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Written By Gabriel

Feb. 1, 2024, 8:29 a.m.(8/28/1021 AR)

May peace be brought to all those who lived and died in protection of our Compact and Arvum.

To those allies from among our lands and beyond: thank you.

Written By Gabriel

Feb. 1, 2024, 8:13 a.m.(8/28/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Sabella

It's very unlikely that I would be here without the intervention of Princess Sabella Grayson. In a singular moment she forged a memory that will last a lifetime and beyond as I will hope to see a memorial dedicated in her honor before my last days.

I am grateful to her.

Written By Sen'azala

Feb. 1, 2024, 7:48 a.m.(8/28/1021 AR)

I had the dream again.

It was the same as it's always been, my first and worst memory. Sometimes little things about it change, sometimes the monster is larger, sometimes things are louder, or quieter, sometimes it all happens quickly or in slow motion, but it's always the same thing, always my parents dying to buy time, always a monster naming their murderer, always a terrifying dash into the dark in the arms of the woman that would raise me. Every time I have the dream, I wake up afraid and hating him, more and more certain of the path I've cut.

Today I woke to sunlight through a window, and the occasional sound of birds. That stupid cat was sleeping on my lap. I'd slept almost to noon, so the sun was already high. There's always that moment when you wake up from a dream where you have to shake it away, establish where you are and what's real. I didn't rush. I let it settle.

He's dead. The Horned God is dead, and will never come for me or anyone I care about or anyone else *ever* again. Legion is dead, devoured helpless in its prison with all of its slaves freed. Destiny is dead, and so is its dream. Azazel is dead or worse, sucked screaming into a box and reduced to nothing at the moment of his expected triumph. All of my monsters are gone, and I'm still alive.

What's the point of Sen Venandi now?

It's warm. Summer. The sky is blue and completely clear. The damn cat took forever to wake up and even longer to get off me, he sat around purring out of spite. I put pen to paper and I genuinely don't know what to do today. There are plenty of things *to* do of course. Endless things, most of them depressing and unpleasant, but necessary. There will be, as I wrote, years of funerals. Ceremonies, probably. New statues for the Hall. New memorials. New weddings, apparently. There's a lot of repairing and cleaning to do around the city. there's the matter of it being stuffed with refugees who have nowhere else to go, there's the matter of feeding them, housing them, helping or letting them figure out where to go from here.

I don't know where to go from here.

I could just leave. Vanish without goodbyes, go wherever whim takes me, take in the devastation and maybe find places that haven't been touched by it. I could try to find my tribe, carry hope until I've exhausted the places where they may have taken shelter. They might even be right here in Arx. I'd have to search. I'd have to be prepared, because if they're alive I don't know what they'd say. I don't know if they'd recognize who I am. I don't know if they'd want anything to do with me if they did.

I could stay a while. That would be the responsible thing. I'm no builder or craftsperson and I highly doubt that's about to change, new world or no, but I've got two hands and a strong back. I have people here. Friends here. I'll have responsibilities if I don't run away now, and maybe I don't want to run away from them. I'll have this place. I'll have...resignation that people I want to be alive aren't and won't return, but hope that I'm entirely wrong about it.

There's Nefer'khat. Their ships are waiting, but it will take time for Dhiib'andzi's forces to be ready to sail back on them. Once they do...that might be it. Nefer'khat prefers to stay to itself. I might never see Wolves again. I might never see that city where every part of me doesn't fit again. If I don't take this chance, I'm confident the Regent will ensure that any chances afterward will be far, far, far more difficult. I gave up the dream of that crown, though, and I don't know if it will ever come back. I don't know if my people ever intended to go back.

I don't know if I'll let House Venandi die with me. Maybe that's another piece of the old world that will fade away. Like Sapphire walking into the Shining Lands, maybe the Venandi's time is simply done, gone with the ghosts of every one of them except me. Maybe I'll just be the last. Maybe that's okay.

I have every choice. The possibilities are as open as the sky. I have never been more free than I am now, and there's no need to choose right away. There's no need to only choose one. There's no reason that I can't simply sit a while, listening to birds, looking out the window, letting the cat be obnoxious. No reason I can't just doze off again. No reason I can't go into the city and see people I want to see, or get as drunk as I possibly can. No reason I can't go visit the kids I miss. There's nothing stopping me. All my monsters are dead.

