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The Book of Change
Monday, 17 May 2021
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It’s more than halfway though the current cycle already. The previous cycle passed in a blur – I spent my time sitting around the hall, scarcely moving, while I covered sheet after sheet of parchment with my musing. At some point in that time I had so many sheets piled up that I lost this journal for a while.
Now I have a new quill to use, courtesy of the gods, and there is much to write about. The most exciting news is that a way has been found onto the battlements atop the Wall. The revenants are strong. And ready to attack as soon as they are aware of the presence of an adventurer. Only the strongest have much of a chance of survival.
I must lay my quill down for now. I will write more when I wake.

Sunday, 14 March 2021
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These lands are not, as you may know, where I was born. I wandered for a long time before I found my way to Dundee and settled here. But I have kept in touch with those I left behind.
I’ve not written much in this journal about siblings. They, like many other people I had known, were left behind when I set out on what a young boy thought would be a simple task, a short departure to seek vengeance. But that was, as I say, long ago. The family became scattered.
The last communication was not good news. And now I must return home, to lay the last of those siblings to rest. But the paths I have walked on my previous visits have become foreign to me. The laws in this land and in the neighbouring land I must enter are no longer the same in each case. I try to not fret, but the last half-cycle has seen me toss and turn as I vainly seek sleep, while in the intervening marcs I try to see a way that I can go to say my last farewell. Whether I can avoid running foul of laws – necessary but extremely restrictive of travelling – remains to be seen.
I must try to keep the thoughts from my mind, and act as I have done in the past. To do what I must, facing obstacles as they are met rather than picturing them beforehand. This constant worry about the possibilities does no use at all. I know it – and I’m sure my sibling knows it too and that she would look down on me with understanding if I could not go there to whisper a final good bye. But that would break my heart.
Sunday, 28 February 2021
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New Fartown, or The Hollows. Call it what you will. It can be tricky to find the settlement. And I’d guess that was the whole point of setting up the place where it is.
It had been a while since Akassa had visited, she said, and asked if I would go with her for company on the long walk, and to guide her if she went astray. I was more convinced than she of her ability to find the way, but nevertheless I walked along with her.
The settlement is flourishing I’m glad to say. Those who found their way to the safety of the location are well settled and well guarded.
We strolled around for a time, chatting with a few of the people who live there, taking a look at what goods the traders have for sale. There was a storage area full of various vegetables and root crops.
We spoke, Akassa and I, about the vegetables. Some are bigger than others. Some may have a different taste from others. And some may have uses other than as a foodstuff. They are all different – but does that make any of them greater or lesser than the others? I said not, and reminded her that each one is unique and has its own strengths, its own worth. And that being different does not mean being inferior.
That applies to vegetables. And I reminded her that the same applies, to an even greater extent, to the people of these lands. All different. All having different gifts. All having their own unique talents and abilities to offer to others in the defence of these lands which we call home.
Sunday, 14 February 2021
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It’s seems an age since last I slept in the gloom of the N’Rolav tombs. There have been phases in life when those dark halls and dusty sepulchres were a home and refuge for extended periods of time, but those are thankfully behind me. I recall an occasion when I woke to find that one of the guildkin had guarded me while I slept, killing any wretch which came near. They also left a heartening message in my pack, to lift my spirits when I woke.
A few turns ago I’d visited the tombs, intending to test my new armour. The marcs flew by and before I realised how many had passed it was too late to make my way back to the hall. Being out of the habit of finding a quiet corner or niche in the walls I made my way to one particular spot which has, I know, been graced by the presence and acts of a god. And there I felt secure, and slept soundly, waking refreshed to carry on with the extensive testing of the new equipment. And I have to say the armour which the crone slid into my pack is superb!
Sunday, 31 January 2021
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It’s been a pleasure to wake and walk the lands once more. And to spend time renewing friendships. Even though the weather has been chilly and the landscape covered in snow, the warmth of fellowship stops the cold from seeping too deeply into the bones and the spirit.
Thursday, 31 December 2020
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We all know that the crone is well-practised in coming and going unnoticed. Certainly I did not stir from my slumber when she came to visit my hall. She left an item in my pack without rousing me. Not only that, she brought someone with her, who has stayed at the hall. It was quite a surprise, and no small pleasure, to meet him when I woke.
