The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger


Chapter Two Part Six

Earlier parts here

Knights, Lizards and Kingfishers

As we head to the village of Ford Leatony talks with the Lady, he asks what she might know about the Green Archer and his men and about magic. She says that she is sure that the bandits were under his control rather than wanting to be there. The Green Archer is a tainted person with a chaos ability from the Forest. That is how he got my knights to kill each other; Leatony says that must have been what had tried to get him to attack Yogi. Yes says the Lady, it requires a stronger mind that the Simples have indeed you must have a better mind than my knights did as well. It also turns out that she knows Leatony’s grandmother so he can talk magic with her as well; he mentions his desire to learn more about magic and more than just a few folk spells. She listens and takes all of this in as he does with her wisdom.

The road to the village winds its way through the forest, we come to a bend and as Leatony rounds it… ‘Dear Lady I Griant-de-agot will free you from this knave,’ is shouted at him as said knight bears down on him with levelled lance. Leatony has little time to react and so throws up his shield to parry the blow, lucky for him the knight hasn’t the space to get up to full charge speed so he can manage a parry. The knights lance comes straight at him and at the moment before it hits Leatony he pushes it away with his shield. Then the words of the knight impact on his mind and he shouts back ‘you are to late I have already saved her from the bandits, ask the Lady herself if you doubt me.’ The Lady confirms this fact and Sir Leatony and Sir Griant exchange titles and pleasantries before he rides off into the forest; we notice from the side of our eyes something disappearing from the trees above us to the left. Maybe he had some men up there or was it magic? I do not know.

The rest of the journey to Fordvill is uneventful and we arrive late in the day, the Lady arranges for us to be billeted and the horses cared for but more importantly care for her husband who is in need of care and pain relief. After all is set and prepared we join the Lady for supper Yogi and I sit on a lower table while Leatony sits on the upper table, the Lady has her husband’s empty seat to her right, she asks Yogi to sit there he responds he is not worthy but she says the house is honoured to have a divine and a talking bear in it a rare honour. So Yogi joins her and she asks about his history and how he hears from his god. She also talks to the rest of us but mainly to Yogi as he is close so she doesn’t need to shout.

As the meal comes to an end the Lady quiets the talk in the hall, I am in debt to these three men who saved me and my husband so I must reward them. I can offer each of you the teaching of a Fae Spell or for Leatony the learning of the skills of casting and shaping more powerful spells. We chat with the Lady about what she can teach us and I choose to learn Vigor a spell to help combat fatigue when working hard, Yogi takes Witchsight to enable him to see active magic; magic items and invisible creatures. Leatony decides to advance his magical studies and asks to learn how to cast and manipulate more powerful spells. This training will take from a week to a month so we will be here for a while. The lady then says her husband wishes to reward them as well and will give us a couple of Gentle privileges or a mix of Simple and Gentle. After a discussion we decide to take two Gentle requesting two Heater shields and a battle axe, the shields are for Yogi and Trist, Leatony’s page, and the battle axe is for Trist as well, Leatony takes a Heavy Crossbow for himself. We head for bed and some rest knowing that we will be here for some time.

We break are fast next morning and the Lady when she joins us looks worried she ask Leatony to join her and says ‘Good knight could you help me? My husband is in a bad way and isn’t healing or responding and is declining. I only know of one way that he will recover from his injuries, I need you dear knight to get a pink apple from the tree on Lizard Isle. The apple will restore my love to health again. Would be grant me this mercy?’

Leatony says he will as she continues ‘the apple will retain its properties for up to a week getting less potent each moon rise so haste is needed once you have it.  Follow the river north for a day or so, don’t leave the river as you will get lost in the forest.’ Leatony comes to inform us of our new mission to aid this Lady. I decide that it would be a good idea to find out what the local villagers know about this Lizard Island. I find out that it is up the river as we have been told and is a wonder and that along with the pink apple there are other apple on the tree. It is guarded and looked after by a family of talking Lizards, the river is from 2m wide to 6 or more with wide flood plains beside it and the odd island in it. By morning we leave the village with Leatony, Trist and myself on horseback and Yogi walking. We take 6 days food and a few other supplies with us.

