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A Giant Escort

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The world moves on:

Shinny and Sarah ran to the elders' hall, where most of the clan had already gathered. The evenings were generally dedicated to story-telling, song, and dinner, but at this dusk, the giants milled about nervously. Soon the elders came out, with grim news.

"The Chief declares war on the Mage. The lands of the Toronaga are sacred, and we will not forfeit them to another tribe. Prophecy be damned!" declared Zarweth, the leader of clan Hussan. This proclamation was met with cheers and anxiety, because many warriors were eager to practice their art. Yet, many others knew about the prophecy of the Ogre Mage, that the Mage was chosen by Kord to unify the Ogre and bring prosperity to them, willing or no. So to fight against the Mage's rule was to fight the word of God.

Eventually the crowd had dispersed, setting about for war preparations. Dru-gar, the warlord-in-charge where Sarah and the mission lived, approached Shinny and the missionaries as the stars came out.

"It pains me to come to you last," said he. "But a battlefield is no place for missionaries. Zarweth has a task for you, if you will take it. We need scouts near the human lands, to the north and east. If you help us, watch that country and send news of attackers once you spot them. If you will not help, think of the mounts as gifts." With this, Dru-gar implied that the missionaries would be riding tamed dire wolves on their travels.

"We accept!" came the immediate response from the warrior, with a nod from the priest of Heironeous. But the sage and Sarah looked nervously at each other.

The next day, the missionaries, escorted by Baraki the giant warrior, took the Imperial Road toward human lands. The wolf-mounts were surprisingly calm, but had a bad tendency to bite at the legs of their riders when they grew restless. As the traveling party approached a bend at the base of a hill, they found a dead man at the side of the road.

The priest found him to be dead and quickly offered blessing, but the sage went to investigate. He found a note in the man's bag, and a pouch full of random debris. The note read, "The Toronaga tribe - southwest Galenara border - the ruins, and goods, are on the road at the southwest edge of their territory."

Relaying this to the party, the sage said, "this note, and the stab wound in this man's back, suggest that we've found the adventure we've been seeking!"

"The adventure YOU'VE been seeking," corrected Sarah. "I was happy back in the shire of the Hussan, spreading Light."

"Well those days are over, sister," started the warrior. "The barbarians are at war, and we're now free to go where Justice takes us. So my question to you: is that back to Highspire, or is it in search of the relics that these giants blissfully ignore?"

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