The Lost Journals of Annika Lux
Possibly the greatest travelogue that the peoples of Shadowfire have never seen, the (mostly) Lost Journals of Annika Lux tell the story of her long self-imposed exile from Omberstad following her expulsion from the The Uferbrech Tutelage. Annika travelled for 23 years through the Lands of Twilight, and reportedly wrote down her observations, learnings and musings as she went on any scrap piece of parchment or shroompaper she could find. It has been said by those who knew her at the time, that by the end of her travels the collected journals took up the space of two or three large wagons, and required some ingenious mechanical, and quite probably magical, contraptions in order to carry them with her. Most recently a few volumes of what are thought to be from Annika's lost journals have surfaced, collected and keenly studied by members of The Academy - filling in many gaps for those eager to find out more about the life of the Omberstad's most famous subversive.
Annika's Journals never arrived home with her when she returned to Omberstad after her long exile. Annika herslef reported that on her last homeward treck, the ship she was taking from Kukutana back to The Protectorates was beset by pirates on the Silver Reaches. The ship she was travelling on was destroyed, and the passengers aboard were either killed by the pirates, or drowned in the icy sea. Somehow, Annika survived, and washed up on an island near the Iceward Archipelago. While she survived, her journals were lost. Many doubt the veracity of this account. Rumours of Annika's considerable powers lead many to think that a mere rabble of pirates would be of no threat to her, no matter how well armed they might have been. Others point to the inordinate amount of wealth Annika still managed to keep from being stolen - enough to build the famed Lux Steam House at the very least. Annika protests that the wealth she had was stored away in her many investments across the Lands of Twilight, and not on her person at the time. Whatever the truth is about how she lost them, it seems they are indeed lost. Annika herself has offered many substantial rewards for any rumours of surviving tomes. And most recently she has been heard in angry exchanges with colleagues over news from the mainland that some of the lost journals have been recovered, but are being held by The Academy in New Lafaelle.
The Recovered JournalsTwo volumes have been recovered, but details of how and where are not known by any other than the Librarians at the Academy in New Lafaelle. It is hard to know how these surviving tomes fit in with the other Journals still unaccounted for, or even if they are representative of the style and format of the others, but they are an indication of what may remain to be discovered. Academics agree the first is from early in Annika's travels, probably during her time in the Stoneforged Assembly. The structure is chaotic and rambling, moving from diatribes against the teachers at The Uferbrech Tutelage and Lord Ackron's rule, to long passages where she aims her acerbic words against herself, and reveals her deep and abiding guilt for what befell Usohati and at her own hands. However, amongst these personal rants are passages where she describes in detail the engineering and stone magic wonders of the cities, and many mechanical creations of the stonefroged. There is enough in this one volume to keep the academics of New Lafaelle busy for years.
"Of all the things I have seen in the Assembly, it is the pure energy they put into their tasks that I love. There are no orders, or the beating of slaves here. No 'Lord' living lethargic on the blood of those more worthy. Each member of the Assembly dives into their challenges with a joy of intellect and comraderie that I find intoxicating."The second tome is believed to have been written much later, during Annika's time in Glimmertown. At first glance, this tome contains far less personal rants and self-depreciation. It is written in a more enthusiastic tone as she describes her observations of the sporemind networks, and their method of communication through pheromones. It culminates in an early articulation of her theories concerning the Blood Magic sources of the Sporemind connections, and describes her experiments with rudimentary chemical recreations of their language. This seems to be the research that led directly to her invention of Sporespray. One particularly creative student at the Academy has discovered that there are indeed rudimentary scent-messages added to this second tome, using Annika's sporespray techiques. These seem to put a lie to the belief that her feelings towards Lord Ackron have diminished over time. In the few passages where she reflects upon her origins in Omberstad, there are clear examples of scents that have been sprayed onto the parchment, where Ackron is described in the Glimmertongue scent as "decay-without-rebirth", one of the more serious insults among the Sporeminds.Annika Lux, Lost Journal #1
There is considerable interest in getting hold of any and all of the lost journals, and for a number of reasons. Most notably, Annika has become quite the celebrity across the Lands of Twilight due to her many discoveries and contributions as well as her famous generosity and generally likeable demeanour. Many suspect that within the Lost Journals may be much about the ways of life very different from those wihin the Protecttorates, and probably much criticism of the way the Lord Protectors and the Ministry exercise their powers. The Ministry is right to fear what the publishing of her private thoughts and musings might unleash across the lands they control.
"Such a world there is out there! If only the poor souls in New Lafaelle or Omberstad could see. There is no Choosing across the Shimmerlands, or on the bright shores of the Circle of Malama. These people know a freedom long denied our children, and the world is better for it."Others seek the knowledge contained therein. No-one alive is as wildly travelled and learned as is Annika Lux. She is known to have studied with the Master Mechanics of the Stoneforged Assembly , the Bloodmages of Novalucca and the Sporeminds of Glimmertown. Many suspect that her journals contain within them much magical and mechanical lore - and even secrets of combining Blood and Stone Magic not known by mortals since the ages before Shadowfire.Annika Lux, Lost Journal #2