Castle Roland

Tears of the Dragon Boy

by Ricky


Chapter 11

Published: 8 Apr 14

Bimeny's Capture

Bimeny came down from the mountain a little early, wanting to see Merabeth again and anxious to get back to a life he knew. A life he could enjoy.

He took a small detour, flying low over the farm where the little red haired girl and her brother lived. As he circled the farm, he could see the little girl run in and lead her mother out by the hand, pointing towards him in the sky. He watched as her mother's mouth fell open and as the little girl and her brother both stood there in front of their mother with their hands on their hips staring at her.

Bimeny took another pass, lower this time.

"Thanks again for your help!" he yelled as he flew past them and off towards town.

Bimeny knew when he left the last time that they would go in and tell their unbelieving mother. Who would believe that a dragon boy would just swoop in, ask directions and then fly right out again?

A smirk grew on Bimeny's face as he flew away. He liked shocking people. In fact, it had almost become a favorite pastime. He was beginning to think it was his duty, seeing that his blessing had no other benefit to the community, then it must be for amusement.

"There's the Garrison. Good, no activity. In fact, a little too quiet. Not a soul in sight. Eh, you worry too much." He turned towards town and towards Merabeth's sister's place, since he had burned hers to the ground a few days before.

"All quiet here too. In fact, not a person is outside. Not anywhere. This feels way wrong. Too bad it's daytime, I can't see the heat signatures in the day."

Bimenyset down in the courtyard and walked up to the door. It opened before he knocked. She was waiting for him.

"Hi Bimeny," Merabeth said, smiling. "Glad to see you again, come on in, I've got some tea brewing."

"Watch for a trap," Bimeny thought. His senses were on high alert. He entered cautiously. "This feels bad." He sat facing the door. It was just too quiet.

Merabeth served Bimeny his tea and poured herself a cup and sat down across from him. She looked at him and said, "Well, I've had a great deal of time to sort all this out and to determine what has to be done to make this right. I have spoken with Morgreth as well, and we have come to an agreement so we can start putting this behind us." At the mention of the name "Morgreth," Bimeny's eyes narrowed, she had his full attention.

"We had a long talk. Morgreth explained the Storm's abnormality and how it's really a bit of a problem in this case. Had you come out with a wheat charm or something, it wouldn't be a big deal and you could blend right in. But a dragon blessing has multiple problems attached to it.

"First, that it may lead others to choose not to commit to the storm at all. Second, the presence of a Dragon Boy may lead others to believe that dragons may be coming, and that in itself breeds panic. And of course, there is your ability to breathe fire. That makes you a highly dangerous person in itself. Surely you can see that it's impossible to have any one citizen with such powers to roam around completely free. How can a society have a citizen that is more powerful than the elders who rule it?" Merabeth paused, smiling as she took a long draw from her cup.

"So what kind of an agreement could you come to that could make this right?" Bimeny asked. "It sounds to me like you agree with everything she says. This is why I had to kill Gandoo, he was going to kill me. I saw them digging the graves for me and... and for my Mom. He was going to kill her just to keep her quiet. And he did kill her," Bimeny said with dawning recognition that his normal life would not be forthcoming.

"Well, your mother is already gone, and so is Gandoo, so there is nothing to be done for either of them. You are this way because a great crime was committed against you. Raleck will be arrested for his part." She finished with an unrealistic tone to her voice, as if to say, "This should fix things for you."

"And!" She exclaimed, "Although you have to be taken into custody, you will not be harmed. I have Morgreth's word on it. She has a place for you as permanent custody in her town. Hey, you'll have it easy. No work and all your needs met. You will have a place to live, food, and your family can be near you, you just can't be seen or mix with the community," Merabeth said, as if it was the deal of a lifetime.

"And listen to this." She leaned in as if this would cap the deal. "Mantu and Halgreth can both work for the Garrison at Hammersted under Morgreth. Mantu can work with the Garrison horses and teach bowmanship. Halgreth can work in the Morgreth Manor. What could be better? Everybody wins!"

Bimeny just looked stunned. "That's your answer? I just hand myself over to Morgreth, and she forgets that I killed Gandoo and most of the Garrison in Haven Plat. Then she locks me away and gives my brother a job? What kind of deal is that for me? Thanks, but I'm not about to turn myself in to her or anyone else," Bimeny said as he jumped up to leave.

