Jagged-edged parchment lays compressed between two pieces of shark hide, bound together by a cord of the same grey hide.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015
The Father Shark of the Night Sky
There in the midst of the water, gliding peacefully in concentric circles, were seven sharks.
The first, being the smallest and most nimble of the seven, swam near the surface of the water. He would break the still waters with his dorsal fin, leaving a wake of rippling waves behind him. You see, he was still young and free of the cares that trouble sharks in their later years. Humans were not the enemy, and he did not have the taste for blood as his brothers did. Did he eat? Of course, but there was not the Blood-lust driving him. Not yet. Ignorance reigned in his young life; only when the Father Shark would cast a darkened and scarred gaze towards the brightened waters, would the pup return to his ritualistic circles.
The second, having lived a mere two years longer than the first, already encountered the primitive humans that walked along the shores bordering their domain. A long slash from gill to pectoral fin was still giving him troubles, now a year removed from the accident involving the fishing boat and the hooked oar. He had learned the temptation of blood, learned how to give into it completely, learned the consequences of not listening to those older, those wiser. He often swayed from the ritualistic circles, and not even the Father Shark's cold gaze was enough to bring him back to the path. It would take the brutality of the third shark to keep the second in line.
The third, despised by the older for his 'youth' and rejected by the younger because of his place of authority in the circles, spent endless marcs swimming his circle. There, in the mixture of warm and cooling waters, where the rays of heat from the 'rifter were just enough to make the water a sickening lukewarm temperature, he would contemplate the path he had chosen. Between the occasionally glances upwards to check on the pups, and the longing looks towards the lower rungs of their ranks, he would devise improbable solutions to eradicating the human threat that loomed over them any time the seas were still like this.
The fourth and fifth, brothers born simultaneously, would spend equal time swimming in their circles before switching. It was their idea, and one the Father Shark approved of without hesitation. Their reasoning was that they were born together, and should share all with each other. When one was struck by the blunt end of a long spear as a pup, the other bit the hand off of the fisherman, then to share in the experience, he cast himself against a reef; feeling the pain and sharing the blood. Kind sharks, they were the most ruthless when it came to protecting the treasure below. Unspoken communication made them deadly, as one would strike just as the other would retreat; never allowing their enemy a moment of rest.
The sixth, direct son to the Father Shark, was to take his place at the lowest rung when the Father Shark went the way of the long flow: taken out to the darkest depths of the sea until his passing. At that point, another pup would be appointed, and each shark would swim a bit lower from the surface. It was this one that truly watched over the Shiver. The Father Shark was almost a figurehead at this point; though it was not always that way. The sixth was meant to watch first, learn, then when the Father Shark determined he was ready, lead. To move to the seventh rung was nothing more than a place of honor after that point.
The seventh. The Father Shark, so aptly named not because he was the sire of all pups in the Shiver, but because he was the provider, the protector, the one to strike first when another Shiver came too close. He swam the largest of the circles, furthest from the treasure, having senses long since trained to distinguish between friend or foe. It had been years since he gave into the Blood-lust, years since he had to lead his six to war with another Shiver. Peace was coming to him, and his ancient soul longed for it. With one eye to the darkness surrounding, and the other towards the treasure, he kept the course.
It was then, as he was rounding the Spear-Rock to the south, that a fissure opened and cast the most brilliant of lights the Father Shark had ever seen. A voice echoed from within, praising him for his duty and dedication to protecting his Shiver. His mind, aged but still sharp, urged his body to swim fiercely towards the light.
Suddenly, the light vanished and the Father Shark was returned to his previous course. Confused, he turned once more to investigate. Upon reaching where the light emanated from, a beam shot down from the heavens, illuminating the Father Shark and suspending him in the depths. Slowly, he was pulled towards the surface, passing by the other rungs of sharks; though, none noticed the light or the ascending shark. Just as he broke the surface, the demon eyes above glowed down upon him, turning his skin from the rough, aged, gray to a pristine black. Further, still, he rose into the air. Each passing moment brought him a greater peace.
Finally, resting among the stars, he looked down and could see clearly each of the Shiver still swimming below. The voice rushed forth, once more, praising his duty and dedication. It spoke of home and joining the Father Sharks of lore. Here, he would rest and watch over his Shiver permanently.
And so comes the constellation of the Father Shark.
