This, my journal, has been my most constant companion; over the span of a over a third of a century and countless thousands of words. It serves in place of my less than perfect memory, often as a vade mecum, and always a repository for the thoughts I do not get the chance to share with others, even if I could. My twelve-year old self started that first journal with an address to the reader; with fond imaginings that some day he would be a man of letters whose diaries would be of some import to future generations. That twelve-year old, for all his wild fantasies, fuelled by all the books he read, could not even have imagined this future, if indeed, this is the future, that would be recorded in those pages over the years.
There have been many times when the very act of recording my experiences, my thoughts and my ideas, has been cathartic and helped me to make sense of a bewildering world. However, I am still struggling to understand that which I learned on my journey from Jasper Cove to here. There is too much to understand, and even after writing some of it down, I feel no less confused.
I now know that the man I knew as king of Jasper Cove, Alec Diamondred was, or dare I hope, is, much more than he seemed, and that he has worn many faces and many names over hundreds of years.
I know that he was first that renowned magician, alchemist, astrologer, mathematician and many other things; though some would call him a charlatan; the infamous John Dee, advisor to good queen Bess herself. I do not yet know if his discoveries or his powers allowed him to extend his life, to reincarnate, or to take on a new body as easily as I change clothes. Perhaps how he changed faces is something I will understand in time.
I know that I once knew him as Greyson Devonshire; that softly-spoken, kind, and beguiling young man who became my friend in that darkened mirror of London. A young man who awoke in me desires that I did not know how to acknowledge, much less how to act upon. These were desires that surfaced again only recently; in my fiction, informing the background of my protagonist, Edmund Cussons. And now I know that this was a man who had loved me, had I had the wits to recognise it at the time, but then, that has often been a failing of mine with women too.
I know that I knew him again as Alec, who always seemed oddly familiar, in manner and speech, a familiarity that darted around the edge of my senses, like a sudden scent that reminds you of some past time that you cannot recall. We never got much chance to talk, one man to another, in Jasper Cove, otherwise things may have become clearer. If only I had thought to spend more time at the palace, things might have been different, but that is now neither here nor there.
I know that now, he has gone to face the ultimate foe, the great leveller and I do not think that this last battle will be fought over 64 black and white squares. I do not know if that is a journey from which he can return, or even if he wished to.
I know that he handed me a journal, the very journal of said John Dee. That he bade me keep it safe from everyone, even his beloved Isabella, for fear that it brings danger to all who know of its existence. I know that he gave me a quest, or perhaps two. To read and understand what is written in that journal, wherein answers might be found as to what happens in this world, or possibly these worlds. And also, to be the Keeper of the Lore; a position that would have come with titles and high rank, as well as the charge of the office, had he known of my skills in time to appoint me while I was in Jasper Cove. I still bear the charge of keeping the Lore, but there is no library, nor titles to be had. The library I would have loved and cherished, but I have never cared for titles.
Such is my quest now. I had another; to find Katharina, my sire, but I do not know when, or how, I might resume that quest. That reality may be lost to me, far away beyond portals, beyond the Nexus, beyond the Four Consorts and whatever else makes up what passes for my reality now. This is now my new quest, and one I will relish. I have always loved puzzles; I have always loved learning and research. I have only this ancient tome, and my own senses to guide me.
The first part of my quest will be hard; to bear news of my quest, and the last words of her husband, to my one time Queen, Isabella. I do not know how I will find her. If this realm is of faerie, she may be harder to find among her own kind, but find her I must. Somehow…