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Written By Evaristo

May 2, 2021, 12:57 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

I was helping out at Saving Grace when Valenzo wanders in, needing some care of a healer. Best day in a long time, seeing him again. We have some serious catching up to do, but it also feels like I saw him just yesterday.

Written By Aindre

May 2, 2021, 12:21 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden


I wrote to you on the eve of battle and promised that on the other side of it we would meet up again and drink and share stories and laugh like we had done once or twice since I finally made the decision to move my time from Bastion to Arx. As children we were never.. not close, but I think as we aged into adulthood we both felt the chains of nobility tighten and pull. It happens with all nobles, but it is especially pronounced with those of House Grayson. We have a reputation for leadership, for duty. So often those roles devour the time of a Griffin as we seek to become the wind beneath the wings of those who look to us for guidance. You felt this too, I know. There is a reason you were so coveted in your position as the Duke-Consort of Gemecitta. The more I spoke with people here in Arx who had been a part of your life, the more I realized how much they looked up to you.

I was wrong. The preparations to set sail for Pieros should not have stayed our next chance to sit together and reminisce and rediscover one another and how we had changed as we got older. That wrongness sits lodged in me like the blade of a dagger broken off. Will I ever dig it out? I bleed. I am glad for the things I was able to say to you in the time we had together but there are so many other things that never made it past my lips nor slipped off the tip of my quill. I was so damned /proud/ of you. I won't play around the truth, as a child you could be awkward. You were a follower. I know. You followed Ainsley and I around incessantly unless you were taken by one of your avian obsessions. Sometimes it was endearing and sometimes it was obnoxious. It was of some concern to our parents, I remember well. I was trying so hard to grow up and you? You were simply in love with the things you chose to love, unapologetically so. As we found each other again here in Arx I was.. I guess relieved.. to witness how that unabashed capacity for love in you had not been ground down like so much milled grain. You had changed of course, but my Gods the splendor of your feathers was exciting to behold. You wore those changes so well. You only needed to be let out from under the weight of expectation that comes with being raised in Bastion, especially those heaped upon our lineage, the joining of Grayson and Bisland blood.

You never liked conflict. I don't believe that part of you ever changed. I don't even know if you were wrong to abhor it even if it is such a necessary part of life and nobility. It hurts my heart that you spent your last moments mired in the field of battle even if I understand you passed from this life saving another. The man whose life you preserved, I hope he realizes what was taken from this Compact so that he could remain. I cannot resent him even if the want to curls around my heart and clutches at it. I know if you were given the chance to do it over again you would do it just the same way because the awkward boy who sometimes followed me around when Ainsley was away and Ailys was occupied had truly grown into his plumage. He was a fierce and as loyal as any griffin. As brave as any lion. I don't mean in war. In life. In love and friendship and compassion. You were the most compassionate person I ever met. I could learn a thing or two from you. Many could, perhaps did. So many more never will now.

I don't know what else to write to you except that already I miss you more than I know what to do with. It's not a feeling I am accustomed to, not knowing what to do with myself. The Queen of Death has taken you but I have a hard time believing the Mother of Beginnings will not see you soaring once again and so very soon. Your bright soul is too much of a loss for this world and when it is rested - a rest truly deserved - you will take wing again.

I love you, little brother.

- Aindre

Written By Gael

May 2, 2021, 11:55 a.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

This is my first entry since the theater at Pieros,
Confessor Gael, in your hands again, Custodian Vellichor,

I'm awake at last. Here, in the hospital, I suppose I'll have some knight's squire do me the favor of taking it to the archives, my white. Perhaps she will misplace it and leave it in some gutter, but I hope not, I pray she'll be responsible with it.

It had been a long time since last that I lost total consciousness, but never could I imagine it'd be different each time. Like a man waking up from one long, confining nightmare, realigning towards the light of day at last. The battle ended as a stalemate last I recall, due to unforeseen circumstances and interference by the local environ. Never had I seen anything like it, nor would I have expected it to be retrograde to our advance, but it happened. I'll not be saying what, but those there on those plains know.

If only mother could see me now, her inveterate boy me drawing his sword for a cause not wholly his own. I wish she knew, but at the same time, I know such a thing isn't possible; perhaps it is better that it is not in the first place. I pray she is well.

The care I have received here in the hospital has been phenomenal. Each Mercy pours out their heart on each patient, their purpose clear in enabling life in those fading away, at all cost. An unenviable and sometimes thankless task, but they are of an honor rare that anticipates no reward, nor recognition, and the Compact truly is blessed to have birthed such a noble consortium of menders. That being said, no such care would've mattered hadn't it been for Rinel Tern, who saved my life out in the plains of Pieros.

I leave this in the Stacks less-so with the expectance that it shall be read by anyone, but more-so as a reminder to myself to repay the debt to her. Somehow, in some shape or way, in the future.

Lagoma's fire endured that day,
And although it may flicker and sway at times, it will continue to endure forevermore.

