We left the one-armed man’s hovel and started up toward the mountains. I decided to tell the others that I am an escaped slave. They had a right to know before traveling further with me. They took the news rather well… except for Anders who, true to what seems his nature, doesn’t take any kind of surprises well. We hadn’t traveled a full day before we looked back and saw smoke in the distance. Anders, the one-armed man, said it was his home burning and that orcs have no sense of humor. I didn’t think it was at all funny either. Maybe I too have no sense of humor. We traveled on through a herd of what Anders called bison. They looked like large, deformed cows. Very docile creatures, they allowed us to pick our way through their grazing grounds without issue.
Late that first night we saw a glowing white horse. Ceridwen approached it with an apple, and then couldn’t seem to take her eyes off it. I pulled her hood down over her face to break the contact and that seemed to shake her out of it. The horse wandered off and we let it go. Piper said there was magic on Ceridwen, but it faded quickly.
The next day we were attacked by a creature that seemed to be half horse, half eagle. It attacked the horses, seemed relatively uninterested in us. We brought it down with a barrage of attacks. Ceridwen took a haunch of it’s meat just in case it was edible. She said it was a hippogriff. Late that day we started into the foothills. We saw dust in the distance… Anders said it was the orcs following us. As we moved into rougher terrain, we let the horses go, transferring necessary items to our own packs.
The next day, the land was even steeper and rockier and we found ourselves climbing from time to time. Our passage was slow but steady and we had no encounters of any kind that day. However, that night two creatures the bard called bugbears attacked us in the night. She tried to scare them off, but when they threw javelins at her, she breathed on them. One fell asleep. I slinged the other one and he ran off. We tied up the sleeping one. In the morning we loosened the ropes some and left to go up the mountain.
As we traveled, Anders pointed out growing clouds. Nervous about Ceridwen’s blue dragon, I watched the sky, but they seemed to be just clouds…. But black threatening clouds. We searched for a cave and Ceridwen spotted one. I tried to climb up but fell.. it was a steep climb. I decided we’d traveled together enough to reveal a bit more of myself. I removed my cloak and flew up to the cave. I was about to make it light inside when another of those hippogriffs came barreling out of the cavemouth. It attacked me. The others peppered it with ranged attacks where they could and I got in a pair of good hits with both weapons and it went down. I helped the others up with ropes and after lighting up and cleaning out the cave, we hunkered down to shelter from the rain.
Ceridwen entertained us with songs, we played games, told stories. I told the others the tale of how I met my father and became what I am today… at least as much of it as I understand. I wish I knew more. The bard taught me a game called ‘chess’. I’d like more time to practice it… it was fascinating, even though I lost every time. The bard told us why she was being hunted by a blue dragon… apparently it has a bloodfeud with her entire tribe – human and dragon. The blue dragon and it’s allies killed her father and most of her brothers, as well as many of her human kin. I can see why she’s concerned.
Three days we were stuck in that cave together. Ceridwen sung a lot of songs for us, and we whiled away the time as best we can. Piper doesn’t sing or play but she is a good listener, and Anders seems a quiet type when it comes to his own history. I think perhaps he’s bitter about his arm. I might be too if I were him.
After the third day it was finally dry enough to move on. We headed further into the mountains til we got to a pass. Anders said it would be easier going through here, but we’d likely run into brigands or their like, out to make easy coin off travelers. He warned us to be watchful and wary. I made sure my wings were well hidden under my cloak again as we moved into dangerous territory.