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Written By Mia

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:03 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Eirene

Written on the road to Bastion, August 4, 1021 AR:

Loving my uncle would've been enough, but you made our family whole in ways that I never even knew we needed.

Thank you.

Written By Mia

Jan. 28, 2024, 9:27 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Mihaly

Written on the road to Bastion, August 4, 2021 AR:

I have had three fathers in my life.

The first was Elephon Sylvas, called Orichalcum. He was a man and a mage, a once-prince of the sylv'alfar, a would-be god who betrayed his friends, his order, his people. He brought me into this world through circumstances I do not know and am unlikely to ever learn, but with the intention of sacrificing my heartsblood for his own dark purposes. He taught me what power was, in more dark and terrible ways than I care to recall.

The second was Laveer Riven. He claimed me as his own child, offering me shelter and safety and love. He was brave and he was bold and he was kind. He taught me the meaning of home and of family, of honor and of duty. He gave me a future, and it would have been more than enough for me to consider myself fortunate.

But the third was his brother, Mihaly Riven. House Riven never would have endured without him. I would not have endured without him. He taught me the meaning of sacrifice by making more than any one man should ever be expected to. He made them willingly, with neither hesitation nor complaint. His has been the hardest lesson to learn, and I hope he never has cause to teach it again.

Written By Mia

Jan. 28, 2024, 8:48 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Written on the road to Bastion, August 3, 1021 AR:

It has been nearly a fortnight now since I sat in the library at Heron Hall, staring at the great map table covered in every token we could possibly find to represent Azazel's hordes and they were still not enough. A fortnight since stared despondent at what Thesarin and Eirene and Mihaly had all laid out before, refusing to believe the words they spoke -- that nearly thirty years of rebuilding what we'd lost had come to an end, that the Twainfort could not hold. There is no one and nothing in this world that I place more faith in than my family and my people, and yet there they stood, telling me that any attempt to defend it would only end in the death of every soul we had ever brought through its gates and offered shelter.

I hated them in that moment and though it's an admission that I ought to be ashamed to make, that doesn't make it any less true. I hated them, I hated myself for my failures, and most of all I hated hope. I'd lost it for so very long, had almost forgotten what it felt like after years and years of being terrorized by Orichalcum -- the would-be Horned God, the once-prince Elephon Sylvas. He had been my father, my true father, by blood and by birth but never by choice.

I had found hope again in his death. Not duty or grim determination, but hope. And when it was gone, I resented those few weeks I had it at all.

When the truth of what my generals told me stopped ringing bitterly in my ears, I ordered the Twainfort evacuated, then burned. The bulk of our armies -- nearly twenty thousand men and women -- will go to Bastion, to cover our people's retreat, with Thesarin and I marching at the front. Another ten thousand will escort our people to Arx, and the home I've held dearer than any other ordered trapped and set alight with Arvani fire. If we are to lose the Twainfort, let it it be in a blaze of righteous fury that would devour Azazel's hordes. Let them burn with some small measure of the agony of the riverlanders born on its banks, of the islanders and the Abandoned who had made it their own, and the elves who had called it a refuge when no other was open to them. Let the Eater choke on a mouthful of ash and death, and know that Arvum will not bow or break.

It has been three days since since I received the last report of the Twainfort and its fate. They said the captain of the last ship to set sail from the dock waited longer than any reasonable woman would and when she turned back to see the first flames rise, she broke out into song. She sang a lament that's barely been heard in the riverlands since the Night of Hundred Pyres, when my adopted father, Count Laveer Riven and all his forces fell. The sailors swore they could see the baleful green of the flames and taste the lifeless gray of the ash all the way to the mouth of the Mother.

Our home is gone. I ride now not for our land, but for our people -- to buy them time, to give them hope, and pray that they may hold it longer and dearer than I did.

We will not fall, for their sakes.

Written By Lisebet

Jan. 28, 2024, 7:46 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

We will rebuild Ashford Keep and many more places later.

But I will note this fighting is something I never expected to find myself doing. I will continue. For my family. For those who have sacrificed so much!

We are all going to have to keep fighting. For as long as it takes.

Written By Khanne

Jan. 28, 2024, 7:23 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Oh.... One more thing.

I hugged Sen'azala and live to tell the tale.

Written By Khanne

Jan. 28, 2024, 7:21 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

I have been reluctant to write in my journals recently. My emotions are running the gamut and I don't want them to dictate my words and have my intent be unclear.

I have been nervous. I have felt an immense pressure to perform well, to ensure that neither Mountain or Otter are hurt too badly. Mountain, I believe will stand on his own. He is, after all, Mountain. But if something happens to me and Otter is here... with the curse in place, well, it's just a lot to know that someone else's survival depends on my own. It could be enough to emotionally cripple a person, really.

