11 January 2017 @ 12:25 am
On the one hand, it would be very easy to dismiss everything she has to say. She very obviously has an agenda of her own. But ... she's being very open about it? Honestly, at first I thought we were going to have to tease details of that agenda out, but she laid it all in the open. We still don't know everything, but what she's saying would confirm many of the things that we've been afraid of. Namely that we're not in a very good situation if we simply follow along with the plan.
It's pretty obvious that the easiest way for them to get their siblings back is to just shove us out of these conveniently provided bodies. I suppose it took hearing it from her to really sink that in.
There are some issues. Namely, we don't know what we're to do in lieu of fixing the seals yet. We're supposed to ask Prudence and Patience about the reality of the between in order to have a better understanding of splitting the worlds apart, like cutting off a rotting limb. Though ... perhaps they're not quite up to it at the moment. It's a bold plan.
Also, we'll have to kill Danu. I'm not entirely comfortable dwelling on that one for long.
Dragons, this is a lot to take in, and I still can't believe she came to us.
And I did not have a very good sleep either.
10 January 2017 @ 07:01 pm
F A K E
10 January 2017 @ 08:39 pm
So good to finally meet you all.
We should talk, I think. Yes? Let's talk.
Apologies for my Trade. It might not be the best. I am trying. Kilian seemed the inferior option. You can't all speak it. Those that can may not read it? I'm not sure.
How frustrating. Practicing all night, and here I am, talking about my language skills and yours. This is silly.
I am Maeryn. You may also know me as Ethniu. Not anymore, of course. Not when the real Ethniu has come home. But I've been Ethniu for four thousand years. So you'll understand. It's difficult to shift back to being not-her. I'm trying to adjust.
So ... you really don't feel any of this? You didn't feel anything when the sword ... ? It's so odd to me, to think that it was ... just me and Lawrence, I guess. Even Celeste wouldn't have -- I mean, Ethniu was already awake for her, and she's had all this time to get used to Ethniu. But I ...
I don't know how she did it. This is so much worse than I ever expected. I really owe her an apology.
Sorry about -- earlier. And everything. I -- really wish that I had some tea, or something. Or that we could go for one of our walks together.
I probably shouldn't talk about him, should I? I feel like that will make it worse.
Are you all right? Do you need to... to talk?
I -- I mean, your conversation with Faith and with Keagan, and... and everything that's happened, and we're trapped in here, and I don't even want to know what they think of me. You're Toiraesa to them, if they think of you at all... do you really think you don't matter? Does that mean they won't try and -- or...
Ah. Maybe I'm the one who needs to talk.
Quick decorating suggestion: Make sure that there's some mess on the floor at all times. Nothing says that your obedient little sister is straying from the golden path more than the start of some clutter. Not all at once though. A subtle build-up. Gotta make this whole thing purposeful since you've already got her dropping 'fuck' into stressed conversation. If the bad influence comes all at once they'll think subtle correction isn't drastic enough.
You've probably got this on your own though.
[Filter: Private, in Kilian]
So good to finally meet you all.
We should talk, I think. Yes? Let's talk.
Today was the end of the world. You might have missed it. It happened when you weren't looking. It happened precisely at the moment when the moons revealed the doorway Danu had built millenia ago, and you walked through. You were so focused on your goal, your quest, the idiot breadcrumbs dropped by the witch that you've been following for a decade, that you blinked at just the moment the world ended.
But let's talk, shall we? My name is Maeryn. I am the one they found as a replacement. The only one who could use Ethniu's blasted staff. A triangle blunted until I fit through a circle. I'm mad and lost and they have ripped me out of my own head like disembowled entrails, and then shoved it all back in wrong, but I'm better off than them, and I'm the only hope left, see?
You should talk to me. Me and my brothers. We want to help you. Ah, but no, that's a lie. We have no interest in helping you. Our interests just happen to align perfectly. We want Danu dead and Eire alive, and so do you. Even if you don't know it yet. That's what you want.
So we should talk. I admit, I did toy with your minds. I've done it off and on for ten years. I was caught. I paid a heavy price. Still have some cogs loose as a result. Still not all back together. Well, never will be. That's just in the interest of disclosure.
Let's help each other.
There. Does it sound so mad as all that? Would that be so hard to actually write? Not say outloud, never, but in writing...
