The river boils. I’ve never seen something so bizarre, but the warning we received yesterday makes sense now. Assuming that Bantish’s maps are accurate, the tributary running north from Graylag boils periodically. We saw it happen twice in the same day, once when we first arrived and again five hours later.
It starts with a low broil of the surface, but within minutes the water thrashes violently as if it may explode towards the sky. There were a large number of birds on the water when it began. When it was over they were all gone. I dare say it was something we couldn’t even fully comprehend when we first saw it.
Two men with canoes found us on the shore as we began our trek south. They spoke the common tongue well enough and promised to take us to Graylag more quickly than we could walk. But the warning of the old men from yesterday tempered our desire for speed.
“When waters boil, stay out.”
I’m glad we did.
One of the men got frustrated with us and jumped back in his canoe. He called us cowards and said that there was nothing to fear. The waters, he claimed, only boiled once every few weeks. We were perfectly safe.
He pushed off from the shore to prove his point. He shouted something else as he drifted, but our attention was drawn to the surface of the water. It was beginning to broil.
His comrade shouted for him to return, but it was too late. The waters began to thrash, and within seconds the canoe and its owner had both vanished to the violence of the river. I was stunned. I have never heard of such waters. How can they boil so quickly? And why do they stop as suddenly?
More importantly, if we are to reach Matasten at any decent pace this removes our fastest mode of transport through the jungle. Unless we can unravel the mystery of what we have seen, we will not be able to travel by river.
This assumes that Matasten is even our goal. What worries me most is that I have no true sense of direction. Though Matasten makes the most sense as Salisir’s destination, as it was where the Daedric prince was said to be building his society, I have nothing to prove it. I expect to find a signpost of some sort in Graylag. There must be clues to Salisir’s path, and Bantish seemed convinced some would lie in the city.
Bantish also seemed to think Salisir died somewhere near here. Prestorn will have those answers, he said.
Prestorn. Another name to find, another guide along our journey. We are well prepared to bribe our way through Graylag tomorrow. Bolton, however, is itching to cut his way through. He seems perturbed today, but has left Starlark completely alone. He mentioned the body we saw yesterday, and muttered something about how not even animals do such things.
I don’t dare believe what I’m seeing, but Bolton, the slaver from the Great Wastes, might actually be developing a sense of compassion before my very eyes.