Even as she left the elven city of Caras Eldar, Leyne’s thoughts were still on the conversation she had with Awaiti. As she began to step through the main gate out of the city, she left behind her worries, if only temporarily. She glanced back a final time at the city, before setting forth for the forest ahead. IT wasn’t long before she was into the forest that she was calling back the lessons her maln had taught her, she was already beginning to the telltale signs of life. The cracked branches, prints within the dirt disheveled plants all told her this, yet none of these were yet what she was looking for. It became readily apparent to her that she would have to travel far deeper into the forest to find what she was looking for.
The further she ventured into the forest, the more she found it both alien and yet similarly welcoming. It was a much needed breath of fresh air when compared to the city itself. The further she went the more she heard the familiar sounds of wildlife all around, the birds in the trees, the occasional squirrel or chipmunk. As she continued into the forest watching for signs she hesitated briefly, for a moment her vision like she had entered a tunnel and an echo in the back of her mind telling her she could leave then and there. That she could abandon it all never to return, only to go back to living in the forest as her maln had. And a thought arose in her mind at that point, she had given Awaiti her word. Her word that she would support whatever path she chose, and would follow it in turn. It was the brief respite she needed to keep herself pushing forward, the respite that allowed her to steel her nerve. The sun had gone down not soon after and as it was getting rather difficult to track in the dark, she set about making a small fire so that she might rest before continuing on.
As she awoke the next day, Leyne made use of the freshly created charcoal from her small fire. With it she set about masking her own scent, so that she might avoid disturbing more of the wildlife as she got deeper into the forest. As she left she made sure to spread the ashes of the fire about so that they wouldn’t start further fires, and it wasn’t soon after she continued on that she found the first signs of what she was looking for. Long before she even got close to them she already knew this was what she had been looking for and the thought of it made her heart skip a beat. As she got closer and closer the elfess decided her best option would be to post up within a tree, careful not to draw attention to her presence with noise. She told herself that it was simply for visibility reasons, as opposed to somewhere she thought she would be safest if she got too close.
It was a few moments before she saw the first flickers of grey which made her heart race and her mind enter a panic. The distinct shapes of the predators she had feared for most of her life sent shivers up her spine and made her hair stand on end. Quickly memories were brought to the fore of her mind, how the mother wolf had clamped down on her arm and shook her like she was nothing. And then how it had ripped into her face with the claws it was given, narrowly missing her eyes. And yet she continued to watch from her post, willing herself to calm down and dispelling the visions from her mind. As she steadied herself, she let forth a breath she hadn’t been aware she was holding and allowed herself to relax between the branch of the tree and its base. She could already tell however she would get little sleep tonight and the little she did get would be rife with nightmares.
Despite this she continued to watch them, from her post for the following weeks. Only moving so that she might forage both food and water. In that downtime her mind strayed to the thought of the Seeds of the Mali’ame, and her talk with Guyden. How he had given her much to think about at the time, and also managed to reassure her. Then her mind further went to the other acquaintances she had made throughout her time in the city, and how they had each their own effect. However miniscule or large an effect it was, and how she might proceed from here. And yet this all faded as she returned to the task at hand, as she climbed once more back into the tree.
Over the coming weeks she became keenly aware of the wolves presence presence, how they responded to certain things. And almost seemed to characterise each, giving a name and voice to all that she saw. She grew to recognise distinct features in each, and soon after the first week she slept soundly despite her proximity. They were but another thing for her to be wary of in her travels, a danger but no more than she made them out to be. No longer would she find herself hindered by their presence. No longer would their presence be harmful to her mental state. And it wasn’t long before she came to this realisation, and decided her stay was over.
On her journey back to Caras Eldar, she found it somewhat odd that the presence she had come to recognise was no longer there. And she smiled and thought about how she might return at some point to watch them again, for in some ways they had taught her much.