On the edge of the city, Simile buzzed around a small cabin. She was annoyed to find the small crack she'd used in the past to gain entrance had since been sealed. Aw well, she thought, nothing else for it! She hovered in front of the window gathering up her magical strength, then let out a blast about her size, incinerating a small hole in the wall. She flew through it.
The cabin was very sparsely furnished. There was a pile of tools piled half-heartedly in one corner. There was a small table, a wardrobe, and a bed, and that was all. She flew towards the bed, and landed on Dukalb's pillow.
"Good Morning!" she intoned, leaning into his ear.
Dukalb literally jumped to his feet. Within seconds, he was standing on top of the bed."What the underealm?!" he said.
Simile floated up to right in front of his face.
"Hey, plenty of guys'd kill to wake up with me in their bed!"
Dukalb glared at her.
"It's Four lengths and two and a half twigs already! What did you do last night?"
"Nothing," answered the Dwelf, jumping off his bed. "I usually get up this late. I try not to let my internal clock be bound by the rules of society,"
"How very Druidic of you," answered the pixie. "However, if you wish to remain in Erilliance, I would suggest you get dressed and get to that clearing,"
"What do you mean, get dressed?" asked Dukalb. "Like I own more than one pair of clothing,"
She surveyed his wrinkled clothes.
"Wow," she said. "You really are a slob. I didn't know you slept in them too,"
Dukalb shrugged. "I don't interact with people very often these days. I figure, what's the point in looking nice. No one see's me anyway. This way I can just... wake up and leave," As if to demonstrate, he walked towards the door.
"So what's that wardrobe for?" asked Simile as she floated next to his ear.
"Things," said Dukalb, "None of your concern - did you burn a whole in my door?"
"That?" said Simile, indicating the whole. "That was there when I got here,"
"Right," said Dukalb sarcastically, as he began striding through the forest, "So it just... Turned up. Should I even bother getting it fixed?"
"Uhhhh....No," said Simile.
"Because next time you needed to get into my house another one would just turn up," said the Druid irritably.
"Probably," answered Simile coyly, "You know how these things are,"
"One of these days you're going to have a nasty encounter with a fly swatter," said Dukalb dryly.
"You gotta catch me first," intoned the pixie playfully as she zoomed out over the trees. Dukalb wandered towards the clearing, thinking about what was about to happen. A master, he reasoned, could never be a good thing. Up until now he'd been setting his own timetables, living a life of relative solitude, and interacting with others only when absolutely necessary. And he was learning a lot. His teachers were the trees, the rocks, the animals. How a druid should learn, he thought. Now he would be subject to the whims of an older druid, one who thought he could teach him to commune with nature through lessons and instruction.
But what else could he do? He couldn't leave Erilliance. Where else could a Dwelf live in peace? Everywhere he'd be an outsider. But here, in a city ruled by a council consisting of a human, a Dwarf, and an Elf, everyone felt like an outsider. And that meant no one did.
He stopped in the same clearing where Thurigen had delivered his ultimatum the previous day. And there, standing in front of him, was a goblin.
It was very tall for a goblin - thin and wiry, with wrinkly green skin and ridiculous bat-like ears. The upturned snout on the front of it's face was rather humorous looking as well.
Dukalb glanced around for a weapon. Eyeing a heavy stick on the ground, he picked it up and held like a club, ready to swing if he was attacked. Goblins were dangerous, hostile creatures, and he wasn't about to take any chances.
"Underrealm of a way to greet your knew teacher," said the goblin, in a raspy voice. "My name is Grosk. You would be Dukalb, I presume?"