Mother and I nearly got caught today. I thought it was kind of fun, hiding from my father’s palace guards, but my mother was truly terrified. I know that going to school is forbidden to me – at least school in the sense that it applies to males – but my mother thinks it is important for me, so we both take the risk. I enjoy school, though when I should ever get the chance to use it in my life is beyond me.

Anchoress Ensharra gave me a gift today. She gave me this journal. She told me I should write down my thoughts and experiences in it, and that I should keep it private, which is rather an alien concept for me. Nothing I do is private.

I am Eridi, primary daughter of the primary mate of the Most Wise Lord Eridu, supreme ruler of the Autarkhos of Lebonath Jas and Lebonath Tras. I have known since my earliest childhood that I am destined to be the wife of a powerful prince, and that my marriage will further my father’s kingdom. I was born for that purpose, and I am being trained to that end, and groomed to that end.

On a usual day I am surrounded by a cadre of women. I am weighed and measured. I put nothing in my mouth that they do not approve first. I do not speak, except to answer their questions or to recite what they teach me; what tone to use, and when to whisper, and when to sigh. My arms, legs and breasts are massaged and exercised to make them shapely and supple. I practice every day with the facsimile of a male organ – how to stroke it, and mouth it, and what to say to cause it to produce seed. I suppose because I have the facsimile, my virginity is checked every day as well. I know better than to introduce it into myself, though I find it tempting. I would be killed instantly if I were found out, and of course I would be. As I say, nothing is private.

I do not resent my life. I know I am an instrument of peace. I know I was chosen of the Gods to represent my father and my people. I know that I do not belong to myself, nor am I destined to do so, but I must admit, having the chance to write down my thoughts, and having enough education to be able to do that, is … stimulating. It stimulates my brain. I like that. I must find a safe place to keep this. A private place.