Sorry this took me a while to post. I have been ill and it has taken me a while to recover. I will try to post faster in the future. Hope you enjoy.
"I can't believe you let him come with us." Kat whispered to Lyssa as they walked their horses along the road.
"He could come in handy in a fight." Lyssa glared at Kat. "There are a lot of vicious creatures in the Unicorn Forest and it will be nightfall by the time we reach Tradewind Village."
"I just don't see why he has to come all the way to Archosaur with us." Kat smiled over her shoulder at Marcus who was walking behind them a few yards, keeping lookout. "I say we dump him in Tradewinds and go the rest of the way ourselves."
"I really want to find out more about him, his master and this necklace I'm wearing." Lyssa pulled the necklace out and it flashed in the sun. "If it is truly what he says, it could change a lot of……..!"
Lyssa heard a screeching sound high overhead, louder than any hawk or other bird of prey. All three members of the party glanced up as a huge shadow passed over them. High in the sky a great shape flew over heading south.
"What was that?" Lyssa exclaimed."
Marcus moved up to join the two girls. "That was a griffon. They are not very common around these parts coming mostly from the mountains southeast of Plume City, the home of the elves. I wonder if there are any people mounted on it. Venomancers have been known to tame the beasts and use them as flying mounts."
"They are very rare though." Kat spoke up. "I have lived in Lost City since I was born and have only seen three in that time."
"I've been meaning to ask you Kat, if I may call you that, have you not tamed a creature of your own yet." Marcus looked a little uneasy asking the question.
Kat gave Marcus an evil grin. "I suppose you can call me Kat. In answer to your query, yes I have tamed an animal to do my bidding. I had to leave him in Tradewinds Village when I headed north. I will pick him up when we arrive. Pray I don't let him eat you when we get there."
"Why must you be like that Kat?" Lyssa grabbed Kat's arm and turned her to look in her face. "You were so friendly to me and yet you treat Marcus like he's a demon or something. Do you have something against men?"
"I have nothing against men, just this one!" Kat grabbed her horse's reins and stormed off down the path."
The Unicorn Forest did not have any unicorns in it, but there were a pretty good collection of nasty creatures that could cause trouble. Fortunately the trio did not have any problems on their journey through the woods, and arrived in Tradewinds Village by nightfall.
"I will see to getting us lodging." Kat told the other two. "Why don't you both see about getting us something to eat, I'm starving."
"Where shall we meet?" Marcus asked.
Kat looked around. "How about over there at the Apothecary, I'd like to see about replenishing my dwindling supply of healing potions."
Lyssa and Marcus made their way through the small town towards a structure with smoke billowing from the chimney and a fabulous smell drifting out of it.
"Smells pretty good to me, what do you think Lyssa?" Marcus licked his lips and headed toward the building.
"Marcus, can I ask you a question?" Lyssa put a hand on his shoulder.
"Well you kind of did already, but go ahead, what's on your mind." He took her hand from his shoulder and held it in his.
Lyssa looked down at their hands and then back up into Marcus's eyes. "You can let go any time now."
"I'm sorry; I didn't mean to offend you." Marcus glanced at his feet.
"It's alright; I'm just a bit edgy because of Kat's attitude about all this." Lyssa glanced around; worried that Kat may be near. "Do you know more than what you are telling me about this necklace?"
"I'm sorry Lyssa, I have told you the entire story as it was told to me."
"I just get this feeling that Kat knows something about it and that is why she keeps treating you the way she does." Lyssa frowned.
"Let's not worry about it right now. We'll get some food get a goodnights rest and maybe we'll broach the subject with her tomorrow." Marcus motioned for her to follow him to the tavern.
It was not a very big tavern, not even as big as the Black Wolf, but it looked like a much cleaner establishment. A couple of men rested in chairs on the front porch, a double door between them provided egress. Marcus took the lead and went first through the doors with Lyssa following close behind.
Inside were half a dozen tables of which four were occupied. Marcus started towards one of the empty tables when suddenly the rest of the patrons stood and drew swords, all but a young woman at the bar who suddenly had a bow trained on them as if it had appeared from nowhere.
"I am Emera, captain of the Elvish Guards, and you are both coming with us to Plume City." She sighted down the length of her arrow. "Tie them up and let us head for the stables."