Even with the constant threat of attack from these horned beasts, what Balthandar has begun referring to as “Mortuga,” this southern portion of the Akari Grasslands feels significantly less threatening than the part we have left behind. I wonder if we are even halfway to Senida by now, but surely we must be drawing near.

In fact the farther we go, the more the Mortuga seem to be giving us space. Now that I think about it, since noon today they have actually kept their distance. This is well enough, we already have more of their meat than we should rightfully carry.

There have been no signs of Starlark or Dionus. I would be surprised if there were, but I still find myself scanning the horizon for their approach. Have the winds truly taken Dionus from us? Is he gone for good? And whatever happened to Starlark? I could hear him as we exited the Deadwood, though I never saw him. Did he ever escape it? Did he find himself surrounded by KoraKora and cut off from us?

Quote-Entry-97 goal

Perhaps he too is dead. The body count never ceases to grow, as inexorable as time itself. Someday soon we may be forced to make our own contributions.

In the meantime I must do my best to avoid speculations. I cannot know when or where we will meet our lost companions, if ever we will. Focus on my goals is what is needed right now.

Balthandar has regained all of his regal composure, but he remains at a slight distance from me. I think both of us have withdrawn into ourselves in the face of all that we must overcome. We have been thinking too broadly. At least I have. My thoughts have been consumed with home and have willfully pushed aside the reality that there are some significant obstacles between myself and a grand return.

I must focus on finding Salisir.

That is my first true goal. Should there be a Daedric Prince at the heart of the Nanten, unseating him and destroying his society can come second. If I succeed at all of that, and survive the journey back out of the Nanten, then I can set my thoughts to home. Reclaiming my place comes last, and in all honesty will probably never happen. I’ve been lucky to survive as long as I have.

On to Salisir then. And in order to find Salisir, I must find Senida.

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