[Filter: Kilia Franelcrew]
Well, darlings... tomorrow is the big night, and, goodness, this last week certainly has changed our perception of how it will go, hasn't it?
I think, dears, that it's time that we all come up with a plan. You'll only have ten minutes with the one who comes to meet you -- whoever that is, and whoever is going. And, to come up with a plan, I think we all need to be united on this.
There is at least one person who is withholding some information about what they've learned about their... hm. We will say "passenger," because I don't think any of us want to consider this a matter of someone being another self. We are all still ourselves, I think. Some of us are just also something else, which is more or less what we've all expected, somewhere deep, isn't it?
I think so.
We don't know whether the Clerics of Kilia are friends or enemies, but we do know that they've taken us unaware before, and we don't really want to encourage that, hm? So. Honesty! Full honesty. And then, we decide exactly what we're going to say to these people.
There goes Calaith. He went longer than I thought he would, but yeah. He s down.
Erisport! Ah, I love port towns, I always will! It's strange, I grew up as far as open water as someone can get, but I have this irrational fondness for these things! They're so busy, always hopping, and mm-hm, look at all the men.
Who wants to join me in my favourite port town game -- try and outdrink sailors! The rule is that they have to be actual sailors, not porters or dockworkers. That part matters~
Lady Harmonia! I wanted to thank you again for the invitation to that party. It was really something else, you know? Ema and I haven't been able to stop talking about it. I think she's a little bit starstruck even after all this time! It's not very often that we get to mingle with nobility. Any nobility! Even Rhian nobility!
And thanks again for helping me with my work. It's been very difficult getting anybody to talk to me at all beyond vagueries and niceties! Anything you could give me would have been helpful. Probably not as helpful as my meeting with the prince will be, but, well, I'll take anything I can get!
I still can't even believe I'm actually going to be meeting with the Prince, to be honest.
Anyway, I hope you're going to have a good time tomorrow! Ema and I are going out into the city for some fun. This is Ema's first time in Eblar for the holiday! She's never seen it before! And she doesn't believe me when I tell her about the parties.
We won't reach Nuallan by nightfall. I know we tried. But it's still hours away, and to be still on the road is better than to be travelling after dark.
... we should camp here. -- yes, in the middle of the road. Going off into the forst would be ill-considered. But if we posted watch and lit torches, neither man nor... spirit, if that is what would beset us, will bother us.
Do not worry. We can easily reach Nuallan by night tomorrow.
It's so good to be home.
What a nuisance.
I can't believe this is what I've been reduced to. I spent so long trying not to do this. I spent so long telling myself that I had found another way ...
All to come crawling back to this, even if for a different purpose.
What a nuisance.
Could it be? Is that a city, in the distance? Goodness! They come up on you so suddenly in the forest!
I do hope that everyone is happy with staying in Tarra for a good long while, because it is going to take me months to prepare myself for another traveling stint. At the least.
I don't suppose you were following along with all of that.
After a revelation like that, it seems silly to get caught up in little details that probably won't matter at all in the scheme of things. But I can't stop thinking about those dreams -- not because they were horrible, but because ... because of who I presumably was, back then. Who a part of me might still be? Surely, I should try to focus on the battles, the monsters, what we were trying to do and why, because surely if there are any answers to be found they would be in regards to those things, but ...
I can't. I ...
... Ah, I'm sorry. You must -- you and the others must be on your way, by now. Preparing yourselves for the journey down the river, I suppose.
Did you ever
I know there have been some... rather startling revelatiojns, tonight, and I know some of you are a little spooked, now, but... we should recall, it's very, very late at night, and we need to be up early so we're not caught between towns by night tomorrow, yes?
We can discuss this more, later, of course. There is so much left to say. But we also need to be fresh, well-rested, and in good shape.
Now, Druce has made enough sleepy tea for everyone. Come get some, and then let's say goodnight, yes?
Did -- did anyone else ...
Well, I mean, Lawrence said he had a nightmare, too, so I assume that everyone else had dreams like that. I don't ...