"Sit down," Merabeth said to Bimeny, her demeanor changing quickly. "Of course you will agree to it. I have already talked to Morgreth and she will be here in three days to pick you up. You have no choice," Merabeth said as if he had no choice. Then it hit him.

"How does she know about Mantu and his bowmanship? They already have him!"

He looked around quickly as he spoke. "When she gets here and finds a smoldering pile of dung where you once stood, I think she may understand that I've changed your mind for you." He continued speaking as he walked around the kitchen and looked out the window. "I can't believe that you think this is a fair fix for what you guys have done to me. I mean, you've killed my mother. I'm just supposed to overlook that? You know, Merabeth, I think you just made the move from crop forecasting to conspirator. As my mother used to say to me, if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem. Thanks, but I'll be leaving now," Bimeny said.

"No, I don't think you will," Merabeth said as she stood up and screamed, "Guards!"

Two men broke into the room. One was holding a net and one was holding Mantu with a knife to his throat. Bimeny paused just long enough at the sight of Mantu that the other guard landed the net over Bimeny and pounced on him. Bimeny let loose a blast and roasted the guard, who screamed and fell to the ground still burning. The net burned away as Bimeny stood up and turned to Merabeth. "Move and you're toast!"

Bimeny said, "No, you move and Mantu dies." Bimeny turned to look at the guard. "Touch him and I will burn you slow," Bimeny said in a low growl, the flames becoming quite apparent in his eyes as he spoke.

He turned back to Merabeth, "I think you just became part of the problem. Tell him to turn Mantu loose, now," and he spit a ball of fire on the floor between her and the door. She looked at the guard, "If he moves an inch, cut his throat."

Bimeny looked at the guard, "Drop the knife and leave, you live. Anything else and I promise you, I'll take my time with you." The guard looked at Merabeth and then back to Bimeny. He was obviously experiencing momentary indecision.

Bimeny turned his head towards Merabeth and belched a fireball that knocked her to the floor in screams. Bimeny looked back calmly at the guard and said, "Need more help making your decision?" He took a step towards them. The guard's eyes grew the size of plates. He dropped the knife as he ran as fast as he could out the door.

Coughing from the smoke, Mantu fell to his knees. Bimeny ran to him and helped him out the door. As they hit the door, archers were lined with two ranks ready to loose their arrows. Bimeny and Mantu were trapped. Bimeny knew his armor would protect him from harm for the most part, but Mantu was too big to hide behind Bimeny and he had no protection. They were had, and Bimeny knew it.

He dropped Mantu's arm and Mantu went down on one knee coughing from the smoke.

"Tie his hands, quick. Cover his mouth." one of the guards yelled. He continued to bark his orders. "You three, man the buckets. Get that fire out!" The first row of archers remained knocked up with their arrows at the ready until the commander said, "The prisoners are secure." Then they broke ranks to fight the fire.

"They had this well thought out. They sacrificed Merabeth just to get me," Bimeny thought from behind his leather mask.

The guards took Bimeny and Mantu by the arm and led them to a wagon that transported them to the Garrison. Bimeny knew the Garrison. He had burned down one of their storehouses and stole food from them just a few days earlier.

They placed him and Mantu in separate cells in the stone jail. They weren't nice about it either. Pushing Bimeny to the floor, one of the younger guards took a swift kick at Bimeny. "Crack!" The guard was hopping, trying not to fall, while holding his foot and jumping in excruciating pain.

"There's more than one way to hurt him," one of the older guards said, as he walked over and planted a boot to the side of Mantu's face. Bimeny pulled at his bindings. He had never felt so helpless. Every punch, every kick, every insult was recorded in Bimeny's mind as he studied his enemy's face. His breathing became deep and deliberate. He felt his anger rise and stay there. He was going to enjoy killing them. He made himself a promise to never forget these men and to make them die slowly. Bimeny smiled behind his leather mask. It was an odd sort of feeling. He knew he was not going to die at their hands. He had to live, he had never broken a promise. This one, he intended to live for.

After a while, Mantu stopped moving when they kicked him. Bimeny couldn't tell if he was alive or dead. He just didn't know. He just sat and watched helplessly. The guards finally left him and locked his cell. When they left and closed the door, Bimeny was left in complete darkness. They thought to increase their terror. But Bimeny was in his element. He could see Mantu's heat signature. He was still alive.

