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Shattered Mirror

The Campground

Some way down the road the camp site is obvious, nestled around a clump of stunted trees and the trickle of a reluctant stream. There is plenty of space, for the sole occupants of the site appear to be two rough-looking traders, six or seven assorted vagabonds, an elegant looking Yelmalian warrior and his followers - two warriors and a healer - and a collection of baskets surrounding a serenely confident dark-skinned young man of considerable beauty who appears to be preparing food for everyone.

The approach of the heroes draws an ominous quiet on the merry company, but then Humakti have that effect in many places. As the vagabonds eye each other, the warriors and available hideaways nervously, the dark-skinned man elegantly rises and greets the newcomers with a foreign yet pleasing accent.

"You are welcome, strangers, to this place for all to share in peace. In the land of my birth they called me Taravati Amadhara."

The one bit of this job Dori is still uncomfortable with is having to be the spokesperson for the group, especially when others are so much more competent at it. But it is her job, so...

"Greetings to you, Taravati Amadhara. We are a small part of Hereward's Legion, passing through this place; and yes, peace is our intention for this night, the gods willing. There would seem to be plenty of room for us to set up camp here without alarming your friends unduely..."

She turns to the rest of the group. "Malan, see to it, would you? And take Aelf with you, I'm sure you can find him some suitable job to do."

This seems to be business as usual to Malan. He takes Aelf with him to a place away from the Yelmalions and begins setting up the camp.

Aelf scowls pointedly at this new group. Making a show of his disgust he hawks noisily before stalking off to setup camp with Malan.

Sundomers and dark skinned riddlers. Perfect.

Trusting Malan to handle the details (and to keep Aelf under control), Dori turns back to the dark-skinned stranger. "The land of your birth - where would that be, then? A long way away, from your looks and accent?" Her tone is one of mild curiosity, with no threat or suspicion implied in it.

He replies with a gentle, dazzling smile, "from far to the East, beyond the desert, and then to South, from a land of lush forests, cooling rain, rivers wide, peaceful folks, and good food, and so about as different from this land as can be. It is named Teshnos, and is a walk of seasons. I was called from my homeland by the roaming stars to wander and learn, and earn my keep through my friends." With this he points at the small baskets that surround him. One rocks slightly.

Dorinda nods, Teshnos is a land she has heard of, and what she has heard tallies with what this Taravati Amadhara says and appears to be.

"I know that Taravati Amadhara is perhaps a little of a mouthful for you - please call me Tara, if you wish. Our other companions for the evening and I were looking forward to some food shortly, but I see that we must make more of a feast to accommodate you all."

The Yelmalian obviously takes this as his cue, and together with the young woman at his side walks up to the Humakti and Tara, leaving the warriors lounging by the fire. He wears armour of stiff leather and chain covered by a heavy white cloak that has somehow managed to stay clean. The clothes of his young companion are fairly ordinary, if well made and suggest the northern parts of Dragon Pass as her place of origin. The only somewhat out of place item is a traditional Sun County veil covering her face.

The man gives the Humakti a friendly smile and begins to say something when he is interrupted by the woman as she sees Dori's nicked side.

"Ooh, you're hurt" She sounds genuinely concerned and immediately turns to fetch her supplies, not noticing her friend's amused and gentle look.

"Welcome, Humakti. I am Landros Goldheart, please accept Kaylee's help if you have need of it." His open manners and friendly ways do not rhyme well with the legendary stuffiness of Sundomers.

"Come, rest by the fire and we will share food and water, and stories if you will." He gestures towards the steaming pots that are begining to spread tempting smells in the evening air.

Dori smiles, but shakes her head at the offer of healing. "Thanks, but no thanks. It's only a scratch, and the usual problems about mixing Life magic and Death magic apply."

He raises an eyebrow and looks mildly offended that someone would turn down a friendly gesture like that.

Kristen grabs her arm, her exasperation obvious. "Yeah, sure, some scratch. That hole in the mail there before, was it? Come on, let Elendala sort it."

"But.." Dori's protests are overridden, as Kristen makes the most of not being in the Legion and definitely not under any compulsion to obey anything.

Kaylee returns with her kit and looks on in dissapointed confusion as Kristen leads her charge away.
"I have some Copper Root" she says weakly to their backs and holds up a small pouch.

Landros looks at Kristen as she turns to reply to Kaylee and says smoothly.
"We have just come from Pavis and managed to stock up on some herbs and roots. Please accept her help, Kaylee trained under Inara in Furthest and is quite skilled."

