Chapter Fifty-Seven: Ogres "These giant beasts are aggressive. It is unknown where they came from or why they attack settlements, but many who face them never return to tell the tale." Horse hooves pounded the slightly damp dirt as the four riders raced toward the east. Fort Rannick was to the east and slightly north of town so they were heading for the fighting at the southeast first. Once that problem was taken care of they would move to the fort. The sounds of combat met them before the sight of it. Metal thunked against wood, growls both human and monstrous mixed together in a horrible symphony and the thrum of bowstrings being plucked.
Chapter Fifty-Six: Turtleback "Nothing is as it seems." Compared to Magnimar, Turtleback Ferry was peaceful. Men and women walked up and down the roads of the small town and conversations buzzed quietly. Water could be heard splashing against land as well as the bells of the ferry. It would have been a lovely place to live in. Yet, as the three heroes and Shayliss made their way through the crowds, they could feel some kind of dark and suffocating energy around the town. It was intangible, yet unmistakeable. There was something walking among, or even in, the citizens of Turtleback.
Chapter Fifty-Four: The Lord-Mayor "Politicians have arrived. Bow before them or step out of the way." By the time Shayliss had returned to Sandpoint, the Lord-Mayor's wagon was at the gate. The driver of the wagon was having a discussion with the guards while the driving horse stamped anxiously. It looked like it was an uncomfortable discussion too. The driver was worried and the guards held themselves in a way that screamed placation. Shayliss stopped far enough away so that she could listen in.
Chapter Fifty-Two: Tension "The rope is frayed. It will soon break." Standpoint was still in mourning. The deaths of the past few days was still evident as when Valtyra, still furious beyond all limits, rode up to the front gate, no one waiting save for Shayliss. Her red hair was a complete mess, though, and the white cloth dress she wore was covered in spots of dirt. Yet, that face of hers pulled up in a great big smile when she saw the half-elf approaching.
Chapter Fifty-One: Suspicion "It is coming to the end. When loyalty turns to betrayal and when bonds are tested." The trip back to Magnimar was mostly quiet. Valtyra and Bubnug rode on their horses at one side of the road both contemplative. She was thinking about the letter and its implications. They would eventually have to go to that damned place. Hell, Lotho and Alicia were talking about it even now. Valtyra did not want to go. That place had memories that have sunk into its soil and she did not want to wake them up again. Shayliss had been great at helping her get passed them, but there was still stuff that could ruin her if it came back up.
Chapter Fifty: Memory "There is nothing stronger." Valtyra just stared at the bird of fire. It was a beautiful creature. The wingspan was something out of birds of legend and the victory screech that came from its mouth was one that came from a time where people were near the bottom of the food chain. It inspired fear while sending the message that it was willing to fight again. From below, she could hear screams from the cultists. The half-elf had no idea if they could see the bird or the corpse of their leader but there was definitely something that scared them to death.
Chapter Forty-Nine: Fall "And what is the natural predator to snakes?" From the hole in the wall, a battlecry rang out and Valtyra watched what looked like a comet of blue-hot fire leap across her vision and crash into Xanesha. Its momentum continued and threw the snake off of its tail. They sailed for a few feet before they slammed into the ground with the snake on the bottom.
Chapter Forty-Eight: Xanesha "I have nothing to say other than... ew." Xanesha. The mere mention of that name brought memories of that letter the heroes found under the Misgivings. Which meant that she was the one that ordered Aldern to attack the people of Sandpoint. And that put the Vinder family in the line of fire.