It seems so stupid now. I mean, it was just a dream, but -- but whatever it was of, something -- something consumed me. I don't know any other word for it. I just felt my -- my self being ... being destroyed. Completely blacked out by something else, some sort of ...
And I couldn't do anything to stop it! There wasn't any way to fight, or to ... it just took me over. Completely. And then it was done and I was someone else and ...
This sounds so ridiculous, but I could feel it. Like it was swallowing me up.
Ahh, that's -- that's Kail isn't it? Is he hurt? I'll start getting my stuff together, but I hope something hasn't happened. He doesn't sound good.
You'll be glad to know that we've arrived safely back to Temair~ I am hearing the most discouraging news about the present state of Erisport, however. We may as well start on our way, as I doubt it's going to get any better, given the season... but everyone's been warned~
Father Forbes, I don't suppose you could give us an estimated arrival date~
The prediction of not being able to find an inn has come true much sooner than I would've hoped. So far not a single soul wants to help with our predicament either. I realize that they don't want to accommodate us, and I realize that we're the exact sort of people they don't want in their country. I realize that they don't have to extend us any courtesy. Unfortunately, even knowing all of these inevitabilities, I am still not particularly enthused by this situation at all.
Some people just are really not built for travel.
I'm tired! My back hurts! A bug bit me! My books are getting damp!
To think I encouraged this trip. Woe. Woe.
[Filter: Private, in Atsirian]
The Queen spends her days with the Goddess priestesses, and strengthens their hand by the day. The council is filled with men when one is too many. Reports confirm that Rechesa is afflicted with the same male presence in leadership as the rest of the Kanemorian cities. Kavan continues to be a perpetual stone in my shoe.
Would the world simply collapse if a single thing were going right? That's what it always seems like.
Some of this business will have to wait. There are more pressing matters.
[Filter: Urian Eshene, in Atsirian]
I am curious, Eshene. With Taleth's expulsion, you've essentially become the voice of our sisters in the northern reaches.
I can't believe it's almost time for the Moon Festival! It barely even feels like winter is over and here one of the most romantic holidays of the Spring is already upon us. I always dreamed of how wonderful it would be to sit with my bethrothed in the moonlight, watching the moons as they cross paths. Eban and Rhaieen are such a heart breaking story, only getting to see each other once a year for such a brief few minutes.
It's going to be so different compared to home. I won't be with my brothers and Chloe, and instead the whole court is going to be there. They surely are going to have far more dumplings than back home though. I'm going to have to try so many of them! Oh! And I'm going to wear the beautiful dress that Glenn bought me. It is the perfect occasion to show it off in front of everyone, don't you think?
Ah, Prince Ian, are you going to be going to watch the moons with anyone special? It is the talk of all the court what your plans for the festival might be. I'd love to hear them! Whomever you pick would be the most lucky girl in all of Dentoria!
They are both so... isolated. They do not let me in. Lorcan has always been willing to tell me his woes, but now, he is withdrawn from me and his wife, even moreso. I thought I had connected with them. Connected with someone...
At least Emily has a friend so long as they remain here, however not here they ultimately are. She adores Bertrand ever so much...
And the other matter... Dragons, how is a woman to focus?
How long, exactly, has it been since you arrived here, Dillon?
[Filter: People who know about Patience and Prudence]
... They won't come after us again. At least not for a long time.
Nico and the others are okay. We'll be back in Chartri soon.
Ugh. I think I just saw lightning and- yeah. There's the thunder. Just what we needed. As if traveling was slow going enough as it is. Getting off the road was a bad idea. Maybe we should head back before it gets even muddier than it already
... that one was really close and-
[Filter: People who know about Patience and Prudence]
I'm beginning to think this might be like what happened in Lucre? I uh... don't think it's going as well as it did when we left Chimer. This sounds bad.
[Filter: People who know about Patience and Prudence]
I think they're following us. They have horses, and they're going a lot faster than we are. I can't carry thirty people, and some of these people are sick, too. They look really, really angry.
