Lost in the Mists

Saima's Journal: The Haunted Man

Since I have adopted Megan, I will admit that I haven’t been visiting Barlow as much. Last night I went to check on him and I was shocked at what I saw. The house he has been staying in is a mess. Barlow himself was sitting on the floor, staring out the window and muttering nonsense to himself. He looks like he hasn’t been eating. He wouldn’t respond to me when I talked to him and his eyes looked through me.

Before we came to Ravenloft, I knew Barlow. My husband used to love to look at the stars of Jura when the night sky was clear. He would take me to the perfect hill and name the stars for Astrid and I. Even back then, Barlow was out there nearly every night, looking at the sky and making notes. We never spoke. He was always so engrossed with his work, he hardly ever seemed to notice anyone else.
After we came to Ravenloft, long after my husband had been killed, I went to that hill one night to look at the stars.
Barlow emerged from the darkness and interrupted my reminiscing. “Your star is still there, you know.”
“Excuse me?”
“Vaishis, its still there.” He pointed to the sky. “Of course its patterns of rotation have changed since we came to Ravenloft, obviously.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what you are talking about. Vaishis?”
He seemed perplexed. “I assume your husband told you about your star? He did read the stars, didn’t he?”
“Oh, no. He just liked to look at them and he learned some of the names. It was a hobby.”
“A hobby?? Well that’s a strange hobby. Oh, I apologize, Lady Tsuka. I was under the impression that your husband was like myself. Well, I hope it brings you comfort to know that your star has not disappeared. It current location reminds me that I need to tell you something important-”
“Thank you, Barlow.” I had grown weary of the conversation. “I must be heading home now. Busy day ahead tomorrow.”
“Oh yes, of course! You are planning on joining the midnight watch tomorrow. I read that in the sky last night. That’s wonderful news. I too will be joining them as well. I think that the Watch is in desperate need of my unique services, don’t you?”

So began my strange friendship with Barlow. Looking at him now, I am afraid that whatever sanity he has left, he is quickly losing. I should remember to keep a better watch on him from now on. How can any of us hope to defeat Vosk when we can barely hold on to ourselves?

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