The Voices of Time (Peregrine x Everly)

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Waiting for Wit
Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. One post per week
  4. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
On fairly regularly, every day. I'll notice a PM almost immediately. Replies come randomly.
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
  2. No Preferences
High fantasy is my personal favorite, followed closely by modern fantasy and post-apocalyptic, but I can happily play in any genre if the plot is good enough.
The 15th Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

The Barons grow more and more unruly, and the few supporters left of Lady Sophiya (σƒ
whom there were few enough to begin with, I am forced to admit) are undenιαвℓу
beginning to find temptation in the offers of the other Lords. My Hoυѕє ¢яυмвɭﻉร ѻપՇ
from under me. If I can hold the Lords and Barons together, wє мαу уєт ωเՇђรՇคภ๔ Շђє
invasions of Ausbay and Hosela until the first snow and tнє αяяιναɭ ѻि ฝٱกՇﻉɼ. ץﻉイ ノ
fear what will happen if Altachia or Shonand enter тнє ƒяαץ คร ฝﻉɭɭ.

For now, the Lords remain my highest priority. тнє ℓαтє ℓo尺d ᄊム尺メノレノu丂, ᄊץ ۷คɼٱѻપร
ρєσple, and myself have all devoted a great deal σƒ тιмє тσ ﻭคՇɦﻉɼٱกﻭ ٱกि尺ᄊムイノՇՇ刀
Շɦﻉ ɭσя∂ѕ, вoth significant and trivial. I am hopiηﻭ тнαт ﻭєՇՇٱกﻭ รѻ๓ﻉ ѻि ノイ Շレノイ ノ刀
ノ刀 ム √รٱ๒ɭﻉ ๓คกηєя ωιℓℓ αℓlow me to make some as-of-yєт υη∂ιѕ¢σνєɼﻉɗ ƈѻกกﻉƈイノՇ刀 Շ尺

乃ム尺Շ刀 レムノ尺d キ尺ム刀ズ ノノ Շ[/SIZE]キ ノイ[/SIZE]アρﻉɼ Շhalen Valley - One of the few who reмαιηѕ ℓσץคɭ Շѻ
レムdリ 丂Շアんノリム, ムレイんՇノђん アяιмαяιℓу συт of respect for the Late Lord Marxilપร, คกɗ
ア乇尺んムア丂 ムレ丂o 丂ѻ๓ﻉฝɦคՇ ɗue to his proximity to her land. For now, I can couηт нιм
ムᄊo刀g Շノ[/SIZE]尺 ムɭɭٱﻉร, คlthough his resources are limited and he would undoubtedly ƒσℓ∂
પกɗer too much pressure. I must proceed carefully.
-Known to have a penchant foɼ िٱกﻉ ฝine. Has an ongoing affair with the レノ[/SIZE]ノキ乇
of a nearby inn, ฝɦѻ ٱร, ि尺oᄊ ムレレ 尺ﻉρѻɼՇร, ค very attractive lady. んム丂 ム ᄊノレd
allergy to almonds. Raises huntinﻭ ∂σﻭѕ.

Lord Gerold Vorley of Lower Thalen Valley - ム ズ刀Շレノ刀 丂リᄊアムイんノ丂乇尺 レノ[/SIZE]ノイん んՇ丂乇レム, レノ[/SIZE]んՇ
borders him to the south, Lord Vorレ乇リ んՇレd丂 ム √乇尺リ ノ刀キレu乇刀イノムレ アՇ丂ノイノՇ刀ノ乇 イՇ イん乇
primary trade routes イん尺Շノﻉん イん乇 イんムレ乇刀 √ムレレ乇リ, ム刀d イん乇尺乇キo尺乇 イん尺Շノﻉん ズ乇丂丂乇レ,
passing through his land. He んム丂 ᄊム
乇ムレ丂 wノイん んՇ丂乇レム, レノ[/SIZE]んo んム√乇 リ乇イ イՇ 丂乇刀d
troops into his land. Should this ђคקア乇刀 ᄊcん Շキ イん乇 イんムレ乇刀 √ムレレ乇リ レノՇノ[/SIZE]レd 乃乇 ムイ 尺ノ丂ズ
of falling.
-A highly ambitious man, he and the Late LՇ尺d ᄊム尺メノレレノu丂 刀乇√乇尺 ﻉՇイ ムレՇ刀ﻉ, ム刀刀 ノイ

was no secret that Vorley wanted the crown. He wム丂 丂乇乇刀 イ尺ム刀丂アՇ尺イノ刀ﻉ ﻉノ[/SIZE]ム刀イノイノ乇丂
of explosives from the southern border, which could be turned イՇ Շノ
[/SIZE]尺 ム√ム刀イムノキ
Ŧound and captured. His loyalties can undoubtedly be bought. He guard丂 ム 丂イム刀
๏Ŧ ๏гςђards near his home zealously, for unknown reasons.

ɭ๏г๔ คยгคภє г๏รsel of the Saubel Mountains - Home of Saubel Pass to the West, Lord
г๏รรєɭ ђคร Շђє ק๏ՇєภՇเคɭ Շo greatly compromise the security of this land should he
єภՇєг เภՇ๏ รєгเ๏ยร ภєﻮ๏ՇเคՇเ๏ภ ฬเՇђ คltachia or Hosela. I have eyes and ears on him.
ђคร ๒єєภ รєєภ єภՇєгเภﻮ เภՇ๏ ภєﻮ๏ՇเคՇเ๏ภร ฬเth Lord Gerold, which is rather ominous.
H๏ฬєשєг, ђเร ɭคภ๔ เร ђเﻮђɭץ ๔єŦєภรเ๒ɭє Ŧг๏๓ เภשคsion.
- ђเﻮђɭץ ๔єקєภ๔єภՇ ยק๏ภ Շгค๔є, คร ђเร land is not fertile enough to feed itself
๏ภ เՇร ๏ฬภ ﻮг๏ฬՇђ. ђคร ๓คภץ гเςђ ๓єՇคɭ deposits. Famous for his successful
кเɭɭเภﻮ ๏Ŧ Շђє ๒єคг ՇђคՇ Շєгг๏гเչє๔ Շђє ɭ๏cal village of Gelmea. Rumors circulate
tђคՇ ђє ฬคร ภ๏Շ ค Շгยє ςђเɭ๔ ๏Ŧ ɭєﻮคг г๏ssel, although the truth of the matter
เร เггєɭєשคภՇ.

