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The Faery Tale

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Lote, 120 - Midday, hr 7    

She opened her eyes and let out a loud cry. It was cold in this new world, dark and strange. Warm hands lifted her and a soft voice soothed her. She was snuggled and loved and her fears began to fade. She began to accept this new existence and wonder what was coming next.

The first time she met him, she was drawn to him, although for reasons unknown to her and she didn't have the capacity to understand. But she wanted him, wanted to be near him and in his arms. His presence felt good to her, like where she should be. He smiled at her, and her world brightened. She knew not why, she just knew that she needed to be with him. And he picked her up, his strong hands easily lifting her tiny little body and she giggled with delight at his voice. He played with her for a long time, building stacks of blocks and rearranging them. He held her in his arms and she was happy. It seemed like the best place in the world.'

He tried to put her down, back in the crib so she could sleep, but she would have none of it. She cried for him and struggled to get to him. He simply smiled and picked her up again, holding her close as she quieted with a smile, happy to be back where she belonged. He returned her smile and curled up with her in the corner, the two of them falling asleep, happy to have found each other.

Lote, 120 - Afternoon, hr 8    
Zos taught me how to hunt. I killed two turtles and a field mouse. It made me feel a bit sick. I think I prefer the bow.
Lote, 120 - Afternoon, hr 9    
Zos taught me where babies come from. It was a bit strange at first, but, it made me realize just how lucky I am to be alive. Babies seem to die so easily, yet here I am. It's really something magical to realize.
Urnu, 120 - Afternoon, hr 9    
Pleasant days ended aprubtly when a voice entered my mind.

Elisa is dead.

I felt frozen. The memories of Rufus death came into my mind and I could feel how the pain was drilling a hole into me.

Why are you doing this?

An emotion I never felt overwhelmed me. It came without any sign of warning and overshadowed everything. Was it Eteni taking control of me again?

Where Elisa one had her place it became dark. In all the years it was the will to see her again that caused me to march on. The reason the wounds of the Night Watcher did not cause my death and the reason I have been able to forget about the pain Rubys tears caused me.

In some way they were linked to each other. Without her I would never have became Rubys friend and without Ruby I would maybe not have met her again.

Losing her caused all my hope and will to disappear. The gap she left behind began to fill with an emotion I can not describe. Was it the same feeling I had when I left Aella? I couldn't tell.

In my struggle trying to prevent it from taking over my mind I did not notice Eamus approached me.

Who's Elisa?
Stay here Falkas, I'm not sure whats going to happen yet but it might not be safe.

I know minutes must have elapsed until these words came through to me. Could he see what happened? If it was Eteni trying to enslave my mind again, would I be a danger to them? All these cruel thoughts made my mind a place I wished to escape.

Elisa is... was my sister.

Eamus words, coming from outside eased the pain a bit it. A few days ago I told Falkas about the river being a symbol of continuity. A reminder that even, if good or bad events happen the world doesn't stand still. Maybe this feeling would go away.

Your sister, what could she do to you if she has passed?

Do to me?

What did he mean? I didn't realize that he could not know anything about my inside. I turned around to look at him.

She would never harm me!

It felt anger, but only for a moment. Then despair replaced it.

But why did she have to go?

I felt how Eamus put his hand on my shoulder. It gave me some comfort, but I felt how the change inside of me proceeded.

How long ago did she pass?

It was when I realized that he could not have any knwledge about my sister. I must have been the only one hearing the voice.

Again I felt how his words tried to pull me out of the darkness of my mind. I am sure the pain would have eaten me if he wouldn't have talked to me. Maybe that painful emptiness - Eteni - would have taken control of everything and forced me into attacking or even eating them.

Just in this moment I remembered what happened when I visited Larkins colony the first time. A pain went through my head and a voice told me to leave this place, but I was not sure what it really was and soon forgot it ever happened.

Now everything began to make sense. Cesia told me I could have escaped Eteni, because her influence wasn't big enough to reach me when I lived with the Moonkin. Being closer to her she told me to leave the Stoneshapers. Did she try to warn me? Maybe she knew I would hurt Ruby. Maybe Elisas death is my fault too. After all she gave me a chance to meet the Moonkin. All this question arose and then something teared me out.


Falkas? It should have been the last word that prevented her (Eteni) from taking over. The emptiness finally knocked me down and I finally surrendered.