Bimeny struggled to remove the bindings, but to no avail. They were tied too tight. He tried to rub the mask off of his face but couldn't. They had him and that's all there was to it. He would have to wait until they made a mistake.

Why they didn't just kill him up front, he just didn't know. They must want something, and they figured that they could get him to do it for them if they held Mantu hostage. Well, it won't work if they kill him.

There was nothing left to do but sit and wait. For what, he had no clues, but he could do nothing else. Several hours went by with nothing. No one came. He could hear no noise and Mantu no longer moved. The only positive thing was that he could see Mantu's heat signature plainly, so Bimeny was sure his brother was not dead.

The hours crept by. Bimeny would doze off lightly, only to spring awake again after only a few minutes. He was scared. He saw no way out of this one. Even if he got out, what about Mantu? He was way too heavy to fly away with, and they weren't likely to give him a horse. No, this one could be it. If he could just get a hand loose. This leather mask was really hard to breathe in, too.

It seemed like days had gone by. No one came, no one brought food or water. No light, just darkness. It felt like seasons as the minutes crept by. No one even came to interrogate them. Surely he was due a drink of water or food.

Mantu stirred, he moaned, then he started to roll over. He extended his arm and felt the bars. He grabbed hold of them with both hands and pulled himself up to a sitting position.

"Ohhhhhhhh," Mantu groaned as he pulled himself into a sitting position. "Oh, oo, ouch" he mumbled as he settled into a sitting position, leaning up against the bars.

"Bimeny?" he said in a hoarse voice.

"I'm here." Bimeny said in a muffled voice behind the mask.

"How long?" Mantu asked weakly.

"I don't know. It feels like a couple of days, but I don't know. I haven't seen anyone since they brought us in here and they did that to you. I just don't know."

"GUARDS!" Mantu yelled in a hoarse voice. "Guards!" he managed a little louder, with a little clearer voice. He cleared his throat and tried it again, "GUARDS!"

They heard someone coming. They could hear a lock and some metal, like bars across the door, being unlocked and removed from their places securing the door. There was light, brilliant light pouring in through the crack in the door. A voice came through it.

"I am coming in. Tell your brother that if he starts anything, or injures me, he will rot in there. Even he can't live without food or water for long. The walls are stone and the bars are steel. He can't escape. And even if he got out, there are archers waiting outside, so he'd not get far. Do you understand?" the guard asked.

"Yes, we understand." Mantu said. "Please, may we have some water and food?" Mantu asked the guard.

The door opened and a guard stepped in. He quickly peeked around the corner at Bimeny to see if his mouth was still covered. When he saw that it was, he came in and motioned to another guard to follow. They went to Mantu's cell and opened it up. One guard went in and helped him into a chair.

The older guard spoke, "My name is Cormac. Do exactly as I say and you should live through the day, but I would dearly love for you to give me a reason to end this early."

He was a stout man, burly and middle aged. By the scars he bore, it was clear that he was no stranger to danger and difficult situations. Bimeny could see by the look on his face that he was not kidding. He had both fear and anger in his eyes.

He drew up another chair and set it directly behind Mantu's. He sat, keeping Mantu between him and Bimeny. Pulling his knife from its scabbard, he held its point to the back of Mantu's neck, just below the hairline. The guard placed the palm of his other hand on the hilt. Its meaning was plain. Any inappropriate moves would result in Mantu's instant death.

The other guard went and stood in front of Bimeny's cell and looked through the bars at Bimeny. Their eyes met, there was understanding between them. "Do I have your word?" the guard asked as he glanced around at Mantu and back. Bimeny nodded yes.

The guard motioned towards the door and another guard rushed in, unlocked the door, then stepped inside, trying his best not to be a target for Bimeny. It was more than apparent that he was scared to death. Bimeny moved to his feet allowing the guard to step behind him and cut his bindings.

"Oh damn, that feels better," he mumbled behind his leather mask as he rubbed the marks on his wrist where he had been tied for so long. The guard behind him placed his hand on his shoulder, gently pulling Bimeny back into the chair. Bimeny sat.

The larger, older guard was obviously in charge, and leaned, looking Bimeny in the eyes.

"I am going to remove your mask. If I see even a puff of smoke, your brother is dead and so are you, no questions asked. There is a knife to your neck, just like your brother's." Bimeny nodded to indicate that he understood. The guard reached behind his neck and untied the mask and removed it.

