Sophie and Skeezix go round and round in futile attempts to reach a compromise. Skeezix refuses to bring the party to Xander and Sophie refuses to relent. Finally Skeezix claims he will guide them but suddenly attempts to run away.
Rikki gives chase but seems to be more interested in the weasel, who we now know is named Weezer, leaving LouLou behind in the rush. Catching Weezer with a quick snatch from Skeezix’s shoulder, she plays with the creature and befriends it while the kobold looks on aghast.
As he begs for his companion back, Mr. Derp snatches the kobold up and holds him fast while threatening to eat the miserable creature. Sophie again mediates and eventually, after much frustration on everyone’s party, Andrei is drunk and the kobold has agreed to lead the party.
The terms of the agreement are that since Xander, like all Quieter Ones, is extremely nervous about outsiders, when https://fire-flood.obsidianportal.com/posts/newFthey near her encampment all but one or two of the party shall stop, leaving Skeezix and Sophie to go on. The two of them make the beginnings of an awkward friendship as well when Skeezix mentions an invention called a “homing device.”
The party learns that the kobolds are far, far removed from any modern society. They use an ancient measurement of distance called a “farfignewton” and another measurement for time called a “nearfignewton.” Having no reference for day/night cycles, dietary habits, or sleep patterns, the party cannot determine the length of time needed to find Xander but they set on the path anyway.
Along the way Weezer finds a crucial component to the “homing device” exciting both Skeezix and Sophie.
After several hours of monotony Skeezix runs ahead and implies that they are near. About that time a presence is felt and with an exceptionally well rolled spot check one of the party spots an “invisible” humanoid shape.
Forte is then suddenly and forcefully attacked by what appears to be a gust of wind which wipes away half his health at a whim. Combat begins.