ɭѻɼɗ ɼٱƈɦﻉɭ ρﻉՇɼٱƈﻉ ѻि Շɦﻉ รѻપՇɦﻉrn Alluvial Plains - A wild card if ever there was
ѻกﻉ, Շɦﻉ ρﻉՇɼٱƈﻉ िค๓ٱɭץ ɼપɭﻉɗ that valley long before Kessel came to be. He now marks
Շђє ภ๏гՇђєгภ ๒๏ยภ๔คгץ ๏Ŧ кessel, and it is no secret that Ausbay has long desired to
คƈ۹પٱɼﻉ ρﻉՇɼٱƈﻉ ɭคกɗ܁ ѻnly the fact that the Late Lord Marxillius never made any attemアイ丂
Շѻ คcquire or use the land has kept Lord Petrice loyal. Should Ausbay make hノᄊ イん乇
ɼٱﻭɦՇ promises, he might allow them to march unhindered. It is doubtful h乇 レノ
ノレレ フՇノ刀
Շɦﻉ िɼคץ either way unless his ancestral lands are directly tん尺乇ムイ乇刀乇

-ɦٱﻭɦɭץ ρѻssessive of his territory and all resourc乇丂 cՇ刀イムノ刀乇d レノノイんノ刀. んム丂 乃乇乇刀
known to execute merchants accused of thi乇√乇尺リ. 乃リ ムレレ ムccՇ
u刀イ丂 ム √乇尺リ ア尺ノ√ムイ乇 [/FONT]
man. Presently has six vノム乃レ乇 ん乇ノ尺丂, ム刀d 丂イ尺Շ刀gレリ キム√Շ
尺丂 んノ丂 丂乇cՇ刀d
son Thom.

Of the other キノ√乇 レo尺丂 イん乇尺乇 ノ丂 レ乇丂丂 イՇ 丂ムリ. 丂んՇノ 丂uアアo尺イ Շキ イん乇 レムdリ
丂oアんノム 尺ノ丂乇, イん乇リ ᄊノgんイ 乃乇 ア乇尺丂ՇՇレレՇw ん乇尺 レ乇ム, ノキ フu丂イ イՇ gノ√乇
イん乇ᄊ ム cんム刀c乇 イՇ cՇ刀イ乇刀d キo尺 イん乇 イん尺Շ刀乇 レムイ乇尺.

ѻि イん乇 キѻu尺イ乇乇刀 乃ム尺ѻ刀丂 イんムイ 乇メノ丂イ wノイんノ刀 ズ乇丂丂乇レ ノ 丂んムレレ 刀oイ 丂ア乇ムズ, ムイ
レ乇ム丂イ 刀Շ
イ 刀Շ. 乃ѻยՇ イん乇 レՇ尺d丂 ノ刀 んノcん イん乇ノ尺 レム刀d丂 尺乇丂ノ๔乇, イん乇リ ノレレ

レノズ乇レリ キՇレレՇイん乇 丂ムᄊ乇 アムイん.
August 15th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear Journal,

I found this journal in the attic. I think I'll use it to keep a log of the house repairs and everything else. Might as well have some sort of log. These pages are pretty warped from the water that must have leaked onto it at some point, but I think it's in fairly good shape considering how old it is. That first entry was bizarre. 1439? I think somebody got their dates mixed up. From what I could read, it seems like the start of some sort of story. Maybe the last owners of this house were authors or something? It's interesting either way. Maybe tomorrow I'll try reading it again when the sun it out - for now, it looks like it's going to rain. That'll be good for the broken window in the kitchen.

I never would have expected the amount of stuff left behind in this place. The realtor said it was a mess, but I guess I underestimated it. I've decided to name it Applebury Estate. Mother always likes to say that a home without a name isn't worth having. I think that's her upper class mentality talking, but perhaps she's right. It does make me feel a bit better to have a name to it. Maybe I'll even paint it on the mailbox - the one I have to buy, of course, since there isn't one here now. I drove by twice before I saw the driveway. Only in Maine would somebody call a dirt road a mile long a driveway. I can't even see the road from the attic! I have no neighbors in sight, but I swear I heard cows an hour ago. They must be roaming around in the woods or something. Can cows climb trees? ... Remind me never to ask anybody that out loud. I can only imagine what the locals are going to think of me when I have to go into town.

Ryan's case was mentioned on the radio again. Of course it had to come on as I was trying to take care of dishes. I dropped a plate and had to leave the broken pieces all over the floor since I didn't think to get a broom. I'll go out to get one as soon as I'm done writing this. I have to go get groceries anyway. The guy on the radio said Ryan's court date had been pushed back... again. I don't know what lies he's telling now, but apparently the cops are listening. As long as he stays behind bars, I don't care. Not like he could figure out where I am now anyway. All I can smell is pine and I haven't heard anything but those tree-climbing cows and birds.

I've decided to tackle the bedroom first. The door is off its hinges. That shouldn't be too hard to fix, right? The mirror is broken too, and the window sill is cracked. Not sure what to do about that one.. I think I'll need to get some how-to's. I hope this town has a library, there's no way I'm getting wifi in the middle of all these trees!

The only thing that I had done before I got here was getting an active phone line installed. It's a good thing, since it was ringing off the hook as soon as I arrived. Apparently Mother had been trying to get in touch with me for three hours. She's been horribly moody about this entire thing. Of course, she thinks I should live with her and Dad until I get married to some nice boy who can take care of me. I don't think she understands that I'm not fit to be a housewife like she was. I don't want to sit around an entertain guests who come for dinner and pop out babies. Is that so terrible? I need my own life right now. Hopefully she'll see that in time.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping the phone off the hook overnight so that I can sleep without her driving me to drink.

Until next time,
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The 16th Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

Dear Cassidy,

I offer my most sincere apologies for how much Mother has been bothering you, and I wish there was some way I could help. Perhaps you could remind her of that painting of the little girl she had when you were young. I found a painting in the attic that looks just like it. I was planning to put it somewhere else in the house, but, if she gives you a little bit of time and understanding, we might be able to send it her way. Of course, we wouldn’t actually send it, but it might be enough to get her to leave you alone for a little while so that we can come up with a more permanent solution. Obviously that won’t be sufficient to get her to completely leave you alone, I’ve had a Mother too, and I know how they can be, but it should be a start.

Either way, if it is any consolation, I can certainly say I would rather see Ryan stay behind bars as well. You said the Coppers have started listening to him? Do you think they are likely to let him free? Then again, I wouldn’t mind a few more broken dishes, as those ugly plates look much better in pieces. Maybe I could help you break a few more?

I’ve been keeping an eye on the ceiling for any drips, but as far as I can tell the roof is completely waterproof. I’ll head on up at some point today and double check that all the cracks are filled, and I’ll find some wood to board up the windows in the rest of the house as well. You might need to give me a few more hints about where all the leaks are, though.

Thusfar I’ve done my best to keep the attic clear of all cobwebs as well. Having them all gone certainly presents a nice view of the forest, but I keep getting distracted from looking out the window by a fly that’s been circling around. Perhaps I should let a few of those webs come back. Better a few quiet spiders than one noisy fly. Maybe if it goes away I’ll be able to sit still long enough to find those cows. Am I more likely to spot them when the sun rises or when it sets?

