written in a slow, careful and methodical hand.

"Somedays you get the bear.", I remember my uncle saying. "Somedays the bear gets you." As he nicked me in the shoulder with his sword. It was a lesson. Not an hour earlier I had successfully disarmed him for the first time. Though looking back on it I suspect he let me have that minor victory to make his point. I remember glaring at him, angry he would actually draw blood. Though admittedly it was not much.

The phrase needed no explanation but he gave one anyways. "Your grandfather, Alexandre, taught me that very same lesson and he had learned it from his father." He then smiled and lowered his guard, well he lowered it as much as he ever did. Which is to say not much. He was fast, he might still be faster than I am... though it has been a long time since I've seen him and I have gotten... much better....

Alexandre SIlversmith was my grandfather, I was named after him. I never met him.

It occures to me that I am rambling to avoid talking about what happened last night. What led up to it is almost pointless, and there is no point putting this on page. But the fall out...

Variel left last night.

I have ran from my birth right all my life. I hated it, it was a burden, it was often better to be a commoner of dubious honor than a noble of poor standing. So that is what I became. That is what I was. I disappeared into bars, into drinks, into beds. I dived below the surface of Hazuk and never came up until Artemis fell from the sky and I peaked my head up out of curiosity. Until Chaniud dragged me from the bottom to face the sun and air. I have run so long and so far I often forget where I started from. But I can no longer run. I must accept my birth right. Accept my status and position, it is the only way to save my friends. And I suspect it is the only way to save myself.

We are shattered and weakened. We are divided. Keli is still out there and now there is something far worse on the loose. Khiras has been destroyed. I have the overwhelming feeling of dread that can only come during the moments before ones true advisery shows themselves.

We are shattered; Violet is gone, Taban has betrayed us, Rowan is against us, Variel and Jenna have both returned to their homes. In less than an hour I will be in-prisoned.

We have one advantage however, our enemies don't expect us to turn ourselves in.

I am going to give Artemis most of my remaining money, my belt, my silver dagger, my private journal and whatever else I have on me that might be useful. I will take only my new dress and sword and Divining Light and of course my rings, I will hand over my sword as a sign of surrender and do what I can from inside the system to protect Nicca and protect my friends.

Someday you get the bear, someday the bear gets you.

below are a few small stains, as if drops of water as fallen on the paper.

Now, I have to write this. I never want to forget it.

Variel is... at best an enemy of the state. If caught by the government of bazareene he would be seen only as a bargining tool if not executed out right. More than likely he would spend the rest of his very long life starving to death in a holding cell to keep Yeren and whatever forces he may have at bay. Which isn't to say Yeren couldn't retrieve him, or bargin for him, but the government is unlikely to let him go free if they catch him.

I.. I can't protect him if I am in prison.

I asked if he could return to Xaphan. It was not an easy thing to ask and I immediately regretted it. I still regret it, but I am relieved he is safe. I had another idea... a long shot really, I asked him to marry me. No that's not quite true, I was to afraid to outright say it, I implied it, he got the idea. Artemis thought it was good too. But he did not want to... Or he didn't think it would work. It might not of worked. It was a selfish request really, I did not want to lose him.

He, with out saying much, called Yeren into a dark room and asked to return home. We talked a bit more. Yeren was... well Yeren. I still can't decide if hes developed a margin of respect for me or if he is just so unconcerned about me that he can't be bothered to care.

Variel decided to leave. before he left I told him I loved him, and he said he thinks he feels the same way. Then I said good bye and he was gone.

I... I don't know if I will ever see him again. I... I actually don't have words. I am just hollow inside, I spent last night in this room he purchased and never stayed in, on my side, hugging a pillow he never used. I am hollow. There is nothing left for me except to protect my friends and keep Nicca safe. And I can do this by accepting what I am, who I am.

Alexandrina died last night.

Now they face Lady Silversmith.