The following morning we broke camp under gloomy skies. The world seemed to be slowly growing greyer as we made our way past crooked trees towards the marshes. The birds have become fewer in number and those that remain are quiet. The air is heavy with salt and rot. I am told we will reach the swamplands tomorrow.

What is the Warden? This question weighs heavily on me. My mind is still reeling from my conversation with Dermond. I find it difficult to believe his tale but the Warden stands before me and I have seen him in battle, seen his prowess. I remember well the strange lighted orb he had used during our first meeting. He is not one of us, one of the mortal race. I believe he is something more.

I sense something shifting in him, something building. When I am near him it is as though I am standing in a lightning storm: my hair begins to stir. And he has grown darker somehow, driven himself further inward if such a thing were possible. I believe he is steeling himself for violence.

The sun never broke through the thick curtain of clouds. Instead of a sunset there was just a gradual dimming until we could barely see the ground at our feet. By then we had arrived at the banks of a large river. The Warden told us it was the last barrier between the marshes and us and that we would have to ford it in the morning.

After a quickly cooked meal I crawled into my tent and heard the marsh come alive around me. Never had I heard such a collection of noises. A thousand, thousand insects made a strange sort of music. I could hear animals, though goodness knows what they might have been, moving in the trees.

Tomorrow we will reach our destination.