In the spirit of ‘Behind the Scenes’ I’ve got another tidbit to share- the initial outline and script for Roza and the Sparrow Knight. About 6 pages were cut from the final story, so those scenes can be found here, as well as an extended ending. I cut a lot of dialog and chit-chat to pick up the pace. For the sake of Chapter 4, it can be assumed that those conversations never happened.
You may have figured out a few things from Chapter 3 on your own, but in case you didn’t you’ll find a few spoilers.
Below the cut you’ll find the entire script, so read on!
* Esten returns to waiting Roza with winter clothes. Roza has stolen some stockings and boots from villagers nearby. Esten chastises her.
* Esteb insists that she replace her old cloak. When Roza protests, he points out that it looks like it has been chewed and spat out. Flash to Notch chewing Roza’s cloak while she sleeps. Roza agrees, and complies.
* They spot a couple of scouts from the regent’s forces, and hide until they rejoin the other soldiers in the pass.
* They begin up the ‘high road’. Esten explains to her about the Wild Lord of the mountain. He makes a sacrifice to aid their journey.
* Snow begins to fall, unseasonably early. That night they shelter in a small cave.
* Roza learns a little of Esten’s history as a Sparrow Knight. He advises her to be more cautious and respectful towards powerful figures.
* Roza awakens alone in the cave. She goes out to look around. Esten is going out to see who is tracking them and tells her to stay put. A blizzard is beginning.
* As Roza returns to the cave, she spots some creatures (goblin/raccoon) stealing their supplies. She yells at them, and yells for Esten, but they scamper off.
* Angry, Roza decides to go after them herself. She crawls into the little hole where they disappeared.
* Inside, a frozen stream – an ice cave. The refracted moonlight gives it a natural glow. She walks along, Nic following, and climbs down a frozen waterfall.
* Suddenly, the goblins attack, launching and clinging to Roza.
* From far above, she hears Esten’s muffled voice, and calls to him for help as she tries to shake off an increasing goblin assault.
* Weighed down and entangled by a dozen she yells helplessly as Nic is carried away. Another goblin is making off with the compass.
* She flings off goblins, enraged, when the ice cracks beneath her feet, and a surprisingly strong current carries her away. She calls out as she disappears down a dark tunnel.
* Roza is unconscious, laying wetly next to an icy river bank. It’s night and large flakes drift slowly down, lit by the full moon.
* Something large and hairy breaks out of the icy water, clambers to shore and shakes dry.
* The bear nuzzles Roza, who groans.
* A muzzle digs under and lifts her up. The bear carries Roza up and over a snowbank.
* After they travel a ways, Roza slides to the ground. The bear nuzzles her, and she starts to awaken.
* When Roza awakes, she glimpses the fleeing bear and sees its paw prints. She calls for Notch, Nic, and finally Esten.
* Looking down, she sees what appears to be the same or similar little altar as Esten had made earlier.
* She looks up into the dark night and swirling snow, shivering.
* Remembering Esten’s sacrifice, she decides to make an offering to the Lezni – even if it means using her cursed blood.
* the Lezni appears before Roza. Roza asks about Nic,and Esten too.
* Lezni lectures Roza, directs her to Lodinya, mentions Gil
* Esten appears behind her just as the Lezni vanishes – Esten doesn’t seem to see him.
* Esten has found and bandaged up Nic, who is now wearing some of the goblin tribal gear.
Roza’s ‘I don’t need you’ attitude toward Esten is changed when she is separated and struggling to survive alone in the blizzard. Her initial distrust is nearly dissolved by the chapter’s end. Esten proves his courage and desire to protect Roza. Roza is shown to be vulnerable and not always right.
====== Roza and the Sparrow Knight Script======
scene 1 – above the mountain road, cloudy afternoon
– Roza and Nic are relaxing on a rocky hillside, hidden by large ferns and mountain shrubs.
– Close up – Roza’s fiddling with the phoenix, trying to figure out the mechanism.
– A couple springs fly out, and the heads shoots off.
– Roza: ack!
– Roza scrambles to find the tiny pieces.
