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Diary of a Deicide, Part One.

by Rubric


The Diary of Ken-Shalot

Beloved,

The arc of history is long, and it bends toward justice; this I have long believed. But as the night grows ever longer over this sickened land of our birth, despair grows within me.

Another legion of Breathless left the city today, some two-thousand bodies, marching in perfect unison, not a hair out of place. They march to the coast, to the very hill upon which Sisifane was burned all those years ago. The town-criers, notoriously thin-lipped on important matters at the best of times, have little enough to say about the march's purpose, but I have been told by one I trust that the Empire is staging another invasion of its old province, our Lemuire. The stamp of those feet marching in perfect time, the silence of the legion’s troops… I am sure the Empire will fail in its endeavour.

And so my despair grows.





Beloved,

Senedar whispers to me that our time draws near, that the day of Valour is soon upon us. I am sure that he is a wiser man than I, for I cannot yet see any glimmer of light on the horizon.

The adjudicators arrested some merchants today, for hoarding produce against regulation. The town-criers shout that such an act is cowardice and base treason, as the crime was committed in the speculation that our Lemuire would crumble against the foreign invasion, and that our city might endure siege. I heard what was happening from one of our young Eyes, J, and went to see for myself. It was a public event, and the adjudicators allowed a crowd to gather before announcing the punishment. Treason is a crime against both our Lemuire, and He Who Guides, they announced, and so He would act, as always, for our benefit, and protection. The merchants were brought before the obelisk, and He emerged to take them. That Voice…

As it whispered their names, it was like the ground itself gave protest. The hoarders fell, as so many have, and rose again. The adjudicators announced it a great victory that such cowardly men would work off their debt to our Lemuire. It was, they proclaimed, a great mercy that in death they would maintain order.

Once He would have announced such words Himself. He remains, the town-criers will tell you, the greatest of teachers.

I crouch here in the ruins of one of the old mansions. There are tall murals, and garden beds gone to gravel and dust. I think you would have loved it here, in another time.

They say He is ageless, that He is the First Immortal. Would it be too irreverent to say that I think he is tired? He was only there for a few moments, to enact His justice, but he did not linger. Perhaps his “lessons” no longer amuse him as they once did.

Beloved,

The valleys are burning. The Empire has played its hand, and it is a brutal one. The savage men of the hills and forests crossed the southern borders in force three nights ago, and dealt our Lemuire a savage defeat in the Valley of Bones. Senedar crows that this is a sign of great things to come, but I wonder how that can be the case. Can justice come from one man’s injustice to another? The savage men have been our enemies since before His coming, when the Empire’s governor in our Lemuire dealt with them most harshly. They come to avenge the injuries of men long dead, and because they have been bought with the gold of the Empire that held that governor’s leash. The irony, I think, must be lost on them.

Last night the streets were thick with loyalists, carrying torches, truncheons, or even swords. We lost two of our Eyes, but most were sensible enough to stay clear. The simple folk, with no bolt-holes or look-outs were not so lucky. The adjudicators issued an official reprimand for the violence, but offer no reprisals. The streets have already been cleared of the fallen, and I am sure another legion will be ready to depart for the south soon.

Senedar urges me to practise, to maintain my edge should an opportunity arise. But we are not the only ones with Eyes, and so my efforts are circuitous and half hearted. I know the words; every syllable is etched into my memory.

But still, I have my doubts. Our Lemuire has grown used to tyranny. Will we even recognize the light of a new dawn, if it comes?



Beloved,

A general muster has been called for all fighting men within the city. The Seneschals of the North and East have been recalled, as have their Legions and armsmen. Those frontiers must be all but unprotected now; the extremities abandoned to protect the heart. How strange it feels, for defeat to loom so suggestively over centuries of His rule.

He has finally left the great obelisk that marks the centre of our city, and returned to walk among us, who He calls His children. Not that he walks as He once did, as a man of the people standing defiant against a corrupt governor, but the city remembers His presence, and reacts as if He has not changed; as if He has not changed the heart of our Lemuire.

There was a rally in the great square, on the steps that was once the Governor’s Palace, and He spoke to thousands, to roars of triumph and adulation. J spoke to me of what he saw, and it must have been as the days of His early rule, when warlords despoiled the valleys and tundra, and the city lay a world apart, safe, its guardian firm and resolute.

Beloved,

They have crossed the mountains. The sky is full of smoke. The streets, in any other city, would be in chaos, but ours are deathly quiet. I saw a child wandering alone, frightened, calling for its mother. My instinct was to help it, but Senedar’s voice spoke in the back of my mind, unbidden. Ours, he said, is a greater calling. We must suffer injustice, and await the dawn. We must abide. I fretted, unsure, until an adjudicator, clad in plate-mail, and atop a sable courser, spied the urchin. My heart lurched in my chest as he approached her, Beloved. So much pain, so much violence and injustice have been wrought by hands such as his. He quieted her concerns, discovered she had been lost for hours, wandering between districts, and pulled her onto his horse, in front of him. I could not tear my eyes away, and found myself following them as he rode on toward one of the secure quarters, where only our Eyes dare to tread, and then only infrequently. Her crying stopped, and I heard the adjudicator rumbling out a tune. It was a simple rhyme, one I remember hearing from my mother in my own youth, though his voice was deep and authoritative, if reassuring. The voice, that must have announced the death of dozens, if not hundreds, quieted this lost child.

