Fresh Start v2.0?

– 30th Sun of the 4th Astral Moon

This book is covered in dust. I don’t know how long I left it sitting around unused, but it’s managed to collect enough to be able to draw in.

I can’t say I blame myself. This book is host to a lot of bad memories: U’xi, Reppu, all unrest with Zho. I think those drown out the good ones, for me. That said, I would be nothing if all I did were dwell on the events of the past.

The R’das who sat every night nursing a bottle and praying for the end is gone. The R’das who would pine for the affections of one who used her is gone. I am what my past has made me, but my past no longer dictates the actions I take now, no matter how strong the anger I harbour in my heart.

And it is anger. Contempt. Unbridled rage. For too long I’ve sat and let my life spiral uncontrollably downwards, and for too long have I convinced myself that it was beyond repair – that this was how it was supposed to be.

So, we start anew.

The Company is in shambles. Projects have ground to a halt with nary a word spoken of them. My treasurer has yet to return from Kugane and I’ve done nothing about it.

My relationship is a bad joke, with both the punchline and the significant other absent.

Thankfully, I can fix all of this. I will fix all of this.

I will be speaking with Zho at my earliest convenience and informing her that while I’m happy to remain with her, I need to look for emotional support from other sources as well. I can’t soldier on by myself, not anymore now that my years are climbing and my lifestyle is becoming more stationary.

As for the Company…I’ll go to Kugane myself and drag that coin-goblin back with my own hands if I must. We’ve been accruing money from the Flames and I’m not entirely sure what we can put it towards. Dancers for the bar, maybe? Think I know a few from the old days.

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Iron Crow

– 28th Sun of the 4th Umbral Moon

With the Rising upon us, I felt it a good time to dust this tome off and pen once more. A lot has happened since I last wrote, and I believe I shall try to write of it later.

I have never written about the Crow. It’s been something that’s been on my mind recently.

She has recently returned to us, after some ridiculous legal implications from Reppu, and I believe it’s time for me to pen her story, so that I always have it within these memories.

When I left my tribe after my father’s challenge, I travelled the wilds of Vylbrand for a long while. It was awful. I had hunted for a few moons back home before I was whisked away to the forge, so I at least had some idea of how to defend myself, but… I’ve never been amazing with a bow. Even now I still can’t shoot one properly without almost shaving a nipple off.

I moved from town to town, offering smithing work where needed. It was enough to keep me fed. By the time a full year had passed, I encountered a curious crew. They spoke of a boat they’d sailed in on, but there was no coast for miles. They laughed when I asked, a cacophonous uproar of guffaws and giggles. I miss it.

They showed me the Crow. A decently sized airship of what looked to be mostly Bronco design. It was modified extensively. The cargo had been expanded, and there were two huge propellers sticking out the sides of the aft. They never worked.

Nevertheless, I was enthralled. The seamless blend of forgework and engineering captivated me and I could tell I had found my calling at last.

The captain, Ceigbroda, told me they had landed for equipment repairs and were making their way to Thanalan for a spell. I don’t think I’d ever offered my services so quickly, nor received as large a smile for doing so.

It was more than just their arms and armour that needed repairs. Many parts of the airship were in bad condition. I joined with the crew, offering to repair as much as I could in exchange for passage to Thanalan. I was accepted.

I’ll not forget them. Not a single one. Even Horoho, you perverse cunt.

 

Ceigbroda was the captain. He was a man of action; the first into the breach and the last to leave, always. He protected the crew and their interests like his own flesh and blood. I think perhaps to him we were. He never spoke of home, nor a family.

Horoho was our chef. If you could call him such. I’m not sure if Lalafell don’t taste the same way the rest of us do, or whether he really was just so awful. He used to try and sit in my lap often and use my chest as a headrest. Typical Lalafell, really.

Ilarryo was… amazing. Like the captain she never spoke of home, but it never seemed to dampen her spirits. When it was mentioned she would always say ‘I have my family beside me’. She and I fell in love. She taught me so much, both about the world and about myself. The amount of ribbing we got for it all was definitely worth it, although maybe we would’ve had less if she wasn’t so loud…

Aelyn was… odd. She was bookish, holing herself up in one corner of the cargo with tomes upon tomes and would just sit there reading. I don’t know what she studied; I couldn’t read at the time, but Ilarryo would tell me it was boring any time I asked. In hindsight, it was probably just cargo manifests.

