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  #61  
Old Dec 18th, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Rey held back from the others. Taking the package as it was handed to her, she slowly opened it and put her hand over the cover. She could feel the warmth of magic flow through her hand and up her arm.

Closing her eyes, her mind drifted to a meadow where her Mother was standing."Momma," she whispered as her Mother smiles and raises her arms out to Rey. "It's alright, my baby. This that you do is for the good of all and it will get you away from your Father's plan."

Rey is comforted by her Mother's words as she steps into her embrace. All her doubts fade away as she realizes she made the right choice to leave her home for good.

With a start Rey is pulled back into the room to hear Chancy's speech. 'A wererat,' she thought. She hadn't expected that but it didn't matter she was still going.
"OK! What are we waiting for? Let's go get us some worm's tail," Rey says softly yet enthusiastically.
  #62  
Old Dec 18th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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Valorym nods. "Very well. If you will follow me to the stables, your horses are already saddled," he says, then proceeds to lead them to the stables where, indeed, the horses are ready. "You may mount up and be on your way. Once you exit the city through the eastern gate, head north. You will eventually reach a small town. This town was a victim of Wormtail's horde and is in ruins." Anticipating concern, he reassures them, "Do not worry, we already have persons dispatched to help rebuild. Once you go through the town, you should pick up the trail easily enough, if not, just ask one of the locals, they will point you in the right direction."

With this said, Valorym excuses himself and leaves the party to finish preparing on their own. They each find and mount a horse, though Ashanti stays in fox form and rides along with Oni. The horses' training show as the only sign of apprehension they demonstrate when Eligan approaches is a flick of their ears and a worried neigh. Once everyone is ready, the horses carry them through the city and out the eastern gate. Once outside the city, the horses break into a gallop. Eligan runs alongside easily keeping pace as Balban keeps her in sight.

This is Rey's first time outside the city and she marvels at the expanse of land all around her. Zarfob, though just recently fed a feast, keeps eying his horse hungrily, only to have Sadekar repeatedly remind him, in the goblin tongue, that he would have to run alongside, like the tiger, if he ate his horse. Evelyn assumes the lead, with Darien right behind. Oni follows along willing to let others lead. Ashanti takes the opportunity to take a nap while riding in Oni's pack.

Within a couple hours, they reach the devastated town. The horses slow to a quick trot as they reach the outskirts. Buildings show signs of fire, and freshly dug graves dot the hillside. Despite this, the townspeople are not bogged down in sorrow. On the contrary, they are working with a vigor to repair their small town. As the adventurers ride through the town, the townsfolk cast glances at them and a sadness can be seen in most of their eyes, yet a desire to see those responsible pay for their crimes causes them to cheer on the party, knowing they follow after those who destroyed their lives.

On the other side, they indeed pick up the trail. The trash and refuse generated by such a large group is impossible not to notice. As they follow the trail, they see signs of Orcs, Troglodytes, and Kobolds passing this way. Other than the litter and debris, nothing impedes the party's progress allowing them to travel faster than Wormtail's group did, though the trail is a little over three days old. The party stops only when necessary, and only long enough to eat, drink, and take care of personal business. During one of these stops, Sadekar gets off feeling sore in the saddle area. He inspects his saddle and discovers a secret pocket. Inside the pocket is a dull gray ring with glowing green arcane script engraved around it. He pockets the ring for further inspection at a later time.

The rest of the journey is pretty uneventful, with most creatures avoiding the scent of the orcs and lizardfolk. As night falls, The party decide to stop to rest and get some sleep. It would not do well to come upon the horde weary and exhausted. They each take shifts keeping watch while the others sleep. Rey was the last to take watch, and while the rest slept, she refreshed her boyish disguise, finding it slightly more difficult without the ability to check her handiwork in a mirror but still confident in the results. The next morning, they continue on after a quick breakfast.

