Dawn broke with the return of a refreshed Oben, briskly jogging over the horizon with a sense of renewed vigor. A cheery smile at the motionless Phil and a wink at Lylah were met with glares of much disapproval from the Rigsen.Lylah took time to explain the peculiar night which had passed to her then-missing colleague and together they hatched a plan to try and find their absent Ryyk warrior. The idea: walk. Walk long, and walk hard. Walk across the sands until they find him! Oben placed some debris from the battle to form an arrow, pointing in the direction of their travel in case he happened to return to camp, and with ropes attached to the ankles stricken Philleo they set off.
The day was blistering hot, and the going was tough. After many hours of plodding through a dune sea they (literally) stumbled across a potential spectacle. As they breached the crest of a particularly large dune, they saw at it’s base a large, stocky individual; shoulders as broad as he was tall, dark, baked, hairless skin and a wickedly large falchion thrust into the earth. He seemed to be tending to fresh wounds which had sliced his stern hide, and sat close to a body whose upper torso was covered by a filthy sack. The body’s identity could not be discerned, so Oben was on hand, being the upright bastion of good, to parly with the behemoth.
He moved with purpose down the sand, slipping and sliding before gaining it’s attention. Through careful and thoughtful negotiation of information he discovered that a weird beastman had attacked the man in the night, but luckily he was more than a match from a frenzied assault lacking guile. This man, Asdag, had become lost after following an evil magician through a portal to these lands. Oben declared he knew the way for Asdag to return home- through the portal they themselves had blinked through. Asdag was overwhelmed with glee and offered to return the body (which the gang had luckily discovered to be Grimes) in exchange for passage with them to the portal.
Much converse was exchanged en route- on many an occassion Grimes nearly exposed the grievous lie that Oben had told to assure co-operation, but luckily the trusting man of the desert did not read into the Ryyk boy’s ramblings and was more than happy to spin a tale of his homelands.
The return to Terrandor was… chilly. It was late afternoon, cloudy and a complete polar opposite to the sunny climate they had just been exploring. They returned to town as dusk claimed the day and were met by Malik who was eager to hear the situation. The mute boy was returned to the townsfolk and they were offered the stay of the inn’s guest room for the evening to recuperate before further movements to return to Grate.
Grimes, loathed to let his guard down, set a patrol of the outskirts of the village on his treasured steed whilst the others slept. It was Lylah’s slumber which was interrupted, as she woke with a start to see the mute boy standing at the foot of her bed. Within the cavity of her skull she somehow ‘heard’ the child speak, alerting her to danger. She shook Oben to alertness, and looked from their window to the street below; Standing motionless, eerily in a line, were men and women of the town, all whose gaze were drawn to the window. Panic set in. Oben pushed the lone wardrobe up against the door to bar entry whilst plans began to be formulated.
Slowly trotting into town, Grimes spied some folk lining up- perhaps they had seem something interesting to watch? Joining their queue, he peered. He peered with a smile. He peered with a grimace. He peered so. Very. Hard. But to no avail. He nudged the fellow he stood next to, seeking advice on what he should be oggling. With one uniform motion they all turned their heads to look at Grimes, and then their foreheads
opened up. Pushing forth from their cranial recess stretched a long, slimey length of muscle; a writhing, undulating feeler which began to seek out our boy Grimes.
Instincts took over- he assailed his mount with the grace of a wounded gazelle, and turned towards the inn. Moments later, he had smashed through the front window and found himself in the bar area of the inn. The freskish beings pursued as he ran up the stairs, banging on the door to be granted entry. As his thumps rang out and echoed through the very structure of the building, conversation broke out. A discussion about whether or not to let him in did actually materialise.
As the votes were being tallied up, Grimes began to let out cries of pure anguish as he was splashed with acdic spray from the beasts. He had enough, and bowled through his adversaries with little remorse, severing limb and head from body to remount his horse and make a tactical retreat- all in effort to save the team who refused him safety. As he drew the enemy away, the team made their escape: Oben pushed Philleo’s body out of the second storey window and followed soon after. Lylah gracefully made her way down to ground level and then began running, leaving Oben to pull the still delicate Phil in his wake. The two disappeared into the crop fields of the night, sending prayer to the pantheon that somehow they might be delivered from their impossible plight to safer ground…