Isoje

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          As Eticia raced along the ground on her oliphant, Isoje soared over her head on her Pegasus. 

It was hard to believe that this amazing creature was hers.  Pegasus were extremely distrustful of everyone, but if they learned to trust you, they trusted you completely. 

Isoje had gained the trust of this Pegasus when it was just a baby.  She remembered the day well. 

She and her parents were in the forest gathering herbs.  They wandered deep into the forest searching for more elingah.  This plant had many medicinal uses. 

Both the leaves and the roots could be used.  The elf healers had a plot on the palace grounds where they had planted some of each of the different herbs they used. 

However, sometimes they needed more than was available in the garden.  This spring, many people were sick with chungigo.  Chungigo started with a headache that daily became worse. 

Two days after the headache started, the patient would begin coughing.  These deep, hacking coughs made the headache almost unendurable for the victim. 

If the coughing weren't stopped, the sufferer would be dead within 7 days.  Elingah leaves could ground up as part of a paste to rub on the sick person's chest to help relieve the cough. 

Elingah tea also helped.  Chungigo was highly contagious, especially because most people did not realize they had it until the coughing started. 

This year, chungigo was turning into an epidemic.  Even their beloved King Bybob had contracted it. 

Not surprisingly, so had the little giant Mitym.  With so many people sick, the elves had needed additional supplies of elingah. 

Isoje's parents, Yonta and Dach along with many other elves throughout the kingdom were combing the woods of SET for this plant.  Dach and Yonta had taken Isoje with them as part of her training and so that they could spend time as a family. 

With so many people sick, her parents were extremely busy and had not been able to spend much time with her recently.  So, the three of them went to the woods together.  Elingah liked shady moist places. 

It was most often found near a wooded stream.  There had been reports of ogres in these woods, so Yonta and Dach had their swords and warned Isoje not to stray out of their sight. 

Ogres were generally strong and mean but also intelligent.  They had little to do with the humans, elves, and giants in SET.  They preferred to steal instead of to work. 

Although Isoje's parents were healers and preferred not to kill, they knew that if an ogre attacked, the only way to survive was to kill the ogre. 

So the three elves cautiously followed one of the many forest streams deeper and deeper into the forest searching for elingah patches. 

They had already found several patches, but they didn't want to take too much from any one place for they wanted to make sure that there would always be plenty of elingah for another time. 

Despite their worries for their friends and their concerns about ogres, they enjoyed their walk in the forest and the sounds of birds and the chattering stream. 

However, suddenly they became aware of a new sound off in the distance.  It was the sound of a battle and someone was in pain...

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