A laboratory of invention, a home for stream of consciousness scribbles, passages of undetermined length, and discombobulated story fragments.
Updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
I once wondered why the clerics saved some of these scribbles. They can be disjointed, puzzling passages, that provide little to no discernible benefit to the reader, but put enough of them together and they form an opus, they fill a empty canvas with the shapes and colours of an age long gone. If only their authors bothered to date them.
- Day 1 -
I lost my harp. I don't know how, or where. We stopped only thrice. Once for relief, once for supper, and once more for relief. I was working on a new melody. The harmony was like moonlight caught in a waterfall, like a silk scarf floating on the desert wind. I've got a handful of notes written down, but the sound is fleeting. We have a long way to travel before we reach Port Mol. Longer still before I'll be able to find a new harp. I noticed it was gone after the third stop. I put it back into it's casing after supper and I'd not removed it since. No one else has either, or so they swear to me. What a dreadful start to the journey. I'll have to occupy myself some other way.
- Day 2 -
(The letters in this entry are uneven, like they were written by an unsteady hand.)
Garrick and Lae are dead, dragged off into the woods by goblins. Hendmil might not last till morning, the way his leg looks. We stopped for supper. It was still daylight. We'd barely gotten the fire started. The arrows struck the side of the carriages like hammers. Most of us were lucky. I can still hear Garrick struggling to breathe. We cobbled together a defence with Falken. He was quick to think and ordered us all into a tight knit group. Lae didn't make it in time. The goblins leered at us just out of range of the few swords we had. They snarled, and laughed, taunting us, but they must have thought we weren't worth the risk anymore. They retreated with their spoils. I can still see their yellow eyes when I close mine. I can smell their rancid breath in the air as if they were still here. My skin feels tight. I don't think I'll sleep tonight.
I've not heard of Port Mol before. This record must be very old. At least, if I find a reference to this city somewhere else with a date, I can give this record an approximate age.
I found another one from the bard. There is no order to this library. I think the clerics must have had a mandate to collect writings, but it was never a truly organised endeavour. I've come to think of this place as a vault. Gold and jewels piled high, shelves overflowing as far as the eye can see, too much of it to organise. I wonder what treasures lie hidden within?
- Day 4 -
Aelor is supposed to be a safe fiefdom, and three of us are dead. Falken was hired out of custom rather than any expected need to fight. For his knowledge of the cloven roads. He's old, and I don't think any of us would have survived if we had to fight. We were lucky the goblins were content with Garrick and Lae. That could've been me, dragged off to become the goblins' supper. Lucky for us Falken's mind is still sharp, too, and his sword wasn't his only weapon. I can see in his eyes these events are weighing heavily on him. He's only said two words since the attack. I think there might be a song here, somewhere, if we make it through the rest of this journey.
My mind is becoming addled. There are more pages here than there are grains of sand on a beach. Some of my predecessors bound together pages that are thoroughly unrelated. I found this particular entry in such a tome, mixed in with the ancestral lineage of a self-serving noble house, detailed teachings of tanning practices, and the mating habits of several wild animals unfamiliar to me. I think they started binding these pages together to make it look like progress was being made. I'll have to undo their work now, while keeping my sanity.
- Day 5 -
We crossed paths with a merchant by the name of Sauno today. He pulled up his cart next our procession. He was travelling out of Port Mol. He told us the mountain pass, the direct route to the port, was now impassable after a recent land slide. We would have to take the detour using the Odren Way. The Odren Way is a long, winding path through the mountains. It will add at least three days to our journey.
There is some solace to be found, however. Sauno had an old harp in his inventory. It was missing a string, and it played out of tune, so I was able to buy it at a discount. He didn't offer as low as I would've liked. I think he knew I would pay whatever the price, especially with the prospect of a longer journey. I spent some time tuning it, and now it plays almost as well as my old one. I'll not be letting this one out of my sight.
It's strange how attached I'm getting to these people. They're all dead, some of these writings are hundreds of years old. I have no connection to them beyond these scribbles, yet when I read their words I become invested. I worry for them, I hope they make it through their struggles and that they reach some form of a happy ending. Why is that?
- Day 6 -
We crossed into the mountains today, and started on the Odren Way. The road's already narrowed, and it scarcely fits the convoy. There are boulders strewn about along the road, rolled down from the mountain tops. We've had to stop twice to clear the way ahead already. Parts of the road stray uncomfortably close to cliffsides, and there are dark, ominous clouds on the horizon. Our carriages aren't in the best of shape either, but I'm hopeful we'll make it through all this intact.
I've not been sleeping much lately. I'm getting too entangled in these fragments of these people's lives. I walked out of the library yesterday and the daylight blinded me. I nearly fainted. I wanted to turn back, but they want us present for the eclipse.
I returned to my room, to eat, and all I could think of was the mercenaries lost in Ulncamnorn. I haven't been able to find any more of Calfron's entries, but they must be there. I can see where the binding was severed. The pages were together, once. Why would anyone separate them? There are too many things unexplained in this world and I feel I can find a lot of answers in those writings. Not only Calfron's tale.
Time. I just need more time. The library is just an afterthought, an inheritance the Ministry thinks worthless. I need to change their minds, I need more resources.
- Day 11 -
We've come down from the mountains poorer than we'd entered. We lost two carriages from our procession of three. They couldn't withstand the thrashing they received from the discrepant roads, and broke wheels and axles both. If it's not goblins, it's the world itself that conspires against us. We walked the sections where the road was more arduous, to lessen the stress on our remaining carriage. We've had to leave a lot of our goods behind too, to be able to fit seven people inside it.
I kept my harp, to the anger of many of the others. It took some perverse determination. They threatened to leave me behind, but they just don't understand. My harp is an extension of myself. Without it, I feel like I'm missing a limb. They can resent me all they want, we'll soon arrive in Port Mol and we can all part ways.
- Day 13 -
A real bed! I can hardly contain my excitement. We've arrived in Port Mol after thirteen days. The journey should have taken no more than seven!
I've rented a room at the Beggar's Pot, it has scarcely enough space for the bed and desk both, but it's mine, mine alone. Oh, how I've missed privacy!
The remainder of the journey was unexciting, which was a welcome change. I expected to be besieged by a storm, or bandits, but instead we simply enjoyed a long queue to enter the great Port Mol. Once inside, we each of us parted ways with little in the way of goodbyes.
It isn't all good news though, the Carafe has departed without me. I'm now owner to an expensive, and completely worthless, one way ticket across the Cobalt Sea. I'll have to find passage on another ship, and I'll have to find a way to pay for it, but that's a problem for tomorrow.
The bed beckons me.
I'm still no closer to understanding where this could possibly have taken place. None of the nine seas have ever been called the Cobalt Sea, to my knowledge. I think there are still more of these tattered tales from the bard littered throughout these shelves. I'll find out his secrets eventually.