Two templar in full plate entered the clearing, a dwarf priest and a halfling in soft leather following close behind. There was no sign of the four humans who had been there earlier.
“Priest, can you still learn of that?” The templar with black pauldrons asked the priest, pointing at a barely visible object in the sky.
“It’s too far away, but I’ll attempt it if you wish.” The priest pointed at the object and began to murmur something.
The halfling in the soft leather was studying the ground for footprints. He addressed the second templar with white pauldrons. “Dervid, there’s another path leading into the forest, but nowhere in this clearing are there footprints.”
“Do you have any deep stalker spells that can aid us here?” The templar didn’t turn from the sight of the lander.
The deep stalker pulled a sraix spike from his pack and drew blood from his right forefinger with it. He paused for a moment, closed his eyes, and pointed past the path. “That way.” When he opened his eyes they had a strange green tint to them. “I’ll make it easy for you to track me, but I’ll move faster than you can.”
“Very well,” Dervid said, starting towards the path the deep stalker was already running along.
– – –
Haru stared at the simplicity of the small hut.
“I can tell you are used to more luxury in the sky. I can understand that. You need specific things in vacuum to survive, and luxury to feel less cramped.” Dohner was shoving items into a pack.
“I never thought about it that way. I guess that makes sense, but my ship is utilitarian. Though I suspect you would find many things there a luxury.” Haru pulled a crystal from her pocket. It was blue, and shaped differently than the flyer control. “This laser cutter for example. Useful for melting and cutting metal, but also easy to turn into a weapon. Can’t block with it cause it’s just powerful light, but it can slice flesh easily.” She tossed the one in her hand to Dohner, dug out another and tossed it to Ahlev, then pulled one out for herself.
“Why are you giving us these now?” Ahlev pulled the trigger and burned the table a little. “Wow, that is good.” Dohner had to translate this from common into Haru’s language for him.
Haru helped Dohner finish packing. “Someone’s coming. Let’s go.”
– – –
The deep stalker and the white pauldroned templar approached the hut. The deep stalker had waited for the templar before continuing forward.
“Nobody’s here, but I can’t tell where they went now.” The deep stalker’s eyes were still green, but then he dropped the spell. “They must have someone blocking me magically.”
The templar stared at the hut for a moment. “Go get the other two. I’ll search the hut.” He took off his helmet, revealing his feathered head. “A tinkerer lives here with an apprentice. He was trying to prove the usefulness of a telescope with mirrors. He saw that ship thing clear enough. I’m going to take the item for the order, or a blueprint if I can find one.” He looked back after he stopped talking and realized the deep stalker was already gone. “Stupid nature worshiper,” he muttered to himself. Skravyn weren’t listened to much in the order. They were too long winded for most.
– – –
“Thanks Vermond. I wasn’t sure we could get away without help.” Ahlev said in common to a human wearing greenish leather with face-paint on.
“No problem. That halfling gives us deep stalkers a bad name siding with those stupid templar. I’m going now.” Vermond took three steps and disappeared from sight.
Haru stared where Vermond disappeared then noticed a strange herb on the ground next to her. It was light blue and glowing slightly with three leaves growing out of three stems. In an instant she knew it would be useful to heal if she mixed it in water with a brownish fungus growing under an evergreen tree. She started to harvest them while Dohner and Ahlev decided where they were going next.
“Wait, what are you picking up?” Dohner glanced at Haru over his shoulder. “Those are poisonous!”
“Not when you mix them together. They’ll make a powerful healing draught. I’m what’s known as an herbalist. I can tell the property of herbs and other items at a glance and how to make them do what I want them to. For example elf ear is good for fearing, poisoning, or discerning language depending on what you combine it with.” Haru smiled disarmingly at Dohner. “Don’t worry, I don’t ever use materials from living sentients, and then only if they had donated the body part before hand.”
“Uhh…let’s go.” Dohner motioned in a way that made it clear to Ahlev what he had said.
In common Ahlev said, “is she an alchemist or something?”
“Or something.” Dohner answered, trying to relax again. He wasn’t sure he wanted to be around someone who could read the alchemical properties of body parts at a glance.