The rain ran down Rion’s face in steady rivulets, forming a large cold pool where his neck met the collar of his field plate. Three days of the deluge had left the men soaked to the bone. The mists that usually filled these woods during this time of year had been driven to the ground by the relentless sheets of water falling through the evergreen branches. Water pooled and flowed all about him, turning dirt to mud and from mud into little ponds or rushing streams – changing what had begun as an easy track into a profound challenge.

Jace stood in a three-point stance over a rapidly vanishing track of their quarry, rain rolling in sheets down the folds of his oiled cloak. They were keeping pace, but only just, the weather and hilly terrain conspiring to make the chase as difficult as possible.