This will be a short account of my journey to become free of this haunting curse, bestowed upon me by the Order of the Guardian Sisters of Suicide. I will be attempting the impossible by searching for a cure, as it has never been found throughout all of history, but I feel I have no choice. The weight of waiting for the inevitable is overcoming me and, if my death is a realization anyway, I may as well search for information on a cure. It could be too late for me, but perhaps the information I am able to turn up and record in this account will be able to assist a future demi-god or mortal also bestowed with this terrible burden.
May the gods be with me.
I have decided to commence my journey in the hallowed halls of my favorite place in the world: Xyzzy Library. Thankfully my Assistant-Keeper badge allows me access to the majority of the Library, places and rooms that are not open to the general public for safety reasons. I spent the day researching the lives of Clytemnestra and Phaedra, they being the principal leaders of the Order. I re-read the Odyssey, Jerome's accounts of the life of Phaedra, and Racine's play about the latter woman. I have discovered little that I do not already know, but perhaps refreshing the details about these accursed women will come in handy in the future...
I also gained access to Floor 966: Military Leaders of Mortal History's Memories. There I used the Library pensive to watch Hannibal's tortured death. Though I did not feel like eating my BLT bag lunch after that, I did learn a great deal about the mental torture that the man went through in the end. As I watched him drink the poison he had carried around in that beautiful ring for so long, always waiting for the precise moment to embrace death, I found myself wondering if I will get to that point. How powerful must this curse be, to cause a brilliant man like Hannibal to carry his death so calmly around on his finger for years? He was courageous in the end, but I cannot help but know that no pensive can reveal to me the unending mental anguish that this curse is rumored to cause in the unlucky individual that happens to receive it. An unlucky individual.
Will continue after I reach my next destination: The Carolina Islands.
Απέναντι από τη θάλασσα
Yesterday morning I hopped aboard a muggle plane and headed for the Carolina Islands in Micronesia. I had researched the availability of portkeys to the islands through several wizarding help line websites, but the results were sketchy at best and I decided against risking it. It seems as if Micronesia is not commonly visited by the magical population, and the few portkeys there were are now overgrown, lost and generally unreliable. Hypersthene is currently in Nepal and apparition is quite painful and nearly impossible over such large distances, so muggle transportation it was.
Once I made it to the island of Pohnpei, I started asking questions about its most famous inhabitant: Isokelekel. Though he lived sometime between the early 16th and late 17th centuries, his name is still well known throughout the island. I visited several rural villages where they were all too happy to answer any questions from the strange girl who appeared with a loud crack like thunder and created fire from a simple stick. I tried to explain, but they were not convinced. I soaked in any information they had to offer about the invasion of their island by this "Devil With Skin of the Night" and filed it away in my mind. Even though I know that these stories by now mainly consist of folk-lore and tall tales, every story has a seed of truth and sometimes the impossible is actually quite probable. Especially with magic involved.
I visited the ruins of his mighty palace on Temwen Island, and snapped a quick picture which I will paste in this book. As I sat on his crumbling stone throne and thought about his tragic death (which I will not detail for purposes in keeping this account mainly PG rated), something hit me. One of the withered old women I had spoken too had made a reference to a choice Isokelekel had made in executing one of his closest friends in a jealous rage. She had said that the "gods were not pleased with his anger and he was forever covered in the blood of an innocent man". Forever covered in blood. This was probably not a literal reference, but one that seemed tied to the curse that we now know he suffered from.
Can one be cleansed of this blood?
Next destination: Athens, 572 B.C. (My plan is to hitchhike with a timetraveler. We will see how that goes.)
I am jotting this quick note as I sit at a beach side cafe in Guinayangan, Philippians. I have the growing suspicion that I am being watched. Earlier I seemed to catch a strange glimpse of pale lavender by a flower shop corner, but it had vanished by the time I could process what I had seen. My senses are not at peace, and I feel jittery. I don't know what this could mean. Who would be following me? It is true that my questions and actions may have drawn some notice, but I have not stayed in one place for over an hour. It could be the Order itself, keeping tabs on me. I almost hope this is the case, for then it could mean that I am on the trail of something important. Also, it begs a curious question:
Why spend time watching a prisoner if it is impossible for her to escape?
My lechon and rice has just arrived. Will write more later.
