Sirith kept inside the boundaries of the forest for several days, but it pained him to do so, watching the smoke continuing to rise, watching great dark shadows of akor’mari raiding bands cross back and forth over the plains, and thinking if only he had been quicker, braver, he could have ended the war by ending Lord Baenarn’s life.
Fordrellon found him there.
He must have tracked Sirith through the forest, for he came from behind, only a bright blast of Carro-cursed light warning Sirith before the paladin came thundering down out of the forest. Sirith ducked and slipped, and the curved blade of the ‘mar warrior swooshed over his head. He looked up into the face of his old friend and saw, not just anger, but madness.
He had daydreamed of conversations he could have had with Fordrellon, explaining his part in things, and Fordrellon magically understanding. His dreams evaporated under that hateful gaze.
He threw up his arms in the beginning of a shielding spell, but the magic was long gone. Clearly Fordrellon didn’t know that however, as the paladin reflexively leapt back, slashing his sword at the air as if to weaken the coming spell. It wasn’t what Sirith had meant to do, but it did give him a few precious seconds to turn around and run.
He sprinted out onto the prairie, where there were no treacherous tree roots to trip him up. He was unburdened, while Fordrellon had his armor and his sword to contend with. Of course Sirith couldn’t run forever, and he’d make a pretty target out there on the open, so after putting a good distance of several hundred yards between him and the paladin, he angled back to Bataklik.
He didn’t need to look over his shoulder to hear Fordrellon pursuing him, screaming out an old Sheyn challenge. Sirith didn’t answer, and once he was back in the treeline, he went for the thickest part of the undergrowth, where he could drop of of sight and where Fordrellon wouldn’t be able to follow.
He would have to come up with a more permanent plan. He hadn’t expected the hunters from Glooming Tower to pursue him further than a couple days out, and so they hadn’t. Fordrellon, on the other hand, was a paladin. Now that he knew Sirith was alive, he wouldn’t stop hunting him until the end of days.