A sharp flick of the wrist spins the viashino's quarterstaff around the back of his hand, more nervous tic than flourish. Right.
He catches the staff in a two handed grip, and steps through the portal, weapon at the ready.
Kennar looks up and down the trail, his sword still glowing dull orange. He mostly ignores the paradise they've found themselves in. At one time he might have cared about such things. But he's beyond such things now. Though maybe not for the better...
"If it were me, I'd go up. High ground has the best advantage."
The flamekin glances at the ground. Perhaps there are footprints to be spotted nearby.
Xen glanced at Flame Tongue saying, "That's true, but Kennar raises a valid point. If the goal of their retreat was to ambush us then a trap near the summit of the mountain would suffice."
Xen's gaze went to Kennar, "However, there is the possibility that they are doing a full retreat. If this is the case I doubt we'll find our targets up there."
Xen looked to the mountain now and paused in thought for a moment saying, "Unless... They may need power from the mountain for their next escape..."
Xen surveyed the area again trying to pick up any sort of mana trail that may have been left behind. While he did this he said, "No matter the case, we have little to go on. Following the trail up the mountain may be for the best. Either we find them or we'll get a better idea of the land. For now, as far as I can tell at least, going up seems to be our best bet."
Mana seems to run throughout the mountain. The entire land seems to be strong in mana. In this area, there's a strong feeling of green mana in the first place. Tracking by mana may be hard in an area so abundant with it. They may need to simply try a direction and see if the trails pick up.
The green mana in the area seems to be weakening as he moves towards the top. He can definitely feel a fresh trail of mana heading towards the summit. The color is hard to discern, but it gets stronger the higher he goes.
Noting the strange trail of mana present, Flame Tongue nodded to himself, appreciative of the experience with which Xen and Kennar had decided to try the path up the mountain. I feel as though we've been correct in our selection of routes. Excellent. he said, as he employed his sense of scent to try and catch a whiff of their quarry.
I wont be able to hold back this time. I'm certain these foes will be stronger than what I've encountered thus far. Thought Xen as he continued forward. Mentally he reached out towards his mana sources and brushed lightly upon each color available to him, never quite drawing upon the mana. The swamp magic will likely help in this matter though. Still, these beings appear to be Walkers and caution must be exercised.
He thought of the reports about the orb which had devastated House Shimia. I wonder how such magic may have been formed?
Xen thought of his own ability which allowed him to tap into his own physical being and releasing that form into the essence of mana. A sudden bit of inspiration occurred to Xen causing him to slow his pace slightly, enough that the other might noticed.
Perhaps the process isn't one way? Maybe like the cycle of existence the forms can flow from one state to the other? If that's the case it should be possible to reverse the flow... One could apply mana to the physical form... From there you could apply opposite directions in the flow... The physical converts to mana while the mana shell surrounding the physical form flows into a physical shape...
Xen grinned from ear to ear as he picked up his pace again. The end result is a new binding. This may even be how the crystals containing our spells are formed.
Xen fought the urge to stop in his tracks to record his findings in his journal. Still the ideas held his interest feeding his curiosity. He was eager to apply this newest theory. But the task of finding the attackers still lay ahead of him...
"I hope that's a natural reaction on this plane and not the work of our quarry. If I recall correctly, an earthquake sensation had been felt just prior to the event at house Shimia, at least that's what I gathered from witnesses. What do you two think?" asked Xen as he continued up the trail making sure to keep firm footing.
Being unfamiliar with red mana Xen only felt the pressure of the land's energy increase. That combined with the increased strength of the earthquake caused him to drop to the ground clutching the available handholds in the rock shouting, "If this is normal for this plane then our quarry may be counting on the land to slow down any pursuit!"
Kennar glances at the ground as he struggles to maintain his balance. "There is a buildup of red mana below us... I wonder..."
Kennar focuses for a moment, clearing his mind of all though. He places his palms on the ground, and with an effort of magic, he sends a webwork of red mana questing downward into the earth. He searches for a source of mana he could form a bond with.
For Kennar, it's hard to pinpoint any particular source. The mountain itself seems to be putting a lot of red mana out. The forest below is putting a lot of green mana out. But this is nothing special. It's common mana, just like the mana that he uses on a daily basis. There's just a LOT of it.
The mountain seems ready to fissure beneath them, they may want to keep moving.