Stephan quickly rose from the work of burying the dead. He stood ready with hand on the hilt of his un-drawn sword. He hoped it did not appear that they had slain the comrades of these riders. Oh how he wished for a horse right now!
He noted the strange tracks of the lizard mounts and cursed himself for not recognizing them before. But how could he? These were tracks never before seen by the likes of a woodsman from the south.
Feldard held the rock he had been about to place atop the dead and nodded to Maruc at his cautioning motion, as the priest greeted the lizard riders. The dwarf wouldn’t draw his weapon – at least not at the moment. However, if the mounted riders grew aggressive his rock would fly – straight towards the lead rider.
As soon as the riders appeared, Ludo crouched down, partly to create an impression of being less of threat to these strangers and also to quietly loosen his sword in his scabbard.
He wasn’t happy this situation looked very bad, here they were burying some bodies and caught red handed. Ludo would not be surprised, if the riders had not already made up their mind as to what had happened and demand retribution. He hoped that Feldard would not try and talk to these strangers, his skills in negotiating were not the best.
“I wish we had a spear or pole ax to set against their charge,” Hasan whispered bitterly to His companions.
Maruc turned to confront the newcomers. “Assuming you speak our common tongue I say hail and well met. We do not know your burial custom but when we came across your slain brethren we buried them as befitting as we could. I have spoken words of spirit guidance so their souls can rest in the great halls of their fathers. We grieve for your loss and would ask what foes trouble you for we are new come to your land in search of knowledge.”
Miklos held back. The priest was indeed brave to make a stand before armed cavalry but at least they were not of the undead. Cautiously he summoned to his mind a binding web spell in case things turned ugly. He didn’t chance to start the spell in case these were casters and take his actions as offensive. He waited their response. Miklos’s first impression was disappointment. Armed warriors was not what he expected of the high Hukataan culture. He hoped they might meet a more intellectual caste, Maybe these soldiers would lead them to the Hukataan secrets that the Sons of Night coveted? Or maybe not.
Miklos didn’t dwell of the alternative.
Hasan stood quietly next to Feldard and watched Maruc and the visitors. With bated breath, Stephan awaited the riders’ response to Maruc’s bold gambit.
Whispering to Hasan, “Lofty Prince, I hope your skills in diplomacy are up to the task to talk to these strangers, otherwise this could get ugly real quick”.
The riders slowed their charge and drew their weapons. “Yar’ve keel’d ar kin!” The lead rider spoke accusingly, with a thick accent that was difficult to understand.
“Harld!” spoke another of the riders. “Thar be strange far shar, tho thar be like ars. Not like tho mutts.”