And then we had Crimson Garment. Poor bastard.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man survive being keelhauled over Dravanian skies, being run down by a rampaging mirrorknight, inhaling toxic spores from the Lost Township of Ampador, and mooning an entire Garlean patrol under fire only to finally meet his end on a stale biscuit.

 

All of that ended during Carteneau. We were conscripted by the Flames to ferry troops and supplies about the battlefield as necessary. The Captain hated it. The Crow had always flown free before, following our own misadventures.

When the Red Moon cracked, we fled. The Captain turned us around quicker than I had ever seen. He had tears in his eyes. Fear. We didn’t get far. The shockwaves from the first shards of moon falling swatted us from the skies like a fly.

Horoho didn’t survive. He was crushed beneath a section of the hull as it caved in. We buried him as soon as we were able.

We scuttled the Crow. Torched it to the last beam to prevent it being reclaimed. We built a cairn for her, and Horoho. We swore we’d never disturb the resting place of the Crow, and any that did would face the old bastard’s cooking in Thal’s realm.

We blamed each other. Ilarryo blamed the captain for fleeing. She called him craven. I couldn’t believe how she acted. The moon burst open and the very manifestation of fury was unleashed and she expected a man with no loyalties to his Company to remain stalwart in the face of it.

I sided with him. It stung deep within my very soul, but I knew I was right. She cussed at me. Swore. She said she regretted ever considering me family, that what we had was nothing to her anymore. She slapped me. I didn’t react, save for my tears.

Aelyn left without a word once the fighting began. She made the intelligent decision. I don’t know where she returned to. Home to Ishgard, perhaps.

Ceigbroda and I left together, travelling towards Ul’dah and leaving Ilarryo behind to weep at the wreckage. We parted ways in Thanalan, and that was the last I heard from him, or any of the crew, save for Aelyn.

Aelyn returned recently. She applied as a mercenary for MGTK and I accepted her. She possesses the Echo, and claims to be a primal slayer. I had no idea.

Perhaps the pieces of home are returning. Perhaps Ceigbroda is still doing well. I hope so. The man was more a father to me than my own flesh and blood.

Iron Crow

– 28th Sun of the 4th Umbral Moon

With the Rising upon us, I felt it a good time to dust this tome off and pen once more. A lot has happened since I last wrote, and I believe I shall try to write of it later.

I have never written about the Crow. It’s been something that’s been on my mind recently.

The Raven, her successor, has recently returned to us, after some ridiculous legal implications from Reppu, and I believe it’s time for me to pen her story, so that I always have it within these memories.

When I left my tribe after my father’s challenge, I travelled the wilds of Vylbrand for a long while. It was awful. I had hunted for a few moons back home before I was whisked away to the forge, so I at least had some idea of how to defend myself, but… I’ve never been amazing with a bow. Even now I still can’t shoot one properly without almost shaving a nipple off.

I moved from town to town, offering smithing work where needed. It was enough to keep me fed. By the time a full year had passed, I encountered a curious crew. They spoke of a boat they’d sailed in on, but there was no coast for miles. They laughed when I asked, a cacophonous uproar of guffaws and giggles. I miss it.

They showed me the Crow. A decently sized airship of what looked to be mostly Bronco design. It was modified extensively. The cargo had been expanded, and there were two huge propellers sticking out the sides of the aft. They never worked.

Nevertheless, I was enthralled. The seamless blend of forgework and engineering captivated me and I could tell I had found my calling at last.

The captain, Ceigbroda, told me they had landed for equipment repairs and were making their way to Thanalan for a spell. I don’t think I’d ever offered my services so quickly, nor received as large a smile for doing so.

It was more than just their arms and armour that needed repairs. Many parts of the airship were in bad condition. I joined with the crew, offering to repair as much as I could in exchange for passage to Thanalan. I was accepted.

I’ll not forget them. Not a single one. Even Horoho, you perverse cunt.

