Tradden piped up at Khalin’s command. ‘I’m ready, I’m always ready,’ he
said lightheartedly. ‘Well, most of the time, I guess,’ he continued.
Khalin grunted and continued to fasten the straps on his pack, whilst Zero grabbed his own belongings.
Kireth appeared to be ready and waiting but at the last minute changed his mind and took the sack
containing the platolabe from the wagon. Khalin raised an eyebrow.
‘Safer with us then close to the girl or the infirm,’ he stated, nodding across at Iolanthe
and Borik. ‘Besides, we have no idea what influence it may be having on the dead,’ he added,
with a stare at the swaddled corpse of Ulmo on the back of the wagon.
Khalin did not seem convinced but kept his peace nonetheless, offering another hand of farewell to
Rhasgar. ‘This time we leave,’ he nodded at the dragonborn. ‘We will see you before
this pass, I promise.’
Rhasgar nodded back and started his own orders for the Talons to break camp and start to leave.
‘Zero, you’re up front,’ the dwarf called. ‘Eyes and ears and all that.’
The rogue sighed and took a last cut of boar from the cooling spit near Aukan, thanking the goliath for
his last decent meal for a while, before heading slowly into the pines to the north at Khalin’s
request. The dwarf followed, his craghammer held high, with Kireth behind. Beltak came next, a
noticeable distance between him and the mage.
Tradden loped across to Iolanthe, lifting the girl’s chin and stared once more into her violet
eyes. ‘Take care,’ he offered. ‘The Talons will look after you for now.
I‘ll see you soon, and we‘ll find you a home.’ He wasn’t sure why, perhaps it was
somewhere inside he missed his younger sisters, but he felt protective and responsible for the girl.
She smiled back at the young fighter, pecking his cheek sweetly and whispering into his ear. Tradden
looked queryingly at her, before turning and striding after the others.