If anything, the rumors going through the troops were wilder when Garkhen returned than when he left. It was… telling that he received only a few questions, despite his rather conspicuous departure and return. What few questions he received were from his fellows in Telarnen’s Company, and these he easily deflected. It seemed even they were not fully comfortable with him, still. Or perhaps they simply knew that it was sometimes better not to have their questions answered.
The undead started moving earlier that evening, just as the sun was reaching the horizon. Whether it was a new tactic, trying to catch the defenders off-guard, or something more arcane still, no one could say, but they moved so slowly the soldiers had no difficulty in preparing themselves to repel the assault once again.
Which was not to say that night’s battle was easy. There seemed to be more of the hooded figures, and this night, their barrage of spells was particularly fierce. For what seemed like hours, Garkhen held his wards over his section of the wall, fire, lightning, and more exotic elements blasting against them. When finally the magical assault dwindled and then ended entirely, the half-dragon collapsed to his knees, nearly blacking out from exhaustion.
He was only half-aware of the sounds of battle around him, his eyes closed as he tried to focus through the waves of fatigue that assailed him. Then he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a voice. It took him a couple moments to realize it was calling his name. Wearily, he opened his eyes and looked up.
Sergeant Gerim was looking down at him with concern. “Can you stand, Private?”
Shakily, Garkhen tried to lift himself off his knees, but no sooner had he started to rise than he crashed back down again. Mutely, he shook his head.
He could hear the Sergeant walking away, but he couldn’t sort his shouting out from the din of battle. He simply stayed as he was, barely clinging to consciousness for some reason he was too tired to identify. Then he felt many hands grasping him and lifting him. He was being taken… somewhere. But he was pretty sure they were friends, so it was all right.
The last thing he remembered before he lost consciousness was the odd feeling of being carried down stairs.
Garkhen awoke to muted sunlight through windows and a voice that seemed familiar. Slowly, he sorted through his memories, trying to figure out where he was, feeling the bone-deep weariness that even now seemed to press him down into… the bed. Yes, he was laying on a bed.
He opened his eyes. Recognition tickled at the back of his brain. This was… yes, this was where they had most recently been treating the wounded. But why was he sleeping here? Shouldn’t he be up and working now?
He got partway through sitting up before he realized why he wasn’t. Not only was he no longer under Lt. Ailill’s command… he also hardly had the energy to sit. So he collapsed back into the bed.
That got the Lieutenant’s attention. Garkhen heard footsteps coming toward him, then saw the elf’s familiar face.
“Private,” he began, then paused. After a moment, he continued, “I am glad you are putting your talents to better use. But I would prefer that you not return here due to doing so.”
The hint of a grin played across Garkhen’s lips. “Yes, sir.”
Ailill hesitated a moment longer, then said, “Now rest. You spent far too much energy last night.”
Garkhen’s exhausted body and mind were glad to obey that order.
Garkhen has a distinct tendency to overexert himself. He gets better later… but really, he just builds more spellcasting skill and stamina.