Climbing Fargell Hill
Tristan and Adan slowly made their way up, along a sloppy, muck-filled lip of the canyon, it was just as well, they had left their horses tehthered below. The incline, though not overly steep, in fact it was somewhat gradual, was indeed treacherous, and not a route for horses.
The sun had not yet set, but clear sky were slowly turning grey, as the two Triguians grimly climbed the gorge.
Two hours later, their breath once more gushing steam in the quickly cooling air, the pair reached the top. Briefly glancing back, they could see a hazy outline of the great Gorge of Ethddos yawning below them.
Ahead however, lay a maze of hills, muddy and foggy. Tristan scanned the terrain with slitted eyes. Adan kept a tight grip on his weapon, and with the other hand, occasionally fingered the scar tissue around his throat. The fallen paladin was breathing deeply.
Vorodon’s gaze scanned the cardinal horizons. To the east he could see the distant, vague outline of Cottar’s Bale. To the west, the formidable Ethddos Gorge. It had been a blessing, the half-ogre thought to himself, that the mudslide was not a true avalanche, for the companions would surely have been swept along with the mud and earth, over the rim, and would have perished, had the Flow’s strength been greater. Vorodon paused, and peered intently into the late afternoon gloom. He heard, but did not at first acknowledge Aerex Matare, who had come up behind the half-ogre, having likewise climbed the desolate hillock. Aerex withdrew an item from rucksack, a thin, brass, telescoping tube, with glass lenses, fitted at both ends. Putting the smaller end to his eye, the ranger scanned the surroundings as well. Vorodon turned then, and glanced over at the Insector, wondering as to what exactly the diminutive man was doing. The device was unknown to the half-ogre, but Aerex, who had found the spyglass in the bowels of the Glassmaker’s Monastery, knew its use quite well, since similar, but inferior instruments were used frequently in Jantir.
Aerex saw clearly what Vorodon had spied with his big, naked eye. Having somehow assailed the gorge, rising seemingly straight up from the yawning chasm, six huge figures, ogres perhaps, were now moving in an easterly direction, less than two thousand feet away, and nearing in huge strides, the base of the very hill where Talia, Kyrian, and Herald awaited Vorodon and Aerex.
The ranger and warrior exchanged glances. Vorodon was about to speak, when Aerex put his hand up to interrupt, and pointed east now again, handing the half-ogre his spyglass. After some fumbling, Vorodon peered through the glass and could now see a lone figure, human no doubt, heading likewise to the same hill, but from a different direction, the direction of Cottar’s Bale.
‘I think that one has been following us” Aerex said evenly. Vorodon nodded, but drew Aerex’ attention back toward the western front. The Verbeeg, Vorodon thought to himself, were a lot more dangerous, than whoever that was coming from the other side. He began to explain this to Aerex, as the ranger kept looking at the lone figure advancing. The man, for it was a man, was garbed in the grey, non-descript robes of a traveling monk, which were so favored by pilgrims headed to Jantir, as they traversed this desolate stretch of terrain. A cowl hid the man’s features.
Suddenly Vorodon spied two more figures in the direction of the Gorge, from whence the Verbeeg came. Small figures these, the half-ogre thought, humans.
Kyrian stared up, along the muddy contours of the hillock, Vorodon had called, Fargell Hill, and called up to Aerex and the half-ogre.
Talia strode next to Kyrian. Even from below, the elf and the gypsy could see that Vorodon and Aerex had seen something, and were now concerned.