As they travel, they can tell they are getting closer as the trail seems fresher, yet still a couple days old. The journey proceeds much like the day before, with a slight exception. For no apparent reason, Rey seems to feel emotions that don't seem to fit with the situation. For example, just after a meal, she would suddenly get a feeling of hunger, yet she just finished eating, or while in the middle of the group, surrounded by her fellow team mates, she suddenly gets the feeling of being alone and scared. This confuses her, but she doesn't say anything, not wanting to draw too much attention to herself.

They camp for one more night following the same shifts as the night before. Mid morning of the third day, the gang reaches the base of a mountain range. The trail leads up the mountain and there is no sign of a path suitable for hooves. The rest of the trip will have to be made on foot. The party unpacks their equine mounts and leads them to a nearby pond, leaving them there for the journey home after their mission is complete. Once that task is complete, the party contemplates the mountain and how best to climb it.
  #63  
Old Dec 18th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Although he was among the ones who voiced caution, Darian felt the need to get out of the duke's abode as much as anyone. He was careful not to eat too much so as to not have it all come back in a not so pleasant manner once the hectic motions of their mounts commenced. Sure enough, they were off ver quickly, riding at a sped Darian could handle but wasn't all that comfortable with. The horses he had ridden in the past were all farm animals, stout and strong and not really eager to sprint. The ones that carried him and the others were of a much more slender build, bu their speed and agility were evident as soon as they could pick up speed outside of the city walls.

Darian relished the fresh air devoid of any smells of civilization, and thought that Balban probably felt even more at ease now that all of the formalities were done with. He couldn't help but chuckle a bit at Ashanti's antics in riding inside Oni's backpack. 'I just hope she doesn't act so immaturely once we face our enemies' he thought, feeling both sorry and a tad bit more respectful towards the half-orc, who was bearing all of this in silence.

In his intent to be as far away form the goblin as courteously possible, the paladin took up a position near the front of their little pack, positioning himself in a way that he and Evelyn could exchange a few words if need be. The journey was altogether a silent one, but Darian could not miss the snippets of conversation Sadekkar was directing at the goblin in a most unusual, guttural tongue that he thought was aptly designed for such small, sharp toothed mouths.

Once they reached the town the chancellor spoke of, Darian couldn't help but shudder at the sight so akin to that of his own misfortune. He wanted to stop and help give the fallen a proper burial, but knew deep inside that the best he could do for them was to press on. Still, he said a quiet prayer to Erastil as the party rode out of the town, beseeching the lord of earth and hearth to welcome the innocent in his embrace. This event might have reopened fresh wounds, but it also made Darian flush with burning conviction.

The journey wasn't tinge entirely in blackness however - Darian found himself relating greatly at the end of each day, finding joy in helping with the myriad of small tasks that need doing in a camp. His elven heritage had also granted him the ability to see much better in very dim light than many of his companions, leading Darian to volunteer for guard shifts near the breaking of dawn, when the night seemed darkest and most foreboding.

Just as most were starting to get used to the routine, the trail of rotting refuse and desolate paths left by the enemy host had abruptly come to an end, as dd the path on which their horses made great haste thus far. Having secured them, the party could go and explore the mountain. And what a site it was! Towering above the landscape, it was beautiful and menacing at the same time. The trouble was that it didn't have any sort of opening or natural way which could explain the sudden absence of enemy tracks.

After looking the whole situation over for a bit, Darian spoke up "Something is wrong here. An army as big as the one we are following couldn't have just been swallowed by the mountain." Turning to Sadekkar, he adds: "I think that this might well be the time for your particular abilities to shine Sadekkar.
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  #64  
Old Dec 18th, 2012, 07:22 PM
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Sadekar felt a little relief as they finally mounted up and started making trails. He kept close to Oni and Zarfob, the two a little on the edge of the group. He couldn't help but chuckle inwardly at the way Zarfob kept looking at his horse like a second banquet, but he kept up the reminders, knowing that having Zarfob mountless would slow the group down.

