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Written By Tristan

Nov. 27, 2016, 11:56 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

I hate people. Most of them are idiots. Horses are far more sensible.

I hate princesses. Oh, by everything that's holy, /princesses/.

I swear, something goes soft in people's heads when they hear the word 'princess' as if it means something more magical than it is. Particularly goes soft in princesses' heads.

Especially ones that prance around Arx in silks, wearing a saintly smile and showering everyone with charity and expecting to be loved in return. Bloody hells. It's ten times as annoying as Songbird's thrice-hourly messages asking what her precious Pinenut's eaten today, and her never riding him.

I've pulled dead foals from live mares and live foals from dead mares. I've watched foals take their first tottering steps and grey-muzzled geldings take their last. I've gently shown colts and fillies their first saddle, and how to take the weight of a rider, and carefully earned trust and moulded the gawky youngsters into impressive warhorses and racers and palfreys. I've been up at the darkest hour of the morning to birth foals and walk colicking horses. I've nursed horses from injury and illness over months, and I've looked into the eyes of a horse I raised from foalhood, who trusted me absolutely--and cut his throat, because his leg was in fragments and the only gift I could give him was a peaceful death and the end of pain. My fingers know, before my mind, how to fasten bridle and saddle, to wrap legs and straighten manes, the bump of a splint and the heat of lameness. I can close my eyes and drop my reins, and guide only with the shift of my seat, knowing the horse will see for me, two beings together in perfect trust.

To say nothing of the darkness that befell my friends--my last friends. Blankness and death.

Why would I need anything from some girl who knows nothing of life?

(Note: Lady Regent, if you're reading this, I don't include you as a princess. You never really were, and you're entirely too sensible.)

Written By Niccolo

Nov. 27, 2016, 11:53 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Belladonna

My dear Belladonna. You've been gone for too long, but now you're back. I can't help but smile when I see you, even when you find a way to infuriate me.

You are my family, you are my blood and I will love you, even when we see things differently. That bond will always remain strong.

Written By Esera

Nov. 27, 2016, 11:42 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Serafine

My cousin Serafine has always been fierce. She is a fighter -- in spirit, and in deed. No, you would never know she was a Velenosa, to look at her. Her destiny pulled her a different direction than the rest of us -- but it pulled her back to us, too. I am sorry for how it happened, but not sorry to have her back. Family is family. We all serve our House.

Written By Hadrian

Nov. 27, 2016, 11:40 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Mangata favored my voyage back to Arx, for I arrived in time for a private dinner at the Velenosa estate for Lyceum heads of house and Voices.

I do so love surprising people. Even my people. This time, though, it was fully justified. Honest! No messenger could have made it there faster than I did.

And what an evening! I would tell you, dear imaginary reader, but it was private. Sub rosa. A chance to speak freely. On a scale from Abandoned to Templar, that trust ranks as _sacred_.

Written By Esera

Nov. 27, 2016, 11:32 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Eleyna

My cousin is cold, like starlight -- a distant, beautiful thing. I grew up with her. Played beside her, as a child. We are family. Through every loss and hurt, we are bonded -- and she has had to carry the burden of so much loss and hurt. So much more than I have lost. Than I could imagine losing. I do not like to see her grief turned against her. Black widow, indeed. It is no wonder she is cold.

Written By Dafne

Nov. 27, 2016, 11:03 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

I've taught Nightshade to carry messages. What a clever kitten she is.

Someone asked me if he hallucinated the arrival of kitten-post. That made all the effort worth it.

Written By Eleyna

Nov. 27, 2016, 11:01 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Blacktongue

Our verbal sparring is as satisfying as his counsel is valuable. I would not call our friendship unlikely, but it could have just as easily soured into cruelty and sharp words.

I find myself rather glad that it did not.

Written By Audric

Nov. 27, 2016, 11 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Costas

A new friend! We ran into him in the Hundred Cities, and I'm fairly certain that he thought we were there to terrify him. We pretended that for a moment, I'll admit, because it was funny. Good taste in whiskey, too.

Written By Audric

Nov. 27, 2016, 10:58 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Dafne

Who uses a cat as a messenger? It's very impressive. I had something to actually write about the woman, but this is far more important. I was vexed with a small cat showed up with a letter tied around its neck, I'll admit.

Written By Audric

Nov. 27, 2016, 10:58 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Victus

You know, I've heard more than a few people mention that he's unpleasant and terrible to be around. I quite disagree. Once you know the man, he's hilarious!

