None of us can sleep.
The howling persists tonight. Though at times it sounds so close I could reach out and touch its source, nothing presents itself.
We are camped well within the borders of the jungle now. The Siltlands and the Blight Sea are left behind us. As eerie as it was standing on that broad swath of dead earth, the open surroundings provided the comfort of a clear line of sight. In this jungle I can barely see ten feet.
By day we are greeted with stony silence, save the occasional bird call echoing along the trees. By night, the darkness comes to life. It fills my heart with a deep dread that is tinged with loneliness.
There is a pressing weight to the atmosphere under these trees. A stillness that lends me towards hoping for the lightest of breezes. After working our way as far as we did today, I am grateful I brought my light armor. I haven’t worn it in almost a decade.
My formal battle armor is not suited for this, but it pained me to leave it behind. There’s something comforting in the clank of plate and the rattle of mail. You feel untouchable. It did save my life enough times to earn that sense.
The enchantments on my light armor are less powerful but certainly more diverse. What I am most grateful for is the mesh from which much of it is made. I would cook in full plate. Now I have to learn to trust this replacement. Like an old friend, old armor is always easier to trust.
Loneliness… an ever-present companion of the warrior on the move. There is a comradery to be found among your brethren, but even then – at night, alone and staring at the darkness above – there is always the looming specter of your solitude. Killing… killing is what makes it worse. Each life you take distances you even further from the living.
Thoughts of Salisir plague me tonight. The man was a brute as I recall him. Unrestrained with the cane, never hesitant to let it fly. But my own experience is limited to that of an acolyte in training. There is much I do not know about him as a warrior. I read as much about him as I could find in the short time I had to prepare. There isn’t much available. This is only impressive because of the reputation Salisir built for himself.
The official stance of the Tetrarch is that Salisir is a traitor, a red stain on an otherwise unblemished history. His crimes go largely undocumented, however, and his official punishment is unique in the annals of the Tetrarch: Banishment.
No one, to my knowledge, has ever been banished from the Tetrarch. And no one ever had been again.
No one until me.
I believed all I’d ever been told about Salisir. It was easy, considering how he singled me out among my peers. I still hate him to this day. If I do find him alive, there’s a good chance I won’t leave him that way. But finding him, dead or alive, will be difficult. With what little time remained to me before being forced to leave, I searched for everything I could concerning Salisir.
The more questions I asked, the more fascinating his story became. Warrior, the scourge of Daedric Society, rebel. He’d been a Chaplain before the Tetrarch called him into service. One of the oldest to ever join our order, and one of the most prolific. It seems as though he has more Daedric releases to his name than any Tetrarch I’ve ever met. Perhaps that’s what drove him mad.
Perhaps that’s part of the reason he was sent here to die. Now I must keep from joining him in that fate.