S6E3-RowanErys

Erys Moongem

They'd managed to make it back through Phandalin yesterday, so by their second day out they'd finally managed to officially make headway towards Waterdeep. Erys was already feeling her nerves tighten. She had plenty of tea, she had her companions with her, they were united in this divinely ordained purpose – whatever the fuck it was – and they had a woman with them who could turn into a bear. Speaking of which… she realized suddenly that Rowan was not in the wagon, and indeed that nobody was. She'd fallen asleep. And the others had probably already made camp. She shook her hair out, sighing and pointing out that making sure someone was always watching the camp, always watching over the others, was something she took very seriously. That meant she'd have to play four-hour catchup every now and then. As she pulled the flap aside, she made her way out of the wagon and discovered Rowan in the midst of what certainly seemed to be preparations for a walk. "Want some company, sweetheart?" Erys suggested, grabbing her belt and dagger from her little pile of stuff and strapping it on over her casual clothes.

Rowan

"Of course, please join me." Rowan hadn't admitted it to the others, but she was relieved to leave Phandalin and when she saw the open road ahead of them with lush forest on either side, she finally felt more at home. Not wanting to be rude to the others, she had rode in the wagon most of the day rather than walk as she was much more accustomed to. However, once they had made camp she was interested to see what these woods had to offer, if they were similar enough to her own to feel like home. Waiting for Erys to gather her things she idly considered what direction to go. Picking a direction entirely at random as soon as Erys joined her, they set out into the treeline.

Erys Moongem

It wasn't that she moved faster than Erys, but that she moved with a greater sense of ease in the wilderness. At least, that's what she found herself telling herself. Erys follows Rowan's entirely random direction, knowing that if she were to get lost or separated from Rowan… "Hey, Rowan? I'm not so good at this nature thing so… don't lose me, okay? I'll find myself back in Evereska wondering what the hell wrong turn I took." She chuckled. "And then they'd just tell me to leave again." She looked, though, all over. Trying to see whatever Rowan saw, trying to take it in. Surely there was beauty everywhere, but all these branches and all this dirt threw her for a bit of a loop. Rowan seemed to have no difficulty whatsoever.

Rowan

As soon as they lost sight of the camp, Rowan started moving swiftly through the trees. While her antlers often felt awkward in civilization, she ducked effortlessly through branches and between tree trunks without ever catching herself on anything. She could hear Erys struggling behind her, rustling leaves and snapping twigs as she walked, and it brought her back to her agreement to share this walk, so she slowed her pace to let the elf catch up. "Sorry, I got a little excited. It must seem strange, since I have never been here before, but it feels a little like home. See, there are many rabbits here, there must be a den nearby." Rowan pointed out a group of rabbits hopping through the leaves. If she had the time…and if she were alone, she may have been able to set traps for them.

Erys Moongem

Erys nodded. She'd seen pictures, surely, but never really seen… rabbits. "Oooh! They're cute. I like them." It was astonishing how effortlessly Rowan was moving through everything even with her goddamn… beautiful antlers. It had to be some kind of magic at work. "So by my count… I've seen… elk, bear, the direwolf which freaks me the hell out… have you found out what else you can turn into yet? Any limits? Like… could you be a rabbit? A common housecat? That might be good for spying if we ever have need of that." Erys frowned, glad Rowan couldn't see her face. Whatever it was that was after her was serious fucking business. Erys wasn't going to let them have her.

Rowan

Erys' exclamation had caused the rabbits to scatter. She smiled at the innocence of it, reminding her of when she had first seen the variety of creatures that lived in her own forest. She ponders the question. "Hmm, I don't know if there are limits. I still can't really explain it. When I change it feels like I've always been able to, that it's been with me for my whole life, but only a few weeks ago it never would have occurred to me. I suppose I don't really think about what I'm going to be as much as I think about what I want to do and it just happens. The bear and the direwolf are when I feel the need to be strong, the elk and deer when I want to be fast. I don't see why I couldn't be a rabbit." Rowan concentrates for a moment, imagining herself small and agile, quick and accutely aware of her surroundings. She closes her eyes and when she opens them she is face to face with Erys' ankles.

Erys Moongem

Erys watches in astonishment as Rowan's forms shrinks down to no larger and honestly not all that different than the rabbits they'd just passed. She exclaimed again. It was unbelievable. Truly remarkable. The only way she could make heads or tails of it at all was to rationalize that Rowan must have the sort of relationship with nature that she had with her own patroness. "That's… how were you able… can you turn into a tressym, like Scout?"