I didn't expect them to follow us. They're going to catch us soon, and they might try to take the Adveni back. I won't let them, though. I won't let them hurt anyone! Who do they think they are? They can't fight a dragon!
Alright, well, I know we got a late start today, but ain't none of us gonna be any use in the dark out here. Especially not with the rumors Jon and Aileen been passing around.
What say we set up camp? There's a grove just off the road coming up, I can see it from here. Shouldn't be a bad place to get a little rest, set up a fire. I think we could all use a calm, early night after some of the dreams we had.
My goodness, don't we have just a host of blurry eyes this morning~? Celeste, nice of you to finally join us. Though I have to wonder where your brother is...
A little late getting started, aren't we? The innkeep is considering less friendly than she was last night with all of us foreigners packed in, hm~?
[Filter: Private, in Azsharan]
- Dialects and Origins of the Cresyn Tongues
- Netheni’s Comprehensive Mountain Histories
- Netheni’s Fiefdoms of Dentoria <- I’m glad I remembered that she wrote this one too. She didn’t travel to Dentoria though so at best it’s collected stories.
- Mythic Politics <- I don’t like trusting Dentorian sources, but this is probably the best I’m going to get on it? It’s collected oral history, but oral history is all I’m going to get.
- North of the Tornadoes <- Even more Dentorian oral histories. At least this one is going to be specific, but I don’t really want to read through a whole bunch of faerie tales just to find a scrap of truth.
[Filter: Karlesta, Aes, and Raezi, in Atsirian]
Relief for both of you! I don’t need access to the restricted sections for the next two weeks. I’m still going to be in the Archives, but you don’t have to be!
[Filter: Melyndra Destra, in Atsirian]
You’ll be pleased to know that my research is progressing very well! I have some new information for you, and a request.
Which would you like first?
[Filter: The Adveni and the Dragons]
We just left the city limits. Leaving was... eerie. All the sudden all the shouting stopped, and the next thing we knew they were just letting us walk out. Suiameas was waiting outside, and we just walked away with a whole crowd staring at us in silence.
I've never seen anything like it.
It'll be a long trip back home, and I'm constantly going to be watching our backs expecting them to change their minds. The sooner we get back to Chartri the better.
It's as we expected it would be. Ten of the group; five for each of Aileen and I to sponsor into the borders.
I ... suppose that we all know who's coming already, but all the same. I know this is difficult for all of us. Considering how many of us have been here from the start, or close to it ...
This won't be the end. We'll see each other again. But for now ...
...this is it.
You should all stand back, I think. Jonathan and I will go ahead. If we all approach at once, they will be on defensive, but two Kilians approaching while outsiders hang back...
I can smell pine on the wind.
[Filter: The Adveni and the Dragons]
I don't suppose any progress has been made yet.
I keep telling them, Daphne needs her rest. If you let her rest for just an evening she'll be better able to help you figure out what we need to do! Maybe the dead will give her another vision of what must be done, or maybe she'll be able to remember something better that she forgot, but the trip back was hard on her. On both of us! And especially with Nico, and everything that's happening in Chimer ...
The orb won't help us fix what's happened in Chimer. Just a night to rest. Just one! Maybe something will be easier to remember once she's rested. Maybe it'll be easier to work once Suaimeas has helped Nico! And he will. I know he will ...
It's been so quiet all day, I don't know what to do with myself. I think I'm going mad with worry. For Nico and our brothers and sisters, and for Daphne, and over that crystal ...
We're about to cross the river into Kilia.
It's strange, isn't it? There's been so much upheaval in the world while we've just quietly made our way here. Without incident. Do you believe that the Dragons have come to us and been made flesh? That they brought a storm from Keirnan to Lucre? I have seen and experienced some unbelievable things in the past nine years, but gods being real is a possibility I'm inclined to deal with some skepticism. But if they truly are real, why are they here? Why now?
But I suppose all of that will hardly matter to me once we're in Kilia. So little comes in and out of that place. Atsiria, Megam, Korin, Hanalan, Kanemoria, those countries are known. Their histories are taught, and Dentoria sends and receives diplomats and envoys, but Kilia ... I'm not sure if the Kilians I can trust are reluctant to share something of their homeland because of sheer unwillingness, a need to maintain secrecy or because they don't know any more than I do. It will be ... an interesting place. After staying in places so familiar to me for half a year, I will have to get used to being a foreigner again.
