Chapter 3 - Road Less Traveled

There is nothing certain about the journey. The road is both treacherous and rewarding. Carl Zame has been through many paths, and he’s found the road less travelled is just as enticing as the one littered with taverns and carriages.

Carl had the arrow notched, aimed at the deer ahead of him.

As the string gets  tighter and tighter, so does the halfling's breath. After much contemplation of the creature’s experience, the tribulations that it has experienced to get to here to sip at this lake, he let it down and instead turned to his side and plucked some Wild berries.

He deemed he was greedy, he had much leftover bread from that man Polus Ruf. He sat back in the woods until he heard the passing of a carriage in the distance. He decided to hop on for the ride, the open road was an adventure and the Thermopine path was all too narrow to go it alone.

They walked for a bit and walked and walked, even past a burnt down town that he had set up a Ruf Baking Centre in. They walked past woods, and more woods, some people they made angry, some people they tied up and put in a chair. However, his journey could only go so far alone.

His animals reminded him so vividly of his Halfling city of Sykmov, of the boundless planes through his eagle and the howls through the night with harvest festivals from his wolf. And finally, his bear reminded him of the ferocity that went uncheck in the city, which cost him part of his sanity.

But that part, he could only gloss over.

One day in the woods, he found a burnt in sigil in a tree, nothing which signalled anything about the Thermopine Path. He stumbled upon a campfire, smoke rising to the top of the trees and a few tents. By one of the logs next to the fire, was a pouch full of what the thought were berries at first. He picked them up and before taking a bite, he realised they glowed. Unnatural of any berry he had seen, even illegally and magically altered berries back in Sykmov, he chucked them to the side, with thunderous force. He expected a little splat, but instead a deafening explosion shocked him to the ground.

Regaining his footing, Carl scanned the local area and saw no one in sight. Feeling bad for ruining whatever that was, he left a portion of the gold he obtained from Ruf baking centre on the log. He smiled briefly, before a few bolts of electricity struck him. Carl withheld from falling to the ground, stomached the pain and turned around.

There was a dark hooded figure with balls of lighting surrounding him backed by a few mages he had assumed this camp belonged to.

“Hi guys, so I may have accidentally broken one of your experiment do-haps. Anyway, I hopefully this bag of golds worth the trouble.” He happily said before turning around.

“Thor… we gotta kill this gu-.”

The hooded man put up his hands, to silence the other mage.

“Halfling man, what is your name?” Thor queried.

“Carl Zarne. But you can just call me Carl. My friends call me Carl anywhoos. When I had friends, that was. Sorry to bother you folks, don’t care what you’re doing here but I’ll be on my way.”

Thor shook his head, sombre. “I’m sorry Carl, it is customary of Officers of the Neh’Wes Lionares to ask a person’s name in a conflict like this, before they die.”

Carl’s eyes widened and breathing slowed, but his vision only focused and his feet quickened. He tethered three arrows, to shoot at the feet of the men as he jumped and span in the air. The explosions sent ripples of dirt in the air , filling their mouths momentarily. When the dirt settled, in the not so distant tree line they saw the halfling climb over a log that was too big for him and frantically calling upon his animal companions to run.

And they did, even out running him.

Chapter 3 - Road Less Traveled

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