My name is Imalion Soulstone.
Maister Colman gave me a stack of parchment and told me to write a diary. Me, write? Father’s got scribes and book-keepers! I mess up words and things. All I know is what Maister Colman has taught me. What am I even supposed to write about? Life in Midpas is as dull as any. It’s just normal, same as everywhere else I’m sure.
I told Maister Colman so, but he said the son of Lord Soulstone needs to be able to write. I don’t care. There’s lots of other things to do, and writing is just putting messes of ink on paper. Scrolls are stupid and useless and confusing, and Father has whole rooms full of them already. The only good ones are stories, and a diary’s just life. The maister can’t make me like writing.
There, I wrote something.
Maister Colman says I’m expected to keep writing every day. Writing is so dull, though… and what does he expect me to grow up to be? A scribe? He must know who I am… but perhaps he’s so old he’s forgotten! That must be the problem. Father will hear about this.
Writing is stupid though! I don’t want to write when I could be climbing trees or playing with Darryn. He makes the best little boats to send down the river, with twig masts and leaf sails and all. I wish I could do that.
Darryn’s my best friend. He lives in town outside the castle. I saw a place inside the walls that his family could have lived in, once, but Father says they can’t live in the castle. It’s not fair! Darryn says he likes it better out there, though. He says castles are cold.
Father agrees with Maister Colman. I think it’s stupid.
Well… maybe if I write what I did today it will pass the time quicker. Or is that more quickly? Whatever.
I built a fort behind the Cutter’s lodge with Darryn with bits of logs, and we made swords too. The fort’s walls are a bit short, I think, but we made a little place in the middle that is nice. Darryn had a huge sword that I thought looked more like a club, but mine was just right. Not too long, but strongish and not very heavy. It broke when Darryn hit it very hard with his, but he said he was sorry and we found another one like it.
The place in the middle of our fort was a nice spot for me to put my parchment and ink. It looks a bit like a little birds nest in the side of a tree, the kind where the bird has made a hole and put bits of straw in there. Ours isn’t in a tree and we didn’t have any straw, but it’s covered and cozy and there are bits of sawdust in there. Darryn and I can even sit in there. It doesn’t have a door yet, though.
We’re sitting in the fort right now. Darryn was just outside, and he says Nurse is out looking for me. Maybe we can hide from her. Darryn says we will be just like men if we stay in the fort all night.
I lost my papers and pen for a bit! Father was annoyed because we kept Nurse searching for us for so long, and wouldn’t let us go back to the fort. My papers and ink and quill were there, so I didn’t have to write anything. Now I’ve got them back, though – Father sent me and Darryn with Maister Colman to get them.
It rained lots today. Darryn and me were lucky, because we got our things from the fort and back to the castle before it started. A messenger came to the castle today, and Father left on a trip to meet with King Odyssen. They must have gotten soaked. It’s normal for Father to go to the king because lords need to do that, but Mother looked worried today. I don’t think I can remember him ever going through rain.
I wonder why it smells like mud before rain. There isn’t actually any mud until the rain starts.
Because Father is away, the court and elders are a lot busier than usual. I got away with not writing in my diary for a few days, but Maister Colman isn’t as busy as the others and he checked. It’s not fair! Darryn doesn’t have to keep a diary, and he’s not even a from a noble family. I don’t think he even knows how to write.
Father is supposed to get back tomorrow, and everyone is getting ready. Nurse says there won’t be a feast, but there’s always a feast when Father gets home so she must be wrong.
Mother hasn’t left her quarters since Father left, though she has sent her maid to call servants up a few times.
Darryn and me wanted to race hoops through town, but Mother sent for me and said to put on my best clothes. She said Father was coming back.
I hate my best clothes! They are scratchy and stiff and stupid. Maybe if I give them to one of the dogs I won’t have to wear them. Nurse helped me dress, even when I said I didn’t need help. She’s like that sometimes and it’s annoying.