In any case, I know you will worry, and I know that there is little I can do to ease them. But I will try to write more than I have been, now that we will be crossing into the border of a country where you might not hear much of us.
Hey, um... I know I probably should have asked sooner, but... it's okay if I go to Norey with you and everyone else, right?
I kept thinking maybe Aileen would change her mind, and let me go with them into Kilia, but she's not going to, and I don't know where else I'd go. I don't really want to go back to Hanalan.
I'm not entirely sure what to say, but I don't want it to be nothing, and apart from the obvious, I wanted you to know that I'm already getting questions from certain others that were perhaps less inebriated than we thought. So -- I'm not sure if the same is happening to you, but if it hasn't yet, I wanted you to be prepared for that ... er, I think Fayre is among them. And ... well. You know Fayre.
I know you're not feeling well this morning, but ... well. If you'd like to talk, before the border ... or even after.
Have you had your breakfast, yet? I don't want to have this conversation until I'm sure you're capable of paying attention to anything beyond your own misery.
I'm really going to miss having you with me. I know I'll still be able to write, but ... Well, we've had a long run together ...
You don't need to reply to this, dear. You don't need to say a thing. All I want to tell you is that if at any point today, or in the near future... if you want someone to talk to, you know I'm always here.
I know I tell you that very often, but I think you tend to forget it more than you should!
Well! We're getting rather close to the big moment, aren't we? I definitely think we're getting to the foothills, now!
I'm pretty sure I ain't the only one who watched you wander off with Korvin last night. You're lucky Irving was out, but the boy ain't ever been able to hold his liquor, and we all know that. And I don't think anybody's about to tell him.
In any case, I'm sure not.
What'd you two get up to? I've seen the way he looks at you sometimes. Well, plenty of times. More than he looks at Irving, that much's for sure.
I think the lime punch was actually excellent! I may have even liked it better than the strawberry! I thought for certain I wouldn't like it because I certainly don't like limes on their own merits but -- who knew! Mari says she thinks they call it "punch" because she feels as though she's taken a beating, this morning, poor Mari.
Overall, I think it was a fine holiday. The food and drinks and dancing were all very exciting! And it must have just been the noisiest celebration I've ever seen! And you see, Josiah, we made it home safe and sound and nothing scandalous or the least bit untoward happened. Well, at least nothing that I was directly involved in, I can't be held responsible for what some of my fellow stagehands and actors might do -- but people were mostly very well behaved because Elyiethe was there as well and no one wants to make a bad impression in front of Elyiethe!
And of course because there is another rehearsal today. Mari, you need to get up! We'll be late! I swear I'll leave without you!
Good morning, everyone~!
Rise and shine! Wakey, wakey! We've got a very big day ahead of us! So much to do, and we've got so much to pack up before we can do it~
Don't give me those groans, either! Nessa warned you that we had an early morning. Especially you, Kail! Get some coffee and some breakfast and let's get to work, nothing's going to happen if you just lay there moaning about how bright it is out.
Now, get up! I'll come back around banging on a pot next time, you see if I don't~
[there are whiskey stains on this page]
You know the worst part of this is I know theres nothing there because you told me there's nothing there but it still makes me so angry to see you walk off with him! I promised I'd trust you and I told myself that nothing washappening but it's just so easy to think of all the things that could be happening!!
And its not even about him at all!! Well no it is. But not all about him.
Everybody was so upset that I was jealous and you know what I guess I am jealous. I keep thinking of him and you and him touching you and it just makes all the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It shouldnt be him. I know I said I was sorry and I am sorry but it shouldn't be him it should be me. If I hadnt been such a
giant ass about the whole thing it could have been me!! And it makes me mad at him and mad at myself because its' not fair Sawyer it's just not. It should be me. Even if I'm sorry for what I said and did that doesn't matter it should be me. I was stupid to freak out about it and I was stupid to throw a tantrum and I was stupid to yell at Korvin but it's not fair! I made a dumb mistake with this entire everything and I just keep thinking about how nice it was to be with you and how stupid I was not to get that. To care more about everything else than about that! Than about how good it felt to be with you.
