Saturday, 8 October 2016

    "Okay guys, we'll have to gather a bit closer to me so I can be more discreet. 'Cause you know, a dragon is scrutinizing this forest right now looking for any living thing to set a blazing inferno on. And I would prefer to be in one piece right now." I had no disagreements with Bob, and so did the rest of us. So we heeded his advice and all huddled up together as if we were about to put all of our hands in and cheer for ourselves. Actually, we came much closer to each other, practically hugging, than what is comfortable when we heard the iconic "WHOOOSH... WHOOOSH... WHOOOSH..." of a menacing dragon sound much more closer than what we would like.
    When all sounds and sights are clear of any danger, and when we stop shaking hugging each other, it felt like the perfect opportunity to show Bob the Arsenal to see if he can give us any information about it that we are far too simple and unperceptive to see. The Arsenal was laid as gently down as possible onto the soft green grass, as if it was an explosive that would trigger by the slightest amount of pressure. The chest itself was made out of old, dark oak wood and many intricate carvings made by a master artisan of seemingly wild and abrasive symbols decorated the edges and centre. The carvings contained an esoteric language I do not understand, yet they seemed wild due to its characters containing long scratches and no curves. A purplish faint light pulsated between the crack of the lid and body, giving a feeling of exoticness and untapped otherworldly power. Bob unlocked the hatch, and hesitated when he put his hand on the lid, but he took a deep breath, and opened the Arsenal. A blinding lumination pierced all of our eyes the instant Bob swung open the Arsenal, forcing all of us to look away, only able to indirectly look at the Arsenal, but not the contents. I was able to gaze at Bob's face, his eyes were dilated to the maximum staring deep within, many of his less-than-pretty features were exaggerated by the purple shine, giving a ghastly face. His chin was between his index finger and thumb, his stubble was being lightly scratched and eyebrows furrowed in intense, uninterruptible thought. The lid was shut as quickly as it was open, letting the purple light dissipate, and Bob's eyes closed tightly for a few seconds and took in a deep breath. When Bob breathed out, his eyes opened once again, and mouth ready to speak. "Inside this chest is... something beyond just powerful magic, it is THE magic to end all magic, and right now, it's literally calling EVERY dragon to come here in a one-hundred kilometre radius. I suggest we move faster than a man with the runs."
    Bob was right, this chest is a beacon to every magic-sensing creature that will in some way kill us. "There's a place I know that will get us out of danger's way northeast, follow me if you want to live." Since all of us had a desire to live, no one argued against Bob's suggestion. We move silently across the green forest, letting the leaves and grass absorb any noise created by our feet. But this is both a blessing and a curse, the towering trees and leaves cover the ground from any bird's eye, make it easier for us to slip by unnoticed. But of course, the tables could be turned, was there something stalking us? Ready to pounce from the shadows without ever knowing we were being tracked.
    Trekking through the forest ever so paranoid, our pace starts to slow down as we start walking on an incline that increased in steepness with every step, making our legs feel the burn with fatigue. But the rest of us take the pain and continue, except for Ore, who wished to stay behind, and had his wish granted, although by this time, a dragon had probably had him as an appetizer. I take a small breather to make sure my legs don't succumb to the fire, and look ahead of where Bob is going. My eyes follow the incline, until I realize the incline greatly increases in height, and my eyes go much further up than the horizon. I realize it is the side of a mountain that abruptly interrupts the flat horizon, and many caves of sizes from ignoble to worth a journey by their own dot the base of the mountain like a pin cushion.
    Bob raises his head, come to a precipitous halt and stretch his arms wide to the side, preventing anyone from passing him. "More things are coming." said in a low morose tone by Bob, but this statement only raises more questions-What are the "things"? How many of them are there? And are they close? Bob kneels down  with his face close to the ground and sniffs it with a deep inhale, like a wolf tracking its unaware prey. "Something's wrong." Bob says, face still towards the ground. It also changes all of our expressions from confusion when Bob kneeled down, to anxiety with the simple statement.
