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Written By Valenzo

May 3, 2021, 4:26 p.m.(5/27/1015 AR)

That abyssal crow is back.

Bran, one of the topmen, had brought him aboard during my return home from our long voyage. A purchase from some bazaar in Southport. "It talks," he'd said, offering the thing to me as some ship's personal mascot. "The gypsy said it can see into a man's soul, tell truth from lies."

"Did she tell you it could predict the weather and bring you fame and fortune, too?" I told him. "I don't want that thing in here, shitting on my papers and messing up my things. Keep it below or on deck. Not in here."

'Corbin', Bran named it. A man who's name means 'crow' buys a crow from some gypsy woman named 'Crow Eye' and gives it a name that means 'crow'. Talk about redundancy.

Funny enough, that damned noisy bird seemed to bring back some morale into an already dejected crew I feared would mutiny at the first sign of the grog running out. I couldn't just have someone kill it or set it free. Besides, even if we let it go, it'd just came back anyway. It could mimic a man's voice like a song. It was uncanny how good the crow was, if not downright creepy. I'd have thought that superstitious lot would have tied Master Corbin in rope and stones and tossed him overboard, thinking the bird would bring misfortune. But no. They LOVED the abyssal thing. All the voices it could mimic, too. Much as I disliked it, I couldn't be rid of it. But then luck happened to come my way. Well, at least for a short while.

On our way past Brighthold, there was a murder of crows all lofting on this old tree by a cliff. Corbin takes one look at them and he's off, taking up to roost near them. The lads were a little raw at first, but I guess happy Corbin had found some of his fellows to hang out with. A nice, happy ending, right? Wrong.

This morning I was out, enjoying the nice air from my room window, and that black feathered fuckwit comes flying in and lands on the window. How in the seven blazes did it find me from Brighthold? "Go away!" it keeps saying in my voice "Go away, go away!" Damned thing won't shut up.

One of Lord Domonico's servants who's ken with animals tells me he can train it to be a messenger. Good. Anything to keep that black feathered bastard away from me is just the thing I need. After all, I can't mistreat it or abandon it the abyssal bird. Bran was one of the few lost when the Terrapin went down, so it'd be wrong to, what's more would bring me bad luck.

The Gods and the games they play with us...

Written By Tanith

May 3, 2021, 10:37 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

...what the -Abyss- happened to all my olive oil?

Written By Tanith

May 3, 2021, 10:09 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

Helping plan and fund the educational center for midwifery has been both a delight and a trial; some of these new-fangled notions and foreign ideas of help provided to a new mother (specifically from other cultures) make no sense to me. Which is part of why I'm so grateful to be involved in this project. Learning more helps me, and as I deliver babes of immigrants that come into the city, knowing how their people handle such things makes it better for all of us. Knowledge brings understanding, at least more often than not. There will be a chamber devoted to birth at the Shrine soon enough, with resources and supplies for those Harlequins that need it, now that the weather is warm and I'm more confident about construction getting done in a timely manner. I don't -want- to have it overseen by Raymesin, but I tell you what, having him scowling around the original ruins of our house got it setup -very- quickly.

But I'll remain one of those midwives that travels to my mothers in labor; the idea of a woman in her pains taking a ride by carriage through the cobblestones of the city sounds absolutely disastrous. Shaking the baby loose from a woman's hips doesn't sound right to me, thank you very much. At worst, it'd be dirt roads that might churn into mud most seasons of the year. If it's all the same, I will take my shortcuts and ride a horse myself if necessary, to get to her side. I've never been late to a delivery and I'm not about to start to give anyone a -reason- to need to leave her bed midst labor.

But that's my only sticking point; it's good to have midwives in the same place now and then to share stories and information. I've put call out to those I know outside the city, for insights on relevant herbs and stories about the misadventures of exiting a pelvis. Easy births can be relatively the same, but now and then the troublesome births can reveal solutions for future similar situations. I've enough notes to fill several books.

Maybe I'll call it "The Human Oven".

Oh, I'm not serious, scholar. ...are you laughing, or choking?

Written By Mabelle

May 3, 2021, 6:15 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Medeia

I will admit that I am not a trained midwife. Despite my vast knowledge in the art of healing and creating balms, midwifery was never something I sought to extend my knowledge upon and so when I was approached with Lady Medeia's project to open a midwife training center, I confess I was uncertain of the need but supported the idea for the sake of innovation. It wasn't until one late night when I was called to deliver a baby that I understood why many more needs to be educated on the matter, mothers and midwifes, or random physicians called to help in the dead of night.

The midwife training center is meant to be an annex of the Saving Grace hospital including informational center for the public and a classroom for the Physicians, Mercies, and Harlequins, who are joint by the effort of bringing it to be. The task is clear: sharing and teaching the best practices so the midwives feel equipped to do their tasks well. There will also be a dedicated room for birthing, for those able to reach the hospital on time and a carriage service for expecting mothers.

I believe the center will be of great assest to improve both service offered by midwifes and the knowledge for new and experienced mothers both. Those interested in raising a donation or assisting with the project, are encouraged to contact Lady Medeia Eswynd.

I send will wishes to all expectant mothers and merry births.

Written By Michael

May 3, 2021, 5:31 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

We were going to grow old. We were going to recount the follies of our youth, the drunken songs we made up(I made up) and we were going to go back to Pridehall to finish ferreting out all of it secrets on some holidays. Theres so much we had planned.

I already miss you.

Written By Mabelle

May 3, 2021, 4:40 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Aiden

I cannot say I knew Duke Rubino well. In fact, I only ever met him once recently while taking a stroll with my dogs in his spectacular menagerie.
He was not in the best disposition and shared with me his unending grief for old friends long passed.
While I am saddened for his loss, I hope he will find solace in his new found home, perhaps to be reunited in the future with those he missed so.

Written By Caprice

May 3, 2021, 2:25 a.m.(5/26/1015 AR)

I never met you.

I don't know what you loved or hated, what shaped you in the past or what you sought for your future. I don't know your story, but I know you helped write the way forward for the Compact with your own blood. So I will find your name on the rosters, and I will speak it aloud - to honor you as one of so very many who died, but still, uniquely, you.

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!

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