Slowly it devoured me. The struggle ended and what I considered as a darkness I had to fight became a part of my consciousness. The silence in my head allowed now could concentrate on what was happening outside of my mind.

What's wrong? Kanor asked.
I lost Elisa and Ruby gives her best to you.

My own words confused me. It was right, the voice mentioned Ruby, but I did forget about it. How is she involved into this? I moved to the river to take a look at myself. It was strange. The reflection on the water showed my body, but I knew it wasn't me. The thoughts and feelings that now came up were just too alien to be mine. When I lost my arm it stopped being a part of me, but now it felt like loosing everything.

What are you talking about, Kontar? They are both far away from here.

I don't know. Does it matter?

Again my words have been faster than my thought, but it really didn't matter to me. She is dead. Nothing would ever be able to bring her back. Then Eamus came near. He asked me about my feelings, but what did I feel? I could not feel the pain the forced me to my knees anymore. It wasn't like some kind of inner fight anymore. The thing that I considered as myself got absorbed and something new came to the surface. All the pain vanished. The sadness was still there, but it seemed easier. Like a wound that got cleansed. I didn't feel anything, just emptiness. That's what I told him.

Maybe someone should head back there and see if something has really happened to Elisa.

What did Kanor mean by that? Of course something happened, but then I agreed and told him I would look for her. It scared me, because it wasn't hope that drove me there. After all I promised Ruby to not come back again.

Afraid of my thoughts I wanted to cry for help Stop me! Kill me, you promised to do so!, but I kept silent.

Are you sure? I don't think that you would be welcome there after the last time

Did he become aware of my thoughts? I told him I had to go, because she is my sister. I don't know, if he knew what I was planning. I decided to leave instantly, without any preparations. My fist clenched when I tried to raise my voice one more time, but nothing else happened and so I gave up.

Will you come back? The children will miss you.

After the last days and the nice time I had with them this question hurt. I could not stay any longer. Goodbye is all I said before turning around. I tried to avoid looking at anyone, it would have been too painful. Goodbye, Kontar. I am sure he knew we wouldn't meet again.
Naur, 120 - Sunrise, hr 5    
There was nothing that would prevent me from leaving.  I would leave them hurting Ruby one last time. What else should I do? It made sad that I would again break my promise and visit her again. Even though our friendship ended I felt obliged to not hurt her again, but there was nothing else left for me to do. I had to visit their colony. Only the feeling of solitude accompanied my last journey.

In some way that was not true. There was something following me.
Thoughts, so different that I wasn't able to tell if they were my own.

Did I kill Elisa?

I tried to dispel this thoughts, but there was nothing else I could think about. How I wished there would be something I could talk to, but at some point I stopped trying to free myself of this thoughts and just listened.

Cesias writing came into my mind. The best thing would have been to kill me. Why haven't they done so? My parents, the Moonkin, Elena, Nina, Ruby...
I owe my life to them, but this time I would clear my debt.

What would I do?
Larkin! It struck me like a lighting striking at a nearby tree.

Again my own thoughts scared me. Larkin would kill me. I have seen, how he fights and he would have to defend his daughter.

Traveling this path caused a familiar feeling to come up again. Loneliness, hunger and sadness. They became one, like in the dark memories I have from the time before I met Rufus. At least that's what I believe I felt. It has been way too long ago.

Did I really want to harm Ruby? This idea made me feel like a monster. Maybe it is what I always have been. ELISA! I cried out. Where are you now? The silence that followed made my feeling of solitude even worse.

Eteni. I could not stop thinking about her. That Sethra, Vaelar. He told me his parents have been touched by her. Was she really evil? Maybe she was taking care of me? I survived traveling for such a long time and eventually met Rufus. Did she lead me there for a reason? She also wanted me to leave Ruby. Maybe it wasn't Eteni, who killed my sister...

I have to find out what happened to her.

Should I take her body so she can be returned? Would she want that? I didn't want her to become a Night Watcher, but maybe Kanor was right all these things aren't true. This thought made me sad. Wouldn't it mean that there is no place to eventually get freed from all these emtions hurting me inside?

What am I supposed to do now? All theses memories made me sad. I wished I had a chance to start all over again and do things better.

Maybe I could have stayed in Aella, if I just would have been stronger. Again, I tried to remember what happened, but I could not. Whatever happened, leaving Aella was my first step to hurt so many people. Cesia was right, I should have been killed. Rufus would still be alive. I wish I would not have accompanied him to Moonglade...

