Start Date: November 6, Year of the Badger, early afternoon
Start Status: Alfred Hitchcock presents...
Start Location: FOB1
The day is getting old, and no one wants to stay at FOB1, in case the Nest occupants return. However, everyone (well, almost everyone) is keen to figure out what the threat is. Durego, Ohwatoo, and Dagmarten are resistant, they want to head toward Blackpool, but the weight of the majority carries the day. Time to scout.
The party heads for the temporary camp site they used on their last trip, the one near the marked tree (28,50). The place shows no sign of aerial visitors, so they make camp and plan the next day's action. The idea is to head north, find a hidden site a mile or so from the Nest, and then send in stealthy scouts to see what they can see. Ingvild is all for burning out the tower if the creatures, whatever they are, aren't there, but the others disagree, preferring to know more before deciding on a course of action. Plan set, the group beds down and passes a quiet night.
The next morning, heavy clouds roll in from the west, and Dagmarten mutters into his beard about rain. The others are undaunted, and in short order everyone is headed north. It's afternoon when the party decides they're close enough to set up camp for the rear group. Afternoon and raining. It's not heavy yet, but from the look of the skies, it'll get worse. As the group sets up camp in a small hollow beneath bare-branched trees, the best cover they've found thus far, Mordikarr studies the sky, then sends Ava on her way to do a preliminary scout of the tower.
"I thought we were going to wait until dusk to send her out," says Maro.
"Ava no like rain. Bird things no like rain. Maybe she see them come to tower when rain get worse."
"He's right. Most birds take cover in the rain. If these things are anything like normal birds, they might be headed home before the worst of the storm hits," says Dagmarten.
"Then we should get moving too," says Rawon. "We'll just have to use extra care and stay well hidden. If these things have good vision, we'll be more visible until the sun goes down."
"Good luck lads," Strom is already crouched under his cloak with a sour look on his face, staring at the gray skies.
The four scouts, Rawon, Maro, Mordikarr (with Mageta and Suren), and Ingvild, head out, traveling light and quiet. The expectation is that they will find positions to watch, spend the night and the next day watching, and then return tomorrow night.
It's a long, wet night, and gray, chilly day of waiting for those in camp. Night falls again, and the impatient start to get antsy, but there's no noise to indicate trouble, and no sign of any of Mordikarr's beast companions, the agreed upon signal for trouble.
Finally, near midnight, the scouts return, muddy, cold, and soaked through. The others gather round, but Rawon waves them off. "Food first. We're starved and frozen." He takes a swig from his flask as Ingvild works the kettle, and the scouts share a dose of broth. Finally the foursome stops shivering, and Rawon explains," let me tell you what happened. No, it would take too long; let me sum up."
Ava came back to Mordikarr when the scouts were halfway to the tower. According to her it was empty, so they moved up and found a couple of good spots to hide under thick cedars. Just as they were getting settled and the rain was really picking up, right at dusk, the things showed up. There were ten or twelve of them, and they circled in and settled atop the tower. Two were carrying large objects, prey maybe?
The creatures are about human-sized, with two pairs of feathered wings. Their bodies are half-feathered, half-scaled, and they have long, reptilian tails. Several were obviously carrying javelins, so they seemed to have human-ish arms. Their heads are vulture-like, big, hooked beaks and bare, mottled flesh.
Once they landed the creatures settled down, and an hour or so later the scouts saw firelight within the tower shell. They could hear the things conversing in harsh, croaking / cawing tones, but couldn't make out anything more than that. From the smell, they were cooking something. Eventually the fire went out, and it got quiet. It stayed that way all night.
This morning (still raining), there was movement around the tower up top. Scouts could see the creatures hopping up to the roof, looking around, occasionally flying up and circling a bit. They didn't do much else until the rain stopped (early afternoon). They got more active, then they all took off flying in a group to the north. In the clearer light the scouts could see that all were armed. The scouts stayed until dark, then cautiously retreated to camp.
End Date: November 8, year of the Badger, midnight
End Status: The Birds
End Location: Near Nest Tower
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