"Sorry about that, brothers - sneaking around isn't one of my strong suits."Not without a few packs of battle-brothers keeping the enemy distracted, at least. As he apologised, he kept moving behind the others, one eye on the beasts in-case things went bad.
The Kill-team shuffles towards the exit. The theratryx keep a healthy distance, urging the Marines on with hisses and a few desultory snaps of their jaws. In the end the theratryx let the kill-team go unmolested, returning to their nests now that the threat has passed.
Ydnar takes the lead again through the narrow defile. The battle-brothers enhanced senses of smell pick out a sulphurous stench on the air. It increases as they move. Jaundiced yellow clouds stretch like fingers through the trees limbs. The vegetation thins, even Aurum's hardy flora unable to survive in the air. Soon enough, you come to the Deadlands, a flaming red wound upon Aurum's surface. Magma bubbles in pits and vents belch toxic clouds.
Ydnar halts, kneeling in a patch of broken ground. He waves his brothers forward. A track matching the one Alkedre drew sits upon the blighted ground, matching tracks marching off towards a looming shelf of red rock.
"I think we have found our quarry, brothers," Ydnar says, coughing as the gases burn his lungs. "Russ's beard, this air is foul."
Shaking his head, Ydnar sets off again, following the tracks. A cloying stench of rotten meat fills the air, almost overpowering the sulfur assailing your senses. The tracks lead to a narrow pat zig-zagging up the rock shelf, ending in a gaping black cave mouth perhaps twenty meters up.
You hear a hollow snuffling coming from the cave above, followed by the crack of bones between mighty jaws, the sick wetness of tearing flesh.
As the fumes grow thick, Brother Camael coughs heavily. It can take minutes, even hours, for the adaptive metabolism of a space marine to rise to the occasion. He can only trust in the Emperor and push ahead with his head unbowed and his focus undiminished.
Androcles coughed a couple times, but then took a deep breath and snorted through his nose as his system adjusted to the poisons in the air. "Just fumes. Let's press on, shall we?" he suggested, nodding toward the cave above them. "We should draw it out and ambush it. Attacking it in the cave will take away our maneuverability advantage."
Ydnar grunts in agreement. "Aye, brother. But how to draw it out? From the sound of things the beast is eating its fill up there, so I doubt the smell of blood will be enough to tempt it to come out." He looks at the other kill-team members. "But there must be some way."
"Perhaps a challenge? Is there any species of predatory creature that does not feel the need to answer an aggressor?" Without waiting for an answer to the rhetorical question, the Blood Drinker walks a little closer to the mouth of the cave and bellows into it as loudly as his post-human lungs permit:
"COME OUT AND FIGHT US, YOU FILTHY BEAST! THE EMPEROR'S ANGELS OF DEATH HAVE COME FOR YOU!"
"Well, that's certainly one way to do it..." Androcles sighed. "Quickly, brothers. We'll ambush it when it appears. Attack from flanking positions and don't let the beast pin you down!" he reminded the Kill-Team, though he could see that they were already moving on their own to prepare for the creature's arrival. For his part, Androcles attempted to gain a position possibly as close to the mouth of the cave as possible without sacrificing stealth.