The young man was so lost in his thoughts of his childhood (Six of Cups) that he wandered off the path and into a deep wood without realizing that he’d lost his way (Two of Wands).
When he comes to the realization of where he is, he realizes that if he wants to survive this trip, he needs to keep on track (King of Swords) rather than allowing his mind to wander and his feet to take him wherever his nose points.
Using his knowledge of the land, he plots a course to freedom from the dark wood (Three of Wands) that will take him back on course to the adventure he seeks. Unfortunately, as he seeks the path that will take him back to the light of day, what he finds is that instead he ends up wandering deeper and deeper into the woods (High Priestess) until he begins to doubt himself and the way forward.
He wanders for a long time, confused as his thoughts and reason pull at him to go one direction and his intuition pulls him in another (revisiting the connection between the King of Swords and the High Priestess), until he realizes that charging forward and plowing along the path is not the answer (Knight of Wands).
He realizes the only way to break free of the dark wood’s grasp is to tap into the skills he learned as a boy (Eight of Pentacles), and he digs through his robes until he finds the compass he’d forgotten he’d earned as his time apprenticing for the king.
Touching the compass and realizing it’s power, he finds a peace within himself and realizes all is not lost (Temperance). He has all that he needs to accomplish his goal (Nine of Pentacles) of getting free of the dark wood.
Choosing to take a momentary break and camp for the night, he pauses to rest and in the night he dreams of a cougar in the trees watching him, silently stalking and observing as it waits for him to show weakness (Queen of Wands). He awakes with a start to find a delicate winged dragon-like creature curled up against his side purring away as it sleeps. Feeling protective of the tiny creature and paranoid from his dream, he is fearful but vows to defend himself and his companion if needed (Nine of Wands).
(…to be continued)