The memories of Rufus death. Unlike the memories that happened before metting him, I would never be able forget the image of him hitting the ground.

Your kind only brings hate and despair
Maybe that Moonkin was right. Citas face, it was so lined through all that pain she had to suffer from. An other image I could never forget.

The moment your people come, that all changed

It felt like all this has just happened yesterday. Maybe I am really the cause of all this. Maybe we Etenis tools, without even knowing. And the Night Watchers? Do they only appear when I am in Heart Haven? Taking a look at the stump of my arm it seemed like a punishment to me. A punishment to listening to Eteni any longer.

I didn't want these thoughts, they made me angry. Still I wanted to know what was happening.

Did she want me to die? Not sure about Etenis intentions I kept thinking. What if it was her voice speaking to me? Maybe she wanted me to die, so I can see Elisa agiain and escape the pain her dead and all the other events in my life caused me.

See her again... It was such a relieving thought. The place that you go to after being returned. I took a look into the already dark night sky. Grandmother Snowe told me one would go there after being returned. She wasn't sure whether people can return after they become Night Watchers, but I don't want Elisato become something like that. It must be so cruel. I have to make sure we won't become something like that. They must be like the Taken, but I am sure it's even worse. Eteni must be controlling them too.

These memories, these thoughts of my üast running through my mind. I wanted them to go away. They caused me pain. Gazing ahead I saw how far away the salvation from this still was.

What would I do there? And how would Ruby react? I promised to never come back. Being afraid of her reaction I looked around to see if any Night Watchers could end it right now, but I could not find any glowing eyes. Without much thought I grasped the knife I only had been wearing for a few weeks. It was still very sharp, because I haven't used it until now. Then I stopped. It seemed so easy. I just had to use it and bleed out...
The tension in my body, began to fade.

NO! I wanted to see Elisa one last time. I promised!
So I marched on.

What if she would not be there? I thought. Butn there was no reason for her to leave.

I began to think about how I would die. Larkin, he would defend Ruby. He already hated me. Maybe I could threaten her. But maybe it would be better to disappear in the tunnels. In Aella there have been many creatures and I could not see any reason why there would not be any of them in their caverns. These thoughts comforted me. Nothing would hinder me from leaving this time.

Still, I would ask Ruby. The voice mentioned her so she had to know what happened. If we just had stayed friends. I would have been able to talk to Elisa. Maybe I could even have saved her. Not knowing what happened to her made me crazy. If the Stoneshapers would be involved in to this I would...

But this thought faded soon.

Step by step I came nearer to the place where the answer of my questions would lie. It was the first time I traveled this path, but the first time I am alone in doing so.

The sweat ran down my body and I could feel a thumping in my head. I didn't want to stop. What sense would there be in resting on that last path? But then I wasn't able to keep my eyes open any longer and lied down. Usually there have been things I kept thinking about until finally falling asleep. Sometimes they even prevented me from doing so, but not so this time. Exhausted from traveling and tired of all the thoughts haunting me it took only seconds for me to fall asleep.
Elen, 120 - Evening, hr 12    
She first felt anger, when she realized what Garnet and Eli had done. How dare Eli find another, and how dare Garnet get involved with him, him who was once Emerald's entire life. Was there jealousy? Yes, there was. Emerald was jealous of their bliss, their satisfaction with their life and family. It was something Emerald just didn't seem capable of having. 
But after the first flare of anger, there was guilt. Guilt for all she had done, and guilt for being angry about it. She had no right to be angry, if it weren't for her, there would have been no original problem! 
So then, there was sadness. What was wrong with Emerald? Was she a bad person? Was she selfish? What?! If anybody could just tell her, Emerald would at least be able to fix herself. 

Emerald had finished preparing to leave. She was officially ready to go to Nefarka. She hoped to be there within five years, and to make it there alive. Perhaps she would fit in with the anu. She imagined they'd be kind, and just as curious as she. She liked to think about what would happen when she'll finally get there. Would they gather around her and try to figure her out? Would they clap their hands (paws?) joyfully and give her some delicious desert food? Would they be singing and playing instruments? Emerald remembered how much her mother wanted to see the place. Her mother was so sweet, so kind. Somehow, it felt like if Emerald found the place her mother devoted some of her final years to, those precious years the young woman'd never get back, then she'd find whatever her mother wanted to find. What did her mother dream to find? What goal was she trying to achieve? Maybe, just maybe, this trip would explain everything.
Gurtha, 120 - Evening, hr 10    
Her quarry was proving elusive.

