Tales of the Shattered Earth

Cyprian's Journal -- Session 3
This is the diary of Cyprian Miller. TOP SECRET.

18 Rain

I have not had as much time to write as I used to because I am studying with Magistrate von Carris and I’ve been writing exercises because he said “The first thing to do with you, girl, is to teach you how to spell.” I was embarassed embarrassed, but now I’m getting better. Von Carris is kind of mean to me sometimes anyway because he gives me all this work and I don’t know why I have to do half of it. It all seems more complicated than it really needs to be and I swear sometimes he doesn’t want me to be any good at it because he yells at me that I’m not metickulus meticulous enough or that I’m not paying enough attention to form and that any other pupil would have gotten this by now. Sometimes I almost want to cry but I’m learning a lot about magic, and more about the world. I don’t have nightmares every night anymore. Maybe once a month I dream about the place under the storage barn, but once a month is not too bad. What happened doesn’t seem any less horrible, really, but the rest of the world has grown up around it and… I don’t know. It seems less of an afront affront now.

The dreams about Matt are far more frequent. They’re not bad dreams, exactly, but they’re strange. We’re always dead, in the dream, but we’re not sad about it, and it doesn’t hurt. We’re just together, playing or talking or whatever, and we’re dead. I haven’t told him about them because that would just be weird and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t really want to think about what happened to him any more. I think that he still likes me, though. Our friendship hasn’t really changed much but occasionally he’ll catch me looking at him and I’ll blush, but then later I’ll catch him looking at me. I told him way back that I was going to start declaring for him at courting and then I ran away like a coward but he didn’t tell me not to and he didn’t seem to get mad at me. I’ve backed off, beyond that. It’s up to him now.

Von Carris let me take a light week in my studies for the Feast of Fools! It’s wonderful because since I went into his tutaledge tutelage it has been just work, work, work all the time. I have hardly even seen my friends. Matt’s grandfather let us have his old tent as a clubhouse so we get to hang out there sometimes. Matt is getting really interested in messing around with guns and trying to learn how to use firearms, and Maya is training all the time, so it’s not like we have much time for each other anyway except when we’re all working in town. Maya and I dressed up as each other this year because we’re about as opposite as it gets. She’s a good friend, though, and I feel bad for her. Ever since Annabel ran away her mother has been even worse if that’s even possible. She won’t leave her alone and keeps wanting to buy her pretty dresses and do her hair. She came over all dressed up and glaring like she wanted to stab somebody and I know it was mean but I laughed at her a little. Maya just looks wrong in frilly pink dresses. We’re going back to the clubhouse because Matt wants us to see the progress he’s made. I’m always kind of worried that he’s going to accidentally shoot one of us in the face or set the tent on fire but he’s pretty good at it actually. I wanted to show him how I can write in my journal without touching the pen but I can’t do it when there are explosions every three minutes breaking my concentration.

Ivy has come back from his training! He said that he spent his time in the woods experimenting with drugs and potions and things and he seems kind of confused and muddled now but other than that he’s the same old Ivy. (I can tell because the first thing he said to me was snarky just like usual.) We all went out for a drink to catch up. Ivy, of course, got so far in his cups that he could hardly talk, and we were heading back to town when he and Matt noticed that someone was lighting all the beacons. I thought we ought to go get the magistrate, but the rest of them said we should see who it was. We barely approached them when they began shooting at us. Ivy and Matt killed two of them, but then as soon as they fell some horrible tentacled thing exploded out of their bodies. A few of them fled, but one of them attacked a passerby. That’s when I figured that all this had gotten way too far over our heads and I did what I should have done in the first place and ran for von Carris to tell him what was happening.

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Maya's Journal 2

I still don’t think this is helping. It’s not like anyone at home listens to me, why should a stupid book help any. Even if I did try to talk to Mother she would just nod and tell me to go put on a dress and was my face. So I guess I’ll just keep talking to Magistrate VonKaris and writing in this, since he want’s me too. Hitting things is so much more satisfying. I’m gonna go do that instead.

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Cyprian's Journal- Session 2

This is the Diary of Cyprian Miller. TOP SECRIT STAY OUT THIS MEANS YOU.
If you are still reading and you are not Cyprian Miller I hereby curse you to have all of your blood boil in your vanes and cook you from the inside out. And Annabel I curse you TWICE.

