Pointing an armored finger in Mu’s face, the newly emerged knight kept a strong hold of the large warrior’s attention, even with his own drastically shorter height. His beautifully decorated armor shone with each flash of lightning in the sky, naturally attracting the gaze of any around him. Opening his mouth to speak for the first time after his shouting, the knight explained, “This ‘ere village is a magic free zone, fellow. We need to check yer persons, if ye don’t mind.” the man was friendly, but his voice kept its stern tone.  “I’m J.B. and I’m the cap’ain of this ‘ere guard. Forgive our intrusion. But we can’t jus’ risk any magical objects workin’ their way into the—”

“The name’s Mu, friend!” Mu interjected, shoving an enormous hand out to shake, knowing he might need to talk his way out if these guards were to find his special cargo. “Completely understand if you soldiers need to follow orders. Just watch out for my jester over there, he’s packing some real metal,” the warrior joked with a bellowing laugh and shook the guard captain’s hand, trying to lighten the mood from its ordinary routine-like nature. The guards seemed friendly enough that the two adventurers might have been able to avoid any difficult conversations about the magical sword on Mu’s back. A few of the soldiers let out some small chuckles, and any tension that was in the air had almost entirely dispersed.

“But really, we’re just a pair of travelers from the Domain of Icar, if you ever heard of it! We’ve actually been looking for a guide to take us through the area, wouldn’t you know it. Any idea where we might find one? We’re willing to pay quite a lot! You can just shout out names if you’d like!” the warrior asked in an attempt to derail their former conversation.

A few of the soldiers sheathed their swords and responded with varying “uuhms”, while one knight behind Mu began to shout out a staggered list of seemingly random people in town. A second chimed in, simply agreeing with the first knight’s suggestions, and Mu realized very quickly that these were not the most intelligent, or even disciplined men.

“Alright, alright!” Mu shouted after listening to the babble for a few more seconds. After the men fell relatively silent, the warrior answered, “As much as it sounds like you just made up the name ‘Haired Jared’, I guess that’s the best place for us to start looking.” As he spoke, Mu began to edge away to the outside of the circle.

J.B once again spoke up, in a voice louder than he intended, “Wait, wait, wait, ye soldiers are forgetting something. These two can’t go anywhere.” The sternness in his voice had returned, and the pair of adventurers both realized that there was a chance of a fight.

“Ye also gotta see Yorin Dorin Rorin, he knows everything bout the region o’ Caindrel!” J.B. grinned, and slapped Mu on the back. “Can’t let ya go off, findin the wrong guide there. Ha! Ye guard scum almost forgot about ol’ Yorin. Fools, I tell ye. Come on, let’s get back to thee post!” The ornately armored man shook Mu’s hand vigorously this time, and the soldiers were off.

Mu stood in silence for a moment, mildly bewildered, and finally gasped out of relief, “This place is ridiculous.”