She laughs, resting her head on a claw ''You are terrible at this did you know that?''
arrive quickly at least, a plate with two halves of a bread and a mug with coffe and milk for each of you.
''Enjoy your meal''
"Uh, its just bread? Okay then. Better than berries."
I eat up and drink the milk, what kid drinks coffee seriously!
The bread is a bit old, but at least the butter brings the slightest bit of flavor. The milk with coffe is slightly bitter, but not unbearably so
You also see Garzha do something weird. She takes one of the halves of the bread and dunks it in the mug, then eats it!
''So, Miss Molinya'' *crunch* ''Whuff ish thu phlan?''
I look almost appalled by her behavior, and the bitter drink.
"Uh, well we need to get a tent for traveling for one."
Then tentatively copy her with my own bread.
Eating the bread in the secret Garzha way has proven to not only be more fun, but also softens up the bread and gives it a nice bitter and sweet flavor. not bad
''Tents? Uh, we should try the trader. It is the only place in the town where we can buy something that isn't vegetables or fruit'' She finishes her plate
Soon after you finish yours, the same stallion comes and hands Garzha a paper ''The check, Ma'am. Would you like to stay the ni-'' He is interrupted as Garzha squawks, glaring at the paper with eyes wide
''Ten pieces of gold for that?! What kind of place you think you are to charge that high?!''
''We need to survive somehow Ma'am. Are you going to stay the night?'' He repeats himself, only slightly bothered
''No, thank you. Here's your st-uh…'' She reaches for her bag, and seems to remember something ''Molinya… You have our money, I forgot…''
"Right, you said it was ten of these?" I show garza a coin that her dad gave me as change, and then give over ten of them.
''Yes, those.'' She grunts, glaring at the stallion as he takes the bits
''Oh we will, of course. Come on Molinya, we're leaving'' Garzha rudely gets up from the table and walks out the door ahead of you. Once you're both outside, she huffs ''Ten. Ten gold pieces! Can you believe that? Ugh, I don't even want to to imagine what the trader will charge for the tents…''
She grumbles, leading you around the town once more
"Is it that much of a rip off? I'm not familiar with your economy… But we might need more at this rate, or more change which you said was suspicious!"
I look over my money.
''Hmph, and the clever guy thought it would be great to tell me the prices after we ate. Greedy bastards…''
You make a pocket check. You have 40 gold and 5 silver. You remember that 1 gold is worth 10 silver pieces, and 1 silver was worth 10 copper
You also have 14 bits from your home, which you were told by Garruk, Garzha's father, were worth 2 pieces of gold each
''Trader is just ahead. You're planning on getting something nice huh?'' She glances back and smiles, seeing you fumble with your money
"I was just checking to make sure! I don't have my bank to withdraw from here, gotta use my money managment skills. At 10 gold a meal, we have only 6 meals worth left."
Garzha rolls her eyes ''Expensive meals you mean. Not even my father would charge that much for bread. That was barely a breakfast!''
She leads you around the city, stopping once to ask for directions from a stallion carrying a bunch of raddishes
''There it is.'' She points to a house with a small wood sign in the front with 'trader' careved into it
''Let us get inside and get that tent before this ghost city sucks the life out of us eh?'' Smirking, she bumps you with a shoulder before strutting to the door
"Hmm." I ponder her sediment about prices, everything was just a certain price standard back home, I think it was because of the government regulating it, buuutt
I didn't pay much attention to history.
"I'll lead this time. What's a fair price for tents so I know." I smile at her.
''Oh.'' She pauses in front of the door, smiles and opens it for you ''Go ahead then, Master Molinya
You can see the inside of the shop. It's very simple and cozy, if only the lack of color and the smell of dust didn't ruin it
Just ahead you see a small counter with a green mare. She seems a bit more expressive than the rest of the town, a lot of worry showing in her face… She also seems to be talking to a strange, smaller pony with a very short tail… Wait no, that's a deer, light brown fur with white underbelly and tail
''And if you see either of them, just pretend you don't know anything, do whatever you can to not annoy her and come to me once you're safe''
The deer glances at you. From the voice you can assume it's a female
''And don't forget that-'' She freezes, eyes fixated on you ''T-that… T-That's HER!'' Shouting, the doe points her cloven hoof at you in panic, Garzha rushes in, confused, causing the doe to scream even louder, and the mare behind the counter to faint
''AND HER SUBORDINATE TOO!''