1 Courting
Its finally Courting, hooray! Courting is my favorite month. Its beautiful outside and everyone is nicer to each other and then there is Loversfeast. I loooooove Loversfeast it is the sweetest and most romantic thing ever. I havent ever declared myself for anyone before. I was going declare for Ivy last Loversfeast but then he was being horrible and saying that Courting was stupid and that human afection is affemerl effemeral and so then I was going to declare for Matt but then we went on a walk in the field and he wouldnt hold my hand and help me over the fence when I asked him to because he said that I could get over the fence by myself, he’d seen me do it hundreds of times, and when I told him that that wasnt the point and he wasnt being shivelrus he said he didnt even know what that means. So I didnt declare for anybody. But this year Im going to declare for MATT!! Whenever I ask my mother about declaring and Loversfeast rituals she gets teary and says that I am growing up so fast. I love my mother and she is good to me but she insists on treating me like such a child! Like after the thing that happened with Waylon she wouldnt let me sleep in my own room for two whole days and then she didnt let me out without my older sisters for a week after that.

I do get to go out now though. And Maya can come over whenever she wants because my mother likes her. She is over a lot because shes trying to avoid her mother and sister and I dont blame her because her mother is always trying to get her to be ladylike and her sister is a horrible little shrew and I hope she gets colera. Maya has started going fishing a lot though which I hate. I mean you have shove a hook right through a worm and then the fish swallows it and rips his insides all up and it is the most cruel thing ever I dont understand how she does it. So I spend a lot of time at Vance farm watching Matt practice his archery. And watching his sister Emily practice her archery. And watching Wade Cooper watch Emily. Hes really atentive to her and its adorable. I wish Matt would be like that with me. I told him that it looked like they were in love and he was just “Eww, thats my sister.” So he didnt get the hint at all. Oh well.

3 Courting
I went to the market with Matt and Maya and Ivy and Quinn. And guess what! Matt bought this big ruby in a setting with onix and he wasnt saying what it was for! I wasnt going to ask because I didnt want to seem presumptous but I also was going to try to get him to buy me a flower and I figured I had better not do that. It was SO pretty too. I hope I hope I hope! I did want a flower but I didnt want to buy one for myself because if you buy yourself flowers and people dont know it was you they will think you have a beau already and if they do know it was you theyll just think your pathetic and either way you will wind up an old maid. Ivy bought a couple of gems too. And Quinn STOLE some. I didnt want him to get in trouble but I dont want him to steal things either. I guess somebody caught him because he was pickpocketed and there was a note telling him to go to a stall. It was very mysterious. So I followed him and there was this place that looked really boring on the outside but inside it was full of clockwork and neat things and the propryeter was a gnome and he did magic! He made the gems dissapear and then he sent us all on a quest to find them. And then he changed the whole inside of his shop! It was the most wonderful thing.

The guy said that we had to talk to Annabel to find the first gem. So we went to try to find them and we saw a scale that was HUGE. Maya and Matt said it was a fish person, but not like a mermaid. (I have always hoped that I would see a mermaid but I guess today is not my lucky day either.) We followed them to the dry goods barn and there was the most horrible thing there! It was not like a mermaid at all. I dont even want to think about it it was so full of… of malevolents. It started gibbering and everyone ran at it. It stabbed Quinn in the arm and I threw a rock at him and it hit him in the face. I saw it go into his head a little and I thought I was going to be sick but Matt was next to me and that helped. Then it hit Ivy so hard that when he tried to run away he passed out. Quinn got Ivy’s bleeding stopped but then he passed out so somehow I managed to get a turnequit around his arm. Matt shot it and Maya slammed it into the door and we killed it. I killed something. I mean, I didnt do anything but throw a rock but I was the first one to hurt it so that means I share the responsability right? I share the responsability for the death of a living creeture. Stupid Quinn and his stupid gems. He just had to go and steal them and now we all have blood on our hands.

AND THEN I went to get the majistrate or Mister Pritchard and NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE ME and my mother started dragging me off like a little kid and even though I was screaming and crying everyone thought I was making it up. I mean I know that I like to tell storys but especially after the last thing that happened I cant believe she thinks I would joke about this. At least she believed me when she saw the rest of them coming up the path and she was really sorry. The majistrate told us to help find the den of these things and he gave us a magic stone that would make the adults come. And then he gave me a magic wand that would heal. AND THEN the majistrate saw Quinn’s note and it was glowing and he DISSAPPEARED. This is just the weirdest day.

