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While Gyffun and Garnatha follow an ancient path, and Vizz sets of on a mission of diplomacy, elsewhere the four remaining heroes busy themselves in the vicinity of their new home...

Silverquill, ever nosy, waddles around the old ruins, humming happily to himself and taking copious notes in his big notebook. He is in his element here, fully prepared to spend a few days mapping and surveying the area.

Aren joins in the exploration of the ruins and the area surrounding the camp. He is especially on the look out for supernatural dangers and possible friends.

Entislar sets to work building a pallisade at the foot of the slope in the event of further unfriendly visitors, while Vurth takes on the duty of patrolling the immediate vicinity despite his sprained ankle.


Entislar has made excellent progress on the pallisade, but all on the stead notice that Vurth has been howling and screaming in his sleep. One night he has to be restrained with very nearly tragic consequences, so he shamefacedly agrees to leave his klanth with Entislar at night. After a couple of nights of this, Entislar, growing increasingly worried, stays awake to observe his fellow Exile. That night, Vurth only moans for a little while but then lies silent. Entislar leans over him to check that all is well with him and is surprised to see Vurth's eyes wide open, feverishly scanning the night sky.

Suddenly, Vurth leaps up and is soon leaping about waving his imaginary klanth in the air, pausing occasionally to sniff. The Uroxi pauses again, facing up the slope, and immediately, a strong wind, carrying loose bits of wood and leaves, even the odd greenwood stake, rushes up the hill and into the trees and hawthorn. Dodging a stake, Entislar looks up to see Vurth rushing after a flapping thing which is temporarily grounded, but which then flutters up and off into the trees just before the Uroxi can reach it. Entislar looks on appalled as his companion flies screaming into the trees.


Vurth pauses only long enough to note that he has misplaced his klanth somewhere, picks up a stout branch, casts assorted battle magics and the rushes the beast.

No minion of the pre-dark shall threaten the clan while Vurth is on patrol!


Silverquill has spent a couple of days mapping with some success, and is now certain that the second fort is half a day south. Aren is disappointed to has found nothing of a magical nature. Although worried by Vurth's bad dreams, Silverquill and Aren are inclined to dismiss it as Vurth just being himself. The night of Vurth's "attack", however, they see him storming off into the trees followed by Entislar and, after briefly consulting the map, are horrified to realise that he is heading straight for a drop which is sure to fix his ankle good and proper, if not worse.

"Oh no!", cries Silverquill. "Vuwth is heading stwaight for that dwop!"

Using his improvised 'See in the Dark' feat, the wise duck can clearly see the scarred berserker chasing after a strange flapping thing.

"Can you catch him?", he quacks loudly to Aren and without waiting for an answer, runs towards the trees as fast as his little webbed feet will carry him.

Aren knows that with his limp he has little chance of catching the enraged Bull man before he reaches the drop. He is in a heroic mood after all his fruitless days searching the ruins, however, so he calls on the power of his god and leaps straight into the heart of the action riding on his javelin of lightning.

Half way there he loses his grip on the sparing javelin but a lucky gust of wind puts him back on the javelin. Aren and the javelin arrive at the tree line with a small crack of thunder and a flash. Aren quickly picks himself up from the ground and looks round, slightly dazed but happy to be in one piece, to see what is happening.


Vurth charges through the brush, totally focused on the flitting figure that remained just out of his reach. Just a span more and he would be able to put paid to that little remnant of the pre-dark. Closer... closer... there... dodge that tree but curse the dark... bushes and darkness slowing him but suddenly the landscape is lit by bolts of lightning! The batbroo stalls, momentarily startled by the sudden pyrotechnics. Vurth is upon it in an instant. He swings his branch!

The batbroo meeps in terror then suddenly veers to the right in a futile attempt to stave off doom. More lightning flashes light up the landscape and Vurth charges after the batbroo hardly pausing to note how the shadows created from the lightning almost make it look like the ground is disappearing from in front of him ....


Aren watched as Vurth goes screaming off the cliff in glorious flight. It appears as if Vurth has once more called upon Urox’s divine breath to follow his flighty foe. There Vurth flies when suddenly that Broobat begins to climb. Wait a minute... that Broobat is flying straight.. which must mean that Vurth is going... there is a muffled thud and a loud crack .. crack? perhaps Vurth broke his club when landing? But wait there’s the stick now, flung high into the sky narrowly missing the (snickering?) broobat.. then that must mean...

