Thnking better of it, and knowing the Ech’lun could not be left unprotected, the scouts rally to the Ech’lun. Once collected, the group presses on to the Ech’lun village. They are welcomed by warriors on horseback, and lead within the village.
They learned of the Briarhoof, an Ech’lun clan of druids and growers, learned of the Crows, the allied clan of battle-hardened warriors that has allied with them, seemingly out of necessity. Gifts are exchanged, items of value, steel blades, horses, seeds. Normally, such immediate discussions would have been impossible, if not for a woman within the village who speaks both the Chosoan and Ech’lun tongue. The translator, Mako, is half-offered, half-forced into the act of diplomacy. One cannot quite know why the lost colonist wouldn’t want to return to her own kind, and yet she seeks to return as soon as possible.
However, work is not rushed in aiding the new colonists in learning the Ech’lun tongue. It is a rough start, but enough to speak like younglings. Whilst Mako is to complete this work, the scouting party is ordered to push into the forest, to determine the safety of the land that surrounds them, and return.
The journey deeper into the forest is one of difficulty. Soon, they are walking among elder trees, with roots as thick as logs, and trunks that stretch to the sky. They huddle about an obelisk at night, cramped firelight casting shadows and every small movement sounding like predators just at the edge of the light.
The next day, they reach an old stone road and follow it to an abandoned village. The structures are small and stout, and appears at the base of the entrance to a Dwarven stronghold. The scouts are only there but for a short time before being set upon by wolves. Some of which walk upon their hind legs. The battle is brutal and quick, but the wolves are slain. Wounded, they collect the bodies into a pile before retreating within one of the buildings, tending to their injuries and resting.