This trial honestly sucked. If Amaris ever tried to rope him into anything ever again, he just was not getting involved. They weren't even with him right now and that was just adding insult to injury. He'd have to wait until he saw them again so he could complain. In the meantime, he only had his other companions to complain at and they weren't the same at all; well, admittedly, Sephira wasn't a complete stranger but he didn't really know her either. Still, he might have earned some respect from her or rather reduced her desire to kill him by helping her out with the birds. Truthfully, he hadn't been a huge help but he had tried all the same and he hoped that that counted for something.
Now that they were in the woods and things appeared to be a tad calmer, he could have a look at his wounds, actually roll up his sleeves a bit or push aside the ripped fabric. He did his best to be subtle about it, mainly because he couldn't check the skin higher on his arms without sliding his shirt off the shoulder. Unfortunately, that usually required unbuttoning some of the top buttons and there was the risk of uncovering the fact that he was binding. Understandably, that wasn't something that he wanted to reveal, especially among mostly strangers who didn't know what he came from originally; he'd like to keep it a secret too.
Not only was he still bleeding freely but now that he could see his blood, he could see that it didn't look as it was supposed to look at all. It looked like he was oozing a rainbow. Given some of the things he'd witnessed today, it was high up there on the strange scale. He stared for a few moments, glancing at Sephira, who was the nearest, in a bit of a panic. Some of her wounds for clear to see and she seemed to be having the same colourful problem. Rowan wasn't certain if that made him feel better or if it heightened his sense of unease. His stomach seemed to churn within him, moving nervously as he tried not to consider the implications of the colours he was seeing.
The blond was temporarily distracted from his weird life fluid by an odd popping noise, moments later a piece of paper fluttered out of thin air so close that it was easy for him to snatch it out of the air. He frowned at it, unsure what to make of the sketch that he saw on it. It was of a woman, tall-seeming, militant in appearance. Rowan didn't know who she was meant to be but when Sephira drew level with him, he turned it so she'd be able to see it.
"This just appeared out of nowhere, wild right? Reminds me of you. Only a little, mind. Think it's the fact that she looks military and like she might like to take my head off," he told her, managing to dredge up a smirk despite the ordeal that he'd just been in. Before he could say anything further though, a boom sounded behind them and he turned to see the birds shoot straight up into the air from the clearing they'd just vacated. It was disconcerting but then what hadn't been thus far to-trial? At least since they'd branched off into their respective groups.
He gave a shrug in response to Sephira's muttering, no idea if it was mage-related behaviour or not. He thought that necromancers dealt with the dead or rather reanimating them. While he hadn't gotten a good look at the condition of the birds - what with the mad flying around and the attacking - he didn't know if they were undead or not. Still, they'd seemed lively enough. Could an undead creature manage that sort of vigour? He didn't want to ask the mage beside him although she evidently knew a thing or two about it; he didn't want to sound like an idiot. However, when he saw the pufferfish that she so idly tossed from hand to hand, he became noticeably rigid, unable to believe what he was seeing. He'd seen a pufferfish and now here was one, appearing from nowhere just like the sketch he'd gotten.
"I- This'll sound mad but I thought I saw one - a pufferfish I mean - and it was eh... flying. It looked like it was flying. Guess it could have been the shock of the birds attacking or maybe... they did something to us. They didn't exactly seem normal after all," he admitted, rubbing sheepishly at the back of his neck.
When Jim called back to see if they were all right, he nodded his head, tossing an arm briefly above his head and wincing a little at the sting of his wounds. "Yeah, we're good aside from a few punctures and uh... multi-coloured blood," he called back as he caught up to the man. As he walked, he muttered to himself. "Totally normal, happens to me all the time, rainbows coming out of my arms."
They were able to spend some time dealing with their wounds, the young man digging into his pack and glad of the items that he'd put in it. He'd figured that it'd be a long trial and well... you never knew what would happen so he'd brought a small cooking pot. Despite the looks he was sure to get, he deposited it on his head, handle to the back. If they had any more avian run-ins, he'd have his head protected and he'd be able to use his bag purely on the offensive rather than having to use it to protect his head as well. His headgear might well earn some laughs but the young man glanced around him, glaring at any of the others who looked his way and had even the slightest sign of being on the verge of a smile, never mind a snigger.
