Though outwardly quiet, Brangaen felt terribly upset. She had never been so humiliated in one evening. All her attempts to heal Captain Baelnog had seemed only to cause him more pain. It was only after Herrat and Vermilio tended him that he lapsed into a deep, but troubling, perhaps comatose sleep.
It was just then, as they were bandaging his badly broken leg, that she had suddenly felt a presence. The figure peering out at them from the trees was indescribably ugly, but the energy she felt from him was entirely positive. Inquisitive, and a bit distrustful, but not threatening.
Vermilio gave this odd frog-looking creature a difficult time before they all decided to rely on his help in finding a village. And food. No sooner had they come to this agreement than Gus and Varos ran back into the camp – trailed closely by enormous and terrifying bugs. Because of her inability to help the captain earlier, she decided to sacrifice her own safety and when she felt the spider at her back, she drove it even further from the rest of the crew. She had not, however, been able to kill it herself and knew that she had been helped, not only by Herrat, but by that strange frog man, although she didn’t know how or what he had done. Even after that, she had needed a healing potion from Vermilio before she was able to drag a scorpion off Varos’ back.
All of these failures upset her. She knew her companions would not hold it against her, but she was deeply displeased with herself. She had not fought well and she had failed to save the man to whom she owed her livelihood, her food, the clothes on her back. He had not been furthered injured in the attack, but still lay in that distressing semi-sleep.
As the crew slept, she felt the frog creature’s eyes on them. From inside her trance, she could feel the trouble of his mental energy. She could tell he felt uncomfortable feeling their pain, exhaustion, disappointment, and confusion. He was not used to interaction with others – not used to helping or harming – was unsure how to behave. As he waddled away into the wood, escaping their presence, something deep inside her moved with him. A strange sympathy drew her to this lonely hermit, whose peace they had disturbed. Sometimes, she thought, I wish for that peace, too.