Bimeny stretched his jaw muscles. They ached so badly from days of pulling against the restraints.

The older guard stepped outside the cell and nodded to two more guards. They rushed in, bringing in two bowls of stew and two pitchers of water, setting one each on the small table in each cell. The two guards who brought the food in exited as if Bimeny had already set them on fire. They almost tripped over each other on the way out.

Bimeny took a hand and wiped his mouth. He looked at the guard and said, "Thank you." He glanced around at the guard over his shoulder. He felt the knife move closer to his neck and felt the point touch his skin.

"You don't need to do that, I've given my word," Bimeny said.

"Thanks," said the older guard, "but just the same, I'll feel safer this way. There are a few of my friends who I'll never lift a glass with again," he said.

"I never gave them my word," Bimeny said. "But I understand. I shall never know my mother's kiss again," he said quietly, trying not to cry. "Thank you for the food," Bimeny said as he reached for the bowl and the glass. Mantu was already busy eating and drinking. None of the guards took their eyes off of Bimeny. He was the real danger and they knew just how dangerous he could be.

"What's next?" Bimeny asked with a mouth full of food.

"You will be put in a prison wagon and transported to Morgreth's Garrison. From there it is up to her."

Bimeny just spit the words out without a pause. "Why am I still alive?" he asked.

"Morgreth's orders. And I don't know why she hasn't let us kill you yet. I have a legion of men that would love to do it for her," he said.

They finished their bread, stew and water. "Thank you," Mantu said as they took his bowl away. The guard at his neck was relieved by another who moved in, and with precision movements, took the place of the first guard. This was done to keep the guards fresh and alert. Next, the guard for Bimeny was replaced with the same precision.

When Bimeny had finished, the older guard fixed the mask back in place. He looked at Bimeny and said, "I'll leave your hands free for now, but even reach for the mask and your brother is a goner. Got it?"

A muffled "yes," from behind the leather mask and a nod. He was still feeling his wrists where they had been bound.

"Once you are in the cart, I will have to bind you again, so don't get too used to it," he said and he motioned to two more guards who came in and took Mantu and escorted him out to the wagon. Once they had him tied in the cart securely, they came and got Bimeny and did the same.

It was very bright outside after being in the dark for so long. They still had no idea how long they had been there in the dark, but they supposed it had to be a couple of days, because they said when they captured them that Morgreth would be there in a couple of days to get them, and since the cart was there, they assumed Morgreth was also. But where was she?

Bimeny asked the guard from behind his mask, "Where is Morgreth? Is she here?"

"Where she is and when she will see you, if ever, is up to her. You have no rights here. And if I were you, I would keep my mouth shut. You're apt to live longer," the guard said, now reverting to his nastier self.

It was obvious that the guard knew his job and knew how to do it well. But Bimeny was still a young kid of fourteen. He was easy to like and easier to pity. He had no choice in who he had become. He was just trying to survive it, and the guard knew it. Bimeny had no problem asking questions that other men would be afraid to ask, for fear it may hasten the inevitable. The guard found a certain admiration for his courage.

The cart was brought around and Bimeny was placed in it with Mantu, bound to the bars but facing each other. They sat in the sun for some time, both wishing they would just get on with it.

Finally the commander gave the command, and the detachment split into two, with the cart between them, and started moving sunpath along the baseline of the mountains. They traveled all day long, pausing only slightly for lunch and nature breaks. With each stop, the ritual of making Mantu a hostage to protect them from what they knew was a very real danger in Bimeny. Each time the mask was replaced before they would release their hold on Mantu.

They finally stopped for the day. Travel was slow and tedious. Mantu and Bimeny managed to get some good rest. Even though they were tied up, they knew as long as they were moving, they were alive and would stay that way. They also wanted to be rested when the guards were exhausted, so that they could take any advantage that they might find that evening.

The camp was asleep after being fed what Bimeny thought was the worst food he had ever eaten. "And to think, at one time I wanted to be a commander. No wonder they are so mean. If I had to eat this stuff every day, then I wouldn't be very pleasant either," he thought to himself.

