Dawn breaks as the adventurers sally forth, plodding back towards the druid circle. Balgur has Pria slung over his shoulder, while Dirk travels at point with Vio. He looks concerned and Vio attempts to sate his fears. Ellia and Amanita chip in some good will as well. Balgur, on the other hand, isn’t interested. He opts instead for less-than-gentle mocking, making fun of the Pria-dicament.
Dirk responds aggressively, necessitating an intervention from Vio. Dirk rolls his eyes and mutters under his breath. The phrase sounds something like “mucking brick dorks” but no one is really sure what he was saying.
The group arrives to a near silent grove; only the gentle trickling of the stream and some errant bird calls can be heard. Ellia notes to the group that the humming of the stones has subsided.
“Welp, we’re here,” Balgur calls out, tossing Pria to the ground with a whumph. Dirk glares at him.
“That was probably not … the best way to lay her down,” says Vio .
“And it probably wasn’t good for the baby either,” Amanita adds.
Balgur says nothing and much shuffling of feet occurs. Amanita breaks the awkward quiet and calls out for Lyel, but no response is heard. The group asks Dirk if he’d like to bring Pria to town. He responds with a yes, so long as Pria isn’t tossed about again. With a new destination in mind, they head back east to Mosstone.
A few minutes out of town where the wood becomes less dense, Lo’gar senses something. Balgur then notices it as well. An Orc is somewhere nearby.
THUNK! A bone-handled axe embeds itself in in a nearby tree. An Orc, eight feet tall and strangely handsome steps from the shade.
“Ha! Thought you might want that back, Balgur. What brings you out here? And with a harem of weaklings to boot. Can’t you get anything done on your own?” He spits on the ground.
Balgur ignores his bait. “No concern of yours, Drûl. What are you doing here?”
“No concern of yours. Seen your little friend Dura lately?”
“What did you just say to me?”
“Ha! She was even weaker than you!” With that, he turns and vanishes into his tent. Balgur wonders aloud why he would be this far away from the clan and his words linger into silence.
Amanita breaks the awkwardness once again, suggesting they make haste to Plix. They arrive at the Gnome’s home. Plix hears the story, and extends an embarrassed apology to Dirk. He offers to put them up in the inn until Lyel can be located, then shuffles nervously.
Glancing towards his workbench, his expression turns from unease to excitement.
“Ellia, my dear! Take this! I insist. Take it, take it!” Ellia steps to the bench, leans down, and picks up the shield Plix wildly gestures towards. Triangular and silvered, it is emblazoned with a moon.
“Erm.. what is it?”
“Oh my dear, it’s a shield! Look, touch it here and … it lights the room! I located and used some special ore mined up … well, anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Just use it and I’m sure it’ll serve you well.”
“Ah, well. Thank you, Plix. We should probably be off.”
“Of course, of course. I’ll be here, we’ll keep checking on Pria and Dirk. If you could go find Lyel – he was around a bit earlier – then we’ll get her all fixed up!” Plix nods, smiles, and waves as the group departs for the Stone’s Throw Inn.
Pria is given a room and lain on the bed – Dirk stays with her. Meanwhile, the group takes a meal and discusses their next plan. They opt for a short nap before returning to find Lyel. Before leaving, Ellia checks in on Dirk. Nothing has changed, but he brightens a bit at her concern.
At the druid circle, Lyel is present and meditating once again. Vio recounts some of the story of the wisps, mentioning only that Pria has taken ill, and requests that Lyel go tend to Pria.
“Of course, but I’d ask you do me a favor. You must have noticed that the stones have ceased their humming – could you investigate why this has happened? I’ll watch over the girl and see what I can do while you’re gone. You seem to have an affinity for… let’s not say stirring up trouble. Let’s say … an affinity for anomalies.”
Vio grins. “We’ve certainly had a good run of anomalies.”