It is clear from contemporary records that Amrunrosse was fastidious about keeping her journals on her person or otherwise well secured, yet in the recent reorganization of the archive we have found loose signatures tucked among unrelated treatises on the applied arts of entropy as relates to the keeping of vegetable gardens in various climates.
Each is no more than eight pages of vellum, stitched with waxed linen thread and apparently in good condition, aside from having been at some point separated from the rest of its volume. The handwriting appears to be consistent from one entry to the next, though there are huge swaths of the work still missing.
What remains has been bound together in a probable chronology, and wrapper leaves were added around each original signature to hold such notation as is possible. The entries are undated in the original hand, but as many of the incidents are cross-referenced in the public archives, so a loose chronology may be posited.
This entry duplicates some information contained in earlier signatures, and the watermark on the paper indicates Maran manufacture, rather than Nektulan. It is likely that this represented the start of a fresh volume, and it appears we have several pieces of it, from a most interesting and controversial period in Amicae history.
During the so-called Age of Destiny, in the quicksilver rise of the New Combine, there was a great deal of political upheaval: from contemporary records it is clear that many of the leaders within the Amicae were aware of the turmoil, and anticipated some of the events that would later unfold, though it appears their planning availed them little in the campaigns which unfolded in those years.
The opening of this memoir is particularly interesting, as it makes some cursory attempts to bracket centuries of history in a few pithy lines. It is entirely in character for what history records of the notorious Folodu Amrunrosse, and the clearest evidence we have that these fragments are original to her hand.
It is advised that the student of history take her offered chronology and editorial commentary with a hearty grain of salt. In all the records we have of her hand, public and private, there is every evidence of a profound sense of her own centrality to events. Like most of the bardic-trained, it does seem she was drawn into many of the pivotal events of her time, and this must have only confirmed to her that she was therefore a driver of them.
It has been some time since I kept one of these. I hope to do it more justice than my previous ones.
In the time since my last journal, I have seen Xilinar leave for Qeynos, the Overlord vanish, got reacquianted with Ari and Val, helped found the Vigiles, and discovered Marconis’ pleasure den among a sect of Erolissians. I suppose I should begin somewhere close to there, at the beginning.
Last writing had me nearly ready to burst while carrying Chevanima. I was more city bound at the time, and Xil had just left for the Queen. [note: it would seem she refers not to the Bargainers' supported "Cristanos", but rather to the hereditary "Antonia" of Qeynos, although most records suggest that Chevanima's sire was dark elven.] I discovered Ari - or at least, a ghost of Ari - and knew it not. She was changed. I felt for her, but was too blinded with wanting affection that I did not see her own pains.
Even still, I have trouble with that, but I digress.
Xil had left to honor his allegiance with Ssinss when the Ilharn blew his lid that Ssinss had gone to Qeynos - he had not been informed that she was spying, there. My dear sis had had enough and walked. Xil walked with her.
I stayed, I helped hold the House together. It was my family, and I had sworn oath. It never even occured to me to follow them. It got me a promotion, and then I hid away from the world. I was depressed, and the little darling within me was really all I had going.
Then I found the ghost of Ari. I wanted so bad to have her love - I begged, I pleaded, I cajoled. I did not see that she was doing everything she could to comfort me, and I was doing nothing for her. She was stuck, and dearly missing Sytan - and a thing I will never tell any, I think she chose it because of him. I saw her when she turned the blade on herself at the Pit - it did not register. I could have begun delving immediately.
I know what she was trying to do, at least in part. Her memory starts to go when she is dead. It is uncanny, and unsettling. She was putting herself in a place to forget all of it. And - probably did not expect to come back: the Pit gives back few of its victims.
I suspect it was over Sytan because of how she aches when she thinks of him - she wants so much to be with him, and he with her. I really do not have a place between them. And yet. She lets me close anyways. It is hard to say if it is because I am a useful tool, if lustful, or not. Some days, it is very much like she loves me - and others. Well.
I cannot but admit it any longer, at least in these pages, but she fills my heart. Not in the way Xil did, but I really should not try to compare one love to another. I know well enough that each is different. We need each other, either way. She is bold and reckless, as I put on the show of being, and I could not bear her forgetting her love for Sytan, or her memories with me.
I know she will outlive me. It pains me to know that she will outlive even Cheva - and yet maybe. Maybe she will remember. Maybe Sytan will speak of us to her, when she forgets. All I can do now is be with her any chance I can, make sure she falls infrequently, bring her to herself, and be a way to bridge the gaps.
And - many dangerous places we have gone. Since founding the Vigiles so as we might have a way to be free, at some insistence, we have taken many, many dangerous jobs. Beware dragons, for they are large.
We have gained renown and profit, though I wonder if it will ever be enough. I am no longer so young, and not afraid of the City any longer. My fear lies in Cheva. I want to stop selling my sword and focus more on making her a place to live safely - a place I did not really have. She is a big motivator, and even Ari and Sytan, the two most stoic ‘dal I know, are affected by her charms.
I am glad I opted on my way of things rather than Vaka’s. I still think it foolish to have sent her children off to some plane to age faster. They will never be all that close. Maybe Vaka isn’t the mother type, but she didn’t even try. Then she let them run amok when they were old enough, threatening the House and being the least subtle creatures she could host. This - this was held up as a model - as an ideal in that den!
I could not stay there.
I am glad Ari was revived, even if she and Sytan were hermits. He protected her, and too well. I understand it was very bad, at times.
Sometimes, we have to know that we are not ready yet, even if someone else knows. I don’t think he wanted to accept that pill. But so far it has worked out well.
The Vigiles is formed, and I have a House to serve. We are small, and our ranks grown and shrink, but this is well, too. We often go to taverns and meet interesting people. I have a lover among the Knights, now, though an evening with her leaves me aching for more. She enjoys my attentions to her, but has yet to reciprocate. I cannot tell if she will be a good relationship to maintain.
However, I have also met the Huntmaster. He makes me a little giddy, and I like the way he responds to me. He can be abrupt at times, but he can be encouraged. It makes for a very good experience. I still feel giddy leaving him - I hope Ari does not think less of me for it.
I have also met Chryso - And that is the current news, Marconis.
It was a meeting of happenstance - a cute Fier girl with more bravery than sense turned out to be the daughter of an old, old lover of mine, from a youth that I spent in a different world than this. I will miss her... and while I knew she was older than me, I still will think Marconis is to blame.
He seems to have brainwashed poor Chryso, and she dotes on him far too much. I do not like where this might lead, but at the very least Chryso does not seem to be violated in body - her mind, while harder to mend for the thing, is to be the real challenge. It brings up very old memories that I wanted to stay buried.
At least with my tormentor, he is silenced and done with. Chryso? We shall see.
Sytan is working with her. I understand he knew the girl’s mother as well.
I do not know more, but I think it might motivate him more. It will not be easy for Ari - the girl wants to know the Mysteries of her religion - as if sex were a mystery! - but she has no concept of any sort of affection or desire. She is as a child in a woman’s body. She does not know what she asks.
I am sure that conversation will come up between Ari and Sytan at some point. It will not go very well, I think. Not that I expect yelling or fighting, but I am not so certain Ari wants to share him in any way, and she is so - naive. Maybe I am just a minx, as Ari says, but maybe they should talk it over during a sensual massage or tryst. It is how I would do it.