They spent the rest of the day descending the mountainside. The three adventurers wound their way through rough-hewn canyons and over rocky ridges, following cold crystal streams that splashed away from their origin in some glacial peak and spilled down sheer cliffs into deep blue pools. The forest rose up to meet the three travelers like a great, dark wave, engulfing them in shadow as they passed the first gnarled old trunks of heavy-boughed trees.
By day, Hyren found, the Haunted Woods was not really all that Terra made it out to be. The Grundo had been expecting ghosts and ghouls to pop out at every turn, but the Woods had more dignity than to stoop to petty shock tactics. Rather, it was quiet, incredibly quiet, and the air hung dense around them. Nothing chirped overhead or scurried through undergrowth, although if Hyren listened hard enough, he thought he could almost catch indistinct whispers far in the distance. He got the impression that the entire Woods seemed to be holding its breath, waiting dormant for something, but not asleep. Never asleep.