Entry I. November 2, 1686.  When they brought me the boy, his flesh was charred and his wounds ravaged and blackened.  How could a god allow this to happen?  I knew when they first brought him to that there would be no saving him.  No.  It had been too long.  I knew that boy was dead. 

 

Entry II. November 11, 1686.  One by one, dozen by dozen, we watched them fall.  We kept our fires burning and our remedies flowing, but like rains on the lake, the graves stacked higher and higher.  I pondered if and when this would ever be over, and would I survive to see it?

 

Entry III.  November 13, 1686.  The smell of death became so common in the streets that should a breeze decide to grace us, those few seconds would feel odd and coldly discomforting, as if the stench of a thousand corpses belonged, and a lack thereof was no longer a welcomed thought. 

 

Entry IV.  November 14, 1686.  How can I lead them if they see me as their biggest obstacle?  We are supposed to be the light in times of darkness, the sun for the flower.  Regrettably, though, we pull against one another.  I have done no better than my colleagues in the towns and hollows downriver, and those who were once assigned to assist me, have come to realize I am leading a lost cause.  I am blindly leading us closer and closer to a changing enemy that is aware we cannot see.

 

Entry V.  November 17, 1686.  In nearly 4 centuries since this evil first materialized from the darkest depths of the coldest Hell, one would think we may have come to learn something more than we know now.  We haven’t.  We shield ourselves with the same facades, we dispose of our ravaged with the same biblical verses, and we comfort our doomed with the same remedies as they did centuries before.  Why have we learned nothing?  Why do we continue down this path of false progress?  There must be something more.

 

Entry VI.  November 21, 1686.  I have failed them.  I have failed them all.  Those who counted on me; my teachers, my colleagues, my followers, those doomed to be ravaged by this inevitable evil… lost to the rains of time.  Those who remain faithful to me now amount to six souls, all of them just as lost as I.  How could this have happened?  What could we have done differently?

 

Entry VII.  November 22, 1686.  We have burned our facades and bathed in the heavy rains of this early winter.  Freezing and shaking, I washed away the remnants of this evil with the tea-soaked leaves of the strongest Oaks.  I gnarled the flesh of my body with the most porous rocks available along the shorelines of this dead city.  We appear to remain once again free of this evil, and hopefully will allow us to continue this battle somewhere else; somewhere in need of our light. 

 

Entry VIII.  November 26, 1686.  What horses the evil chose to spare were soon taken by emaciation, and we were now on foot.  We walked for what seemed like weeks.  Covered beneath our newly made facades and buried beneath layers of fur and hide, we marched through the oncoming winter storms; snow, winds, and freezing fogs.  For all I knew, the entire world was now a tomb and we were the last of her angels, fighting a war that had long since been lost.  It was as if God was testing our reserve, and we could do nothing more than traverse his wasteland until the evil we left behind in that dead town decided to finally catch up with us.  This haunted me.  But, what more could I do… but press on?

 

Entry IX.  November 31, 1686.  We haven’t eaten in days, and the winds have become incredibly unforgiving.  The heavy snows will soon fall, and we will die out here if something doesn’t change for the better.  To make matters worse, I feel a sharp and sickening pain in my belly, as if my insides are being boiled from within.  This cough has left my lips bloodied, and I fear it seems disturbingly similar to those of the ravaged.  I pray this is the result of exposure to this hellish winter, and not that of the evil we left to rot in that godforsaken city.

 

Entry X.  December 2, 1686.  The snows have begun, and we are now coated in a thin layer of white cold.  The pain has thankfully left my belly, but has been replaced by a sickening emptiness; a hollow feeling I cannot fully describe nor understand.  I don’t ask the others, but I can only assume they’re all facing similar effects, whether it be from this hellishly cold exposure or the remnants of the evil we left behind.  Silently, we keep to ourselves, and whatever is going on within us, is confined to our own, individual hells.  I, however, fear the worst, for I now taste blood in my mouth during all hours of the day, and a certain numbness has begun to overtake my right arm.  I pray it is the touch of frostbite, and not the touch of certain evil.

