Tonight’s journey did not go very well, or very far. I think it’s because I’m really tired.
I go down the usual hole in the ground. Gienah is with me in the tunnel this time. I practice tearing down my steel plated shield and turning it into a suit of armor. But when I reach the end of the tunnel, I can’t step over the threshold. I feel like I am being pulled back. I sit down.
Gienah looks at me and says we should go through.
Suddenly it is winter in the black forest and I am walking between the pines. The black castle looms above. The sky above it is a winter gray. The lava beneath my steel armor keeps me warm. As I pass the trunks of trees, I touch them with my hands, leaving behind sowilo and wunjo runes. (I don’t realize they are sowilo and wunjo runes until I come out of trance and look them up.) I think to myself that I should put protective runes around the castle and resolve to come back after I’ve memorized them.
I stop in front of a natural-looking archway made by trees. Someone hides behind the other side, but I don’t know who. I don’t sense malevolence, but my gut tells me not to walk through the archway. I turned to my right and head up the hill toward the castle instead.
Gienah flies to my shoulder and I ask him about the secret phrase, but my words and thoughts are sluggish somehow. He does not answer. We do not make it up the hill before he tells me my time is up.