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[Journal] Black Talons

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In-character journal for Aghurlal Qar-aKimusun.

Mirrored on Tumblr.


This journal exists in-character. It is written inside a small, unlabelled book, bound in red paper.


The journal is stored securely, inside of the author’s home. The contents are not to be considered public knowledge. Unless your character has gained knowledge of specific events through another means, such as word of mouth or witnessing them first-hand, attempts to utilise the contents of this journal for roleplay will be viewed as meta-gaming. If you wish to roleplay about events written here, contact me first.


The journal is written in a language that no other character would be able to understand without translating. The language is related to several Steppes languages, including Dotharl and Moks, but is transliterated into a modified script based on Doman.


In writing the contents of the journal into this thread, I will make no attempt to approximate the grammar of the language the character would be utilising. The meaning behind the entries will be written into regular English, in the mannerisms the character uses while speaking Eorzean.


Dates will be loosely transliterated into the Eorzean style - e.g. 21-07, 21st July, becomes “21st Sun of the 4th Astral Moon”. I shall not utilise year markings.


I shall attempt to write at least one entry a week; more if the content for such arises, although likely a maximum of one a day.


Thank you for your interest.


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[align=center]21st Sun of the 4th Astral Moon




Today is the second day of “bed rest” for my ankle. I find it difficult to believe that anything short of a broken bone could lead to such dreadful fussing! Yet multiple individuals, both trusted and not, have repeatedly informed me that I will be a cripple for the rest of my life if I am so much as to take a walk down to the beach; and thusly I remain inside. A travesty, naturally - as I remarked yester-day, the Dusk Mother did not create these beauteous scales simply to have them locked away in a building. Yet here we are.


Perhaps it is for the best, besides. For all I wish to swim in the ocean again, the thought of putting on another single scrap of cloth fills me with dread. It has been hot and humid for a week now, almost, despite the storms of yester-day and the day before that, and I rather hope the weather will break soon. Whether that will happen before my ankle is healed is another matter entirely. And at least when I am inside, we can always put an ice shard in the bath-tub instead of a fire shard.


Most frustrating of all is the obstruction this poses to my work. Not only my fishing, of course, but for all I would love to deny it, the likewise injury to my horn has affected my balance. There shall be no walking of rigging or climbing of cliffs in such a state. I have informed my superior at the Sisters of my incapacitation, and she has mercifully permitted my retainer to resume shadowing my mark in lieu of myself. Sinistrae has been reporting to both myself and my superior nightly. I only hope that she does not do so good a job that I find myself reassigned!


Dextrae, on the other hand, has been taking care of me - a fact I find quite absurd given that I am an adult fully capable of caring for myself, under normal circumstances. I should be glad to reassign her to her usual duties soon. And against all odds, I have received visitors since my injury. One Nailah Quill, an Ala Mhigan woman who was quite sympathetic; and the lady Defiant. I am still not certain what to make of Defiant. I only hope that she is not a spy or an assassin or some similarly dreadful thing. It would very much be a shame to have to kill her.

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[align=center]22nd Sun of the 4th Astral Moon




I must confess, my dear journal, that I appear to have lost my steady head... and I am unsure how much my injured horn has to do with it.


For all I am usually so capable of setting such things aside, the Lady Defiant certainly seems to possess the capability of seizing my attention. And retaining it. For hours on end.


[align=center][A few drips of ink, from a hesitating quill, stain the page.][/align]


It has been a long time since Goni was murdered. I know, and I trust, that his spirit would bear me no ill will over this. Any wrongs I did by him have been righted, although too late to be of any use, and I set him to rest as best I could. I know that he would wish for me to enjoy life, in this new place, away from everything we hated. I find no fear in my heart over vengeance from him.


And yet my father, for all I did the same in rites of rest, would not. He would wish me dead for all I’ve done. I dream at night that he rises from the flames I doused him in and comes for me. If t’were not so that the creature Ifrit was well-recorded as existing before this dreadful affair of mine, I would think - as I did when I faced him - that he were my father’s spirit come for retribution.


