Editor's Note: This diary was pulled from the ashes of Queen Adamanita's castle by Massive Chalice historian and USgamer correspondent Cassandra Khaw. The following are excerpts detailing the queen's slow decline.
Year 1, Day 50
By the grace of the Powers That Be, I’ve been appointed as Immortal Protector of the Nation, Progenitor of the Great Bloodlines, Master of Strategies, Forger of — something. I don’t remember what. The chattering kitchenware that calls itself (itselves? Dual personalities? Must examine later) my advisor was quick to drag me off to battle.
At least, "me" in the figurative sense. I’m stuck in my seat. With them. Forever. But, luckily, that did little to hamper my abilities as a long-distance general. We beat those “Cadence” things — walking seeds and ghosts that drink of your memories — with relative ease, and the group strutted home, drunk on new victory. There were whispers, after all, of instating a regent in the Keep we rescued! Everyone was obviously excited and in need of alcoholic celebrations.
I was too. Up till the point the parties were over and everyone, hungover and still reeking of ale, swayed into my throne room. It was then that I discovered all but two of my "brightest, keenest, most accomplished" (Note double quotation marks) people were infertile.Two.
Blessed Two-Heads, do you have any idea how miserable that was to learn? And they were the worst of the lot too. Ugh. Obviously, I had to bequeath the dithering idiots noble titles but I wasn’t happy about it. Happily, my seneschals told me I could bait a new crop of heroes into the land. In a few years. While those two —
Nevermind. I am immortal. And they are not. The architecture will outlive those ghastly people. I am sure of this. For now, patience and poise. Patience and poise.
Your loving servant in eternity,
Year 5, Day 250
My harvest of heroes arrived.
They’re... alright, I suppose. A handful are quick, sly things with bright, squirrely eyes and a flair for combat. One or two are suspiciously demure about their fertility rates, but the Chalice assures me they’re merely bashful. It’s just an uncommon thing to ask on a first meeting, it seems.
That said, a few did make it to my “we’ll smile politely at each other until you die” list: a puny and slow gentleman who is annoying chirpy, and this lad who swears he comes from the house Thundaga Wulfen.
He kept a straight face, regardless of how many times I tried to shake the truth from his lips. I bet the name of his real bloodline is something absurd. Mutton, maybe. Something... rural. We'll see. I will be patient. I will be poised. I will engineer the most incandescently brilliant bloodines this world has ever seen.
Or I will die trying.
Get it? Get... I can’t believe I'm talking to my journal.
Still your loving servant in eternity,
Year 7, Day 150
Dunking people in the Chalice is a terrible idea. The advisors offered. I accepted. We shoved the man in. He came out... weird, then promptly bludgeoned two of my attendants to death. Would be more distressed if they were fertile members of society. They were not.
Note to self: Must find out why Chalice presented option to dump people in water. Perverse entertainment? Malevolence? Something I would much rather not contemplate?
Your puzzled but loving servant in eternity,
Year 14, Day 20
Who knew that ruling a nation could be quite so grueling? The talking Chalice still hasn’t told me why they're divided into personalities, or even what "forged from the bloodlines of the great houses" means in context to me. Mysteries upon mysteries. Beginning to suspect that I am stitched together from a thousand corpses.
I suppose that'd explain why there are no mirrors in here.
But, updates. I owe you those, diary. I discovered today that you can not only demand the construction of new buildings, but also the adoption of babies. I asked for a little boy two years ago. They found one for me: a lost babe in the woods, suspiciously attired in our colors and draped in a ripped pennant. I suppose this could be an entirely innocent coincidence, but it can be hard to tell.
Honestly, I'm beginning to suspect something sinister sleeps at the foot of my bed and in a Chalice, no less.
Year 22, Day 200
In the names of the Blessed Two-Heads and all that is good and holy, my luck is atrocious. I must be cursed. There is no other explanation. Cursed. Damned. Despised by all that is good and wise and... okay.
