Part VIII: Go West Young Dwarf

Wherein, our hero, Zyf, and his boon companions, Zyf's Talons 2.0, travel to the Wyld Elf camp to fulfill their geas.

After a few months at sea, the sight of land was a welcome change for the ship’s crew and passengers. The only problem was, this was the military city of Bronian and the underwater maze had been designed to keep approaching vessels at bay. Quintain flew Emma to the dock where the resourceful rogues bartered with the port-master for a berth and secured the assistance of a knowledgeable navigator to guide the hand-made ship safely to the pier. Many of the local sailors and stevedores gaped in amazement at the ship, momentarily pausing in their tasks to admire the dragon bone adornments and unique aspects of its construction.

The group stayed only long enough to trade the boat for land transport and to exchange the piles of copper and silver they had accumulated into more manageable specie, then it was west. West into the setting sunset, if there had been a sunset. Hopefully, the Pearl of Life would be able to undo the havoc caused by the Termilatude and their unwitting agents.

In due time, the group arrived at the tower city of  Pithen, where Sir Michael, the Lady Amalia and their  House Pace retinue turned south and Zyf’s Talons turned north into the  Wyld Elf  Forest of Loc Sil. Here the ways of the elves and the powers of the druid hold sway and thus it was that the  Pearl of Life was transferred to the Wyld Elves and the geas lifted. We told them of the  Summer Tree and the other knowledge gleaned on the long arduous journey. Much pleased, the elves invited us to stay with them for a time and recover.

The local druid, Horned Owl, met us there and after congratulating us on our success challenged Dannis to an ancient Druidic ritual for supremacy to the grove…to the death!! It is their (possibly misguided) belief that only a certain number of druids are necessary to maintaining the ‘balance’ and therefore the extras need to be removed. Dannis immediately accepted and thus began the ritual. It was a sight to behold as Dannis summoned wolves and an eagle and a hippogriff, and Horned Owl flew above with his companion, a great owl, and cast Flame Strike and Locust Swarm. Zyf eagerly watched the contest, alternately cheering on Dannis and shaking his head at Horned Owl’s clever tactics. The combat ended with a flourish, and Horned Owl fell from the sky defeated. According to ritual, his blood was fed to the ground of his grove and his companion released to the wild. It was a most somber ritual.

Zyf was happy for his Druid companion but felt ill at ease over the ceremony. Such skill and talent could have been used to combat  the Culling, the Following, or  Syn’s Get. Instead, one more warrior against evil has been lost to the world.

No wonder the  Wyld is diminishing.