If he brings fear or strife into the Lady Defiant’s life, as he did Goni’s, then I should never forgive myself. And yet I find myself of the belief that if he should choose to end the lady Defiant as he did Goni, that I would only be able to watch.


Nothing sets fear deeper in me, my journal.


When I first started to entertain the Lady, and the ser Shirogawa Mitsuhiko as well, I promised myself that I was no longer going to permit my father any dominion over my life in Eorzea. I was free to pursue partners as I should have been all of my life were I not born into that despicable clan of creatures I barely dare to call Xaela. No longer would I turn away the attraction I felt to such people as I do.


Yet still the fear lingers. I suppose one’s own mind is not so easy to set steady as another’s...


I suppose, for now, I ought to focus on ensuring that I do not scare either of these sweet-hearted Raen away. The lady Defiant seems afraid that I might disapprove of her, and the ser Shirogawa seems utterly convinced that my interest in him is a ruse designed to humiliate him. I suppose time and patience shall tell whether mine true intent shines through... and whether my father’s influence truly remains removed from such affairs.

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[align=center]23rd Sun of the 4th Astral Moon




The nightmares have returned in full force, most unfortunately of all.


I thought I was doing perfectly well. Why, I’d scarcely had a fright from them in weeks. Of course I still had them - but the advice was helping. And now it is not.


Dreams of fire and knives. Dreams of lies and laughter. Dreams of Father and Brother.


They feel real. I don’t remember to wake myself up. If I do, it doesn’t work. I feel trapped, paralysed... all the while.


I am sure that being cooped up all of a day is doing me absolutely no favours in protecting myself from these awful episodes. I should be very glad indeed for to be permitted outside access again.


Yet for all this is distressing, somehow the thought of utilising the chemicals Dextrae advocates me to use is moreso; the idea of handing over control of my body to a simple potion... at least the nightmares are showing me horrors I am already familiar with.


Whichever road it occurs by, I rather hope it shall be over soon.

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[align=center]28th Sun of the 4th Astral Moon




I seem to have a knack for making an awful fool of myself, despite all of my efforts to the contrary.


As you and none others, my journal, know, I had the lady Defiant over for rather a lot longer than usual the other night. Rather a lot closer, as well. I could only pray that I did not harm her during our time together, mind or body. It has been rather difficult indeed adjusting truly apart from what I learned as an adolescent, and this has been my first real opportunity to put into practice the things I have learned since departing from Othard.


I was under the impression that I did not harm her. At least, not directly. By the end of it, she was in rather a hurry to leave, and I suppose I ought to have been more suspicious of that fact at the time. As it is, it has been several days since… and she has not spoken with me directly at all.


We had a conversation, of sorts, by the Acronycal yesterday… but no meaningful words came out of it, and I begin to wonder if she hasn’t lost interest in me, or if I haven’t done some dreadful thing to offend her of which I am not aware. I would ask her sister, only I’m reasonably certain she’d just murder me if it became evident I had done something wrong. I am somewhat adrift.


If you ask me, the sooner I can go back to focussing on actual work instead of on the mess that is my social relations, the better.

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[align=center]3rd Sun of the 4th Umbral Moon




Yesterday was awful and today was quite charming indeed.


I was interrupted quite kindly by the lady Regal yesterday. She is Defiant’s older sister, and had come to retrieve an item she had left in my tender care during Aethertide’s move. We ended up speaking for rather a lot longer than intended, and… she came dangerously close to being aware of some things which I would rather no soul were aware of whatsoever. I only hope that she does not share her pseudo-discoveries with her sister.


But today I began the process of returning to work. I had to attend a physical examination at the Gate, and although it will be a little while yet for my limp to entirely disappear, they assured me that I shall be cleared for fieldcraft leves at my old grade within just a few days. I must admit, it’s an entirely surreal process - in Ul’dah, it was very much your own business whether you were fit for guildleves or not. Had we a similar institution in Othard, I can only imagine it would have been the same. One would have assumed pirates to be similarly lax… and yet it turns out there is much legislation and more about “workplace safety”! T’is quite absurd indeed.


