43rd day of Harvest, Unknown, but east of Molash, Bechia

The soldiers could hardly have more blatantly admitted what lies in store for the Silencian refugees. Ten armed men, escorting a couple of dozen unarmed peasants – nine of which were children. The captain led us a day’s walk north from where we had camped. His soldiers maintained semi-discreet flanking formations around us. There was nothing for them to protect us from during the day, though, unless they expected to encounter bandits. Lurkers hide from the sun, and from daylight. We encountered neither bandits nor beasts.

I wonder if I could be wrong. Perhaps lurkers would venture out when stormclouds mar the light of day. My own encounters with them suggest that they cling to absolute darkness, but the daylight in Jarbia had been pure and bright under the hot desert sun. I know less about lurkers than I’d like, and yet more than I wish.

And… I might soon see more of lurkers than I wish. No, it can’t come to that. If I can’t get the nobles to commit to action, I will… I’ll have to… hmm, I can’t believe I’m saying it. I have to, though… there are so many innocents involved. Women, children. Faultless men there are, as well. Not all of them would have tried to burn Eliana at the stake. So, for the sake of the innocents… for the sake of justice, and for those wronged by the coward tyrant who called himself their king… for Meramon… for Eliana… I’ll do it. Though I’ll be condemning myself for the rest of my life, I will still do it. I’ll take the crown.

Imalion Soulstone. Imalion Soulshard. Imalion the fool. What next… Imalion the actor? I’m no king; I just can’t see all those people destroyed.

We pitched camp at nightfall. The guards patrol and keep watch, but I’m sure they watch us closer than they watch the shadows.