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|3rd of Naur, 61, midday|
Father caught Cassy making iron things today. He was very, very angry at Cassy. Father said that no one who hasn't killed a desert witch can make iron things. Or if you have pups you can, too, he said. But Cassy didn' kill a desert witch an' he's a boy. Boys can't have pups. I think...
Father is scary, kinda. When I was tiny-tiny, he never left his tent. He just stayed there all the time and didn' do nothin'. But he knows all about Aten, so he must be wise. Right? Mama says so. But he is still scary. I played with Atsi and Mensi, 'til he went away. But first he hit Cassy. I was sad.
Then we watched Father put all the iron metal in his tent. An' he took the big-big oven-thing in there, too. But he gave all the iron stuff from Cassy to Cassy's daddy. Cassy's daddy is Jasa. I like him. He hunts lotsa stuff a lot an' is mates with Selune, who I love.
Father is scary sometimes.
|3rd of Elen, 61, midday|
Ryiah never dealt with her son's death. Not really, anyway. After she came back, she killed animals in a rage, but it didn't calm her down.
One day, she fought against one of the Winged Ones. I... didn't see the fight, but afterwards the beast was completely unharmed. I don't think she had a chance.
Her children buried her together. Ever since... Some of the little ones have been a bit strange. I can try and help them, but I'm not their mother. I'm just their aunt. How can I explain to them why some of their brothers, and sisters, and cousins, will just lay there and starve? How can I make sure they don't... go strange. Stranger.
|3rd of Elen, 61, midday|
Aunt Awrina tells him his Mother fought a Winged One. She says that his Mother didn't stand a chance. He doesn't know what she means and looks for his Mother. He spends all day looking the direction that she disappeared to a short time ago.
Everyone feels bad and sad. He looks at the sleeping peaceful faces of his brothers and sisters and knows that they are not like his aunt, his mommy, his sister Kendalyn, his brother Daneel, and some older men he doesn't talk to ever.
Instead of playing in the rocks of the mountain he just stares a little scared at his sister crying loudly.
Today is very bad. Its dark now and he can hear the wind whistling and the wolves singing but those sounds are different and make him feel pain. He looks into the blackness towards where his mother disappeared to before.
' Shes coming back soon,' He thinks, 'because I want her to, she'll be back real soon.'
His eyes strain against the blowing snow and night's inpeneterable shroud on the distant treeline.
|12th of Elen, 61, sunrise|
During her travels she met someone waiting with her mother right on the other side she was fascinated by the person asking anything and everything she could remembering the words "North" she waited to finish her travels ending back at the home. Oh how so much changed her head was spinning to grasp onto all of it before she gace up in a flustered mess making herself some food and leaving behind a note she head off to her first actualy accomplishment the shelter she made during her travels surprised to see how it had aged. She went looking farther north only to have her heart filled with sorrows eyes red from tears as the very person she left to look for was there...lifeless
Oh how tightly she held onto his corpse she tried fitting it into her backpack desperatly tossing everything out but to her avail nothing she did would fit. She clung to it not relaxing as she gathers the things of his gathering what she could take before looking back the way she ran from the way she knew very well she would have to return to properly burry him instead of leaving him out to the elements. She begins her gut churning walking again body in tow as she hears the feat dragging against the ground.
|3rd of Lasse, 61, midnight|
The young boy Solreth, having learned the art of preparing mangos, is now surrounded by them, having stuffed them in his pockets and every available container. He reaches for some more of the fruit, setting them on the table readying his mango splattered wooden toy sword to prepare some more. Elieth, having slept for months, stirs, his snoring stops abruptly, his eyes open with no more speed than the rising sun. He sits up, looking around the camp and notices his young son, "Having fun with food making son?" he chuckles. Feeling something strange, he reaches up to scratch his head, to find his long copper hair in almost a hundred tiny braids, sticking up every which way.
|9th of Lasse, 61, before dawn|
I spent a long time outside on the mountain. I liked it there, the air smelled nice and the light wasn’t so bad after a while. It was always hot, but now we had a tent to hide in. Things were happy here. But I didn’t just play, I also looked for things to help the family.