Aren looks over the edge of the cliff as he shakes his head to clear it from the rough landing.

"Orlanth's beard when will that Bullman learn to land on his head where it will do less damage!"


Vurth cursed as he saw the branch miss the broobat and the broobat then disappear into the distance. He glanced once more at the leg where shinbone was now visible, poking through the skin. Cursed leg... always letting him down.

Vurth made a few mental notes. One, he needed to tell Vizz about the broobat so he could pump Hahlgrim’s lot about what they knew of the creature. Tell Cleaver too so that he could avoid any unnecessary flying lessons. In fact, he better call upon Urox’s breath first himself next time rather than wait. Finally, looked like any exploring was out of the question for the next little while so Garnatha would have to wander by herself. Vurth cursed... he’d been looking forward to that little get away.

Vurth cursed some more for good measure. Things just didn’t seem to be getting any better.


Silverquill runs. The trees are whipping past him and he nimbly leaps over bushes and branches, his eyes glowing with Chernan's vision. He can clearly see Vurth up ahead, catching up to the flapping thing, but also realizes that the no-brained human is running straight towards the drop. He touches the grasshopper charm in his pocket and clears a fallen tree with a mighty bound. Nearly there...

Suddenly, a flash of thunder and a crack of lightning flares just above him. His sensitive eyes suddenly blinded, the small duck tries to stop but his momentum carries him on and he crashes helplessly into a tangle of thick undergrowth. There is pain and then darkness.

It is a while later when Silverquill wakes up. He can hear voices in the distance, some of them calling his name. His head aches and he can feel a large bump forming on his forehead. He tries to get up, but the vines seem to have entangled him and he cannot move. Suddenly, he freezes. He can hear a strange chittering and squeaking noise which grows louder and louder.

He once again invokes Chernan's vision and can now see a small but hideous bat-thing, crawling on the ground and snickering to itself. Its tiny mad eyes are glinting with hunger and malice and it's heading straight towards him.

Thinking quickly, Silverquill casts his mind back to the nature lore class he attended. He remembers the teacher, showing the class a dead bat and explaining how they could fly in the dark. "They use the same senses as trolls, you see. They make a noise and then the noise bounces off obstacles and tells the bat to avoid them. So naturally, bats have very sensitive hearing."

So they don't like noises, do they? An evil grin crosses Silverquill's bill as he takes a deep breath and starts quacking. "Kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak kwak! Wakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwakwak!"

The bat-thing, now very close, gibbers in terror and suddenly takes to the air, its wings flapping madly in an attempt to get away as quickly as possible.


Entislar ploughs through the brush after the bounding Vurth and the disgusting flittering thing that seems to be meeping and glibbering with insane joy when a burst of thunder and lightning seems to pass him.

Still trying to focus on Vurth despite light dazzled eyes Entislar sees Vurth flying off a cliff in a gentle arc and hears the crash as he lands. Distracted Entislar trips and slides towards the edge only to be saved by Kollos who seizes (bites) him by the seat of his pants and stops his slide.

Entislar carefully backs away from the drop rubbing his rear and ruefully thanks Kollos for his help, he then peers down the drop at Vurth and breaths a sigh of relief to see that he is still alive before looking for someway to descend safely. As he approaches the bottom of the drop he is startled by an atrocious quacking chorus and falls the last few feet further damaging an already sore part of his anatomy.

"By Orlanth’s beard what a racket!"


Aren is distracted from his "fallen" companion by the racket behind him and looks around.

Lighting the hill with a blinding flash Aren spies the Bat-things mad attempt at escape and grins as it now gives him a clear shot at the thing now it is clear of his friends. As quick as... well lightning Aren musters a bolt and hurls it straight at the flapping thing that goes meep, with a shout of "Frying Tonight!"...

The mad Bat-thing has other plans for this evening however. As it meeps away into the night, our heroes pick themselves (or Vurth) and traipse back to the stead. Several of the other exiles have woken up. As they see Vurth being carried back, bone protuding from his lower leg, they just shake their heads and go back to sleep.