[--WC] Sorry bout the wait! <3 thanks so much for starting!
Sometimes prey trails took him out far, but mostly, he just liked the excuse to go north. Once he cleared the Halcyon, it was only a few days journey to the Oromocto and the overgrown cabin. He liked to check up on it periodically, liked to ensure that it was still standing and that no one had moved in and made a gambling parlor out of it. Now when he laid on the dusty bed and stared at the mossy ceiling, he would try to imagine how it felt for Jethro and Adina to be in their home and for it not to feel like home. Calrian knew he had been lucky, even if the riverlands had suffered a similar fate.
Change was inevitable. It was written into him like it was written into the seasons; he was too often an agent of change himself. Now he'd begun to think he embraced the idea too readily. Since the incident, he started to consider if he had been too indiscriminate with the past. It had been easier to look ahead rather than behind him. It had been easier to abandon sentimentality for potential.
Calrian left his parent's cabin with no answers. The way home—real
home—was blanketed with rain. He spent muggy nights tucked beneath fallen logs. In states of half-wakefulness, he listened to the gentle pit-patter of dripping leaves, the croaking frogs, the rise and fall of a humming summer melody he'd almost entirely left behind.
By the time he came to Amherst, he was ready to be back at the schoolhouse. There was nothing quite like a lonely sojourn to make him appreciate the comfort of company and a well-tended fire. He made good progress through the empty city roads, only stopping once to check out his reflection in a tarnished and overgrown contraption
. Ages of snowmelt and sunny days had warped the structure beyond recognition, but a portion of the back had formed a basin and was brimming with recent storm water. Calrian helped himself to a small drink and smoothed out his hair. While he considered rinsing the mud stains from his tunic before hurrying on, he noticed the waning light. Clouds had moved in again and looked ready to unburden themselves. That was lucky—better to let the rains do his work for him.
Content to let the imminent downpour catch him, he was surprised to spot another traveler first. The Broker's eyes brightened at the sight; a pack horse like that was lucky, indeed. "Hello!"
He called out, waving a hand and tail to signal his friendliness. He jogged the rest of the distance, keeping a hand to his bow and quiver so they wouldn't jostle overmuch with the movement. As he neared, Calrian flashed one of his golden smiles. The man was enormous, greatly scarred, and had an intimidating sort of look about him, but in his experience, that only meant something half of the time. "Mind if I join you there, friend?"