Wood is very useful and very hard to find. One day when I stood on the mountain and wiped the sweat from my brow, I looked over the edge and saw a bunch of trees. I knew they were there, but I’d never thought about it before. If we get wood from the sad tiny trees here, there must be so much more wood down there.
I made up my mine that I would go. I put on my armour and put some berries in my pocket. With my chin high and my mind set, I started to climb down the mountain.
It was very tricky, I had to go slow. There was always a chance I’d fall. But as I got further down, away from the steep rocks, the ground started to become softer under my feet. I came down to the place with the trees, and looked up in wonder. They weren’t small like I had thought they were, they towered very high above me.
I trod along the soft earth, my eyes darting between all the new sights. I stopped when I noticed something in front of me, something that moved. I stayed very still and it turned its eyes towards me. It was a strange thing, but very pretty. It had four long slender legs, a soft looking skin and a little white tail that perked up. It was very tall, but didn’t look scary. When I tried to get closer it quickly bound away, moving fast through all those shrubs.
I would have such good stories to tell everyone when I came back.
|6th of Khelek, 62, midnight|
It was a strange thing, this being brought into the hot, dry sands and set down. A voice says "Sylvan" and somehow, she knows it is her name. She is born into a world so different than the void of before. Faces smiling down, warmth and love surrounding. So many people, who are they? Answers she doesn't need yet. Hunger inside, and she bawls for food. Soon a rattle, some meat, a loin cloth and vest. Held in arms soft and soothing. She sleeps.
|9th of Kuile, 62, sunrise|
Selune left today. So did Cassy. Soon, Jasa and Sorek are gonna go, too.
I miss her already. Selune is the nicest. When Mama was distracted and I was tiny, she made me food and gave me lotsa hugs. She took care of me an' Atsi an' Mensi. I don't want her to leave, but she already did.
Selune wanted to leave for a long time, but she didn't. Her daughter-pup wouldn' wake up. She is always sleeping and I think she wants to stay with Aten. Mama says that sometimes Aten doesn't remember to finish making us, so he has to make us go back with him so he can finish making us. Then we are born again, but all the way done. That is why some pups don't wake up. And I read once that a pup woke up, but was a demon! An' he killed Seki! But then Aten put Seki back together again. He can do that, you know.
But then Mama told Selune that she'd watch Selune's daughter for her, so she could go. Then Selune wrote a letter for her daughter an' she went east an' so did Cassy. They're gonna go to another city with more people. It's called Deimosia, I think. I dunno, really. But I wanna go visit someday.
I hope that no one else goes away for a long, long time.
|7th of Rosa, 62, midnight|
The house borne of years of work and it looks it, for being only a small house it is a good size with room for a family. It is forged from the stone of the ground below Nolja. Each block is intrinsically carved with designs from the jungle, leaves and trees cut into the surface of the granite. Several windows allow light to shine in with wooden shutters that can keep the rain out. The door is cut from strong thick planks of wood cut from thick trees. The roof is made of wood with jungle leaves woven together to form a sort of cover; slightly angled to help the rain drain off the top.
Inside it is cozy and plain as of now but soon it will all the necesscities of life including Dahlia... She had been by his side all the long years it took to build it. He loves her... The Noljeni have never known much love, that is, much shown. The house has not been without sacrifices either... Cral fell into the sleeping sickness, his loss will be morned but we must move on.
