81st Turn, Seventh Year, Twenty-Third Cycle, Rokday
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From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim

With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library

Rokday, Twenty-third Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn

Seventy-Seventh Day in the Trees

The creatures are closing in. Now we can hear them quite well, though they speak very softly. We see the occasional glimmer of light from their eyes, or, increasingly, from bits of metal on the ends of poles. Spears, I suspect. Their bodies are not large. Though their feet are larger than Torne's, they stand only as tall as his chest. They stand hunched over. Their shoulders seem very large, though I cannot tell if that is natural or if they wear something over them.

An hour ago, one gave a loud, tail-curling scream. I puffed up involuntarily. It is fortunate that Torne made my robes loose. They did not make the sound again for half an hour. Now there is one just getting ready to make the sound. What is it? A warcry? A warning? Or is it some strange greeting?

No, if this were simply a greeting, they would not have come in such numbers, armed with spears. I wish I knew why they were doing this. Are they angry? Frightened? Or merely hungry? If I knew, perhaps I could convince them not to attack.

Torne has taken from his pack a club, made from a dark, heavy wood. I have the dagger given to me by Twisthorn. If they attack, well, we will not go down alone. It is small comfort, but at least they can be sure they will remember us for some time to come.

The lamp is growing dimmer now. We thought to build a fire, but this place is so dry, Torne fears that it would create a blaze that would overtake us. We cannot get a fire to light. There is only enough oil left for another hour's light, no more. Then the darkness will cover us. Then we will learn their intentions.

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