The urban camels were all clearly agitated now. Arapegol called out to those approaching, who now must be in hearing range of Arapegol shouting. "Stop, and do not come further forward still. If you do our mounts will panic and bolt!"
The beast stopped as if understanding. That being appearing as a half-giant stopped too, and helped the one on the large beast off the beast's back, that one who was riding seemed to have been damaged. Then Arapegol noticed something, proving Jaydeen right, that one who had been riding looked like him, even with clothes he had worn. It was that one who had taken his body! Those others must be ones he had seen that remained together until now. Jaydeen had said, he now recalled, they had all gone together, until Jaydeen was separated from them at the Primal Forest.
The large beast was now changing shape. It was a lycanthrope! It must be! And Arapegol saw that shape gradually form into a man. Another familiar looking person.
Jaydeen, in the body of the female elf with the female elf's voice still, said, "That is the one with my body now. I am really glad to see they survived."
Arapegol recalled those he had seen in Quadick before, right after the alteration that put minds of individuals into others' bodies. That other one with the half-giant body must be where the mind of the female elf whose body Jaydeen found his mind in went.
After that shift, it was soon noticed that the urban camels were becoming less agitated. After a few moments more, Arapegol waved to those others to come forward still. They could only do so gradually, the one with Arapegol's original body had evidently hurt it. They were eventually closer, and Arapegol recognized the two others now, along with Jaydeen in the other body still. Jaydeen's original body had been that beast, and reformed to Jaydeen's body again. It had to be the power of the mind in it, it was pretty certain that Jaydeen did not ever have that power. The half-giant which they saw was female had the mind of that female elf whose body Jaydeen's mind was in, that one did not seem to speak with the common speech of the area. And it was that woman in the carriage that was being robbed right at the time of the alteration switching people's minds to other bodies whose mind was now in Arapegol's original body.
Arapegol explained that he and those with him mounted on these large animals, the urban camels, were on a quest to find the amulet that would still restore them and all others effected to their original bodies. "But what happened to all of you?"
The one with Jaydeen's body spoke. "We followed along with this one with you, Jaydeen's mind in the elf body now, toward Erpedoben along the road. But it goes along the edge of the Primal Forest, and that is infested with tentacled rotmonsters now, which we were not ready for. Their tentacles reached out and pulled us into the forest with them, where those monsters might consume us. We lost this one with Jaydeen's mind then, and none of us ever knew what happened. But I reacted, turning into the great terrible animal and was slashing at the tentacles of the monsters that had reached us. I easily freed this one who has my original body, who was strong enough to fight the tentacle of that monster, and then we both helped this one free, who was still hurt though, with some injury to the leg. I had to remain in the animal form to carry this one, who clearly has your body, and could speak with me, while the one in my original body isn't really speaking, among us."
Last edited by GodlyD&D; 05-17-2022 at 03:16 AM.
Arapegol listened, and stared at them wondering for a moment. Then he suddenly said, "I came along this road going by the Primal Forest with Iperanton who comes along to help me yesterday and rather early in the day. We found Jaydeen in this newer body just as we were passing that corner of the forest to move on! How did none of us ever see any of you?"
The one in Jaydeen's original body said, "Well I was in the great beast form, and ran out, with Klara this one in your body, which I see you still have duplicated for yourself, riding on my back, and this other large one running after us. I did not return along the road. We came to other woods, not growing as densely, and we slowed down, realizing we did not have pursuers after us. We wandered on, lost for a bit. We did not know the way to Erpedoben, and Jaydeen in that elf body was gone and lost, with us not knowing what happened to her, who was guiding us there. I figured we would find our way back to my home in the woods further north. But it was already growing dark before we were anywhere to know the rest of the way, and we made simple shelters for ourselves, which I have familiarity with doing, and rested there through the night. We went on in the morning, and with being disoriented still we somehow came to reach this road, but still away from that Primal Forest. It really is too dangerous to go by with that infestation it has now with these monsters."
