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Written By Killian

May 30, 2017, 6:02 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

<Excerpted from Explorers Journal of Killian Ashford>

Day 1: We set out upon the shifting of the tide, shortly after the celebration of rebirth. The planting of the trees was capstoned by the birthing of my nieces, I'm so very pleased for Prince Laric and Cara. Alas, that I could not stay and bask in the warmth of new family, but I was assured that even travelling upon the river we wanted to make sure to depart at the optimum The summer heat is less strong upon the river, except when the wind stills and leaves us baking in a turgid humidity. My companions are quite companionable though. Of course my cousin Harlan, and Prince Ainsley, are quite well known to me. Prince Darren, Princess Freja and Lady Eirene are somewhat more unfamiliar though. I'm quite glad to have been so warmly welcomed though, and the voyage will certainly pass the easier for the company.

Day 3: I so sorely regret suggesting travel by barge. It may be passingly quicker, and is probably safer..but GODS it is boring. There's literally nothing to do except watch the landscape slide by. I should learn to fish, and invest in a least then there would be something of interest. The rum I brought has been finished already, shared with my companions, and we have played every card game that I could think of...presently I shall resort to practicing my archery, which will likely add levity if nothing else, as I doubt I could even hit the river.

Day 4: We shall arrive tomorrow. If we do not, I fear that we shall all be insane before we arrive.

Day 5: My hands still shake as I record this, thankfully the Lady Eirene is quite skilled, I care not to think about the shape I would be in were it not for her care and ministrations.

We arrived at our destination and disembarked the barge upon which we had traveled, moving overland the rest of the way upon horseback. In retrospect it might have been well advised to have made camp at the riverside just one day, instead of setting out late in the day. We caught site of the abandoned city after a short travel, but as we approached we came upon an outlying farmhouse that had been ruined by the passage of time. Investigation yielded little information other than that the inhabitants did not seem to have packed before leaving, or even cleared the plates away after their dinner. Time had erased other information though, and the howling of a pack of wolves suggested that long investigations were perhaps an ill advised past time. We took once more to horse and made for the dubious safety of the city walls.

What we found within made me long for the company of the wolves...such ill had befallen the city, such evil plague that I can scarce recount the horror of it. We found the residents, trapped in some form of suspended life, mummified upon the walls of the city and facing towards the center of it. The city itself remained entirely and wholly intact, untouched by the ravages of time. Our investigations discovered that the Baron of the city was shockingly a man of Erusi heritage..but also that travelers to the city had gone missing in the course of some months prior to the recorded journals ending. As we attempted to unravel what had happened, all threads seemed to lead back unto the Baronial Manor at the center of the city.

Within we found additional journals, which led us to the conclusion that the Baron had courted with foul powers and paid blood sacrifice for such gifts as they would bestow. We explored with little effect, until we discovered the secret passages mentioned within one of the journals. Alas that the discovery triggered the defenders of the city, those poor trapped souls of the residents, to begin to attack us. We fought them off as best we could as we fled deeper into the sanctum of the monster who once ruled the city. It is best, I think, not to recount the details of what we beheld within. Suffice it that foul rituals and dark deeds had been done, and three souls bound as lynchpins of the bindings on the souls of the citizens. Among them, a man of Ashford, of the given name Fabien.

Prince Darren and I fought to occupy these bound spirits, even as the ghostly forms of the citizens began to close in upon us. Meanwhile Duke Harlan, Princess Freja and Lady Eirene set about working to undo the remaining binds of the ritual that had so evilly enslaved these poor spirits. By wrenching the daggers that had been used to slay them from the bodies, they were able to undo that binding, allowing the spirits to pass onward unto their rewards. The look of thanks and relief upon the faces of those poor spirits was profound, as they finally were allowed to stand down that unending watch. Unfortunately, undoing that binding restored time to the city itself and, all at once, the decay of hundreds of years caught up with the structures.

We did at least escape, alas we could recover nothing from the ruins of the house of the Baron to give us a clue as to where he might have passed after the city.

Day 6: I have seldom slept so well in my life. It is as though the gods looked upon us and deemed us worthy of reward. Judging by the spring in the steps of my companions today, I think I am hardly the only one. We spent the day exploring the now very, very ruined city. There was little of note to be found thus far, but we have made what maps and notes we could for entry into the Society records. We've also found a number of shields once used by the guards of the city. They are nothing exceptional, but they bear the crest of Frosthaven, three stars above a mountain, set upon a very pale blue (I suspect meant to be frost colored?) field. We'll have one for the hall, and each have claimed one as memento of the journey. Our barge returns tomorrow morning on its return voyage, so in the morning we must set out again for Arx. I will be glad to be home.

