hroughout her life, Cervia Polonosa
was an avid journal writer. This stemmed from her origin as a pilot in the Tallonai
military, where she was expected to keep detailed logs. After her ship crashed into the Sister Seia
(somewhere off the west coast of Islemanoton
), she made a concerted effort to maintain logs throughout her life.
This was no trivial task. No materials survived from her ship with which she could maintain records. The planet was in its most primitive state. There was neither paper, nor writing implements, of any kind. In fact, as far as she could tell, none of the surviving casterways
were attempting to maintain any written tradition. Nevertheless, she went to great lengths to find suitable materials and natural inks that would allow her to document at least some small portion of her history.
Gaps in the Record
The logs do not consist of any single volume. They were kept intermittently throughout her lifetime, but there are periods when the record grows silent. There's no way to know whether these gaps in the historical data represent lost information, or simply those times when she could not be bothered to write things down. Her earliest entries are the most sporadic. This was a time when she was writing on dried leaves, cave walls, bleached barks, and any other materials that she found acceptable. There's no doubt that, even if she did maintain these logs on a daily basis, many of them must be permanently lost to history by this point. Nevertheless, every several-hundred-years-or-so, another store of logs is unearthed from new archaeological finds, thus helping to better flesh out any missing pieces in the narrative.
initially logged her activities from a sense of duty to her mission objectives. The tone of early writings clearly suggests a military mindset, designed to be shared, eventually, with her commanding officers, potentially for some kind of tactical intel. After several years, she obviously realized that any hope of rescue was, at best, extremely remote. From that point forward, her entries became more of a practical survival guide. It's not until several decades later, when she had already established the first casterway
society, that she seemed to realize that she may indeed be chronicling her own history - and that of her countrymen - for future generations.
lmost all entries take the form of a daily journal. They are prefaced by year/month/day and, at times, they document even the most mundane of her daily activities.
here is no definitive canon of Cervia's
writings. Early entries were scribbled on whatever materials she could find. Later volumes were discovered many centuries after her death. Inevitably, their authenticity is frequently questioned - especially by those at odds with her political, religious, or ideological beliefs.
There have been several councils held over the millennia with the intention of distinguishing "true" works of Cervia
from those of potential impostors. Although these have been somewhat helpful in establishing a recognized core of her writings, there have always remained adherents who abide by any-and-all proposed logs. There are still others who have chosen to assemble their own Cervia
-centric "bibles", discarding the volumes they find distasteful or untrustworthy, while welcoming other volumes into their accepted codices.
Even if one were to accept every entry that has ever been claimed to have been written by her, cognoscenti
occasionally disagree about her honesty and accuracy in some passages. For example, it's been argued that some of her later writings were written to be purposely misleading, with the assumption that she knew they would be read by prying eyes and purposely desired to throw her enemies off course.
It should be noted that, due to carelessness or hubris on the part of early cognoscenti
, the annotation of the original years - as she would have known them - has been lost to time. For example, the first known entry in her log is titled Cervia's Log - Day 9 of Achiel, Year 1 AoC
. The abbreviation AoC
refers to the casterway
time convention: Age of Cervia
. Achiel is the second month of the Tallonai calendar
, so it's perfectly logical to believe that she would have referred to the day as such. However, it's silly to believe that she would have referred to the first year of her arrival as the Age of Cervia
, an honorific that is named in her honor
and wasn't bestowed upon this time period until after her death. Whatever numerical system the Tallonai
used to mark the passage of years is thus lost to us now.
he logs - in all their many different compilations - are the most widely published works in the entire world. They can be found in every language, on every continent, and in every country. It is common for small rural communities to own, collectively, but a single book, typically housed in a place of public trust. And that book is, invariably, an assorted collection of her logs.
ver time, there have been numerous countries that have used the logs as outright political canon. Some early societies attempted to craft whole sections of their legal code from her writings. And whenever new ordinances proved to be flawed or insufficient, they would occasionally accept interpretations of her logs as a tie-breaking mechanism.
While her works still bear great influence upon casterway
justice systems, there is currently no jurisdiction where her writings are used as direct basis for law. Furthermore, it is no longer considered viable to use her words in lieu of formal legal arguments. Nevertheless, her influence - indeed, her creation of casterway
civilization outright - is still felt throughout the world today and is still taught to all novice students of law and history.
arrival marked the end of the Age of Darkness
. Before her fateful rendezvous with Excilior
, the entire intelligent population consisted of exiled, banished men. These men had no recollection of their prior lives and no means by which to even attempt escaping the planet. More importantly, given that they were all men, they had no hope of ever establishing their own civilization in their new jungle home. The best that they could hope for was to live out the rest of their days desperately clawing survival from the unforgiving tropical environment.
lthough she was pivotal in the birth of civilization, these logs weren't thoroughly realized until decades after her death.
The first published compendium didn't surface until she'd been dead for nearly a century. And given the nascent state of publishing at the time, it was several more centuries before these writings took on a cultish fervor of their own in the public imagination. Indeed, these logs would eventually feed nearly a millennium of Cervia
-worshiping fanaticism. But the realization of that fervor did not happen overnight.
he logs have had sufficient time to run through several extended cycles of adulation and backlash. They began as a curiosity, decades after her death. They eventually fostered several cults centered on her mythical persona. These evolved into nation-states that leaned on every accepted word of her musings as canonical law. Many centuries later, the public perception of Cervia's
wisdom had almost completely reversed. For a time, it was fashionable to openly mock her observations. Some of her ideals eventually came to be seen as primitive, crude, or even outright cruel. It has now been long enough that her logs are seen as an invaluable historical reference and a critical stepping stone in the legal and cultural evolution of the planet. They have, however, finally been put out to pasture as binding legal documents. They are now more likely to bring solace to those seeking wisdom or historical insight - rather than those looking to use them as the basis for ecumenical, ontological, or legal truth.