Bolton is changing. He spends much of his time in camp staring into the blue turtle stone around his neck, twisting it in his fingers. I can’t be sure what is happening, but he grows quieter with each passing day, more reflective as well. This concerns me because the entire time I have known Slad Bolton, both when he wanted to kill me and now that he works to help me, I have never seen him quiet.

Bolton is a man of little conscience, although admitting he even has one seems disingenuous to the character he normally portrays. He is spiteful and wretched through and through, a man who sells women to be slaves in pleasure houses and children to work in mines.

I have never respected Bolton as a man, though he is certainly proficient at whatever he puts his hands to. He has always been consistent in these ways, and now he is changing into something else. I don’t know what to expect from him, but I know I speak for my companions as a whole when I say that it has us disturbed.

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When I called for aid I was desperate. I sent letters to every man who owed me his life, and I put forth no distinctions or prejudices. Bolton is making me regret that now. When he arrived in Calith the day before we set on the road to Blithe, I was shocked and more than a little hesitant to bring him with us.

But how could I turn him away? I needed all the help I could get. It isn’t for the first time now that I fear this lapse in judgment will result in too great a cost.

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The jungle appears much the same as it has for the last two months, with the exception that now there are shorter trees scattered throughout the massive ones we have grown accustomed to. These are a welcome change, because in most of them we find an abundance of wildlife from which to poach to our satisfaction.

It also means that occasionally there are gaps in the canopy above, not often, but enough to make a notable difference in the gloom around us. We have had no sightings of any potential threats, and nothing stands before us except for the jungle through which we must slog. And slog we will, for we have no other choice.

There is no safe path out of this jungle, especially now that we are two months into our trek. Behind us lie bandits, cannibals, and angry gods. Man-eating lizards, poisonous plants, and snakes with fire for venom can be assumed to await us at any turn. There is no safe place to which we may run. We must move onward towards our goal. For while we stand no better chance of surviving by doing so, at least if we die we will die for a reason.

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