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Month: April 2017

Anne of Israel

Anne of Israel

I’ve been here for what, a week, almost, and have left countless messages for the curator who ”knows about that sort of thing.” No response.

Magical Adventuring is not nearly as fun as it’s made up to be.

Cole is concerned.

I have almost literally talked his ear off. He fell asleep on the phone yesterday (his 3am) while I droned on for ages about paths of silver and wool and what does it mean and who are all these people and how does this have anything to do with me, and why couldn’t my father have just left a plainly legible letter explaining all the nonsense he’s worked so hard to hide… I guess that question answers itself, but all the others!!!

I have jumped out of bed at every door slamming in the hallway outside my room, sure it’s another ghost who’s also so done hearing me ramble on and on that he’s knocking from the inside of the room, trying to get out. (Though a big thanks to Leigha and Miss Evans (my fairy godmothers) who told me how to protect my doorways with salt. I went ahead and covered the room in it, took a bath in it, and have been eating my weight in chips since I got here so I think I’m covered for now.)

But… BUT!

In all my free time I have been doing some reading. You know where this is going don’t you? Did you guess mad speculation?

I was going through the posts about my father’s other journal volume, the one Lauren had (SO happy the winged, fire-spewing lady wizard never discovered I owned a volume of my own) and guess what I came across…

The story about the Unicorn Tapestries. The one about Anne of Brittany and her court of artists and her death and the objects her various parts were buried in…

Gold and silk. Silver and wool. Does silver and  wool sound familiar?

The road of silver and the road of wool. Two “roads” made up of art and crafted objects that my dad followed years ago, the two roads that led to nowhere, that he then upended and put together to make the road I’m on right now.

He wrote that there were two groups of people who knew some or all of the truth, and hundreds of years ago they set two trails of clues, hidden but built to be found by anybody with a strong enough desire to find them. A sort of recruitment tool.

The Anne of Brittany story mentions a secret guild of artists who were members of Anne’s court and also the cult of collectors who eventually stole the objects from her grave(s).

Could those be the two groups my dad mentioned? Artisans and Crafters? The secret guild and the cult? Are those the people he was looking for?

Is that where he’s got me heading?



In Israel. Sorry for not updating sooner. I’ve had a very weird experience. Let me back up though so you understand the maximum amount of weirdness.

There were a couple nights in Istanbul where I’d wake up to someone loudly knocking on my door. Not like, angry… just slowly pounding on the door. There were some guys in a room a few rooms down who could get rowdy and stumble back from wherever and sometimes not know where their room was so I figured it was them. I’d yell their actual room number and they’d go find their actual room.

So after the “Japanese” clue I flew back to Cape Town the next morning, got the same room in the amazing hotel I was staying in, overlooking Camps Bay.

Talked to Cole, emailed Mon, posted the letter I got from Orvin, ate, misplaced the contents of a rather lovely bottle of red, and went to bed.

Then two or three hours later someone started pounding on my door. Just like Istanbul, slowly slamming their fist into the door, over and over. In my stupor I yelled that they had the wrong room before realising I wasn’t in Istanbul. I freaked out, sneakily checked the peephole, but it was just black. Like someone was covering it up. So I called the front desk.

After a few minutes the knocking changed. It was faster, quiet. And then someone on the other side of the door said, “Ma’am, it’s the manager…”

I answered with the chain on. He said no one had been in the hall, but he heard the knocking too.

He said it was coming from my side of the door.

From inside the room.



Changed rooms. Stayed up all night. Got first flight out. Slept on the planes (three connections, fun.) And kept waking up thinking I heard the knock.

In Tel Aviv now. Will try and make it to the museum tomorrow. I’ve called ahead but I keep getting put through to a curator’s voicemail when I ask about 100 Hundred Stories of Demons and Spirits (a title which is very comforting right now, thanksverymuch.)

While I am thoroughly freaked out, I’m assuming this means I’m getting closer? I’m on the “path” he left me?

