She lay prone, skirts stained by the damp leaf mulch. Her eyes were distant.

The bear considered her. She was trespassing in Vol-Athanar land. The Old Accords were very clear: humans that trespassed here were meat.

They approached, snuffling at her side. She closed her eyes; the barest indicator of fear.

The bear sighed. ‘Come,’ they said, voice rasping from long disuse. They nudged her to her feet. ‘There is much here to see and learn. Perhaps that will wake you.’

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