I can understand the grading system for battlecraft leves, but it seems quite unusual indeed for fieldcraft. Nevertheless, perhaps that is why I am not responsible for the creation of such legislation, and am instead subject to it. I shall remain content in the knowledge that I should be back at the levemete - and my other guilds, as well - within the week.


“Workplace safety”. Ridiculous.

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[align=center]12th Sun of the 4th Umbral Moon




My dear journal, I find myself wondering just how long is appropriate to wait before one contacts one’s dearly regarded friends.


Eorzean customs are very different indeed to those I grew up with, and most unfortunately of all, this is not the manner of custom I am able to ask for advice about without being laughed at. My colleagues already think I am odd enough; and it isn’t as though I have many other friends I can rely on for such matters. I would ask the lady Regal, only I affear that if I rely on her overmuch, it will create something dreadful.


Several days ago, I announced my feelings for both the lady Defiant and ser Shirogawa. To my surprise and, ashamedly, overwhelming relief, both of them reciprocated. I am uncertain how it is they feel towards one another - after all, they have only met one another twice all told, and the very last thing I wish to do is pressure either of them into something they don’t feel - but it seems they both hold some measure of admiration for me, at least.


Yet I have not spoken to either since then. I do not want to appear clingy, as one of my dear colleagues so endlessly complains of her partner.


If only there were a handbook to delineate what Eorzeans consider to be the boundary between “clingy” and “aloof”.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[align=center]22nd Sun of the 4th Umbral Moon




It always has to be the servants of Primals, doesn’t it? Of all the battlecraft leves available at my grade today, every last one of them involved the Sahagin.


At this rate, it is simply a matter of time before I’m put before the Lord of the Whorl for drowning. Or perhaps it shall be Titan before whom I am placed next. What an enjoyable novelty to speculate on - the true manner of my demise!


But I suppose it pays the rent for now. And when I am dead, I shall have no rent to pay.[/align]

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  • 1 month later...

[align=center]19th Sun of the 5th Umbral Moon




The last moon has been supremely difficult to navigate. I am aware that the bombing investigations reached their conclusion, but of which conclusion I am uncertain. Only that the Maelstrom have ceased to request assistance.


I should dearly like to poke my nose in, my dear journal, only I have been quite incapacitated for the entire time.


Kaito took me on a test, of sorts. I am still uncertain as to whether passing it is something I ought to be pleased with or not. In so doing, I almost lost my leg. And I gained something that is the source of my confusion.


A crystal. He said it contains the memories of those before me, and it seems he was correct. He also suggested it would help me control my more murderous intentions towards others I dislike.


So far, it has had the opposite of that latter effect.


I am simultaneously considering whether participating in Fight Club might help abate these sensations, and wondering whether the risk that I might forget my surroundings and kill my unsuspecting opponent - the reason I have yet to participate - is greater than ever.


Perhaps I should ask a friend to spar with me instead…


At least, as Kaito said, I am aware of the malicious intent of the part of myself it enhances. And at least I am slowly capable of returning to my previous hobbies… I have missed swimming. The injury on my leg has scaled over sufficiently that I was able to do so for the first time in over a moon, the other night, and although more exhausting than I had remembered… it was pleasant.


Everything is so difficult to keep track of, even within my own mind. I feel as though writing it down ought to help, but it has slipped my routine even to do that much. I should likely correct this mistake.

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  • 3 weeks later...

[align=center]3rd Sun of the 6th Astral Moon




My dear journal, I have




I think I am going to wring Nagano no Kaito’s neck when I see him next. He claimed this would make matters easier, did he not? Well, he was wrong and I have no one to ask for guidance. You cannot possibly advertise for such a thing, can you? “Ah yes, I need aid in controlling the likely illegal magic a practical stranger impressed upon me because he learned I was a murderer!” I’m sure that would go down very well with Mealvaan’s Gate!


This “darkside” has chosen its face and I think it has chosen wrong. In hopes of silencing it, I sparred with Defiant yesterday, and all it had to say was how pathetic I was for being friends with her! For helping her when she was hurt! For allowing her to heal me when I was!


