I could tell I was getting closer to Glan Vraig before the ground started to slope sharply downward… the smell of the free people over-powered every other scent there may have been. It was not easy to fight the urge to kill them, but I know I would not be able to take many before they killed me… and they definitely would kill me. Even in stealth, I slowly and cautiously made my way down the side of the mountain… I don’t know what a loose stone or debris from the mountains would bring about, and I didn’t want to find out. I stopped and took a quick look behind me… the fact that it was dusk made it much easier to hide in stealth… I wondered how long it would be till nightfall descended.
I carefully made it to the bottom of the mountain and into Glan Vraig. I could sense that I was holding my breath, hoping that I wouldn’t be noticed. There were guards that I could see, but they were busy talking to each other and didn’t notice me. As it was growing darker, I saw someone approaching with a torch. I quickly looked around and saw some crates stacked up that cast shadows behind them… a perfect spot to hide behind. As the person applied his torch to a more permanent fixture, I made my move to the crates. I held my breath and slowly peered around the crates. The torch lighter didn’t notice me and the guards were still talking to one another. I backed into the shadows and waited until nightfall… and hoped there were a lot less guards around then I could see. I knew that the rangers were outside the perimeter, but the guards inside we not slouches at fighting, and now was not the time to get into a fight I probably wouldn’t survive.
Creami and Chucaro arrived at the large waterfall. With the snow about gone, Creami was glad to have Chucaro’s nose to track Deathwulf. She noticed a more springy step in the warg as Chucaro was easily able to pick up the other warg’s scent.
“He went to the mountain walls momentarily, but his scent is strong to the east. We’ll head that way.” Creami nodded as she filled up her water skins. It had been a while til they came across a water source that wasn’t frozen. After Creami was done, she headed to where Chucaro waited… the warg seemed to have an impatience about her. “I’m ready to head out,” Creami said. Chucaro looked at the minstrel and thought otherwise. “Hop on,” the warg said. “I can keep up with you.. I am fine,” replied the minstrel, knowing Chucaro had badly injured her paw a day ago. “Look, get on already. I don’t have time to argue and we can move quicker with you riding. I know we are close to him, I can smell it. So enough with the hemming and hawing.” Chucaro said as she got low for the minstrel to get on. Creami gave a resigned sigh and got on… she had to grab hold to steady herself as Chucaro suddenly took off… her hurt leg was fine. “Sorry,” said the warg, “I’ll try to remember to give you notice before we take off.”
Chucaro glanced behind her. “I’ll go through the night if I have to… we have to catch him before he gets to the Delving!”
Silentknife saw the wagon slow to a stop outside of Ost Guruth. He looked around the corner and saw Sylwith talking to a guard. That’s odd for a guard to be this far from the outpost. As he looked around, he saw other guards stationed at regular intervals close to the road. Sylwith rode up as Silentknife was watching the guards.
“Apparently, Winterwulf rode through here first and gave them a quick heads up. Being stationed close to the road is them being cautious, but they want to be prepared for anything.” the huntress informed.
“So we can go on through?” asked the burglar.
“Yes,” Sylwith replied, “Winterwulf told them not to hold us up en route to Rivendell, but he wasn’t sure if we were still being followed.”
At least if we are, this will slow our pursuers down. “We are still making a good pace… we should reach Rivendell by nightfall.” Silentknife looked up at the sky. It was clear and sunny. At least the weather is cooperating. Sylwith turned her horse and told Tracer, who started up the wagon.
Silentknife took a final look at the guards before he fell in behind the wagon. Hopefully all would go well the rest of the way.
The ride to the Ford of Bruinen went without any problems. They took a short break and let the horses momentarily rest and get a drink. It was hot in the Trollshaws, and the brisk ride did nothing to cool them off. Silentknife quickly scouted the perimeter while the others took a rest.
We picked a perfect time… the trolls haven’t come out yet and we shouldn’t have any problems making Rivendell. Hopefully it will be cooler by the time we reach the elven city… or the elves find us, which will more than likely be the case.
It still gnawed in the back of the burglars mind what Winterwulf had said. Thinking about that made him think about the hunter. I hope he gets to where he needs to go and I hope he really knows what he’s doing. A whistle from Sylwith brought him back to the present, so he rode back to where the wagon was. With the horses rested, they went slowly across the river and then up the bank before Tracer guided the horses to the path leading up the hill. As the horses found much better footing, the paced was picked up in a hurry.
The burglar watched as the bears and local wildlife went about their normal business and pretty much ignored the speeding wagon. While they weren’t easy to see, Silentknife knew they were out there. As they knew they were approaching Rivendell, Silentknife could feel eyes watching them. Even though he’d been here many times before, it still unnerved him.
They weren’t stopped by the guards as they entered, but they were watched like hawks. Sylwith led them away from Elrond’s house and toward the stables… they made it down the hill just as the sun was setting. As Sylwith made it near the guest house, a small contingent of elven soldiers greeted her.
“Master Elrond sends his greetings,” the lead elf saluted as he stepped forward. “He also said there is a path behind the stables you can stay at to avoid any possible trouble.”
Silentknife chimed in before Sylwith could speak. “And are you our escort of our ‘special package’ that we have in the wagon?”
“We are to escort your party to the selected spot and we have soldiers stationed to make sure nothing happens. Let me be clear,” he continued, “you are here because Elrond has stated that. However, you may stay only as long as it takes to find a cure, that is it. Regardless of the pact made, that ‘package’ is a warg and will be shot on sight, without question, should the need warrant. That is your only warning.” While the soldier’s tone hadn’t changed, his stance did. No matter what, he would rather have the warg dead as it lay… the only reason Wargie was even in Rivendell was because Elrond said so. Silentknife simply smirked at the soldier. “Lead on, ‘escorts’,” he said dryly.
As Silentknife went to take his position, Sylwith stopped him. “What was that all about?” she asked. Silentknife thought for a second before answering. “I wanted to see where things stood… that is all.” “Try not to cause any trouble while we are here.” Sylwith said as she turned her horse around to lead the wagon. “We’ll see what fun we are ‘allowed’ while we are here,” thought the burglar.