Arapegol sensing the pain growing in his head called out in answer to the question that entered his mind, "We were going across from the one side to the other not knowing there were any here where it seemed empty to us, because many of us and those in the place we are from are seriously changed from what we were in unsatisfactory ways, and the one way we have for all of us altered to change back is with an amulet with power to restore us back, which we must get from the other side. We don't want to stay here!"
The pain they all felt diminished. The voice they all heard still said, "Go then to take care of yourselves, as you need to do. But do not approach any closer here, keep your distance, going all around from here not any closer."
Arapegol and the other people and the urban camels they brought recovered themselves, and turned to go to the right side from the way to that psychic colony which was fungus, though it was hidden as they saw in green plant growth, to go on across keeping that distance from it, and watching to not approach any other growths.
It was a lengthy way for them. There were the rocky projections along the way including those between them and that colonial growth, but they could notice its great size soon.
Klara said, "This fungus colony is huge! It must span the width of a couple of moderate sized houses!"
Gasha said, "It is a psychic colony of fungus, we have to know to avoid them, they might be in other colors then."
They reached the other side of the canyon, after more of this time to get there. Some way off from there a narrow path led upward.
They had needed to look all around them for any of those green growths on rocks that must contain colonial fungi among them, to not be to near them. Along the way there was no more than a trickle of running water that they crossed as it trickled along through the canyon. So, they knew, those growths had to use water very efficiently as they would have very little to use, where they were.
The path leading back out from this canyon, on this other side, was narrower if there was any difference. It did look like they would need to ascend along it very carefully. Arapegol went first, leading the urban camel with him right behind him. Others went with being connected by the rope again, Iperanton next leading his urban camel behind him, Jaydeen in the body now possessed with the urban camel coming behind, and then Lucion and Trysina with their urban camels each one after the other, and the others behind them. They went if anything even slower, with great care in ascending along the side of the canyon higher and higher over the bottom of it there.
It did not seem like the same people had made this path who made other one they had come on, on the other side. This other one became noticeably narrower than that other one, and when they were quite high up from the canyon bottom with its narrow rocky projections reaching up with sharp points the width of the path lessened to noticeably under three feet. The human people could manage this with going very carefully, with the rocky cliff on one side and open air with no support from the great drop on the other side. But those leading the urban camels with them, connected with the rest of them with the rope, had to worry about going this way, with the greater width the urban camels had. This went on just that narrow, until when they were about fifty feet above the canyon bottom, and they could see the top end of this path, which turned in to the Iand on that side of the canyon, it widened again to a little over three feet across.
They came to the top finally, and saw the nearby forest ahead of them away from the canyon. It was nearing mid-afternoon.
Arapegol and Iperanton and the others with them found there was a path, seemingly little used, going on from the path along the side of the canyon, toward the forest just ahead of them. They walked along it, and came along it to another path like it, with the growing grass and herbaceous plants one side, away from the forest reaching close to the cliff over the canyon, and shrubs on the other side leading up to the nearby forest, like the forests in Tenoba, yet less dense, which this other path went along where the side of it reached.
Arapegol said, "I remember seeing the city well beyond this forest was a little that way, to the left. This path should not be cut off from the way to that city beyond this forest, so we should follow it that way to where it would turn northward, and continue on. Yet we should go faster to get as far as we can that way. It would be best if those of us with our urban camels ride on as fast as we can, and the rest of you, with Gasha's huge wolf form he takes on, follow well behind us. I think we need to find a useful place to stop for the night, as we probably will not reach that city yet when night falls, and we with the urban camels will wait where we come to for the rest of you."
This was the only plan any of them saw was good enough, to go quickly to soon approach where they would next want to reach. So, Arapegol, Iperanton, Jaydeen in the elfin body, and Lucion and Trysina in each other's bodies, mounted once again on the urban camels they each were responsible for, and with them they started off along this path going in the westward direction by this wild forest, and gradually going faster and faster. The one originally elvish in the half giant form hurried after them. They were far enough away when Gasha in Jaydeen's original body transformed to the shape of the huge wolf that Klara in Arapegol's original body and Galvishar could climb on and be taken along.
That path went nearly straight a very long way. But when the sun was lower in the west, those mounted on the urban camels saw that the path in to cut through the forest in this area with trees here growing less densely. These trees of this area were still deciduous trees, while it was known that further in the interior of Terricana there were pine trees growing more.
When they went much further and it grew dimmer in this still less dense area of this long forest, they finally saw where the trees stopped ahead, and with still going at a quick pace, they came out from the forest, seeing then the sun was low and would set soon. They all could see buildings clustered near each other, of a city, far ahead to the north going beyond this forest. There were distant woodlands on either side, but more open county along this path. Here the path seemed wider.
Arapegol said to the others as they rode on, "We have a long way to reach that city, while we have others coming still after us. It would be too long a trip to expect us all to reach it this night. We should watch for a good place along this way where we can stop for rest through the night, and then go on to reach the city in the morning."
Last edited by GodlyD&D; 09-09-2022 at 01:20 AM.