As for the item left in my pack, it is going to be very useful I’m sure.
Monday, 30 November 2020
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I have a stack of parchment on the table next to me, the results of my scribblings during this last cycle.
Time to lay them aside for now. Time to be up and doing.
Saturday, 31 October 2020
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When I can get at items in my bank vault I can fight. I can’t buy any extra weapons at the moment as there’s no room in my pack, so I need the blades tucked away. I can retrieve them when I pay my taxes. But when I pay my taxes I won’t need the blades that are locked away in the bank!
Sometimes life and reason just go around and around in circles…

Wednesday, 30 September 2020
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Sleeping without resting. Eating without taking nourishment. Existing without living. Watching time pass while achieving nothing. Life has dug a deep and very dark hole, and then thrust me over the edge to fall into blackness.
I’ve forgotten nothing. The sounds of the cities, the roar of wind in the mountains, the thunder of mighty waves. And of course the treasured memories. The friends and companionship. The face and voice of the loved.
Turn by turn I’m trying to claw my way back up into the blessed light of the ‘rifter.
Monday, 31 August 2020
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I wish I could sleep deeply enough so that fears and worries would wash from my mind, leaving me to enjoy pleasant dreams and meaningful rest. And I wish I could wake fully enough for the pleasant thoughts, the treasured memories, the plans for the future to hold my attention.
But I am caught somewhere between the two, facing the worst of each state, hoping I can fight my way to the light.
The healer’s potions haven’t helped. What I need is the ability to breathe clearly, and the desire to face food, so that I can regain the energy to walk the lands and seek out the best of my life.
I’ve been this way for too long. I have to fight to re-find who I am, to reclaim my life and my mind and my heart.
I haven’t been able to move for far to long. But in my heart and soul, all the feelings are as they ever were. I’ve not given up or given in, never doubted or forgotten.
Sunday, 19 July 2020
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It’s been a while since my armour and equipment was refurbished. I can maintain it myself if it’s a fairly straightforward matter of dealing with minor scratches and dents, or a small nick in the edge of a blade. And the armourers and weaponsmiths in the lands can work on anything more serious. But every so often I like to hand the work over to a master of the crafts.
So I collected together the equipment that needed work done, plus the supplies I would need for a journey, and left the lands for a few turns.
It was early morning when I left the hall. In fact the Crier was just calling that dawn was breaking as I set out on the familiar route. That route is one I have not walked for quite some time, but it is one that can never be forgotten.
It’s been far too long since I visited Denion in his smithy. I entered and on hearing me he turned and smiled.
‘Good to see you, Pallas. Just tell me what you want done. There’s a jug of ale just outside.’
It was good to hear his voice rumbling a greeting which seemed to belie the length of time since last we spoke. His tone was as though we’d met just a day or so earlier, containing no question or query as to the long gap in time since I last went there.
We chatted as he worked his magic on my equipment, refurbishing it so that it met even his high standards. He examined his handiwork critically when he was finished. He named a price, which I handed over, promising to not leave it so long until calling in on him again.
We spoke of this and that, discussed everything and nothing the way people do, and caught up on each other’s news.
As is the custom I stayed the night after his work was done. We sat and talked and sipped his fine ale for most of that night before seeking our beds.
It was again early morning when I set out on the return journey. On arriving back in the lands it was clear that all had been kept secure from any major threat. The next generation of adventurers to guard this place we call home had performed admirably. I know that when the time comes it will be with the knowledge that there others able to take up the defence of the lands.
Some things change. And others don’t. It’s all part of the rich tapestry of our lives.

Saturday, 20 June 2020
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The zombies who turn up in swarms are numerous. And they’re tough. But that is all they have in their favour.
We, on the other hand, have experience and intelligence. While the zombies lumber around and strike out at anything other than themselves, we can pick our tactics. They might have chosen the spot to fight, but we can select how to fight. We might have a choice of direction from which to launch an attack. That decision will depend on a number of factors – somewhere we can go to heal, for example, or how far we might have to go to find a quiet spot to gulp down a few potions.
