The Long Retreat No. 67

Following the road with some corner of his mind, Falthejn spent most of his attention on his foresight. The effort of using his magic without his usual totems, runes, or tools of any sort, and walking besides, strained him nearly to breaking, but he had a problem solve, and one way or another, he needed only to last a day and a half. By then, they would be free and clear, and he could rest, or they would be dead, and he would not need to worry anymore.

The road bored straight on through the trees. This part of the journey presented few obstacles. Leafier trees mixed with the pines, and they’d left the hills behind in exchange for a gentle slope down toward the steppe in the center of the content. The ontr would find the walk even easier, and none of the futures Falthejn could see ended well. They were being hunted, run to exhaustion, and if Falthejn was honest with himself, he could see that he was the reason. Magic left traces, and if the ontligr shamans could trace him, he endangered the others by his very presence.

A thought struck him. Could he leave? He investigated. Certainly, he couldn’t tell the others. A vision flashed before him, Alfhilde shaking her head and vehemently telling him, “We’ll take our chances with you, thank you very much.”

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