Manus Undiomede's Journal
From the Journal of Manus Undiomede
4 Erastus, 4641
The worst has happened – Mother died giving birth to Charlotte. While the babe is sweet and mostly quiet, it will still be difficult for us to raise her alone. Father continues to be more and more distant, and with Laurel’s marriage to that Caliphas magistrate two years ago, only he and I remain of the family in our ancestral home.
12 Rova, 4641
Happy birthday, me! Finally coming of age means more than just being a man; it also means I should begin preparing to be master of Undiomede House. I’m certain there must be so many responsibilities for me to assume, and while I’m anxious about doing my best and making Father proud, I’m also excited to finally be taken into his confidence. He seems so weary and bitter… Yesterday he stood over Charlotte’s crib and looked both heartbroken and angry. I’m sure he misses Mother, but I cannot believe that he would somehow blame the babe for her death. Could he?
8 Neth, 4641
Did I say the worst had happened? Could I even truly have understood what the “worst” might one day be? My mind cannot bear the weight of what I’ve so recently learned, not just of my father, but of my forefathers as well, and even worse, of my own expected fate! Oh, Laurel, did you know of the fate you escaped, simply by being the first female child born to our family? And poor Charlotte, what becomes of her? Seeing her placed willingly into that horrid creature’s green and scaly arms shattered all that remained of my sanity after hearing of Father’s plans. Those fish-like priests shall haunt my dreams and my waking mind—but not for much longer now.
Old Claudius lies stiff and blood-soaked in his bed, and well he should! I find it quite fitting that old Cassius’s knife supplied the means of his demise; how’s that for family traditions, Father? I have a horse ready to ride, but have no idea where I’m off to. I can still hear Charlotte’s cries echoing down the cavern tunnel…