Author Topic: Ne jugez pas un livre à sa couverture -- diary & notes of Agnès Gauthier  (Read 329 times)

aprogressivist

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[all text is written in High Mordentish unless explicitly stated otherwise]

25th March 772

Sermon ideas: truth. Why is it important in the eyes of Ezra? Is it subjective? Is it objective? To what degrees? Tie this into the notion of duty. Do we have a duty to be honest and truthful with ourselves, first and foremost? Don't get too philosophical, remember what old Sister Clarisse used to say: you're addressing a congregation, not a a seminar.

* * *

Helped negotiate peace between those hot-heads earlier. Hope it lasts. Dalensbane more reasonable than expected. Said a woman mellowed him. Go figure. Kinship still needs to heal. Will be a lot of work. But there's a lot of work in Port too. And that's not even counting the damn vampires.

Wish I could be two places at once.

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2nd June 772

The Grand Scheme is unknowable, at least to we poor mortals. This isn't so much an axiom of faith as it is a rational deduction; whatever created this Hollow was as beyond our ken as I am to the simple cicadias making their music outside my window. Yet so many people crave certainty, either seeking it out within their own scope, defiant to external tests; or pour meticulously over every note, each secret, perch an ear to every whisper, to try and understand what, whom, where, how, why?...

I find it odd to contemplate of the worlds outside the Hollow; beyond the Mists. They sound so big, so vast! By all accounts a single average-sized realm is as big as, if not larger than, the whole Core! So many people, living countless exotic different lives, thinking new and strange thoughts in their multitudes. And they all drain here, into the Hollow.

It's a tiny place, this Hollow; a single dark grain of sand on the vast beach of the multiverse. It's so small and petty compared to the vast and infinite glory beyond it. Yet, outside, according to some, an alien metaphysic of gods, angels and fiends locked in some aeternal war; a place where individuals are eclipsed by the grandeur and power that surrounds them. Within the Hollow, the Mists; and within the Mists... within this Grand Scheme...

This odd quest for meaning, that is somehow unique because of its particular context rather than in spite of it. The old cliché states, "it's the journey that matters, not the destination" -- yet it's the destination that keeps us guessing.

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17 June 772

Without exception the most harrowing day of my life. My nerves have recovered, thanks in part to a quiet fire and some wine, but I imagine I shall spend many nights staring at the ceiling of my bedroom as the events of tonight replay themselves endlessly in my mind.

I suppose it ought to be frustrating that there are now yet more questions than were answered; but if being a member of the Third Sect has taught me anything, it has been to expect and accept that this is the nature of questions; like a Hydra, where two heads regrow for each you cut off.

Yet it can not be said that no progress was made. My instincts tell me we are closer. Our prey's message to us had a sense of the fatalist: as if she is becoming resigned to what must happen because she can no longer stand to be what she is. All we can pray for is that no more unfortunate souls are shuffled from this mortal coil before this closure can be achieved.

I do wonder if our group is capable of surviving further in-fighting. Dalensbane is a capable enough leader -- if too impatient and too direct -- but even he struggled to paper over the obvious divides. In his defence, he did not ask for this brief. Like any person in his situation he must make the best of it with the materials at his disposal. Though the less said of that Company of the Fox arcanist's outburst, the better.

I suppose that I shall have to mend fences with that awful Lamordian; though I fear both Martel and Dalensbane may have insisted too much and too far. It is ironic that Lamordian prejudices can be worse than Barovian superstitions; but sometimes, if you keep hammering away at a stuck door, you risk only making certain it stays closed forever.

It will be harder tonight, going to sleep knowing that the monster behind these crimes is still at large. More wine will help. But, though I am confident that we will eventually find and end this one, I must make my peace with the fact that there will always be monsters out there, tormenting the innocent. For it is the nature of the Grand Scheme: where there are people, there will be monsters (be they monsters in physical form, or monsters in thought and action). And there will be those of us who choose to stand up and make a difference.

Alright, sleep now; and tomorrow, reports.

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9th July 772

Notes on Rashad the Ice Spectre (?)
 - appears as a ghost; elements turn much colder than normal around him
 - somewhat sentient; could talk, appeared able to reason and had glimmers of conscience -- albeit within limits
 - hunger for warmth; touch drained life; desire to consume life overcame reason & conscience displayed above
 - died in the Ghakis (?); destroying the corpse may end the haunting
 - many similarities to the Jezra Wagner legend

Yet another monster to plague Vallaki. This land is truly a nexus of some sort, drawing to itself so many lost outlanders, but bringing to it in equal measure so many evils and dark things.

No sighted re-occurences. May have to organise an expedition to climb the Ghakis and find Rashad's corpse before winter begins to bite.

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Re: Ne jugez pas un livre à sa couverture -- diary & notes of Agnès Gauthier
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 07:27:46 PM »
Vallaki, Barovia; 11th November 772

Time marches on. The civil war (not everyone wants to call it that with the memories of yesteryear still painful, the graves yet fresh, but such it is nonetheless) burns low through Dementlieu. People find the time to go through the motions of regular life -- throw parties, host balls, fight in tournaments; marry, sire children, die of old age. Yet in the background is the threat of war; and perhaps even greater still, the threat of the war ending. One summary execution will beget others: who will be safe from Madame Guillotine when the crows come to roost?

I know Martel only wishes to protect me; and, more importantly, to protect the Church. But as the snows fell on the battlefield I felt it impossible to stand aside; wounds fester and kill more men than bullets, doubly so with frost. What is one life weighed against that? But I see now what he feared: the symbol created, the example that could be emulated. I took to the battlefield swearing not to draw my sword against fellow countrymen, with permission to attend to the fallen of both sides. Such stipulations may satisfy my conscience, but other Wardens may follow in my footsteps and show less discernment. While their actions are their own, I realise now that my own may exceed the humble scope I had ascribed to them. And thus we return to the first issue...

All this death has changed me. I understand now the weight of one life; great, yet finite. It makes some of the conflicts I witness so laughably petty. Am I jaded? Or just arrogant?

Vallaki is in chaos and turmoil, to a degree spectacular even by the standards of the Grey City. Heresy, the sewer, personal conflicts abound. I miss being home already. I shall attempt to keep on top of the spinning plates: the mission is the key.

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Re: Ne jugez pas un livre à sa couverture -- diary & notes of Agnès Gauthier
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 10:40:38 PM »
Vallaki, Barovia; 7th December 773

Consider the chessmaster as a metaphor for the master manipulator. I've often found myself wondering how many nobles and powerful people see the land in such terms; a game board with pieces, with pawns to direct, promote or sacrifice. What a lonely mentality it must be, to see all transactions with your fellows as patterns of power.

Being a commoner and then a simple anchorite, I only ever dimly perceived these in Dementlieu -- I was simply beneath notice, and thus not privy to the miasma of gossip and rumour that surrounds the game. Only since the new civil war did I become aware of the sweeping moves cutting swathes of blood through my countrymen and women. Knight takes Rook; and hundreds of soldiers lie bleeding on the field of battle.

For perhaps the first time, I have begun to feel the same way in Barovia. The lure of silver and the mountain's dark secrets project their own arena of contested power in which invisible claimants have begun their dance. Though I wish to stay away, I can't. Does that make me someone's pawn?

May Ezra guard over me. And may the Grand Scheme send Inquisitor Martel to our aid. He has a better knack for these things than I.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 10:43:14 PM by aprogressivist »