The city feels a little less empty today, and soon it will be filled with houses and families and a mighty palace for the council... and a statue dedicated to Dyn, the great light that bought us forth...
|12th of Lote, 62, midnight|
Ewon looked down at his four newborn children, with happiness he had not experienced before. For once, he was able to forget about the pain of losing his mother and father.
|12th of Lote, 62, midday|
Tom was worried as he watched Tyler travel South today. Tyler is not much older then when Tom first went off on his own. In his heart, Tim wishes him luck and hopes he finds what he is looking for. Tom was starting to feel the urge to explore again as well, but if felt different. Before it was just simple curiosity that made he leave his home and family behind to see what else was out there. The feeling seemed to be a mixture of his own desire to experience new things and something else he could not explain. He wanted to travel west to see if in that direction was the end of the desert, but some other part of him was pulling him Northeast... back to the bog.
Being older, Tom wasn't afraid of what he had experienced before. Having a few more years of experience, he realized it must have just been a dream that had driven him from the bog. The sounds coming from the bog had been making him nervous the month or so that he was there, and he must have dreamed seeing those golden eyes in the fire. That had to be the only explanation for it. There was no real reason to go back to the bog. When Tom traveled again he would go West. That made the most sense. He would jut ignore whatever it was that was drawing him back towards the bog.
|8th of Naur, 62, before dawn|
He left today. She doesn't understand why. He picked her up, put something shiny in her hair, gave her a pretty dagger and left. She sat for a while, looking to the East, watching him go. As the light began to climb into the sky, and her beloved brother doesn't even turn around to wave...she finally realizes he is gone. He promised he would come back, but when? Crying, feeling ever so alone, she curls up in a ball and sleeps.
|8th of Naur, 62, before dawn|
It had been three months since Tom had watched his brother head South, and now it was Tom's time to leave again. Father had become more active and seemed to have shrugged off the sleeping sickness, as had more of Tom's younger siblings. With so many people awake and able to help out around the camp, Tom did not feel guilty leaving his family behind again to go explore the desert. He would head East this time... even though something seemed to still be pulling him back to the Northeast... back to the Bog.
But he had thought it over, and dismissed the idea of going back. It wasn't because he was scared, of course not! The point of Tom leaving was to explore the surrounding area and see if he could find new materials to bring back to camp or see new animals that might live in different parts of the desert. He already knew what was to the Northeast. Sure he had not stayed there long, but other then the few black rocks he had found, the area had been fairly similar to his own home. And he could not explore the bog much further than the edge without risking getting stuck.
No, he had explored that area enough. It was time to set off for a new location. Tom said goodbye to his family quickly and headed West. If he had stayed any longer he knew his mother would have talked him out of it. With her second youngest being gone for three months and now her oldest boy leaving again, the concern was visable in her eyes. And the look of confusion on little Sylvan's face almost broke his heart. Tom had given Sylvan his most prized possession, his jade dagger. He hoped it would keep her safe while he was gone. Tom was already starting to look forward to seeing the excited looks on their faces when he made his way back home... whenever that might be....
|11th of Naur, 62, midnight|
I am surrounded by darkness and water and silence. Silence except for the rhythmic beating that never stops. I feel no want for hunger or thirst, nothing but the comfort I get when the beating ripples through my watery tomb and into every part of me. Time has no meaning... I don't know how long I have been trapped here, nor do I think it matters. I might be dead, but if I am, then surely I am in a paradise I never want to end. Beauty in simplicity...
Wait! No! Something is happening! Everything around me is getting smaller and tighter! The water has disappeared! I feel pressure and pain unimaginable! I... I can hear something else now... the beating diminishes, but I can hear something shrill and pained! What is happening?! Just when I realized what joy I had it is being taken away!
Piercing light stabs my eyes! The shrilled cries of pain now come from me as the light burns right through me! I scream from the pain, from the shock, but it does not end until my ears hear something almost as soothing as the beats that echoed for me... I do not know why, but I find some comfort in them and my pain seems to fade away, almost as though I were back in my home again. All of the pain except in a part of my body I can't see, something inside my cries out to me. I point blindly at it and cry some more to the soothing sound that accompanies me now.
