Starlark had it out with me today.
I don’t think he’s ever spoken an ill word to me let alone yelled at me before.
I was his family, he said. I was all he had, and like every family he had ever had I threw him away. I asked him what he was talking about. I had never thrown him away. We were still together!
The Deadwood, he said. I left him in the Deadwood. Alone, all alone save for the ghosts and the ghouls and the nameless horrors that visited him in the night. Then I ran. We escaped that hellish place, and without hesitation I ran from him.
I tried to console him, but he shouted that it was obvious I didn’t want him. None of us did. None of us had cared about his disappearance, come looking for him, or even bothered to hear what happened to him once reunited.
Never mind that we had tried speaking with him in Senida. That searching for him was impossible. All I could do was calmly ask what had happened to him.
“This!” He started weeping. “All of this.”
He won’t speak to any of us. We had to stop marching for the day and make camp around him. He remains inconsolable, either with his face in his hands or his reddened gaze lost beyond the trees around us.
Starlark… why won’t you let us help you?
As for the Makonga, we have no ideas of what to do. We have scarcely seen it after entering the Nanten. It is still present, that sense has never left us, but it seems to have focused its efforts. It is pressing in upon my friend, and there is nothing I can do to save him.
Gods be good, what can we do for Starlark?