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Written By Mirari

Jan. 27, 2022, 5:29 a.m.(1/4/1017 AR)

I found the perfect partner.

At first I was not sure of what I was looking for, or even looking at. At times I doubted myself and prayed for clarity regardless of cost. When pushed past the brink I met those new thresholds with sacrifice and single-minded determination. From the corpse of challenges conquered I produced, or found, this fascinating and unexpected treasure and it is now mine.

Mine to call my own.

Mine to admire and tend to.

Mine to shape into something beautiful.

Written By Mirari

Jan. 27, 2022, 5:14 a.m.(1/4/1017 AR)

The crimson-drenched seas of Setarco remind us that all happiness is fleeting and that only beauty is eternal.

Written By Mirari

Jan. 27, 2022, 5:05 a.m.(1/4/1017 AR)

When a noble is born they are blessed with the privilege of duty, a life-long commitment to serving their people. They must toil endlessly to build upon what countless generations before left behind, a life of eternal competition with legends of the past to who they are ceaselessly compared.

This begins the day they are born and lasts until the day they perish.

Succeed in giving their all for their name and people and they are allowed to join those same looming, larger than life generations in the annals of history as a noble who did their duty. Good job, and nothing more.

Failure means the soiling of hundreds of years of diligent work and the destruction of dozens of legacies built by their betters. It means to be remembered forever not for their qualities but as a cautionary tale.

The demanding life of a noble is not something I wish upon any commoner but like many before me I find myself unable to respect those who do not measure to the standard set by their predecessors.

It is betrayal of the most vile kind, to not live up to the demands of one's own name, that much is clear even to a commoner like me, but thankfully history is unforgiving.

Written By Viviana

Jan. 27, 2022, 4:15 a.m.(1/3/1017 AR)

When the time arrives to meet that most gracious Queen in death, and it's my time to return to the Wheel --

Reference those memories with honesty. Not sentiment.

Written By Viviana

Jan. 27, 2022, 12:55 a.m.(1/3/1017 AR)

The hangover's the worst.

Written By Victus

Jan. 27, 2022, 12:34 a.m.(1/3/1017 AR)

I feel as though saying I don't like spiders is some controversial stance to take. I'm not sure when we decided that hairy, eight legged, dozen eyed, fangs and venom bugs were 'neat' -- but I'm not about that.

Don't like spiders. This is me, scars and all.

Written By Monique

Jan. 26, 2022, 11:57 p.m.(1/3/1017 AR)

Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.

Written By Maharet

Jan. 26, 2022, 11:47 p.m.(1/3/1017 AR)

I have, perhaps, grown up so lovingly spoiled amongst House Proscipi that sometimes I forget disappointment and humiliation. But I know the feeling once more and I can say with great certainty; it is a painful hurt to the pit of my stomach. I shall put on the jewels and silks and continue with my beloved duties as I must and should, but if my smile is a shade more dim, or my steps less light, it is the fault of no one but myself and my own naivete.

Written By Esme

Jan. 26, 2022, 9:40 p.m.(1/3/1017 AR)

It is always hard when someone comes to me and asks what the definition of love is. Love is so unique to the people that feel it, that one cannot attempt to define the concept in its entirety. It's stronger than anything and yet is so delicate to break. It can change people and yet at the same time make them unmovable from where they stand. It's sought, it's found, and I never believe it truly lost. I think a lost love, is just a love of alteration. It is a change on the wind like summer to autumn.

I muse on the idea and thought of love because of the passing of Niklas.

Once upon a time, I was new to the city and lost among all the beautiful people. I tried to find my way and find the people that would touch my heart and hopefully I would touch theirs. In that, I met Niklas and Sabella. For in that time, if you met one, you met both. Sabella was instant energy to meet mine. We use to playfully compose the best introductions to try and outdo the other, but not in jealousy but in the shared joy of love and praise. We would greet with squeals and hugs, holding hands, whispering of how we might cast a brighter light. For that, there was no question of our friendship.

Then there was Niklas.

