"Aww, how long we have to wait for her anyway? We've been waiting here for almost half an hour, and there is no sight of that priestess yet. I'm getting mouldy here now, and my patient is very thin. You should know that..." Lars complained while he was standing at the front gate of Veldarah.
"Would you please cut it out? You're driving me crazy now." snapped Rhen, irritated and annoyed by her companion. "Besides that, I think she will be here right---" she stopped abruptly as she heard swishing sound nearby.
"Shh! I think I heard something's moving, and it comes from that direction." whispered Rhen as she pointed at the nearby bushes. Lars stopped whining and turned into his serious state.
The bushes shook unnaturally like a shining hreen sheep standing on a block of ice and suddenly a pair of bloody-red eyes shot appeared and glared at them with a pair of dagger like fangs to go with it.
"Brace yourself." Lars whispered as he sensed a mysterious aura around that creature, a long black oak staff gripped tightly on his hand. While Rhen took her apprentice sword (which was a gift from Master Lorad for passing the trial) and calibrated to the center between her eyes, facing the source of the deep growling sound.
Just then, the eyes vanished and a beast leaped out. It stank of rotten fish on dried blood. It scratched her arm, who hasn't prepared for an attack yet. She groaned as blood drip on the road. The beast was on four while looking at its foes, razor-like teeth bared at them. It jumped again after a little quick rest and pounced at Rhen's direction. As it was about to finish its first prey, Lars stood in front of Rhen and conjured a spell.
"Lytrik Shocke!" A jolt of lightning emitted from the tip of the staff and hit the beast on its massive head. It's body stiffen suddenly and fell onto the ground, motionless.
"Excellent job, young sorcerer." Talia dropped out from one of the trees behind them and gave a hefty pat on Lars' shoulder. He grinned with glee and again Rhen rolled her eyes, imaging his head swelling up with self-praise. She mouthed "show off" at him which made him grunted.
"Would you escort me to Aveyond?" asked Talia. Then with a flick of her hand, the creature staggered to its feet and proceeded to whine while feeing into the bushes, tail between its hind legs.
"Yes, and why would you bring a beast here? It almost cut my arm clean off, you see," Rhen crossed as she show the priestess the wound.
"I just want to test you guys whether you can deal with some situations or not...and it seems that our little sorcerer manage to protect himself but you as well," answered Talia as she healed Rhen's wound. "Heale Minora!...Here, as good as new."
"Can we go now? I'm tired standing around here." Lars complained, cursing each time a mosquito stung him.
"We must leave the Eastern Isle and travel across the northern sea. Aveyond lies beyond The Mists," explained Talia and they set off to the North Isle.
After a few minutes walk they reached a small dock. It was situated a few miles West from Veldarah. The weather was nice and the sea was calm, perfect time to do some travelling for the fellow friends.
"And now what?" asked Lars, irritated by the smell, a mixture of rotten garbage, sweaty sailors and a hint of putrid fish oil.
"Maybe we can looks for a boat to sail across the sea," spoke Talia.
"And maybe the boat man can help us," said Rhen as she pointed at a guy not far from a edge oof a pier.
"Oui travellers! Would you like a boat ride to the Northern Isle? It'll cost you 20 gold pennies for the ride," the handsome boat man spoke with a heavy French accent to his voice. He saw Rhen and winked at her. They ignored him and gave the gold pennies and got on the boat.
Vohu Manah was laying, facing the cloud-filled sky on the lush green grass. As usual, he was playing a sweet melody on his favourite golden eight-strings harp. The melody flew along with the cool breeze as it swifted all across the Mount Orion area. After finished playing, he went back inside the temple. At the doorway to the throne's room, he noticed someone sitting on his throne. The stranger smiled at him. And before as usual had the chance to ask the curious stranger who he is, he had turned into a stone, standing motionlessly in the Harmony Temple, with an expression of fear on his face.
"Tous a bord!" yelled the boat man abruptly. "We will be departing in two minutes! so you all better get your sea legs on."
"Wow! What's this? Some kind of speed boat?" Lars exclaimed. He tried to draw his apprentice sorcerer cloak to him closer as the boat cut through the Northern Sea as easy as a hot knife to butter.
"I customised this old plank with a Turbo Jet 3000 Engine," answered the boat man proudly. "Just hold tight, we'll reach the Northern Isle in a jiffy."
"Nous sommes ici! We're here," the adventurers woke up at the sound of the French-accented boatman. "I'll be here, in case you guys want a ride back, which will cost you another 20 gold pennies," Lars scowled at him as he fished out the pennies for it. The boat man refused it, "Just a joke to lighten up the mood. Please don't mind with my sense of humour. I bit you farewell, monseiur and madame."
"Oh my! It's s-s-so c-cold! Brrr!" commented Rhen as they were venturing across the field which by now was filled with a foot-deep of snow.
