81st Turn, Seventh Year, Twenty Fourth Cycle, Erevday
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From the Journal of Aframos Longjourney, Pilgrim

With notes by Avos Torr, Scholar of Rheve Library

Erevday, Twenty-fourth Cycle, Seventh Year, 81st Turn

Eighty-Eighth Day in the Trees

It is difficult to travel away from the path. We must go around trees, bushes, and other obstacles. There are hills and gullies we must climb, rocks that block the way. Game trails help at times, but they only go so far, and twist in strange directions1.

This was to be expected. What I did not expect was how out of place I feel.

The path was often dangerous and strange, but it was a place for travelers. I never felt I was an intruder on the path. Here, there is no sign that any one else has ever passed this way. No ruts from wheels nor footprints. No wear on the ground. We are alone with the beasts and the plants.

Despite the walls of trees and undergrowth, I feel very exposed. If we are attacked, we will find it difficult to run. A predator could be at arm's length and I would not know.

That is not to say we are shaking in fear at every shadow. I am sure we will make it safely through. But I doubt I will relax again before we reach the path.

Torne doesn't share my wariness. While he pays attention to our surroundings, he seems almost more at ease here than he did on the path. He whistles, hums, and sings a little.

I should tell him not to sing. We do not know what it will draw to us. Yet I cannot bring myself to make him stop. It gives him great comfort, and I must admit a part of myself is comforted as well. His singing is no better than it has ever been, but it is familiar.

He is cooking our meal. He managed to be quiet just long enough to catch a few unwary rabbits, so we shall eat well tonight.

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