The First Age

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Silas' footfalls pounded the steps up to the broken down church fortified more like a den than a condemned building. His pants were caked with mud to mid-thigh like cement shoes. Pants?

He curled a paw around the knob, gripped it like a bear wringing the neck of a cod and threw his weight against it. The white heat of pain flashed through his shoulder. Nothing moved, the door was locked. He scratched at the door then, heaved back on two legs and dug in his claws until scratch marks bit into the wood.

He yipped and yelped, but nobody inside heard, and he was too weak to gnaw his way through. He pushed the image of himself outward, but there was nobody to hear. None to hear for miles and miles.

He fell to his knees. Knees? And curled up in front of the portal. The fur on his face crunched frozen with snot and ice. His paws ached. The sun would warm him soon. Or somebody would find him and drag him indoors. Or he would remain cold in the long sleep. Which was fine by him. He'd spent a week tracking his way back to their den. It'd be about right to die on its doorstep. It'd taken longer to forget the shrill sense of panic that sent him running beyond the golden ring at all.