"You're a squire, right? And one day you'll be a Paladin! What could be better?"Veara and Hup
"Beginning to think "one day" will never come. Forever a squire."
"Well. If we're talking about the same thing, I think labels, titles and boasts don't matter. It matters what you do, not what you say you do.
Podling cook Hup has joined the famous Paladin Barfinnious as a squire and set out from his small village for the first time! It seems that Hup’s dreams of becoming a Paladin himself are finally within reach. But when Barfinnious is more focused on making some quick coin than on performing acts of bravery, Hup realises that his trust may have been misplaced.
Hup and Barfinnious travel through the countryside, with Hup collecting payments from travellers in exchange for Barfinnious' stories. The duo often find themselves out of hostile situations and travel on the back of an Armalig named Marengax. Barfinnious directs them back towards Sami Thicket, as they need to feed Marengax. Hup asks Barfinnous why he has not trained him as promised, to which the bard replies that his squire should take a holistic approach and see every moment as part of his training. Hup points out that they have merely been performing and stealing provisions and have yet to help anyone, with Barfinnious responding that they will be heroes when the occasion calls for it.
The duo reach a village occupied by the Spriton Clan, where instead of the expected hostility and suspicion they recieve a hero's welcome. The village elder invites them to join the clan for a feast so that the next day they may fight a fearsome beast that has been troubling the village. As the Spriton prepare the feast and Marengax is fed, Hup and Barfinnious bathe and Hup expresses suspicion of the fact that the clan are so welcoming. Barfinnious insists that they should enjoy it while they can.
At the feast, Barfinnious entertains the clan with the story of how he fought the Arathim and rescued the Vapran princess. Hup sees a Gelfling leave the table and follows her. He finds her feeding Marengax and intervenes, beliving that she is trying to poison him. However, she has merely laced the food in mintcure root, which aids digestion. The Gelfling introduces herself as Veara, the town healer.
As a drunken Barfinnios concludes his story, the ground beguns to rumble and the clan announce that the beast is approaching. Hup and Veara converse, though she does not speak the Podling language and has trouble understanding him. He expresses doubt that Barfinnious will ever give him the training he needs to become a Paladin and she tells him that greatness is determined by what a person does rather than what they claim to do. They are alerted to the panic spreading through the village as the beast gets closer.
Barfinnious is frozen with fear, unable to act when called upon as his sword 's blade is broken. The village elder realizes that Barfinnious is a fraud and calls for volunteers to help him fight the beast. Hup prepares for battle, but Barfinnious tells him that he will be killed if his runs headlong into danger. One of the Spriton, Vortina, learns that the beast is heading for her field and flies to defend it.
Barfinnious suggests to Hup that they use the confusion as an opportunity to escape. Hup refuses and goes to help the other fighters. When he arrives, the beast has gone and Vortina has been badly wounded, but states that she managed to hurt the beast. Veara sends Hup to fetch candaras grass so that they may heal her. The village elder tells Barfinnious that the previous unum a rider came to their village with tales of him and announced that he was heading for the village. In preparation for this, they cooked to last of their larder for the feast, and he is disgusted that they wasted the food on a coward. Barfinnious promises that the food will not go to waste, swearing that he and Hup will find the beast.
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