Thursday, 23 April 2015
The Trainers have seen to it that I continue my training. I am nine lessons away from being where I was before the disease sapped my body of its strength. Rosaline has been a great help. Sorynn, though she refuses to be paid, would be as well, but I find it difficult to ask her to such a menial task as healing while I train.
Beyond this, there is nothing to report.
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
Well, it has been several turns since the illness left my body ravaged. Some things have returned to a level that could possibly be considered normal...
My time has been taken by my student, Emilia. She has seen to ensuring I eat; a wasted venture, but one that I will not turn away.
I've taken up residence in Caern, once more. It's been too long since I spent any time here.
Friday, 17 April 2015
Turn Twenty and Three.
The illness has lifted. I feel it. Color returns to my cheeks, though my body remains withered and frail. Sorynn assures me grace will return to my step, along with skill... We shall see.
Twenty and Three turns. I am unsure if any have suffered an illness as long as that, and I'd not wish it on them...
Thursday, 16 April 2015
Turn Twenty and Two.
I am not sure how many marcs I spent with Emi, talking in the kitchen. Heh. Talking. Reading. There is something on her mind, I can tell, but it's hard to get her to write it.
That is fine. The Shadows will reveal it in time.
This turn, she brought me Fruit Leaf Tisane and Fish and Fruit Pie. Quite good, the tisane. Not the pie. I told her of how I would come into town and collect the fruit leaves to roll up and stick in my cheek on the way back. Quite an interesting turn. I am to advance soon. Then off to rest.
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
Turn Twenty and One.
This turn I was invited to the ceremony of Apolla and Kenji bonding. Of course, there was no way I would be able to stand for that long, so Apolla was kind enough to fetch me a chair from Caern. The Ceremony was... Hm. For as much as I despise the notion of bonding, the notion of ceremonies to commemorate bondings, and basically the entire line bos dung known as love... it wasn't that bad. I particularly liked the lighting of the lanterns.
In the end, it went well. I was the only one with a chair, so I do suppose this illness has its benefits. Beyond that, I mainly spent the turn speaking with Sorynn and Emi. It appears as if the fear-mongering has passed for the time.
How exciting it is to be the talk of the town, especially when I'm not present.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
I spent much of this turn resting. I did speak to Sorynn for a bit.
"Careful, Nih...your nice is showing."
Monday, 13 April 2015
Turn Nineteen continued.
I had a very long discussion with Emi. It all stemmed from what appears to be a conversation in the Dundee Inn earlier this turn. There were some there, warning her about me. Of course, she had the sense to come to me and ask about it. I immediately opened up and told her the truth to what happened, accepting blame for my part of it all. It is unlikely these attacks will cease, and so I told her I would cherish every moment our friendship continued, and would mourn its end. She assured me, as she could without a voice, that it would not.
She was wearing a dress that I believe Roseden made for her. He seems a kind person, but I've not met him. Perhaps I shall seek him out the next I wake. His work was good, and she did look quite lovely in the dress, even if it wasn't something she cared for.
Very well. That is all for now.
I enjoy writing stories, and occasionally telling them as Isolde could attest (Though, I find she'd likely find reason to refuse). Many of my stories are off the cuff, as mentioned in this journal previously. The following are single line thoughts that spark a story to be weaved.
A series of incredibly short stories:
Willim moved briskly through the night; the fog twirling in his wake. He didn't see the edge of the cliff.
The chalice remained unmoved throughout the years, a daily reminder that milk shouldn't be consumed straight from the teat.
The stormy night blotted out more than just a few house fires, it removed all signs that Joct ever existed.
"Why me?" Pete asked solemnly. He hadn't seen the gods smiling from above when he stumbled upon his own gravestone dated thirty years before.
Sunday, 12 April 2015
Turn seventeen: rested and wrote a few more stories.
Turn eighteen: Will likely do the same.
I've avoided contact with many, including dear Loki, until this disease passes from my body... Eighteen turns so far. My hands even seem to ache...
Friday, 10 April 2015
The Tale of the Friendly Termite
This story begins as any other: A loving father and mother welcome a new life into the world. With it comes screaming cries and dirty floors. Life was grand for the family, even with having to share the tight cottage with not only his family, but hers as well. Eighteen people lived in the two-roomed abode. That didn't include the bos or hens that would have to come in during a frightful storm, either. Needless to say, it was rather thick...
Now, you may be asking yourself, 'What does any of this have to do with a termite?!' Well, I'll tell you, but only in a moment. First, we must evaluate the socio-economic factors that... No, no, sorry. That is simply too thick. Right, then. Here we are. A cottage made of wood and mud and not a small amount of fecal matter. From the corner, horrified, a termite watches as his beloved creation is marred and desecrated by the humans and their unwanted animals.
