I have journeyed for two days along the main road that bends west towards the forest. The going has not been difficult but my task weighs heavily upon me: to find the one known as “The Warden”. I left the main road before just before the sun sank beneath the western mountains and have entered the forest. There was a time, and it was not so long ago, when I would have feared an evening spent alone under the trees. At university I would dread even the short outdoor walk from the dormitories to the lecture halls or the great library. Now I welcome the rain and the earthy smells of the forest. I can hear my colleagues laughing at me for becoming so unrefined.

My camp is small and simple: a fire, a blanket, my pack hung on a low bough of a tree. I write leaning against its firm trunk. I have been told that The Warden lives near the base of the mountains of the west. Before I entered the forest I could see the mountains but now, beneath this thick canopy of leaves, I have lost sight of their tall peaks. Another day’s journey should bring me to their base. Once I am there I can only hope to find him swiftly.