Veri, Granlin and Ajax were all in Vargas’s cave, along with the sage, Drey Trailweaver, discussing the latest developments – someone had overheard the discussion about the merchant leaders’ families and their secret pact with Tu’Eva, and moreover had heard Ben Bendigo selling out his fellow merchant leaders by spilling the beans. He was in danger, but the high cleric Firanti had assured the party he would seek out Ben and protect him as quickly as possible. Of course, this raised another question – about the safety of everyone else who was at that meeting. Granlin had been able to bring Drey back to the cave, but Mellvin and Jethro still hadn’t returned from Coratka yet, and a fair amount of time had gone past. Moreover, Vargas hadn’t come back from his wilderness wanderings. Something might have gone wrong.
To say that it was a surprise is an understatement. Out of nowhere at the back of the cave appeared Gorat Cantripper, the kender mage, his arms outstreched. One of them held Jethro by the shoulder with what looked like an iron grip, as though trying to hold him away from something, whilst in the other hand he had in his grasp the wing of a large, angry, furious, winged, horned bear type creature. Everyone blinked. The bear roared. Ajax drew his scimitars and slashed out at the beast, but his blades seemed to bounce off its hide as though it were made of iron. Granlin quickly called on Carna’s protection, that he might survive long enough to be some use. Veri pointed one of her fire arrow arrows, that she had been making for Mellvin, up at the beast and let it wear a blast of fiery death. Unfortunately, it seemed the fire poured over the creature’s chest as though it were water off a duck’s back, and in fact the bear seemed to breathe the fire into its gaping maw, chewing the flames around in its mouth. At the same time, the other fire arrow that Veri had made went off at the same time, setting her backpack on fire and causing her to leap into the air with a scream.
The bear then began to fill its lungs, and the flames in its mouth only seemed to grow more and more intense. Smoke was pouring from its nostrils, sparks shooting from its teeth as though it were driving the fire into a frenzy on its tongue, before it leaned forward and let out a great, bellowing roar of flame at the party. And when the flames had flashed before them, veri and the two kenders were nowhere to be seen. But the horned bear was still there. Oh yes, it was still there all right, and angry as ever.
[The subsequent happenings to Veri and Jethro may or may not ever be told… depending on what the party does next!]