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The Birth of the Compass
A Talk with a god
Friends, Enemies, and Other People
Lady Leniesa
Lady Adeline
Lady Devin
The Birth of the Compass
The story of our Meeting
Lady Elesi

As told by Devin Jaketsa

October 13
Dear Diary,

As I sit here and write this and do not know what to think. Am I dreaming? But, no, this is no dream. I wonder if I imagined it all. Am I crazy? But, no, inside me I know there is something more unsettling than insanity. It isn't normal, even for magic. It is godlike. Whatever it is, this is real.
I was in the courtyard yesterday, writing a letter to Mama and Da. I hadn't written in ages, so I thought I would. It was then that a girl - Adeleine - walked over with a book.
We reached over to shake hands. "Oh, hello!" she said, smiling warmly. "I didn't see you there." As I stood up, I accidentally dropped my quill. We both leaned over to get it, but I got it first.
I started to thank her, but then something caught my eye. There was something hanging out of the collar of her dress. My hand flew to my throat. She was wearing my necklace but ... no, I was wearing my necklace. "How did you get that?" I asked, forcing my voice to stay calm.
Adeline just looked at me. "What?" she asked.
"That," I said. "That necklace." My voice was slightly shaking. "Where did you get it?"
"Oh, this," she said, looking slightly nervous. "Um.... Well, I found it-"
"I don't believe you," I interrupted. "Tell the truth."
Adeline's eyes flickered defiantly. She stuffed her necklace inside her dress. "No," she said.
"Where did you get that necklace?" I asked. "You didn't find it. Who gave it to you?" My voice was hard and cold. I glared at her, pulling myself to rather my full height. (Adeline was still quite a bit taller.) She stared at me.
"Why do you ask such rude questions?" she asked. "And why do you expect them to be answered?"
Still glaring up at her, I wordlessly reached inside my own shirt and pulled out my necklace. Adeline gasped. I yanked on the gold chain. The clasp broke from the force and the necklace coiled up inside my palm. I held it out to her. "That's why," I said quietly.
Adeline was very white. She didn't speak for a while. Then she recovered herself. "Come with me," she said sharply, leading me toward the dormitories.
She led me to a dormitory that said, "Callista, Elesi," and yanked open the door.
"Elesi!" she exclaimed, pulling me in behind her.
Elesi was on her bed, reading. She must have jumped a foot in the air. She landed on the floor with a thump. She looked so comical I had to force myself not to laugh. "Yes?" she asked, standing up with the air of one who has endured terrible suffering. "I assume you want something. Next time, though, let's try and be a little bit quieter about it, okay?" Adeline didn't smile. "What?" Elesi asked, straightening her tunic and leaning around us to look in the mirror. "Did you break your funny bone?"
I laughed, but disguised it as a cough. I've always had a weakness for lame jokes.
"Elesi, please explain this," Adeline said, unlaughing. She undid the clasp of her own necklace and held out both of ours.
Elesi took them with shaking hands and looked at them. She ran her finger along both of them. Copper sparks emitted from the necklace. Her eyes widened and she swallowed.
"Careful," I said.
Elesi gave me a look that shut me up. Her face was pale. She reached inside her tunic and pulled out an identical necklace from beneath her shirt.
I reached over and pulled on it. She cried out, "Holy Mithros, Devin, that hurts!" and I let go of that necklace really quick. As I shook my hand and complained, Elesi neatly undid her clasp and held out the three necklaces. I took them and dangled them in the air. Mine had a small D in the center of the opal, Adeline's A was inscribed in the middle of an amethyst, and Elesi's had an E emblazoned in her sapphire. The only stone remaining was the odd light blue one on the last point of the compass. I bit my lip, thinking.
Elesi and Adeline were staring at me. They were both as pale as I.
"The letters. They spell something."
"What?" asked Adeline.
"I ... I don't know," I admitted. "It makes so sense. They don't spell anything out, but shouldn't they? Something's missing. I think there's a fourth necklace. I think it has the other stone in the middle."
I looked back up at the girls. Adeline looked at me skeptically, but Elesi was nodding.
Her eyes got big again and held out her hand. A ball of blue fire appeared. She whispered something into it. It crackled, but nothing happened. She rolled her eyes and whispered again. The ball of fire crackled and disappeared. "Thank you," Elesi muttered. "Terrible connection." Then she spoke to us. "Niesa's on her way."
"No!" I exclaimed. "I don't want anymore people knowing about this than is necessary. This isn't normal, Elesi! There's obviously a bond between the three of us - and possibly someone else. But until we know, we needn't go spreading this around."
Elesi stood up and walked over to me. When she was close, she spoke quietly. "You're right. This isn't normal. I, for one, am at a loss ... almost. There's a bond between us, you're right - a magical bond. That's not going to be strong enough to do anything if we don't form a spiritual one as well. So you are going to have to trust me. I'm almost positive I know who the fourth one is. Are you going to trust me or not? Because if you're not, you might as well chuck those necklaces away. We're not worth a thing apart."
I sighed. "All right, I'll trust you on this or whatever."
"Good," she said. "Because I wouldn't have stopped Leniesa coming either way. It doesn't really matter." She gave a weak smile.
I sat down on Callista's bed and we all waited silently, each clutching their necklace.
Several minutes later, Leniesa rushed in the room, looking like she had run all the way across campus. She was wearing her gym uniform. Wow, I realized. She had run all the way across campus.
"What ... you ... need ... me ... for?" she gasped, gulping down the glass of water Elesi offered her. "What is it Elesi?" she asked, recovered but still breathing hard. "You said it was really urgent."
"It is."
Elesi walked over to her and touched her neck with a tiny spark of blue. All of sudden, she was holding Leniesa's necklace in her hand. But it was still attached to Leniesa as well. "Ow! Elesi, what are you doing?"
"Ooops," Elesi said, letting go. "Sorry, Niesa."
I stood up. "You want some help?" I asked.
She nodded. I yanked on the chain despite Leniesa's, "Don't break it!" and it gave way.
"Sorry about that," I said, holding the necklace in my hand. "I can fix it later, no problem."
"What are you doing? Are you insane? Give that back!" Leniesa shrieked.
Adeline, Elesi and I all stuck our necklaces under her nose. All of her struggling stopped. She looked between the three of us wordlessly. Then I looked at her necklace. Sure enough, on the tiny trunk was the odd blue stone, with a small L in the middle. I looked at Elesi with a "don't-you-dare-say-I-told-you-so" look. "So," I said, ignoring her triumphant grin, "Now we have an L."
"That doesn't matter," Adeline said. "Deal...Dale...Lade...Laed...Lead...Adel...Adle...Edal...Aeld - whatever it says, it makes no sense, Devin!"
I thrust Niesa's trunk back into her hands and slid off the bed to the floor. "What does it mean?"
Oh, I have to go. I will try to write more later, but I am so confused! Nothing makes any sense at all.
Hevrea Maskinia,