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Oren sits in the library poring over an old manuscript.

Mateo enters the library, taking a curious look around- the sort one gives when entering a new place for the first time- though on spotting Oren he gives a respectful bow, “Your Grace.”

Oren looks up. “Good morning Mateo. Been exploring the castle?”

Mateo says, “I have, it’s a big place, lots to see.”

Oren asks, “It is. Found anything particularly interesting?”

Mateo seems to consider this, “I like the gardens, they’re nice, got a little lost there but.” He gives a small shrug, “Worse places to get lost than here I’d say.”

Oren laughs. “Many. Of course you can ask the Trees themselves for directions if you get lost in the forest.

Mateo blinks, “Wait, I can do that? I thought it was just the animals that talked”

Oren snickers in a not-terribly refined manner. “Not all the trees, but many, yes.”

Mateo rubs the back of his neck in an embarrassed sort of way, “How uh, do I know which ones you can talk to?”

Oren says, “While I’d love to give you information that would set you talking to every tree you encounter, I’m afraid I’m still working on understanding the difference myself.”

Mateo says, “Right, yes of course” he still seems perplexed, like the idea of talking -trees- is a little hard to get his head around. He glances down at the manuscript that Oren was examining, “I hope I’m not interrupting?”

Oren shakes his head. “It’s not always hard to tell them. When a dryad is apart from its tree it’s appearance is…somewhat like a human’s. It’s when they’re with their tree that I couldn’t tell you.

Mateo says, “I wonder if I’ll meet one”

Oren says, “I’d be surprised if you didn’t. There were some at the festival.”

Mateo says, “I must have missed them.”

Oren says, “Well, you’ll see some more soon enough, I imagine. I say, would you mind checking on the Halcyon for me? I haven’t had a chance to go down this morning.”

Mateo nods and gives another bow, “I can do that, you grace”

Oren says, “Thank you, Mateo. I’ll see you at luncheon.”

Mateo says, “I’ll see you there, your grace” and with those words, he starts to head off to check on the ship, hopefully not getting too lost along the way.


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