Argent and Bildad set about building a huge bonfire. Eventually, Martha mustered the courage to look in detail at one of the corpses. She gasped, it was the same weir that had attacked her back at the mine. She stood up and hobbled over.
“Hey! Where do you think you are going?”
Martha spun to face Bildad who already had his scimitar half out of his sheath. With his other hand he pulled the muzzle down from her mouth, allowing her to to draw a less impeded breath.
“I was just looking.”
“You couldn’t look from where you were sitting?”
“It was just that … it just seemed strange … why are the hands mutilated like that?”
Argent dropped his gaze and looked closer at the corpses. Bildad readjusted Martha’s muzzle and then turned to the lanky boy and raised his eyebrow.
“I don’t know … they weren’t like this when I left.”
Bildad paced around the campsite once, examining each corpse.
“If I didn’t know better I’d say trophy hunters. But even a witchcrafting northern cultist wouldn’t take a trophy from another man’s kill. I don’t like it. I was considering staying here for the night in case your father came back. But this is strange. We press on as soon as we get these corpses burnt.”
Before long they were marching again. Martha was extremely grateful for the fur poncho Argent had draped over her. It almost made her feel guilty when she would catch him shake with the odd shiver beside her. However, she was kept from dwelling on it by the fact that she wasn’t sure how much further she would be able to make it herself before she collapsed from exhaustion. Then something she saw registered. She stopped and made a sound from behind her muzzle.
“Keep moving you two, we aren’t due for another break until morning.”
Martha ignored the elder barbarian and focused on catching the younger one’s attention.
“What is it?”
She nodded to her right and made another noise.
“What, I don’t understand.”
Martha just rolled her eyes and shook her head frustrated. Argent reached out and removed the gag.
“Hey put that back, she’s dangero-”
“I recognise this place. We’re almost there.”
Martha was gasping huge breaths through her newly freed mouth and Argent thankfully ignored Bildad and threw the muzzle away instead of replacing it.
Martha leaned into Argent for support and pushed them toward the right, in the direction of a cliff face jutting up above the tree tops. Bildad snorted, picked up the leather and replaced it on his arm as a bracer.
Argent pulled away from Martha a bit at these words. Martha didn’t know that she would act any differently in his shoes but she needed him strong right now. Her life was on the line and she couldn’t afford to have her only ally acting wishy washy. She set her face and pulled away from him as well.