Paige's Tales 3 LbNA # 6787 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Dec 28 2003|
Paige’s Tales 3
..........and so, with nary a backward glance, D’Knou and D’Knuo walked away East from The Escarpment. “What fools they are, to go climbing that silly ridge”, said D’Knuo. “I know, when we are obviously going to travel faster and farther on this nice,wide,flat trail”, replied D’Knou.
Easy the going was, as they skirted a small pond. “What do you suppose that strange stick is, out there?”, asked D’Knou, “it looks hollow”. “D’Knor said that this was Goblin Country, maybe the Goblins use it to catch fish.” “I don’t know D’Knuo, it doesn’t look to me like there are any fish in that water”, said D’Knou. Continuing on around the pond, and admiring the ridge running off the back of The Escarpment, it was a while before they noticed the wind starting to blow. As the trail took a downward pitch, they found themselves walking straight into a gale. With nothing to do but carry on they just gritted their teeth and kept going.
Down they went, into the wind, each grumbling and complaining to themselves, each, in their own mind, blaming the other for getting them into this predicament. Suddenly, D’Knuo grabbed D’Knou. “What was that?”, he cried, over the shrieking wind. “What? What? I didn’t hear anything!”, yelled back D’Knou. “Listen, will you, it sounded like an animal! There, there it is again!”, cried D’Knuo. This time D’Knou heard it too. Above the sound of the wind, there came a high scream, changing to a wail, and ending in a low throated growl. It sounded really close. “We’ve got to hide,” screamed D’Knou. “Yes, you’re right, but quietly,” said D’Knuo, taking his hand away from D’Knou’s mouth. Looking around frantically, they espied a small outcropping of rock, in the middle of a brook. It almost had the look of a small fortress, with openings here and there. Helter skelter they ran, jumping over water when they had to, and quickly scrambling into the rocks. Just in the nick of time, they made it into shelter. D’Knuo ended up with his cloak shredded by the claws of what turned out to be a larent, that’s a bobcat to you and me.
There they huddled through the night. With the larent prowling around, they hardly got any sleep at all. Finally, as the sky began to lighten the next morning, the larent slowly moved away. At first the pixies were not sure the coast was clear. With the wind still blowing hard, they had a hard time discerning that the larent had finally taken off. At last, around noon, they poked their heads out of their shelter and looked around. “We’d better get out of here while the getting’s good,” said D’Knou. “I’m with you there,” replied D’Knuo.
Leaving behind a message box, just in case anyone came after them, they moved out. Soon however, bracing the same stiff wind they had braced the previous day, they were wont to continue. “We can’t keep going into this wind”, yelled D’Knuo. “I know, but we need shelter before we just stop,” returned D’Knou. “Wait, D’Knuo look there,” cried D’Knou pointing. “I don’t know what it is, but, it sure looks like shelter to me,” said D’Knuo. Moving over, they noticed an old cellar hole, left over from the goblins, when they used to inhabit the region. Circling the hole they were reluctant to jump in, as it looked wet and nasty at the bottom. As they came around the back side, however, they found another cellar hole, this one with a shelf high off the bottom, sheltered from the wind.
On the morrow, they awoke early. Having spent a relatively comfortable night, they were ready to make some time. They set up a message box, just in case, and prepared to move out. Poking their heads out of their shelter, they discovered that, though the wind had died down, it had started to snow overnight. “This is just great,” D’Knou grumbled. “I know, get rid of one burden, pick up another,” was D’Knuo’s reply. So on they went. Over the next rise, and on. After some time, however, struggling through the ever increasing snow, they began to have their doubts. “I don’t like the way this trail is narrowing out,” said D’Knuo. “I have to agree with you, this is starting to get creepy,” said D’Knou. “Maybe there’s a better way?” suggested d’Knuo. “Well, if there is one it’s back the way we came,” replied D’Knou. So, back they went. They hadn’t gone too far when, suddenly, they again heard a scream, changing to a wail, and ending in a low growl. “AAAAAAgh!, the larent,” cried D’Knou. “Run,” screamed D’Knuo. Run they did. Unfortunately, they ran right into the woods, off the trail they had been following. Quickly lost, they just kept running. Finding the easiest way by instinct they moved deeper into the woods. Topping a rise, without realizing it, they both pitched forward, tumbling down and almost landing in a brook. Looking back over their shoulders, they espied a narrow ledge, in the embankment they had just tumbled down, and quickly crawled into it, huddling together for both comfort and warmth. There they spent the night.
On the morrow, waking early once again, they took stock of their situation. Hopelessly lost, cold, and hungry, they realized they had no choice but to continue on. Once again leaving a message box, just in case, they continued on. Reluctant to try and retrace their steps, due to the presence of the larent, they crossed the brook, and scaled the other side of the defile they had tumbled into the night before. Cresting the top of the defile, they look around hopelessly. Suddenly D’Knou let out a squeal of delight.”Look, look D’Knuo, over there, it’s one of the Elvish runes that mark the trail through the Hunting Grounds!” “Oh, Oh, it is,” cried D’Knuo, “We’ve got to get over there.” Weaving and wending there way through the very heavy brush betwixt them and their destination, they finally pulled themselves up onto the trail they were seeking. “ Which way now?” asked D’Knou. “We must head South and West,” replied D’Knuo. “Even if we’ve missed the Hunters, it has to be the way home.” D’Knou was not about to argue.
So, South and West they turned, trying to make good time. Hard it was, fighting their way through the snow. After some time, having passed through a rather gloomy looking glade, D’Knuo suddenly stopped. “I smell smoke!” he cried. “Not just smoke, cooking rabbit!” said D’Knou. “That’s not rabbit, it’s grouse,” replied D’Knuo. “Who cares,” was D’Knou’s reply, “Let’s go!” With hope in their hearts, they began to run. It was still hard going, and they didn’t know how far, but, just the thought of succor, gave them the lift they needed.
Hurrying along, as best they could, they soon came to a small stream. Jumping across, as if it wasn’t there, they found themselves moving uphill. On they rushed, not caring if whoever had the fire was friend or foe. Warmth and food was all they could think of. Then, just as they spotted the source of the smoke, a figure jumped up from a pile of rocks on the left side of the trail. “D’Knou, D’Knuo, I knew you’d come back!” It was, of course, D’Knea, their young friend. Grabbing them both by the arm, he propelled them toward the shelter that the Hunters had only fixed up the day before. All of the pixies were, of course, delighted to be reunited with their friends, and the rest of that day, and a good portion of the night, was spent in a reunion celebration.
The next morning, after placing a marker at the place where D’Knea had first spotted them, D’Knor pulled them aside. “While you were out in the Land of the Goblins, did you see any signs of them?” he wanted to know. “Other than a couple of abandoned dwellings that we used for shelter, no, no we didn’t,” the brothers replied.
What actually happened to the Goblins? Well, that would be a subject for another tale, n’estce pas.
Peter and Paige
Author’s Note: I did leave 1(one) marker to help you find the spot where the pixies went off trail.