend my previous statement to include the following : only until you have considered an alternate plan.

Only then is it allowed.

Otherwise, it is wise to keep an ally than to create a rival.

Written By Hana

Dec. 10, 2016, 3:08 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

I feel like maybe I should hang a sign in my shop window: "No blades of black diamondplate-ish metal allowed inside, under any circumstances." or something similiar.

Written By Mason

Dec. 10, 2016, 3:08 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

إذا كان أي شخص يمكن قراءة هذا، وسوف يكون أعجب أعلى درجة.

وإذا كنت تستطيع قراءة هذا، ووقف شراء، سأشتري لك

Written By Deva

Dec. 10, 2016, 1:52 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Serafine

She can throw me down into the dirt anytime!

Good luck getting those clothes clean after all... that.

On a more serious note, I feel much more at ease with her at my back. Here's to further adventures.

Written By Sabella

Dec. 10, 2016, 1:50 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

The ending to my romantic journey started with someone's desire for me to not be harmed, and has finished with a glorious artwork by Fortunato Grayhope. This was everything that I hoped it could be. Some stories are not meant to go on long, some stories are like the flicker of a candle flame. One gust of wind- and it's out. But I have coveted those strands of smoke, and now I can let them disappear into the night air.

He never answered me. I will remember, and that's all that matters.

Written By Aislin

Dec. 10, 2016, 1:04 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

So, then: I say I should write my travels and findings in white journals. Let's make good on that, shall we? Chapter One of this effort, I suppose. I'll begin with runes, the topic I am most often approached about.

I've personally encountered these runic inscriptions on a number of items. An inscribed tablet, various items of strange jewelry, brass trinkets found almost exclusively near Southport, and such.

I've been able to distinguish differences among inscriptions, and most I've found lately seem to fall into two categories. One I associate predominantly with jewelry, and the majority of samples seem to be found in the Lyceum. The other I associate nearly exclusively with a group known as the Metallic Order, a near-mythical group of reportedly unaging (but it appears not, sadly, unkillable) champions who history records largely gave their lives to protect the realm.

At first, I believed these runes were a writing system. Then I learned they were, if anything, more ideographs than actual writing; the earliest writings I could find on them are centuries old, and they date the symbols back to the Age of Dreams. Each one representing a concept more than a letter or word. I began attempting to categorize them, to draw parallels between both of them.

After months and months of research -- and a great deal of help from many others -- we found that the runes represent /no/ language whatsoever. While some of the runes may have symbolic meaning, it's only meaning in the way a sword in a painting might represent battle. Or standing firm against an enemy. Or conquest.

So these runes are more of what an artist's signature on a painting might be; the designs flow almost impulsively, like how that painter might sign their work slightly differently depending on their mood. And like a signature represents a particular painter, these runic patterns represent individual magic-workers, or perhaps entire schools of magic-working.

Sadly, this means that no, I cannot translate those inscriptions for anyone; I know that disappoints a downright alarming number of people who, having heard me speak on runes at the Covenant or other places, have recently approached me to ask if I can do so.

Believe me, no one is more disappointed than I am that the runes are a mere byproduct of magic, a signature, and therefore presumably not a key to actually understanding it.

But it does make it theoretically possible to identify the source of a given relic or artifact, by comparing the runes to the existing known samples. You could, perhaps, also use it to identify a 'lineage', such as who had taught who; I don't have enough differing samples to be certain of that.

And knowing where things came from, being able to begin to trace their history, well, it may still help a bit to chase a little of the darkness and ignorance away.

Written By Aislin

Dec. 10, 2016, 12:34 p.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

There's nothing unique about Ashford as a house, so far as I know; we have no hidden destinies, no ties to prophecy, no guardianships, or elven blood. Our sole distinguishing trait is a desire to see the world... the good and the bad. To know, to understand. That trait is burned deeply into our blood, and it has driven me onwards my entire life.

But I often feel as though I'm staggering around an unlit cave of /ignorance/, feeling my way along the walls and praying I don't fall into a chasm! Trusting to intuition and blind luck to see me through, hoping that I don't do more harm than good as I blunder around in the dark. I want to /understand/, I want to know, not just... just fumble around and pray for the best!

I've known for a very long time there was more to the world than people wanted to admit. I'd seen evidence of magic, of the elves, of relics that should not exist. Tales of magic that aren't known outside of a handful of villages. And whenever I brought back tales of what I'd seen, few wanted to believe. "Direwolves? Those are a fairy tale." "Dragons? Ha!" "Elves? Are you a child?" "Really, you believe magic ever existed?" "Pfft. The Metallic Order? Yeah, like there were ever immortal mages like unto demigods out there."

