Kitten and Damakos left the hut behind them and took the one path through the forest that they had not yet explored. Damakos led the way, ever watchful for a goblin ambush. At the sound of rustling leaves he halted immediately, causing Kitten to walk straight into him.
“Hey!” he grunted. “How about a warning next time?”
“I heard something,” replied Damakos. He looked over his shoulder. “We’re being followed Kitten”
“That’s impossible. We wiped everything out back there.”
The pair unsheathed their weapons and faced the dark wood behind them. What came out of the woods was completely unexpected. It was Galendan.
“You guys were not easy to find,” he said. “And where are Eldarion and Petrin?”
Kitten stared at Galendan for a few moments, and then sheathing his sword grumbled, “How did you find us thief?”
“Are you still upset about that whole ogre thing?” asked Galendan with a sly smile. “We got out of there okay.”
Kitten spat on the ground and turned away. Damakos explained how their comrades were magically abducted, and that their rescue plan centered on confronting the primal evil that lurked in the forest.
“That’s a good plan,” said Galendan. “I mean if you’re sure you really want to resuce those guys. I mean, I’m sure they can take care of themselves and without them it’s more loot for us, right?”
Kitten and Damakos both glared at him and continued up the path.
“It was just a thought,” muttered Galendan. “Let’s go be heroes.”
The three adventurers continued down the dark forest trail, when they noticed the trail starting to widen. Around the next turn, Damakos could see the opening to a clearing.
“Arm yourselves,” he whispered to his comrades. “Things may get pretty hairy real quick.”
As soon as they entered the clearing, Kitten heard a sharp buzzing sound and stepped aside just in time to see an arrow pierce the ground by his left foot.
“Hairy indeed,” he growled. He let out a bellowing shout and charged past Damakos and Galendan into the clearing.
“He certainly does have his own style,” Galendan commented to Damakos.
Damakos smirked, knocked an arrow into his bow and followed after Kitten.
Galendan sighed and then unsheathed his short sword. “Can’t let them get all the glory.”
Galendan entered the clearing and was suprised to see it bordered a sheer cliff face. A single rope bridge reached across the chasm and at the other side were goblin sharpshooters firing upon Kitten and Damakos. Kitten was grappling with two goblin backblades trying to keep them between him and the archers. Damakos was still just inside the treeline of the clearing, firing his own arrows back at the sharpshooters. It seemed to Galendan that to survive this scrape somebody was going to have to run across that bridge and engage the archers. The others seemed busy at the moment, so he took a deep breath and sprinted across the clearing.
When the first arrow grazed his shoulder, Galendan began to question his strategy, but turning back was no longer an option. He continued across the bridge and confronted the first sharpshooter. Thankfully, Damakos was keeping an eye on him and was concentrating his fire on the other goblin archer to keep him busy. The sharpshooter was a skilled melee fighter as well and Galendan wondered if he bit off more than he could chew. Fortunately for him, the sharpshooter made one mistake, swinging his shortsword too violently and missing. Galendan saw the opening and ran his blade through the archer’s chest. When he turned to face the next goblin, he saw it laying on the ground with an arrow through its skull.
After Damakos killed the second sharpshooter he turned his arrows on one of the backblades attacking Kitten. This allowed Kitten to focus his energies on one goblin instead of two. He savagely assaulted the goblin, hardly giving it any time to defend itself. The goblin started to back up to give itself more space to defend, but this played right into Kitten’s hands. Too late, the goblin realized how close it was to the cliff edge. A brutal right hook from Kitten send the goblin plunging over the side. Damakos finished off the remaining goblin with a well-placed arrow, and everything was once again calm.
Once on the other side of the chasm, the three adventurers followed a short trail that led towards a large rock outcropping. The trail came to an end at the mouth of a cave.
“If I was primal evil,” started Galendan, “I would call this home.”
“I think you’re right Gal,” said Damakos. “Those sharpshooters must have been guards. That would explain why they weren’t with the rest of the Chatterbones back at the encampment.”
“Well there’s no door to knock on,” said Kitten, “So I suggest we invite ourselves in.”