Magic And Light (Chapter XIV) – Session 3

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MAGIC AND LIGHT 

by DORAGON

CHAPTER I – A Gathering Of Friends (The Journey Of Zah)

CHAPTER II – Making Characters

CHAPTER III – Choose Your Class

CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS

CHAPTER IV – Stigus (Warrior)CHAPTER V – Chi (Ranger)CHAPTER VI – Ren (Wizard)CHAPTER VII – Kinner (Bard)CHAPTER VIII – Zhan (Cleric)CHAPTER IX – Tor-Atimus (Paladin)

CHAPTER 10 – Beginnings

CHAPTER XI – The Crimson Blade Tavern

CHAPTER XII – Waiting

THE ROAD

CHAPTER XIII – North To Drudgek

CHAPTER XIV –  Session 3

I was tired today… I was almost going to miss tonight’s Dungeons And Dragons Session… But decided to go anyway… Our Party was departing from the Warrior City of Jor, and heading North to the Barbarian Lands of Drudgek.

Don’t want to miss that.

When I arrive at Johnny’s house, Trevor opens the door.

“What’s up Connor,” he says.

“Not much, anyone else here yet?” I ask.

“Stacy is upstairs, haven’t seen her yet today,” he replies.

I set my backpack down, and get my notebook, bag of dice  pen and pencil… I’m good to go.

I lean back and close my eyes.

“Hey Connor, tired?” Johnny’s voice suddenly comes as he enters the room.

“A bit,” I notice Johnny isn’t bringing any food and drinks out this time, and the olive green bowl normally filled with some sort of chip like snack, isn’t there.

“No food this week, eh,” I ask.

“Mike said not to put any food out, that he has it covered, so…” Johnny spoke.

“Wow,” I replied.

Suddenly Mike entered carrying a bunch of bags of burgers and fries, “Hey guys,” he sits them down.

“There’s some drinks out in my mom’s car, do you mind Connor?”

I jump up, and go get them.

“This is really cool of you Mike,” Johnny speaks.

“Yeah man, thanks,” interjects Trevor who slaps Mike five.

“No worries, you’ve been feeding all of us the last couple weeks, figured I’d contribute,” he replied.

I return with two holders holding drinks, and sit them on the coffee table.

“What’s up guys,” Barry says as he enters,”Woe, what’s all of this.”

“Food on Mike,” replies Johnny.

Suddenly Stacy comes down stairs, she’s on her Cell Phone, “Johnny, is it alright if my friend Lisa comes and sits in… She won’t be playing, just observing/hanging out.”

Johnny looks at the group, we all nod.

“Sure,” Johnny replies.

More girls, excellent, I think to myself.

We all eat our burgers and fries, and  sip away at our drinks.

As the time to start nears, Johnny puts on his blue cape, and Stacy comes in and sits down.

“Let us begin, again,” speaks Johnny.

PICTURE CREDIT – Freigeist

Magic And Light (Chapter XIII) – North To Drudgek

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MAGIC AND LIGHT 

by DORAGON

CHAPTER I – A Gathering Of Friends (The Journey Of Zah)

CHAPTER II – Making Characters

CHAPTER III – Choose Your Class

CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS

CHAPTER IV – Stigus (Warrior)CHAPTER V – Chi (Ranger)CHAPTER VI – Ren (Wizard)CHAPTER VII – Kinner (Bard)CHAPTER VIII – Zhan (Cleric)CHAPTER IX – Tor-Atimus (Paladin)

CHAPTER 10 – Beginnings

CHAPTER XI – The Crimson Blade Tavern

CHAPTER XII – Waiting

CHAPTER XIII – North To Drudgek

On the 5th night since Zahn and Tor-Armitus’s arrival to the Warrior City of Jor, the two of them decided to drink quite a lot as they looked over the Map of Galdur, trying to determine their first destination.

While doing this, Tor-Atimus caught wind of the conversation between two individuals at the nearest table.

OUT OF GAME

“Stacy… Conner, do you mind describing your Characters at the table,” spoke Johnny, the Dungeon Master of the game.

“Uh… My Character is a Female, Blue Dragonborn… She’s about 6′ tall, 230 pounds, with dark emerald green eyes… She looks to be about 20… She’s wearing dark brown leather Armour, and has a Long Bow on her back. At her sides are two Hand Axes.” (Full Character Description Here)

“How about you Connor,” speaks Johnny.