The good news is that at least we're still alive.
More importantly, Dian now has a ... presence in my head, and he's very unhappy.
Even more importantly, we can't leave the Citadel until July 31st. No way of leaving until then, apparently. I can't think of why Danu would lie about that. I'm surprised she even gave us a date.
... is it...
Is it obvious to everyone else, what I'm supposed to do...?
... I don't...
I don't know if I can. It's... it's too many. And Nessa never finished with me...
Dragons dammit what happened? Not all of us can see what's going on. It's bad enough knowing where you're at, let alone having to be kept in suspense about it!
Why is everyone -- it's just a door! There doesn't even seem to be anything there with ... unless it's something I can't see? Patience, can you see anything? Maybe it's like the mist monsters not bothering us, or maybe it's just something that only appears to them?
Well, no, it can't be the second, because Nessa looks like she's going to be sick ... so it's not just them.
What is everyone seeing in here? What's wrong? Crionna -- she can't see anything wrong either! Though I guess even if she could, she wouldn't, um, be much help right now.
We're all awake after all. Alright, we don't have long. Everyone who's coming, follow us.
[Filter: Franelcrew, in Trade]
Well... it's already a tad less chaotic, so perhaps that's a good sign?
Patience, Prudence...? We really need you both -- or rather, all four of you -- in functional order before they call for us. You know how important this is, yes? I do hope this helps.
Happy Moon Festival everyone!
I can't believe this is the first Moon Festival I'll have together with Prince Ian. It's going to be so wonderful! I can already smell the food cooking in the kitchens, and it's making me so hungry!
Ian! Where is the most perfect place to watch the moons together?
That was... eerie, wasn't it? How they just nodded and let us pass...? Who were they, did you know? Those robes they wore looked almost... ceremonial, or...
-- ah! --
That... that was... ah, my head feels strange, and I... mmph, I... I don't feel so...
09 February 2016 @ 11:17 pm
[Filter: Private, in Kilian]
I know them I trust them I know them I trust them I know them I trust them I know them I trust them I know them I trust them I
I would know if one of them
Ones who know and are powerless to do anything about it, no war on the other side of the world, a Jayne who doesn't need to remind herself she trusts these people.
[Filter: Baethan, in Kilian]
I'm going for a walk. I'll be back before dark.
09 February 2016 @ 09:54 pm
April, will you at least come with me to the stables? I promise I won't try and get you to go for a ride again! But I told Lady Rae I'd keep grooming Siuan for her when she couldn't, as ... well, as repayment for allowing us to stay with her, and I really would love to have somewhere there to talk to. I think all of the knights are off in training, at this hour ...
You could have plenty of time to observe the pegasi!
Though the smell might
09 February 2016 @ 10:55 pm
Oh, Martha... I miss you so much! Have you heard the news, yet?
09 February 2016 @ 08:49 pm
Two worlds. One without the war. How has this war affected me? Did the other me find Dagda? Is Ruseia still alive? Did Korin fall into Keran's hands? Do I even want to know the answers? What would it change? All I can do is live the life that's been given to me.
There is one thing...
[Filter: The Dragons]
Greetings. This is King Gebann of Eina. I realize we have never met in person, but we have spoken a few times on the journals. I am a good friend of the Franel family, and we spent a lot of time together while traveling in Korin. I've been following news closely since we parted ways.
I do realize that you are all quite busy, but there are a few things I was hoping that you might be able to answer for me. You have been writing about these two worlds separated, and the seals that hold them that way. My home, the white knife, once held one of those seals deep underground, before it was moved to the west.
Is there any chance that you would be willing to tell me more about my home? Why is it here? Why are there not other castles just like it for the other seals? What makes the knife special? Why was it built?
I read everything. How could I not?
09 February 2016 @ 07:28 pm
You saw what he wrote, didn't you?
He's going to write to me. He's going to write to me and I'm not going to be able to say anything and I don't know I'm going to do. I'm already sick to my stomach just thinking about it.
10 February 2016 @ 01:02 am
[Filter: Franelcrew except Eabh and Gabe]
What are we doing about the boys, tomorrow?
We can't leave them alone, and I don't think it's a good idea to actually bring them, but as far as I know, everyone wished to go, so ... it's a bit of a situation?
09 February 2016 @ 08:55 pm
Um. I have another awkward thing to tell you.
