“Do you think it’s winter yet?” Gerrick Greystone asks aloud. He squints his dwarven eyes as he stares into the clear blue sky of the Feywild, the sun shining bright and steady. It’s been several days since he and his group destroyed the bizarre arcane device that was drawing energy from the Feywild, at least he thinks it’s been days, it’s hard for him to track time here, where night is but a fading twilight and no real darkness ever falls.
“Not sure,” Bartholomew Rhum answers distractedly. He’s on his hands and knees, brushing at the stone circle carved with magic runes that he and the rest of his companions stumbled upon. Gerrick notes that Rhum’s brow is coated in sweat, a product of too little spirits rather than hard labor. The pirate-turned-cleric has not had a drink in days, and his mood has already begun to sour.
“Well,” the dwarf paladin asks, “any luck figuring it out?” Bartholomew sighs heavily, and then stands and brushes off his knees.
“No. Even if I was trained to use it, I’m not convinced it’s of fey origin. It seems much darker.” Bartholomew and Gerrick walk silently back to join their companions at the edge of the thick copse of trees where they’ve set up camp.
“Speaking of dark,” the dwarf whispers under his breath, “What do you think of them?” He gestures to Morpheus and Omarlyn Khan, who sit silently with Asturean at their camp.
“I’m not one to judge people by their looks,” the disheveled Cleric says with a smirk. “but Shadar-Kai are a dark breed from the Shadowfell. That doesn’t mean they’re all evil, no more than every drow is either.” Rhum casts a sidelong look at Gerrick to see if his words affect the dwarf. Gerrick stops abruptly and spits into the grass, his face dark and brooding. The former pirate stops, waiting patiently for the angry rebuke, but the dwarf does not take the bait this time.
“Well they’re both handy in a fight, and they’ve proven themselves trustworthy. Besides, if Warnard endorses them, that’s good enough for me.” He pats Rhum on the back and adds, “At least they aren’t halflings.” Both of them laugh loudly at the jest, as they near the camp.
“I’m just saying, if you were willing to take that bet,” Asturean says slyly, as both Morpheus and Omarlyn stare at him skeptically, “how much would you bet that I could shoot an apple of each shoulder with one pull of my bow?” There is a moment of silence before Omarlyn speaks, patiently.
“For the eighth time, friend, I do not plan on taking that bet”
“Wait,” Morpheus interjects, “whose shoulders would you use?” Asturean’s eyes light up at the question.
“Aha!” the elf says excitedly, “Would that affect the amount? For instance, the dwarf, being wider, the shot would be more difficult, correct? Hence a much higher wager?”
“Why?” Omarlyn mutters as he glares at the Shadar-Kai monk, “Why would you encourage him?” Just then, Gerrick and Bartholomew arrive and settle in quietly.
“Nevermind what we spoke about just now,” Asturean whispers to Morpheus, as the elf puts his hands behind his head and makes like he’s asleep.
“Has there been progress?” Morpheus asks the newly arrived pair. Gerrick shakes his head as he settles down amid the group. Bartholomew begins his hourly ritual of looking through the packs at his empty bottles of grog and spirits, shaking each and listening intently with hope filled eyes.
“One more night in the Feywild then,” Morpheus says attempting poorly to mask his discomfort with that fact. Omarlyn half smiles at his friend and then begins to meticulously clean his weapons.
Without moving, or opening his eyes, Asturean begins to speak loudly and clearly in the singing tones of the elven language. An answering voice comes from the thick forest and in moments an eladrin steps from the woods, bowing his head politely at the group. He continues to speak in elven, and Asturean sits up and begins to translate for his companions.
“He wishes to thank us for our great service to the Feywild, and particularly to his faction known as Quiet Hall, who serve the Gloaming Court, and whom have always used this site as there final resting place. It has been known as the ‘Garden of Graves’, and his people are both dismayed and angry that it was corrupted by some evil creature. They intend to find out who was behind it, but for now that is not our concern. He wishes us to follow him to his council, so that they may–” Asturean hesitates, clearing his throat, “so… that they may thank us with song and drink, and help us crossover back to our world.”
As one the group rises, and gather their things. They turn to follow the eladrin, but Omarlyn grabs Asturean by the elbow and speaks under his breath.
“I don’t speak elven, but I’ve heard enough to know that the word ‘gifts’ does not sound anything like ‘song and drink'”
“Well,” the elf replies with a smile, “my elven is a little rusty.”