And so they had rode.
It took almost two cycles for the three of them to track the pack to a hot spring oasis in the Baknar tundra. They were too late to save the travellers that had been camping there, but the initial scouting had determined that the horde was hibernating. Argent was left behind with the horses on a rise overlooking the oasis. His orders had been to look for signs of any that escaped the ambush and to flee should he be attacked. Then the two Warriors crept off to slaughter the weirs while they were in their stupor. As hard as he looked he only saw one attempt at escape. It was on the far side of a wall of ice and Argent couldn’t tell which warrior it was that threw their weapon and impaled the weir before it made even five strides.
Well before evening, Bildad and Simon were returning, laboured breaths fogging the air in front of them. Simon was bleeding from his head and arm and there was a stony silence between them. Simon broke it with his quiet authority.
“Choose your direction.”
“You stubborn fool. Look there was no way to have known that runt was actually a sentry or that it’s liege would have had the strength to break hibernation so quickly.”
“Choose your direction.”
“You had been bit for Ferus’ s-”
Simon’s voice boomed an interruption.
“You raised Argentum against a True Warrior!”
“I forgo- look I didn’t follow through did I? I said I was sorry.”
“We all make mistakes. Mine was going into battle with you at my back. Choose your direction.”
Bildad mumbled something unintelligible but probably crude and derogatory before shaking his head and climbing onto the back of his horse. He took the reins of the other two from Argent and looked him in the eye.
“Look I’m sorry kid, I’d offer you the horses but we both know your father would never allow it.”
And that was the last Argent had seen or heard from Bildad. It took over three cycles to get to the capitol from the tundra and then nearly half a year for Barwolfripper to be forged to Simon’s expectations. Finally, they had joined the caravan that brought them to these mountains. Argent was extremely curious what Bildad and his rangers had been up to in that time. Simon didn’t say anything but Argent figured enough time had passed that he had cooled off and would want to hear the news too. They went through the motions as if it were any other night but the fire was piled higher and Simon loaded extra provisions into the evening stew.