We follow the river on its left bank as it twists and turns and widens and narrows. After a while the river ahead seems to go in a loop and we can shorten the journey by cutting across the loop through the brush saving hours. However we remember the Lady’s warning about leaving the river and entering the forest so we take the long way. After we have gone further and it did take us longer it starts to get dark so we camp for the night. We arrange for Yogi to do the middle night watch as he can see in the dark while I and Leatony do either side with Trist being with Leatony. The night is peaceful well as peaceful as any night in the nosy forest can be, but we are not disturbed by any hostile actions by the forest.

We move off after sunrise and breakfast, and within a few hours we see the island ahead of us. We stop and Yogi offers a prayer to the Swordbrother for us as we want to engage with the lizard men by diplomacy rather than force. He gets a picture of a knight kneeling before an elder person, which we take to mean that Leatony must knell to the Lizard elder with courtesy. We move on up the bank with the island to our right. It is not a long island but big enough for a small group to live on with trees for shade and two rises one to south and one to the north. The apple tree is set on a rise to the north of the island; it has many apples on it red and green and one small pink one. The island has walking lizards and we can see some female and young along with a male guard by a walkway over the river. Leatony approaches and bends to his knees and announces himself and the party and our mission that he seeks a Pink Apple for a Lady to save her dying husband and Lord. The elder waves his hands around and speaks something we do not understand. A female comes up to him and casts a spell, Leatony can then understand the elder and vice versa. The elder asks Leatony to repeat what he said as now he will understand, Leatony does so.  The elder says that it is normal for gifts to be given for such a prize, after discussion we offer Trist’s hatchet, a spear and me to tell stories. This seems to be a fair trade and we are invited to join the family in a meal and storytelling.  We cross the bridge onto the island as some more lizards swim up to see what’s going on, another female, male and two young ones. Another female casts a spell on the whole group so that we can understand each other as we talk and tell stories. As I tell the stories I cast Ventriloquism to enhance the telling but forget they only understand what’s in our minds not what I throw so I drop the spell when they look at me. After my tales of bold knights the elder talks about the apples. It appears that the Green apples will restore some fatigue once it is eaten while the Red apples will restore body damage. He also tells us that as the tree is a wonder anyone touching it has some of their magical energy restored to them, very handy for his females who use magic.

We go and get the Pink apple and 4 Green apples so that we can move quickly to get the Pink apple to Lady Ford. By midday we are ready to leave and head back to the village, I cast mobility on Yogi so he can keep up with the horses as we jog onwards and Pathway on our horses and Yogi. After a short time we hear the voice of a women crying out ‘help me please help, don’t leave me.’ Leatony has no choice but to answer her call for help so we give Yogi the Pink apple and all the Green ones and tell him to run on to the village while we help the lady. As Yogi breaks into a run and disappears down the river bank we turn and enter the forest.

As we follow the calling of the lady we nearly lose sight of each other as the forest affects our perception but luck helps us to realise its happening and we move closer together. As we near where the voice is leading us to we suddenly hear a very high pitched giggling. It seems we have been the victims of a annoying luton. We try to work out the way back to the river but neither Leatony or I can work it out, it seems we are lost in the forest. We could do with Yogi and his forest sense senses, as we saying that Trist says he can still hear the sound of the Kingfishers by the river. He had been listening to them all this time as he enjoyed the sound, so he leads us back to the river by following their sound, cleaver lad.

 We head back down the river to the village, once we get their Yogi tells us his part of the story. He ran hard and although very tired by the time he got to the village and gave the apple to the Lady. He is still recovering while having a snack when we arrive at the village.

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