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Unread 8th of September, 2005, 03:39
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Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Shade can feel Cadrius watching her, but she ignores his judgemental gaze. Let him be annoyed, or whatever he was. Around her, camp gradually takes shape, dinner is served and watches alloted. Cadrius remained aloof, but enduring his stare was far better than having to explain her reasons, especially to him. Her watch is late, well past midnight. The wastelands around the small group are unusually silent. The ever present chill washes through her as she surveys the camp below.

Cadrius turned in his sleep as she watched. Once, she had thought they might help each other, renegades that they were. In the cold light of the moon, she knew it for the lie that it was. There wasn't anything about her that he could respect, much less embrace. She sits cross legged on the ground, more concerned with watching the others than she is looking out for danger. For whatever reason, the brutal land around no longer seems as threatening. She can feel the stone weighing down the pouch at her side, her fingers itching to hold it. What had Nicos been looking for?

Ultimately, it didn't matter. She still had the stone. The pouch is now gripped tightly in her hand beneath her cloak. Nothing has stirred in camp for twenty minutes. Even Surayon is motionless, wrapped in her elven dreams. Somehow, the Runestone was in her hand, glittering darkly in the moonlight. Her grey eyes are rapt upon it, unblinking, delving its murky depths. Mechanically, she replaces it in her pouch, then silently rises. Her fingers check the hilts of her swords before she fades into the night. By the time they woke, she would be long gone.

***

Dawn is an hour past when Surayon comes out of her reverie. She finds Nicos still asleep and frowns: the man was supposed to be on watch. She wakes him and there is a brief discussion, followed by a quick search for Shade. The elf finds a trail she believes to be Shade's, headed back toward the mountains, but it disappears in the rocky ground. Nicos curses, knowing that Shade's skill in woodcraft meant she'd likely leave a light trail in any case. By the time they return, most of the others have woken.