Echoes of Invasion: Homeward Bound | Scene 9

Tric spends a pleasant afternoon fishing with his father, telling him more stories about his travels as their lines stretch out into the undisturbed water. Nasir refers him to the appropriate professionals to talk with regarding getting some trade going with Connie and Marvin. There are definitely elves with refined tastes, and micro-distilled elderberries could be a product of interest to those favoring artisanal goods.

With the southern battlefield as the next planned destination, Tric acknowledges to himself that he needs more information about its actual location this time. That previous short look at Uncle Thran’s map resulted in him and Heppa wandering around the Estmark Hills, after all. Tric pays a visit to the scouts on the pretense of checking in on Glammur. When he reaches that area, one of the elvish riders is out front brushing down her mount. Baeowin is still in her green riding leathers, her riding blanket and satchels stacked on the ground nearby. The pony is absolutely gorgeous, which Tric takes a moment to appreciate.

Then he opens by inquiring after Glammur, who Baeowin says is probably still off at Breda’s since Endathalas is not around. With the conversation thus started, Tric casually mentions that he will be heading south soon. He chooses his wording very carefully to not reveal his own ignorance but still gain the information he seeks. “Do you have any favorite places you like to see down south? I haven’t been that way in a little while.”

A consummate professional, Baeowin rattles off a list of good locations for camping overnight. As she talks, she goes over to her saddlebags and pulls out a map and a roll of blue ribbon with gold edges. She points out the campsites she has already mentioned on the map. “If you find any other good, secure campsites, make sure you mark them with some of this,” she tells Tric, handing him the roll of ribbon. “Tie some around a branch so that others will see it.”

Chuckling to himself about this elvish equivalent of Glammur’s green flags, Tric pockets the ribbon. “Yes, I will definitely do that. I raised the flag of a tree at the last good campsite I found. I thought the dwarves were trying to claim it… I wanted to make sure they knew it wasn’t theirs, that it was public property.” He shows Baeowin where the Foul Fen is in the Estmark Hills. On her map, that location is way beyond the indicated limits of the Estbryn Forest. Respecting her extensive knowledge, Tric resists a long-winded digression about all his adventures. He sums up the relevant information from them as concisely as he can. “Near that swamp there is actually an old ruined keep that is mostly safe. I don’t think it is haunted anymore. I took care of that twice, so it should be good now. And it’s a good hunting spot, too.”

“I had heard that you were going to be doing some scouting. I am glad you have been doing so well. And with none of the standard training, too,” Baeowin says approvingly. “If you find yourself in more populated lands, please also give a ribbon to any who provide you hospitality. Such a favor will let other elves know that those are safe places to seek shelter.” She sets her map against a flat surface and draws in a small tower symbol where Tric indicated. As she does so, Tric examines the map over her shoulder, making note of the crossed swords south of the forest and some landmarks along the way. Hopefully when he and Heppa try to find the southern battlefield this time, they will not get lost.