Azoloth and Trinsic were sitting cross-legged several feet away from a campfire as Y’smir used a pot from one saddlebag to cook up a stew. After their ordeal with the Wild Hunt, all three had decided to rest for a time. Hunting wild game within the Roanwood was easy, and soon they had bagged several rabbits and found some wild carrots for a stew. 

“How do you feel about our supply situation? I think we have a week’s worth of water left and we should have no problem finding a stream or lake before that,” Azoloth said to which Trinsic just gave a grunt. “Oh, come on, you can’t still be that upset about what happened.”

“You weren’t the one who was cursed, or the one who was tied to a bloody tree to be executed by a bunch of damned gnats with wings,” Trinsic shot back.

“I would watch your tongue, while some of them were the wee folk of folklore, legends also speak of some who were 6 foot tall muscled warriors who I don’t think would take kindly to be called gnats,” Azoloth chided playfully.

“I don’t care, your completely missing the point. They had me tied to a tree.”

“And ye lived,” Y’smir cut in as she moved over and sat on the far side of Azoloth, away from Trinsic. “Which is a damned sight more than most who deal with them can say.” Y’smir then brought the wooden bowl containing steaming soup up to her lips and blew on it gently.

“Hey where is ours?” Trinsic whined, even as Azoloth was already standing up to get his own.

“In the pot over yonder. Don’t ye think just because I cooked it I am going to be serving ya. I only did the cooking because I don’t trust either of you not to burn it or poison the lot of us.”

“Hey! We’ve done fine on our own so far.” Trinsic shot back.

“Enough you two, we can actually take care of ourselves, you know,” He said to Y’smir as he sat down between the two once more. Then he brought the bowl up to his lips, blowing on it gently before inhaling the scent. “Though I’ll admit, our food never smelt this mouth watering, oh and Y’smir is right, get up and get your own damned food.”

“At least someone here has some manners,” Y’smir said before flashing a warm smile to Azoloth, the whiteness of her teeth standing out against her tanned flesh.

Huffing Trinsic moved to get himself a bowl as Azoloth turned to Y’smir, “So what else can you tell us about the fey, and about the Druids.”

“That’s a lot of askin ye be doin. Where to begin. Before the Darkening, the Druids were a peaceful order devoted to the natural world and maintaining its balance. The Fey in all of their courts were the purest form of nature spirits. They in some ways were the guardians of this world. While the Druids were moved by Human motivations for peace and harmony, the fey had no such compunctions. The fey only cared about the world itself, and the ancient laws set down time out of mind. It is why the fey, especially the Court of Stars, might bring ruin to a peaceful human village, despoiling the land in some way, yet leave an evil tribe of murderous goblins in peace. After all, the goblins are only fulfilling their role in the natural world.” Y’smir said in that soft melodic voice as she sipped at her soup.

“What exactly is the Court of Stars, and why would they want to kill Trinisc?” Azoloth asked, taking a draw of his own soup and letting out a soft sound of pleasure at the flavor.

“Well, the Court of Stars is one of many Fey courts. Each has its own place in the annals of history. While some fey were more pranksters or valued comfort and peace almost as much as humans do, the Court of Stars has always been among the darkest and most primal forces of the fey. The only fey who challenged them in the past was the Court of Dawn, yet who knows where they are with the sun…” Y’smir trailed off, then taking a deep breath she shot a worried look towards Trinsic. “I do nay know why they want Trinsic dead, often why the fey do what they do is beyond human ken.”

“Because they are bloody fey, what else do you need to know. The murderous things probably just wanted to have a merry laugh.” Trinsic snapped as he sat back down.

“With the Court of Stars returned, it may make the Roanwood into a paradise on this world. Murderous as they may be to some, the fey will chase out the darkness that plagues the land.” Y’smir said, shooting Trinisc a glare. While she didn’t trust the fey at all, she also didn’t trust Trinsic as far as she could throw him. 

They sat in silence for a time, drinking their soup and staring into the fire. Finally, Azoloth spoke. “I’ll take first watch, let’s make them longer and we can sleep until nightfall. We deserve the rest.” He set the remainder of his soup down for Crimson to come over and begin lapping up.

“That sounds lovely, I’ll take last watch.” Y’smir said as she poured her remaining soup into Azoloths bowl for Crimson. 

“Wait what, I get the middle of the day?” Trinsic groaned. Azoloth ignored his friends’ complaining and went to tend to the horses. They had been riding hard as well as having faced combat. There was much maintenance to do. The last thing they would want is for one of their horses to go lame due to lack of care. Crimson was a much easier beast to take care of. As long as he got enough food and attention, he usually saw to himself. The shepherd was very headstrong and independent.

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