“Sure… My Character is a Moon Elf… He has violet eyes, bluish white skin, and bright fire engine red hair. He’s about 5’10” tall, around 130 pounds, so he’s lean… Though he’s 95 years old, he looks only to be in his low twenties to Humans.”

“He’s wearing a long dark green cloak with a hood, currently pulled down… Leaning against the table is a Short Bow, and at his side is a Short Sword. He’s wearing light brown leather Armour.” (Full Character Description Here)

“Alright, lets continue,” speaks Johnny.

“Both the Dragonborn, and the Elf are laughing, though they are not speaking in a Common Tongue…” continues Johnny.

“My Paladin Tor-Atimus will attempt to recognize what Language they’re speaking by rolling against his Intelligence Score,” continues Johnny.

“He rolls a 19+ his Intelligence Modifier of +2, so he rolled a 21,” Johnny concludes

Tor-Artimus recognizes the Language as Elven, but he does not speak it… He nudges Zahn as he points to locations on the Galdur Map…

…this gets Zahn’s attention, he looks up at Tor-Atimus and sees him gesturing to try and listen to what the Dragonborn and Elf are saying.

Zahn, who speaks Elven, listens.

“So you came all the way south from Speahr Torn seeking Adventure, eh,” speaks the Dragonborn.

“Well, Jor is the place to be if you’re seeking Adventure,” replies the Elf.

“What about you, you say you come from Krieg, can’t say that I’ve ever traveled there, though I’ve heard Oto’ra Port has a decent tavern,” continues the Elf.

There conversation peaks Zahn’s interest, he turns, and faces them, “Hello there…” he speaks in Common Tongue.

This seems to disrupt the Dragonborn and Elves conversation…

…they ignore him, and continue talking.

“Do you not speak Common?” Zahn asks now in Elven…

…this seems to bug the Dragonborn, and so she stands, “Listening in on our conversations, eh,” she growls more than speaks.

The Elf laughs, “It’s alright,” he gestures to the Dragonborn to sit.

“Do you mind if we speak Common, my friend here does not speak Elven,” Zahn gestures towards Tor-Atimus.

“Sure…” replies the Elf.

“May we sit?” Zahn asks, but neither seem interested in the proposition.

“Very well, my name is Zahn… I am of the Apollo Order from an Island called Torm, in the land of Despa.

“So you’re a Cleric,” speaks the Dragonborn.

Zahn nods.

“I am STIGUS, and my friend here’s name is CHI,” the Dragonborn explains.

“I don’t know if you saw my poster,” Zahn points to his poster on the job/wanted wall across the tavern.

“I couldn’t help but hear what you were talking about, and sounds like, at least you,” he gestures towards Chi, “Are seeking Adventure,” Zahn finishes with a slight smile.

Chi takes a longer look at the poster, “Two to three months? Where are you heading?”

“Well, to start, we thought we’d head to the Barbarian Lands of Drudgek… I heard you say you were from Speahr Torn?” speaks Zahn.

Chi nods, “I thought you, and your friend here as well, might like to escort us north… Interested?” finishes Zahn.

Chi looks fairly enthralled… Stigus shrugs…

“Why not… 20 Gold a week isn’t something to wince at… We’re in,” proclaims Chi.

The rest of the night the four of them swap stories a bit, then turn in.

In the morning Tor-Atimus notifies the Tiefling Wizard Ren, and as they all get their horse ready to leave, Kinner, the Drow Bard appears, and joins them as well.

“North then,” speaks Zahn, and the 6 riders are off.

OUT OF GAME

“And that’s it for our Second Session… I hope you all enjoyed it… Same time next week, hope to see all of you there!” speaks Johnny.

All seem tired after a four hour Session, but excited as well.

PICTURE CREDIT – Barbarian

Magic And Light (Chapter XII) – Waiting

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MAGIC AND LIGHT 

by DORAGON

CHAPTER I – A Gathering Of Friends (The Journey Of Zah)

CHAPTER II – Making Characters

CHAPTER III – Choose Your Class

CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS

CHAPTER IV – Stigus (Warrior)CHAPTER V – Chi (Ranger)CHAPTER VI – Ren (Wizard)CHAPTER VII – Kinner (Bard)CHAPTER VIII – Zhan (Cleric)CHAPTER IX – Tor-Atimus (Paladin)

CHAPTER 10 – Beginnings

CHAPTER XI – The Crimson Blade Tavern

CHAPTER XII – Waiting

It had been two days since Zahn and Tor-Atimus had brought the Drow Bard Kinner into their Party.