She crouched over the fresh carcass of an ibex, mulling over her continued failure as she worked the hide free.  A year's searching had yielded nothing - not the slightest clue as to his whereabouts - and she was forced to admit that, at this point, it appeared that success would be entirely a matter of luck, and would have little to do with her skill as a hunter.

A gust of icy wind blasted the rocky outcropping, groaning as it swirled between the stones.  The noise seemed to linger after the wind had passed, and her head shot up, her eyes narrowing as she looked this way and that.  After a moment she chuckled and shook her head.  Too much time spent in solitude; her mind was starting to play tricks.

 A splash of green between and beyond the rocks caught her eye and she rose from her kill, then turned and scrambled up a slope to get a better view of the lush valley far below.  Unlikely that her prey had sought shelter there.  Still, the grass looked inviting; far more so than the surrounding peaks.  And now that she was starting to hear things, it was probably time for a rest.  Besides, she had plenty of time - of that, at least, she was certain.
Vasa, 120 - Evening, hr 11    
The dog-man's corpse was fresh.

The vultures had led her to his camp by the river.  She'd crouched for an hour in the tall grass before approaching, watching the birds circle, watching the straw tent for any signs of life.  Then she crouched beside his corpse, searching with her eyes and nose.  He could not have been dead more than a day.  Perhaps it had only been a matter of hours.  Had she come sooner, he would still have been alive.  She was not sure how she felt about that thought, and quickly put it out of her mind.

Why had he died?  He had not starved:  food was abundant here, and he had plenty in storage.  There were no tracks leading from the camp, no signs of struggle to suggest that an enemy had found him.  His spear was worn - he was a hunter, then?  But he wore only a loincloth and a hat of a sort she had not seen before.  Perhaps an old wound had turned black and filled his body with poison.  Perhaps he had lost his will, and his spirit had fled while he slept.

She plucked a pearl from his bag and held it up between thumb and forefinger.  Had he seen the ocean?  There was a starfish in the bag, as well.  Had these things been precious to him?  Relics of a place that, to him, had been filled with wonder?  To her they were commonplace, as ordinary as grains of sand, though the starfish - later, when it had been cooked and slowly eaten by the light of the stars - made her think of home and wonder, fleetingly, whether it wasn't time to abandon her search and return there.

She had only questions, and the answers seemed no closer to being found.
Khelek, 121 - Midday, hr 6    
Lemminki was gone. She had seen him try to hunt the big one, the sharp-toothed creature that was bigger than Ahti. It must have been at least twice the size of the little fish himself. Even the best hunter wouldn't have been able to bring one back at such a young age, and Lemminki was no different.

She knew that Ahti was miserable about it. His voice was pained, and he snapped at Surma when the boy mentioned eating his brother. He didn't know that they wouldn't do such a thing; it had been common practice to eat those who left them. They had eaten Ilmarinen and Pekko, both killed by the eldest fish and shared with the little ones. How should he have known that Lemminki wouldn't have the same fate?

Instead, Lemminki was placed within the flow of hot rock that glowed in the bottom of the canyon, where the water was the warmest. Ahti worked carefully to make something that stood near the entrance of the wide space that she planned to use for their caves in the future, something that looked like the lost fish. Tribute for the dead, not that dead was a concept they understood.
Kuile, 121 - Midday, hr 6    
What a strange and terrible dream! It's too much! No one could ever believe this was real.
How could Lenia really be killed hunting? How could so many of our children really dream to death without anybody noticing? How could Rena be dreaming so long? How could Cerendil really run off with a flying, talking, deer-monster? How could Rown go back to Moonglade?
No, it's all stupid and wrong. The only one who is going to die is me if I can't wake up. I've tried everything, slept all over the place, hurt myself, told everybody I knew it wasn't real. Nothing worked.
So I'm left with this. If it doesn't work, there's nothing else.
I have to die.
By dying in the dream, I'll make sure I don't die out of it. Not yet, anyway. But I still feel pain in the dream, so I want to avoid dying painfully. And I can't wait to starve in the dream, because I'll starve outside of it first.
I can't really die now. My children need to have a father. Otherwise they could end up like Zoan's children after he died, and run off to be Otherkin. And Rena would be too sad if I died. I don't want her to be sad.
I'll just use this rock. There's a good deep spot in the river. I just have to turn around, hold the rock, and fall.
May my spirit wake up and return once again to the realm of real stuff. Ha! Here I go!
Buh! Cold! The water is so cold! Cold and heavy. I hate water.
They tried to make me go in at Skyreach. I wouldn't.
But this isn't real. I'm trying to die here.
It does hurt. And it's cold.
Rock and water.
Chest pain.
Goodbye, bad dream.
Lote, 121 - Evening, hr 12    
"It's behind us," she thought. "I should feel guilt...I do; but, I feel more...free."

