Into the Mountains

Having recovered Moonblade, Claudia finds that she has a great many obligations to fulfil. Before they can leave the grove there are the remains of a great many thresholders, drawn to the woods that have been torn limb from limb by the treants that defend the place. A touch of the blade releases their souls and stills the quivering horrors. Then upon leaving the glade they meet a pilgrim, and at his request he too is sent to oblivion, his dessicated body finally giving up to the ravages of time, decays before their eyes.

Upon returning to Paternoster news of the recovery soon has the citizens thronging outside of the keep. The first amongst them to receive the blades kiss is Shadrach, the mercenary met upon the road - at the weapons touch he is returned to mortality and his unbound wounds begin to bleed - Claudia acts quickly and heals him before he expires, as she does so a column of white light lances up into the skies. It becomes clear that Moonblade will lift the effects of the impurity that is upon this land, though it makes its presence known when it does this.

The day is spent severing the bindings of immortality from the grateful citizens of Paternoseter. Sir Carlos, the knight protector of the city asks if they will not stay longer and bless others that will surely now come, but Claudia is nervous that there presence will bring the enemy to the cities gates. She will remain until the following morning and no later - those that Carlos can assemble by dawn, Claudia will bless but then she must leave less ruin is broght upon this place.

Before dawn, news of an approaching army is heard and the party leave the city heading south into the night to fulfil a promise made to the farmer and his wife. In the pre-dawn light they encounter an assembly of thresholders that have travelled with Sir Carlos to receive the blessing of Moonblade. With them is the farmer and his wife. Claudia fulfils his promise and dispatches the two thresholders that showed kindness to them on the road three nights previously, then tells Carlos of the approaching force and promises to return. Then linking arms with Puff and Salix he teleports them several miles away from the city to a hill that affords them a view up the valley.

Using the sword's power has clearly marked their passage and it is soon apparent that they are pursued by the force that was heading for the city. They north head into higher ground, Salix chooses the way and seeds their tracks with grasping thorns and misdirections. By the evening they have risen high into the foothills of a significant mountain range and feel confident that they have lost their pursuit.

Climbing into the mountains the following day they seek out a pass that will take them onto the great plateau where they are told they will findthe Silent Mountain. At one point in eagle form, Salix sees a group of men that appear to be surveying the land or building in a neighbouring valley but does not approach. By the evening of the third day they come through a snowy pass and descend a short way onto a high boggy plateau. Several miles away they can see the dim outline of what must be the Silent Mountain.

That night they make a camp in the strange landscape of the Fields of Stone - the plateau, decorated liberally with small cairns that give the place an eerie feeling of almost but not quite civilisation. They sleep knowing that in the morning they should reach the monastery whose lights they see shinning under the cold stars.

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