Still, Matt got me a flower after all. It was really pretty and I put it in my hair. And Ivy got me a gem! I had a ribbon to put it on my neck and it looks really nice. Maybe I should reconsider about Ivy.

3 Courting, later
We went back to the warehouse and climbed under the floorboards and there were RATS there. I would have been so disgusted if I didnt know there were way worse things here. While we were hiding, Waylon and Stick and Annabel came out of the basement and they were right on top of us. And Quinn said that Waylon was infected by monster. I don’t even know what that means but it cant be good. When they ran out we quickly went down to the basement and into the places where children dont go. We found a bunch of potions and theres a cave under there. So we went into the cave. And there was something in there. And I am not going to say anything about what that something was. And please god I am not going to think about it ever again.

Ivy activated the stone and it started glowing. Then there was something that put the lights out. I had a small glimpse of it— a weird coral thing with green flames on it. Then I decided I wouldnt look at it either. I couldnt look anywhere because everywhere there was something even worse. So I just huddled into the wall and Ivy came and sat next to me. But then I heard that people were getting attacked. The majistrate trusted me to carry the healing wand and I cant just be afraid all the time. My friends need me. So I went in. And the next thing I saw was a half-naked Maggie running at Matt. At least I couldnt be horrified any more than I already am. There was a half-naked fish man who hit Matt with some magic thing and Quinn threw something that made the whole cave glow. Everything was happening so fast around us. Maggie was attacking us and then she fell over. I knew that if I healed her with the wand then she would hurt us again but if I didnt then she would die. I tried to help her by cleaning up her wounds but it didnt work. But then Ivy stopped her bleeding which I wouldnt have expected in a million years.

And then Matt’s heart was in my hand. And my mouth.
i am done writing now.

I don’t know what day, Courting
I dont know what happened. I know I did something. Made it stop being true. Made Matt stop being dead. If I think about it I can remember a feeling like I was giving him my life. But I try not to think about it because when I do I remember the taste of Matt’s blood in my mouth and then I have to throw up.

I will be lucky if Mother lets me out of the house for the festival but if she doesnt then thats really okay. I dont need to declare myself for Matt in front of everybody. I declared myself for Matt in the face of death and in the face of the gods. I couldnt have saved him if they hadnt accepted my will. So if I just have to wisper his name to myself on Loversfeast day that will be okay. I hung up the flower he gave me. It was tied to the shiv and so the outsides of the petals are all stained red. As the flower dries the petals will get darker. Eventually I wont be able to tell theres anything on them at all.

I keep having these dreams. In them, Matt is dead and I am dead, but its okay because we can visit each other. We both froze to death I guess because we have no color at all. And we dont ever get any older. Its strange. I went to visit Matt when my mother was out at the market (she barley lets me out of her sight now.) I dont think he knows what happened and I am not really ready to tell him yet. I guess hes okay except his hair is bright red now. Its weird, but not exactly bad. It looks all right on him. I found something for him. Im going to give it to him on Loversfeast. Its not like its expensive or special really but I kind of want him to have it. I found two stones down by the shore the day I snuck out to see him. They were worn so they were flat and smooth and they were grey with vanes of white— I think its called kortz or something like that. Each of them was in the shape of a heart, just big enough to fit in the palms of our hands. I hope he will like it.

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Von Carris Journal

Insufferable made-up holidays, I didn’t like them back home and I don’t like them here… still i suppose I should get something for Mel, she seems insistant that bowing to the customs of these people is important.

I think i dread this month because of what it means to the children. this is when it begins, and so often i’ve seen groups of them fail, or die horribly. Still maybe this year will be different.


later in different ink———-

That insufferable fool… his interferance has once again led to chaos. I can only hope that this time he didn’t outright whisper the plan inot their ears… I feel the worst for Mrs. Miller, I think they’re the only family in town that has never… but no, we must try to let things play out , regardless of the machinations of that trickster…


much later——————————-

you would think after all of these years it would get easier. Forcing them into that cave… still they all lived, though some of the scars of that experience may have made the whole process for naught. The miller girl in particular has lost some light… as has Mels child. I hope that the strength of their friendship holds them all together… seeing this happen again makes me nostalic for home… maybe i can con mel into making some tortillas on the sly…i would kill for a burrito.

