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

With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library

Skalday, Twenty-first Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn

Sixty-Third Day in the Trees

We encountered a strange man while we took our dinner today.

He seems mostly human, except for a pair of tree-branch horns coming from his forehead, a bit like the graceful, horselike creatures I have seen before. There is something wild about him, and a bit dangerous.

His skin is darker than Torne's. His hair is dark, and just a little bit curly. He wears furs. He said that he would touch nothing that came from a sheep. He carries a long spear.

He said to call him Benadam. His mouth curled up sardonically when he said this, as though laughing at a private joke.

It is strange. He is a hunter, clearly, and was carrying a brace of rabbits over one shoulder when he walked up to our camp. He said that he been hunting for as long as he can remember. But when he saw the vegetables we had gathered this morning, he fell on them as though he were a starving man.

I asked him if he traveled alone. He said that he had been alone for a very long time. He tells us that he is not afraid of anyone or anything. Animals, he tells me, do not dare to harm him.

Is this magic, perhaps? Souja seems to like him, though she does not play with him as she does with Torne or with me.

Torne looks uneasy. He knows something about this stranger, I think. I will ask him after Benadam goes to sleep.

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