And so they spent their time gathering supplies, which included two horses, one for each of them…

Their Crew would catch a transport ship back to the Island of Torm where they, along with the rest of the Torm Order of Apollo, would wait for further word from Zahn.

Aboard their Ship were many supplies for the building of a Temple, as well as Robes etc. for any new Followers…

…all of that would remain aboard their ship, here in Jor.

Tor-Atimus was a bit confused why they brought  a ship at all, as opposed to just catching one to here, but he did not question The Orders thinking.

On the fourth night since they’re arrival, Zahn had retired to bed, and Tor-Atimus sat at the bar drinking ale, and thinking of his people and how he no longer belonged there…

…and that’s when there was a tap on his shoulder.

OUT OF GAME

“Trevor, would you like to describe your Character?” speaks Johnny.

“Yes, well, he is a Tiefling… He has black eyes, brick red skin, blond hair… He’s about 6′ tall, weighing around 180 pounds… He looks to be around 24 years old, and he has black curved horns like a Ram.”

“He’s wearing long, thick black robes, with some red underneath.” (Full Character Description Here)

“Thank you Johnny, lets continue…” replied Johnny.

“Excuse me, Janos, the owner of this establishment, said that I should speak to you about the poster from Zahn?” spoke the Tiefling elegantly.

“Hmm…” replied Tor-Atimus who woke suddenly from his daze.

“Yes… I am Tor-Atimus, Paladan,” replied Tor-Atimus.

“Paladin… Excellent… Well met, I am REN,” the two arm embraced.

“I’m wondering if you could tell me, does your Party require those with the ability of Magic…” spoke the Tiefling.

Tor-Atimus hesitated, “Most likely… I suppose Zahn might better answer that.”

“Excellent… May I ask you when Zahn will be in?”

Moments later Tor-Atimus brought the Tiefling to Zahn’s door.

“This really can wait till morning,” spoke Ren.

“No… It’s alright,” replied Tor-Atimus.

BANG BANG BANG

The door opened and Zahn wiped the sleep from his eyes, “Yes Tor-Atimus, what is it…”

“Possibly, a new recruit,” he replied.

Ten minutes later the three of them sat at a table in the inn…

…it was late, so the tavern was a bit quieter than usual.

“So you’re a Wizard? Sorcerer? Warlock?” questioned Zahn.

“Ha, a Wizard I suppose… I’ve studied Magic since I could walk really… My home was in the Kai Islands, south east of here,” explained Ren.

“You would be welcome,” spoke Zahn, and the two shook arms.

“Oh excellent, I will be at the Jor Library until then, if, and or when you need to reach me,” explained Ren as he stood, bowed, and parted.

Tor-Atimus looked at Zahn,”Two more to go.”

PICTURE CREDIT – The Lair

Magic And Light (Chapter XI) – The Crimson Blade Tavern

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MAGIC AND LIGHT 

by DORAGON

CHAPTER I – A Gathering Of Friends (The Journey Of Zah)

CHAPTER II – Making Characters

CHAPTER III – Choose Your Class

CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS

CHAPTER IV – Stigus (Warrior)CHAPTER V – Chi (Ranger)CHAPTER VI – Ren (Wizard)CHAPTER VII – Kinner (Bard)CHAPTER VIII – Zhan (Cleric)CHAPTER IX – Tor-Atimus (Paladin)

CHAPTER 10 – Beginnings

CHAPTER XI – The Crimson Blade Tavern

“Before we continue, Mike, would you like to describe how your Character looks to the group, I’ll describe mine as well,” speaks Johnny.

“Uh… Yeah… Sure,” replies Mike.

“Ok, well, my Character is a Human Male in his lower 30’s… He’s 5’10” tall, and Weighs around 180… He’s in good shape.”

Stacy laughs slightly.