Unfortunately, I haven’t even begun to look into the problems in the bedroom yet, mostly because I have problems telling it apart from the rest of the rooms. I’ve looked for a door that is off its hinges, but they all seem a little crooked to me. Are there any other notable factors about the room that would allow me to better identify it?

I love Applebury Estate, and have my entire life. I’d do anything to restore it to its former glory. I know it seems a little bit broken now, but it wasn’t always that way. With a little bit of attention, I know we can keep it from falling apart completely. I’m sure, with your help, it will become a wonderful place once again, and you’ll always be able to consider it home.

Most Sincerely Yours,

P.S. How are you doing on finding a mailbox?
August 16th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear 'Journal',

Today I opened this book up with the plan of writing down the interesting exchange I had in town with a local man who seemed to think that he would be a great help to me if only I would invite him over and let him sleep upstairs. That plan went out the window when I saw the entry on the previous page. I'm not sure whether to think I've gone insane and suddenly found a sense of humor while sleeping, or if somebody broke in and decided just to mess with my head instead of stealing anything. I went back to town to collect a few things and get some air, but that entry is still there. From now on I think I'll just keep this book locked away in the box under my bed.. just in case.

If by some magical chance there is still a response to this entry, I think I shall admit myself to the institution in the next town over. Perhaps a change of scenery wasn't what I needed after all. I did call my mother and ask if she had ever commissioned a painting when I was younger - that does seem the sort of thing she would do, but no. It never happened. There goes the subconscious theory. Also, I am quite fond of my dishes. They're a nice simple pattern, so I don't know why you, dear journal, think they should be broken.

Aaaand now I feel like an idiot, sitting here writing to myself. I'm arguing with a book. I think this is a new low for me.

... I'm just going to pretend that previous entry never happened. Moving on!

I got the supplies in town to fix the door. It's still a bit crooked, but that has more to do with the wood than the hinges at this point. It will take a new door to be fixed entirely, which I can't load into the back of my car. There were a few trucks in town and there's a local repair man who would bring one, I'm sure. That's going on the list of things to do. I also picked up cleaning supplies last night and spent the better part of my morning chasing spiders and ladybugs out of the dusty corners. This place is massive. I keep finding rooms that I didn't realize were there. I'm not sure what the point really is of cleaning them all when I'm alone. Perhaps I'll have a different bedroom for each day of the week just to make them all feel useful.

The new mirror is up, as well as a bench near the door. I inspected the porch again and the wood underneath is rotting. That will need to be replaced as well, but I will wait until next spring for that. From what everybody keeps saying on the radio, winter is right around the corner. I wonder how much snow Maine gets? And what's an 'ice storm'? It can't be that bad. I guess I'll see what happens. The leak in the roof will need to be fixed before that happens if I have an intention of storing anything in the attic or keeping the damage from spreading more.

Here is a hopeful list of things to be done tonight and tomorrow:
  • Weed the garden. It's massive and looks terrible, but there are rose bushes out there I think. It'd be nice to be able to actually see them.
  • Find the source of the leak.
  • Finish unpacking! ... maybe.
  • Scrub the stains out of the bathrooms.
  • Get new tile to fixed the cracked ones.
  • Figure out how many rooms are in this place.
Mother just called again. This time she put Dad on the phone. He wanted to know how it was going and why I haven't called to say I'm coming back home yet. Sooner or later they'll realize I'm in this for the long haul.. as long as the gigantic spiders and ice storms and haunted journals don't kill me first.

- Cassidy
The 17th Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

Dear Cassidy,

Once again, I offer my condolences for the difficulty of your situation. My desire to assist you in this matter while you work on identifying the growing number of problems within Applebury Estates has not changed, but it is impossible for me to be of any real assistance if you will not give me better clues of how I can keep Mother, Father, and Ryan in the dark in regards to our arrangement.

From all I can gather you seem to have a very solid grasp on the problems within Applebury. I appreciate your attempts to tackle them yourself, but they are not problems that one person can handle alone. Especially not when some of the repair jobs are likely to pose dangerous to a young woman on her own. I, on the other hand, have the people and resources to make sure that any and all identified problems are repaired with all haste. Please let me handle them. It is my job.

Winter approaches but it is still a long time away, and there is much that can change in the intervening months. I will do everything in my power to keep this house standing until its arrival, in which we will have a brief period of respite to recover, but there are many more other than Ryan who wish to disturb the peace of this place. Other problems will arise before those few blessed months of peace, and if I am unable to handle the ones that have already made themselves present I fear the house may collapse before winter begins.

I will offer no more suggestions or pieces of helpful information until you give me more information, detailed, specific, comprehensible information, about the state of Applebury, especially those things that are most likely to have an effect in the attic. I do not wish to come across as ungrateful for the, albeit vague, information you have already offered, but such is the nature of a mutual relationship. Please consider this carefully before you respond again. My patience has limits.

August 18th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear Journal,

Yesterday I decided that I needed to get out of the house. I took the day and went to explore the property. There is an abandoned apple orchard in the back, but there is also a river within walking distance. I took a picnic lunch out there and spent the evening doing garden work. It was nice to step away and try to forget the strangeness of this entire situation.

Today I decided to start exploring the house more thoroughly and get a good accounting of it all. As far as the attic goes, there isn't much to say. The stairs leading up to it are a bit narrow but they're in pretty good shape compared to the rest of the house. I blew out the fuse the first time I switched on the bulb up there, but I've got a flashlight so I poked around. Several of the floorboards are warped from water damage. Today I went up and noticed that the little window up there is crooked, letting in a draft around the side that probably let in rain as well. Tomorrow I will climb on the roof and try to find soft spots. There must be a hole somewhere. The sooner I find it, the sooner I can get somebody to fix it.

The floor below the attic is comprised entirely of bedrooms (5) and two bathrooms. Almost all of the rooms are completely empty, though I did find what seems to be a tarnished silver jewelry box in the corner of one under a few crumbled bits of sheetrock. It almost looks like it fell out of the wall. I'm not sure why somebody would put something like that in a wall, but it's locked and won't budge. Maybe I'll find the key somewhere around here. I can't help but be curious about what's inside.

The second floor had another three bedrooms, one more bathroom, and a large space that I suppose could be a nice living room area. Game room, maybe? It's definitely big enough for a pool table and a couch with some chairs. Maybe I could install a nice bar up there, or get a home theater going. I'll have to think about that.

First floor has the kitchen, a parlor, a laundry room, and a gigantic room that the real estate lady called a ballroom. I guess if I have any parties I could have them in there? It's massive, with windows everywhere. The floor needs help but it's not hard to imagine some sort of old-fashioned ball with gowns and such happening in there. It's a shame that isn't something that happens anymore. I would have liked to have seen something like that.

According to a woman in town that I spoke to, there is a basement somewhere in here. She said that the woman who lived here several decades ago sold jam and stored it all in the basement. I haven't figured out how to get down there yet. None of the doors seem to lead down there and there isn't one on the outside either. I'll hunt for it again tomorrow after I figure out the roofing situation.

