My First Journal

‘I hate crowds. Everything about them. The noise. The eyes. The people. The hands. The footsteps. The Risk. Too much all at once. Easier to just avoid it. Only sometimes I can’t avoid it. Like the tavern. Or like Convocation.

Convocation. I didn’t know that I’d need to attend to get baptized. I’d thought I could just have Cadence dunk me in the stream and call it good. I wish. Instead I had to stay near so many people. All looking at things. All breathing. All sitting. And other people were looking at ME because I’m a freak who’s Standing near all the people Sitting. Bundled up trying to Hide without a place to Hide. And THEN Clemence Points at me and THEN they ALL look at me and THEN my hands cant Stay Still and all I want to do is Hide and Run or Run and Hide or just Not Be Here and Cadence Looks at me too and then I have to walk over away from a wall and be In Front of people and she takes my Hand and says words that make it easier but they’re all still Looking and I j us t W ant- ‘

Milo curses and checks the pen in their hand. Undamaged, thankfully. They were sure that Alphonse would notice if the pen didn’t work anymore. The paper was ruined, though. They’d pressed too hard and tore the sheet. Their heart was beating too fast in their chest. So much for practicing their writing.

They slipped the pen back into Alphonse’s bag and crumpled the paper into their pocket. They’d try again another time. When their thoughts weren’t so Loud.

Late Night Watch

Milo crouched low, huddled within their dark dyed cloak and blending into the night. The grounds surrounding the Owls Nest were well illuminated even at night, forcing them to stay just outside the gates. That suited Milo just fine. They’d spent the last few days figuring out which room they would need to watch, and had a nice spot in a tree that they could see it clearly from. Milo relaxed a little as lights began going out in windows all around the castle. Just the relatively lax night shift now.

Milo’s mind wandered to the feasting grounds. What a shitshow. Two Convocations and both of them were trials. A town guard shot a guy in the chest point-blank. Their friend was knighted into the Templars by a sword. Shit like that didn’t happen other places. And that Melandihim… Milo let out a soft sigh. What had they gotten themself into?

They hugged their cloak tighter around their shoulders. It was nice to wear something they hadn’t put together for a change. Suzette did good work. And Fabron had really come through on those knives. Maybe this wasn’t all bad. Folks here were nice. Mostly at least. Some were assholes. Best not to dwell on that though. Milo would stay for a while longer. The cat was already out of the bag with Ludovic, anyways. Hopefully he wasn’t one of the assholes.

A half written letter sitting in the monastery


I am sorry it has been so long since I last sent a letter. Between building and farming, my time in Stragosa has been more busy than I’d thought. The last letter I sent, I believe, was a little over a year and a half ago, shortly before I left Lethia, and much had happened. I learned to read, for one! In fact, I am writing this very letter myself!

I’ve learned much in my time here. I feel that I’ve grown into a stronger person, both within and without. I’ve met wonderful people from all corners of the Throne, some even from Sha’ra! I’ve met Mages and Princes, repelled Ghouls and Malefic, and heard the most wonderful songs and stories. In truth, as much as I miss home, I am beginning to feel happy here. My feet finally feel as though they’ve settled on solid ground, and I’m finding myself planning for the future.

Sanguine says we’re to begin working on the Fortress Monastery this coming season, which I’m quite looking forward to. I’ve been preparing for the upcoming Hearthwise ceremonies (they’re celebrated here as well) and I’m quite looking forward to the Ice Doll next season. I’ve begun planning a large Springtime feast as well! I’ve met quite a few herbalists in the city, and I believe that with their help I could feed the entire market! I feel as though I’m finally finding my place, that I’m finally doing good in the world on my own terms.

I hope you’re doing well, also. I know that the Gothic winters have never agreed with you. I assume Clypeus is reading this to you, have him get my blanket from the loft, should you need it. I hope the horses arent giving you too much trouble, did you ever find a new farmha

Lysander looks up from his desk as a cry comes from the courtyard. He stands and crosses his small, sparsley furnished monastery room, a look of worry on his face. He sees the city of Stragosa, his new home, under siege, the vision cutting through him like a cold knife. He hastily dons his leather armor and weapon, slinging in his satchel over his shoulder, and then rushes from his room.

The Longest Night 604

People of Stragosa,

As you may know, Juleis is upon us, and with it the Longest Night of the year. The Hearthwise of Stragosa are seeking assistance in watching over the yule fire for the duration of Saturday night. Please contact Sir Lysander Freiheit at the Monastery in Province 69 or at forum to volunteer.