She looked to the northwest mountain, her bright red eyes scanning its peak for nothing in particular other than to gaze at its majesty. A smile played on her lips as her mind delved into fond memories.

Memories that brought her to this place - the orchard. This was where she and Narin first got to know each other, picking apples, gathering wood to take back to Aella. It had always made her happy, even if the task was not one of joy. She felt safe here.

And here is where they would start over.

She had thought about it for a long time. Her determination to keep the family strong had pushed such ideas aside to the shadows of her mind. She had those she loved surrounding her, keeping her strong…

And then Siana passed on to Vaedea…then Anisa...then Tobar…

When they left, her strength began to fade. Anisa and Tobar’s pups grew silent or left to find lives elsewhere. Tasiya had taken to finding Aella’s core, rarely stepping away from the mines. Cesia had hoped the Sethra coming back to Aella would have changed things; but, they, too, had left almost as fast as they arrived.

She began to sleep too much, the few times she did wake forced and barely a moment before her energy drained back into the earth. She hated existing, every moment pained for no reason other than because she was alive. She couldn’t explain it – she tried, even forcing herself to work to stay awake long enough to see her mate.

“Dear Narin…”  She smiled at the thought. He and Tasiya’s darling pup never left her side.

The final straw that shoved the thought of taking refuge elsewhere to the light came as a surprise. She had been Listening to the kavani with no solace in sight; so, instead she decided to speak to those past, specifically Sul-Rani. She knelt in the vault, talking to them, never expecting a reply but just grateful to speak to them, hopeful they would hear. At some point, she had fallen asleep having exhausted herself with tears and venting her frustrations to the four coffin-lined walls. It was upon waking she knew something was wrong. Very wrong. She felt sick, dizzy, weak, more drained of life than she had ever felt; and, by her side, barely breathing, was Tasiya’s little pup.

That was it.

They had to leave. It was not safe here.

Time passed. Whatever had happened to her and the girl was frightening. It was not natural and it plagued even moment of her thoughts. One day they had been fine, and the next…

She shuddered as she remembered the feeling of something looming over them, of the thought that the little one almost died.

Maybe something had woken in Aella…something dark…like the Silent One the Sethra spoke of…like the corruption from Eteni…that was Cesia's greatest fear. Perhaps in all their searching for Aella’s song, Tasiya and Tamir had found something else, something unseen. Tamir had suddenly become distant until he fell to the dark in the mines…Tasiya had become despondent…

She leaned against the iron pick in her hands, her eyes drifting to the little girl searching around cliff for new things. “…I only wish I knew why she left you. Why she left at all…”

She had fretted over the idea of suggesting a move to her mate for some time. This was their home, this is where they had grown up, this was their life –

- but, it wasn’t. The joy they had growing up died along with everyone else around them.  She had lain so many to rest…

And she would still. She knew that. It was her duty and one she held with pride, as heavy as it was to bear.

But, she they did not have to be here for her to bring those past to Aella. Her back was strong, her legs still worked, and on Cikor there were trees.

She loved those trees...just like Sul-Kavo.

As such, she brought the thought to Narin; and, to her surprise, he agreed to her request.

She took a seat on one of the few, empty boxes they brought with them, looking back up to Aella’s peak. A light wind caught the leaves in the trees, whispering a song that made her feel calm. An apple fell at her feet.

They had left everything behind them.

And she regretted nothing.
Elen, 121 - Midnight, hr 1    
Selections from a Journal


I am sure it is lovely. But, I am afraid, dear friend Callie, that its people are not. What few I encountered.

