A worn and heavily weathered journal, catches your eye. Stepping down from your horse you fetch the journal out of the mud hole. Just off the road, you wipe some of the mud off with a dark rag and notice that dirt and water have badly damaged most of the journal but there are a few pages that are still legible. Those few pages that were written heavy with emotion were saved only by the hardened coal instrument and the intensity in which they were written in.
(first page you can distinguish words from mud)
Bellona could feel the violence. Screams and cries of agony permeated the air. She could smell the blood, it hung in the air like death. Trying hard to flee, her panic and fear had gripped her with an unseen force making it impossible to move. Even her breaths came hard, almost suffocating. She couldn't open her eyes, the screams and sounds of death were to much for the feeble girl. She just sat there, the dread and apprehension of what was to come paralyzing her. It seemed, she waited for days the stench of death heavy in the air only grew stronger. Then she heard the knocks. Faint at first then they grew, into loud hacks of sound. Finally the trapdoor to the attic burst into pieces. Her eyes snapped open, fear held them wide. She couldn't close them as much as she wanted to, the light from the opening of the trapdoor was so blinding she couldn't make out the figure that had begun to ascend into the attic. Her heart and head were pounding, like a heavy horse in her ears. The strain was too much and she fainted into the welcoming darkness that was nothing.
(a bad water stain has worn much of the page away here)
Bellona regained some of her consciousness but what she saw made her pulse race again. Two yellow eyes, almost glowing, peered back at her. If the man to whom they belonged had not spoken she would have fainted again. "It's going to be alright, your safe now." the yellow eyed figure reassured her. "I had hoped you would wake but after a fortnight..." the yellow eyed figure whispered. Bellona heard sincere surety in his voice and felt a slight comfort. She could tell he was from the Borderlands just like her. His accent and stature gave it away easily. Before she could ask for water, he held a large copper ladle to her lips. It tasted divine, it must have been a long time since she drank indeed. 'What happened?' she finally managed to utter. The yellow eyed figure reached beside her hay stuffed bed and produced a broken hunting spear, covered in blood. The sight and smell of the blood made her heart race. Her mind drifting back to that horrid nightmare she had fainted to avoid. The yellow eyed figure seeing her distress whispered softly, "There were spears like this one everywhere I can only assume the ones who wield them are responsible..." his words were interrupted as a large figure rushed inside.
"Apologies Lord Vash, I've managed to find a witness that claims the Waste-landers were responsible...'" the large hunter stopped mid sentence noticing the frail girl in the bed awake. He politely nodded and stepped back through the doorway, closing the makeshift door behind him. The yellow eyed man rose and stared down at her, his eyes were fierce. "Regain your strength I will be back to check on you shortly." he simply stated as he walked out the door behind the large hunter.
(the rest of the page has been worn away by the friction of dust)
Bellona vowed not to let her terror ever overwhelm her again. She had heard rumors of those Waste dwellers, that called themselves Aiel. Even the rumor of their so called outlaw leader, Kural, the Car'a'carn. She promised on her family memories that she would have her revenge. Staring out from the top of Kinslayer's Dagger, she could make out the Pass of Jangai. It was there she would meet her fate either death or victory awaited her, she didn't care which. Death would put an end to the dreams that haunted her and give her body the rest it needed. Everyone told her it was beyond insanity to venture into that Pass without an army. Even after pleading at the many cities for aid, she couldn't afford even one mercenary to assist her. They had taken everything from her, her home, her family, even her dreams. The ones who held the pass and the stronghold known as Cold Rocks Hold would pay for what they did to her. Consumed with hate she made her way slowly down the mountain through the darkness.
(several pages are missing only one word remains legible, aiel...)
Bellona sat there crying, covered in the blood of countless Aiel. Rage had taken her reason, consumed with the hate she felt. It was burning her, no matter what she did or how many she slayed, or how cruel she treated them before they passed, none of them would speak to her. It was hopeless. Nothing she did quenched the pain she felt. She glanced down, long thin spears adorned the rocks like unwanted weeds. The scene made her remember that spear her savior showed her back in that worn down home in the Borderlands. The soft hay bed he left her in and she began to cry again.
She raised her head to see a yellow eyed figure looming over her. Pity filled his eyes, if they hadn't been unnatural he might have shed a tear. "Girl, what have you done?' he faintly whispered. His eyes shifted around the bloody scene and narrowed back on her. "Did you think killing these Aielmen would restore your dead to life?' he asked in a harsh tone. I couldn't speak, only sob. He stated flatly, "During war, many do things they are not proud of. Some give into the lust for blood, others gold, or trinkets, but all is not lost, you are still among the living and what a tale you have begun to walk!" He hesitated then said softly, "You have some skill but some of these were not much more than slaves, they call them Gai'shan... I came to find you to before you got yourself or someone else killed..." he attentively glanced around as he spoke.
"Alas, it's as I feared, reaching you too late, the death of your family and the horrors they had to endure before the end, sows treachery in one's heart and mind. Do not be deceived! One Aielman is not responsible for another's sins! It is true we may never know exactly who slaughtered your family but you can't keep going down this path!" he hesitated once more unsure of her response. It was to much, hearing the man, the one she respected most, speak such words. The feelings were so strong they made me sick and I puked. "Yes, its like that sometimes, guilt, shame, remorse, sadness, and anger so much emotion, its overwhelming." he stated flatly. I managed few words before they caught in my throat, "Master, please help me, forgive.....me...." The yellow eyed man nodded slowly and spoke reassuringly, "You've begun down the wrong path, now you must live with it. The pain may lessen with time but forgiveness is granted by the Creator. The path of righteousness is a hard one, you may find forgiveness but not here, not with these people. Their society isn't one of forgiveness or weakness, only the strong survive here." he stated with another nod. I pleaded softly, "Please, help I need mercy for what I have done..." He spoke quickly, for reasons unknown to me, "There are a group of readers, many call them Wisdoms, that will be able to help you through this crisis..."
A spear soared through the air aimed at my chest, it would have impaled me had the yellow eyed man not been there. He deflected it to the ground with ease. Then I heard a voice harsh as a whip, heavy with an unfamiliar accent, "Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit in Sightblinder's eye on the last day." The voice belonged to an aiel woman with wise eyes. Suddenly, there were scores of Aiel coming from the rocks. The yellow eyed man hustled me onto a horse he was leading and swiftly kept them behind us.
( The rest of the page is smudged so badly with dirt and blood it is unreadable)
The rain and snow had long since washed most of the blood from my person but I was nervous. I went over to the watering trough and washed my hands and face again. My yellow eyed hero had gone inside the readers' domicile to speak with her regarding my condition. Again I washed my face, I didn't feel clean but I knew there was nothing there. I closed my eyes and uttered a prayer to the Creator I had forgotten since childhood.
Let me know peace for as long as the sun shall shine, as long as the moon shall sign, as long as the green grass grows, and as long as the rivers flow, let me know peace.
When I opened my eyes, my hero was standing with a concerned woman, her eyes sparkled with intelligence. Similar to the roofmisteress I met in the waste, but this woman's eyes were softer. Lord Vash, whom the Aiel had nicknamed the Stampede, spoke clearly, "She'll be a handful but I leave her in your capable hands, Wisdom Malika."
(the rest of the pages have been removed but you notice something written in coal along the seam)
Tales of the Borderlands
by Bellona of the Borderlands