The Adventures of Rothus, page 25 [D-816]

Camp of the Oracle, edge of the forest:

Without a single hint as to where this stone might be, we stand near the edge of the woods. Travis searches for tracks leading into the woods and finds six separate tracks going north. We decide to follow them (might as well, right?). Travis takes point, I follow right behind Travis, Evan takes the back. The trails split apart. Tyler wants us to split up and follow separate paths. I kind of like that idea, since everyone else is making so much noise.

Travis and Evan want us to stick together. Travis says that the tracks going east look the freshest. Tyler goes along with their suggestion. We carve an arrow into a tree where the trails split, so that we can remember our path, and press eastward. As we follow the tracks, the trees form a canopy above that obscures the sky.

Lily asks Ma`ud to check the tracks. He smells the air, then bolts off westward! Do we follow? “Is he running to something, or from something?” I ask aloud. Lily follows Ma`ud which pulls the rest of the party as well. I keep looking over my shoulder, paranoid. I just know Ma`ud is running from something. Lily calls out to him to stop, which lets us catch up to him. He is looking west, then east toward us, then back west.

Ma`ud and Lily notice that the forest goes dead quiet. Odd. It is quiet. Too quiet. I duck into a bush. Shhh.... The group moves west. I get up to follow.

I hear a hissing sound cut through the total quiet. What was that? Tyler says they are lizardmen! “Prepare for combat!” he commands. I ready my crossbow. “Sssessissus Sheesssh!” he then yells in another language.

“Sssssesssssusssisssosss,” they reply.

“Ssessassssessssissussosssssssssssssssssssssessssssssasssss.”

“Sssysssusssssssssessssssssssessssssssrssssssssssssasssssssssass.”

“Sssesssssssssssissssssssisssssossssussss,” Aeryn injects. This continues for a while….

I sneak up to get a look at the lizardmen. I want to see how many there are. Even as I get closer I still can't see them, but the conversation gets much louder and rushed. Aeryn yells, “Don't kill them!” Huh?

Then, through the undergrowth, I see seven lizardmen, ready for battle. I can’t fight them alone! Yeah, I back up to get closer to the party.

An arrow fires into the air above me! Wait, I think that it came from behind me....

Three javelins land nearby. Thank Erastil that none of them landed on me. Evander runs up and grabs one of the javelins, not acknowledging me at all. I wait for the lizardmen to get closer, so I can shoot them where it hurts.

Before the lizardmen move closer, a large fox, colored like Ma’ud, runs past. There is electricity coming out of its paws as it swings! I’ve got no explanation.

Suddenly, two lizardmen collapse without being hit at all. Cool? Evander runs up and throws the javelin into one of the lizards! Yeah! I advance forward, stealthily. One of the lizardmen falls in battle. Two more collapse without being hit. Seriously, are they just faint of heart?

One runs away to save his skin. Evander runs up and grabs the last one. Tyler gives the coup de grace to one of the ones that were sleeping. Immediately after, Aeryn yells at him. I don’t think Desna would like Tyler for his ruthlessness.

Evander wrestles the last one to the ground and pins it. Tyler disarms some of the other lizardmen, apologizing to Aeryn. She joins in the disarming effort. Evander, in a display of combat skill, ties up the one he is grappling. The final tally is: one escaped, one fallen in combat, one coup de grace, three asleep and one tied up.

We check the lizardmen for the rune stone. “Sssyssssisssosussssssssssesssssssasss,” protests the one conscious captive.

“Sssesssasssssssyssss,” replies Tyler.

Lily warns that the sleeping ones will wake up soon. We decide to get moving before they are able to fight again.

We follow Ma`ud westward and keep moving until we find a clearing.

Here we set up camp and review our first day of the test.

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