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The Faery Tale

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Naur, 87 - Afternoon, hr 9    
Exerpt from a journal

I'm back home! At last!
It may be only a visit, but I missed everyone so much!
There's Din, standing like he's protecting something, as always..
Mor, Meri Sal and Mama too!
I hope they still don't think me odd for what happened in Lorelei...

 A few hours later

I knew it, knew it knew it knew it!
Din thinks he's so damned important, and he's put those thoughts in Sals head as well!
What has it come to, I can't trust my OWN family to understand? That stupid spirit has brought nothing but ruin to my life, and he says he's helping to top it all off!
At least Peri still loves me, he was always such a good brother....
And Mira, Mira still likes me...she may be somewhat odd, but she's my sister and deep down that is what counts.
Evidently she died, and Cathal brought her back, which is how she found her self so lost and far away, she was lucky to have found our colony..I don't trust Cathal though, his words are like flowing rock, and his eyes are stone and unwavering, I know he's lying to me...And his home, such a horrible place, nothing with good intent can live in that place of heat and dry wind, it was so bad I woke up coughing...
 
Elen, 87 - Afternoon, hr 9    
Finally, after all the the travelling I met an other person. He looked different than me.
He didn't have any weings, fangs or claws. His name is Rufus and he seems to be really
nice.

We are traveling in a near city where more people live. I am still hungry, but I am too
enthusiastic to think about anything, but the people I will meet. It is lake a painful flame
burning in me driving me around comes to a rest.

I am so glad, I hope this is not just a dream!
 
Gurtha, 87 - Sunrise, hr 4    
I came back to the mountain, but I was not welcomed. I was weary, but I could find no solace here. My siblings who I remembered so fondly were now harsh. They said I had abandoned my daughter and my mate. I tried to vain to explain to them all that had happened. The harshness I had felt, the vision I had seen. They told me I had not seen the Great Mountain Spirit, that It had not spoken to me, and that I was disgusting. The most hurtful part of it all was that they told me I had never raised my daughter: that she didn't remember me. They tried to rob me of the only happy years I could remember and though I explained again and again that it was not the truth, they did not listen. Elek told me I had abandoned my daughter when she was three years old and could not yet walk, even though I remembered teaching her her first steps myself, crafting her her first sword, and teaching her to hunt. Everyone was against me, and I began to question myself.

Admist all this I still heard the Spirit's words in my head. It's commands. My life was not my own. But Junta still did not wake. I was hated and despised by all. How could I do anything for my family like this?

Di-di listened to me. He had always cared for me. He believed that I had raised Kenna until she was six years old and that it could not have been expected of me to coddle her forever. He believed me when I told him I had heard the Great Spirit, and he agreed to help me.

I had four children. All of them made of clay and without the breath of the Mountain Spirit. I asked my di-di why this would be. He explained to me that the Great Spirit would not make everything so easy, It liked Its tricks.

Kenna came back long enough to tell me that she was leaving. She was going with Larkin and they were leaving the mountain. My brothers and sisters berated me for mating with my di-di. They were disgusted with me, and I could do nothing but sit and take their harmful words. I did deserve them? Didn't I? Was this what it meant to serve the Great Spirit?

At times I wished for death.
 
Vasa, 87 - Midday, hr 6    

It isn’t as exciting as Nael’s story about the bear or as interesting as Myrra’s story about the hunt north of here … But what it does have is a great battle and fierce monster in it. If you asked me who told it to me I’d have to say I don’t know. Many people have told me parts of it and it’s only now that I have the chance to say it all together. If you asked me if it’s real I’d have to tell you that it’s as real as any frightening dream half-forgotten and half-remembered

IT begins in a strange time long ago; a time of silence and cold. This was a time before me, before my mother or aunt Awrina or Zeff or Zidayne… It was a time before Amras and even long before our mountain home was born. Things didn’t look as they did now. There were no falling flakes of snow or sunlight beating down. No lands covered in strange green trees or beasts on the land. There was only the deep blue sky and the hard smooth earth.

They spent all their time watching one another. The sky, he gazed down and was so curious as to what the smooth curves of the land meant and why she was watching him so unguardedly. And the earth, she felt the sky’s gaze upon her body and would lie there proudly watching back wondering what it was the sky was doing up there away from her.

This continued for ages before either of them became sad that the space was still there and neither had made a move to reconcile the distance that pushes one from the other’s embrace. The sky became frightened that maybe the earth hated him and he became so full of sorrow and self-disgust. The earth too spent years and years boiling with love that every feeling imaginable floated through her lonely mind – causing her to even doubt the sky’s devotion. Perhaps the sky was sent there to trap her and she had been mistaken all this time – maybe there was no love in his watchful vigil. Enough time passed that each felt every imaginable emotion and held every possible thought that could ever exist between two separated lovers.