“Mike blushes, then continues… He’s got dark blue eyes, and blond hair to his shoulders… His skin is tan… He’s got a long dark blue cloak, and a Chainmail Shirt over a white blousy shirt. His pants are grey, and his boots are long and dark brown… On his back is a medium sized shield, dark blue, with white trim… And a large yellow sun in the middle… He has a mace on one side of his waist, and a hand axe on the other… His disposition is friendly… Oh, and he has a long, thick mustache…” Mike finishes. (Full Character Description Here)

“He sounds cool,” interjects Barry.

“Yeah…” I (Connor) agree.

“Thank you Mike… My turn,” speaks Johnny.

“My Character is a 6’4″, 250 pound Half Orc… He looks mean… He’s got black eyes, and green and black skin… He’s not that old, in his mid twenties in Orc years… He’s wearing a full suit of Chainmail, over a maroon long sleeve shirt, and black pans… Also black mid length boots… On his back is a Battle Axe, and a long shield. The shield is grey metal color, with a black dragon head on it,” Johnny finishes. (Full Character Description Here)

“Alright, so the two of you enter the CRIMSON BLADE TAVERN, the thriving, two story Tavern of the City of JOR.

“What do you do?” asks Johnny.

Zhan looks around a bit until he spies a large board where Job Listings, and Wanted Posters are nailed up.

He walks across the Tavern, drawing a bit of attention due to the determination of his stride, meanwhile Tor-Atimus approaches the bar, “Ale,” he speaks.

A pretty-ish, blond barmaid responds,”You got it big fellow…” she winks, then fetches the ale.

“Hmmf,” Tor- Atimus sighs.

Zahn then hammers a large poster on the board…

WANTED

FOUR ABLE BODY ADVENTURERS

FOR LENGTHY EXCURSION

TWO TO THREE MONTHS MINIMUM

PAY IS 20 GOLD A WEEK PER

SPEAK TO ZAHN FOR MORE DETAILS

Tor-Atimus laughs slightly, and then receives his ale.

Zahn then makes his way to the bar, “Excuse me miss, who do I tell about my poster?”

The same blond barmaid points to an extremely friendly, grey and black, balding man some 25 feet down the bar.

He’s around 5’7″ tall, 135 pounds, and looks to be in is 50’s.

He also has a long silver black beard.

Zahn makes his way down the bar, “Excuse me sir, I’d just like to notify you that I’m Zahn,” and with this he gestures towards his poster, “Should any come asking.”

“Alright,” the man says with a smile.

“Also, my friend here,” he gestures towards Tor-Atimus, “And I, need two rooms… We’ll likely be in here, or in our rooms, should any come asking… Bother us at any time,” speaks Zahn.

“Grhumpf,” Tor-Atimus makes a sound.

“Rather, bother me any time, leave my friend alone if he’s sleeping,” Zahn says with a smile, and the man nods.

“The names JANOS,” speaks the man, “I own the place…”

“Good meeting you,” responds Zahn.

Tor-Atimus takes note of a black cloaked Elf who seems to be taking great interest in Zahn’s poster…

“Ohhhh,” suddenly that Elf pulls out his fiddle, and begins to sing…

OUT OF GAME

“Barry, would you like to describe your Character,” speaks Johnny.

“You bet,” Barry starts to scramble through his drawings, “Here’s what he looks like,” he’s about to hold up one of his drawings, but pauses.

“Well, actually, let me describe him… He’s an Elf, maybe 5’9″ tall, 115 pounds, so he’s lean, and light… His eyes are blue, his hair is brown, and his skin pale… He’s 106 in Elven years, but looks to be in his early 20’s in human terms…”

“He’s wearing a long black cloak, and hood, with a red shirt, and bright blue pants… He has a lovely violin which he carries on his back… At his sides are two rapiers…” (Full Character Description Here)

“Thank you Barry, lets continue,” speaks Johnny.

“Oh two men came in, both chainmale made… One tall, dark and ominous, the other quite brave… They’re looking for men, woman or other… To take on some deeds, only known to each other,” sang the Elf…

…and as he did, everyone in the Tavern seemed captivated, and joyous.

At the end of the song, he approaches Zahn and Tor-Atimus, and bows.

“Good morrow sirs, I hope I find yee well,” he spoke in a most charming tone.

“Why… Yes… Tired from our travels, but quite inspired by your playing, and words,” replies Zahn who seemed quite delighted to meet the Elf.

