The soldiers guided Alex and Kydrel towards the treeline where they were expected to stand while the pavilion tent was raised. Joining the Commander in this structure were both of the other men that had originally arrived on mounts with Webb, as well as a number of guards. An low-lying evening mist was starting to gather, though the darkness made it difficult to perceive.
Webb saw to it that the block headed by the soldier that had initially confronted the two visitors received an extra ration of rum. He had embarrassed the man before potential intruders, and now regretted it. He knew he could have handled the man differently and still kept the situation from escalating. This would serve as an apology without the public display.
But this did not change his certainty that the two strangers were not agents sent to kill him. He did not know what their business was to take them from the relative safety of the city to this rash excursion into the wilds in the dead of Cylus. It was understandable that his soldier had thought the woman to be an Aukari. And then considering that their heading had been to the north, the only simple answer was Hiladreth.
"So let's see what you are carrying?"
he said to Alex, motioning to one of the men to gently remove the contents. He gestured to the avriel that his turn would be coming next. Outside of the obvious tent and bedroll, which the soldier unrolled to be sure nothing was hidden within, there were torches, a storm lantern with oil, the usual eating utensils, tinderbox, compass and a decent quantity of food. He gestured to the new knives she wore on her belt. Examination showed no facility for specific poison reservoirs on them or the sheaths.
"So, a pair of ten nel knives, and about fifteen more in food supplies, and the usual trail package."
he looked over Kydrel's possessions, "And you look to be the guard on this excursion. Weapons, armor, torches, rope. Functional, but nothing to eat, and no money to buy any."
Webb could see that he'd have to have her practically strip to truly check what all she might have on her. "Well, I could swear I heard the clank of a few gold nel while we were making our way here."
he offered, to let her know that he figured she had other belongings hidden within her clothes. With it requiring so many layers to keep warm, it was to be assumed that they both would have hidden caches upon them. "I would prefer not being forced to have you strip in this cold weather. So, give me honest answers and I will see what I can do to confirm them."
He turned to look upon Kydrel, "To be honest, I think I'm probably going to get a more straightforward attitude from you."
The Marshall looked him up and down, "A plain man-at-arms, nothing too complicated. You carry no food with you, which suggests that this meager amount of hers is supposed to see you both...where? Hiladreth? I could have a 'Flight' escort you there. Would that suit you? I truly have no real cause to hold you, other than just the fact that you are an...odd pair."
His voice got slightly distracted as his gaze seemed to linger on the ring on Kydrel's finger. He seemed to pause to reassess the pair before him. He was about to make some kind of decision when shouts came from outside the tent. Something about 'The Mist'
was being repeated amidst screams. The Marshall froze in shock for just an instant. "The Mist? That's impossible! We're a good two hundred miles from the Misting Wood!"
he started to reach for his helmet, but stumbled as the mist, which had crept in below the tent flap, seemed to form a hand around his ankle.
He stomped down, and the mist scattered, unaffected. This allowed his ankle free and he hurried to the door "Torches! Get those fires going! We need flames and wind!"
The scattered mist did not relent however. It coalesced into an all-too-humanoid shape behind him. He seemed to know it was coming though, and spun back around, swishing his blade through it, delaying the completion of its full shape.
But that did not stop its hands from becoming solid enough to grab the Marshall's wrists. The Marshall shouted to his "guests", "It's misty parts can't hurt you, but they can become solid and do anything a man can do."
A thin, grey, wispy arm reached for a nearby knife, the hand at the end becoming solid enough to lift it to strike. But it's target was the robed man instead.
A second figure had been taking shape on the other side of the robed figure. The mage cast a blast of gravitation at it, which tore the tent from its pegs, but had no effect on the misty form itself. It had apparently not become sufficiently solid to be hit. At the same time that the knife wielded by the first mist form found the mage's back with a fleshy, butcher-block 'thunk', the scene exposed by the sudden loss of the tent was laid before both travelers.
There were a good hundred of the misty attackers. Swords were passing through them ineffectually, doing nothing more then leaving brief planes of mist amidst the overall shape where the blade passed through. Many of these misty forms were holding blades and taking a toll against those soldiers not focusing purely on parrying.
But the far more grisly attack was when the mist form would slide an insubstantial 'arm' into a soldiers mouth, and down his throat, to solidify there and begin strangling him. Now and then a stiff gust of wind would stretch the misty form enough to pull the arm back out, but no permanent harm was done to the thing. Only torches seemed to truly drive the attackers back, the bodies of the things evaporating in the heat. But it would be slow work to completely eliminate even one this way.
And they were all around. Four were now shambling towards Alex and Kydrel.