Our path through these mountains continues to lead mostly west, but from a high vantage point I saw that the small river in this valley will begin to turn north after several more days of traveling along it. It’s possible these valleys meander all throughout these mountains, thereby making our path longer than would otherwise be expected. Will it take us a month to reach the coast, or will it take us several months? At this rate, I cannot say.
Tora’Sor said we couldn’t keep Jeny’Ula much longer. As the river widens, there are fewer lichen-covered rocks for the goat to eat. Once the valley widens enough for forests to grow, food for the animal will be even harder to obtain. Fortunately, we’re not too attached to Jeny’Ula, and previous experience proved the animals are tasty. I wonder what Jeny’Ula would think if she knew we plan eventually to eat her? I know Hungry won’t go hungry. There’s plenty of small wildlife in this valley for it to eat.
We demanded a temporary end to Boktoseethet’s military training, at least until we reach somewhere civilized. When two men practice with swords, there is always risk of injury. When the two men lack the protective gear soldiers usually wear for practice, the risk of injury increases. I’ll admit I never used any padding while practicing with Pelmarco, but the Red Exemplars are known for their skill. Alkaar is no Red Exemplar despite his exemplary record, and lacks their skill and finesse. While training Boktoseethet today, Alkaar’s failure to raise his shield to block a particularly strong blow left him with a badly bloodied left arm.
Months away from any known civilization, there is little we can do for Alkaar’s arm. Niahla’Sen stitched it up and bandaged it as good as possible, but when the severed muscle was hanging by a sinew, what good can stitching it do? We expect he will eventually have to lose the arm, or at least be unable to use it again. This leaves the rest of us carrying his belongings while he heals, something very unpleasant to do in hot regions like this. It also reminds me of Beral, the soldier who died north of Lake Icavor when his injuries left him unable to cope with the rigorous land. I hope Alkaar makes it.