He took her to an administrative centre and detailed a clerk and two guards to see her safely home. This man, closer to seven feet than six, one of the very hands of He Who Guides, offered solace to the helpless and lost, while I hid and watched.

I know. Beloved I know that what has been done cannot be undone, and what has been said cannot be unsaid. The dawn must come, and the night be cast away. Time marches on, with or without my misgivings, just as armies march toward the heart of our Lemuire, as they have not marched in centuries. Senedar says it must be my words, and his hand, that only together can we end the endless night.

But how can justice come from one man’s injustice to another?


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81 Reviews


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Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:12 pm
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Masquerade wrote a review...



Hi, Rubric. I'm Masq and I shall be reviewing your piece this fine Review Day (team Blue's Clues 5ever)!

Okay, so firstly I'd like to say that the style you wrote this in is really interesting. I liked it, and I think it worked really well with the medieval vibe I was getting from this story. Very interesting.

The only real problems I encountered while reading this were just matters of confusion, where I wasn't sure exactly what had happened or what the situation was. Most of these stemmed from the fact that it was unclear exactly who/what the "He" in the story was and who/what "our Lemuire" was. They seem to be very central to this story and this world you're building, and I sort of had a vague concept of both, but it wasn't quite clear enough so that I felt like I knew exactly what was happening.

The adjudicators announced it a great victory that such cowardly men would work off their debt to our Lemuire. It was, they proclaimed, a great mercy that in death they would maintain order.


I was also a bit confused by this part. Have the men been killed or? Because it sounded like they were getting a reprieve, but then it says "in death they would maintain order" and I was just generally confused about this part.

I'm also a bit uncertain about the gender of the speaker. Maybe you could try to find a way of mentioning it?

Overall, I thought this was really nice. Again, I thought the writing style was awesome. It totally wrapped me up in the piece and made me want to continue reading. Nice job.

-Masq

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Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:43 pm
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ChiravianSkies wrote a review...



I love how descriptive you make this story, but like below me, there is little to no context in what is going on. What events led up to the savage men destroying things?
You added a crudload of feeling into this story. The little girl part was so sad. You know that little feeling you get when you read something really good? Well, I'm getting that. The full case of it too, the fangirly waving your hands in the air with the goofy smile.
Just a little bit of nitpicking, you seem to have a very feminine voice in these entries. I don't know, but is your character a man or a woman? Maybe I wasn't paying as much attention as I should... Sorry.
But how can justice come from one man's injustice to another? That's a really good quote.




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Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:34 pm
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sunflowerr wrote a review...



i have to say that your story is a breath of fresh air. i haven't read stories quite as descriptive and unique as this. but, i have little to no background on what these things are. i do believe that it would make the story a lot more worthy of hanging on to if i had at least a little background on the characters, the setting, etc. however, the plot seems very interesting.




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Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:45 am
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PenguinAttack wrote a review...



Yo Rubric,

I've not read anything by you in a million years it feels like, and dabbling here, in the gross serenity of prose feels totally wrong, but here I am!

I think that you are teetering on the cusp of too little explanation here. I know that you're keeping us in suspense and that things will become more clear in the further diary entries, but it's maybe pushing it a little too far for me. I don't care at all about this person who is just watching things go horribly - I never have much sympathy for the observer of horrible actions. And because I don't care about them at all, I'm struggling to care about what is happening in these diary entries.

It hurts me to say, but I think a little sensationalism would be nice. An event or a description or something which really tugs the heart strings so we care if these people win. I don't at the moment, what do I care if it's Empire or Adjudicator? Mysterious and slightly ineffectual immortal hypnotist or rich overload? They're being oppressed in either situation and there is no indication it would get better for anyone. I feel like I need something to hold on to that says these people are going to be saved not because they are special but just because they need it. Maybe I am thrown by how much I hate people who watch and wait for "the right time" while people die.

I like your writing though, I'd like it to have more imagery but I'm a sucker for a good image. Otherwise you have a solid handle of description and your pacing is definitely on point. I look forward to the rest.

- Pen.




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Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:35 am
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angelwing12 wrote a review...



I found this very enjoyable. I like how its in segments as though it is diary entries or sent in letters. The words flowed fairly well, however, I feel as though it lacks description. You state:
"There are tall murals, and garden beds gone to gravel and dust. I think you would have loved it here, in another time."
What do the murals look like?
What do the garden beds look like?
Why would beloved like it there?
Why not tell us more about Beloved?
Is beloved a person or just the beginning to a journal entry?
Also maybe if you added a date in there or even a closing to each entry it would help separate the sections. I found myself combining the sections accidentally as i read.
I look forward to reading more.




Rubric says...


Thanks a lot for the review, it was very helpful. The comments about adding dates and more description in that specific mural/garden comment were particularly insightful, I'll take that forward into the next part (I'm planning for a 3 part story).

Beloved is both a person and who the diary is written too. I'm not sure if I want to reveal too much about her at this stage of the story, but a little more detail about why she might like the murals would be a good idea, because it would tantalise. At this stage, Beloved is intended to be one of several mysteries in the diary.

Thanks again, and I hope to hear from you in relation to part 2/3 :P



angelwing12 says...


I am glad I could help those are just some things as a reader I had questions to. I found the suspense good but there was too much suspense and I feel detail will help the story progress. I look forward to reading the rest of it!




Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other.
— Euripides