It's the sort of thing which encourages you to start keeping things to yourself, lest you be thought insane. (Or start developing a strong desire to punch people who laugh.)

But now we live in a world where we are seeking an alliance with sarcastic elves in order to fight other elves (reportedly less 'sarcastic', more 'mind shatteringly evil'), and demons, and also an army of the /literal actual undead/. A world where people within the city walls vanish in a mysterious manner, seemingly wiped from the world. A world where blood magic rituals are used to summon abyssal beasts for gods-only-know what reasons, although I do not imagine they're pleasant for anyone (other than the beast and its masters, at least).

Many of us hold a few pieces of some grand mosiac of the world, shattered long ago and scattered across the realm. Bits of that mosiac are deeply unpleasant, and bits of it are gloriously beautiful, but none of us can see the whole of it so long as we all hold on to those little fragments. And if we cannot see the whole -- or at least, a good portion -- I really don't think we're ready for what's ahead.

After all, our enemies rely on ignorance and disbelief, the idea that we won't share or won't believe what others share. That if we keep what we learn to ourselves it can be more easily stamped out, and we'll be left defenseless and unprepared.

I've done my best to counter this; I founded the Society of Explorers as a place to try to fight back against this ignorance. In the hopes that we'll share the things we learn, and the genuine belief that if we do -- if enough of us feel our way through that unlit cave I've stumbled through so long -- we might just find our way. I've been willing to share the things I learn, at least those I'm not sworn to discretion on, with those who seek me out. With the Covenant, and the Society, and all the other groups that have come together to try to put together the pieces of that mosaic.

But there's one place I've failed: I still write so many of my travelogues, of my theories and research, in black journals.

And perhaps... perhaps it's time I stopped doing that. Perhaps it's time I just started putting those in white journals, for all to see.

Written By Barric

Dec. 10, 2016, 11:34 a.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

The elves were not what I expected. Perhaps we met younger ones even though one knew Alarice. Perhaps they were simply children playing at games. They were snide and rude and, on the surface, uninterested in diplomacy. I expected a more dignified and serious race that would take the clash at the Grove with more solemnity but they made a joke of it. I am disappointed yet I hope we will meet more appropriate elves soon. Actual diplomats or ones with some say in what happens rather than sulky, sarcastic children.

Written By Deva

Dec. 10, 2016, 11:26 a.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

We are all fine. No one lost as much as a fingernail. Unless you count a few ounces of pride?

Written By Natalia

Dec. 10, 2016, 10:27 a.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Reese

My cousin is a wonderful distraction when I am worried. She seems a little interested in romance, but I love the stories.

Written By Eirene

Dec. 10, 2016, 10:17 a.m.(5/7/1005 AR)

Who knows. Maybe in another thousand years, if we're not wiped off the face of the world or another fire burns down -- Oh stop looking so shocked, Archivist. It's a SAYING. No one is coming to burn your precious Archives. I'm --

It's my hope that nobody comes across these journals from this time period and goes 'what the fuck are they talking about? Elves. Undead. Were they all HIGH on dust or something?'

Fuck, now you've made me forget what the fuck I was going to say.

Those people who went. Went to FIND ELVES. It's not a game anymore. This isn't pretend. it's all too damned real and people I know; people I joke with and drink with and fight with... people I know are going into that ultimate unknown. Whatever gods or spirits or benevolent forces are out there better go with them.

I'll be pissed if they die.

Written By Fortunato

Dec. 10, 2016, 9:32 a.m.(5/6/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Sabella

A painted sketch. Central, a multi-hued rose. The core is a whitish silver, the rough middle a band of pinkish red, the outer petals a nearly black indigo. A few of the indigo petals have fallen off in a trail across a shadow almost too dark to see them against. In the upper left corner of the sketch, a slivered moon. In the upper right corner, a brown eye, simply drawn, scarcely colored. Across the bottom right corner, a silver chain, gently strung. Bottom left corner, an opened door with no hint of the room beyond.

Written By Aislin

Dec. 10, 2016, 9 a.m.(5/6/1005 AR)

It is remarkably difficult to get undead entrails out of clothing. The laundress actually fainted.

I really rather liked that shirt; it's unfortunate it had to be burned.

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