As they stepped into the wood they were greeted by silence. Oaks were covered with lush green mosses and greenly gray ones that looked like ancient beards. The oaks themselves were gnarled and twisted, low branches grabbed at their packs and loose clothing. It was dark with the sound of occasional dripping.
" Watch your footing," Harath said. He kicked a rusted sword out of the path. Several in thier party spat on the ground repeatedly. Andor and Roarke threw salt over their shoulders.
" What is this place?" Talis said.
" Battle ground," Urwellion said. Talis gripped his sword tightly and swallowed hard and wondered why he came.
Mindor watched his companions and laughed silently.
"You don't take to super... their beliefs?" Datalis corrected himself.
Mindor gave him a sideways glance," Why should I? I put my confidence in cold steel and quick wits. That is all I need," He said.
" You don't think their could be a sword out there with your name on it? " Datalis said.
" So what if there is, I cannot avoid the Grey Man forever." With that Mindor walked away.
After some time the path changed to switchbacks and flattened out a bit. The trees were taller and spread apart opening into a canopied grove " We'll take a brake here," Harath said. After which he heaved his pack down as did others.
A few feet on was a dried out leaf covered stream, by the stream was part of a large moss covered wall. In the middle was the remains of a tower with thick mossy stones piled around it.
"What is that?" Datalis said. He pointed to the ruins.
"Ariel tower," Andor said cutting off a bit of dried fish with a cruel looking knife.
" Who lived there?" Talis said.
"Those who lived in the city below. In their the golden age of their empire," Tendleton said.
"What happened?" Datalis said.
Tendleton opened his mouth but was interrupted by Harath who gave him a cold stare. " It's bad luck to talk about battles in woods of Ariel. This is better saved for another time."
" How long before we hit Blythwood?" Datalis said. Changing the subject. Datalis looked around, everyone rested and took some water. Most had their hands on their swords or looked in the darker parts of the wood some distance off.
Tendleton opened his pack and fished out a leather tube. He pulled the lid of of one end and hit the other end of the tube and out slid a map. Tendleton bit down on a bit of dried meat thoughtfully and spread out the map before them. He pointed to a set of switch backs up the peak called Ashren and stopped at a waterway in the head of one of the switch backs further up the map. " It's two miles up to Brathon Creek which as you know is the headwaters of the great Brathon-Alion that flows..."
" Tell him what comes after that Tendle, no one wants to hear about the head waters of Brathon. Mindor said.
Tendleton shrugged, " I just thought the boy..."
" Well I don't want to hear it."Mindor belted.
" After that we come to Blythwood." Tendleton stopped. Everyone nodded silently.
A few replied, "Aye, aye," quietly.