The journal is torn, and battered, and burnt. Its seams barely hold together and its pages nearly turn to dust beneath even gentle fingers. Yet somehow, against all odds, it survives to keep its writer's memories alive. Emblazoned onto its cover is a simple message. It reads:
To whosoever finds this journal: may it touch your heart the way those who are written about have touched mine.
After taking Lorrik's advice under careful consideration, I have indeed decided to follow it. I've gotten a journal. Goodness, a woman the age of fifteen keeping a journal, how embarrassingly childish. I should say I am rather glad the women at the Dovecote cannot see me now, but the truth is I miss them. I should clarify in case perhaps a future suitor invades my privacy and reads this, that I do not miss the conditions. I am grateful to be out of such squalor. But the people were kind despite such things and in a way I do miss having such a big family. I daresay I almost even miss Ruby's teasing. Almost being the key word.
Ah, but I have ruminated enough on past events. Lorrik is tending to the gardens currently so I have some time before my lessons.
I fear father's condition appears to be growing worse. Nonetheless today is a good day for him. He seems able to understand most of his formulas and has locked himself in his lab, presumably for the entire day. It is a shame that even on days he understands he seems unable to communicate that understanding. I think I would rather have liked learning a bit of alchemy. Lorrik insists that if I wish to learn I should pick up his books myself but I haven't the faintest idea where to even begin.
Oh, I nearly forgot. Father's plans for his expedition to Auroria are finally coming to fruition. He's contracted someone to protect him, finally. It only took months of pestering on both mine and Lorrik's parts. Though the person he's contracted... I have severe doubts. And no, dear privacy invader, that was not a spelling error. Person. Singular. One person for protection for an expedition across a treacherous sea and a likely even more treacherous continent.
I met him for the first time today and could hardly believe my eyes! He's just a boy! While I am not so well versed in Harani biology I am confident in saying he cannot possibly be any older than eleven. I truly do not know what father is thinking. As I said, I fear his condition is growing worse. The boy doesn't seem entirely sane either, given the rather strange mask he wears and the frightening moniker he told us to address him by. Why a simple name won't suffice I do not understand. I really do not think father should entrust his safety in his hands. Still, it is not my decision to make.
Lorrik seems impressed enough, and I suppose I should trust in his judgement as a former Master at Arms, but I simply cannot. I am adamant against hiring that child and I shall just have to put my foot down the next time I speak to father.
On a lighter note, Lorrik brought me a beautiful white rose today, and I thought I simply have to draw it. I suppose I shall use the rest of my free time to do so.
The writing stops there and the rest of the page is taken up by a rather lovely drawing of a white rose.