Written By Thea

May 2, 2021, 10:26 a.m.(5/24/1015 AR)

The last few days have been exhausting. I had traveled to Pieros, to help direct the medics there while my aunt was directing the hospital ship. I will never forget what I had seen. The cries of battle, of those that have fallen for compact. Of the men and women me and so many other physicians hurried to save. And yet...making the decision that some just could not. They're time in this life was finished, and their souls were to return to the wheel. It's hard, making that choice. It's hard watching.

Written By Jaenelle

May 2, 2021, 9:38 a.m.(5/24/1015 AR)

Names on a page mean very little without context. They are just names, after all. But when you remember that these names have families, history, dreams and goals, it causes a moment's pause. How do you make a decision that can change the lives of everyone they have touched, change the lives of all those they have yet to meet? One command and they are off without hesitation.

The other side of the coin that I have heard each time one of these decisions comes to light is that they are soldiers. They knew before hand what the possibilities of war can bring. How peace is not forever and the Compact is in constant war with those who are not part of it. They knew, so my guilt is raking their choice from them, that it is lessening their sacrifice because I have felt the weight of the burden.

As stories trickle in, as reports find their way to my desk, I know we as a whole have made the right decision. The only decision there was in order to keep our freedom and to show others who might consider us weak that we are not. We stood shoulder to shoulder and defended what makes up the very core of the Compact.

These names, the ones on these pages that will never return: you will never be forgotten. Your sacrifice will never be forsaken. I will continue to forever shoulder this burden.

Written By Kastelon

May 2, 2021, 9:22 a.m.(5/24/1015 AR)

"Where you go, we shall follow."

Our family motto, the guiding star of our lives. Our fealty lords have gone to the south to stand against our enemies, and we, the Keatons, have followed for the benefit of the Compact. And, as others have said, our efforts have ensured that the Compact endures.

Though with what I have seen at war... in what form do we endure? How has this changed us, and... is this a change that we wish to see?

I return to Arvum, my vision of things significantly changed. And not just because of my injury.

Written By Zyxthylum

May 2, 2021, 4:53 a.m.(5/24/1015 AR)

I guess I always knew that underneath this flesh we are all just bags of meat and blood. The major difference between taxidermy and healing is I have never seen pain in any of my subjects' eyes before. It is easier here at the hospital, but I nearly froze up in Pieros. Honestly when the jungle came to life I was already so distracted with the rivers of blood leaving the tent that I just thought I imagined it.

Written By Torian

May 2, 2021, 12:53 a.m.(5/24/1015 AR)

I don't read a lot of history, so I don't know how these things get recorded, but I wanted to put some things down.

The Culler's are not soldiers, but growing up as most of us do, we are certainly be fighters.

Acacia and Tython captained the two caravels we brought to war just as well as anyone, by my reckoning. Tython maneuvered past the initial line of defenders just as easy as side-stepping some road apples on the wagon path up from the docks. Acacia put us right next to the enemy so my kin and I could get to boarding and brawling.

Raja and Samira Culler made me just as proud, fighting along side their friends, saving a ship that might otherwise have been lost.

I'm proud of all my people, and there's so many, too many to list, but know that 17 of them were returned to the wheel in defense of the Compact, may the gods remember them in light of their sacrifice.

((Seventeen names follow, a mix of 'legal' and 'street' names as was the preference of those brave NPCs who gave their lives so that I could write a mildly somber journal entry.))

Written By Mabelle

May 1, 2021, 11:40 p.m.(5/24/1015 AR)

I've never attended a battle before, not a war battle anyway. We have our own little battles on our lands and some conflicts but never like this. Hundreds of ships, thousands of soldiers. The fire, the screams, the corpses in the sea. Not an ideal enviorment to maintain composure and it seems seeing the people I care about hurt brings out the worst in me. I do not like who I become when I am faced with all the ruin and carnage. I should pray for my soul.

But before I do, there are things to be done: wounds to tend to, mourners to console, families who lost their loved ones, fathers, mothers, those who provided for them that need to be cared for. Where do I begin? Can one fix her own wounds by caring for others?

I hope so, because that is the plan. We have won. Now to deal with the aftermath.

Written By Acantha

May 1, 2021, 9:55 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

Benny and I sailed out to the Bay of Pieros with the Redrain Fleet. I was anxious without my husband as he is the more accomplished fighter and sailor. We are sailing back home now. There were losses, but we are whole. Or as whole as we will be for the time being.

And we will never look at the depths the same again.

Written By Rosalind

May 1, 2021, 7:08 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

Sometimes, there are just no words. I do know I'm so happy to be home. I can't put into words what I saw, I really can't. But how I feel? That's entirely different.

Written By Lucita

May 1, 2021, 7:06 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

I have no words for the grief I feel.

Written By Medeia

May 1, 2021, 6:56 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

Scholar Clive! It has been a while, hasn't it? I'm glad to see you well. Oh! Well, I am especially glad, then! It was truly a courageous thing you did, going with the fleet to record the events and deeds of the war. Did you? Did he? Yes, my husband is a formidable opponent. Which reminds me, I should get back into my armor and join the Eswynd warriors for training now the twins are born. Oh, no, I doubt I will ever be one of the best combatants in Arvum, that is hardly a goal of mine. But I don't want to be a liability to others.