Day 7: Didn't sleep quite as well last night, whatever soothing presence was present is gone, and all that remains of Frosthaven is an empty ruin. The hot springs are rather nice though, and might be of value to a settlement should one wish to take advantage of the already standing walls.

Day 9: We made good time on the trip home, especially with the current to aid us. I was able to collect some of the ashes of what was once Fabien Ashford. It is my intent to ride to Ashford and scatter them amongst the trees of his home. The trees are ancient, and I hope that they will remember him and welcome him home at last, from his long journey.

Written By Orazio

May 30, 2017, 5:37 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

To the Faithful Reader:

The summer has come, and the city evenings are filled with the buzzing of insects and the constant hum of humanity. Both of these sounds are pleasing to me. They always have been, but when I contemplate what we so nearly suffered, I see their beauty anew. Even in the squabbling and gossip, whether it be of the songbirds on my windowsill, or of the humans who inhabit the city, becomes like a song, reminding me that I am alive. That we are all alive.

Whatever else might be said of our circumstances and the challenges that lay before us, in my prayers I contemplate our existence, and our potential, and it fills me with awe, and even a little joy. It is my hope that each man and woman of the Faithful might look within them, for that potential, that best possible them, and use the peace which we have won to bring that forth into your life. There may never be a better time to do so.

Written By Samantha

May 30, 2017, 5:36 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

I've been longing for a parrot ever since I heard of them, which I must point out has been a significant time since coming to Arx.

And suddenly I hear that people have parrots! Actual parrots! Why don't I have a parrot?

I am really quite cross right now. Also, hungry.

Written By Ainsley

May 30, 2017, 5:18 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

On this day, I discovered a glass parrot in my room.

Written By Narciso

May 30, 2017, 5:02 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

Relationship Note on Marian

Writer's note: Confessor Narciso Artiglio came in with a lute and just began to sing on the spot. He left without a word, only indicating we should be respectful of "her" song. What follows is what we pieced together, those of us present.

Have you heard of the tale,
Of a dragon whose mail,
Was not of steel most true,
But of a will all knew,

Ask the wind of cold winter,
He remembers of her,
She was born from the stag,
And defied the drake's flag,

Yet when a young wyrm fell,
Among the stags' dire cell,
She found her heart take flight,
To join the prince most bright,

Of this theft none would know,
Till the drake's scales of snow,
Would guard her from the harm,
Traitors deal with their arm,

His heart for her beat true,
And in that time all knew,
Stag's daughter would depart,
Her new life was to start,

Among dragons she lived,
Even when fate deprived,
The two with cruel hand,
Of this tale's more happy end,

Sorrow came for her then,
With bright memories when,
She was not so alone,
In tale of so tragic tone,

Yet she reared back and struck,
Sorrow now most awestruck,
"I will not yield" she said,
"For all the tears I shed,"

"None will see me unmade,
On neither tree nor blade,
Take my words to the wind,
I shall long live and grin."

So have you heard of her,
Still here is her answer,
Only whispers of she,
Are brought to my aerie,

But now she's summoned me,
To have a cup of tea,
Secrets and lies beware,
You shall soon find me there.

Written By Cara

May 30, 2017, 4:46 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

I have recently been introduced to a charming snack food -- grains that have been heated until they pop open, giving a delightful flavor, particularly when lightly salted.

I can't help but snack upon it. It's addictive.

Written By Carita

May 30, 2017, 4:10 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

You're going to believe what you hear, of course, as is anyone that uses these Journals as a means of satiating their bloodthirsty appetite for circulating gossip and rumors without seeking the truth. I understand that. I was - am - prepared to endure it.

Written By Sameera

May 30, 2017, 3:59 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

Relationship Note on Carita

I did not believe you capable of betrayal. I wanted to put my faith in you. Now, I don't know what to believe of people.

Written By Sameera

May 30, 2017, 3:51 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

Relationship Note on Darrow

It was cruel to say at least one of the things to you. I admitted it already but I feel it needs repeating. However, I do feel the need to prove you wrong.

Written By Sameera

May 30, 2017, 3:50 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

Betrayal is a hard pill to swallow. Thrice I have felt it by the same family. The Prince of Maelstrom is wise and gives sage advice.

Written By Silas

May 30, 2017, 3:41 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

Relationship Note on Malik

A wonderful artist. I recommend his work to everyone. Give him all your silver!

