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Balamor scanned the trees, he knew what he was looking for, and it wasn’t the strange runeword. He marked the trees for a reason, to see if they really were walking in circles. He spotted a few marks ahead. He knew they were his, he could tell since he made each mark a tally. This trunk had four vertical slashes, meaning ahead should be the last mark he made before finding the tree. But he realized the final tally was no where to be found; not at thirty, forty, or fifty paces. Balamor could not grasp the elusive system behind the Forest of Nim. The folktales of lost woods in books rung true here, this place is a thief, of your time and peace of mind. There had to be a way out — There had to be a system.

Awkid stamped his foot with fury and disobedience. Balamor instantly turned around when the enraged Dwarf shouted,

“Thats it Mr. Wisebeard! I’m done this! We are trapped in woods by some damned magic, and I am no fool to what magic can do to the mind. I will go no further!"

Balamor stared in shock when Awkid spoke, but he would not reply. Awkid stared back, the look on Balamor's face was placid. After a moment Balamor pointed and Awkid slowly looked back. Facing him was the gold lined trunk of the infamous tree they have been trying to avoid. Gold dust floated through the air, sticking to his clothes and into his long brown beard.

Awkid stepped back while glancing between Balamor and the tree. His clay arm gripped the its trunk with impressive strength, bark splintered as he fought to wrestle it from the Earth. But the tree would not relent, the wounds Awkid inflicted were sealed by its magic, it’s deep roots were fettered within soil. Awkid’s brawn would not suffice, he gave up and backed away from the tree. He saw Balamor was nose deep in his books — familiar to his past in this forest. He never saw the golden tree then, which seems impossible to miss this time around. The day’s light was spent here, camp needed to be made — another night sleeping in the Forest of Nim for Awkid Anvorbeard.

“Can you get me into this tree? I’d like to test something.” Balamor asked as he stood to his feet.

Awkid gave him a curious look,

"What for?"

"To get a better look at these woods." Balamor said while motioning his hand toward him.

The End

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