    In an attempt to clear the confusion from my mind, my eyes wander around the surrounding forest to catch any suspicious things that threaten to harm us. The treetops and leaves sway ever so gently in the light breeze, nothing seems to be out of place or hiding, but something much more worrying and sinister was on the ground just a few feet ahead... Footprints, but not the size of mine or any other humanoid, no, these were much bigger, a Giant's. More specifically a Stone Giant's, and by the size of it, you could probably fit in three of us or even two owlbears, and it was a foot deep, a sign of how hefty the giant could have been. And it was eye-catching to everyone, since the foliage and grass in the footprint were yellow and long dead, showing how old the footprint has aged since the giant pressed his foot on the ground, contrasted with the still living fresh green grass threatening to regrow over the footprint.
    This location is obviously not the best place to be in, and it becomes certain when we notice something just as sinister as the footprints, but it is not stationary. There were swaying movements far in the distance, however, they were too erratic and too large to belong to an innocent branch seeking the sunlight. Instead, these movements seemed to belong to dragons! No, not the kind that are so huge you have to pan your head to see the whole of it. The size of the ones my eyes spot are more "people-sized", yet they seemed to be just as terrifying as tiny they, able to disembowel my guts out with one swift swipe against the abdomen, and I could still hear the iconic sound of a flying dragon, muffled-whooosh...whooosh...whoosh.
    Several of the brown midget-size dragons were directly in front seemed to be searching for anyone like us, forcing us to change our current path, as whispered by Bob " I feel like those tiny-terrors will cause many problems if we go on, so we need to go along the entrances of the caves, so on the off chance we'll hide in, as it's very obvious you guys are bumbling dimwits who all panicked when you first saw me." Those words cut deep, but there was no opportunity to backtalk, he was our only guide. And so we continued our clandestine trek towards the pitch black caverns.
    Once again, Bob changes our feelings from hush-hush to wide-eyed paranoid with just two whispered words-"Something's Off." The paranoia fueled my senses to find anything wrong in the cavern entrance. We were just near the entrance of the cave that could fit a dragon and his accomplices, on the line dividing the twilight sky leaking through trees outside, and the ominous pitch black residing in the cave hiding the unknown. I couldn't tell how far the cave would go in, and I was afraid that if I were to yell into the abyss, there wouldn't be an echo of my own voice, but rather the responding sounds of something inhuman.
    The longer I focused looking within the dank cave, the better my eyes adjusted to the lack of lighting, and then I found what Bob saw as "wrong". Footprints littered the decrepit cavern ground, many of them coming in and out, and were in so high numbers it was as if they were part of a stampede. But they belonged to gia- "BOOOM... BOOOM..." All of our instincts kicked in when we heard those ground-shaking noises, our ears wide enough to hear a pin drop, and our eyes frantically sweeping across the craggled walls of the cave and trees out to find anything threatening. Our paranoia becomes vindicated however, when we spot the parts of some lumbering Stone Giants far out behind several trees and a few slopes. Despite their far distance to us, the Monk, Wizard and Cleric controlled by their paranoia hastily rush into the blackness of the cave for a better chance in this game of hide-and-seek game the giants were not aware they were playing.
    Fueled by my desire to see the giants and where they are, I start to talk a few attentive step across the hardened grey stone, but instead of my eyes receiving vital information, it was rather my ears: "BOOOM... BOOOM... BOOOM..." Once again, perhaps too many times in one day, adrenaline rushed and did its job of making me hyper aware, such as the sounds of my ragged breathing, and the sight of trembling feet of my comrades hiding behind me. I shut my eyelids and ignore the symphony of sounds to dissuade the adrenaline, I take in a breath, hold it, exhale, and repeat once more before gently opening my eyes to face the world once again.
    My eyes tell me that my body was correct to activate the adrenaline, as I see the same group of hulking Stone Giants ever so slowly make their way towards our cavern. Their expressions are sullen, many of their beards scraggled and scratched, many of their hairs as long as a fair maiden but treated as back-alley brawler, with a cacophony of bright red acne ungraciously placed over their already hideous faces and some pus leaking out of some pimples. Not to mention a smorgasbord smell of rabies infested rats, an outhouse and the scales of a bottom-dwelling rotting fish, all of it, emanating from the noses and breaths of the constant mouth-breathers invading all our nostrils and pillaging our lungs. I dry-heaved in a desperate attempt to get it out, but I stilled smelled the horrible concoction, even from the incredible distance from us.
