We are passing through Zitua Ashluk for our second time. However, this time we have Hibimage with us, and he recalled several discoveries he made when he last passed through these ruins thirty-six years ago. Two of the discoveries were mundane, but the third certainly excited Boktoseethet. It was a cache of ancient weapons in a small stone chamber. We allowed Boktoseethet to take one of the swords. Although the grease it was stored in was solid and dry with age, and some rust coated the blade, it was still intact and sturdy. Some maintenance and a new grip will make it into a viable weapon once again.
We thought about setting up camp at the marker stone in the center of the ruins. Tora’Sor, however, said we should set up camp outside the ruins. She said it’s unsettling being surrounded by ruins at night. She didn’t explain why, but I think it might have something to do with her captivity underground. We obliged her request. The ground is softer and easier to sleep on outside the former city. There are also more food options outside the city ruins. One such food was a red berry that Hibimage showed us. We picked enough to last us several days. It was challenging, though, since thorns covered the bushes.
I considered crossing the main river in the valley today, but Hibimage said he knows of a better place to cross it about a month south from here. It’s also late summer, so there are other challenges we’d face trying to cross. Gokdoks are eating more as they prepare for the cool months ahead. Storms in the regions north of here leave the river flowing fast and deep. By waiting until later in the season, we’ll avoid the gokdoks, and the river should be flowing slow and shallow.