Pathfinder: The Trio - Cave Conversations
Author’s note: Since this is a sequel to “The Trio”, you might want to read that one first, if you havent already.
Goruza led the way towards the cave, with Emerald behind her leading Champ, her mule, on which Besh (and Max) sat. Finally, they reached the lip of the cave, and entered into it.
“It’s bigger than I expected” Besh remarked as she jumped off Champ, temporarily dislocating Max in the process.
“We should explore it, so we dont get any surprises tonight.” Emerald suggested.
Inside, they found a indentation large enough for for Champ to be in out of sight from the entrance, and Emerald took some dried hay and nuts and gave them to the mule, telling him to stay in the cleft unless called for. Then Besh summoned four globes of light, and the three moved cautiously into the cave.
Almost immediately, they found themselves in a large area, with a passageway entrance on the far side.
“Very clearly, this was made on purpose.” Beth remarked, looking around the large area.
Before the other two could respond, a loud honking noise could be heard from the passageway, and two large shapes barrelled towards the trio.
Then two man-sized bird-like creatures entered the room, and Besh recognized at once what they were by their cruel-looking mouths - Axe beak birds.
The larger of the two barrelled straight into Goruza, managing to knock the barbarian off her feet and lose her grip on her axe. Before the creature could take advantage of its disarmed foe, Emerald opened her mouth as if she was screaming, but no sound came out that could be heard by either of her friends. Besh realized she was using a spell that sent out a ear-piercing scream that only the bird would be able to hear.
The spell staggered the bird, but before Emerald could follow up its mate came up and slashed at the bard, slicing a line across her back as she leapt out of the way.
Besh then summoned three magic missles that struck the female bird, damaging it, and causing it to to turn away from Emerald.
Meanwhile, Goruza had recovered her axe, and struck the male bird with a pair of mighty blows, cutting it deeply.
The female attacked Besh, but missed, allowing Emerald to pull out her sword and stab it in the side, and it shrieked once, and slumped to the floor of the cave.
As if angered by the death-sounds of its mate, the male attacked Goruza fiercely, driving the barbarian back into a corner. But before it could seriously injure her, there was a shout from the tunnel, and a figure in green and black rushed in, and clawed at the bird, opening it up like a master chief preparing a meal.
“You alright?” the stranger asked Goruza.
“My pride took the biggest hit” the barbarian growled, and hung her axe on a hook on her belt, then held out a hand, saying “My thanks. My name is Goruza, who are you, and were you following these birds?”
“Indeed I was, as they have been a terror for farmers on this side of the river for weeks. I’m Milah. I was tracking these two when I heard you fighting with it.”
Besh and Emerald came over and introduced themselves, and then Besh said, “We only came into this cave to seek shelter before crossing the river tomorrow, we have been asked by the townsfolk of the little village down the way to see if we could do something about the outlaws raiding them, who are supposed to be holed up on the island in the middle of the river.”
Milah shook her head. “Dangerous work, that. Rumors of dark magic, and sightings of undead creatures on that island.”
“That could just be a ruse to keep anybody from trying to deal with the outlaws.” Besh pointed out.
“Maybe, but there is a name that has been whispered as the name of the head of these ‘outlaws’. Oress Manul “
Besh looked at Milah in shock. “Did you say ... Oress Manul ?” She stammered.
“You know him, Besh?” Emerald asked.
“A long time ago I did. A rotter, through and through. Even then more powerful than he should have been, and I cant imagine he’s been coasting since. We ... may need to change our plans.” Besh replied.
“I’m afraid it’s too late for that.” A voice intoned, and a figure entered the cave.
Milah, Goruza, and Emerald found themselves unable to move other to shout simultaneously. Besh turned to the figure at entrance and said, “Let them go, Oress Manul.”
“And why should I do that?” the sorcerer asked.
“You can have me instead.” Beth replied.
“Tempting. Very well, they can go, if you come with me. But should they try to come to my island again, I will show them no mercy.”
Besh nodded, gathered Max in her arms, and strode out of the cave. The sorcerer waved his hand, freeing the other three, and then he and Besh vanished.
Milah went to Emerald and Goruza and asked “You two okay?”
“I will be when I have that sorcerer’s head as a trophy” Goruza growled.
“I’m with you, but how?” Emerald asked.
“Perhaps you can find help in Fiddler’s Vale, the large town on the other side of the river. We can take the Road around.”
“We?” Asked Goruza.
“Well, if you will allow me to accompany you. I now have a grudge against this sorcerer myself.”
“I’m okay with that, how about you, Goruza?” Asked Emerald.
“Sure. But its getting dark, and we could use a rest before we climb back up to the Road.”
The other two agreed, and quickly set up a small “camp” in the middle of the cave, blocking both the exit and the tunnel as best as they could.
The next day they would take the Road to Fiddler’s Vale, where more adventures would await ...
The End (for now).
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