Soon too these feelings fell away and the wealth of love and anger and doubt become crystallized into one distinct and all-too-clear possession: Loneliness. All of the former feelings changed and became one and remained one. Unfortunately, the loneliness was unbearably painful, so much so that the earth began to tremble and its smooth perfect surface formed cracks like ice forms when its stepped on. And the tiniest bits of earth started to float up from these cracks in the form of dust. Cracks covered the entire land. More than could be counted and clouds of dust flew into the air.

The sky’s pain was as unbearable as the earth’s. The sky began to do something it had never known it could do either. It began to shift and its perfect blue color began to lose its life and grow whiter and whiter. The sky was in blinding pain and it was being twisted upon itself and the air itself for the first time began moving and ripping apart. A powerful wind screamed across the whole sky wailing its anguish.

Suddenly the sky could just make out the earth. She too was hurting so much she was dieing and he panicked and wanted to do anything – realized he could do nothing – and panicked more and more! The sky was dieing but its love for the earth reached the strongest and most painfully clear height it had ever reached. Because of that moment that had never happened before the sky did something that was impossible. It let drop a single fragile tear. The tear formed from the dusty clouds and the assailing winds and it looked just like a brilliant flake of gently floating snow. As soon as the flake landed on the earth the wind stopped screaming around and the earth was startled and stopped shaking. She didn’t understand – what did that touch mean, wait, the touch, - They had touched! Finally, after loving each other for so many years they were one. And from that contact: a beautiful child was born.

The child stood as tall as a mountain and was a strange being that belonged between the earth and the sky made from something new. Inside the child, every one of the good feelings of love and hope found a home, making her a complete and content being. It was a little girl like Tecmessa. The child soon became a woman and wandered the lands smiling at the strange cracks and the shining sky. The sky fell in love with the new being and when she strolled around the sky would turn a warm red. The warm red tired the sky out and it soon lost its color completely and became black. This frightened the earth but the woman was unafraid. She curled up warmly against the earth to comfort her mother breathing steadily upon her.

One day long after the earth had grown used to the footfalls and warm hugs from the woman and long after the sky spent more time being its calm clear-sighted blue. The sky was growing bored with the tiny woman and longed again to touch the earth. The earth too was growing bored of the small being and missed the loneliness, the love, and the extremes that it once knew. The woman, for her part, continued on oblivious to her parent’s growing disinterest still as happy as ever. Something was changing in the earth and the sky’s relationship to the woman. They were becoming jealous of her happiness and warmth. The seemingly endless ability of her joy became like a sword in their side. The sky and earth kept realizing the inseparable distance between who they once were and who they wanted to be – reckoning that why should this creature get both of their embraces and they never get anything!

The sickness grew within each and hatred and spite brewed until it became unbearable. Until the sky resented the earth for bearing the child and the earth loathed the sky for its disgusting weakness and inability to do anything. All the while the woman moved around in resplendent joy. The signs of the sky’s changing were there: longer nights and fewer days. The earth became hard in some parts and soft in others – seeming to take joy in slowing the progress of its child or providing a rock hard resting place for the woman to breathe her warm breath upon.

It was worst for the sky. In its delirious sick hatred for the earth and the being it felt that its being consumed and exhaled was an insult and it began trying to get dark when it was bright or trying to stay red for longer to tire itself out and leave the woman in the dark longer. But it felt itself sorely lacking in control. This feeling of wretched impotence drove the sky mad with fury until one moment a crystallization of all the putrid black feeling became a killing light that it sent directly downwards towards the sleeping woman.

Luckily for her the sky couldn’t control the fatal beam of light and it zigzagged all over the sky until reaching the earth and scorching its soil. The earth, however, felt the pain and was introduced to pain with its sharpest manifestation possible. Stinging and revolted, the earth was pushed beyond the point of any kind of tenderness. It recoiled dropping its softest layers deep down creating massive ranges of higher harder parts and deep bowls where the soft parts pulled back into it.

Of this a new child was born. It resembled the first only in its living between the two realms. Everything else about this new being resisted its sibling and rebelled against comparison. To describe this new one would be to describe abomination. Everything about it was a testament to the perversion of the first child’s beauty. No matter what form the young one appeared as the woman still took care of it. She raised him lovingly, chuckling at the blue scratches drawn in her flesh. Its temperament was nice only in its lack of strength to carry out the mean acts it willed.

Eventually the dark child became a man. Its size was towering but much smaller than its mountainous older sister. The earth became more and more silent and more reserved. She spent all of her time hiding, and rarely thinking about those above until she fell into a deep sleep. The sky stayed as black as night for a very long time.

