Draetarn’s progress was slow on the destroyed road, but once it opened back up into the road he had taken with the Anthranhall’s riding party, he was able to increase his speed, although the steel cart attached to his mount was heavy, its payload making it even heavier, being Gastien’s body in full plate armour. Signs of travel were limited, beyond the faded trail of the Cultist’s army, returning to Naator. Stretching through the plains, this road was the main connection between Puzzle-Tyric and the rest of the civilized world and looking back, he could see the Unjaryk mountain’s peak, it’s base covered by a dense foliage of forest that hid Puzzle-Tyric itself.

Riding further along the flat plains, he could see the forest to his left, starting to dissolve into the desert terrain that had been to his right for most of the ride out of Puzzle-Tyric, populated by rocks and smaller mountains that looked like the children of the Unjaryk. Lonely, he enjoyed the ride still, since this terrain was devoid of the lingering dread of the Blights that seemingly surrounded Puzzle-Tyric ever since he had arrived there; geographically, the clansmen of the north forests had no way to access this road and the plains it inhabited; out on these plains, there were tribes of bandits that often raided whatever parties upon the roads they could. Ahead, he could see evidence of their opportunistic nature, in the form of several bodies piled up along the side of the road, their blood staining much of the long yellow grass in the plains turned desert, along the left side of the well traveled road.

Coming upon them, he could see they had ran afoul of the Clan’s forces, their bodies burned by spell, cut by blade and smashed by blunt object, each body a tapestry to the battle that had taken place. Alongside the pile of bodies, a blade sticking out of the ground, wearing chainmail, a chainmail helmet and light plate leggings, the tunic of the chain mail stained with blood along the top edges, with large trails of stain running along the green fabric, all the way to the bottom edges.. Clearly, whoever had wore this armour had their throat cut, meaning the rest of the armour was probably in good condition; undressing, he dawned the Cultist soldier’s attire, feeling the spiritual imprint of the man’s short suffering process before death. Standing there, he could feel the blood pouring out of his own neck, vividly.. More vividly than usual and he found this extremely strange, considering his own power was limited, due to his departure from the Anthranhall’s company.

Beginning to ride again, his senses of the dead man’s feelings dulled as he strayed further away from the site of the battle.. Aware, however, he knew that at any moment, he himself could meet the same fate as the soldier.. He was alone and his mount alone would be worth attacking him over to a tribe of bandit’s; the cart and the full set of armour it carried was just a sweetener to the pot of goodies that awaited their salivating need to survive and thrive in the wilderness; Draetarn’s hand scythe remained at his side, but he grew ever more weary of the chance of being attacked with every step of the mount, knowing that the halfway point of the journey between Naator and Puzzle-tyric, two great stones on either side of the turned gravel road from the dirt he was travelling now, would be the perfect opportunity for his potential ambushers. Continuing, he knew there was an element of surprise he would need to retain, so he stopped, withdrew his green robe from his mount’s satchel and draped it over his armour, dawning the hood, before continuing.


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