15th Day of the Seal, Year of the Crown
What a change can be seen among my companions now, against that group which, blinking, stumbled out of the pavilion at Greenbirth!
We who fought and nearly died at the hands of mad wolves and rats of unusual size, who grappled with truths larger than ourselves in the hopes of finding purpose, now press boldly forth on a quest in whose worthiness none have doubt.
I dare say our company finds its courage in its cause. We go now to protect those in need — those whose salvation can also bring help to others, and whose freedom means much to us as well. If in the doing, we can right the wrongs we set in place that starry night at Greenbirth when we failed to contain the pirates, so much the better.
But one can see the change on a smaller scale. Elias — once so wide-eyed and bumbling — begins to take his first steps toward knowing self-confidence, rather than simple-minded foolhardiness. And nowhere is the change more clear than in young Nilbud: the girl who not long ago felt so devoid of worth she cast herself into the sea. Now, I see her train each morning, noon, and night with practiced discipline — not by pummeling her own head as before, but with coolly focused strikes, rigorous and reliable. I begin to see the faintest hints of pride within her. And who is to blame her for it? I feel it, too.
Is it my own foolish hopes, or does the tide turn?