– she looks up, eye-to-eye w/ Nic who has the phoenix head in his mouth.
– Roza: Nic! Give me that!
– Nic dashes into the ferns.
– Roza scrambles on all fours, following.
– Roza : Argh, Nic! come back!
– Roza abruptly bumps her head into Esten’s shin.
– Roza : uf!
– Roza peers up at Esten, who’s holding a bundle over his shoulder.
– Nic pops up on Esten’s shoulder.
– Esten : Nic, are you stealing again?
– Roza : oh, you’re back.
– Esten : and a good noon to you as well, miss. here.
– He tosses the bundle.
– Roza catches the bundle. Nic dashes over.
– Esten : I was able to get us some clothing from a little village near the road.
– Roza sniffs the bundle. Nic sniffs too.
– Roza: it smells like goat.
– Esten: you’re welcome.
– Roza unrolls it, revealing new winter clothes for her.
– Roza, grimacing: you want me to wear this?
– Esten: If we are caught in an early storm, you’ll be glad of it. Besides, that ragged bedsheet you’re wearing looks as if it’s been chewed and spat out.
– flashback: Notch chewing on Roza’s cloak while she sleeps in the cave on the stormy night. Sfx: nom nom
– Roza: uh, probably it has.
– Esten: There weren’t many options since the roadblock’s cut off most trade. I’m afraid I couldn’t buy any boots or stockings for you, but-
– Roza: Don’t worry, I got some.
– Esten grimaces.
– Esten: still warm, I suppose?
– Roza: what? I’m cold AND I’m cursed, I think I need them more than those goat herders do.
– Esten: Miss Roza, you can’t complain when Nic takes your things, and then you go off and do the same. At least when Nic steals something, you get it back.
– Esten hands her the phoenix head.
– Roza: hmph! it’s easy to worry about stuff like that when you’re not cold and starving, Sir Esten.
– Esten: You’re right. You must have stolen and lied and begged and worse, to make it alone this far from your home. A young girl with the complexion of a mage would find few friendly faces on the road.
– Esten: But-! I am a knight, and your guardian, and I’d see you behave as a proper lady.
– Roza groans.
– Roza: great, it’s lecture time.
– Esten: Hmph. I just wanted to say that some things are more easily won with charm than with guile, so-
– Esten looks sharply left, toward the sound of rustling and rocks shifting.
– They stoop in the bushes as a pair of Regent soldiers pass by on the road.
– Nic freezes, pretending to be a boulder on the road. He peeks out as the soldiers pass by, chatting.
– soldier 1: huh, those yokels didn’t know beans ’bout any brigand mage. I told yer she wouldn’t wander this far off the road.
– soldier 2: unless she was hiding from the lot of us, y’ dolt! Shaddup and trot, I don’t like the feel of this place.
– soldier 1: she won’t last long in these mountains anyhow.
– soldier 2: us neither, if the mountain lord hears ya! now shut it!
– Roza peers from behind a tree as the soldiers vanish into the distance.
– Roza: you missed your chance to charm those soldiers.
– Esten: A knight should also gauge his opponent before engaging. We made a strategic retreat, and now we have a superior position.
– Roza: We ran away and they didn’t see us. Right.
– Esten: suppose those soldiers captured you again. they’re like as not to kill you on sight.
– Roza: they just tossed me in a cell last time, and I got away.
– Esten: probably because they mistook you for Leith, and didn’t want to engage a powerful mage.
– Roza: I think they were just stupid, is all.
– Esten: Regardless, let’s avoid any future encounters. If they’re traveling the main road through the pass, we’ll take the shepherd’s road.
– Esten indicates a high rocky goat path following the rugged contour of the mountain.
– Roza: that’s not a road, it’s a goat trail. It’s probably swarming with fellcats and puka and oskji!
– Esten: I’d be impressed if an oskji made it this far south. I’ll take my chances with the rest rather than risk the soldier’s road.
– Roza: Hmph.
– Esten: Listen, miss Roza. For your safety, and your health. These mountains are cold and ruthless. Whatever the guardian spirit that has kept you from starvation and freezing in the forest, it does not dwell in this place.
