A nighttime rain falls upon Mulgore in torrents, but Breygrah doesn't mind it. It seeps through the joints of her plate. It soaks her thoroughly to the skin as she slowly marches on the dirt path to Camp Narache. She can feel it dripping from her mane with each step, hear the quiet ting of each drop smacking against her helm.
The plains are eerily silent. The only movement she senses are the kodos wandering aimlessly in the distance, as they always do. The faire carnies have thankfully packed up and left the meadows in peace; beasts and birds gather in and under trees for refuge from the showers. Thunder and lightning are absent, only the noise of the downpour, the rainscent, the blinding of the pouring fills her senses.
More silent still is the whispering of the spirits.
She hasn't traveled through Mulgore since the days before the cataclysm of the lands. Though much of her adopted home looks the same, she so very faintly detects the primal disturbances still gripping the land. An almost kind of silent agony, barely an idea. Her idle thoughts are disturbed by the slippery bridge over Stonebull Lake. Bloodhoof Village appears empty aside from the fires glowing from inside the huts and tents. The village isn't her destination. She continues on.
Her heart is heavy.
Breygrah's gaze finally finds Red Cloud Mesa in the darkness. Upon seeing it the protector pauses her step. She remembers the commencement of her training and her being delivered as an initiate of the Ragetotem tribe. She recalls the kind eyes of the Greatmother, her adopted Greatmother, she who became greatmother to all that passed through the camp. She can almost hear the cheers and songs of braves that fell their first enemy, the squeals of the pigmen that transgressed her kind. She swells with pride, but then remembers to guard herself. This isn't a homecoming.
The wind picks up and the faintest hint of lightning blinks a fleeting glow as she finds the new path up to the Mesa. It's muddy and steep, it feels as if it isn't often traveled. Approaching the camp from the wrong direction feels strange. Nothing looks the same as she remembers, especially in the dark. There are three braves standing watch, facing the east, gazing into the blackness. If they notice her, they don't show it, and her lips curl into a faint smile, drawing on the pride she tries to suppress. Two men stand with their axes ready, as if the enemy was almost in reach. A young woman kneels on one knee between them, a bow in one hand and a horn near the other, resting by her knee. Whether it is boars or pigmen they watch for, they are committed to their duty. Brey sensed there is nothing stirring in the darkness. Skins guard the tents from the torrents while the wind whips and reveals faint light through the corners.
The graveyard is in the same spot as always.
She sees the great bier standing under a canopy. Was it just erected for the night? Breygrah almost cannot take her eyes off of it. The gifts left at the bier look as if they were placed there yesterday. Herb bunches stick out of pouches that are in turn stuffed into clay jars with antlers, skins, corn. A heavy leather banner depicting some of her wisdom waves in the breeze. The warrior steps cautiously around the display. She inspects every detail visible in the night. There's no apparent weathering; the village still reveres the greatmother as they always have. Her mind plays out unending scenes where she could have saved her, protected her, even all this time later. A lump forms in her throat.