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Ivellious' Journal #2

Courting is fun. it’s always so funny to watch the humans scurry about…. I bought Cyprian and Maya a gem, but I gave the more expensive one to Cyprian ’cause i kinda feel bad about being as mean as i have been in the past, and the almost constant teasing me and Quin deal to her I feel like i owe her and after last month…. well, i suppose she might be worth looking in to in a few years.

Quin stole something, of course. that’s kind of like saying that people breathe or that humans smell like dirt. And of course he got what he stole stolen by a gnome who then sent him on some Quest wherein we apparently need to find Anabelle. just what I wanted to do, find the creepy sister of the groups resident spear-wielding washboard.

Kua-toa suck. And they hurt. AGAIN. Why is it that I always seem to be the one getting knocked out? I mean I totally had a reason for running up to it and trying to fight it! I mean, it spotted Quin and I knew if I didn’t get to it first it would be coming after him AND Cyprian! well, I suppose Maya as well, but I suppose she could have taken care of herself.

Not that it did very much. That Kua-Toa stabbed him in the arm and it looked like it hurt and he’s always been a bit frail so I was really worried. I tried to hit the creepy bastard but his skin was too tough. and then he hit me really hard and i thought i should run so i did. and then things went dark.

When I woke up Mr. Pritchard was standing over me again. then Mr. Von Carris asked us to go back into the Kua-Toa infested Barn and plant a rock and say a word so they could find where they came from… And then I told Cyprian to check her pockets (where I told Quin to plant the gem I bought her) and then we left for the barn…
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

And so we returned. Cyprian did something weird to Matthew and brought him back form the dead with a wand. Never heard of that. At all. Note to self: Ask Mother about that. Not going to think about that bit anymore. I had to save the Half-orc girl. I wanted to slit her throat, but there were others around. I’m tired of these fools trying to kill me. Death seemed like a more permanent solution, but apparently even that’s not quite true. I suppose I’ll have to look into a way to make sure there’s less of a chance of them coming back…

oh well. I have studying to do, I guess. I’m so tired of being weak.

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Matt's Journal 2

Cyp’s been weird lately. I don’t know what she’s thinking about, really, but she does a lot of pretending that she’s not actually looking at me. She comes to watch a lot when I practice with my bow, and Emily’s been saying she likes me. I know she likes me. We’ve been friends and known each other our whole lives. I like her too.

At least my trapping is getting better. Grandpa keeps teaching me stuff that I don’t think the other trappers in the village use. Stuff like pits and deadfalls and things. I think that regular snares work a lot better, but he says that I should know them well. He has some stories that have things like moats and people falling into pits with spikes, and touching bits of rope that cause tree trunks to swing out of the woods. It’s sounds kind of scary, but I guess since he thinks I should know them I’ll keep trying little ones. They’re actually kind of fun, and I think that I’ve been making some improvements on a few. Once I figure out whether they’re better than what he showed me I’ll see what he thinks.

Today I’m going shopping for Wee Jas’ birthday. Grandpa gave me some money for shopping at the market. There was a teardrop that I saw last year that had some onyx with it that I liked. Maybe I can find something like that again this year.
==
I spent a couple of gold on something that I really like. I know that I should probably give the rest back to Grandpa, but I think I might get something for everybody else. I guess I might give some to the flower seller that Quinn took some gems from and give him some extra to make up for it. I only have a little money, but that’s ok, I guess. I got a flower for Cyp, too. I hope she likes it, when I find her. She seemed to like when I gave her that candy.
==
I think she did. She squeaked a little, and smiled really big, and said that she liked it a lot. The shop we were in when I found her was full of machines and stuff. I felt a little weird about it. I really like less complicated things better. Apparently Quinn has a quest now. We found the bad kids’ tracks, and they were apparently dragging a bag. There had to be a kuo-toa in there.
==
We got to the warehouse, and we found another terrible thing. I don’t like killing, or hurting things, or having to fight. Why did Quinn and Ivy and Maya all have to start trying to hurt that Kuo-Toa? Quinn and Ivy got wounded pretty badly again. Maya eventually killed the fish-man, I think, but she and I had to drag the elves back to town. Cyp was really bad at telling everybody that we needed help, I guess, and we made it all the way back to town before anybody believed her. I don’t get why these things have happened to us. I want them to stop, though. Maybe Grandpa will tell me how I can stop them. I wish he will. I don’t want to see my friends hurt, and I don’t want to get hurt or hurt things. I don’t know what I could have done after they started the fight aside from helping, though. We had to stop it and get out of there before more trouble showed up, and we had too much trouble to stay there.