There will be more, obviously. Demons and shards that ran instead of dying, and whatever springs up to fill the void they've created. Maybe I'll simply do what I've done. I'm a hunter. Maybe I'll hunt. Maybe I won't hunt alone.

The Kindly Voices said it would be a time of chaos, but that some might say it was a chance to make a better world. I don't know if we can manage better. I only know it will be different. If the Compact survives, it won't be what it was. The Undying Empire won't return, whatever springs up over the ashes. The Dune Kingdoms burn, but they've lost their worst tyrants, and hopefully not too many will replace them. I suspect they'll have a difficult time doing so.

Cardia will make it, I think, if they can destroy the Talons, or at least permanently remove them from power. Whether or not that ends up being better...I guess that's up to them.

Whatever someone thinks of the decision, the chains binding the world are gone. There will still be slaves, more chains will be forged, but never like that. Never unbreakable. Never again. Our stories are our own, our magic is our own, our choices are our own. Arvum is ashes, but anyone who has seen a forest fire knows that things will grow again. It just takes time. It's our tragedy and our triumph, as the Kindly Voices said.

The point of Sen Venandi is to be Sen Venandi, whoever Sen Venandi chooses to be. I can go in any direction, in every direction. I haven't the slightest idea of what I'm going to do with myself, and despite all the fear, and sorrow, and loss, it's the most wonderful feeling to discover in this brand new uncertain world.

Written By Martino

Feb. 1, 2024, 6:20 a.m.(8/28/1021 AR)

Not once did we yield, this was not going to be our end.

Not once did we give up, this was not a time to surrender.

Not once did we sit down, this was our time to stand.

The impossible has been defeated, heroes will be remembered.

The Compact still stands.

Neither by Chance nor by Fate.

Written By Denica

Feb. 1, 2024, 2:20 a.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

Amidst the chaos, I found peace, love and myself.

Written By Valencia

Jan. 31, 2024, 11:54 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

We have all have travelled so far. So much has happened. So many twists and turns, highs and lows. It is a story I could never have predicted.

I gained, lost and found again so many friends and family. Seen amazing things blossom and the greatest of sacrifices made. I have been blessed with good friends and luck on both sides of the coin that has allowed me to become who I am today and who I will become.

Thank you to everyone for making the world what it is. To all those amazing souls whose stories and lives touched mine. So many names. So many people to admire and remember with great fondness.

The future looks so different now. So much has changed. It feels strange to not have something dark and daunting endlessly hanging over our heads. Today, I find myself in a place I never thought I would be, and yet here I stand.

I swore I would not marry again unless it was for love. I am glad I kept my promise. To be true, I never thought it would or could ever happen, and yet here I am finding my heart and home in the arms of a man I love more than anyone in this world.

I still cannot find the words to reflect all that I have in mind, so I shall save that for another time. But what I can say is that is how glad I was so very wrong and I could not ask for better match for he is a someone I respect and adore.

I never thought I would ever be able to say again that I love someone with all my heart. I pray to all the gods and spirits that our future will be a happy one.

Thank you for giving me your heart and for stealing mine, and making what seemed to be impossible possible.

