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Written By Sabella

May 3, 2021, 1:08 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

It never feels nice to be told you have done something wrong and hurtful when your intentions had been to do something good and helpful. However, this is not the first time such a thing has happened to me, and while I made strides to right one such instance, I found myself embroiled in another. Graysons are raised with the best of tutors, access to extensive stores of knowledge, all the tools and advantages silver and station can grant. Yet, we are still humans. We are each different and contribute in various ways. One need only look at me and my two sisters to see that! I am nothing like either of them. Lou has been places, seen things that most would fail to imagine. Reese may be the most accomplished wielder of a sword of our time. Both went off to war in their capacities to do so while I sat in a shrine and prayed. Not to discount the importance of prayer, never, I know firsthand how powerful a prayer can be! We each have our place. And our failings.

One of mine seems to be not looking past the tip of my nose. The charitable deeds I have done, the gifts I have given, the investments made, were all done with a heart set on seeing others uplifted. My dreams, implausible as they may be, are to end poverty and unite Arvum. Perhaps those dreams are foolish, but they have been the aim of my actions. I see things that must be righted, and I set what talents and resources available to me to doing that. I have never wished to attach strings to what I have done. But I have heard the criticism. I have seen the journals accusing me of wielding my gifts like a cudgel, describing the virtue of charity done without recognition. And I understand them. I do. No explanation I offer will excuse or justify the way I reacted and the subsequent white I stormed into the Archive to write.

I have written to Most Holy Aureth to offer my apology personally, and I offer another here to the people of the Compact, the people I yearn to represent properly as the People's Princess a title I hope to live up to. And I ask forgiveness from any I hurt with my actions.

Written By Mihaly

May 3, 2021, 12:56 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

Another war survived. Another battle seen. I turn fifty this year. Most of my hair is gone, what's left is grey, as is my beard. I look to my wife, and I look to my son, and I wonder when will it be time to set my sword down. The realization that, no, I can not, do this forever. Eventually twilight will creep across my doorstep.

And yet, retirement seems so far away. If I were to stop fighting, what would my use be? Uses for old soldiers are never that widely sought after. But there has to come a time where it is okay to hang up your spurs, let the next generation take the reigns. That I have indeed, done all that I can. That I have served and done my duty.

Still, here I stand. What Eirene and I did will not be spoken of in tales, or well, her more than I. She is, as she always is, amazing as I have always believed it takes more skill to save a life than it does to take one. I remind myself how lucky I am that she is at my side. As I watched the younger generation lead the charge from the rear flank of the hospital ship, I thought of how many times I had been in their shoes in my youth.
The soldiers with me were eager to be apart of that. Earn something. Prove their worth, even if only to themselves or perhaps to Gloria. They, like me, watched from the rear. I remind them that there are few things truly glorious or honorable about war. That we lionize it in the patriotic duty or faith in a higher power. Perhaps that helps some sleep better at night. But I have also learned that we live in a culture where war is more often celebrated than considered of the cost.

We do not like to speak of the mental or emotional toll that war takes. I do not often speak of the times of night that I am awoken in a cold sweat, my mind reliving a battle and going to a place better left in the past. That the smell of spring rain showers remind me of the smell of mud, laying somewhere bleeding in a field and trying crawl my way back to encampment, lucky that a Mercy found me. Or the smell of a iron while passing a forge, recalling so many times that I tasted blood in my mouth. That certain sounds make want to grab for my blade, only to realize that my sword is not actually there.

I live, but I know that even with the living, there will always be casualties. Even in the ones that come home. And the realization that you may never be the same. And see it etched on the face of a young man or woman who lived to see the end of the day. Sitting down and just staring. At nothing. At everything. Some cry without knowing why. Other laugh because they have no idea how to process. I saw the very same thing on the Lady's Jewels. No matter how much the world may change, there are always things that will not. I think war, war never changes.

I told my soldiers this. To serve for your duty. Your country, your faith, for your family and friends. These are all noble reasons to fight in war. Glory? Honor? I question those reasons, because the toll is always so very high. Do not be so eager for a fight.

So I sleep tonight, I will always hope that my dreams are quiet ones. I hope I dream of stars.

Written By Angelo

May 3, 2021, 12:43 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Esme

My cousin Esme was quite welcoming when I met her at the Ambassador Salon today. It was good to see some of my family in Arx again.

