I pray you forgive the long absence; the seasons' rotations eat away at me, at my being, and I cannot bring myself to put nib to ink, let alone to paper, for months on end. I will not promise that I am out of it, but I will say that I am here, as is my desire to continue these transcriptions. Looking through the collection, however, I find more annotated diagrams than journal entries, which leads me to believe that either Hollister was truly a diligent student of nature, or that he was simply following an edict to learn more of this Terminus.
In either case, this entry begins grimly.
“It is a stark present we live in. what we largely were, our works and our laws and our traditions, were stripped from us. Our cities, our families, our jobs, our governance – all burned, the earth salted, nowhere to return. I find little point why I should go on, but for the continued existence of what remains of us. An emaciated hand grasping weakly at what was; that is the Elves. I will not pretend otherwise. Our brightest stars have been snuffed out like so many candles in a wind. What remains are a pale showing of our former glory, even without the severed host to bolster our numbers. We don't even have a proper tree. We have a heartseed, apparently plucked from the dying tree, Lumos, but it's not Lumos, it's Lucent. Damned children running it all probably want to be special and name this tree for their own desires. And meanwhile we're still out here in the woods watching and waiting, for what? Gods only know. A threat to 'Lucent,' more than likely.
Ugh. I hate when I get worked up. Nullroot helps calm me down but I don't like how it makes me lightheaded, and I really don't like its taste. Like it came out the wrong end of a deer. Still, better than being captive to my emotion.
More to the point, if my job is to guard against outside threats, how can we be sure that, in this new environment, everything's not a threat? It only falls to reason that, unless it's waving an arm at me, it's definitely a threat. And, if it IS waving an arm at me, it is still likely a threat. Strangers get no quarter from me. What remains of our nobility must be protected.”
It ends grimly, as well. The middle isn't all tea and lemon cake, either. This new present for the Elves seems dire – that our numbers dwindled to the point of our trades having to start over with children as masters seemingly does not bode well for the remnants of us. A fledgling tree and barely a soul who knows how to defend let alone anyone who knows what to defend from.
The next page I can find is from a short time later, I think,
“The children serving on the council were smartly chosen, and take after their forebearers well. I am glad to say I was wrong to not give them the benefit of the doubt. It's difficult to have hope, considering what we've been through. Still, though, we're never going to get out of this situation without banding together and working as a team. Just like I work with the rangers on discovering and securing our borders. Just like I need to with the council's edicts.
The council has my fellow rangers and I ever exploring outward, mapping, making diagrams. Had I known that my future was going to involve more art than scouting I might have taken more quickly to the quill. As things were my formal education was one provided on the run, and as such has left me better suited to the task of scout and watchful eye than of static observer and doodler of flowers. But such is my lot in life. It could be worse. I could be on permanent sanitation duty.”
I'm glad to learn that, if nothing else, my grandfather was as averse to sanitation duty as I am. As well, to find that some of the sheen and universal acceptance of our lot in life to be contentious with what is held as the common view in our society is quite frankly refreshing. Should my peers be given all the chances to advance their craft while I am relegated to the leafy greens of the local mystery woods I would be a tad bitter, too!
How fortunate I am that we now have the reconnaissance detachment to be the aforementioned static observers and flower doodlers, both! Though, I doubt how fondly the modified description of their role would be taken – those types tend to take their “Swift, Silent, Deadly” motto overly seriously. To the point where I might consider keeping these thoughts to myself, lest they cost me a black eye or a swollen lip, or both! I have a great aversion to being battered, you see; getting pummeled by angry rangers is not on my list of items to accomplish before I set out for the world at large, to say nothing of their arrows, should I have to flee!
Indeed, dearest of journals, I seem to be living in the lap of luxury. What difference a few years of hard labour make in understanding a world. Not that we've got all the answers, now – our foes have scarce permitted us to make a permanent understanding of this world. There are nooks and crannies about that might open up into whole underground cities, for all I know of this patchwork planet. I can not wait to explore them in earnest, on my own time, with those I call ally. We will seek these answers that yet elude us, and it will be glorious. Until that time, I remain,