 

Entry XI.  December 7, 1686.  The snow is thick, and the heavy and hoarse breathing patterns have now struck us all.  We are sick.  Perhaps it is from the exposure, perhaps it is from the evil we left behind, but we are ill to say the least.  As we continue to keep our dissent into our own personal hells, the stench of death now adorns our proximity; we are in fact coming apart in what I fear the worst ways possible.  If what I fear to be true is true, then nothing can save us now.  We can attempt to seek salvation, but it will inevitably be denied to us. 

 

Entry XII.  December 8, 1686.  The feeling of hollow emptiness that began in my stomach has now replaced the discomfort that laced my right arms several days ago, and I now feel the tingling inch of incoming numbness along the side of my body.  I am all but dead.  We… are all but dead.  The stench of death has become ripened with sour decay, disgustingly sweet and hot to the nose, even with the bitter cold waging war against us.   Are we dying… or are we dead?

 

 Entry XIII.  December 9, 1686.  I am rotting.  I can feel it.  I can sense the evil has taken over my insides, and I fear what my flesh will look like should I choose to pull back these layers of fabric, fur, and hide.  Somehow, this emptiness has not stopped our march through the savage winter.  Perhaps it is our will to live and our duties to help rid the world of this evil that keep us going.  I don’t know.  However, I would be lying if I said Death wasn’t more than welcome to take me whenever he pleased; to rid me of this pain and this hell. 

 

Entry XIV.  December 10, 1686.  The marks of horse hooves are fresh in the icy mud; the snow cleared from the obvious path by regular travel, I’m sure of it.  A town must be ahead.  Not that it matters now.  That evil resides within us all now.  But, should that keep us from our duties?  Do we not have the obligation to help these people?  To help ourselves, if possible?  Should this town be free of this evil, our presence will surely bring it to them.  But, should we decide to stay away completely, a dying town may in fact already be doomed.  We pass a decrepit old sign on the forest edge and it confirms the town’s existence: Angel City. 

 

Entry XV. December 10, 1686.  Smoke billows from the chimneys of the town as we trudge through the borders.  A few horses walk the streets, huddled together to escape the freezing cold, no question.  Around the corner, several horse carcasses, half-rotten yet frozen, line the eastern road.  Not a soul is in sight; windows and doors are boarded up, the lanterns remain dark and cold, and the seemingly fresh hoof-prints we followed into town have disappeared; perhaps not as fresh as we thought?  The fireplaces are obviously burning within these shops and within these homes, but not a soul has appeared to greet nor banish us.  Suddenly, the faint and muffled barking of a dog can be heard through the walls of the church, and before we have time to react, the large doors burst open.

 

Entry XVI.  December 10, 1686.  The barrel of a flintlock musket is aimed at my head; the maddened town pastor, frantic and visibly riddled with the same evil we left to rot in the last town, naturally seeks to protect his flock from invaders: us.  Several townsfolk pour out of the church from behind him, as well as many from the various homes and shops that line the street; those that weren’t barricaded, that is.  We are circled by panic-stricken townsfolk, all of them seemingly touched by the evil, as well.  Dear God, is all truly lost?  Is there nowhere on this Earth not yet touched by the evil you so willingly allowed to surface for the second time in our known history?!  Why, God?  Why?!

 

 Entry XVII. December 10, 1686.  They know what we are.  They recognize these facades.  The Pastor declares our kind to be useless filth that tends to do more harm than good; he thinks we unknowingly encourage the spread of this evil rather than effectively halting it.  Maybe he’s right.  Maybe the townsfolk that agree with his declarations are right. Maybe we’ve been wrong all along.  We are no different than them now, as the evil eats away at our insides just as it does theirs.  I ask them where the others like us were and why haven’t they been helping these poor souls, but apparently the light of our cause never once even appeared in this city.  That is, until we showed up, regrettably much too late.  At the request of the Pastor and his townsfolk, we bow our heads and march out of town.  Angel City does not want us.  Angel City, too, is a dead place. 

 

Entry XVIII. December 11, 1686.  The seven of us have made a small home for ourselves in an abandoned cabin on the outskirts of town, just along the shore-line of the freezing cold river, the cold winter winds beating against the side of the home all day and all night.  I’m not sure how much longer any of us will be alive, as this evil has corrupted every single inch of our bodies by now, although I am too scared to confirm these assumptions.  We do not bother attempting to remove these facades anymore, for our wounds beneath continue to excrete thickened blood and blackened decomposition, painfully fusing the fabrics to them.  When will this end?  When?