I know Iv'e been an ass to everybody
esp espeas espesialy you but I just wish things were different. I wish things were how they were again with us. I miss how it was. How we were.
Dragons it's so hard not to get even angrier just sitting here knowing that youre off with him!!!
[Filter: Maeve, Fayre, Elden]
Did anyone else notice who slipped off? It's been about twenty minutes... neither of them are back.
Ah, my goodness! I'm so full I can barely move, and I have to admit, I really shouldn't have accepted that glass of rum! I thought, just this once. In most things, the Dragons preach moderation, after all, not abstinence. But I probably should have started on something ah, a bit lighter? Haha.
Well. I -- ah, tomorrow's the big day, isn't it?
Does -- does anyone want something mended? Anything at all? I -- I have some time, I'm not really tired yet and I know some of you are drinking and I hope you're having fun! And -- I just --
It would be nice to --
Any -- anything?
It's so nice out today, isn't it? Dragons. It reminds me of how it used to be in the spring in Franel, sort of. But more ... er, more marshy! And with a bigger river ... Dragons, that river. It's practically all the way up to the bottom of the bridge! I'm glad we don't have to cross that ourselves.
What do we need to do to get everything set up? Can I help haul things or anything?? Just tell me what to do! We've got to make this amazing. We have to make this the best birthday ever!
Lydia, are you ready yet?! It's already getting late and I just have to try this new drink that the other chorus members were talking about! The Adveni make it and they call it a lime punch, and you can drink a little tiny glass of it and then have to bite on a lime covered in salt! They also put it in fruit drinks. I heard they have strawberry and pomegranate and I have to try both. They sound wonderful and they didn't have anything like it back home. I asked why they called it a punch, and they said I'd have to try it and find out for myself.
Oh! And funnel cakes! We have to get funnel cakes, and find street performers and find people to play tricks on!
Let's go already!
[Filter: Suaimeas and the Adveni]
... I'm glad you've arrived safely. And in time for Monsters' Day. I've no idea how I would have handled all of this without you -- all of you. Daphne, I know it's difficult, but we must go on as best as we can. The people are looking to us to lead them, especially now.
And Suaimeas ...
So many of the others consider you one of our Monsters, in truth. They will want you present at the gathering. I've told them of the situation in Chimer, and truthfully the only reason there are not calls for rebellion among us is that I told them too that you intend to intervene on our behalf.
Hm. Well, I suppose no better time will present itself.
I will begin wrapping this question in the most delicate of tones I can muster because I know that this is all possibly awkward territory. I've stayed out of your affairs in these matters because the last time I was thoroughly ungracious, I know. However, days in, it strikes me as a little odd given his other circumstances, and I'd like to be friends enough to have this sort of discussion.
Is Korvin trying to create something between you and him? I realize that it's quite easy to give you praise, but it seems that he goes quite out of his way to do it for you lately.
[Filter: Adveni, the Dragons, Raetha, and Ally]
I need help. A lot of us do. I convinced a guard to give me a book to read. The bastard gave me a copy of the scriptures. They aren't going to be happy if they notice me writing in it. I don't know how much time I've got.
Chimer's a mess. Just after I got here someone got murdered. Any Adveni that tried to leave afterwards got rounded up and put in jail. They're accusing us of being murderers! We're all supposed to be tried in a few days, but everyone knows what's going to happen. No way we'll get a fair trial.
... it gets worse though. There's hundreds of people outside. They're all shouting things, and it's getting worse. At this rate we aren't even going to make it to trial.
It's her birthday tomorrow, and I haven't heard a dragonsdamn thing from her! She didn't even send word with family. What the hell is up with her lately?
Well, see if she's getting a present from me after ignoring me for months!
