I will admit readily that my understanding of females is limited to yes dear, no dear. But I am more than a bit confused at Dramora’s seeming desire to throw herself at danger. It was silly enough that she allowed herself to be drawn to a meeting far removed from other folks. But at least, I thought, Judas would be with her. Coming back and finding him sitting out front on a bench I assumed she was inside. But when I asked Judas if Dramora was inside, he said no. I could hardly believe that he had left her alone with Penrose somewhere in the Spiritwood. He had to know that the man was a danger to Dramora. And even if he was not a man given to fighting, he should have remained with her, or at the very least urged her to return to Aegis with him. But I do not blame Judas for what he did really. Dramora is a head strong woman who seems to cringe at the idea that a man would wish to look after her, and keep her somewhat safe. She stormed out of the Rest with Judas close at her heals. I went hunting; it is for me a way to clear my mind and ease what is left of my shattered nerves. It is not the random killing of creatures in the Glade that helps me achieve some measure of serenity, but the sight and smells of the forest greenery. I did not ride long before I sheathed my sword and took to the foot paths of Yew. These walkways have been for many years etched in my memories. They are an ever present part of my hopes and dreams. To be able to do as once I could-and simply enjoy the nearness of the trees. Pine, poplar and Yew trees line the walkways which I have often trod between what was once Everthorne and Icefall and the steps of the Knights Rest. It is in the forest that I find life and meaning to my life. And though I know it may be a bit selfish of me, it is not often that I invite others inside my world hoping that they will see and feel the things I do. Walking those paths, and breathing in the scent of pine as I listen to the foxes shuffle through the rapidly falling leaves I cannot long retain my anger. But my concern for one whose life has become intertwined with mine on many levels does not diminish. And so, with calmer thoughts I turn myself down the path that leads to Aegis. As I knocked on Dramora’s door I tried to sort out what words I would use to speak to her. But words well thought out rarely serve to convey the meanings we often wish to impart. And my words often fail me when I need them most. In other words, the talk did not go well. At one point she even mentioned that she was thinking of heading back home and to my surprise I told her perhaps she should. It is not that I wish to see her leave. It has been nice having someone around that remembers many of the people and times that I do. We have had many enjoyable talks about Jan, Beleg, Alyssia, The Guardians of Virtue, Azreal and well many others who will forever live in my mind and heart. And though I would never tell her this, other than James she is the person I find I am closest to these days. But if her going home will keep her safe, and I can know she is living a restful life back on her farm, then I can be content with tending the Rest and going on an occasional hunt or visiting Ques tavern or the Shattered Skull. It was I who originally placed her in danger in the first place. What was I thinking calling her back to face Mikael and the Hand? And then beyond that there was the book. Had I not shown her the accursed thing, she would never have some under Penrose’s gaze. One can easily look back with great clarity. It is always the future which is shrouded in mist. The one thing I know above all things is that Dramora among others see me as incapable of defending that which matters to me. Perhaps I have played the fool too often, or tried too hard to be the nice guy. But swaggering, bragging and sword swinging have never defined what I am. Tomorrow I will speak to Dramora once again; perhaps the night will have eased some of the tensions which lie between us. But if she is determined to leave Aegis and return to her home, I will not seek to stop her. But I will miss her.