Bodies have been burned to a crisp, this is the way of funeral pyres.
Loot has been packed away. We move away from the site of combat and death and an hour before what would be sunset in this murky grey world, we make camp.
I keep the embers hot and the fire low as we eat dinner and discuss watches. I tell Daniel he doesn’t get a watch. But the others seem to have no argument about them. The bald dwarf is first, Gronx and Clarence are second, I’m third with Sslith’lac, with Jern joining me on fourth.
Phearon and I move away to talk. He pointed at where the constellation known as the Lovers would be at this time of year. I look, try and remember what month and season we are in, then agree. It would be great to see them…. He grins mirthfully, and I know there’s a bit of sweet mischief in his head. The mist goes high up, I tell him. Too high…
‘How high have you been?’
I shrugged, ‘High enough to know that going higher is too cold. The air thins, and it’s too cold…’ He smiles and takes me by the hand. He pulls then lets go as he takes off.
Damn him! I switch to my natural form and take off after him. I have always been the swifter flier. I catch up without trouble. And we are going nearly vertical with a tight spiral. The clouds get thicker, the air temperature noticeably drops, for me. Even with the cloak on that resists the cold, I can feel it. Several strokes later I was having a hard time with shivering setting in, nevermind the thinner air. Phaeron went on, and disappeared. I was slowing my start of descent when Phaeron wooshed up and wrapped his arms around me, and his cloak now on me. His wings continued to move us up. I could feel his chest working with the effort. ‘You shouldn’t…. I’m over 100 pounds..’ He took a few breaths before replying, ’I’ll manage.’
He continued up and I snuggled into the warmth, fighting my shivering to try and cast warmth. But it doesn’t help after a bit, so I just snuggle in closer, marveling in silence of his draconic strength. The power.
I close my eyes, then suddenly the temperature rises. I open my eyes. The air is thinner. And the beauty! A sea of clouds reflecting star light! The stars are here. There’s no magic aura, so there’s no explanation that Vrynith can’t burn through it. Phearon tells me that Vrynith was weakened before the mist came.
Frustrating. So much allowed to go wrong. I sigh.
I begin to talk about dying, but Phaeron doesn’t believe me. I tell him about it a little, him putting me on the pyre, a drunk priest casting fireball, but still he doesn’t believe that I died. I tell him, admit to it, that I’ve been reverying about my time time dead, talking to Pyrico and a strong feeling that I missed something. He says I probably didn’t and I’m looking for something not there…. I shake my head, and finally suggest we should wait before considering soul bonding. I point out that when one dies, often the other follows. And my death results in banishment, but the shock would still happen. He argues, with several valid points, and finally I give an option. We bring this up after a year, or when my brothers are free. Whichever comes first. I’m certain he knows that my family is extremely important to me, we were all very close.
Then maybe I won’t feel so horrible about moving forward in my life. How can I enjoy my freedom and happiness knowing that they are enslaved? Being tortured? Used in fighting pits? Used in experiments? My mind may be running wild as I do not know their precise fates…
The sky above the mist though is beautiful. We are slow to descend and slower still to share my tent. Phaeron does a patrol before joining me.
I come out of revery as heavy footfalls stop by my tent. It’s Clarence. I let him know ill be out. Phaeron is still resting. I get my other cloak and head out trying to not disturb him.
Seems Clarence had issues with Daniel running after lights not there. I tell Clarence I’ve got it. He tried to stay awake, but I shooed him off to his bedroll. I remind Daniel I can move quicker than him when he goes on about lights that aren’t there. Perhaps he’s mad? There’s nothing when I look in normal sight and magic sight. He sits and watches, I have Asra watch him, then give leave to watch what he watches.
Sslith’lac and I discuss my path of honour, I humour him, and we carry the discussion for 2 hours. Very informative. I wake Jern, and we work on Ronarian. I do the patrols he does his thing. A bit before dawn, I begin warming breakfast. At the end of our watch I had out food to everyone as I wake them. Seems I was able to channel my father, everyone ate without complaint.
We began to walk, I was to be grounded, not my favourite but I’m not going to argue with an elf annoyed at me. About midday, Fyraiia curses and draws weapon, I pull Pyrico’s Talon particially out and look for danger with fire in hand. There’s nothing on magic and normal sights but I have a tingly feeling. Fyraiia waves us off and we begin walking again. She laughs a short time later and ignores my question. I want to fly and she shakes her head. I grumble underbreath and continue to trudge. She gasps a while later and looks worried? at me. I inquire and again she makes no response.
I’m the topic. How vexing to not know what’s being said. I motion that I’m going to scout ahead. Enough of this one sided thing. I feel better once I’m away from the group, and work to look for trouble.
I find a caravan. I duck. Last one I saw I got banished shortly afterwards. I move to get a better view, and spot Narhveer’s markings. It’s a long way from home…. I grin. He has my brother. These fools might have information. I try to get a better look, and finally take wing.
I look for guards, priests, and wizards. I count four wagons, at least 2 have bars on the windows. Slaves.
I discuss options with the group.
- Why are we attacking them?
-Why not? They are Kabal. They belong in the Southwest not the Northeast. They are a long way from safe port.
This gets a partial agreement.
Horses, wagons, slaves are to be unharmed.
Everyone else is in danger. It’s midmorning. I suggest waiting for lunch.
We kill them, release slaves, get loot AND eat a lunch that we don’t have to cook ourselves! This has everyone on board. Even Daniel.
It’s hours of watching, gliding, soaring. I keep my people on course. I begin to worry about being wrong. Maybe they eat while traveling. Damn.
Oh no! Wait! The wagons are making a defensive barrier. Guards are posted. Good. I watch as they make fire and set to cooking. Perhaps we’ll keep the cook. Maybe. Are they all freemen? Or do they have slaves minding the horses? The cook fire? The guards are freemen.
I make sure Fyraiia is with us. We may need her to stop teleportation.
We discuss battle plans. Set fires and block their exits from all but one approach. I’m certain I can do this. I meet up with the group and get enhanced. Daniel is exited about lunch. A mighty bow and 7 arrows get handed to Clarence. Jern takes the crossbow and a score or so of bolts. We have our kill line, and I told Clarence he has mage guarding duty. I head off to set fires. Perfect landing and take off twice, but the third time, I swear I found the only twig to land on. All well, I take off again.
No one is to escape. I begin to mark the wizards and priests…