Sarah awoke in a strange place. Upon further reflection, she was glad she had woken up at all. She sat up, and immediately regretted it. Lances of pain shot up and down her back, and with it a flood of memories. The ‘shortcut’ through the Woods, the mountain lion that attacked her, that cloaked figure that flew in, and… everything after that was a haze. Rubbing her back, she felt bandages on her. That’s right, the mountain lion had done that. But the bleeding had been stopped, so whoever had tended to her did a good job. Letting the pain subside, she took stock of her surroundings. This place looked looked like some sort of cabin, but without the polish. The walls consisted of rough cut planks of wood, jutting off at odd angles from each other. It gave off an odd vibe, not so much that someone had built it, but that they had… carved it and then built around that. She sat on a comfortable bed, albeit a plain one. A fire burned in a stone fireplace with a dented pot hanging over it. Shelves jutted out from the wall, covered in knick-knacks and papers. Looking up, she could see light coming in through a window on a higher level with a ladder leading up to it. What was this place? Whose place was this? Why did they bring her here? She wanted to go exploring around the room to look for answers, but her injuries made her think twice about moving from the bed. She gasped softly as she heard shouting from wherever outside was.
“You did What?!”
The argument faded into indistinct conversation even as Sarah tried straining her ears to pick up what they said. The entire situation burned in the back of her mind like an itch that wouldn’t go away. She had woken up in a strange place, someone had tended to her, and now someone was upset about it. Why would someone be upset about helping her out? Was she in danger? She had to know more. Gingerly, she stood up. If she moved slowly, she could tolerate the pain. She took a few steps towards the door until she could hear a bit better.
“…she was passed out, so she doesn’t know where Sylvan is, and she never got a good look at me. I got Cory to do a patch-job on her while she was out cold. So she doesn’t know a thing!”
That voice didn’t belong to the shouter from before. But what was he talking about? She bit her lip as questions swirled through her mind. What wasn’t she supposed to know about? What was Sylvan? Why did that man not want her to see him? Unfortunately, she couldn’t hear anything else they said after that. What was going on here?
> ANDREW: Cover windows from the outside of your house so she can’t see into town.
>Tell the girl to wear a blindfold, to protect her from the forest spirits and avoid being trapped here like yourself.
Outside, Andrew spent a moment pondering Beth’s question before snapping his fingers with a smile.
“Well, Cory said that the cougar didn’t injure her as badly as it could have. So, if I get her strength up and take things slowly, I should be able to get her out of her by this evening. We may have to take it slow, but that shouldn’t be a problem. You want her out? I’ll get her out. I’ll make sure to blindfold her on the way out of Sylvan though. Between what she went through, my Gift, and some old Haunted-Forest-Vengeful-Spirits routine, I think I can convince her that she needs to do that to stay safe.”
Andrew smiled and started climbing the hill that his den was built into. Reaching the spot where his window opened up, he took hold of the shutters and went to close them.
“As for for the windows, that’s an easy-”
He glanced into his den through the window and saw the bed. The empty bed. Without the girl in it. Which meant… Andrew slammed the shutters, sprinted back down the hill and grabbed Tony’s shoulders in a vice grip.
“She’s awake! She’s awake!” Andrew whispered in a panic. “What do I do? I’m not ready yet! I haven’t got anything set up for a Mysterious Mystic type disguise yet! She’s going to see right through anything I do now! I don’t have enough time to set up anything good!”
“Andrew, get a hold of yourself!” Tony hissed at Andrew as Beth pried him off of Tony. “You’ll be fine! You don’t need anything fancy. Just stick to the plan you had, and you should do alright. It’s the best thing we’ve got right now, and sounds solid enough. You’re wearing your cloak, so just use your Gift to mask what’s showing and that’s it. You don’t need one of Sven’s big song and dance routines, just the basics. Get in, take care of her, make sure she doesn’t leave, and get out. Got it? We’ll work on the rest later with Alan. We’re going to have to tell him about this eventually anyhow. Get me if anything goes wrong. Okay?”
Andrew nodded and Tony gave him a pat on the back and a shove towards his door. He closed his eyes and caught his breath, gathering his thoughts. If he wanted to do this right, he had to concentrate. Focusing on his Gift, he gathered the energy of the forest to himself and began to bend the light around him. The air around him shimmered as he replaced the parts of his hands and feet showing out from under his cloak with thin images of human extremities. Eyeing them critically, he supposed they’d do. His den didn’t have that much light at the moment, so they should hold up. Pulling his hood up and laying down his pointed ears, he refocused his efforts at his face, and slowly he took the light and shaped the image of a human face, hiding his vulpine features. Turning around, he spread his arms and presented himself to Tony, getting a thumbs up in response. Taking a deep breath, he pulled open his front door and stepped inside. Adjusting his eyes to the dimness, he found the woman sitting upright on the side of his bed, looking at him with a curious expression. Where had she been when he looked in earlier? Well, no matter. It’s showtime.