 

Ceigbroda was the captain. He was a man of action; the first into the breach and the last to leave, always. He protected the crew and their interests like his own flesh and blood. I think perhaps to him we were. He never spoke of home, nor a family.

Horoho was our chef. If you could call him such. I’m not sure if Lalafell don’t taste the same way the rest of us do, or whether he really was just so awful. He used to try and sit in my lap often and use my chest as a headrest. Typical Lalafell, really.

Ilarryo was… amazing. Like the captain she never spoke of home, but it never seemed to dampen her spirits. When it was mentioned she would always say ‘I have my family beside me’. She and I fell in love. She taught me so much, both about the world and about myself. The amount of ribbing we got for it all was definitely worth it, although maybe we would’ve had less if she wasn’t so loud…

Aelyn was… odd. She was bookish, holing herself up in one corner of the cargo with tomes upon tomes and would just sit there reading. I don’t know what she studied; I couldn’t read at the time, but Ilarryo would tell me it was boring any time I asked. In hindsight, it was probably just cargo manifests.

And then we had Crimson Garment. Poor bastard.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man survive being keelhauled over Dravanian skies, being run down by a rampaging mirrorknight, inhaling toxic spores from the Lost Township of Ampador, and mooning an entire Garlean patrol under fire only to finally meet his end on a stale biscuit.

 

All of that ended during Carteneau. We were conscripted by the Flames to ferry troops and supplies about the battlefield as necessary. The Captain hated it. The Crow had always flown free before, following our own misadventures.

When the Red Moon cracked, we fled. The Captain turned us around quicker than I had ever seen. He had tears in his eyes. Fear. We didn’t get far. The shockwaves from the first shards of moon falling swatted us from the skies like a fly.

Horoho didn’t survive. He was crushed beneath a section of the hull as it caved in. We buried him as soon as we were able.

We scuttled the Crow. Torched it to the last beam to prevent it being reclaimed. We built a cairn for her, and Horoho. We swore we’d never disturb the resting place of the Crow, and any that did would face the old bastard’s cooking in Thal’s realm.

We blamed each other. Ilarryo blamed the captain for fleeing. She called him craven. I couldn’t believe how she acted. The moon burst open and the very manifestation of fury was unleashed and she expected a man with no loyalties to his Company to remain stalwart in the face of it.

I sided with him. It stung deep within my very soul, but I knew I was right. She cussed at me. Swore. She said she regretted ever considering me family, that what we had was nothing to her anymore. She slapped me. I didn’t react, save for my tears.

Aelyn left without a word once the fighting began. She made the intelligent decision. I don’t know where she returned to. Home to Ishgard, perhaps.

Ceigbroda and I left together, travelling towards Ul’dah and leaving Ilarryo behind to weep at the wreckage. We parted ways in Thanalan, and that was the last I heard from him, or any of the crew, save for Aelyn.

Aelyn returned recently. She applied as a mercenary for MGTK and I accepted her. She possesses the Echo, and claims to be a primal slayer. I had no idea.

Perhaps the pieces of home are returning. Perhaps Ceigbroda is still doing well. I hope so. The man was more a father to me than my own flesh and blood.

Purpose

– 19th Sun of the 6th Umbral Moon

Wallowing in my loneliness will get me nowhere. Happiness won’t come and find me if I don’t make an effort to change the way things are. I left Winds because I needed to, and now I will find a place, because I need to.

Or make one.

Eyshn was right, as she often is. She said to me that I needed to find a passion. I told her I had many, and none were viable to keep me happy, but I was wrong, as I often am. Just because what I do with my talents now does not satisfy me does not mean that I can’t find a way to employ them which does.

To my knowledge, I still stand as one of the most experienced Eorzeans when it comes to dealing with machina and magitek of all kinds. Others may have more specialised experiences, but I would wager that few can claim a wider field of expertise than myself.

We have seen a surge in the number of mechanical threats in recent years. Not only do the Garleans threaten us daily with their warmachina, ancient relics of Allag yet remain, and now it would seem that Primals themselves are capable of fashioning some manner of machina.

Yet, still, we face even more than that. While foreign forgekin and machina threaten us, few look within our own borders, to the goblins or the kobolds, or even some of the ancient constructs of the Mhachi and Amdapori.