But why exactly did he have to make it so creepy?



Thanks for the talk last night, Cole. It was so nice to hear your voice again.

And thanks Mounties for getting me here.

After Cole and I spoke, a new clue appeared in the journal (yeah, yeah, love and adoration… this journal is meddling.)

“The trembling light of ukioy-e is printed on the souls of the lost and the damned.”

So the diamond’s done. I know (from google) that ukioy-e is a Japanese art style, but not sure where to start. And my hotel here is waaaay too sunny, warm and lovely to leave unless I know exactly where I’m going (though… sushi.) Thoughts, Mounties?



Sunday was a long day. Saw the diamond. It’s diamond-y. (no photography allowed, which makes sense I guess. The museum is essentially an old department store with mannequins dressed in 19th costumes ogling fake diamonds.) I took the journal with me. No new clue.

Based on the symbol in the front of this journal (Psyche) we’ve all assumed it’s triggered by different emotional states. So I’ve figured out (assumed) I’m supposed to find these objects and while somewhere near them have a specific emotional response? The latest clue is “where Archemedes’ cry shines brightest through its adoring cut.” Which means I have to feel what, either revelation (Eureka!) or adoration? Infatuation? Love? I mean, I’m not really a diamond girl, so… Blurgh. This all feels a bit like a parent’s emotional manipulation from beyond the grave.

Revelation is something I feel pretty regularly but if it’s love or adoration I’m supposed to feel, I might need to start looking at local real estate. The closest I’ve felt to any of that is, well… I won’t be vagueblogging today, you’ve all had front row seats to that story.

I mean, yes, there are feels and loads of them, both simple and complicated. And that’s the problem! Two people who want (for a lot of reasons) something simple, uncomplicated, transparent, but we’re separated by a complicated morass of secrets and lies and magic and mountains (and mountaineers), and to get back to each other we have to wade into that world again, and wading into that world sometimes feels like drowning. To ask that of him, to come back to the girl with the spell and the father and the past and the road ahead of her feels cruel. It feels like I’m reaching out for help only to drag him under with me.

I’ve imagined the night I found out everything going a hundred different ways instead of me stumbling away like I’d just climbed out of a car crash. But I didn’t. And I don’t know if I could’ve done anything else.

So I’m here in Kimberely with the diamond and the mannequins and the empty mine. Revelations yes, but anything else… Maybe I’m not that girl.

In Air

In Air

I drafted this while on the plane. Now I’m in Cape Town, with wi-fi, the museum’s closed for the day, and I’m going straight to sleep (I can’t sleep while in mid-air.) Happy weekend Mountaineers. (Am I a Mountaineer?)

I didn’t mean to get involved in any of this once I left New York.

I was just going home. I had to. Not forever, but for a while. It wasn’t until I realised I left my laptop charger at the brownstone and was scrounging for something to do on the flight back that I found I had my dad’s journal in my big bag (hard to keep all my knock-off bags straight.) I cracked it open and suddenly some of it made sense.

And I was sitting there holding honest-to-god magic. A book that was until very recently hiding its content from me because I’d been hidden from the world.

In the journal he writes about how there are clues hidden inside it that will lead to a path paved with stones (artwork and other created objects) that come from two old “roads.” The road of wool and the road of silver.

He says there were two groups of people who knew what happened to the world, or knew something worth knowing at least. Centuries ago they set two trails of clues, designed to be found by anybody with a strong enough desire to find them.

He travelled both roads, following clues he thought would lead him to the truth, but as he describes in the journal:

“…at the end of both roads nothing but silence and ruin. Roads that, at one time in history, were walked by those who sought the truth. But when I walked them I found those who built them were no longer waiting at the end. And hadn’t been for quite some time. It wasn’t until years later that I found what I believe to be the truth and now I leave it safe at the end of this new road. For you.”

