Three days trekking through the wood with a fever. It was enough to drive anyone mad, and yet Kailos continued to push through with the stubborn determination of a desperate man. While he had not experienced any other strange hallucinations since the first, some part of him steal feared what darkness lay within his body. The wound he had received at the hand of the orcs during the defense of the Rites of Spring ritual seemed to be the culprit. While the healer Miran had cleansed the area and the skin and melded back together, something of the infection must have remained lying in wait beneath. “Damn the Orcs to all the nine hells.” The warrior cursed under his breath, slogging forward through the muck of the bog. He mentally checked himself, wondering why he thought there were nine hells as opposed to one. Or any for that matter. The one benefit of this strange fever was that bits of his memory seemed to be returning, albeit in useless pieces of information of broad and disconnected subjects. So far he had remembered the guard rotations of the town watch with the many names of the guards bringing no faces to mind and the town a blur of gray, the proper way to groom a horse for an official parade of which he had seen none in this world so far, and a few other things he was beginning to find more annoying than anything else. Oh, and now he was believing in nine hells. Perhaps he was in one of them and that's what had jogged his memory. Cursing again, he readjusted his pack and kept up the grueling pace. It was mid afternoon and the weather was humid and hot, with plenty of the little flying vampire bugs that left itchy bumps where they bit you and the occasional serpent that crossed across the path. If you could call it a path of course, as it was more of a less mucky part of the swamp. He shouldn't be pushing himself this hard in his state, but the traveler detested the place so much he would risk death before stopping for the night in this gods forsaken place. If he was lucky, which Kailos found to be more questionable by the second, he would break through to the higher ground by late afternoon and be in the foothills of the Sky Reaches by even later evening. Somewhere nestled in those hills was the farmhouse he has stayed in the last time he passed through the area, heading south to meet with Cronos and the others. Maybe he should have just stayed there. He gritted his teeth and pushed the thought aside. There was no time to sit about missing the warm fire and the taste of mead on his tongue. He had a mission and he had to see it through. While it had been a short stay with the Ka-Nar-Sey tribesmen, Kailos had grown fond of the wild folk of the Northern Barrens. They were strong, loyal, and willing to help a stranger from being trampled by a heard of mountain elk when he was foolish enough to cross their path. They also threw a hell of a feast after taking down one of the massive beasts. He supposed they'd have too, when the carcass of one such elk had to be dragged by four oxen, and the ribs were used to build the yurts the tribesmen stayed in. A twinge of pain shot across his brow, both from the fever and from his frustration at not taking the rumors about the portals seriously. “Damn these portals to all the...” Mentally rolling his eyes at his lack of originality with curses, the bespattered pilgrim lapsed into a string of unintelligible profanity. Hopefully the druidess who had cured his bruises the last time he was at Vin Tharalla could also cure orcish poison. Not that orcs were from this world. Or were they? That point still confused Kailos. While all the others at the Winter Council and this recent tournament had seemed to be at least aware of the green monsters existence, most of the various peoples of Osterra seemed to find them as foreign as he had when first laying eyes upon them. Yet other Osterrasians saw the orcs as common as flies, just harder to kill. This world was indeed strange to have such differences in knowledge in such a relatively small area. Another serpent slithered through the brush making the warrior jump. He stopped to catch his breath and let his heart calm. His whole body ached with sickness and exhaustion, and after the tail of the snake flicked into the grass he pushed himself forward. A few more hours before he was in the clear, hopefully with a warm fire to sit by and a mug of ale to clear out his gut of the pain and disease. Kailos couldn't stop now. He had a mission.
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