Chapter 4

the following day, Arghras and Tahlor made steady progress. But due to their lack of proper snow faring equipment, they were slowed considerably when it began snowing at moderate speeds. However, the forest was beginning to thin out, and Arghras, with his map, and the suns direction, was beginning to more properly direct there path.

"Hey, did you hear something?" Tahlor asked.

"Not only did I, I still do." Arghras said. They slowed the horse to a stop, and went over the next hill on foot, to examine what they were hearing. As they came over the hill, a large army was sighted, likely strong enough to siege a castle. "Look at that..." Tahlor said quietly. The army was a distance away, so them being spotted wasn't likely.

Arghras examined the banner. "that is the army of King yaroglek. Based on their direction, I'd say they are going to Slezkh castle, while trying to avoid the forests thicker areas." Arghras explained. "I say we let them pass without trying to go through them."

"No arguments from me." Tahlor replied. They sat in silence, watching the horses gallop past. Suddenly, a voice spoke from behind them.

"And who might you be, sirs?" Tahlor and Arghhras turned. Two vaegir scouts on horseback, dressed in likely very sturdy chain mail, armed with crossbows. They had said crossbows aimed at Tahlor and Arghras. "Well! Speak up!" the second scout said.

Tahlor was silent. Arghras spoke. "We are but travelers, heading northwest to escape the cold. We stopped here to let your army pass undisturbed." He said.

"You dress in Nordic garb, how are we supposed to know you are not nordic spies?" The first scout said.

"We were in nordic lands a few weeks ago, and replaced our damaged gear with some of their fine wears." Tahlor replied, coming up with an excuse before Arghras. The second scouts eyes shifted to Arghras' hand. "your hand, fellow. What happened to it?"

"We were attacked by raiders last night, sir. One of them drove a javelin through my hand." Arghras replied.

"I don't believe you! I say we shoot em through!" The second scout tensed. The first scout grabbed the crossbow, and pulled it up.

"Don't forget who your superior is. You two are free to go about your business, but if we see you again, we will bring you in. now stay put, and wait for the army to pass." He said. The second scout seemed angered, but spoke no further.

"Thank you, sir." Arghras said, giving a small bow of his head. The scouts trotted off. Tahlor sighed, ad turned to watch the army beginning to grow thin as it was nearly done passing. "Well, that went well." He said.

"Indeed. Come on. We should get back to our horse." They did indeed. By the time they returned to the hill, the army was passed. And thus, they proceeded.

by the time night fell, they had passed through the snow, and were now back on open grasslands. They had a makeshift camp thrown together, and sat across the campfire from each other. Arghras was looking at the hole in his hand. 'how is it?" Tahlor asked.

"Hurts badly, but at least the bleeding has stopped for the most part." Arghras replied.

"How much further to Alburq Castle?" Tahlor asked.

"Another days travel." Arghras replied. They sat in silence for a bit. "Say, Aghras? Where do you come from? I mean, I know by your accent you aren't from Calradia." Tahlor said.

Arghras was in silence for several moments. "I come from a relatively poor family in the south. I joined the militia of my home villaige when I was 15. I Fought in a war against a nation that was highly aggressive towards us. A war broke out that lasted for mere months before ending. Not in our favor. I was at that last battle for Maryalar Castle." He paused.

"we eventually surrendered. Queen Sentraya, and all of her subjects were locked away in various dungeons around the kingdom. I managed to slip away... I came to calradia in the hopes that i might find a more peaceful land... but I found this." He sighed. "A war torn mess..."

"I'm sorry to hear that." Tahlor said.

"...its getting late. I'm going to sleep." Arghras replied. He lay his head down on a pillow, and was asleep within minutes.