“What’s stopping you?” asked Rander.
“See,” Iron Hand continued. “We’ve been up here for a while. The plan was for us to chop the wood. Then a couple times a month, wagons would come up with supplies for us and haul away the logs. Problem is, those Trogos are messing with the plans. They killed two of my men already and chased off the wagons the last two times they came. So here we sit, with our wood rotting and no food except for a few pots of beans.”
“You seem well stocked with drink,” noted Anvar.
Iron Hand looked back at the kegs. “Oh, those,” he said. “Yeah, we provide all the wood for that distillery to make their barrels. It’s hard wood to come by and fetches a good price. They wanted to pay us for it, but we decided to take our money in trade instead. Right, boys?” The men raised their mugs and cheered. “So we have lots of wood, lots of drink and we’re stuck out here waiting to be the Trogos' dinner. The men will hardly leave the camp anymore.”
“Can you hunt them and rid yourselves of the problem?” Linvin asked.
Iron Hand took another generous drink and answered, “With what? It’s pretty hard to hunt with axes.”
The thought inspired Linvin. He turned to his relatives and whispered. For several moments the woodmen watched as the elves talked amongst themselves. At last, Linvin regarded Iron Hand again. “Perhaps we can help one another.”
“How’s that?” asked Iron Hand as he sat back.
“Let us rest here and share what food you have,” Linvin offered. “Once the rain stops, we will hunt some game with our bows. We will give some of it to you and your men and we will take some with us for the road.”
“What about the Trogos?” asked their host.
“If we see any, we will only be too glad to kill them,” affirmed Linvin.
Iron Hand stroked his beard for a moment. “Well,” he concluded, “we can’t be any worse off than we are now. You have a deal Mr. Linvin.” The two parties shook hands. “But tonight,” continued Iron Hand, “we drink!” The men cheered the arrangement and gathered around the fire with their drinks. They indoctrinated the newcomers to their group with a slew of drunken songs.