02 February 2016 @ 01:58 am
After all these years, and the time it chooses is right now... the day before the world ends.
Everything... it does have a sense of humour, doesn't it? Haha.
02 February 2016 @ 04:47 am
My last talk with Suaimeas is about something I think we've all been avoiding. It's about you humans and your secret war. Suaimeas says that they don't know what started it, which is I think what we really would need to know for this to be very useful, but what we do know might end up important anyway so I'm just going to list it all out, okay?
First, we know that there's more than just Pillars and Messengers. There's also the Mute, who are people that can see everything -- that is, they can see who the Pillars and Messengers are. But they aren't able to talk about it. Aelbhe talked about this with some of you before, but I don't think she said what they actually are. I don't know why they can't talk about it, or how that works. Maybe it's a compulsion too?
Second, all three types of sect only exist on this side. Suaimeas says that one of the biggest things the aesdana had to do was catalogue who the sected people are, because they caused the most differences. People would just ... kill each other on this side, but they weren't sected on the other side, so you can probably see right away why that would start making things unbalance fast.
Third, the first sected ones didn't start showing up until years after Fionn and Dian killed each other and Suaimeas doesn't think it was actually related, but I don't know if I agree with that because there's obviously a lot neither of us knows about this!
And last, what makes someone sected ... um. We don't really know. Just that it happens "at the soul level," which was Ethniu's specialty... and sort of no one else's, ever. So maybe she could fix it? But we've been around and around about what the consequences of trying to wake Ethniu up might be.
I think that's all. Sorry, I know this is awkward. But it's probably really important.
01 February 2016 @ 08:05 pm
[Filter: Crionna, in Danaan]
I'm going to be honest, I'm really sorry if I can't keep my head clear today. Suaimeas and I did something a little stupid and shortsighted last night, and everything that happened was just ...
Ugh. Stop thinking about it. I can feel the migraine coming on now.
Anyway, it doesn't matter. It's nothing we didn't already know. But combined with everything coming on tomorrow ...
I don't suppose you have anything to say that would make me feel better.
01 February 2016 @ 10:02 pm
[Filter: Suaimeas, in Danaan]
... are you ready? Today is the end of it. Of the knowledge I have for you. I saved this for last because... well, because I can tell just from your thoughts that you already know some about it. And I just... wanted you to understand how everything else fits together first.
01 February 2016 @ 07:06 pm
Did you ...
Did you read what Prudence wrote? About this vision that she and Patience had? I know they said that it doesn't have anything to do with Sunday, but ... but it's hard not to think it does, right?
I mean, maybe ... maybe the only way to stop that from happening is to do something right tomorrow. I don't know what. I don't even know what we're supposed to do, but ...
... I'm scared.
01 February 2016 @ 09:04 pm
Really. Still nothing?
You really are proving to be a pack of true imbeciles. Would you like to hear about how little Arwen trusted me utterly? How even when the knife broke her skin, she still gazed up at me with eyes that asked "why?" How each of you were so eagerly played, desperate to mistrust each other! Jayne wants to be loved, Arwen wants to be special, Aiden wants to be angry, and not a one of them truly cares about Marias at all.
Puffins? Bald eagles? Or what about whooping cranes? Come now. Play with me.
01 February 2016 @ 06:57 pm
[Filter: Myself, in Kilian]
... They didn't really get it.
26 January 2016 @ 10:32 pm
[Filter: Marias, in Kilian]
I left some tea by your bed. With your history of hangovers, you're going to need it. Once you're up, write and I'll have some toast sent for you.
26 January 2016 @ 11:59 pm
I think I've figured it out.
It's honestly clever, and I wonder if they thought they'd have me fooled. I'm willing to admit when I've been had. Fayre's plan was never to bring an army to me. Just to make it look like she was so that I would get my soldiers following them. No, ever since she came of age she's figured out that she can build an army anywhere she goes. She waltzes into a new place, and she convinces more people to love her. She never meant to stay in the city at all. She meant to go out to all of my vassals, and pluck them from me one by one while I watch.
Fayre, I'll give you points for thinking you had me beat with you best strategy, but you have to give me some credit. These howling monkeys will seem just as terrible to you as I do because they're just like me. That's why they're loyal to me. I didn't have to kill anyone for this seat. Just your father to put me where I could reach it.
