Written By Serafine
May 10, 2017, 1:41 p.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Written By Carita
May 10, 2017, 12:36 p.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Mirari
Written By Carita
May 10, 2017, 12:32 p.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Sasha
Written By Carita
May 10, 2017, 12:31 p.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Max
Written By Carita
May 10, 2017, 12:29 p.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Ford
Written By Carita
May 10, 2017, 12:27 p.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Titania
Written By Carita
May 10, 2017, 12:24 p.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Relationship Note on Octavia
Written By Fortunato
May 10, 2017, 11:36 a.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Written By Juliet
May 10, 2017, 8:51 a.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
My life has taken bizarre turns. I sometimes look back at the young woman who arrived in Arx, and wonder if there were any signs she could have spotted, that would have indicated where her life would lead.
I recall reading a journal, a scant day or so after the siege had broken. Lamenting the loss of the nameless ones. The ones who won't be remembered. It stayed with me.
I have been called hero. I have been asked how it feels to know there will be songs about me that will go down centuries.
Unfair. That is how it feels. What did I do that they didn't? The ones who didn't live, the ones whose names we've already lost, and the ones who will be lost in a lifetime.
I confided in someone very close to me, and he told me this is no different from any other battles. That every war will have its heroes, and that those heroes are there to represent the others. That they become symbols. An inspiration, to fight again, when it is necessary.
With that in mind, I will offer my own account of the Battle with Tolamar Brand.
In the aftermath, we learned that Tolamar Brand entered the city by shattering the walls of the Thrax ward, and slipping away in the confusion. When we next saw him, he was followed by a small group of Abandoned and others, keeping a distance, and slipping away to cause havoc elsewhere. We put our thrust in the defenses of the city, and focused instead on the man.
His mere presence was that of the eye of a storm, a storm that served to rip and tear apart buildings and cobblestone, that splintered wood and shattered stone. But the gods, as Lord Killian wrote, held their hands over us.
It is a curious thing, to realise who you are. And all that makes you, you.
It is devastating to face who you are and stop. A soul-searing agony of existence as pain, of every memory another sharp cut that tears at your soul.
I expect, then, that this was how he would defeat us - to have us accept his gospel and surrender ourself to oblivion, having listened to his lies.
Unfortunately, my flight through my own mind brought me to a sanctum. A place full of depictions of myself, and of mirrors, and everywhere I saw my eyes, I saw baleful judgement.
It is a common truth that we can be our own harshest critics - that knowing ourselves and our work intimately, we will find flaws that others do not think to look at.
It is a devotion of the Mirrormasks to gaze into the mirror, and study ourselves inflinchingly. To pick at every weakness, as we decide who we wish to be.
I heard my reflection speak to me before. And it told me I would doom the world. And I ignored it and I pressed on.
Now, I was trapped, in a room full of my reflections, all glaring at me, all so sure of my failure.
So I ignored them, and I pressed on.
Like Lord Killian, I awoke to cacophony - from one nightmare to another. Words grow weak trying to describe what we saw, but we had each other, and we had a solid floor beneath us, and we had an enemy before us. I made sure everyone was stirring, was at the ready. We all did, we all helped each other.
I had a reputation in Tor for a wicked tongue. That I could leave as cut a nasty as any master duellist would, using only my words. I expect it is an exaggeration, but I did try. I berated the Herald of Unmaking. I called out his foolishness in driving me to the core of my being, expecting anything other than enemies that had grown stronger with what he did. I intended to anger him, unbalance him, and Lord Killian is right that I was the first to run towards him, that I was the first to raise my sword, though Mirror's Edge was never intended to strike at Tolamar Brand.
It is a mirrored blade. And by feinting, I managed to catch the light of one of the lamps that had survived. I managed to reflect it into the creature's eyes. I angered him, and I blinded him, and I left him open for a strike from the Paladin of Freedom. To an arrow from the Paladin of Groves. To further strikes from the Paladin of Swords and the Paladin of Ideals.
I struck at him later, demanding his attention again, as he was constantly shifting. I'm not sure if he was moving or changing. But I saw the things he did to my fellows, and I got his attention, and he grabbed me. I felt ribs crack and my arms burn as his claws of bone and wood and other things dug into them. I imagine if he'd been left to it, he would have torn me apart.
He was not left to it.
Lord Killian described well how the Paladin of Freedom grabbed hold of him, and his was a sight that I was not granted, so I cannot tell if there was divine providence in what was done. I can tell you that to the last, the creature was fighting, was lashing out, even as the Paladin of Swords cut his head off.
We had heard reports that bringers often spread their blight in a virulent and explosive fashion when they die. So it was with Tolamar Brand; his very form, utterly inhuman, was bubbling and expanding. Was turning into something else, and I knew that only I could stop it from tainting the Hall of Heroes further. So I called on the power of Reflection, that had been granted me, and I turned that virulent unmaking inwards. I shielded my fellows and the hall, and I am glad to say that I was successful. I felt Lord Killian do -something-, but I did not know what, until later. Like he wrote, perhaps that was when the others bound to Tolamar Brand and joining him in his abyssal service, all collapsed in on themselves quite literally.
