All live, following the conflagration from the prior evening. Something has unseated me from my reason, as the Harpies have been kind enough to point out to me. I visited the Pickler to prepare an apology to them, as well as to enlist his aid in brewing the elixir that will diminish the Man in the Mountain. I fear what he will do if he finds out my purpose, but I cannot stray from this course.
I’m rambling. Am I rambling? I hate this sensation, looking over my own shoulder, worrying about the damage I am doing to myself. My enemies can rest easy, I’ve done more to harm myself in the past night than most of them have done in years.
The Inner Circle of Tripoli was confirmed, I believe. How else would Cyrus have come into possession of those keys? It gives me an idea of what one of my letters contains, but still I find I am not ready to open it. I think of it often, but my hand strays away. It knows that it is not yet time for me to know the information contained within. Or, perhaps that is my method of rationalizing my fear of Lucia’s letter away. I cannot even stand to touch it with the Sed Jem Ib. What if I should see her face? Wrathful, miserable, desperate to see me once again. What if I alone have removed myself from our mutual bond? What if I am deluding myself into believing I’m free of it? Her words may send me running back to her, and I do not know if I am strong enough to resist the urge. She would know what to do. She could help calm the storm that rages behind my brow.
All my life I have made myself a slave to the whims of powerful women. Would that this Turtle worked on more of them.
I must prepare myself. My mind must be made clean and ready, for my greatest test is forthcoming. Would that I could simply lay claim to the new territories we have annexed, but no. Our young are not powerless, nor slothful. They will see the opportunity to seize control, and be named Regents. Already they are thinking of ways to make themselves invaluable to us, in the hope of controlling the blood in exactly the way we taught them to.
I want more. This patch of land that I govern thrives but it is not yet enough. I could do so much more with this investment than any younger Kindred. This opportunity to grow my borders will not go untested. All that I have prepared with the aid of my coterie, the key structures I have claimed, key influence I have nurtured amongst my clients, key businesses. All my plan needs is for the last Pawn to be claimed, and my right to expand will be irrefutable. Indeed, I would like to meet the kindred who believes he can govern the territory my influence is already spreading to.
Pray it will help keep the hunger at bay, for I do not know what else can sate it. I will ask Zagreus. Doubtless, he will give no easy answers – to any of my questions.