– Roza sighs, and begins to shrug off her cloak.
– Later. Roza and Esten are making their way along the steep path.
– Esten reaches out to Roza, helping her leap to the next boulder.
– They climb up steep rocks. Nic clings to Roza, who seems to enjoy the challenge of the landscape.
– Suddenly, Roza loses her balance, flailing in space.
– Esten grabs Roza’s cloak as she balances on the edge precariously.
– Esten: careful, miss.
– Roza grins sheepishly.
– Roza and Esten plop down on some boulders after the close escape.
– Roza: phew!
– Esten: let’s rest a moment here.
– Roza looks pensively at the darkening sky.
– Nic peers curiously as Esten scratches around in the dirt.
– Esten is making a small pile of stones. Roze looks on curiously.
– esten places a small loaf of bread on the altar. Around the stones he scratches runes in the dirt. He lights a small fire before the altar. As he works, he speaks to Roza.
– Roza: what’s that?
– esten: A sacrifice, to show the Mountain Lord we bear no ill will.
– roza: um… right.
– esten: I was raised near these mountains, and I know them well. Have you heard of the Mountain Lord?
– roza: is he the king of the mountains?
– esten: no, far from a man. The people here call them Wild Lords. They are ancient beasts, as old as the world, born of magic. They do not take kindly to trespassers.
– roza gasps as esten makes a small cut on his hand, dripping blood onto the sacrificial loaf.
– esten, praying: Guardian of the blizzard, Lord of the Mountain, forgive our trespass. We honor you with blood and fire. We recognize your might, and pray your leave for our safe passage. Aron veth mandryaron lezni.
– roza: is he going to eat it?
– esten: no, but he should understand our intent by it. Unfortunately a larger fire would attract unwanted attention. I pray this is sufficient.
– roza: have you seen him?
– esten: Too many questions! If we make good time perhaps we can avoid snow and the mountain’s master altogether.
– roza: what did he look like?
– esten, annoyed: I won’t say anything further about it. Best not to speak of things unseen.
– From the dark pines, a dark shape (puka) is watching…
– nightfall. the mountainside is dark. Large snowflakes swirl. Warm firelight emanates from a rocky cavern where Roza and co are sheltering.
– Esten offers Roza more food.
– roza gestures a negative, as she sloppily chews a giant mouthful.
– nic snatches the food greedily.
– esten laughs.
– esten: wherever did you find him?
– roza: nic? I picked him up when he was just a pup. Guess he thinks he’s a person by now.
– roza smiles, warming up to esten. Nic puffs indignantly at the implication that he’s not actually a person too.
– nic pops up on Esten’s shoulder, and Esten feeds him another tidbit.
– roza: huh, nic really likes you.
– esten: is that unusual?
– roza: you’re not really a bounty hunter, are you? you just follow mages around and pester them to cure your curse.
– esten: hah! actually, a bit of both. I’m the world’s greatest tracker, after all.
– roza: I doubt it! You had to follow the goat to find me!
– esten: tracking a clumsy goat is much easier than tracking a barefoot tree-climbing girl and a shadowcat with no scent.
– roza: I can’t imagine you catching and killing people. I mean, Nic likes you, so you must be alright.
– esten: well, I am a knight, after all. I don’t use force against the defenseless, and only when absolutely necessary.
– roza: ah, so you’re saying you could’ve beaten Leith, you just didn’t feel like it.
– esten, serious: A knight must be able to gauge his opponent’s strength and act accordingly. Losing one’s temper and rushing into battle only benefits one’s enemy.
– esten: power demands respect. disregard the rules, act recklessly, and you reveal yourself a fool, or worse.
– roza, dry: thanks for the lesson, o wise and powerful knight.
– esten, grinning: you learn fast.
– roza: how do you learn to be a knight?
– esten: oh, you see… it’s learned from another knight, as an apprentice. A squire. Squires study letters, etiquette, horsemanship, combat, everything a knight must know. If he is worthy then he will be knighted by his lord, unless he’s a sparrow knight.
– roza: a sparrow knight is a renegade?
