Parallax

Once Grisha returns from patrolling in the morning, the Nomads pick up camp and disguise it so that whatever traces remain appear aged as if no one has camped there recently. Tolik wraps Grisha's shoulder wound and Grisha says it's fine as it is. The group continues to travel through the woods, where various foot paths trail through the dying autumn grass. Grisha seems to be following such a foot path until the afternoon, where he branches off and makes his way to a small space in the trees. One of the Nomads gestures that the party shouldn't follow too closely, and they stop. Grisha approaches a large tree with a mound below it that the group recognizes as a Nomad grave. Grisha takes out a small dagger and opens a line on his arm, bleeding onto the mound. The party can see there is also blood on the bark of the tree, though it is older. As Grisha bleeds and prays, many crows and ravens gather in the tree above him. The party, except for Dru, begins to feel the unease and tension again that haunts them through their nighttime watches. Tolik sees Declan watching the birds uneasily and explains that it just means "she" is present. Some of the party thinks he is referring to the dead woman buried there, and others think he's referring to the God of Blood. Inok chimes in with "she remembers the fallen". Dru decides to pray as well, pricking a thumb and bowing his head in prayer. When he looks up, all the birds and all the Nomads are watching him. Grisha questions his actions, but is thoughtful rather than hostile, and seems satisfied with Dru's answers. As Grisha turns away, all of the birds take off at once and leave. The party and the Nomads continue to travel.

A good spot is found to camp for the night where large trees have been uprooted and form a wall to sleep against. There are other fallen trees that serve as benches to light a fire between, and the Nomads set up camp—trading off on chores. Grisha drinks against a fallen log, watching Inok build a fire. Declan asks Inok what he can do to help and she says he can do whatever he wants as they aren't used to having so many hands around to help set up. She mentions that Tolik went hunting, and Declan decides to do that as well. Erva collects some firewood and Dru teaches Grisha how to throw knives (Grisha isn't very good at it, but improves with Dru's help), while Esben watches and offers tips.

(In Nomad woods, deer hunts Declan.) Declan is startled while following some tracks in the woods by the deer he is tracking running straight at him. He gets a shot off with his bow, nailing it in the chest, and it alters its course enough to knock him off his feet instead of barrelling into him as it runs by. He sees it has another arrow in its back and Tolik chasing it on foot. Tolik stops to help Declan up and tells him he got a good shot on it, and teaches Declan to follow the blood trail to find the dead deer. Once they reach the body, Tolik teaches Declan how to gut it and then carries it back to camp where Grisha helps Tolik hang it in a tree. They cut the throat to drain the blood but also carve some off for dinner right away. (Inok is glad to have something aside from rabbit stew.)

Dru leads the Nomads except for Grisha in a rousing Nomadic child song about cooking, and teaches Walter enough that he can get half of it. Tolik tries to teach Declan but the latter is obviously not interested, so Tolik teaches him the art of butchering a deer instead. After the deer is eaten, both groups take normal watches so there are two on watch at all times. During Sina and Tolik's watch, a new person enters the camp and Tolik talks to her until it is time to wake next watch. Sina lets Declan know about the newcomer, and her suspicions that this one is also a Necromancer as she is wearing things similar to Thanos (and also has moss growing on her clothing).

Inok begins cooking for the stranger and Declan hangs around, overhearing that the newcomer wants Grisha for something but that she'll wait until Inok's watch is over rather than waking him early. Declan asks for some of the food Inok is making and the three share the deer, Inok making enough that the Necromancer can take some with her. Declan begins talking to the Necromancer, whose name he learns is Delia, mentioning that they ran into "another of [her] kind". He makes it clear he's creeped out by animating the dead and Delia gets a bit of revenge by letting him know there are bodies buried under their campsite. Declan apologizes, and Delia is friendly. Delia dozes against a tree through the rest of Declan and Inok's watch, and then Inok wakes Grisha and Declan wakes Dru but forgets to mention the Necromancer.

Dru makes coffee and tells Esben to sleep rather than joining him on watch. Dru offers coffee to the Necromancer, who warily takes it after looking to Grisha for confirmation. Dru listens in on enough of the conversation to know that Delia is being followed and is hoping Grisha can do something about it. She doesn't know if it's soldiers or Order but she's pretty sure there are four pursuers. Grisha says he'll take care of it and Dru interrupts to ask if he's sure he should go alone. Grisha says he'll be fine and wakes Erva early to take over the rest of his watch as he leaves with Delia. While Erva is up, Dru pulls out his mini shrines and begins to pray for Grisha's safe return. Erva is very interested and starts asking Dru who each of the figures are and correcting him on them. Erva explains that Nomads and people of Dru's country came from the same place in the beginning but have split off since then, and it's no wonder Dru's country is so messed up since they've messed up what the gods actually are. Dru is tolerant and Erva insists that the next time Dru sees a god he should ask about the others, because the gods know the true way of things. Erva does join in on the prayer for Grisha by cutting his thumb and bloodying the symbol Dru made for the God of Blood.

