Revision for “01 – Serpent’s Spine” created on September 3, 2019 @ 10:49:16
01 - Serpent's Spine
By EM Malachi The fire had been smothered, but there still were a few embers. A poorly butchered deer carcass was bleeding nearby. The gargoyle had been at the abandoned camp recently. Iolo’s quarry was close. The bard searched for a fresh trail away from the campsite. Iolo hadn't known Feridwyn well, but what he had seen had earned his respect. In spite of his misgivings about the Fellowship, Iolo planned to take up Feridwyn’s duties at the poorhouse after Justice had been served. Right at this moment though, he was hunting Feridwyn’s killer through the mountains. After Katrina had reported the murder, the town guard pursued the killer, Forskis, through the streets of Britain and into the neighboring farmlands. Forskis had set a farmhouse on fire to cover his escape. When the smoke finally cleared and the farm family inside were safe, the gargoyle was long gone. The local guards didn’t have the means or experience to track Forskis into the mountains. Iolo did. The Serpent’s Spine Mountains were a maze of jagged rocks. One misstep almost sent the old bard on a very fast fall back to Britain. Why the gargoyle didn't take flight, Iolo did not know, but it meant there was a clear trail to follow into the mountains. Still, Forskis had a day's head start, and this was the closest Iolo had gotten. Iolo readied his crossbow as he followed the tracks away from the fire. They led through the gorge as it narrowed, eventually coming to a dead end. A falling pebble made him look up. Forskis was holding onto the ravine wall high above, waiting for him. Iolo managed to get a bolt into the air, but the shot went wide. The gargoyle snarled and used his incredible strength to pull free part of the rock face, starting an avalanche. Iolo covered his head as the rocks fell on him.