''Well…'' She ponders ''I remember my dad bought us a tent for a hunting trip one day. Said he bargained one for just twenty silvers… It had a hole but Mother patched it up…''
I blink in confusion.
"I'm sorry, are you mistaking me for someone else?"
When the deer keeps screaming I rush in front of Garzha. "Wait! She's not a mean predator! Its not like that friend deer!"
''D-don't try to fool me! Strange weapon, many bags and A Gryphon as dark as a shadow! I-I… I will end your reign of terror right here, Witch.''
She lowers her head, ready to charge ''You will not disrupt the peace of this humble village! You will not!''
Garzha's face is pure horror as realization hits her hits her ''She knows… Molinya!''
"Oh, you caught us. Two little girls walking alone are surely terrifying witches. And this is a relic from up north." I point towards north. "Past the mountains, where normal iron would freeze, we use crystals instead. Its for keeping wolves from eating me."
''P-past the mountains?'' She blinks, hesitant, but shakes her head ''S-stop trying to fool me! I don't know what you are talking about but I know it is a lie! Witches always lie! Take this!''
She jumps and starts charging towards you!
Let her hit me, since I'm not a witch after all.
You remain still as the doe comes running at you, but Garzha leans foward to try and stop her, but just as the doe was about to hit her, she jumps over both of you and through the door, landing outside and running away ''Hahah! You fools, I know I stand no chance against a witch! Now I will warn the elder about you and he will end you!''
She turns a corner and disappears
''Why that little…'' Garzha starts ''She went towards the woods. If only I grabbed her leg I-*gasp* Molinya, she knows about you, About us! And she was telling that mare too… And probally told half of the town at this point as well… Oh gods no''
"…They aren't really going to believe that right?"
''Molinya, that mare just fainted. She FAINTED! Of course she knows! Oh curses how did she even know? She even knew what we looked like but how? You have never been here, right? And when I came to this place I never saw any deer… Then how'' She puts a claw on her head, looking distressed
''What are we gonna do now…''
"…Well, the only thing I can think of is the dirt path we were looking at. She must have seen us looking at her spell. So she's a witch too."
Look around the store for the tent we need and any other supplies I can see that we're missing..
"We should get what we can and move on."
She looks back at the store ''Well… You're right on that, at least this time we won't have to pay''
she opens her bag, a look of worry in her face
Looking around you see all kinds of things you'd find in a trader shop. many camping supplies, foods, clothes, skins of animals, jewerly and even weapons
You pick up what you'll need for a tent, a small box of rations and blankets, all the other things you might need you already have, thanks to the Hunter
You also see Garzha fumble around behind the counter and some metallic noises
''A-alright where are we going to go next?''
"To the next town over. Through the woods. Hopefully we'll get some clues at to.. I mean, hopefully we can get away before they put posters up."
''You mean towards Arindale? That might be a bit dangerous…''
"Right. What about River view?"
''It is uh… A bit far, but we can reach it'' She puts a claw to her beak ''I actually always wanted to see it. It's a city of fishers, very lively too, I heard'' She starts packing up in a rush
Help her get everything settled onto the packs and leave the store, toward the smaller woods.
"Okay, you're not gonna like this idea. But. I think we should go after that doe. We wanted to find the source of the magic right?"
You see her worry grow
''Well I…Y-yeees? But she went to tell the deers all about us… I don't really know much about them deers, No one really does… They just keep to themselves in the woods… Lurking there''
She looks back at you ''What if they try to kill us on sight?''
"Then I'll never know if they have the magic I'm looking for.. and I might never get home! That would be bad!" I grab her shoulders "Really bad Garzha, because my home was in trouble. I remember.. parts of it.. a big fire.. I have to go back!"
