“It was inevitable” Samdar thought to himself as he poked the fire.
Gloomily, he stirred the coals as frigid wind washed over him; his companions huddled in their sleeping rolls as the winter wind howled across the steppes. Howling… eerie howling… like the cry of a lost dwarf.
He shook himself and began to pace the perimeter of their hasty camp.
“No point in thinking about it, just watch for trouble” he reminded himself.
But, he could not stop thinking of it. This cursed land had twisted his kinsmen, nay twisted the very soil and trees!
It seemed like such a short time ago they were in among civilized dwarves, visiting Janderhoff and before that the less civilized lands of man in Magnimar. But now… now they were…
Samdar didn’t know where they were. If If he were in honest, he wondered if he had wandered into some bizarre sort of hell. It seemed so simple, follow the clues to the lost city. It seemed so simple… until that first glimpse of the mad dwarf, stuffing his face with gold dust eyes wide and endless
Samdar shuddered again, not just because of the cold air.
Then Bral had to go pick a fight with some demented tree creature, unnatural thing that it was, it was slain easily enough by a sharp blow of his axe. And if he was honest, the weird blue cat thing and Bral did a fair amount of damage as well.
He rubbed his neck uneasily, thinking of the unnatural traps that plagued them afterwards.
“Chains,” he thought "straight forward enough… not like.. " he couldn’t finish the thought. He couldn’t face the memory of the ravening hunger that tore through his body as his mind howled like the screams of the starving dwarves that had rocked the house, their piteous cries carried on the howling wind. He couldn’t face the shame of his mind lost to madness and his desire… his hunger…
Zai rolled over in her sleep restless and Samdar’s stomach gurgled nosily.
He turned back to the howling winds and worried what lay before them