=Translated largely from Tien, these are excerpts from Tomoe’s journal. Entries are spaced by who knows how much time; she seemed to be more interested in simply writing. There are earlier entries, but they’re mostly terse and filled with rambling, poorly-worded sentences about what she’d been learning that day. Her entries made within Absalom are mostly where these excerpts begin, and where this log starts, though some is omitted simply for brevity=
… This land is kind of warm at this time of year, I wasn’t expecting that. I suppose that it’ll be easy enough to adapt to, I got used to living in the mountains after all, it’ll be nothing to re-learn living in the lowlands. The trip in the hold of that ship was interminable, and Roukan doesn’t seem to be doing well since then; I’m not sure what he’s sick from, but perhaps it is simply weariness? Exhaustion? It’s been a few weeks though, and I don’t understand doctor-work; less about animal doctoring. He’d carried me many, many miles out of that country, but I wonder if he’s fallen ill with something worse? I don’t really know what to do here, though the crew had given me some fresh bandages for his paws, and he is so quiet, constantly looking at me like he’s expecting me to say something…
=she seems to be noting days, but it’s still not clear if it’s been since something, or simply the passage of time. Some time later, she picks up again=
… Roukan’s muscles are finally seeming to mend. I suppose it’s a weariness that went deeper than I’d expected, though I’d only been concerned with my own well-being, and he’d been careful to not show any weakness, I’ve realized in hindsight. He’s been stronger than he should have been, I’m sure he knew this was hard for me. I wonder how he’s been handling it? His kin all fled into the wild, and his father was struck down just before sensei died… I need to consider his needs, too, he’s never even left those mountains. I suppose we’re both out of our element here, in this strange land…. everyone speaks so strangely here, but occasionally I will hear a familiar accent, or someone simply speaking Tien, and my heart will start racing. I need to get out of this city. I need to find another school and continue my training. I need to go to ground and get some support; but where do I go? The embassy?? No, I need to look at the schools in the city and ask around another school to train at, and to get some proper treatment for Roukan within my means (which are so meager), and some proper food, and another sensei to… sigh. Yes, many things to do.
=she goes several entries rambling about current events, talks about Absalom at length, the people she’s seeing, some of the memories she’s trying to process, and so forth. Several pages are torn out, then…=
… I still don’t understand how to open sensei’s puzzle box, almost a year after leaving. I don’t even know if he intended it for me, but it was there among his things, and I was in such a rush, I just grabbed what I could, eyes clouded with tears, dust, and blood as they were… anyways, I suppose that answer is unknowable until I open it. Is this a final lesson from him? Everything is so confusing, I feel like I’ve been pulled away from him before I was prepared…
=another entry that could be a few days later=
… I’m glad to be out of that city. Every city I’m in reminds me of him, of that life, and I found myself constantly on edge. I slept soundly for the first night in who knows how many weeks last night, out under the stars. I would dream of the experiments sometimes while in that city, of the screams of some of his victims. I… I don’t know if it was right to just… leave like I did, but what could I have done to him? To try to bring him to justice? He was just too powerful. I can only imagine what’s happened since. That he was allowed to operate there simply because he was rich, that he would buy slaves and conduct his experiments in pretty much public eye… he mocked justice, but I will return and exact true retribution on him, I swear this. I must… I recall passing by the slave district in that city a few days ago and just feeling it all in my heart, waiting there under the surface… I wonder if any of them will be going to Tien… to him?
Again, I am so glad to be out of there. Sensei spoke of finding quiet within, to finding pockets of peace, but I never understood. He was so patient, I realize now… I must look forward to my studies, I am so pleased to have found another temple, it will be good to be out in the mountains, among others of my order… but will it be enough alike to be calming? Will my next sensei be anything like him? Am I clinging to that memory? What would he say about that… well, heh, I know what he would say. He would scold me and make me run water for the rest of the day, then hand me the book when I’m almost too weary even to lift it, and tell me to study until I no longer considered such things… I’m so glad I brought that beat-up old thing with me. Sometimes, reading until the candle flickered out or sleep found me first, I found my weary brain wondering if he was even a man, but I suppose I found out when they found us… he seemed to move through them with an unnatural grace, but he bled just like anyone else and…
=there are some pages torn out, and some time seems to have passed before another entry was made, but the script is clearer, and there are a few words in Taldane=
… My training these last few months has been so hectic that I haven’t hardly had time to put pen to page, but tonight as the others are resting I figure I’ll make note of the passage of time. I’m learning to handle the quick speech of these Andoren students as the time is passing, even picking up some of the local colloquialisms during my instruction, so that language barrier has been something that I’m chopping down with diligence. No halflings among the students at the temple, but one of the senseis is so old that he very well could be, the height he’s shrunk to! He’s so harsh, though… kind of reminds me of sensei, but he’s so old that his skin seems to be tree bark! … Speaking of bark, Roukan is doing so much better, he runs around with some of the other, bigger wolves (there’s very few of them here though, mostly boars and bigger animals, and none as small…) like he’s a pup again. I’m glad to see him in such good spirits, and the other students are so amazingly skilled, it’s almost like seeing my sensei show me the first movements again, but there’s such differences between his style and this school’s that they’ve taken it upon themselves to practically retrain me from the ground up. I’m very pleased that they’ve asked to be shown his style as well, that it could be worked into their curriculum, I know he would be proud that I’ve passed on his legacy and shown his style to others…
=another page is torn out, and the following begins mid-sentence=
… a sort of mission abroad now. Hm, there doesn’t seem to be much to it, but I wonder why I must be the one to go? Sensei Berenfoodle wouldn’t tell me much that was helpful (he rambles on so much!), but it is my first time OUT out, and I can tell Roukan is itching to go, from what he picks up from me. He’s very clever, and seems to be learning more than just how to fight from the other animals and the senseis. He’s always following me around when I seem to be leaving, looking dejected when it’s simply to gather some water or something in preparation, but soon enough he’ll be carrying all of the gear. We’ll see if he’s that excited then!
=she makes note that it’s four days later that she’s made this entry=
… Hmph, what can be said of this turn of events? While in Oregent I caught a rather beautiful woman who was taking great care to hide a set of horns on the top of her head trying to rob a young, rather foolish-looking boy in full-plate who didn’t even have fuzz on his chin, but he seemed like he was more just pleased with her having been talking to him, victim of a con or not! As I made, perhaps, a bigger deal out of it than was necessary, some smooth-talking halfling man came up and began to try to… what, exactly? He simply made things more complicated than they already were, getting the boy to work for him, and “placing the ravishing blah blah blah” in MY care, until she explained that blah blah blah… ugh. This is why I lived in the mountains. These people… and this halfling man; this… Amarro! …. I can’t wait to get back to the monastery.
… Well, it’s interesting nonetheless. I’ll need to keep an eye on my things and what they’re up to, clearly. I guess I can’t just keep to myself this time… perhaps that is why sensei chose me for this job? Perhaps he’s trying to get me to be more comfortable out among people? Hmph. At least, here in the candlelight, with Roukan’s soft breathing, I have found the time to relax. It is good to be out and abroad, and these people will be an interesting diversion on the way back to… well, wherever their paths diverge from mine, I suppose… maybe I’ll stick with as many of them as I can for as long as possible so that I don’t get anxious…. I’ll consider it training, too. How’s that Taldane expression I heard Amarro mention go? Shooting two birds…?