At the very least, I learned something else of her - a secret, she said. She is not capable of healing herself. This makes me wonder whether I ought to contact her for future sparring sessions at all - it seems having the stone goad me in my ear drives me to a certain level of aggression, and while I trust her like few others to be able to survive it, I do not wish to press hurts onto her which cannot immediately be healed. Although I shall be sure to bring potions especially for her next time, perhaps I should be focussing on dismissing this creature Nagano has given me entirely instead of “controlling” it.


It is all very well to tell one to “walk the path”, but to abandon one alone in the woods and expect him to find it?

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[align=center]8th Sun of the 6th Astral Moon




I rather hate to say it, lest I bring about my own fall through my hubris, but I feel rather better about some matters now than I did this time last week.


Worse about others, mind.


First, the good news. Nagano no Kaito finally deigned to show his face before mine once more. He bore gifts and knowledge, and although I still struggle to comprehend much of what he - or his voice within the stone - has told me, I feel I at least have a little more solid footing to stand on.


This shadow of Delterkis is not going away, it seems. It took control of my limbs… spoke with my voice. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything so terrifying.


Kaito tells me that by ignoring it entirely, I help it to grow stronger, that it might one day overpower me. I have to find balance.


Whatever that means.


On the other hand… I confronted Chanar on my way back. Although I appear to have gotten my point across, I cannot help but feel regret for the manner in which I did so… effective, yes, but I felt as though I had kicked a helpless animal. I know it is for the best that I do not visit him until he has had a chance to process all I have said already, but a part of me wishes to remedy the hurt I must have caused…


I do not think there was malice in Chanar’s actions, and therefore I have done wrong by causing him pain. Whensoever such shall not cause a renewal of Chanar’s more grating actions, I should try to make amends.


I suppose I should simply try to get back into a solid working routine; focus on finding Shirogawa a job and a place to stay that do not interfere with my work. Perhaps ask Defiant for another sparring session, now I have a better grip on this “Darkside”. Although I must tell her what is happening now that Chanar is no longer trailing me day and night.


I wonder if I should bring the greatsword…

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[align=center]15th Sun of the 6th Astral Moon




My dear journal, this week has been rather pleasant. I was able to return to fishing to a greater degree than I have since my injury - and I have been delighted to learn that this “Dark Side” will leave me alone when I am under the water.


Presumably that might not be the case if I were to meet a Sahagin. I wonder if anyone whose memories are stored within the crystal are familiar with underwater combat, or if I would be just as easily drowned as I always assumed. There is a reason I avoid assignments on the western coast, even though every single one is above the waves, for the very same reason I dislike them.


If I am going to encounter the worshippers of “Primals”, I would at least like to be compensated duly. And, also, given the opportunity to kill them.


Perhaps I ought to do that on purpose soon - probably elsewhere than La Noscea, for as much as I would like to protect its people, I must do so as a lancer. T’is the greatsword - and with my “Dark Side” - that I must practice. As Nagano plainly demonstrated, the most effective (and, in many ways, only) way to do that is to fight. Real fights. Real reasons.


It seems that Delterkis and I are fated to walk this Path together.


Besides that, there have been some developments in Ul’dah, but most prominently the fact that Chanar is now aware of things appears to be making things worse. I shall not waste energy on being angry with Ampora for telling him. I spent most of the previous night hunting Chanar across the city, for he had run off in a fool’s chase for “the black markets” in the thought that he might find his real brother there.


The poor man’s mind is run ragged with fears over his twin’s fate, and I have little capability to soothe him. Only that I hope he learns of that fate soon, so that he can cope with it - whether such is that he is alive or dead.


I ought to put more focus onto finding Shirogawa’s relative, as well. I have not been upholding my promise to a very good extent, and he deserves better. Would that I had more retainers to dedicate to the task, and yet I do not feel I am deserving of anything such. And I do not trust the Rogues with anything so personal, either… I do not like to cross the lines.


I imagine I shall be busy over the coming weeks, but that is how I prefer it. Anything other than being trapped with a bad leg and a chatty stone for another moon.

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