25 Monkey, 31 Dragon, Hour of the Octopus
I take pen in hand this turning of the year to record my thoughts once more. I have been slack in my duties to keep this for those who may come after me, and the only feeble excuse I can find is that it has been a busy year.
The leather spines of my predecessors mock me from their neat rows, some stained with sand and sweat from places I have never seen and can only imagine when I turn the brittle browned pages, some of parchment, some of paper. What can you know of busy, they grumble, you who have not been used in war for a century or more, you who have a soft position, watching over a little heir to the throne? A female heir, at that? What, she beats you at cards? Serves you imaginary tea with her dolls?
And all I can reply is that this post, it is not like any other that I have known in my long years of service to the Family. I would rather be out on the ice where the sun blinds and fails to warm, rather be in jungles that drip with hallucinogenically colored poisonous animals and plants, rather fight the sands that leap on the wind and strip flesh to bone. In some ways, it would be safer.
It would certainly be clearer, the enemy known, their weaknesses assessable, and plans to be laid athwart theirs.
Where to begin?