Venture Northward

It had nearly been three months since Kane had stepped down as Captain of the Order of the Rose.

Shayen Locke had taken up the position at his request and was busy with the duties, and responsibilities Kane had become familiar with over the last few years. It was a good time for the hand-off because Kane had felt in his heart that it was time to let go and pass the mantle to someone else.

But now that it was done, there was a question that still remained: What now?

In the short time since, Kane caught himself falling back into his regular routines, only to be reminded that those weren’t his routines anymore. They were someone else’s. He no longer had paperwork to fill out (which he missed, oddly enough). He no longer found himself leading the training routine, but falling in line with all the others. He wasn’t bound to his office anymore and was no longer approached with news, updates, and other messages throughout the day.

In a single moment, Kane’s whirling world he’d grown to love had settled into an almost unearthly quiet.

***

“SYLVANUS!” Kane called out as he walked through the rugged, mountainous reaches of Woodland, many miles from the Village proper.

Kane had had the idea to seek out Sylvanus not long after stepping down, as he contemplated what he should do next. Kane thought that since Sylvanus was the one who set him on the path towards Captaincy that perhaps he may know what to do now that he had completed his work.

Every day Kane would wander farther and farther from the village, calling out to Sylvanus, but his voice would only echo and fade between the endless sea of leaves and wood. If it had been any other Guardian, Kane would have gotten angry or upset, if it wasn’t for one thing.

Kane knew that NO ONE could summon the old wyvern.

But today felt a little different. It might have been the warm edge on the wind, or that the sun beat down just a little bit brighter than normal. Whatever it was, Kane felt like Sylvanus was nearby.

“SYLVANUS!” Kane called again.

Without warning, a gust of wind blew the canopy. Leaves were sent fluttering and branches were left shaking. Kane covered his eyes as the dusty earth billowed as the wind rushed by. Shortly after the wind subsided, Kane looked up just in time to see a dark wide form glide passed with speed, just above the top of the trees. Its passing sent another gust of wind through the trees, kicking up even more dust.

Before Kane could even think, his feet were carrying him after the shape, failing to keep up. Over rocks and around trees Kane ran, He bounded through the under brush, his belts and sword clanking, following the signs of the wyverns passing.

With adrenaline pumping through every one of Kane’s veins, the run seemed to be over in a split second. From the tree line, Kane ran out into a small clearing facing an outcropping of rocks. It was a place of stark contrast. Behind him was a sea of forest and green, while in front the landscape transitioned suddenly into a field of gray and stone.

On a large boulder, bathed in the afternoon sun, Sylvanus crouched and stared. His gaze conveyed that he was waiting.

“Sylvanus…” Kane exhaled, trying to catch his breath. After a few large breaths, Kane was able to stand up straight and return the wyvern’s gaze, already feeling the elevated heat emanating from the wyvern.

In his mind, a voice entered that filled his head and smothered out all other thoughts.

I know why you sought me out, little fire. The path before you will not get any easier and there is still much for you to do. You must venture North. Out of this Woodland Realm.

As Sylvanus spoke, a visions of distant lands flashed in succession, imprinting themselves onto Kane’s memory.

There you will find your answers.

Quick as it began, the voice faded away. Before Kane could collect his thoughts, Sylvanus spread his wings and leapt back into the sky. He quickly diminished into a dark shadow behind the clouds, leaving Kane with only a gust of wind and a memory of a distant land.

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Where do you think Sylanus would send Kane to find his answers?

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