Satisfaction! In my little paws something greasy... but the aroma is intoxicating as it fills my nostrils. Something inside of me takes over and my paw clumsily finds my mouth and a rush of euphoria comes over me as the fatty substance hits my tongue. The pain inside of my is almost instantly sated, but I greedily take in every morsel I am offered until the something tells me it is full...
My eyes open of their own accord, the light no longer a source of pain, and I see my new home for the first time... Blurry figures of unimaginable size are standing over me, but I do not feel fear. Something in me tells me they are good and I find my comfort once more. I close my eyes on my own now as a new sensation comes over me. I blink up at them once more before I roll onto my side, slipping into a quiet, restful state. I can hear something before I go... a new, distinct sound. It sounds powerful... A forceful, deep resonance now coming through me, but I do not care anymore. I feel that familiar feeling again and we embrace once more...
|11th of Gurtha, 62, sunrise|
We were sheltered from the skies by the mountain we call home.
Daneel was asleep and I was restless.
I jumped, my whole body tense and frightened! Something furry had brushed the many hairs of my foot. I grabbed for the pick axe ready. Everything was happening immediatly - No thought, just reflex.
My head jerked down and I saw a massive spider. It's body was suspended in the air by its many legs at the level of my calf. I relaxed. For some reason I had never been hurt by one of these creatures before and a gripping curiosity made me watch its careful progress over my foot. It was curious too. I gently laid my pick axe down beside me careful not to make too much noise. I glanced towards Daneel, but he was still asleep.
I just relaxed completely as the spider gently probed its front legs on my large leg and it began to crawl up me. I began to smile. I reached out towards it and very gently stroked its hairy back.
"Hey there, little guy, you're just like me, asking yourself 'what is this warm thing doing among all these hard rocks?', don't worry, I'm not going to hurt you" I whispered with a wide grin on my face.
"Hehehaha that tickles, here, you can walk onto my hand." Gerwin reaches out his hand and slowly the spider begins to climb on top of it, leaving his leg.
"Ummm, I'll call you... Tythalis."
Gerwin whispered to the spider, Tythalis, for several hours telling him animated accounts of his childhood and family and trying to describe how wonderful and different the world was outside of the mine.
Daneel awoke and watched the spider that clung to Gerwin's shoulder with great suspicions. After waiting for a while he began talking to Gerwin in a manner somewhat unlike his usual self, he talked joyously, as though the presence of Gerwin's new friend evoked something long hidden within his quiet body.
As Tythalis crawled along the ground, no longer afraid of Gerwin, but still slightly worried concerning the other form, Gerwin and Daneel saw another smaller spider walk towards Tythalis and raise its feelers up in a seemingly friendly greeting posture.
The smaller spider lauched itself onto Tythalis' back and began to claw and bite.
Gerwin panicked. He pulled forward the black sword that hung around his neck and struck at the small spider. Unfortunatly, the sword was very heavy and Gerwin accidentally chopped not the small brother of Tythalis but Tythalis himself. A leg was severed off Tythalis. But the loud clang frightened away the smaller spider. Gerwin reached out to try and apply some of the white mud onto the spiders leg as quickly as he could.
Tythalis sensing an attack bit deeply into Gerwin's hand. Gerwin barked a gruff noise of surprise and withdrew his hand. Tythalis' fangs held themselves to his hand and he was flung forward onto Gerwin's chest. He bit and bit again. Large shoots of pus emanated from the wounds. Gerwin tried to reach the fast spider as it circled to his back and started going upwards towards his neck. All the while Daneel shouted:
"KILL IT! KILL IT FAST! Get it off of you!"
Gerwin spun around and finally found his fallen sword and thrashed it over his head and length-wise down his back. Gasping for breath, Gerwin points to the seemingly tiny fellow spider across the dusty floor.
"Kill it now."