But I will not let it weaken me. I will not be crippled. No matter what fear or worry might arise in my thoughts, my heart will remain full of hope and determined. We CANNOT fall. We WILL prevail!

Whenever I begin to feel shaken, all I have to do is think of My Titus' words to me...

"Remember those you grew up with. Remember those you've lost along the way. Remember that those who are behind you are there needing your protection. Those who are alongside you fight against a thing that would burn the whole world just to rule over the ashes. And those in front of you? They are your enemy, meet them with unyielding honour. To the Last."

I fight for all of the memories we hold and I fight to ensure a future full of new ones to come. And when I have that thought in my mind, I feel strong.

Written By Raymesin

Jan. 28, 2024, 6:48 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

The Lowers held, Scholar. And the great and the good came to help. I'm too tired to say much more, but we did it. We all did it. And the silks showed, and the silks helped us hold our turf in the way they didn't before.

If we come through this, a lot got made up for today.

Written By Ferrando

Jan. 28, 2024, 6:43 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Up until very recently if you asked me how I'd make friends with a dragon, I don't think I'd have that many good ideas to offer.

Now I'd say a mutual appreciation for heights, going fast, and flying upside down goes a long way!

Written By Titus

Jan. 28, 2024, 4:58 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

In the thick of battle, where each decision can mean life or death, the old saying rings true: 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend.' As a knight I've come to understand the hard choices that war demands. This truth forces us to reckon with the duality within us—the clash between our ideals and the brutal realities of survival.

This unexpected alliance, turning foes into allies, is a stark reminder of the complexity of war. It's a testament to our ability to adapt, to set aside past grievances for a greater cause. But it also begs the question which isn't at all going to be popular or pleasant for people to think about: in seeking aid from former (and current) adversaries, are we compromising our honour? Are we unknowingly looking to Gloria for victory rather than upholding our unyielding honour?

These alliances, forged in the fires of war, confront us with the true nature of our existence. They remind us that while victory is paramount, the motives behind our choices are what truly define us. Our decisions, whether driven by necessity or honour, expose the tension between practicality and integrity.

As we march through these challenging times, we must remain true to the code you follow. We must balance our thirst for victory with a commitment to our principles. In standing alongside those we once fought, let's not forget who we are, but instead use these alliances to showcase our resolve, bravery, and unwavering honour. Or perhaps, it is time for us to change and grow which means these old enemies are now going to be new long-term allies.

May our actions in battle reflect the indomitable spirit of a true knight, leaving a legacy of honour that endures beyond the battlefield.

And think about what we will leave the future peoples after the battle.

Written By Preston

Jan. 28, 2024, 4:29 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)


I have left this message in my whites for when you reach the city and hope that it finds its way safely to you. My name is Preston, I serve the Faith of the Pantheon. I have also worked, in the past, with those of Cardia who wished to honour your oath - I am happy that it will now be fulfilled, and hope we shall in turn honour you and Cardia by our own deeds in support of you. I have spent many years fighting those who worship Malar, and looking into your past.

I am one of many descendants of Dame Sugan left in Arx, though that is not public knowledge. My father was - is - a callous and self-indulgent man known as Fawkuhl, but before he was of the Faith, he was Fawkuhl Valardin. That blood is in my own. I had hoped to come to Cardia, but my duties had me in Arx preparing our defense. You see, I swore an oath - even before I knew of my blood - to forgo family and to put the needs of the Gods and the Faith first. I could not let down my oath, as I know you could not let down yours.

I simply wished to express the gratitude of one small speck of your legacy, and my sorrow that more was not done. But you have my word - for whatever that counts for - as Carnifex of the Faith that we will honour our pact with Cardia from here. If I die before you arrive, then I trust those that follow me to be held to this.

-- Sir Preston

Written By Sudara

Jan. 28, 2024, 3:12 p.m.(8/20/1021 AR)

This might be a very small gesture of defiance, but I wanted to enter into public record that I wish the defenders of Arx all the very best, and that I pray for their success and survival in this time of peril. And I am glad to put it on record that I expect the pillars of our civilisation - such as the myriad shelves of Journals - to still be standing once we have seen the back of our present foes.

Written By Tikva

Jan. 28, 2024, 12:28 p.m.(8/20/1021 AR)

I've written new verses to an old tune. The old canto is still out there, of course. I don't unwrite anything by these words. But we were friends once, family once. I loved you, Reese. Maybe we fought, maybe we failed to understand each other, maybe we hurt each other sometimes. And it's been years since we spoke like sisters.

But love doesn't die with misunderstanding, and I am proud to have known you. You had an ending to be worth a song.

Princess Ribbons rode to war
boldest, with esprit de corps
conquering hearts left and right
as she raised her shining blade to fight!

