16 FELMONT OF 1005 AC
DYMRAK FOREST, SOUTH-EAST OF SUKISKYN
“Still nothing Vaeris?“ From the tone of Tiberius voice you could tell that the paladin was losing hope to find the traces of the Kloss-Lunk goblins, the Wolf-Skulls, who according to information gathered by Ilyakana’s refugees, had also Stephan, the brother of Pyotr Sukiskyn, among their hostages. When they returned to the clan Sukiskyn farm with only two dozen of the horses taken from the traladaran farmers by the Viper clan goblins, they had found a slightly different situation than at their departure. They had in fact also found other people, indeed mostly lumberjacks of Ilyakana and of the other small communities of Sielo and Hokol, lending a hand to restore the fortifications torn down and burned during the Longest Night. One of them, Gregor, a robust and hairy brute who resembled a bear, had told Pyotr and then also to the company, how one by one their outposts had been attacked, raided and destroyed by the combined forces of three goblin clans: the Kloss-Lunk , the Gnhasska and the Jaggadash. The few survivors were able to escape through the forest, hide there and then, after a few days, reach Sukiskyn. Many died, killed by the ruthless humanoids. Some women and younger men, however, were taken captive and led away by the Kloss-Lunk. Stephan was among them.
At the insistence of Pyotr which had appealed to the good feelings of Tiberius and his companions, the group left the day after, on 16 Felmont, again towards east south-east to the point where they had found, days before, the traces of the fight between the Wolf-Skulls and the horse thieves of the Viper clan.
For a good half a day, following the directions of Vaeris, they had headed even farther into the Dymrak forest but immediately they all had the feeling of going in circles and that the Wendarian scout had lost the trail of the wolfrider goblins and their wild beasts.
“No way.” The scout sadly shook his head scratching annoyed the raw beard of some days that overshadowed his face. “There’s something not quite right. As good as they might have been at covering their tracks we are still talking of many goblins and their worgs.
“Magic?” asked Adrik with curiosity.
“Likely. Although the most suitable to answer, at least in this case, could be Marjana” said the Wendarian man, resigned, given up the idea of still being able to find useful tracks to follow. The group’s eyes had in the meantime moved from Adrik and him to the girl.
“It is probable. Provided, however, that they have among their ranks a druid or a shaman that can perform the proper ritual.” Then seeing the look between astonished and inquisitor of the companions, she hastened to add: “If you consider it necessary, well, I could do it.”
Tiberius swallowed a long sip of water from his canteen. He had guessed that this was the best time because the group would take a break. Then, after wiping his mouth on the naked back of the hand, he gave the leather wineskin to Dan to pass it around to the companions and he turned back to Vaeris. “Ideas? How do you suggest to proceed?”
The Wendarian ranger weighted briefly the possible alternatives that loomed before them. “We are at a dead end and to go on in the dark and without a goal would only be a waste of time and to take unnecessary risks. Let’s go back ..” With a wave of his hand he stopped any possible reply by his peers. “Let’s go back to the clearing where the battle between the goblins of the Viper clan and the Wolf-Skulls has taken place. There the traces were plentiful and I’m sure I’ll be able to find, even at a distance of days, a useful track to lead us to the survivors of the Viper clan.”
Realizing the meaning of his words Brannart nodded quickly in his almost incomprehensible common. “In Klantyre, in the Principalities, we say the enemy of my enemy is my friend!“
“In the Empire too there is a more or less similar saying, amicus meus, inimicus inimici mei, that is my friend, enemy of my enemy” chuckled Tiberius putting a friendly hand on the shoulder of the mighty man of the Principalities. For the first time in days, for a moment, a calmer and relaxed atmosphere among the company. A brief moment, long enough for Vaeris to declare his scopes.
“Well, I don’t want to disappoint your expectations to enlarge your circle of friends but know that after the Viper goblins have given us the information we want about the Kloss-Lunk, I’ll personally kill all your new friends, one by one, with no exceptions!”