Sko led the way as sort of my protection, he didn't really show much emotion at times as he wasn't supposed to yet I appreciated him and trusted him.
The way to Primeon I knew would lead us to Mt. Belone and looking up and down the mountains we were passing around I saw the lower bulk of Belone extend upward into the mist and fog disappearing into it. I wasn't surprised when Gryphons started appearing circling above us. I looked up at them stopping and saying to Sko, "I have a feeling it gets worse."
Sko nodded turning toward me. I looked at them circling around us again and one swooped down at me and smacked right off me and went falling down into the ravine. Several others swooped down at us but I held up my hands and they froze midair. The ones that were left circling still continued swooping at us and I leapt out of the way down the path and was picked up by one of them in their talons but I touched it's feet with my hands, burning them and the creature screeched dropping me and I alighted at the top of the mountain. I did not want to hurt them more than I hurt the one that picked me up yet they were angering me.
"I know you don't want to hurt them so lets fly ahead away from their nests," Sko said flying up to me so I floated across a gap between the bends in the mountains and to the next one espying a few trees growing on the side of the mountain I passed by first. Yet, not one of them followed when we got past the first bend. I heard distant screeches behind us as I settled to the ground.
"Not too far now," Sko said floating off the side of the cliff and looking down the line.
"What else has settled here that I should know about?" I asked.
"Those," Sko said pointing at the mountain we were near and there were small cat like animals with a human or monkey gait and build clothed in loin cloths and looking at me completely focused on my moves.
"Mountain Caits, right?" I questioned.
Sko nodded, "Not as much a threat as the Griffins."
"There goes my hopes of getting to Primeon without incident. And that quarry ahead of us is perfect for ambush if the goblin tribes still have a hold over this section," I said looking down the path and the next bend. It was indeed not a bend around a mountain but around a quarry of cluttered jagged rocks.
"Look there," Sko said pointing at the mountain behind the rock quarry and I intuned my vision and saw a thick white furred and hoofed creature.
"Hey, a mountain goat," I said and I noticed we had more caits watching so I bade Sko on and he led the way on around back on the line and up around the quarry. I could sympathize why we did not meet many merchants on the way through here. I saw though with relief that a few more mountains separated us form the base of Belone. Then I turned to look down into the ravine and there was a dolphin with flapping wings. It did not emit a word when I looked at it but swooped around flitting about the air with a few high pitched clicks and was joined by others from below and down into the river I saw them emerge and dive into from time to time.
"Amazing! Now all we need are a few other creatures and we're all set," I reflected and looked back at the quarry and found myself staring into the eyes of a large beast probably nine or more feet tall that seemed to almost be a lion as it had a sort of mane and face like it but it was dressed in a crudely stitched vest which draped down to it's knees, "Um we were just passing through," I said to it with a smile though I felt a bit uneasy.
It gave a grunt and tromped away down the way we came and I let out a deep sigh of relief, "How about we get to Primeon before something else happens."
Sko nodded looking after the big creature and we started off thankfully reaching Mt. Belone without much more incident though I did see a few goblins with pikes upon the top of one of the mountains. There was also screeching near another one.
The entrance to the tunnel which would lead into Primeon was slightly obscure because several stones had fallen afore it.
I didn't need to move them so we started into the cave and the mouth of it was large indeed and just inside we could smell a musty smell of dirty compressed with hot air aged from inside the mouth and inside the mouth was circular and smooth brown stone yet had a few bumps and cracks at some points. At the craggy base of Belone the path came by at a straight and widened line and continued off into the mountains.
Suddenly I sensed the old creature some distance off and closing.
"He is coming Sko, make haste, we need to lure it inside," I said looking up into the sheer rise of the mountain into the gloom of fog toward the sky.
We passed into the mouth and down an incline until we were level with a passage of stone blocks lining it all around dull white with many chipped and fallen to pieces that added some piles of rubble here and there. We arrived at a gate which was a stone wall that met the walls of the cave all around except at the ground where the portcullis and double wooden door met there in the center. Sko made a lift motion at the portcullis and it rose with a loud screeching metal upon metal sound.
Yet the screeching continued after it stopped and I looked behind and the screeching came down through the tunnel.
"Release the demons. Take it," I cried and several devils of all sorts of shapes and sizes appeared in a crowd at the entrance end to the tunnel.
Sko had meanwhile got the first gate opened and bats started spewing from inside and I gasped as the smell from inside gave way to me with thick air and human and non human remains strewn between the next part of the tunnel and the next gate.
The bats must have came from the higher up windows of the gates where the guards of old would watch the tunnel. I thought of what other creatures inhabited the mountain. Then something knocked me over and I immediately sprung back up and swooping around was what looked like a cross between a hawk and a dragon yet retaining the outward shaped of a hawk while being longer in length as a dragon and having a long shinny feathery tail.
I did not have the time for this and I heard loud multiple screeching from back up the tunnel so I gestured at the dragon hawk and yelled, "Paralysis!" It dropped down to the ground with a thump, twitching.
"The door, Sko," I told the Masprit and Sko made a lifting motion at the next gate and the portcullis lifted but stopped halfway, the mechanism stuck. I ducked under it and willed the inner door unlock and open and rushed, as the wind, into the tunnel but was immediately stopped ahead by several large rodents sleeping in the way between some rubble.
"I don't have time for this," I shouted waking them up and I stormed through them stepping on one making it squeak and they all scattered away from me as I passed up to the next large double doors. I didn't hear any screeching coming from down the tunnel as I had heard and I turned back to Sko saying, "Hold him while I get into the Sky Room.
"Ias? You're going to need to confront this anyways," Sko called to me.
"When I get to the Sky Room," I called back and turned my attention onto the door and willed it open whereas it cracked and burst open assaulting me with heavy stagnant air and face to face with a ball of energy.
"Stop!" I cried at it and it froze as I went by the crumbling stone hallway with crumbling tables and chairs along the sides with four doors evenly spaced on each side. A few tattered faded cloth banners hung from the top but I didn't take in anything else and oriented on the far door at the end of the hallway but a fore I got to the second set of hallway door blobs of goo rose from the cracks into the ground and confronted me shaping into human shapes and my frustration and anxiety cause me to unleash my wrath upon them vaporizing them into the air. I made for the door at even pace whilst I heard faint screeches become more sheer as well as louder and closer and I got to the door and flung it crashing opened and it was quite a large door taking up half the wall and I entered the circular room that extended upward to the top of the mountain. I immediately turned around facing the splintered door and backed to the center of the room and said in a whisper, "Let Sidge come Sko."
I saw something move down the hall in the tunnel and everything was quiet. Then I saw the creature enter the hallway huffing deeply and it looked down the hall and saw me and immediately screed.
With a leap it was bounding toward me and as it reached the door it took a leap and was instantly on top of me.