87th day of Summer, East of Kil’ead, Brucia

I can almost admire the Sharaglin, if only they weren’t so bloodthirstily merciless. I thought thieves and dragons would be our only troubles now… unless the lurkers, the shadows of Jarbia, came upon us. The Sharaglin had waited for the opportune moment to raid; the snailing exodus had taken most everyone from behind their walls… and the Brucian army was either spread too thin or entirely elsewhere. I haven’t yet seen any soldiers or guards along the road.

It was nearing midday when shrieks and the flat blare of Sharaglin battle-horns came from the road ahead. Sasha and Meramon whirled to action. Sasha dove from Tipsy’s saddle, almost unbalancing Eliana, and slipped off the side of the road and started to shapeshift. Meramon brought his horse up beside Tipsy and asked Eliana to take care of Intimara. He whispered something in his sister-in-law’s ear, too. Intimara’s hands clutched at him as Meramon dismounted; her arms reached for him as he hurried to Sasha. Eliana touched her arm. At first Intimara jerked away, but then she relaxed slightly. She kept facing Meramon. She kept her hood up. Did she, in her grief, think Meramon to be her dead husband, Elamon?

Sasha’s transformation was complete. Meramon and she launched upward and forward, though they only flew high enough to clear the tallest obstacle on the road – a cart stacked with hay and odds and ends. They flew out of sight, but returned shortly; Meramon said it had only been a scouting party, but that he and Sasha hadn’t been close enough to cut them down before they’d disappeared in the roadside shrubbery. I don’t like that they had used a war-horn. He said that Sasha would stay transformed in case the Sharaglin tried to take us by surprise.

Reyla asked what Sharaglin were. Eliana told her about her own first experience of them, but she gentled the details from what I remembered. The horror of that siege went beyond fear and tall beasts and fire. The Sharaglin were brutal, savage, ruthless… and I don’t know how to fight them.

Meramon said we should camp on the road, or at the very least on the southern side. Sasha attracted more than a few stares, but mostly from travelers who had been behind us on the road. A wyvern in Brucia wasn’t to be completely unexpected; perhaps they hadn’t seen one shapeshift in front of them.

Clouds are gathering and blowing over from the north. They are heavy, nearly black, and billowous. I hope it doesn’t rain before we reach Amerset.