Oric and Ayba were exploring the Badlands and King’s Pass together recently, then returned to Surefall Glade to stock up on travel things and their new spells. Surefall doesn’t have a bank, so Oric waved goodbye to Ayba at Surefall to run to Newport and manage his finances and/or prized monster body part storage. Everything seemed fine and Ayba was… Ayba at the time.
But when Oric returned to Surefall, Ayba was gone. Gone! Disappeared! We know that her teleporting powers are still pretty fresh, but she wouldn’t just *poof* herself into nothingness now, would she?
Oric was sure that something sinister was afoot. In fact, Oric is always sure something sinister is afoot, I think that’s part of halfling ranger training nowadays. He asked around Surefall, but no one had seen anything suspicious. There was a faint cat odor in the air, though. Mixed with Ayba’s favorite perfume: moss juice and pine sap.
Being a ranger, Oric did what any ranger would do when faced with a riddle and a fresh track to follow. Head for the nearest place that sells alcohol.
His mind sharpened from the ale, Oric set out on an investigation. The track had gone cold, but there were paw prints and cat hair, which would do just fine. Oric followed them all the way through the sands of the Badlands, asking his way from guards tower to guard tower, but those guards seem to have problems with their helmets since none of them had seen anything. Until:
This guy had seen it clearly! A cat-person and a halfling woman! Or perhaps a dog-person and a gnome man, he wasn’t sure anymore. But seen it he had, and Oric would be rude to distrust such strong evidence, so over the bridge he went.
At this point, Oric had a clear (if ale-induced) image in his mind of what had happened: Ayba had been kidnapped. By a very large magical cat. Don’t frown like that. It happens every day!
The only cat smell in the area came from somewhere down south, mingled with elephant dung and a lot of parrot poo, finally leading Oric to this place:
Cat-people? This means war.