Welcome to the West
Roisin and the others had finally arrived at the western continent, the boat arrived in the dead of night, the small port town of Karth was silent as the four departed from the boat.
"Where is everyone?" Ashe asked, as she scanned the small cramped streets around the harbour.
"In bed I imagine, it is late" Dex shrugged.
"Maybe, but you'd think a port town would be slightly busier, even this late at night" Ashe said, thinking aloud.
"Come on, it's best we move on out of here as soon as we can, we don't know how far our pursuers are behind us" Ariel said as she walked ahead.
"We're not going to stay here for the night?" Dex asked.
"No, if someone is following us, we need to put as much distance as we can between us and them" Ariel responded, the others followed her down the dark streets of the Karth.
Roisin was looking at her phone as she walked, Atlas had still not been in contact, Dex looked over at her phone and patted her shoulder.
"He's probably lying low, Ros" Dex comforted Roisin.
"I hope so" Roisin smiled at Dex as she put her phone away. Suddenly Dex stopped in his tracks.
"Do you hear that?!" He asked the others, frightened. The other stopped and tried to hear what Dex was talking about, Ariel heard it first.
"Is that... screaming?" She asked, looking at Dex.
"No... it's... something different" Dex struggled as he tried to focus on the sound, which was starting to grow louder and louder.
"Ready for battle!" Roisin ordered the others, the all readied their weapons. The screeching sound had grown to a deafening pitch, the party all had to cover their ears. Roisin looked up to see... something that was not of this world. She slowly backed away, grabbing Ashe and Dex's arms as she did.
"Wha... what is that?" Roisin panicked.
At that second, a sleek looking airship of unknown origin flew at breakneck speeds over the small town, it shot a pulse of unknown energy at the creature, the pulse hit and created a small black hole behind the creature, dragging it in, before the hole closed.
Dex was rolling on the ground in pain, due to his overly sensitive ears, it had caused damage to his hearing, Roisin knelt down and hugged him. The ship came in to land next to the group, Ashe and Ariel readied their weapons as a door on the ship sprung open.
Two Elvman troopers walked out, followed by a Praetor, who approached the party, the two troopers flanked him.
"State your identity" The Praetor commanded.
"We're... we're students from Wynd Academy, on the Eastern Continent" Ashe said, she still had her weapon at the ready.
The Praetor looked at Ariel.
"Students from Wynd Academy, with the Imperial Princess of Aranei in their company?" The Praetor raised his eyebrow, his ice-cold blue eyes stared at Ashe.
"I am no longer the Princess of anything, I renounced my name to fight with these three" Ariel bowed her head.
"Hmm" The Praetor nodded "I had heard you had defected" he continued.
"Excuse me... he needs medical attention, Sir" Roisin looked at the Praetor with tears in her eyes, the Praetor approached Roisin and pulled out a small device, he put his hand on Roisin's shoulder.
"Please move aside, Miss" He asked in a calm voice, Roisin nodded and moved away, the Praetor scanned the device over Dex's ears and Dex began to calm down. The Praetor put the device away and stood up, he looked at Roisin.
"Your friend's hearing should return to normal, more or less, within 48 hours" The Praetor smiled.
"Sorry for asking... but what was that creature?" Ashe asked, both her and Ariel had put their weapons away now.
"They're somewhat new, we don't know exactly how they got here, but we believe they originally come from the Underworld" The Praetor replied, as he leaned on a nearby building. "They're not the only issue this continent is facing, things are rapidly falling apart here" He continued, he motioned to his guards to head back to the ship, they both obeyed and walked away.
Once the troopers were out of earshot, the Praetor turned back to the party. He took a deep breath and began, "My nation and Pyre need to get their act together, something is coming, but all they seem to care about is warring with each other. We have reports of a mad man slaying villages in the swamplands, there's reports that the Fiends are once again making an appearance. As if those weren't bad enough, there is also reports of a dragon on the prowl" The Praetor explained.
"I had wondered why you had been so kind to us, usually Elvmen treat us other races with disgust" Ariel replied, the others looked surprised, on the Eastern Continent, nothing much was known about the Elvmen.
The Praetor sighed deeply and looked at the sky.
"It is true, a large number of my kind believe that we are the true inheritors of this world. I am not one of those people" The Praetor said, with a troubled look on his face, he pulled out a communicator device and entered something, the party's devices all beeped.
"Contact me on this frequency if you require assistance, my title is Forward Praetor Arwyn, and I will do all I can to ensure you reach your destination, this I swear" The Praetor saluted the party, the party all bowed their heads in respect.
"Thank you, Sir" Roisin smiled, the Praetor smiled back before returning to his airship. Ariel turned to the others.
"That went a lot better than expected" She smiled.
"You think we can trust him?" Dex asked, holding his head in his hands.
"I think he is our best shot at reaching Pyre, and I do believe he is sincere in what he says. He may be part of the Imperium, but he seems to truly wish for peace" Ariel replied.
"So, what's the plan now?" Roisin asked, as she cradled Dex.
"Hmm, I think it would be best if we rested for a while" Ariel nodded, while looking at Dex.
"What if our pursuer catches up with us?" Ashe asked.
"We will cross that bridge when we come to it" Ariel responded, she grabbed Ashe's hand and planted a kiss on her lips. "Come on, lets rest" She smiled, Ashe nodded.
Ashe and Roisin helped Dex to his feet, and the four of them headed to a nearby tavern.