Dionus does know some nasty tricks with short blades. It makes sense, considering that he carries two on his hips at all times. It’s the close work that’s the most sure, he said, the bloody work. We used some wooden handles we found in a pile of broken wood instead of real blades, which was good because we would have left with more than one gash had we not.

His footwork is impressive, something I hadn’t seen him perform before. Something that I imagine, if seen in the open, is the last thing one ever sees. It took a few tries to get it right, but the whole goal is to get into a killing position while eliminating the chance of getting killed one’s self. Obvious to say, but difficult to accomplish when so close to an opponent. I’ve been told many times that if you enter a knife fight you do so with the knowledge that you will leave it cut. Dionus laughed when I told him that and said he’s never been cut.

Timber didn’t pick up the motions so quickly, but she’ll get it. In turn she tried to teach Dionus what she’s been learning with her sword. He’s no lout with a long blade, but it was amusing to watch him hold his own against my budding apprentice. She’s become very adept with that Klotian blade. I’ll admit that I got a little nervous to watch them.

Dionus joked that he had something to learn after all. I think I’ll start teaching him if he’ll have it. The Ba’hrani Death Dance would suit him perfectly, and so few outside the island know it. Especially not men.

My thoughts turn to home, to the idea of returning with the toppling of a Daedric Prince to herald me as a returning son of the Empire. Would they accept me? The real question is whether or not I even want to go back.

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I took a few items from the Prince to serve as trophies, the evidence necessary if I’m to prove any of this happened. Generally I’m not one to take trophies from those I overcome, I find such displays tacky at best, but I want to ensure I’m believed. He had a unique nine-link chain with a stone fashioned after the Holy Stones of old at its center. The styling was similar, though it was smaller than the stories would have one believe. Strange that he should have something like that.

The armor he wore was not something we could easily disassemble. In fact, it’s still sitting in a heap by the river right now until we can decide whether or not we should try to destroy it. We aren’t sure how we can. It’s resistant to fire and any weaponry we have. I could try to dismantle it with Salisir’s SwordSkills, but perhaps it’s worth saving. Should the right person control it, it could be a weapon worth salvaging.

Salisir himself has withdrawn notably from public view. Hembila has begun to assign members of different nations to various posts, though the permanency of this interim government is in question. There are greater thinkers and administrators on their way from all three, but I can tell he’s going to rely heavily on the Yatusu to run the city. That makes me glad, both because it fulfills promises he made to Oroun and because it is the Yatusu who are best suited to the task.

Much of the military has been handed to the Sondu, with the elite corps reforming under Batsu leadership. Our own treeborn are actively recruiting to replenish their ranks. They have the worst task ahead of them: hunting down any remaining Daedric followers in the depths of the jungle.

The palace is looking more regal every day. Inifra has drawn a large number of volunteers inside to clean and remove the Daedric mess. They want it ready for Hembila’s coronation.

The Oaken Throne itself may be the greatest tragedy, stained as it was by the blood and fire that marked this Prince’s short but terrible reign. Timber has taken that chore upon herself. She thinks she can save it.

Dionus and I spend most of our time tracking down what Daedric leavings we can. There have been a few more expressionists we have been able to save from dungeons and cages throughout the city. Others we have discovered too late.

We’ve found a few hideouts along the way, Daedric followers cowering in the dark and biding their time. Those we’ve put down without much difficulty. Though the cost was overwhelming, the benefit to the Daedra fighting to the death is that there aren’t many remaining. This city will be truly clean within a matter of days, and that might be the greatest miracle of all.

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