I think he did what he could to protect me. But also wanted to give me the chance, no matter how slim, to wake up – if I wanted it badly enough. I think I did want it, I always felt disconnected from the world, drifting… But if it hadn’t been for everything you all did, who knows? I like to think I would’ve got on track eventually. I did have the unwavering desire to find the damned books. I just happened to be looking for the wrong ones.

Anyway, I spent time with Mon, drank too much, ate too much, slept too much. Like when I used to come home from uni. But I was also catching up on everything on your forum and reading the journal. Processing it all. After a few weeks I thought I’d figured out where the trail started and I got itchy. I had to see. It took me a few days to work up the nerve, but I did and I was off.

I would like to say that I went to Amsterdam to find a magical trail of art. So let’s say that. But it was there that I kind of figured out the first clue which ended up leading me to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia. I got back to the hotel and found a new clue that led me to the Alhambra (“Ferdinand and Isabella will meet your disapproval at the seat of the Sultan.”) To be honest, I’m not sure what triggered the next clue, but I think it could have been Charles V.’s Pillar. Crafted by metal instruments (the road of silver?) I most completely disapproved of the carvings of Daphne being chased down by uber-rapey Apollo. The next clue led me to Istanbul (“A line of lovers offer a sorrowful rest in Topkapi.”)

And you know the rest.

I wasn’t being cagey on Instagram. Part of me wanted to know that I could figure it out on my own. Which I did. That I wanted it enough. Which I do. And now I don’t need to prove it to myself. It doesn’t mean I’m not brutally lonely, perpetually tired, and sad to realise my stomach isn’t quite as cast iron as I once believed it to be.

I am going to follow this story to its conclusion. And though your help is much appreciated, if I have to do it on my own I will. I wonder what he left for me at the end of the road…?

Oh, and yes, I’m an Ebenguard. Seems fitting.


In my haste and turkish-fog I failed to realize that the Kimberley part of Kimberley Mine is the city of Kimberley, which is a nine hour drive from Cape Town. HA!  So… not visiting the museum today. I’m in the midst of booking a little baby hopper flight either tomorrow or Monday (the agent seems vague about the whole thing or maybe I’m just still in need of a sleep.) Ah the life of a completely inexperienced world traveller. (in these moments I can’t help but think how David would react if he could see this. Anyone else do that? Imagine if your ex could peek into your life now? Or is that just me? Please don’t be just me.)

Something’s Worked

Something’s Worked

Not sure what. I spent the entire day looking into everything you guys recommended. The university, back to the palace, back to the museum there. There were a couple places/things that were definitely “sorrowful” including a painting with a harem and this chained-up monkey that was heartbreaking, but who knows… Regardless, #goteam

The journal now says “return to the line of silver, the line of the craftsmen. Where Archemedes’ cry shines brightest through its adoring cut.” The “line of silver” bit has to do with the two paths my dad found (will explain as soon as I can put a big post together, hopefully on a long flight to somewhere else, no offense Turkey,) but the rest seems like the clue for the next leg. Any ideas? My brain is scrambled.

Cole: I got your messages. I was never able to get my phone working here. Write me?



Hey Mounties,

Still in Istanbul.

Lovely, yes, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited (though I haven’t visited lots) but I am tired, in the throes of perpetual jetlag, and it turns out the Alhambra clue I thought I knew the answer to hasn’t led me anywhere. So I was wrong. And no new clues, no new passages. Just stuck. And even if I wanted to leave (I don’t, and won’t) the idea of getting on another plane right this very moment makes my stomach turn.

Feeling :emoji for frustrated and jetlagged girl who is stymied by the magical journal her dead father left her:

I went back and read the story I wrote to break the spell on me. The one where I said I was done with my father and was never looking back, blah, blah, blah…

Here I am, still chasing him. Still stuck, lonely, frustrated.

Am I ever going to be out of his shadow?

Am desperately trying to get used to the idea that you’ve all been here the entire time and I need to just go with it.

I need a nap.