So much warmer tonight, even if it is just a shed. We came to a little town, a Balaenic town, well off the main road just at sunset. They were fortified as if they expected an attack and had an elderly rifle they pointed at us when we approached. It took both of us talking in our most reasonable voices to convince them we weren’t Castavirans scouting their town in preparation for a raid, which apparently happened a few days ago. The town’s mayor was on edge; I think the townspeople blamed him for letting it happen, though that’s probably irrational fear rather than any failing on his part.
We tried to explain about the convergence, but it only confused them, so I settled for saying the Castavirans didn’t speak our language and were as confused as anyone. They didn’t believe me. I wish I knew why the Castavirans attacked. Fear, probably, but fear of what? Just the unknown? I know I wrote this before, but I have trouble believing everyone’s first reaction in this situation is going to be violence. Yet that seems to be true.
We bought food and a tent—it took way too much of our money, and I know I’ll have to steal before we reach Venetry—and the mayor let us sleep in a shed, which sounds callous, but it’s more of an outdoor porch for sitting in on summer evenings, very pretty even though it was inadequate for winter weather. I think they were all still suspicious of us. I think they also thought Jeddan and I were a couple, since there was no offer of separate quarters. Just as well, because Jeddan gives off plenty of body heat and the shed is quite comfortable.