Lex’s assurance that the Glade of the Forest Mother’s Daughters being “not far” proved relative to the speed at which she could travel upon her agile mount. For Leeria, forced to traverse the uneven and overgrown terrain on foot upon a gradually rising slope, it proved a far more arduous task, even for a Ranger of her skill. Upon multiple occasions the Fey and her steed were forced to alite upon a branch or jutting stone to allow their earth-bound charge to catch up, Diglo becoming more and more agitated as her slowness deprived him longer and longer of his promised reward upon their journey's conclusion.
Just as the full darkness of nightfall enclosed around them, Lystra and Belt made the gates of the Flaming Fist Fort. Despite seeing no sign of continued pursuit for the majority of their flight, they had not slowed their mounts, fearful that their foe may have some unseen trick up their sleeve.
Dusk was falling swiftly when a lone rider wound their way down a twisting backwoods road towards a long, squat Inn with worn log walls and a thatched roof. A low palisade surrounded the structure, the gate of which was open and welcoming, as was the small trail of smoke rising from the building’s chimney. A faded sign at the palisade’s gate identified the place as the Weeping Willow Inn, aptly named as the namesake trees lined the roadside leading to its entrance, as well as about the palisade’s exterior. The soft gurgling of a nearby brook, as well as the multitude of chirping insects, lent the locale a sleepy facade and was a pleasing image to the weary traveller.
Leeria awoke the following morning just before the dawn, still groggy from sleep, as well as the amount of alcohol she had imbibed the night prior. She lay for a time amidst the hay, curled in on herself as she had but her woodland cloak covering her nakedness, the medallion of her guild clutched in her hand.
“I did, can’t say I’ve ever seen someone give a Fey Dragon a blowjob before, not that I’m judging by any means.”
With the breaking of the dawn, a rider came thundering up the Coastway upon a white steed whose coat was marred by a hefty splattering of mud. The rider himself wore blue finery as well as a silver breastplate upon which had been etched a rearing griffon. A silver helm he wore as well, the visor of which he lifted upon reaching those guardsmen who stood watch at the gatehouse. Not long after, Commander Adrian Durham was roused from his cot within the southern tower and within minutes he was striding forth, his helm held in the crook of his arm, to meet with the rider just within the cities’ courtyard.
Seated astride Shadowflight, just within the eaves of the Wood of Sharp Teeth, Lystra surveyed the open grasslands that stretched to the east of the woodlands. Unlike the lands that comprised the majority of the coastline to the west that were rocky and oft-broken by small ravines and dells, here the land was, for the most part, flat and covered in a healthy growth of plains grasses and small shrubbery. This was the stomping ground of the Elturel Hellriders, she knew, and where she hoped to spot the hunting party with whom Duke Belt rode.
Rendrick awoke slowly from his slumber. Having had little rest since he and his companions had first entered Cloakwood, a fact they had likewise noticed, it had been insisted upon that Keira and Tiberius would split the watch that night, allowing the Ranger a much-needed full nights sleep. Though he had been against their proposition at first, he had relented when even Katarina joined in on their behalf. Waking now, grogginess fogging his mind and a stiffness clinging to his limbs, he knew that one full night's sleep had not been nearly enough.
Within the tunnelled sanctum of the Talosite priests, far beneath their House of Rolling Thunder, the Sellsword Kharne stood patiently within a circular chamber, a large contingent of Storm’s Rising Mercenaries, bereft of their normal company colors, as well as the hulking Barbarian, Dorn, arrayed behind him.
Kormak and Jaryn stood in silence, side by side, amidst the carnage in Myrna’s Grove. Whatever tears were to be shed had already fallen and now reigned a stoic quiet, broken only by the chirping of crickets who seemed content to resume their song now that the chaos of the battle had subsided.