It's been a long time since I've written. I don't know if this means that my life has become too busy or if the events in it have become less noteworthy. Likely the former; history, such as it is, has always been an important part of what I do. Documenting my life, its journey, and all the waypoints in between have always held value to me. If not for me, then for those who come after me. No matter how busy I become, I should remember that and make a better effort.
Nearest and dearest to my heart is my upcoming Bonding with my beloved, Irridias Velnyx, a matter that all who know us say is long overdue. It's hard to believe that it's been a cycle since he proposed and almost a cycle and a half since we met. Yet, it seems as if he has always been part of my life, so much so that I can no longer imagine it without him.
The requisite visitations to the shrines of the Twelve by the Sanctum allowed us to view our relationship and our love through all the different facets of faith. Every visitation brought up only the best memories of everything about the "us" we've become. Our sorrows, our pain, are quickly becoming but distant memory, as they should be. While our day of Bonding will be the happiest moment yet, I don't want it to be the pinnacle of our life together, but a foundation we can build upon toward even better ones.
Most of the selections and planning have been made, we only need to finish our business with the Sanctum of the Twelve to be able to assign a date. It will likely wait until after the beginning of the new cycle, since I know Doctor Ozerov and Neheon Wolfsbane will be bonding around then. I would do nothing to steal their thunder, so ours will come after theirs.
Beyond that, my work with the Chroniclers continues as I juggle between the various missions and inqueries that come to us. Matters surrounding Ellisorielle Black have gotten no better, only more convoluted. Zhan'a Rakhin plays that situation close to the vest, so it's hard to even know what's happening with all of it, much less how best I can help. Nevertheless, I continue to be involved, willingly or not. I was taken aside and questioned by men claiming to be Wood Wailers, but I've dealt with and dodged enough of them to know that these men were anything but. The man, Simonds, was one that Elli had mentioned to me before, the one who kept close watch on her at the ranch she was working at before she came to us in Revenant's Toll. He and his companion, a man called Ordo, questioned me at length about Ellisorielle, but I feigned large ignorance.
They claim that Zhan'a kidnapped Elli against her will and that he is the perpetrator of many crimes in the Black Shroud, particularly against women. Knowing Zhan'a as I do, I would never believe him capable of the things they've claimed. I refused to give up Zhan'a's whereabouts, telling the men I'd not seen him since we left the Harbingers. It was a small lie, I do so rarely see Zhan'a, but it isn't as if these two were legitimate officers of the law, so I don't feel particularly guilty about it.
They released me a day later, but hopefully Ree was able to glean something further as he kept an eye on things from afar. It's one thing we do well, my beloved and I, working together to bring the evils of the world to justice. Perhaps with these new developments, we can finally figure out a way to bring this situation to a close for Ellisorielle.
Speaking of trying to close matters, Alexander Steelstrike continues to try and close the book on the matter of his past. I don't know why it's so important to him -- but then, he rarely speaks to anyone besides Zhan'a. Even after as long as I've known him, he never quite seems relaxed with me, as if I'm judging every word that comes from him. Or that he doesn't altogether trust me with aspects of his life.
Yet, no matter how unwilling he is to talk to me, I still find myself trying to help him find resolution for -- whatever it is that seems to plague him. We went recently into Xelphatol, back to the village he grew up(?) in. We found little to nothing in terms of Alex's search for his past, only a couple of abandoned children whose family and village were taken captive by Garleans. There was nothing for it at that point, though, the safety of the children were paramount.
Alex seemed frustrated and upset that we were calling things off; he wanted to continue his search. I confess, I found his desperation disappointing when he was all but willing to overlook the safety of the children to keep looking. Ree and I took charge of the children, leaving Alex and Zhan'a to search for whatever Alex seemed determined to find.
Ree and I saw the children safely back to Revenant's Toll and I used some funds from the Company coffer to see to it that they were cared for by one of the barmaids in the tavern. It was a temporary solution, but given the situation with Ellisorielle, the city-state orphanages, and that cultist of the Mother -- I dared not entrust them to an orphanage. Not yet. Not until we were sure that situation was resolved -- if we ever manage to resolve it.
One more thing added on to another. Speaking of Garleans and their activity, though, we were contracted by a merchant working for the House of Splendors to look into a missing shipment. I think we've run all of our leads to ground and will be taking our investigations to Idyllshire, particularly to Hismena or another representative of the House of Splendors that can answer our questions. From everything I've heard about these Augmented Scintillant Ingots, they could mean trouble in the wrong hands. I can only hope that we're able to track down and recover the shipment before it gets put to ill purpose.
I think, though, this is everything for now. Or at least all the important bits. I'll honestly try to do better in future, even the smallest things have meaning when you look back on them through the lens of time.