Brown Borgradoc first tried to squeeze the Hellschwort signet ring onto his own stubby pinky, but having failed that, tossed it into his satchel annoyed at its circumference. Perhaps it would make a nice earring, he thought.
As the Verbeeg made their way quickly across the desolate bowl of the valley (they moved in great strides despite their awkwardness), Borgradoc was deep in thought.
The eagles had indicated more "meat" ahead and above the rim of Ethdos Gorge. Borgradoc wanted to make sure the Verbeeg were back for the evening's festivities in Cottar's Bale, but surmised that the gang had enough time to climb back up, and see who the new trespassers may be, before heading back to the hamlet. Luck was with him, Borgradoc thought, the travelleres were in the direction of the village anyway.
It would have to be quick though. He did not want to miss the annual crowning of Snowmelt's "maiden fare". He was in fact hoping he would be fuggering the winner later this same evening. As he grinned through yellowed teeth, Borgradoc absent-mindedly fingered his other ring, the one that protruded from his pierced eyebrow. No one could resist Brown Borgradoc, he told himself, and soon the Verbeeg reasoned, Cottar's Bale would be his anyway, for all intents and purposes.
As Borgraodc thought his thoughts, the group neared the cliff-face, and glanced up. Two hundred feet fifty above was the hill country and the road to Cottar's Bale.
Borgradoc paused, too lazy to go up again at first, but then steeling himself, the Verbeeg leader shouted orders at Yoord and Mrok. Something about grappling hooks and eagles.
As Adan followed Tristan toward certain doom, the pair was silent, nursing wounds and grudges and thoughts of righteousness.
They kept well back of the Verbeeg now, but kept them in their sights. It was not difficult in fact, to mark six nine foot tall humanoids in a flat rock-strewn valley, as they travelled. Adan made sure to keep one eye on the skies, to see if any more treacherous birds, were in turn spying on the pair, but the wind had seemingly chased them away. The Eagles were no where in sight now.
The end of the late afternoon rain was replaced with wind again, which picked up now, and began its ode to the coming dusk, howling and echoing throughout the gorge. The Triguians pulled their cloaks tighter around their tired, aching bodies and trudged on, determined, and unafraid.
Suddenly Tristan paused, and pointed something out to Adan, who was himself already peering in the same direction. Several hundred feet ahead, the pair could now see the rim of the gorge, more than two hundred feet up lay the valley's rim. But what they saw now, was tiny figures in the distance, six of them, apparently making their way up the rock-face of the cliff, moving quite quickly, perhaps due to their great strength and knowledge of the mountain.
They noticed another thing as well. Mud was lazily flowing off in clumps from the gorge's rim, falling and seeping down slowly past the climbing Verbeeg, and dropping in globs from the heights. It seemed the day's rain had brought mudslides to the region.