"When will this rain stop?" Thain asked, pulling his cloak tighter. He had been traveling east through the wastes of Old Ruskar on the southern borders of the Birchwood Marsh - now known as the Deadwood Swamp. Although it remained yet fair and green this far south, it seemed to rain almost constantly. On his fourth day of sodden trudging, Thain Once-Hunted found himself before the ruins of an old watchtower, crusted with lichen and fallen into disrepair.
The trek had wasted Thain's strength as the thick grey mud pulled at his feet with each step, threatening to swallow his boots whole.
The tower was a remnant of Old Ruskar and its crenelated ramparts were weathered with age, defiantly reaching into the sky.
It must have been abandoned for decades, its planks and timbers swelled with moisture and rotted away.
A little river, swelled by the downpour, flowed beneath the watchful eyes of the old tower, its surface riddled with popping bubbles as the rain beat upon it. Its waters passed beneath the rotting bridge before dancing and leaping playfully over the rocks and slushing between the reeds and rushes before turning away to the East.
A large willow, some remnant of the old kingdom, leaned out over the river, its beard of trailing leaves literally weeping in the rain as it reached towards the turgid surface, ever thirsty.
The vig without the willow.
Thain hoped he might kindle a fire on that outcrop of mossy rock beneath the small pine, though he knew he would never get dry and felt he might never again in his life. "The life of a ranger," he chuckled.