Hounds bayed in the distance.
They were well on his trail, now. Weldyn had prayed the rains would wash his scent to mud. It was futile. Steadily and irreversibly the snarls of massive, starved hunting dogs drew nearer. Faint glimmers of moonlight patched the wood in dancing silver as dank clouds above frothed and churned. The water was falling hard. His fingers were pruned, tattered remnants of the Confidant's Cape clung to his skin like shredded leeches.
His breeches were causing a terrible chafing and the boggy mire of flooded forest claimed his left boot. Weldyn was blind in starless night, torrents of rainwater rushing down his face and blurring vision, turning all into a wavy, insubstantial murk of dark green, gray, and black. Only the sound of his following death gave Weldyn any sense of direction.
"Bastard prince," he spat.
It gave small comfort.
The howling din drew closer still as Weldyn dropped to both knees from exhaustion. Several days he had run, but the storm had slowed his flight. He sank in mud past his thighs, and for an instant believed the earth would swallow him whole in one final embrace from the Mother. Fate was not so kind. He heard now mutterings of the search party, a faint squishing and sucking of muck as armored feet trudged through the Endgame Wood to extinguish the life of a traitor.
He turned around as the party emerged from shroud of shadow, tree, and weeping sky.