The dew on the bracken was, while attractive, leaving Gethin’s leggings damper than he would like. He had left the others sleeping and headed out to find breakfast, while the wood was still asleep. He had already found enough mushrooms, now he was looking for a small boar if he could find one. He was pretty certain that he was not going to scramble about in the morning half-light to make breakfast every day, but some of the young ones on this trip were still getting used to the idea that they had only walked about one twentieth of the trek to the white tower, and they had over a fortnight more of sleeping on the cold, hard floor.

About twenty yards off he saw the ferns moving in such a way as to suggest a small woodland animal, and he hoped earnestly that his searching was over; he did not want to leave the young ones for too long. He crouched down and waited, listening. The telltale snuffling confirmed his hopes. He nocked an arrow, drew the string back into the valley and waited to see enough snout to loose.