Rowan

Rowan thinks again, this time imagining herself as the winged cat, but for whatever reason, it does not feel the same. She is confused, and decides to return to herself in order to try to explain it to Erys, although she's not sure she understands herself. "No, I try and it is like imagining myself to be another person. Maybe he is too complex a creature, maybe it is because he has a full mind and not simply instincts, but it is like attempting to become you, it doesn't seem possible." Rowan starts walking again, slowly but she does want to explore the forest a little.

Erys Moongem

Erys giggles. "Hang on, hang on, what did you just say? Did you try to become, or I mean, look like me? Why?" She increases her speed to make sure she catches up with the tiefling, wanting very much to hear this answer.

Rowan

"Well, I mean…" Rowan blushes, only now considering that it is quite a personal thing to try to do. "The first day after we arrived in Phandalin, when I was still trying to figure this out, I was in my room and thought, I suppose as you did, what are the limits? I had just seen you and figured I would try, but obviously nothing happened. It's like the difference between changing your clothes and changing your skin, some things are so part of you that they can't change. I…I think it has to do with the mind. When I'm an animal, I'm still myself. I still have my own thoughts, but I also have the base instincts of the animal. My senses become keener, I can recognize smells that as myself I would not know. It is like a blending. Trying to do that with a person, it would be like holding two minds in one body. It would be too much. Am I making any sense at all?"

Erys Moongem

Erys blushed at the implications of Rowan's naive phrasing. "Y-yeah, it makes perfect sense. You couldn't… take my shape because you don't know my mind. And if you did, it'd be… strange, to say the least. Is a bit of a shame, though. What about the…hoozits… and….whatever that thing with the god awful smell was? Can you turn into those things? No, I guess they have minds too. Interesting." Erys smiled to herself at the tiefling, shaking her head in mock confusion. 'What are the limits? Girl, you have no idea.'

Rowan

Rowan returns the smile, oblivious to any alternate meaning. "I…I'm not sure what a hoozits is, but that thing," Her smile fades. "No, whatever that thing was, it was not natural. I could not turn into that, and I don't think I would want to." She continues walking, trying not to think too much of that monster. She points out several other creatures she recognizes for Erys to fawn over.

Erys Moongem

At each new creature, Erys delights in the simple joy of Rowan's demonstrating of knowledge. It was one thing to watch her turn into a bear and hold a hallway, it was one thing to see her become a direwolf and bound around the rest of them with brilliant tactical attacks that left her targets defenseless, it was one thing to remember that she was first a fawn, and that first comfort Erys had tried to give her. In a way, it struck Erys as parallel: Rowan was being hunted by forces she didn't understand for unknowable reasons, and so was she. Rowan was growing into a different person than she had been a tenday ago, and so was she. Never did Erys feel the duty of their divine purpose stronger than when they were together. At that thought, a rustling in the trees brought Erys' eyes to the sky, and finally she was the one who got to point out an animal. "Oh, hey, Rowan! An eagle!"

Rowan

Rowan looks to the sky, far above them circling overhead she could see the massive wingspan of a large bird. It was difficult to tell at this distance the true size of the creature, but it was likely larger than she was. She had seen eagles flying overhead before, but none like this. "That's not just an eagle, that is a giant eagle! They are mentioned in my book, but I don't think they live in my forest anymore. I've certainly never seen one. They are smarter than most birds. They can understand speech and have their own language. They can be very dangerous too, but it looks like this one is just surveying his territory." Rowan looks at it with wonder. It had been quite a time since she had seen a new animal, not counting the direwolf in the cave. She wondered what other animals must be out there that she didn't know. The possibility was exhilarating.

Erys Moongem

Erys clutches onto a tree to brace as Rowan's excitement overflows. She loved watching Rowan's wonder explode like this, but it was always a shock for the first second or two, and without her armor, well… it would be better not to be intruding. "We aren't, uh, somehow, infringing on its – his? – territory? Are we? Do we need to leave?"

Rowan

Rowan realizes she has made Erys nervous. She turns away from the sky and gives an encouraging smile. "No, it is unlikely to attack us. They're intelligent and know that two people are not good prey. As long as we do not threaten it or its nest, it will likely leave us alone." She looks back up at the bird again. It is hovering in large circles, but while she can keep it in her view, because of the distance it must be moving at tremendous speed, fast enough that it could cover the distance to the ground in short time. "Nevertheless, perhaps it is best we head back to the camp."

S6E3-RowanErys

Phandelver + Storm King and beyond CapitalistPig peramene