[Filter: Karlesta, in Atsirian]
Karlesta! Are you busy today? I know you've been signing into the Archives late at night all the time, lately! Some secret project? Hee, but you don't have to say.
I'm in a good mood, Karlesta! And! And I have a mission for you. A quest! Say that you're here. I'm... I'm lonely tonight. Hm. And Joseph is being strange. He does this sometimes. I wish he wouldn't. Maybe I should have married Firuz after all. I think it's too late to change my mind without instability though, and...
Oh, say you're here!
You haven't written home hav-
Canti! I need your help! If you're willing, at least.
Kiefer really misses home, and he misses Ned and his children, and Aaron's birthday is today! I tried to convince him that he should ask you if he could write to you, and that you could show it to Ned and maybe even let her write back to him. He said he was going to, but I don't think he ever did because he never cheered up since we talked about it.
That is why I am asking for him. He doesn't know that I'm asking for him either, so that it can be the most wonderful surprise if he sees Ned writing to him.
You don't have to if you don't want to. I just thought I would ask and see if you would be willing!
[Filter: People In On This]
... it's so beautiful.
There isn't a single flaw. How would someone ever polish quartz so flawlessly into a perfect sphere, and how could it be so clear?
It's been almost six hundred and fifty years since this orb disappeared below the waves, but... no barnacles. No erosion. Nothing! It's as perfect now as it ever was! It looks exactly the way that it did when They showed it to me...
Oh, but it's bigger, though. The woman I saw -- she must have been very tall and large!
Suaimeas ... thank you. Thank you so much! With this, we might actually be able to do something! The dead ...
They feel so at peace.
I couldn't expect anything else. It wasn't the same, but it was ... It brought everything back even fresher than I thought it would. Those last few happy days before we had to run. The days after we started to run. The child ...
It's amazing what the mind can block when it's in pain. What years living in its shadows will do to it. I've been a widower for so many hundreds of times longer than I was a husband, I haven't truly pursued love since, and I ... I tried so hard to convince myself that Aileen was Aine. At first I was so hurt by everything that happened. I'm not sure how it became everything about me for years. I finally started to recover, and I couldn't find anywhere to go. I suppose I sentenced myself to a life of wandering when I didn't pick a home soon after. These fresh memories though, I think they've put the years in perspective ...
I know that we were doomed from the very start. I couldn't have known the full extent, but ... look how far we were from Kilia. There is only one way, and we couldn't have escaped no matter how fast we went, and no matter how far we went. We didn't have money. We knew that Kilia was dangerous to outsiders, but my understanding of why is much better now. Even she wouldn't have a certain chance of surviving the rigors with her origins there. We never had a chance, and what has haunted me so long is the question of "how far could we have gotten? How much of a life could we have lived if we were only a little bit better? Was there a chance I could've saved her?" No. We were doomed. In most cases I would be dead too. The only reason I'm not is because she saved me so that I could live my life.
For so long I couldn't live, could I? Terrance threw himself into everything, and I just ... I stalled. I couldn't go forward with my life without her. I know that I've been doing better lately, but ... isn't something still holding me back? Hn.
It's strange to think how long it might be before we see each other again if there's indeed enough room for me ...
[Filter: Private, in Atsirian]
Am I making a fool of myself?
[two hour pause]
It seems he told me the truth. The sand maggot told me the truth, and now I might have some legitimate use for this beyond a written public face.
Using this to contact the Prince is out of the question at the moment. I can only assume that if he's being watched then he has no privacy with these. Also, given that both he and the Queen have these, I imagine that some of the treason was conducted over these? Impossible to be certain, but it would explain why she was not forthcoming with the council. In fact, this revelation would explain why these seem so quiet most of the time. These are for instant private communication. That must be how the sected ones use them to cause chaos within cities. I'm certain that anyone with these uses them in this way.
Of course they wouldn't tell me right away. The Feldri woman can't be trusted.
None of them know secrets like we do. Feldri is demeaned and insulted on all sides, but they forget just how important we are in keeping everything calm and quiet. Kavan can never take that away from us no matter how much they try.