Okay. Let me explain.
We secured a new Keep recently. Lovely place. According to my advisors, the lands were conducive to... fertility. It certainly looked that way. Rolling hills. Babbling brooks. Night skies bulging with glittering galaxies. A thriving economy built on oysters and wine. Perfect environment.
I pulled two of my best warriors from battle. Again, the Chalice told me that they were fertile, bountiful people, the kind who whelp babies at a glance. I married them and gleefully departed to allow them to sprout children. They did. I waited a few years. I came back.
All of their children are infertile.
Each and every blasted little, resource-sucking rug monkey. (They have six children, by the way. Six.) Damn it. Is it something in the water?
We’re working on obtaining another keep. I will tell you if my luck changes.
Your immortal servant in exasperation,
Year 28, Day 300
I've taken to plunging all my problems into the Chalice. Manic priest? Pregnant mother and child? Old man with foot fungus and bunions? No problem! Straight in the water. My advisors have advised that they find this distressing. (They have also correctly pointed out that this sometimes results in life-threatening situations.) But, bugger 'em. I take my pleasures where I can.
P.S: Fertile couple still producing infertile children. One turned out capable of producing babies. Unfortunately, was also squinty, reckless, and slow.
P.S.S: Noble Partner in another keep getting quite old. Must find the surviving mate a friend. Reproduction must continue, no matter the personal cost.
P.S.S.S: Why do I keep finding solitary babies in the battlefield? Do these belong to the Cadence? Are they changelings? What is happening?
Your impish and loving servant in eternity,
Year 35, Day 150
A note to my future self. (I hope you don’t mind me leaving it here, diary.)If a frantic, fever-eyed inventor runs up to you and asks if they can test an invention in a public building? Say no. Throw him in the dungeons for good measure. Bad news. expensive news.
It will take 10 years to build a Sagewright’s Guild. Buggeritbuggeritbuggerit.
Yours in loathing,
Year 45, Day 20
I thought things were finally going my way. They weren't. We had unearthed a fresh recruit from one of the warzones—a hunter named Something-or-the-other Blackwolf. And it was love at first arrow, really. He quickly became one of my favorite Hunters, even though he insisted on those absurd mutton chops.
We had such a comfortable rhythm. He was my main scout, my vanguard, my damage-dealer. Each battle brought nothing but glory for him. I adored him. Madly. Passionately.
Oh, not that way.
I loved him for his potential. He was a quick learner, who was hawk-eyed and absolutely fantastic at parties. His genes seemed phenomenal and exactly what my poor Nation needed. I won’t lie. By the time he was 19, I was already scheming to install him as Regent in the very next Keep. Maybe, find him a feisty, red-headed Caberjack to snuggle him.
That was the plan, at least.
In my excitement at his combat prowess, I found myself forgetting one crucial detail: He aged.
By the time I realized my error, my poor Huntsman was already 53 and rapidly waning. I panicked and chucked him at the first available woman I could find: the 69-year-old widow in that keep by the ocean.
Can you guess what happened next? Exactly. Excuse me, diary. I feel a headache coming along.
Yours in eternal exasperation,
Year 47, Day 235
Still infertile. Still exasperating. Still convinced there is something wrong with the water supply. Perhaps, the Chalice is trying to sabotage me. They did tell me to see my people as more than breeding mares(hah!). Perhaps, this is their idea of revenge?
Year 48, Day 300
Still no change.
In my insistence on breeding caberjacks and hunters, I forgot entirely about my lineage of alchemists. They’re gone now. Like my dream of a lush land, filled with the gentle sounds of laughing children.
Will write more later. Must attend to Cadence attack with cadre of old, half-blind people. Sigh.
Year 50, Day 320
Forget it. Going on winter vacation. Will see you in spring.
Editor's Postscript: Queen Adamanita went missing soon after. Some say she is dead, others say she opened a nightclub in Boca Raton. Her memory lives on in the pages above.