Ay-demir lead us to a Nagalai camp. It turned out that Nagalai defectors were going to ally with Tobur, the new king of these neutral lands. We rested in the Nagalai camp. Ay-demir assisted in cleaning my wound. A perfect picture of strength, that woman. Stoic to a fault. I seem to recall Baatar saying something similar about myself. In the morning Ahriman had left to check on some guards that had yet return. I noticed he spoke to a few guards as we arrived, but I didn’t think much of it. I rode out to meet up with him, and he said that he sent them out because he thought he saw something moving in the hills. We did not travel far until we found two of the guards, gruesomely… squeezed, for the lack of a better term, into a hollow tree. We continued to follow the tracks for a bit until we found the last guard, he was still alive, if barely, he seemed to have fled, but fallen off his horse. Apparently, a great bear had attacked them and crushed two of them almost instantly, the remaining guard… Was less fortunate. He passed before we left. We brought him back to the Nagalai camp, that was already moving.
It was a long and silent trip, but we reached the camp of king Tobur. The Nagalai captain, Jarkha, along with several men, including Ahriman, rode ahead to meet with Tobur. I followed Ay-demir. We arrived somewhat later. It was good to see my brother again. We exchanged a few words, but he left for… Politics. I went with Ay-demir. I asked her about Tobur, and his new wife. She’s a woman of few words. She helped me with my wounds again, and she tried to impart wisdom on me. Unfortunately, as Baatar always told me: You’ll have to look hard for a thicker skull than yours.
The sprung into a party. I am not much for parties, as they have a sour taste for me. But, it was rather nice to party amongst my own people, given what had happened over the past few weeks. I also managed to speak with Shulami, Tobur’s second wife. She is a very different woman compared to Ay-demir. Where one is a warrior, the other is… I lack the experience and words to describe it, but her abilities seem to be more social than physical, at least. She is of the Merkits, and she met Tobur while he was present during the duel. She told me that Tobur and Baatar met prior to the duel, and Baatar explained his reservations for the need for the duel. Tobur was unhappy with this, and a few drunken horsemen I spoke to earlier, mentioned that he was quite upset about this. I had a horrible thought… Tobur wouldn’t have killed Baatar? No, never.