Atlak ran to rescue Mellor, however it was already too
late for him to do anything. Atlak was lost in
sorrow, but the thundering of the pikatan jolted him
out of it. As Atlak looked up he noticed that the
other trainers were again losing control of the
pikatan. Atlak grabbed the nearby vines that he had
been lashing together, and noticed that the crazed
pikatan was one that he had seen earlier, and seemed
to be the head of this pack. Something was definitely
wrong with this creature though. Atlak chased after
it and managed to get the vines around it, but lost
his grip as the pikatan took another leap.

Valen Jalvog, one of the other trainers, noticed Atlak
had managed to get a vine around the crazed creature,
but was unable to hold it himself, and ran down to
help. As Jalvog rushed down and reached the creature,
Atlak had managed to grab hold of the vine again, and
this time Jalvog grabbed the vine as well. The
creature prepared to leap again, but Atlak and Jalvog
held on to the vine, and managed to hold on despite
the jarring force of the pikatanís jump. Jalvog moved
forward to calm and subdue the beast, and Atlak
followed Jalvog at his side. However, the pikatan did
not act as expected and turned around and bared its
spines, then charged toward the two. Jalvog was
surprised, but managed to shove Atlak aside and
quickly jumped in the opposite direction, managing to
get away with just a shallow cut on his leg. The
pikatan charged forward blindly until one of its leaps
took it directly into a tree, after which it collapsed
unconscious.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"This shouldnít have happened" Jalvog said as he stood
watching Revlek Calen, a physician skilled in dealing
with various creatures, examine the fallen pikatan. 
Following the creature being knocked unconscious, the
remaining pikatan had calmed down, and the trainers
had managed to get them under control and prevent them
from doing any more damage.

"Tynel Mellorís death is a great loss for those he had
yet to teach" Jalvog continued as he looked out
towards where Mellor lay trampled, with Atlak standing
nearby, and others examining Mellor to confirm what
was apparent.

"Oliag" Calen whispered

"Calen?" Jalvog questioned, interrupted from his
previous thoughts

"An oliag plant caused the pikatan to go berserk as it
did, this one was a leader in their structure, when it
went berserk, the others were affected by it, causing
the disturbance in the others"

"But I havenít heard of this sort of thing happening
before, and I donít know of anywhere this oliag plant
grows where this pikatan could have eaten it"

"Thatís because the oliag plant doesnít grow on the
Unarra continent" Calen stated as he looked up from
the pikatan with a look of concern in his face.

Jalvog voiced the thought that they both had, "are you
saying that this could have been intentional?"

Calen nodded in dismay

Jalvog showed that same concerned look on his face,
then went back over to where Mellor was being taken
away and stopped Atlak, and told him of what Calen had
said.

"This was intentional?" Atlak said in shock, then he
remembered, "There was someone else there, not one of
the trainers, I just saw him for a moment, and not
after the pikatan was knocked unconscious"

"Who would think to do such a thing?" Jalvog said in
disgust, "Well, whoever did, we should bring this
before Yekop, the rest of the people need to know
about this"

"Agreed, get Calen, and we can all go"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Yekop greeted Atlak sadly, "Welcome Atlak, Iíve
already heard of Mellorís death, Iím sorry for your
loss"

"Iím afraid thereís more to it then that Yekop" Jalvog
said

Atlak continued where Jalvog left off, "The pikatan
which trampled Mellor did so because it was poisoned
by the Oliag plant, which is not native to the Unarra
continent, we believe that this was done
intentionally, before Mellor was trampled, I saw
someone, not one of the trainers"

Yekop was obviously shocked, and took a long time in
answering, "Iíll pass along word as soon as I can,
people will be assembled to investigate this, but
itíll take time"

Atlak continued, "Something needs to be done now, I
request that I may go.. as a matter of honor as well"

Yekop considered Atlakís request, then nodded, "You
can go, but you shouldnít go alone, Iím sure I can
find.."

Jalvog broke in, "Iíll go with Atlak, Yekop"

"I shall accompany Atlak as well" Calen continued.

Yekop nodded, "Very well, if you need supplies, talk
to the other trainers, Iíll make sure you get what you
need"

As they left the Yekop, Jalvog split off from the
other two, "Iíll stock up on supplies and get some
transportation for us, Iíll meet you back out on the
training grounds, see if you can find anything there."