Yes, I stayed here to ensure the hospital and clinic ran smoothly for everyone else and to prepare for those returning. It was a brutal shift once the ships arrived and patients began to be transported in. I had a pit in my stomach when I realized one of those brought in unconscious was Lucita. She should recover just fine, it was upsetting though. I had an excellent team of medics at my side and I should think of some sort of thank you gift for those who really stepped up. Ladies Cecilia, Clarisse, and Kiera as well as Mistress Bonibel and Messere Evaristo were wonderful help to me, especially. Perhaps I may persuade the captain to become one of my apprentices? He's got a head for it, I feel.

I'm relieved, honestly. It sounds like, maybe, we all might have a bit of time to breathe. To focus on our people and our lands without the emphasis being war. It'll be nice to go to the Black Fox and have anything else to discuss - once people get the tales of heroism out of the way, of course! I want to hear those. Also, I heard hands of the dead dragged the enemy forces beneath the water? I simply must learn more about this. I know, it sounds preposterous, but you saw it! And my husband is not one for telling tall tales. Someone, somewhere, knows what that was all about.

Written By Tesha

May 1, 2021, 4:42 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

I remember when I first spoke to my Uncle Arn about wanting to learn to lead the troops and the ways of war. He thought I was a little too soft. And he wasn't wrong when I was younger. I wish that he had been with us on the battle field. He might have been there in spirit and grumping at everything that I told our troops.

They were not my best moments. I stumbled. I was almost knocked over by a tree, but Marquis Kael managed to get me out of the way without there being an incident. We lost many and I hope that we can rise from this. I'm sure there will be other battles on the horizon for us to take care of.

Written By Lorenzo

May 1, 2021, 4:36 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

The battle at the Bay of Pieros was not the first time I had commanded ships to engage the Eurusi. The fight was fierce and bloody, but it seemed less desperate than the Battle at Sungreet, where I had a ship literally sunk beneath my feet and had to step onto the deck of another. I wish to praise the skill and heart of everyone who fought at Pieros, particularly those in the Northern fleet. I was impressed with how well everyone, across all the ships, worked together with one purpose: to protect Arvum. I witnessed many strange things that I cannot quite account for by calling them wild weather or unusual sea creatures. I can only say I am grateful that Arvum has many allies and its citizens have many talents.

Written By Denica

May 1, 2021, 3:51 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Thea

You know someone is a true friend when they agree to help with something with little information. Your sense of adventure and twisted humour never cease to make me smile. When our forces combine, it is like a raging storm, and I suspect there is nothing we cannot achieve. This should strike fear into the hearts of many, but in the end, I know they adore you, just as much as I do.

Written By Alarissa

May 1, 2021, 3:40 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Victus

There is a relief to stand in front of him after runners have brought word of the sight of him coming into the bay. It is one of the few times now that I get on a horse and make my way as fast as possible through the lowers to the docks with few at my back to guard me. I still have a hard time riding a horse after these years of loss. My balance has never been the same and so I avoid them when I can.

I imagine it brings him comfort, to see the whole of his family standing there and waiting for him. Astrid I think, missed him the most. She waved her axe in the air then squabbled with Danse over who would get to hug him first. I was just relieved. No strands of grey or lines on his face that were not there when we saw him last. I didn't realize that I had been holding my breath until the longship came alongside the docks and his feet were heard on the dock. That my heart started beating again. It felt like it had been still until now. Hung between beats until he returned.

Is this love?

I feel his hand in mine, and our children gather at our feet and for a moment we celebrate this victory even though we know that we must soon sit and write. To those of ours who gave of theirs. Who stand at the docks and will not hear the bootsteps. To acknowledge the gift that was given to the compact of their life, and to the Isles.

But for now, for now I will finish writing this and spend the evening as a family and prepare. We have enemies to rout out. We have letters of sorrow to write and of thanks. We have children to draw close and the Gods to thank for the further time we get with them. To thank them for bringing him home to me once more.

Written By Natasha

May 1, 2021, 3:10 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Venturo

You were right about me, just as I was also correct in our last conversation.

I think you may have indirectly, and inadvertently, saved my life, and in a manner befitting Fortune's favorite son.

Written By Oskar

May 1, 2021, 2:35 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

We sailed to the Bay, and we chastened those who thought to chasten us. Mangata favored us, truly, and I saw wonders and terrors the likes of which I had never even dreamt of.

But the deep draught of blood I sought turned to ash in my mouth at the end.

I look on my people, who they were and who they are. Clan Eswynd. House Eswynd. Which were they in that moment?

Is there a difference?

...Should there be?

I don't know. And it's the not knowing that weighs on me most heavily.

Written By Tikva

May 1, 2021, 2:02 p.m.(5/23/1015 AR)

I live to fight another day. My prayers are answered; my children will see their mother again.

Though I think I'll wait until they see me slightly less banged up. One of the healers - I think it was Rinel Tern? -- managed to get the arrowhead out of me without me hemorrhaging all over the floor but it turns out, being shot? It's not great!

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