Shredder VI

The Rangers had been organized to serve as protectors of the boundary which encircled the dead lands.  Their task was not to keep beasts inside the dying wastes, that was a pleasant side effect of the nearly impenetrable wall of fog.  The charge of the Rangers was to insure that no one from the living lands wandered into the darker regions of the area.  Keeping the unknowing commoners safe was normally not a difficult task, as the region had a haunting reputation which kept all but the most foolhardy from getting too close.  There were always wanderers and newcomers to the land, but the Rangers were trained to deal with just such circumstances, to anticipate them and deal with any problems before injuries could be sustained.  Gerard had spent a great deal of his time as a Ranger working the northern reaches of the wasted terrain.  He was supremely comfortable amidst the struggling foliage and barren stretches that delineated the area from the healthier locales.  The noises which accompanied night time travel through the vicinity were often nerve wracking to those unfamiliar with their origins, but after spending countless nights within the amplified darkness, Gerard had begun to feel as if this particular stretch was his home.  There were few other places in which he felt as comfortable.

The possibility that the Shredder had been as far north as he figured left a sickly taste in his mouth and a growing pit in the depths of his stomach.  The more he thought about the possibility that the beasts were moving beyond the fog barrier of the twisted realm, he would slow his pace and continue to develop other potential scenarios which could have explained the unfortunate turn of events.  A calming surety finally came over him as the soothing rays of the late afternoon sun caressed his face, and the realization came to him that he knew where he was.  Despite his frantic departure and wild wanderings, he had been traveling in a relatively straight path, and he was now only a few hours outside of the village of Tribalta.  The Ranger outpost there would give him ample opportunity to relay what happened to his escort and to secure any provisions he might need for the journey ahead.

The journey he was now sure he must take.  There was no doubt in his mind that the incident with the Shredder needed to be investigated further.  If the encounter was a fluke, some abomination of the normal order surrounding the scarred lands, then the danger to the surrounding lands would fade for the moment at least.  But if the ambush by the Shredder was potentially a harbinger of events that would become more frequent in the future, then someone must uncover why the circumstances have changed, and if possible, where.


Shredder VII

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