The camp was silent now and everyone was asleep except the sentries, and they had been up all day. They were showing the strain of staying awake for much too long. One looked as if he was asleep while he was standing up. He had a gentle rocking motion in his stance and his eyes were closed. An owl silently fluttered by and the guard snapped awake. "Talk about a light sleeper!" Bimeny thought to himself. "Owls make almost no noise at all when their wings flap."

Mantu's ears suddenly perked up. He put his nose up to the air and sniffed. He started cautiously but frantically looking around. "What is it?" Bimeny whispered from under the mask.

"A smell," he said. "It can't be. I hope they don't have her," Mantu said.

"Who?" Bimeny whispered.

"Halgreth," he said. Mantu closed his eyes and reached out to try and sense a familiar horse. All he sensed were the horses of the guard and the ones pulling their prison cart.

"Wait! Stargazer!" Mantu got a big smile on his face. "He says they are just beyond the firelight. They have a plan, but we will need a diversion. She is talking to Stargazer and he is talking to me. She says she can sneak in and cut our bindings, but she is unsure what to do next to get us out of here." Mantu closed his eyes again. "Tell her yes, to come when the diversion starts. Okay. Just shake your head, ‘Yes’." Mantu said to Stargazer. "If she tries to come before the diversion starts, then stop her and shake your head NO. And Stargazer, I need for you to remember what Bimeny and I did in the barn with the two work horses."

"Okay Bimeny, here is what we do. I can get a foot against you. I think it will work like me putting my hand on your shoulder. I want you to talk to the guard horses like you are already free. Scare them, make them think that you are going to make good on your promise to eat them," Mantu said, as he stretched his foot over to touch Bimeny's leg. Mantu closed his eyes.

Bimeny began, "Okay you bunch of nags. You thought they had me, you were all so confident. Well, let's see which one of you will be first. I can see perfectly in the dark. How about that fancy paint over there next to the roan? That's right, sweetheart, you. You look simply delicious. Maybe you'll be first. Now the big question, do I want to kill you all first and then dine, or should I start eating you before I roast you. Warm blood coursing through your veins could be a tasty drink for me. Maybe both! I am in no hurry, you are all tied up now. I could eat you all one at a time. I told you what I would do to anyone who helped the Guard. Well, I always keep my word."

The horses were visibly nervous, looking from left to right trying to see behind them. One thought Bimeny bumped into him and he kicked, thinking he would get Bimeny, but what he did was kick another horse, who then thought that Bimeny was attacking. They both sounded the alarm among the horses, and mayhem broke out. There was braying and kicking and whinnying and pulling and pushing. The taut line broke and the horses scattered. The guard who was standing there sleeping suddenly opened his eyes and saw Halgreth. He started to grab his bow when he took an arrow in the chest. Another guard started to sound the alarm, when he, too, took an arrow in the chest. The guards poured out of the tents and scrambled all over the place, giving chase to their horses.

Halgreth popped her head up next to the cage. She reached in and cut Bimeny's bonds first, then moved around to cut Mantu's. As she freed them from their bonds, Bimeny removed the mask. "Who's shooting the guards?" Bimeny asked. Halgreth smiled and said, "Reanna. She insisted on coming too, when she heard that they arrested Mantu. She said they only wanted us to get to you, and she wasn't going to let that happen. Looks like you found a tough woman," Halgreth said, smiling. Bimeny returned the smile and immediately started looking around for her. After Halgreth cut Mantu's bonds, he told her to wait in the trees and they would join her as soon as they could. Halgreth made her way back to the tree line and found cover. She whistled and got Reanna's attention and she understood. Knocking up another arrow and dispatching another advancing guard, she retreated to the trees.

Mantu and Bimeny were now free of their bonds, but not their cage. There were guards everywhere. The commander yelled, "Two men to the cage, watch the prisoners." The two guards assigned to the prison wagon returned to the wagon and realized that the prisoners were free of their bonds, and Bimeny was free of his mask.

They started to move away, and Bimeny said, "Stop! Move another inch and you're fried meat. You, the fat one, bring that key and open this up." The fat guard turned and started to run. Bimeny belched a fireball on him and he went down. Just as quickly, Bimeny said to the remaining guard, "Bring the key or end up like him. Do it now!" The guard moved to the rear of the wagon immediately and fumbled with the keys. He found the right one and unlocked the cage. Bimeny kicked the cage open and the guard stepped back, wide eyed. Mantu was out now. Bimeny looked at the guard, "Get in!" The guard climbed inside and Bimeny locked the cage.