Clenching his fists in unabated anger, the termite turned and slowly walked away. Many days passed by, his family grew concerned with the incoherent ramblings that carried long into the night. Until, finally, they stopped. He returned to his work in the wood mill, he acknowledged his wife and their dozens of children with a grateful smile each morning, and he would join them at their perfectly chewed table each night for dinner. All was well in the world of the termite clan, and all was well in the human's household... For the time...
Nights turned to days, days to weeks, weeks to months... It would appear the termite had let go of his anger. Appearances can be deceiving. Anger is best when treated like steel: hammered and folded, heated and repeated, cooled and sharpened. In time, it becomes a deadly weapon.
Early one morning, the termite rose from his bed; leaving behind his wife and children, to go and meet in secret with the mass of termites he had enlisted to help him deliver retribution. Shoulder to shoulder, the termites marched from their mounds and into the home of the yet sleeping humans. Up the walls they climbed, moving into the planned positions. Once in place, the signal was given to chew. Termite after termite chomped down on the wood before them, tearing into the grey surface to reveal the soft tones of brown beneath. It did not take long for their task to be accomplished, and just as quickly as they appeared - they were gone.
It was the baby that first noticed something different. Sitting there, in the pile of refuse now formed into a makeshift chair, staring at the wall she seemed confused... or perhaps she simply had a movement, further adding to the chair's distinct color and smell.
Upon the wall was chewed in neat letters, "Please clean up the mess, this house wreaks." When the father woke to the soft gurgling laughs of the dirty child in the next room, he roused himself from slumber and carried heavily to her. Catching the polite message, he rolled his eyes and grabbed a handful of fresh bos dung to wipe over the words.
The termite watched from his corner, hanging his head in defeat. It would come to war, he knew it. Buzzing his wings, he called the masses of termites forth to take control of the filth-ridden cottage. Imagine, termites with saddles riding animals thousands of times larger their own bodies! Well, with determination, anything is possible...
Of course, this would have been wonderful, had a great wave not come crashing down upon the cottage: destroying everything within.
Thursday, 09 April 2015
Turn fourteen went by swiftly. I spent the entirety of my time in the mineshaft north of Branishor. While I rested quite a bit, I did manage to train with Rosaline's ever kind assistance.
Turn fifteen has proven to move along just as quickly, though after so many turns of conserving my energy I am training away most of it.
Tuesday, 07 April 2015
Little accomplished. Rested for the majority of the turn. Finished lessons with Emilia. Will likely attempt to train more this turn.
Sunday, 05 April 2015
Turn eleven and twelve.
I spent much of the turn recuperating from three turns of determined training. I feel this turn will be more of the same.
After much time of silence, I spoke to Achelle. Of course, she only mimed in return. Seems Zanaan does control her. The things accused of me, she has simply found in another.
I do not pity the blind. Their end will be fitting.
Friday, 03 April 2015
I have taken my health for granted. In this weakened state, I've found more determination to press on. Another advancement. New armor. Loan repaid. A good turn, beside the need to vomit and pass out.
Thursday, 02 April 2015
"Nih, I-- I wish the lens you saw yourself through was more clear...I do not see...disfigurement or ugliness....neither within or outside of your self. Perhaps one day, you will learn to extend yourself a bit more grace and mercy..."
How intriguing that one, once nothing more than a foolish Cleric, is now a trusted and respected friend. Wait. Is that to mean that people change?! Certainly. Only a fool would believe otherwise. We all change. Some good, some bad. I still see myself as detached and cold towards a great many, and I am fine with that. Few have proven they deserve any warmth from me.
Yesterturn, late, Emilia and I went to the Temple. She is now a Shadow, she is now a Rogue. This turn, I have advanced. It took all my will to keep going, but eventually, with the help of Rosaline, I obtained enough learning to visit the trainer.
Wednesday, 01 April 2015
Wake up. Wake up. WAKE UP!
This is the eighth turn I've dealt with this blasted illness. To my knowledge, nothing has afflicted anyone in the lands as long. Every passing marc reminds me of just how fragile I am. This feeling of weakness is revolting. Sickening.
It is my hope to take Emilia to the temple this turn, but as the shadows retreat I find it less likely that will occur.
Something good did occur this turn, though. The Crier was going on and on about some buried gold. I found it.