I was exhausted. I think we all were. And then we watched the Paladin of Groves work her miracle, and undo some of the destruction Brand had caused.
And I knew, truly, that we had won, and that Brand would be defeated utterly. Not just in battle, not just his army, but that we would be able to form new beginnings from the end he had thought to bring upon us.
So if I am to be an inspiration, consider this: As long as there is life, there is hope. Nothing is fated, no end without a new beginning. And some will give their lives so that others may live and thrive. I know I will spend my life remembering and celebrating the people who fought, and those who died on the walls and in the Buroughs and Wards of Arx. The ones who held back the tide so that the five got their shot. The ones who saved us.
Lady Juliet Fidante, Paladin of Reflection.
Written By Magpie
May 10, 2017, 8:12 a.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Don't worry, my friends, I sip this cider in solidarity. Honest. I wish I could help. Breaks my heart to be laid up. So sad. I'm crying on the inside.
In other news. Got the pawn shop open. Decided on the name Highway Robbery.
Now I just have to think of a witty way to advertise it.
Written By Niamh
May 10, 2017, 6:35 a.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
When we had slain the the Beast of Sanctum, months ago, we did not remove all the Shards that had served it. They attacked on our return ride. It was a brief battle, and testament that my companions are a fierce lot. The Shards were starved and weaker than when they torn through the Dragons prievously; we avenged those fallen Knights.
It seems that no matter wear I go, I end up cleaning Dusk continually. While not something I relish, it is a task I will take on gladly if it is to wipe away the blood of the Compact's enemies.
Written By Niamh
May 10, 2017, 6:35 a.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
It would ease my heart to say that the shav'arvani we found guarding that place recognized the authority of the House of Greenmarch and yielded to us, but that would not be the truth of the matter. We visited violence upon them and stole into their sanctum to find a blind man with the legs of a goat waiting for us. What foul power rested inside him we did not know at the time, but he was only the gatekeeper. One that Shard was removed from this spin of the great wheel of life we continued to explore the temple.
Long, long ago it seems a giant of some sort and fallen in with dark powers, but his high priest coveted them more. The priest betrayed his master and gained some semblance of immortality in the rites that followed, setting himself up as a powerful spectre in that unholy place. We slew his reincarnation and fled as the temple crashed down around us. Further details will be given to the Scholars and the Society of Explorers; I dare not record them here.
Muiryn's wounds will heal and I've stopped coughing blood at least. Joslyn proved more than capable.
Aislin... I would have torn that temple apart stone by stone if that creature had not released her. But she, too, will be fine.
Written By Niamh
May 10, 2017, 6:23 a.m.(6/9/1006 AR)
Fiachra and Alis had a beautiful ceremony, as one would expect of the Valardins. Full of pomp and ceremony, ritualized to within an inch of its life, and deeper in meaning than I bet many would look for. Edain has named Fiachra Warden of the West and put him in charge of chasing fugitives. There's something fitting about the Warden and the Champion of the West being wed. I hope he's happy. It still feels too much like the next pebble in the Greenmarch diaspora.
Written By Mira
May 10, 2017, 4:30 a.m.(6/8/1006 AR)
Written By Valerion
May 10, 2017, 3:22 a.m.(6/8/1006 AR)
My passion for literature does sadly know some bounds.
Though it seems an interesting read from what I hear...
I am not brave enough to even look upon it's cover
let along open the book and read it. Though...for my
own curiosity. If someone could umm....give me a
dissertation or synopsis on why it is so interesting
I would appreciate the breakdown...academically of
course. Gods forgive me, and I do hope that none of
my cousins are reading this with any amusement.
I swear, it is for academic purposes only!
Written By Cassandra
May 10, 2017, 3:08 a.m.(6/8/1006 AR)
They stand a silent vigil over all of us. Some say they foretell events or commemorate great people or great acts. Others suggest that they speak for the Gods were we only to be bold enough to listen. The stars... They're a mystery. One I wish that I, as Archlector, could say I had soundly unraveled but instead I find myself positing yet more theories. Musings, really.
The stars were there during the battle, when great tides of men and monsters broke against the defenders of Arx. Truly I do not know which were worse- the men or the monsters. At least inhuman things do not look at you with human eyes when you cut them down. Nor can they scream with human voices as they die. They may sound the same but it isn't. After all this death and pain in the end I simply end up staring at the stars. Watching them twinkle overhead. Wondering if they had a message for us which could have prevented all this bloodshed.
Still I fight, and will continue fighting, in the name of Gloria and the Faith. In the name of the people who died during the siege. To forget the pain I saw in the eyes of those who were slain. War doesn't feel honourable. It isn't noble or wise. Defending your home, your people, however, is the highest honour. That is how I honoured the Goddess on that day.
