-A wee bit o' the timeskip magic!-
The group of 6 were escorted out of the large palace-like structure that served as the law office for all of Ark, their belongings in town had been set aside in secure area's close to the meeting place before they departed so that they could make any last minute adjustments or grab something they had not taken with them to the meetings, Orma had given them special medicines and ferns from the jungles to aid their travels and hardships such as fatigue or drowziness. He also sent a few casks of fine wine and a special brew just for Galinn labeled in a dark red.
Argith was the first person of notable influence to meet them at the gates to depart the Ark but he was not waving goodbyes or advice but instead 4 carriages with strong Nightmare steeds awaited them.
The nightmares sat patiently, the flames on their hooves and eyes defined their demonic heritage, these beasts were summoned from the nether to serve them as tireless pack-horses for the Carriages, their manes were onyx black and brimstone clung to the air around them but yet all seemed tame enough to get the job done.
The women had their own seperate Carriage, the driver was a lanky man with a worn shortsword at his hip and tough leather armor. He held the Reigns with pride and purpose, the other stage coaches were similar in how they dressed but all looked to him for guidance at times, he ushered them in with a hint of haste in his voice.
Argith had his own private Carriage, more of a mobile lab really, set aside and he invited the other alchemist to join him for study and development, the third carriage carried everyone but Galinn whom would not have fit in such a confined space with any others so he had been given Orma's personal coach to ride in. Comfortable but not overly-decorated like the others, meant for a man who shunned such luxury as either a sign of weakness or resignation.
Argith continued to bellow for them to hustle with their packs and other such needs, he was a busy creature and wanted to get his duties to the leaders done with so he could return to the swamps he loved so dearly.
The sun was high in the sky by the time all of them had set off for the horizon. Each carriage had a stack of papers detailing the events of the dissapearing villagers over the last few weeks along with details about their mission inside. Reckon and damage reports, information was all that was needed. Galinn had been given permission to engage enemies in any way he felt necessary for the protection of the group as a whole.
-2 days of travel later-
The days were long, starting at the break of dawn and ending well into the night, normally horses would have died from exhaustion but the nightmares were tireless demons summoned for that exact reason. The only reason they had stopped was to ward off would-be raiders by creating a defensible little fort with the carriages back to back, the nightmares untethered and left to roam, they could not go far or leave so they acted as patrolman.
On the beginning of the second day of travel a small raiding company had foolishly attacked the carriages in a tight ravine near the mountains thinking the tight quarters and their 3:1 ratio would quickly overcome to group but were sorely disappointed when Argith's volatile nature had seeped into them causing mass hysteria and disease, the raiders did not all succumb and were simply forced out by the group efforts, simple enough for common thugs.
The sun was setting when our group finally arrived in a barren and desolate desert, the ground was tainted and black with some unknown curse and on the wind was the distinct chill of the dead, in the distance loomed a ghost town and even from their positions they could see broken down buildings and dried blood, nothing stirred inside that they could see but nobody likely believed it still empty.
Argith was the first to speak, exiting his carriage and beginning his slow but steady walk to the defiled village, his cane shifting oddly in his hand as the sand made it hard for him to balance with it. The carriages would do little good in the town other than be smashed or ruined, so they were force to stay behind.
"If any of you kids want to stay behind, I don't really care. I don't want to babysit." Scoffing as he walked, the sight of him was nothing more then an old man in a robe hunched on a cane, any of them could see through his disguise. He was afraid just like most of them, this man cared for himself and that was it yet here he was on a scouting mission. Something didn't add up.