Throbor adjusted the metal on his back and pointed to an opening in the crumbling city wall. “There, we can leave this wretched place. I only hope we can find others to help us.”
“Well, in my experience elves live in the forest.” Tribst pointed to the north-west. “If I’m not mistaken there are some trees on the horizon.”
Aram pulled a spyglass from his side and looked through it. “Yes, quite a few days away, I’d wager.”
“Where’d you get that?” Throbor motioned to the spyglass.
“Oh, Yerkir is an island realm. I’ve spent a lot of time at sea. I’ve spent some time in the crow’s nest.” He put the spyglass away and pulled out a sextant. “This might come in handy, but we can see the forest on the horizon so I don’t think we need it…unless we plan to travel at night.”
The party glanced at each other to see if anyone thought that was a sound plan.
“Well,” Erin voiced, “none of us can see in the dark, so that’s probably not a good idea.”
“True.” Throbor motioned to the horizon. “Well, let’s start going then. The daylight’s a waisting.”
– – –
After a half a day’s travel in cold rain towards the forest the group found an abandoned guard outpost. The outpost had flowers and grass growing out from between the masonry, but the roof was still intact. Thankful for the respite the party went inside the small building.
“So, how long do you think this place has been abandoned?” Tribst poked at the stools positioned around a small table. “The wood’s not rotten.” He sat down on the stool.
“I’d guess it hasn’t been used as a guardhouse for a long time. Maybe someone else has been using it.” Amir looked out the window, ever alert.
Erin tested another stool then sat down. “Well, at least we can have a short meal in peace.” She pulled a few pieces of dried jerky from her pack. “Who wants some?” She popped a piece in her mouth and began to chew slowly.
Reaching down and taking a piece from Erin’s hand Throbor shrugged. “Whoever’s been using this place isn’t here. It’s a cold day and it’s raining so it wouldn’t surprise me if they’re holed up somewhere.”
Tribst took a piece of the jerky and began chewing on it. “Aram, you want some?”
“Yeah, sure. Just don’t want to let anything sneak up on us.” Aram snagged the last piece from Erin and broke it in half. He put the first half in his mouth but didn’t chew.
“You, know, on Earth jerky is a delicacy.” Erin moved her stool against the wall and leaned back. “It comes in a whole bunch of different flavors, too.”
“Really?” Throbor sounded interested. “What can you tell us about Earth?”
“I can really only tell you about the country I’m from. I know some older stuff about other countries, but I haven’t lived there.” Erin shrugged. “I’m sure America would be interesting to you guys, but it feels boring compared to what I’ve done since I’ve gotten here.”
Aram chewed and swallowed the first half of his jerky. “This feels relaxing to me. I’m used to standing vigil on a ship for days straight then rushing into battle on the shore.” He shook his head. “That magic pulled me from a battle. I think I was about to die.”
“Well, I don’t know much about your culture. On Midgard, humans that fall in battle go to Valhalla.” Throbor shrugged. “I expect that they really go to the open arms of Hel, but I’m not a human.”
“Hel? Who’s that?” Tribst was jotting things down in a small tome.
“If I’m not mistaken,” Erin replied, “Hel is the goddess of the underworld, and the underworld is also known as Hel.”
“Right. You know a lot about the culture here and from my home.” Throbor motioned to Aram. “What about his culture?”
Erin looked at Aram. “What is the name of your home realm?”
“Yerkir.” Aram shrugged. “Our common tongue was once known as Armenian.”
“Oh,” Erin shook her head. “I don’t know much about Armenian myths. In my realm, there’s a country called Armenia, but they mostly follow a different religion. I don’t know anything about the old one.”
“What about Nevre, do you know anything about that?” Tribst asked, unsure if he wanted to know the answer.
Erin shrugged again. “Never heard of it before coming here. Nevre isn’t part of Earth at all…at least as far as I know.”
“So, what’s America like, then?” Throbor asked, intrigued.
“Not now,” Aram interrupted. “I see something approaching.”
Tribst glanced in the direction Aram indicated with a sweep of his arm. “Oh, gods. We need to leave, now.”
“Why, what is it?” Erin looked out the window. Her D&D knowledge set flags off at what she saw. “That’s not good. Move. Now! If it sees us, we’re dead!”
A large dinosaur, bigger than any of the ruined buildings in Brangmar, was walking towards the guard outpost. It was like a squat version of a T-rex, and it looked hungry.