Chapter 27

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The fog lifted by midmorning but a light drizzle began to fall around noon. The party went through their established routine of eating a sparse meal after which Arhyvhynne reinforced Ghemella's healing spell. Though the spells were not overly taxing, they were gradually having an effect on the High Witch due to the necessity of her repeating them on a regular basis.

Though the day wore on without any indication of the vhultards or SoulSlayers, Ghemella insisted that she could feel them being tracked. They rode hard through the nagging drizzle that had slowed their pace for most of their journey, trying to put some distance between them and their pursuer. The showers finally ended by the time they paused for their evening meal. Then, later, just before dusk, a break in the clouds revealed a breathtaking sunset. Bright blue skies divided the heavens with the departing grey clouds which became tinged with pinks and purples.

When it became too dark to travel, Ghemella had them settle next to a copse of trees for the night. Arhyvhynne and Uriel again split the watch with Uriel taking the first shift this time. It was as warm as the previous evening but not as humid. Uriel passed his time by taking short walks, star gazing and worrying (but mostly worrying), causing his mood to darken as did the night. He kept looking to the south at the Thaums, thinking that it was there that he made his appearance in Khaballe. So much had happened, most of it too incredible to be really occurring. There were the different races and animals, the differences in nature itself and the presence of magic, permeating every aspect of life. He wondered at it, questioning if any of it was an aspect of reality at all. But he soon grew weary with the weight of his thoughts and settled down next to a tree. He closed his eyes, promising himself it would only be for a minute.

Uriel heard Ullyna and the horses rustling and came suddenly awake, startled. He wasn't sure how long he had dozed off and quickly looked around to insure that everything was all right. But he had less than a second before he saw the red eyes that focussed on him. Directly in front of him, perched upon a low hanging branch, was a vhultard.

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