 

Entry XIX.  December 13, 1686.  The seven of us continue to fade away in this frozen cabin, quietly going insane in our very own little personal hells.  I feel my mind slipping.  My thoughts are frantic, my focus is unhinged, and the fever that has now set in has made what I hope to be my final hours of existence even more unbearable.  We do not speak to one another, but I’m sure they’re all in just as much agony as I am.  Where did we go wrong?  What precautions didn’t we take to keep the evil from latching onto us like it did the others?  I can’t decipher my reality anymore.  Everything begins to spin.  Hopefully, this is it; the end, my moment to be cleansed of this life.  Then suddenly, a thunderous knocking erupts at our cabin door.

 

Entry XX.  December 13, 1686.  The others watch me as I slowly remove the locking bar from the door and open it, the thunderous knocking continuing as I do so.  As soon as enough of a visible space opens up, the person on the outside bursts into the room and collapses onto the floor, panting and crying.  It is a young girl, bloodied with scrapes and turning blue from the icy cold.  I quickly shut the door and lock it once more.  The others do not move, they simply watch me as I watch her.  Who is she?  What does she want?  I tell her as calmly as possible that she shouldn’t be here and that the evil has overtaken this homestead.  She is from Angel City, and tells me we must  go back; that we must save her family.  I finally roll up a sleeve, and show her the extent of the evil’s hold upon me, and she seems to understand that hope is all but lost.  Then I notice something.  Something strange.  For a girl as young as she, exposed to such rancid evil for as long as she was, she should be showing signs of the evil just as we do, if not more.  Yet, she shows none.  How can this be?

 

 Entry XXI.  December 13, 1686.  She tells me her wounds came and went as quick as the rains begin and end.  She told me her family was baffled that the evil chose to spare her; a divine intervention by god himself, they said.  Belief aside, I personally have never seen a vessel, or had any vision, of god.  Only the devil, in the form of this hellish evil that encompasses the land.  But, this girl, however, may prove me wrong yet.  Could she be the salvation we needed?  Could she in fact be the light in our time of darkness?  Her town may recognize her as a symbol of holy redemption, but I, being who I am and my background being what it is, recognize this as the key to this world’s survival. 

 

Entry XXII.  December 13, 1686.  Some may consider it a brutally abrupt decision, but if you are a man such as we are, from the background we come from, you know better than most that this evil takes the blood first, like any other evil we’ve seen in the past.  The theory has always existed that should the blood be unwilling to be taken by a particular evil, that blood would be the key to destroying it for good; the fire can only burn so long before the rain decides it has had enough.  As quickly and as painless as possible, I broke the little girl’s neck and placed her on the table.  As she lay there on the table, lifeless, I couldn’t help but notice how angelic she looked, untouched by the evil and inevitably becoming the one who would save this world.  Surely, Hell will have me for killing her, but Heaven will gladly forgive me, for her death means life for countless others. 

 

Entry XXIII.  December 14, 1686.  The others are too sick and fevered to assist me.  That’s ok.  In my delirium, I seem to be focused again, possibly fueled by the revelation brought onto me by this little girl and her divine blood.  I am reaching the end of my tedious stretch of collection, having spent the past twelve hours meticulously draining the girl’s blood into glass containers, corking each one upon filling, the jars kept cold and fresh by the freezing weather that surrounds us.  There it is.  The last one.  She is drained, gray and empty, and containers of red now line the living quarters.  Without hesitation and amidst my focused delirium, I fill the syringe with a sporadic mixture of the girl’s blood and saltwater from my own collections.  My veins are black and protruding, and I tap until I can find one that still has feeling.  There it is.  I jam the needle into my arm and inject the full contents of the syringe. 