Fingers crossed it isn't going to be as bad up there as I think it is.

- Cassidy
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The 18th Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

Dear Cassidy,

I have tried to be patient. I have tried to play along and follow through on this absurd analogy, despite the fact that you have given me no guidelines and seem to contradict yourself at every turn. I was doing it trusting that you, having reached out to me in such an unconventional manner, would have important information to reveal, and would reveal it quickly and succinctly. While I can understand caution, as my journal is not the most secure method of communication, this has gone beyond the bounds of caution and stepped into the realm of the ludicrous. A part of me is wishing I had followed Roe’s advice, and laid a trap for you after you first contacted me.

I am now far more inclined to believe this was simply an attempt to direct my attention elsewhere while you and those you represent attempt to undo my work to protect Kessel and the Lady Sophiya. Congratulations. Your ploy worked for three days, and I hope it was sufficient time for you to complete your task and flee back to Hosela, Ausbay, or whichever country from which you came. If it was not, and you are still in the city, I can assure you that you, and any with you, will not be getting out.

Unfortunately the reason that I did not follow Roe’s advice still stands. I am still in need of the information on Hesela and Lord Gerold you could supply. I will give you one last chance. Step forward and surrender yourself peacefully into my custody, and I promise no harm will come to you.

If you should attempt to hide know that it will not work. I have means of finding people, and few are pleasant for those being hunted. When, not if, we find you, or should you be caught telling us information we already know is false, know that you will be tortured and executed for your crimes against the crown. The only way to avoid this unpleasant fate is to surrender immediately, for if you are reading this five of my men already have arrows trained on you.

This is your only chance.

August 19th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Wilde -

I made the drive to Portland today after calling my mother in a frantic fit. Apparently raving about the possibility of a person hiding somewhere in my house and telling wild stories made her uneasy. She sent me on a three hour drive to go see some specialist. After several hours of testing, the doctor said results were inconclusive. Of course, I do realize that means they found nothing. I 'accidentally' did not schedule another appointment. If there is something wrong with my head, it won't be fixed by being poked at with needles and waiting for weeks on end for blood work to be processed and returned. Counseling is out of the question. If I'm crazy, I'm going to keep it to myself.

But perhaps I am not the crazy one. Maybe it's you.

Here are the facts. I've never heard of those countries that you wrote about, or those people. Nobody calls anybody a Lord or Lady anymore unless they're foreign or being sarcastic. I live in the US and have for all my life. Applebury Estate is in Maine, right next to Canada. It's 2015, not 1439. There is no Emperor, only a president and a senate which has the population convinced that they can't do their jobs. I don't know who Roe is, but I'm pretty sure he's pretty paranoid and silly if he thinks that you could lay a trap for me in my own house and not have me realize it was there. This journal is kept in a locked box under my bed, for crying out loud. What did he plan to do? Put a plastic spider next to it and wait for me to scream?

By the way, your men must really be lousy, because I've been sitting here writing for at least ten minutes and I'm still breathing. Nobody has magically appeared to take me off to Neverland Prison. I guess they got bored and found something better to do. Maybe they're out in the woods with the cows climbing trees, or maybe they faded into nothingness since they only exist in your imagination.

Get out of my house.


PS. Threatening counts as harassment, you know. If I find you, I will make sure you're arrested. Wouldn't be the first man throwing a temper tantrum that I had thrown behind bars.
The 21st Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439


Perhaps against my better judgement, I find myself writing in this journal once more. At present only Roe knows that you somehow managed to slip past his guard, not only once to retrieve this journal, but twice, in order to put it back again. Everyone else is under the impression that you managed to escape before I was able to send out the call to secure the city, having completed whatever it was you came here to do. I’ve instructed Roe to plant a hastily crafted bomb underneath the city, which the scouts I send out will inevitably find. Once that is disabled, everyone should go about the business of forgetting the strange messages I found in my journal. While I trust my own people to know what happened, I do not want the rumor of your success to spread far afield. I cannot have my position destabilized at such a crucial moment. Roe understands this, even if he is not particularly fond of the request.

I consider myself fortunate that it was Roe you slipped past, and not someone in whom I am not as confident about placing my trust about such a delicate and unusual situation.

Or did you?

For, you see, the year is indeed 1439. I have never heard of the countries of Maine or Canada, and am not entirely certain how you can live in “the us”, unless that is a reference to your form of government. And, while there may not be an Emperor now, I can assure you that we did have one, and will have one again. I don’t know what a “president” is, although I assume it would be the title of a leader, but we most assuredly do not have a Senate. This is the Holy Roman Empire, not Greece.

I cannot comprehend a reason why anyone would ever pretend to be from the future. The future is, by its very definition, unfathomable, and is therefore a remarkably poor choice for creativity. This is especially true of a date so far in the future. It is possible that little would change in ten or twenty years. Such is not an option in nearly 600 years of difference. Any person would inevitably make a mistake when so much is left simply to the imagination. Even if they didn’t, what purpose would such a pretense serve?

I feel somewhat ridiculous for seriously considering this as a possibility, yet I almost find it easier to believe than that someone managed to elude detection by Roe twice in one day. That man has such sharp eyes I don’t think even I could sneak by him. I shall be subjecting this impossible hypothesis to one final test by hiding this journal in a place that even Roe couldn’t find, as well as he knows me, along with a couple traps to check if anyone has disturbed the area. I’ll check this journal once a day for a week, and if I find another message from you, or anyone from that matter, I will be forced to conclude that this journal has somehow managed to transcend the boundaries of time.

If anyone here ever actually reads that, I will undoubtedly become a laughingstock.

-Ryker Wilde
Commander of the Kesselen Special Forces Unit
August 22nd, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear Ryker,

When I did not hear from you immediately following my last entry, I had assumed that things returned to normal and that the dirty deviant who was somehow escaping my detection in my house had finally left. However, here you are, with another entry. This time I am certain that nobody else was in the house. I've been quite busy in the last couple of days. The broken windows were all replaced, as were the locks. I have no doubt that nobody else is in here or has been, other than the man who installed the windows. I wanted to explain this because it's the only reason I haven't tossed the journal across the room yet and am actually thinking about what you wrote.

I was never a stellar history student, but from what I can remember, the Roman Empire was overseas somewhere. I want to say in England or near it or something but I'm probably way off. The US stands for the United States. Technically it's USA, the United States of America. If I'm right in assuming roughly where you are, you'd have to cross an ocean to get here.. which makes this more confusing. Even if I entertain the thought of some sort of.. trans-time journal, why would it be here? Wouldn't it be buried somewhere around where you are now? I don't get it.

I don't know much about the 1400s other than I'm pretty sure men were better behaved and ladies wore awful things like stiff corsets and those gigantic poofy skirts that probably weighed about fifty pounds. As for the current, or 'future' for you, it's.. complicated. A lot has changed. Electronics and technology basically run the world. I'll have to look up more about your time period when I go back into town and get service on my phone again. I should probably buy a computer at some point anyway since I left my other one back home.

