The five adventurers had been walking towards their quest for weeks now. They had across woodland, swamps and moorland, through sun, rain, snow and darkness, fighting goblin night raids, giant raven attacks and other monsters.
Stepping through a clump of wild brush that had been sneakily trying to ensnare them, the group saw they were at the base of sweeping hills as far as the eye could see. Weak sunlight fell through the cloud cover, causing beams of light to touch the hills.
In the dim light and under a dead tree, they gathered and talked quietly.
The elf ranger was certain this was the right way. The two men- one an aged wizard and the other a hardened solider- agreed with him for the elf had yet to lead them wrong. The dwarf cleric and the halfling thief weren’t so sure.
Nobody really knew what was beyond The Reaching Hills, those that went there didn’t often come back and when they did their minds were lost. It was said that evil ghosts and outcast Gods walked the hills, snatching souls and murdering. The hills were always cast in gloom and no normal light could break though the darkness that lay in patches providing perfect cover for enemies.
‘We must go on and see,’ the wizard spoke, ‘I can give us the magical light we need to see by and stop anything sneaking upon us.’
‘We don’t need to go through The Reaching Hills!’ the halfling cried, ‘we can go around them. To the west they only go as far as the Red River. We can cross the Long bridge there and go around!’
The elf shook his head, white hair spilling around his shoulders, ‘it would take too long.’
‘We could die!’
‘We could have died back there!’ the dwarf shouted, ‘we barely got out of that poisonous man-eating plant patch!’
‘We go forward then,’ the solider said and he started walking up the first of the hills.
The rest of the party followed, wondering if the tales of The Reaching Hills were true and what they would encounter there.
(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/09/12/thursday-photo-prompt-reaching-writephoto/ with thanks).