We were awakened by something slamming itself into the trapdoor to our roof before dawn. We have it heavily barricaded, but whatever was underneath was persistent. Starlark immediately moved as far from the door as possible, cowering in a corner as Balthandar and I approached to watch and be sure the barricade held.

Starlark pleaded with us not to open the door, but was too distraught to offer any explanation for his fear.

It went on for what seemed like an hour, but was probably more like five or ten minutes. Then, as dawn began to break, it was over as suddenly as it had begun.

It is now sometime after noon and we have yet to venture downstairs. Starlark refuses to move any closer to the door and perhaps we should share his fear, but we do not know why he is so afraid and therefore it is not present in us.

Why is Starlark acting like this? The Nanten has its share of horrors, but none that we have seen yet offer an explanation for his behavior. The KoraKora refused to follow us into the Akari Grasslands, and the wraiths seemed barricaded by the blood river. What could hunt him now that he is back with us?

Starlark is not weak, but he has never been the most stable either. It was insecurity that broke his bonds to his family, and pride that drove him to leave. From that sense of rejection and abandonment, though it was he who left, came his temper. A temper derived from one’s insecurities burns hot, and never fully cools. This combination of pride and anger, intertwined with increased self-loathing, only caused Starlark to burn bridges with friends as quickly as his charm was capable of building them.

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He has always been like this, for as long as I have known him. I often think the only thing that has kept his temper from flaring up at me is that he regards me as some sort of father figure. If not a father, then the model of what he wants to become. In any case, his eyes are distant now. His fear overwhelms him, leaves him raw to the touch.

We need to find some way to bring him back to himself, give him something to hold onto. For tonight Balthandar will mix up something to help him sleep, and hope that rest will give him a little bit of peace.

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