Saerdan thanked me for aiding him and asked me to return to Strider with reports of our successes in the north. From there, I was to make my way to Buckland and meet with another of Strider’s rangers. It was to be our task to determine where the other servants of shadow may have gone.
After aiding some of the kind folk in the village, I was sent into the Old Forest to help stem the surge of wild animal attacks upon those who walked the wood. After driving a few of the predators away, night approached very quickly, and I realized it would be a long walk back to Buckland. I decided to find a spot to rest near the Withywindle. I came to a small clearing with an enormous tree watching over the river.
It was all so tranquil: the soothing sound of the Withywindle passing by, the gentle breeze swaying the foliage of the great tree. A green aura seemed to form that mesmerized me. I was so exhausted, it felt as if the ground itself reached up for me, enveloping me in a warm, welcome embrace. My eyes closed…