"Copper-root?" Dori twists round, disengaging Kristen's hold on her arm. "Pavis trade must be doing well for that to be available."

Kaylee's bright face is clouded by a hint of guilt. "I, I brought some from Furthest."

Dori raises an eyebrow, but doesn't inquire further into what's presumably some youthful indiscretion.

Kristen looks blank. "That's a herb?"

"You should know, your mum's agent held the monopoly back home. I haven't seen any since Nochet, mine ran out ages ago. And it's good stuff for deep muscle cuts."

When talk turns to shop she brightenes again and perks up visibly eager to impress.
"Oh, yes. You pound it into a pulp with a wooden pestle, never stone or bronze or the spirits will taint it, and add one part rainwater and mix until it turns gray and smooth. I've heard that you can use an infusion of willow barch as well, but haven't tried it. Uh, it's very good." She smiles.

Dori turns back to Kaylee. "In that case, yes please, if we could raid your herb stocks and perhaps exchange a few, I'd appreciate it. But be a bit careful? I mean it about mixing Life magic with Death. It's just not worth the risk. Herbs only, all right?"

"Of course. I've treated Landros a lot so I know all about that stuff. I only ever use the tiniest of magics on him."

"Landros?" Dori looks back. "He's Humakti? He looks Yelmalian."

"He does, doesn't he" Kaylee grins and begins to say something but obviously reconsiders at the last instant.

She quickly follows holding her precious bag of copper root tightly in one hand. Over her shoulder hangs a huge pack that is soon revealed to contain all sorts of little pouches and bags as well as clean bandages and other items of her profession.

"So, who are you guys anyway?" she asks innocently as she hands Elendala a little sponge soaked in something to clean the wound.

Dori's mail shirt lands on the ground, and she straightens up, pushing her hair back into place. "Sorry, I thought you'd heard that. We're part of Hereward's Legion. Humakti mercenaries, following Hereward Truewind. I'm Dorinda, acting ten-thane, the one with the scars and the attitude is Kristen, this is Elendala." She looks round and decides against flooding the poor child with any more names for now.

The young healer listens attentively and nods smiling at each person as they are introduced while she hands Elendala some clean cloth for bandages.

"Not much to tell about me really, you already know my name and that I'm from Furthest. I don't know if you've heard of her, but there is this famous healer there, Inara that I apprenticed to. Well, not really apprenticed as such, but she's the one trained me the most. That's how I met Landros", she adds very brightly and selfconciously pushes a strand of auburn hair out of her face.

Dori and Kristen exchange glances. Romance. Oh, dear.

"Anyway, I know it's not my business, but what is a Humatki troop doing here. There's no war here right? Oh, are you putting sweet moss under the dressing? That's really smart, I've only used it for cleaning out a wound never for actually keeping it clean." She sounds impressed and delighted and unusually at ease around Humakti. Perhaps she is just tired of only having three men to talk to, soldiers at that.

Dori lets the girl babble on, listening in the hope that there might be useful information in there somewhere. At least she seems to be intelligent, if very young.

"Anyway, he's from somewhere around here and used to be a soldier of some sort, temporal I think he called it. And now he's back! I don't know the details, you'll have to ask him yourself, but something happened to his wife and Humakt called him." She pauses and sounds a bit sad. "That must be really strange, you know. To have one god, and then just like that another speaks to you. And Humakt too!" She doesn't quite shudder and then she realises what she just said and looks apologetic "Uh, I didn't mean anything, you know."

"No, you're right", Dori says seriously. "Being called by Humakt like that is never easy, and it sounds as if that must have been hard for him in many ways." She glances back at where the white cloak is just visible, thoughtfully. "I won't be asking him for details. I doubt if he'd want the scars poked at."

Kaylee looks at the Humakti woman and nods slowly. "Of course, you are right. It's just that he avoids stuff but I guess that is something a lot of you become good at, what with the not lying and all. You know how most people tell little lies, not terrible ones, just sometimes to make life a little easier, you know. But if you can't do that, or won't, and don't want to hurt people's feelings and stuff, I guess you have to sort of find another way. I've never thought about it like that before."

Meanwhile "poked at" has become a very topical reference. The torn and bloodied shirt out of the way, Elendala is inspecting the damage. "Nice clean cut", she remarks.

Dori presses around the gash experimentally, not quite able to see it herself.

