Inifra… I dreamed of her last night. I feel a gravitation towards her, even though she is nowhere near. Perhaps it is more the idea of her, of what I believe she could be, but… I want her. I feel so foolish as I write the words, ashamed of myself almost. But I haven’t felt such a visceral pull towards anyone in so long.

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She’s marvelous, and though I haven’t written of her here she has rarely been far from my thoughts. I simply never felt compelled to admit it in writing until now.

I couldn’t keep from thinking of her during our entire day’s march. If nothing else the idea of her creates an escape from the hell of the Nanten, notwithstanding the irony that she is in fact one of its most powerful components.

Gods, these trees just go on forever. There is little in the way of true topography in the Nanten. We enter small draws and ascend gentle rises, but we would be hard-pressed to label anything as a hill.

Like the rise of the land, the events of our day were thankfully quite flat. I used my dreams of Inifra to draw my thoughts away from what otherwise threatens to consume them: home. And now, as I write, I’ve drained the last of our wine from Graylag to try and accomplish the same thing. Still, I cannot help myself.

It’s strange that I drift back to the capital more than anywhere, when I spent no more time there than any other city. My greatest adventures were in the north, my simplest times in the south. But the capital has a magic about it all its own, doesn’t it?

You would know best as you’ve lived there your entire life, though perhaps your proximity has blinded you to its charm. I know that I come to take many things for granted the longer I have them. But Sterling, Sterling is a city I don’t think I could ever take for granted. The mingling of cultures, their foods and endless art. The Crystal Spires, however, are possibly my favorite sight in all the world.

The way that they rise up to soar above the city like sails of glass, as if they would propel the city off and into the mountains. One magnificent vestige of the Golden Era. How they capture and refract the moonslight, keeping the city bright and alive night or day.

The bustle of Fenn Alley after dark. Did you know my favorite restaurant is squarely in the middle of Toil’s Square? Truan pan-fried dough in duck sauce… gods I’m so hungry right now.

I miss home so very much. How could they just cast me out? All for doing my duty. For killing Lystra.

If she hadn’t stood between me and her lover she would be alive today. Bereft, but alive.

How devastating can it be to lose a traitor in any case? What was she thinking? And now because of Lystra’s foolhardy selfishness I am condemned to the jungles of the Nanten, while everyone I know prepares for the Festival of Stars. They will eat until they can’t stand, and drink until standing is a poor choice anyway. All while I sit under some rotten tree fending off blood-thirsty insects, sleeping on my frayed mat under a never-ending canopy of nightmares.

The greatest swordsman in the world, and they put me out like a stray cat. The fools.

To hell with them. To hell with all of them.

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