Hopes shattered?

Deathwulf slowly moved up the precarious path, one step at a time.  The elements fought back… the wind whipped and the snow flew so hard and fast it stung.  The air was getting harder to breathe, as well.  To make matters worse, the warg had been climbing through a dense fog, as well, for the past hour or so… would Mother Nature give in, or keep up the fight til Deathwulf gave in.   The warg’s stomach growled.  I haven’t eaten since I left… I am starving! As the warg continued to climb, his front paw slipped and he went down hard… tiny rocks broke off the ledge and tumbled down the side into nothingness.  Deathwulf peered over the edge and gulped.  Will this ever end? With extreme effort, the warg pulled himself to shaky feet.  With a deep breath, he moved forward.  He noticed the path was starting to widen quickly and he was soon out of the fog and the snow had stopped.  The sight before him was the most tranquil and beautiful sight he had ever seen!

No footsteps marked the snow, and the sun was beginning to peek over the far side of the mountain.  I must have been climbing for hours… I’ve lost track of time.  I was in the fog for so long that a new day has dawned. As he looked back towards the path, he realized he was traveling through the clouds! He looked at the endless expanse of cloud cover for a moment before coming back to the task at hand.   He took a deep breath of the cold, fresh air and started running towards the far side of the flat lands, running past trees on either side… his paw prints leaving a fresh path through the virgin snow.  I can see the top of Lugazag! His excitement grew as he ran towards the cliff’s edge.  As he slowed down, his heart sank.  The wall of the mountain went straight down… there was no path.  A fall meant death.. there was no dispute to that.  Deathwulf looked back the way he had come, then looked to the south.  I’ll have to take the long way around, then… better get to it. As he started running to the south, his stomach rumbled loudly.  He stopped and looked around.  Any rabbit or fox moves, I’ll have a nice breakfast on the move… well, any small animal, for that matter! He took up his jaunt to the south, going in stealth and looking for his next meal as he continued his journey.

—————————————

Creami and Chucaro slowly made their way up the path, single file.  Chucaro continued to limp and kept glancing at her back paw.  “Are you ok?” Creami asked.  This startled Chucaro for a second… she quickly regained her composure. “I’m fine, we just need to keep moving”.   Creami looked at the warg briefly, then continued up the narrow path.  “Just making sure, is all…”  her voice trailed off.

Chucaro stopped.  “What’s wrong?”  The minstrel’s eyes were glued ahead and had acted like she didn’t hear the warg.  As the warg glanced around the minstrel, she saw why… up ahead, the path disappeared in a thick fog.

“As long as I can hear the crunch of your boots on the rock, I’ll be fine,” said Chucaro.   The minstrel finally peeled her eyes from the fog ahead.  “If you’re sure about this, I’m ready if you are.”  The warg simply nodded, so Creami continued up the path.  It wasn’t long before they were both swallowed up by the fog…

————————————

Winterwulf and Sylwith reigned in their horses and looked in the possible directions they could have taken.  “It would take too much time to go to Tresslebridge and take the safe way around.” Sylwith said.  Winterwulf nodded.  “We’ve already come up this way, so there shouldn’t be much to stop them.  The only problem they would have is the Elven encampment, Lin Giliath.  I’m not sure if they have Elven arches, but if the knew that Wargie was in the wagon, my gut tells me they would have trouble.”  Slywith looked off to the south, his facial expression stern.  “I think you are right going by your gut.  We’d best get there as fast as we can.”  Winterwulf nodded as they spurred their horses onward at a gallop.

————————————

The rain is holding off, but it seems to be playing with us thought Silentknife to himself as he looked up at the darkening clouds.  His mood didn’t improve as he looked forward towards the seemingly endless dreariness.  It was only an hour or so before dusk, but the clouds were making it much darker than it really was.  We made it past the orc camp rather fast and without trouble… I just hope we can get to the main road before it gets too dark and it’s hard to see around us… in the open, we are easy targets.

Movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention.  It was difficult to do, but he made it look like he hadn’t noticed anything and didn’t turn to the motion, hoping it would come again.  They had bypassed the cave they stayed in on the way up hoping they could reach the road before nightfall.   There’s plenty of room around the Forsaken Inn to set up camp.. all we have to do is make it there.

Tregoan rode up to the burglar.  “Is it just me or did you see movement to our right?” he asked.

The burglar looked up at the hunter.  “So you did see it, too… it wasn’t my imagination.”  If we’re being followed, we need to get to the road as fast as we can… or create a diversion….”

Silentknife whispered to the hunter, “If possible, have them speed up as much as they can towards the main road, and don’t stop, no matter what they hear.”  The big hunter looked back the way they had come and, seeing nothing, whispered back to Silentknife, “What if we’re wrong and we are just chasing after shadows?”  Silentknife let out a low chuckle, “Then we have nothing to worry about, do we?”  He smiled and winked at the hunter.  “I’ll be back,” he whispered and galloped back the way they had come.  The hunter absently reached for the familiar feel of his bow before heading off to the front of the wagon.

“We may have trouble,” he said to Tracer and Ellenroh.  “Any chance you could pick up the pace a little?  We’d like to reach the main road before nightfall.”

Ellenroh looked behind the wagon, but didn’t see the burglar.  “Where is Silentknife?” he asked as he re-adjusted himself on the bench as Tracer made the horses move a little faster.

“He’s leaving a ‘proper’ welcome for whoever may be trailing us.”  the big man said.  I’d sure hate to fall into one of his traps.

——————————————

Silentknife went back to where he saw a tree and tied off his horse… not very tight, so if the horse broke to get away, he could.  He then went stealth and drew his daggers out.  “Time for some fun.” he thought as he swiftly headed out parallel to the swamp.  “If there’s anybody following us, they won’t know what hit them.”

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