Zorga is going to kill us. I know killers; I’m one of them after all. I’ve spent my life with men who kill, hunting men who kill. I know that Zorga’s intentions are to see us dead, but it seems he has to hide that from his men whose superstitions would currently prevent him.
How is he planning to turn that tide? Inifra must be aware of it. She cannot be so blind as to miss Zorga’s veiled hostility. That must be why she felt so confident in coming here. These men are not the KoraKora, they are simple Nantese. They respect the gods of the Nanten, though they defy them by their banditry.
Our safety teeters along this thin line, between the loyalty of Zorga’s men to him and their reverence for Inifra. What kind of game is she playing? It seems like a contest for their hearts.
Last night the feast was incredible. Even the stress of Zorga’s plotting could not overwhelm the wonder of the food put before us. Unlike in Graylag, the women here seem eager for our affections. Thinking of Graylag checked my levity for the evening, however. Starlark had enjoyed himself too much there, or as much as usual, and it was where Bolton had begun to bristle on behalf of the Nantese.
Would he bristle if the women desired Starlark’s affections? Would Starlark even give them his attention, as much as he came to hate the Nantese?
In either case, none of us gave into the temptation. Balthandar believes himself above these women, and none of us were at ease enough to let our guards down in any case. I also couldn’t help but feel Inifra watching me, whether or not she truly was.
To be honest, that was probably wishful thinking mixed with paranoia. It was as if she had forgotten about us most of the evening. She sat at the head table on a platform at the end of the hall, a great fire blazing behind them – as if it were not hot enough in there already. We ate with a number of Zorga’s lieutenants, but without anyone able to translate there was little conversation.
There was dancing, a few contests at throwing daggers, and lots to eat and drink. Zorga gave a toast to Inifra, but there was an undercurrent to it that seemed clear: Zorga’s guests are illustrious only because Zorga himself is powerful. I wondered what Inifra thought of that. Eventually we were led back to our chambers.
Dionus almost cracked, allowing one of the serving girls to follow us into our chambers at the end of the night. One glare from Balthandar however, with his hand resting on his spear, and the girl backed out quietly.
We slept well, though we took turns on watch at the door. We are still in the jungle; that is exactly how we feel. The uncertainty of what might surround us is replaced by the absolute certainty of the proximity of the bandits.
Today held few surprises, and would have been quite relaxing were we able to shake our persistent paranoia. We have been allowed to wander most of the fortress on our own, unhindered everywhere save the lower levels. Naturally, we have begun to search for ways to break into those levels and discover what they are hiding. Again, having our master thief alive and among us would be of great help.
Otherwise we spent the day eating, sleeping, and fending off the affections of serving girls. A few more days of this and it will become difficult to remain on guard. We cannot allow that to happen.
Zorga has ignored us outright and spends all of his time following Inifra. In turn she essentially ignores him. The few times we saw them walking the grounds and inspecting the ramparts, Zorga either looked like an obedient dog or a strutting rooster. He is a large man, certainly a warrior in his own right, but he often acts quite the opposite.
I wonder if it depends on who is around them. At all times his eyes betray a complete lack of fear. He is waiting for her to slip, but I do not know how and I do not know what he will do when she does.
I do not understand the dynamic, but we need her to explain to us what she is thinking or we will never know how to strike nor when. Hopefully we can manage some time with her tomorrow. I’ve never felt so afloat in the midst of a mission before. What are we even doing here?