Until you return, however, I'm afraid I have to watch you try.
26 January 2016 @ 08:26 pm
So I guess it's just me!
Patience and I have visions. It's a lot like Megami mediums. That's how we found out about what was going to happen in Megam before, and that's how we tried to stop it. So we were trying to get visions about what's going to happen on Sunday! We flew over the Citadel, that's how we've done it before, and tried to touch the stones.
Then we just -- had visions. More than before. More detailed than before. But -- nothing about Sunday. Nothing. Instead ...
I guess it's just what you already know. The seals. Giving way and the entire world just -- just ...
We don't know how it works. We don't know if we could have stopped what was happening in Megam. Maybe it was always inevitable. I don't know! Neither of us know!
After that -- it was just the glooms. The Between. I don't think that has to do with anything but there was this gigantic -- massive gloom, the size of a city, of ten cities, and it was hungry and dying, but ... but I don't even know what that was supposed to mean. I don't know why I even had a vision about that.
Maybe Patience is right and you didn't need to know this. I don't know. Maybe it's just going to make it miserable. But I -- don't want to sit here knowing it alone. And you can probably help stop it. And it really doesn't have anything to do with Sunday.
26 January 2016 @ 10:31 pm
... they're very sweet boys, aren't they? They really... ah, I can still barely believe --
Actually, give me a moment. I need to vacate these very delicious pancakes they laboured over, and I might be dying.
27 January 2016 @ 02:18 am
[Filter: Aelbhe, in Danaan]
Crionna is mad at me because I don't want to tell the humans what we saw.
I just keep thinking.
What's the point? Suaimeas already told us the world would end if things continue as they are. He even told us how it would happen. Seeing it, describing it -- do they really need to know what it looks like? Do they need to know what all their last moments might really look like? Crionna says if I don't tell them it means I don't care, but I don't want to tell them because I ... do care?
They don't want to know all of that. I wish I didn't!
It felt like we made something mad. Like wherever our visions come from, the Between or whatever else, that it was punishing us. It felt like it went on forever... all those horrible things, with no way to shut it out or even slow it down.
And at the end, it was just me. Crionna wasn't even there. Floating in the Between, not even behind the glass. And I could feel them, all around, and then I could see them, and they were swarming and hungry...
Is it really so wrong to not want to tell them about it?
26 January 2016 @ 07:32 pm
[Filter: Suaimeas, in Danaan]
What do we tell them?
I don't know how much they even need to know! Do we tell them about the seals? We can't tell them how many -- the people we saw. The places we saw. Rina's inn ... Riva. Everywhere. Just falling apart. If we tell them all of that it's going to be ...
If we tell them everything, it's just going to make everything worse for them. They'll assume it's because of them. They'll think that whatever happens Sunday is going to be what causes ...
And maybe it is!
That didn't tell us anything! Not about what we wanted to know!
[a long pause]
[Filter: Franelcrew, in Trade]
When everyone's up, I think we need to talk, okay?
[added after] It's not about Moon Festival! We just -- need to talk, that's all!
25 January 2016 @ 10:29 pm
[Filter: Gabe, in Kilian]
After all of this, we finally did it. I can't believe it. They'll be so happy with us...
25 January 2016 @ 10:28 pm
[Filter: Tallys, in Kilian]
I should probably be doing better than I am. I can manage to get through the day, and make sure that everyone we've brought is at least not uncomfortable. Not physically uncomfortable. Any time my hands aren't busy though, I find myself ...
It's all too much to even think about. I try to wrap my head around everything I've read, and it leads down so many other paths. I think about everyone in my past, and how we came to be. How we came not to be. How much of my life was spent wrapping myself and others around rules that ...
And I'll get through this. It's all fine. My world isn't falling apart. I just keep getting distracted by every little strand of my life that I see once again, and have to figure out where it fits again.
I want to do something for you. I need to stop thinking about me.
26 January 2016 @ 01:40 am
[Filter: Prudence and People Waiting Up For Us]
[the writing is shaky]
This wasn't a good idea.
We're coming back.
I don't want to talk about it yet.
25 January 2016 @ 07:33 pm
It's the middle of the night! What the hell is it, Verity? You can't just come in here like this,
people will I'm trying to sleep!