"I told you so. Just a scratch, really. No more than half an inch deep, and it didn't even crack any ribs. Nice job of pulling the blow for a first-blood fight, considering he had to get through the mail shirt." Her respect for a skilled opponent is quite obviously genuine.

"I don't think he minds so much, but some things he keeps to himself. He never talks about his wife, except that one thing. And there are things about this place I think he avoids, I'm not sure." Kaylee sounds thoughtful.

"Anyway, other than that he has told me all about going to places like Esrolia, Sylila, that's where he got his sword, and even Balazar." Her quick smile flashes across her face again, but she seems a bit more subdued now.

"Ah well.... There's needles and thread in my bag. Copper-root to mend the muscle damage, then comfrey on the surface after the stitches, I'd suggest, unless Kaylee's got something better."

She looks pleased to be asked and replies with a calm certainty that makes her seem a little older than only a moment ago. "No, comfrey should be fine. And even if we had something better I'm not sure a nick like this merits it. Save that for the bad wounds."

The removal of the shirt has also revealed a collection of scars that's remarkable even by Humakti standards.

Kaylee's eyes trace the map of old scars on Dorinda's skin, her face unreadable. Then with apparently genuine concern remarks softly "You've really been hurt."

"I have?" Then she realises what the girl's looking at. "Oh, that lot. I expect it looks worse than it really is. That's the trouble with not often having access to magical healing, herbs are good, but there are limits. And of course, when you're doing your own surgery, it can get a bit clumsy in places."

The girl winces a little but nods. "I've never seen anything, quite like this" she glances uncertainly at Dorinda to judge her reaction before she goes on. "but I've treated a few Humakti before that were pretty beat up you know."

Dori makes no immediate reaction to what is, after all, a statement of fact from a young and inexperienced girl. But they all look in Vastyr's direction.

"If they let you treat them...." Dori lets the thought trail off. There's still the people who can take healing from any cult, but no magic. She's luckier than that, now.

She smiles wryly. "That's one thing they don't teach you in Arroin shrines. How to make nice neat stitches, yes. How to do them in your own back, left-handed - no."

"It's good you have someone to help you now then." Kaylee says thoughtfully.

"It certainly is", Dori agrees. The quick warmth of the smile in Elendala's direction is a contrast to her usual unemotional expression.

Kaylee notices the quick exhange and smiles briefly.

Elendala is just putting the final touches to the bandage and checking that it's secure while the young healer observes her every move.

"You know, some people seem so proud of their scars while others just want to hide them. Axe Maidens seem to wear them instead of pretty beads or something..."

Kristen looks somewhat bewildered at this concept, and looks down at where her own major scars have been neatly outlined in coloured inks. Some have had runes drawn next to them. Beads, however, are noticably absent.

"...and any man will tell you exactly which enemy gave him which scar and go on about it for hours on end. But you guys, it's like you don't even care. When I ask Landy about his, he just shrugs and says he doesn't remember. Well, I think he's lying."

The frozen stillness at that might remind her how Humakti feel about lying, and about any other Humakti being accused of it. Or not - she continues, slowly as if thinking out aloud. She seems oblivious to the Valind Winds in the air.

"Well, not lying lying, just sort of oh, I don't know - not wanting to talk about it."

"He probably doesn't remember", Dori says mildly. "Do you remember every bandage you've ever applied? And the few that stick in the mind - well, no, remembering how they happened is usually something to avoid." She rubs absently at an old cut across the back of her right fore-arm, not noticing what she's doing.

"Now, those other two", Kaylee gestures to his companions, "Caerl, that's the short fat one, and Sythar." She makes a little face, evidently not a fan of Sythar, "they are very eager to show me all their little nicks and scrapes and stubbed toes and whatnots. Of course, I don't understand half a word they're saying but I don't think I'm missing much." Her usually sunny face clouds briefly in mild exasperation over her travelling companions. "Worst part is, I have to look too. Part of the deal Landy let me come. Especially that that... creep Sythar. He pretends to have a pulled muscle in his thigh, so I have to look at it. He loves that" Then she grins, "Anyway, I'm planning my revenge and he'll leave me alone after that. Inara taught me a few tricks."

"I'm glad to hear it. But there are limits to what you can do without breaking oaths, aren't there? Kristen..." she looks up, to find Kristen already fingering her axe. "I think a few hints might be worth dropping, don't you? Just hints, that is."

