Due southeast now we plunge into the Nanten. There lie the Akari Grasslands, the space in the gape of the jaws of the Nanten. This is not where I imagined we would go. I had seen them marked on a number of maps, but I never saw any notes that would relay the reason one might wish to go there. Why did Salisir?

For all we know, Prestorn has simply dumped us on the nearest side of Graylag to the approaching KoraKora in hopes of appeasing them. We could be marching straight into their jaws instead, and in a very literal sense.

Cannibals. Gods… I’m shaking as I write this. I cannot be eaten by such beastly men. It is no way for a Tetrarch to die. As if exile wasn’t shameful enough.


And to make matters worse, I am plagued now by a building headache. I don’t know if it is from the fear or if I am falling ill, but there seems to be nothing I can do to remedy it. And remedy it I must, for any lapse in my leadership may mean the end of us.

Starlark and Bolton are at each other again, bickering as they march. There is no overt threat in it, no blows have been exchanged, but there is a new venom lacing the insults. Starlark made some passing comment at a woman in Graylag the other night and it angered Bolton. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now I find it incredibly strange.

Why should he care if Starlark wants one of these Nantese women, or takes one for that matter? That’s what Bolton himself made a living from for decades. The jungle confuses all of us, and leaves me uncertain that I can predict any conflict before it forms between us.

Balthandar has taken to walking between them. When they grow hostile he interrupts with long stories and fables of the Summer Isles. I doubt it does much more than frustrate the other two, but it keeps them silent for good stints.

Dionus has grown even quieter than usual, but whispers to me when he draws near. Expressionists, he says. He can feel them. We are being sought by more than human eyes alone, and I can feel it too. There is no attempt to hide it from us this time, and I fear we are laid bare.

I do not wish to reveal my power here, not yet. I don’t know what eyes are watching and who might spread word throughout this wretched jungle. If Bantish can send messages to friends, then so can our enemies.

The only hope we have right now is to slip from this region unseen, and pass beyond the range of the KoraKora’s search. If we can do that, we may escape them altogether. Back on the march we go. Gods what I wouldn’t give for a horse.

No, forget the horse. I want wine for this headache. I wonder if Starlark stole any of that, too…

Share on Pinterest