"Iíll come along as well, there are a few supplies I
want to bring along." Calen said

Atlak looked over to the pair, "Jalvog, Calen, thank
you for this"

"Donít worry about it, friend. Besides, I want to
find out who could have done such a thing" Jalvog
responded, and Calen nodded his agreement.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As Atlak approached where Mellor had been, his sorrow
returned, overwhelming Atlak. It had been so soon
since Mellor had been trampled. Atlak pushed his
sorrow down, and anger replaced it for a moment, he
had to find out why this had happened to Mellor, and
couldnít just spend his time grieving. Looking
around, Atlak saw the hill where he remembered seeing
the silhouette, and walked over there. Looking down
at the ground, Atlak found what he had hoped to find,
the person had left tracks in the ground, whoever it
was had tried to mask them, but they seem to have
favored speed over stealth, probably trying not to be
seen, so he wouldnít be followed and his tracks
wouldnít be a problem. As Atlak followed the tracks
down the hill, he noticed that the tracks became more
jumbled, and noticed that there was a second pair
there. Atlak thought to himself, could there have
been a second person here? But as he followed the
tracks, he realized that these tracks were those of a
clyft, whoever had been here had wanted to make sure
they left in a hurry. Atlak followed the tracks for a
ways, and looked out to the east, where they lead into
the distance, before turning around and going back.

Atlak walked back up the hill and looked up to see
Jalvog and Calen down where Mellor had been, with
three clyfts loaded with some supplies with them. 
Atlak shouted to them, and they noticed him, and
started coming over toward him, with the clyfts
following behind..

"So this is where you saw that person Atlak?" Jalvog
looked down to see the tracks that were there, "So it
was, I see"

"Yes, it looks like he took a clyft further down the
hill, and headed off into the east" Atlak replied,
looking off into the distance.

"Here, this could be useful" Jalvog said as he handed
Atlak a type of snare, a long pole with a loop of a
vine at the end, typically used by the trainers, but
it could be used in other situations as well. Jalvog
carried a type of spear, and Calen carried a staff,
and had a couple small pouches attached to a belt
around his waist.

"Then letís go, no use continuing to wait around
here", Jalvog said as he touched one of the clyfts,
which lowered to the ground, to allow him to get on
the creature.

Calen nodded and did the same, and Atlak went to the
remaining clyft and got on. The three of them headed
down the hill and followed the tracks off to the east.
They traveled, following the tracks to the east,
stopping occasionally, and following slowly by foot
when the tracks became harder to see. They traveled
through the rest of the aub, until Altoos sank low in
the sky.

As the sky grew dark, Jalvog looked up from the tracks
to the sky, "We should stop for the night, these
tracks could go on for quite a ways.

Atlak looked up at Jalvog, "But if we do that whoever
this is could get away, we canít just stop now.", as
Atlak looked back towards the tracks on the ground, a
flash of anger crossed his face.

Jalvog looked up toward Atlak, "We canít follow these
tracks through the night very quickly, and the clyfts
need rest, as we should, it would do no good to find
who we are seeking, only to be exhausted and
unprepared."

Atlak thought, then looked up toward Jalvog and
nodded.

Jalvog pointed toward a nearby forested area, "We can
rest over there, itíll give us some more cover then
resting out in the open would."

The three of them traveled over to an area inside the
forest, Jalvog started setting up the encampment,
while Atlak looked out towards where the tracks, not
visible from this distance, continued off to the East.
Atlak turned around to see Jalvog taking care of the
clyfts, and Calen was looking through the pack of his
clyft. Atlak went back to the pair. Altoos had
dropped below the horizon quite a while ago, when
Atlak noticed movement in the sky. "Look, up over
there" Atlak said while pointing off into the sky.

Jalvog stood up and looked toward the sky and saw the
movement between the treetops, "I canít see much from
here, letís move out towards the edge of the forest".

The three of them moved off toward the edge of the
forest, and they saw the motion again, a creature
flying through the skies. Calen looked up at the
creature, "It seems to be a guard creature"

Jalvog looked up and said, "itís not out here on its
own" as he pointed up towards the dark figure on the
creatureís back, against the dark blue sky.

"Hmm.. what would someone be doing flying around here
at this time" Atlak said to himself

Jalvog looked up toward the creature which was now
heading off towards the northwest, "It seems to be a
scout of some kind"

"In the middle of the night?" Atlak questioned.

"It seems that he doesnít want to be spotted" Jalvog
replied.

"Could it have anything to do with this matter?" Atlak
continued.

"I donít know of any settlements in this area that
would have such creatures.. itís possible" Jalvog said
with a bit of unease.

After the creature had gone out of view, they went
back toward their encampment, and rested for the
remaining of the night. When morning came around,
they got their equipment ready, and got back on the
clyfts. They traveled back out to where the trail
was, and continued to follow it to the east. After a
short while of following the path, it changed, now
moving towards the southeast.

After traveling until sometime around midday, they
came across a few more sets of tracks in the area. 
"Hmm.. it looks like we may be getting close to
something, it seems there were a lot more people in
this area.", Jalvog said, looking down at the tracks,
and looking where they went up over the next hill.