They rode quickly on, but still Arapegol and the others were aware that those with Gasha's huge wolf form following after may be well behind them, and a place for all of them was needed, before they would reach that city ahead, which was seen now, for they could only all reach it if they continued through most of the night.
So as dusk came there was a valley with hills around it seen to the right of this path, that might be a good place for shelter. The whole valley there could not be seen for it went further between hills out of view from that path. Arapegol and the others then slowed the urban camels down, so that they might turn from the path and examine this place. Arapegol rode first and the others followed, around the base of one hill and down a slight slope into the valley where it had been seen. Here there were small trees in places set apart from one another. They found where there was a very small creek flowing. They dismounted when the urban camels crouched for them to do so, and the camels went to the creek to drink.
Arapegol said, "This seems safe for shelter to us for us to stop and rest, and eat from the provisions before lying down for sleep. A couple from among us might go to the path again, without the urban camels, to be seen by the others following us, so that that huge creature can change back to that form that had been Jaydeen's body before, and those one coming after us can join us. I still think I should go further on that other way to see if there is anything else we need to know about this valley."
Jaydeen in the elf form and Iperanton went back the way they had come, to reach that path, without riding urban camels this time, and they saw the half giant running up that way, some distance away still. The urban camels had been running rather faster than that half giant one could still manage.
The half giant with the elvish mind slowed down a great deal when coming to where Jaydeen in that original elfin body and Iperanton stood, at the side of the path. Jaydeen waved with a motion.
"Omeci hista aywen. Ewen acema ampca heretu."
The half giant with the elvish mind followed those two who brought her to where the others were seen in the valley a little further. Jaydeen in that original elfin body and Iperanton went back toward the path to watch for the others coming. It was dimming but it was not too much longer when they saw the form of the great wolf with those others riding on that form running along that path from the distance toward them.
Gasha's mind was in Jaydeen's original body restored when they arrived to where Jaydeen in the elfin body along with Iperanton waited by the path.
Jaydeen said, "The others are already setting up their resting place in this valley, around that bend out of sight from this path and almost all of the surrounding country. We will lead you to that spot, and we will just rest there before we go on early in the morning to reach that city further on."
They continued on into the valley and along it, with Klara in Arapegol's original body and Galvishar coming along last after the others. They came around the bend, and saw where Lucion and Trysina had their blankets out by a small stunted tree having yet plenty of overhang, and with the half giant who had just arrived sitting near them they were reclining. Jaydeen and Iperanton and those who they brought wondered where Arapegol had gone. But then they saw him hurrying as he came into sight around the bend further on.
He came to them, and said, "I found a built structure, as if for a small shelter, at the far side of this curved Valley. It isn't occupied, I checked very carefully. I also saw an old used fire site right by it, with bits of old char. It has been used, not very recently, but it suggests to me that this place is possibly visited from time to time."
Last edited by GodlyD&D; 09-20-2022 at 01:22 AM.
Jaydeen said, "It seems this means that someone who has been using it may return to it again, at some time. If it were to happen at this time, while we are here through this night, I would not think it would be good if we were found while we are all sleeping. We would be vulnerable and we don't know the intentions of whoever comes, that those would be benevolent."
Iperanton said, "I don't know if it can be certain that the user would even have been human. There is that Wylacard back in Tenoba where beings with bodies of beasts are dwelling. There could be such creatures around here, too."
Arapegol said, "It would be best in this circumstance for us each to willingly sacrifice a little time from sleeping through the night, that we alternate for keeping watch for a while. There are nine of us who can do this, so a watch from each does not have to be long. We should decide now an order for when each of us would get up, the one previous waking us up for that, except the one we agree would stay up longer to watch first."
The others agreed to this. They discussed this for a while, as they ate from their rations, and after a while it was agreed that the half giant with the elvish mind would watch first. When ready to stop for the next to watch, it would be Gasha in Jaydeen's original body. Then it would be Jaydeen in the elfin body. Then it would be Arapegol. Then it would be Klara in Arapegol's original body. Then it would be Galvishar. Then it would be Iperanton. Then it would be Lucion in Trysina's body, and then Trysina in Lucion's body.
When they had talked further, especially about getting the amulet to restore people to the way they were, after each had stopped eating from their rations, they made themselves a comfortable place for where they would lie down and sleep, and as they had arranged the half giant, who spoke with that low elvish speech from the elvish mind, stayed alert to watch first. Nothing worthy of mentioning to one another happened, while the half giant watched a while, and then awoke Gasha who originally had that body but was now the mind within Jaydeen's original body, who watched a while, and then awoke Jaydeen who was the mind in that elfin body, who watched a while, and then awoke Arapegol. Arapegol watched from an alert position, and very soon he noticed a being approach. His eyes were yet discerning of its form while still it was dim here away from city lights, with the crescent moon now low near where it would go behind a hill over this small valley, and the stars shining from a mostly clear sky. He recognized the creature, but really just from books, not from any encounter previous to this. It was a gem armadillo, coming along near the tree where Arapegol and those with him were.