I would say that I was not one who was given much to introspection, but then, the very existence of this journal would contradict that. Of late, I seem to have been doing too much of it of late. There is not much to divert me from such, other than work and research. My wife is off on her travels, so much so that it might as well be winter; for all that I have seen her. Wren is off somewhere safe from wars and such like, and who knows where the others are. Eilian and Drysi can fend for themselves, but I worry for Bronwyn. I need to spend time with her, but finding her is like trying to catch the wind.
So, lacking other diversions, I have been busying myself with research. Some has been specific, such as how to deal with the warrior queen guarding the spirit trapped in the castle so we can hand it over to Vedis. I’ve also been trying to find some clues in Alec’s John Dee journal as to the business of anchors. If I can fathom that out, then maybe I can help Bronwyn to find her way home.
There can be such a thing as too much research. When I found myself dreaming in Illyrian, I figured it was time I took a break. Up until recently, all I knew about Illyria was a brief reference in Twelfth Night and reading in one of my school text books that it was pretty much a dead language. Now I seem to be accidentally speaking it. I guess I’ve spent too much time in Maric’s journals.
Yes, even I recognise that you can spend too much time buried in books. Although, as I write, I can see Mother’s face, her eyebrows raised in disbelief, saying “really?” So, I forced myself to put the books away and head down to the tavern. For once, I fancied a beer rather than a rum, which mildly surprised Hal. I bought a round of drinks for those villagers that were taking their ease. Hal may be from a land and time far away, but some things are constant for all landlords, and one of those is listening to a customer’s woes. So I briefly shared my frustration with the paperwork, the research and the fact that I had read so many of Maric’s papers that I was starting to dream in Illyrian, a language I barely spoke. I then realised, from Hal’s expression, that I had actually ordered my beer in said language.
Dyisi appeared, as she is wont to do, while I was speaking, and I rather absentmindedly greeted her in Greek. Badly pronounced, I would judge from her reaction, suggesting that I stick to my own language, while appreciating the attempt. I laughed and said that at least speaking Greek made more sense as I had studied it at school whereas I could only have learned Illyrian by osmosis or possibly Maric gave it to me via the blood bond. It wasn’t as if much of the language survived in my era. I joked that it would be fun to go back to my own time and find a linguistics scholar to freak out with my knowledge of the language. Except, of course, that isn’t my time any more. I’d be as much an alien in that time as I had been when I first arrived here.
I shook myself out of that line of thought and ordered a bacon sandwich. Nothing is realer than one of Hal’s bacon sandwiches. I asked Dyisi what was happening out there and if any sword-wielding warrior queens were investing the castle.
She passed on that question, choosing instead to tell me about her attempts to restore Gwrgi to his elven self rather than that of the were-cwn. Unfortunately, Aoibheann had interfered, claiming Gwrgi as her own, as if he were some puppy, and claiming the Weald as her own. She radiated displeasure and I could not say that I blamed her. I said that I had heard the howling and suggested that I might too howl if I were stuck in the Weald with Aoibheann. I got the impression that Dyisi was out of patience with Aoibheann, which I can totally understand. The girl rushes into trouble like a moth to a flame. As Dyisi put it, there is no maw she won’t rush headlong into. She would rather not have any dealings with her at all. I understood where she was coming from, but I am still bound, by honour and duty, to protect Aoibheann if I can. She may not be the Aoibheann I knew when I first came to Jasper Cove, but I still had to help her if I could, even if the Tenacious Trinity was no more. Dyisi was of the opinion that perhaps, sometimes, Aoibheann needs to learn that her actions have consequences. Privately, I doubted it; for all the traumas she has experienced over the years, she shows no sign of learning to be cautious. Outwardly, though, I agreed with Dyisi, but even so, if she were going to try something monumentally stupid that might cause the universe to implode; I would be bound to try to prevent her.
The discussion was clearly frustrating Dyisi. We agreed that we would maybe try to do something about Gwrgi while Aoibheann wasn’t around and moved on to the subject of my offspring. Dyisi said that she may be able to find a way to locate my wayward daughter, Bronwyn. She, of my children causes the most concern. Drysi and Eilian are better able to look after themselves and Wren is somewhere safe. I told Dyisi that I had been researching in Dee’s journal to see what I could learn of this matter of being anchored. While Alec had granted me the power to be my own anchor, I still put down my own anchors in this reality. I thought perhaps that I could somehow give Bronwyn an anchor of her own, to tie her to this place, or perhaps, better, to me, given the mutable nature of our reality. Given how many different places the castle had been of late, I did not think it a suitable anchor point. If she were anchored to me, and later, to Gwyn, that would be better, for both her mother and I are well able to find our way around the various realms, and, wherever we were, would always be a home for Bronwyn.
Dyisi agreed that would be beneficial. She was fairly sure that Bronwyn was in a place and time that Wren would think of as modern. That would be the future, from my point of view, but, according to Dyisi, it was as safe a place as she could be. Once she had dealt with other things she needed to do, we would work on locating Bronwyn and seeing what we could do for her. The mention of Wren made me sad for a moment, and I asked Dyisi to pass on my love and perhaps see if there was some way I could visit soon. She assured me that we could do this.
I left her then, as I still had duties to attend to and I had spent more time over a drink and sandwich than I had intended. On the way back to the castle, I looked down at the cottage, and the ship, still yet to be re-christened the Bold Admiral, in memory of my home in London. I must train some of the guards and reserves to be a crew, for I cannot handle her myself, unlike the original Bold Admiral. Perhaps then, I could sail her elsewhere, as Alec did with his ship in Jasper Cove, to obtain supplies. Anchors aweigh, I thought, chuckling to myself. A different sort of anchor, in this case. Which brought my mind back to Bronwyn and what best to do for her. Should I bring her home? Maybe she is happy where she is. Maybe she is safer there from the residues of G… Maybe I could travel there and teach her how to make an anchor for herself, if she considers that place her home, and teach her how to anchor to me, so that she will always have her family to go to. I returned to my study, but I could not concentrate. Perhaps sleep will bring me better answers.