And we arrived in Zithon, the lands across the great divide. . .
The surprisingly pleasant landscape was far different than I first surmised from the information we'd been given. There was plenty of plants and shrubs living here, less wildlife to be apparent. It was indeed a harsher environment with less water to sustain everything, but nonetheless it was thriving!
The city… well, town really, was a bright white beacon against the view beyond. The white buildings and sandy colorations were not large nor overly ornate. And it was guarded by soldiers bearing gold and tan emblems on their gambisons. After strict cultural warnings from the professor, Alexa was left outside the gate, and guarded by Dratharz. I was interested in what the city looked like, so I tagged along. Maybe I'd get the chance to do a little talking; who knows?
After some cultural exchange and bylaws to observe, we were directed to The Hunter's Moon, situated near the palace. I thought it strange that a merchant hub would have a palace, seeing as how the throne of a leader should be left in "one" palace. However, it meant that high-class people would be coming and going nearby. I didn't know if I'd have much time to have much conversation, but seeing as how I was a foreigner, likely not much.
The Hunter's Moon, signified by a sign bearing a crescent peaked with a drawn bow, lay before us. Indeed, it was a higher-class institution. As we entered, eyes were immediately drawn to us, whispers were given in corners. The professor picked a table at random and began to speak with one of the patrons and once given a ludicrous amount of coin identified himself as Johnathan. He said our quarry for the Maximus species of Hydra was here, that it was real, and that in order to find one, we'd ought to go south and find a friend of his named Garrin.
We inquired as to the nature of this establishment and why hunting was so revered in Zithon. For a bit more coin, it was revealed that it was not only to keep local pests down as a public service, but it also held a deep cultural connection with the people of Zithon. He gave us a few nasties that we'd best leave alone, such as: Blood Beasts, large gorilla-like canines; Amarat, large wolves; and Humbaba, miniature demons with lion paws. He pressed the importance of staying clear of these and "other" unsavory creatures.
So, with this new information in hand, we set off only to again hear the Professor cry out yet again that he had forgotten something. Whereupon the guards gave a familiar look of inner giggling.
On the morrow, as we set off toward the next destination. I took the time to do a little practicing with Veilseeker in front of everyone in the kitchen. The day began quite calm until the Professor and Airelinna stood up and went to the window.
The house lurched as it came to a stop.
Ahead, a purple haze formed into a large cloud that quickly made it's way towards us.
"Murph," called P. Fraus, "Do you want more money?"
The declination to her greed was overcome by the dire sensation I felt from this approaching "storm." As I had created a boar to go and experience this weather, it vanished and my link was broken.
We hunkered down and Dratharz created an enormous earthen wall to hopefully block it. The storm penetrated it, so P. Fraus put down a small box and opened it. To my dismay, I felt my connection to the surrounding mana disappear and my eyes went wide. I was then injured from the magical lightning that exuded from this magic storm.
Below, demons, hundreds of them, were scattered all over and attacking the legs to the house. We opened a window and started to dispatch them, but one managed to leap inside. It's hide of red and black, horns, with yellow eyes of madness started swinging it's claws. I hid behind the Professor, who just ran out for another purpose. Now exposed, and with magic being no option in this void nor in the storm, and the eyes of the demon locked onto me, I delved deep into my hatred for the demon. My brother's face came into view in that moment as I flew forward, swinging Veilseeker with all my strength.
I cut at it's neck, but to my dismay, I saw no wound in the demon's form as it's sharp, deadly appendages came towards me. . .