Artje runs alone now. The will of a self-imposed exile ebbs and flows through her soul, fierce as any tide, shifting and changing pieces of her, gathering detritus and dumping it in secluded corners. Bitter sands scour her through and through, borne along by anger and pain.
It's said the ranger is the loneliest profession. Separated from the mob by the need for distance, the ranger is fast and light on her feet. She strikes from an unseen vantage point, and for it, is never quite trusted.
Artje has been learning to use her dual axes, though her beloved bow is always at her back. The jewelled and embossed Krytan axes, with their wicked curved blades, are satisfyingly lethal, especially in the madness of Lion's Arch. She has learned to fear close combat less, and to move through awkward spaces a little easier. It's not her mountains, but the urgency there, assisting Lion's Arch in the fight for it's life, is sufficiently distracting.
It suits her to travel light. She knows it's the Tyrian way to join a guild, and she is often invited, but she rebels against their rules and requirements. She thinks sadly of her old guild, the easy companionship of friends discovering their strengths together. But even there she ran alone, darting into the mists whenever possible, consumed by the urgent ferocity of battle.
She goes rarely into the mists lately. Her lassitude is enormous. Some days, it's bigger than she is. On those days she does not fight.
She tries to return to her old home, from the time before Tyria, but it's a despondent experience. All the betrayal is there, all the trouble she can't fix. Artje looks carefully where she enters, these days.
Sometimes she catches a familiar melody, and remembers the days of old Ascalon; the breezes through the red and green and golden trees, the crystal rivers and sunny villages. The swift run to the wall, the brutal process of fighting the Charr on their turf, the excitement of learning to draw them out, to meet their fierceness and to beat them at it. The time before time, when the world was an adventure she could not lose. The joy of conquering mountains, the shocking tragedy of Ascalon burning.
Artje watches, warily, the inexorable turning of the Wheel. The old life is razed but breath and pulse and thought still, somehow, go on. So it was and so it ever will be.