"There is good mixed with the bad," said Telenstil.
"No, it is true. We came to hurt Nosnra, and that we have done," said Telenstil. "We have done much."
"We need to do more," the ranger spoke up. "If those giants have gone for help, and I am sure they have, we should stop them."
"They may just be scouts in search of us," said Harold. "Let's confound them. Let's be gone and not let them find us."
"We can't take the chance. They may just be looking for us, but if not..." said the ranger shaking his head, "but I do know that they are passing by us and quick. Telenstil..."
The elf held up his hand for silence but paused for only a moment, looking out over the cliff's edge. "I think we have strength enough. We will strike again. Harald, you and I will go."
"Just us?" asked the ranger.
"We will need to make haste," said Telenstil. "The others can set off in search of a better camp while we hunt down at least one of these giants."
"Telenstil, this is foolishness," Ivo shook his head. "We need Harald to guide us, and these are giants, the two of you will be hard pressed against them."
"Every moment takes them further from us." the ranger said impatiently.
"Good," burst out the thief.
"How will you overtake them?" asked Ivo.
"That is why only Harald and I will be pursuing them," said Telenstil. "Harald, we will be flying once again."
"Ha," the thief laughed out and looked up at the ranger. "Still want to go chasing giants?"
The ranger looked grim, but still determined.
"Then cast the spell," said Harald.
"Ivo, search out a place at least more defensible than here. Let Harold scout ahead, he has a good eye, even in these wild lands," said Telenstil.
"How will you find us?" Ivo asked.
"Take this," Telenstil took an amulet he wore around his neck, green stones set in silver, shaped like an elven horse, and handed it to the gnome. "This I can always find."
"What goes on here?" Talberth called to them. He left Gytha and Ghibelline preparing Jalal's body to be carried in a cloak and joined the others at the cliff's edge.
"Telenstil is running off to chase giants," the thief told him in a disgusted tone.
"What?" Talberth exclaimed with alarm.
"It is not so dire as our thief makes it sound," laughed Telenstil. "Harald and I will take great care and will return as soon as may be. Talberth, keep your eye on the orcs. Ivo will lead while I am gone. Harold, you scout ahead. Ask Ghibelline to help you, but do not let him tax himself to greatly. Now all is said, set off, find a good camp and we will join you there."
"What!" Talberth said again.
Telenstil brought forth the orb he had used the day before. He drew breath and blew upon its surface, quietly letting the word of power, "Xsurjere", escape his lips. The orb began to glow, and gleaming with a white radiance floated upon the air. The ranger reached out and grabbed the orb, Telenstil did the same.
"Xsurjere-sublem!" he cried, and they rose into the air as if a rope that none could see pulled them up with haste into the sky. "Kon-istare!" Telenstil called out as the floated high above the ledge where their companions stood. "Which way?" he asked the ranger.
Still gripping the orb with whitened fingers, his hand clenched like a vise, and his jaw as well, Harald pointed to the north-east with his free hand.
"Good, Vol-atel!" the elf called out and the pair took flight, two wingless birds, their hands locked on the glowing orb, sailing across the sky.
The land below them was passing in a blur. It took only a few moments to reach the valley where Harald had seen the three giants. "Can you slow us down!" the ranger shouted out.
"Elente-senzim!" Telenstil called and they began to slow. "Klaudere," he said and they halted in mid-air.
Harald gulped, terrified at their magic flight. He found that floating motionless high above the ground was worse. "Thhheerree!" he stammered. "Down there," Harald pointed to the valley floor far below, as he managed to control his voice, but had to shout; there was a wind that struck them and swept their words away.
"You have good eyes," shouted Telenstil.
"Good Eyes!" Telenstil shouted again. "Which Way!"
Harald held up two fingers and pointed to the north where a small stream flowed through the center of the valley, then held up a single finger and pointed to the north-east. A beaten trail could be seen, even from the height at which they hovered. It ran along a hillside and up, then over its top, disappearing out of sight down the far side of the hill. Telenstil pointed to the north and Harald nodded in agreement.
"Vo-aire," the elf shouted and they were sweeping toward the north, fast as a hawk again.
* * *
"You two, pick up this chain," Talberth told the pair of orcs. Boss scowled and Meatstealer looked toward his leader before bending to lift the black metal links.
"That one has the death magic," said Meatstealer. Boss grunted and hung his end of the heavy chain across his shoulder. His handful of followers bore the body of the human who had used the flaming sword, the orc leader would have given the chain to them if he could, but the squirming man took all six orcs to control.
"First chance, then we go," said Boss.
"We live, escape from giants," Meatstealer said. "These humans, they powerful."
"Stinking elves," muttered Boss, "slave to giants, now slave to elves."
Meatstealer just shrugged, he had served his orcish chief, the ogres and giants of the hall, at least these elves did not use the whip.
* * *
Harold walked with Ivo as they left the camp. Behind them the others were all loaded down with the bodies of the scout and dead Jalal. Only the small orc, Little Rat, was left free of heavy burdens. He kept pace with the halfling and the gnome. The pathway before them was not steep. It must have seemed no more than a narrow ledge to the giants, but the party found it a wide and easy trail. It took them along the south-side of the hill, rising up and to the east then switching back upon itself. Their going was slow. Never strong, Talberth tired easily, and Ghibelline's strength came from his will, his body was worn out. The orcs would gladly have slung both the chain and the scout over the edge of the cliff, but they carried them with care due to the dread in which they held the mage.
"I'm going to scout ahead," Harold said to Ivo.
"Be careful, these are not the streets of Greyhawk," Ivo told him.
"I've been outside the city walls before," replied Harold, "but I'll take care."
Ivo shook his head as the thief ran off. They'd lost their scouts and their ranger guide. He gave a shout as the small orc chased after, "Hey! Stop! Where do you go!"
"I go help," the little orc called back.