 

Entry XXIV.  December 14, 1686.  The pain is immense.  I gasp for air.  I feel my heart racing.  I become dizzier than before.  Perhaps her blood isn’t the remedy I thought it to be.  Perhaps I was wrong again.  Everything goes black.  The next thing I know, I’m waking up on the floor.  What is this?  I can focus again.  My head seems clear.  The numbness and the pain have left me, and I slowly peel back the fabric; the wounds have healed.  It worked.  It worked!  Her blood carried our salvation, after all!  Quickly, I fill the syringe repeatedly, burying the needle in the arms of my followers.  The same thing happens repeatedly as I watch them collapse to the floor, only to rise again, free from this evil as if it never touched them in the first place.  We are whole again, and we have a chance to free the entire world from this evil, starting with the doomed citizens of Angel City.  The girl’s blood is gone, but her remedy courses through our own veins now.  We fill as many containers as possible, and head out into the cold of the night, down the winding roads and toward the hell-riddled town.

 

 Entry XXV.  December 15, 1686.  The townsfolk reject our pleas to help them.  What is wrong with them?  Surely, this must be one of the reasons the girl fled to us in the first place.  The pastor is maddened by this evil and the townsfolk follow his every whim without question.  Do they want to succumb to this horrid evil?  Do they want to be damned?  We were instated to instill hope and spread light through a world filled with darkness, and now having captured the salvation we’ve needed all along, these people shun it?!  How dare they!?  How dare they?!  If they won’t accept our help, we will force it upon them, for I cannot allow a hundred more souls to perish under my watch.  I can’t.  I won’t!  They may outnumber us, but those numbers are sickly and dying.  We, on the other hand, may be limited in numbers, but we overpower them with our revitalized strength.  They are going to accept this remedy whether they welcome it or not.

 

Entry XXVI.  December 16, 1686.  Our blood has been coursing through their veins for hours now.  But, something seems be wrong; something isn’t right.  They aren’t being relieved of the evil as we were just a day before. No.  They seem to be changing… for the worse.  They’re aggressive.  They’re screaming and gargling.  They’re… decomposing.  Luckily for us, all of them have been bound and restrained, unable to free themselves and unable to potentially harm us.  What has happened to them?  Why did the blood work for us and not them?  I try to communicate, yet all they do is snap at me with their jaws, as if trying to bite a chunk from my throat.  Suddenly, I notice something.  As I move closer and closer to one of them, just out of reach of those gnashing teeth, it ceases its intended attack and begins sniffing me like some wild animal.  It stops trying to attack me.  What is going on here?

 

Entry XXVII.  December 29, 1686.  It has been nearly two weeks since my last entry.  What we’ve come to find about this newer evil is both mindboggling and groundbreaking.  Those injected with our blood were not cured of the original evil, but instead cursed with the effects of this newer darkness; a twisted, malformed of what the evil once was.  Upon smelling us, upon realizing the blood that courses through our veins courses through theirs, the townsfolk stopped trying to attack us.  Instead, they’ve satisfied their appetites on the meat of animals.  They seem to be decomposing, yet the somehow live at the same time.  They aren’t who they were, nor are they conscious, but they seem to understand order and direction, and will do our bidding without hesitation.  They would have been dead days ago had it not been for our blood, yet I would not necessarily constitute their new state of existence as living.  I fear we have only spread further evil in this town, and created a new golem we know nothing about.

 

Entry XXVIII.  January 15, 1687.  I’m finding it harder and harder to make time for these entries.  It has always been important to me to keep a daily journal of my life and of my work- to hopefully pass on to my successors one day, but in times as dark as these, time for that is dwindling on a grand level.  My colleagues and I have taken our research to new heights, enlisting the assistance of our ‘changed’ Angel City townsfolk, in attempts to create something good from all this evil.  We must find the answers to this madness.  We command them to bring us travelers from the road, and civilians from neighboring villages and towns, as well.  It is here in the darkened heart of Angel City that we work tirelessly to find a solution.  Willing or no, these poor souls will aid in our efforts to stop this evil, and the gods who would condemn us to Hell for doing so, can do as they please, for it is our duty to stop this, and I will go to any length now to see that we do just that.

