The map proved immensely useful. The distance between the edge of the Brisban wilds and the De Mascio garrison was nearly equal to the road from the Grove, but with the new guidance he made far better progress. 2 weeks had passed when the circular Brisban valley stretched out in front of him, encircling a mountain unnamed on the map. While the map gave a good understanding of the area, it predated the group that Siriin was supposed to have joined, so he was again left with a vague trail to follow. He must start somewhere. Siriin had wandered on her own before, and might have gone back to the lone road again. Following that line of reasoning, he spent a week exploring the southern parts of the valley, looking for any signs of habitation.
He was looking through a cave in the early morning when unknown voices emerging from the jungle around him prompted him to hide around a corner. 2 creatures were carefully pushing through the brush. His hiding spot offered a view, albeit a poor one, of the clearing they would emerge into if they kept their course. 4 sylvaries garbed in Warden-like armour carefully entered the clearing, slowly scanning the opposing tree-line and the canopy above. As 2 of them stayed outside, bows at the ready, the 2 others began slowly advancing into the cave. As thorough as they were being, they would be sure to discover him, and hiding for longer would only make him seem more suspicious.
“You can lower your weapons,” He slowly emerged from his hiding place. “I mean no harm to you and the cave is empty.”
To their credit, they made sure to see who he was for themselves before standing down. One called the others inside while the second hurried over to him. The armour was the same for all of them, but as they got closer he could make out their differences more clearly.
“Forgive us,” She had a heavily lined auburn-coloured face. “It has been a long time since we last saw a sylvari not of our own settlement.”
The second one was of a taller and slighter build, visible even through the armour, with curious black lines on her white face. “If you were hoping for a peaceful place to stay, I am sad to say you will be disappointed.”
“How so?” He picked his pack from the floor where he had left it.
“We have been attacked numerous times in the last year.” The auburn one had stowed her weapon away, and was looking back at the 2 others who were standing a short distance away. “Creatures made by the asura, composed of living rock and crystals.”
He felt a chill run down his back. “I don’t plan to stay if at all possible. I come here looking for another sylvari, a Dusk-born named Siriin.”