Let me tell you something about the Feywild. It is inhabited by the most bizarre collection of animals, people, and plants you could ever expect to find. Case in point, while continuing our trek to Abril-tir we happened upon a gigantic stag that was half-buried in the ice and rock of a cliff face. And I mustn’t leave out that it possessed some kind of crystal or gem in its head, because why shouldn’t it have something like that? We were able to destroy the behemoth, but believe me, that was one startling thing to discover.
The next fun moment of discovery occurred while we were inspecting a broken down carriage. The snow at this point was falling so heavily that our sight did not extend further than a dozen feet or so. And then the snow griffins attacked. By “attacked” I mean that a couple of them snatched me up out of nowhere and brought me up into the highest branches of a tree where they fought over which one would eviscerate me. I was already grabbing my blades before I could process what was happening and started slashing at them. With help from the others still on the ground, we were able to dispatch a few, but Onion grabbed a tattered red flag and started waving it around. The remaining griffins were calmed by this and simply sat staring at the flag. Then things got tense. Onion insisted that he keep the griffins and that they travel with us. I, and a couple of the others, pointed out that putting one’s trust in wild animals that have already attacked you and your friends once is not just foolish, but suicidal; especially when traveling the already dangerous frozen Feywild. Onion was convinced that he should keep the griffins, and it was only by an amazing stroke of luck that we were able to accommodate him. Buckle, apparently, can talk to the griffons. He was able to negotiate some kind of truce with them. So now we have a pack of griffins at our beck and call. Fantastic.
Onion worries me. It is not so much that he flat out ignored my position as leader, it is more that he seems to have an under-developed sense of self-preservation. One learns quickly when growing up on the streets and in the gladiator pits that you never rely on something you cannot trust when in a combat situation. Up until now I had no reason to not trust him. It is a shame really; Onion is a fellow satyr. I had hoped that at the very least my people would prove competent. Merrill still gives me hope. Garreth and Buckle spoke with me privately and made it known that, should I give the order, they will dispatch Onion. Despite my wish to learn more about my heritage, if Onion continues to prove himself to be a liability, I fear it may have to come to that. As a gladiator, you either fight smart, or you wind up dead. Relying on luck alone will get you killed.
We found enchanted acrobat boots in the carriage and proceeded to Abril-tir. Finally, after trekking through the snow, ice, and wind for hours, we found ourselves staring at the massive ice walls.
We were not received warmly. Scar, a captain of the guard, made it very clear that they do not receive any strangers into the city during the winter. We attempted to win him over with a “performance.” I think our performance may have actually worsened the situation. I even started doing some sleight of hand! That’s how desperate I was! Anyway, since there was a massive stone block poised to drop on us from above and crush us into a frosty slush, I decided it unwise to push the issue too far. Scar had his men appropriate a carriage for us and several of the guard were posted to it so that they could escort us to the nearest town.
The nearest town being Duskweed, where I was before this madness began.
Needless to say, we did not make it to Duskweed. En route to the town, we made friends with one of the two guards posted inside the cart with us. The rest of the men were all riding on the outside of the cart. Our new found friend let us know that there was a way inside Abril-tir that did NOT involve the gate. I was so happy to hear that news that I released the excitement the only way I could, by knocking out the other guard inside the carriage.
After we incapacitated the other guards (I promise we left them all alive) we continued the discussion with the one guard who showed us some kindness. He explained his theory. It had a few holes in it, but luckily we could fill in the gaps.
Here is the plan: We ride the griffins and jump into the city from above. That’s it. Alright, there is a little more to it than that. While it is true that normally that plan would mean our unquestionable end, our new, slightly-bloodied acrobat boots will prevent us from the certain death that would normally follow that action. So we’ll just land in the city. You see, the magical affect that would normally teleport us as a means of last defense against aerial infiltration will be neutralized if we all don a pair of the manacles that the guards were carrying. The manacles prohibit teleportion by any who wear them.
We are about to try the plan. I am using my glamour to look like one of the eladrin; anything to give us an extra edge can’t hurt.
If you are reading this in a published book that looks like it has many more chapters after this one, then that means we made it. Sorry to spoil the dramatic build. See you in chapter three.