Well, that was exhilarating. I haven't time traveled in a while (ok, it's been a week but still) and I was reminded why I love it so much. Ah, it must be nice to have time lord blood. Anyway, this trip presented to be quite fruitful indeed. I traveled to Athens. I love the Ancient Greek culture so much, something about it fills me with renewed energy and purpose. (Must be the Hypnos blood again.) My good friend Renato let me use him as a time lord taxi service (THANK YOU REN! :D) and of course I saw the sights. I mean, who can go to Athens without seeing a debate at the Pnyx? I also payed homage to my father's, albeit, tiny, temple, and enjoyed the ocean breezes while eating freshly baked bread from the Agora. It was marvelous. But back to the task on hand. My purpose for traveling 2442 years into the past was simple: I wanted to talk to Solon. I found him gardening his thyme plants at his little home on the outskirts of Athens. He was pleased to see me and did not seem too taken aback once I explained who I was and where I had come from. He said that someone else had visited him about two weeks ago (which of course means nothing if time travel was involved, it could have been 357 years ago from the modern time stream.) and asked many of the same sorts of questions as I was now asking. These questions were of course concerning Oedipus, the hero of Thebes. Solon had mentored Oedipus when he was a blind and wretched man after his infamous tragedy. He was a friend when the guilt torn man had none and he
My apologies for the interruption, dear reader, but something came up. Something...upsetting...I need time to process this...will write more later.
Again I apologize for my abrupt end to my former account of my time in Greece. I would not recount the following except that I strongly believe it pertains to the subject of this journal. While I was writing it down on the steps of Xyzzy Library while on my lunch break, a strange thing occured. I was approched by a hooded figure draped in a pale lavender cloak. Under the hood was a young, beautiful little girl with skin as pale as the moon and hair as dark as the night. She stared silently at me, and I returned the favor. Then she pressed a scrap of cloth into my hand, raised a hand in a gesture of respect, and walked away across the street. She was hidden from my sight for only a fraction of a second behind a passing bus but when my view was clear again, she was nowhere in sight, vanished into thin air. It was a plain scrap, about 4x9 inches large and a pleasant, cream color. On one side was 4 verses of what seemed to be an unrecognizable ancient language. I am still working on translating it, but it seems to be a strange form of Galic. These happenings did not disturb me nearly as much, however, as the appearance of the little girl. I am still bewildered with confusion, heartache, and a painful sense of haunting hope. What this means means I do not know, and I am almost frantic in my translation of the scrap, for it may explain why...why it was given, why right then, and why the little girl under the cloak was the spitting image of someone I believed to be dead:
My baby sister, Isannah.
Well. So much has happened so fast. Suffice to say, I am still a bit shaken by...recent occurrences....but I have decided to carry on as normal as possible until more is revealed. I am still working on the translation of the scrap, but I am convinced now that it is a mix of Galic and an ancient dialect of Greek. Very difficult to decipher, especially the Galic. The Greek is easier, I believe due to my hereditary pre-disposition towards it. When I am finished I will record it in this notebook but for now I shall continue my account of my meeting in Greece. In short, Solon told me that Oedipus at FIRST was also filled with the desire to overcome this curse, but as time went on he became more and more lifeless and despairing, quick to burst out in anger and often times prone to sleeping for days on end. Now as a daughter of Hypnos, I have always struggled with narcolepsy, but thankfully this last syndrom does not seem to have effected me yet. At least not that I know of. But the anger part does worry me. I have noticed that more and more I am lashing out suddenly and inexplicably at my friends and fellow TARPers. Most recently, an unsettling argument with Olaf Whitsen a few days ago, but I shall get to that later. I am unfortunately a week or two behind in this writing, so as my quill scratches the surface of this paper, I have already journeyed to Toronto, Canada in search of news of another curse-barer, Ernest Hemingway and fallen into another adventure, during which the before mentioned altercation occurred. Never fear though, dear reader. I shall get to these tales soon enough.
I love Canada. I very rarely get to visit but each time I do I cannot get enough. Toronto is beautiful during the time I was there, so it was not a burdensome trip whatsoever. I wasn't visiting Canada just for the views and crisp mountain air; however; I was tracking down a writer. Ernest Hemmingway was an elusive man, and found Toronto to be quite boring, so there is not much history to be found here but what IS found is rich with facts about his life as a World War 1 as an ambulance driver in Italy. Hemmingway took 'refuge' as he described it in Toronto, focusing on raising a family and writing short pieces for the Toronto Star. Many sources say that the happy go-lucky Ernest was never the same after he returned from Italy, and that is exactly the kind of information I am searching for. Why? What happened on those shell ridden plains of Italy? We know he received an Italian Silver Medal of Bravery, and we know he was considered an excellent soldier by his officers, but what not many know is the fact that there is strong evidence to believe that he was cursed by the Guardians sometime during those years. Hemmingway's depression did not fit other PTSD afflicted soldiers; it was more...painfilled. As in physical pain, not just mental. He literally was a tortured soul. It is hard to describe what that means in plain ink, but let's just say he was by no means a happy camper, and sunk further and further into this bizarre form of depression, drinking himself into oblivion, abandoning his wives before "they could abandon him" and becoming increasingly paranoid about literally everything until he committed suicide later on in life. I decided to bring one of my good friends Percy Jackson with me on this Canadian adventure and we nosed around Toronto for two days, turning up not much besides more and more accounts of his strange behavior.
Unfortunately I am beginning to recognize some of these very same traits in myself...and it is starting to worry me.Over all the trip to Toronto was uneventful and depressing. Fitting I suppose for such a life as his. It seems I will not be getting any answers from Ernest.