Not without due cause, mind you. I cannot blame them. The daemon wearing our skin found them first. Hurt them in indescribable ways.

I had wished to make amends for the wrongs brought upon them. Such hope fell on deaf ears.

I prepared myself when I traveled from where I was born to be met with the worst. Yet, thus far, I had found wonders in those I had the joy to encounter. Kind hearts with tasks that could use a little extra help or someone to call friend.

I think it must have raised my spirits too high. I...rarely cry.

But, these tears, this pain I feel in my chest...they are not for me. They fall for those people and the suffering they endured at the hand of another.

Perhaps someone else, somewhere else, will be able to fill the pages I marked for their kind.

Sekah...bless those dear people with peace and serenity and a light through all their darkest hours.
Gurtha, 121 - Sunrise, hr 4    

The beach was quiet, completely deserted. She swam close to the shoreline, picking things out of the water that had made their way there from the desert beyond the beach. Her thoughts turned to her family...

"Lemmi think... Kave be like Rhalsi.  Lemmi need a Rhalsi. That Kave." He nods as her heart breaks at the sound of his words. She turns away from him. "Then go, go to Kave and be happy. Miel be fine..." She lied to him with a smile and watched him swim out of the cave to go back to her...

 She growls lightly as Surma's voice floats through her head.  "While Mie inside, Lemmi say Kave is Lemmi's favorite, sleeps with Kave. he shrugs  Thought Mie should know..."

And Rhalsi... "Quiet. Weak fish get eaten,."

She shook her head fiercely, trying to shake the memories out, and continued swimming, angry once again as she swam away from the cave that had been her whole life up until now. But after a few hours of being by herself, the loneliness began to creep up on her, no matter how fast she swam, it was always faster.

She had found somewhere she'd never been, had never heard of. A beach, with sand and birds and a desert. She decided to stop here, and try to figure out a plan for what to do. She knew that she couldn't go home. Mama Rhalsi would as soon eat her as look at her for deserting. She had no home now, she would just have to make a new one, though she knew not how.
Off in the distance, she could see a speck of something coming. Fear trickled through her heart but she shook her head. If I ever going to be big, strong fish, must not run away. Must stay and face fears. And so she waited for fate to deliver whatever it had in store for her.

Turns out, fate had brought her brother. She was surprised to see him, but managed to hide her grin at his approach.
"What you doing here Surma?" She asked. He told her that Lemmi had died from a shark attack and Ahti had gotten angry with him and made him leave after Mama Rhalsi took all of his things. Miel secretly delighted at this fact.

Maybe if I kill Surma, I can go home. Maybe they let me back in and Mama Rhalsi not eat me.... and with Lemmi dead, Miel be best little fish hunter in clan...can't not take Miel back...  She looks at her brother with a deadly grin and launches herself at him. He was weaker than her, always had been, and he was already injured, she could smell the blood in the water. He went down easily, with hardly a struggle as she stabbed him repeatedly with her dull obsidian blade.

When the job was finished, she sat back with a satisfied grin and spoke to the corpse. "Surma once say kill Miel. Look who kill Surma. Miel stronger than Surma. Surma never learned..." She laughs lightly to herself as she collects his things that would now become hers, and his body to take with her back to her mother, the corpse that would hopefully gain her acceptance back into her family.

Gurtha, 121 - Midday, hr 6    
Selections from a Journal

Even the daemons of the past can not damage all they touch.

I sit here looking at youth from the Noljeni city. He followed me all the way out here to the wilds. Such a brave one considering the past he knows and the stories I am certain he has been told.

He wishes to take me to a place where I will be accepted.

Of course, I am curious. And to have taken such a leap to come all the way out here after me, how could I say no?
Kuile, 122 - Sunrise, hr 4    
Hot tears run down my face,

Streaming down like a river,

Hot, pouring fast,

As I also run fast,

not down a faced, but through the jungle.

How could I leave her like that,

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

And Lionel, I'll miss him.

But at least Merry won't show.
Lote, 122 - Midday, hr 6    
As I move to strike my prey, this pretentious boy that has tormented me for as long as I can remember, my mind drifts to thoughts of Sapphirine. Will she cry, will she forget me, does she even care, I know not. Soon after I bleed freely and begin to wonder, to ponder within my own mind, the reason for this battle. All have called me monster, and for all my denying it and my fighting to get everyone to see me as a friend, it has never worked...they are right, I am a monster. My life has shown them little else, but now I can make things right, all I have to do is drop my sword and let him kill me, that will bring peace to this land right? I only hope she remembers me.
Lote, 122 - Evening, hr 10    
What were those things?

