The night was falling fast. The Fight seemed close to being over, I was wrong. The Grimward allies were encroaching into the Forward command post with force only a few of our soldiers could keep at bay. But, that force was not holding. One of us was finally was able to knock a hole into the back of the post and some of us escaped the treachery, or at least we thought.
I was one of those who had escaped through the hole. I left everything behind, much like I did when coming to this land. I was afraid for my life. We drudged through the woods. Farther, deeper we went into the forest behind the outpost. We were trying to gain as much distance between us and the enemy as possible, but they did not follow. Our new enemy was the forest: branches, moss, wet ground, swamp, thorns, and no knowledge or direction to where we were headed.
We started to veer back to the direction of the command post. We were now walking through the swamped lands. My ability to trust the people I was lagging behind was dwindling quickly (not that it was that strong to begin with). Faolan was not following. Vazra was beside me, but I needed Faolan to feel completely safe. I was beginning to worry. The swamp was getting deeper. Its grasp so tight I could barely put one foot in front of the other. Its water filled my boots and I could feel the gush of the muck between my toes.
I kept looking back towards the command post as we are now hiding in the prairie grass to the side of it. I was waiting for Faolan to see us, wave to us, Let us know he was okay. He never showed.
We are about to embark across a small moat between swamp levels. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t want to be here with these people. I don’t want to be in this swamp. This isn’t worth my life knowing that Faolan could be dead. I needed to be free of this swamp and my worry. I began heading back towards the command post. Putting my fate in their hands just to be able to hold Faolan again was worth more than what I am going through now. I scream to the others, “They can do whatever they want, they can kill me if they want! Life’s not worth living without Faolan!” Vazra agreed slightly and veered off as well. Mainly to keep me protected, but he could not keep up with my rage.
I raged, I raged for hours. Night continued to fall quickly. I was close enough to the trails that I could see people. They were not my allies. I ran into the woods. I had no source of light and my rage was consuming my emotions. I became lost. I waited in the woods, calming myself against the trees. Breathing into them so no one would hear me. I kept the Command post in sights, It’s black silhouette
against the dark night sky. It became quiet. The noises are all of a nature continuing on as if nothing had happened at all. The quiet continued. I was still worried about Faolan. With the Quiet remaining, I headed back towards to forward command post. At this point, I just wanted to find him. I walked closer to it, and closer, I could see a glint of light coming from inside. Then I heard voices trailing through the night. The voices were familiar. Familiar indeed. I started walking faster, breaking into a run. I settled my feet as I got to the opening, not to startle my comrades. As I got to the opening, Vazra, rambling about fish and imminent doom, greeted me at the door, bringing me to Faolan’s body. It was lying in the infirmary. He was found at the brink of death. He was breathing, but movement was absent. I wrapped my arms around him and wailed, begging him to come back to me. I begged to Gaia for his health to return. My wail turned to weeping as his fingers slowly came up and wrapped around mine. We laid like that until Daybreak. The healer tended to his ailments. We rested. Vazra disappeared into the woods to find materials to assemble a trevoy. We plan to bring Faolan back to the spire to heal in the hot springs. I am thrilled to be alive, but I am more thrilled to have Faolan alive.
[[For the conclusion to this story, follow this link to “Saving Faolan“]]