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Chapter VII: Revelations



Hoping the argument would die down soon, Asher contemplated about sharing some of the information he had gathered. Before that ever happened, they saw a white wolf soar through the sky, which was then followed by several other natural or unnatural disasters.

Though the snow and the cold were problematic by themselves, but now that they faced winged wolves, earthquakes, avalanches, the Taint... Asher started to truly miss the firm stone streets of a city, with rats being the only heralds of trouble.

"This damn mountain will be the end of us." Asher muttered to himself and went to follow the others, unsure how wise it was to rush in these conditions.
 

Wolf Rawrrr

Wolf-Knight
Date: October 12th (Sunday), year 3321
Location: The Frostback Mountains
Weather: Overcast, gloomy, and cold.


  • Around 14:00 h
    Somewhere in the Frostback Mountains



    With the mountain finally still once more, the Chosen were able to continue their journey; first along the ridge that they had climbed, then steadily upwards again, ever higher and deeper into the Frostbacks. For nearly two hours (as Laurolf, who had an impeccable sense of time, informed them) the group trudged through pockets of deep snow, or made their way carefully across stretches of frozen rock, all the while defying the bitter cold and the wind that assailed them for most of that duration. The ordeal was enough to take a toll even on the strongest of them, like Carn and Laurolf, or Violet despite her elven endurance and survival training - but on the likes of Maggie and Dina the effect was much more pronounced. Dina in particular seemed like she wouldn't be able to go on for much longer. The girl had grown very quiet, and the pace of her footsteps became ever slower.

    Somehow, Violet managed to keep them on track. The most obvious tracks had been erased by the avalanches, but even when Laurolf himself could hardly discern any proof of the passage of the dragonhunters anymore, Violet would still point the way, her white eyes full of renewed resolution as she rose to her feet again and again from some patch of ground that caught her attention. The clues came more sporadic than ever, were harder to read, but she found them. For half a dozen times the elf stopped the group to lead them left or right, following some path visible only to her. For half a dozen times she turned out to be right, though even Laurolf himself frowned skeptically at some of her directions.

    Then the tracks ended at a literal wall. The snowy ground gave way to a vertical wall of rock, way too steep to climb and impossible to go around, for both to the left and to the right the way ended in a cliff beyond which there was nothing but a long, long way down. Right in the middle, however, was a giant pile of snow and rock - evidently an avalanche had rolled down from the peak above them, spilling onto the path and beyond.

    "There has to be something behind all this snow," Violet reasoned. "Some kind of passage or opening. They couldn't have gone any other way."

    Laurolf sighed, frowning as he examined the scene. The short and heavy dwarf had to struggle to make his way closer. "That's not just snow, y'know? There'll be plenty of rock in there as well... And even if we were to somehow clear the way, the passage might have caved in altogether."

    "But we have to try, don't we? I don't see another way," Violet answered, looking back at where Dina, Maggie, and Asher stood behind them. She looked worried.
 

Rekai Leon

New Member
Faron Firestorm

- The Fiery Brawler -

Faron was near the middle of the bridge when the hunters encountered the dragon for the second time. Although the Drakkar had anticipated that, he couldn't help but have a short panic attack before calming down. "That dragon is smart..." he thought as it had put them in to a position that was neither ideal for offense nor defense. Normally, he would call forth his Magma Golem to deal with an enemy that was significantly larger than himself, but he could not in that situation because the strong seismic activities from the spell would certainly collapse the bridge. Faron then realized that he would have to rely on his agility to defeat the dragon. He quickly ignited his gauntlets and got into the defensive stance.
 

ParrotParfait

A White Budgerigar Chillin'
Carn Barley

- The Iron Wall -


The walk had calmed Carn’s anxieties to a degree. However, some worry continued to linger, especially when the dragon hunter’s tracks began to fade and Violet’s directions became at best unclear. When they arrived at the wall, Carn gave an audible snort to sound his displeasure before examining the area for anything that could resume their march. However, neary a glance was needed for Carn to mutter under his breath some curses at his disappointment.
"But we have to try, don't we? I don't see another way," Violet answered
Indeed, out of everyone there, Carn probably wanted to resume hiking the most. As if to answer Violete’s question, Carn walked up to the large mound, looking the mix of rock and snow up and down as if it were his opponent. Maybe a side swing would cut the mound down a size. Mix in some force magic for good measure, and you’d probably get rid of a lot more. After finding some stable footing and picking a good spot to hit, Carn looked towards Violet.

“Commander, I think I could knock a good chunk of this pile if I hit it just right. Would you be fine with that?” Carn asked, pointing his thumb back at the pile.
 

