I made it to the safe house with little issue but Dionus has yet to arrive. We were broken up into pairs in the early hours; it made little sense for the two of us to stick together since neither of us speak Nantese. Or are Nantese. Our spymaster was my guide and she artfully deflected a group of Daedric guards who regarded us suspiciously.

She told me later that one had asked after my cloaked appearance, and she told them I was sick with some rancid skin disease. It worked, though barely, and they gave us a wide berth. I hope they didn’t stumble upon Dionus in the same fashion.

The two treeborn paired together have made it, though they were spaced twenty minutes behind us. This house is larger than the one in which we stayed last night. Where that one was a low single-story building with only a small room to the side of the main one, this is a true house hewn from stone. The closer we got to the palace, the higher the quality of the buildings and roads. And the taller they stretch.

Even though they are falling steadily into disrepair, the buildings are impressive. They are a strange combination of architectural styles, blending what we saw in Motasta with Imperial and Klotian forms. This place, though exotic in many ways, feels more familiar than any building within which I have set foot in a year. The stairs and their bannister are carved from stone, as are the walls. Possibly marble. The biggest difference here from home may be the vines that are growing in through gaps in the ceiling.

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I’m trying to keep my mind from wandering to what could have befallen Dionus. Even moving as early in the morning as we did, there were hundreds of people out on the streets. They don’t move freely as we saw in Motasta. Their commerce is kept to the fringes of the streets, desperate attempts to earn enough for food without drawing attention to themselves. The desire to remain unseen is evident in how people move.

With the exception of Daedric Followers. We saw groups of them moving together, and at each point we withdrew to the shadows to let them pass. As did everyone else we saw on the streets. “They will murder for any small inconvenience,” my guide whispered to me. “I saw a man selling bamboo picks dragged into the street where they slit his throat, all because he didn’t get out of their way quickly enough. It is best to hide when we see them.”

She left me as soon as I was safely within this house. There are two girls who keep watch over the place. They fed me and then went back to their posts, hidden somewhere within the mansion. They looked small, unassuming, and yet I get the feeling they’re both wicked with a knife.

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We have to succeed here. We have to liberate Matasten, or this Daedric Society will spread to the rest of the world from here.

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