    All of these horrible characteristics were multiplied by what I thought at first was four giants, but my eyes looked again, and realized there was one more  my pacing eyes ignored through the messy leaves and trees, and repeated this numerous times until there was a grand total of seven giants! "I'm pretty sure this cavern is a Giant's community home..." Obliviously whispered by Bob, what gave it away? The swathes of giant footprints walking to and fro? The sheer scale of size perfect only for something that can flatten a hamlet? The permeating similar smell coming both from within the cave and Giants?
    An advising voice comes from the wizard, but it's not his own voice, but rather his hilt which contains Ted the talking sword. "Guys, the way I see this is that we've got two options right now, we can either sweet talk them about why we're invading their humble abode, or we sacrifi-err, use somebody to distract the giants while the rest of us book it." These two options seemed to be the ultimatum, but you should never, ever underestimate our cowardice in any situation. And so, a third option was considered, escape. But in order to do this, we would still need a distraction, and that reminded me of the perfect object for this kind of situation. The rugged ashen rock was the perfect size in my palm, I trusted in it to distract the giants, and the rock trusted in me for my aim to be true. The Cleric abruptly states that it is possible to befriend the giants, while giving me a disappointed glare. Right after that, the Cleric's eyes close, face focused, his hand moves in a swift, esoteric pattern, muttering an intelligible chant. My hand suddenly disobeys my will, and refuses to throw the rock at the giants no matter how hard I swung my arm. It seems that casting sanctuary, a spell to stop creatures from willingly harming others, was put upon me as a part of the Cleric's master plan to befriend the giants, instead of harming or running away from anything that poses as a slight danger. But little did he know, I had a little big furry weapon to counter this.
    Donkey was diddling eating the grass on the edge of the cave entrance without a care in the world. But his face and body snapped instantly into one of a patriotic salute, with just a yelling whisper of DONKEY! I inhaled deeply to the point of my lungs wanting to burst out of my ribcage, but it was necessary for tirade of inspiration I was going to yell for Donkey. " DONKEH! A TERRIBLE, ARBHORRANT CONGLOMERATION OF REPUGNANT GIANTS DARE MAKE THEIR WAY TOWARDS US! DO YOU WANT TO US TO LIVE IN ORDER TO SEE US REPEL THE INVADING ARMY!?! THEN YOU MUST FIGHT WITH ALL YOUR WILL AND FULFILL YOUR DUTY I HAVE DELEGATED TO YOU! CHAAAAAAAAARGE!!!"
    An valiant aura surrounded Donkey, and his face and body matched with it. He stared down the giants as if they were ants he was disgusted by and trying to step on. The giants were now at a somewhat far, yet dangerous distance from us, and seemingly blind to our presence, but that wasn't a problem for Donkey. His mind, full of honour and a duty to fulfill, made his body prepare to charge against the hideous giants. And now, his mind only had one word. Charge. His body responds with instant obedience, turning into an instant blur dashing towards the giants, much faster than even I anticipated. But he ceases to be a grey blur when he reaches contact with the giants, instead becoming a common donkey with a face replaced with pure terror instead of valour.
    The seven Stone Giants change their positioning from a group of friends casually walking home, to surrounding Donkey on all sides! Escape was impossible, unless Donkey was able to levitate. I couldn't bear the impending loss of such a valiant pet I've had since the Citadel, and so I shut my eyes and turned away, expecting to hear the terrified screams of poor Donkey, ending with one swift bite. But the expectation I was expecting was not something I expected, I heard low-pitch distorted giggles outside the cave. I gently turned around, and faced the source of the sounds.I prepared to open my eyes, but before that I had a vision that I would see the headless corpse of beloved Donkey, surrounding by the giggling giants feasting on him. Instead, all the giants are encaptivated by Donkey, and respond to this by cuddling and nuzzling him like a mother bonding with her newborn or kitten snuggling up with its new owner. It was a cuteness overload, both for me and the giants. My own entrancement with Donkey was interrupted abruptly, by the Monk silently screaming in dread while bolting out of the cave precariously, and then proceeding to panic and hide by diving headfirst into a bush.
