The Succession War

What lies in the fog...

A heavy fog rolled across the road from the southern fens hanging in the air and obsurcing the horizon. It was accompanied by a chill in they air the cut through layers of clothing and stuck in the bones.

Felsen snorted, his hot breath causing clouds of steam, and began to shift uncomfortably as Xiao began to saddle his mount. Normally the Falean sailor would have paid no mind to his mount’s unease-in his experience animals reacted to shadows as often as real danger-but today he felt the wrongness that clung to the air as well. Looking over his shoulder he saw most of his companions were already mounted and perapred to depart. Mental cursing he finished fastening the saddle and swung himself on to Felsen’s back. The gelding began to prance and fidget as soon as he felt Xaio’s weight in the saddle. “Woaaa boy, steady easy” Xaio patted the horses’ neck gently attemping to sooth the beast, his own unsteady voice and hand did little to help the animals nerves.

“You should learn to control your mount better” scoffed Doughan from the back of his black mare.

A myriad of possible retorts flashed through Xaio’s mind. “This fog is unsettling” he responded.

Doughan chuckled “This? This is merely the morning fog rolling in from the southern fens. There is nothing to fear it will clear with the morning sun.”

Xaio looked uncreatin “Perhpas master dwarf…perhaps.”

As midday approach Miya began to think more and more that Xaio may have been right. The fog hand not lifted as Doughan claimed it would, in fact it seemed to grow thicker. That alone would have been unsettling for Miya but what worried her more was Kaleb’s inability to explain or dissipate the fog by any means, natural or magical.

Miya shivered and peered up towards the sky. Above the party circled the hazey blob of colour that was Darren and Dart. Normally the pair would have flown high above the party easily warning them of approaching danger. Today however the fog forced the griffon to fly much lower inorder to be able to follow the horses. Miya pulled her attention away from the scout diffcults and focused once more on the road ahead.

Before she could lose herself in thought once more the hairs on the back her neck stood up as an eerie chill ran up her spine. Not far ahead the fog thickened obsurcing whatever lay beyond its edge. Miya halted her mare and motioned for Kaleb to join her at the head of the party. She eyed the bank of fog nervously and tried to focus on keeping her chestnut mare calm.

“Well, that is unsettling” The fact that Kalebs words echoed her own thoughts was not reassuring.

“Should we go around it?” She offered, managing to keep fear from her voice.

“I would recommend it, but Darren might know what lies beyond it.” As if sensing Kalebs words the air was pierced by the griffon’s cry as Dart began her decent. Miya’s mare danced neverously searching for the horse’s natural predator. She glared jealously at Kaleb whose own mare gave the barest of reactions to the noise. “She sense your worry and makes it her worry” Kaleb quipped as they waited for the pair to land.

A moment later Dart emmerged from the fog and set down a few meters from Miya. As the great beast’s eyes met with Miya she found herself quiet glad she was not a horse. She could not quiet understand it but somehow she knew the griffon did not approve of her presence.

Darren dismounted Dart with a graceful hop and approached his friends. “Its too thick to see through” he stated pointing to the bank of fog. “I can’t be sure how big it is but from what I could see it can’t be more than a few hundred feet.”

Kaleb shook his frustration evident in his voice “Fens to the south, fog that doesn’t lift on the road and the Goddess knows what to the north. We have little choice, the fog could conceal a great many dangers-” His words were cut off by screams piecring the fog ahead of them as if to prove his point. It took all of Miya’s skill and training on to keep the mare from tossing her from the saddle. Dart echoed the screams, with cries of her own, unfurling wings and crouching in perparation to pounce.

Without warning a man burst forth from the cloud. His face was bloodied, his cloths and flesh torn as though he’d run haphazardly through a briar patch. The fear on his face was evident and as his eyes fell upon the party he cried out “Hel-” his plea cut short as thorn covered vine slashed out from the fog wraping around his thoart and then retreating in a shower of blood.

Before she was even aware of what her body was doing Miya had dismounted her mare and was halfway to the fallen man. Unwilling to turn back she pressed forward and was relieved to see that Darren and Kaleb close behind. She and Darren quickly pulled the limp body away from the edge of the fog. His lifeless eyes stared up into the sky “Can you save him?” her voice full of pity as Kaleb began to examine the body. “Kaleb! Can you save him?”

The druid glared at Miya and then began a low deep chant. The rune on his left hand began to glow with a warm light that rapidly spread to the corpse before him sewing muscle and flesh together at a fantastic rate. As the glow dispated from the now whole body that gasped and clutched at his throat struggling to breath again. In a fit of coughing and weezing he manage to force himself into a sitting position. desperately clawing at Kalebs robes “P-please you must” his coughing cut him of momemntarily “you must save them.” He froze his eyes slowly wandering back to the fog his hands released Kaleb and began to stretch forward “Anya! Tomas” he cried tears streaming down his face.

As one Miya, Darren and Kaleb gazed into the fog, only to find it has retreated from the road and in front of them were the slaughtered bodies of nearly a dozen men, women and children.



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