**The children and their guards marched through the mountains, heading back to the riverbed where they had been taken, trudging wearily and, in most cases, somberly.
Eventually they crested a hill and came in sight their goal, only things had changed.
Their wagons lay in pieces, shattered, scorched, utterly ruined.
A short distance away milled a dozen of the strange cat beasts they had seen the oscarans riding. Two pairs of them were hitched to a pair of very odd looking sleds. Sin was there, leaning against one of the mounts.**
Sin - It appears when Arena couldn't find me he found a different outlet for his anger. He pretty much destroyed everything before the chieftain arrived and ordered him to stand down and hand over his sword...and he did Say what you will about Arena, he's loyal to the tribe, even exiled.
Doggett - And the cats?
Sin - I managed to liberate them from the stockades during the ruckus. Put what was left your stuff in the sleds, enchanted to run smoothly over stone and ice.
Palasis - We were your catspaws in this, why steal to help us?
Sin - As a goodbye kick in the teeth. The reason Arena couldn't find me is because I'd been pulled aside and exiled as well.
**Dany wasn't pleased to see Sin. But she was more intrigued by the oscaran's strange cat-rams than she was distrustful of the man himself. So, she approached the mouths, raising a hand for them to sniff.**
Sin - It isn't the first time they've exiled me, that why I spent time around your kind. They were quite done with me...until I had something they needed. Honor erases the name, desire re-inks it, and my people are no stranger to either. I am headed south if any of you have lost your taste for the north and rather not travel alone.
Doggett - After all that has happened, I can't hold it against any of you that no longer wish to continue. Feel free to take your pay and head home.
Phase 2 of the quest is over. One, less battle heavy, phase remains. Anyone who wants to get back to the cities to do other stuff is free to leave. You will get 100 gold job pay in addition to your loot if you do so, which is why the LP to gold modifier was 2 rather than the typical 3.
Antoninus - "We've made it this far, ain't no sense in turning around now."
Private Mod Note
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Sing lustily and with good courage.
Be aware of singing as if you were half dead,
or half asleep:
but lift your voice with strength.
Be no more afraid of your voice now,
nor more ashamed of its being heard,
than when you sang the songs of Satan.
**Nervada, for one, was totally good with Sin. That was even before he brought them awesome cat things! He motions at the cats and gives Sin a smiling thumbs up before turning to Dogget.**
Nervada - "Of course I'm on board with the rest of the trip! It's- ah, wait, my condolences for your dead friend."
**Nervada looks genuinely sad. Whether it is out of respect for the fallen earthmage or because it is now even more socially improper than before to go around saying how much he is loving this field trip is left up in the air. Regardless of the reason his mood lightens soon after.**
**The young knight had been looking off in the distance as Doggett addressed the rest of their company; Grehym caught most of it, but he looked as if he was making an important decision. To many, it would seem as if he were merely weighing his options, but truly, he had is eyes dead set on what would be the direction toward the Sekoran Forest as the crow flies. He snapped himself out of it quickly, returning to reality.**
Grehym - I gave my word to see the children safely to our destination to the best of my ability, and I shall not head home without seeing that they do. I will stay as well.
**Quinn glanced at the little girl who had meant so much to those he;d cared about and lost.**
Quinn - I'm here for a reason, not turning back now.
Alphonsine - I....I will return south. Someone needs to return Mirsch's body home. I know you want to Sherwood, but your place is with the children, and as strong as my Rimelord armor would be in the tundra, your dragons would outclass it.
Sherwood - You are a good man, and I appreciate this more than you can know lad.
**The children were lead into the two sleighs as Sherwood wrapped Mirsch in a shroud and secured him to the back of Alphosines mount.**
Snake watched the exchange for a moment, then slunk over to find Raven, when he finds her he attempts to be less threatening than usual. "What do you hear little bird? Our new friend have our best interests at heart?"
Alphonsine - and I you. Hope to see you all again some day.
**With the body secured, Alphonsine mounted the beast and headed southwards,Sin following soon after.**
Doggett - Alright. Teachers and regular guards in the sleighs with he students. Hired Guard on the cat...things. Gerr, Quinn, Damek and Ulrich up front. Dany, Grehym, Olo and Antoninus flanking. Snake, Huelen, Nervada, I suggest you take up the rear.
**With their assignments given, everyone mounted up and they once more got underway, the open sleighs allowing for open communication between them all.**
**Dany feel in beside the sled, patting the side of her Aurevel as she kept a protective eye out. She was fairly confident they were due for some more-peaceful travel, but she wasn't holding her breath.**
**Nervada starts heading towards the back cats as he figures out who exactly can hear him speak from this position if he speaks normally. His path could be misconstrued has heading towards a sleigh though as he was moving at a curve to pass by a sharp stick that might be of use later.**