At long last, after over a mile of rugged grasslands traversed at a quick pace, Rendrick and Tiberius made it to the relative safety of the eaves of Cloakwood. Over the course of their escape, Tiberius had regained much of his faculties and now sported a hastily wrapped bandage about his brow to help stem the steady flow of blood that dripped from his head wound.
With a merry jaunt, the elven ranger, known to most only as Dew, entered the townstead of Tallow just as the sun-kissed the western horizon, sending fountains of citrus and strawberry across the sky. Clothed from head to toe in tight fitted, emerald attire one would customarily associate with her ilk, she made a drastic contrast to the townsfolk who yet trundled down the town’s main, and only, avenue, clothed as they were in drab shades of grey, brown, or burgundy. Despite this distinction, she was met with naught but hearty greetings at her passing, marking the familiarity with which the town held her, and she them, for she returned each hail with an equally exuberant one of her own.
It was the strange sounds that roused the man from his slumber. The snuffling of inquisitive noses as well as the soft crunching of careful footsteps in fresh fallen snow. Through small spaces in the walls of his cabin, the light of the full moon shone but every now and then one of these meager sources of light would go dark for but a moment as some hulking form passed.
Wet foliage slapping at her face, the young, half-elvan ranger dives through the underbrush near the western eaves of the Wood of Sharp Teeth. She is in her element, lithe and quick. She knows the terrain and how to maneuver in it. She does not get caught on stray branches, or tripped by fallen debris. Her woodland cloak whips behind her, shadowing her every move as if it has a mind of its own. Her tight leather armor hugs her closely, accentuating every dip and curve of her well formed fisique. Her name is Lystra Silverdragon and this is the start of her tale.
The rain came pelting down in angry sheets as the hooded figure approached what could only be described complete carnage. Several wagons sat positioned haphazardly along a small stretch of the east-west running road known as the Tradeway, their beasts of burden collapsed in the mud, their bodies pierced with arrows. The wagons themselves had fared little better but it was the caravaneers who had taken the brunt of the assault.
It did not take Jaryn long to cross the further distance between the site of the ambush and his destination, the city of Baldur’s Gate. It was a journey that would take most a near half days travel but astride Sundril it had taken him a mere few hours and by noon the high walls rose before him across a stretch of flat, muddy moorland.
Wheeling Sundril about in the keep’s courtyard, Jaryn tore out through the gates and down the high avenue. It was nearing dusk and he knew he had a hard nights ride ahead of him if he were to reach the Friendly Arm Inn, a waystation along the Coastway, a normal two days ride to the south, in time to hopefully intercept Lystra. If she were to perceive of trouble before he reached her, she may abandon his orders to make for the city and make her way to Beregost instead. It would also behoove him to get into contact with the High Druid Blacktree once more and, luckily, there was a way for him to do so much close at hand.
While the rest of the Sword Coast weathered the steady drizzle, a much harsher storm head had descended on the town of Beregost. Rain fell in driving sheets upon the slate roofs of the cluster of buildings that made up the town’s center, as well as those of thatch of the numerous farmsteads dotting the landscape around. The only souls who stood outdoors were those poor Flaming Fist guardsmen unlucky enough to pull guard duty. All of the townsfolk had retreated to the safety of their homes, or else to the welcoming warmth of the Burning Wizard Inn
Lystra awoke in the predawn hours to the ominous rumbling of thunder and the tapping of rain upon the window of her modest accommodations at the Friendly Arm Inn. Sitting up, she allowed the blanket to fall from her naked breasts, stretching her stiff muscles and cursing her body so unused to sleeping with a mattress beneath her.
Guiding their mounts at a plodding pace, Lystra and her companions traveled in silence northward along the Coastway. All three were sullen and miserable, the constant rain sapping them of any cheer or drive.