Jaydeen in the elfin body said then, "You mean the Primal Forest was not with the monsters like that before, but now they are?"
Arapegol said, "That is right. There used to be some traffic on the road to Erpedoben, without that problem. But that has recently stopped. It must have been recently infested."
Jaydeen said, "But where are they coming from?"
They all had to take that as a rhetorical question, as none had any idea where rotmonsters come from.
Arapegol said, "We must go on to accomplish this quest. But you with my original body, Klara, if you have a few coins or those with you do, you can go to a healer in Quadick, at a corner on the first intersection along the way in, and with a coin get the healer to look at you and treat you to get better right away."
The one in Jaydeen's body said, "We lost a lot of coins. But I seem to have some coins still with me."
Klara in Arapegol's body, next to the one in Jaydeen's body, said, "I can't go on by myself. I was helped being carried by that animal form."
Arapegol said, "I can use the orb with me to teleport you to the gate of Quadick, it would make it much easier for you to get there, if you want."
The one in Jaydeen's body said, "I think Klara needs me to help move your original body to the healer there. So then, you might use the teleportation on both of us."
Arapegol said, "What about the other one, this half giant?"
As if to answer, that one in the half giant body came forward toward those on the urban camels.
She said, "Ien illwo ogen ithwu ouyen!"
Jaydeen in the elf body said, "It seems this one, who is in Gasha's original body, will go on with us."
Arapegol waved the glowing orb he had brought, in the certain peculiar manner, and spoke his incantation for it, and the two men remaining together near them vanished from that spot. When the others looked toward the entrance to Quadick, there they saw the very far off figures of the men, dressed the same, right by the entrance.
Arapegol said, "There they are. They are set, and the injured one can get help and heal very quickly when they see the healer there. Let us go on now, to the north, and Diodun in Terricana."
They urged the urban camels they rode to go on, and they took that road leading north from there, five mounted on the urban camels, and the half giant with the elvish speaking mind following with great strides quickly enough behind them.
There were numerous groves of trees among wider grasslands this way, with a few farmsteads located not far from Quadick. They went on in more or less a straight way, until at length they came to crossroads. Lucion in the woman Trysina's body said, "That way to the right would go toward Kalavair, that place full of adherents to various cults, some of which are not found anywhere else. It was also one of the last settled places in Tenoba. The way to the left would go toward Wylacard, the place where beings in the shape of beasts are a huge part of the population there. It is a place with a history of many uprisings."
Arapegol said, "Very interesting. And straight ahead is the way toward Terricana, where we need to go."
The riders went on, with that form of the half giant striding right after them. Jaydeen in the elfin body said, "It would yet be interesting to go toward that Wylacard and have a look. There would be citizens not looking even a little like humans, being involved in that society! Maybe after this quest is over?"
Arapegol said, "Whenever I have that amulet we need, I need to go right back this way, and trigger it in the way that will restore those changed the first time, in Quadick, back to the minds being in the bodies where they are meant to be."
They continued on, and Jaydeen said, "Yeah, I mean after all that."
The road they were on here made a slight curve around the side of a very low hill. Arapegol said, "Really, you would continue on with me? I don't know about going to Wylacard after all that, or to Kalavair. These settlements are the other way from the way from Quadick toward Erpedoben, where I and Iperanton should return."
They came to where they saw the road going straight ahead a long way. Some distance away on the road they saw a figure. And that one was approaching. As they came nearer to that one, Arapegol and Iperanton each put a hand near the hilt of their blade, ready for any needed defense. They soon saw this was a man who wore a robe, tied at the waist, and a hood over the head, some of his his brown hair and his brown beard hung out under the hood, not as dark as the hood and the robe.
As that robed man wearing the hood over his head came near, Arapegol astride the urban camel he tried being gentle in a caring way with called to that one, "Who are you and why are you just walking this way by yourself?"