As they rode on the trail of the monstrous legion, Sadekar took time to study the remains and the leavings when they broke for rest. "The more one knows their enemy, the less of a threat they can become." He always made sure to document any weird findings he made, things that seemed out of the ordinary. In all honesty, Sadekar was a little paranoid in some regards, so he was wary that the Orcs, Troglodytes and Kobolds were simply the Back of the pack and their trails were overstriding other, bigger threats.

Once they reached the village, Sadekar again was wide open on paying attention, studying the damage patterns as they went through - Every scrap of information he could glean from the damage done to the village he paid attention to. He actually stopped for a short time, asking questions of those who he figured might know more - he asked what they might remember of what they saw, every time promising those who helped that he would avenge their fallen. Once he'd spoken around town a little more, he rode a little harder than the party to catch up at their next rest stop.

Once he finds the ring, Sadekar ponders the sheer existence of the ring. He could already guess at the nature of the ring, considering his request to the Chancellor prior to their leaving. This didn't stop him from examining it to every possible degree before he put it on during the ride of the third day, while everybody was at a rest stop, in case something drastic happened. Yes, he was a little paranoid, but when you did the things he did, well, it was a good idea Not to get overconfident - that price was far too much for him to pay.

They found the mountain range, and the base trail that led up the hill. Something immediately struck Sadekar once they'd set their horses in peace - The army went from having a massive rampaging trail of litter and detritus, to all but vanishing into the mountains. He nodded at Darian's words, scratching his chin.

"I agree wholeheartedly, Darian - a legion like we've been following doesn't just up and Vanish. I think we've caught up with them, mark my words. Zarfob, if you don't mind following me, I think we need to take a bit of a look around... I don't think they ALL went up that little trail... There's probably caves at the base, and we might have caught up with them before they set out proper scouts to forewarn them of an approaching army. I'll go see what I can see in the initial area, and I'll be back in a bit."

He had to admit, it left him a little troubled, the fact that the enemy had seemingly vanished up a trail that was so narrow it wouldn't support horses. Didn't add up to him. So he took his pack, his gear, suited up in his armor, got himself nicely ready, and set off into the landscape of the area around them, making his every effort to stay inconspicuous, expecting an enemy scout element to be waiting and watching.
  #65  
Old Dec 18th, 2012, 08:44 PM
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Asking around the town, Sadekar gathers little information than has already been relayed to him. The attack happened at night when most were asleep in the beds and awoken violently. It happened so fast, that many of the survivors have very sketchy memories, only of monstrous beings and reptilians rampaging through, lighting buildings on fire and reveling in the destruction before moving on.

During the second day of travel, Sadekar's searching reveals traces of an ogre traveling along with Wormtail's entourage. The only other things to be found were the usual trash left behind by such a group of monsters: shed scales from the lizardfolk, broken weapons and pieces of armor from the Orcs, leftovers from food that have been left to rot. Signs of minor skirmishes could be seen as well, as if not everyone got along well together, yet no sign of dead bodies.

The ring appears to be made of silver, yet it isn't as bright as it normally would be and instead is a dull grey. The etchings seem to resemble acid, yet the metal does not bear evidence of acid damage. The second appraisal reveals that the ring may be worth somewhere upwards of 20,000 gold pieces or more.


Despite Sadekar's concerns, there is no trace of any elements remaining behind from Wormtail's group. Both Sadekar and Darian were correct, however, that not everyone scaled the mountain. Sadekar confirms this when he finds various trails leading into many smaller tunnels at the base of the mountain. Most of the tunnels are only 6 feet high, some taller and a few others shorter. All the tunnels seem to lead upwards, though at slightly different slopes.