It was the first time the woman that treads upon the earth started to feel something other than contentment. She began to feel pity for her younger brother noticing how he stared up at the black sky angrily. He would glance back at her scowling and she would quickly hide the concern from her eyes. She began to feel ashamed of keeping her pity a secret from him and told him a long story of how the world once was before his birth to cheer him up. The man scoffed and demanded to the woman never to lie to him with such filth. She expressed puzzlement wondering what it meant to lie. The man pondered for six days raking his ratty hair with his hideous blackish-red claws. The information from the woman, once digested, held the opposite effect. The son of the sky and earth may have been ugly, wretched and mean but he was not dumb. The immense changes came about because of his birth. It was he whose existence caused the skies never to shine like before. It was he who caused the earth to recoil into its depths forming gigantic valleys and leaving huge mountains. The man began to burn with the burden of blame for ravaging a once better world.

The man seethed, and seething jumped away from the comforting hand the woman had placed on his shoulder.

‘Why did you tell me this?! It’s your fault I feel this way!’

The woman hesitantly drew her hand back and looked down thinking hard about making her first mistake. It would be her last.

The wretched being looked down at his gnarled hands boasting shockingly pointed tips at the fingers. For the shortest moment he reflected on the comforting hand laid on his shoulder and realized for the first time the differences between the sister and the brother. He would use his hands too. He raised his arm high in the air. The woman looked up at its imposing readiness to strike with a bemused and innocent smile. He swiped it rudely against her stomach ripping hunks of flesh from her body. She did what she had been doing her whole life without thinking, quickened by the pain, she ran about the earth. Her fast and expert movements won her a delicate separation from the excruciating blows being laid. His monstrous appearance made all the more fearsome by his purpose finally realized he went after the woman running faster than he had ever run before. She screamed in pain and blood fell as blue as the sky into the cracks and bowls of the earth. She twice stopped evading him and leaned towards him attempting to calm and hug at his disgusting shape. He gripped at backs of her waist and tore into them with his claws bending his face forward and mercilessly biting and pulling, biting and pulling.

She screamed in agony and with ease pushed him off of her and began to run again. She cried up to the heavens, ‘Father, help me! Hide me! Anything! Please!’ Tears would stream across her beautiful cheeks and fly off as she never ceased running.

‘It hurts so much!’ She would call up while running and then he would dive ahead, in one moment, catching up to her with a single claw to trace a small opening in the flesh of the back of her running leg.

The woman would trip and her body would bang painfully into the dirt with a thundering sound that echoed for miles. Her head lying against the ground with wide eyes she would scream and beg to her mother ‘Please! Release me from this! I can’t take anymore!’

And the man would see his opportunity to reach the parts of her, which had earlier been too tall for him to reach. He would pounce upon her shoulders and rip and tear large armfuls of his protector’s flesh from her body.

The woman, gasping for breath, loping over hills and valleys would whisper, ‘Hide me, O mother, please, hide me from this.’

For one full year the awful hunt would last.

I will tell you of the events of this year: During the year of the hunt, the silent skies were awakened by the cries of his beloved daughter but too weak from all the time spent slumbering. He was cursed to watch in quiet horror. The fright of a fresh cry sent him into a reddish hazy anger that would blaze up brilliantly but immediately grow dim into a blackened hopelessness. The man would catch up to her again! His claws would elicit another loud piercing scream and the sky would once again awaken and blaze red. Fighting to stay awake it would grow a somber blue. The sky’s impotence was building a sense of frustration that grew near but never quite reached the earlier extremes that once elicited such unheralded power. While not being able to bring down the thin brilliant streak of killing light the sky was, however, building up a light that started very small and stayed up in the sky. The day would go on and he would witness such awful sights as to gather enough fierce resentment for both his inability to do something and the son he created to set that small dot of light ablaze. Each day the blaze would grow larger and larger. At the ends of the day the sky had taken all it could. It would rise itself into fiery splendor, changing its hue from watchful blue to furious red, attempting to throw the ball of fire at the son with its last bit of energy. The sky would fail… It had slept too long. From now on its efforts would be cursed and the ball of fire extinguished by the angry winds – the sky would fall asleep: a perilous black. That fire became what we see in the sky today. The extinguished original white core of light is what we see floating in the sky in the night. While the woman’s name may be lost to us today she is not. The earth could do nothing else but nurture, weak as she was now, and give her back up to the surface in her shattered form – all taking their unique aspects from the completeness she once was. The man we now know as Death. As Death marauded her flesh and scattered it amongst all things: Her tears became the big water you spoke of in your travels. It made the trees and plants from her contentment, the wolf that calls sadly to the extinguished moon from her loneliness, the handsome yak from her sturdy strength, the clinging spider from her friendliness – but that gets me to my next part… The wretched being, her brother, Death was so dirty that he contaminated many of the children that sprung to life from her body… What’s worse is when she finally succumbed to not being able to escape from her hunter … he … he…  touched her in such a way as to have children of his own – children that even he found disgusting. One shining example of their horror is the Winged Ones. And the Winged Ones begot the bats that fly at you and try to steal your life in the dark hallways of our mountain… But Death’s wraith was not quenched by ripping its sister into pieces. The children of itself and the woman, the fragments of the woman’s body, everything that the earth hid and reveals again fell under its hungry sight. It spends all of its time hunting the remaining aspects of its sister and wreaking its awful havoc upon all it catches.

