The Break Down:
- While Kym-mae and Anja wait with Akrea and Mina the Wolf clan girl by the entrance to the cave, Valkilmer and Tallis investigate a dripping sound deeper in the cavern and discover a creepy man, apparently blind, who demands to know what they are doing here. He learns they have rescued Mina from the pit cavern and demands her return. Tallis refuses and Valkilmer wards him off with a lit torch. He flees the room, but before doing so makes strange screeching noises. Tallis and Valkilmer pursue him and see an exit from the cave leading outside. They take it just as a swaem of bats enter the room. Valkilmer screams. Once outside they attempt to find creepy man tracks but cannot. They head eastward looking for another cave entrance, don’t find any but Tallis finds lingam berries and collects them.
- Meanwhile at the cave entrance, Kym-mae administers to the unconscious prisoner’s wounds with Anja’s help.
- Tallis and Valkilmer return overland to the cave entrance where Kym-mae, Anja, Akrea, Mina and the Wolf clan prisoner are. Just then the swarm of bats enters the cave entrance from the tunnels behind and begins to bite any exposed flesh. Anja shoves the children under her sleeping sack and desperately tries to light a torch, receiving a few bites in the process. Kym-mae takes shelter under her jacket and Valkilmer rushes in swinging his axe knocking bats out of the air. Anja manages to light the torch and between her and Valkilmer the entrance is soon cleared of bats. Tallis enters the space and spears the injured bats on the ground with an arrow and begins to collect them.
- It is discovered that their Wolf clan prisoner has died and the party decides to leave.
- Once outside, there is some discussion about wether or not they should check to see if the deceased prisoner had valid death marks or wether to prepare him for the death journey. Kym-mae says ‘no’ as he is a disgraced clan member, but Tallis and Valkilmer go in and collect him. Tallis checks for death marks, finds he has remnants of them, but decides to reapply earth blood circles to his forehead, chest and heels nonetheless.
- As they are getting ready to leave the creepy man comes rushing to the cave entrance from out of the darkness but this time his eyes are yellow with red pupils and he has long, black claws and elongated teeth. He seems reluctant or unable to leave the cave entrance. Tallis sticks her tongue out at him and he bellows at her! The party backs away and Akrea fires an arrow into his shoulder and he retreats into the cave.
- There is more debate about what to do and Kym-mae starts off to the east. Valkilmer is hit from behind by a rock from the cave mouth.
- Kym-mae is rejoined a short distance from the cave by the Wolf who acts as her guardian.-
- Just then Makkar, the giant from the Sea Otter clan appears down by the tree line below them and hails Tallis. He comes up to greet them and is filled in on what’s going on. Just then the creepy man bellows from the cave again and Makkar bellows back.
- They party leaves, following Kym-mae and heading east along just below the ridge line.-
- The party heads east along the bluffs and just notices the creaking of many logs as they tumble down upon them from a deadfall along the ridge line. Most of the party miraculously emerges unscathed but Tallis takes a good size log right in the ribs and is badly bruised, sprained and winded. A pale face is seen disapearing at the job of the ridge just as arrow fire comes from the forest at the bottom of the bluffs though Kym-mae notices it’s not aimed at them but at the ridge line. Baul and son coming running out of the forest and warn that it’s Black Dasus at the top of the bluffs. Baul stops when he sees hows badly injured Tallis is. Baul is eager to pursue Black Dasus but Anja insists the party is in no shape to do so. Tallis groans a lot.
- The party head south into the woods away from the bluffs and Kym-mae continues to call for any Wolf clan members that might be about. Baul and son run further ahead into the forest to see if they can find any Wolf clan.
- The party continues to walk south and comes across a dead deer covered in strange, black growths. They figure this must be the disease the Wolf clan spoke about that has been effecting the animals in the area. They avoid the deer and continue south.
- They travel for a couple of hours (during which time Kym-mae shoots a rabbit) when suddenly Wolf becomes very alert, though not anxious, and proceeds ahead stealthily. The party follows as quietly as they can and can see a clearing in the distance whereupon Wolf suddenly goes tense and his hackles raise. The party follows him slowly to the edge of the trees but see nothing, except Tallis and Makkar who see a diminutive figure like a small woman with pointed ears, snail antennae and gossamer wings sitting badly wounded near the far side of the clearing. Makkar and Tallis approach the figure but it seems to shy away, a bit unsure of where to go. Wolf, next to Kym-mae, begins to proceed around the clearing to the east, in stalking mode. Anja notices that no birds seem to sing to the south of them. Kym-mae and Valkilmer follow Wolf. The little creature sees Kym-mae, looks astonished and approaches her, “You are the one who carries the T’silla!” it exclaims and goes on to hurriedly talk to Kym-mae about what that means.
