By Bryant Alexander
Greetings, Green Things
We broke camp in daylight. Once out of the cave, we almost immediately ran into a wandering patrol. They ran away before we could get a good look at them. I wonder why.
We figured we were about fifty to sixty miles from Elminster's tower. We could cover that in a couple days.
“So long as we don't stop to rescue anyone,” I said.
“You were all for that,” Aeryn said.
“And I'd do it again, too,” I said.
“Some people don't learn from their mistakes,” Armand said.
“Look who's talking!” Aeryn said. “The green girl. The toothless girl!”
“‘Picky' is another word for ‘can't get laid',” Armand said.
The frightening thing was that I was starting to get used to them.
“Do you know there are people in Waterdeep who think you two are married?” I asked.
I don't think they believed me. We traveled on. A swarm of pixies descended on us and decided to do our hair. My hair was in need of styling, anyways. Aeryn's was even longer than mine. But some of their attempts at decorating Armand weren't appreciated. At least, not appreciated by him .
“That pink flower is so you,” Aeryn snickered.
Armand didn't mind the bird skull they wanted to plait into his hair, but Aeryn had more fun laughing whenever they tried to weave flowers into his hair. Then the pixies let out a group ‘Squeak!' and darted away. A shadow passed overhead… I went one way and my horse went another. I hit the ground, bounced off in bat form, and found myself a tree to hug.
I started breathing again after the dragon was past. We found my horse calmly grazing in a clearing. Our dwarven friends decided to take their turn off this time, since this time they were dwarves. It was time for them to continue on to the mountains.
“Watch out for any giant centipedes!” I called as I waved goodbye to them.
When I settled down to sleep after my watch, I hoped we wouldn't be seeing anymore giant centipedes. I was not happy when I was nudged awake early. But it turned out to be things that looked like men woven out of vines, not a giant anything.
“I'm following these trees,” Grolsch said.
Aeryn said ‘hello' to the vine-men in Sylvan. They looked attentive. Grolsch looked clueless. Grolsch followed the vine men's lead.
“Keep an eye on things,” Aeryn told me, “while I keep an eye on him .”
That sounded like a good idea. I woke Armand and helped Dreya get him into his armor before starting breakfast. Then I explained that Grolsch was following trees and Aeryn was following Grolsch.
“In other words,” I said, “it's a typical morning.”
Aeryn and Grolsch returned.
“We've been invited to take the shortcut out of the forest,” Aeryn reported. “The local wood nymph is upset.”
“Why upset?” Armand asked.
“Letsay,” Aeryn said, “notay have-ay thisay conversationay here-ay. By the way, your legend has grown, even if other things haven't. The nymph has a green sister downstream. She doesn't like doing mortals, though. Her words.”
“I'm not entirely mortal,” Armand said.
I just might have to sample the goods some day myself, just to find out if his reputation was deserved.
“And she wanted to know if we knew about a dragon that's been burning the woods,” Aeryn said. “I mentioned that we met an undead dragon but it didn't seem to want to leave the mythal.”
The dragon burning the woods was probably trying to destroy our cover and was probably why the nymph was upset. And here Armand has been so eager to meet a dragon.
“It's pretty,” Armand said. “And we didn't exactly meet.”
He might be meat if they actually met. But we traveled on. We passed some wild boars, but we went around them. None of us were so anxious for fresh pork that we would risk annoying the local wood nymph over the issue. We reached the edge of the woods by evening and emerged by a small hamlet.
The walls were manned by nervous farmers brandishing farm implements. For some reason, they weren't eager to open the gates for our traveling circus. All we wanted was a place to sleep. I know I wasn't interested in raping the women.
“A barn would be fine,” Armand said.
They directed us to a rather run down barn outside the walls. I would've taken it, even if it wasn't up to my normal standards, but Aeryn wanted to push on. We traveled another ten miles and made a cold camp. If a dragon was hunting for us, we didn't want to light a beacon for her.
I was nudged awake early by Grolsch again. There was a troll heading our way. I almost stopped to throw my robes on, but I thought better of it. If I switched to bat form, I could fight first and dress afterwards.
Pain and Suffering were charging the troll… and they were growing. In fact, it was difficult to get past the mass of fur between me and the troll. It looked like Grolsch, in bear form, was having a slap fight with it. Bear bits were flying everywhere. I managed to get in a bite on the troll, but it wasn't easy.
The troll was eventually shredded, although Pain and Suffering were knocking shoulders together. They were large enough at their normal size! The troll bits were trying to knit together, so Aeryn threw some magic missiles at them and Armand set them on fire with his flaming sword.
We traveled on, still heading for Elminster's tower.
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