Henry's clothes, a white linen shirt tucked into black trousers, and an unlaced arming doublet was all the First Rank Dreadlord wore. His armor, something easily replaceable, was tossed aside days ago. The saber at his side was the only weapon the man possessed, and he'd even considered leaving that behind as well.
In all his time, in all of his travels, Hal never once ventured into such awful swamp-like conditions. On more than one occasion, Henry's misstep resulted in his leg sinking into mud up to his knees, something that infuriated him to no end. He asked himself many times why his mission took him to where the Ixchel Wilds met the Iuk-'u Delta and not the Spine, where he had arrived via portal stone several weeks ago.
After wiping his brow with the sleeve of his doublet, he looked back over his shoulder. Behind him stood a familiar face, one that he almost welcomed. Almost.
"Oh," he said between labored breaths, "good. Glad to see that you, uh, haven't drowned, Florinthe."
Hal could walk for hours without feeling any exhaustion. Any Dreadlord could. But having to trudge through conditions that the pair found themselves in was another matter entirely. The ground was soft and uneven, and often gave out under them the moment they had a lapse in concentration. It was incredibly hot and humid- and the bugs. The fucking insects and their incessant buzzing was endless. Even when Hal used his magic to cool the pair off, the reprieve was short-lived.
Before facing forward again, a sphere of ice formed in his palm, and he tossed it to the woman that followed behind him.
Initially, they found an odd human village and was able to navigate the waterways of the delta via raft. Still, the old man that had guided them had simply abandoned them after a week, muttering gibberish about "the spookies" and leaving them to march for the last several days through the swamps. At least they were nearing the Ixchel Wilds, where rumors of strange and dangerous activity had been taking place. It was Hal's first assignment since receiving his ranking, and he'd chosen Florinthe to accompany him.
Talus was off elsewhere in the Spine, and frankly, Hal had no other allies to rely on. Perhaps Ademar, but he too was busy with Elise Virak. Thus the Luana Dreadlord and Virak Dreadlord were partnered.
He didn't dislike the woman, though, given their circumstances, he'd been unnecessarily abrasive with her lately. Henry could deal with most everything else; the bugs, the mud, and hell, even the rain. However, the one thing the man couldn't stand and was most sensitive to was-
"This fucking heat!" he suddenly shouted, kicked at the earth, slipped and lost his balance, and fell in the mud.