"Well then letís go" Atlak said as he started to run
his clyft towards the hill.

"Atlak, wait" Jalvog said, "We shouldnít just go
rushing on without knowing whatís over there, letís go
up the hill on foot before going on"

Atlak looked a bit annoyed at being held back, but he
nodded and got off his clyft, as Jalvog and Calen did
the same. The three of them walked up to just before
the crest of the hill, where they could see over the
top. Before them stretched a huge field of an odd
plant that seemed out of place against the rest of the
Unarra continent plants. "the oliag plant.. an entire
field of it" Calen whispered

"I thought you said it didnít grow here", Atlak
accused

"Itís not supposed to be able to..", Calen responded

"Perhaps they have something to do with it" Jalvog
said as he pointed towards movement in the field,
workers tending to the field, "Cavolon"

"Theyíre not supposed to be here either" Atlak said as
he got up to go over the hill

Jalvog pulled Atlak back down, "We canít handle this
sort of thing just by ourselves. There should be a
major town to the northwest, Dalek I believe. We can
warn them and get help there"

As the three of them went back down towards where
their clyfts were, a guard creature flew overhead, and
made a loud screeching cry.

Jalvog looked up, "I think weíve been spotted, letís
go, now!"

They ran back down to their clyfts, and got on them,
to see a group of Unarra on their own clyfts coming
after them, as well as the one on the guard creature
flying above them. "It looks like the Cavolon arenít
alone in this" Atlak said as they were moving their
clyfts to run.

Jalvog looked even more disturbed, and looked back at
their pursuers, "We wonít be able to outrun them all
the way to Dalek, especially not from that guard
creature".

Calen pointed toward a large forested area to the
north, "We could lose the guard by going through
there"

Atlak and Jalvog nodded, and turned their clyfts to
the north with Calen, their pursuers noticed their
change, and turned in the same direction, gaining some
distance on them, but they were still quite a distance
away. As they made it to the edge of the forest, the
guard creature following them lost them through the
dense trees.

"Weíll have to slow down through here, we wonít be
able to move as fast through the wooded area, but then
again, neither will they" Jalvog said

"I think theyíll have a harder time of it then we
will" Calen said grinning, as he pulled a dark gray
ball out of his pouch. Calen took out a blade, and
made a slice down the side of the ball, and then threw
the object behind him. Upon hitting the ground, the
object exploded into a large growing cloud of dense
smoke, obscuring the area behind them.

"Letís not waste these, we can head off towards the
west again and lose them", Calen said as he pulled
another one of the objects out of his pouch. The
three of them headed off to the west as Calen tossed
the second object, expanding the large cloud of smoke
behind them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Unarra watched as his patrol returned, "Well,
Avelk, what have you to report on those that were
spotted outside the fields?"

"They escaped, heading to the north through the
forests, sir", Avelk responded as the other Unarra
muttered something about incompetence.

"Theyíre too close to Dalek, we canít risk being
caught", the other Unarra said to himself, and then
turned to a Cavolon in the room, "Cevog, do we have
enough of the modified oliag plant to proceed?"

The Cavolon looked up from his reports to the Unarra,
"Yes, Tallic, we should have enough, and our recent
tests have proved to be quite successful"

Tallic grinned, "Well, at least thatís going well."

Tallic continued, "Avelk, see to it that the plan is
initiated, and make sure the scouts and patrols get
pulled back to here,"

Avelk nodded and left for a guard creature nearby.

Tallic then turned to the Cavolon, "Cevog, see that
your workers harvest what they can, and then get their
supplies and make sure they start heading out before
the end of the aub. And make sure that the trainers
get those tracks cleared behind them, I donít want
anyone following us."

"Yes, Tallic, it will be done" Cevog said as he left
for the fields, 

Tallic looked out across the landscape as he thought
to himself, those other Unarra were fools, always
looking out for their creatures first. Tallic had
left because they had refused to see the power that
could come from such creatures. Mellor had already
experienced the power of this, and after today, the
rest of them would see first hand what could be done.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The three of them had continued quickly through the
forest, and had managed to lose their pursuers, by
that evening, they had managed to reach the city of
Dalek. They traveled through the city, and made their
way before the leader there, Ocren, and proceeded to
tell him their tale. The pikatan that had been
poisoned with the oliag plant, causing the death of
Mellor, the tracks that they followed to the great
field of the plant, how they had been spotted, and how
they had escaped from the pursuit.

"This is a grave matter indeed" Ocren responded after
hearing their tale, "These Unarra have violated our
greatest laws, and they must be stopped."

"We have a good number of well trained guard forces
here, we will be able to assemble in the morning, and
head out toward this field, you can lead us there. 
For the night, you can rest in the guest quarters
here" Ocren continued.

