Skan and I started our hunt today. The first place the second beetle stopped on the map was just a few paces out into the woods, so that's where we decided to go first, just to see if they left clues behind.
This is the first time that I've put on all of my hunting equipment since Skan picked us up. I was reluctant at first...Images of an old life. But it's that old life that's going to help me get him back. So I put on my black outfit, my boots, and strapped on my old, trusty swords. Both of them...Yes. I need to do this. I tucked the knives away, hid other miscellaneous gear, and stepped out into the living room to wait for Skan.
Oh, my god. The woman looks JUST like me, except in camo with a shotgun instead of swords. Well. All right then, let's do this.
We had also packed several pouches of rue, just in case we ran into the Rake. This is the first time in a while either of us had gone past the wards, and with the clawed one's recent feverish activity..Both of us are pretty paranoid people, which as an aside got me to thinking...What if we made a device that shot rue oil or something like it at the Rake...Sort of a destructive anti-Rake water gun apparatus? Hmm. Might have to consider that for later. When I have him back. Have to get him back.
The air changed on the other side of the wards...Out in the woods, things felt...oppressive. I think Skan felt it too. She looked as nervous as I did, if not more. We started in a clockwise direction and began a circuit of the house, eyes on the trees and the ground, searching for anything out of place. But the area seemed....It seemed TOO perfectly placed. No broken sticks, claw marks, displaced leaves, nothing.
Nothing until 4pm. That's when we stumbled across Hypnos' abandoned camp. It surprised me, actually. From the tracks and the layout lines, the camp was laid out in a typical military style, wasting no space..They had defenses set up as well. Stands in the trees, hidden holes..Did these people actually think we were going to attack them? Heh, I'm flattered Hypnos. Really, I am. I would have loved to.
And....wards? So that is how they kept the Rake at bay. They seemed to copy a lot of Skan's wardings, which slightly amused her, I think. They even hung up a few of our painted rock wards from the catapult after the assault. How touching. As we moved through the camp, Skan noticed a tent depression off in the far corner, barely inside the wards. The area bore little resemblance to the rest of the camp..Broken limbs, scratches in the trees, holes in the ground... And a hastily buried piece of rope with a washer attached to the end. One from his necklace...So this is where they held him.
Oh shit. Is that...moving in the trees? Fuck it, we've been out too long. The Rake found us. Skan and I booked it back to the house, but it didn't seem interested in trying to rip our throats out this time. It was more like...Well, you know how a shepherd dog runs cattle? Like that. Strange. Discomforting, too, in a way.
The next spot on the map is a small town to the east. Skan says we can take a day or two trip with the car and check it out in a couple days.