Since then the tunnels have been unkind to Gerwin. He knows its because the mine was never his or his family. They were born to live amidst the blowing gales of snow on the high mountain reaches... Tythalis' domain will always be these black stones and musty tunnels. Now that Tythalis is no longer trapped in the weak body of a spider it catches its prey by changing the tunnels like they were its webs' strands.
In moments of great need while Gerwin, starved and bleeding from countless wounds, is stumbling and rushing towards the air of the mountain Tythalis gets its revenge and makes him lost. The gifts of Tythalis so far as Gerwin knows is the white mud that has the power to make a hole covered & sticky so no more blood bleeds forth. The place where Tythalis fell out of its confined form is where this white mud is harvested.
|10th of Lasse, 62, midnight|
I had never felt so lonely in my life, it made my chest ache in a way I hadn't known until then. As long as I had been able to think, there had always been mou-mou and di-di, my older sisters and my younger sisters and brothers. There had always been voices, activities, warmth. But in my self-imposed loneliness in this tunnel away from the others, there was merely hard, cold stone. The silence was only broken by my own sobs from time to time.
Every part of my body longed for me to go back to the others, to be part of their warmth again, but when I started thinking about going back, bitterness and anger merged with my feelings of loneliness and yearning. Di-di had promised to show me how to hunt, he even had given me the helmet and a hammer, but then he had just ignored me and had seemed to think these tunnels were much more important than me.
So I had wanted to show him I could do it on my own with the things he gave me, I had wanted to make him proud of me so he would pay attention to me again. The spider I had attacked with all my childish conviction didn't even get a scratch, and my arms had been covered in all red. I had never been hurt before and had never felt such terrible pain that made all other thoughts go away, that made me want to scream and cry and do anything to just make it stop.
At the same time I had been so disappointed and angry about myself that I had run away into this lonely, dark tunnel to hide here in my shame. What I had done would for sure not make di-di proud of me or make him pay more attention to me and I just had not dared to look into his eyes after this miserable failure. Mou-mou had come a short time later and gave me salve and told me to use it for my wounds, but di-di wouldn't come to look for me.
I couldn't know that it would be the very last time I would hear mou-mou's warm, soothing voice, the last time I would see her now motionless body move and be filled with life. The only thing I could think about was that I wanted di-di to come and look for me, too, that he would console me, not be disappointed with me, tell me all will be good and show me how to really hunt the nasty spiders.
But he didn't, and mou-mou didn't come another time either. I was so lost in my self-pity and shame that the thought didn't come to my mind that it wasn't me who desperately needed my family, but that it was my family who desperately was in need of me. It was the weak, quiet voice of a small and very thin baby girl I had not even met before that brought me back to life.
She told me the incredible thing I could never have imagined on my own: That mou-mou was only sleeping anymore and wouldn't wake up and all the babies had nothing to eat, couldn't make food on their own and were starving. I didn't believe it until I suppressed all my sad feelings and stepped out of the tunnel back to the cavern where my family lives.
The sight of all the helpless, emaciated babies and our motionless mou-mou without di-di anywhere to be seen shattered my heart, made me feel so endlessly stupid for having hidden in the tunnel for so long and having waited for my parents to come look for me. This was the day when I grew up, much too early for a girl of my age, to be what my parents couldn't be for my younger siblings anymore, and I started to put lots of raw fish into our oven for the little ones.
|1st of Vasa, 62, midnight|
Mama says I have a new baby brother! He is called Tau and he is very, very tiny.
I snuck into the tent that Mama and Father share together, 'cause it wasn't locked for once. I saw Tau wiggling around on the floor. I also saw the big oven for making metal things. And there was lots and lots of metal! But then I also saw Father. He was working on something, but I couldn't see what. He was focusing on his thing and he didn't see me, so I crept out as quiet as I could.
I hope the Tau-pup is not half-made. I hope he wakes up and doesn't get taken back to Aten. I want more brothers and sisters.
|1st of Vasa, 62, midnight|
Mother gave birth again! She gave birth to another brother-pup and she named him Ahmose!