But enough of that… What’s most important is that if I were this complete being, the mountainous woman, and I had the strength to easily shrug my brother off of me - I would have gone much further and turning, I would have crushed Death into oblivion… But of course she could not, probably never even think of such an obvious thing – because it was never apart of her… So even though we may come from the fallen completeness of her – born of the woman… We are tainted by the year of the great hunt. What aspect of her are we? Perhaps we come from her beautiful voice… Perhaps from what all of those feelings together created – the completeness - all of her but there is always some of him… There’s no doubt those awful claws didn’t infect at least an extremely small amount of who we are… But that’s where my consuming hope comes from. It’s with that smallest amount of bad that gives us the chance, we have the chance to strike back – we can stop him… Maybe we are born from whatever in her recoils from pain and darkness and clings to love and warmth… It doesn’t matter all I know is that I want my family to be together. I want things I love to be close to me. And I will stop at nothing to end the thing that tries to end that.

 
Khelek, 88 - Midday, hr 6    
It's another one of them! That thing is a Night Watcher! It's fooled my family because half of them don't even remember what those monsters look like!
And even mother wants it to become one of us! Mother, who's spent more time surrounded by those horrible red eyes than any of us!
It doesn't matter what she says, that thing will never be a Moonkin! I refuse to call it by name! I refuse to let it eat anything I cook! I refuse to allow it to be near me!
Except, if it stays here, that means I'll have to go!
Yes, that's it! I'll find somewhere for us to live! I'll go past the Foullands and there will surely be forests there! But when I do, I'm not inviting that thing to come with us!
All that monster deserves is death!
 
Khelek, 88 - Evening, hr 11    
It looks like the others have left Sal and I behind. There is no way to catch up with them now. I feel more lonely with each passing day. Even my daughters smile isn't enough to make me happy. I thought this life was what I wanted. The miens seem to call for me and I feel uneasy. I want to feel the weather bearing down on my skin, feel the long strand of grass in the fields. I am not happy here I only seem to crave the wilderness. I can't expect the others the understand. Even Berias is wary of the explanation for my life. I must not speak of it again... at least not here. What I really want is to speak with Speck again. He knows more about spirits than Berias. I can't stay here surrounded by death, and Din's cravings for power. I can't tell him how much it worries me, he would only take ill offense. I don't want to cause any more trouble. It just doesn't seem like things are getting any better. I want to go to Lilly's I want to finish that oven in her home. I want to travel back to where I woke up. I want to find a place where I belong. this doesn't feel like home any longer. I wonder where Hinrod and his family are. Are they doing well? 

The more I try to domesticate myself the more I feel wild. I feel chained... i didn't want to travel alone but how will Salatius understand. Can he ever forgive me... when my heart has started to turn cold? I feel as if the sun is hidden behind clouds Only I can not reach up to push them out of the way. I don't belong here... But where do I belong? 
 
Losse, 88 - Evening, hr 12    
I stand on the peak of the highest mountain around. To my east lies the glittering sea, filled with mystery. To my south lies the icy wastes through which I have passed to get here. To my west, another barren wasteland. But to my north--ah--to my north, there is a forest, filled with pines, just like Lorelei. I can already smell them; they remind of Radimir. How I do miss him. But this is pressing right now, this is what matters; the forest, and life, and what is now. I begin striding down the mountain at a brisk pace, eager to get there before sunset.
 
Rosa, 88 - Midnight, hr 1    
Hate.

Was that the right word? So casual before. He had asked once, "Could you?" and she said, "Never."

Loss.

It was heat, snaking through her body. It was something she could curl her claws into, thick, like subdued violence.

Rage.

It was tears and rending flesh. It was tasting the words on her tongue. "I hate you." Louder, and louder still, but she could never shout loud enough.

Hate.

Voices weren't meant to carry this, bodies weren't meant to contain it.