– esten: no, simply a knight with no master. He travels to smaller villages, solving disputes and routing bandits. In the old days they took the fallen grains from fields after harvest, so they were known as sparrows. Since the sparrow knight has no master, he must live off the land or the generosity of the villages he defends.
– roza: can I be one too? a knight?
– esten: well, first you must be a squire. I’ve never heard of a mage knight, but surely it’s not impossible.
– roza: then I can beat leith!
– esten: sigh.
– esten: in all earnestness, miss roza, I hope you’ve understood what I’ve told you. Leith isn’t human. We are fortunate she lost interest in us.
– roza: you know what she is, don’t you?
– esten: I’ve heard of someone like her before, yes.
– roza: another mage?
– esten: yes. she was the ruler of a land near these mountains. She angered the mountain lord, and he cursed the mage and her lands for a thousand years. That’s the way the tale is told.
– roza: hmm. It’d be nice if he’d curse Leith, too.
– esten: don’t wish for such wicked things. Leith must already suffer for her sins.
– roza: poor notch. I hope she doesn’t suffer, too.
– esten: perhaps leith uses he power to control those shadowcats. Perhaps she raised them herself, and trained them, and mastered them in that way. Beasts do not know good nor evil, only loyalty to the pack.
– roza: huh. I hadn’t considered that. you’re full of lessons tonight.
– esten: it’s a knight’s duty to educate the ignorant. Perhaps if you spent more time considering, you’d spend less time in prison cells.
– roza: I bet you give the same lecture to all your bounties.
– esten sighs.
– roza: g’night, nic.
– roza and nic curl up to sleep for the night.
– Esten looks at her peaceful face, pensive.
– Startled, Roza sits up from her sleep.
– Nic is curled up sleeping nearby, but Esten is gone.
– Getting up, she quickly wraps a cloak around herself against the chill.
– She peers out into the black night, swirling white flakes are faintly visible.
– Roza trudges out into the snow
– and sees the mountainside is blanketed in a couple inches of white.
– She spots Esten’s tracks, and follows them up the slope. There are bear tracks in the snow as well.
– A dark figure appears behind her.
– Esten startles her from behind.
– esten: shh!
– roza: ah!
– roza: what is it?
– esten: someone followed us here. I caught the scent, and there are marks about. Go inside, and wait for me to return.
– roza: but-
– esten gestures again for silence,
– his intensity convinces roza.
– quietly, she returns toward the cave.
– Roza clambers down a snowy slope, Esten is out of earshot.
– Looking aside, she spots a strange silhouette near the cave.
– A puka skitters away into the darkness.
– Roza: what was that?
– Another pair dash out of the cave, bearing a satchel of clothes and supplies, more clearly visible.
– pukas: urk! yurk urk!
– Roza: hey!
– She runs toward the cave.
– More puka disperse as Roza dashes near.
– pukas: yurk! yurk!
– Two of them are carrying away Nic who cries out helplessly.
– Nic: Keh! K-keh!
– Roza: Nic! You let go of him, stupid pukas!
– The puka dash down the slope with their burden, and Roza follows.
– They disappear into an icy crevice.
– After a moment of thought, Roza wedges herself into the crevice as well.
– The puka den is inside a frozen over stream bed, the ice forming a cave above. There are some strange glowing sconces, made by pukas presumably. The light is refracted by ice, giving the cave a weird blue glow. The cave is littered with puka’s stolen goods and their carvings into the ice. Roza lowers herself in from the crevice above.
– Roza slips a bit as she steps onto the frozen stream.
– she notices puka disappearing into the depths of the cave.
– Nic’s cry echoes faintly from the depths.
– Roza: Nic! I’m coming!
– Roza follows along the frozen stream until she reaches a frozen waterfall. It’s rather steep, and descends into darkness.
– she looks over her shoulder, and grits her teeth
– She clambers down into the dark
– as roza makes her way down the icy falls
– the puka attack! their leader lets out a battle cry.
– puka: gurk!
– Two puka launch at Roza, clinging to her arms.
– Roza yells, clinging with her feet as the pukas climb up her shoulders
– roza: ow, hey!