With his new makeshift helmet in place, he dipped back into the pack, digging out his water skin and some extra rags that he kept in there. He set them to one side while he gripped his sleeves, utilising both hands to tear the fabric apart. As far as he was concerned, it was already weirdly blood-stained and full of holes so there was no point trying to salvage it. It was a messy business and turned his shirt into more of a vest but he was able to tear off some of the cleaner material to either wet to wash away the odd blood or to wrap around his wounds. He didn't have a medical kit with him and so he improvised, something he'd often had to do in his life, making do with what he had and applying a bit of logic to the situation. He had to use his teeth to pull his homemade bandages tight, refusing any offers of help as he covertly checked to see if any of his tearing had revealed the rags wrapped around his chest. When he was satisfied, he took a drink from the water skin and then returned everything - bar the pot of course - to the canvas bag.
They carried on, Rowan sometimes turning his gaze heavenwards as if expecting another assault of avian origin to appear at any moment. However, they proceeded in a relatively uneventful one. Well, except that the absence of birds seemed strange to him after what they'd just encountered. He didn't just look for them but tried to listen for them too. That was when he realised that there was no sound in their vicinity except the noises of their own making. It was as if every living creature had bolted and they were the only ones who hadn't gotten the message. He didn't like that one bit.
When Jim offered them a choice for the path ahead, the young man hardly had to think about it.
"Weaver's Woods! I don't think I want to go near another clearing for awhile. The last one seemed fine until it started raining vicious birds. Also... people disappearing out in the open? No thanks, I don't want any part of that. I'll take the ghosts. Angry or not, I don't think they'd have reason to attack me. And if they did... well, I'm really not in the mood for any more bullshit today. I figure if they can hurt me then they must be substantial enough for me to hurt right back, yeah? Although I feel like I could tear through anything right now. I am not a happy bunny," he explained. Maybe it'd sound ridiculous, especially coming from a guy who looked a bit of a lunatic with a pot on his head, but he stuck by what he said. He felt ready and able to tear ghosts apart with his bare hands if they gave him reason. "I'm sure that we can go through there. Maybe go carefully so we don't attract any unwanted attention. Not at a crawl mind you, but at a reasonable speed. I just vote that we keep our wits about us."
When Sephira explained why she should lead them rather than Jim (he could get behind anyone but the hyper man leading them), he frowned at her words. "You can escape more easily with Rupturing? You make it sound as if you'd leg it out of here at the first sign of danger and leave the rest of us to fend for ourselves. No thank you!" Rowan snapped. He was in a nasty mood after recent events and he wasn't in the humour to deal with some militant woman taking charge. "You've got military experience, great but you're also a mage, yeah. I'm not, I don't know if the others are but you're the only one I saw trying to use magic so let's say that you are the only one. Know what else I saw? You got the worst of that assault back there. Those birds were desperate to get at you and now why might that be? Maybe it's the fact that you are a mage. We don't need you leading the charge and alerting anything up ahead of us."
He ran a hand through his hair, coming to a decision, nodding to himself. "Yeah, you know what? I think I should lead. I seem to be noticing things that you aren't or else you aren't communicating them. Like I saw how the birds reacted to you and what's more, I saw how they acted before that boom. They weren't acting as if they were controlled by one will then, it was more like they were on the offensive until something called them off. So yeah, my observation's good. I don't know if any of the rest of you have noticed but there isn't any noise here. No birds, nothing rustling in the trees and that is weirding me right out. I don't like this situation at all but I'm still going to deal with it. I might not have magic but you don't need magic to lead. It might even be better not to have it. It's not like I'm useless if it comes down to a tussle just because I don't have it. So yeah, I vote that I lead."
With his piece said, he folded his arms across his chest, pot bobbing on his head as he nodded it. It slipped forward a bit and he adjusted it, somehow managed to still appear as if he held some pride in spite of the sight that he cut.