25 January 2016 @ 09:21 pm
[early in the morning]
[Filter: Amalea and Elliot]
I think I might eventually get used to coffee ... though I'm not really sure I should be forming the habit so close to when I have to go back to the manor, ha ha. It's strange to think that this is what they drank, the people who once had the artifact that my family studies.
... Um. I've been trying not to bring it up, but isn't it a lot later than they were supposed to be gone?
14 January 2016 @ 09:54 pm
There are things I need to tell you.
Over the past few days, I've learned a lot about the world. I have answers to some of the questions I've lived with for ten years. But yet, that's not really why I feel the need to tell you ...
The Moon Festival is in two days. This year's eclipse might be the last time the spell ... pulls me out of this world, because I can't think of what else we have to do. We've completed the tasks the Clerics set for us, and I don't know to what end this last year has been for. I don't know what it means for us to have passed their test. And, knowing what I know ... I don't know if I will have the chance to write again when the Moon Festival is over. That is something you have to know, but that is not quite what I have to say either.
Amaeyra, I ...
I never will return to Franel. I never will bring Franel back, to a world where its last members died thousands of years ago. Franel can never be my future. I've finally accepted that now, even though it feels like I've cut off a piece of myself to do it. For the first time in my life, Franel has no part in the picture of what my future should be. The future I picture now, the days past this Moon Festival that I have to hold on to, is ... I've told you about the mists in Kilia. How it deters the notion of travelling, how it draws the unsuspecting away from the roads and loses them to the forest by fooling your mind into seeing something you want to follow.
I saw you. It was difficult to look away from a vision with your face, your eyes, your smile. I had to take her in, even knowing that she wasn't really you. You would never ask me to stop. You would never tell me to give up, forget everything and stay with you. I haven't seen you in such a long time. I wish I could just tell you everything with you, the real you, at my side, instead of having to express it all in writing.
Amaeyra, I want ...
13 January 2016 @ 11:00 pm
[Filter: Celeste and Sawyer]
This is going to sound weird and you can tell me to go ... buzz off and think about it on my own if you want! But I think that Moon Festival has me feeling anxious. Which I'm sure is true for you, too ...
So, I guess there's nothing like possible impending disaster to make you try and examine yourself.
You know ...
Aileen was really upset about the geas thing. I don't think I've ever even seen her that upset. But she talked to me about it, and ... well, I like to think that I helped her about it. Just talking her through everything, making sure she knows that she's still the same person ...
How do you know when you honestly really like someone? How can you be sure?
Both of you know, and you're both so ... happy.
I don't want to mess this up again because I've convinced myself -- again -- that this is what's right.
14 January 2016 @ 12:46 am
I think you're right, Jace.
I think it is related.
I think it has to be.
14 January 2016 @ 04:35 am
I know you've noticed the sheer quantity of messages being delivered to my desk, and I know you've been eyeing them with rightful trepidation. The truth is, darling, it's becoming difficult to delay returning. I'm delaying them, really, which is delaying the construction of our home! Terrible. Ah, but, before you argue ...
I've spoken to mother and father about this at length. Father thinks it's ill luck for the heir of House Byron to be born anywhere but their true and future home. Blame my time in Kiernan, but I think I'm just superstitious enough to agree! Mother has been more difficult. She worries terribly for you, you know. And for her grandchild, of course. But she finally -- finally -- broke down this morning and said she'd give her blessing to my carting you off north on one condition. That she accompany us for the journey and the remaining length of your pregnancy. Ah, and knowing mother, probably for some time after the birth as well.
I'm inclined to accept the conditions, but I want your opinion, hm? I assume you still want to come back with me...? What do you think?
14 January 2016 @ 12:11 am
I was reassuring Faith not very long ago. As I was doing it I was being very careful to not say that I have a few fears of my own. Mine aren't going to be very helpful for her in the long run. In fact, they're not going to be very helpful to anyone who is experiencing this. Thankfully, I do have someone to vent my own fears to myself.
We're fairly sure of what happened to every passenger but mine. Well, as certain as we can be. Even Lawrence and Kail know the hows, if not the whys. There is an entire plan devoted to figure out why their passengers killed each other. Ethniu couldn't stand it. And before any of that happened, we know Siobhan died for a greater cause, and had to be preserved. Toiraesa ... well, there's something there, but we know the end of that mystery. This means that we know who accounted for everyone. The siblings are in Ethniu's plan, but they also feature in the plans Danu made. Siobhan was fundamental to Ethniu's plan, and Toiraesa might in just the same way. Vaelentine disappeared from history without a trace, and whatever part of the plan he was supposed to contribute to ... well, we can't know it. That's what is worst for me. There's a plan at work. I'd accepted that. I simply thought I might know what it was supposed to be in the end.
