The huge white stag skirted the edge of the bluff just as dawn broke in the East, the first rays of the Sun brightly colouring the grassy plains before them.
They had run all night and the stag’s pelt was matted with sweat and grime, its three passengers looking as ragged as the beast itself.
In the distance smoke could be seen rising from a small collection of tents.
The great beast knelt down and allowed its tired passengers to dismount before reverting to its human shape.
Emrys looked older and more bedraggled as he moved with a painful delicacy, the bones in his body still recovering from Vordekai’s terrible magic. He turned to the dwarf woman and spoke with a tired voice.
My Lady, you should go with Oswald and seek aid from the plains nomads. Lord Syagrius saw fit to ally with them and they are sure to provide you with safe passage back to Waterfort. Given the circumstances, I think it best that Master Sarjen accompany you there.
The druid took a few halting steps towards the edge of the cliff and leaned heavily on his staff.
We lost many good men and trusted friends , but I fear we have little time to mourn them now. The army of the Lady with the Green Hair is still at large in the West and now our Eastern flank is left open. We should turn to Brevoy for aid and fortify the border towns.
Emrys turned to look back at the mountains, their flanks still blanketed in a deep impenetrable darkness and he let out a sigh.
I’m going back to look for Neega. If you’ve received no word from me within the fortnight, you should seek counsel with Magistra Nadya. She’s not to be trusted, but I know of none other that could shed more light on the Enemy’s weaknesses.
The old druid’s body began to morph and twist as he grew into the stag form again and with a last flick of his ears he turned and sped off towards the mountains and the Valley of the Dead.