And so starts an new and exciting chapter... I cannot wait to see what happens.

~~~~~~~~~~~<~<~{@

Written By Raven

Jan. 31, 2024, 9:42 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

Thank the gods for another fucking dawn. Now to sleep for a week.

Written By Apollo

Jan. 31, 2024, 9:08 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

Tonight I put back on my shelves and drawers and walls:

A copper talisman for wearing in the hair, that was given me as a gift on a journey north by frightened Abandoned; poetry about what grief grows in the dark, and one such bloom; a painting of me, given unasked; jewelry, from a woman who will always inspire. A box of spices from a city I'll likely never visit again. A lover's handkerchief I've had near a decade. A favor from a wedding of a friend I haven't seen in half as long. Masks never worn to a masquerade, that tell a story I no longer believe. Gifts given when our children was born. Art done for the king, and signed with his hand. The sign that once hung over my shop. A decoration made to remember a town settled and sworn. The first sketch my wife ever made of me.

We've lost so much. And my heart hurts for it, it does. But seeing the faces yet alive down below, holding my children when the work was done. Putting all that back. It let me remember that we haven't lost everything. Now, to rest, and remember. Soon, to recover, rebuild.

Written By Aconite

Jan. 31, 2024, 7:01 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

I've not yet reached the stars.
But I've come very close.
I may have to die satisfied with that.
My regrets are few but enormous.

I did not tell him I loved him. More than anything.
I forgot to tell my friends I loved them before they returned to the wheel.
I let my best friend slip away and have not made up the time I lost.
I have spent too many days sulking in my room and forgetting to be grateful for this life I was given, the freedoms I was gifted when I came to this land.
I have sometimes forgotten about the beauty in all things, even that which is painful.

I hope what I have contributed to this dream has meant something.



Every one of you that I have met for even a moment gave me a glimpse of your color in the kaleidoscope of life. I have loved you for your color.

Written By Jasher

Jan. 31, 2024, 6:19 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

There will be a tomorrow, or there will be not. It may be that this White Journal would never see the public eye, but I will do my duty to Vellichor before midnight.

It seems the Reckoning is upon us again. The sky is thick with demons. Blood pours in place of rain. Azazel comes to Arx with his hunger and an army of shards to sate himself upon what lies past the Thinnest Point. There are allies: dragons, the primasen, mages, all once thought myth who have now come to stand beside us in our darkest hour. I would be inclined to marvel and learn save that the sentiment is best left for the tomorrow yet to be. Now, I only hope that what we have, what is come here, is enough to bring that tomorrow.

Today, there will be a storm ahead. The water is dark and the waves rough, but I am ready.

I will sail.

Written By Tesha

Jan. 31, 2024, 5:03 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

At the end of things, I want you to know that you are loved.

Written By Fairen

Jan. 31, 2024, 4 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

Scholarship is, at its core, a confluence of cognition, inspiration, and persistence. I pray my work at cultivating all three of these qualities does honor to Vellichor's guidance.

Written By Victus

Jan. 31, 2024, 3:58 p.m.(8/27/1021 AR)

Here we stand, at the end of the world.

My name is Victus Thrax. My love is Alarissa Thrax. My children are Astrid, Danse, Siggy, Delia and Eleyna.

I am not a hero. I just did what I could.

Written By Aelgar

Jan. 31, 2024, 2:55 p.m.(8/26/1021 AR)

We must apply the Knowledge given us by Lord Vellichor to saving Arx from the current threat By now, nobody with eyes can deny the nature and seriousness of this moment, so let all who can think or move or breathe stand by us for the final battle!

Written By Alarissa

Jan. 31, 2024, 2:39 p.m.(8/26/1021 AR)

We have ridden around the city on horseback. It was hard to depart the estate if even for a few hours. I never know when an attack is going to come again despite that he is routed for the moment. It was hard to go out with minimal armor. I understand now why Victus has worn his near endlessly all these years. I left the guards at home. I have a dragon at my side and if I am not safe with him, then am I safe at all? He had a request. A tour of the city. How long has it been since he has seen it? With his own eyes? A thousand years? I can feel it when he is watching through me. It's not uncomfortable, he is just... there.

But we rode. I showed him the statue of Eleyna and have laid lilies in her hands perhaps for the last time. then we rode onward. Through the places familiar to me, safe for us to go. I brought him to the hall of heroes. That place that I enjoy walking. So he could see the heroes of the centuries. So I could show him Lord Darrow.

I stopped us at Lotties, so he could try what sweets there might be at these times. Places that I knew had not been here when he was. We sat to sup, to sip, to do the thing he requested in these moments between. To listen. We went to the shrines. The faith plays so large a part in my life. So that he might see how they have developed. The old ones, the new ones. We are with Vellichor's right now. I wanted to write in my whites. I encouraged him to write as well, if he would like. As this is the way of Arx. Of Arvum.