The face carved on the sarcophagus lid resembled one of her people, and so she was completely unprepared for the horrors that boiled to the surface as she boldly pushed it aside: a stack of corpses, so tightly packed and bloated with rot that their scaled limbs seemed to writhe with unnatural life as they spilled out onto the ground, clawed hands snatching at the air, at her clothing.  The stench was overpowering.

Later, once her stomach had settled, she pulled out a piece of parchment, flattened it across a stone, and began to draw.  She would need some record of this, and did not trust her words to do it justice.  The creatures were like nothing she had ever seen or heard of before.  What were they?  Why had the sarcophagus been graced with such a likeness?  So far as she knew, her people had no such burial customs.  Who was responsible, then?  And why here?  There were no other signs that this desolate strip of rocky land had ever been occupied.  There was also the matter of the food that had been packed in with the bodies:  well-rotted, now, but unfamiliar to her all the same.  It must have been brought from somewhere else.  But where?  And why had it been buried?

And, perhaps the most pressing question of all:  were there more of those savage-looking creatures nearby?  For the first time, she felt a faint flickering of fear.  Home, and the safety of her own kind, seemed more distant than ever.
Lote, 122 - Evening, hr 11    

Yellow eyes, claws and teeth...

We were attacked. I don't know what the creature was, but it was intelligent. It spoke of eating Folke, calling us 'little bugs', and wore heavy armour and wielded a terrible claymore. Daisy could not even scratch it. If we had not fleed from Falcon's Rest, we surely would not have survived. Sand, Frog and myself made it out alive. I see a distant shape on the horizon behind me that looks like River, and the creature not far behind. I prayed to The Weird and The Beautiful that they would grant me strength to protect River and the rest of my family, but so far I have heard no answer, seen no sign. I am scared. I do not know what happened to Daisy or Fox, or poor Leaf. Better that Leaf stayed asleep, I think, than to be awake when eaten by that monster.

We head to the safety of the Divide. I am confident the warriors there will be able to slay the monster, or at least force it to flee. Daisy spoke of wingless giants once. Maybe they will be able to kill it. It is a long journey, but the creature is slowed by it's armour, and our wings carry us with speed accross the terrain. We will make it in time. We must make it in time.

The Weird and The Beautiful protect us.

Urnu, 122 - Sunrise, hr 4    

The wilds are gone. Eaten by vas. Must be...there is no other explanation.

But, it has been good to travel. Like the old days. And having this image to show what is around us will be useful. Not what I hoped, but...something. No wild stories for the ma. Maybe some other time.

I gave myself markings. One for the new home, one for my journey. A needle of bone and burnt wood with the juice of a berry worked perfectly. It took patience, they hurt like venom, but I am proud of them. They healed beautifully.

I did find one interest I'd hoped to find while roaming. Such a sweet one to follow without question.
Naur, 122 - Evening, hr 12    
It was not ever quite right to say that being born was a child's first moment of consciousness, but as age steal away the days of youth, the chaos of birth steals the memories of the womb.  As he father gently cleaned her from her birth she wailed - even the heat of the weather was not enough to be warm for her, from her swiftly fading memories of her time with her mother.  But once cleaned and in her mothers arms, her cries dissolved to soft whimpers.  Her body equalized so the heat of the evening felt comfortable and safe.

Her father (Though she couldn't know the relationship yet) rested his hand gently on her head.  She desired nothing so much as to reach up and grab that hand.  Hunger gnawed at her stomach, and if she could reach the hand she would probably put it in her mouth and chew it with her nonexistent teeth, but that did not drive her to reach for the hand.  She simply wanted to feel the scaley-skin that rested against her own smooth hide.

Texture was intriguing.

There was talking.  Already her small round ears could orient the source of the voices in relation to her position.  She opened her eyes and watched the conversation, oblivious to what they were saying, but absorbing like a sponge the sounds, the sheer sensation of voice.  Her mother fed her.  Food was delicious and she gummed at the food she had been provided with such intensity she did not even notice when her father left.

Tired from the sheer effort of being born...she slept.
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