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The Clearing


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Render passes through the forest on his way to the tavern and sheds some of his thoughts, gaining some as he transits from wild to civilized. The tactics of the forest change to the tactics of the street and it's like changing clothes. The sounds are different, the way he has to think is different, he becomes different from his former self.

Not always a comfortable passage from listening for the sounds of a forest to listening to the sounds of creatures of speech. There are times when he misses the cold and rain when seated beside a fire with a meal and all that is spoken is the rasp of the greedy, the bray of the foolish.

Coming in from the cold is not accomplished always when still locked into listening and all that is heard is the noise of what trappings civilization takes on but yet manages not to be civilized. Most words are only deception and ego, new clothing on each new self-proclaimed emperor, to be stripped away by someone who knows better but doesn't bother to point. Not a sight he relishes, but it is forced upon him constantly while in the company of the sentient. Everything in the forest is naked, it's straightforward. Inside walls, everyone is clothed in their own brand of self service.

Pushing open the tavern door reveals a scene a little less civilized than he might have expected, but the unexpected is in itself a comfort. Char still being swept into corners and beams replaced. Disaster is somehow more comforting than the commonplace. The day to day greed and stupidity he can't change, there's an endless supply. This he can do something about.

Securing a room and stowing his gear, he returns downstairs to help clear away the last of the fire's damage, and sets to shaping some new beams for the ceiling to pay for his stay.


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A halfling enters and starts poking around the wreckage.

"Oh, sorry. I didn't see you there. I was just looking for something I dropped during the, er...recent unpleasantness."

"Name's Fleetwood. Fleetwood Coupe De'Ville."


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Wiping his hands clear of sawdust and sweat, he extends his hand for Fleetwood to shake.

"Hello Fleetwood, I'm Render. I wasn't here for the...unpleasantness, but if you need to find something, I can try to help you look."


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"Pleased to make your acquaintence, Render."
(shakes hand)

"I was in here eariler, when the fire broke out. In the confusion, I dropped a small silver whistle. I've had it forever and would really like to get it back."

"You haven't seen it, have you?"


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Render shakes his head no.

"I'm afraid I haven't seen it. If I do, I'll be sure to let you know. What is the whistle for?"


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(looks nervous)

"Er, it's just a trinket I've been carrying for awhile. I just hate to have lost it is all."

Fleetwood starts pushing wreckage aside, getting more frantic as the whistle fails to turn up.