But the lady took no prisoners
With no more than a glance in particular;
She was matchless, unattached
While those Bringers she dispatched

None could claim her, nor dared try
’Twas the fire in those bright blue eyes
While she blew ‘em apart, cut ‘em in half
Smashed ‘em flat and crushed the chaff—

Our Princess Ribbons is no more
A sworn Knight of Gloria stood afore
A blade of light, sheened pink and clear
Unstoppable, unbreakable, showing no fear--

Dame Reese stood strong before the gate
and though she fell, the world's new fate
will owe to the power of her shining sword
where they drove off the sharded horde.

Written By Lucita

Jan. 28, 2024, 9:47 a.m.(8/20/1021 AR)

Flying is not like riding a horse. The gliding is smooth but some of the harder flaps of the wings are like a horse attempting a tall hedge beside a wide creek. Practicing evasions with quick turns of direction and sudden dips and rises make me glad I have been riding for a few years and used to a little of it. I expect some of the more inexperienced riders are having a tougher time of it... and have more sore muscles and saddle sores.

Written By Martino

Jan. 28, 2024, 9:43 a.m.(8/20/1021 AR)

In Lenosia, we drove them back. At Seawatch Gate, we held them back.

The enemy unites now, together, bringing their full force but we have the city on our side.

The city, the Compact and allies to come.

We'll continue to ensure so that tomorrow will become today.

Written By Martino

Jan. 28, 2024, 9:41 a.m.(8/20/1021 AR)

More pulled up from the archives in Southport, which one-day will be returned to. A siege should be avoided wherever possible, before one can even start, time is needed to prepare and construct the engines of war. The overwhelming numbers lost on approaching such a superior position for the defender make the value of it little sense, it feeds a lack of moral and a questioning of tactics from those rank-and-file.

Know what decision you are going to make, and enact it. Those who enlist know, and have been trained, to understand your tactics. So let them flourish, let them do you proud. Should you advance, do it. Should you retreat. Do it. Know when to fight and how many to deploy for this goal, set it out and make it clear. Do not let doubt nor fear overwhelm your decisions for this is a weakness that a competent enemy will exploit.

Written By Duarte

Jan. 28, 2024, 5:05 a.m.(8/20/1021 AR)


I have no recollection of how my ire and rage was suppressed in that moment, nor of the journey home. All I know is I was somehow subdued (I mean, it's not /hard/) and that they quickly reclaimed the lost journal, abandoned the shardhaven, and we came home.

What we recovered were some of the lost pages of Scholar Wilhelm's journal on blight. And it was uncertain hope, but it at least gave us a path.

The text discussed the manner in which Corruption could find its way to the heart of others without them knowing. The effects of it before it might outwardly present itself, as it had on our bodies and in the affliction of our minds. BUT! There was a remedy - a glimpse of one - possible, and attainable. Of course, from a scholar, it was rooted in Faith. Thirteen days and thirteen nights, thirteen gifts of value, one to each of the Gods. Thirteen offerings of action, cleansing what has been sullied, and thirteen cleansings in ritual baths before each of the Gods in turn.

And so, as my studies with Rinel had long since been complete, and I found much time in my absence from public life to study on my own bat, I went forth and as the archers say 'gave it a shot'.

I spent thirteen days and thirteen nights in each of the shrines, offering gifts at each vigil, and reflecting upon how Corruption took root in my heart. I made offerings of action and did the ritual baths. And at the culmination of this, I partook in a Cleansing Ritual that was fad at the time - taught to me and Petal by Lady Olivia - a ritual done to cleanse the primum of the poison Azazel by way of Shreve had spread.

Mine was performed in the Shrine of the Sentinel, on the thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day. It was my final offering of action - this cleansing of the primum - but the motivation was a cleansing of myself.

To Limerance, I burnt a stack of letters I had saved from Lianne, and prayed that my steadfastness to her was perceived by the Gods, if not recognized by her herself. To Vellichor, I burned a dossier I had compiled on Legate Bianca for reasons unimportant now and needn't be written - but I longed for her friendship and was regretful. To Gild, I burned an old beloved hat that I used to wear as a commoner messenger boy. I prayed she would see my charity and how I have used my newfound station for charitable ends. To Tehom, I burned a slice of the very vines that were embedded in my flesh. It wasn't a sacrifice, but a reflection of one. To Aion, I burned a slip of paper upon which I wrote "the future". Mirari was there with me when I did it.

With each sacrifice, I began to feel stronger. I began to breathe easier. For the first time in years now, I began to feel better. I felt regret for my smug, callous ways. My courting of scandal. Stronger, better, cleaner - I stood taller.

As the ritual came to a close but the flames continued to burn hot, the shrine suddenly darkened. I heard a voice. And the voice was spake unto me. And the voice was loud, and magnificent and resounding. And it said, "You stand balanced on a knife's point. Cleansed of Blight by the Gods you hardly believe in. Oathed to those who serve the Darkness."

