He carefully continued across the bridge and felt great relief upon reaching the other side. He moved well onto the mountain trail, away from the crumbling stonework of the bridge. Seeing his companions making their way over the bridge–save for Miklos, who flew with what the Traladaran thought was smugness–he came closer to lend a hand if needed.
Feldard followed the griffons with his crossbow until they were well out of sight. He then turned to the others as they arrived safely on this side of the bridge. “Let’s keep moving, in case they change their mind or can’t find ‘easier prey’”.
Feldard resumed his rearguard position as the party set off once more along the mountain path.
Ludo breathed a sigh of relief and quickly moved on to get over the bridge. As he arrived at the other side, he waited to one side and watched the others make their way across. When they had all arrived safely he moved out following the path up higher into the mountains.
Maruc exhaled explosively, the tension ebbing from him. With mythical creatures such as these guarding the way it was small wonder that no traveller had yet returned to tell the tale of the high pass. The perils of the unsteady bridge behind them he studied the ways ahead. Stepping in line behind Ludo he considered the facts so far. “Miklos what do you think we shall find at the top of the pass?”
Miklos felt the weight return as the last threads of the spell departed. Thankfully along with the Griffons. “Marvelous! Giffus Majesticus, a rare sight. Most people only see them from the inside.” he turned the Maruc. “What sorry? I was a touch distracted. What makes you think this pass does not run all the way through the mountains?”
“The map?” suggested Maruc.
Miklos took a glance at the map. “The image is quite abstract and ancient and does not show the other side of the mountains.” he thought for a few moments. “I agree,” he said at last, “It does give the impression that whatever there is to find is within the mountains, or under them. Most of the evidence that has survived, and we have found, of the Hukataan culture has been underground. The gnomes mine, you may recall.” A rock from the path bounced passed him and disappeared over the edge into the deep precipice below. A fleeting chill of fear gripped Miklos and he brought his mind back to the conversation, it helped with the vertigo. “I personally would be very surprised to see anything left above ground at such high altitude and exposed to such extremes of weather. Consider the state of that bridge back there for example.”
The path wound higher and the chill deepened. “Time for a warmer robe.” he said. Furnished with his thickest garments he pressed on behind his companions.
Eventually, they stopped to make camp for the night, which soon passed without incident. The next morning they departed and soon came upon another gorge. It too was once spanned by a bridge, but it was now collapsed. Fortunately, the sides of the gorge were rough and had many narrow ledges along them. At the bottom of the gorge, there was a dark cave-mouth leading into the rockface.