The trek was long and tedious. We were sent on an unlicensed ship down to Cavalia, the province that served as the empire's hold in the south. After we arrived, a caravan was prepared, and we were taken along with the weapon shipment down to the Golmori jungle. Along the way, Davon, Alex's old military buddy, regaled us with the tale of how he joined the resistance. Apparently he had been rescued by the resistance on the same mission where Alex had presumed him dead. Now, he was sick and tired of the corruption of the empire. He wanted change. And he wanted Alex and I to join him. We were unconvinced.

As we left Cavalia, he told us that he would give us reason enough to hate the empire, and steered the caravan over a peaceful looking hill. On the other side were the still-smoldering ruins of what looked to have been a small village. We were told to go take a look around; this was Bristol, a village that had been razed by the empire for its suspected tied to the rebellion. Morgrym stayed tied up within the caravan.

Alex and I surveyed the destruction. There were many workers running to and fro, scavenging what they could from their recently destroyed homes, checking desperately for survivors. Many lay slumped in the streets, not dead, but wishing they were. When we'd had enough, we turned to head back to the caravan, but Alex heard something. It sounded like the crying of a small girl.

Though I didn't know much of my companion, I knew that he had run a small orphanage in the Northern Islands. He had a soft spot for children. We followed the sound to a nearby cellar, and blasted the door open. The crying stopped. Into the gloom we stepped, and found ourselves in a dirt-floored room with barrels of pickles and potatoes. (I thought about grabbing some; Davon wasn't feeding us well, but I saw a severed finger floating in one of the pickle barrels, and decided against it.)

We turned the cellar upside down, and found the source of the weeping. It was a young elven girl, who, reluctantly, told us that her name was Nadine. Apparently when the raid started, her father had told her to stay put, and be quiet. She had obliged, but her father had never come back. Alex told me that we were taking her with us. I didn't object.

We continued on our way with the girl, and eventually made it to the jungle. There, we took a winding trail, and eventually our driver proclaimed that this would be as far as we go. We were confused; the rebel base camp wasn't anywhere in sight. As we unloaded, and the caravan turned and left, Davon and the Blood Mage explained that the base camp was hidden behind a series of intricate illusion spells. We would have to follow closely.

I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but eventually, we made it. The rebel city was a paragon of elven architecture; everything was woven and grown from the trunks and branches of the trees, connected with small walkways, and lit by torches of faerie fire. The day was late, and we were shown to our personal quarters. Morgrym was finally ungagged and unbound, though he was quite a bit more complacent than normal.

Alex, Myself, Morgrym, and Nadine, bedded down and slept soundly. When I awoke, only one of my companions was with me.

-Matau Ing'um

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