I'm still not sure what to think of this. Maybe we're both insane. I took some pictures with my Polaroid and tucked them in with this entry. I'm not sure if they'll appear for you if this is a real thing, but I figured it was worth a shot. I took a picture of my car, the house, and the trunk in the attic that I found this journal in. Can't hurt, right?

Shouldn't a commander have better things to do than set booby traps around their diaries?

Sincerely laughing,
The 23st Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

Dear Cassidy,

At this point, I have no choice but to draw the same conclusion as you. I can say with the utmost certainty that no one disturbed the box in which I placed this journal in the interim time between when I put it there and when I came to retrieve it once more. Yet your message is here nonetheless. It is truly baffling, but at the same time miraculous.

The Holy Roman Empire (which, I feel it necessary to add, is almost entirely unrelated to the Roman Empire, which fell as far back from me as I am from you) covers most of central Europe, with France to our east, the Palpal States of Italy to the south, and the United Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania to our east. I have never heard of America, although I assume that is not particularly surprising. You say it is across the ocean? So it would be in Africa?

Unfortunately, whatever it was you wished to send me does not seem to have... come through? I do not know what the proper words to use in this instance would be. Much of what you have said is utterly incomprehensible to me. Presumably many of these things you have mentioned relate to this “electronics”, which is a term that is utterly unfamiliar to me. As for how technology can run the world, I don’t understand that either. The people with the best technology can rule the world, but...

I am tempted to ask so many questions. I want to know about these electronics, what they are, and the way your world works. At the same time, I am afeared about what the results would be. How mutable is time? Are your “future” and my “past” even connected? And, perhaps most importantly, would it even be possible for me to comprehend the things about which you would speak, and how much time might I waste in the effort if it was not possible?

For, in a way, you are right about me having many important things to do. I had to check this journal because, if my hypothesis was wrong, it would mean my opponents had found someone who was capable of sneaking past all my best soldiers completely undetected. One of my scouts recently brought word that Shonandic troops have been seen within the land of Lord Steen. If this report is true, I do not know what is going to happen to Kessel, for under the plight of three countries coming from all directions Altachia and Dupril would inevitably enter the fray as well, and we would fall. There is simply no way such a small, internally divided nation can stand against attack from five others. We can barely survive two.

At the moment I am simply doing my best to remain calm. Hosela has not yet marched on the Thalen Valley, and this gives us a chance. If only I could figure out a way to control Lord Vorley.

I am sorry for dumping my problems on you, and I would remove these words if they were not written in ink. It is not your burden to bear.

August 24th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear Ryker,

Forgive the slight delay in my response. Yesterday I went to the local library to pick up a few books on the 1400s in hopes of improving my knowledge. So far I have found nothing about any person or place you have mentioned except for where you explained where the Holy Roman Empire was. Oddly enough, though all of those are easy enough to find, the place where you are is not. Of course, I have not finished reading everything yet. Perhaps I am getting to it somewhere.

My country is located across an ocean, yes, but Africa is to your south. America would be to your west. The ocean is a lot larger that way. From what I remember, a man from your side sailed across in 1492 and claimed to 'discover' this place. Of course, there were already native peoples here, but people like to pretend that wasn't true. It's been an ongoing problem since. Is prejudice against different races an issue for you? Slavery, things like that? We don't have slavery here anymore, but it used to be a big problem and people are still touchy about it. I really wish I could find out more about your country so I wouldn't have so many questions.

In the meantime, I wish that I could offer some sort of help to you. It sounds like you have a lot going on. Explaining the phrases I used last time would take quite a while and honestly, I doubt I could make it all make sense to you. Just know that electricity is a thing that occurs naturally but we have managed to create it artificially as well and harness it for our uses. The easiest thing that comes to mind is a light. Instead of lighting a candle, we can press a button and a light in a glass sphere comes on from the ceiling where it's mounted. No fire. When you're done, you just press the button again and it shuts off.. which is like blowing out a candle, I suppose, without the wonderful smoky smell and the hot wax dripping everywhere.

Perhaps you just need to look at your problems from a different perspective.

I attempted that myself today. The roof leaked badly last night after having an awful storm, so I finally got up there after finding a ladder. I thought I could just poke my way around to find the soft spots. In hindsight, it was not the most brilliant method, but I suppose it sort of worked. I ended up falling through the roof into the attic. At least the hole is visible now, even though I sprained my wrist like an idiot. My handwriting is probably awful now, but the doctor gave me a strong medicine for the pain that is making my eyes blurry so I can't really tell.

I'm going to take a nap before I break something else. Let me know how I can help you, if I can.

The 24th Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

Dear Cassidy,

I write to you today from the road. In the time you were gone I received incontrovertible evidence that Shonandic soldiers have indeed crossed over the Meadow River and entered Kessel. While I cannot know their intentions, I have no choice but to assume they are not benign. For that reason some of my most trusted soldiers and I have left Leisch, heading for our western border. It is possible that such measures will prove unnecessary, but, as I have already explained, the matter is too delicate to be ignored.

We rest tonight in Sehen, the outpost that guards the Kessel Hollow and Lady Sophiya. Baron Brenner does not seem to pleased with our presence, but he is not in any position to object. We are a small group, numbering six in total, and do not require any special accommodations.

This might not seem like much of a force to combat the invasion of another country, but we have yet to enter into full-scale war with Shonand. At the moment, if we can rebuff their incursions without offering any true offense, it might be possible to yet avoid war. For that, I need skilled people, who I can trust to act according to Kessel’s best interests no matter the situation that arrives. For this job I’d rather have these five men than an entire army.

Not that I couldn’t use another army. But such was not the point I was trying to make.

While I traveled, I have been trying not to dwell too much on the fact that there are no records of Kessel in the future. I know that borders and names change constantly, but it brings me no small measure of sorrow to know that Kessel will, one day, fall. I have tried to console myself with the knowledge that the Holy Roman Empire itself falls, and no small country within it could survive such a disillusionment, but it is little comfort. Yet I do not believe my efforts now are futile. No matter Kessels’ destiny in the future, I will fight for her in the here and now.

You say that America is across the ocean to the west? As far as I’m aware there is nothing to the west of Spain until you get to Ming China, but there is much ocean between those two locations. No one has ever ventured more than a quarter of the way around the proposed distance of the ocean, as to do so without foreknowledge of a place to land and resupply is suicide for both captain and crew. Well, that isn't quite true. I heard that the Nordlings once sailed across the ocean and encountered a land filled with people they called Scraelings, but no one ever believed them, despite the objects they brought back from supposed "trades'. Perhaps they were more right than we knew.

