From Dawnrock, we turned south and east, to Grasslake. It’s both Brienne’s and Clove’s hometown, as well as Juliya’s home since the fall of Ferndale. Marguerite must have known this, because when we arrived, we found all of our friends and family tied up on a boat, with Marguerite and her patrol about to push them into the lake. She said that there was a conspiracy about who might target them for retribution, so they needed to put them out onto the lake “for their safety,” but we all recognized that she was the only thing they needed safety from. There was a tense confrontation, but they tried to push the boat out, and violence erupted. Clove attacked them with particular viciousness. We succeeded in subduing them and releasing our families.
We learned something in Grasslake, though. Apparently Midnight knew about Volker’s conspiracy, and his rebellion was his own misguided response to it. Clearly he didn’t disagree with the conspiracy’s aim of starting an insane war against every species that preys upon us. He decided that a single authoritarian ruler would be the only person who could root out this conspiracy, and decided to overthrow the Matriarch to accomplish that end. Fortunately he was thwarted, but he may know more about this conspiracy now. We’ve heard rumors that he has attracted a certain following in the Wild Country beyond Wolfpointe … so that’s where we’re going next. To Midnight.
Elymis considers this sheer lunacy. He may well be right. He’s also not terribly pleased with how I handled things with Marguerite. Once subdued, I had a chance to really talk to her. I think I got through to her, and helped her see what a disastrous course Volker is really on. She won’t betray him. The bond between them forged at Woodruff’s Grove is not something to be put aside lightly. I understand that. I feel the same way about those I left Ferndale with. But I think now she sees that her loyalty to Volker demands that she do something to save him from the terrible course he’s set himself on. I trust her to do what’s right, in her own way, so I let her go. I told Elymis that it’s better to have her out there helping us in her own way, than killed for petty revenge. Of course, he disagreed.
It was good to see Juliya again. She provided me with some new arrows to replace a few I’d lost or broken along the way. I thought about telling her how I feel about her, but I was so busy with other things, and it seems like so much to lay upon her as we leave on such a dangerous mission to go beyond the Scent Border again to meet with the traitor Midnight. If I’m to die out there in the next few days, it’s probably better that she never knows.