“James,” Wain looked down at him questioningly, “Why are you crawling around on the ground like a worm?” He offered his hand to pull up his friend.
“You need to learn to control your anger,” said James severely.
“I know,” Wain scuffed his feet against the ground, “I’ll try harder next time.”
“See that you do. Now let’s go talk to the villagers before you go crazy and kill them all.”
“Ok,” Wain looked a little sulky, “But I saved them from the orcs,” he mumbled.
“Excuse me,” James ignored Wain and called to the village elder, “Excuse me, I am Sir James Flickerflame, Humble Paladin of the Holy Isle and I was wondering…”
“Where your friends are?” the elder jumped in, “Of course, well, doncha know, it was just the other day that they came through, four of them, doncha know, all with a lot of armor and impressive weaponry and stuff, doncha know, just like any crusader who has been campaigning would have been, doncha know, and they wanted to know what was going on around here, doncha know, so I told them about Baldpate and that spooky tower he lives near, doncha know, I mean, anything to oblige, doncha know, and then they thanked me very much, don…”
“If you say doncha know one more time,” said Wain through gritted teeth, “Then I will be forced to reduce you to a red wet rag!”
“Well, I say, rather you didn’t do that old chap,” stuttered the elder, “Anyhow, like I was saying, they thanked me and then said that they’d see what they could do about freeing us, don…” he stopped suddenly, as Wain was beginning to sound like a tea kettle about to boil.
“Easy Wain,” James patted his shoulder, “You must forgive him, he has about all the social graces of a chainsaw (never mind he doesn’t know what that is) rather like Eric the Awful.”
“Eric the Awful,” the elder gasped, “Well, I say, rather a touchy sort of chap, but anyhow, old fellow, they left and we haven’t seen them since, although I heard one of them say that they should set up a camp somewhere they couldn’t be found easily.”
“Like a forest?” whistled Wain.
“Well, yes, rather like a forest,” said the elder.
“Where is the nearest forest?” asked James urgently.
“To the south,” said the elder.
“Let’s go Wain. I want to know what happened to those guys.”
“Ok, let’s go,” Wain leaped up onto his horse and started to ride again, only to rein the poor beast in suddenly.
“What’s the matter now?” asked James, eager to be away.
“I just remembered,” said Wain, “We don’t have any food.”
“Here, we made up a package of food for you just in case,” said the elder, “It is already on your pack-horse. It was the least we could do, Godspeed.”
The two heroes and three horses cantered away south towards the forest.