Others who have joined the fray will also affect our strategies. A cleric guided to a safe spot will be a great advantage to all there. A rogue might be able to attack from an unexpected direction.
The zombies may have the brawn, but we have the brains – brains finely-tuned to the arts of combat, honed by many marcs of bitter combat. We are faster, more nimble and a lot smarter. We know when to risk another stroke, or when to retreat to catch our breath. We all have our own unique talents to bring. And the gods will often render their own assistance too. They do not intervene in the battle, but often look down kindly on those who fight.
As always, those who approach the scene of battle have something to contribute. If they can not fight the foe, they can spot other groups, or heal those who fight. I have always said that if someone is ready and willing to do all they can, then they have done everything that can be asked of them. Being unable to fight is by no means the same thing as being unwilling to participate.
Given time and some room to manoeuvre – and admittedly perhaps a spot of good luck – a small group, or even a strongish individual, can prevail so long as they remember that as well as weapons they have one gift the zombies lack. A brain.
Saturday, 30 May 2020
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Recently Bebhinn and Cody have taken to asking adventurers what they want to be when they grow up. My first reaction was to think that I don’t really want to do so!
I think it was Bifrost who said that you could look at the question as ‘What do you want to do when you retire?’ And again I thought that was something else I didn’t want to do.
Like so many others I fight as and when I can to protect the lands and the people. I assist comrades when possible. And I help to teach some who show an aptitude to follow my path.
As I have often said ‘I do what I do. And I keep on doing it.’ And maybe on the whole I don’t do too badly at it.
But despite our wishes the ‘rifter rolls along its course. Perhaps after a few more of its cycles I will find the need to sleep more, discover that I take longer to recover from any hurt. Or – gods forbid! - that my reactions become slower. So in spite of my thoughts to the contrary I started laying some plans for the future.
I’ve found a large establishment on the Dundee Road just north of the town square. It should suit my purposes well. It’s taken a lot of refurbishment and a lot of digging but the building is almost ready now. All that’s needed is to get merchandise sourced, delivered and stored and I’ll be ready.
That is of course, assuming the creatures of these lands don’t delay matters too much!
Sunday, 24 May 2020
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The project at Bran was completed without any major problem. True, a mob of zombies appeared trying to disrupt the work, but they were quickly dealt with.
Many people came to the site of the work offering assistance with the project, or ready to stand guard and it’s thanks to all those that the work was completed without any delay.
Lowrenzo was working on the door, cutting wood to the size we needed to reinforce the door. At one point I heard him say ‘Measure twice, and cut once.’ It’s a common saying amongst those who work with wood, metal and such.
On hearing his words a thought came to mind. If you scale his words up to encompass the whole job, you get something to the effect of ‘Plan the work. Check the plan for the work. Do the work.’
And that’s how I tend to operate, time and circumstances permitting. It might appear to others that initially I don’t do much concerning a project. But plans are thought out, checked, revised and refined. And then the project can often be carried out in one smooth operation.
I don’t claim this is a perfect way to approach things. Others will have their own, equally valid, ideas. We all do things in the way which suits us best.
Saturday, 23 May 2020
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I’ve spent much of the past few turns shut away in my lair at the guild hall, working on the hinges of a trapdoor into the tunnels of UnderValorn, the one located at Branishor. It’s been broken for a long while, and now plans are in hand to make a repair.
Lowrenzo is obtaining the wood we need while I work on the hinges. And I’ve been repairing the lock too. And believe me it’s a lot easier to pick a lock than to repair one!
When we had a chance to examine the trapdoor properly we noticed that most of the damage was to the wood of the door itself, and that it was twisted and distorted. Fresh wood attached to the upper and lower surfaces will strengthen the structure and bring the trap back to its proper shape. The hinges were pulled lose in their seating when the door twisted, and likewise the lock was damaged by being twisted. Once the door is mended, the fittings will fit back into their proper positions and will work properly.
That’s the theory, and the plan. We’ll know in a few marcs’ time if our assumptions are correct.
And hopefully the sound of work being carried out won’t attract too much attention from the dark creatures which prowl the farthest reaches of the tunnels. Again we will have to wait and see what happens.
