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Written By Evangeline

June 5, 2020, 2:40 p.m.(6/4/1013 AR)

*G R A T I T U D E*

While it has been some time since I've come to write my profound thoughts to be recorded by the exemplary scholars of Vellichor, I have spent much of my time in contemplation, carefully considering my words and what exactly I wish to leave behind as a legacy. Our words reach far and wide and have the ability to hurt or heal. Our words leave lasting impressions which can leave scars deep beneath the surface of one's flesh. For that reason, I have always chosen to write from love than hate.

I feel an incredible amount of gratitude in my life; in the life I remember. Been given a second chance to live does not always feel like a gift especially when one cannot remember their origins. It took me many years to come to an understanding and come to accept the reality of my situation, that I may never recover those memories of who I once was. I was saved, nurtured, cared for, and healed by the generosity of those who found me on the shores of Setarco many moons ago. I will forever be grateful for them, forever in their debt even if they have told me numerous times I've already repaid them ten times over. For me, their unconditional love and support is worth that and an infinite amount more.

As a lost teenager, I was not always kind. I did not appreciate them and took them for granted. In the private rage I harbored, I took my anger out on them and left the sanctity of the home they offered me in order to love my life by my rules. The streets were not kind, warm, or inviting. I had to hustle for money just to eat and of course my pride did not allow me to return to the home whose doors were always opened to me. There were nights where I had no shelter, days where I went hungry.

When I found my niche and money flowed steadily, I always took a part of my earnings to buy extra food for those I'd come to know on the streets and for the new faces who were lost like I had been. I asked for nothing in returns and instead said to pay this kindness forward.

After I completed my training at the Courtier Academy in Setarco, I returned to my foster family and left them more than enough money to ensure their home and business were safe. I've not seen them in many, many years and admittedly, a part of me feels they are better off not having me in their lives, but I am thankful, grateful, and blessed to have been loved so when I could not love myself.

I pay this forward now, with gratitude.

Written By Ravna

June 5, 2020, 11:03 a.m.(6/4/1013 AR)

You ever have siblings, Scholar?
Eight? Damn, man. Hahaha. I, I have thirty-two siblings. S-see, Cullers don't get born, normally. You know? We're all unwanted misfits, young little snots and dipshits that get caught doin' a thing, given a second chance. Raja? She got picked by Orathy. Me? I, I got nabbed by Ajus. Ajas. Whichever.

You know what that man told me? Says it like this, you know? He goes: "Ain't no one gonna take care of you like Family, boy. No one. Not friends, not Crown, not Faith, not the woman you tricked into bed. Family is what you got in this life, just Family."

He'd made a point, once, to show us all what that meant, yeah? Yeah. He'd tied this guy by his neck to a post, you know? Somewhere. Not here, nah, that'd be illegal. But, somewhere. So this guy tried to hurt one of the lads in a fight or something. So he ties him to a post, by the neck, and sticks him out on some beach facing the sun and says, "See, boy, if you had a family instead of fucking with mine - you'd not be strapped to a post, about to die."

I watched that man drown. Ajas did sure of that, mhm, and when we were all sure he was dead? Sends this lady over, you know, medic or something and she somehow gets him breathing again - slaps the FUCK out of him, right? Says, "You are gonna remember the importance of Family for the rest of your life, and the moment you forget, the SECOND you think something is better than Family? You remember the sea."

That man? That man, they say, was Orathy. My big sibling. Like a daddy to me, he was.

That was a lesson to us about Family. Imagine what we would do to protect it.

Written By Sirius

June 5, 2020, 3:24 a.m.(6/3/1013 AR)

Hello scholar,
I've sequestered you two weeks now, I realize, and extend to you my humble apologies,

A group of priests have finished their madrigal in our shrine's ward and I noticed their humble gathering attracted many of the younger noble scions of this family. These were followers of Limerance, and there they preached the values of oath keeping and the importance of love and devotion to our everyday affairs, never leaving anything to half-measures and to always fear the dwindling of the soul towards polite routine.

To me, it was strange- I forever before envisioned children as perhaps more favoring of exuberant things, like Lagoma's flame or perhaps something else; something trite and conventional to their whimsical, childish ways. Skald's freedom, Petrichor's dominion over nature, something-something that'd perhaps arise interest in their burgeoning hearts.

So young, so thirsty for the wonders of the world, it was the 'Limerite' dogmas that echoed in their budding souls. Now, I'm no good with children from the perspective of an adult, in fact, I've always felt like I've always been one of the children- I'm much better at this. At sitting with them, there, in their little crowd and listening. Playing with them, as one of them. I've long surrendered to the notion that I have a baby's face, and argue with my mother no longer on the matter.

