The Land was green as far as the eye could see. Not the verdant hue of nature in balance. This was because literally, everything was green. Rocks, lakes, rivers, mountains, and wildlife. Additionally, this green was a color that should not exist. Which, given that it was a result of the incursion of countless Abominations, made sense.
This is a very roundabout way of informing you that Aerus the Elven Griffin-Rider and Xorp, the Goblin Bard were in grave danger. Not just because of the countless Abominations, but because they had in fact, discovered the location of the rift that was currently spewing these Outer Plane monsters. However, being pursued by a flock of Winged-Jaws made it a good news worse news sort of moment.
“Are they retreating?” asked Aerus, who was searching for an escape route.
“’Fraid not,” replied Xorp, “If anyting, dey seem ta be getting’ even closah.”
“It is a shame that the weather is wonderful today,” observed the Griffin-Rider.
“Not sure why dats germane.”
“If there were clouds, we might be able to escape into them.”
“Huh, dat would be helpful.”
“That it would.”
Just then Windfire, the Griffin, caught a thermal and gained altitude. They were now a little further away but the Abominations did not give up. For the visual, a Winged-Jaw looks exactly like you think it would. A mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth with bat-like wings on the side. While they appear to have no digestive system, that in no way prevents them from devouring anybody who has the misfortune of crossing their path. Also, they chatter away in some language that cannot be understood but whose only purpose is to make one’s skin crawl. Or so I would guess.
“I have a plan,” said Aerus.
“We approach the Grim Mountains, which contain the Unmappable Caverns. If we can make it to them, it is possible that we might escape.”
“Ain’t dat da cave wot swallows up adventurers loik candy?”
“The very same.”
“No offense, but dat dun’t seem loik an optimal plan.”
“I did not say it was. Only that it was a plan.”
“And I cannot take offense, given the low quality of this plan. It was the best I could come up with given our current predicament.”
“Sumthins’ better dan nutttin’,” replied the Goblin Bard, “Lemme see iffin’ Oy can ‘elp out a bit.”
With that, Xorp turned around in his saddle. Not a move I’d recommend for beginners, but he had been riding for a while and was very agile. Taking out his flute, he began to play a well-known Goblin power ballad, Toiny ‘n Moighty. It wasn’t quite the same without the accompanying vocals, but his skill with woodwind instruments was masterful. So much, it caused the Winged-Jaws to go mad with rage. Abominations hate the lively arts with a passion which given their high levels of rage, is saying something.
This solo performance caused the Winged-Jaws in the front of the pack to consume each other in a feeding frenzy usually reserved for sharks and Halflings who have missed a meal. It did give our heroes the edge to enter the Grim Mountain rage. The flight through those craggy peaks and valleys was both terrifying and exhilarating. If they made it out, Xorp would write a song that would ensure that both of them would never have to pay for a drink again. Which is a big if.
After much aerial derring-do, they came to Mount Unapproachable. The highest part of the Grim Mountains which is where the Unmappable Caverns were. In their haste, they failed to notice one crucial detail. Mount Unapproachable was devoid of Abomination infestation.
Zooming in, they zigged and zagged to find a suitable place to hide. Aerus whispered a few words and Windfire’s tact began to glow with a golden light. This is a minor spell that all Elves can cast, which is ironic because they see exceptionally well in darkness.
Finally, they found a smaller cave within this larger cave. Stopping, they dismounted and rested. Aerus fed Windfire a stoat from his saddle bag and stroked his feathers.
“We can leave dis ‘er cavern.”
“I cannot say, but at least we may take our rest for the moment.”
“Oy suppose yer roight.”
Xorp noticed a frown on the face of his friend.
“Oy! Tings ain’t dat bad.”
“I hope you are right, but I find myself filled with regret this hour.”
“’Bout how we’re stuck in dis here cave wit so many Abominations lookin’ ta gobble us up loik an all ya can eat buffet?”
“Yes, that as well. But it grieves me that we will likely not get to go to an Orc-Ball game together as had sworn to.
“Dat does seem unloikly, dunnit.”
With that, they both sat in silence with the only sound being the occasional drip of stalactites. It was difficult to say how much time had passed. Finally, Aerus spoke.
“If it comes to it, Windfire and I will draw them away. Then you may escape and return with the location of the rift.”
“It is, as you said before, not optimal. But it will allow others to end this invasion.”
“Roight, roight. ‘Cept, it should be me wot does da drawin’ away. You can fly der quicker Oy can run.”
“I cannot ask you to do this.”
“Yer not. Oy’m volunteerin’.”
“In truth, it would grieve ruinously to send you to a certain death.”
“Oy feel da same!”
“You are a noble soul, my friend.”
“Yer ain’t to bad yerself!”
“Perhaps fortune will favor us this day.”
Now as anyone should know, saying “Maybe we’ll be lucky” is a surefire way to get some luck. Usually bad luck. This day was no different. As soon as the words left her lips, the distinctive sound of the Winged-Jaws could be heard. Faintly at first, but growing ever louder.
Aerus drew her sword and Xorp his flute and they prepared for a very, very unpleasant death. With a cacophony of evil screeching, the Winged-Jaws exploded into the cavern. They would fill every cranny and nook in a matter of moments. Then this happened.
From deeper in the mountain erupted an enormous gout of fire which lasted long enough to incinerate the Winged-Jaws, leaving an excess of ash and an exceedingly unpleasant odor.
Xorp and Aerus looked at each other as if to say, “WTF?”
Out of the darkness emerged the great, ancient red dragon Desimatix, resplendently chased in gold and gems. Turning a gimlet eye to the pair, he stated in a sonorous voice that strongly suggested that nonsense would not be tolerated and would be dealt with in a fiery manner.
“I. Have. Questions.”