I like him. He is all roly-poly, but strong. As soon as he could, he was following bugs on the ground. Not very well, but I can tell that he will be a hunter like Father or Jasa or Seki.
I think I will give him the toy sword I found in the storage place...
|1st of Vasa, 62, midnight|
I saw them hugging. I think they thought I was asleep... But not too long after another one like me showed up! I do not remember being so wet and tiny and loud, but it came out of the Mama person. It hurt my ears a bit, so I had to at least look at it... The Mama used those sounds with it's mouth that were starting to become more familiar and called it Tau. Don't know what that means... Are all new ones Tau? It did not matter, as the comforting embrace of sleep took hold of me once it shut up.
|1st of Vasa, 62, afternoon|
She can walk now, so she toddles about everywhere she can see. Into the forest, into the lake, she crawls over the rocks of the waterfall. When she thinks her brothers aren't looking she toddles over to what she calls the Monters, she really wants to poke at their red eyes. No matter how hard she tries, she is always deterred by a brother, usually Zoan, who has taken to scratching at his head regularly now. She can get to the squirrel bodies quicker too. As soon as she snatches one, she toddles away, holding it close to her cheek. If they don't notice right away, she falls to sleep with it there, sucking her thumb. She had one for quite awhile, it started to smell bad, but she loved it nonetheless.
It was that stinking carcass that must have inspired what Zoan did. Using his leaf hat and some Ivy, he fashioned a trap. Putting a blueberry in for bait, he trapped a squirrel. He wound the Ivy around the top of the trap and gave the whole squeaking, writhing mess to her. Her dark eyes became even larger than they already were and her mouth opened to a round O. Holding the moving hat tightly in her fists, she shakes it, squealing with laughter when the hat squeaks frantically back. After much shaking the hat finally stops squeaking, she peers inside with a little frown, to see an unconscious squirrel there. She reaches inside the hat to pull it out. Immediately tucking it between her chin and shoulder, she sighs contentedly as she plugs her mouth with her thumb, glancing at Zoan, she smiles at him.
The disoriented squirrel shakes it's head coming to consciousness. It stirs and frantically tries to make it's escape. Startled by the squirrels movement, she squeezes it tighter and shakes it, her brows pulled together over her dark eyes, her lips pressed into a determined line. Quiet again, she smiles and tucks it's limp but still breathing body back into place. She looks at Zoan and says around her thumb "Thurgel!"
The squirrel, now named Thurgel, after much shaking and bashing against rocks, finally resolved to its situation. Whether it was from a head injury will never be known. Zoan made a harness and leash for it from Ivy and she dragged the squirrel happily chattering to it, wherever she went. Thurgel eventually submitted to the leash and it seemed, willingly followed her.
Her happier moments were still tormenting her many brothers. They made it so easy and rewarding. She would entice them to eat bugs, follow her into the forest to leave them there with the glowing red eyes, pinch them, bite them, it all resulted in the desired effect, making them cry. When they did, she would giggle, then look about innocently with her large dark eyes, Thurgel under her chin, thumb in her mouth. Though the older brothers paid her no attention, she still found them as fascinating as ever. They weren't as easy to manipulate. Except for Zoan. She followed him about, always underfoot, with Thurgel in tow. He seemed to be aware of her torment of the younger brothers and if he caught it would distract her or put a stop to it. She would scold him pouting "No Doan! Top it" her dark eyes scowling at him when he picked her up and brought her back to camp day after day as she wandered too far following the Monters. If she was lucky, he would play with her.
Her world as she perceived it was very simple then. Zoan would feed her if she was hungry. She played all day in the beautiful forest by the lake and waterfall, her pet Squirrel by her side and her brothers surrounding her. Her beautiful Mother and Father, attending the Shrine at the top of the waterfall, would emerge periodically and fuss over her, the only living daughter of the Moonkin.
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