That was certainly a long night, under better circumstances I would say that we would all have rested well, although we find ourselves in much darker times.
We have lost three among us since evening last. One at the Hand of God, and two more, possibly, at the hands of others.
One thing that is worth noting is that Ashkin and Shelby, may their souls rest in peace, appear to have died in very different ways. I would hazard a guess that there are probably two parties at play here, although we shouldn't rule out a single powerful party that would seek to give us this impression.
Shelby was attacked and seemingly torn apart and parts eaten, by a foe or foes. The house has been torn apart, bookcases have been burned. This would appear to be the doing of a powerful foe or foes, but not necessarily supernatural in origin. Probably bestial.
Ashkin on the other hand is completely charred with no other indication of burning or damage, save for a single steel handle, impossibly melted. This appears to be the work of a supernatural foe or foes.
A number of theories spring up, including:
- Shelby was attacked by one group of enemies, beast-like in nature; and Ashkin was attacked by another group, supernatural in nature. I would guess the latter may be demonic, but the question then becomes: who were the first group?
- Ashkin was struck down by a divine force, or perhaps even by the Hand of God? This could mean that Ashkin may have been a demon himself- is the ash thing an indication of the method of attack, or the nature of the attacked? In either case, the sacred texts suggest that our foes may strike one of us down each night, and in this case Shelby's death would, by process of elimination, appear to have been the work of demons. Or was Ashkin innocent, and struck down for other reasons?
- Shelby and Ashkin were struck down by the same enemy, due to the common link of fire, although I don't find this to be particularly convincing myself.
There are many more possibilities of course, some of which I am a little uncomfortable speaking of at this time.
It is also worth noting that Shelby's death appears similar to that of the wandering priest, but Ashkin's death seems to be something new.
In any case, what did Shelby and Ashkin do to make them a threat to their assailants? Or, what do their assailants want us to think?
And in either case, somewhat conspicuously, we are not certain if those among us who have been lost were either innocents or demons. The sacred texts suggest that greater understanding can sometimes come through such passing, although in this case we do not appear to know.
I believe that when another night has passed we might be able to narrow down the possibilities based on the nature of the events that transpire, but I would prefer to have a greater understanding of what is going on before potentially three more of us die.
I think we can be a bit proactive about this though, and we may be able to narrow down the possibilities with some small input from the Hand of God. Accordingly:
I have a question for the Hand of God: Whilst I do not question the will of God, I do seek a greater understanding, and I hope that you can provide it to us all. Why Fission Mailed? As we observed, he was insolent, true, but the punishment seems to have been disproportionate to the crime. There are those amongst us who are less than comfortable with how the events transpired. Was there a greater matter at play that the rest of us are unaware of, some indication of guilt or similar that can only be seen through your eyes? There are many of us who wish for greater understanding in this matter. Also, do you know anything further about the deaths of Shelby and Ashkin, that you would share with us? To your knowledge, was either death through your will, or the will of God?