 

Entry XXIX.  October 31, 1687.  All Hallows’ Eve.  Angel City.  It has been months and months since my last entry.  The seven of us continue our relentless research and experiments in this massive makeshift ‘hospital’, built by the infected townsfolk who now reside in the woods beyond, capturing weary travelers and bringing them to us for operation.  As payment, we let them eat a traveler here and there, but the research demands a high, high number of souls each week, for the cure must be found!  The blood that destroyed the evil within the seven of us last year has changed us all these past few months; we are gnarled and inhuman beneath these facades; not dead in the slightest, but more inhuman than any human has ever been before.  I am now convinced the evil knows no limits to its own transformational capabilities. No.  It does what it wants and changes at will.  The grimaces of lit jack-o-lanterns mock me in the fog, and the screams of travelers and infected townsfolk alike echo through these halls.  I hear my colleagues scream, repeatedly, questions that demand immediate answers from those unlucky enough to be traversing this place: “are you infected?!” being the one I hear the most.  Are we no longer good men?  Are we in fact vessels of the evil at this point?   The fact that it is now Halloween only adds to our madness.  We must leave this dead city.  We must move on to new shores and continue this research elsewhere.  Perhaps a new continent and a new set of people are exactly what this research needed all along.  Tomorrow, I will take the grandest ship in the town harbor and, along with my colleagues, we will leave this decaying town behind and begin the next phase of our battle against the ever-changing evil.

 

Entry XXX.   March 15, 1688.  We’ve spent the last several months traveling across the European coastline, stopping at every city and town along the way.  To our dissatisfaction, the evil had touched every single place, and there would be no research done and no experiments made at any of those godforsaken stops.  The seven of us have stopped eating completely, yet we remain fantastically alive and in form, besides our transfigured appearance, of course.  How, though?  It Must be the changed blood coursing through our veins.  Over a year since our initial injections, and it continues to change and enhance us in ways we never thought possible; I can lift objects usually immovable by man, I can keep on foot at full pace without ever needing to rest, and it seems we don’t even need to breathe to remain alive and comfortable.  But, why has the blood granted us these strengths when it punishes all else it touches?  We must find those answers.  When we finally reached the Mediterranean. I wanted those waters to be blue, but they were black; nighttime waters.  Oh, how I suffered then, straining to recall the color that in my youth I had taken for granted, before the madness of this evil took this world. 

 

Entry XXXI.  September 22, 1688.  Across the coastline of the boot we traveled, from dead town to dead town, searching, but never to any avail.  In the six months since my last entry, we must have inspected nearly a thousand villages, but nothing.  Death.  It surrounded us.  As we made our way up the eastern coast, we found ourselves in the Venetian Lagoon, and suddenly, we saw something: smoke.  Smoke billowed from the chimneys of what seemed to be a church resting among the wilderness on some island in the distance.  This smoke was the first sign of life we had seen in nearly a year, and as our ship reached the shores, a rotting, wooden sign made it clear to us where we were: ‘Poveglia’.  We docked the ship in the decrepit harbor facing the large, wooden church, still billowing smoke from the chimneys, and made our way towards the large front doors.  As we approached, a nun flung open the doors and approached us, riddled with the evil and frantic in gesture.  She was on her knees pleading for our help, holding onto my robes and crying.  She told us she was the last one left to help care for ‘these people’, as the others like us had fled, leaving the newest group of evil-stricken victims to rot on this godforsaken island.  I appeased her wishes, and she led us inside.  There, we found ourselves looking down crumbling corridors, ramshackle doorways, and rotting wooden beams.  The sick and the dying lay around every corner and every floor, and the stench of decomposing flesh was sickly appealing to me.  The nun explained to us that this would be the final delivery of souls struck down by the evil, and that no more ships would be coming.  If salvation were to take place, this would be our final chance.  On the wall was a scribbling: ‘Colony 1’, but the 1 was crossed out, as was the 2, and the 3, and so on and so forth, all the way to 12, which she crossed out before our eyes.  She then wrote the number ‘13’, and explained to us our importance as the saviors of ‘Colony 13’, the last known ‘survivors’ of Italy’s eastern coast, struck down by the evil: the hellish black plague; the evil we’ve been waging war against for years now.  One of the poor souls grabbed by hand from her bedside and asked, ‘who are you?’.  I kneeled before her and calmly stroked her hand with my own, looking at her through the beaked façade of my mask.  I softly answered.  “My name is Doctor Blight, and I am here to help you”.

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