Feldard loaded his crossbow with a bolt. “I’ll go check it out. See if I can lead them away if it seems they are headed this way.” The dwarf headed out of the hut and into the mist and evening dark towards the woods and the approaching sound.
Maruc roused himself, “Well, time to cast this off.” He waved the scroll, and walked over to Ludo’s recumbent form. He carefully read the scroll through and held up his Halavist symbol. “Through this parchment and the power of the holy immortals I place myself as the hand of the divine. Lucius, you are healed.”
Miklos nodded and took back the wineskin. He packed away his gear and snapped his spell book shut, he was glad he was prepared to cover their backs. He suspected that they would be chased all the way into the mountains by an endless flood of gnolls. Fearless gnolls. He wondered how many gnoll deaths it would take to make them leave them alone. Maybe a show of power would be enough?
Doubts gnawed at him as he finished packing and joined the pale priest in the mist awaiting what news the dwarf would bring.
Stephan quickly forgot his gripes about the gnoll when Hasan reported the sounds. He got his gear together–many repairs would be needed–and went out into the mist with an arrow knocked in his bow. He followed Feldard as best he could; trying to provide cover but the mists made it difficult to see any clear targets.
As Maruc read his spell, Ludo reached for his pack and adjusted his sword. As his wounds healed over and he felt the power of Maruc’s spell course through his body he grinned and slapped Maruc on the shoulder and whispered, “thanks.”
Next, the priest turned and pulled on his armour and toyed with the potions. He tried to identify them, shamanistic potions would either be healing potions or holy water. If he was unlucky, it might be unholy water. He was desperate, so he tasted them both. Each potion was equally awful tasting, but the ingredients in the foul concoctions mattered not, for both generated a pleasant healing effect on the cleric.
Meanwhile, Ludo had snuck out and crouched beside the hut. Turning to Miklos, he whispered “we should use the mist and approaching darkness to avoid these Gnolls, and anyone else out there.” Let’s gather the rest and head out, we are in no condition to have another battle.
Maruc nodded. “I agree. We are in no fit state to engage in another battle Ludo. Come on Miklos, time to move up the pass, we can rest later.”
Miklos nodded, “Ludo, you’ll have to let Feldard know where we are. We shan’t move up the path too far. We shall be within running distance if you start calling for help.”
Ludo returned the mage’s nod. Using the shadows and natural cover, he disappeared into mist to find Feldard and Stephan.
Maruc stoppered the potion and shrugged. He was weak and tired but the sleep had helped. He hefted his shield and rubbed his course palms into his eyes and took a swig of Miklos’s wineskin. “Sorry,” he said absently. “I guess its time head up into the valley.”
Ludo listened for any sounds from Feldard and Stephan. Through the thick mist, he thought he could make out the shape of Stephan not too far ahead.
Stephan suddenly felt all alone, and weak, in the mist. He had great difficulty keeping sight of Feldard but the dwarf was not the most quiet of creatures so, between his eyes and ears, Stephan was able to keep loose track of Feldard. He maintained a position that would give him a good angle of fire should he have to shoot to help Feldard.
The two had barely crossed into the forest when he saw what was heading their way. It was a gnoll party, composed of nearly a dozen warriors, headed straight toward the Gnoll’s sacred burial grounds.