The thin man steps from cover into the light. He snaps an arrow. The sound brings Sunny out of her enthrallment, and Varian from his semi-lucid state.
The thin man points to his closed mouth, and shakes his head... then motions for you to follow. His pet also shows itself - scrambling out of a reedy patch at the edge of a wide muddy pool to follow. It appears to be a skunk the size of a young bear.
He leads you along a path of ground more firm than the weed-covered squishy marshes around you.
You reach a high clearing after a few minutes. In the center is a pole driven into the ground topped with several unlit torches. Several skeleton's worth of bone lies in piles around - smashed to bits.
At the edge of the clearing, a man who appears human - writes feverishly on his lap... sitting propped against a tree. He stands with a start upon seeing you. The stack of parchments and the book serving as his hard writing surface both fall to the dirt. "No no no nono... " He drops down gathering his scattered papers.
The thin man looks to you, nods, then gestures toward the man.
"Well that is a relief... " He continues to gather the papers, and brushes the dirt from them.
"I expect the day will come when I hear.. my name is Philip and I am here to hurt you... not today though you say."
The thin man shakes head, and squats to feed his giant skunk from his satchel.
The man lets out an exasperated sigh, but seems satisfied enough with work recompiled. He looks you over - awarding you his full attention.
"My name is Lendaro... chaplain of the Black Arrow... if any still live. This is... well we call him Ben. He can't speak... or write... seems to understand us though. Just don't ever ask him anything complicated or his answer..." (he makes finger quotes) "will leave you standing dazed and drooling on yourself."
Ben's head bobs in a silent chuckle.
"The lowland towers have been taken by forces with command over the dead. I had hoped to travel to Fort Birch for assistance, but Ben will not go."