The three of them nodded, and then continued to their
rooms. The following morning, they headed out, got
their clyfts, and headed out through the city gates to
meet the military forces gathered there. One of the
military people on a clyft came up to them, "Iím
Grevden, the commander of these military forces, I
understand you to be our guides".

Atlak nodded, and Grevden continued, "I heard about
what these people have done, they must be stopped,
head out, and weíll follow behind you".

They moved out towards the southeast, until they heard
a rumbling sound which was getting louder, "Whatís
that?", Atlak asked.

"I donít like the sound of that, it seems to be coming
closer, letís go up to the top of the next hill and
see what we can see" Jalvog responded.

They crested the next hill and stood in awe of a huge
creature moving quickly from the east, towards the
city in the distance. "Itís a raffkin! But it
wouldnít be coming this close to the city, unless.."
Calen said as he looked at the other two.

They ran their clyfts back down the hill and back to
the military forces, "Grevden, itís a raffkin, moving
towards the city, the military forces need to be moved
to try to stop it" Atlak said quickly as he got close
enough.

"Hmm.. they usually donít come near the towns, but a
few shots from the city should be enough to get it to
turn around if it gets too close" Grevden responded

"This one wonít, we think its been poisoned with
oliag, come on!" Jalvog said as he ran to the north to
help try to intercept the creature.

The other two followed after Jalvog, and the military
forces came running behind them. By the time they had
reached the creature, there were already some trainers
in that area that were trying to get the creature to
turn around, without success. The military forces ran
forward and tried to shoot spines at it out of small
creatures that they held, and spear its legs, but with
little effectiveness. "Do you happen to have anything
that could be useful in this situation Calen?" Jalvog
said hopefully.

Calen thought about it a moment, but then shook his
head. Atlak looked around, and noticed something to
the north, past the creature, and ran his clyft toward
it. "Atlak?" Jalvog shouted out as Atlak ran in the
direction of the creature, and then ran his clyft
after him.

Atlak ran underneath the raffkin, and yelled to the
trainers that were there, unsuccessfully trying to
stop the creature, to follow him. Atlak ran off
towards the north, with Jalvog, Calen, and the
trainers following him, until he reached the place
that he had seen, an open field with a group of
pikatan in it. Atlak called out to the trainers, "get
the pikatan to follow us back to the raffkin!"

"But the pikatan are sacred, we canít just force them
to do that!" one of the trainers cried out

"Then compel them to follow us, whatever you do, do it
quickly, we need their help, or there will be nothing
left of your city but ruins!" Atlak replied as he ran
back toward the raffkin.

Grevden watched over his soldiers, commanding them to
strike the legs, but it was soon apparent to the
commander that they wouldnít be able to stop the
creature before it reached the city. Their weapons
simply didnít do much in penetrating the raffkin, and
what damage that was done was ignored by the crazed
creature. Grevden could already see people in the
city fleeing from the oncoming creature, when he heard
a different rumbling, between the steps of the
raffkin, and looked up toward the north, to see a pack
of pikatan, following their guides, and the trainers.

The pikatan rushed forward toward the raffkin, as it
drew closer to the city. A pair of the pikatan dug
into one of the creatureís back legs, and were flung
from the creature when it lifted that leg. But more
of the creatures swarmed over the raffkinís legs,
piercing through the heavy armor, and trying to move
the creature. As the creature lifted up its leg, the
weight and force of the pikatan on that leg caused the
raffkin to lose its balance, and the creatures on the
other legs prevented it from steadying itself. As the
raffkin started to fall, the pikatan, along with the
military and the trainers, scattered from the
creature. The raffkin collapsed to the ground with a
huge crash, and the people around the creature, and
the people in the city, were stopped by the crash. 
Some started cheering the stop of the creature, others
still stood in shock of what had transpired, and rage
glowed in Atlakís eyes.

"Grevden! Gather your troops, we have to make sure
that something like this doesnít happen again", Atlak
shouted out to Grevden, as he started moving towards
the southeast.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Atlak stood standing on the hill over the encampment
where the field of oliag had been planted. They had
arrived to find the encampment abandoned, no Unarra or
Cavolon had been found anywhere within the encampment,
some simple empty buildings and a few remaining
supplies were the only things remaining other then the
field itself. They had searched the area, but no
tracks leading from the encampment had been found. 
Jalvog stood at his side, and Calen was examining one
of the plants down in the field, while Grevden and his
forces were destroying the plants in another part of
the field. Atlak looked out over the field, now
bathed in the light Altoos setting, and thought to
himself, with a cold anger and determination in his
eyes. This was something that could stretch far
beyond the death of Mellor, something that could
impact all of the Unarra, something that would not be
solved as simply or as easily as what had been done here.