"No!" She says firmly, not in the least concerned by all the sharp weapons around her. "He is my problem and I will deal with it. If I need help, I'll ask for it" She looks directly at Kristen as she says this, her voice much surer and certain than during her ramblings a moment earlier.

"Dorinda, I can make him understand without breaking any vows. You don't think healers have run into into these little problems since The Dawn? We don't hurt people, we don't withold help, but we do decide in which order we help people after a battle for example. And what kind of help someone needs."

She softens again and smiles sweetly "Anyways, you don't want to mess with a healer you depend on."

"That's true enough. And perhaps that's one reason Humakt sometimes forbids us to depend on healers - he knows how dangerous you are. Life and Death are opposite edges of the same sword, after all..." Then she remembers that she's talking to a sixteen-year-old who may not be into deep philosophy. "I used to know a woman at the Great Hospital who said that salt was a good way of cleaning a wound. She was right, too."

Kaylee picks up the mail shirt but doesn't return it to Dorinda immediately.

"I don't think you should wear this now, leave it off until tomorrow at least. What do you think Elendala, it'll strain the stiches won't it?"

Both Humakti are trying not to laugh at that, Dori with slightly more success than Elendala.

"It does need mending first", she agrees.

"And you're not on watch yet", Elendala points out.

"True. But on the whole, given the choice of some slightly pulled stitches or a possible unopposed javelin in the back, I think I'll wear the armour, thanks. Been there, done that, and learning from mistakes is a really good idea."

Kaylee hands the shirt over and shrugs. "Your decision. But if you value the help you receive from your friends, don't let their help be in vain." For the first time during this conversation there is an edge to her voice.

Elendala looks outraged at this kid presuming to instruct warriors in how to do their job, but Dori stays calm. Her voice does acquire the edge of teacher to small and stupid pupil, but no more.

"Perhaps this is something else you haven't had a reason to think about yet, then. A concrete example might make it clearer - sometimes there are reasons to remember how you got scars.

"If those stitches pull, what's the worst that might happen? A slight gash ends up looking a bit of a mess, right? Look a bit further round, there should be a circular one, about two inches across, bottom of the ribs? And the rib-bone set at a funny angle under it? That's what happened the last time I decided not to wear armour because it might be uncomfortable. Like I say, learning from one's mistakes is a really good idea."
Jamal has been rather sullen since the groups defeat by the village's Yelmalian defender. He reguards this new-comer rather mistrustfully, but speaks after his ten-thane has finished..

"Jamal bin Jaran al'Wara" he says savouring every syllable, emphasising the proper Carmanian pronounciation and inflection. Two can play the "alien abroad" game.

"I greet you in the name of the divine Idovanus, may his wine goblet fill over and shower blessings on the righteous".

"I have heard a little of Teshnos, your silks are renound in the court of the finest. What brings you such a long way from your home..."

Tara smiles strangely, and stares at the sky for a moment. "My people are content, well-fed and sleepy, settled in their patterns of waking and working like the fixed stars above us. Yet some of us, sometime in our lives, are called by the Wandering Stars, such as Somash. I have been called by a star such as this, spoken too in dreams, seen in visions.

"Depending on who asks, I will give a different answer, but I see that you are a man of rare subtlety and sophistication, so I give you three, all true: I journey to simply to journey itself, and be one with the journeying; I journey to learn from and revel in all the joy and suffering it may bring me; I journey that the world may be changed by my passing. A more prosaic answer is that I journey to show people my snakes, and to dance for them, and to earn a living in that way."

"Now," he smiles again, "you must accept my offer of hospitality, for I will be greatly offended if you decline - as will your stomachs, for my cooking is the best to be found for a season's march in any direction."

Jamal smiles at the man's honeyed words, he has always mistrusted the sycophantic words of his courtiers, and these resembled them much more than he would like......

Still them man's offer seemed heartfelt. Perhaps one of the group should join him, and report back to the others.

"I will accept your offer sir, friend Vern will you join me" he calls to the Grey Sage "I'm sure this worthy will have many an interesting story to relate"

Jamal beckons to Elnor as he leaves with Vern to join Tara any the others at the campsite. As Tara leads the way, Jamal whispers to his trusted retainer

"Keep one eye on me, trusted one, as just in case our new 'friends' try something untoward".

Elnor nods, but as is her custom, she keeps her own counsel.

As Jamal, Vern and Elnor approach Tara's party, there seems to be a general feeling of bon homie that pervades the place.