Power.

She would gather it to her, hoard it, make her body do what it was not meant to. She would not seek, but when the day came, if the day came, there would be no thought, only action.
 
Rosa, 88 - Evening, hr 12    

What beautiful hair, like silver moonbeams surrounding his face. His eyes were dark, as the night is when the moon is missing from the sky. His soft skin was the grey blue of a storm cloud. Large and pointed, his ears were soft when I caressed them. I offered him my hand in greeting and he offered to chop it off! Such a grouchy curmudgeon of a man on the outside. But I could sense on the inside, there was something more to this Asher Moonkin. I would have loved to find out. But my true love waited for me in the West. If this Asher Moonkin only knew who my love was, he would have killed me on the spot. Stoneshapers, he hated them for some reason even he did not understand I think. He called them dangerous, and while I would imagine, if threatened, my Hexio would be, he is the most gentle, loving soul I know. And so, I will never get to really know Asher Moonkin. I would have liked to be his friend. I have quite a few friends I visit now. None like my Draka, except I suppose for my Hexio.

I have joined Hexio now and we sit Southeast of his home. Looking up at the beautiful Snowcapped mountain of the Stoneshapers I am a bit nervous. I know it's silly really. I keep wandering back in  memory to my first meeting with the Noljans, and while I have changed so much since then, I worry. What if something happens when I'm there. It has not in so long. The tatoo on my back is numb, and I have been without visions of my past. Hexio has not seen his family and home in many years. I just don't want to embarrass him.

Looking to the East again, I wonder about Asher Moonkin. I hope he finds what he's looking for, mostly I hope he finds peace. Maybe then he will find love waiting for him too, somewhere.

 
Rosa, 88 - Evening, hr 12    
What a strange and wonderful dream! I think I know now why dreamers sometimes don't wake up!
She said her name was Salome and that she was a sea nymph, but I'm sure she was just Cita with the wrong colors! Her hair was the color of honey, and sort of curled, like one of those wooly things by the ocean! Her skin was closer to Stoneshaper color than ours, but not the same as that either! And her eyes were green and seemed to go on forever!
Also like Cita, she didn't seem to think the Stoneshapers were bad! She wouldn't believe me!
Nobody ever believes me, even when I'm dreaming! They'll see! The Night Watcher bird will kill the children, and then they'll know they were wrong!
But I need to find somewhere we can live after that happens! I can't let dreams distract me, even if there are beautiful sea nymphs who want to play with my hair!
 
Lote, 88 - Before dawn, hr 3    
Dinova Dinova Dinova, always Dinova at the roots of these problems, like some poison spreading up from the ground to kill off the trees.
Something was wrong with Peri today, as I've seen many time since my return, Dinova has done nothing but ruin peoples lives, and pretend he owns them.
He actually told Peri to never take his pants off in front of someone else, does he even realize how damaging that is? How Peri looks up to his older brothers, and would listen closely to whatever they say?
So of course as I could guess, he did anyways. It wouldn't have been a problem had Mor not over-reacted, and then Peri thinks he did something wrong, thinks something is wrong with himself!
As I notice the trend begin to bubble up, I work in the shadows to fix things. Dinova romps around in mamas forest with tall claims of being SOOO important, and does nothing but follow mamas beck and call. All the while I help put Peri back together so he knows he's perfect as he is, undoing Dinovas damage.
But of course, one thing led to another, there I sit telling Peri he's normal and nothing is wrong, when I realize something that has been gnawing on the back of my mind for a while now.
He's pretty.
Not pretty like Auda, whose eyes match the new leaves on trees, with a figure like that of a raging river, beautiful to behold but hard to take your eyes from.
No, he was pretty like a broken flower, in his simplicity of mind I took pride in knowing I could make him better again, as simple a task as it is he still needed love, not just emotional but physical, too.
He told Dinova that he thought he was pretty, and how does Dinova respond? He scolds him for feeling, said he told him that "Brothers can't have love like that", which is simple nonsense and he knows it.
I told him no, love is for those who want it and those who need it, I won't ever love him like Auda, but he holds a special place in my heart as now one of my only brothers who dosen't think I'm crazy, who both looks up to me and wishes to be like me.
As much as my chest swells with pride knowing this, I must remind myself to make him his own person, two of me running around would be nothing but trouble, and his life would be hollow if he did nothing but mirror me, so I keep my distance, letting him make his own choices.
So he tells me what he said to Dinova and what Dinova said to him, how he was mean and mocking, and how now Peri thinks he's not pretty. Of course I had to say it, the look in his eyes alone could melt the thickest steel armor.
I tell him I think he's pretty, and he thinks I am too.
We kiss, and bite, for the next few ours, taking solice in the knowledge that we accept eachother completely, an emotional rejuvination we both needed at the time.
Peri for his false fears, me for the spirits "gift", we know all that is to know about eachother, and we accept it.
We stop, I was tired and needed rest, but I was overjoyed with knowledge that I could be so close to someone who was born with an already secured place in my heart.
I feel bad though, for Auda, it feels like I'm betraying her, but Peri, he needs his brother and his brother needs him...
I will ALWAYS love Auda, and I would die to win her back if that is what it took, if she ever finds out all I can do is explain, I wasn't doing this for myself, sure it felt good but the driving force was that we filled the holes in eachothers hearts, and sometimes that's all that really matter.

