Everyone drinks of the water, and feels instantly refreshed and alert.
Amazingly, Gareth's nose formally squishy looking and all red knits itself
together right before your eyes. Keldar drinks of the water forced on him by
Vincas, and his eyes seem to glow a bright orange before returning to the
normal color and you wonder if it might have just been a trick of the light.
Gareth speaks to Cole about a personal favor, and Cole is seen over the next
few hours scribbling furiously upon a piece of parchament. Anyone walking near
him will see his rendition of a elvin male, some of you recogmnize as a former
party member by the name of Jayar. It is an amazing likeness and many among
you wonder that you hadnt noticed Cole's obvious talent before now. The
portrait finsihed, Cole hands it to Gareth who leaves for a bit, returning
later empty handed. The party prepares to move out, to the south and east at
Cole's suggestion. As you travel you talk about the problems of Heron amongst
other things. You travel for but a few hours and then there seems to be some
kind of obstruction in the road ahead of you and you approach it with
caution. Your stomach knots in horror at the gruesomeness of the scene: To
one side of the road are the crushed remnants of a gypsy wagon. A horse still
wearing its bridle and harness lays dead on
the opposite side of the path, and by the way its ribs have been caved in
and by the way the creature's intestines have exploded from its abdomen you
figure that it must have been squeezed to death.
"Littering the whole area around the wagon are pools of blood and
assorted human body parts, and the way the skin has been torn and lacerated
from the bones, you realize that they had been physically wrenched from the
bodies to which they once belonged.
"Huge, 3' long footprints have left indentations several inches deep in
the seemingly hard packed soil of the path. Several nearby trees have been
completely uprooted. A pile of boulders and a tree trunk, strangely
stripped clean of bark and branches, and well rounded on one end, lays a
ways off near the woods to the left. You make out the tracks of a single
wagon leading off to that forest, multiple trails of blood revealing the
wagon's horrid cargo. Between the ruts are a single set of 3' long foot
prints. The prints do not look to be more than a few hours old. Approaching
closer, Barbaxle and Wulfgar also determine there are tracks belonging to 3
elves and 3 humans that seem a bit fresher.
Looking at the gruesome sight before his eyes Wulfgar shakes his head. "The
trail is obvious my friends and I think we need to move fast to catch up
with those that followed the Giant of some kind. They might have
encountered more than they bargained for." He spurs his horse in the
direction of the trail.
Keldar turns his head from the scene and breathers deeply. "No.. I'm
me..go away Nick, yer not 'ere no mores..." The gnome shudders, then turns
to face the scene, and strides forward, shortsword in hand.
"Well... We'd better get up there an' see what's the cause 've this.
Sumone's gunna pay fer what's 'appened ta these folk...".
Kay looks over the bodies and wonders out-loud, "I wonder if these were the
same gypsies we met the other day." Realizing that there's just no time to
lose, she rests her knees against the sides of her horse (to steer),
retrieves her bow, and sets off with the others, hoping to find the giant
before others get all mish-mashed like a big bowl of human-salad.
If lunch has been eaten Cole's would be exhumed on the
roadside at this ghastly sight when and if his
composure is regained he will speak up "This is truly
disturbing first the priests and now defenseless
nomads, we have to find out what this evil is, I must
stop it before it finds it's way to my home and I
return to find my family slaughtered.......again." he
sits on the roadside and produces his black stone from
his pocket and squeezes it tight in his palm and waits
for someone to tell him what to do next.
When Vincas sees Keldar talking to himself near the bodies, he goes over and
offers places a hand on his shoulder.
"Hey there old friend, you alright? Get ahold of yourself Keldar, we just
got you back and I don't want to lose you again."
After quickly surveying the scene, Vincas moves away from the sight. While
the others are investigating he asks "Can you make anything of the tracks?
Any idea what could have done this?"
Keldar just shrugs off the attention, in an embarassed fashion. "Ya I'm
fine... just disguested. What's this world cummin' to."
Gareth surreptitiously takes a view at Cao, watching for his reaction and
state-of-mind at the savage attack on his indirect kin. "We are mounted,
but there may be others still alive within that wagon - doubtful, but
possible. Cao, I would suggest we pursue the killer of these people and
return to bury them later, when we have the ... remaining elements. It
would appear as though we have allies afoot tracking down this creature, but
stay cautious; people hell-bent on revenge do not always think rationally.
We ride in standard order, but twice the distance between pairs. If we come
across the giant first, spread out so that he cannot strike a group of us
with one boulder. There is little doubt that this was anything but
premeditated, as the boulder pile and prepared club left here signal such
intent, BUT, that does not mean as soon as we catch sight of a creature we
attack it from behind. The last time our party encountered giants, a
reckless warrior attacked, without warrant or warning, a group of giants we
encountered, ending up in another companion's death. Before we attack, we
will acertain the situation, ensure there are no surprises in the wings, and
confront the creature.
Keep a sharp eye to the sides and rear, also. Move out." The knight,
rueing the absence of his lance, spurs Emperor to match Wulgar's location
Cole readies his mount and heads out after the
knight, he keeps his distance in case he needs to cast
and a short prayer to Balin that his magic won't kill
him. The stone still clutched in his hand He keeps an
eye out along the way for more remains or more
importantly any sight of the giant beast.
Arilyn looks over the area from her left to her right. Her heart sinks
into her tummy as she sees the destruction to the land and then to the
animal and the wagon. She remembers the times she has seen big, black
clouds approach and then grow down to the ground, swirling and picking
up the biggest of things. But that destruction came from the sky, this
one came from the land...from a living thing. She searches the area
carefully but she has heard no sound...no cry...and has little hope than
anything could have survived this. Her heart races in excitement when
she learns that 3 of the tracks are elven. She knows the group will
follow the tracks and is thrilled that she will meet up with 3 of her
own kind...perhaps she will even know them. She trots her horse to
Wulfgar..."We have a duty to follow these tracks...to find out what evil
has been brought to this place."