    After this brief oddity with the Monk, I redirect my attention towards the Giants, now at a much more alarming distance, and stumbling even closer, ignoring and stomping over any foliage and bushes. I notice all but one of the giants still holding and playing with Donkey as if he was a toy doll. Actually, Donkey was more like a toy doll than a donkey, for the fact that he was looked lifeless and limp. I couldn't tell if he was no longer with us, or if he simply fainted from the anxiety dealing with the playful brutes, and I heavily hoped it was the latter than the former. In an attempt to find out the truth whether or not Donkey has gone to a better place, I yell out towards him, "OI! Donkey, WAT-AR YE DEW-ING!" Donkey springs back into the world of the living hearing this statement, his face no longer one of dread as I saw before, now it is one of the joy of a young child having a sugar rush. He expresses his glee by looking at me with a grin and cheering "Weee!" from his voice box, which sounded like a teen trying to do a high-pitched squeal due to Donkey rarely using his voice.
    Being once again captivated by the joy Donkey is having, I fail to realize the giants' moved into close proximity with me, and one starts to grab me! His hand is of a gigantic size, his grasp held the lower two-thirds of me, and with my free arms, I push down on his finger and thumb with all of my might as if my lower half was trapped in quicksand, but he doesn't budge at all. I feel a sense of weightlessness as he begins to lift me to the height of his face. The giant's facial features are distorted and exaggerated, like looking at a child who had fully grown physically, but refused to grow mentally. His hygiene was matched his face, and was announced to me through his body odour and cavity filled mouth, his parents must have had conceived to see how ugly a child they could possibly make. I closed my eyes and tried to do the same with my nostrils to ignore the sensory invasion, hoping one quick bite would end it all, rather than suffer through another moment of humiliation. Instead of my wish being granted, my limbs are grabbed by pinching fingers, and shifted around in motions. Once my eyes are opened from curiosity, I find all the giants cheerfully smiling at the way they're manipulating me like a marionette doll, replacing the position of Donkey with me. A giant, attempts to coo me with a baby voice, stating "You smell like Donkey!" but instead sends disgusting spittle over my face and upper half, which smells like rotting half-eaten fish. All of the giants' actions have proven the opposite of brutes I expected, instead they were rather dumb, and certainly not the smartest...

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

    The glistening orange of the disappearing sunset matched the beautiful fire engulfing the blazing fort. it was a work of art. As the adrenaline from my body dissipated, I realized we have accomplished the daunting task of escaping the fort with the Arsenal to ensure the future of our kingdom. Maybe we should have a little bit of celebration on our horse-drawn carriage traveling towards Avendale.
    In all of our adventures so far, they've been pretty weird and unique, but even this time, I have been bizzared by spotting a flying pegasus. Soaring in all of its majestic flight. What I thought was the pegasus' shadow, was actually getting bigger and bigger and realized they were falling items that soon landed on my hands, revealing three items: An extremely shiny armour which seems to be made of crystal, a longsword seemingly forged with gold and a hint of dragon, and a hardy-looking explorer's garb that seems to be suitable for any kind of adventure. I felt a tingling sensation in the back of my head, and came to the conclusion that this may be a reward for me, it's as if a powerful omnipotent being has been watching and recording my adventures as well and protecting me for surely I would have died eons ago if it weren't the being. I thanked... whoever that being is, put on the shiny crystal armour, store the garb and longsword and pretend it never happened.
    We must haste to our destination, Avendale, as we have knowledge that the invading army is advancing, and if they get there first, what will surely follow is total annihilation, as they first demonstrated this at Redstone. Dragons that are part of the invading are also working towards Avendale as we spot them in the distance. Hastily, we shove our cart with all of our might off the main road and into the surrounding forest with our two horses and my donkey. We all know that dragons never sleep with two eyes closed, and are very perceptible creatures, and the one in the distance may know that we are its next meal. The only option left now, is to bolt! As we group ourselves on the two horses with the arsenal, the half-orc wizard yelled to remind us to: "Never split up!". I start to remember all of the unfortunate events of splitting up, and decide not to split up. But what can we do? Especially after the half-orc wizard yelled. We take the chance of hiding, ditch our cart behind, and sneak even deeper and deeper, into the dense green forest.
