Writing 2014-04-25

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When two of the Shy Folk come back to the Family Circle with news that a human youth has gone missing, several things happen all at once.  An immediate head count, particularly of the cubs, is made.  The elders get all the details they can from the two who heard the news.  Agh and his companion Locha of the Wind Dancers by the Plains Hunters go to the Gather to see what they can do.  Larrikan stays at the fox camp and helps keep track of the cubs.

Agh and Locha return, and begin finding volunteers to help search.  Pairs of Shy Folk will go out with the human groups, and other pairs will scout ahead of those.

Locha tells Larrikan, “The local dryads have asked that you not be involved in this search.”  She looks concerned by this.

He tells her it is because of a danger to him, and explains briefly.  He also suggests everyone be extra careful, because there have been traps set.

That news is relayed to the departing fox teams.  Larrikan is left at the camp, and realizes he is the only Elder there.  He hopes nothing happens that will make that matter.

A long afternoon and tense evening pass with no news.  Larrikan keeps the older cubs from going to find out, and keeps the younger ones amused.  He passes the time by telling them unbelievable yet true stories about humans.  (“They have almost no sense of smell!”)

Two pairs of tired Shy Folk come back to the camp.  They look sort of shocked and unhappy.  The youth don’t notice and inundate them with questions.

They do have some answers.  The missing boy was found.  Hurt, but alive.  He is as the Wise Woman’s, with her and a wizard from the University.  The humans were very worried about the missing boy.  They appreciated the help searching; almost everyone they said how glad they were the Shy Folk were there to help.

The children are pleased with this, but Larrikan can tell there is more to be said, and they are trying to keep it from the young ones.  He helps as he can.

Others return.  One has a message for Larrikan: Go find Agh or Locha.  Quickly.

Larrikan makes haste.  He does not find them at the Gather clearing.  It seems almost empty; a few trolls are drinking there.  Larrikan asks, “Where is everyone?”

The troll looks tired, almost sick at heart.  Larrikan can not recall seeing a troll that was not happy before.  He realizes none of these trolls look happy, and adds, “What happened?”

One of the trolls, who Larrikan does not know, finishes his ale in one long pull, and says, “Damnfool built trap.  Trapped a boy.”

A different troll adds, “Not sure if boy live.  Wise Woman not know yet.”

The first says, “Humans want Shy Folk track builder.  Shy Folk squabble, refuse.  Angry humans have Shy Folk at courthouse.  Big mess.”

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