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No more conversation had taken place as they walked, the only sound was the crunching of twigs and feet stomping the dirt ground. Another hour had passed and the surroundings began to become mind numbing. But Awkid was concentrated on his task — he was here before — and he didn't fair well then. The thought of Tarr Wolves hissing as they approached in the night lingered in the back of his mind.

Balamor on the other hand was lost in his notes as he walked, something he became skilled at in this short time. His journal rested in his right hand, he read about The fourth Valorhorn’s accounts over and over for more insight, but there was none. His gut told him there were details missing but the forest gave him no clues. There was the strange tree but he knew too little about the magic of runewords. He glanced up to see where Awkid was when he spotted something.

“There! Another tree. See it? I was right.” Balamor was excited, he nearly danced to the tree with his book in his hand. Awkid was behind him with a disappointed look on his face, the Wisebeard had a knack for being right. They looked at the tree, the symbol pressed into its gold lined bark was the same as before. Awkid felt the symbol with his normal hand, tracing the diagonal dash with his fingers, his eyes following it into the forest.

“Maybe this line points in the direction we need to travel...” Awkid looked out into the forest to see where the symbol guided them.

Balamor pulled out his map and unrolled it. Holding it in front of him with both hands,

“Good observation Mr. Anvorbeard. But the lines have no defined direction, do they point us north or south?"

Awkid didn't look at the Wisebeard, his tense eyes were fixed on the forest in front of him.

"They point forward."

He stepped around the tree and left Balamor's sight. The Hobbit looked up as he let out a sigh, he rolled up his map but kept it in his hands as he moved towards Awkid.

The two adventurers walked for hours, passing by the golden trees and following the marks to the Mog Brush. The surrounding vegetation was becoming annoyingly familiar. Tree after tree they walked on, hoping for something to appear but there was nothing.

The End

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