“On the Mandrean sides, there were Legions encamped along the entire length of the ravine. On the Romadonian side, there were only scattered watchtowers. Not wanting to draw any great attention to myself, I chose to travel by way of Romadon. Once I reached The Territory, I skirted the Western Forest in order to avoid the Demon Marshes and then headed east to see what fortune might bring. I think you can pick up the story from there.”
Linvin’s ears came to attention at the names with which he was unfamiliar. He produced the map he had taken from the goblins and laid it before Newminor. “Can you show me those places on the map?” he asked.
As it happened, Newminor was fond of maps and delighted in seeing the one at his feet. “Say, this is a very detailed map. Look over here, that is the tail end of the Silver River.”
Linvin pointed directly at the area labeled 'AVOID' and asked, “Are these the Demon Marshes to which you referred?”
Newminor looked and chuckled to himself. “Avoid, how cute. Well, I suppose that gets the point across, doesn’t it? Those are indeed the Demon Marshes, and not even the bravest souls dare journey near.”
“What is it that scares you so?” Bander asked innocently.
Newminor smoothly spread his arms apart and corrected the elf. “Hey! I am not scared of anything.” He paused for a moment and looked at the map. His eyes grew large as he stared at the region. “I simply see no need to go looking for trouble, and entering that area invites trouble.”
Never one to pick up on subtleties, Bander continued his probe. “Then what sort of trouble would one get into if they went there?”
Newminor looked at each member of Linvin’s company in disbelief. “You know, when I said you folks were out here without a clue, I was just having fun at your expense, but you really know nothing about anything outside Sartan, do you?” Before anyone could respond he continued, “Well, that speaks pretty poorly of your nation. They think they are so powerful and mighty, yet their own people are ignorant of what lies beyond their borders. How sad. This probably isn’t even your map, is it? Let me guess, you took it from the goblins and can’t interpret the symbols. I can’t believe I even let such a pathetic bunch come to my aid. In the future, I must be more choosey with my associates.” He strode over to the fire and tasted the stew cooking. Then he took a slice of jerky and lay down on his blanket.
Linvin showed controlled irritation. “My good Newminor, your flagrant insults are indeed distracting, but you have once again spoken volumes without answering the question placed before you. So please relent with the sarcasm and answer my cousin’s question. To this point, you have been amusing, but the time has come for plain talk. Tell us about the Demon Marshes or pack your bags and leave.”