- Episode 19 -
Awaiting Thatch and Cobble deep in the forest stood Lady Adriana proud and majestic. Surrounding her there was a pack of no less than six strange beasts that looked to be restless and ready to obey her command. They were something unknown to Thatch or Cobble but their own primal instinct told them immediately to fear them as sure as any predator is a source of terror to it's prey.
The beasts resembled something akin to a massive wolf almost as much as it did a hulking cat. Their eyes seemed to shine a reflection of the diffused forest light as they paced back and forth without taking their gaze from the approaching pair. While Thatch looked to the Lady as a he tried to riddle out what was going on Cobble settled for keeping his attention on claws and jaws.
Lady Adriana took pleasure in the fear presented before her. Everyone prioritizes threats differently she supposed, and it always amused her at how different people did so. A dark power shivered to life within her and she let it work it's way into her voice before she spoke. "Report, you worthless worms!" She gave the command with a voice that sounded like steel being honed. It carried to Thatch and Cobble's ears and she grinned with a certain sinister satisfaction as she watched her own subtle magic take hold.
For a split second Thatch had been only thinking of The Baron, and then this mysterious Lady was standing before him. He couldn't help but feel like he was missing something but as she spoke he felt compelled to answer her. It seemed so very important. There was something vital he had to tell the Baron, they had found the key! And yet somehow all he could think of was he had to tell this Lady, all of a sudden it was she whom he feared.
Before either of them knew what they were doing they both gave Lady Adriana a detailed report of how they had found the Key. Especially making sure to punctuate the discovery with the fact of how it had been used to expedite their escape. While they spoke Lady Adriana watched with the gaze of a night hawk that never wavered from them. Had she even blinked? Thatch wondered but quickly discarded the notion.
"You and my pets will strike them at dawn," the Lady declared icily. "When the sun rises in the sky you will attack, but make no mistake; you are only to harass them. I don't want them killed - yet. You're only to speed them on their way, I will follow them to what we seek and deal with them personally."
In a swirl of ghostly flames of blues, blacks and purples the Lady shifted and spun to take on the form of a vicious bird like creature. As it flexed it's wings it turned to regard Thatch and Cobble with the eyes of a ruthless hunter. "Understood?" it asked in a inhuman mimicry of speech.
Thatch and Cobble both gulped down a deep understanding of what might await them if the didn't agree and nodded. And with that she took flight off into the trees leaving the two to look around them at the strange creatures that they just now realized they would be spending the night in the company of. A second round of shudders and gulps was certainly in order.