- Just then on the south end of the clearing a massive, dark wolf appears; the light around it diminished into twilight. Three other large wolves appear momentarily and briefly another small figure, this one twisted and black, can be seen on the back of the largest wolf. The wolves attack and Kym-mae scoops up the little wounded creature and flees back north. Makkar, Tallis and Valkilmer engage the attacking wolves. The battle is furious. Makkar is badly bitten but remains standing. Tallis takes to the trees and begins firing arrows from aloft. Valkilmer engages with his stone axe and deals crippling blows to the wolves, whose teeth seem to have little effect when they bite to tear open his guts. The twisted creature on the back of the lead wolf yells something in a disturbing tongue and the wolves take off after the fleeing Kym-mae. Makkar picks up his huge bow and begins firing arrows. Tallis leaps down from her tree (onto a dead wolf). Things seem to be going badly for the party when suddenly a great brown bear emerges from the north edge of the forest and charges the wolves. The bear seems to wear Anja’s talisman. Valkilmer fights bravely but is bit hard on the leg and goes into a rage! He strikes madly at the wolves, destroys two of them and is about to attack the bear when he comes to his senses. The largest of the wolves, with the twisted creature on its back, flees to the south again…
The whole story:
Just inside the entrance to the cave they took shelter in, Kym-mae and Anja watch over Akrea and Mina the Wolf clan girl; all the while wary of their unconscious prisoner lying sprawled beside them against the wall of the cave. Anja gives Mina her rabbit fur cloak to cover herself and keep warm. Kym-mae decides to check to make sure the prisoner isn’t bleeding to death and, with Anja’s help securing the wounded man’s head to control him in case he suddenly awakes, redresses his wounds. Anja then offers Mina some food which she hungrily accepts and devours. She takes some more food from her satchel and offers it to Akrea, who insists on waiting for her to eat before he will. Anja decides it’s been long enough since she last ate and so the two of them take a moment to dig in.
Meanwhile, deeper in the cave, Tallis and Valkilmer face off against the creepy man with seemingly sightless eyes. Tallis trains her bow on him and Valkilmer stands beside her carrying a lit torch.
“Demons?” He questions, “No. Not yet… Clansmen! What do you want?! What are you doing here?!” He raises his club threateningly and cocks an ear in their direction.
Always quick to respond Tallis pipes up and answers, “Taking shelter from the rain. Who are you and what are YOU doing here?”
Without answering her question the stranger snaps back, “Why this cave!”
As quietly as he can, Valkilmer reaches for a stone on the ground and then throws it against the wall to the creepy man’s left. The stranger starts at the noise but does not move from his perch on the rock.
“Tricky clansmen,” he says and then suddenly turns his ear and appears to be trying to hear something beyond them.
Tallis, sensing his desire, quickly makes a lot of noise, “NYA NYA NYA NYA NYA!”-
“Bah!” he shouts angrily and then takes a step forward. “I don’t believe you! You could shelter anywhere, why here!?”
“We found a little girl,” says Tallis. “Did you put her here?”
“What?! No, I did not! Where is she! What have you done with her!” He seems more agitated and angry and takes another few steps towards them.
“We rescued her!” says Tallis. “She’s coming with us.”
“No!” shouts the creepy man. “She stays here! Where is she!” He raises his club again in a threatening manner; Valkilmer notices he seems poised ready to strike not at them but at the rock wall beside him.
Valkilmer makes a sudden move and tries to kick him in the chest but it appears the man is more alert than his seemingly sightless eyes would suggest and he manages to move out of the way causing Valkilmer to lurch forward and miss him entirely.
“Tricky clansman!” he says again. “Where is the girl!” He then steps forward again but this time Valkilmer shoves the lit torch in his face and he reels back! “Arghh!” he yells as he recoils and stumbles back a few paces. “I can see you’re not going to make this easy…” he says menacingly and then crouches low and begins a high pitched screeching for a few seconds. He then quickly turns and flees back in the direction he came from.
Tallis and Valkilmer follow fast on his heels and come to the end of the short tunnel but see no sign of where he could have gone except up and out through the hole above their heads which leads out onto the bluffs. Tallis quickly climbs out into the open air and rain and looks around but does not see the creepy man anywhere. She calls down for Valkilmer to join her quickly and look for his tracks. Valkilmer puts the torch he was holding down at his feet and thinks he briefly hears another high pitched screeching from deeper within the cave back the way they came.
Back at the cave mouth entrance, Kym-mae also hears a screeching from within the cave. “Did you hear that?” she asks Anja and then wonders aloud, “Bats?”
Vakilmer stows his axe away in his belt and just as he begins to climb up through the opening a swarm of bats bursts into the room and fill it with their mad flapping and screeching.
“ARGHHHH!” Yells Valkilmer as he scrambles to get out through the hole.
At the cave entrance Kym-mae hears what sounds like Valkilmer screaming in alarm. “Was that Valkilmer?” she asks Anja.
“Sounds like it,” says Anja.
They both go back to what they were doing.