    Our instincts to choose the hiding option were life saving, as the blur of a dragon flying at its maximum speed, with I think something, or someone riding it luckily buzzed by, not even detecting or glancing at us. We're still traveling to Avendale by the main road, though quite aways from it as we're in the green tone of the surrounding forest. Suddenly, both the Monk and Hunter look down at the brown soil ground that is covered with the fallen leaves of the trees towering over us, and then spread their arms to prevent us from moving any further. They turn around, with their faces plastered with fear, panic, anxiety and like they just crapped their pants. Simultaneously, both whisper, "Owlbear..."
    Those mere words are enough to make our entire group shudder, even I particularly paid attention in class back in the citadel. Owlbears are capable and willing to ruin you and everybody's day. They are savage, bloodthirsty monsters that attack anything without provocation, and physically hardwired to have a pathological need to literally kill and attack everybody. It would be pretty cool to have one as a pet though.
    I heard everybody's movements, mine included, stop at the sound of the owlbear's threatening growl. The only movements are now of the forest, and the Owlbear, but it doesn't last for long when everyone starts to enact their plan to escape. The monk and the thief leap as quickly as they can onto one horse, and me and the hunter do the same as well to the other horse. I think about how the others would escape from the horror called Owlbear, but really only care about my self. But of course, with the half-orc wizard's magic, he and cleric start to float above the ground higher and higher until they start to touch the highest branches of the trees, I hope owlbears can't jump... It seems that Oreo, the only one who doesn't have a plan, in frantic frenzy, starts to climb the nearest tree with a speed I've never seen in him, I hope owlbears can't climb...
    It felt like all of these actions took forever to do from my view, but it has probably been only five seconds, and the Owlbear has run out of patience. The Owlbear charges, its brown paws violently shaking the ground and us every time it stomps forward, its body leaning to run faster than I can yell "OWLBEAR!", and its hideous face contorted into one of pure sadistic joy. Everyone is in a frenzied panic to escape, but Oreo is the most terrified since he lost his grip on a branch, and started tumbling out with the grace of a fish out of water. There is a sickening crack as he lands directly on his head, but it doesn't phase him at all, climbing with renewed energy until the very top of the tree. Even though he's temporarily safe from the owlbear, he has a terrified face. He looks down at us and whispers loudly that there is a dragon coming, but it is going to be a while until it comes. That fact does not calm me at all, now we have to deal with a savage Owlbear AND a dragon!
    Unexpectedly, the hunter, saddled in front of me asked for some of my oil. Despite my confusion, I oblige and hand it over, I become even more perplexed when he proceeds to pour all of it onto the bush below Oreo's tree and proceeds to set it on fire by the sparks of my flint and steel, which I have finally noticed he took without my permission. The bush immediately goes up in flames, an beautiful orange inferno erupts as the bush shrinks and shrinks, and the thick grey smoke rises higher than the height of Oreo. I think there are only two possible reasons why the hunter set the bush on fire, one, the flames and the smoke would be scary enough to deter the owlbear from climbing Oreo's tree, or two, the hunter wants smoked Oreo.
    With all of this pandemonium, it was expected that some of us would put a palm to their face and go to avoid embarrassment, and it was the monk and the thief, together on the horse they started to gallop away, yelling that we'll all meet at Redstone. It was at the perfect moment however, for the Owlbear leaps off its four limbs in a mad frenzied dash towards Oreo, the cleric and wizard with a bellowing roar that had angry little bits of spittle coming out his teeth ready to sink into anyone of them without warning.
    In a desperate attempt to save my friends from becoming the owlbear's next plaything I look towards the mossy ground and spot a grey, course fist-sized rock that has seen its fair share of being thrown. With great haste, the rock was immediately relocated from the ground to my palm, and relocated even quicker from my palm to the torso of the owlbear with a hurl of my arm. The rock harmlessly rolls off the jiggling thick brown fur of the owlbear. The owlbear stops in its tracks for a moment, slowly turning its head towards me, its something I regret looking at. Its face has wide bloodshot eyes staring at me that have seen the deaths of hundreds of creatures, a twitching black nose fuming steam that has a fetish for freshly killed meat, and the sharp, serrated teeth shown through the mouth in a position of acrimony. Nope, nope and nope, I paid the price of momentarily preventing my friends mauling by being intimidated and losing my dignity...
