Inifra appeared at the ford. I’m not sure how she did it, but she caught us all completely off guard and simply arose as if transported by the ripples of the water. She is more beautiful than I imagined.
Her robes are of a bright blue and green, light in weight and revealing the long curves of her body. Over them she wears dozens of different jewels, pieces of armor, and decorative gold works. Gifts, she told us, of the many who have bent their knee to Infiri over the centuries. Powerful gifts.
Her face glittered, framed by long feather strips of gilded materials that wove together to form a tall blue helmet. She is a warrior disguised as a queen, but there was no hiding the immense power within her. There were mists on the water as she stepped out of it, and she seemed under no exertion at the time. I haven’t seen someone wield enough magic to create mists like that with such ease in a very long time.
She demanded to know where we were going, so I told her. She shook her head quietly as I explained why we were moving that direction. Salisir, she said, was no man to go chasing, and the Akari Grasslands no place to visit.
I have to admit that I found it difficult to focus. I was intimidated by her presence, but absolutely enraptured by her beauty. Tarsh had said that her beauty was famed, and that proved to be no exaggeration.
She asked a few more questions about our mission, and confirmed that she had heard the same rumors of an “evil” prince in Matasten. She said there was no proof but that the closer to Matasten one drew, stories of expressionists vanishing at random without a trace became more common. She said that there was something dark brewing in the heart of the Nanten, but that it was beyond her realm.
I was disappointed to hear any confirmation that there may be a Daedric society in Matasten. The disappearance of expressionists only seems to add weight to the claims.
I had dozens of questions to ask her, but she seemed so stern and distant. There was no room for curiosity about gods and the Nantese, so instead I asked if she thought Salisir was alive.
She shrugged and looked off to the east. “He was always very alive,” she said finally. “In a way I doubt he will ever truly die.”
I would have asked her what she meant, but her posture bid no further questions. She pointed to the southeast and said that we should be wary of the KoraKora. They are still hunting for us, despite what we were told yesterday, and she said they would continue to hunt us until we were dead.
She was happy to have helped confound them for a time, at least, but she didn’t want us ever to return.
With that she took her leave, walking back into the water as if descending stairs to some unseen basement. I called out to ask if we would see her again, and she replied without looking back that we should hope that we did not. Then she was gone.
It was then I sensed Dionus’ tension. He had been fully prepared to fight the entire time, and only now did he begin to relax. I told him it would have been foolish to help us recover only to kill us here, but he was not convinced. Something about her has agitated him, and I believe it is the threat she poses in her power.
But Dionus has me concerned for other reasons. I noticed that he spends as much time staring at the sky when we can see it as I do. In fact, he often spends even more time looking up. It could be simple homesickness, or the need to think in silence, but I fear it is something far worse. If the wind is calling him it has chosen the worst possible timing. I cannot afford to lose him, not yet.