"I did say, Aun, that I would not take offense. I didn't expect to take sorrow instead. It's not your fault."
Aun tried a faint smile. "I meant neither sorrow nor offense. I know you must care deeply about the place that gave you birth." He sighed. "For us, apart from being the home of our foes, Susekho is the darkness that hides Botaram from our constant sight."
Aun wanted to go on. There was more to it than that... Susekho was bare and bleak, ash and bone, used Chimmer. Its shape was sharp, lopsided, chilling. Most horrid of all was a suspicion that Aun had arrived at in his childhood and kept to himself ever after. Susekho looked... incomplete, as if there were more of it lurking somewhere, under the world or beyond it in some way. Or worse, that Susekho wasn't done yet, that it had started to become something unimaginably foul and dangerous and had paused, checked only by Botaram's glory... and you could never know when it might shake loose its bonds, complete its terrible growth and fulminate in a permanent nightmare upon the world.
All these things Aun held back, only looking at Chax with quiet sympathy.
Chax breathed, sharp and deep, and resumed his pacing, glancing at Aun from time to time to keep contact. "I have trouble finding the words, Aun. I wish I could convey to you how beautiful it is to me." Chax walked on, growing deeper in thought. He seemed on the verge of a compelling problem when Aun spoke again.
"Perhaps you could start by telling me what the Oistrem think of what happened. I didn't mean to reel out that whole story, but you didn't seem too surprised by it. I assume that you've heard some version of it before..."
Chax started a bit, shaken from a path deep in his mind. "Ah. I suppose I can speak more freely of it now, as the Craisht is still silent in me. Let me collect my thoughts."