Outside and above the hole to the cave below, Tallis stands in the rain (though a lessening rain) while Valkilmer checks the ground around them for signs of where the creepy man may have gone. He finds nothing and Tallis begins marching to the east looking for other entrances to the cave where the creepy man might of slipped back in. Valkilmer follows her and they walk about 90 feet but find no other entrances. Tallis, gives up on looking for entrance but decides to not make the whole tromp through the rain a complete waste of time and looks for wild berries. She is in luck and spots a bush of lingam berries and takes a moment to gather a few handfuls. She then leads the way down the bluff to where the cave entrance is where Anja and Kym-mae wait with the two children.
Back at the cave entrance, Kym-mae and Anja hear again the screeching sounds and then the flapping of many leathery wings getting louder. A moment later Anja is hit in the back of the neck by something flappy and leathery and bats begin to spill into where they sit from the tunnel behind them. Quickly, Anja yells for Akrea to get down and she opens up her sleeping skins and throws them over Akrea and Mina who crouch on the ground. Kym-mae also covers herself in her sleeping skins. Anja, nothing left to cover herself with and getting bitten by bats, quickly pulls her flint and dried moss from her satchel and begins to frantically spark a fire. Despite the flurry of bats she manages to miraculously start a little fire and then quickly lights one of her torches and waves it about her head, smacking bats left and right trying to clear them out of the cave.
From just outside the cave, Valkilmer and Tallis see Kym-mae crouched under her skins and Anja flailing about with the torch and the horde of bats whirling about them both.
Valkilmer suffers an internal dialogue about the probability of lighting a fire in the rain and igniting his own torch but then, having come to some definite conclusion yells “There’s no time!” and he runs into the cave mouth shouting, “Awoo! Awoo! Awoo!” Once inside, he swings his axe about his head, knocking bats to the ground (and getting bitten on the cheek) and generally adding to the chaos.
Panicking, Mina crawls out from under the skin off the skins but is quickly scooped up by Anja and held close though she still suffers a couple of bat bites on her unprotected flesh.-
The torch definitely seem to be driving the bats away and several dead and wounded bats lie on the ground. Tallis moves into the cave and begins to stab wounded bats with one of her arrows. The combined swinging of Valkilmer’s axe and Anja’s torch succeed in driving the rest of the bats back into the cave and Anja steps outside into the rain with Mina clinging tightly to her, tears streaming down her face. Anja retrieves her rabbit fur cloak and wraps Mina up in it again.
Akrea emerges from under the skins as well. “What was that!” he asks. Tallis offers him a dead bat on the end of an arrow.
The ground it littered with about 16 dead bats. Kym-mae rises and checks on their Wolf clan prisoner and finds that he is no longer breathing. There are lacerations on his neck and arms from bat bites but it is unclear if he died of these bites or just finally succumbed to his other traumas. Kym-mae kicks him.
“We should leave this place. This cave is the haunt of a beast! It’s a haunted cave!” announces Valkilmer.
Seemingly unfazed, Tallis turns to Anja and holds out a handful of Lingam berries. “Berries?” she asks.
Accepting the strangely timed gift Anja in turn asks Tallis, “What did you find?” But Tallis’ attention has already moved on and she moves about the cave mouth gathering up dead bats.
Meanwhile, Kym-mae unties her rope from the dead prisoner’s hands and feet and coils it back up.
“So, we should maybe find a different cave,” she states matter-of-factly.
“Yes,” everyone agrees.
“This cave in haunted,” repeats Valkilmer.
“Haunted by what?” asks Anja.
“A beast!” responds Valkilmer.
“A man,” says Tallis. “Maybe.”
“We chased him but he disappeared with magic,” states Valkilmer.
To which Tallis responds, “He didn’t leave any tracks.”
“And then he summoned the bats,” adds Valkilmer.
“Yeah he might of done that,” concurs Tallis.
“I think he probably startled the bats,” suggests Anja.
“No, he said we would pay, or regret, some word that meant bad things! And then he started ’Eek! Eek! Eek!ing, and then there were bats, but we were gone by then, sorry,” explains Tallis.
“So he startled the bats,” confirms Anja.
“I think he summoned them,” Tallis firmly states.
Valkilmer pipes up again, “I think he said ’ACHNO’WACH’ANO’GAH’ and summoned the bats. He used a spell!”
“It probably doesn’t matter,” says Kym-mae as she packs up the rest of her stuff and readies herself to leave.
“Yeah!” exclaims Tallis. “He was blind, he had viper clan tattoos.”
“Yes we should pack up and go,” agrees Valkilmer.
Tallis responds, “…I didn’t unpack.”
Just then the party hears a scream of rage from deep with within the cave.
“Oh we should go now because he really wants Mina!” urges Tallis.
“Ok let’s go!” agrees Kym-mae.
But Tallis, unable to resist taunting that which is dangerous, quickly takes a 4’ length of her rope and moves a little ways back down the tunnel and stretches it across its width, jams it into the rock on either side utilizing bits of bone gathered from the floor, and this effectively leaving behind a trap that would likely trip any passersby.
