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Awkid chuckled, “Is that so? Well I have been here before, and my only guide was a crazy old man. He reminds me of you actually.”

“Yeah? What was his name?” Balamor reached into his pack and grabbed a red plum. He began eating it as they walked.

“Never found out, and neither did his party.”

“Strange…” Added Balamor as he chewed his fruit

“Indeed, but I never asked. No one did. But the men who traveled with him seemed to be his students.”

“Students of what?” Balamor asked

“Didn’t matter to me, they spoke of him plenty. That’s all I remember.”

Balamor chucked the pit of his plum on the ground as they walked on. His hunger wasn’t satisfied, but he would have to wait until they made camp. He looked up at the sky, but the trees obscured any bit of the sun. It could have been noon by now which meant they could be out of the forest by dark. Reaching into his pack he pulled out his map and unrolled it carefully. The blank spot was close now, judging by the size of the forest which surrounded it, his assumptions could be correct.

Possibly another five miles stood between them and the Mog Brush. The number felt small, but he knew the forest was harder to trek than the map made it seem. He closed his map and packed it away. Awkid was walking slightly ahead of him observing the forest for any signs of trouble. He was smart compared to dwarves Balamor read about. Perhaps his life here in the south made him different. Or the stories he read were misconceptions of the dwarven people. Balamor started to wonder how much the dwarf had been through. He traveled further than Balamor could imagine, all the way from the Dahris Mountains, from the Peak of Rayguth to the forests of the Thorned Ridge.

Whatever he had experienced in his travels to the south made him equipt for a world such as this. Danger lurking around every corner whether it be nefarious creatures or the other races of man. Awkid has seen his fair share of both, and dealt with it enough to live on his own in the wild. Balamor respected him even when his own people didn’t. Just because he was cursed didn't mean he was evil. In fact the curse he was stuck with was what made him admirable. Otherwise he would never have the drive to help a hobbit, or a crazy old man and his students; he would never have the drive to help himself.

"I see something ahead." Awkid claimed as he pointed south.

The End

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