Jeethina and the human commander of the second ship agreed to send the ships out to a safe distance with a skeletal crew, to wait for any instructions, while soldiers of humans and Albin looked for Trees tall and straight enough to replace the mast.Careful exploration began with small teams of three people, one of which was mandated to be a non magical individual. More paths, intersections and small staging areas were discovered in that process. But no sign of the owls, nor of any Bees. “I’m beginning to ask myself whether the owls have killed them all.” Orthlan sighed, after the latest searching party had returned empty handed Jeethina had adjourned a meeting. “We could sail northward.” “And open ourselves for another attack from the coast? I think not.” Venia dismissed the idea right away. Leaned on a staff she had fashioned from a rose bush for close combat, Elenora watched the meeting in silence. Prior to the meeting she had told Venia that they should mount an expedition into the hinterland. Even volunteered beforehand to go on that expedition. Although she loved the sea and would love nothing more than to remain near it, the risk of sitting in the bay until the hostile natives returned in greater numbers was too high for her liking. Their hut in the woods at home was secluded from trade routes, roads, paths and human settlements. But the bac they camped in, and the camp itself was dangerously exposed and close to the war paths of the owls. Muffled crunching and crashing noises rang out the forest, telling of a large tree that had been felled. From the corner of her eyes Elenora kept watch on the guarding Naga on the ridges, before they could holler she wanted to see if any trouble arose, but as far as she could tell they were calm. Their finely tuned smell would’ve picked up on the scent of the owl people returning. A rush of Adrenaline went through her as the two Naga on the southern ridge started hectically moving. Ghony was one of them, quickly she plunged to Venia. “Something is on the south ridge!” Hastily the Naga turned to see for herself, one of the two Naga had fired a heavily smoking ball of fire into the sky, shouts reached the camp that someone was returning. Hastily Venia grabbed a hold of Elenora and propelled into the air, moments later she lifted the two of them higher to reach the ridge in time. Without looking or using her ethereal sense Elenora knew other Naga behind them, with the same destination. “Two people.” that was all the shout said, but since the Owls had ethereally deadly arrows in their quivers two unnoticed archers could do a lot of harm, so Ghonys caution was entirely justified. Venia set down near them, a little below the ridge as to not pose an easy target for the owls. After some painstakingly slow passing moments Elenora and Venia had managed to climb the steep ridge, always seeking for cover so the archers might not take them down. As they reached the ridge Ghony and the other Naga had moved closer to the path but were visible to their approach. Again Ghony signaled them that they had spotted two people. Determined, and safe from the poisonous arrows, Venia slithered ahead, still seeking cover but not as frightened as the others, since a mere flesh wound wouldn’t kill her. Dusty and as untouched as they had left it after discovering the body, the path stretched to the sides of Venia as she left the underbrush. Hissing an arrow sped towards her, burrowing deep into the wood of the tree next to her.

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