The elves failed to attack the following morning, but instead were discovered to have bugged out in a hurry. The captured elf, , was mostly uncooperative. He seemed unconcerned about being slowly eaten by Chiki’tiklatl, even after watching his left ear act as an appetizer. Yet, as GaliLena and Methystina had noticed, there were other times at which Akie-Aka seemed very concerned for his well being. Noting the increasing uneasiness of the surviving kanks, lack of animal and insect activity, Alie-Aka’s incongruous behavior, and the flight of the elves, the crew began to suspect the involvement of a defiler. Leaving the prisoner in the care of other guard" class=“wiki-content-link”>outpost guards, Chiki’tiklatl, GaliLena, Methystina, and Raele set off west to track the elven retreat.
Along the way, it became evident that a haboob was on its way from the south, and that the elves were headed into the foothills of the Ringing Mountains for protection. Small cacti growing in the desert seemed to cast doubt on the theory of defiler involvement. Our stalwart heroes returned to the outpost in time to assist in the breakdown of the tents and awnings. As the northwest warehouse was packed with the displaced contents of the hospital tent, Alie-Aka, Chiki’Tiklatl, GaliLena, Methystina, and Raele chose to be stationed in the central west warehouse. That way they could be as close as possible so that they could assist the wounded if necessary.
Raele unbound and armed Alie-Aka. This proved to be less unwise than expected when elven zombies burst through the psionically locked doors during the worst part of the storm. Despite winning against overwhelming odds, Chiki’tiklatl received a bite wound which continued to fester even after receiving magical healing. When they left the shelter of the central western warehouse in the morning, Raele began cooking breakfast while six others completed setting up the kitchen and mess facilities.
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