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Written By Aconite

Jan. 29, 2024, 1:20 p.m.(8/22/1021 AR)

The list of names grows. Pillars formed where they fell and killed hold up the falling heavens. It is too much already but at the same time not nearly enough.

Great people have fallen. Great people will continue to fall. It will be up to those who survive to build a future where these sacrifices matter.

Be Strong in the coming days. Leave as few regrets as possible.

Written By Tikva

Jan. 29, 2024, 1:06 p.m.(8/22/1021 AR)

Carrying on as though Ainsley is merely on campaign is how I have been compartmentalizing this, but I did sit down with Lara and Asharion last night to make sure they understand. It was a few hectic minutes and I know that they are as safe as children can be during all this with their cousins, but if the Eater takes everything, obviously nowhere is safe. Neither of them is foolish. Asharion looks very grave and solemn as we sit together on the floor and Lara looks fierce and ready to stab a man. I love our children very much. It will take them time, and grace, to process this. I wish I had it to give them.

Tiber has his sword on his belt. I desperately don't want him to have to use it. He's seventeen now, a man nearly in truth as well as seeming. Nearly the age his father was when I met him. He's tall and reedy, sprung up like a weed. I never realized but it almost seems to me in that moment that he has his grandfather's eyes. He puts his hand on my shoulder and says to me, "Don't worry, Mom. You don't have to do it alone this time. I got the little ones, okay?"

And that was when it was truly impossible not to cry.

Written By Preston

Jan. 29, 2024, 6:18 a.m.(8/22/1021 AR)

Loss is part of life. That pain you feel, on seeing those you cared for cast down? That is nothing to be ashamed of or to hide. That pain is how you know they lived - that they had impact on others where they would feel that way. That pain honours their memory.

We will feel much of it in the coming days, as we have felt it already. And will feel it after the battles when we must address those matters raised in this conflict as well.

Written By Avary

Jan. 28, 2024, 11:51 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

"As Archlector of the Sentinel, I stand in agreement with the outcome of Orichalcum's sentence. And I accept the ramifications. Those who sow discord shall reap the storm. However difficult, this Truth is the cornerstone of Justice: actions bear consequences."

Not long ago I wrote those words. Before knowing the fullness of what was to come. When the news arrived of the true breadth of the fallout, I felt naive. I felt ashamed. I had to reflect. And now I have done so.

I mean every word of what I said.

Azazel's army comes for Arx. And while choices made at Harrow Hall are why it comes /now/, they are not /why/ it comes.

Though Destiny is dead, this was always to happen. A threat left to linger remains a threat. And Azazel was a threat left to linger. Something, not ignored, but not decisively dealt with.

And so we deal with it now. Better now, than later.

I grieve with the deepest sorrow for all we've lost. Better to grieve now than 10, 20, 100 years from now, when this once looming ogre might've grown more than he is today, and amassed an army more powerful than he has now.

Justice served - True Justice - will never be a choice wrongly made. Equivocation with what must be done leads to disaster down the line.

Harrow Hall was necessary. This is necessary. My Faith in Arvum and the Pantheon has never been stronger. Humanity has a gift to be cherished in Choice. A gift worth fighting and dying for. A gift worth a million sacrifices if it means this Dream continues and we remain, to build our tomorrows with beauty and sadness, charity and heartbreak, resounding successes, painful losses and cities that reach the sky. The scales of Sentinel bids us to keep the balance. To understand it. Absolutes do not exist. But Justice can.

Written By Raven

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:48 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Thank you to all who stood in defense of Setarco. Thank you to Lord Giorgio Proscipi. I did not know you well but I will make sure that Setarco never forgets you

Written By Lisebet

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:45 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

As Arx survives, we remember.

Oh my gods. So many people. Clover. Sabella. Reese. Avary. So many. And the fight is not yet over.

But we're still in this. We have a scant few moments to mourn, and then I am determined. We will get back into this. And we are going to win.

Written By Mia

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:37 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Thesarin

Written on the road to Bastion, August 5, 1021 AR:

If I fall in the coming days, know this to be true.

My heart has been entirely yours from the very first moment until my very last. Even in those times when it seemed I hated you, it never faltered. Not once. If anything, that was when I loved you the most.

Written By Jan

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:30 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

The fight was was so much more challenging that the battle at lenosia. I wonder if I can serve my new house effectively with a sword if that is all I wield.

Written By Mia

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:24 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Ezra

Written on the road to Bastion, August 5, 1021 AR:

By rights, it should've been yours or even Nigel's. I offered to give it up so many times and every time that I did, you refused. Looking back, I suspect that it was as much for my sake as for your own. But know that I would've done so happily, and given so very much more, to spare you a moment's pain.

If I find myself standing before the Queen of Endings in the days to come, the one thing I would ask of her is to make your next turn on the Wheel a kinder and gentler one. If I could ask her for two things, it would be to send me with you a second time. You've been the very best of brothers and I'm not ready to let you go just yet.

Written By Aelgar

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:18 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

I am tired, but we are as prepared as we can be. The Archives and the city. Assaults are happening even as I write this, but they are at the walls or the waterlines, not in the city proper. Yet. We fight on and we will live or die, but Arx will not surrendar. For those who come after, note that our chances at victory are grown from an alliance that embraces the old and the new, the gods and the spirits, nobility and commoner, near baronies and distant provinces. ALl od humankind, but also all other kinds, banded together. This Reckoning will be won or lost together.

Written By Jan

Jan. 28, 2024, 10:15 p.m.(8/21/1021 AR)

This is the most insane I've ever seen. Many times over. The city stands strong still

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.

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