The flames of the camp fire by the cave entrance evenutally flickered out, and the calm of the evening began to descend. No clanking of armour, sounds of battle, cries of defeat or victory now, just the wind and the tumbling river outside. Inside, quiet, and darker still as the light continued to fade, what little of it that filtered into the cave growing dimmer with every passing dusk moment. The gnawing voice in the back of Auri's mind which had been growing steadily over the last tendays was beyond ignoring now; there was something that must be done. In the last of the light, she rummaged through the pouch of gems, sorting out a few of the most valuable; these she grasped tightly in her hand as she turned from the cave entrance, gave a brief murmer to allow her sight to pierce the inky blackness of the cave, and headed further inside.
Some way further away from any noise of the surface and too deep for passing hunters who may have camped in the cave to wander past, she paused, and sized up a slight widening of the passage. No great temple was needed, for what was needed was all around her; this place would do as well as any. The gems in her grasp, glistening some with the sweat of her palms, were arrayed in a semicircle around the face of the rock wall.
A deep breath, she closed her eyes and drew upon the calmness and stillness of the cave. A serenity descended upon her, a presence of mind and awareness the like of which she had never felt before. The moment was right.
A familiar call was made, one to the eternal rock of the cave wall, the roots of the great mountains above. Slowly, and with a low grinding of stone against stone, the winged form appeared to climb out of the solid wall.
A solemn bow to the creature, and in the words of the stones themselves, she offered the circle of gems to it, as gifts to return to the roots of the mountain from where they came. A gutteral utterance in return, and the creature's stone claws picked the gems up, one by one, its eagle like head examining each one in turn.
The gems in the grasp of one of the creature's claws, it extended the other one towards Auri. She reached her own hand out to meet it and grasp it, wincing silently as the stone talons dug into the top of her hand, and with the pain, came an almost overwhelming feeling of strength and solidity, and a deeper burst of brief pain that seemed to sink through her bones, and left her reeling as the creature released its grasp, and faded back into the cave wall.
Alone once more in the dark, the unfamiliar wings were stretched, and the endless miles of twisting passages lay before her.
For out-of-game events, wrapping up in-game adventures and rumours.
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