Thursday, 30 April 2020
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I've spent much of this last cycle shut away in the guildhall, scrawling words on parchment. Time has passed sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, while the pile of parchment grows - but only slowly!
In between those times there have been many occasions when zombies have forced their way into these lands of ours. And every time they have been targetting Life Monuments. It is good to say that so far the doughty adventurers of Valorn have been able to contain the incursions before any damage was done. One more odd thing about these raids has been the absence of Abayde. There has been no sign of him so far as I have been able to discover. The good side of that is we have had no portals or relics to deal with - just waves of his undead horde, often attacking more than one area at the same time.
I've been musing whether we should be glad he hasn't been around to make the defence more difficult, or if we should be worrying about what he is doing in the time he has not been seen.
There was a strange occurence at the beginning of the cycle. Fierce, strong creatures known as Reapers appeared, dealing out death to all who tried to attack them. I watched in dismay as comrades fell, often in the most twisted and painful ways. But eventually, as ever, we prevailed. And amidst it all, one of the enchanted Crowns of Valorn found its way to me. It is still with me as I write, though doubtless it will soon be off on its travels once again.
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
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At long last one of Abayde's portals became unstable to the extent that we could enter and see what lay beyond. There was time for a quick glance around before horde after horde of zombies approached and I had to dive back into our own world.
I was trying to make my own observation of the different portals and where they might lead when Abayde hurried to close one of them and disappear into another. Fortunately he seemed to be in too much of a hurry to notice my presence.
The vision of that undead plane, seen for only a moment, carries reminders of a few places I've seen before. In time perhaps we can narrow down the possibilities to just one area, and then we will be able to plan our response.
I made my report to the Order, and since then I've been at my hall, mulling over what we saw that turn and like may others trying to tease some meaning out of it all.
Thursday, 27 February 2020
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Some of our emotions, the feelings and attitudes that drive us on and colour our relationships are often easier to understand than to explain and define. They are a part of us, as much so as arms or legs, tacitly understood while being difficult to pin down by mere words.
This point struck me a few turns back after a conversation which for one reason or another seemed to go somewhat astray.
The one with whom I was speaking offered his name and a very vague description of what he does – but declined to share the name of the man who leads an organisation to which the speaker belongs. Neither was he prepared to be all that forthcoming about the aims of his shadowy group.
One thing he said I do remember. I scrawled the words on a sheet of parchment as soon as they were spoken. He said “I think you and your friends spend too much time looking at monsters and not enough time thinking about where your food and other resources come from."
In response I listed the resources that we use, where they come from, and how all the people benefit from the trade generated by the presence of adventurers in the lands. When I asked if I’d omitted anything vital, the other admitted I didn’t seem to have done so.
At that point I expected an apology but received none. So I asked why he felt it was his place to malign my friends and comrades while they were not present to defend themselves against his unwarranted accusations. I was prepared to listen to his charges against myself – I was there and could point out his error and was in a position to put up a defence against his words. But I told him I was not prepared to hear him speak ill of my comrades behind their backs.
He tried to say that he had not spoken those words – but I had noted them down as soon as they were spoken. He got annoyed, saying that I am not as level-headed as he had been led to believe, nor as even-tempered. And he walked off in a huff.
I was, I think, being loyal to friends and comrades-in-arms. I defended them when they could not do so against an attack made when they were not present to hear it.
The meeting did, to be sure, leave the other with a low opinion of me. But there are those whose opinion of me, in my own mind, matters. And there are those whose opinion of me I pay no mind to as that opinion means nothing. And I have to say that Alexi Corsair is one of the latter.
Sunday, 16 February 2020
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The seasons roll on around us or over us. Once again we have entered the time of Winter’s Warming. The weather is cold. Piles of snow lie around ready to bar our way, though those same mounds might sometimes hide a small treasure. Many use the drifts to build snowmen, a pastime that can often lead to an unexpected outcome. Stars shine bright and clear in the cold night air and during the daytime marcs the ‘rifter flies low in the sky, its brilliance muted for a while.