Outside, Anja takes a moment to wash off the bite wounds on herself and Mina.
“We should get out of here,” she adds as she washes. She then stiffens as she remembers the dead Wolf clan man lying in the cave entrance, “we have to get him.”
Everyone but Valkilmer hears what sounds like a deep pounding from within the cave, like something solid being struck on stone.
“Time to go,” says Kym-mae and starts walking away to the east along the bluff.
“We can’t just leave him!” says Anja.
“Ok let’s go, come on!” Says Tallis, implying she’ll help gather the dead man.
“Can somebody else give me a hand?!” asks Anja.
“You,” says Tallis pointing to Valkilmer, “come on. Let’s go.”
“What we take the Wolf man?” questions Valkilmer.
Akrea looks nervous and shakes his head worriedly, “I think we should go.”
“Valkilmer and I are fine,” says Tallis to Anja, “we’ll go get him, stay there.”
Anja seems reassured by Tallis and ascents to waiting outside. “Ok,” she says.
Still confused, Valkilmer turns to Tallis, “Back in?”
“Be brave,” Tallis tells him.
Tallis and Valkilmer run back into the cave entrance and grab the dead man and pull him out, Valkilmer taking his shoulders and Tallis taking his feet.
“What are we doing with him?” asks Tallis, hoping to get out of there quickly.
“Let’s get out of here first,” blurts out Anja, also obviously nervous.
“We’re dragging a dead man around?” asks Tallis incredulously.
“Not that far.” says Anja. “What did you find in the cave anyway?”
Tallis quickly responds, “Creepy man!”
From a little ways off Kym-mae shouts back, “He was a disgraced clan member leave him.”
Perhaps deferring to the will of the dead man’s fellow clan member, Tallis then says, “It’s her clan. leave him.”
A moment of pause from the honourable Anja and then she simply states, “She said so,” in a tone of grim finality.
Before they leave, Tallis quickly leans down over the dead man, and checks him for death marks; tearing open his jerkin and removing his shoes to make sure all three areas have been properly anointed. She finds remnants of death marks on him and decides to quickly reapply earth blood to the markings and so takes some ochre from her pouch and mixes it up using some of her own spit to form the paste.
There is another bellow of rage from within the cave, quite a bit closer now.
Kym-mae continues to waddle off, confident the others can catch up quickly. Anja stands some distance away from the cave mouth and waits as Tallis finishes reapplying the death marks to the Wolf clan man.
Suddenly in the cave entrance appears the same creepy man seen before by Tallis and Valkilmer, but his eyes are red with yellow pupils. He opens his mouth in a hiss and elongated teeth rim his mouth. The nails on his hands are longer and black. He doesn’t seem to want to come out of the cave but stares instead directly at Tallis. In response Tallis sticks out her tongue at him, to which he hisses and spits in frustration.
Realizing in horror that the supposed blind man can now see them she shouts, “Valkilmer! Look at it! It’s a demon!”
“I told you! The cave is haunted! Go!” Valkilmer calls back.
The creepy man/creature growls lowly but does not leave the cave.
Akrea stands and stares at the creature as if transfixed, mouth agape.
Perhaps thinking of the evening’s darkness Tallis asks aloud, “Do you think he can leave at night?”
“I will not stay around to find out,” says Anja.
“Do you think he’ll find us and night and eat our bellies, or something?” asks Tallis.
“Then we should leave,” says Anja. She then turns and says direcly to Akrea in a very unconvincing way, “No probably not.”
A little distance away Kym-mae is approached by wolf who had appeared from the forest below them. The meeting is a happy one and Kym-mae pats down wolf who nuzzles her affectionately.
Still in front of the cave, Akrea removes his bow from his shoulder, notches an arrow and takes aim at the creature. Anja watches as he lets the arrow loose and it strikes home, hitting the creatures shoulder whereupon it hisses and recoils back deeper into the cave.
Valkilmer then removes his spear, moves up to the entrance and extends it towards the darkness within, ready for anything that might come out. Tallis notches an arrow to her bow and takes up a position behind Valkimer, covering the area of the dark cave mouth.
Anja speaks up in this moment of silence, “We should get out of here.”
“I have a problem with what we discussed earlier, that we’ll be ok, that it wouldn’t do.” Tallis says firmly, obviously not happy with leaving such a dangerous creature, especially one angered explicitly by them, behind and free.
“We should leave before more of them come,” suggests Valkilmer.
“Fine,” says Anja scooping up Mina and heading towards Kym-mae and the wolf.
Akrea notches another arrow to his bow and follows her, looking back at the cave mouth as he walks.
“Excellent shot,” says Anja to Akrea and despite his fear his face cracks into a broad smile. Anja does not smile back.
Valkimer, still covering the cave entrance tells Tallis “You go, I’ll wait here to see if it comes out.”
“What?!” says Tallis.
“Go! Follow the Wolf woman!” urges Valkilmer.