Auda, know that no matter what happens, I am yours and yours alone.

Dinova, how could you do this to our little brother? Little Peri, who not long ago dance and sang of how he was a bear?

Mor, I don't blame you for over-reacting, but please, come to your senses and give him the love he needs...

How did our family lose their direction when at every turn a sign points to some kind of happiness?
 
Naur, 88 - Before dawn, hr 2    
Imagine, traveling so far, seeing so many wonders, just to find that demon-infected girl again! There was hardly time to waste in trivialities like getting to know the area or the older man she had with her, but some details stood out, like the grave with a marker declaring the body under the soil was named after our long-lost little brother.

What a mockery of our poor sibling...

And then she dared to speak such cruel words, full of hate and lies. We didn't stick around for that abuse. It may be worth warning the family when we return, however, if she's spreading such viciousness against the people from our mountain.

I can only hope those who hear her lies might see through them before taking action, if it ever comes of that.
 
Lasse, 88 - Sunrise, hr 5    
What is a wolf?

I can't keep doing this.

I spend every day in shadows that threaten to consume me. Every time I see blood, something takes a hold of me, and I want to kill again and again. It's only animals, but the feeling stays. I used to care about them. I used to feel bad when I had to kill them. Now I love the kill. More than I probably should. I cornered a young doe, bit her with my fangs.. no that's not right.. My rapier.. Stuck my rapier in her legs until she lay squirming on the ground, her lifeblood pulsing steadily from her wounds. I did not mercifully end her life. I tortured her. Made her last moments in this world a living nightmare. And I didn't care one bit. I enjoyed making her suffer. I drank her blood and feasted on her still quivering heart. And I would do it again.

If it looks like a wolf, thinks like a wolf, and kills like a wolf...


As I look at my children, I smile. They are beautiful. But the more I look at them, the uglier they get. I want to end them, cut them open and bleed them to death, but I can't bring myself to do that to.. him. He's the only thing I still care about. He's the only one who ever cared about me. I cared about the animals, but I do not any longer. I cared about my siblings and my children, my mother and father, but not anymore. He's the only thing I care about now, and I can feel even that dying, weakening, shriveling up like a flower in the freezing cold night. I'm forgetting how to feel anything good, and soon all that will remain is anger, hatred, fear... I put on a happy face, I pretend to care about them and their little joys and sorrows. It's all empty words. I'm only going through the motions as I remember them, to hide the beast inside of me. Funny. I wear a mask, carved from wood. But the real mask is one I can never take off.

I still don't know when I'm dreaming. I can still see them. All the children mama killed. I pretend they're not there, but they won't go away. The others would call me crazy if I told them.

Wolf. Even he calls me that...

Maybe Mira never died, maybe that was a dream. But then, everyone says she did die and come back. But how can it be possible to come back? Why can she come back, but not the others? Maybe everything is a dream? Maybe the dreams are real, and this is the dream instead. Maybe I really am a wolf, running through the forest, and all of this is just a dream. I think I'll try to wake up. While I still feel enough to do so.

I will wake up from this dream and become one with the wolf. Maybe we will meet again, but I doubt we will recognize each other.

Goodbye my love, Dinova. I truly am sorry.
 
Lasse, 88 - Evening, hr 10    
It had seemed like a good idea at first, the search for Kavo. After all that had happened, they had been so convinced..

Why had he wandered into the mine at home? He was looking for something, something he made. The first time he walked right past it, and into the claws of a frightening beast. Once, twice, he tried to run, but it grabbed him, and it pulled him down, tearing at his smooth skin. A scuffle, fighting for his life, he didn't want to fight. But he made it back and he sat and caught his breath. He remembered Sul-Rani showing him and Cesia how to make the bandage when Kavo attacked the creatures. They weren't supposed to attack the creatures.