Eternal bonds of friendship hold us together and help us endure the season of long dark nights and short days. Parties and games see us through the darkness:friendship and generosity help us understand that the ‘rifter may be dimmed but comradeship and companionship are not.
I was reminded of this a couple of turns ago. I went to visit the tallyman to pay my taxes – I was a few turns late in doing so – and discovered that some kind friend had already attended to the matter for me.
Their generosity heartened me. As often happens that friend wished to help me without mentioning the fact they had done so. I can only hope that in the future something I am able to do will repay the kindness of that unknown benefactor – although I may not be directly aware of the fact.
The lands which we call home exist as mountains and rivers, villages and towns. But they exist to a greater extent in the hearts of those who walk them.
Thursday, 30 January 2020
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I wrote this a while ago, after making some preparations at my hall for the recent festive season. But what with drowning in mud and sleeping overlong, I’ve not had opportunity until now to copy it into this journal.

I rose early, kissed Ellyana on the cheek and left quietly so as not to disturb her sleep. I set off to the forest, pausing at the woodpile outside the cabin to pick up an axe. The sky was beginning to brighten as the ‘rifter – small and cool as it seems this time of year – began to rise. I had already selected the tree I wanted. A youngish one, not so tall that it wouldn’t fit into the Emerald Mooon, and not so thick that I would have trouble felling it.
I’d had a cloak wrapped tight around me to keep out the morning chill, bit after the first few swings of the axe I removed it and carried on with my task. At last the tree fell and I got a good grip on the cut base of the trunk and hauled it back to the hall.
There was a barrel ready at the Mooon for the tree and soon it stood in the corner of the tavern, bedded in bucketfuls of good earth from the gardens. I had spent much time in the previous cycle cutting out and colouring pieces of parchment. Many were plaited into streamers which I hung along the walls, while others were cut in the shape of candles and those I attached to the branches of the tree. They had a thin coating of crushed crystal scattered across them, and the reflected light of the fire gave the tree an appearance of being decorated with real, burning candles.
I laid out dainties and snacks on the tables and the bar, and real candles were put out too on the bar and the tables. I strolled to the bank, and retrieved a number of gifts I’ve been keeping safe and stacked them beneath the branches of the tree.
Once all was done I sat near the fire sipping a glass of wine, satisfied all was ready, waiting to hear the voice which to me is the sweetest sound in these lands.
Sunday, 08 December 2019
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It was a cycle ago that I spent some time - two or three turns - at the roses. It was spent, as is my custom, in reflection and meditation. A time spent alone except for hope and memory.
I thought of the words which govern my life, and words which I hope the princess will always remember. My eternal pledge to her.
I made a note here of those words during the time I stood my vigil. For a while it seemed I was writing an epitaph for myself, leaving the thoughts for which others might perhaps remember me should my course in these lands reach an end.
I thought perhaps I would leave a note of the words with the keeper of the graveyard, but I did not. Another hand and mind, more gifted than my own, wrote words for me.
Tuesday, 12 November 2019
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Never give up.
Never give in.
Monday, 11 November 2019
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Never doubt
Never forget
Sunday, 10 November 2019
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One heart
One soul
One life
One love
Wednesday, 06 November 2019
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The lady of that dark and desolate poultry farm to the west of Milltown is now at peace.
Bifrost must have sensed dark shadows gathering around the farmhouse. He asked adventurers to join him in a search and several gathered outside. I often enter the farmhouse, hurrying down to the cellar when I need access to my tunnels, but this time the atmosphere felt different. It was darker, more oppressive somehow. Something was sucking light from the house, and a dank mist rose as we checked the rooms. And then we heard a prolonged, piercing scream.
We dispersed to find the source of the sound, and down in the cellar I saw a figure in the corner. I called for others to come down, slowly and quietly not in a great rush. The only response from the woman’s figure when asked if we could help her was to once again let out that scream.
I’m not sure why, but for some reason I stepped slowly and softly toward her. I held one hand outstretched, in an offer of assistance. She in turn took a step toward me, holding out a hand as though in a mute plea for help. Our hands almost met – though I don’t know if I would have felt anything if they had – but at that moment the entire house above us began shaking, and she disappeared from our sight.