The rest of the camp wakes and Grisha does not return in the morning. Declan asks if the camp should go after Grisha but the Nomads say they should wait. Dru entertains the Nomads (mostly Inok) through magic in the camp to pass the time and Walter reads more of his engineering book. A bit into the afternoon Grisha returns, carrying a bloody sack and covered in blood himself. Dru asks Declan hurriedly to go into the woods and gather more preygrass for him. He tries to tell Arka to do this as well, but she plants her feet and crosses her arms over her chest and glares at Grisha, watching. Inok builds up the fire and Grisha lays four hearts into it, along with the cloth he was using as a sack. The cloth is part of a black standard-issue garrison tunic. Arka is very, very pissed off as it looks like Grisha has killed four soldiers.

Declan returns with the preygrass but not before the hearts have finished burning and the smell has left camp. The Nomads prepare to move, burying the parts of the deer they don't pack to bring with them. More deer is cooked over the (hearty) fire while camp is dismantled. Declan notices Grisha is favoring his shoulder more and motions to Tolik. Tolik takes a look, smacks Grisha upside the head and wraps gauze around the wound again. Once camp is deconstructed, the group moves on.

During travel, Erva leads and Grisha stays in the back, still covered in blood. Arka walks at the back with him and they argue. Arka fills Declan in that they argued about the fact that Grisha killed four soldiers just for following orders and hunting down a Necromancer (as all Necromancers are kill-on-sight to soldiers and guards). Grisha explained that he gave them a chance to back off, but any soldier who tries to kill an ally of his (which the Necromancers are) is going to be killed. Arka tries to explain to him that all soldiers have those orders and he basically says "don't let me catch you doing it, then". While all this is going on, Dru is entertaining his companions with a raunchy tale about a mermaid and an old sailor.

The night gets closer and when a certain area of the woods is reached Grisha and Erza speak for a few moments (Grisha coming from the woods where he had snuck off to scout ahead). Sina points out to the party that where they're standing used to be a camp site. Grisha takes the lead and steps up the pace, and the Nomads stick with the group instead of ranging like they usually do. Despite darkness falling, Grisha keeps the party moving, tracking. Soon he has Erza lead again and he runs ahead. Later, as the party continues they come to a point in the trail where two people are standing. One is Grisha. The other one is a Nomad they don't recognize, but Arka launches herself from Declan's horse and into the other Nomad's arms. He swings her around and kisses her face as they hug. The new Nomad introduces himself as Dima. Grisha's company leaves the party then, forging ahead after each greeting Dima. Dru gets off his horse to greet Dima in the Nomad way as well, and introduces the party. Dima and Grisha lead the party into the rebellion's main camp as a thunderstorm brews ahead and shelter is hastily constructed.

As they enter the camp, the group is accosted by the Healer Soreza who tries to greet Grisha but is turned away as he is still covered in blood. She asks for any wounded and Dru and Esben follow her over to a fire so that she can check Esben over and make him a tea mixture. Soon she has him under a blanket by a fire and is lecturing him while Dru makes mock gestures behind her. The rest of the party is introduced to Ciar, the Corporal, who is very glad to see Arka alive and well. He introduces himself to the party and tells Grisha to go get cleaned up. Grisha leaves, and the party learns a bit about the rebellion from Dima and Ciar.

Declan is very uneasy as the camp is filled with both soldiers and Nomads, and they seem to be mingling easily in about even numbers. Ciar is also very easy around the Nomads (especially Dima), though there is tension between him and Grisha. The little group is discussing Grisha a bit before he returns, freshly cleaned, and checks in before making his way to Soreza. Grisha's presence makes Dru decide to stop playfully mocking her and he sits down with Esben while Grisha drapes himself over Soreza and she turns to hug him. The hugging quickly turns into scolding when she catches sight of his shoulder, and she calls another soldier ("Viggo") over to help her tend to the wound without magic. Grisha is completely docile under her, and when bedding down for the night the party notices she sleeps between Dima and Grisha, with the latter basically wrapped around her.

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