She looks away ''Alright alright fine… We will go…'' She gently pushes you off, mumbling ''You better know some spell to revive us''
You don't. That's necromancy
''What are you gonna do if they know the magic though? Steal it?''
"…If it comes to that, but maybe they will trade once they understand."
I frown and trot briskly toward the woods.
''You're too optimistic…'' The gryphon mutters as she paces ahead ''Come on, before we get captured by guards''
After almost an hour of hurried walking, you arrive at the edge of the forest. Garzha pauses right besides you for a moment ''Keep your eyes open. We don't know what trap they might have made for us…''
She walks ahead
'1d10' keep watch as we go into the woods.Roll #1 5 = 5
You are actually not even sure where to look at as you pass by the trees, but you have a good feeling as you go. Compared to the town, this forest has a lot more colors and life to it. You hear birds chirping and even a little squirrel running past you and up to a tree. Garzha looks a bit more relaxed as well
After a few minutes of walking, the inky gryphon stops ''Look'' She points to what looks like a very simple wooden construction on top on a big tree, it's pretty much a treehouse. There is a deer by the window too, it watches you silently for a moment before picking some kind of horn and blowing it. The loud noise spreads through the forest, and keeps echoing as the deer puts it down and goes back to staring at you, wordlessly
Wave at the deer and call out to it.
"Hello! Can I talk to you for a minute? That's a very nice horn by the way, did you make it yourself?"
It seems surprised, Garzha too, but it leans closer to the window, perking it's ears
''What do you want, Witch?''
Deep voice. Definetly male
"I want to talk to your mage. Can I meet them please?" Step closer to his tower.
"I don't mean any harm, I promise."
''The Elder is waiting for you and the gryphon in the village'' He scowls ''And don't even think about casting any of your spells, that goes for both of you''
He points a hoof to your northwest of you ''THe village is that way''
"I'll be on my best behavior." I wink at him and trot toward his village.
"See, that wasn't too hard."
She nods ''True… That could have been worse, but you heard him. They are expecting us…''
She turns to the deer as you walk ''And I have a name
'' before turning back to you
"Then they aren't going to attack us on sight, see, things are going great already." I pat her on the back. "And what matters is we know the truth. You're my friend, my equal, even if you are my apprentice in terms of magic."
Her tongue pokes out of her beak ''Not for long I bet. If I had time I would be a better witch than you in a week'' she moves her claw to pinch your ear ''And all this time I thought it took years of training to become one.'' she says in a mocking tone as you pass by more trees
Roll my eyes.
"A bird makes a single breeze and suddenly she's the high witch of the forest."
You see her beak curling into a grin ''Just admit it, I'm a natural, much more than you even'' She picks her bone wand and waves it around ''You know sometimes I even thought that I could make a great witch when I was a kid. Doing whatever I wanted with my powers… HAH!'' She lunges foward with her wand…
And nothing happens
I face hoof.
"Don't you listen? They said not to use magic here, probably because they are already using a lot of magic to keep this forest so green."
She straightens up, neck and face feathers poofed in embarassment ''R-right, I knew that! I was only pretending to cast, goodness, you think I am stupid?''
She puts away her wand and clears her throat, reverting back to serious Garzha again
Doesn't take long until you see a clearing ahead, it must be the village no doubt
No where to go but forward.
, you are pretty good." I giggle at her.
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She smiles with confidence ''O-of course I am, and soon I will be even greater, heh…''
As you pass by some more trees, you see it. A big gathering of simple wooden houses and shacks among the trees, either on the ground or built on the branches, connected by bridges and stairs. It is quite the sight, but something is lacking… There are no deer anywhere running around or prancing or little kid deers playing. It is deserted, making the cheerful place just a bit omnious
Before you take another step however…
''There you are'' You hear a raspy, mature voice and see a tall buck approach you. He is a male, and is quite tall, even more than Garzha and wears some kind of tunic ''Come, the Elder waits'' he says, looking down at both you and Garzha