Cats and Rivers: Chapter Twenty-OneCATS AND RIVERSChapter Twenty-OneIf she hadn't known she'd just gone through a planar gate, Lilyglade wouldn't have been sure that she'd actually left Arborea. They were still in an impressive forest, and the trees around them were of the same titanic size as those in her homeland. Then she noticed that the woods around them weren't as dense as those of Arvandor, and of course there was no sign of Lolth's Grove. "Did we make it?" she asked. Garadun looked skyward and turned slowly in place. He smiled. "Yeah, we made it. We're in the Outlands, no doubt about that." Shilling gave a happy miaow and jumped out of his pocket to sniff around at his feet. "How can you be so sure?" "I've spent a lot of time in the Land." He pointed up. "Take a look around you. Notice how it's nice and bright with daylight? But look closely: no beams of sunshine coming down through the leaves. The Outlands has no sun or moon or stars."
Cats and Rivers: Chapter TwentyCATS AND RIVERSChapter TwentyAway from the River Oceanus, the eternal woodlands of Arvandor grew denser and even more overwhelming. There was simply no way for someone like Garadun, who wasn't a ranger or druid or native sylvan being, to not become hopelessly and irrevocably lost. It was wild and ancient beyond conception, and there would be no end to it – not in this part of Arborea. In the lands surrounding Mount Olympus, yes, there was far greater variety to the landscape: fields and mountains and valleys and lakes and rivers broke up the forests. There were villages and towns, and of course Mount Olympus itself. In Arvandor there was only forest. Sure, there were hills and streams and even the occasional small open meadow, but mainly there were just trees and more trees. Most of which came in the giant economy size, with elms and oaks the size of redwoods, and redwoods the size of skyscrapers. The first several days spent with Windbough as they venture
Cats and Rivers: Chapter NineteenCATS AND RIVERSChapter NineteenWith Shilling in his pocket and Lilyglade flitting at his side, Garadun made his way past the green dragon's enormous corpse and over to the cave mouth. Shilling sniffed, made a face, and sank a little lower in his pocket. Garadun shared a look with Lilyglade, and then they crossed the threshold and began their descent into the depths of the earth, the soft light given off by Dûrgaläd guiding their way. The cave floor was at first a mix of rock and hard-packed earth, but gave way to solid stone after not too long. The stench of chlorine was bad and got worse the deeper they went, mixed with other foul odours. The tunnel twisted as it went down, then eventually levelled out somewhat. They entered a large cavern, the floor of which was carpeted in bones from all manner of creatures – the remains of the dragon's meals. Down the centre the bones were crushed and broken into small bits, marking the beast's passage
Cats and Rivers: Chapter EighteenCATS AND RIVERSChapter EighteenThe colossal stone hand, even partially covered in vines, creepers and growth as it rested in the underbrush among the trees by the riverbank, was kind of hard to miss. It was lying palm-upward, its fingers open and the stone deeply weather and cracked. Garadun, ever on the alert for possible danger, had been the first to spot it. Almost a week had passed since the Queen's minions had left Arborea and this was the most interesting thing they'd seen since then. "Would you look at that," said Garadun, standing and pointing. "There's something you don't see every day," Lilyglade remarked. Shilling miaowed cheerfully, wanting to contribute. "It must have been part of a freaking huge statue." Garadun quickly turned the boat towards shore. It didn't take him long to bring them close to the riverbank, and Lilyglade flew off to investigate the giant hand. Meanwhile, he came alongside t