Groups of people, from the looks of the all from very different backgrounds seem to be eating drinking and generally enjoying each others company. Jamal is reminded of the Rites of Bentus from his time in Pelanda, but of a more discrete basis, of course. At the centre of all this, is a large fire, which seems to be being used to do the majority of the cooking.

The three settle on the edge of the group, and after a short time on of Tara's men, also from Teshnos by his garb. Presents the newcomer with food, this looks to be some form of spiced grilled meat, with unleaven bread and raw vegetables. Jamal sniff the concoction speculatively, then shrugging, takes a large bit. Too much time on field rations had taken their toll.

He finds that it has been laced with some form of sauce, which leaves a pungent heat in the back of Jamal's throat and mouth. On the whole very tasty, although Jamal muses that it would probably taste even better after drinking a few glasses of ale.

Once Dori's "slight scratch" has been dressed, Elendala goes to join the group cooking by the fire, and comes back munching a kebab. "Interesting spices", she comments. "I'd prefer it with a glass of ale, or even wine, myself, but they don't seem to have anything like that." A significant glance passes between her and Dori. "Coming over to join the party?"

"Maybe once I've fixed this mail. Kristen's right, it needs doing."

"I'll fetch you some food, then?"

"No, I'll do it."

They'd almost forgotten Brenna was there, and Elendala watches her, puzzled, as she wanders off. "Hard to believe she was once your ten-thane."

"Oh, she was, and she was good, too. I'm still hoping now she's away from all that cloying peace, she might wake up a bit. At least she's taking the initiative again, even if it's only on trivial things." She watches as Brenna makes her way over to the fire, and is surprised to see her actually engaging Tara in what looks like conversation. Or possibly he's engaging her - she gets his undivided attention for some time, before she returns carrying the promised food. Dori munches cautiously, and reaches for her water bottle hastily on repeating Jamal's discovery. "Interesting spices is right" she comments wryly. But Elendala is back with the crowd, and Brenna has lost her earlier animation, staring vacantly into space again.

Healed, fed, mended, and ready to see what else needs doing, Dori's first thought is to check the guards. It's easy to get complacent in what seem to be safe surroundings, not that she really expects any of the Legion to be careless as a result. She checks layout quickly - Malan has got Aelf digging a ditch down-wind, and... yes, old campaigner, Vastyr has taken the guard post up-wind. With his wolf. She strolls over.

"All quiet, I take it? You got something to eat, I hope."

He just takes a look at her and hands over a piece of dried field ration, who knows if it is meat or potatoe...

She takes it and laughs. "Good idea. Nice of them to offer to cook, but whatever they've come up with is very over-spiced. Typical Teshnos."

She sits beside them, staring out into the desert.

"I've been meaning to ask you for a while now. That wolf. Where did he come from? He's certainly useful in a fight, but he looks worryingly intelligent. Something I should know about?"

Again no answer... for a time... then Vastyr looks at the wolf... as if he'd expected him to answer: "Well? Aren't you going to say anything?" Runs-With-Humakti looks at him and then at Dori... and then growls deeply: "No."

Dori's expression does not change. The imperturbable mask shows no surprise at all: but the mask hadn't been there a moment ago. "Ah. So I didn't imagine it. And 'worryingly intelligent' was probably a fair assessment. Humakt honours us by sending such a friend."

Runs-With-Humakti merely looks at her with large golden eyes. The he turns his head, and Dori gets the impression the wolf considers the subject closed.

Vastyr looks at her and says: "They are prickly about their pride, wolves are."

Then he turns to Runs-With-Humakti: "She is the Alfa. Leader of our pack and maker of the rules. You will show her respect." His words sound instructive, but his tone borders on insulting, like he was talking to a small child...

The wolf's head snaps back towards Vastyr and for a moment it looks like there will be a fight. But something seems to move between the man and the wolf. They break off their stares at the same time, RWH looks again at Dori and Vastyr over the terrain.

"Very well. You pink skins talk too much, but if that is how it's going to be..."
As the evening passes, Jamal lets the general good feeling seep into him, and soon starts opening up to the other, even the normally taciturn Elnor seem to be smiling and laughing more than usual, and Vern, who is never backward in comming forward, seems to be talking to everyone and anyone.

After a while, Tara stands and addresses the group,...

"Enough Enough" he says laughing, and signals for his retainer to add another log to the fire. The thick sweet smell in the air seems re- invigorated...

