The Hopes of Karenguuld

Chapter I: Part II - The Battle of the Pegasi

As the heroes approach the location of the animal trainer, they begin to see a number of billboards and advertisements. “Pet a Pegausus! Hug a Hyppogryph!” It seems like they are approaching a very commercialized stable.

They find the location, nestled in the foot of a large hill. As they approach, a tiny goblin exits the nearby tents. “Hello, I’m your animal technician, Morc. Here to hug a hyppogryph?” he asks, while keeping his gaze fixed upon the heroes’ coin purses. When Katsako asks the price, he quickly declares, “Platinum apiece and I’ll let you pet one.” Although the heroes attempt to negotiate the exorbitant price, invoking their new nobility status, yet they seem to get nowhere with the greedy goblin. Soon, his even tinier assistant, Mirc, comes out of the tent to observe the commotion. The negotiations begin to escalate into an argument as Morc demands that the only alternate form of payment is the heroes’ fine magic weapons. Even when the heroes begin to consider walking away, the greedy goblins, with eyes now glowing with greed, demand that they leave their weapons, or they will be removed from them. When the heroes question how two goblins will overwhelm the five of them, they scoff and say, “Well, we’ll just have to call our friend Mimzy.” Eventually the two goblins draw knives on the heroes, and Morc yells, “Oh MIMMMMMZZZYYYY!” The heroes hear a low rumble in the hillside as the goblins leap to attack them…

As the heroes begin to counter the tiny goblin’s leap, three gigantic owl bears come running down the hillside. Shortly after the commotion begins, two gigantic spiders, also Morc’s pets, appear on the hillside and begin to lob arcs of poison onto the heroes from above. A valiant battle ensues, and eventually our heroes prevail. Baracus is able to sufficiently scare Morc to cower, at which one owl bear looks confused and darts off into the woods. Corvus bravely sprouts wings and soars up onto the hillside to wipe out the spiders. Kheldar is able to whisper into Mirc’s mind and cause him to attack his own master. After which Artemis smashes him.

The heroes are able to overwhelm Morc’s forces, and they began to search around the campsite. They find an old withered goblin, Marc, who looks terrified. Katsako feels the familiar urge to devour the goblin, but is able to hold off and shows mercy to this old fool. He is eager to help, in hopes they won’t decide to eat him after all. He gives the heroes an ancient map from his childhood that shows the Isle of Udacha. The interior of the island is shaded black with a skull and crossbones. The heroes realize they are likely to find a fight on the island.

The heroes then enter the stables, with numerous pegasi and hyppogryphs. Fully unaware of how to control these beasts (and having killed their masters) it is up to them to earn the animals trust. Katsako is the first two approach. He nears the wildest looking pegasus and, using his knowledge of the wild, he is able to approach the beast without drawing its ire and deftly leaps upon it. Soon he is soaring around the stables on his new steed. Corvus is able to use his knowledge of hyppogryphs to spring on one as well. Artemis approaches the largest of the beasts and stares it down. Although puffing himself up, the pegasus eventually backs down and allows Artemis to climb on. Baracus begins to beat his war drum, and eventually one pegasus begins to nod off in a hypnotic trance. After accepting a gift of food, the mesmerized beast allows the bard to climb aboard. Kheldar then tries to perform a historic dance the ancients once used to control flying beasts. However, his pegasus scoffs at him and turns away. He is able to approach the beast eventually, but the party wonders whether or not the beast really respects him.

And with that, the brave heroes soar off into the sunset, hoping to find the island and knowing that more mystery than certainty awaits them…

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