The group travels for a bit with Draleen leading the way. John realizes that Darleen’s mask clovers her eyes just enough for her to see until she can adjust to the light. They soon encounter the Minotaurs again, but this time the Minotaurs don’t attack. John can see Brigg is among them and says “Hello Brigg, How’s it going?”
Brigg gives the other Minotaurs a confused look then says to John “You…have…new member.”
John says “Yes, she will be joining us on our travels. Do you mind if we stay at your camp for the night?”
Brigg looks at the other Minotaurs then says to John “Y…Yes, but…you are nice…and don’t cause trouble.” John realizes that the Minotaurs probably don’t host strangers often.
John speaks to Brigg once they are in the Minotaurs' camp. John says to Brigg “Have you tried talking to the village just outside the forest?”
Brigg says “Yes…and...No. We tried once…to see if we could have our land back…But…it didn’t go well.”
John says “Would you like me to speak on your behalf?”
Brigg seems overjoyed at John's offer by saying “YES!!!”
John says “Before I do, I must ask you some questions.”
Brigg stands there for a moment until John hints that he needs an answer. Then Brigg says “OH…What?”
John says “Are you willing to share your land with them? It will be a good sign if you aren’t going to ask them to leave.”
Brigg says “We just want to live on our land again.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the group has been watching John and Brigg. Draleen says “Does he do this all the time?”
Kenta says “It is what he does, and you would be surprised how many times it has helped us and others.”
Nasha says “it might be a reason he was chosen.”
Brigg wakes the group the next morning as politely as he can by opening the tent and saying “Wake up…we want to leave soon.” John steps out into the morning light and blinks a little. He thinks he can stand the light without needing to cover his eyes again, though he thinks Draleen is going to need more time to adjust. John says to Brigg “Thank you, we should be ready soon.”
Brigg and a few Minotaurs lead the group out of the forest. Papi takes flight the moment they are outside the forest. John says to Brigg while standing at the edge of the forest “Wait here, I have a feeling that you aren’t welcomed there.” Brigg nods and looks to the other Minotaurs who also agree.
John watches Papi as she circles in the air. He knows she really hasn’t been able to fly for some time and is just stretching her wings. Draleen pulls a cloak out as they approach the outpost tucking her wings under it. She then pulls the hood over her head when she enters the outpost. John then realizes that her kind may be seen as strange and she knows not to cause a scene. Kenta stays outside until Papi wants to land.
John heads to the trader. The trader says to John when he sees him “You’re back! I had bets that we would never see you again or come back wounded.”
John says “I have skills that most people don’t know about. Tell me who has claims on the land around the outpost?”
The trader says “That would be Tilly, he says he owns the land around here.”
John says “Is he also the leader of the outpost?”
The trader says “He has some sway here. But you need to talk to Gie if you want the person who is in charge here.”
John says “and where do I find these people?” The trader gives John directions to the two people.
John sets up a meeting with Gie and Tilly. Nasha and Draleen attend the meeting as well. Gie is an older Goatfolk and Tilly Sheepfolk. John says to them “If you are not aware I went into the forest to find the Dragon.”
Gie says “Oh yes, we know. It was the talk of the town around here.”
John says “well my journey took me through the Minotaurs.”
Tilly says “Those awful things.”
John says “Have you tried talking to them?”
Gie says “It’s hard for my men to talk to people who don’t seem to want to talk in the first place.”
John says “I was able to talk to them.” That gets both Gie and Tilly’s attention. John says “It seems you are living on their ancestral lands. They lost it in a fight and see your outpost as a barrier to them returning.”
Tilly says “and let me guess, they want us to leave.”
John says “actually, they just want to live on their land again and they are willing to share the land.” Both Gie and Tilly look at each other for a moment. John says “are you attacked by Orcs?”
Gie says “by the Gods, do we get attacked. Mostly it’s the people traveling from Gadon to Reon. It’s the reason we have this outpost here. The Orcs won’t attack us behind these walls.”
John says “Do you have a map of the area? I would like to know where the Orcs attack from.”
Tilly pulls out a map and places it on the table. Gie says “They attack here and here most of the time.” He points to the road from the farming village and the road that runs alongside the Spine Mountains.
John says “Then let the Minotaurs live here.” He points to an open area near the outpost between the two roads. John says “That way the Orcs have to deal with the Minotaurs before they can get to you. I will talk to the Minotaurs to see if they will help fight the Orcs.”
Gie and Tilly look at each other and Gie say to Tilly “It’s not that bad of an idea. You don’t have a use for that area.”
John says “How about this, we put a flag as close to the outpost that you comfortable with where the Minotaurs can stay. We will let them know it's okay to build on the other side of the flag. It will let you keep your distance while showing a willingness to live with them.”