As for slaves, I once saw an African slave accompanying the Late Emperor Sigismund, but there are no slaves in Kessel, or any of the surrounding countries. While some of our Lords might be wealthy enough to own one, any slave could simply flee across the border and become a serf in one of the surrounding countries, and no Lord could pursue them.

I do, however, believe that it is a good thing you did not try to explain those things from the future, for if that is the simplest thing you can explain I do not think I could ever understand it. I do not see how a coat button could create light without heat, for even the sun is warm, and must be very hot indeed if you could get close to it. I do wish, though, that I could have such magic at my command, for then I could not only drive Hosela and Ausbay from our borders, but take the war to them.

I am terribly sorry to hear that you hurt yourself. Once again I advise you to be careful in these repairs of yours, although this time I mean it a lot more literally than I did last time.

The sun has long since set here, and I do not think the innkeeper would appreciate me going through any more of his lamp oil. Rest well

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August 25th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear Ryker,

I wish that I was more of a political and war-minded person, but I am not. Honestly, though I do understand what you're saying, I have nothing to offer in response. I don't think that I have a mind for tactics and I obviously can offer nothing from where I am other than advice. Even that would be useless. I don't know a thing about fighting a battle - the worst 'fight' I've been a part of was a screaming argument with my mother when I was a teenager. That's it. We have soldiers here, armies and all that, but if you aren't involved in the military.. well, fighting isn't a part of everyday life unless you want it to be. We have people called wrestlers who fight other people for entertainment, but it isn't as though it goes to the death. The rounds are timed and it's more of a contest to see which one can pin the other one down to the floor first. We have others who learn self-defense in case they need it, but I'm afraid I've never even held a weapon. Other than a hammer. Which I whacked myself with today in an attempt to hang up a painting on the wall.

The only thing that I can even think of that may be helpful would be if you knew how to make Greek fire. It has other names, I think, but I know that it was used a long time ago. Before the 1400s, even. It was some sort of liquid fire that you could douse your enemies with. Catapult it at them or something. From what I remember, the flames can't be put out with water. It could prove helpful? The only issue is that in my present time, Greek fire is still a bit of a mystery. Nobody knows exactly how they made it. Perhaps that would be easier to find in your time period than mine.

I want to give you reassurance that your country will not fall, but I still have found no record of it. Actually.. it's a bit strange. In the time that I'm in, there is a record of everything, even things we don't care about. Countries that rose and fell, what their names were even if they changed, what former borders used to be. Everything. It is very odd that there isn't a thing in here about yours. Not even a hint. I can not find alternate spellings or anything. It's as though it never even existed, which makes no sense at all. Even if somebody completely demolished the entire country, there would be some record of that, but there isn't. If it weren't for the fact that you have referenced other places that I have heard of, I would think that you were on a different world entirely or in some parallel universe somewhere.

As far as the ocean goes, there is land between Spain and China. A lot of it. America is very wide, and it isn't the only country here. If you went West from Africa, you would find what we call South America - a large continent with a lot to offer. There is much to be found here, and eventually it will be 'discovered' and thoroughly pillaged. It is a shame, really, but there is no point in complaining about it now. If it hadn't happened we still would not have explored the world.

I wish that I had more to say that was not confusing, but I do not. I'm going to attempt to draw a map on the back of this page for you of how the world looks to us right now. Perhaps it will be interesting to you. Bear in mind that I am no artist.


The 25th Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

Dear Cassidy,

For saying you are not an artist, I think that map came out quite remarkable. And, yes, it is rather fascinating. I never would have guessed that there was so much land that most people have yet to even guess exists. Thank you.

As for greek fire, I have heard of it, but I have not heard a report of it used in the last several hundred years. Even if it was, I am not in a position where I could go out and seek the recipe, and I cannot see any reason those who know it would share it with me or my people. Obviously the recipe did not spread far, or else its composition would not be such a great mystery.

It must be rather nice, though, to live in a world where so much information is so easily accessible to you. Then again, perhaps not. While I would be able to learn much, and therefore gain an upper hand in many situations, my opponents would have the same ability. Every secret would be laid bare, and then none would survive.

Maybe at some point I will have the opportunity to take the time and think about how information from the future might be able to help me now. For now, though, my men and I rest for the last night before reaching the Meadow River Valley, and an almost undoubtedly inevitable confrontations with the Sonandics. I shall do my best to speak of happier matters.

The five men I’m traveling with are named Wulf, Nicolan, Bruno, Erich, and Marcel. Roe, in case you were wondering, is still in Leisch. I left him in charge of the matters I normally handle. While Wulf has been a member of the Kesselen Special Forces for longer than both Roe and myself, he lacks a certain ingenuity that Roe possesses in copious quantities. I know, should I not return from this mission or any other, Roe would be able to take over and protect Kessel as I would have.

I’m sorry, I was speaking of happier matters.

Nicolan is by far the youngest of our group even though he has been with the Special Forces Unit for two years already. He still possesses a boyish innocence that can be beautiful to witness at times. We spooked a herd of deer today while passing through the Thalen Meadows, and you should have seen how wide his eyes got at watching one of them jump over a fallen tree that must have been as wide around as he was tall.

Erich, on the other hand, is the reactive member of the group. He was the first to knock arrow when the deer started running, and together we managed to take down a large doe who served as dinner. The smell of roast meat still fills the clearing where we have made camp, and three three of us who are on watch tonight are going to have to keep an extra sharp eye out for predators. The hot meat was well worth it though, even if parts of it were undoubtedly overcooked. We will bring the rest to trade with some of the locals tomorrow morning.

Marcel also had a bit of a surprise for us as we sat around the fire, watching the sun set through the trees. Despite the fact that I told everyone to pack only the bare essentials, he also brought along a light, bone flute, which he pulled out to play. He was surprisingly talented considering the crude nature of his instrument, which he almost undoubtedly made himself from the leg of some animal. A red deer, as it turned out. He came to seek me after Wulf and Bruno had retired for the night, offering an apology for bringing along the flute when I had stated to only pack the essentials. I will not deny, when he first pulled it out I was rather irritated with him, but by that point I was quite captivated by the little instrument. For a time I simply stared at him in silence, before telling him that he was the first person I had ever met who had found a way to pack extra morale. He seemed rather flattered.

The fire has died quite low at this point, and Erich has instructions to wake me a little after midnight for middle watch. I hope your wrist is doing alright, and that you slept well, for it will undoubtedly be morning by the time you read this.

August 26th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear Ryker,

I am attempting to ignore the fact that I am feeling worried for somebody that, from my stand in time, already perished long ago. From a logical standpoint it makes no sense. Yet here I am, sitting anxiously as I write this, hoping that you all got through the night just fine and that today goes well for you. The fact that you made preparations ahead of time to take care of things in case you don't come back is something that I can not imagine doing. I have never been in a situation like that, not even close, but I can say with a fair amount of confidence that if my life were at risk I would be running in the opposite direction instead of charging into the middle of it. You are far more brave than I.

