It wasn’t a drop, but a rivulet of crimson that splashed down onto the compact dirt. Gula did not kneel so much as fall to his knees on that hard ground. A blood-stained hand rising to his chest as broken ribs ground together with the motion, and a grimace of pain revealed teeth interspersed with blood. With a grunt, the Wand Fated brought his trusted tan canvas pack before him to rest on the ground. That bag had been a friend where even his allies failed him, and had accompanied him on even the worst missions. It had never let him down. Even now, as every movement brought excruciating pain, he flipped the flap over and away from its opening, the books and papers shifting with the motion gave him easy access to the exact thing he’d been looking for. Perhaps his only hope.
He hefted the large gray tome from the sack and swept his trusted bag aside to allow him the room he needed to splay the book before him. A breeze had kicked up, chilling Gula and stinging his open wounds. He could feel the approach of the thing that chased him. He could smell it in the wind. Gula secretly hoped that the fog of the woodlands would bring him some concealment. Some reprieve. Some time.
The pages were yellowed and some were torn at the edges, belying its true age. In dark ink, a diagram depicted a large sigil-rune. And has he read the long-dead language, he grabbed small twigs and blades of grass from around him, fashioning from the crude materials a semblance of what was drawn on the page. As he did, the wind began to die. And where the wind once was, there was now a voice.