The battle waged on, with the elves finally catching on to Holinn's trick. His shapes were dispelled over and over, keeping him a weak human. Meanwhile, it seemed that Talis had withdrawn herself from the fight, completely willing to watch the blood and fire fly. Suddenly, one of the columns of flame landed in front of Seradeen, changing back to his more familiar form. He spoke peace and offered a truce to the party (such a pity) and they did accept. Just like that, the fire in the field was gone and the two groups were called to parlay. They explained that they were in charge of keeping wanderers away from the valley area, seeing as a battle was being waged right now with the same cat-like creatures that we had fought days before.
Through Seradeen's silver tongue, she was able to talk her and the parties way past the elves, promising that it was not their intention to get involved with the battle at all. The elves praised them with the protection of the Gods (and Holinn nearly lost his life damning them in turn; you should have seen the glow in their eyes) the group began to make their way staying on track to the valley. After traveling for a time they finally rested in the middle of the grasses.
When they woke in the morning, there was a frost on the ground and most of the party decided to stay in doors or near the fire to stay warm. However, Holinn chose to hunt for his own food. On his search, he caught sight of a small group of dark-haired squirrels roaming through the grass. They skittered away when they spotted the dog, and he (of course) gave chase. He watched as the group of creatures ran through the grasses and into a tree, joining what looked to be a couple dozen others of their kind. He blinked back to the camp and told Talis about what he'd seen. They decided to investigate and made their way back to the tree. Talis goated the dog to try and capture one of the squirrels. He blinked into the tree, but in frightening the creatures, spheres of darkness began to pop up, surrounding the tree. Holinn made a quick escape (though apparently not without some side-affects) and returned to the drow. Once the darkness disappeared, she decided that she would take it upon herself to gather one of these...things. Holinn thought it a precaution to get the rest of the party...Just in case.
Little by little, she krept closer to the tree, trying not to arouse the creature's attentions. Eventually, she found herself within a stone's throw (or rather a fire sphere's throw) away from the tree. She reached into a pouch and pulled out a glass sphere, tossing it at the tree. It exploded, sending bits of glass and metal all around killing a few of the squirrels. The rest of them jumped out of the tree and began to sprout their spheres of darkness. There was a moment of calm before Talis came blitzing out of the darkness at a full sprint, squirrel in hand. She meets the rest of the party back at camp and she shows them her accomplishment. They look at her (unimpressed unfortunately) and continue packing things up. They soon continue on their way.
After about half a days travel they spot a large group of creatures flying in the sky. As they stand their, staring and attempting to find what is circling above them, a low horn sounds. One of the creatures darts down from the sky and lands on the horizon. They are soon met at a distance by two creatures walking towards them. They yell out, calling the name of Heironeous, and pronouncing Seiltiel as their clan, while demanding that the approachers disarm and stay their way. I attempted to goad Talis into standing her ground, however it seems that the pacifistic virtues of the bard have begun to rub off. She would much rather talk things out than solve them with her blades. Too bad really...
Once the Defenders reached the party, they announce themselves and speak of what they have been doing, as well as what the party has come across while on their journey. The dog creature says that he is part of an outerplanar army that has taken arms on this plane, in an attempt to push the Rak'shasa (apparently the catfolk that we fought before) back into the Shadow Plane. The battles have taken place at the mouth of the valley, but as of late they have taken to keeping up checkpoints in an attempt to keep the cats in and others out. Despite his requests that they stay away from the valley, he says that he cannot stop them from choosing their own fate. At that, Talis and the rest say "thanks" and march on past the duo and the checkpoints, and into the valley.
We traveled for quite some hours until the dark and shadows of the cliffs made it unsafe for them to be traveling in unknown areas. They started to set up camp, and Holinn decided to scout ahead (Great idea. From experience, I know that this is a place that you do not want to travel through alone). After a few hours of him not returning, the Dark Blade decided that he would scout ahead slightly in an attempt to find Holinn (though Nuru has told me that he has found himself in a rather interesting predicament. These creatures truly do know how to defend themselves).