Based on Blood of Ten Chiefs, having read the comic should be enough to understand this. I've no idea if Zarhan's eyes are green, actually.
Lost in Time
The hunting party halted suddenly at the sound of breaking wood.
"Sounds like the humans caught something in that bear trap of theirs." Treestump observed.
"Shall we go see what it is?" One-Eye asked, grinning.
"Why not? And take it, while we're at it!" Young Pike answered cheerfully. Strongbow just nodded, and Longbranch smiled to himself as they left the path, walking quietly through the shadows.
**I can't smell any humans here right now,** Strongbow sent as they approached the trap and saw the broken layer of twigs and leaves clumsily arranged to conceal the hole in the earth.
**I can't smell any bear or stag either.** One-Eye commented.
There was silence for a moment. Then Longbranch, bent over his wolf-friend, told them:
**Widenose smells elf. A stranger.**
Weapons at the ready, the five elves and five wolves approached the broken trap.
There were sharpened spikes of wood at the bottom of the trap. And lying between them was an elf, impossibly tall and thin, his hair red as flames.
"Hey there! Are you hurt? Don't worry, we'll help you." Pike shouted to the stranger.
**Careless, to walk into the humans' trap like that.** Strongbow stated.
"Maybe he was ill before he fell." Longbranch answered him. Then he sent towards the Holt:
**Rain! We've a stranger here, maybe hurt, maybe ill. Come quick!**
The pit was deeper than a human was tall. Treestump chopped down a sturdy branch from a tree with his axe, and One-Eye used it as a ladder to climb into the pit. The stranger wasn't reacting to their words, but he was breathing very fast, almost panting, and he smelled of fear. His clothes reeked. They were made of very badly cured skins and furs, and he'd gone around unwashed for a long time. There was a slight scent of fever on him, but One-Eye noticed something else. The stranger smelled of wolf, yes, a little, but the scent wasn't part of his own scent the way it should be.
He touched the tall elf's shoulder, and spoke:
"Are you hurt? Can you get up on your own?"
Then it occurred to him sending might work better:
**Are you hurt? Are you ill?**
At last, there was an answer, faint and far away:
**You fell into a trap. We found you. A Healer is coming.**
**No need for Healer.**
**Can you get up, then?**
The stranger moved, and his eyes opened. They were green as grass. He supported his upper body, then climbed slowly and clumsily onto his feet. Then he spoke for the first time, pointing at the branch. His voice was silvery, very beautiful, somehow dreamlike.
"Am I supposed to climb up that, like a treewee?"
"If you can walk, why couldn't you climb?" One-Eye asked, puzzled, and climbed the branch himself to show how it was done.
The stranger muttered something to himself and followed the example a lot more clumsily. He landed on the edge of the pit on his knees, and panted heavily. The wolfriders looked worried. He didn't smell of blood so he couldn't be wounded, but he might be weak with some strange illness, or just famished. Rain arrived on wolfback, bent to examine the tall elf, and announced:
"He's had fever recently, but it is over. I think he may have hit his head falling, or fainted, but I'm not sure. Greetings, stranger. My name is Rain, the Healer. Who are you? Where are your people?"
There was doubt in the stranger's voice, and he only answered the latter question, and added one of his own:
"I left my people. To find her. Have you seen her? The She-Wolf, have you seen her?"
Treestump was the first to answer:
"We've seen no wolves here other than our own pack, not for many seasons."
There was anguish, now, in the red-haired elf's words:
"Not a wolf! My lifemate! The Chieftess!"
In a whisper he added:
"Rahnee the She-Wolf? But…"
Rain guessed what he was going to say, and interrupted, knowing the stranger was not ready to hear it. Stranger? He was no stranger! He was a legend come to life! He was Zarhan Fastfire!
"It isn't safe here. Let's take him to the Holt."
He was helped on a wolf, which he rode clumsily, being too tall.
Bearclaw greeted the hunters, laughing:
"Strange game you bring!"
Longbranch answered him:
"Stranger than you think, my chief."
Clearbrook brought meat and berries for the tall elf with bewildered eyes, Rillfisher brought a cup of water, and the rest of the tribe settled to listen.
Longbranch spoke, knowing they were all brimming with curiosity and questions.
"Nobody interrupt us, there is time for that later. Stranger, you mention Rahnee the She-Wolf. Are you of her tribe? When did you see her last?"
"I was of her tribe. I was her mate. I was Zarhan Fastfire. But I've lost track of time, looking for her. I may have been gone only a turn of the seasons. I may have been gone eight turns. She was wounded by the allos, but her body wasn't found. And I tied the chief's lock in our son's hair, but I did not believe she was dead. So I left, knowing I might never return. We were lifemates. By Recognition. I thought I'd know if she was dead. But something happened, right before I fell into that trap. Suddenly, I felt, not her death. I felt as if she'd been dead and gone for many, many seasons. I couldn't understand it. That was the pain you saw me in. That is the pain. Now tell me, how do you know her name? Has she passed this way?"
Longbranch wrapped his arm around Zarhan's shoulders.
"Rahnee was chief after Timmorn. She was killed by allos, or lost. Preypacer was chief after Rahnee. And after Preypacer – Two-Spear. Huntress Skyfire. Freefoot. Tanner. Goodtree. Mantricker. And now, Bearclaw. It has been many seasons, many seasons indeed, since anyone alive saw Rahnee the She-Wolf. But elves can live a long time. If you are here, maybe she is, too."
But the tall elf gave a shrill, keening cry of pure pain.
"She is dust. You do not know what you say. She is – dust. Gone, gone the wolf's way, all to its bitter end!"
The wooden cup broke in his clenched hand, and the pieces burst to flame. He watched them burn to coals with unseeing eyes.
And all the long day in the shelter they had given him, he cried, and refused to explain, and he would have no comfort.
He had sought for so long, but not this long. Something had happened, some cruel magic had torn him from his time and place, and from the wolves Timmorn Yellow-Eyes had sent to walk with him. Just as he had felt Rahnee alive, he felt her dead now.
Finally he fell asleep at sunset, and he dreamed of her spirit, and some semblance of calmness filled his tortured soul. Somewhere far away, wolves howled.
Foxfur hadn't met Zarhan Fastfire yet. She'd been hunting with Joyleaf, Moonshade and Eyes High, and when they returned to the Holt the legendary visitor had been granted the privacy of an empty den. So, all day the young maiden had sustained herself on the gossip she got from Brownberry and others. Tall as a High One, they said, and handsome too. Moves very clumsily. Sorrow in his eyes. Hair like fire. And speaking of fire, see these broken coals? A wooden cup it was.
All this made Foxfur very curious. So when they returned from the hunt that night, she offered to go see if their guest needed anything.
He was asleep, but woke when she entered the den. He was just like she had imagined him, only he seemed very young, very afraid. Then a weird, burning feeling filled her. Foxfur looked into the wide green eyes, and gasped in both terror and delight when she realized what was happening.
Zarhan Fastfire sent her her soulname, and she knew this was no dream, no fever-vision. This was Recognition.
What she did not understand was why he whispered to himself in a mournful voice:
"Oh no. Not again."