It was less than an hour’s brisk walk to the vine gates in the woods.
When they got there, the gates were already open to receive them.
The elven girl rushed into the arms of another elf that looked like her older brother.
“Drakan, we welcome you to our corner of the world. If you’re here for peace, then peace will be given to you.” (Elf-Man)
Naleeit closed her eyes while saying sorry as Dramix stepped forward.
“We aren’t here for peace, but we aren’t here for war either. The young one here has already told us that the last member of our party’s here. He’s bound to have told you about us.” (Dramix)
The elf girl then turned to him angrily.
“I’m older than both of you combined six times over.” (Maple)
Dramix paused, but Peter spoke as he appeared.
“You’re still younger than the person behind you, correct? My shaman spoke to him that way so he could understand. Just as you presume your fun didn’t hurt Naleeit but it did.” (Peter)
The older elf then moved closer to Peter and stared at him.
“How curious. A spirit that leaves his prison.” (Elf-Man)
Peter backed away.
“I don’t need other people examining me. If you’re wondering why, I find Dramix interesting, but I wish to commune with others. I know there are some unknown dangers, but I’m willing to take the risk.” (Peter)
The elf looked at him puzzled when he said.
“Afraid of not being able to return to the eye?” (Elf-Man)
Peter shook his head.
“The danger lies in you elves. When your woods are tested, it’s not us that will betray them.” (Peter)
Peter then went back into the eye. Dramix wondered if that was a warning from the future, or of a possible future.
Peter was quiet and content to observe for now though.
He wanted Dramux to follow and make his own path.
“We’re here to aid you in the way that you know is coming. I’m a drakan shaman. I chose to follow this path on my own accord. This is my senior in combat and a knight of the fallen kingdom to the north. We wish to see our party leader.” (Dramix)
The little girl smiled and grabbed Naleeit’s hand after coming over to her.
“This way.” (Maple)
Naleeit became surprised, as she was almost dragged by the little elf through their village. The buildings seemed like they grew right out of the trees.
They then came to one of the buildings with two lax guards. They saw the elf girl and who she was with, then they allowed her to pass.
Inside the building, there was a single room with three people sitting down, with Gulliver in the middle of them. Naleeit then let go of the hand that was holding and walked over to Gulliver.
He looked at her with a smile.
“Sister. I take it that your quest went well. Where’s Towward?” (Gulliver)
Naleeit set a gentle hand on his shoulder before looking away with her eyes closed. Dramix stood to the side, as the little elf did as well. The other three elves in the room looked older than anyone else in the whole village.
Currently, they were looking at Dramix more than the other two.
“A spirit trapper. Why is he here? You know our laws.” (Elf Elder)
The little elf then stepped forward.
“Ancient ones. It’s the spirit that asked for my aid.” (Maple)
Their attention didn’t leave Dramix.
“That is to be revealed.” (Elf Elder)
Peter then spoke to Dramix to ease his heart.
“I’m here of my own free will Dramix. I came freely to you.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)
Dramix then looked at his amulet by picking it up.
“If he wishes to be released, then I will release him. His methods seem strange to me, but he hasn’t misled me as of yet.” (Dramix
The small elf then looked toward him in surprise.
“Why does he not appear and say that he wishes to be free? He has appeared before.” (Maple)
Dramix looked at the amulet, then he became surprised with what Peter had to say in response.
“To what point? Believe for yourself what you know about us. Even if he did reveal himself again, you would only claim him under my will, or a fake that I made to deceive you.” (Dramix)
He then laid the amulet gently back against his chest.
“This talk is counterproductive anyways. We should be speaking about what’s to be done about the dawn breakers.” (Dramix)
Peter noticed Gulliver’s reaction to Dramix’s bluntness.
“You speak about things that you don’t understand.” (Gulliver)
Dramix crossed his arms and leaned against the wall.
“I don’t need to understand the details to know the danger. To me, it’s all hearsay, but I believe the person that spoke to me about it.” (Dramix)
Dramix then eyed Gulliver and Naleeit. They were still together as if they were a couple of lovers.
“I understand my role. I support the prince, and I will aid his adopted sister.” (Dramix)
The three old elves laughed when he said that.