Last edited by Draycos Goldaryn; Dec 20th, 2012 at 06:49 PM.
  #66  
Old Dec 18th, 2012, 08:49 PM
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Ash wanders around the trail, poking and sniffing here and there. "Well, if they're not here, they went over the mountain. Or under it. Maybe they're farther ahead than we thought?" She gives a sneeze from the colder air, and looks back at the rest of the party. "So... chase after these smaller tracks, to try and get answers from some of them? Or keep following the main crowd, and hope we catch up?"
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  #67  
Old Dec 19th, 2012, 12:28 AM
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Balban takes a bit of time to get to know his new mount, running his hands up and down the strong shoulders and up the neck. He reaches into the stall and takes some hay and feeds it to the majestic animal. He knows the ingrown fear that the horses would have for Eligan and brings her near while holding the reins and gently introduces the two of them letting them get used to each other before they seem to calm down and find peace. After the introductions he mounts the steed and follows the others as they ride out of the city making sure Eligan stays nearby, calling her closer if she strays to far.

As they reach the woods the group soon picks up the trail of the Army and Balban dismounts to let Eligan know it is OK to wander away from the main group and search in the woods for signs of anything suspicious. She will not roam to far but enough to extend the feelers of the group further than they normally would have off the trail. They spend the first day at a brisk pace hot on the trail and whenever he sees something that may be of interest he dismounts to examine it a bit closer.

He is comfortable with the group, they are quiet, but he assumes the lack of conversation is from everyone paying attention to the job at hand. Zarfob keeps looking at his mount like it is a meal instead of a mode of transportation and he smiles as he listens to Sadekar seemingly scold him in the foreign tongue. With Evelyn up from with Darian and Oni and Ashanti in the middle he lays back of Zarfob and Sadekar keeping an eye out behind them as well as looking for signs.

After a short while they come to the devastated town and the destruction and loss of life are evident reason as to why Wormtail must be found and stopped. They pass through the town assuring the townspeople they will find who did this and put an end to it. Sadekar stops and begins talking to some of the townspeople while the group proceeds. The rest of the day is uneventful and they find a suitable place to camp for the night and set watch while he instructs Eligan to guard the camp. The following day they continue to follow the trail, Balban noticing the lack of forest creatures that would normally populate these types of forest telling him that Nature can see as much evil in this marauding band of thugs as they can gather themselves. The day goes without incident as well as the following evening. When they take breaks to rest Eligan scrounges through some of the trash scattering the trail nearby in search of tasty morsels that may have been left behind.

Early the next day they come to the base of a mountain and the wide path of trampled forest seems to suddenly come to an end. A quick assessment reveals a small trail heading up the mountain not big enough for horses so the group takes care of the horses, unpacking them and leaving them by a nearby pond for the ride home. Darian and Zarfob volunteer to go look around the base of the mountain and Ashanti mentions the smaller trail seeming to lead up the mountain, "That seems like a good plan Ashanti, why donít we go together up the trail and see what we can find and meet back here in a little bitThat seems like a bonzer plan Ashanti, why donít we bloody go together up the trail and see what we tinnie find and meet back here in a liddle bit." He instructs Eligan to come with them and help to see what they can find up the trail. Eligan sniffs the air and the ground to see if she can pick up any of the scents they have been following as they begin.


OOCIf he perceives anything of interest on the trip he would dismount and if time permits take 10 or take 20 if they are resting to investigate further. Eligan will travel far enough away from them to guard and keep notice of things they may not come across as a group but not completely out of their range and let Balban know if she finds anything out of the ordinary. She would also use her scent ability to begin learning the enemy they are following and lead her to anything of greater interest.

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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Evelyn is overjoyed to be back on the road again. The miles churn away beneath her feet as the roan gelding trots past tree and town, hill and valley. The other companions trail along behind her. Their antics are amusing. The journey takes on a darker tone, however, when the ruined town comes into view. Delicate lips tighten to a thin line as Evelyn surveys the damage. This is exactly what she hopes to prevent on a wider scale. Most clerics in the holy orders simply react to damage once it has been done, whether the source of hurt be a wound or a pillaging army. Fools. Far better to prevent the damage in the first place, yes? This town is cooked to a crisp already but we will put a stop to any further mayhem.