Written By Angelo

May 3, 2021, 12:39 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Esme

Welcoming Cousin

Written By Varosh

May 2, 2021, 11:14 p.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

The Esterhold Shipyard could even handle the work load.

Written By Varosh

May 2, 2021, 11:12 p.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

I am not sure how I am going to do it but I need to speak with all the captains in the battle and find out what ships were lost so that we can begin the recovery process and get any of the caravels lost up and running. I am sure our allies would appreciate the effort to bring them back their ships and the bodies of their fallen. Even though, if I die out at sea, leave me there that is where I belong.

Written By Sabella

May 2, 2021, 10:50 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Apollo

Though he has only been my protege a short while, I have known Lord Apollo Darkwater for a long time. He has had a few names since I met him: Apollo Oakwood, Apollo Whisper, Lord Apollo Darkwater being the newest. Each of those names have suited when he had them, conveying who he was at the time. Through our growing closeness these last few months, I have learned that before he was Apollo Oakwood, he had yet another name - one given by his parents before he became an orphan. As a ward raised among the Keatons and Laurents, he may not have had all the trappings of a noble upbringing afforded to him, but he was eventually considered family by many. As I understand it, he was so loved by the late Marquessa Sunniva Harthall that her daughter's middle name is an homage to him. That is a mark of honor. That Apollo Whisper was recognized by Countess Carita Darkwater as deserving of elevation is a boon to the Compact, a strengthening of her house, and an admitted loss to those who sought out his leatherworking talents. May this change be blessed, this oath be honored, and this choice lead to greatness.

Written By Cassandra

May 2, 2021, 10:50 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

I don't envy those that had to make the decision on how to confront the Skal'dajan threat against Pieros. I have been there, I have been the one to make those calls, and it is never comfortable and never easy. Or, at the very least, it should never be that. I question the judgment of any leader who doesn't consider the lives of their soldiers to be worth consideration.

I advocated for the plan that went forward, however. I don't regret doing so, I only pray that the decision our leaders made was the one that will, ultimately, mean far less bloodshed in the south in the days to come.

Written By Malesh

May 2, 2021, 10:49 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

In time I may find the strength to put to pen something that does the man better justice than this, but the wound is still fresh and this is all I find myself capable of.

When I gave my eye in service to the compact, Lord Aiden was there at my bedside. He had been thrust into leader a force beyond what he had been prepared for, due to another's abdication, but he still took the time to come and see the wounded.

He had been a good friend to my wife and I, and I found him to be a good and pleasant man. This is higher praise than it might appear at first, as the world is full of cruel men gripped with terrible ambition.

So I say again, that we have lost a good man, and we shall weep for him.

Written By Sebastian

May 2, 2021, 10:02 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Ari

I was not told, immediately, about Sir Ari Corsetina, Knight of Setarco, falling in battle.

When I found out, I'm not ashamed to admit I cried.

Sir Ari was fiercely loyal to Belladonna, and more importantly a good man facing a difficult struggle, and winning. His strength and determination gave me hope, and we are all lesser for his loss.

When I'm finally allowed out of bed, I'll arrange something to honor him, and all the other soldiers we lost at Pieros. I already have ideas; once my body cooperates I'll see it through.

Written By Reese

May 2, 2021, 9:51 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

Aiden is my cousin. I have known him since he first arrived from Bastian. He was Prince Aiden, but became Duke Aiden. We didn't along too well during our first encounters in Compact, but with time we grew to understand each more and more to the point where I counted his friend, family and ally.

There was nobody so talented with birds and avian as Aiden. I have painted a flock of birds to represent his time spent on the missions in the Grayson forest during the winter missions and I will treasure the painting even more so now. Aiden was always amazingly brave in battle and in life. I remember his heroics in the battle of Silence. That was the first battle we fought together, but not the last. He was saved by Lord Estaban who he came to love. And that is one thing I will always remember about Aiden, his deep unconditional and true love for the late Baron Estaban and for Baron Silas.