“What if it kills you?” asks Tallis.
“It’s not going to kill me,” says Valkilmer. “I won’t wait here long.”
“Why don’t we both go?” suggests Tallis. “Shouldn’t we both go?”
Suddenly from down by the tree line a bellowing voice yells out, “TALLIS!”
Everyone jumps and turns quickly to see the huge, impeccably dressed form of Makker shouting up to them, a broad smile on his face.
“It’s a giant!” yells Valkimer and he turns his spear towards Makkar.
“No!” shouts Tallis to Valkilmer.
“I’ll cut you down to size!” threatens Valkimer, his spear pointed directly at the giant man.
“No! He’s a friendly clan! No, stop it!” Tallis shouts to Valkilmer.
“STOP!” shouts Makkar and instantly brings order to the confusion.
“Hi Tallis,” says Makkar as he trudges up the bluffs to great them. “Found you.”
“Um… there’s a Demon. In the cave,” says Tallis. “This is Valkimer. From the Auroch.” she says indicating the man pointing his spear at Makkar.
“Hello,” says Makkar to Valkilmer.
“You have a giant in your clan,” says Valkilmer.
“I know right?” smiles Tallis gleefully, obviously proud of her massive kinsman.
“how are you?” asks Makkar of Tallis in his quiet, non-plused way.
“There’s a demon he tried to kill us,” answers Tallis.
Valkilmer then butts in, “these lands are haunted with ghost dogs and demons!”
“And husband thieves,” Tallis adds perhaps not a little bit condescending. Then again to Makkar, “Why are you here?”
“Making sure you didn’t cause trouble,” grins Makkar.
“No! I haven’t!” quips Tallis. “I’ve been great.”
“Demon…” quotes Makkar, suggesting Tallis’ involvement.
“I didn’t do it!” says Tallis as if suddenly feeling the sting of a false accusation. “I found a little girl!” she adds and points out the child wrapped in a rabbit fur cloak and clinging to Anja.
“Where?” asks Makkar.
“In the cave,” Says Tallis. She then signals to Anja standing nearby and flanked by children, “Anja! Anja, This is my clan member!”
“Hello,” says Makkar to Anja, his pleasant grin opening wide.
Anja pauses a moment and considers the giant, “I saw you at the meet didn’t I?”
“I came late. Maybe,” answers Makkar.
Very ready to move on, Tallis asks Makkar, “Are you coming with us?”
before Makkar can respond Valkilmer is hit hard in the back with a large rock thrown from inside the cave. There is another roar of rage from inside the cave but nothing comes out into the light. The giant Makkar steps forward and bellows back into the blackness within, “YAARRGH!”
“Let’s go,” states Anja firmly, not for the first time.
“I don’t think this is where I should be.” offers Kym-mae, seemingly for the tenth time.
“Let’s start walking,” urges Anja.
“We should leave. Demons are bad,” offers Makkar.
A little unsure, Tallis asks “Shoudn’t we kill it?”
“I don’t know how to kill a demon,” says Makkar.
“Fair. I guess we should go,” says Tallis and she notches an arrows to her bow.-
Makkar spreads his arms wide and begins walking away from the cave entrance, herding Tallis as he goes.
“Stop it! You make me trip,” complains Tallis, though she seems not really offended.
The clouds in the distance are beginning to break apart and the rain has noticeably lessened even in the last 5 minutes.-
As they begin to walk away, Tallis asks Valkilmer if he’s alright, “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine. Let’s go!” he responds proudly.
Makkar takes a look over at Valkilmer, looks him up and down and warns him that his wound, from the will likely get infected.
“In-fec-ted?” says Valkilmer, looking confused.
“Your back. Where the rock hit you,” says Makkar with confident medical authority. “We should go, and then I can treat you.”
Another rock comes flying out of the cave and hits Valkilmer in the back again but bounces off harmlessly.
“LET’S GO!” yells Valkilmer, and then turning to the cave yells back, “STOP IT!”
As the party walks away from the cave, the bellows of rage receed into the distance and a barely audible “Thieves!” can be heard screamed after them.
The party moves slowly having to travel with a pregnant woman, a lumbering giant and two children, but the rain is much less now and the sun is coming out. Tallis, looking for something to do as the seven of them trudge along, flits back and forth and up and down the bluffs gathering berries. She is very successful and manages to collect loads of ripe berries, easily enough to be considered an entire meals worth.
Valkilmer, ever wary, takes the time to cover their tracks as they leave the cave behind.
Kym-mae continues to call into the forest searching for more Wolf clan members.
As the party travels along under the bluffs, an ominous creaking sound is heard from up above and a tumult of logs begins to tumble down upon the party. Valkilmer runs and scoops up Kym-mae and continues to walk straight ahead; somehow the logs fly by him without even touching him. Makkar lifts Akrea into his arms and shelters him against the tumult. A sapling whips by his back but barely scrapes him. Anja twists and turns with Mina in her arms and is hit roughly in the shoulder but protects the child. Tallis, pulling off an amazing dodge under one massive tumbling log, comes up only to be hit squarely by another slightly smaller log and is slammed down the hill, coming to rest at the bottom with the log on top of her. Ouch.
