1. Into the Mist
The ground beneath Lowra's feet seemed to sway and roll as she walked beside the wagon. The sensation, brought on by two weeks at sea, was somewhat curious and she didn't care for it much. She looked at her travelling-companions to see if they felt the same; the acrobat Saaga seemed unperturbed of course, as did the two warriors Zerticus and Marc, but the priest Sodd and the elf Zaruri looked slightly ill. Like Lowra, they had more than likely never been at sea before.
Tasked with finding a lost trading caravan, the group was on its way north from the town Grymslante where their ship had landed the day before. It was late afternoon and they would soon stop for the night. Lowra gazed to her side over the grass-covered hills and then along the road, but spotted nothing. She had felt a little on edge since they left the safety of the town, but the trip had been peaceful so far and she had spotted nothing larger than deer.
Darn those two, she thought. Earlier that morning two others, a half-elf and a dwarf, had left the inn at the same time as the rest of them, and when they had heard that the group was headed towards Grym's Hills they had given each other a long and knowing look. When asked to come along they had declined, even though even experienced adventurers would have valued the strength extra numbers provided. Their behaviour was the reason for Lowra's misgivings, and even though she tried to tell herself that they probably didn't know as much as they pretended to, she couldn't quite convince herself. Both of them had had his fair share of scars, and everything from their equipment to their way of moving had signalled confidence and experience.
Putting up camp was a slow business. It was the first time the group would spend the night together in the wilds, so they lacked the speed of routine, and Lowra could not help but keep looking over her shoulder every now and again.
As she kept her watch during the early morning hours a thick mist crept up until she could barely make out the tents and the wagon. By dawn the mist started to lift, but the landscape around them was no longer plains and grassy hills. Thick moss softened their steps and the blue sky from the day before had been exchanged for a thick canopy of leaves. As the six adventurers stared in wonder at the forest that had suddenly sprung up from nothing, a figure appeared in the remnants of the mist and pointed a pale finger right at them.