The goofy looks, the little silly jokes, being naive and a doofus, much better than the responsibility of being, setting, an example. This I can do. Acting my age? Too frightening, I think. Raising children, especially not my own. Makes you late for dinner. But something about seeing them makes me feel at ease.

I realize, seeing so many youngsters arming themselves for the up-and-coming trials and fallouts of this world, makes it all seem worth it. For the first time, I'm beginning to understand the many times I've heard those much wiser and aged than me when they said: "We do it for them." The children. Perhaps it is your own hand, and you're imparting your wisdom to me on this after all, scholar.

Thank you,
If not, thank 'me'.

Written By Donella

June 5, 2020, 1:25 a.m.(6/3/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Darren

My husband is a good man.
He is a wise man.
When he tells someone to weigh their words, it would be best if they weighed them with thought and care.

Also, I do believe when he tells someone to think carefully before speaking, he means to stop speaking.

While he is a great man, a man that would not suffer his people, would not hold a grudge, and is the epitome of the North.
His wife is from Thrax and knows the value of a good shark.

TO THE LAST

Written By Ravna

June 4, 2020, 8:05 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

In my sadness I sing, I howl even, yes, I let my laughter ring! For there is nothing to do when you see your friends die, no. There is nothing to do, but laugh, and laugh, and laugh even as you cry.
It isn't the man-eating wolf, that survives this sad song.
Not bear, no matter how strong.
Not ox, not bull, not bison nor the great serpents we remember flying!
No! None of THEM can laugh, even as their insides are dying!

Not the gods, not the spirits, nor any of the monsters you've been told about. It's not THEY who can carry this sorrow, not THEY who can cry, and laugh, loud, loud, LOUD! THEY would crumple, they would break, with this misery locked in their necks! No, no, THEY would give in! Give that last sigh.

It isn't they, who can can watch their friends die, and then keep on keeping on, one step after the other, pretending to be alive. No matter the lie.

It is Us. We. Me. I.

Written By Malcolm

June 4, 2020, 8:02 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

Look, see Scholar, back again to update my Journal.

Lately, things have sort of been. They've just been. And I have been trying.

Trying to find a protege. Trying to make friends. Trying to find new projects to tackle for Graypeak that will best suit these great folk I happen to be related to. Trying to think about things. That last one is the hardest. There's way too much I don't know - about, well, everything. Some days, I don't mind a bit. Some days, I do. Figure not knowing is what keeps me from hiding in the study with all the bottles of whiskey we have, you know? Figure that not knowing gives me peace of mind. That I can end every day with playing with a pile of dogs in the garden on a nice spring evening and enjoy that moment for what it is.

Think I'm going to go and do that now.

Night, Scholar.

Written By Mirella

June 4, 2020, 7:19 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

I was discussing with someone the matter of the past; someone whose childhood was unpredictable and harsh, with its backdrop being one of danger, poverty and uncertainty. Someone who, in adulthood, lives a life of relative safety and material comfort despite a rough introduction to the world.

There was a lot of pondering as they spilled wine into their glass. They wondered if they would have grown to be a better person had they been born into a wealthier family, and had they never been required to do questionable things in order to survive.

Out of courtesy, I didn't ask what those 'things' were, or what 'better' means, but it did remind me to think along the same lines: what manner of person would I be now, had I not been raised in Caina, but instead somewhere less... Caina.

As always, I stopped dwelling on these thoughts quite speedily (and almost certainly more rapidly than a Mirrormask ought to). I wouldn't change anything about my past or where I was born, because they forged me into the person I am. I liked who I was before I civilised myself. I like who I am now.

It occurs to me that I might not always be a good fit as a disciple of the Thirteenth. We're advised to examine ourselves and challenge our beliefs of who we are. But really, I just find that self-doubt and 'what-ifs' can be such a bore sometimes.

Written By Piccola

June 4, 2020, 7:10 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

Today I remembered well what Stephen told me long ago.

When faced with a superior opponent, keep moving; don't let them catch you. When faced with a comparable opponent, make them attack; don't let them hit you. And when faced with an inferior opponent, keep attacking; don't let them escape you.

Above all these things, the successful soldier is the one who survives and persists.

Written By Alessia

June 4, 2020, 6:40 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Niklas

Thembarrassment. That does roll off the tongue.

Thank you, your highness.

Written By Ravna

June 4, 2020, 6:21 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

He said, she said that he said, that she said - and when she said what she said, he said what she said, and then? She said what she said but only because he said what he said, in response to what she said.