– Nic cries and struggles against his captors.
– nic: k-keh! keh!
– puka: snrk!
– Roza flings off the puka,
– who hit the wall and slide across the ice.
– Roza loses her balance and falls backward with the puka leader clinging to her back
– roza exhales sharply as she lands on her back. the puka leader which landed beneath her groans.
– roza: huff!
– puka: yurk…
– roza is surrounded by menacing pukas
– the squished puka leader makes a signal…
– g-gurk! gurk!
– roza struggles to shield herself from the pukas who attack.
– roza: ah! let go!
– Roza struggles against pukas which cling to her arms and head
– Roza: gasp!
– Roza: help!
– the ice wall cracks
– a great bear bursts through! he roars, and everyone turns to look
– Roza gawks, shocked.
– The bear roars and pukas dash away frantically.
– two pukas are still carrying Nic, trying to make a getaway.
– pukas: yurk yurk!
– Nic: keh!
– the bear leaps-
– landing in front of the escaping pukas, cutting them off
– the bear snarls at the pukas (close up)
– the pukas dash up toward the falls, trying to escape the bear
– Roza runs over toward Nic and the bear
– roza: nic!
– the ice underneath the bears paw cracks
– the bear snarls at Roza
– roza: no! leave nic alone!
– roza moves again toward the bear
– the ice abruptly gives way, dropping all 3 into the dark icy water
– roza gasps for breath
– but then is sucked into darkness
– It’s night and large flakes drift slowly down, lit by the full moon. somewhere an owl calls.
– Something dark against the white snow by the river.
– Roza is unconscious, laying wetly next to an icy river bank.
– Her skin is pale, but warm breath clouds the air near her lips.
– Something large and hairy breaks out of the icy water-
– and clambers to shore and shakes dry.
– A muzzle digs under Roza-
– and lifts her up. her arms dangle limply.
– The bear carries Roza up and over a snowbank.
– Roza blinks, awakening, on the snow.
– There is a small opening in the snow bank. The bear, from inside the den, has grabbed roza’s leg in his teeth and is pulling her inside.
– Roza begins to breath faster, frightened.
– Roza: gasp, gasp
– Roza looks around for a way to defend herself from the bear-
– but everything goes gray, then black…
– Roza begins to awaken
– looking down, there’s a giant paw print in the snow
– Roza looks around the bear den.
– pushing away snow, she peers out into a grayish snowy afternoon.
– flakes fall on dark cedars. it doesn’t look familiar at all. the bear and nic are nowhere to be seen.
– back in the den, she contemplates her situation.
– roza: I’m alive… that bear must’ve saved me. No, it wasn’t a bear, was it?
– roza: the magic arrow is gone, my boots too. And Nic…
– Roza sticks her head out of the den and yells into the wilderness.
– roza: nic! nic! esten! nic!
– roza sighs
– roza: it’s going to be dark again soon… and nic’s still out there, somewhere.
– roza trudges through the snow, calling nic.
– roza: nic! nic! c’mon, Nic!
– her bare feet are cut and bruised, and beginning to look frostbitten
– her eyes water in the bitter cold, her teeth chatter
– roza: argh, just a little further… I’m sure Nic is just as cold.
– the wind howls through the trees, and everything is enveloped in white haze
– roza: I b-better go b-back…
– roza hears a faint sound far away, something like ‘keh’
– roza calls again for nic
– roza: nic! don’t worry, I’m coming!
– Roza’s footprints criss-cross the snowy landscape, leading into a circle of sheltering cedars.
– Roza collapses against a cedar tree trunk. Here the wind is less fierce.
– she looks up at the trees encircling her. The wind moans in the branches.
– She pulls her legs up under her, and looks despondently at the ground. Her eyes begin to tear.
– Roza: Nic, I’m sorry… I can’t keep going. Don’t be mad at me.
– A tear hits the ground with a puff of steam.
– At the same time, snow falls from some branches nearby. roza looks up at the sound.
– Roza notices something in the clearing. The snow has slid away, revealing a stone altar similar to what Esten made.