"We have all eaten well, yes? Then perhaps to round off the evening, we should share a few stories, we have many peoples here, I am eager to learn something of your lands..."

He caste his gaze around the group, "Perhaps you" he says indicating Jamal, "tell us a tale good sire". Jamal looks shocked, but then almost despite himself he stands and starts to recite a tale from his child hood schooling, a long and dry tale of the house of al'Kathoum and their time at the great siege of Alkoth, why he picked this he has no idea. Even he hates this story.

Before long,the tedium of the story is apparent to all, and some good humoured heckling starts. Yet this does not seem to offend the normally prickly Jamal.

After a while, Tara stands again, "Perhaps another story then..." at this another man stand. This guy seems to be from Tara's retinue.

Landros sits quietly by the fire with his two warrior friends by his side, all seemingly completely at ease, and seemingly a bit amused at Jamal's tale. He nods at the warrior as he finishes and smiles. When another tale is called for it looks like he prepares to offer one, but notices Tara's companion rise and sits back.

"My tale," he states "is of a great legion, and who faught and died under a leader who had, they said, a sword which could not be broken. It tells of how they died and lost their standard in a heroic yet futile defence of a Giant babe..."

Suddenly, the Yelmalian goes still, his blue eyes fixed on the man by the fire.

Jamal instantly awakens from his revere, "Quickly" he hisses to Elnor "get the others, they'll want to hear this". She scurries away quickly.

The man continues his story, but somehow the words seem no longer to matter, just the tone of voice. Jamal's attention drifts until finally he sinks into oblivion....

Dori is just putting the spare rings away, mail shirt intact once more, when Elnor approaches. "Jamal says you'll want to hear this story." She pauses, before going on to the next group. "Though I'm not sure why."

Dori had been in two minds whether to go over or to spend the time in meditation, but if Jamal suggests it...

She checks - yes, guards in position, all is well. The Carmanian is easily visible, and she goes over and joins him, nodding a greeting but not speaking over the story.

Kaylee returns a short while after Dori, prepared to give a long and happy account of tending wounds. Landros ignores her completely and more than a little miffed she turns her attention to the story.
And blushes.
She looks down hoping no-one notices but can't help listening to the tale.

".. and so the travelers came to a mountain pass, beyond which they knew lived the giants. Now, this pass could only be crossed by those who bore a certain token...."

Ah, she can see why Jamal had thought she would be interested. If this was the route they needed to find the remains of their lost cohort... she listens carefully, making mental notes. A gust of wind blows an odd aromatic smoke from the fire into her face, and she pushes it away.

But Hereward's gift sputters and gusts, acting as a bellows to the cooking fire which burns more fiercely, spewing out more sweet smelling smoke. Eddies spin, and the smoke spreads across the campsite.

As the haze passes through the crowd, each nose sniffs curiously. The stories take on a fantastic turn, scenes spoken of can be seen writ large in the air, lulling the audience into comfortable, woozy slumber.

The last thing Landros remembers seeing is Tara, smiling faintly at the sleeping forms around him.
Vastyr squats down beside Runner. They scan the scenery south of the campsite, it looks all too peaceful. Some trees and tended fields and the gentle curve of the Zola Fel. No sign of trouble. Which of course is a sign of trouble.

"What you think?" he asks the wolf.

"Somebody killed all the rabbits." Runner is hungry. He always is.

"If there were any to begin with. Most likely banned by the sunbounties for breeding." That draws a chuckle from them both.

Vastyr sets himself on the ground, and begins his watch.

Vastyr's guardspot is far from the fire and the dinner 'party,' outside the glare of light and the warmth. The smell of the food, the buzz of the story... Yet... There is something that draws his attention from the guarding into... something else.

He slumps against the rock... it feels so comfortable... so... soft... so... WRONG!

Gritting his teeth, Vastyr manages to lift his head and with a kick wakes Run-With-Humakti. "Run, you fool, Run!" The imperative in the words runs shivers through the wolf, and with a powerful leap it is away and he shakes himself rapidly. Drawing himself up to his feet, Run With Wolves gently sniffs the air and sneezes. Padding over gently to Vastyr's supine form the wolf lowers his muzzle and gets a firm grip on the hilt of Slithering Bane, d rawing the sword forth. As sleep overcomes Vastyr, his final sight is of the wolf heading west, wraith-like in the smoke, Slithering Bane clenched in his jaws.

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