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Old 05-16-2019, 11:35 AM
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Chapter IV - The Path Back to Lady Evil

Mountain Paths and an Attack
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Grenzo led the way up out of the swamps onto narrow mountain paths that continued on toward the west while keeping the highest peaks of the mountains to the north. Looking south, the group could see the expanse of marsh and swamp that dominated the western reaches of the vale. Travel was difficult as sometimes the trail would veer up at nearly impossible angles to avoid ravines and gullies while other times the path would be nearly obscured by fallen debris and boulders as large as castles. The recent experience at Sanctaid, however, ensured spirits remained high. Each companion now had a set goal to work towards. Some were more immediate and others were more prophecy than strategy but at least it was a plan. Lew had been operating on vagaries and orders given from afar for so long that a sense of purpose had reinvigorated the man and even helped sew up some of the misplaced prejudices against Zyl and even the goblin Grenzo.

It was while setting up camp for the night on the third day after leaving the Sanctaid that a startling encounter occurred.

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While tending to the fire and the evening meal, a volley of bony spikes landed in the party's viscinity. It was followed by a thunderous voice which echoed off the peaks from above.

"Submit to the dominance of the masters of the mountain. You trespass on our territory and must pay for it with large quantities of food or your submission!"

The light of the fading sun revealed what appeared to be two large lions with bat wings and long spiked tails flying high overhead, nearly one hundred feet in the air.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:54 AM
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Zylstaer Cramorn
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Zyl had enjoyed the companionship and scenery of the mountains as they traversed their trail. Having survived on his own for so long, both in the village and in the wilderness, he really enjoyed the presence of actual companions.

As they settled in for dinner on the third evening, two flying lions accosted them, demanding food and submission. We don't have large quantities of food to share, and submission would be contrary to our mission. Zyl looks nervously at his companions, steeling himself for the battle he knows is about to ensue.

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Old 05-20-2019, 12:58 PM
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Nerin Lindiar
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They had three days of uneventful travel, and for those three days Nerin was very grateful. That said, she couldn't have been much less surprised when horrors emerged from the night. The priestess was surprised when the horrors called out in very understandable common. "Submit to the dominance of the masters of the mountain. You trespass on our territory and must pay for it with large quantities of food or your submission!"

Nerin looked around at her comrades. Zyl had an expectant look on his face, hoping for someone else to step forward. His hands clenched, again and again. She called out, "What would you have of us? We have little food, and we but travel through these lands on the way elsewhere. Passage is all we seek."

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Old Yesterday, 09:49 AM
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Dry rocks
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Ava knew of monsters; many were dark evil beasts and aberrations that would stand in the way of the party's quest. These however, were new to Ava. The majesty of a powerful lion came across as tainted and twisted. Leathery bat wings combined with spikes across the body finished the picture. The twisted creatures were clearly not as honorable as the lion, attacking with stealth and giving demands akin to a common highwayman.

As Ava processed the situation, Nerin stepped forward, appealing to the logic of the situation in an attempt to placate the creatures. In an effort to show support, Ava stepped close behind Nerin and placed her hand on her shoulder. "Goddess guide you." When Ava said the simple incantation, she felt the magic course through her veins. Her heart began to hammer, the feeling of her blood pumping was intensified by the magic moving with it. Starting from her core, a dim light traced down the path of her left arm, swirling around the medallion wrapped around her wrist. A moment later, the gathering light had grown slightly more luminous and coursed back into Ava's wrist, down her fingertip and into Nerin.

Seeing Nerin look back at her, Ava gave her a friendly wink, trusting that Nerin could manage the situation. Besides, if Nerin is unsuccessful in parleying with the monstrosities, we could test the mettle of the group. Not ideal, but a good metric.

Thinking it best to be prepared, Ava glanced at Lew and pointed her forefinger at him. Her voice comes to him, a soft whisper in the breeze; "Prepare for a fight, but let us see if Nerin can diffuse the situation first. A long road is ahead of us and who knows what other dangers rest nearby." Lew gets the sense that if he responds, Ava alone will hear him.

Turning back to the negotiations, Ava draws her wand, keeping it behind Nerin's form so it doesn't appear threatening. Twirling it between her fingers, she feels the comfort of the Goddess. Now prepared, she looks to the beasts for their next action.

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Old Today, 12:15 AM
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Zylstaer Cramorn
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Nerin's attempt to negotiate with the beasts puts Zyl just a little bit at ease. He relaxes just a bit, but does not let down his guard. If they try anything, I will be ready to fight!

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Old Today, 07:21 AM
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Mountain Paths and an Attack
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One of the creatures descended down to land gracefully upon the rocky mountainside to address Nerin's rebuttal. As it landed, the group was able to get a better look at the creature. Its body was truly like that of a lion but the head seemed wrong in some way. Its features were contorted and twisted to somewhat resemble that of a man. Teeth filled the mouth. More than any lion would ever have. The wings resembled that of a bat but were more reptilian in nature, more rigid. The tail was long and covered in slender spines that ended in needle points. From head to rump, it must have been ten feet long with the tail being at least half that again. It had a horrid smell the lingered about it like washed clothes that were left in a pile instead of hung out to dry mixed with rotting meat.

"If you lack ample food to barter then it shall be submission or death." The creature glared at Grenzo and spoke to the goblin, "You goblin scum have stolen from us for the last time." A horrid grin creased the monster's face as it made its decision. "Destroy the goblins. That is your task. Do this and you may pass."

The twisted lion intently watched Grenzo's face for signs of distress at its demand seeming to feed on negative feelings. A cruel demand had been made. While Grenzo was not from this portion of the vale and goblin tribe would fight each other over land and food, these skirmishes normally did not result in much death. How would the goblin feel about being tasked with murdering his own kind? Would the others submit to such a demand?

"Chose your fate quickly, my mate is impatient and may impale you with her spikes if you dally."
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