2 ii) It’s night under the trees

It’s night under the trees, their dense canopy shunning the sun. Cold, too. Cang mourns his fuzzy boots, left behind in the lich’s dungeons.

“This isn’t feeling so good,” Shyan says. Her skin is alight with a buzz from the toxin she took in.

“Wrong,” Fassn says. “This stuff is crazy.” He dips his fingers in and out of his mouth, leaving them sticky with saliva. He murmurs around his fingers, “Old Ajralan, may you have your fill.”

Something flashes at the edge of Cang’s vision and he whirls to track it. A dark shape, then another, scuttling across the tree branches, now on the trunk, now descending to the ground. Then another, and another. “Perhaps we ought to seek your doctor further down the river,” Cang says, but there are dark shapes behind him, too.

2 i) Shyan and Fassn are still quivering

Shyan and Fassn are still quivering from the slowly-acting neurotoxin they’ve taken in from contact with the vines. Their palsied hands pull and pluck the sharpened wooden darts from their clothes. Cang uses one to pick his teeth.

“Maybe our friends above have gone to bed,” Fassn says.

The sun is drifting past evening — long shadows stretch out from the trees and the stakes strung with vines along the riverbank. A gentle breeze toussles the canopy of beech and elm. Shyan fancies she hears the chittering below the pleasant sound. Her face twitches into a scowl and tingles.

“I think I need a doctor,” she murmurs.

“Come along, then,” Cang says. “Certain to be a medical professional in this dark wood.”