At first, I was certain I was a headache. This did not hurt my feelings, as if happens. Then I thought I was Sabella's friend and he put up with me. However, into late night talks and walks (really I skipped), I came to realize we were actually friends on our own. We played pranks and talked about life. We gathered in booths and spoke of life and change. We talked about the life we thought we would have and the twists in life that brought us to where we were. We spoke of duty, love, honor, and all the things my zealot heart longed for. He accepted hugs and brightened when he saw me. He cared little when the pranks soon became directed at him. He welcomed me to his family (both Grayson and Kennex), letting me know that his table always had an open seat with my name. He talked about his plays with such passion, that even I wanted to see every word come alive. He was unapologetic in who he was.

I am not a woman that is prone to sad emotions. It is the heart that Limerance blessed me with that I just do not stay away from joy for long. I admit that a pang was felt in my heart when I heard the news. A pain for Sabella. A pain for those that he touched that feel adrift in a different way without him. However, I shall not feel sad in his returning to the wheel. I will just celebrate the life that he led and the way he touched mine. The joy left in the wake of tears - that is perhaps the meaning of love.

Written By Lisebet

Jan. 26, 2022, 8:21 p.m.(1/3/1017 AR)

I find it incredible and hard to believe, the news about Prince Niklas. He was my patron for a time.

I hadn't really known much about him before then, and there's still a lot I never knew. Poor Princess Sabella must be beside herself. I - am saddened. Arx has lost a bright light.

Written By Raven

Jan. 26, 2022, 12:22 p.m.(1/2/1017 AR)

Well. Fuck. Starting to realize all the problems may be one giant problem. Which means I've triaging things that may actually need attention like they're different problems. I really need a word more profane than fuck. It no longer does the trick.

Written By Caspian

Jan. 26, 2022, 10:08 a.m.(1/2/1017 AR)

by the powers but that tourney was amazing! i may have performed poorly, but it was such a wonderous time! and i stumbled upon a masterful partner in crime with Lord Savio! i think he was right when he said the world is not ready...

Written By Ilira

Jan. 26, 2022, 3:40 a.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

I feel like I'm coming together.

Written By Tikva

Jan. 26, 2022, 12:40 a.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

I swore once that I would write no dirges.

When Princess Sabella first asked for an alliance with House Kennex, I was the Voice of Grayson at the time and she, as yet, was not. I thought she was asking for a silly love match; and I, despite my own marriage, was sworn at the time to protect the House I served from acts of unbalanced affection without political gain.

Sabella insisted that Niklas had much to offer House Grayson and that he would be an asset, and I did not listen. I'm afraid it was a bit of a flaming row. She raged and I dismissed, and then I went to Ainsley and I stormed about her presumption, which was not big of me. Ainsley laughed at me, if I remember rightly, and folded his hands behind his head, and commented that he thought it quite grand that I was now the Voice and not he. He might remember the conversation differently, but this is my white journal, not his.

I hadn't met Niklas, at least not more than an instant in passing.

I chanced to meet the young Lord Niklas in the Ambassador Salon a few weeks after that. It was a chance meeting, and of course, he had no idea he was being interviewed at the time. I recognized in him the keen eyes of a writer, a student of humanity, the kind of man who pays a great deal of attention while pretending he does not. I was friendly and polite and went on my way.

Princess Sabella urged us to have Lord Niklas to dinner and interview him for ourselves. I did not tell her I had already done so, but said that I would, of course, accept such a meeting as it would be my diplomatic duty to do so. I cannot for the life of me remember what happened at the meeting. I believe everyone was on their best behavior and nothing of value was really accomplished. I believed Sabella to be discouraged. By that time, I had already reached out to Ford Kennex to begin negotiations for a treaty.

The treaty I proposed was, in a word, insulting. Beloved Orazio remarked upon it, when I sent it to the Faith for review. The marquis apparently believed that it would be the cost of alliance with House Grayson, and did not even try to bargain. All he asked was that Niklas's plays continue to be published under the nom de plume of Niklas Kennex. It was such a small thing. Of course we agreed.

I think back on that treaty a lot. House Kennex agreed to a significant financial benefit to us, which was written into the agreement as recoupment for the funds that were granted to House Kennex following the abolition of thralldom there. They agreed that several persons of House Kennex would be proteges of House Grayson. They paid it all, timely and correct. Both our Houses prospered. House Kennex has _thrived_ and while I do not claim our alliance sole reason, I can't think that the splendid economic connections we developed following the treaty can possibly have hurt.

I don't know why Ford Kennex never bargained, but I think about it a lot. All he cared about in that negotiation was the happiness of his brother.