I don’t know what’s going on, but there’s something that isn’t right. The Magistrate is a magician. There are people in town who are putting spells on us and each other. I think that this problem with the fish people may not be the only thing going on in town. He knew the tribe that the scale was from. He knows magic. He knows about other people’s magic. I need to talk to Grandpa again, but I don’t think that I have time. We’re deciding to go back to the warehouse now, while it’s light out. Something’s wrong, and I think I might start trying to find out what it is on my own.
==
We went back. There’s a cellar in the warehouse, with a cavern near the back. It’s full of crates, marked with a strange, squared-off Great Circle pattern. We searched for what seemed like ages, and eventually realized that there was a passage hidden there behind them. We crawled through to my doom. I don’t know what it was, but some profane structure of coral was in there. It glowed with green flames in place of torches, and emanated an oily kind of blackness that filled the cavern. Opposite the passageway is a shipwreck and a narrow beach.

As I entered the cavern, I saw a mass of flesh that I couldn’t even begin to describe. It pulsed, like it had a heartbeat or was drawing breath. I picked out heads, torsos, random bits of arms and legs. It slid – or slithered – towards the water as we fought a sorcerer Kuo-Toa and Maggie. I don’t know what she was doing there, but she eventually dropped. I can only guess that Maya was close to dropping it.

Just at that moment, though, it barked a command, and the puddle of unshaped flesh assumed the form of a hippogryph. Before I could react, it was on me. I barely had time to feel the spurs of bone and claw tearing through me, shredding my body to ribbons. It broke my bones, separated my organs, and crushed my skull in its beak. As I saw its mouth close around face, everything went black, and I opened my eyes upon Elysium.

I could only appreciate it – drink it in, really; it was beautiful – before a pale, exquisite hand burst from the ground behind me. It took hold of my collar, and again, before I could react, I was dragged out of the world. That hand dragged me through what felt like miles of earth, but no tunnel preceded me. Rocks and dirt were forced to give way before me, but only because my body wasn’t permitted to yield to them as that divine force hurled me through the planes.
==
When I woke up this morning, everybody was staring at me. I didn’t know where I was or how I got there, but I guess they were really worried about me. I hope Cyp was all right, since I don’t remember seeing how everyone else was. I know that I got hurt, but I don’t remember how, or what exactly was going on. They filled me in, but… I don’t know. It was strange. It is strange.

And after a little while, I noticed that they were looking at me strangely, and I asked what was wrong. I felt ok, other than being really tired and feeling like I had a really bad sunburn on my shoulders or something. The Magistrate said that I had red hair. Really red. Like the color of strawberries. I wondered what happened down there that I don’t remember.

The gift that I bought at market is gone now, too. Nobody found it in the cavern, and it wasn’t in the stuff that they took out of my pockets. Everything else was there though.

Cyp does seem ok now. She’s a little off, I think, but it was really scary down there. I don’t blame her at all. I like her a lot, and I’m glad she came to visit me today in bed. I hope that she and I stay friends for a long time.

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Maya's Stupid Journal
since they are making me do this

Magistrate von Carris thinks writing in a journal will help me since the forest. I HATE writing. This is so stupid. Like sitting and writing in a book will make anything better… Although it seems to work for Cyprian, so who knows. But it’s not like I can actually write down feelings or stuff, since my stupid sister might read it. And I’m sure my mom is going to check what I am writing. This is dumb.

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Von Carris Report 1

Ice, it is a cruel month frozen over and filled with little issues. Still, the village seems in good spirits this year. It has been 249 days since our last major accident in town and 600 since we’ve sighted any monsters; all in all things seem to be going well.