At the top of the ridge line the party sees a pale face disappear just as an arrow flies out of the forest at the bottom of the bluffs. Kym-mae notices the arrow was not fired at them, but instead up at the ridge line. Makkar puts down Akrea who immediatly notches and arrow to his bow and aims into the forest.
“No!” shouts Kym-mae, trying to get Akrea’s attention. “They’re not shooting at us!”
From out of the forest runs Baul, painted and camoflagued, and his son. “It’s Black Dasus!” he yells. “He’s been tracking you, we saw his yesterday above the ridge line!”
Valkilmer, puts down Kym-mae and yells back at Baul, “You were firing at us!”
Baul wheels around to face him and yells back, “Are you a fool?! It’s Black Dasus! He just tried to kill you!”
Valkilmer counters with a defiant, “But you have no clan!”
“Shut up Valkimer!” yells Anja.
“Don’t be a fool! It’s him! I’m not your enemy!” responds the bewildered and frustrated Baul, not sure how someone could be so obtuse.
“There was a demon,” says Anja.
“What?” says Baul, looking a bit overwhelmed.
“A demon, with red and yellow eyes.” A
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Baul
“We should move” Makkar who goes to carry Tallis
“By the Spirit, can she move?” Baul, quite concerned.
Tallis hands her bag to Baul
Kym-mae moves into the forest-
“Do you know where the wolf clan is camping?” anja to Baul
“I passed some in the forest, they’re on the move, they’re all heading south. It’s the disease, the disease has them running.” Baul “Black Dasus has been tracking you, I saw him on the ridge line yesterday.”
The party moves quickly away from the bluffs and deeper south into the forest. Baul and son accompanying them.
Once into the forest, the group stops to tend to their injuries. Kym-mae takes a look at Tallis and determines she has severe bruising but nothing is broken.
“You’re just in pain,” she says to the wheezing Tallis who promptly musters enough strength to give her a good hard shove.
Kym-mae then takes a look at Anja who is covered in cuts, scrapes, bites and bruises. Kym-mae doesn’t believe any of the wounds are infected and she applies a herbal poultice to her bite wounds and binds her arm so as to stabilize it.
Kym-mae then moves to examine Valkimer who tells her he’s fine and doesn’t need help. Kym-mae tires to poke Valkilmer where he was hit by the arrow but he deftly moves out of the way.
Makker examines Tallis and tells her she’ll be fine.
Valkilmer takes a moment out behind a tree and removes his jerkin. He comes back and submits to Kym-mae examining him and administering to her binding his wounds.
Anja begins to fiddle with her bear claw talisman absentmindedly.
Baul steps forward, “I’m concerned that Black Dasus will return.”
Anja, “We are too. We should try to find somewhere safe. Especially, if he brings someone else with him I don’t know if we can fight him right now.”
Baul, “Although your plan makes much sense to leave, I find it hard to stomach that man being on the loose.”
“I would rather he be on the loose and us alive to find him later, than him on the loose and us dead.” Anja
“Why is he following us?…”" Tallis
“He’s probably setting up traps right now.” Makkar
“What a jerk…” Tallis
“We should go.” Valkilmer
“You lead the way crow man”
“I shall though I believe this woman here knows the area better than I do.” indicating Kym-mae
Tallis gives baul some berries, he give some to his son.
Baul stands looking to Kym-mae, waiting to follow her lead.
“You move faster than us you should scout ahead.” Kym-mae to baul
A moments pause, as if considering their chances against Black Dasus should he return, “Are you sure you’ll be alright?”
“Well don’t scout too far ahead.” KM
“As you wish.” Baul and his son go on to scout ahead (has Tallis’ pack).
Tallis and Valkimer really start to feel the effects of fatigue.
The forest gets considerably darker the further they head into it. They see the occasional deer trail. Kym-mae takes out her bow to shoot a rabbit if she sees it.
Valkilmer and Anja see what looks like a dead deer ahead of them through the trees. Wolf seems aware of it, but doesn’t pay it any particular attention, he steers clear of it.
Anja suggests they examine it, Tallis urges Makkar to check it out, Kym-mae, citing that they’ve already checked out enough strange things today steer clear of it. Makkar (carrying Tallis) and Anja move closer to examine the dead deer. It is covered in hideous black boils and growths on its body and neck, some of them blooming out in gross profusions of flesh. It’s quite dead and quite diseased.
“Don’t touch it,” says Anja and she turns to follow kym-mae again, avoiding the diseased deer.
The party continues south through the forest, looking for somewhere to make camp.
“Everytime we make camp we get shot at. I can’t get shot at right now.” Tallis
“Maybe if we talk to them they’ll stop shooting at us.” Makkar
“They tried to kill us with logs. They almost killed me with a log. I don’t want to talk to them.”