“And you sir,” the Elf questioned Tor-Atimus, who unexpectedly, was also caught up in the Elf’s charm.

“Quite well, er, what was your name?” asked Tor-Atimus.

“Why my name is KINNER, Bard, and general Entertainer,” he spoke.

“A Bard… Well met… How good it would be to have you with us on our travels,” spoke Zahn.

“This is why I’m here… There’s only one thing I needs ask you,” spoke Kinner.

Suddenly his face transformed from pale skin Elf, to red eyed, black skin, grey haired, “I’m a Drow you see… And not all are comfortable with this,” he spoke, then his disguise returned, and he appeared as a pale skinned Elf once more.

Zahn smiled, “Well,” then looked over at Tor-Atimus.

“I’m a Half Orc… You’ll find no judgement from me,” spoke Tor-Atimus.

“Well then… There’s your answer,” spoke Zahn.

“Well then,” Kinner reached out to shake each of their hands at the same time,”We have a deal.”

Magic And Light (Chapter X) – Beginnings

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MAGIC AND LIGHT 

by DORAGON

CHAPTER I – A Gathering Of Friends (The Journey Of Zah)

CHAPTER II – Making Characters, CHAPTER III – Choose Your Class

CHAPTER IV – Character Introductions (Stigus)

CHAPTER V – Character Introductions (Chi)

CHAPTER VI – Character Introductions (Ren)

CHAPTER VII – Character Introductions (Kinner)

CHAPTER VIII – Character Introductions (Zhan)

CHAPTER IX – Final Character Introduction (Tor-Atimus)

CHAPTER 10 – Beginnings

Four hours later, all of us had finished Rolling up, and Creating our Dungeons & Dragons Characters…

It had been a long, but satisfying afternoon.

“I want to thank all of you for taking your time to do this… I admit creating characters is one of my favorite parts of this game… I hope that you derived some enjoyment from some of it as well,” spoke our Dungeon Master Johnny eloquently for a 13 year old.

“Same time next week, I hope to see all of you there.”

And so we slowly gathered our stuff, and left…

…all save Johnny’s Sister, who lives there, and Trevor, Johnny’s best friend, who basically lives there as well.

Well, he doesn’t sleep there, lol

As the week went by, I found my mind wandering to the game, as anticipation of what possible Adventure Johnny had planned for us.

I admit, I was excited.

When at last the day finally came, I was the first to arrive at Johnny’s home.

Well, Trevor was already there, but he doesn’t count.

“Hey Connor, you made it!” spoke Johnny enthusiastically.

Trevor on the other hand, had his head to his notebook, and was drawing and making notes on his character.

Johnny had Doritos in the olive green bowl this week, as opposed to cheese puffs… I suppose he wanted to mix it up.

“We’re having sandwiches when everyone else gets here, I hope that’s ok…” spoke Johnny as he stepped out of the room, then returned with a bowl of ice for the drinks.

“You know you don’t have to keep feeding us Johnny, I’m sure it’s expensive,” I (Connor) spoke when he reentered the room carrying a Orange Crush Soda this time, and sat it on the long coffee table.

“Nah, not at all, I split the cost with my mom… It doesn’t cost all that much,” he replied.

And so I sat down in the spot at the coffee table I had sat the previous week, unzipped my backpack, and brought out my notebook, dice bag, pen and pencil.

I looked at my watch, but no one was late yet, I had arrived 10 minutes early.

Suddenly Barry came in, “Yo Yo Yo!” he spoke loudly, and so our loudest friend had arrived, “Did some more drawings of Kinner,” he spoke.

“Kinner?” I responded.

With this he held up several drawings of his Drow/Dark Elf Bard, Kinner.

“Yeah… My Drow Bard,” he continued, then found his seat, and poured himself a drink.

Johnny looked at his watch, “Welcome Barry.”

I looked at my watch as well, it was 2 minutes until starting time.

Usually there are ‘House Rules’, like ‘Showing Up On Time’… Or… ‘No Meta Playing’, which basically means no talking outside of Character unless needed during play, or using real life knowledge to influence the game.

Suddenly Stacy, Johnny’s Sister, came in, “I’ll be right down,” she spoke as she hurried upstairs talking on her cell phone as she went…

…she was… Dreamy.

