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Personal Journal, Nov. 5th 188x

Tonight the city held a folk pageant where an effigy of a man was set on a raft of logs which sunk into the canal as it burnt. Fathers declared a holiday so the students could enjoy the festival. I observed pyrotechniks over the cathedral, which were quite spectacular.

I am concerned about Malus.

His work is below his ability, rife with small errors that come from inattention to detail. His coffee consumption is affecting his health, I do not believe it is to allow him extra attention to his studies, even though he has been giving more time to the library since being bested by Edwyn at batons. Father Moonwall and I have conducted an inventory of the advanced stimulants and found
nothing amiss. He came in tonight reeking of tobacco and the incense that is burned in at the Bucket of Blood, so I stopped by to investigate. The woman at the bar confirmed that he had been there and drank 4 beakers of coffee. I will investigate what is available on the streets and
public houses that he may have access to without our knowledge.

Malus does not sleep well, hardly surprising with his habits. I have taken to walking the dormitories at night to observe him, his sleep appears disturbed beyond what medicinals will do. He thrashes and murmurs such that his studies will not arrange themselves properly for recollection. I have questioned Riddler, his closest companion, about Malus’ dreams, he has been evasive in revealing information but from what he has revealed and what I have heard from Malus as he sleeps, fires are a frequent subject. Strange, as he has never indicated having any sort of phobia.

I have asked permission to give him private instruction on preparatory exercises before sleep that will enable him to observe his dreams without participation, as I had to learn as a result of the ill-advised investigations of my own youth.

The black horse continues to appear in my own dreams, herding my doppelganger here and there on terrible adventures. It is amusing to watch in my carefully detached state, no doubt I would be as terrified as Malus if I was fully engaged as the active participant. How he is able to project his suggestions on me I do not understand, I will assume it to be a subtle form of mesmerism. I find I look forward to my nightly sessions with him to see what drama he will conjure up for me each night. If he is the source of Malus’ distress, it should be a simple thing to resolve, and soon, before he falls any further behind. His pride is his weakness, I would hate to see him turn his back on all his work simply because he has lost his place in the standings with the other students.

Enough for now. I must prepare my mind for safe slumber.

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