“Hmm, an impressive sight,” wondered Hasan. “Much larger than the Elyan ever managed. This was once an great society. But gone now. Let us press on, warily now, for I fear the spirits we will meet next will be less simple than these.” The elf crooned a last time at the snakes the party had disturbed and sent them on their way with a flick of his bow. The elf turned and walked soundlessly west.
Ludo followed on behind Hasan, the land seemed lifeless and barren, except for some simple widelife, what ever was here was still well hidden, hopefully as they explored further the local people would make themselves known and would be friendly.
Stephan followed Hasan’s lead wishing they had mounts to trek faster through these barren lands. The surroundings were worse than barren land. The abandoned nature of it–with the neglected houses, buildings and shrines–sent a message. A message of warning. This did not seem like a place in which to tarry.
Feldard was ill at ease as they traveled westward now. He kept glancing back over his shoulder, twitchingly – keeping watch was a good thing to do when one is on rearguard; but he was doing to more oft than watching ahead where he and the others were going and found himself stumbling over rubble and debris which did his dwarven pride no amount of good when he noticed the elf chuckling at him. “I don’t like this place – I feel as if we’re being watched.” Was all Feldard could say in response to the elf’s questioning glance.
“Keep your chin up, Feldad,” muttered Miklos, “And your head on your shoulders, too. Before we leave this place, we’ll need all our wits and all our brawn, I am sure of it.”
Maruc walked steadily, but he too kept a careful watch. “We must know more of this strange place, even so, Miklos. Imagine the power. The Duke himself will be curious to know of this place, when we next return to Specularum.”
Maruc stopped at a footprint. “Odd, I would have thought all tracks would have been eroded? There is someone alive around here.” he turned to Miklos. “What sort of footprint would a Jackal headed man leave?”
“Indeed Maruc, I am more concerned about the other tracks, they are very strange, some large creature. They follow the same path. Hunting perhaps? We have discovered little of value here, I fear this side of the valley has no secrets to offer. Let us see down yonder, it opens up a little down there.” Miklos made his way down the western path.
The adventurers travelled eastward until it became time to make camp. They followed their usual protocal and made preparations for nightfall. As unsettling as the valley was during the day, it was even moreso at night.
As those who kept watch scanned for threats, they caught glimpses of distant dim shapes moving slowly through the gloom. Then in the middle of the night, all were awakened by a faraway blood-curdling scream that echoed off the eastern walls of the valley.