– roza brushes away snow, revealing astarti runes
– kneeling before the altar, she contemplates it a moment
– she turns to dig through her clothes
– she finds the mecha phoenix’ head, a shriveled mushroom, gil’s old medal, and a chunk of rock salt which she places on the alter.
– Roza: everything I’ve got… hope this works.
– Roza contemplates the altar, stacked with her weird debris, and prays to the falling snow.
– Roza: um… Guardian of the blizzard, Lord of the Mountain, we recognize your might.
– Roza: Sorry for walking on your mountain. I know you don’t like people too much. But please, look out for my friend Nic. He’s just a chubby stupid animal, and won’t do anything bad besides maybe stealing a few things, just little stuff. He doesn’t hurt anybody. And he’s lost and alone and it’s so cold.
– Roza: He doesn’t like to ask for help so I’m doing this for him, since he’s my friend. So just look after him for me, would you? Please. Um… Aron veth mandryaron lezni.
– She grimaces and bites her lip.
– Touching her mouth, her finger comes away bloody.
– She leans over the altar, until a drop of blood falls onto the offering.
– Roza leaps back as the flames burst forth vigorously.
– Long shot: a giant column of fire springs up from among the cedars, touching the sky. Esten watches in FG.
– snow swirls around the treetops, and the wind moans.
– the branches rattle as the wind picks up force
– the altar flame shoots sparks and tongues of fire
– the trees stir, shaken to their roots, as the wind howls
– roza looks around in awe
– the trees begin to slide aside, creating a boulevard leading to roza and the altar
– a large beast appears hazy in the distant end of the path
– roza stares up awestruck, her breath clouding the air
– before her stands the great lezni. his massive form dominates over the tiny girl.
– Talvr Byalit: Rise, little creature.
– Roza tries to stand-
– -but her wounded feet cause her to collapse.
– Roza: oof! I- I can’t…
– She massages her frostbitten feet, grimacing
– she looks up, afraid. The Lezni’s head is very close to her.
– She squints her eyes, wincing, as the Lezni touches her
– when roza opens her eyes-
– she’s on top of the lezni’s head!
– Talvr Byalit: There, now we may converse.
– Roza: Um… are you the mountain lord? sir?
– Talvr: Strange creature, only the humans would call us that. To mages, we are Lezni. To Lezni, we are Talvr Byalit. The creature may address us as such.
– Roza: Talvr Byalit… I need to ask a favor of you. My friends are lost on the mountain.
– Talvr: We would venture that the creature is the one lost, on //our// mountain. Do not fear, young one. Those that accompanied you still live. They honor us and will have our blessing of safe passage.
– Roza: Oh, that’s great! I mean, thank you.
– Talvr: It is the duty of the Lezni to safeguard the creatures of their domain. We are the mountain, the blizzard, and the thaw here…
– Roza: Wait, may I ask one more thing?
– Talvr: And we will hear it, but we can promise no more than that.
– Roza: About my curse…
– Talvr: We do not understand this human word.
– Roza: It’s, uh… a bad spell that’s on me.
– Talvr shakes his head-
– causing Roza to slide down his long snout, where she clings desperately.
– Talvr sniffs, and gives Roza a close eyeball.
– Roza winces as the nostrils blast air around her and the giant eye goggles at her.
– Talvr: Smells of ashes, human sweat, goat hair, natal blood- a mage. And yet, the creature smells like Lezni.
– Roza: I-I do? Is that… bad?
– Talvr: We of the Lezni rarely use our powers upon humans or mages. If our land or our life is endangered, then we must act to safeguard ourselves.
– Roza: I thought the Lezni were immortal.
– Talvr: Perhaps. When one has lived such a long time as we have, one fears even more the change, the unknown. Even we do not know what lies across that veil, or what may bring our passing. Not long ago, a mage of the northern realm broke the covenant of nature, and stole a Lezni’s power. That one used the power to raise an army of abominations, which marched upon our mountain. We used our power upon the mage, the army, the men of the northern realm- all of them. We did it in fear for our own life.
– Roza: so you cursed them… but what about me?
