The rain was petering out as her kin made their way out of the cave system. The storm had been the largest and most violent she’d seen in her lifetime and no doubt they’d have suffered some damage to the village. A few guttural moans floated through the air as a cousin pointed to a clump of tangled, broken foliage. The mangled bodies of a half dozen ferals lay strewn around, making their strange jerky movements with bodies too broken to ever heal. A few kin made their way over carefully and put them out of their misery.
“Kimora, scout out the hunting grounds and let us know what state they’re in. If there are a lot of dead crawlers we’ll have to move fast to preserve them. We’ll head back to the village and assess the damage there.” her father called over to her before turning to issue directions to the rest of the clan. She nodded and set off, slipping silently into the forest, and listening carefully for any active ferals or other dangers that may be lurking.
Undertake Expedition [Weak Hit: 2 + 2 + 0 = 4 vs 7 | 1]
[Mark Progress: Travel to the hunting grounds :3 boxes]
Progress was slow, the ground littered with broken branches and the wreckage from the storm. Many of the older trees, no longer as flexible as they once were, had been destroyed completely. She reached out to touch the fallen corpse of one of them and felt a wave of sadness flow through her as she stroked the spongy exposed core. She took comfort in the knowledge of the new growth that would spring up from the decay of these once mighty elders, but the forest would take a long time to recover after such desolation.
Undertake Expedition [Weak Hit: 6 + 2 + 0 = 8 vs 8 | 7]
[Mark Progress: Travel to the hunting grounds:6 boxes]
The way is blocked, raise the rank of the journey
The stream had been turned into a raging river with the deluge. Normally shallow and fordable at numerous points there was no way across it now. It could be days before the stormwater subsided enough to cross. Gritting her teeth in frustration she squinted downstream. She would have to detour to the rope bridge over the gorge further along and hope the storm hadn’t brought it down.
Undertake Expedition [Miss: 1 + 2 + 0 = 3 vs 5 | 7]
Delay or disadvantage, increase the difficulty
She stared across the narrow gorge and the roaring river below. Loose strands of the bridge slapped wetly against the sides in the gentle breeze. The storm had shredded the bridge, dashing any hopes of crossing here. She would have to turn back and head back upstream, see if it was more fordable further up. She should head back and report what she’d found so far to her kin, but a stubborn streak in her drove her to find a way across. She would have to hurry, if she took too long she’d lose the light.
Undertake Expedition [Weak Hit: 5 + 1 + 0 = 6 vs 2 | 8]
[Mark Progress: Travel to the hunting grounds:7 boxes]
In her haste, she abandoned her usual caution and while striding quickly along the bank of the river she was startled by a wail that tore from the forest as a feral burst from the undergrowth and sprinted towards her, an expression of primal fury on its flake-fleshed face.
Enter Fray [Weak Hit: 6 + 1 + 0 = 7 vs 4 | 10]
She reacted quickly, leaping out of the way just as the rangy figure barreled into the spot where she had just been standing. It tumbled forward before scrabbling back to its feet and rounding on her, giving her just enough time to pull her bow from its case at her side and draw an arrow.
Strike [Weak Hit: 3 + 1 + 2 = 6 vs 10 | 2]
[Mark Progress: Fight feral:6 boxes]
The arrow flew true and struck the monster in the shoulder, staggering it slightly, but it only snarled and surged forward, its claw-like hands outstretched.
Clash [Weak Hit: 6 + 1 + 0 = 7 vs 9 | 6]
[Mark Progress: Fight feral:9 boxes]
The beast leapt at her as she swung her stout bow in an arc, connecting with its skull and snapping its head around, but still, it piled atop her, its filthy nails tearing into her flesh and trapping her under its weight.
She struggled against the writhing mass, its foetid breath filling her nostrils as it tried to gnash at her with its rotten teeth. Cold terror surged through her veins as she found herself unable to shift it off her, able only to fend off its blows and push its head and clashing teeth away.
React [Weak Hit: 1 + 3 + 0 = 4 vs 3 | 6]
As they fought and wrestled in the dirt her scrambling foot found purchase against a rock and screaming with fear, she summoned all her strength to push off against it, giving her enough leverage to shove free of the writhing terror.
She scrambled to her feet and made to run away but the beast was on her again, leaping onto her back and rearing its head back to bite into her neck.
[Progress Roll: Fight feral: Strong Hit = 9 vs 7 | 7]
With a roar she threw her head back violently, smashing the back of her skull into the gaping mouth with such force that it loosened its hold on her momentarily. She pushed herself free again, turning and shoving it as hard as she could. Already unbalanced, it tumbled backwards in a snarling heap and she took a swift step forward before swinging her foot in a powerful kick hard into its face. Screaming she kept kicking, again and again until her foot was numb with the pain, but the beast lay still, unmoving, dead. She stumbled backwards and fell to her knees in the dirt, gasping in huge lungfuls of air as tears streaked down her face. It took her several long moments to catch her breath and regain her composure. She got up, gathered up her bow and cleaned her wounds at the edge of the water. They didn’t seem too severe and she wrapped them in as clean a rag as she could find in her pack and setting her sights on the gentle rising hills before her, trudged on, keeping careful watch for other dangers while a voice in her head kept telling her she should really go back, no one would think any less of her, in fact, they’d be more upset if she didn’t go back after all that had happened.
She walked on upstream.
[Progress Roll: Travel to the hunting grounds: Weak Hit = 7 vs 4 | 8]
Oracle: Evade, Health
It took some time, but she found a crossing where some fallen trees formed enough of a bridge that she could shuffle across. Once over the watercourse, her progress was faster and she soon reached the outcropping that overlooked the meadows and glens with their numerous scattered crawler colonies. Looking over them, the storm damage seemed minimal, sheltered as they were in the lee of a number of steep hills the storm had seemed to wash around them. Dark shapes scuttled across the green land with their jerky, crawling gait, gathering up lichens and mosses to bring back to the colonies.
Satisfied all was well and there was no great urgency, she lay down on the soft, mossy ground and enjoyed the sensation of the gentle breeze playing against her skin. She could feel her body already starting to heal and pulled her bandages off to see the scaly white tendrils had covered the wound and begun to mend it. She felt a great drowsiness steal over her as it redirected her energies towards healing now that she had allowed her body to relax. It wasn’t long before she was in a deep slumber.