Rorom didn't spend too long in conversation with the medic, but thought it good to stay on good terms with him, and so nodded in response to his own introduction. He looked to be a high status individual in Viden as well, someone to know and get on his side, perhaps. But for now, he was another useful body during this expedition. Although Virikai may feel out of place, there was certainly a need for medics on this expedition, in case they found the girl in less than ideal condition, which was extremely likely.
But Rorom didn't speak on his suspicions of the girl's potential for harm having befallen her.
Another person joined their party, a woman eidisi who introduced herself to the rest of the eight. "I'm Yalva Indrost. I'm a cartographer and surveyor by vocation, I've been interpreting the information returned from rangers and other sorts who explore the wilderness, to turn into accurate maps and data for such." She stated very mechanically and matter-of-factly. She didn't smile at any of them, but merely settled into their group.
Rorom was curious about the bluish skin of the woman, and thought it was very attractive if strange quality. He wondered if Eidisi showed a different color once they were claimed by frost?
The fisherman, however, didn't linger much longer in conversation with the rest, but saw if he could pick out anything else that might be of use. He selected a few sets of torches, torches with a wind-shield on one side of them, so that they could be lit and not exposed at any one moment to the direction of the wind.
Of course, it occurred to Rorom that during the dark hours the shields might obscure any light they'd provide in the direction of the wind, and so may in fact get in the way.
Nevertheless, they seemed to him a good thing to have. He also packed a furred bedroll, anticipating that they'd have to stay in the wilderness overnight.
Eventually, however, they got underway, and Travis the Ranger in charge introduced himself. He stated that they'd be making their way via sled ride, and that they'd be separating into groups of two, searching specific areas.
During the three breaks they traveled, Rorom had to rub his eyes, as he thought he saw a foreboding shape of a burl in a tree, in the shape of a livid and monstrous face.
He almost didn't believe what he saw when he noticed it, and so didn't call the sled team to slow down or stop. But they kept on pulling the sled.
Rorom thought to chat with the woman, Yalva, "So Yalva, or any of yer. Have yer ever done your businesss of cartography on the water? What about you Travis, ever hunted on the open seas?" He said little else, and didn't want to spend too much of his breath in this chill. It was important not to let that precious body heat flee if one could help it, and talking too much could be bad in such a climate.
Yalva responded to Rorom, for what it was worth, "I've never actually been on an expedition." She stated flatly, "I only interpret the information that people bring back for me in the Academy."
Rorom's head turned toward her, as she answered, and he felt dumbfounded. How could one even begin to map areas without having seen them firsthand? "How do you manage to make them good?" Rorom asked, incredulous.
Yalva's demeanor remained unassailable, even to his incredulous tone. "I'm a bit of a prodigy with spacial recognition. I can just... make sense of what people say about an area, and nobody has complained about my map-making skills yet."
Rorom nodded, satisfied well enough with her explanation. "Well, I have to admire yer fer comin' out to help here. It can't be an easy change from the safe halls of the Academy."
Soon enough, they came to a stop in a clearing with a roaring fire pit in the middle of it. Eventually they got sent along on their way, out into the wilds. Rorom went along with Kai, and was glad for the medic's presence. It seemed, although Kai probably wasn't suited to survivalism, that they'd make a good compliment to each other's abilities. Rorom afterall knew nothing of first aid or healing arts. But he could help them navigate the wild spaces, and find important signs that eluded the medic in the wildernesss.
Kai asked Rorom which direciton they'd be heading in. Rorom nodded, "Thataway." He pointed toward the creepy woods. "And aye, we'll try and keep our path straight, but on the way it wouldn't hurt to leave bread-crumb trails to make our way back by, incase we find ourselves traveling in circles. Goin' in one straight line through the wilderness is not as easy as following a road, for instance. It's too easy to get turned around and make your way back in such wild spaces." Rorom informed Kai of that quirk of wilderness travel. "Much like the open seas, you have the stars for guidance, and also a compass ideally, as we have here."
They searched along for a while, and Rorom thought he spotted some strange tracks. Strange, because they didn't appear to belong to one who was walking straight forward... but walking backward, their back toward the direction they were headed. Very strange, what would possess one to walk backward into the wilds? Perhaps they were backing off of a threat?
"I'm seein' tracks here." Rorom stated to Kai, "Someone backing away from something they're seeing, though I'm not seeing tracks belonging to whatever that might be? Perhaps something that floats off the ground, or else..."
Then Kai shouted for Rorom to look. Rorom stopped immediately, and attended to the anomaly that Kai pointed out... There was a smattering of charred wood, in the form of a firepit. Rorom furrowed his brow as he lowered himself to check the remains of the wood. As he did so, he thought to Echo the senses of the Sea Wolf
that rattled around in his mind at times, rebelling against the over-small shell that held its essence. Rorom had to try and reign in its urge to manifest, but he did so with whatever willpower he could muster.
In the end it was enough, and he was able to hijack the sea-wolf's sense of smell. He picked up the piece of charred wood, and brought it to his nose, Echoing the ability of the Sea Wolf to pick up scents and things that were unusual in their surroundings. Particularly, he was wondering if there was any bloody residue evident on the charred wood.
He knew it was risky to use magic unlicensed in Viden, but this spell in particular was fairly low-key and had no physical manifestation. All anyone would see was Rorom taking the bit of charcoal and sniffing it. But what Rorom would receive in terms of information would grant him information that might be useful, in tracking down the girl or her kidnapper.
"Aye, it seems like an adult camper was here. I can't tell if the girl was here, however... There's only one set of tracks, belonging to a woman grown." Rorom looked at the tracks again, and came to the conclusion that based on the space between the feet, they belonged to a female. Another oddity perhaps? But then there were plenty of female survivalists as much as males. He wondered if this was their culprit, or just someone who'd made camp of a night.
"If the girl was here, she was being carried by the other making tracks, not walking of her own power." Rorom mused, aloud.
"Aye, it doesn't seem the girl was here, and if she was, she didn't leave her own set of tracks." Checking his compass, he determined the direction they'd have to go to get back to base camp.
"Aye, it'll be getting dark if we linger too long here. Let's make our way back, and share what we find."