After this, I don't know where we will ride. Perhaps we will just ride, plod along and take our time before we return to the estate. No doubt the children are ready to greet him when he comes back. We've a feast set for this night. The servants work as we ride. But all will gather in the hall at our side. For this moment, we are all as one. Or they can gather with their families. It is their choice. But I know, that I will sit with Eleyna at my side and lift my glass for at least another night with those I love.

Maelstrom is destroyed, sacrificed that we may gain the tools needed to drive back evil, to banish it, destroy it. To gain the necessary allies to see another day. It will have been worth it. As sad as it is to say such, it was a necessary thing. We did not have the strength to hold it like the other cities after the civil wars toll. But we have teh strength to hold the city. Much like before, we will bleed, we will hurt, but we will come out the other side victorius. Changed irrevocably, but changed none the less.

Written By Mattheu

Jan. 31, 2024, 2:28 p.m.(8/26/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Ann

The end of the world is far different from what I thought might have been involved with. I was foolish and sought to grab a hammock which means something to both Ann and I, and it was lost anyways in order to find more strength to continue.

Once upon a time I would have said getting stabbed hurts.

Seeing your spouse both angry and happy at the same time is far worse

Written By Denica

Jan. 31, 2024, 11:57 a.m.(8/26/1021 AR)

It's been an honour painting all of you.

Always,
TLDOT

Written By Harlex

Jan. 31, 2024, 11:37 a.m.(8/26/1021 AR)

You don't get to choose to be born. This is the first act of violence against you.

You are ripped into the world afraid, and I think it's safe to say most don't live in it ever shaking that fear.

We are told the way of things, we are chided for ignoring things, for trying to change things. We meet resistance for every step forward we take, many give up, many press forward.

There have been so many times in my life that I thought I could take the bitterness of it all and wrap it up around my neck and how many lives would I have saved, inadvertently, by this lone act of dark courage?

Yet I remained. I was driven, inexhaustibly, forward by something. By this quiet rage at the pit of my guts.

When I kill, I see the lives and know the names of those dead at my feet. I have seen whole stretches of lives wasted and some not, mothers and sons and daughters and fathers of all statures and character and all rich in textures you cannot fathom.

It has led me to a singular belief. That none of this, none of these things; heroism, cowardice, hate, love, greed or charity -- none of it matters. That we could be the most rotten, wicked, and stupid things ever spat from the mind of our creator, and we should still fight as hard as we have, down to our blood and our bones, until nothing is left.

You have the right to exist, its yours by blood.

Lets remind them that no matter how many times they wipe the slate, churn us to dust and spit out new and clueless babes, that we will find our way here again. Crawling and screaming into infinity.

And that they will break.

And we will always remember.

Written By Medeia

Jan. 31, 2024, 8:52 a.m.(8/26/1021 AR)

It might have been silly to think we could enjoy an evening amid the darkness, but I think many of us learned something valuable while we made our foolish gamble.

I, for one, learned that Azazel has all the fragility of a toddler being told they must away to bed.

Who knew that insisting on using the door and sitting with proper posture could so enrage a being? Oh, he focused his many maws upon me and screamed at me, but I have four children! I will not tolerate petulant screaming just because you're not getting your way.

Written By Medeia

Jan. 31, 2024, 8:30 a.m.(8/26/1021 AR)

Relationship Note on Lianne

I didn't want to commit this to parchment before I had a chance to tell her to her face. I finally had that chance.

We walk different paths. But the paths we walk are within the same world, and sometimes they cross and we have opportunities to be reminded of our shared interests and purposes. We may not always be aligned, but there is a reason I accepted her offer of patronage without a second thought: I trust her.

If you believe you can attribute a life saved to me, there is a strong chance that I, in turn, can place some credit at Lianne's feet. This goes all the way back, at least, to when Skal'dajans threatened the Compact. I had a question tickling my mind. All I could do with it was ask it! It was Lianne who heard it, who had the means of turning that question into something usable. If not for her and her collaborators, a group of us wouldn't have been able to empower the rune that went to Pieros and saved lives by making their magic exact a heavy price and effectively taking it from them.

It has always been thus: My questions are encouraged and ideas are honed. While she bestows words like "genius" upon me, I tell you that this genius does not happen alone. It happens because I have had people - including Lianne - supporting it.

I have been her midwife and her protege, so many of our loved ones are shared between us for wholly different but no less genuine reasons, and I know now what I always knew - which changes nothing about her importance and place in my life.

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