Once the treaty looked acceptable to both Houses, I was going to surprise Sabella with it. But she had been so tragic in the intervening time, and then she wrote a white journal that I interpreted as a possible disruption in her relationship with Lord Niklas, and became consumed with anxiety that I had put my foot in it, and bridged this proposal without directing enough communication to its principals . . . But Sabella's words had not been about that at all, and she was so delighted to discover that House Grayson had changed its mind that her shrieks of joy could probably be heard all over the city.

For a long time, I kept that letter in my drawer, while I was still Voice. _There were so many exclamation points._

So many of these matches die aborning, but this one went off without a hitch. The wedding was glorious and both of them were resplendent, of course. Niklas's sense of fashion was spectacular and Sabella is always impeccable. I remember some very elaborate ice sculptures. I vaguely remember some absurdity of Prince Luca's... I wish I could remember more. Time eludes me and it seems so long ago and far away now, like something out of the kind of bedtime story I would spin for Lara and Asharion.

They were larger than life, and they were passionately, absurdly, ridiculously happy together.

Niklas worked very hard to become the Prince of Grayson Sabella had believed from the start that he could be. He kept his hand in playwriting and performance. They made many, many beautiful children. He threw himself into economic study and put that keen mind to use for the benefits of the House. And Sabella bloomed with him. They were practically inseparable. Social darlings, fashionable mavens, the writer and the actress, the dramatist and his muse.

And they have both been deeply important to me, as friends of my heart, at some of the ugliest and most confusing and tragic times of my life in this city. I know that Niklas's tongue could run away with him, his acerbity get him into trouble from time to time. And I know that his glibness sometimes followed onto foolishness and not wisdom. But after all, we are all only human. And he was my family. He chose to be my family, as I chose to be his.

I pray for Princess Sabella today. And I pray for their children.

And to Niklas's soul, in the arms of the Queen of Endings: I promise, I will finish the opera, and whatever tenor I find, he will be beautiful.

Written By Haakon

Jan. 26, 2022, 12:18 a.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

Had a trio of fine matches this night, against three worthy foes. In the four matches I had no part in, the opponents showed exceptional skill at arms.

Also Savio was there.

The rounds of dueling organized by the Eurusi I was free to watch made for a fine spectacle, seven bouts in all, but Sea and Sky strike me down if I lie: by the end of my third, I were spent.

Deva Redrain
Sorrel Thrax
Corban Telmar

Fine matches, all.

Written By Ryhalt

Jan. 25, 2022, 9:20 p.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

Relationship Note on Desma

I apologize to Splinter.

Written By Cambria

Jan. 25, 2022, 6:59 p.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

Allow me to feign shock and disbelief.

Written By Viviana

Jan. 25, 2022, 6:11 p.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

I don't understand why others do the shit that they do -- countless, like the raindrop scatter of yellow sapphires across star iron, but, of course, are simply stars and not gems, Scholar, and I am only making an educated assumption that sapphires can be yellow. Are stars yellow. Gold's yellow -- ish. I don't see why the stars wouldn't also be made of gold. No, the night-sky's star iron in this. Now, see -- I have messed up the entire analogy --

Let's start again.

I don't understand what motivates others.

I am relearning mine.

Written By Ida

Jan. 25, 2022, 5:58 p.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

I should write something about it being a dagger to the heart, but that just makes it worse.

(I kid! Mostly.)

Written By Viviana

Jan. 25, 2022, 5:52 p.m.(1/1/1017 AR)

-- What I wanted for myself and what ended up for me -- those are two different stories.

What I wanted: verve and vigor, flash and flourish, blushes and thrown roses. I wanted ballads and stories. I wanted crowds. I wanted to be able to take a turn in a duelist's ring and get them up on their feet for me. For me to be their champion. I see Champion Caspian, unflaggingly cheerful, and I see a glimmer through my good eye of what could have been. Fuck, Scholars, it would have beautiful. It wasn't just a damned dream either, it was longing -- it was yearning -- it was a need so deep to the fibers of my being that I wept. Wept each night that father and I rode out to the war in Nilanza. So he wouldn't see me -- the disappointment, the fear, the dissolution of my naivety. The first time I realized that the truth that Leticia pressed for me was entirely different from the future I saw for myself.

Fuck you, Leticia, for that.

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