On a lighter note, your entry also made me smile. It was nice to read about your friends.. though I suppose they are more your men than your friends. Perhaps both? You do speak of them with fondness. I can almost hear the flute and see the smiles and the deer. Just thinking about roasting deer meat over a fire makes me hungry. I might go buy deer steaks today - I'm no hunter. Actually, most people in my country only hunt for sport now rather than necessity. They still do often cook and eat what they hunt, but it isn't something that must be done. Food is purchased. I know that was established in your time too, it's just a lot more widespread now. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to learn how to use a weapon, though. Never know when a bear might start poking around my house.

I have no person to tell you about here with me to get your mind off of whatever is happening on your end, but I can offer something else. This house is large, as I've said before. Even though my mother speaks to me at least twice a day, it does get lonely doing all of this work alone. Late last night I heard a scratching at the door and I thought it really was a bear. It went on for quite a while, so I tried to peek out the window. Then I heard whining. It was no bear. I opened up the door and it was a puppy! A scrawny thing, about as big as a newborn baby. I gave him a bath and found out that even though his fur sticks out in all directions, his body is skinny as can be. He's sitting next to me now eating my eggs off my plate since I'm too busy writing to you to care. When I took him to bed last night, he tried to attack the blanket every time it moved and both of his ears perked up when the pillows rustled. He's got the biggest eyes I've ever seen.

I think I will call him Nicolan.

Today is going to be fairly busy for us. I have to go back in to town to collect groceries, plus pet supplies now. The man who is going to repair the roof will be arriving any minute to get started. While he's doing that, I am going to be working in the garden. I wanted to paint some bedrooms today, but it may be odd to do that with one hand. We'll see. My wrist has been doing a little better but it's still sore. Fingers crossed it goes away soon. I can't be out of business for too long. The locals still take great pleasure in telling me about snow drifts taller than I am. I know they're joking, but still.. If I stop responding to you, it's because I've turned into an icicle.

I hope that today goes well for you, and that your time in the Valley is not as... action-filled as you are expecting. You never know - things could take an unexpected turn and you could emerge from this entire experience with nothing but a smile. That's probably a foolish hope, but one I have none the less.


PS. On a side note, music has been shown to boost the morale of soldiers by quite a bit. Marcel did a brilliant thing. In the history of my country, drums were often used to assist soldiers with marching in time as well as singing to keep their spirits up. Music is a beautiful source of inspiration. Never underestimate it. My mother once told me that the right song could win a war.
The 27th of Harvest


I apologise for the brevity of this reply, and its delay in arriving. I hope that you did not check the journal constantly yesterday, yet somehow I fear that was the case.

We reached the outskirts of Rand yesterday, early, to hear sounds of fighting. Under the cover of a panicked mob we found a retinue of Sonandic troops had invaded the city, lynched the constable, and blockaded the house of Baron Geiger with an intent to kill.

I sent Nicolan out of town to find the three men I had stationed in this area, who were supposed to have raised a local army in the event of Shonand’s invasion. The rest of us entered town.

The peasants were of no assistance yet, but their panic allowed us to kill some Shonandic troops. When they found the dead bodies the soldiers grew furious and attacked the peasants. This was their mistake. I was then able to incite the peasants, who started fighting back. They were ill equipped for the job, but with Wulf and I in their midsts and Erich on the roofs with a bow we were able to make our way to the Baron’s house, where Marcel was waiting.

The situation looked undoubtedly desperate, as the group of soldiers still in the city had been a very small portion of the full company. They quickly got the peasants under control. Marcel and Erich used the commotion to sneak into the Baron’s castle.

The soldiers began to systematically execute the peasants, and the city would have fallen at that point were it not for Nicolan’s successful return. Linus, Nils, and Jorg might not have raised an army, but they brought together people who cared for the Meadow River Valley, and who were, at least, adequate with their weaponry.

Suddenly trapped between two groups of peasants the soldiers fell, and Marcel was able to liberate the Baron. Erich returned some time later, heavily wounded but still alive. He will recover.

I have left Wulf alone with one of the few living soldiers, in order to find out where he is stationed and who ordered the attack on Rand. The man will undoubtedly break soon. I must return, and would not normally have left, but the thought of you worrying for me kept intruding.

I am alive and well.


P.S. I think Nicolan would be remarkably pleased to know you named your dog after him, but I don’t think I shall tell him, for it would undoubtedly go to his head.
August 28th, 2015
Applebury Estate

Dear Ryker,

Reading your entry was like reading a book. I felt as though the story of what events transpired was playing through my mind. It was almost like being there, even if just for a moment. I am so, so relieved to see that you are alright and that you were victorious in the end. It breaks my heart to hear of people dying needlessly, but there is nothing to be done about it now.

I did actually check this journal several times yesterday, worrying. The anxiety caused me to fall asleep early last night.. helped along by half a bottle of wine. That is why it has taken me so long to receive your entry and begin to respond.

Nicolan decided to run through a tray filled with paint early this morning that I apparently left out overnight. It was just wet enough to leave a trail of puppy prints all over my floors. I was upset at first, but they are actually adorable. I'm thinking about keeping them there. Later on I will go and find a collar for him, just in case he runs off or gets lost in the woods with the cow-bears.

I now have a fully functional and patched up roof. While the man was here, I had him help me with replacing the rotted wood in the attic as well. It is now nice and dry up there, with fresh floors and a clean window. Now that I am thinking about it, I don't think I'll use it for storage. I want to put a desk up there and perhaps a bed for Nicolan. It's where I found this journal, after all. Only fitting that I keep it there and use the area to write in. Now I just have to figure out how to get a desk way up there.. I have a feeling I may have to wait for my wrist to heal, or hire somebody to help again.

I am trying to think of light and cheerful topics to give you something else to occupy your mind, but I am honestly running out of things to say. Perhaps it would be better if we asked each other questions. Not difficult ones, just simplistic ones. Such as..

What is your favorite color?
Favorite food?
Which season do you prefer?
Have you ever jumped in a mud puddle just to splash around?
What is it like to hold a sword?

I think that will do for now. I hope your day is wonderful. Try not to brood on the past.

The 29th Day of the Month of Harvest,
In the Interim after Emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg,
Year 1439

Dear Cassidy,

I must give the Shonandics credit, for their men are not weak. I fully believe that this group of soldiers numbered among the elite, but it still took Wulf and I many creative hours to gather the information we needed from the soldiers we had imprisoned. They did not break easy, and more than one carried their secrets with them to the grave. Were I their commander, I would be quite proud of them.

Nonetheless, I now know what I needed to know. These soldiers are led by a man they call Druccio, who is the youngest son of Lord Emiel de Ecete, who rules over the other side of the Meadow River Valley, in Shonand. When this group left their garrison was camped in the foothills a hard day’s march to the north, where the Meadow River curves away from the border and heads towards its origins in Kessel. The unfortunate thing is that this means this attack was not an isolated incident, and truly was a declaration of war. Not only was it led by the son of a Lord, but an entire phalanx of troops has entered Kessel.

