The unicorns made easy going of the river after Gankana had returned to his cave. They had still not figured out what he was doing near the surface, but they would worry about it later. Jesiea was pressing them hard, to the north. They had no difficulty getting to the land, and when they were on it, they took off at an amazing speed. Jessiea was in the lead. She was keeping on a small path, which they assumed was the road in Gankana's riddle. She seemed to know where she was going, only once did she faulted, when they reached a fork in the road. But she got them back on the right trail. They pressed on hard for the rest of the day. They past small woodland villages in the forest, where they assumed elves lived. They didn't stop there. They kept pressing north, they passed the Kindirn waterfall, and shortly after that they stopped to rest, for it was growing dark, and the forest was hard to travel by nightfall.

They made camp a few miles away from the waterfall. The shifters changed to human form, so that they could build a fire and hunt for their dinner. The wolves were eager to help with the hunting. Kalmeca went with Alandor and Truit to keep and eye on them, and Liani and Zander went with the three female shifters to go hunt. The rest stayed behind to gather firewood.

Tura Kiana Alana and Jessiea decided to see if they could find deer. It was unlikely, being the time of season it was, but they decided to try. Zander and Liani sniffed around on the ground, seeing if they could pick up a scent. Liani barked quietly and the three women looked up. Liani began to trot quietly towards a clearing not far ahead. What luck! A group of deer was resting there, sound asleep. Zander couldn't believe their luck. Tura motioned for the three women to encircle the deer. Silently they drew their bows and mounted their arrows. Each one took a side, with Liani at the other, ready to strike at any stranglers. Zander was ready to attack from the front. They shot three arrows. Each silently hit their mark. Three large deer would never wake from their slumber. None of the other deer's stirred. Zanders blood began to churn. She was all wolf now, none of the human qualities were in her at that moment. She laid her ears back, teeth were bared. She was ready to strike at will.

Kiana drew another arrow, as did the others. Again they hit three more deer. Zander wished the arrows would miss. She was growing ancy. She wanted to kill, to taste the blood on her lips. Her chance would come. Tura drew another arrow. It missed and hit the tree across from her. The thud made some of the deer stir, and awaken, and then the chaos began. The six dead deer could do nothing, obviously. There was a little doe that would not leave its mothers side, the one Kiana had shot. Normally, Zander might pity the thing. This time she didn't. She growled deep in her throat, the deer were running around, clambering into one another. The three woman made kills left and right. Liani had already killed one. Zander took after the little doe. She made after it as it brayed loudly, not wanting to leave its mothers side. A large buck charged her, protecting the youngster. She made a leap for his throat and drew blood. The buck backed off, temporairaly. She chased the little doe around in circles. Zander was in a mind set that this deer would be hers. She cahsed it untill she thought it was dizzy, but then it broke free from the clearing. She made after it, her heart pumping fast and her blood churning with the rage of the hunt. Closer, closer she got. Yet just out of reach! Damn this deer! Why cant it be tired! Zander's insides were shouting. She grew tired of running, and gave a great leap, and sank her teeth into the deer's neck. She would not let go her hold. She held the deer to the ground till its final bray sounded, and finally grew still. Satisfied, she ran back with her kill, which was hard, dragging the dead carcass behind her. She left the carcass behind the trees and leapt back into the lot of braying deer. There wasn't a lot left alive, but she killed two more, and Liani had made her kill, and had settled down outside the grove of trees. Zander licked the blood from her lips. She was growling, snarling, leaping from deer to deer. When she relized the deer were alredy dead, or most of them were, and that the women were looking at her, she raised her ears and calmed down, feeling rather silly, but the blood pumping through her veins made her wild and wanting to kill.

Zander wiped her mouth with her paw and looked sheepish. She coughed, slightly. "ahem, urm, sorry..." She muttered, not looking at them.

The others grinned. "Its alright. You're a wolf, its natural." Tura said, smiling. "We needed to kill that many deer anyway. We can let it dry over night and make venison, and jerky. We will have a LOT of meat to take on our journey. We all love venison, and we can make a spell to dry it faster." She smiled and brushed her hair out of her face.

Kiana stood from her spot, and made a motion with her arms, saying a dast spell. The dead deer were floating off the ground. Zander laughed. Liani pawed her with her right paw.

"Common!" she said, playfully. "I'll race you back!" She grined, nipped Zander playfully on the tail, and took off. Zander barked loudly at her and took off after her.

