They took us completely by surprise. We could have recovered, but they have a suppression relic unlike any I have ever seen before. Balthandar and I were on watch when something thunked into the ground between us. It looked like a dagger. Its hilt was thick enough to be a spear, the tip of which glowed like fire caught in a gemstone. Instantly I could feel it. Something was wrong.

Nets fell as we scrambled to our feet. Heavy nets. Dionus awoke and tried to lash out, but nothing happened. I couldn’t get my sword untangled before they were upon us, striking and knocking us to the ground. I tried to shift time but there was no response; we were completely cut off from the Atmosphere. There was no power upon which to draw, like trying to use a limb only to discover it dismembered.

Once they disarmed us and bound our arms, they set us aright and began the march. They were silent and difficult to see in the dark, so there was no telling their numbers. They didn’t respond to any of our questions, but their guidance was sure. We didn’t stumble once.

We marched for a few hours before they sat us down together in the darkness and disappeared. Still they remained close, as did the relic. We were unable to move on our own and removed from our power. There was nothing to do but sleep, so sleep we did. If they wanted us dead, there was nothing we could do in any case.


They marched us all the next day. Their faces are stern, with hardened features and long narrow noses. Their dark skin is lightened subtly by a blue paint. The designs are reminiscent of the KoraKora, a fact that caused me no small distress upon seeing them. But they remain gentle with us, if stern. They continued on the same path we would have chosen for ourselves before having been spooked to the south.

I remain ill at ease, but our reception by their leader was disarming. We arrived in their camp late in the evening and he made certain we were well fed before sending us to sleep on thick mats of grass. They didn’t unbind us last night, but they were kind.

They remained silent at all times; that, along with the paint, maintained their ominous force of presence. The next day they marched us again, moving as quickly as we might on our own. Sometime in the afternoon one of them cut our bonds, eyebrow raised to remind us not to take advantage. It was tempting, but we were outnumbered. And that blasted relic was ever present. I believe there may have been more than one, but I couldn’t tell.

We made camp tonight and they wove fresh grass mats for us. They still refuse to talk, and it’s clear we remain their prisoners, but I don’t know what to make of it. Are they delivering us to someone? The fletching of their arrows marks them as the ones who shot Balthandar the other day, but they show no intent to harm us now.

They have disappeared into the darkness again, but they have permitted us a fire. We too remain silent now, afraid of what they might understand. We will do our best to come up with a plan without speaking, but so long as their numbers remain a mystery and that relic close by, we are at a grave disadvantage.

Share on Pinterest