Greysham, 31 September

Dear Crane,

Our intrepid Alia circled the skies and did cloudless loops high overhead. Well, I can say our letters have more thrilling adventures now. In Big School, we copied the Martineau text diligently, not seeing the elegance in safe words, which always pointed to high marks. Urquart would write, “Viz. Rackham” on your papers, adding to your frustration completely. Those easy days are gone, unfortunately, and now we must bravely forge forward and adopt new purposes.

Today, my new focus is study—a strategy Urquart instilled in me. He would see how life is, and pride would swell: using the full extent of a man’s knowledge to courageously ward away vice and doubt. Bennington always says that a mind unstimulated is like a blank slate. I look to Stratham, too, and how his thoughts seem to straighten a jumbled mess into meaningful order.

Thorpe is intent today; he knows a distraction may imperil his original heading. The arcane identity of the Obelisk seems now quite secondary to what MacTallan has been telling us, and the Cairns loom ahead. I do not know who found these structures, but the patterns of information painstakingly gathered in the troubled months after the Incident indicate that the trees near Thornskye actually flourished, and took on new appearances. Scorched tracks had riddled the earth, leading toward the Obelisk.

Thorpe has fully resupplied us, and shortly we gather the men to dine, and to move the equipment we acquired out to a motorized contraption. Tomorrow sees heavy activity; we may try to find and follow the same road that MacTallan had been found on, for better or worse. Some clues may elude us, but your description of the runes coordinates exactly with our records, correct in age and method.

But as for this fabled Rexley, forget it all: it is absent from maps, and not worth pursuing. It is a forgotten name for a place out of legends.



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Alia did well letters now copied not safe to write papers completely gone must adopt new strategy he is using a ward Bennington mind blank Stratham thoughts jumbled Thorpe knows his identity now MacTallan and I found patterns in the trees and scorched earth Thorpe and men move out tomorrow may follow MacTallan for clues your coordinates correct but Rexley is not a place