Shonand has marched upon Kessel, and Lord Steen will never be able to withstand the additional attack when his southern border is already under heavy assault from Hosela.

This has put me in a serious bind, as I have two things that both need to be done, and yet I only have the resources to complete one. On the one hand, I must confront Druccio de Ecete, and turn his army around before it can penetrate any deeper into Kessel and becomes so entrenched it will take a full-scale battle to drive him out again. On the other hand, I must protect Rand. It is the only place along the Meadow River that is fordable with a fully supplied group of soldiers, and Shonand must enter here if they wish to march in force upon our side of the Meadow Mountains. They have already tried once, and only my timely arrival has saved Rand from defeat.

Nils has done well with the men he raised considering the little time he has been given and the people with whom he has to work, but they are, in the end, only peasants, and have not had any true combat training aside from basic drills with my men and this one battle. They won more by surprise and strength in numbers than they did through any real skill, and their numbers are not sufficient that I can split them up to tackle both problems. I must commit them fully to one task or the other, or else neither will be accomplished. If I send them to confront du Ecete I risk allowing Shonand easy access into Kessel, yet if I leave them here du Ecete could create a strong foothold in the north and drive his own people deep into the country, sewing chaos as he goes.

One way or another I am going to have to make a decision soon, but for now there are other matters to which I must attend. Hopefully the answer will become more obvious soon.

Rebuilding the damage the soldiers did to the city is moving slowly, but it is moving. Nils sent those under his command out to help the residents of this city without being prompted from me. He’s always been a fairly gifted commander. Most of the boys were willing to help without complaint, especially those who were from here or around this area. A few, though, seemed to think that becoming soldiers in the service of Lady Sophiya somehow set them above everyone else, and that excluded them from labor. Most of them got into line with a reminder that the point of being a soldier is to
serve. For those on which that didn’t work, a few quick swats got them in line.

In situations like this it is incredibly important for these boys to act in the proper manner. One day they may find that these same people will be the ones who save them from death, not because they will be out on the battlefield fighting, but because of all the things they can do behind the lines. We need to have the loyalty of our own people, or else we may find ourselves fighting a war on two fronts, one against our enemy, and another against those who should be our allies. Now that they have settled in a bit, the boys are doing fairly well. The terror of battle has fled from their minds, and they were emboldened by their success, despite the pile of dead who came from among their number.

Baron Markus Rasch, on the other hand, is a sniveling wreck. Apparently the terror of impending death has reduced him to gibbering madness, and even a bottle of stiff brandy could not calm his nerves. Were it not for the pandemonium it would cause I would unseat him now, and replace him with someone more adept to handle the situation. Rand will undoubtedly come under attack again, and it will need firm, strong command.

At the moment I have put Rand under martial law, and Baron Rasch is in no position to object. Not when I, albeit indirectly, own the hearts and swords of every person in the area. This will give me the chance to implement some of the most rudimentary security precautions, and find
someone who is capable of keeping this place standing against the assault. Were it not for the fact that I need my men, I would give one of them the role. I know they would take it if I ordered them to it, but there are undoubtedly others who would be suitable, and I have need of them elsewhere. I shall only do that under the most desperate of circumstances.

Another problem where I must wait for a solution. I don’t like it.

I shall do my best to answer some of your questions and come up with a few of my own, but you must forgive me for my mind is in other places.

I find myself surprisingly partial to the color orange, although I find it rarely enough outside of sunsets. I am really fond of fish, especially ocean fish, as that is a rare treat this far inland and not something I get to eat often. Unfortunately, at the moment I can not hold an appreciation for any season except winter, not so much for the season itself but for what it will mean for me and Kessel. I am sure as a child I jumped in a mud puddle, but I haven’t had time for that in a long time.

As for holding a sword, when it is done right, it is like finding a way to extend your arm. The hilt balances lightly in your hand, your fingers burn slightly from squeezing the grip, and the tension in your arm is intimately familiar, like holding a quill except stronger. A part of it is also the confidence of knowing that it will do what you want and need without heavy conscious thought.

I’ll send most of those questions back to you, except exchange the last two for:
Have you ever spent the night outside?
Is Nicolan your first pet?

August 31st
6:30pm - Sunset
Applebury Estate

Dear Ryker,

I will answer your questions first. My favorite color is yellow. I find it to be the color of happiness and cheer, probably because it reminds me of sunshine and daffodils.

As for my favorite food, I really enjoy a casserole that my mother used to make. It was the only dish she was really skilled at. I think it was because it was her own creation. There was a lot of cheese and chicken from what I remember, with big noodles and chopped up jalapenos (spicy peppers).

My favorite season is autumn. I've never lived in a northern climate as I do now, but even where I was before, the leaves changed colors a bit. I've taken a few vacations to the north and watched the leaves change. It's beautiful.

Yes, I have spent the night outside. We call it camping - where you spend the night outside in a tent with a little fire, cooking food on sticks over the flames. It's nice. Seeing the moon and stars is one of my favorite things. I wish that I spent more time admiring it. Now that I am living in the countryside instead of in a city, I do see them more. Right now I am sitting on the porch watching the sun go down.

Nicolan is my first pet, yes. My mother is allergic to cats - she breaks out in itchy, painful hives every time one is in the same room. I tried to sneak home a kitten once that I found on the street and it nearly sent her to the hospital. She finds lizards and fish to be disgusting, so I was not allowed to have one of those either. Mice and birds both scare her, and she always said I was too irresponsible for a dog. So.. pets were never in the picture, unless you count painting a face on a rock and carrying it around. I did that for an entire year when I was six years old.

As for everything else you've said..

I am truly sorry. The declaration of war must come as a blow, even though it sounds as if you were half expecting it. War is never an easy thing. As a commander, you're going to be deep in the fray, I know. There isn't much that I know about war other than it is dirty and difficult. I really hope that it is not an extended fight. If I could, I would bring you all here. As I said, I can not even offer advice. It makes me feel incredibly useless, actually.

I apologize for not writing to you yesterday. Somebody in the area is apparently not too pleased that I have bought this place. I don't know what I did wrong or who I made angry, but almost all of the windows were broken when I went into town. There were scratches all along the porch and somebody painted 'go home' all over the side of the house. I called the police and they came out to do a report, but they didn't seem very concerned. I don't understand. Tomorrow I have a man coming to install new windows, and a new lock on the door, just in case. Hopefully a thorough scrubbing will get rid of the paint.

The stars are out now. I wonder if the constellations here are the same that you see there. Maybe I'll draw some for you sometime. I'm sure the names that we have for them might be different, but it would be interesting to see.

Try not to stress too much about what's going on. I know it may be useless to say that, but stress can kill you. Literally.

Deep breaths, Ryker. One day at a time.

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