"Yell and I'll set you on fire inside the cage. You'll burn slow." The guy shook his head no and started to cry.

Mantu was already summoning horses, and he and Bimeny quickly moved to the tree line to meet up with Halgreth. The two horses met up with them, but when they realized that one of the riders was the dragon boy, they bolted. "Mantu, you ride and I'll fly. We don't have time to reason with them. I'm more effective from the air anyways." As he was taking flight, he looked at Mantu and said, "Go up the mountain. I'm going to get the bow back and round up some supplies after I stir the hornet’s nest a bit more." He smiled and took off. He flew around the guard, setting fires as he went.

The guard and their horses were completely surrounded by flames. The smoke was thick. Bimeny went back to the commander's tent and retrieved his bow, quiver and pack. He relieved the commander of his fine bottle of brandy as well. Just as he was getting ready to leave, the commander and his two guards showed up. It was the two guards that had kicked Mantu unconscious that day in Raven Plat. Bimeny just smiled and said, "Hello boys, I've been waiting for you." Without any warning, Bimeny blew flames low at their feet. Their pant legs burst into flames as Bimeny told them, "I promised you that I would burn you slow and I always keep my word." They managed to put their legs out, but they were too burned to run. Bimeny started with their hands and then relit their feet. The screaming was intense, and prolonged. Bimeny told them, "Scream some more. I think I can keep you alive like this for days!" Bimeny then looked at the commander and got close to his face. "Bye," he said and burped a very small ball of flames on the commander's face. The flames caused him to scream and fall to the ground as he lay there and twitched. The other two looked on, as Bimeny said, "Bye,"and wretched fire all over the tent, and left them to die slowly as the fire consumed its prey. He grabbed the bow and his pack and stepped out of the tent. With a quick glance back, he took flight.

Bimeny landed briefly on the cage and looked at the guard he had left there. "You will be the only one who lives. You're in a clearing, you won't burn. When you see Morgreth, tell her I am coming for her, and tell her I am coming soon. Tell her that anyone that stands between her and me is already dead. Tell her that she is going to roast slowly. I promise."

As Bimeny started to leave, the guard said, "Wait!" Bimeny stopped and turned his head to look at the soldier. "My name is Harragan. Thank you for sparing my life. I won't forget and I will deliver your message as you instructed."

Bimeny looked at him and said, "If I were you, I would leave as soon as you can after delivering the message," and then he leaned forward and took flight.

Bimeny set fire to the forest around the men and the horses, forcing them to the center of the circle as the flames closed in on them. When they had nowhere to go, Bimeny closed in on them. He landed in front of a large group of horses, "You were warned about helping the guard," and he blew fire all over them. He looked up. The remaining guard was in a state of panic. Fire was all around them and now burning, screaming horses were running in every direction. Bimeny blasted the remaining guard and horses in a wholesale fashion. When all was said and done, he had ransacked the supply wagon and ferried supplies in many trips to a hiding place in the woods. Just as he released Harragan the guard, something caught Bimeny's attention. He smelled something.

It smelled delicious! Bimeny could not remember ever smelling anything so compelling in all his life. What was it? He had to know. He followed the scent. He followed it directly to the source. A horse lay there near death. Without thinking, he dove on it, biting its throat and holding it until it stopped moving, then he gorged himself on the flesh of the horse, drinking its blood. He felt something come alive in him. And he liked it. He ate until he could consume no more. He stood up and looked down at the corpse of the horse laying before him. He could not believe the carnage he left behind. He backed up and kept backing up until he was well away from it. He turned and looked at Harragan. He was trembling and cowering by a tree, afraid to move. Bimeny took flight. He could barely remember diving on the horse, and he remembered even less afterward. All he could see now was the carnage, the aftermath of his attack.

‘What happened to me? Why did I do that? Why did the smell of the horse's blood drive me crazy like that?’ All these questions ran through his head. He was scared, really scared. ‘What if that happened to me around Mantu or Halgreth? Or around Reanna! Who would be safe from an attack like that?’ Bimeny was afraid to go back to his friends and his brother, but he knew he had to. He owed them that, but what then?

He turned moonpath and took flight, headed up into the mountain with an armload of supplies. As he grew closer, he wondered what would come next. For now, he could only wait and see. This unexpected response to the smell of horse's blood could change everything.

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