I am worried that my not knowing what my part in the plan was supposed to be is the lost piece that will greatly inconvenience us. Who buried it? Danu seemed annoyed at me whenever I talked with her, but I just thought ... I don't know. What if she doesn't know why the Vaelentine story was buried? What if it was just Ethniu. She created mountains, she could easily erase someone's death from the records. What if my passenger's death was the missing piece to solving Ethniu's plan to begin with, and she's just better at covering her tracks than any of her siblings?
... Well. Yes. That's what is it. That's my fears, and really not too bad, but ... worrying me. Sorry if this is a bit much.
13 January 2016 @ 09:18 pm
[Filter: Aiden, in Kilian]
Sometimes I think I'm never going to be free of him.
How long have we been sitting here now, waiting for our next clue? Everyone here has gone over everything they know about his hints. His ridiculous little birds. What in the hell does it mean? Nests? Something with nests. Where's Karyl's nest?
It doesn't matter. That's probably not even what he's getting at. Who even knows what he is getting at? It's all just his game. It's always just his game.
Everyone's fraying. I'm sure you've noticed it. The longer time goes, the less determined people are to stay and see this through. That's part of his game, too, you know. Waiting it out. He's like a bird of prey. More birds! But he can outwait anything. Wait and wait until everyone accepts he can't be defeated, or even found, and retreats back to Baethan. Until I'm the only one left.
That's what's going to happen this time, too. Have you been watching Jayne and Druce? They're losing interest. I don't know what has them distracted. But it's not this. Soon they'll retreat to Baethan for one reason or another. Jayne needs to look to her city. Tallys' family is there. Druce ... I don't know that this was ever his war to fight, as anything more than an ally.
It's happening now.
14 January 2016 @ 01:51 pm
[Filter: Kail and Celeste]
I can't say that the last few days have been very comforting, despite knowing a lot more than we have ever had about what the last ten years have been for. I keep thinking about all the times we had flashes of memories that weren't ours. The more we learn, the more those memories start making sense, the more ... enormous it feels. All the secrets, all the history, all the chaos that might result if the Clerics are pushed one way or another. The Moon Festival feels like an ending.
Do you remember those messages we used to get? About how we did not exist?
13 January 2016 @ 09:29 pm
At least... there was an answer! I...
Do you want to talk about it? I'd -- like to talk about it, myself. I think. Unless you don't want to, or...
... I love you. Let's talk. You must want to talk.
13 January 2016 @ 07:28 pm
I'm still not the best with heights. I -- do you get used to it after a while? It must be very easy to lose your nerves about it when you're strapped to the saddle ... And I suppose after enough flights you just forget that the ground is so far below you.
Siuan seems to like me even better now, if that's possible. I think she believes that it's time to go for a flight when I come to groom her now. She prances when she sees me, and she always looks a little disappointed when I leave ...
Lady Rae, I don't suppose we could take another flight soon?
13 January 2016 @ 09:25 pm
Hey! So basically, been a bit of an ass here not writing to you earlier than this. Mean, it's not like I've met you, but you know, no thank you note? Damn rude of me is what I'd call it. So yeah, this is basically my thank you for saving my ass back there.
Before I go though I've got something to add here. I know you've probably got a lot of dedicated people already, but I want to give you a pitch. Not for me, not ready for that myself. You're good people, but I'm still trying to get my own shit together. Nope, I'm pitching Lydia here. I know you're already using her in bits and pieces, here and there. Thing is, I'm pretty sure she's ready for bigger and better things. Me, I don't have work worth her talent lined up. Barely above the skull bashing level here. She's a fucking artist. And hey, I get that making sure she doesn't get herself dead is an important thing, but I think almost everybody underestimates just how good she is at surviving. Girl can survive just about anything in my opinion. Everything except being left out. She's already got a big brother who's making sure she stays alive, she needs someone to put her talents to use.
Anyway, yeah, that's my page here. Thanks a bunch!