Written By Eleyna

Nov. 27, 2016, 10:50 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Niccolo

My beloved uncle. There is no mistaking that it was his hand that crafted my wits and my mind. I have ever strived to be worthy of his respect and admiration.

Written By Eleyna

Nov. 27, 2016, 10:48 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

When I was a little girl, I was in love with the small birds that used to flutter in my mother's menagerie. Birds of all colors with their sweet little voices chirping on the breeze. Perhaps I only loved them because she did and I was ever trying to win myself into her graces.

I remember her as very beautiful, but very cold. Whatever joy she showed was reserved for those birds. I was desperate to hold one, to catch one. I believed that, if I did, I could win my mother's admiration. Maybe even her love.

As any small child does, I chased. I stalked. I tried to devise cunning plans that only resulted in those birds forever eluding my grasp.

One day, in a rare moment that she actually saw me, my mother found me in the menagerie, chasing those birds. She did not scold me, but instead, she taught me how to sit very still, very quiet with a few seeds in my hand. And let the birds come to me.

I thought I sat there for hours, waiting for one of the brightly-feathered darlings to alight into my palm. Finally, just when I had given up hope, a small, bright-eyed little blackbird landed in my palm and pecked at the seed there. I remember the delight I felt as my mother laughed and kissed me, the first I can remember from her.

And the last. She died the following winter. My memories of my mother are few, but her lesson in patience remains even now.

Written By Silas

Nov. 27, 2016, 10:23 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

The key to getting people to like you is to be likeable... and if you're a likeable person this doesn't entail any effort. If you're not, perhaps you're witty enough to fool people into thinking otherwise.

But the truly enviable people who just don't care.

I have not met such a person.

Written By Ianthe

Nov. 27, 2016, 10:08 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

No matter how many times and in how many ways I try to convince people who I am, they persist in believing me better. I refuse to feel guilt for disappointing expectations that I tried to dissuade them from in the first place.

Chaos is my nature.

Written By Serafine

Nov. 27, 2016, 9:32 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Dawn

I met her earlier this week and I was surprised. A little impressed as well. She was difficult to read, put up a wall of smiles and hidden scrutiny.

This isn't a bad idea as the ruler-presumptive. Necessary, more than likely. I commend her for the skill of it.

It will take a great deal of strength and patience for a person to govern us through the days to come. I hope she is up the the task. Someone needs to be.

Written By Serafine

Nov. 27, 2016, 9:26 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

The Explorer's Society.

I've met with Aislin and Cara in the past, and I expressed interesting in attending this meeting. I am curious of what goes on, the purpose behind the meeting, and of the group. I am looking forward to attending.

What's appropriate to bring to such a thing? Honeycakes? Mead?

Written By Joscelin

Nov. 27, 2016, 9:19 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Wolbrand was my mentor, the last of several and by far the most skilled. His grunt of approval would have me brimming with pride for days, and his disapproval taught me to take the criticism constructively and let everything else fall away.

His disappearance is a shock. I remember his tools, so lovingly kept, a hammer he promised to will to me, begrudgingly, that I doubt I'll see again, or hold in my hand. His worn, well-broken in anvils, his gravers, his stone-setting tools.

His hands were gnarled but could do the most delicate of work.

I am conflicted. As his student, I am sad that he is gone, I grieve the loss of his skill and knowledge. As his Guildmaster, I am worried about the rest of my crafters, the desire to draw them in protectively battles with my instinct to let trade and commerce continue uninterrupted.

Written By Leo

Nov. 27, 2016, 9:06 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Eirene

A Malvici noble by blood, but a medic by trade, I find her experiences well suited to dealing with soldiers like me. She is another possible avenue to reconciliation. May the gods protect her in her travels.

Written By Leo

Nov. 27, 2016, 8:55 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Victus

Brusque in manner, crude in speech, but a warrior nonetheless. It has been long since I've been spoken to in that manner, but it inspires only some small nostalgia. I may be able to work with a man like this.

Written By Deva

Nov. 27, 2016, 8:47 p.m.(3/25/1005 AR)

Relationship Note on Anze

Anze has a great sense of humor and a good head on his shoulders. It's a relief to see more familiar faces around the city, while at the same time it makes me miss Farhaven all the more. I think he too knows what it's like to be the one just outside the focus of attention. It's a blessing and a curse. Thank the gods for more Redrain cousins to drink with -- it's so hard to find people who will keep the pace with whiskey.

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