Silannah watched as Estelæth faded from sight. She shivered, standing in the freezing air. Winterspring. She had found a home here, among the frozen trees and white hills. No. She had found her home with Kajeda. But that was lost to her now. With a heavy sigh, she whistled. Bounding out of the trees, her frostsaber slid to a stop next to her. She signaled to her to lay down, climbing with considerable effort onto the cat once she had done so.
Whispering a command, the saber took off toward Everlook. Silannah had been forced to give her word she would take care of herself. She cursed under her breath. Who the fel does she think she is? No one would have cared. She clutched at the reins, her fingers losing feeling in the cold. Should have put on some gloves at least. The saber, sensing a shift in her master, slowed slightly, but continued at a fair pace through the snow drifts. Each bound over a fallen limb sent powder into the air around them.
She decided to cut off the smaller side path, making the trip to the main road shorter. Her vision began to close in, the world becoming out of focus and limned with darkness. She shook her head, hard, clearing some of the fog away. You haven’t eaten in over a week. And you’ve been drinking for days. Come on. Get your head straight.
As they approached the road there was a sharp cracking sound. Silannah turned her head, her silver hair wrapping onto her face. She tried to compensate for the tree that was falling, but she made the turn too sharp. Her head spun and she grabbed ahold of the large cat as best as she could. Startled, the saber took off at full speed into the hills. Darting one way, then the next, she ran between trees and stones. As she approached a small rift in the rocks, she leapt and Silannah’s grip failed.
With a muffled thump, her body tumbled down onto the ground. She rolled against a tree, gasping as she felt the world spinning. She tried to stand, pushing against the trunk. Once she managed to get herself upright, she screamed and collapsed again. She couldn’t be certain of the location of the damage, but her leg almost certainly broken. She worked herself toward the tree, sitting against it, hot tears streaming down her cheeks.
Where am I? She licked her lips, tasting blood. Bringing her hand up, she found her lip was busted open. She grabbed a handful of snow and held it there. I’ve got to get that damned cat back here. She tried to whistle, but she couldn’t through the split and bruising. “Helin! Helin! Come back!” She bellowed into the air, but she knew it was futile. Helin would need to hide after a scare like that. She loved that saber, but she was not the most loyal companion.
She ran her hands through the snow nearby, hoping to find some fallen branches to support herself with. She managed one, thin limb from the tree above her. Not strong enough to support her weight. Her hands had begun to throb from the cold, so she placed them under her arms to warm them. Helin, now would be good, she thought to herself. With no other option, she laid back against the tree to wait, hoping that it wouldn’t be long. She closed her eyes, I’ll just rest a bit. If she isn’t back soon…
Footsteps crunched in the snow next to her. She tried to see who it was, but she couldn’t open her eyes. “Who’s there?” she asked in whispers. “My leg, I can’t walk. Can you help?” No answer came. She felt her coin pouch being tugged free and heard snow crunching again. The sound faded away. “Please, keep it, just help me to the road.” Her request was met with silence.
She called out into the air. “Este, Ælithil… someone find me. I will keep my word.” With a whisper, she slumped into the snow, the world going black.