We returned up in to the house itself. There’s a rocking-chair in one room, and it was moving. We gathered around, weapons at the ready, trying to see what caused the chair to rock in a violent manner. Some malevolent spirit hurled itself from that chair and attacked us.
The shade was despatched, and again we looked around the house. The shaking had ceased. We entered the kitchen. The room, though dilapidated and disused, was full of the sights and smells of baking, and we could hear someone humming in a content manner as they went about their task. The atmosphere was that of a busy, happy household, the lady of the house going about her life in a carefree manner.
We had achieved something good that turn. After some talk we dispersed.

Later I sat in the Emerald Mooon with one of the guild cats on my lap. JJ stirred with a loud hiss and his hair stood up. I looked around for the source of what had alarmed him. At first I saw nothing – after all, cats are more sensitive to unhuman visitations than we are. I was able to soothe him as a feeling of relief and happiness bathed us. Looking around once more I saw a glow in the fire, and the air of the tavern was filled with joy and contentment, and the echo of someone humming a jolly tune. And the delicious aroma of fresh-baked bread.
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
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Some places seem to never change. We made our way to the temple in the desert just about a marc before the doors would open for us. Aliona was excited at the thought that very soon she too would be one of the rogues of Valorn. At the due marc, we entered.
I looked around, and saw that all was as it has been for some time. I have made many journeys to that temple. It always feels to me to be a pool of tranquillity in a land where things can alter in the blink of an eye. But there we found time to sit and talk quietly for a while before we began the ritual.
In due course, Aliona’s face drifted in the skies above the lands, a sign to all that she has taken her place. It has been my honour and privilege to help such an able student set her feet on the path she has chosen. I know she will become a valuable addition to the ranks of the rogues, and to the population as a whole.
When we parted after leaving the temple, I found myself, as ever, in a mood of contemplation. I sat in the hall, reflecting on what I do, and why I do it in a certain way. Not the only way, for sure, but the methods I have taught myself have always stood me in good stead. I try to pass on my ideas and ideals to those I mentor, though of course the decision is theirs to make how they conduct themselves.

There will be a small celebration soon to mark the change of season. Time rolls on, and rolls over us as we continue our labours in the defence of the lands we call home.

In a few turns, we will return to Ryn to continue the work of cleaning and cleansing the city-stronghold. Once more, adventurers of all strengths will congregate and arrangements will be made for all to pass safely through the Reborn Zone. The work at Ryn may take a while, but it’s a project well worth the efforts involved.

On a lighter note, one of the front sheets of this journal seems to have fallen away. It holds nothing vital, just a drawing of me. Although I call the journal ‘the Book of Change’, I like to keep things the same as much as possible. I think I have another copy of that drawing somewhere, so I will search for it when I have a chance.
Monday, 26 August 2019
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It’s been a fairly busy time recently. Not that being busy is in any way a bad thing. Keeping active keeps our wits sharp, gives a reason to keep our blades keen and – in my case at least – holds off a strange tendency my armour has to shrink if I sit around the hall for too long doing nothing!
Aliona’s training is just about complete now, and pretty soon we will make our way to the temple, and there will be one more able member of the ranks of the rogues of Valorn. It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to usher initiates onto their chosen path, to help them learn the way of the rogue, both before and after visiting the temple.
It takes more than signing a parchment to set somebody into the way they have chosen. That is how it seems to me.
A long time ago I saw a rogue in Milltown, and asked him I could become one such as he.
‘Follow me,’ he said, and led me to the temple. Once inside he asked for my apprentice papers, and signed his name to the parchment. ‘There,’ he said. ‘Now you are a rogue.’
I left the temple with no clearer idea of what I should do than when I entered. In the turns and cycles that followed, I learned the ways of my profession. Just about everything I know is self-taught, learned through often bitter experience.
I made a vow that should I ever be asked to sponsor a would-be rogue that I would never leave them in the position in which I had found myself. So my students are faced with lessons, during which I talk probably far too much in the hope that they will remember some of what I try to impart. There are small quests to hone skills in information-gathering, and instruction in the art of fighting with two blades rather than with the sword-and-shield combination they have used previously.
