We met just as the sun was beginning to lose itself amongst the tops of the trees. I had tramped - what? - twenty miles that day following my compass east through the forest. Like each previous day, I had planned no set destination. For the past fortnight I'd walked from town to town, village to village, recording my journey for the benefit of prosperity and the satisfaction of my pride. I had no clear aim, other than to rid my mind of the bruising of a violent few years and satisfy myself that the world was indeed still a beautiful place.