– Talvr: The power upon this mage is not our own. It is another Lezni’s domain, and not one that we know.
– Roza: oh…
– Talvr turns to the north.
– Talvr: We are of limited domain. All that can be seen here, but no more… Young creature, there is one who may understand better than we the ways of mages. This one dwells to the North, in that cursed land. Seek Lodinya, the obsidian tower.
– Talvr lowers his head, dropping Roza to the ground.
– Roza lands on her knees, protecting her tender feet.
– She looks up again, the Lezni’s head near, her hand resting on his furry snout.
– Roza: Thank you.
– Talvr snorts, backing away. He seems to be feigning indignation.
– Talvr: Do not mistake us for a human! We do only what pleases us.
– Roza: I understand.
– Esten: Roza!
– The call carries faintly on the wind. Roza crawls over and looks,
– seeing that beneath her, below a snowy cliff, is Esten. He’s holding a bandaged Nic.
– Roza looks over her shoulder, but the Lezni has vanished.
– Roza sits for a moment, thoughtful,
– then turns and waves toward her friends.
– Roza: Esten! Nic! up here!
– later. roza rides piggy-back on esten. Nic is in Roza’s bag, which esten is also carrying.
– esten: so you actually spoke to the mountain lord?
– roza: yeah! he rambled a lot though. I asked him to cure my curse, but he said he couldn’t do it. something about being the power of another lezni.
– esten: ah.
– roza: oh! you should ask if he’ll cure your curse! we can do another altar here-
– estne: no.
– roza: huh?
– esten: I’ve asked him before, and he won’t do it. Talvr is the one who cursed me.
– roza: then that story about a mage and her army getting cursed-
– esten: her name was Eydis. As a knight, it was my duty to serve her, even if I disagreed with her methods…
– roza: so Talvr cursed you… wait! Does this curse have anything to do with bears?
– esten laughs, embarassed.
– esten: sorry if I frightened you, miss Roza. It’s not something I can control, and once it happens, it’s difficult to explain.
– roza: that’s alright. I know another guy with almost the same problem. although I think he can control it pretty well.
– esten: really? I’d like to meet this fellow someday.
– roza: ugh, I hope not. Both of you at once sounds like an invitation for disaster. the last thing I want is a knight AND a horse prince bossing me around.
– esten laughs.
– esten: how did you meet this character?
– roza: he’s the one who gave me this- oh.
– esten: what is it?
– roza: I lost it…
– esten: you mean this?
– esten shows roza the compass, grinning.
– roza, delighted: you found it!
– esten: I am the world’s greatest tracker, after all.
– roza: being a bear has its benefits, huh?
– esten: why, yes. it allows me to lug around moderately-sized young ladies with relative ease. it’s better than being something useless like a possum, eh Nic?
– nic: keh!
– nic looks peeved.
– roza: don’t worry nic, I’m sure he’s just teasing.
– esten, winking: yes, of course. Probably.
– esten: oof! let’s rest here a moment.
– esten slips roza off his shoulders, onto a log where she can comfortably sit.
– esten: is a compass really going to help us find this lezni?
– roza: compass?
– esten: this pendant. the arrow always points North. It’s a common device.
– roza: not this one! Prince Aryon gave it to me, and then Leith stole it. I’m pretty sure it has some magic power…
– esten: so you intend to go North until you reach the end of the world?
– roza: no! the l- Talvr Byalit told me. If I keep following it North, I’ll find the Tower of Lodinya. There’s a powerful mage there that can help me- us.
– esten: the glass tower… even if we could find that place, we’d have to cross the fallen lands to reach it. They say no man has ever returned from that cursed swamp.
– roza: good thing we’re not men! I’m sure it’s nothing a bear-knight and a mage can’t handle.
– nic: keh!
– roza: and nic too.
– esten: a mage? I thought the only spell you knew was one for weatherproofing clothing.
– roza: very handy in a swamp, that!
– esten: sigh
– roza: look, I don’t know about you, but I’m sort of in a hurry to get rid of this curse. Are you with me?
– esten grins.
– esten: ’til the bitter end, m’lady.
– Together, the march along toward the cursed swamp…