top of page

Hatching Egg ( A Squire's Trial)

The night air was mild, but heavy with moisture and the slight funk of decay. Sprokit felt the damp leaves beneath his clawed, scaly feet. His small, slight frame made it that much easier to pad silently through the dense forest. Sir Bertrand had taught him to move quietly, Sprokit's pet skunk Spritz hadn't learned it, however, so Spritz was back at home. Where Sprokit couldn't pet him. Sprokit desperately wanted to pet Spritz to calm the fear rising in his gullet.

It wasn't the still, spooky forest or the pitch darkness. Kobolds, like Sprokit, were natural cave dwellers, and he could see perfectly in all but magical darkness. No, it was the sky he feared. It was a cloudless night and every step he took he felt like he might fall up into the sky and be lost forever. Open sky felt wrong to Sprokit. When there were clouds, at least he could pretend it was one of the high strange ceilings in the caverns of the Underdark. Sprokit glanced up into the night sky and wished he hadn't. No clouds. His breathing quickened. No Spritz. His steps grew faster. Again he glanced up. So many stars. Why was he out here? He could just flee home. Where was Sir Betrand? As doubt thundered in Sprokits ears, and he was about to turn about and try to scamper back to the warmth of his little bed, a soft rustle broke the stillness of the night.

Sprokit froze. The hoot of an owl came from ahead and to the left. Rohvu, the party's druid had found the place they were searching for. His fears forgotten for a moment, Sprokit made his way in the direction he heard the owl. A moment later, he was standing in a peculiar grove of trees with Sir Bertrand and four of the five other members of the party.

Sprokit surveyed the grove. Each tree around him was a different species. Ash, oak, willow, pine,and on; twelve trees in total. All planted in a perfect circle, but not aligned to the compass rose. Sprokit stood in the center of the grove and turned himself North. The trees were offset by around eight degrees. He sniffed the air, and felt for magical disturbances, but each seemed to Sprokit to be nothing more than an ordinary, healthy tree.

"Where's Rohvu?" Whispered Rayke. He had unslung his lute and leaned against one of the trees. Rayke’s fingers were idly flicking along the neck, but no sound escaped. He had wound a black silk scarf through the strings and stuffed an extra in the body for good measure.

Lyra pointed one walnut tanned finger up into the canopy of the perfectly circular grove, the supple leather of her armor barely making a whisper in the silence of the woods. Sprokit was careful not to look up again and instead he sidled over to Rayke, reached up and tapped gently on his lute.

"When we home," said Sprokit in his small rasping voice. "Want to hear one about the maze. Yes?"

Rayke looked down at his pint sized companion. Sprokit only stood a bit over three feet tall, his vibrant red scales looked a deep crimson in the low light Rayke was emitting through his lute. The kobold wasn't quite meeting his eyes, but he could see the tell tale bounce in Sprokit’s bird-shaped legs that meant he was excited.

Rayke chuckled. "The one with the god of Kobolds and the god of Gnomes?."

"Yes. That one my favorite."

"He’s going to hear the real story one day.” Lyra warned.

“My version is as real as any other, Lyra. Plus, I’d prefer my tales to have good role models.”

“True, he needs good r