Kantoo, the one-legged boy from the village we discovered yesterday, has joined us on our journey. Starlark opposed the idea vehemently, which led to a long argument with Bolton who wants nothing more than for the boy to join us. Balthandar seemed as nonplussed as ever, so long as the crippled boy could keep up both he and Dionus were fine with the idea.
Beyond translation skills and a local’s knowledge, the major benefit seems to be that Kantoo knows of a path that will lead us directly to and across the Akari Grasslands. He says that we must take a very particular path through them to Senida or we will never make it.
Starlark called the boy some slur, I didn’t hear it, but Bolton had a knife to his throat in seconds. It took us some time to get them off each other and calmed down. There was no winning for me on either of their counts, so I made my decision based off what I felt was best for us as a whole.
Thus, in the end, Kantoo got his desire. I told them there was no harm in having him along. It would be a great help to have a guide, but I told Kantoo he had to keep up and feed himself. To our collective surprise he never fell behind us once. In fact, with his little bamboo crutch and solitary leg he was able to get well ahead of us on a number of occasions.
He carries no possessions with him save for a knife and a water skin. He’s always chewing on the root of some plant, and he never seems to cease grinning. I find it a strange delight to have him with us. His attitude is incredible considering what all has happened to him in his life. He told me today that he didn’t lose his leg all at once.
The KoraKora came when he was a child and took everything from the knee down. He said they boiled it in a stew on the village’s own cooking fire. The worst part, he said, was that even though he knew his own leg was in it, the stew still smelled good to his starved senses.
The KoraKora had a salve and treatment that made recovery surprisingly quick, but he said it did not work for him again – not the second time.
They came for the rest of his leg only a few years ago. Apparently they didn’t think he needed the stump, so they took it for themselves. Kantoo said it nearly killed him. He bled so much that he was unable even to roll over for a month. He contracted every form of illness his village elders had heard of and then some, yet somehow he managed to pull through.
I think that’s why I like Kantoo, and why I am secretly glad he has joined us. Like the rest of my companions, he’s a survivor. Like me, he’s a fighter.