Kym-mae manages to bag a rabbit along the way and she adds it to the other rabbit hanging on her belt.
The party has covered about 3 miles in the past 3 hours.
Wolf goes still. Kym-mae goes still as well and listens carefully, indicates for the rest of the group to go still. Wolf has his ears facing forward. Kym-mae enters cover. Anja, gets behind a tree and draws her knife. Makkar puts Tallis down and she notches an arrow to her bow.-
Wolf moves up about 10 feet and is followed by Kym-mae, about 20 feet behind. Wolf continues to move forward slowly. Makkar tries to signal to Anja to watch Tallis, somewhat successfully, and begins to move forward. Valkilmer notches an arrow to his bow as well and moves forward with Kym-mae, trying to see what the wolf is looking at. Akrea notches an arrow to his bow as well and steps in front of Anja as if to protect her. Mina, looks up at Anja wondering what’s going on. Makkar, as well lifts his bow and notches an arrow. Everyone notices that his bow is taller than he is.
The wolf moves up to the edge of a clearing up ahead.
Anja gets the sense from Wolf that he is alert, attentive, interested, but not fearful.
Anja puts her knife away and moves closer, stroking Mina’s head in reassurance.
Wolf at, the edge of the clearing, stares straight ahead.
The party moves up to the edge of the clearing to see what is happening, trying to be as quiet as possible, though Anja stumbles and puts too much weight on her bad arm and cries out! Makkar however, almost disappears into the foliage. Tallis, pretty much does disappear. Wolf turns at Anja calling out but some puts his attention back on the clearing.
V, KM and Anja see an fairly large clearing with fallen, rotting trees, semi-tall grasses, and shrubs dispersed without. Tallis and Makkar however, see a very small creature, like a small woman, about 2’ tall, with snail like antennae on her forehead and gossamer wings down her back (one of them badly torn) sitting behind a log on the far side of the clearing. She looks quite badly wounded with various tears and scratches on her, one eye filled with blood.
Tallis and Makkar step into the clearing. Makkar puts one fist into the other in a gesture of clan friendship and gestures towards the creature in the clearing.
“I wanna help you!” Makkar
“Are you ok?” Tallis
There is no response from the creature in the clearing, though it looks tense and ready to move.
Tallis removes some berries and holds them out in offering.
Kym-mae, for a moment, sees a whoosh of movement to her left. Wolf reacts to the same movement and his ears go back, his hackles raising.
The creature in the clearing backs off a bit and seems to look past Tallis and Makkar who turn around and try and follow her gaze.
Anja, seeing the wolfs movements, pulls out her knife again.
Tallis and Makker, staring back at the forest, see the rest of the party in hiding, but see nothing else.
Tallis crouches behind a log, putting it between her and the forest where the rest of the party is.
Wolf, his ears back and his body tense, begins to slowly move forward in the direction the blur of movement went.
Kym-mae draws her bow and follows wolf slowly along the perimetre of the clearing, with Valkilmer just behind her.
The little creature moves about the clearing in a nervous manner, keeping her eye on Kym-mae. Tallis and Makkar follow her lead and take careful note of what the little creature seems cautious of.
Anja, listens in for a moment and realizes although there is bird song coming from the direction they came from, there is none at the southern edge of the clearing.
Tallis and Makkar slowly make their way across the clearing, being careful not to startle the little creature, Makkar making friendly gestures.
Makkar notices the little creature looks a little desperate and confused, Makkar motions for her to come to him, with healing herbs in his hand. Tallis motions for her to stay away from where wolf is.
The little creature moves to the edge of the clearing on the south side.
Anja motions for Akrea to keep an eye on Mina and fiddles with her Talisman, feeling the tension in the air.
The little creature runs back out of the forest, skitters to the east side, sees Kym-mae and freezes. Wolf notices her but his attention returns immediately to the south.
Valkilmer calls out to Tallis and Makkar, “Otters!”
The little creature obviously very surprised, mouths something when she sees Kym-mae. Kym-mae lowers her bow and tosses a rock at Valkilmer to get him to stop yelling, “Shut up,” she says under her breath. The creature approaches Kym-mae, hobbling but wide eyed with wonder. Kym-mae moves forward as well, beconing for the creature to come hither.
The little creature comes up to Kym-mae and speaks in wonder, “You are the one who carries the T’silla!” and smiles (it’s a bit creepy).
“T’silla? What do you mean T’silla?” responds Kym-mae.
“The opener! The one that opens!”
“Opens what?” queries a suspicious Kym-mae.
The little creature looks confused
“What is closed?” asks Kym-mae
“The valley!” responds the creature
“What valley?” KM
The little creature looks over her shoulder and then back at Kym-mae, “Did the Mulassat find you?”
“You’re the good ones, not the bad ones, yes?” KM
The little creature seems to give that some thought and then responds, “Yes! The good ones!”
