Day broke over the skies of Granden Garde, the milky white light trickled into the canyon.
After the attack from the Huth Feeder, they had stopped to rest, but none of them wanted to take the chance of sleeping in case another creature decided to take a chance on them.
They travelled through the night, eating only the chewy scraps that Deadrick and Bruad had skinned from the Huth Feeders hide.
“Do you have any idea how we’re going to get out of here?” Nerui finally said, breaking the cold silence that had settled over them.
Bruad grunted, backing up her comment. He was in wolf form, walking on all four legs carrying Danyel on his back. He had woken up once or twice, but only said a few words before drifting back to sleep. The fall had done a large amount of damage to his head, and humans weren’t known for having particularly strong skulls anyway. He would have been dead had it not been for Nerui.
“My plan is to keep walking,” Deadrick informed her.
“To where?” She snapped.
“Canyons like this were once filled with water. It’s where the primitive Dwarves got their water supply from before the council set up the Undercanals. There should be Dwarf-dug wells in the walls,” Deadrick explained, “It’s either that or keep walking until it levels out with the land,”
Nerui looked around.
“And if it doesn’t?” She asked.
Deadrick glanced at her, saying nothing.
As the day got going, a noise began to echo around them.
“What is that?” Bruad asked.
Deadrick peered ahead into the distance, he could see and hear life. A fairly large group of people moving about. He could see tents as well, and a flag… it sat lifeless with the lack of wind in the canyon, but he could see the crest well enough. A gold skull with blade through it, Deadrick hissed ‘get down!’ and dived to the floor.
Nerui and Bruad followed him to the floor.
“What?” Nerui whispered.
“Bandits…” He told her, peering down the canyon.
The skull was the emblem for any group of bandits. They traveled the world, stealing and pillaging, and often stayed together, in small camps like the one ahead of them.
Deadrick, despite the group of murderous individuals in front of him, was filled with joy. Bandits usually avoided the main travel routes, and had obviously come down here because it was a hidden route- but it was still a route, and had to end somewhere.
He climbed to his feet and began to walk with his head raised towards the camp. Nerui’s tried to stop him, calling his name in a whisper, but he ignored her.
He strode primly towards the bandits, who became alerted to his presence. The few dozen men, both human and Dwarves climbed to their feet- their weapons drawn.
A rather stout Dwarf with a large rifle pointed directly at Deadrick’s head appeared from the crowd.
“Stop,” He demanded, “Who are you?”
Deadrick stopped, not bothering to raise his hands.
“My name is Deadrick Blade,” He told them, Nerui and Bruad, who had Danyel slung over his now very human shoulder, wandered up from behind him, “And these are my companions,”
The Dwarf smiled sinisterly.
“Well… Deadrick Blade,” He chuckled, “You have just wandered into a whole lot of trouble,”
The Dwarf raised his gun, the rest of his gang following suit, aiming crossbows and swords.
Deadrick chuckled, the Dwarf’s eyes narrowing.
“What?” He snarled.
“I just thought it would be informative to know that I am an Inquisitor, my rather large friend here is a Werewolf, and Nerui here recently killed a Huth Feeder,” He said, nonchalantly.
The Dwarf’s eyes widened, and he waved his hand. The gang lowered their weapons; some growling with disbelief at how easy their captain had admitted defeat.
“Right then,” Deadrick said triumphantly, “We need food and water. And I need you to tell me how to get out of this goddamn canyon,”
The bandits begrudgingly allowed them to rest in safety, the bandit leader, Garren, had decided that it was not worth putting the safety of his men for the few meager possessions the travelers had.
After they had rested, Garren summoned them to quiet area of the camp.
“What are you doing down here?” He demanded, his long brown beard shaking.
Deadrick scratched his head.
“We ended up down here… due to the foolishness of our friend,” Deadrick told him.
“The unconscious one?” Garren asked.
Deadrick nodded, Danyel was asleep in one of the tents.
“This canyon bypasses the main travel routes from Granden Garde into the Trek Wastes,” explained Garren, “A rather wide bypass… but it stops us from being hassled at the border,”
“How far is it before it levels out?” Deadrick asked.
“A few days travel,”
Deadrick growled and looked at the sky above, which at that moment seemed so far away.
“We don’t have a few days,” Deadrick sighed, “By that time Juhra could’ve…”
He stopped talking, seeing Garren’s questioning eyes.
“Is there no other way out?” He asked.
Garren puffed out his chest and looked around the camp, making sure nobody was near to hear him. He looked back at them.
“There is a Deepwell dug by the Dwarves a bit further up. It’s hidden,” Garren told them. Everyone was suddenly filled with a glimmer of hope, Deadrick’s eyes lit up.
“I need you to take me to it,” Deadrick said quickly, the prospect of sunlight expelling all sense of patience in him.