War never changes. Even in this odd realm I've decided to call home, it still boils down to sad displays of faux bravado that cost good men and women their lives. I came to the Winter Council unaware of what was to come, and sure enough, it was pure chaos from the start. Grimbol, the charismatic if inexperienced leader of The Order, thought it wise to declare war on my guild over some supposed land disputes between our two factions. I was quite impressed with my fellow guild members' ability to maintain decorum. They even attempted to vie for peace between us, but unfortunately that fell on deaf ears. So be it, if The Order wanted a war, we would give them a war. And then Brennan happened.... Under the thrall of the amulet we had recovered, he announced that he had infected half of the people in attendance with a strain of the plague that Crowley had worked tirelessly to eradicate. Blinded by rage and the knowledge that I had been betrayed by one of my own comrades, I gave chase, determined to end his life. It's unclear who landed the final blow, but the point is Brennan is no longer under the control of the amulet, which is now safely under guard by the king's Sentinels and knights. As for Brennan? Well, death isn't permanent in Osterra, so he recovered. But for now he's in exile until he atones for the atrocity he committed. I hope he finds himself again....I want my friend back. As for the war itself? It was well done, if a bit underwhelming. Then again, I'm used to wars being waged by entire nations and empires. This certainly couldn't hold a candle to, say, one of Nilfgaard's many invasions. No, this was more like a series of skirmishes between two incredibly hostile barons. Despite having more men and being far more well armored, Black Sky's prowess in guerrilla warfare managed to help us come out on top. It seems that in Grimbol's arrogant posturing, he forgot that at heart we are warriors. And not just any warriors, but warriors with powerful allies. The last time I'd seen that many arrows flying was watching the Brokilon dryads decimate a group of Temerian soldiers stupid enough to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Through our combined efforts, we managed to bring this stupid war to an end, with us as the victor. During the post-war proceedings, his majesty managed to surprise pretty much everyone by bestowing Brennan with the title of High Priest of Nova Regnus. A large honor to be sure, but I want to make sure he's in his right mind before he attempts to perform his Priestly duties. The biggest shock came in the form of Garon, our boisterous if mildly arrogant leader being bestowed with the title of Knight Errant. Honestly I'm proud of him. Perhaps this newfound responsibility will calm him a bit. One can only hope. I admit to feeling a bit of jealousy. I'm not one to clamor for the limelight, but a little recognition would be nice. As for myself? Well, it was certainly eventful for me as well. I met a newcomer to the realm, a rather gung-ho young man with the mind bendingly long title of Private Otto Lehmann of the Third Reikland Company. Lofty title aside, he seems like a good guy, though I don't know much about him as of yet. I'll have to speak with him further. I also joined the ranks of the Sentinels, an elite group of mages and healers that directly serve the king in all divine and arcane matters. This will be a good way to learn more about the magic of this world as well as keep my ear to the ground for anything that could aid us with any of the threats we face. The biggest surprise of my time at Council came in the form of Saava. Saava is an Osterran native who I briefly met when he worked as a bodyguard for the Black Caravan. Now he wanders Osterra as a sell sword, offering his prowess to whoever is willing to pay. His immense strength proved to be a game changer during the war, and his services were worth every gold paid to him. I worry about his mindset though. He told me of the things that Orzalon had done to him and his family, and of how he is now driven almost purely by revenge. This drive for vengeance led him to discovering what I am. My kind have always been secretive when it comes to how we are made the way we are, and for him to discover it on his own is nothing short of astonishing. However, that is only topped by the proposition he made to me. He wants to subject himself to the same Trials that I was subjected to. I told him of the risks, of how only three out of ten survive, but he remains unswayed. It seems that the deathless nature of Osterra has led him to believe this will help him hunt down Orzalon. I disagree, but I will train him regardless. I want to harness the rage within him and hone him into a viper much like me. For now, I wait for word from Corrin and the rest of the scouting party so that we may make our way to the Blasted Lands in order to find a legendary sword that will potentially aid us in our demon hunt. This world and its people will continue to fascinate me. I only hope I may be the defender they need.