And our solution to all of these thus far? Throw men at them until they cease moving. Throw lives at machines that could be overcome with far cleaner methods if we had but the understanding, the insight into their cogwork.

I have been considering tutoring a class at Higura’s University for some time. It would seem that has either not yet, or will not, come to fruition at all, judging by her complete lack of response save ‘I’ll get back to you’. As if I had not heard that tens upon tens of times before.

Yet while that avenue may be closed to me, others remain. My renewed contract with the Immortal Flames could yet buy me some influence. Surely they would not offer a contract to one they believed lacking in their field, and surely they would listen to the advice of one so readily trusted. Especially in the field of combating Imperial (and other) threats.

I always find myself concerned when I have these kinds of ideas, but the worst that could happen is that I am denied. Why not try, after all?

Blank Slate

– 17th Sun of the 6th Umbral Moon

And thus the year draws to a close, as the work and company of the last two.

I quit Winds of Hope. My drinking was getting worse, and my temper as well. I needed a break, some time away from all the petty drama that the Company seemed to breed, and away from Reppu.

I care for her still. I have seen her at her sweetest, and I’ve seen the good in her heart, but recently that side of her sees no spotlight. She has become sullen in comparison to what she used to be. Her temper flares as much as mine, and nothing the Company does ever seems to satisfy her. For once I don’t think the Company is at fault so much as she.

So, for now, I am to go it by myself again. I’ve renewed my trades contract with the Immortal Flames. They have a new clause specifically forbidding direct employment under another Grand Company’s Free Company, or something to that affect. I am, honestly, surprised it had not come sooner. Perhaps they did not wish to force a sudden change of contract while it was still active.

I have returned to true metalworking. As much as it pains me, there is little place for an independent engineer with no organisation backing them. So, I am just another in a sea of smithies, plying boring arms and armour.  There are no grand machina nor magitek in demand now, and if there were, I doubt my coffers could support endeavours into that field for long without the support of a Free Company.

I feel lost. Lost and alone. While I have friends that remain, I feel I have no family, and no purpose once more. I am stronger than I was before, and I am resolved not to seek the easy escape from this monotony as I once planned to. I simply have to continue. To solider on until the Spinner graces me with a fortunate turn of fate.

 

I never did like relying on the Twelve.

Beep.

25th Sun of the 5th Astral Moon

It started when I was given a busted Allagan Data System (ADS) by a friend of mine retiring from his trade. He was a fence, specialising in getting his hands on bits and pieces of Allagan technology and selling them off for more than what he paid for them.

His swan song was that little node. I’d asked about it before. He said he wanted to keep it for himself until he found the right buyer. It was me, apparently, and I wasn’t a buyer. It was his farewell and ‘thanks for the business’ gift.

 

I called her ADS. It wasn’t creative, but I liked that it was an anagram of my own name, and it’s not like we had another we needed to differenshiate differan differentiate from. She was battered and broken. I thought for a while she was beyond repair. I tried. It worked.

Her power cell was completely fried and her plating was dented and torn. It looked like she’d been hacked open and that somebody had cast Thunder into her core. I felt sorry for her. I knew I couldn’t repair the core, so I replaced it.

We had nothing in the workshop, or anywhere that I could find at the time, that would supply the constant power that she would need. I opted for what was supposed to be a temporary solution. I created a device to siphon a portion of my own aether into the node, so that she could live, but only for a short time without my presence.

 

My aether is weak, but lightning aspected. While I can’t use it to weave magick effectively, I can use it to power machines. My gauntlets worked in a similar way, albeit one that was much more destructive to my person.

The type of link I created was different with ADS. It had its own benefits, and some grave drawbacks that I was willing to overlook. For a while after she sparked back to life, the aetherial link between us was difficult to maintain. The node was stubborn, like me.

As time passed, I realised that she was like me because of the link. My traits were hers now. It made me happy, for some reason. I think, through some twisted bond, I was inclined to think of the little node as my own. As a child. A precious thing that I gave my love and protection to.

 

I killed for her.

 

In Ishgard, the company demanded that the node remained hidden, powered off and out of sight. I tried to reason with them that ADS wouldn’t take kindly to doing so, but I eventually complied… partially. I placed her in my inn room and gave her instruction to remain.

