John spends the next couple of days in the horde. He listens to Draleen tell stories about Humans and The Traveler when she finds them. Nasha has helped with identifying plants, many with medical usages. Kenta at first started talking about centaur culture in general but soon found out that Dragonewts like hearing tales and she begins to talk about many of the centaur’s tales. A few Dragonewts start to approach John, but quickly back away when Draleen looks at them.
Draleen says to John as he sits nearby “I think this is the last know sighting of The Traveler. It was during the start of The Blood War in the last days of The Age of Walking Gods.”
John says “What did he do? I mean to earn the tale.”
Draleen says “He was trying to save a village of Feyfolk. But he failed to do so as the forest was burned.”
John lowers his head. But then he says to Draleen “What was The Blood War and The Age of Walking Gods?”
Draleen gets up and grabs another book and starts looking through it as she speaks “The Blood War was said to be a war between warm-blooded races and cold-blood races. I think if I remember correctly it was started by the Thezors. They were a violent warrior race.”
John says “Like the Orcs?”
Draleen says “Worst! It is said they wipe out entire races. They were far more organized and controlled an empire that reached both sides of The Spine Mountains.”
John says “How did the war end?”
Draleen flips through the book then starts reading out loud “The Mountains shook as if angered by the war. Soon snow began to fall on them and then there was a year of cold winds. Thezors forces were cut off from their empire and were defeated due to the winds and no supplies.” Draleen pulls back after reading the passage saying “How could a mountain start having snow on them if they didn’t have it there before?”
John thinks about it for a second then says “Are the Spine Mountains, volcanic?”
Draleen says “No, only Our Lord has the power of a volcano.”
John says “Do you think land can move?”
Draleen says “If air and water can, why not the land.”
John says “Then maybe there was a shift in the land that pushed the Spine Mountains up to the snow line. And the shift might change wind currents for a bit if the shift was big enough.”
Draleen says “It may even be knowledge that Our Lord doesn’t know.” She quickly gets up and walks over to a young Dragonewt, telling them what she and John just talked about.
Draleen returns saying “The keepers of the horde will look into your thoughts. It might be something for an appetence to speak of to Our Lord about.”
John says “and the Age of Walking Gods?”
Draleen says “Oh, about that.” She gets up to find another book and starts looking through it. She then reads a passage “The Aga of Walking Gods was a time when the Gods walked among their people. The magic was strong and even the Greater Gods were known to be seen.”
John doesn’t know what to make of the idea of “Gods walking among their people” and “Greater Gods”. But he thinks they will get off track by trying to find out more. John says to Draleen “Think that’s enough for now. Let’s get back to The Traveler.”
John spends another few days in the horde. He has started to hold The Amulet in his hands while listening to Draleen speak. He then runs his fingers across the verso of The Amulet. He thinks he feels something old about it. He says to Draleen “Can I have some ink and paper?” Draleen snaps her fingers and calls for some ink and paper. John thanks the Dragonewt who brings it. He puts two sheets of paper out. He then dumps the ink on one piece of paper. Draleen is about to snap at John when he rolls the Amulet verso across the ink. He then rolls it across the clean paper. He looks at the markings it left behind. It looks like a type of script. Nasha and Kenta walk up to see.
He shows it to Draleen saying “Can you read this?”
Draleen looks at it. Then she grabs a nearby magnifying glass to take a closer look. She says “It’s an old form of Our Lord’s script. But…I think I can.” She focuses, then says “Speak thy name to know thy next step.”
John stands up as he looks at the Amulet trying to think of what name it is referring to. It couldn’t be his name and amulets typically don’t have names, unless owned or the name had meaning.
John says to Draleen “What is The Traveler’s name in…Your Lord’s tongue?” John realized that the Dragon never called him by The Traveler or Human for that fact.
Draleen thinks for a moment, then says “Gro-gre-mon.”
John looks at the Amulet and says “Gro-gre-mon!” Everyone stands there for a moment in silence.
The Amulet suddenly lights up and a sphere of light expands to surround John and the group. Soon an image of the surrounding land from a great height appears on the inside of the sphere. Then the image begins to slowly move along the mountain range until it stops some distance from its starting point at a low point in the mountain range. A ribbon of light then streaks over and through the mountain pass. The sphere then collapses back into the Amulet, which returns to normal afterward.
John is stunned for a moment then says “Whoa, I think it just told us where to go.”
Kenta says “Well that’s obvious.”
John wants to say something to Kenta, but one of Dragonewts nearby says “You might want to hurry. I think that pass will be snowed in soon or you’re going to have to wait several months before you can cross it.”
John realizes they may be right and says to the group “Then we best head out as soon as possible.” He then says to Draleen “Thank you and let your Lord know when he wakes that we appreciated him letting us look in his horde. I don’t think I want to wake him just to say goodbye.”
Draleen says “I will.”
John and the group quickly gather their stuff and head out. John puts his mask back on before they leave. The group is blinded by the light when they step out of the cave. The Dragonewts standing guard has a chuckle, then give them strips of cloth to put over their eyes.
The group’s progress is slowed, as Nasha can’t see very well and can’t find a trail. John says to her “Let’s just try to keep moving in one direction and hope we run into the Minotaurs again.” Nasha seems to agree with him.
After a bit, they hear a familiar voice calling out saying “WAIT UP!” John turns around to see Draleen running up to them. She stops in front of him and leans over to catch her breath. She is wearing her dragon mask and is holding her spear and has packs on her side and lower back. She rights herself once she catches her breath saying “My Lord wishes for me to join you on your journey so I can chronicle your journey.”
John looks at the other saying “I don’t think we have much choice in the matter.” Nasha and Kenta both seem to agree with him. Draleen takes her packs off and slings them over Kenta’s pack saddle. John says to Draleen “If you are going to be traveling with us. You best follow our rules.”
Draleen says “Like what?”
John grabs Darleen’s packs off of Kenta saying with a smile “First things first, Kenta is not a pack animal. So we carry our own loads.”
Draleen points to Nasha’s bedroll saying “But what about that?”
Kenta says “Nasha has earned the right to have me carry some of her gear and she also shares the profits of the furs she hunts and trades. You have not earned such right!”
Draleen takes her packs back and the group starts walking again.