“You haven’t begun to fathom the danger you’re facing, have you? Long ago, before there were dragon-like beings, there was a god who walked among men. He would travel the lands and conquer places that interested him, then he would abandon it centuries later when it no longer amused him. Eventually, he came upon a party seeking vengeance against him for conquering their homes. There was a warrior with a legendary sword, a soldier with a legendary helm, a clerk with a legendary belt, an elf with a legendary set of gloves, and a thief with a legendary set of boots. Working together, they felled the god and these legendary items were imbued with the god’s power. Each of the five then returned to their homelands. The warrior created a new kingdom, the soldier went from battlefield to battlefield just like a soldier until the day he died and someone else took ownership of the helm. The clerk founded an order of healing and protection on a lake island. The elf went back into his woods and remains there still, while the thief was never heard from again, but you can sometimes hear his whispers at night. However, as time passed, the god found himself bound to these items and corrupted the helm where his mind laid. He found the thief who had escaped death all those years ago and made him pay his penitence. The kingdom was next, as you know.” (Elf Elder)
Dramix listened to the story that the three elders told, and was amazed that they knew so much. He then figured out that the story had no purpose.
“To know about the past is not to know about danger. If you wish to change my mind, you must do more. I grow weary.” (Dramix)
He then turned toward maple.
“Can you lead me to a place of rest?” (Dramix)
She nodded in understanding, then they left.
Dramix looked at the empty room he was brought to, figuring that it was made for storage and was repurposed with a set of mats for beds.
Daramix sighed deeply as he took his spear off his back and laid it to the side before sitting down.
“Perhaps I acted hastily.” (Dramix)
The elf looked at him slightly puzzled.
Dramix looked at her.
“My spirit. Sometimes I speak out loud when I talk to him. It helps me think. Unlike other shamans, my spirit wants me to keep true to myself. In turn, I am humbled by not having these gifts that I rely on. My skills and abilities are all mine. With training and persistence, I would gain them with or without his aid.” (Dramix)
She then looked down in disappoint.
“He seems like such a gentle spirit.” (Maple)
“He is. Conflict isn’t his way. He prefers to be cunning and crafty, which is something I unfortunately lack. At first, I didn’t believe his ways would work, but I trusted him and now I have no more doubts.” (Dramix)
Dramix then raised his head and scoffed in amusement.
“Always doubting and questioning you? Make up my own d*** mind, eh?” (Dramix)
She looked at him confused, even more so being the third in a conversation between the two.
As they were talking, Dramix been looking at what he wore.
“I never did make my armor, and the ones I’m currently wearing are rather. It seems like I must ask for materials to make more.” (Dramix)
She then looked at him puzzled.
“You don’t seem like that though….” (Maple)
Dramix shook his shirt before putting it back on.
“I don’t know if you trade or deal with money.” (Dramix)
She smiled before responding.
“Come, I will show you where to go.” (Maple)
Dramix was ready to lay down, but he followed the elf outside again and to another tree. Inside, there were several elves from various ages sewing, stitching, and knitting. Dramix watched in amazement at their speed and skill.
Maple then spoke softly.
“The elves here make clothing for the others. I’ll leave you here to conduct your business, I have to go back to the others now.” (Maple)
Dramix nodded as he watched the elves work.
His spirit was quiet, which he was glad about because he learned a lot just from watching them work. He was unsure how much time had passed, as he saw the youngest elf of the group struggling with a mistake. No one would help him, so Dramix decided to move over to the boy’s side. He offered to take the piece that he was working on, and the boy accepted. Without breaking the twine, Dramix pulled on the stitch on the mistake and straightened the knot enough to be properly fixed.
“Sometimes it’s better to take a step back than be lost for your next three.” (Dramix)
Dramix offered it back, so the boy took it happily.
He was about to leave when the oldest of the group spoke.
“You’re here for the fight?” (Oldest Sewing Elf)
“I am.” (Dramix)
She tied a knot into the yarn she had, then she raised a sock.
“You’re here to help us. The least we can do is repay you for your commitment.” (Oldest Sewing Elf)
Dramix looked at her happily.).
“I must admit that I have been watching you just as I watched my father long ago.” (Dramix)
She nodded, then she brought over a bolt of silk, some thread, and some proper tailoring tools.
“Please take these as gifts for our gratitude.” (Oldest Sewing Elf)
Dramix felt the fabric before speaking.
“Are you sure this will be durable enough? Where I tread is harsh and unforgiving.” (Dramix)
She nodded without hesitation.
“That is no ordinary fabric. It’s our finest bolt. It should be enough for you and the other two to fit in.” (Oldest Sewing Elf)
Dramix nodded in understanding as he went to work.