Duke Aiden was a man of passion, hard work and intense feelings. I was at the Gyre battle when Baron Estaban passed and I was the one who told Aiden. He wasn't at that battle. Instead he went to Crovane and commanded the Grayson forces. He stepped up and took charge and came through for Grayson. I remain grateful toward him for such. But he wasn't there when Estaban passed, as he went where he was most needed by his family and by Compact. He was utterly heartbroken at his passing. His sorrow at the moment still haunts me. I didn't want to be the one to tell him, but I knew that I had to be, that he needed to be told quickly and in person.

Aiden went on become a Duke and a father - a great father and a great Duke.

His balls in celebration of animals will always be remembered. Aiden was an archer and he trained many archers in compact. He gave back and was always wiling to help. The way he died was no surprised, it was how he lived, giving, thinking of others first and putting himself at risk. A life and a death filled with passion and giving.

He will be greatly missed.

Written By Porter

May 2, 2021, 9:29 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Noah

I'm still waiting to see how his reconstruction turns out.

Written By Porter

May 2, 2021, 9:27 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Ripley

I've returned home! And only with a few scratches on me. I can probably thank my armor for that and for Master Ripley endlessly tinkering with the charms and such that I keep. I've tried my hand at jewelry making and managed to craft a few interesting trinkets, but certainly nothing with the skill that he has. He has more talent in his little pinky than I do in my entire body!

Written By Porter

May 2, 2021, 9:25 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

I met Duke-Consort Aiden Rubino just the one time in person. It was a snowy day in the streets of Arx and I was horsing around outdoors with Bree and Sir Austen. He instructed his bird to snatch a letter from us and ah, read it. It was a bit private, but not so much so that caused any lasting damage. I remember his reaction as rather amusing and he was so sweet and gentle in the way he spoke of affection. I'm sad to hear that he's returned to the Wheel so soon. I wish that we could have had the opportunity to say hello again on another occasion.

Written By Thalamina

May 2, 2021, 9:09 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

I have survived another battle. Perhaps I should reconsider all the times I have gone off to the forest to relax though.

Written By Noah

May 2, 2021, 9:01 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

I do not write journals often. I am not always a man that is easy to please and my humor can be offensive. This is not an apology for that, as this is not exactly about me. There are a million words and there are a million thoughts that I have at this point in my life in what has happened.

While my respect is not always easily won. Those who took up the call. Those who healed the ones that were injured. Those that gave their lives.

Each of you have my respect.

Written By Acacia

May 2, 2021, 9 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Proud. So proud to see the Culler crew rise up to fight for the Compact both at home and at sea. We know that freedom comes with a price and Culler has never been afraid to do our part.

Now that our ladies are home safe in port, we can take a breath and a moment to remember and raise a glass to our fallen and injured. Their sacrifices will not be forgotten. It was an honor to stand with you.

Written By Kastelon

May 2, 2021, 8:42 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Cristoph

I am informed that I now have a ship waiting for me in Artshall, courtesy of Duke Laurent. An honest to the gods ship.

When my fearsome mountain parrot, my cows, and I (and trusty Resolute as well, lest I forget him) take to the high seas and are beginning our reign of terror as privateers (since, after all, I -am- an Oathlander, and therefore we do not -truly- pirate), I will be sure to remember his kindness on setting me on my way.

Cows do fit on ships, yes?

Written By Nisaa

May 2, 2021, 8:32 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

Duke Aiden, you told me you had a feeling you would not be returning. I was thinking that it was just perhaps being nerves. Hoping. I told you I would hold the things you sent to me, and give them to you when you returned.

You are not to be returning, not here. It is instead the Wheel you will see again. I am supposed to feel comfort in that, but what I feel is despair to lose yet another friend. I remember so many good times spent with you. Dinner with Silas, you, my Malik, and I. The talks we had in the aviary. How excited I was to be able to have a small shop within your menagerie. The Butterfly Garden there where Malik had a plaque with my name on it to surprise me. The time we sat by the river and laughed about the idea of carrying a pet fish around.

That is what I find comfort in, the memories of moments shared. That is the most treasured thing our hearts can hold, isn't it? The memory of someone dear to us who is with us no more.

Written By Lucita

May 2, 2021, 8:23 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

It is going to be so hard to tell the twins their 'first liar' Aiden is dead. They adored visiting with him and his bird... and playing with the Duke's little ones. Before he left for war, he gave his dog to us, and a perfume to me. Once I got home from the hospital after days of unconsciousness, I smelled it and my eyes just flooded with tears. Another dear friend gone.

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