Component 24 - Sands of Starr

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***

The forge stared at the desert galleon, the mighty sand ship. He didn't understand the magic behind such a vessel, but according to the man at the edge of Windale Forest, it would sail the sand dunes like a normal ship would sail the sea—But then again, Angon didn't understand that magic either.

Angon sat in the grass, just a hundred feet from the ship, and waited as Gavin and Buster haggled the price they would need to pay to board the ship and sail it specifically out of its way to Kendobul. From what Angon understood, the desert city was only halfway to the northern part of Helopia, where Angel's outpost was hidden.

"It's so bright here." Angon whispered, shielding his eyes from the glaring noontime sun.

Glancing to his side, he thought he saw something moving in the trees. Angon took little care to find out what it was. He knew the faeries and tree spirits were likely still watching them; and at the very least it was not a creature of ill intent, or it couldn't have entered Windale Forest to begin with.

"How much longer?" Angon shouted across the small field. "I'm bored!"

Buster was hanging his head to his chest, and slumping his shoulders. Gavin still was giving it his all, and moving his mouth at a mile a minute. The captain of the sand ship was a race known as a fire dwarf. They had a beard that was actually made of living, and magical flames. Again, Angon did not understand; and he feared without Lavina around there would be many things he never would.

Finally the fire beard nodded, and Gavin shook hands with the short man.

Buster looked at Gavin with his jaw hanging open. After a few more words, Buster stomped his way over to Angon.

"Are we going on board?" Angon asked the fuming blue beard.

"Aye, we be doing so." Buster grumbled. "But not with a deal to me liking."

"What did you decide?" Angon stood up, and joined Buster in walking to the ship.

Buster cursed, and shook his head. "Yer derned elf friend told Captain Gutfist that he'd give him a thousand gold pieces!"

"A thousand?" Angon cocked his head. "Is that a lot?"

"Aye!" Buster cried. "I don't know where he be thinking to get so much currency, but even King Belltower wouldn't be offering up that much to save the world!"

"Maybe we should ask him." Angon shrugged.

"As a priest of a goodly god, I don't think swindlin' is a good thing, but in this case, maybe we should keep our lips sealed, eh?"

"I don't understand." Angon said.

Buster grumbled. "Ye never do, forge. Ye never do."

Before walking up the boarding plank, Angon took one last look at the forest, wishing Lavina was there—And he could almost swore he saw her auburn hair blowing from behind a tree. He sighed, and climbed the ramp, and walked up to the deck.

***

Ramona's griffin landed just beyond the edge of Kendobul, just behind a group of palm trees, and a small oasis.

"Goodbye, griffin." Ramona whispered into the magnificent creature's ear.

The bird vanished in a burst of feathers that popped like bubbles upon touching the ground. In its place was the small griffin effigy that she had stolen from the orc noble back in Skeanda. The Halfling scooped it up, and deposited it into one of her three belt pouches. Before walking into town, she felt the pouch containing the mighty magic weapon and nodded. If she could get it repaired, she would be able to cure her obsession, she was sure.

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