It took me almost a week to get through the Forest of Eves. I'd heard stories that people who took that long would exit mad. I didn't feel mad. I just felt relieved. Walking along the edge, I found the other half of the road and went down it.

Within a few hours, as the sun was starting to set, I entered the outskirts of Sherwoodtowne. It was larger than Nolva, and busier. There were still a number of people out, and magic creatures were roaming. People avoided them, and they ignored people. Neither side seemed happy with the arrangement.

I stopped at an inn and managed to get a room at what I thought was a decent price. With that settled, I decided to check out the town. My trip through the forest had settled my wish for adventure for now. I was tired and dirty and very much looking for some human interaction.

While exploring, I found the town square. Some sort of rally must've just happened, for lots of people were gathered and talking and a group was quitting a platform, the hoods on their cloaks and jackets up. I tried to hear what the people were talking about and found myself unable to over the din.

Trying in vain to get someone's attention, a scream took care of that for me. Everyone immediately quieted and rushed towards the sound as another split the air and an inhuman shriek followed. I pushed my way to the front as something flashed in the air and perched on the top of a building.

It was a griffin, lovely and red and gold. It settled there for a moment, folded its wings carefully, and then let out another shriek of challenge. It was angry. I didn't know why, only that it was and people started to panic. Someone threw a stone at it.

"Stop!" I shrieked. The griffin launched itself to the skies and dive-bombed a few people who narrowly avoided its claws. It wheeled about in the air. I was almost alone in the street now. I hadn't even moved. It spun and came diving towards me.

Oddly, I felt no fear. As it sped closer and closer I looked at it calmly in the eyes and said, "Hello." The griffin squawked and put on the brakes, taking the ground in front of me awkwardly. It pranced about for a few seconds, watching me, then beat its strong wings and vanished into the sky.

I was stunned. I didn't even know what I'd done. My heart began to pound. I slowly turned around and began to walk away from the scene, my mind whirling. Townsfolk were poking back outside by this point. A small group stood in the street, talking.

"You see," one was saying, "it is possible, just as was said."

In the corner of my eye, I saw them. Two were plain, but the one in the middle stuck out. I'd strode past before it dawned on me that I might've seen that face before. I stopped and turned about, determined to ask, only to find that they were gone. Confused, I looked about hurriedly. They were nowhere to be seen.

My head spinning from all this strangeness, I figured I'd better head back to the inn to eat and bathe and rest. That seemed like a very good idea. Trying to ignore all magic as was my habit, I made my way through the town.

The next morning in the common room, as I sipped a mug of steaming tea, I overheard quite a few conversations about the day before. It was all about the rally and the griffin, though mainly the rally.

Apparently a few people – who, it was thought, had had too much to drink – had suggested that people and magic could live together. By that, they meant that the two sides would be allies and work together. I tried not to laugh at that. Fantastic dream, but were people blind? The idea was ludicrous.

Choking a little bit on my tea as the conversation continued, I figured it might be best if I didn't stick around. As I stood up to pay the inn owner, someone sitting at a nearby table said, "Don't agree?"

I stopped and looked at them. Their hat was pulled low, covering their face. I thought for a second and then replied. "No. I don't."

"Why?" they asked. They had a low, gruff voice.

I shrugged. "It simply won't work. What magic wants and what people want and entirely different. They'll never get along, simple as that."

They took a moment before responding. "I think you're wrong."

"That's your own opinion," I said, closing my hand tightly over the seer stone which I'd kept in the open since leaving the Forest of Eves, and I walked on.