Snowstorm hailed abnormally across the North Isle landscape. All the trees, rocks, and even dead logs were covered with a blanket of snow. All the animals headed home, sit out the dreadful weather of blizzards and snowstorms, although they were use to the normal snowy weather in North Isle.
"Here, let me help you guys keep warm," offered Talia. "Touche Warme!" suddenly Rhen and Lars were covered by a transparent energy heat cloak. "There. It will take some time for the spell to wear off, it should keep the cold out."
As they explored further into the hail storm, suddenly the earth shook vigorously. The explorers tried to grabbed onto something to prevent them from falling heads over heels. A few seconds after the sudden quake the earthquake subsided slowly, much like someone burping, who had just ate all his breakfast, lunch and dinner at once.
"What was that?" asked Lars, trying to stop his legs from shaking.
"I don't know, but I have a bad feeling about this," Talia glanced around. In that instant, a rumbling sound sounded in a distance. And they saw snows falling down from a mountain, rushing at their direction. They all turned their head to the rumbling sound. Just in time to see a wave of snow filled with debris heading their way, swallowing up anything in this hungry for destruction.
"It's an avalanche! Quick, run!" shouted Rhen and they ran with all their might, the avalanche was 400 metres wide and about two-stories high, it was monstrous. As they ran they came to a slippery halt at a fork road. They panic as they decided which path to escape to.
"Which way now?" asked Lars, his pride and dignity lost in the sound of the avalanche. As Rhen was deciding a safe route to follow, she saw a flock of black smoke, spilling out from a chimney in a distance. And she got an idea.
"Come on! Follow me!" and without a doubt, the others followed Rhen.
There was full moon in the town of Ghed'ahre, the dark druid stood at the temple balcony, enjoying the night view of the town. When he was about to head to the church, which was situated below a floor of the Dark Temple, and play the organ, Rahsnu suddenly sensed a presence in the temple. Putting not much as a thought about it, he ignored it, got to the church and played the organ, it helps him to calm down after the work done in the day.
After done with his organ, Rahsnu went back to his temple. Then he saw a parcel at his throne. He got the parcel and noticed that there was no address of the sender. He shrugged and tore the parcel, ignoring all the work has been put into the parcel. He saw a mirror, reflecting his own reflection. In the mirror, he too saw a figure with darkness aura surrounding it, who was "floating" behind him. Before he had time turn around, a darkness surrounded him as all his senses became limp and turned into stone, like being frozen in a block of ice.
"Welcome to the Stubborn Mule Inn," said an Innkeeper to the adventurers. "I'm amazed that you made it this far into the mountains with all of the fighting between the Mountain King and the Snow Queen. You must have Mithra's luck to be alive."
"So what's with the snowstorm? And the earth shaking around here?" asked Rhen.
"And we're almost got burried by the avalanche, thanks to the stupid eathquake," snorted Lars, trying to shake the numbness in his fingers as the heat spell wore off.
"Well, I don't know much about the details of the war. But all I know is that when the Mountain King and Snow Queen fight, it's dangerous for all," the Innkeeper spoke. "When the Mountain King is angry, the ground shakes. When the Snow Queen is angry, blizzards howl across the land," he continued. "If only they could see what their pretty fights do to their people..."
"Do you know what they are fighting over?" asked Rhen.
"You should ask the Mountain King that. He lives up north of the village," the innkeeper ended the conversation and invited the adventurers to warm up by the fire place, which had a chimney puffing black smoke the whole day long.
After staying a night at the inn, the explorers went to get supplies for the journey ahead. Some food, water, a box of matches and a coil of rope which the innkeeper was kindly enough to trade for a few gold pennies. Then, they went to the Mountain King's lair where was situated at the top of the hill of Thornkeep. His palace was a cave, instead of a majestic rock palace. As they went inside the lair, they saw a man sitting on a pile of rocks which turned out to be a throne. He wore a earthy-brown tunic with a belt which was made of bear's fur. His long sandy hair down to his shoulders like a hill of sand.
"Welcome to my kingdom Southerners," the King regarded them with open arms.
"Your Majesty,sorry for interrupting. But I would like to know the news in this kingdom," spoke Rhen after they greeted majestically.
"There's little news to share of these parts, except for the wrath of my wife, the Snow Queen,"
"Did something happen?" asked Talia.
"The abominable woman had the nerve to disagree with me about the existence of fairies. She says fairies exists; but that's preposterous! Everyone know that the creature are of myth. I told her she was being a fool, rightly so, and she stormed out of my palace, with a shriek," explained the king with a stern tone, anger filling like lava, ready to erupt.
"So your wife, the Snow Queen, was connected to the strange weather here lately?" asked Lars.
"My wife sends blizzards upon me in revenge. She's sorely mistaken to believe a little snow can change my way of thinking,"
"Is there anything that we can of help, Your Majesty?" offered Rhen.
"Ha! Prove to my wife that fairies don't exist" blasted the King, loose rocks dropped around them from the ceiling.
After they bid farewell, Rhen, Lars and Talia set off and continued their journey.