(A Page From Aedon's Journal) I have always sought some sense of balance in my life. If at times finding this balance required that I make odd alliances, then I did so with a foreknowledge of exactly what I was getting into and who I was dealing with. This method of doing things may not be right for all, but in my many years of service to Yew it has helped to see me through, and bring some measure of peace to the area. It was not though at all surprising to me that the deal crafted by Gillian met with such vehement opposition. To some, mostly those who failed to read the document which had been clearly posted around the kingdom, it may have seemed as though Yew was making a shaky peace with the Hand at the expense of others. How did one of the rangers put it, sacrificing the rest of them to save our butts? But had they taken the time to listen, they may have had a somewhat deeper understanding of the measures we were moved to take. Scarst had been the first to make his displeasure known. He called me into a separate room and immediately started to fling accusations and demands at me. I did not care really that he said he had looked the other way when I had dealings with undead. In the past, I have had to make more than one strange peace for the sake of peace. It did however anger me when he referred to Yews Governor in one of the lowest words for tramp. It seems that whenever a person cannot craft together a reasonable argument; they resort to vulgar names and threats. But I know Scarst well enough to know that he will attempt to follow through on any threats he makes. And then there was the conversation with the Rangers after the meeting. They were decidedly livid and intent on making their views known. Many times during their talk they spoke in vague terms of threats against Gillian, or some form of attack that may be directed towards Yew. When they asked me straight out if I thought the Hand would keep to the bargain, I had to say no. I have known Mikael far too long to believe that a simple sheet of paper can curtail his desire for power. He still sees, and in many ways rightly so, the city of Yew as being his. He insisted that the simple returning of his title would stop all aggression by the Hand. But Mikael has made a habit of drawing to his rule those of questionable intent. He draws on some of the lowest forms of life, or humanity to fill the ranks of the Hand. And even if Mikael had intended on keeping the bargain, there would always be Omen and his driving thirst for more. Gillian did very well at the meeting, showing the full strength needed to govern Yew. If she continues down this path she may indeed prove to be the leader I thought she could be. Yew does not need a lady who backs down at the slightest confrontation, but rather a woman driven by a cause and purpose. One willing to stand and fight if need be to protect the people she serves. In this fight she would always have Thom at her side, and I will be there to do what I can. Dramora, she is still my wild card in all this, and as I watch her struggle with thoughts of returning home I cannot help but see myself in here. She is a person torn between duty and peace. One who seeks and desires the peace and quiet due one who had long served a people. But not able to turn her back while there is still much to be done. She will in time still have to confront her driving task. She would have face Mikael and come to some resolution one way or another. Clive Dauthi, now he was a surprise to see standing in the Rest when I returned the other night. In the past he and I and he and Yew have been at odds and together on many matters. He seemed interested in the dealings of the Hand. I am hoping to get to speak with him more about the deal and the threats Yew has received. Perhaps in some way he can assist us. I know full well that there will be many trials ahead for all us who call Yew home. I am still uplifted in spirit by those who have decided to stand by the quiet city in the woods. Time alone will tell if those of us making this stand will be hailed as heroes or branded as total fools. But I have been branded a fool so often, at times by those that I valued the opinions of. But every fool has his day, and frankly, mine has been long in coming.