Ice continues to go well, today Emily Vance and The Miller Sisters helped Wade Cooper prepare the wood from the boathouse for the festivities tents. 250 days since our last accident, 601/M

Third day of ice… I once had an apprentice born on this day, tall boy. Nothing major to report on this day. Stage construction continues. 251/A 602/M

There is no entry

It seems that our monster counter has to restart… still we were able to hide the creatures presence from the children. I have locked it in the holding cells in the Manor for now. In better news the Starksmith clan has donated some funds to the city coffers in case of emergency repairs, and it has nothing to do with a bet I made SS about our current safety rate! ;) 253/A 0/M

The monster issues seem to not be related to anything, so were fairly sure it’s isolated. 254/A 1/M

Pritchard is a nice fellow, but when will he learn that bowing to other creatures for power isn’t going to end well…maybe when he’s seen what I have. 255/A 2/M

256/A 3/M
257/A 4/M

Preparation has begun in earnest for the feast and I can smell the cooking fires burning from here in the woods. The Aberrant subject I have acquired is rather primitive, being only a small mass of tentacles, still it’s physiology is quite complex. I shall have to make more accurate drawings 258/A 5M

Today… started with so much promise. sighs I should begin expecting this sort of thing shouldn’t I. Apparently one of Mel’s sons chopped the Carver boy’s hand off. I feel bad for the Carver boy but Ivellios was clearly defending the young Miss Miller. Also according to Pritchard, Vance the younger seems to be blooming into quite the man-at-arms… the general should be proud. I hate resetting these counters… 0/A 6/M

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Ivellious' Journal

I don’t like Ice. It’s not the cold i dislike, quite the opposite. It’s the darkness. It scares me in so many ways… The tournament is always fun to watch, but Mother always goes away. That’s honestly the worst part. mother is so powerful, I just know it. This year she sung a sword form a tree for me. she’s been teaching me words of Elven and the basics of it’s speech. I wish i could meet more of us. Being one of three within any reasonable travel distance, it feels like no matter how much I learn there is always more. I’ve heard so much about the City of Light form Mother, but every time I ask why we don’t live there she get s a strange look and the conversation ends.

11th day of Ice:
Today is the tournament. I’m going to head into town and compete. Mother has been teaching me how to use a sword, I love it. it gives me something to do when I’m not in school, i almost feel a tangible connection to my heritage when I’m practicing. Sometimes, I even pretend I’m Captain Corelleon.
So, the competition was against one of the Carver boys, he seems nice enough, so i didn’t want to embarrass him too badly. He hit me pretty good too. It was a good fight. For a human. I’m gonna be feeling that bruise for a long time.

The other human, the one who hangs around with the shy girl and the tomboy, Matthew Vance. I fought him in the final round. He did well enough, I suppose. it was a let down. his fight before said he had intelligence enough to use an enemy’s weakness against them, but i thought he’d be able to take a few more hits than that.

It was nice to win the contest, but without even my Brother there to congratulate me, it felt like it wasn’t worth anything. the people of the village all cheered, but looking at the Vance boy’s family patting him on the back and being close made me feel so alone. Well, if I’m going to be alone I’ll be fully alone.
________________________________________________________

So, I ruined a boys life. I cut off his hand in a moment of hatred. He was going to kill me, i could see it in his eyes. I know I only went to get rid of his weapon-hand, but if he hadn’t gotten medical attention he would have died. All I could think was that if he was going to extinguish my light, I’d take his with me.

I thought I’d feel something more than this. I’ve dreamed of being like Captain Corelleon Larethian. Now the feeling of being an outsider is even stronger. I’ve been told that the Vance boy made sure I didn’t die waiting for Mister Pritchard. Now the entire Carver family doesn’t talk to me. I don’t think they like the fact that one of their children tried to kill me and I defended myself. My brother and I are now in danger, for all I can tell. as much as i hate the darkness, someone lit a torch and threw it into our house. then someone defiled our front door. I made a new one (as best as I could) but the fact remains. Someone is saying we aren’t welcome. I tried to live on my own. I know Mother could have done it, but apparently I just can’t hold a candle to her. Snow fell on me and again i felt the darkness. then i was in the Magistrates home in the woods, the creepy woods that i never felt safe in. he let me stay there because he said Mother would kill him if he had let anything happen to me.

