The air shimmered like a mirage, the roots and trees of the grove warped as space twisted, and from the blue window slit bloomed a dark starry sky, ethereal, spreading ghost-like through the white trees. Intricate golden frames twisted into existence, as ebony bars branched out into loops and curves, forming a half wall like a gilded cage, pushing the night sky away. And in the center, the golden frames flowed down into a door, and a seam appeared in space. Outwards flowed a floor of black onyx lined with gold, and before the door rose an ornamental staircase, with steps on the right and left leading up to the gate. Right in front of the golden stairs was an arrow like pillar with the rune of Zosimos.
Liliana had her mouth open the whole time.
Lysanthir nodded. "Be careful, I'm sure they've seen us already." he stuck his head back in the way gate, and quickly a handful of warriors came through taking a defensive formation immediately.
As Charon flew high in the sky, he found the reason why the mountains had their name. The wind was strong, the cold cutting through the bones, whipping his feathers. Through the curtain of heavy snow he saw the obscured remains of a great battle. There had been a camp around the portal, but it was utterly destroyed. To the south he glimpsed the vortex of mad sky of the Thousandcut Badlands with its ghoulish black clouds of grotesque forms, a mere two days hike from the portal. To the west was a vast snowy valley where among the ruins, blue giants sporting what looked like armor of giant bones were herding herds of mammoths. To the north was a ravine and more mountains, and to the east, the edge of the badlands crept forward, its brooding mountains dark and purplish against the noxious sky.
As someone who lived in the Badlands, Charon would know that it is possible that demons may have ravaged the camp, though the putrid smoke smelled like the flames of those squid monsters.
At the portal the drows started coming through, Lysanthir shouting orders as they swiftly began securing the area and hastily creating a defensible position closer to the wall of the mountain they were on and higher up. Suddenly his voice spoke in Charon's mind. 'Master Charon, carefully fly north to a ravine of ruins with arching ice bridges. It is the main Khlul′-hloo camp and the ulitharid was last there in the northernmost ruin. '