A/N: I’m going to want to revamp some of the sparring aftermath before I post anything on that. So, have some lost Sano, years ago….
Cold, cold; cold and snow and air so mountain-thin it ached in his lungs, how in the Havens had he gotten from that weird blank spot in the Pelagirs to here? Wherever the hells here was….
Sano slogged his way through the snowy pines toward the noise, reaching out with his senses for any trace of his Chosen. He could still feel the Call, the youngster had to be here. Somewhere.
Nothing. Just blank, empty nothing where the feeling of life should have been. If his nose and eyes and ears didn’t swear he was in a living forest, he’d have thought he was walking over lifeless rock.
So think, oh great and wise Companion. He’s a Chosen, right? Where else is he going to be but up to his ears in trouble?
Right. Toward the big boom it was.
Make that big booms. Sano flattened his ears at the concussion of air, stopping cold at the scent of fire-powder and blood. Here… the first blast site. A bloodstained metal dart lay half-buried in disturbed snow, and a thin red trail led to and from the muddle of footprints and torn branches. Someone was hurt. Badly.
And from the fragments of flesh and blades scattered through here, at least one someone was dead.
One set of footprints, leading off toward that second blast. Small. A woman, or a young man. And blood. Oh gods, blood….
Sano charged off toward the second blast, not thinking, not caring what sort of hopeless battle his Chosen had gotten mixed up in. Once he had the kid on his back, they were getting out of here.
Two more bodies. Bigger pieces – ugh. Deep breath, and look again. Bloodstain around one neat stab to the chest on the big guy; sword-wound. Don’t recognize the clothing. Dark cotton shirts that wrap around, some kind of weird leather guards for the backs of their hands… they were armed, that’s all that matters. The big one with an axe, his partner with – gods, are those metal claws?
Razor-edged metal, long as his muzzle. Stained with blood.
Not a random attack, Sano realized, tasting a scent all too like the Artificers’ blasting powder. This was an ambush.