A messy, if deliberate, ramble

I was seventeen when my Charismata was discovered. Most are found much earlier than myself. A member of the clergy may notice a particularly gifted or peculiar youth and have them checked by a proper paladin. We can sense each other, I’m told. I’ve never tried. I think I feel normal.

That I was able to go so long without being discovered is strange, especially given my circumstances. My father died when I was quite young, and in his place Father Clypeus helped my mother raise me. He said that his closeness with me blinded him to it. I’ve not known him to lie. When we went to convocation, my mother always seated us close to the door. She hates crowded spaces. Reminds her of the pens, she says. Nobody spoke to us much, except for Clypeus. My mother was always clearly “other,” be it the way she dressed, spoke, or behaved.

People were never mean, mind you. Just quiet. Conversations had a way if dying when she entered the room. She said it was because she was a “Shar’Aslan.” Desert lion, I believe. My knowledge of Shariqyn is broken at absolute best. She was an outsider. I suppose that’s all people could see her as. And I am her son. The boy who speaks with an accent despite not knowing any other languages. The silence that followed her had a way of clinging to myself, as well.

I was still a “Proper Gothic Man” despite my origin. I grew up on a ranch. My mother was quite talented at tending to horses. She says it’s because, in her oldest life, she was a “Rakib.” I don’t know what that means. Her skills were valuable, though. I didn’t understand them the way she did. I always enjoyed working the fields, though. The slow transformation of a barren patch of dirt to a rolling field of golden grain will always be my gospel. To create food from nothing but work hard work. The kind that leaves you sore at the end of the day, that makes the night’s sleep all the more enjoyable. It is my passion. My trade. Often times, I find myself thinking that I am more farmer than Paladin.

I fear that I may be rambling. I was already a man in my own right when I was discovered. I was expected to soon start a family of my own. My place in life was set. Or, rather, I thought it was set. Back then, if I’d been asked what I would be doing in seven years, I would never have said “repelling Malefic in a cursed valley.” In a way, I mourn for my old life. For the version of me that stayed in Woefeldt. What would he have been like? I don’t suppose I’ll ever know. That version of me is dead.

I don’t know why I’ve written this. Azzam told me to practice writing each letter a hundred times, but I’ve already done that. Perhaps I just wanted to get the thoughts out of my head and on paper. Jurnaling? I’ve just asked a clergy member, turns out it’s spelled Journaling. Maybe I should start, now that I can write. Hopefully my next entries are less dour than this one.

A vision

Lysander jolted out of his trance, tears flowing from his eyes.
A weeping woman in white.
A ring.
A chest.
His eyes darted to the box before him. That chest. The whispers sounded almost congratulatory, but eerie nonetheless. The young paladin stood and began pacing his small room. He’d never attempted that ritual before, and hadn’t expected the visions to be so… Vivid. Emotional. Lysander ran a hand through his hair, brushing a few stray locks from his face.
Woman in white. But not all white. There was red. The deep crimson of blood. And a ring? In a chest. That chest. Marriage? A bride, perhaps? What about the groom? Was the blood his? Did she… No, she wouldn’t be crying.
Lysander came to a stop near the chest and placed a hand on it. The whispers got just a little louder. Far be it from him to criticize, but why couldn’t an archangel give more concrete answers? Perhaps he’d have to pray on the subject some more. But not now. He still felt a drained from the ritual. Emotionally, more than anything. Maybe it was time for a walk.
He grabbed his white robe from his bed. Lysander rarely left his room without it. He hated dressing the part of paladin, desperately missing his nice, comfortable peasant garb, but he’d found that he could wear just about anything under the robe, since it covered his entire body when buttoned. Besides, it held sentimental value. His friends back in Woefeldt bought it for him.
Where to first? He could walk into town, he supposed. No, there’d be too many people. He liked that his presence seemed to cheer up the people around him, but he tended to draw crowds as a result. Maybe a walk in the woods? Clypeus had made sure to teach him wilderness navigation during his training as a Nuranihim, may as well use it… But he was still on edge from the ritual. Though his Gift protected him from fear, it did not protect him from the heebie jeebies.
Maybe he’d visit some of the farms. If he was lucky, he might even manage to convince someone to let him lend a hand. That sounded nice, he thought. A tour of the farms it was.
Another whisper came from the box. Lysander frowned before setting his testimonium atop it. The whispers stopped.