Liberty Journal 5

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23 Planting, 595 CY

Dear Connie,

It’s hardly news to you, but I’ve hated Balabar Smenk as far back as I care to remember. I never liked the way he treated Father, or any of his other employees. I hated the way he handled the Deepspike collapse, throwing one mass funeral and not giving anyone but the priests a chance to talk. I can’t stand how he muscles his competitors out of business, out of town, or out of sight. And I’ve just always found him to be a repulsive, odious, contemptible, big fat pile of shit.

So for you to stand up for him last week was kind of a surprise, to put it lightly.

I didn’t want to fight about it, so I let it go… but then it gnawed at me the whole time I was gone. The Deepspike collapse nearly put him out of business, after all, and he had the competition from all the other mine managers to deal with. It’s not like they’re any more virtuous than Boss Smenk is, after all – he’s just less subtle about it.

I’ve spent a lot of years hating the man, blaming him for what happened to Father. But I realized that I did that because I needed someone TO blame. The only way I could make sense of something that made no sense was to make it somebody’s fault. And if when I leave Diamond Lake, what will I gain from all that hatred? Nothing! I’ve wasted so many years being angry at him… and that makes me angry at myself, which is even worse.

Anyway, the whole reason I bring it up is that Boss Smenk wanted to talk to us about this cult that threatens the town. Unfortunately, Xan got Smenk’s message in the middle of the night, and he decided that breaking into my home and waking me up was the way to call me to service. Sure, that makes sense! He saw me naked, too – but also fiery and furious, so I doubt he enjoyed it very much. Frustrating man, that one… glad to have him watching my back, if not my backside.

With Drake out of circulation for whatever reason (glug, glug), we asked Sam Claiborne to help us out. I actually asked her before I asked Mom, even, but she turned me down, sure that the Whispering Cairn would be as played out as all the rest. Luckily she’s changed her mind. We’ve never exactly been friends, but I feel like my experience in the Cairn has put us on more equal footing, so hopefully we’ll get along fine.

Sam’s also kind of flirty, which is fun. I could use the practice.

Anyway! (Can’t seem to stay on track, can I? This is what happens when someone wakes me up in the middle of the night.) We’re going to look for this Ebon Triad in one of the mines; I don’t want to tell you too much in case it all goes south or comes back to bite you for some reason. Oh! And Drake is back, but I’ll tell you about that when I see you tomorrow.

All my love,

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Liberty Journal 5

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