Friday, September 2nd, 1870 (post-dated)

Dear Diary:

After an exhilarating Kraken hunt in the company of my new friends Mr. Blackheart and Dr. Hyde, I found my spirits strangely altered – and this is without the help of spirits (for, of course, the doctor could not consent to allowing me such liquid fortification). Perhaps it was the gory state of our apparel that turned my mood. It did, after all, turn my stomach such that I had recourse to the nearest spittoon. My maternal rumblings might also be the culprit. Expectant mothers are notoriously reviled for their shifting moods, not to mention frequent bouts of hysteria. That must be why I felt the need to behave so rudely toward Mr. Blackheart.

Blackheart, or “Master Kath” as the others call him, seems at first glance to be either very old or very ugly. His great, bulging forehead is criss-crossed with wild ridge-like wrinkles. Hairy eyebrows climb upward at a sharp angle, meeting in an angry “V” at the bridge of his nose. One might find his unnaturally tan complexion or his heavy bulk intimidating. Despite such glaring imperfections, the man seems in manner as jovial as any other bloke.

Indeed, Master Kath dances with alacrity and spirit, if not with style. He courts women too freely for the good of his reputation. A master marksman, he takes great pleasure in the hunt or other pursuits of the outdoors. In conversation, I find him both polite and attentive. Did he not resemble a troll, I might call him a dandy.

By dint of his free conversation, I learned that he courts one woman quite seriously while sporting with a gypsy girl in Winterfell. As a sporting woman myself, I might have held my tongue. Alas, it would not be silent. I proceeded, most unkindly, to use that organ as a makeshift lash. With it, I painted Blackheart twice over in stripes for each single offense given by his sex toward mine. He, for his part, danced and drank as though he were indifferent to my remarks. He even escorted me safely home!

Something about that man is not right.

Or, more likely, my recent dealings with his sex joins with my present condition to fan the flames of discontent.

Nevertheless, I find Blackheart an agreeable hunting partner. If he will forgive me my slander, I should not scruple to face the Terror of the Skies with him again. For tonight, though, I think I must submit myself to a bath before the goo sticks.

Yours,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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