The hike out to the western hills had decent enough weather, chilly but fairly sunny during the short days. Grot every now and then smelt yyena, also called hyena-kin, come close to the party but then skirt away. Rufus, dressed in his “adventurer” gear (leather armor and wool clothing), still carried his knives and cleaver in his waist belt. Rhyia and Pyrrenia followed along rather numbly and talking among themselves where the men couldn’t hear about whatever it is that women talk about. At times they ran into whole herds of cattle roaming freely, and very wary of people and predators alike. Other times sheep would be seen fleeing packs of wild dogs through the rubble that would remain of one time villages.
On the third night, just as the group was approaching the West Mountains, Rufus commented on how he wished he still had a horse. This piqued the hobb’s curiosity.
‘Why aren’t there any horses?” Rhyia asked.
“Oh the warlords took them all for themselves.” He answered.
He went on to explain that the warlords were lords and generals who seized power after the nations of the world fell into chaos five years ago. They kept the horses for themselves and allowed the livestock that they didn’t keep to the regular people or just the wilds of the world. Entire wars for this or that pack of horses occurred more often than anything else. By the end of the telling, one could tell that Rufus didn’t think much of the warlords and the way they were running things.
That night, Rhyea was pulling her watch as the others slept and she heard a warped roar, like a GM with GM with a sore throat saying “yrowwwl.” She awakened everyone but the sound did not happen again. Still being cautious, the group decided to pull two man watches. When it was Grot and Rufus’s share towards the wee hours, Grot saw what he thought was golden panther which smiled at him and winked, then disappeared.
“Glimmer cats!” Rufus cried when told of this. “The damn leprechauns of the cats!”
“They’re rich?” Asked Rhyea rubbing her eyes from all the noise.
Grot cast a Mirror Image of the group next to them, while Pyrrenia cast a Hidey-Hole spell. Which I gave away AP’s because the strategy came together nicely and was rather clever. Clever except that the Glimmer Cats are very scent driven, so only one out of the six attacking fell for the decoy.
Still four out of the six Glimmer cats were killed while two just ran away. Rhyea, never one to be squeamish, came up with clever ideas for the panthers’ paws, which Rufus cut especially for her. The team had the metalic gold pelts of their kills as booty, and panther meat enough for five days.
Crossing over the mountains was not very hard. The gorge that group ran along side the Big Flowing River. Heading down into the valley beyond the West Mountains, Rufus almost fell over seeing the changes to the area. A fat asteroid wad struck the far ridge and started piling up a wedge of land into something of a quarter mile high spire, at the top of which was the wizard’s tower. The area had been a rather torrid region before the spire started cooling the air by scraping the high altitudes, but over the past years the increased rains had turned the lowlands into a massive swamp.
On the way down, Grot smelled nothing but goblin. Pyrrenia took a chance glance behind her and saw two yyenna, about a half mile away, duck behind some rocks. Rufus grumbled something about,
“Is this really worth two hundred cronug?”
(more to come)