Three hours had passed since they had left their last camp site at the watch tower, and they were headed towards a large rise in a wide open field filled with wild flowers and tall grasses that brushed their feet strapped into their stirrups, they snagged on Elera's cloak which she had allowed to drape down beside her. As Haylie glanced around, she began to notice hundreds of small hills, Elera signalled Dracon to come to join them on the ground, he dived down in a great swirl of blue and silver and planted his huge curled talons onto the ground with great care; after they had dismounted, Haylie felt something tugging at her trouser leg; as she peered down her long jeans she found a crimson bush of matted hair followed by a short green body wrapped in old rags and animal skins, its bone like fingers tugged away at her leg. She let out a small startled scream when she set eyes on the creature, but soon remembered where she was and that this creature was as normal to Elera and Ringmore as a person from a different country would be for her.
“Gottiga, shen bonba” Cried the little green creature.
“I’m sorry I don’t speak Imp, it’s one I really should study” Elera informed the green being.
“Oh I is sorwy, I had forgotted umans don’t speeks Imp too goods.” Said the little Imp.
“That’s fine” Ringmore remarked “tell us, what is your name?”
“I is called, EbanjinToyita Toyonta, but yous calls mesa Ebah Toe Toe is you wishen.”
“Thank you Ebah Toe Toe,” said Haylie, “Wait you’re the creature I saw in the vision.” she claimed.
“You didn’t say anything about seeing an Imp to me at the time” Elera announced.
“But I didn’t know what it was, 'at the time', I just thought it was some kind of strange bush I never know with all the strange creatures you've told me about!” With the introductions out of the way, the little Imp lead the three of them to his small home in one of the hills, he strode up to the small brown door and turned the handle. The three umans as Ebah had called them, could just about fit through the little rabbit hole of a doorway. Ebah lead then on into his kitchen which, luckily for them had a slightly higher ceiling than the rest of the house and so they could stand up easier. The interior of the humble house was sparse to say the least, the walls were lined with large, smooth stones too keep the sun starved earth at bay; set around the walls were cupboards and a carved stone sink, through a low corridor were three rooms a small sitting room, the chairs whittled out of tree stumps and oversized logs, a large fire pit filled the centre of the room, beyond the lounge was a meagre bed room and a small washroom, even Imps are still very hygienic.
But the most welcome surprise for the travellers, came from a crouched figure in the corner of the room. Elera edged closer to the figure and when she was close enough she reached out and tapped it on the shoulder, slowly the figure moved round until her face and brilliant auburn hair was visible.
“I was wondering when you would come to find me old friend.” said Killga
“Old friend indeed!” Elera exclaimed, “How did you escape your village?”
“Well let’s just say the plans for the old mining tunnels were worth keeping after all!” and she giggled to herself.
“So you’re Killga Maroona? It’s nice to meet you in person” Ringmore said holding out his hand for her to shake.
“Likewise, Mr Rider I presume” And she shook his hand with a rather sarcastic formal expression spread across her face.
The Imps helped Ringmore and Haylie to pack up some more supplies, since they had picked up three more friends: Ebah and his friend Grungen had decided to come along and help in whatever way they could, after all their lands were at as much risk as the rest of Lardinia, although Ringmore reserved some doubts about their presence he never voiced them.
“Ringmore, how do Elera and Killga know each other?” Asked Haylie curiously as they were packing up the last of the food supplies.
“Well apparently, years ago, back when Lardinia was a free land, there was a tragic natural disaster; an earthquake tore open the land with one winding crack that let the sea flow straight through the land. Unfortunately on the very same day a lady and her courtiers were out riding when the great disaster struck, they were stranded on a small block of crumbly land, right in the middle of the great fissure, Elera was summoned to pull them to safety, she also managed to pull the land back as close together as she could with her powers and gave us the Ahromare River that runs the length of Lardinia” He answered
“So you mean it was Killga she rescued?”
“Yes, after the incident they became inseparable friends, up until quite recently that is.” By this time Killga and Elera had caught up with them and had been listening to Ringmore tell the story.
“Saves us the job of telling her the story ourselves Rider! But I do like telling it!” Killga joked.
After they had packed up they mounted their horses; Killga and Elera riding double, loaded with more supplies and the two small Imps who were riding with Ringmore and Haylie, and rode off North towards the Silverline Forest.