45th day of Harvest, Refugee Valley, Bechia

The refugee camp is very similar to Kil’ead; it’s a confused mass of people. Some seem directionless. They live among the rest, but not with them. They cut themselves off by avoiding contact and conversation. Some are seeking familiar faces with desperation, going from tent to tent to tent, peering under hoods and blankets. Some others are opportunists, like the thieves in Kil’ead. Without the mailed fists of organized town guards, they can probably do just about anything.

The numbers are swelling daily. I’d thought the camp vast from above, from the mountain slope, but that barely describes it. The camp is wider than an entire city, and for good reason – the valley is a receptacle for every refugee from Silencia. Every capital city, every town, keep, village and farm. And something more obvious than the lurkers is threatening the people here – starvation. People brought little with them. The Bechians sent five cartfuls of grain today, but… that barely fed a handful of the masses here. It’s too little. There’s a river that flows through the valley and supplies enough water for us, but that’s just going to keep us nice and juicy for the lurkers. Without food, we won’t be able to put up a fight. But then, that’s what the Bechians want.

So many faces, voices, smells… and none of them familiar! All my people. I’d give anything to see just one – that familiar, beautiful face. Eliana. Ah, Eliana, if you could see me now… I don’t know whether you’d cry or laugh. Stuck in a wilderness of people who could be mine, and safe, and trusting… if only I’d listened to you and Meramon when we were in Kil’ead. And again, in Molash. Now, perhaps, you’d kill me. If Meramon finds me he probably will, and I’d deserve it.