The man came nearer and said, "I am Galvishar, I live as a hermit in my shelter near this road, closer to Quadick than to Eventall that other way, near the border. I use monastic ways for my practices and meditation apart from all who would distract. A few days ago, while I was in the garden area attending young growing vegetable plants I had there, a rowdy group with a wagon came along, and they stopped along the road right in front of where I had my shelter, though it was well apart from the road and made very inconspicuous, I think. But the loudest one said, 'What is this?' They came off the road, where their wagon stayed, five men. I hid as quickly as I could, behind a small tree that grew from a mound there, with a small hole there which I could use which had a bushy growth hiding it, as I had a strong feeling this gang was looking to cause trouble. Another one among them said back to the first, 'It looks like there might be goodies left for us, Deveris!' The first one said, 'It was disappointing in Eventall where we could not get anyone to buy any of our acquisitions. But we can do well in Quadick, where there are those who have plenty! Still let us see what is here.' They ransacked my shelter, and took almost all my supplies, and the food I left there, and they wrecked the shelter as much as they could, smashing the vegetable plants right by it. They laughed as they did so, then they went further on, toward Quadick. I was out of things I need right away. But I did not want to go right after them, that I might be spotted coming behind. I made due with what I could there for a couple of days. But now I really need to get things I don't have, that I can get from Quadick, and I hope I don't run into that gang."
Jaydeen said, "It is Deveris Alvester! He and his gang are no more. They did though cause serious havoc in Quadick. You won't have to fear encountering them there."
Jaydeen knew by now what kind of things were carried in pocket openings on the long green linen tunic, over which a belted armored kilt and a leather cuirass was worn, on the elfin in which body Jaydeen's mind was in. Jaydeen pulled out one of several small sheets of paper, and an inkwell and pen, and wrote out a note. Jaydeen then said, "Take this note with you. If you meet any of those there who know me, Jaydeen, show this to them. They may be able to help you there. We must go on, to accomplish a quest that can help us and help a number of others there in Quadick."
Galvishar agreed to do this. He took hold of the paper, thanked Jaydeen and those others, and went on his way, toward Quadick. Arapegol and Jaydeen along with the other riders on the urban camels and the half giant coming after them went on, in the direction of Eventall near the border between Tenoba and Terricana.
The riders on these urban camels went on at length through this day toward Eventall, going at a good speed with them, still with the half giant behind them keeping pace with long rapid strides, they saw ahead where that settlement, like a small city, full of small houses, and four long prominent structures like spikes sticking out from among them, in the afternoon. They did not draw much closer to that settlement once they saw it before coming to where there was lush growth along the sides of this road, and the urban camels turned that way, looking to browse or maybe find water.
Arapegol said, "We should let the urban have their break for them to feed to, if we are going to treat them well, as we need to do."
The others saw the sense of that. They let the urban camels go where they wanted to browse, and followed Arapegol's way as he stroked the urban camel he was with.
Still it was not encouraging them as the afternoon drew on, and they wanted to go on, to at least reach Eventall before nightfall.
Finally the urban camels seem to have enough, and returned to the road, while the sun was noticeably lower.
They went on, and it seemed they were doing well. But soon afterward the urban camels acted noticeably agitated again.
Lucion in Trysina's body said, "We are being followed."
The other riders turned, and saw well off from them and the half giant behind them a beast running up toward them, there were riders on that animal,, two, they shortly realized.
Jaydeen said, "It is Gasha who had my body, transformed again, carrying the one in your original body, Arapegol, and someone right behind him."
Arapegol stroked his urban camel hoping he could calm the animal he was riding down. He called out, "Do not come closer anymore now like that."
The animal, a huge wolf, stopped. The one in Arapegol's original body stepped off, and then the other, who he realized was Galvishar, who they had spoken with earlier, did. Gradually then the huge wolf transformed into the body Jaydeen originally had. Then they approached the riders, walking toward them and the half giant. None were walking with difficulty.