That left only Mike…

…the new kid in school.

I noticed during the week he had made friends with some other people, so he probably won’t show up–

“Hello all!” suddenly came Mike’s voice as he entered the home, and sat down on the couch with a great smile.

“Hi Mike,” I replied.

“Mike, you made it!” Johnny enthusiastically proclaimed as he smacked palms with Mike in a high five.

I love how once people enter the D & D (Dungeons And Dragons) environment, everything seems to gel, and become almost sacred…

“Sandwiches incoming,” spoke Johnny who signaled Trevor to help him carry in the trays…

…Trevor sighed once more, then helped him.

There was sandwich meat, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard, everything you could want in a sandwich.

Suddenly Stacy ran downstairs, carrying her notebook, dice pencil and pen.

“Sorry about that bro,” sat down, and started to make a sandwich.

Soon we had all eaten, Johnny had put on his blue cape once more, and had his Dungeon Master Screen up, with all the Adventures Secrets hidden behind it.

“Our story begins in the Southern Port of JOR, in the land of Galdur…”

Magic And Light (Chapter IX) – Character Introductions (Tor-Atimus)

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MAGIC AND LIGHT 

by DORAGON

CHAPTER I – A Gathering Of Friends (The Journey Of Zah)

CHAPTER II – Making Characters

CHAPTER III – Choose Your Class

CHAPTER IV – Character Introductions (Stigus)

CHAPTER V – Character Introductions (Chi)

CHAPTER VI – Character Introductions (Ren)

CHAPTER VII – Character Introductions (Kinner)

CHAPTER VIII – Character Introductions (Zhan)

CHAPTER IX – Final Character Introduction (Tor-Atimus)

Johnny’s Character;

TOR-ATIMUS (Half Orc) Paladin

Eyes: Black Skin: Black/Green Hair: None Height: 6’4″ Weight: 250 Age: 26

Strength: 20 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 14 Dexterity: 10 Constitution: 19 Charisma: 14

Hit Points: 15 Armour Class: 18

Tor-Atimus is no ordinary specimen… Not even for a Half Orc.

Not only is he immensely Strong, and Durable, he is also quite Intelligent and Wise for hid kind.

A Paladin, though the One Eyed Orc God Gruumsh is his God, he does not serve him.

An outcast amongst his Orc People of the Southern Region of DESPA, partly for being a Half Orc, partly for being a Paladin, Tor-Atimus made his way to the Western Region of Despa, where he, along with many other Paladins, became a Guardian of a Human Pilgrimage there.

Ever longing for Greater Purpose, Tor-Atimus befriended a Paladin of Apollo, from the Island Of TORM, just off the Western shores of Despa…

This Cleric by the name of ZAHN, was bestowed a Crusade which would travel to the land of GALDUR, there to accumulate Followers of Apollo, as well as determine future locations for Temples of Apollo.

Though Apollo is not Tor-Atimus’s God, there’s something in the Cleric Zahn that he firmly believes in.

White Wolf

White Wolf

White Wolf

by DORAGON

The girl made her way up the snow covered rocks of the Eversill Peaks…

Her long, blond, wavy hair laid cross her back.

At her side she wore a white leather pouch… And as she stepped, she reached down to make sure it was still there.

Within it were many healing herbs.

Soon she reached a peak, and some hundred feet ahead she saw the White Wolf that had come into her Village…

Only to be met by rock, and pitchfork…

It had barely escaped with its life.

The Wolf seeing her, stood perfectly still.

Her warm blue healer’s eyes cast upon it, she knew there could only be one reason why…

Why it did not flee.

Swallowing her fear, she continued forward.

Once she was fifty feet from it, she could see several wounds on the beast, in particular a wounded leg.

She continued forward, but it began to move further up the rocks, dragging its leg behind.

When she made her way over the next peak, she could see it drag itself into a dark cave.

It would be crazy to follow it any further.

What if the rest of the pack lay within?

Perhaps it was a trick.

But she had never seen a White Wolf like this…

Her instincts told her, he likely travels alone.

Once again, casting her fear aside, she moved forward.

Once she reached the entrance of the cave, she peered inward…

Within she could see nothing but its yellow glowing eyes.

She placed her hand upon the white pouch again, and continued forward into the dark.