Giant Birds & Giant Bears
As the PCs head out east after the encounter with the goblins, they spot several large / giant birds that seem to be following them. Tinorian is able to identify one of them as a Wyvern and the PCs continue to move east but with a guarded perspective.
That night after another long day of traveling, during Evayne’s watch she spots a large shape moving about in the hills surrounding the Camp. On edge from the goblin assault she immediately rushes to wake up the rest of the party and prepare for battle.
On the other side of the hill they spot a huge Dire Bear eyeing their mounts. Tinorian steps in however and urges the PCs not to fight the creature. Instead he sends his Animal Companion wolf off to fetch some food for the Bear. They encounter the Bear and it roars and makes otherwise threatening gestures toward them but it doesn’t attack.
Tinorian’s wolf returns with some larger game for the bear and he presents it to the Dire Bear and is able to convince it to take the offered food and to go away, which buys them a night of rest.
Later that night while Mace is no watch, the Eye Arbiter they sent to Acat returns with news from the Imperial Magistrate who is currently in Acat and organizing the towns defenses. He urges them, through written word, to make their way to Acat as quickly as possible to help them, and he thanks them for the warning.
Earthborne of the Stratagos
A full day and a half later as the PCs ride east for Acat they spot a group of about a dozen Dwarves marching east as well though from about a half a mile north of them. The PCs change directions and move to intercept the Dwarves.
In communication with the Dwarves they learn that the Dwarves were hunting and defending the Stratagos’ entrance ways and gateways along this stretch of the mountains and that they were sealing up those doorways that were no longer used. In this process they were also fighting off threats to the Stratagos that they came across in the hills, such as the goblins.
Upon learning of the goblins they were also heading to Acat to help out, but they were going to take a different road and use the tunnels beneath the Highlands to approach the town. The PCs decide not to join them and simply agree to look for the Dwarves in town when they all get there.
The PCs leave the Dwarves there and continue to head east for Acat not quite sure what they should expect to find.