Andei

Junior Member
Ingvar Sindram
- Seeker of the Maker -​


Though the skin around them were lined with deep wrinkles and weathered by snow, sun and years alike, the dwarf's eyes showed no sign of losing its alertness to age as it flicked between scanning the horizon for threats and watching over the precarious steps of his comrades as they tentatively made their way across the bridge. As such, Ingvar was one of the first to spot the fleeting shift behind the clouds before the dragon came bursting forth out of the sky. There was barely time to register the sinister shadow it cast over both their minds and bodies with its dreadfully broad wings as it unleashed into the sky an unearthly cry - a sound that chilled the ice atop the mountains, rent the frozen wind to ragged whispers and cleft deeper into the bottomless abyss. It spared no moment for so much as the dying beginnings of a half-murmured prayer before it dived at them in a ruinous mass of swift, dark death.

Ingvar wasted no time - as the dragon dipped its head to begin its descent, the dwarf leapt into action, crossing back over the bridge as fast as he could as he yelled at the company members still on the bridge, 'Run, my friends! Behind me, all of you!'

Stopping a little ways from the end of the bridge, but far enough from the middle so that he did not stand above the weakest point of the structure, he faced the incoming beast and hoped that the other hunters had heeded his call to retreat behind him as he lowered his head in prayer. O great Creator, be my shield - if it be your will, defend me and my brothers-in-arms from the oncoming foe!

Touching his fingers together, Ingvar entrusted his fate to the Creator.

___________________________

INGVAR moves in front of as many of the company as possible, and casts Great Divine Shield between them and the incoming dragon.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter



Maggie wistfully remembered the Master Renhart's warm home, left behind what felt like ages ago, and the warmer hospitality of the healer himself. She trudged along in the others' wake, trusting to Violet and Laurolf to guide their progress. Trusting them so much, in fact, that when the group was stopped by the blocked passage, Maggie barely noticed in time to avoid walking into the person ahead of her. "Sorry," she murmured, and looked up at last at the obstacle before them. "Maybe we could climb over it...?" she hazarded, but without much hope, knowing that even getting to the top of the piled-up snow and rock would be difficult, much less trying to scramble across the top of the uneven, freezing-cold-but-not-frozen-solid mess. She found Carn's suggestion much more appealing, and gazed at Violet just as he did. "It would be a help," she offered tiredly. As long as knocking it down doesn't destabilize it right back into another avalanche, this one headed for us.
 



Asher looked around the rubble, looking for any sign of a passage or crevice he might try and pass through.

"Maybe there's a hole on top of the pile we might be able to enter?"


He was thinking of climbing the pile if he saw no entrance from below, but decided to wait and see if the Drakkar might be able to create a way for them through.

Best to take a few steps back in case this mountain has more surprises in store for us. Asher thought to himself while considering what "knocking a good chunk" would do to the stability of the mountain.
 

Wolf Rawrrr

Wolf-Knight
Date: October 12th (Sunday), year 3321
Location: The Frostback Mountains
Weather: Overcast, gloomy, and cold.


  • Around 14:00 h
    Somewhere in the Frostback Mountains



    "I don't think climbing will work," Violet shook her head. "Assuming that there is indeed a tunnel behind this, it wouldn't be more than, what, ten, twenty feet tall? At best? The pileup is bigger than that, not to mention unstable. Though it would be nice if we didn't have to dig through the whole thing... Digging will take time and energy, that's for sure. But... What other choice is there?"

    "I wish Henvei were here," Dina thought out loud. "He could probably melt this whole thing down. We don't have a spare fire mage among us, do we? Or a Miracle that could help? I don't think my talents would be of any use in this situation..."

    "No. Stand back everyone," Violet said. "Let Carn have a go at it, see what progress he can make."

    Carn did, and it went about as could be expected - his fists augmented with Force Sorcery smashed or displaced rocks with some effort, but most of the avalanche had been snow. And swinging at snow wasn't very effective, regardless of how much force you put behind the blows. On top of that, new material fell down to replace what was being removed at the bottom. Still, a little progress was made. Enough to tell that it could feasibly be done. It would just take a lot of time and energy, like Violet and Laurolf both agreed. If the hidden tunnel was tall enough, perhaps they wouldn't have to remove all of the pileup, either.

    Meanwhile, Asher's inspection of the immediate surroundings revealed nothing new. The avalanche certainly did a good job of burying the passage; it involved far more rock and snow than was needed, it seemed. He could not glimpse even a trace, not even a hint of the passage. For all he could tell, they might really have come to a dead end and were trying to dig up snow blocking a sheer rock wall. In fact, it was possible. The tracks weren't perfect, and if the presumed tunnel opening was small enough, Carn might have to dig in several different spots before he found it...

    "Does anyone see any kind of plant anywhere?" Dina asked while Carn was busy pummeling. "A flower? A shrub? Anything?" She started to look herself, moving away from the wall and the pileup, looking this way and that across the frozen ground.
 

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