The story of how the Journal of John Dee came into Nathaniel Ballard’s possession is documented in an entry in his diary, nominally dated 16 May (all diary dates are relative to the start of the diary – the relation to actual dates in the common era is unknown, though it is believed that parts of the diary, now lost, date from some time in 1891CE) describing the destruction of the place known as Jasper Cove and the flight to Ashmourne Wylds…
“I do want you to know that for all the secrecy, I truly did enjoy being Greyson for as long as I was. But that is neither here nor there,” he said, his fingers toying with the cover of the journal in his hands before handing it to me. “Aiobheann told me once about your journal, that you kept one and used the idea to help teach her to write, though I fear by the time I realized your incredible gift it was too late. I would have made you our Lore Keeper, you know, would have given you an office and a title and the library in the castle. But now all I have to give you is this old book, written by a mirror of myself. I believe that all that is happening here is linked to what is written in the pages of this journal; and that if I can discover what this man was doing then I can discover the key to everything else. But I need someone, someone that has been there from the beginning, whether he knew it or not, to tell my story, and the story of all of us who made our home in Jasper Cove.” he paused then and met my eyes once more. “Do you think you can do that? Though I no longer have a library to give you, or a title for you to claim?” I looked down at the journal, old and worn as it was, yet a great treasure, especially to a bibliophile like myself. I had to laugh at the mention of titles.
The journal is mentioned sporadically through various later diary entries, in which it is clear that Nathaniel was struggling with some of the concepts presented in the journal entries. It is thought that during his early months in Ashmourne Wylds, he was hampered by a lack of research facilities, having not, at that time, gained access to any library that may have existed in the castle prior to its destruction (See diary entry for 22 July).
The earliest known entry is reproduced below. The hand is consistent with the time period, but has not been definitively identified as being that of Dee.
December 21 1582: In order to understand what is written in these pages one must understand that the multiverse or as some may interpret it , the meta-verse does exist, and that we as intelligent life are living only in ripple on a lake of an infinite number of ripples. Also it is important to know these simple truths cannot yet be calculated, but I have learned about them through my communions with beings that can only be described as Angels. The Physical universe, and the laws that govern it are constantly in flux and subject to change. And IF we can discover a way to measure the invisible forces behind those changes then we will too be able to understand life and existence in a way that has not ever been possible in human memory. As a Alchemist I have learned many things about the base make up of matter in our world and I think that there is one single particle that will enable me to unlock the path that governs destiny and in doing so manipulate it. This particle is not per-say a physical thing but I believe as that it does exist and that with the right instruments it can be seen and measured. The name of course can only be that which my cohorts are currently obsessed with identifying, the philosophers stone.
April 27 1648: It has come to my attention that in isolating the philosophers stone I have also created an anomaly. While it was not my intention to have done so, further study of the procedure has led me to believe that in my quest for life eternal I have created what few human beings have ever done before me. In fact there is no creature living or dead that has ever done something as I have done, before now, and I fear that this strange paradox will create repercussions for not only me but the multiverse as a whole that cannot be measured, that cannot be calculated, and that cannot be predicted. That should not however lead one to believe that I will not try as best I can to do all three of those things, but I fear, Journal, that I am running out of time; which in itself is an irony considering. I do however believe that the point in the spectrum of worlds and universes converging is a fixed point in all subsequent time and space. It is a choice that those destinies that mirror my own have repeated time and time again and will continue to repeat in various ways to similar or different conclusions.