The House of Orm’s army camped that night, split into groups in accordance with their Houses for the most part, all of them huddled by separate cookfires, devouring their rations. You heard others talk of gods in speeches littered with curses. I’ve left you some notes about what they can do in your index. To keep it short, they cursed thunder lords! Masters and creators of storms and stones! For such powerful things, you wondered what good it does to curse them. And would they be saying the same things during a thunderstorm?
“Did you hear?” a man was gossiping behind you. “They say the King is dead. His half sister Clarissant sits the Seat of Thorns, alongside her brother Amr.”
“What of their brother Gormund?”
“On campaign with Ser Uthrik. At least we’ve one less contender to worry about.”
“He was still the King, even if he died.”
“He was mad! You know the stories. He howled and screamed at his sword in his chambers.”
“He tried to do what was best,” another man spoke up.”
“Do you truly want such a man to be King? This is why we oppose Crom-cil-Orm’s cousins.”
Was that why you were fighting, you wondered? You tried to ask Albarran, “Why do we fight the Kings?” But he thrust a scrap of meat in your face, red juice dribbling between his fingers. It dangled there, heat rising from it, fresh. “Eat,” he said. And you snatched up that strip of meat and wolfed it down. “Good,” Albarran said. “You must eat much, boy. Keep up your strength.”
You asked for more so he gave it to you. Strips of meat thick as bark with patches of crisp burn. It tasted like horse.
Then you slinked off to write this letter to yourself. A man with an apple sewn on his chest was about to put out his cook fire when you caught his arm. “I need to write,” you told him and he seemed to nod his assent. Maybe he knew you—not that you’ll know.
You huddled up and scratched out a note. Khalee had chided you for leaving your berries uneaten, but you’ve got to get ink from somewhere. A thin stick and some berries is enough to give yourself this message.
You hear men in the distance tell their legends of half-gods and heroes. I’ve written a few of them down for you in your index. My favorite is the one where a thunder lord has his warhammer stolen and must wear a dress to retrieve it.