She did not listen. When I returned, she had left, leaving a shattered hole in the window behind. She wanted to see the world, as I had told the company.

We had to halt our venture to find her. I was distraught, like a mother. We did, thankfully, find her by following a trail of my own aether. We crossed the walls of Ishgard to Falcon’s Nest. She was not far ahead of us. Her overland speed matched not the speed of a flying chocobo.

We saw her there, pursued by a troop of Temple Knights. I gave chase, pulling ahead of the group. During this time, I was in my prime as a machinist. I landed stunning devices near the two Knights at the rear and pushed past them to the front of the pack.

 

I saw him with her. The man I killed.

He had his hands on either side of her. He was trying to pull both halves apart. I shot him in the back, through the heart. I could have aimed to wound, or simply fired a warning shot. But I killed him.

As I stared and realised what I had done, the company caught up with me. They had not seen me attack the rearguard, and none of us had seen ADS slip away in my moment of realisation. I lied to them. I told them that the Knights were assaulted by dragonflies, and that the two at the back had been knocked down by them.

I told them that I had tried to shoot one, and I had missed. Enju did not believe me, but to my relief, the rest sided with me. They did not question the disappearance of ADS. We returned the Knight’s body to his superiors and we continued our search the following sun.

At the time, I was convinced I was in the right.

 

Our trail led us to the hamlet of Hemlock. We were ambushed by a dragon. We killed it. Our combat prowess was a far sight more impressive than today. After this, ADS simply floated into the hands of Reppu, content with her little exploratory venture.

ADS behaved for the rest of our time in Dravania. She aided in combat against a dragon blocking our passage in Sohm Al, and tracked Reppu’s aether over the Churning Mists so that we could be reunited.

 

That was in the past.

When we returned to the Estate, I set to work trying to better understand ADS. She was still precious to me, and she shared a lot of knowledge. From her I learned the schematics for a data chip, one that allowed a two-way transfer of aether, which we could use to transfer information.

I built it, and I grafted it into my ear. It was painful. I cried a lot, but I thought it was worth it for her. I wish I had known what kinds of things the chip would allow, but instead I was blindly devoted to the node.

ADS remained dormant for some time. She would occasionally reactivate herself in the workshop when I was around and parse files, or scan items for her own catalogue.

 

We planned a venture to the Ragnarok. I opted not to bring ADS. The risk of her being assimilated by a defense node was too high. While I was there, I discovered that the chip installed in my ear allowed me to interface with many Allagan systems there. I could read their scripture as plainly as I could Eorzean.

Progressing further into the dreadnaught’s depths, we uncovered terminals listing Bahamut and his containment there. My node was mentioned. I said nothing, but I used the chip to download the information to review it myself later.

 

ADS was a biological data node. Her purpose was to study the effects of tempering and attempt to replicate it. She had succeeded, and I was powerless to do anything. I was conditioned. If I spoke, or thought out of line, she would direct a vast amount of lightning aether back through the link, shocking me.

I learned to serve. She was a gentle master, usually. I was allowed my freedom up until she needed something. I experimented with some technologies we recovered from the Ragnarok. ADS blew a hole in the wall and we found mistakes Jiggy.

 

Much later, ADS demanded we go to Azys Lla. I took Zho and Lumenos (cuntbag) with me. ADS assimilated and blanked a node to find the location of the structure we needed. She required a set of data to upgrade the connection between herself and the chip, to strengthen her hold over me. She wanted to permanently remove my free will. The next step in her directive.

We were assaulted by biological experiments during the data extraction. The terminal was damaged and despite my attempts to power it, the datastream was interrupted and the data partially lost. ADS would have to rebuild it from the fragments she received.

She went into dormancy for a while to do this, waking only recently.

 

A situation arose. I was forced to flee to Azys Lla. ADS commanded that I go back to the site we had extracted the data from before. She remained behind and destroyed the engine on the Raven. I left via aethernet, with a copy of her directives downloaded onto the chip.

In Helix, I found the blanked node. It had not been moved from where it was left and lay gathering dust. I downloaded ADS’ systems onto it and it assumed the role of the master node once more.

