The session opens on an argument. Melanath, Gunzheg, and many of the remaining forces, Red Scale and otherwise, are still in Sslanis. Everyone present is trying to decide on the best solution to the problem of the Aegis-infested jungle surrounding the ruined city. After much bickering and a few bouts of sane deliberation, Melanath gains the attention of each party with a loud bash against his buckler. He suggests a compromise; instead of razing the forest in fire, or completely ignoring the problem in favor of preservation of nature, the defensive forces could clear only the trees immediately surrounding whats left of the decimated walls. After doing so, they could rake the dirt and lay the fallen lumber, creating a dead ground to hold off any suprise attacks. The exasperated dragon is relieved when the Druids reluctantly agree and begin to plan amongst themselves. Seeing this as the perfect time to excuse himself, Melanath makes his way toward the portal to Bristugo and the promise of rest.
Meanwhile, Alva, Nathanew and Pern are all back at the guild hall…some more concious than others. Alva, still riding on the revitalizing sensation of her own blood rushing through her veins again, can’t seem to keep to her quarters. She heads out in search of a good weapon and a bit of conversation, and to her growing disappointment is finding neither in the understandably somber hall. Her thoughts wander to her squad…those who had stood so faithfully beside her when she thought all was at an end. It didn’t feel quite right being the only one home from battle, and she was eager to see them again. Suddenly, her expression brightens as she remembers seeing Nathanew brought back to his quarters earlier that morning. She quickens her pace toward his quarters.
Alva peers around Nathanew’s doorframe quietly, not wanting to disturb his much needed rest. She sees him tucked in to bed, his cool blue skin marred by cuts and scrapes. A small smile finds it’s way on to Alva’s lips. There lay Nathanew…beaten, bruised…but alive. Alva shakes her head in happy disbelief at his stubborness before letting her gaze wander about the room. It falls on Pern, fluttering this way and that, busily collecting every sharp tool in Nathanew’s room- of which there appears to be a disturbing amount. Alva watches the bird grumble to himself as he adds more and more to his growing pile. Feeling her excess energy turning a bit mischievious, she decides to lure Pern toward her with the roll of a coin. He takes the bait immediately, and their reunion in the hall is loud, but happy. Pern, curious about the process newly Gifted go through, tags along with Alva and they chat as she continues her search for a sturdy bow. The search hasn’t continued for too long, however, before they’re interrupted
by a sudden incoming attack. Like a flash, Alva is pulled away… into the arms of an overjoyed dragon. Melanath has returned from Sslanis.
The two old friends are reunited in an uproar of laughter, good-natured threats and relieved embraces. Pern tires quickly of their show and heads back with a squak to continue caring for Nathanew. Lorn however, is all but bursting with joy at their feet, and Alva quickly dives down to greet her beloved companion with a good wrestle. The rejoicing trio soon realize such a gorgeous day would be a waste spent sulking indoors, so they decide to set out to walk the familiar roads of the town. Alva, with Lorn panting happily at her heels, dashes off to her quarters with an armful of gear that Melanath so kindly returned to her, whilst the dragon himself deigns to wait for her just outside the guildhall.
On her run back to her quarters, Alva catches a glimpse of Guntzheg. She nearly yelps out an excited hello, but regains her composure and greets the rather somber-looking dwarf with respect. The two converse for a while and he welcomes her to the ranks of the Gifted, albeit with a hint of sadness, and subtly informs her of her promotion within the guild. He offers his ear and his advice Alva, but she picks up on the current mood and decides it best not to tax Guntzheg’s emotions much more just yet. She instead changes the subject, hoping to finally be set on the trail of a new bow. Guntzheg obliges, and even offers to craft her one himself. He sends her on her way to Cherri with a list of needed materials, and the two say their farewells. Alva pours over the list eagerly as she ambles her way back to her quarters. By the time she finally arrives, she rushes to set her belongings in order so as not to keep Melanath waiting further. After a quick once-over of her gear, Alva and Lorn are both running out the door and into the bright Bristugo morning.
Melanath is awaiting them patiently, picking at his battered gear in distaste. His own appearence isn’t holding up much better, and he offers up the idea of a wash before they hit the town. Alva agrees to tag along and the two set off at a lazy pace toward the river. Arriving at the water’s edge, they settle underneath a shady grove of trees. It’s quiet, and the most relaxtion they’ve seen in many long days. Alva slips off her boots and lays down on the riverbank, letting her foot float laxly in it’s clear water’s as Lorn splays out clumsily in the cool dirt. Melanath begins to take off his gear, twitching and growling every so often as the movement agitates another wound not yet healed. Soon he’s dressed in nothing but his scales and he hops lightly into the water, beckoning Alva to come along with a sly grin plastered across his muzzle. Alva, though not one to miss such a grin, feigns ignorance as stands to join him. Melanath, always the gentleman, turns around as she prepares herself for a bath….or so he thinks. Upon turning around, he finds only her pouch and dagger in the dirt behind him, the nimble woman herself hanging with her antlers pointed earthward from a low branch of the tree they had chosen to rest beneath. The pair’s laughter rings through the trees, Alva’s like the many silver bells in a young dragon’s hoard, Melanath’s like the great bellow of a battle drum. Their mirth carries it’s chorus through the Bristugo air, and for a moment the battle-weary mercenaries finally have their five minute’s peace.