    But the act of tossing the rock at the owlbear was not in vain, as the wizard and cleric have slowly elevated towards the evening sky as high as the treetops, it was hard to tell though, as the leaves far up the trees casting silhouette contrasted with the garish tangerine sun. Abruptly, all of the others, and myself, quickly stop focusing on our surroundings when we hear the unmistakable sounds; WHOOOSH....WHOOOSH...WHOOOSH. A dragon. Really close. Whelp. I swear, I could feel the rushing air ruffle everything in sight, the leaves, my hair, and even the owlbear, who seems oddly uncaring about the precarious situation. We all wait for the next WHOOOSH, but it never comes, I sigh, due to relief, and also because I held my breath for quite a while.
    It is calm for only a very short moment however, as I hear some less-than-polite swear words, the ruffling of leaves and the snapping of several branches. I glance up, and glance quickly down as the cleric falls uncharismatically, landing hard and spreading leaves everywhere. The cleric has a panicked look on his face, realizing that he must follow the laws of gravity, and the fact the owlbear is on the ground too. But the attention of the owlbear is shifted quickly to Oreo, I spot him midway on a tree, focusing on a different tree, and preparing to jump. He hastily jumps, for Oreo fears that the owlbear would catch him midair, Oreo claws and hugs the tree as if it was his missing father.
    Remembering our original plan to quietly retreat, the hunter and me stealthily move away from the owlbear, making great care to not step on any of the twigs and rocks that litter the ground. The hunter also asks me to borrow one of my trusty rocks, I gladly hand one to him without hesitation, to be without a rock is to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. After it feels like we're out of the owlbear's field of perception, we bolt it and run faster than man who has the runs. I turn my head for moment to look at the owlbear one last time, the owlbear does too, with an angry scowl, directed both at me and the cleric, desperately trying to float up faster, but now it takes its attention to a much closer target, Oreo.
    As we run further and further from the furry monstrosity, I spot Donkey, as loyal as ever staying in the spot where we left him since we encountered the owlbear. Donkey greated me with a saluting ugly-but-endearing face... If it was possible for him to salute, it matched well with his grizzled grey fur with some tufts sticking out, showing how battle-hardened and devoted he was to me. I know that his ardent allegiance to me will be the greatest weapon I will ever wield, and so I command him: "Go forth Donkey! Go and fight the owlbear with vim, vigor and valour! Fight, kick, roar and bite with no mercy and leave him covered in his own blood and tears! You must go with courage! You must do it for your loyalty! You must do it for me! GO!!!".
    My relentless speech filled Donkey to the brim with courage and a seething fury to destroy the owlbear with his bare hooves. He charges faster than someone terrified by an owlbear right towards the same owlbear. The owlbear takes a curious glance at Donkey and immediately laughs a hearty laugh with its deep vocal cords. This does not deter Donkey at all and is still just as determined to dominate the owlbear charges, as Donkey makes contact with the owlbear, he just bounces off the fur, doing absolutely no harm whatsoever to the owlbear. As Donkey is dazzled from headbutting the immovable creature, the owlbear proceeds to sit on Donkey, squeezing the poor daylights out him, while laughing like a crazed owlbear. But the owlbear isn't too cruel, since he starts to pet Donkey on the head like it's his own "pet"...
    As we move a little bit further ahead, we spot the monk and the thief stopped on their horse, with the Arsenal secure in the horse's cargo carrier. When we immediately reach them, the monk proceeds to take the Arsenal and shove it to the hunter who is surprised to be suddenly carrying such a powerful box. Right after that, both of them leap off the horse, and the thief slaps the horse's arse, spooking it and making it gallop away, much to our confusion.
    All four of us turn our heads up towards the sky as we hear the screaming voice that belongs to Ted, the magical sword. Ted's tone of voice sounds disappointed, like a mother lecturing a disobedient son. The contents of Ted's lecture are calling the wizard such a coward for leaving his friends to fend themselves off a ravenous owlbear by just floating away and looking like a moron doing so. The wizard bursts into tears and starts to fly back towards us, showing Ted's powerful words that could move mountains.
