Shadow followed the screams, not stopping for anything. He found himself dodging trees, leaping over tree roots and just plowing through bushes ignored the cuts and stings he received. He got closer, and closer until he found himself leaping off an edge onto a flat piece of ground that had been turned into a camp by, as Shadow's luck would have it, the very apostate mages he had been sent searching for. Whilst their aggressors weren't Darkspawn, they were their animal counterpart. Shadow had heard rumors of the Blight Animals, normal wolfs and bears who feasted upon the blood of Darkspawn which warped their mind and their bodies. Shadow had always assumed they had died when the Blight was over, however their appearance here suggested otherwise.
As one of the bears seemed to be chewing of the torso of one body and a pack of wolves were fighting over body in blood soaked robes he was too late. All animals turned their blood lust eyes towards shadows before rising from their activities and slowly edging towards shadow. Gripping his stave, he prepared to take on the four wolfs and bear, each visible tainted by the Blight that had ended five years ago. He knew he was doomed. Against these odds, an experienced mage would struggle however a novice who only had a few spells under his sleeves was sure enough doomed. If they were normal animals, he could have perhaps scared them off with lightning or fire, however blight animals were more than simply tainted. They were vicious, sadistic as animals could get and fearless. He was going to need a mericle.
That thought seemed to trigger what he was holding out for. Out of nowhere a cloud engulfed the area the blight animals stood, and within seconds they had all been frozen solid. Several arcane bolts fired from the forest surrounding them hit the frozen creatures, causing them all to shatter into tiny pieces. Now that the danger gone, Shadow was left standing looking astonished and confused. He asked himself what was going on? Did he have some guardian angel who had some experience with powerful magic? He didn't have to wait long for his answer. A mage appeared through from behind one of the larger trees in the area, but more importantly he was the mage from the Collective who had went missing. "What are you doing out here?" He asked whilst the rest of his attention fell upon the dead apostates
"I was searching for you, of course, presuming you're Odan," Shadow replied.
"I am, let me guess the Mage Collective sent you to loot from my corpse in the hopes I'd met my end in my task to recruit several cannibalistic, mage hating apostates?" As he mentioned the apostates, Shadow looked at their bodies. He had assumed the animals had killed them, however not matter how corrupted by the blight these creatures were, they couldn't cause the burn marks. It was clear they had been killed by Odan and their bodies attracted the blight animals. "They wanted my all of powerful staff however didn't have the balls to take it from me themselves. So they thought they'd send me to my death, then send some kid to rob my corpse. Lovely little resistance we have don't we?"
Shadow wasn't exactly sure what was going on. He was given a map and told to find Odan, or atleast his staff. Now Odan was claiming they had sent him to his death. Seconds ago the young inexperienced Mage was facing certain death which he was still recovering from, and now claims his order, a group he had to admit he didn't completely trust, was sending an experienced and powerful mage to his death solely to get their greedy hands on his staff. He wasn't sure what to do next. "So is that why you're still out here? You're hiding from the collective?"
Odan's laugh echoed around the nearby forest. "Me cowering from them? Not likely! No, something has taken my interest. Well I say something..."
Make love, not toast.