”What brings you to the festival Mr..... ?
"Pardon meh manners, lass. Name's Redd. Redd McHerrington. I'm just a travelin' tradesman, not unlike yourself! I am't lookin' for jewelry, but I think the man you're looking for is Carth. Carth Garenth. Wouldn't have the foggiest idea where to find 'im, though. Maybe some of the locals might."
Delbina swats at a mosquito.
"I was beginning to do better... and then these blasted biters started showing up. Even the screens don't seem to keep them out. I'm worried... In the past, when swarms were bad, miners got sick. Some have even died. Our medic used to make this foul smelling mist that would keep them at bay, but..."
Her attention wanders, and she perks up.
"I made you these!" Delbina runs into a back room and carries out several sacks. "It's been boring here with nobody to talk to, so I gathered up what rations I could find and put them in these bags. Should be about ten days worth."
She glances over to the table, "Actually, I made you guys dinner the other day... thinking you'd be back. How long do you think you'll be gone this next time?"
"Nah dat der rain lest nite probly warshed away dem tracks. An' b'sides, it wun't 'round this road. West road."
Tammarak stretches and swats away a few mosquitoes. Absentmindedly he grins as he looks at one that got squashed in his hand.
"Heh. Nat as bad as dem wit yeller wings."
"Mens? Yaa, an't more'n two probly workin. Well, an't none of'm bin workin fer tha lest munth. Heh. Gah! An' dem minin dogs. Tha ones wit ate legs. They bin roamin' 'round tha woods lately. Awful nasty. Besta clim a tree if'n ya come across one o' dem."
"But tha lest two they're diggin' in were Stygia an' Caina. Talk was dat after them two they're gonna close down tha whole i'land, unless they found sumthin real gud."
"Stygia o'er der in tha far west. Caina up der in tha far north. Always did worr' that dem der dragon gonna fly down an' burn us all aliv. Ne'er did. Rumor was he's more a trickster, but I an't takin' ma chances."
You hear gurgling sounds coming from his midsection.
"Say... Men if I go get ma badger? I bin diggin' 'im out fer a gud couple days... an' I'm mighty hangry..."
He smacks another mosquito on the back of his neck.
Brother Grimdoc wrote:
"We will help you."
At the sound of those words he lets out another hoot and his smile returns.
Brother Grimdoc wrote:
"But first we gotta figure out what's happening and then we can sets things right."
"Aight, far trade. I thnk it'sa bin... two... ya, two yers since I fecked ma deth. Ya, two yers..."
He's counting on his fingers and tapping at the air as he does so.
"Men they had'mat was Fleg'thon. I 'erd tha cav'n tha covr'd ma escap was caused bah sum big 'ol aps. Gess'n I owe'm, eh? Heh, heh."
"Diz, Arabus, and Avrnus an't bin mend'n yers. An't nuth'n goin' on der but sealed up holes. Cows bin grazin'er, but they'll up an' died bout munth'go. Sam time cl'ny went silent..."
"An't a sole bin movin' round on da roads. I was juz feelin' safe'nuff when I ran across ya lot. Gave me'a scar, ya did. Heh. Roads pretta safe'n, espeshly from them wulfs an' aps. They dun't go near da roads. Probly usta menners goin' back'n forth."
"Bout few days'go, tho, I seen sumthin. Tracks. Bare'fut. Headin' back to tha cl'ny. Onda road. I thot it be them spirits o' tha dead, so I an't goin' back ther. Not if'n my life dep'nds on't."
His gaze drifts over to the mountains in the north.
"Rather get eaten by that ther dragon up'n them hills than ma sole taken inda night..."
"Tha cl'ny... Ya, iv'n out 'ere a gud whil... Tha cl'ny..."
His bright blue eyes light up.
"By Asmo'dus, tha cl'ny! An't nubdy ther! I'ma freem'n! Ha! Haha! Hahahaha!!"
He stands up, brushing himself off (though he's still quite dirty). He looks relieved, and for the first time, he smiles.
"Ya, gav'm tha slip cpl yers'go dur'n a cav'n. Bin hid'n since. An if'n ye an't bonty hunt'rs, then I'msa freem'n! Haha!"
And then his smile fades.
"Ya gotta git'ma off'n this i'lnd! It's cursed! Shadows wa'k tha nite! All tha min'rs ternta darkness! Ya cun onla go out durin tha day! Pleez, ya gotta helpma!"
He steps up to Grimdoc, grabbing your shirt front. His bright blue eyes look wild and full of fright.
The man looks surprised at the question. He somewhat lowers his hands, and some of the sobbing stops.
"Ya men, ya drn't kna h'am? Ya an't bin hnt'n me?"
He looks back and forth between the two men. When Samuel joins the rest of the group, the man sits up. When Calistan joins, the man's tears have mostly stopped.
"Uh... nam's Tammarak. H'r you?"
Brother Grimdoc wrote:
"Well...where to next? How about that ring of buildings to the northeast?"
Regaining a semblance of composure, Delbina points to the small building next door (A14).
"That's the smithy. It's so weird not to hear the sounds of their hammers going."
She turns more northward, pointing to a collection of broken down wagons (A12).
"Those are the wagons that we use to transport crystals from the mines."
Pointing just beyond the wagons (A13), she continues.
"That's the stables, but I don't see the horses." She looks saddened. "There was a new foal born just a week ago, too."
She skips over what appears to be a simple tool shed (A9) and points to the bigger building to the west (A16).
"And that's the mining office, though I've never actually been in there. I'm not a miner."
The sickly-looking Delbina nervously twitches as she scans the yard.
"You... you won't think ill of me, will you? I see... I see things... every now and then... I thought, maybe, they'd go away when you rescued me from that creature... but..."
She shivers against a cool seabreeze.
"I've been haunted by a pair of milky white eyes... they... they stare at me... from the darkness... I get this feeling of horror and dread every time I think about them..."