It has been a year, and I have learned that blood washes out of almost anything.
I did not want to take my husband’s place so soon, but it seems that fate has intervened. Skaina says that it is fate, anyway, that it is me becoming who I am meant to be.
I’ve gone too far now. Too far to turn back.
And the birthmark is growing. I know that Skaina notices it when I bathe, and I have to try to hide as best as I can, even in summer. It is more than just unsightly…but Skaina won’t tell me. “Not until you’re ready” she tells me.
But I am ready now.
I’ve taken to running Kronan’s household – its more than I’d expected. Endless decisions that no one else will make. I thought I would feel more…powerful. More in control. But instead I just answer to more people. My training has slowed, and Kronan is…much less useful in his new state. And I don’t yet have the knowledge to modify him. Skaina says that too will come, in time.
I grow tired of waiting. Of being waited upon.
I am going to have to take matters into my own hands. Skaina is holding things back from me. She is not teaching me all she knows. But she is all I have here in this accursed place.
Well, almost. There’s always Kronan, much more amenable as he is now than he was.
Its interesting to see how no one asks questions here. No one asks why the Lord has taken ill so swiftly, why he seems so unlike how he was only days before. Now, I think they are used to it. He is part of this keep, but he is more like decoration or furniture than its Lord.
Such a lack of loyalty.
Yesterday I found what I am calling the Vault. I need to go to this place’s small library tomorrow morning and see if I can find more about it. It is locked with some sort of puzzle-lock, but I cannot solve it, and dare not show it to Skaina – not yet! – and of course damned Kronan is hardly in a state to tell me the solution.
I know enough to recognize the markings, though. They are symbols used by the Blood of Vol – not the feeble local cults but the true Blood.
I must know what’s in that Vault.