We nearly lost Bolton this morning. We didn’t see him when we awoke and immediately began searching. He wasn’t far, in fact he hadn’t moved. He had fallen asleep sitting up against one of the trees, which had pulled him almost entirely into itself. Even the undergrowth had leaned in as if to hide him from us.
It took some careful work, but we were able to chip away at the wood until we could pry Bolton free. When he finally awoke he was incoherent for twenty minutes or so. Then he told us the tree had spoken to him.
Welcome, the tree had said to him. Your sins have brought you here, and here you shall absolve them.
He hasn’t stopped mumbling about the Nantese since, especially Kantoo. It took a while to get him on his feet, but we thought it best to continue moving. None of us wanted to stay near that tree.
Bolton seems to be making a steady recovery, in spite of the fact that he should be getting worse. Whether the Martingue is to receive credit or the tree that nearly consumed him, I do not know. He is still quite unstable on his feet and weak, but he doesn’t look like he will die any longer. Of any of us, Bolton has received the worst of the Nanten’s wrath.
Assuming Starlark doesn’t have it worse at this moment on his own. There is still no sign of him, and no clue to our exit. What worries me more is that we have yet to stumble on any streams, and the trees release no water when tapped. We cannot survive without water, and we only have a few days’ worth left to us at best.