Hahahahaha. Like children, Bookman. Like children! Hahahaaa...now, s'your turn to drink! Yeeeeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

So, once, I got into a belching contest with a frog, yeah? Big fat bastard, he was. Mhm. Size of a cow. Huge. So, I'm sittin' there and I'm drinkin' by this pond, before me is this great fat frog, and we drinking, drinking good, and I burp.

Well.

This motherfucker takes it as a challenge, yeah? You know? I know. Sos he belches back, and soooo great s'this belch, scares my Beautiful Ass right on down the road and, you know, this ain't proper, you know? Scaring beautiful Asses like that!

So I, yes, me, Ravna, I burp - back. Then THIS motherfucker, rips such a huge burp as to cast my HAT to the ground! MY HAT!

Well, you know what? Fuck that. I got a torch, I took a drink, and I belched flames all over this cow sized freak of nature, you know, and thaaaat motherfucker DIED.

I ate great for a week, though. My Beautiful Ass, and I.

...What? Morals? Mor-als? O-oh! Moral to the story? Uh... I dunno man: Don't have belching contests or one of you will vomit flames.

Now, gimme.

Written By Sunaia

June 4, 2020, 4:10 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

I am sorry that my brother killed your father, High Lord Darren. I am sorry my brother betrayed the Compact. And I realize the impotence of my apologies - since I was not here to try to stop him and am not responsible for his behavior.

I, also, had no part in either and do not condone his behavior.

I have merely mentioned that I knew differently of him at one time.

I'm beginning to regret that I dared express my heart so openly.

Written By Marian

June 4, 2020, 3:52 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

Relationship Note on Fergus

Every birthday of Nia, I read a letter written by my late husband for his daughter. This year she turned six so his words of wisdom were on designing her first steel sword. A fine blade that is more than just training. He gave advice on weighting, a proper pommel and special instructions for the blade master. Each word spoke of his love to her. By the time I choked out the last words, I found the tears in my eyes which I quickly brushed aside so I wouldn't upset her.

A burden of love, to read the words of a man I will never hold in my arms again. I would not forsake this tradition with Nia for the world because these letters are her last connection to him. A way to know this man through his own thoughts. I hope as she grows, she can look at his painting over the mantle and know him.

In the end, she didn't change a thing in his design for her. So from paper to life, that sword now is strapped to side.

Written By Alessia

June 4, 2020, 3:05 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

It's never easy to forgive those who are responsible for your grief.

Written By Godric

June 4, 2020, 1:35 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

All right - fine, fine. I have a story. Once, when I was far younger - stupider - and real wet behind the ears I heard a story from another old doctor that told me he was called to the bedside of someone from Pridehall that had attended a Mourning Isles feast. This Lord, you see, couldn't stop eating. Apparently he gorged himself on an exotic seafood - eels perhaps, maybe lamprey. I don't remember. He ate against the advice of that old doctor. Then, he complained of stomach pain - took to bed - and died.

Know what the doctor told me then?

No, he said - it wasn't a lamprey. It was an eel. It was a moray.

Written By Rosalind

June 4, 2020, 1:11 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

I attended a garden party a couple days ago. Was so much fun! And then. THEN SCHOLAR...a duel about beards last night! Im not sure the exact cause, but EVERYONE knows that northerners grow the BEST beards! They should all attend the next beards and brew!

Written By Haakon

June 4, 2020, 12:34 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

Scholar, my people have a word for folk who should be dead, if only they had the brains enough to realize it.

Diwar'naed.

"They'd be dead, if they were not so dumb."
I've the sense this word will be on my mind more often, in the future.

Written By Eirene

June 4, 2020, 12:28 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

Returned recently from Caer Morinen (I can never say it right, so just write it as I pronounced it, Scholar) and got high as Lagoma's blazing balls off some kind of blue hallucinogenic substance, which made me think I was seeing tentacle arms and ghosts and demons. It was nice to be able to say 'There's a scientific reason for all of this' for a change. The sky colors and air-turtles were exquisite though.

Written By Eirene

June 4, 2020, 12:24 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

So I told my toddlers I'm going to get a wedding dress made and they had Suggestions (tm).

Idris wants me to wear purple with butterflies holding swords.
Iris wants peacock blue-green (though she calls it Butt-Fan Bird Green) and skull motifs.

I don't know if I can accommodate their requests, but we'll see.

Written By Raymesin

June 4, 2020, 12:01 p.m.(6/2/1013 AR)

When a Highlord and the scum of the earth are united in dislike, Scholar, do you get the feeling someone might have cocked up?

Written By Thea

June 4, 2020, 9:28 a.m.(6/1/1013 AR)

Thank you Lady Mabelle for allowing me to aide in your project. I'm so happy to hear of its success, especially one as important as this. Congratulations to you and House Laurent.

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