Written By Karadoc

May 30, 2017, 3:08 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

Relationship Note on Harper

Well said. Not enough on either side thinking this way.

Written By Harper

May 30, 2017, 2:31 p.m.(7/22/1006 AR)

Words, words, words. I get laid up with summer snifflesnorts and when I get back silkypants are all into the scent of their flowery-scented verbal excreta.

Dry truth is: don't be a twat-biscuit to other folks 'cause of bein' different.

Written By Juliana

May 30, 2017, 2:24 p.m.(7/21/1006 AR)

On the nature of caring, since it seems to be an issue of interest today:

While it is all well and good to have a pragmatic outlook on the empathy of others, is there not also an argument to be made for the practice of empathy? Certainly a person might not give two silvers if someone loses a valued object, but surely that same person could take a moment to place themselves in the other's shoes and consider that loss?

Alternatively, if someone were to become upset because something that offends them on a deeply personal level, might they too not take a moment to look outside themselves and see the triggering event for what it is? Done in good nature with no intended malice?

All good conversations to be had and thoughts to think, at least for one as fabulous and frivolous as I.

Written By Mirari

May 30, 2017, 2:16 p.m.(7/21/1006 AR)

Speaking as a courtesan and a former Whisper, I'm quite glad that Whisper will no longer be holding "date" auctions. The few days I was asked to participate I declined. It isn't because it's *actual* slavery, and anyone commenting with sarcasm and rolling their eyes about the subject is missing the point.

What we do, what we think about, prepares ourselves for future actions. Today it's a charity event all in good fun, that all the participants enjoy and agreed to. Tomorrow there's a participant who gets "bought" by someone they can't stand but they feel obligated to spend an evening with them, nonetheless. Even though traditionally a Whisper can decline any client they chose. After that, there's a young girl or boy who has just joined Whisper and isn't really comfortable with it but everyone else is doing it-- so they feel pressured.

It's a slow descent into discomfort, but the audience is so used to what is going on they no longer care.

Let alone the fact that I'm rather certain people would see these auctions and think that they'd be getting a different sort of company from the Whisper than the Whisper actually wants to give.

There are plenty of different ways to use a Whisper's skillsets to bring charity about. I applaud Softest Whisper Larissa for having the courage to notice the dangerous of something "all in good fun" and stop it. I also applaud Prince Mason Grayson for stating his concerns publically, something I never did.

Written By Carita

May 30, 2017, 1:59 p.m.(7/21/1006 AR)

Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky and what I have done to deserve a friend like you. People have come and gone out of my life, but for some reason you never left. Your friendship is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.You believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. You loved me when I was hard to love. You listened to me when I didn't have a voice.

Thank you for helping me realize when I am being oblivious to the obvious, even when I get upset hearing the truth. Never stop telling me the truth, because I need to hear it, my friend. There are too many things to list - things you've said, you've written that have made me smile.

But most importantly, you never gave up on me. That is special.

Written By Marian

May 30, 2017, 1:28 p.m.(7/21/1006 AR)

Relationship Note on Narciso

We have not met but I do enjoy your wit. Perhaps you'll like my poem and pay me a visit. I do so like to wordsmith and you seem up to the challenge. my words and see if it sparks your interest.

The Inquisition came by for tea.
Oh what a happy event for me.
The dark cloaks do fit so well.
Inquiring eyes that want to know.
How social tidings and friendships be.
Crown and Compact, the topics I see.

A knife to cut the butter.
The subtle flick of a cup.
Oh your manners are befitting
Of circumstance and pomp.
What a wonderful guest.
My dark and shining friend.

I do not understand why
Anyone would even try
To leave you off the guest list.
So please, come by and have a cup
Of my faithful, devoted brew.
Cause I have nothing to hide.

Do you?

Written By Fortunato

May 30, 2017, 1:26 p.m.(7/21/1006 AR)

It's human nature to care about a few things passionately, some shit a little bit, and most none at all. You think I care about who's marrying who most of the time?

Just recognize people got reasons for caring about the stuff that matters to them. We're all a little strange to each other. We don't get any less strange with indifference by fiat.

Written By Narciso

May 30, 2017, 1:16 p.m.(7/21/1006 AR)

Relationship Note on Eleyna

Can confirm what Pretty Spider Princess said.

Written By Eleyna

May 30, 2017, 12:53 p.m.(7/21/1006 AR)

You can't care about everything. That is a swift way to drive yourself mad.

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