    Except for Oreo, who is currently in a tree while the owlbear focuses of him, all of us gather to unite our forces and decide what to do. It seems obvious that if we all ran away, the owlbear would would hunt us down and snap us as if we were weak little twigs. However, if all of us puny anemic twigs were to bundle together as one big stick, then the owlbear will never break us! We will combine forces and take down the terrorizing owlbear once and for all!
    While we were trying to hype ourselves up and rally together to take down an insurmountable owlbear, we pause of our chanting to take a glance at Oreo, still glued to the tree as if his life depended on it, actually, it DID depend on his life how glued to the tree he was. He quickly lets go of the tree from his hands, twisting around to face another tall tree, and hastily pushing off the current tree with his feet. Leaping towards the targeted tree with his eyes closed, he does not spot the branch headed on a straight to his head, immediately his face meets the fury of a small branch, his face red with scratches. But this does not stop him from hugging his tree target, unfortunately, the hugging is not enough, as Oreo slowly slides down the tree, ripping bark off and making loud scratching noises, eventually touching ground. The owlbear's interest in Oreo is quickly piqued, as it turns to face him and move closer, less than a ten-feet gap between them.
    The owlbear's front end leans closer to the ground, bending its front legs, before pushing them off the ground lightning fast. It's stature changed from that of a regular (but still terrifying) owlbear to a humongous towering 9-foot tall savage animal of pure seething hatred staring right at Oreo. Even at the far distance I'm currently at, I feel as if the owlbear has eyes at the back of its head, ready to turn and charge at a moment's notice. The owlbear however, is much more focused on Oreo, its eyes piercing at Oreo who is desperately trying not to make eye contact with the owlbear, instead finding refuge by staring at the ground, out of sight therefore out of mind.
    "ATTAAAAAAAAACK!" a loud voice that is Ted screams We all turn to face the wizard to see what Ted has to say, but it is too late, as the talking sword has already leaped of the wizard's sheath, landing between the gap of the owlbear and Oreo in a whiplash. Ted stands valiantly straight, facing the owlbear without a hint of fear, ready to make owlbear shish-kabob. "Ted?" a grainy low voice asks, all of us look around to identify who said it, since it was not any of us questioning Ted. It all dawns at us as we all look at the owlbear one by one, its face not one of savage anger anymore, but one of confusion. "Bob?" responds Ted to the owlbear, whos ears peak and eyes raise after hearing the name.
    As the owlbear apparently named "Bob" is distracted by Ted's recognition of it, we all take the opportunity to crouch down to the foliage and sneak back towards Oreo in a seemingly futile attempt to save him. The monk however, so focused on the situation of the owlbear and Ted goes right into the middle of a bush by surprise. It wouldn't have been much of a problem- except for the hundreds of mosquitoes who made it the bush their home. They all angrily buzz and hungry for fresh blood, go after the monk and make her scream in terror for a brief bit.
    "Ted! What're you doing here?" a hoarse questioning yet non-threatening voice from the owlbear asks to Ted. The sword responds cheerfully-"I've been adventuring with these adventurers! And you should also greet them too!" All of us weren't too excited to introduce ourselves to a standing 9-foot tall owlbear and so our faces were of worried smiling."Oh, right! I'll make things a bit better for you guys!" Bob states, sincerely apologizing. Things become a lot more freaky when the owlbear somehow drops something it had in its paw to the ground. In an instant, the owlbear is shrouded in a cloud of grey smoke, obscuring the figure of the owlbear and everything around it. Coughing noises reach our ears from the smoke, but it did not sound like one of an animal such as a cat vomiting a hairball, but more human. A hand starts to appear out of the smoke, waving around to dissipate all of the lingering smoke. None of us believe our eyes when we see a man with a five o' clock shadow smirks back at us. His big black cloak and body, which seems to be a bit more on the heftier side due to a somewhat protruding belly gives me the impression for a bit that he was the kind of person to be in their mother's basement.
    "Shh, shh. The name's Bob, but we have to be quiet, a dragon is patrolling this forest, which is attracted to magical items..." We all look at the Arsenal, it's probably the world's most dense location of magical items..."That big chest of magical stuff is really not helping... But anyways, we'll need to distract it." Distract it? we booked it dealing with Bob, how in the world are we going to distract a dragon?!?