That was not their last Madness-Touched. Over the next week they were attacked twice more, though these did not seem as supernaturally hardy as the first. After the third, Tirel spat in disgust.
“What is going on?” He asked of the sky. “Those creatures have hardly been seen this far south, and now three in a week…”
Garkhen shrugged slightly. “I do not know…” Something seemed to nag at him for a moment… something important he had found…
He frowned and shook his head. He glanced over and noticed the Wyre doing so, as well.
“What were we talking about?” Tirel asked, confused.
“Ah…” It took Garkhen a moment to remember. “The Madness-Touched. Why we have fought so many.”
“Maybe with all the mess down here, the Rangers have had more trouble keeping them bottled up?” Tirel offered.
“Perhaps.” The Warder seemed unconvinced. “But I do not think it is anything we can assist with now.”
Over the next several weeks, the reports of Infernals and undead grew fewer, until they finally ran out entirely. After a few days of wandering about, Tirel sighed.
“Well, my friend… I think it’s time I went back to the Pack. After everything that’s gone on, we’ll probably be meeting and talking for a while. And they’ll want to hear about all these Madness-Touched.”
Garkhen nodded. They had been attacked almost a dozen more times, and a couple had been fairly close calls. The attacks had been dying off over the last week, however.
“It has been good to travel with you, Tirel,” Garkhen said. “I wish you, and the Pack, well.”
Tirel smiled and set a hand on the half-dragon’s shoulder. “And I you, Garkhen,” he murmured. More loudly he asked, “So what are you going to do?”
Garkhen stared off into the distance for a time. “I am not certain quite yet…” he admitted. “I feel… there is something I must do, but I know not what. I suppose I shall be searching for this thing.”
The Wyre nodded slightly. “Well… maybe your god has something for you to do, like Naishia uses the Pack.” He sighed again. “But I should quit dragging this out. Farewell, Garkhen, Warder of Bahamut.”
“Farewell, Tirel, Wyre of the Ferdunan Pack.”
That night, the first Garkhen had been alone for in a long time, he dreamed. Not as he was accustomed to dreaming, but vividly, distinctly. He saw himself walking along a path, further into the mountains. The way was hard and steep, but he persevered. At the end of it, hidden in a canyon, was a cave. He entered, and found something shining, glowing white in the darkness. He reached out and grasped it… and awoke.
The dream was still with him, as clear as waking memory… if not clearer. Leaving his tent, he realized he recognized a nearby path. With renewed energy Garkhen packed up his gear and set out, certain he had the direction he should go now.
Hmmm, I’m not foreshadowing anything. Nope, definitely no vague hints here. Also, this is the end of chapter 14! That means only two more chapters until Garkhen meets up with his future friends…