A blur had crossed his vision, and then she was there, Anisa, and she was bleeding like him. Bleeding and crying and he wanted to fix it. He wanted to get the others, but she'd pleaded with him, not to tell anyone. Especially not her Kavo. His Sul-Kavo. He still remembers when he came in, and how he had tried to hide Anisa's injuries. She was right in thinking Sul-Kavo would be mad, and he didn't want her in trouble. He fruitlessly tried to shield her and her wound from him, but it was too late.

He had yelled things at them, about how he'd told them many times not to go in the mines. What? Tobar couldn't remember being told that even once. He'd yelled that he told them not to hunt. What?! Tobar had never been told that by Sul-Kavo either. He only knew because of when Kavo got hurt, and he knew he never wanted to go near the scary creatures anyways. But that man, that Sul-Kavo didn't understand. If Kavo was here he would understand that Tobar wasn't hunting, that the creature was hunting him.

He remembered running from there, more hurt than when the man found him, and angry, to the city. Anisa was still crying, but now she was crying because of Sul-Rani!. What? No! You're all wrong!. She didn't steal anything! He wanted to scream. Tobar had given her the statuette of Trevu to look at, and she liked it. She was happy carrying it around. Why was she in trouble? Tobar never got in trouble when he'd carried the other, the one she called Aella. They were just looking, but she didn't believe them. She didn't understand. He remembered running from that place.

They had tried to help him with his injuries, but he'd said no. Except to her, nice Anisa. Smart Anisa. She'd known without him even looking at her how he'd gotten the other injuries. Had she known that he missed his Kavo, the man she called Tasir? She must have, because she had decided to go looking for him. He wanted to go to. He got them food, quietly, while the others were asleep. He filled his basket right up full, and then he'd split it with her, and they had left. He thought he remembered Kavo going down that path, but when they got there, he wasn't there.

She was shaking, and he was too. Shrinking into her shadow, holding her hand. Past so many scary creatures. He didn't know which way to go, but she decided for him. He didn't want to cry, he didn't like to cry, but he was scared. He wanted to tell her to turn back, but she kept going, and so he followed her. Smart Anisa. She'd find Kavo.

It had seemed like a good idea at first.
 
Vasa, 88 - Sunrise, hr 4    
I finally sent my daughter away.

I wonder what Kendalyn would say about this. Remembering her always leads to the next thought: I wonder where she is. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like if she returned. I know it's best to bury these thoughts and try to seal them from my mind. It is bad for the family to be sad and listless. It is bad to dream of going out and finding her.

I feel like a dark cloud has blown off our mountain and we can finally bask in the heat of the sun. With Ariana leaving, there is still a great danger that she might come back and kill us in our sleep. We may have done better to end her life. This fear is going to be present for a long time and I feel it sharpest right now. I worry that the fear may fade with time and my gaurd may lessen. Maybe I should talk with Myrra about this.

Myrra.

Myrra reminds me of my mother. She is a great hunter. She is kind, caring and beautiful. Her return has cheered up Nael considerably. She made a very nice map that will be of great use to the family for a long time. She gets along great with Tecmessa. Tecmessa is blossoming into a wonderful and funny girl.

I think Myrra wants to have children of her own. My hopes are they turn out like her. I wonder if Nael and her will have children together. Sometimes she looks at me the way Kendalyn looked at me. I wonder where Kendalyn is. Is she dead? Happy? Lonely?

Myrra.

Myrra remembers the old ones like I do and is teaching Messa both intentionally and just by being around her to heed the old ones' important words. I'm frightened about Zeff's death still. It frightens me that one so strong could slip into the weakness of sleep and slowly turn to the stones of our mountain. Myrra...

Myrra finally built her house. We all helped and Messa was a very big help... I can't wait until Myrra's small house is filled with the gay voices and noise of small children. The cloud passing away is almost due to Myrra's return from travelling. She was a little hurt by what she came back to find. Startled may be a better word. I hope she doesn't think it was her fault. The cloud completely left with Ariana though. She was... Troublesome. Her departure means the happiness of a new era has finally began...

I know I will regret sending her away. But right now I don't regret it even a little. The damage done by that small one's words will never fully leave my heart. I mean, my brother's life... My brother's fucking life at my hands... No, I only regret I didn't kill her... But I know in time I will begin to worry if she's fed and if she's happy... A father's curse.

I hope the new era will mean our family will again be strong... Much stronger and have more plentiful hunts...

I can only wait...

I've been waiting for Kendalyn for such a long time... It's almost hard to welcome happiness into my body... But with Tecmessa around it's impossible not to smile and laugh... and Myrra.

Myrra is the future of our family's struggle against Death.

Myrra is everything.

Some day I will tell her story...   


