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With each step the warrior took the ruby glowed brighter and along with it the man's rage diminished. Standing only feet away the old man looked as if he were in a trance. His eyes were fixed on the ruby as he slowly relieved his sword into its sheath. He signaled his men to stand down, but they questioned his order.

“Are you serious? That little bastard is going to get away with this?” argued the younger warrior. The ranger also disagreed and pulled back more on his arrow as he spoke,

“What is this some sort of spell? Damn it, I could kill both of them right now, why would you let them belittle you like this?”

The old man snapped his head back to his men and shouted sharply,

“No! You listen to me… Put your weapons away. This man is right.”

“But..” started the young warrior,

“Now!” shouted the old man.

They didn’t understand what was going on, and neither did Jabit. He watched in awe as the trio lowered their weapons. He looked at the hobbit rider, his necklace gleaming in bright red light.

“Who are you rider?” Asked the old warrior, his eyes still fixed on the gemstone.

“My name is Barris Oakfoot.” replied the hobbit, his tone was powerful.

The old man looked at him, confusion settled over his face. But he didn’t have anymore questions. Instead he looked to Jabit with empathy in his voice as he talked to him,
“I am sorry messenger, forgive me and my men. We had a bit to drink and I believe the mead drove us mad... We hope you find your way home.”

He turned to Barris and continued,

“Mr. Oakfoot, my apologies as well… You are right. I have never met such a hobbit as yourself… But I will tell the story of this encounter. My name is Simas Heldeir, and these are my men. Gerro Lakes, a great ranger, and Zeth a master of the sword and also my son. We are of the Beshmere Arm.”

With a bow he let the two hobbits on their way. His men contested with them, but he turned to them and pushed his hands against their faces to shut them up. Barris looked at Jabit, the glow faded as the men walked into the forest towards their camp. With a wave Barris told the messenger to join him. Jabit climbed up into the seat next to the Oakfoot and with a snap of the reins the caravan was off.

The End

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