A brooding silence hangs like a cloud over Evelyn as they reach the mountains. The enemy rabble has trickled into caves underground and they are left with searching for clues. She hops of her horse and paces about, looking at the others in turn as they speak up. “I will come with you, Balban,” Evelyn says finally. “I have a canny eye sometimes. We might as well try searching the surface but I doubt it will yield much. They were only passing through. Once we're done up top, why not pick one of these tunnels and follow it as a group to wherever it leads? The tunnels all head in the same direction. It stands to reason they must converge somewhere.”

Last edited by Sir Alex; Dec 19th, 2012 at 09:02 AM.
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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 05:17 PM
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Zarfob was enjoying the adventure so far. It was a relief at first just to get out of the city where he had been imprisoned for so many months. He was still uncertain about the horses; he had never ridden one of the animals before and they looked much better suited to be snacks than transportation. However, with a supreme effort of willpower bolstered by occasional reminders from Sadekar, the goblin refrained from eating any of them. Much to everyone's disgust, he did eat something his horse left behind, but at least he cast Purify Food and Drink on it first.

He was hungry again when they made camp. When it was his turn to take the watch, Zarfob spent his time searching for more food.

When they reached the mountain, he accepted Sadekar's invitation to search the trail. Zarfob liked the rogue, if only because it was nice to have someone to speak his own language with. He tried to imitate the human's cautious movements as he studied the terrain. He tried to follow the tracks to see which tunnels looked like they were getting the most use, and he kept an eye out for anything that looked out of place. All the while, he tried to remember everything he had ever heard about these mountains.
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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 05:21 PM
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Whereas Sadekar didn't find traces of the ogre until the second day, Balban found evidence of it the first day. In the town, Balban noticed signs that some of the fires were actually started magically, though not all. A lot of the damage appears to have been accidental rather than intentional. Perhaps not all of Wormtail's followers are evil. No other groundbreaking discoveries are made the rest of the trip. The only traces Eligan could find away from the main trail were tracks as individuals would separate for a short time as they hunted food before returning to the main group


Following the trail up the mountain, Balban notices that no orcs used this path. It appears that the party split, with the lizardfolk ascending the side of the mountain. Eligan also notices no traces of orc along this path, yet she almost catches the scent of Wormtail, though it is heavily masked by the scent of so many reptilians. Luckily for Balban, Eligan is a better tracker than he and is able to follow the actual trail, leading him along where he would have ended up following his own footsteps if left alone.

Last edited by Draycos Goldaryn; Dec 20th, 2012 at 06:48 PM.
  #71  
Old Dec 19th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Preoccupied with his unusual ride (at least for him) Zarfob failed to notice anything about the trail that first day. instead he found out, even if you purify it first, a horses leavings aren't very nutritious, leaving most of the nutrients within the horse. However, he made up for this when they camped by finding food (edible food) while foraging, enough for everyone, including Eligan, to eat without using up their own rations.


Zarfob failed to move as silently as Sadekar, instead he steps on almost every twig lying in the path, nearly jumping each time it snaps under his foot. Luckily there are no enemies nearby to hear. none of the tunnels seem to be favored over another. The trails seem rather evenly split, with 2-3 separate tracks going into each tunnel. The strange thing Zarfob notices is the lack of wildlife. There are plenty of vermin and insects, but nothing larger than a rat. Not much is known about these mountains. Only that no one has ever crossed them and returned to tell the tale. His old tribe referred to them as Barrier PeaksPunno'n B'ugk.

Last edited by Draycos Goldaryn; Dec 20th, 2012 at 06:48 PM. Reason: didn't know about the HR tag
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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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Sadekar couldn't help but roll his eyes the time Zarfob decided to try the leftovers from the horse... though they were horrible digesters, leaving a lot of stuff, he had to figure it still would have tasted horrible. He shook his head after a moment, returning to his other thoughts. Weird company do weird things, and he dismissed it for the most part.

