Late Winter – twelve weeks of snow.

Having so long to sit in peace here at the Elder Henge, I have taken to sketching the wildlife and plants. The rangers are generally very quiet around me, my status as a Warden doesn't seem to impress them. They were more interested to hear my stories of travelling with the troupe: growing up in the North, living among the khumos and walking from Mount Ruthane to Thunder Peak every year. My sketchbook was a source of some curiosity as well, though I have only just begun. Most of the rangers kept their own journals. The artwork and notes between their bound covers, if combined, would have made a comprehensive encyclopaedia of the Tamor Basin and the Great Forest. The rangers do not call it the Great Forest, instead referring to it as Varea Wood, in honour of the goddess said to dwell in the secret pools of Lake Varea.

Now that the snowmelt is imminent, the rangers camped here are preparing to go deeper into the wood. In search of the Gloomtree. I do not envy them their task. I do not want to think about the thing they are hunting, or what will happen to them when they find it.

I have been advised to leave the forest at first sign of Spring, and make a swift trek south to the Meandering River (which the rangers just call the Meander.) The first khumos barges should be passing through within a week. It has been good to camp among friendly folk, and to tell stories around campfires, but I will be glad to have the world to myself again for a few days at least, before reaching Ardrennan.

To the home of my cousin, Yasus Elderflower Brennan. Son of Alli Gallingale Brennan and Mnester Hyssop Brennan. Wind-Blown-Grass-Flower Clan, by the old names. I am told he lives in the River-side caves, in the delta district, somewhere near the Old Queen's Lilly Gardens. It's not an exact address, but I should be able to ask around for him when I get there.

We quesatera are notorious gossips when we want to be.

Ta