The excitement really began though when were traveling overland to the portkey to return to the Library. We were just crossing a mountainous platou when suddenly the wind picked up. As we trudged on through the gusts, I noticed that they grew progressively gritter and denser, full of sharp grains of sand that sliced our skin. Suddenly the light dimmed noticeably. I turned to look at the horizon and all I could see for miles was a wall of sand, blocking out the sunlight. A hard lump of stone thudded in my stomach as I realized what was about to happen. I grabbed Percy and barely managed a frantic "RUN!!! NOW!!!" above the howling wind whipping around us and we both took off down the top of the cliff. Then they began to form, the dust of the earth swirling into the form of golden-eyed coyotes, nipping at our heels with all-too-real teeth and howling with a primordial bloodlust rage. Percy sliced at as many as he could with his sword and I fired spell after spell behind me at them, hoping to at least buy us some time, but for every coyote that was vanquished, 3 more swirled to take its place. Soon they had us cornered. thousands of shimmering, gold eyes set in misty, translucent bodies pressing us up against the cliff edge. Then 6 or 7 of them rose up and swirled into a new form, Red Crow, leader of the Chakashi. My mind was a frenzied whirl. How could this be? Canada is way beyond their established domain! But when I declared that to Red Crow, he only laughed. "The Chakashi are awakening, little one. And their thirst cannot be denied." The circle began to close in around us and I sent up a silent prayer to the gods, begging them for a salvation, a way out. That salvation came in the form of Percy, who had the brilliant idea to throw ourselves off a 457 foot cliff into the ravine's little creek below. Somehow, someway, it worked. I am convinced; however, that Red Crow allowed us to escape, for no one has ever survived an attack by the "Dust Demons" of the Southwest. We landed safely in the creek, where after we had to fight an entire pack of mortal wolves (And they wonder why I hate dogs. Oi.) and catch a ride with Polnaya, Olaf's daughter before we finally made it back to the States.
I am still trying desperately to uncover the reason why the Chakashi could be released from their Olde Magik boarders. Xyzzy never sees the dark now for my candles continuously burn as I research and study, scouring the ancient texts for information and reason. Suffice to say, my plate is mountainously full right now, there are texts to be translated, resurrected sisters to be found, curses to fight, demons to worry over, and bureaucratic riddles to solve.
It all began in Xyzzy. Olaf had convinced some of us to explore a book of Arthurian Legend, it was a cold, dreary day filled with pouring rain, everyone was bored, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. So a few of us walked into the book on Chapter 34, Morwyn y Llyn or Lady of the Lake. Everything was fine, until Chapter 57. Then everything went horribly wrong. Morgana attacked us at Three Yearling Pass. We were escorting a caravan to safety from an approaching storm through the pass when suddenly the caravan was gone. Horses, carriages, children, poof. This wasn't right...it wasn't in the book and we were all suddenly very very nervous. Nevah was in one of her Canna fits, and that did not help the tension. We tried to leave the book, but the portal was jammed. Suddenly pillars of inky black smoke surrounded us and Morgana's materialized in front of Olaf. I was occupied helping Potter and Greatwall restrain Nevah and knew Olaf had Meg for backup if necessary so I do not know what was exchanged between the two, but suddenly the ground began to tremble violently. Stones tumbled down into the pass and Greatwall was struck in the head. As I began to make my way to her aid, something very strange occurred.My neck burned as if someone had pressed a freezing cold chunk of ice to it. I fell to the ground under the sudden pain, but it vanished almost as quickly as it had come. Suddenly, I became unexplicably and fantastically angry with Olaf Whitsen. He had done nothing to me, but deep down I felt a murderous hatred begin to burn and I changed course from Greatwall's assistance to where Olaf and Meg were fighting off Morgana together. Right as I reached them, Morgana disappeared. Everything is hazy now, but according to reports I began shouting and screaming at him that this was all his fault and I was going to kill him for leading us into this book. He looked at me with confusion and then I drew a sword I had been carrying to protect the caravan. In rage I swung the weapon at him and he barely dodged it. I swung again and this time would have split his head in two if Meg had not leaped in front with her sword and stopped the blade. Then I sank to the ground in pain for my neck was burning again. By then Potter had managed to trip the Emergency Portal and we were sucked out of the book and deposited harshly back at Xyzzy. After I was given a nervous account of what had happened, I apologized profucely to Olaf. I had no idea what had come over me and was horrified at what I had almost done. None of us knew what had happened back there with Morgana, the ink columns, and my murderous attack, so I called in the book as a potentially dangerous rogue story and it was taken for further examination by the Xyzzy guards. We all went home safe and sound, but it need not be mentioned I did not sleep well that night. I fear the curse is growing stronger, for when I looked in the mirror that evening I thought I caught a flash of purple light from my curse. What this means I can only expect with dread.
(NOTE: When the book was examined it was found that Morgana has no written appearance in Chapter 57. The case was dismissed on grounds of false report and the book replaced on the shelf.)