“Are the bad ones coming?”
The little one looks over her shoulder again, “We know the Mulassat, the Dark Ones, want the T’silla!”
“I know they want them.”
“that would be bad!”
“They took my husband, I need to find my husband, he can fight them.”
“I know not of your husband. The Mulassat, if they had the T’silla it would mean much pain for us!”
“Can we get to my clan, to my Wolf clan, they can protect me.”
“In the Valley we can protect the T’silla!”
“In what valley?”
“In the valley!”
“Are my people there?” she looks confused “Others like me!” and points to the dots on her face
“Maybe. You must come with me! I will lead you! You have a guardian!” and she points to the wolf. “The mulassat would not bother you with such a guardian…”
Tallis moves between the little creature and the southern edge of the forest, as if to protect her form that edge of the forest.
Wolf has moved further forward, ears still drawn back…
creature, “Unless…. RUN!” looking over her shoulder, “You must follow me!”
“how far is the valley! which way!” KM
“You must follow me!”
“Baby’s coming soon!”
“The Mulassat are here!”
Wolf backs up a pace, he looks a little afraid…
Just then, a huge back wolf come to the forests edge
“The bad ones?”
“Yes! Mulassat! Run!”
KM scoops her up and turns to run.
Three more dark wolves step up behind the lead wolf. A darkness comes with them, their immediate surroundings sunk into twilight. Rising up from the back of the lead wolf is a small, black twisted creature, who screams something in a earpiercing screeching language and the four large dark wolves surge forth to attack the party.
Wolf runs forward and attacks the lead wolf, though he comes away with nothing more than a mouthful of rough hair. The lead wolf bites back in turn and Wolf cries out as the dark wolves teeth sink into his shoulder.
The second wolf charges towards Tallis who pulls back her bow and releases at arrow at the charging beast, the arrow sinking in deep though not bringing it down.
The third wolf runs at Makkar who tries to punch it out of the air as it leaps but misses. The wolf tears at Makkar’s chest with it’s teeth and gouges him badly.
Valkilmer yells to Kym-mae, “Run back to Anja!” and raises his bow, aiming at one of the charging wolves.
Makkar tries to grab the wolf that tears at his chest, and though the wolf wriggles out of his grip he slams it it the head with his fist and lands a very solid blow.
Kym=mae turns and runs, or waddles, as fast as she can to the north, carrying the little creature with the torn wing with her.
The lead wolf attacks wolf again but misses, wolf just dodging out of the way.
The second wolf, charging Tallis with an arrow in it’s side, leaps at her but nimble Tallis is able to move out of the way in time and the wolf harmlessly overhead.
And the forth tires to bite Makkar but also, likely still stunned, misses as well.
Tallis ups a tree.
Valkilmer releases the arrow trained on the wolf that attacked Tallis and hits home. He hits it in the neck and it goes down.
Makkar again tries to grab the wolf in front of him, succeeds but it wriggles out again, though he still hits it. However, the wolf wriggling disperses Makkar’s blow and the blow only meets the wolf’s thick hide.
The lead dark wolf bites again at Wolf and sinks its teeth in again, getting a better bite.
Another wolf leaps at Tallis but cannot quite reach her as she climbs the tree.
The wolf in front of Makkar tries to bite him in the thigh. Makkar tries to slam it with his knee as it bites him but it simply chomps down on his thigh as delivers a monstrous bite.
Tallis reaches a branch and climbs onto it.
Valkilmer drops his bow and draws his hand axe, charging forward and swinging at the wolf at the foot of the tree. He hits it hard in the back but it doesn’t quite go down.
Makkar, blood spurting out of his leg, moves again to grapple the wolf in front of him but again the wolf moves out of the way.
Wolf, reaches up under the lead dark wolves neck and grazes the wolves chest with his snapping teeth.
The lead wolf charges past wolf, shouldering him out of the way, and the twisted creature on his back yells something in that hideous dialect.
The other wolves moves to charge past Valkilmer, slamming him in the process and knocking him back.
Wolf turns and chases the lead wolf, biting at its rear and taking a bite out of its rump.
Then, from the bushes on the north end of the clearing, there is a roar and a huge brown bear charges out.
Tallis, up a tree, draws an arrow from her quiver.
Valkilmer yells out, “Anja! Protect Kym-mae from the bear!!” and swings again at the wolf in front of him, hitting it in the hind quarters. There is a nasty sounding crunch and it goes down, though still conscious.
Makkar, with no wolf attacking him, grabs his bow from the ground.
Wolf again bites at the lead dark wolf, misses and the lead wolf turns around to bite him. However, Wolf quickly moves out of the way and the dark wolves jaws clamp down on empty air.
The charging brown bear runs towards the nearest wolf and chomps down on its back but her bite only catches the wolfs fur.
Tallis notches an arrow to her bow as does Makkar after he scoops up his bow and an arrow.
unfinished and under edit