I’m too tired to write much tonight. The view from the branches above was exhilarating. I never thought I would see the world from such a vantage point. The Batsu treeborn celebrated my arrival among them as though I had conquered death itself with a feast of red termites – crunchy to say the least. I think there were a few bets on whether or not I would ever manage the climb but any resentment over the results was lost in the joy they had at my success.

Dionus was close behind. We walked out onto one of the thicker branches, a vantage with which he was far more comfortable than I, and looked down on the army passing underneath. They looked so small, so utterly inconsequential as they ebbed and flowed through the wooden breakers below us.

The climb back down was the worst yet, but it feels more manageable with each attempt. My fingers find their place without much thought, callouses forming in new places to fill gaps left by the hilt of my sword. They are welcome additions. Wudan already moves freely along the face of the trees we climb, practically circling us in his boredom as he waits for us to progress.


I look forward to the day when I can catch him as we climb.

Inifra seems to be regaining herself, the strength that leaked out of her slowly reentering. The exhaustion remains but it is the kind that is a sign of being replenished, no longer drawn out.

Timber is itching to use her blade again; we will have to practice in the morning before I set out to climb. The treeborn want us able to climb three trees in a day before they’ll begin teaching us to swing between them. I’d be fine if we never made it to that point in our lessons.

Nianatara has been pointedly absent in our march and time spent climbing. She does not want to be drawn into this fight and, even forced to do so, will remain as absent as physically possible. Her pride is of a different kind, though she is no less stubborn for having it.

I need to go stretch. My anxieties are no less for climbing, but they are being balanced out now by the rush of the accomplishment.


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