The room disappeared and I was floating in blackness, wobbling upon that very point. Before me were two paths: one strewn with rocks and hard going, difficulties and enemies I may not survive, but in the air there was a rainbow - bright, beautiful and perfect. The other path was one of ease. I could feel the allure of wealth and glory in that path, with enemies and obstacles still, but also much adulation.

And the voice spoke again, "Choice is the greatest gift given to humanity. You must choose."

In a snap, I was back in the shrine. The fires had died out. But something was different. I felt along my arms and pulled at my shirt. The vines! They had gone! The flesh of my torso was pock-marked with the scars of their penetrating growth, but the growth itself was gone!

But somehow, I still felt them wrapping around my heart like impending doom. A constant reminder that I must choose.

Written By Raven

Jan. 28, 2024, 1:56 a.m.(8/19/1021 AR)

It is maddening to be on the front lines and watch those I am meant to protect get wounded or fall and I keep coming away unscathed. It feels as if somehow I am not trying hard enough. I know it's blind luck but it's still hard to swallow.

Written By Eithne

Jan. 28, 2024, 1:08 a.m.(8/19/1021 AR)

The last thirteen years have been a blur. They have been some of the happiest times of my life with my family and my friends. I have traveled. I have honed my craft, I have become a legend in that craft. I fell in love, I had a child, I became a wife. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be so fulfilled in life. In the blink of an eye, it can all be gone. I am not okay with this.

Over the last couple of months, I have dedicated myself morning and night to my work. There have been many people who have needed armor or their current armor refined. They need a fighting chance and I have to help them. I was called to this mission, driven by unseen forces. My apprentices Martin and Gertie worried about me. I wouldn't leave the forge. I had a vision for something special and I was going to finish it. Years ago, when I first started seeing wild and vibrant colors in the fires of the forge, I thought I was going mad. Most of the work I created cast bold hues; white, red, orange, green, blue... sometimes purple. Rarely did the flames turn black, but when they did, I learned it was because the person I was creating armor for, was not someone with good intentions.

Then came my dreams from Ashe - the shield I was supposed to build. I tried. It was to offer protection. Perhaps it was metaphorical then. Now it all makes sense as I feel the heat within my own hands while I forge and form new armor. My eyes have been opened, my hands perform miracles. I am ready.

Written By Tikva

Jan. 27, 2024, 10:11 p.m.(8/19/1021 AR)

I don't know what to write.

We fight to secure a future for us all, to prevent the destruction of everything. I've lost a husband to war before. Not a war like this. I don't feel the grief yet, not truly. I know it is coming.

I must strive to keep our children from being orphans. But this is not the kind of fight I can sit out. Nightingale and I will sing each encore til the finish.

Prince Asharion Grayson. Princess Lara Grayson. You are the greatest gift that Ainsley gave to me and to this world. In his memory, you will live, you will thrive, and you will grow strong.

I love you.

Written By Valencia

Jan. 27, 2024, 7:40 p.m.(8/19/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Kastelon

I miss you so much, Kastelon. So much that it has taken me some time to be able to arrange my thoughts and put quill to parchment. I know that I have my duties to perform and that I should carry on as you told me to do, but the world is so much darker and empty without you.

Arx may or may not fall, but regardless I still wanted to honour your life and you sacrifice whether or not we win or loss all. To have some place special in this mortal world where you will be remembered.

Fortunately, Maggnus and Lizette have much cooler heads than I, and now, in the wildest part of the gardens, we have created a sacred place for you. It's full of tall old trees with sturdy branches and wild flowers. It reminds me of the meadows and groves in the lush, beautiful forests we once rode in. It's a place wild that creatures might like to live. Perhaps even large calm bear with one eye missing.

A small, clear stream meanders through and there are large, lush green pastures. It is quiet and peaceful here. I think you would have liked it.

By the stream there is now large stone carving there of great big beautiful bear, a hound, and a man with the words: "Be as the bear. Where you go, we shall follow" carefully etched into its surface and a plaque that reads: "In loving memory of Kastelon of Keaton, Lord, Voice, dear friend, protector, bear and one of the best of us."

I swear that in the late in the lazy golden afternoons and in the early morn when the sun just wakes and the sky is pink, I can hear your voice saying this in the rustle of the trees and meadow.

Once all this is done we shall put terraces and platforms in the trees like we did so long ago in the other part of the gardens. I will go there to remember you and get as close to the heavens as I can. Perhaps I might see sign of you in the skies at night or just before morning, looking down upon us with your calm hazel eye. Like a bright star or a calm cool moon in happier and more peaceful times.

I miss you so much. More than I dare say. I will never forget you, my dearest friend. I will do as you asked. I promise. I will try. And, I will pray to the Gods above and below that you will return from the wheel again one day soon so that we may meet again.

You will always be in my heart. Thank you for everything.


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