Also, I need to get that damnable creaking dealt with. The plates that cover my left knee must be bent near the joint. If I hear that damnable screeching again I might decide to go into battle naked. Oh, the look on Aldwin's face if I did...
Written By Max
May 10, 2017, 2:33 a.m.(6/8/1006 AR)
Written By Max
May 10, 2017, 2:17 a.m.(6/8/1006 AR)
Born a noble, true, but shipped out to the navy as soon as I could piss over the side of a boat. There's something I realized then, as I sailed with Victus Thrax, with Driskell Stillwater, as I visited port after port. I realized that Thralldom is an institution that is unsustainable.
My father, Draevor, would extol the virtues of instilling fear and terror in your enemies, about how a man of Darkwater, of the Isles, must be a man of bone and steel, never wavering. How he must exact tenfold vengeance for a slight, how if your enemy struck you, you did not stop the counter attack until he, his family and his memory were but dust and ash. He gloried in taking thralls. He reveled in it, enjoying the power it gave him. He declared it was the very source of his power.
My father idolized Donrai Thrax, you might imagine.
I do not subscribe to my fathers style of leadership. My brother did - but my brothers poorly learned lessons resulted in his death. Ixion Darkwater can blame none save himself for his death - stupid and prideful it was. To rule through fear, to rule through prideful terror, in makes rebellion and repression inevitable. It makes men so fearful to be in error, that they will choose instead, to do nothing, rather than risk being in error and thusly, drawing the tyrants gaze.
This brings me back to sailing with Victus and Driskell.
We were in Setarco. I was eleven. I sat on the bow of the Blood Tithe, Victus' ship. I watched two ships pull into the harbor at the same time. I watched the berth next to each other. Both were medium cargo ships. A displacement on each of say, a hundred tonnes. Both were flagged for Darkwater. Tradeships come to shift the tobacco crop. But one was a freemans Cartel and the other, a bannermans thralls.
The same ships, the same cargo, the same dock.
The freemen unloaded that ship in a fashion I can only call expeditious. They came in on the high tide, they unloaded the ship and reloaded a new cargo to return to Darkwater before the tide hit low. They skimmed out of the harbor right before their keel might have ground out. They were fast, they were capable and they were motivated by returning home and by profit. The faster they made their turn around, the more profitable the ship was, the bigger their shares were. The better off their families were.
The thralls did not work expeditiously. They took every opportunity to rest or to slack, doing just enough work to make it to the end of the day without being beaten. I do not say this as an insult to the thralls. I do not blame them, for they did not have any motivation in their work other than to avoid their masters lash. They dd not care if they got home anytime soon, they did not care if the ship was more profitable or less profitable. it mattered not them. They had no agency and no stake in the outcome, so long as they avoided the beating.
The difference between the two crews struck me. I asked Belladonna, whom I met later that same port-call. She offered the following advice: The difference between the two crews, was not one of capability, but of motivation. The freemen were motivated by the hope that their efforts would bring better days for their families, and so lived for the future's promise. The thralls had no such hope and so lived only in the moment.
This idea stuck with me for a very long while. Even until today.
You could say I am mercenary, in that my opposition to thralldom is based in, rooted in a merchantile nature. I want my people to be productive, to be wealthy. And that's true. I absolutely want my people to be wealthy enough to not live in the moment.
I want my people to hunger for the promise of the future.
It's why I am committed to removing Thralldom in Darkwater Watch.
It's why I have always been committed to this ideal.
It's a complex issue with a great deal of pitfalls, but we are putting in place an infrastructure to transition. It will take time, it will take effort, and it will take dedication. But it must be done.
In the face of enemies like Brand or the Deeps King - our greatest shield is hope. We must do what we can to kindle it.
Someone once told me that right before telling me to fuck off.
Written By Aiden
May 9, 2017, 11:46 p.m.(6/8/1006 AR)
Written By Aleksei
May 9, 2017, 10:23 p.m.(6/8/1006 AR)
It's been a while since I read something so callous in the city's white reflections. For anyone who hasn't had reason to find this particular journal, the words were in reference to the "reasonable" possibility the debts of those thralls lucky enough to avoid the slaughter at Thrall's Lament might be increased to cover Thrax's rebuilding of their homes and other needs taken care of. It is, apparently, "reasonable" to add the cost of this to a person's debt.
Someday I'll write the treatise on thralldom that it deserves. And I know the sentiment in the journal I read isn't shared by everyone: I saw the horror, grief, and shock on the faces of several nobles from the Mourning Isles as they worked and organized the gathering of the bodies at Thrall's Lament. But I'll say this:
No person of decency would speak so about a dog, much less a human being.
The Sentinel sees your words. And so do I.
Brother Aleksei Morgan
Priest of the First Choice
Paladin of Freedom
Please note that the scholars may take some time preparing your journal for others to read.