The three woman were walking together, somewhat slowly. Tura grinned. "I swear, if all wolves could talk, life would be a riot." The others laughed and agreed. Jessiea suddenly stopped, and sat. She put her hand to her stomach, groaning slightly. Tura and Kiana sat down next to her, and Kiana put a hand on Jessiea's shoulder.

"Are you all right?" Kiana asked gently. "Are you in labor?"

"No.. no." Jessiea gasped. "He's just.. moving a lot more then normal and. it took me by surprise!" She stood, shaking. "I'll be fine, I just need to get back to Kenten, and rest." She smiled weakly.

Tura and Kiana nodded and helped her up. The quickly made it back to their camp, were Liani and Zander had met up with Truit, Alandor and Kalmeca. Zander yipped happily when she saw the three women, wagging her tail. She stopped when she saw Jessia looked pale. Alandor noticed to, and gently trotted over to her as she sat down by the fire Kenten, Toah and Quaith had made. Kien was busy tending to the deer the three wolves had killed, and was shocked to see the kill they had brought back. He made a swift movement of his arms and brought the dead carcasses to him. Quaith stood and brought more wood to the fire. It glowed brightly, and it was warm and cozy and soon there was laughter and talking. Jessiea snuggled close to Kenten, telling him of what had happened. Kenten looked worried but did not voice his concerns for fear of worrying Jessiea and the others. The smell of meat was in the air. They shifters had some dried vegetables and fruits with them, and they made it into a wonderful stew that was passed out in wooden bowls. Soon it grew silent, with the occasional cough and swallowing noise. Zander and the other wolves were sitting in a semicircle, in front of the shifters. Each was in their own thoughts, enjoying the smell of the stew and the rich meat. It was growing dark, and the stars were out. After they were through eating, Kien made a spell to make the dishes clean and they put them away. They got out their blankets and laid down on either side of the large fire. Each stared at the sky, it was growing late, and they were sleepy. Truit yawned and snuggled close to Liani. Loran was next to his mother, and was already fast asleep. Tian yawned, and shoved Asthian with her nose.

"Shouldn't we put up a protective sheild?" She said quietly. "Just to be on the safe side?" Asthian yawned.

"yeah, I'll do it." He muttered, whispering a soft spell and a light shimmer formed around their camp and faded away. "That'll do for tonight." He nuzzled her back and put his head down, falling asleep.

Soon all was quiet on the camp. An owl sat high in the tree tops, watching them. He gave a screech into the night. He flew down to a lower branch, his big golden eyes staring at the slumbering creatures. He was wondering how soon it would be before they awoke. He new what they were after. The question was, should he help them? Or be a hindrance, and cause problems? The owls eyes gleamed in the moonlight. Trouble was what Hathorn was known for. Though it did not suit his fancy at the moment. He flew down to the ground, where he said a few words and was now in human shape. He took off his mahogany colored cape and shook it, getting all of the dust and brambles off. He brushed his short, brown hair. He hated the golden streaks that ran through it, but he had no choice, being that those were his owl markings. He was known for his brown and golden plumage. He tightened the laces on his boots. He felt around his neck for the pendant. It was still there. The stone in the center of the intricate silver knotwork was warm, and glowing. Hathorn smiled. This was a good sign. Maybe it would all work out, in the end. He adjusted his sword at his waist, and drew his staff. He polished the black stone carefully with his sleeve. It gleamed in the moonlight. Hathorn was pleased. He was not THAT bad of a wizard, but his staff was not as powerful as others. It was a damned learning staff, for beginning wizards, and he hated it. Although, he had had little choice in the matter. He could have not taken it, and not been considered a wizard, or taken it and worked with it with pride. Hathorn went to a near by bush and pulled his napsack out from underneath. Shaking it off, he slung it on his shoulder. He gave an owls cry, and a white horse came out of the shadows, trotting towards him. The horse gave a sly smile.

"Did you find everything you needed, Hathorn?" said Durandos. " I told you that you would find them here." The horse looked at him smugly. His gray eyes dancing.
Hathorn snorted. "Yes, I did. Thank you. Now, if you are through gloating, I suggest we get back home. It looks like we have unexpected company, wouldn't you say?" He walked over and mounted Durandos. "To home, my friend. We have much to prepare for. Ey-iah!" He gave a small cry and they were off, silent as the wind blows. The wind bristled through the trees, The group of unicorns and wolves had no idea of Hathorns appearance. They were all sleeping soundly, resting for the next days travel.