Twenty First of the Sixth Moon, 725

Tempus fugit.

It slips away very quickly. As you become accustomed to the pattern of the seasons, then years and decades—-you quickly lose sight of centuries.

I wonder how Lyssa is faring. As predicted, before I went to sleep she tried to kill me. It was a laughable attempt: she cannot defeat me for I am the Land. I had had enough of her treachery and began to reclaim the blood I gave to her. But the Mists intervened once more. Before I took her last bit of stolen life, she was gone. I sense something unique in my domain: a sub-realm.

I’ve heard of such things: a smaller domain within a larger one who’s lord is not powerful enough to be a true Darklord. How insulting to Lyssa. It pleases me that she is trapped here and is now beyond my worry. I will send someone to deal with her when the time comes.

What was I working on before Lyssa’s attempted coup and my rest? I forget so easily now. As I write, Tatyana’s portrait looks down on me. The frame is tarnished and the colors on the canvas have faded. But it’s still her. How many times have I lost her? Tatyana taken by the mist, Marina murdered by her father, Olya fell in the woods, Virginia lost to the Creature, the old man’s daughter frozen on the mountain…how many other times have I lost her again? How many more times must she be taken from me?

Today is midsummer’s day, the summer solstice. It is the longest day of the year, and the shortest night. It didn’t matter much to me; when I awoke this evening I knew that I had slept the past decade away.

But it mattered to someone.

I found this journal closed when I sat to write. I never leave it closed. Someone was here and read it. After exploring the magical wards and questioning the dead sentinels, I learned who the intruder was.

He was a tall, thin man who was well equipped to deal with some of the horrors of the castle. Just after dawn he slipped into the castle silently, avoiding several significant traps and dispatching some of the guards. Clearly a skilled hunter, but he seemed to not be interested in me. At least not yet. All he did was read this book. He is very clever; knowledge is power. He escaped from the castle as the sun began to set. I could loose the pack on him, but there’d be no fun in that and I long for entertainment.

He will return soon enough. And when he does, he will never leave this castle.

Twenty First of the Sixth Moon, 725

Lost in the Mists ignatiusvienna