We have had two strokes of luck. We can hear Starlark with relative regularity, and Dionus and I have found more gaps in the magic of this place. They all point in the same direction as if to a common point.
We have given Starlark the best instructions that we can and have tried to explain what we have learned. We have no idea what separates us from him, but the silence seems to bridge him more closely to us. He is terrified, and it only deepens my grief to hear it. Starlark has been a loyal friend to me for years, I cannot bear to hear such fear in his voice and be unable to do anything for him.
Bolton keeps bringing Starlark up to me quietly, as if to keep the matter private. Bolton doesn’t want me to let Starlark become like him. I keep trying to assure him I won’t, as if he ever would. It worries me that Bolton keeps talking like this, like he is dying. In a strange way his open concern for Starlark almost convinces me he must be.
We are waiting for him to feel strong enough to move, and then we will carry out our plan. Each of the gaps grows narrower as we follow it along, leading us to believe that there is a seam in the fabric of our prison. If we can find it, we hope we can exploit it. We have no idea how we will do this, but my hope is that the symbols on Prestorn’s map hold the key.
Once we are out there are no guarantees we will know where we are. How far have we been moved from the path Kantoo had us on, and where does it meet up with the stones he insisted we follow across the Akari Grasslands?
Will the KoraKora be waiting for us on the other side? The Bangara?
More importantly, will Starlark be able to find his way out? He does not have a sense of the magic that surrounds him as Dionus and I do. He could be lost in here forever, trapped with the ghosts of the Nanten.
I had better do my best to guide him. I will write when next I can.