Along the search trail, Sadekar would purse his lips and ponder for a moment as Zarfob failed rather horribly to be silent and stealthy. He gave slight directions to keep a relatively small distance, just enough that Zarfob would double as a Distraction in the case of scouts, but not far enough that he couldn't back him up. After all, part of the key of pickpocketing was to Distract the mark as you lightened their purse.

Once they found the caves and trails, Sadekar would wind up crunching his lips in thought as they find out the information about the caves, the numbers splitting up, and the lack of scouts or heavy wildlife. In all honesty, Sadekar made note of the fact that it seemed, with the lack of wildlife, that the army was travelling on foraged supplies - not a bad idea when you have a large number of troops to feed. Of course, the problem was the aftershock an army this size would leave. Sadekar took the time to give each cave a small investigation, a cursory examination of the entryway, a small infiltration to check if there was a pattern to the pathways, and from there he would ponder for a moment. It would be at That point he broke out the chalk, taking time to go deep enough to avoid any chance of weather destroying his marks, and put a trail sign on each entrance, so he knew which ones he'd seen - he guessed there was a cave network riddling the area, so it made sense to him to mark entrances he knew about, in case there was a connection and they wound up coming out an entrance they knew about. Once he'd done that cursory examination, he'd move to the next cave, working from distance back to the horses.
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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 07:16 PM
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The journey started out well for Rey. Her horse was bigger than she expected but she managed it well. It felt strange to leave home this way knowing that she wouldn't return. Other then her mother, who had been gone for many years, and Chancy, who she loved and would miss, she wasn't sorry to go.

Rey watched the countryside in wonder. 'It looks so different from the window,' she thought as they rode. 'This is the land of my people.' She shifted in the saddle, straightening her back as they rode into town. Seeing the destruction, she was shocked. 'How could anyone do this.' The senseless devastation of it all moved her and she vowed to put a stop to it and to make sure that nothing like this would ever happen again.

Rey was silent most of the trip. She honestly thought that she was going crazy, feeling hungry when she knew she wasn't and lonely when she was surrounded by her new friends. 'What is it,' she thought. 'Am I really losing it?' A small frown formed on her brow the further they traveled.

When they reached the Mountain she hopped off her horse and began brushing him to cool him before taking the reigns to lead him over to the pond to drink. Leaving him there she joined the others and waited and watched. Something just didn't seem right to her but she couldn't say what it was.
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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 09:58 PM
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Ash wandered behind Sakedar, keeping her "What'cha doin?"s and "Ooh, what's that?"s to herself. If she bothered too much, they'd ask her to help in the tracking, and that would just be No Good at All. Small talk with the peanut gallery would have to do.

She turned to Rey, and wiggled her ears a bit in thought. "So... what's actually up here that they'd want to go to? We've got rocks... and trees... and that's about it. I don't really know the towns around here, though. Is there somewhere big and huge and awesome up the mountain? Do they have food there?" No... probably not. If they were important enough to have fancy food, they'd be important enough for her to have heard of such a place. Piffle.
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Old Dec 20th, 2012, 06:39 PM
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Darian, Rey, Oni, and Ashanti wait down at base of the mountain while the others scout ahead. Balban, Evelyn, and Eligan are the first to return with the knowledge that Wormtail himself, and the main contingent of lizardfolk ascended via that path.

A couple hours later, Sadekar and Zarfob return after investigating each tunnel. In total, they discovered 17 tunnels, all appearing to head in the same direction to converge together at a point somewhere near the top of the mountain with none of them looping back as far as they can tell. A few of the tunnels may be easier to navigate than others.

Both scouting parties can also report that all tracks ascend, but none come back down, so the mountain itself does not seem to be the final destination, which can account for the lack of enemy scouts. The party must now decide which way to proceed: head up the main trail, proceed along one of the tunnels, split up and take multiple paths, trusting they'll regroup at some point, or give up and go back home.

Last edited by Draycos Goldaryn; Dec 20th, 2012 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Sorry, forgot to include Darian in this post.
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