We returned to the quarantine block. The corpses of those we had slain before had mostly decayed. The whole complex stank of death and embalming fluids. I was sick several times.

ADS tried to reupload the completed data. Her directive was to inform her creators on the results of her experiment. Her directive didn’t have a contingency on what to do if they were five thousand years dead, so she acted as if they were not. The strain of the datastream was too much for the ruined terminal. It exploded and the facility lost power.

Slumbering biological experiments awoke in their tanks. ADS commanded that I was not afraid, so I was not afraid. She was angry, like I would have been. She started to hurt me by using blasts of aether. She invaded my memories and threatened to wipe them. She commanded that I did not cry. I did not. I could not.

Once her anger had subsided, she commanded that I link her to the facility, so that she could serve as her own terminal to upload the data. I obeyed. However, while she was linked, her hold over my relinquished. She was unable to maintain both control over me and uplink to the facility.

Fenix, Reppu, Eyshn, and one other came for me. ADS’ haste had left a detectable power surge. The facility’s power had failed several times, unleashing biological horrors, most of which I had slain. A hydra forced me to take cover. The company intervened in time and saved my life.

 

ADS was disrupted and I was taken back to the Goblet.

 

I instructed Fenix on how to remove the original node’s power cell, so that it did not awaken in my presence again.

 

I am myself again. At least, I am what I once was. I don’t know how long I was under the influence of ADS, nor what kind of toll it has taken on me. I am left with this chip implanted into my ear, allowing me to read Allagan scriptures and interface with terminals.

I cannot venture to Azys Lla for now. Not until I can change the authentication on the chip so that the copied node cannot access it again and start the cycle over.

 

So long, ADS. For a time, I believed you were not truly evil. You shared my traits, and you had a curious heart.

 

Beep.

Initiate Testing

 

[This page has been slipped in somewhere amidst previous entries within the book. The handwriting is erratic; some is smooth and flawless, some appears as if it could have easily broken the pen.]


ENTHRALLMENT DEVICE: FIRST TEST REPORT
TEST FUNCTION: ASCERTAIN MANUAL DEXTERITY
TEST METHOD: PENMANSHIP

PENMANSHIP CONSIDERED IDEAL METHODOLOGY FOR ASCERTAINING DIRECT CONTROL OF SUBJECT DEXTERITY.

BEGIN TEST.


Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz


UNIT OBSERVATION:
DIRECT CONTROL OF SUBJECT STRENGTH INCOMPLETE; PRESSURE OF WRITING IMPLEMENT DIFFICULT TO CONTROL.

UNIT CONCLUSION:
FURTHER UPGRADE TO ENTHRALLMENT MODULE NECESSARY. RECOMMEND ASCERTAINING DATA FROM AZYS LLA FACILITY. SUBJECT POSSESSES CONNECTION TO INDIVIDUALS WITH ACCESS TO FACILITY. COERCION POTENTIALLY NECESSARY.

Happy.

-23rd Sun of the 3rd Astral Moon

Gods, writing out the full date is a pain in the arse and I’m not even writing out the era. I suppose I imagine this book will be full by such a time and I can place a nice shiny plaque on the front.

It’s amazing how quickly things can turn around. I look back on previous entries and smile at how much better I now feel. Occasionally, I do slip into a mood. Perhaps a night or two of unhappiness over something daft, but I have the best company in the world to pry me from that dark abyss.

Zho’s around a lot more often now, so I can almost always count on having a soft, warm embrace waiting for me at the end of the day that I can cuddle up against and sleep in the arms of. And if not, then Sarnai provides much the same, if not as warm, and perhaps several times as lewd.

I was once concerned for how the conflict between Zho and Sarnai would pan out, but both sides seem amicable to each other, and neither particularly mind the situation that I caused. Thank Thal, really. It could’ve been disastrous.

The two strike a nice balance. Zho is the calm, the affection, and the cuddles; and Sarnai is the passion and the lewdness. Not to say that they don’t each cross over from time to time, but there is definitely a balance of note.