Why can’t I help myself? Is cutting off some child’s hand going to be the height of my life? The other kids my age are even harder for me to face than the adults. how can i face them after that? the Carver boy’s friends, my own small group… all of them. they’re just human, how can I expect them to move beyond this when I can’t?

I told Mother, when she got home and i had explained everything, that i want power. she told me about responsibility and how the cycles of Nature have power. I know she’s a Druid and that’s how she always talks about Nature, but I don’t think she really understands why I want power. I’m not even sure why, but i can guess. I want it so that no one will ever do anything to hurt me again. I want power so that I can turn the very world against the people who want to hurt me or those I want to protect. I want it so bad I cry some times. I sleep with he sword Mother sang for me.

I want Power.

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Matt's Journal

Session 1 – The prologue – Ice always sucks. I hate this expectation that I’m going to be a great fighter, and take on the world. I don’t want to be on the front lines like Grandfather, and I’m tired of being beaten up by my brothers. I even like the Empire, I guess. I don’t want to swing a sword and gut people and be glorious and honorable. I like the woods, and trapping, and learning about animals and stuff. I just hate that they all pick on me and beat me up and expect me to win this stupid tournament or something. So whatever. I’m going to go and shoot a bow, because I think I could do pretty well. Watching my brothers get angry because they’re terrible showed me what not to do, at least.

I like Cyp. She’s cute, and giggles a lot. She writes a lot, which I don’t get, but I think she likes to learn stuff. I heard once that that’s what books are for, and she’s always talking about one, or reading one and getting yelled at for almost breaking it. Maya’s a cow, though. She hits me a lot, too, but it’s ok. I have to see her when I see Cyp, so it’s one of those character-building things that General Grandpa is always talking about.

I guess maybe it would be ok if I was in the contest and Cyp liked how I did. Maybe I’ll be able to beat that dumb Maya and I’ll get a cool bow for Thaw.

So Maya and I didn’t fight, but it was pretty ok. I beat an even bigger cow, Maggie! It was great! She just got mad, and I stepped out of the way, and she ran right out of the ring! I tried to get her to run into Annabelle, but that didn’t work. She tripped first. So I did ok. Stick tried to cover his club in ice before we fought, and he made me bleed, but I wrestled him. So they both got kicked out of the tournament and I won both matches. My brothers told me I did ok, and that was good.

I was so happy when I tricked Maggie that I hugged Cyp, and it was kind of weird. It was kind of nice too. I wonder when the bow contest is.

After the contest it got pretty bad. The bad kids tried to kill Ivy and Cyp in the woods, and we showed up to help after Cyp started screaming about something. Whalen lost his hand when Ivy cut it off. I distracted him before it happened. Suddenly everybody was screaming, but I was the only one who could help. I stuck his arm in the snow and I cleaned Ivy where he got cut. It was terrifying, and there was blood everywhere. I’m not sure whether we did the right thing, but it seems like everybody at home is proud of me. They can’t say it though, because Whalen is hurt pretty bad.

After I made sure all the bleeding stopped, I tried to help Cyp and Stick stop screaming. Annabelle and Maggie ran off, and after [Sascha] threatened him, Stick ran off too. I never saw Cyp like that before, and it was scary. I hope she’s ok. She calmed down a little after I talked to her and hugged her quick, and I think she was better. Then Mister Pritchard came and made sure everything was ok. My brothers took Whalen away, and now people in town aren’t talking to each other the same way. I feel a little bad for him, but he cut Ivy really badly. I wish I could have stopped him.

I talked to Grandpa and Mister Pritchard a lot since then. Grandpa is proud of me. He said I did good, and I think my brothers are pretty proud of me too, but they haven’t said so. Mister Pritchard is a good man, and said that I’m a good person. Both of them said that I should keep that. I hope I never have to do that again though. I don’t want to see that much blood, and I especially don’t want to see it from my friends.

I want to forget this, but I don’t know if I should. Grandpa told me that I shouldn’t, but it’s scary.

I got a bow at Thaw. It’s beautiful, and I can hardly draw it. Grandpa said that it’s old, and very good, and that I should learn to use it really well. He’s a good person, and I’m glad that he’s still here to talk to me when I remember that day and get scared again. He’s been showing me how to use it, and I think I’m getting better every day.

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