Our fires burned long into the night. They had to. Now we have very little oil left, and several less tents as well. The order’s tent was one of the ones we committed to the flames. Hopefully we won’t need them anymore.
The lurkers here seem more primal, more violent than those in Jarbia – while there is nothing tame about either breed, these ones charged almost into view before veering away and loping out of the firelight. And they howled, too! They howled and snarled and whined. The Silencian lurkers were silent hunters. They inspired dread and horror. These were more intimidating than dreadful, more terrible than horrific. “Hold them back!” I said. “You can hold them back!”
This is me, now. Only a season ago I was ready to kill Silencians. Now I am leading them. Inspiring them. Protecting them. I’m not ruling from a throne in a castle. I’m not sitting above my people, and watching as they are brought before me one at a time. I’m walking among them, talking to them, touching them. Learning who they are and what they feel. If this is kingship, I will enjoy it. No throne for Imalion Soulshard.
Dawn chased away the nightmares. It was somewhat more difficult trying to convince the guards of Molash to open the gates for us. Cedric counselled me to send Beren and Caleb to do so for us, and they willingly obliged. They climbed over the wall using grappling hooks. The portcullis opened shortly thereafter.
I thought the guards might form up and try to repel or battle us; instead, they surrendered. I hadn’t even called for it. I suppose the sheer number of people I have with me – enough to populate a city even larger than Molash – is an intimidating sight. I never intended it to be such.
The lord of Molash received me with mock cordiality, and it wasn’t long before he said we couldn’t stay in his city. The food supplies would vanish. I told him we would sail out as soon as ships and crew were ready. Ironically, another boat-load of Silencians arrived today. I ordered Ryndall and Tyndale to board the returning ship, along with a portion of our armed men and a few families.
We’re going back! Slowly. Well, some of us are going back. My people actually asked me to go on the first ship. I said no. That’s not my place. I need to make sure everyone gets out alive, and safe. Soon, though, I’ll be back in Silencia. With Eliana.