                                                                                                   -Gerwin

 
Vasa, 88 - Evening, hr 12    
Hate, I can feel it build up inside of me. I despise him. It sickens my stomach as I even look at him now. The brother that has claimed to have raised us is on the brink of giving up. Why did she leave us why did she purposefully bring our world crumbling down. Suicide! How could Asphodel be so naive, what could death bring her that life could not. Some of her children are turning into bad Kindred as she has left them to grow and then to possibly kill the younger ones. I despise them both... i don't want to stay her and I don't want to go to Lorelei. I want to leave, I want to forget this place of death and despair. i will not birth any more young here. This place full of dark sorrow and lost dreams. i will not be bound here. Why did Elva bring me back to see the near destruction of us?! 

I crave for my mother to come home and talk some sense into Din.. I can only hope that she will make it back before he takes his own life or becomes too lifeless. I want to cry, I want to scream! I want to smell the forest air and not the putrid fragrance of lingering death. 
 
Ringwe, 88 - Sunrise, hr 5    
Isengar wasn't sure what number attempt this was.  The statue had been finished for a few months, and he had tried everyday to get something to happen.  Two attacks had come in the meantime, one of them almost killing him as he tried to fight it.  He was starting to give up hope that this would be the answer to his problems, but he didn't want to let Hinrod down, so he again found himself standing in front of the practice statue.

If only he could figure out a way to bring an attack on.  Well, thats not what he really wanted, but the attacks always started the pressure in his chest, and when he used his power the pressure went away.  Feeling a bit frustrated, he sits down in front of the statue now, trying to think his way through things.  He slows his breathing to a steady pace and closes his eyes, focusing entirely inward.

After a few moments his eyes pop open.  What was that?  For a moment Isengar had thought he had felt something.  Was it what he was looking for? What brought about the power?  He closed his eyes quickly and concentrated again.  Yes! There it was, like something he could physically grab, resting deep within himself.  He reached out for it subconsciously and got a hold of it.  Immediately he felt the pressure build up in his chest, the pain causing him to almost let go.  But he had come this far, he couldn't back down now.  Holding on to the power, Isengar opened his eyes and lifted a hand towards the statue and tried to focus the power through his body and out his hand.

The resulting gust of wind was enormous, lifting the heavy granite statue completely off the ground and knocking it over onto its side.  The wind continued in through the forest, knocking down leaves and branches alike.  Fearing it would get out of control, Isengar let go of the power and lowered his hand, cutting of the wind almost immediately.

Isengar sat there for a long moment, stunned by what he had accomplished.  Did this mean the end of the attacks?  He had been able to aim his power but he still had no control over the strength of the wind once unleashed.  Well that would come with time. 

Jumping to his feet, he lets out a loud, victorious yell. Throwing his hands up, he runs around the fallen statue, jumping in celebration.  When he finally calms down, he happily heads back towards camp to let everyone know the good news.  Walking back however, he frowns.  Holding on to the power had made him feel so alive.  Why did he feel so... empty... without it? 
 
Khelek, 89 - Evening, hr 11    
Scary no so bad!
Jus no make him mad, an he no hit Radek!
I no spose to bite no more, buh scary mae me do it kuz he wa bein scary! Is why Radek call him scary!
Fawin and moumy don like Radek bein siles, so he don do it rond em more!
Fawin will play with Radek if he ood! An moumy an maybe scary bring him up to, up high!
Radek bein real ood, holdin ball kuz scary don kno how t' be siles, so Radek show scary and he no so scary no more!
 
Losse, 89 - Midnight, hr 1    
She had returned to Mount Kutar after accomplishing her task. She had set out more then ten years ago to find the land surrounding Kutar, to see the many wonders. She had done so and marked where she had been. She had been to the great bodies of poisonous water to the west, north, east and south. To vast forests past the sea of grass, to the mountains of the world and Kutar looming above them all. She remembered most the vasts swamps surrounding Mount Kutar, and the vast sands to the east where she had found poor Kornak dead. And she had marked it all down. Her map was finished. She dubbed the land she had explored for so many years..Kutarimaa..home of the Kutari.
 
Losse, 89 - Evening, hr 12    
Someone new came to Nefarka today. She looked odd, with no fur or claws, yet somehow beautiful. We talked for hours, and she told me about people called Noljens, who fought off a great evil that she unwillingly served. The story amazed me, for the only life I knew was living in this quiet, boring city. 

Awhile after finishing her story, she left. As she walked out of the city, I wanted so much to ask her to let me come with her, to experience the adventure and excitement of travelling. But I forced myself not to. I have children, and a mate here. If I leave, I'd be abandoning my family.

It is something I have to think about. She said she would visit again, so I still have a chance to join her. But is it worth leaving all I know? I cannot decide.
 
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