3 Marpenoth

One's thoughts should be set in order with pen and paper; and here I am to fill the pages with everything that's changed. It's been a long time since I sat and wrote my histories. Imoen's my sister and I'm a Grand Duchess and all the family I thought I knew are dead. It's an anniversary today, which is a good time to start resolutions: I'm eighteen, and that means Imoen is too.

Viconia left today. She took gold and jewels to purchase farmland in Beregost, as if she would something that doesn't involve killing. She kissed Shar-Teel before she went, and taunted her that she was an elf and would outlive we mortals by centuries; and then invited her to visit. I don't understand them at all.

Shar-Teel stays with us. She's a horrible mother; and yet she trained me, and she has her moments... I remember her fighting before me, vivid as flame. We don't seem to be able to get rid of Tiax.

Ajantis left with a letter from Duchess Sauriram in hand, sealed; to his paladin's order, with Aquerna. Faldorn disappears to her groves. Breeding ettercaps, indeed; but it's very hard to tell Faldorn what to do. Tevanie's as obstinate in her own way; if she can pass examination after tutoring, she will go to the Gondar Academy for Young Ladies.

My father's old accountant—Chalio—suggested a marriage with Cousin Evan, as if my father would have willed it. He's old, my second cousin; he's kind; I'm sure I don't and couldn't love him like that, and most likely he doesn't love me. But it would give me a legitimate claim to a Silvershield inheritance, it would give him a duchess, and some would say it was sensible. There's been a man I fell out of love with, who wasn't nearly as important to me as I used to want him to be; a man who gave himself to werewolves to save me; and poor Garrick, who I don't think any more thought he was in love with Imoen—and since my sister didn't like him back in that way, that bastard didn't break her heart. I don't know. I've ridden on skyships with Evan Brauming, overseeing his goods. He took my hand in his standing at the prow, and in the sky with the wind in our hair anyone would say yes...

Sauriram knows, and she's decided to send us from the city, at least for a time. There are outlaws taking advantage of the disarray on the northern caravan routes where there's no guards to spare, bandits, and so Shar-Teel will lead us again. It doesn't do any good to have a former demigoddess here, either; people still pray to Imoen, and while she works her magic to try to help rebuild she doesn't have Dynaheir's control. Imoen, me, Shar-Teel, and Tiax for our healer, a small group on the roads once again.

There are histories I have to tell: the tragedies of dead dwarves and the Balduran who enslaved a peaceful people, and someday even the true story of Sarevok, the man who would be god and Grand Duke. Perhaps I will find more histories; of the runic language of the sword's hilt afire in my hand and the carved stone pillar that rose on the warm beach. Of Stephan Capetri.

There are skyships flying above, skyships of Baldur's Gate—if I have done nothing else worthwhile at least I have helped to give my city something that takes to the air. Look up, and there they'll be.

- Skie, of Baldur's Gate.