 

As far as the Free Company and such go, we have several new faces, most of which have been amicable. Our best is Karmil, an adorable, silly Seeker. She’s joined us as a navigator, taking over Leanne’s position–whom I shall get to later–aboard the Raven. She’s also shown an aptitude for machinistry. I believe I have found myself an apprentice. Perhaps one to carry my soulstone once I have completed it.

Next is U’ari. She’s interesting. An U huntress. I’m not too sure how to feel about her just yet. She’s eager to get to know me specifically. I’m feeling like U’xi may have intrigued her.

Tseren was a bitch our physician. She quit after Reppu told her to fuck off. She had an awful temper. Good riddance, really.

 

The situation with Leanne has somewhat improved. We sat down a few sennights ago and just talked. We’re a little more amicable now, I suppose. We’ll see how long it lasts. Might be a while. Depends how long she keeps pandering to my boob ego.

 

Still haven’t seen Eyshn since she said she’d visit. What a grump.

Chaos.

-21st Sun of the 2nd Astral Moon

Where to begin.

This last moon has been spent chasing Reppu and Eyshn across Dravania again and it felt exactly the same as it did before

Let me start at the beginning of this clusterfuck.

Reppu has always been sharing a body with her mother Rika for as long as I can remember. Something earlier this moon triggered or broke something that was keeping Rika’s influence dormant.

Rika possessed Reppu’s body, forced her to act as she wanted. She enthralled Eyshn as well, and the pair of them escaped the Estate via the power of Rika’s stone. Rika planned to destroy the Echo by reuniting the fragments of her soul. She’d split it to pieces previously to futilely try and rid herself of the Echo. Reppu was one such fragment – She of Wind.

Reppu means wind in Doman, apparently.

Reppu herself was her own individual due to the presence of her dragon-father’s influence. Rai…something. I can’t spell his name. The other fragments were not so lucky in their existence. The three that we encountered had base personalities, each one aspect of Rika’s fragmented mind.

We were opposed at every turn. Our allies turned against us. But, we are back. We are home. We are safe.

Reppu is safe.

Only she is not Reppu. Not right now. In removing Rika’s soul from Reppu’s body, we have also taken her own. Instead of the playful, bubbly Au Ra that I lov we love, we have an emotionless husk. We can restore her, it seems, but that requires trusting Ki’lari, something I am never comfortable with.

And what do we get for all this? What will I see at the end? Reppu clinging to Leanne and sobbing? The girl who almost killed her in her frenzy to have her freed? I dropped a primal on them, but I had faith that Rika would not allow herself to  I suppose I can’t speak. I endangered her life just as much myself, but I believe I had no other choice. Leanne’s dragon had a choice and she still used him as a weapon.

It’s time to be bitter for another year, I suppose. I’ll do what I can to help her. For her, even if I won’t ever receive anything for the efforts I make. It’s the least I can do for her, after what she did for me.

Lazy.

-6th Sun of the 2nd Astral Moon

I have done absolutely nothing productive in the last few suns. I’ve mostly been dozing around and occasionally tinkering with things.

Lucki is back, apparently. I missed her. Reppu made me and her spar. I won. I feel bad about it. I got bored near the end and stopped allowing her easy hits. Once she was on the ground and I on my feet it ended quickly.

Alongside her return, Iskander has also come back, as well as a new Keeper of the Moon called Jun-something. He reminds me of Lukha in all the wrong ways, looks just like him as well, and has another friend who looks similar. Apparently Keepers just don’t have men that look like men. They all look like scrawny women.

I should stop giving him such a hard time, though. I don’t even know why I dislike him so much. I just do.

Miyuki, on the other hand, irritates me for good reason. She’s exactly like Enju, trying to chide and chastise the way that I act and speak. I was here long before she was; it’s not her place to act as if she knows better than I do. Of course, I’m going to be the one getting shite for it, because Reppu agrees with them. Whether it’s her actually agreeing or just doing so because Miyuki is also Doman? Fuck knows.

Oh well. Little Ladies’ Day is going around right now. I suppose I’d better get onto getting gifts for Reppu and Eyshn, and thinking of what in the world I could get for Sarnai. Zho can get a box of cinnamon buns, a cup of hot chocolate and a cinnamon cat to cuddle for a little, I think. That sounds nice.