It was getting dark. By the time Kephean got to the creek the rain was an impenetrable wall, and mist was beginning to descend lower to the ground. A sudden lightning broke the sky and his horse reared, rains slipping from his wet grasp. He made no noise. Suddenly the air bent under his weight. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Now the same air was inside as well, carrying, penetrating his every cell. Silence. A cold drop on the cheek. Shiver. A shift in the body. A wave of the cloak under a sudden gust of the wind. The ground. Hard and supportive. His entire weight pressing to it and bouncing right off. The hair spitting a couple of heavy drops as he rose. Exhale. Kephean found his feet.
He stood there for a moment with a sigh, watching his horse storming off into the gloom as silence closed in again. The sky roared in the distance. A shimmer of leaves. The clasp of wings. A bird here and there. Suddenly he felt a chill on his cheek, forcing his head into a turn. The lumps of his brown hair licked the drops off his cheek. Suddenly he knew where to go.
Casting a heavy wet hood of the cloak back onto his head, he pressed on. Strange signs were smudged across his face. He passed unnoticed through the woods, footsteps light, ducking under every branch, or siding it with a gentle release. His cloak blurred in the mist. Not even rain took any notice of his strange presence.
A queer feeling deep in the gut suddenly halted him. His cunning eyes slowly moved through the forest, falling to the undergrowth. No. He froze again, gaze slowly moving upwards. And he waited.
The sky broke again with a devastating noise, as if a great- sword ran through an immense beast. So keen the steel an image of it remained a few seconds in his eyes. It fell. It stroke the ground. The rain changed its direction now getting right into Kephean’s face. Something steered inside him again and a sudden urge set his feet in the direction he did not intended undertaking.
He moved slowly. And with every step his wonder grew, the rain and the mist blurring his vision so the eyes couldn’t be trusted. But there was that uneasiness in the gut once more. That one, he knew, was worth to be relied on.
Something was there, among the trees. Startled by the feeling of a strong presence, he suddenly realized- someone. Strong, yet a great sorrow hung sturdy in the air. But curiosity is reckless, it knows no fear. Slowly, soundlessly, as he moved forward a small dagger appeared in his hand when a pair of red eyes rested upon him. They blinked, red tongue smudging the blood across the brown fur of his muzzle, and lowered again to the thing the greatness of his massive body was towering upon. Kevhean passed among the wolves as if he were one of them, none took any notice, busy with their meals. Moving forth, he began to realize they were feeding on the fallen warriors.
Suddenly he saw a white gleam among all of that mess. A body was laying there. Bare. And none of the wolves touched it. The tangled brown locks of her hair were coiling on the wet undergrowth. The features of her body were fair, but it was horrible. Dark purple spots marked every vertebra of her spine, and the veins made an abominable net on her back. Were there were no dark spots and yellow splotches, there were red spreadings, alike to rash. Her fingers were pale with a tint of blue. And on the inside of her right wrist he saw something very odd. Strange markings were tattooed on her entire forearm. The likes of some of them he’s never seen before, but it was the first one that stroke his gut. He needn’t look to his own wrist. He knew all too well. The signs were of a sort. Much troubled by what he saw, still he had to know.
Kephean unlashed his cloak and covered her with it, gently picking her up and proceeding in the same direction he came.