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Written By Valenzo

May 2, 2021, 4:19 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Things are happening so fast. So fast that my head hasn’t stopped spinning since the day I returned to Arx. I might have kept other journal entries for those fancy scholars, if my journal wasn’t sitting at the bottom of Pieros Bay right now, along with every other secret, chart and log. Lost my damn rutter, too. All that work around the northwest coast, gone, along with the Terrapin and a few good members of my crew.

I went out looking for fame and fortune, found neither, and upon my arrival to the city, the good Lord Domonico assigns me second in command to the fleet. Looks like the Eurusians hate us, now. Or we hate them? I’m not sure, I was gone too long to keep up with all the current events. I was overwhelmed and flattered, but you know what they say about necessity. It was more a need for a hole to be filled than an offer made purely from the cockles of his heart.

Before I know what’s what, there I am, in the Terrapin, hundreds of ships on each side. I acted the brave warrior, but tell you the truth, I didn’t have a clue on what I was doing. I’ve played at war, sure. Played all the games of the tangible and intangible, swung that pendulum of potentiality. But war? Yeah, I had skirmishes back in my naval days. But nothing like this, really.

So I had to go and be some cocky hero out of some saga or legend, and now my ship is gone, along with Dietrich. Gods, I miss that old bastard as much as I miss his soup. What in the abyss do I know about cooking? And while we won the day on the sea, on the shore it wasn’t so much a victory, but wasn’t a loss, either. When you stare into the abyss, the abyss often stares back.

I came home, wanting to crawl in some wine sink in the Burroughs. I wanted Domonico to bellow and shout at me, tell me what a damned fool I was and how I jeopardised my entire crew because all of these dreamy notions of fame and glory that creep into my head. Domonico hasn’t seen the things I’ve seen or done the things I’ve done. But instead? I get promoted. Promoted!

Lord Domonico has asked me to captain a caravel, The Siccaro. Funny how I always dreamed of owning one, my own shallow drafted three-master in my dreams of trade and my own cocoa plantation. This isn’t the dream I wanted, and now I've been thrust into responsibility I didn’t seek. But by Skald, a caravel to pilot! I’ve learned enough about their construction and handling, but it's nothing like my old Terrapin. One mast is enough, now there's three, and thrice the crew to boot.

Of course, now there’s that other thing with Ev, too. Things are happening too fast! It was so easy being alone out there. Guess we all have to come home sometime.

Written By Klaus

May 2, 2021, 4:10 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Coraline

It is here! Finally it is here! Not in time for the battle and even then she would not have been combat ready, but my gift to my wife is finally here in the bay. I cannot wait to see her expression.

And get back my brown nut ale. Must not loose sight of the true goal here.

Written By Klaus

May 2, 2021, 4:08 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Relationship Note on Mabelle

I hear my cousin was on a boat, and there was a giant beaver, and above all else my cousin lived.

I am supposed to be happy about this, yes? Perhaps so, though my stance on this might change the next time I meet her sharp tongue.

Written By Martino

May 2, 2021, 3:57 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Upon returning to the city, visited the Black Fox on my way back to the House to find...

Unique art and tiny, colour shards of glass everywhere within my bedroom. Every.Where.

I must say that the attention to detail in the art is quite something but I am not sure it will be staying just where it is. Any takers?

Written By Giada

May 2, 2021, 3:54 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

It will be some time before I'm finished with the total losses. News comes in bits and pieces and I've yet to receive information on how they functioned under pressure. We're moving to Maelstrom soon, and I'll need to be there to receive faster reports. I don't have enough time to do everything perfectly, but I'll die trying.

Written By Lou

May 2, 2021, 2:52 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

I am pretty certain that I can never, in any world, look at cats the same ever again.

Written By Deva

May 2, 2021, 2:38 p.m.(5/25/1015 AR)

Under normal circumstances I'd probably be dead right now. What a way to make you reevaluate your life, right?

I am beyond grateful for the bravery of my friends Volcica, Khanne, and Tikva who helped my brother make sure I didn't end up bleeding out on Pieros. I don't remember a lot after I fell, and perhaps that's for the best. All my thanks to the healers who have spent countless hours tending to me and the other wounded. Jasper has informed me I have missed a lot while I was out cold, so here's a hearty 'hello' for those that came by to check on me. My heart goes out to those searching for loved ones that didn't make it back.

Finally, many apologies to those I startled when I woke up. It took me a while for my head to catch up with where I was. Sorry Gwenna, Alantir, Your Majesty. My bad.

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

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.

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