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Awkid compiled and stayed behind Balamor as he walked forward. The sun was going down and the cold night was creeping in. Awkid finally started to question what was going on in this forest. He tried to just get through it but there was no signal that he was traveling the right direction.

“Have you ever read the tales of lost woods?” Awkid asked while he trailed Balamor.

“I have indeed. Do you think these trees will eat us Mr. Anvorbeard?” Balamor chuckled.

"I believe in the Old World fables of legendary men who were devoured whole on a simple trek through the forest. Whole armies would disappear through the brush and never be seen again.”

“Well they must have lacked practice in basic experimentation.”

Balamor pulled out his silver dagger and went to mark a random tree. After slicing into its thick bark he realized there were other marks above it, and they were much older. After a few minutes Awkid realized they were moving away from the gold tree.

"What's your plan hobbit?" He asked.

"For hours we have followed these strange trees and they've brought us nowhere. I want to know where we end up when we avoid them." Balamor explained.

Awkid looked at him blankly before his fist opened as he motioned forward,

"Lead the way."

The Forest of Nim was silent while they walked away from the gold tree, every so often they could hear birds leave the trees. Awkid watched as the omniscient glow disappeared behind the lattice of scarred trunks. Balamor batted away a thick shrub with his dagger as they walked through the forest. The sun tinted the vegetation in red, casting long shadows as it fell behind the horizon. The wind was still when they approached another tree — a lot sooner than they expected.

Balamor held his dagger in his right hand, it's blade reflected the sunlight. He stared at the canopy above them, but the brush remained undisturbed. The strange tree in front of them gave off a fresh scent; flakes of gold dust slowly floated their way to the root torn ground. Balamor turned to face the tree, its beautiful bark seemed oddly perfect, no scars or fungus of any kind. Awkid watched him as he glanced at his dagger for a moment before slicing into the tree. The two adventurers watched as the deep slash made by Balamor’s dagger sealed immediately. Balamor held his breath in shock while Awkid looked to him for answers.

Balamor turned away from the next golden tree. He knew magic ran through its bark, but how far did its roots spread? It seemed every sighting came sooner than the last. Their patience was growing thin and ache was setting in the soles of their feet. They walked the entire day, and most of their travel was in these woods. The rune marked tree appeared time and again, but still the Mog Brush remained undiscovered. Balamor and Awkid felt lost, and it seemed both of their plans would amount to nothing. The dim skies of dust were only growing dimmer with each step they took.

The End

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