Father wasn’t back until late, so I had to stay in the clothes all day. When he got back, Father and Mother talked about the trip and other boring things. I think he saw that I was bored, though, and he handed me a little wooden box. Mother told him not to, but Father didn’t ask for me to give it back. I took the box up to my room.
The box is odd. It is dark and smooth, and there are shapes of horses and crowns and swords carved on it. On one side there is a little hole that looks like it might fit a key, but Father didn’t give me a key. The box is only a little bigger than my hands put together. I wonder if anything’s inside it.
I tried to pretend I’d lost my diary today, but Maister Colman got so angry that I went and got it.
Boxes are so stupid. Well, this one is. Why would Father give me a locked box? I tried everything I could to open it. I tried picking at the lock like one of the locksmiths in town, but I couldn’t even make it move. The sticks kept breaking, and when I tried a bit of iron it bent. Darryn helped me take a big rock up into a tree, and I dropped it onto the box from the fourth branch up! The box only got a long scratch from that. I hope Father won’t ask for it back.
It was very cold today. Father says that some places have something white called snow that covers the ground and gets stuck on tree branches during winter. Darryn says his father traveled through some place like that, once, and saw children playing in it like in sand or mud. I want to see snow some day; I’m sure it’s nice.
Mother sent me to the market with some of the servants. She says there will be a huge feast on the morrow, and I was to be in charge of finding the best meat for Father’s table. I found a huge boar with the tusks still on it. Caliphus the butcher said he had pigs with better meat, but I wanted the boar so that’s what we got. I felt the boar’s tusks on the way home. They were harder than stone and cold as ice at first, but after riding through the sun on the way back they weren’t cold anymore. When Darryn saw it he said it must have been the strongest boar in the world! Darryn can be silly sometimes.
Mother says there will be berry pudding and hot milk at the feast – my favorite foods in the whole world!
Ah, my diary, my poor diary! Well, it’s just papers I suppose. Cook said it was in one of the barrels he had kept as spare from the feast last year. It must have fallen in before the feast, because the servants put the first emptied barrels away while the meal is still going. Now the pages smell like those salted biscuits that sit on the tables before a feast starts.
Maister Colman was very angry when I’d lost the diary again. He said I couldn’t have another until I found them. I thought that was really great at first, but then I found myself wishing I could write some things in it to help me remember them better.
I am glad that I have it again, because I need to write this down now. Mother says friends need to be remembered, and Darryn was my bestest friend, the best ever! I miss him… Last Winter, Darryn got really hot and started talking funny. His mother put him to bed, and I wasn’t allowed to see him. Two days later they took him away on a cart. I watched and waited around the house every day, but I never even got to say goodbye. Mother says he won’t be coming back, but I know all that. I’m grown up now, and I know it because Father says that when you are older than twelve you are grown up.
Father took me around town to see the smiths and other merchants. I’d been there before of course, but this time he was telling me about their trades as we went. I didn’t know that most of our merchants traveled over the borders and into Jarbia and Brucia and other kingdoms! They must see so many people and cities! I wish I could go and see places too.
It was very cold today, so I had to wear my bearskin. Mother says bears don’t catch cold unless they go out without their skins on. The only bears I’ve seen without skins are the ones at the butcher, and Father says all they catch is coins.
There was a strange person in the market, dressed in dark green with a white and green symbol on his tunic. I couldn’t see what the symbol was, but it might have been a cloud or a bush. Father said he was an Elf come from the forest to the west. He said it was unusual to see Elves, because they usually stick to themselves. When we passed near to him on the way home, he said: “Blessings of the Maker be upon you.” I asked Father what a maker was, and he said the Maker was the god of the Elves, a bit like the gods of Carapacia and Brucia but more like Arachia of Jarbia. Arachia is a giant mother spider, I remember Maister Colman telling me so once. I wonder what the Maker looks like.
Jarbian Creation Myth