With time ticking against our favor, Azerillius and I discussed the need to hold council for Viridi. After a discussion with our expedition members, we decided to head back to Varnhold (newly acquired by Viridi) in order to conduct Viridi business. After our courtly duties were fulfilled, we headed back to the forbidden lands to continue our investigation. As it happened, Proculous was compelled to return to the Sword Lords to report on his findings. We bade him well and wished him safe travels. At a halfway point in our return, I felt the hairs of my beard prickle up. Turning my attention to the sky, I saw the form of a Gargantuan bird diving towards the party with it’s giant talons poised for attack! I quickly alerted the group and laid down an obscuring mist to aid in our defense. The beast was agile, and as quickly as I brought the mist about, it grabbed Azerillius and attempted to abscond with him in it’s grasp! Brother Gordon was acted fast for a man of his years. Spurring on his horse, he made his way under the winged beast and called upon the power of Erastil. “Drop him!” he commanded, and the great raptor did as it was told! Az dropped unto Gorden’s Horse, rolling with the fall. We made many attempts to engage the beast, with Gorden’s Crossbow and At’s Longbow, but it seemed to do little to the monstrous bird. At this point I decided on a rash action. I pushed my horse away from the party in order to use myself as bait. I readied for the beast to clutch me, and as it did, I bestowed a special “blessing” from Ng. I immediately used my divine gifts to teleport out of the birds grappling talons. Once I was again on firm ground, I watched as the “blessing” took its effect and the beast tumbled out of the sky impacting the ground with a thunderous impact. With the aid of Brother Gordon, we attempted to reason with the great bird. we parlayed for it to bring us one of its eggs in return for releasing it from Ng’s “Blessing”. The animal nature of the beast took hold and it began to fight us with all of its physical acumen. Darpan was hit hard over and over again as he attempted to best the creature. Brother Gordon made every attempt to maintain Darpan’s health, but the beasts attacks were unrelenting. He later described a dream like state he experienced after he had been rent in a particularly violent manner. He explained how he saw himself on a strange metallic floor, a vessel of yellow fluid next to his prone body. There were organic conduits protruding from his body, siphoning a fluid from him as he laid helpless. The vision, disturbing as it was, was temporary, and he was able to remove himself from the danger and to the safety of the mist. Darpan’s efforts had not been in vain, as Az and I continued to pummel the creature with our now desperate attacks. It was with great relief that the great raptor released its grip of the mortal coil. We spent much blood and effort upon this unwarranted attack. There was a small sadness within me to see such a great creature have to be put down. We made every attempt to allow a different outcome. In the end, we prevailed. I know not what our travels hold, and I also had a vision imparted upon me during the melee. I do not understand where these visions originate, but I cannot help but feel they are somehow related to the strange lands in which we travel. Onward to the forbidden Isle, and to more discoveries than mystery.