While I speak of the profession and of what skills we can use for the benefit of all, I invariably find myself reflecting on how I do certain things in a particular way, and the reasons I chose that way to operate. That will sometimes spark an idea for me to improve my own methods.
The students are, naturally, free to choose their own ways once they leave the temple. But I can take some satisfaction from knowing they have had a thorough grounding in the basic knowledge they need. Many may have become impatient, though they hid it well. Most have stayed the course. They are, I am sure, more knowledgeable and more confident as they take their first steps on the path than if I’d merely signed a piece of parchment for them. They can take pride in themselves, and I can be proud of them as I follow their progress.
And there maybe might be just a little pride left over, for me, knowing that someone looking for a teacher and sponsor has been told to speak with me. Seems I’m not the only one who thinks my way, hard as it might sometimes appear, lead to a competent and honourable rogue, well-versed in the ways of the profession and aware of how their skills can be used for the good of all.
Saturday, 17 August 2019
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It’s been almost a full cycle since the expedition to Ryn but it’s taken until now for the horror to subside sufficiently to allow me to write of the affair. The attack was planned as the first of a series of such incursions, in which we will cleanse and reclaim the city.
The journey went well. All those wishing to join the expedition met at Dundee, and then at a quiet command the enchanters set about their work. Portals appeared and adventurers stepped through, to emerge at the Algal River south of the reborn zone. I’d been able to produce a guide, a few words of advice, for those who had never before traversed the Zone itself. In such an area, it is vital that all work together. Group after group made the crossing – all in safety so far as I am aware – and we all assembled in the Tainted Nexus. There’s a Life Monument there, which long ago in an earlier invasion was purified by the gods, and all were advised to tie there.
And then we set off through dark twisted passages, the ground beneath our feet still soaked in blood, heading for our first target – the kitchens and storage areas.
One of the clerics from Bran had developed an affinity with a holy ring infused with power from the Dark Staff. Phoebe was able to cast a shield which protected areas from demons once they were clear of any already there.
The fight was long and earnest. The sights we saw were grim. Particularly heart-breaking was the sight of children’s remains, discarded in dark corners of store-rooms.
Topaz asked if those poor children might be the ones whose souls were inside the balloon which had accompanied me for some time. There’s no way to know for sure. I had, in my wandering, visited Ryn wondering if there would be any change in the children’s song which was continually in my ears, but I could detect no such fluctuation. I asked the clerics who were carefully, reverently, collecting the remains so they could be interred in a fitting manner. Their answer was the same as my thoughts – that there is no way to tell. Whether or not they are the same children, it is at least heartening to know they are now properly buried, and are finally at peace.
The kitchens and storerooms cleared and cleansed, we withdrew from that dark city. But soon we will return, and in time the light of the ‘rifter will reign where now there is only darkness. When the turn arrives, I – and my blades – will be ready, and eager to face the challenge.
It may take a while. But so long as we work together we will prevail.
Thursday, 01 August 2019
Changed @ 18:27 - Link - comments
Sometimes the seemingly trivial can become rather irritating. I don't drink to excess, only when at a gathering of come sort, or sitting with friends for a chat. But when I do so, I appreciate a decent glass of wine.
I had to forego wine, and drink mead or ale for a few turns. Ale, I find, is rather too bitter for my taste. And mead is too sweet. I needed something in between the two, but never found anything to my taste.
Eventually I resorted to drinking water!
Thankfully my penance has passed. The first sip from a glass was a delight, as I savoured the flavour. I can get back to fully enjoying gatherings again!
Monday, 22 July 2019
Changed @ 17:52 - Link - comments
Have you ever heard somebody use the phrase 'I wished the ground would just open up and swallow me'? It's usually said by someone who has made a silly error in full view of others, or has another cause for a feeling of severe emnarrassment and they would like to simply disappear from sight.
Last turn we played 'Smites and Cannons'. The game was, as ever, accompanied by much hilarity. And then I made a slip and stopped on one of those Smites. Sure enough the ground did open up and swallow me. Not only swallowed but chewed - and according to others it sounded as though the ground enjoyed the experience far more than I did!
I must in future remember that other old saying about being careful what you wish for ...