Fraevon returned with slim pickings, a couple of skrawny looking rabbits and a solitary pigeon. He offered a prayer to the animal spirits, to give thanks for the food that would now fill their bellies, before then stripping the meat from his catch and adding to the pot over the fire. He added a number of ingredients from his pouches, and stirred them all in with the water already bubbling.
It didn’t take long for the aroma to reach Tumbor’s nostrils, and in turn set his inquisitiveness toward the pot.
“Now that smells most flavoursome,” he added dipping a finger to taste.
“Keep off!” snapped the Elf, rapping him on the knuckles with the large spoon he’d been stirring with.
After a half hour of teasing their taste buds with the aromatic stew, and adding a few more additions to the pot, it was final time to serve. It was no surprise that Tumbor’s bowl was the widestination and deepest, though despite a few rumbles of disapproval, Fraevon did his best to distribute it evenly amongst them all.
Upon consumption, matters turned to that of slumber and keeping watch. Tumbor duly elected himself first watch, with Jax and Rohlen taking turns thereafter. Fraevon and Yulien were gifted a night of full sleep, something the female cleric had become accustomed, depicted her many protests.
The camp fell silent, the rain all but drowning out the sound of the companions heavy breathing whilst they slept. Even the horses lay silent, seemingly depressed and sombre from the weather. Tumbor sat and watched for any sign of the followers, Jax and Fraevon were discussing earlier, but he neither heard nor saw anything, until he too fell silent and asleep.
Watching from afar, a young boy having seen the dwarf succumb to sleep, quietly broke cover and headed into the camp. There was still some stew left in the pot the spoon couldn’t retrieve, and so deftly he scooped a handful, before then hungrily shoveling it into his mouth. He turned slowly, still licking his fingers, examining the sleeping companions for items of worth or interest.
Having witnessed it previously, when being gifted coin back at the inn, it was Jax’s purse the boy was most keen upon. He had wagered there to be some fifty coin in there, a handsome sum that would buy him many luxurious never previously afforded him. Leaning close, dagger in hand, he looked set to cut the purse strings.
“I wouldn’t,” whispered Jax opening one eye.
The boy stumbled back in disbelief, clattering into the cooking pot and waking everyone in the process. He then spang intuitively into a defensive stance brandishing his dagger as the companions circled him, their own weapons drawn.
“Aren’t you the whelp from the inn?” asked Rohlen.
“He most certainly is,” replied Fraevon.
The boy said nothing, instead evaluating the situation, and eyeing a possible means of escape. One that looked increasing unlikely with each passing moment.
“Come sit by the fire,” offered Jax. “Get yourself warmed, then you can tell us why you felt the compulsion to follow us.”
“Is there any stew left?” he asked lowering his dagger.
“If there is, it’s mine!” boomed Tumbor.