It had been 4 days since the gourd had been planted. Patrols had been kept up as per Omannas orders, but nothing of note had been sighted by anyone. Having walked her stretch of jungle and valley for what felt like a hundred times, Siriin knew every step now. Entering one of the thicker stretches, she could hear Roana chattering away behind her. She would have to admit that she was not really listening. Slowing down to apologise, she was interrupted by a sudden rustle of leaves behind her and a gasp of pain. Quickly turning around, she could see Roane collapsing to the ground, the leaves on the side of their path shaking as if something had passed through very quickly.
She rushed to the other sylvaris side. “Roane, what’s wrong!?” There was no reply. As she bent down to look at her face, there was another rustling behind her. Turning about, she saw a creature like from a nightmare. Easily as tall as she was, its black-stone-chest was thicker than any tree-trunk she had ever seen. It had 2 3-fingered arms reaching towards her, and the red crystal on top of its massive chest glinted balefully at her. As she watched, almost paralysed, 6 smaller limbs unfolded from its chest, ending in all sorts of shapes. She could only just shout “Help!” before one of the chest-arms terminating in a clamp covered her mouth, stopping any further shouts. She tried punching it away, but its flesh was stone and its grip was iron, and it did not budge. She struggled as much as she could, but it did not take long before it had gripped all of her limbs. Caught in her own struggle, she did not notice that a similar creature had picked Roane roughly from the floor, clamping her to its chest with its stone arms. The two stone-creatures turned back towards the jungle and started walking with a slow, measured gait. By now, however, the camp was clearly reacting to Siriin’s shout, as she could hear the other patrols closing in, Omanna’s commanding voice leading them. They would be saved. Then 4 more of the creatures emerged from the brush, their narrow line giving way to allow the 2 captors to pass. As Siriin and Roane were slowly abducted from the camp, she could hear the sounds of her friends fighting to save the two of them, but it grew fainter and fainter until she could hear it no more.