Welcome to Wednesday where we look at twists and turns that our party will encounter evidence on that they are not alone in the ranges and that time is of the essence in travelling through the valley when creatures are killed for pleasure, not food.
The dusting of snow between the ranges was miraculously thin on the frozen mud of the road yet it piled up next to the rocky cliffs and trees either side of the road where the wagon squelched behind an anxious draft horse.
The weather had turned slightly to the worse, small flurries of snow had begun to drift down upon the wagon but it it wasn’t the weather that was cause for concern, the sheer number of tracks from spirit folk and the creatures that called this valley and mountain ranges home were the source of growing concern. It was beginning to be unusual to see a section of snow that didn’t have discarded cloth, foot prints or even bones of a meal and they all seemed to be heading in the same direction. The trees offered some protection from the snow regardless and while the party wasn’t used to this level of snow and cold but the wagon was kitted with double walls and a level of cloth and material on the inside that made the inside comfortable if not cosy.
The old grey stallion whinnied and the wagon came to a stop as the horse spooked and started to retreat backwards causing the wagon to lurch before the wheels met snow by the side of the road and stop abruptly. “It may take me some time for me to be able to convince this old thing to move forward. But what ever is spooking it isn’t far from here and I’d rather be prepared than having to make a quick exit from this valley.” Jason called as he tried to pull the horse into line.
Leaving the wagon and moving forward as quietly and stealthily as possible the party moved further into the valley as a strange and foul smell crept down from the wind that swept down into the valley from the peaks above them. Up head the snow had been disturbed and great furrows had been embedded into the frozen soil, similar to the ones that they saw on their approach into the village before the ranges. A wide crescent of fresh footprints gave a wide berth to the marks and from the looks of them the creatures that made them were scared, terrified even. Looking around for traces of what could have caused the owners of the footprints to act as such they eventually drew their investigation to the valley walls above them and there they saw the cause.
A great rupture of spikes made from the same ice that they had a shard of burst forth like lightning made from ice. The dark blue of the ice as it erupted from the stone face extended into the middle of the valley, a good sixty feet from the wall and at the end of each of the spikes that had erupted forth resided a skewered creature. Oni, ogres, Nat’s and even bears the size of the wagon they travelled in lay skewered on the ice, pushed on with enough force to pierce even the stone-like hide of the Nat. Looking at the ice as it had exploded out the trees themselves had their upper branches frozen, splintered and a few shards of frost encrusted splinters of wood lay just under the surface of the snow.
The ice must have been so cold that there was very little blood from the creatures that hung their, rigid and dead and what blood there was hung like frozen spears of ice suspended fifty feet in the air above the area where the scrape was. Something or someone would have had to have done this and to best that many creatures at once would indicate something both large and strong beyond anything that the party would have faced thus far.
Returning back to Jason they found him having blindfolded the horse and moving towards them and when he saw the gruesome display the colour drained from his face. “I have known some of the creatures of the ranges to be vicious but to be cruel like this is another level. We can make it through the ranges today if we hurry but it will get dark early inside these ice covered walls so we can’t dally any more.” he urged as he ushered them into the back of the wagon to join Kuang, Kyoko and Hana. “Hold on, we won’t be slowing down for some time and I pray that the old horse makes it.”
Well another twist Wednesday has come and this week we have revealed a grisly scene where something or someone has slaughtered creatures, animals and the spirit folk (such as Nat’s and Oni) and strung them up like shrike impaling lizards, insect and small mammals on thorns.
Not revealing the true face of the opponent is something I am not quite sure on yet, but so far having to describe what it does, elude to it but not yet reveal it completely is something I am enjoying but wondering if its having the desired effect. What do you think?
Thanks for joining me tonight and for reading the shrike-inspired part of this adventure. Don’t forget that if you want to name the village the party visited leave a comment below and if I like it I will name the village after your suggestion and to do so make sure to come back daily to keep up to date on the progress we make, and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe