“Sir, we’re going to die out here, aren’t we?” the sunburnt and dried out jester croaked. The two adventurers had been drifting out on the open ocean for over two days, with no land or help in sight.

Gentle waves lapped against the men on their raft, and the mid-day sun felt particularly hot against their already burnt skin. Each one waded through delirium, as the heat melted away any logical train of thought. 

*******

As the sun edged closer to the horizon, the small jester suddenly perked up. A sweet scent lingered in the air, wafting from some unknown direction. Searching for its source, the man’s poor eyesight was not working in his favor. Just as he was about to give up, and assume this smell was simple a hallucination; a sharp but cheery song pierced through the sounds of the moving ocean. The bard did not know much about oceans, but he was mostly positive that this was an unusual event.

Over the next few minutes, the singing voice grew louder, and now both men could make out a distinctly Allyrian accent; that also mildly sounded like a leprechaun.

“Are we…” the larger warrior croaked, “…Are we saved?”

The small bard tried to call out to the voice; but only a hoarse squeak escaped his mouth, followed by a few dry coughs.

After a moment or two, the friendliest of voices greeted the delirious adventurers, “Why, who’s been gracin’ me waters with their lifeless presence today?” The silhouette of a tall woman stepped in front of the sun, providing the adventurers with the slightest of relief from its heat. As her boat bumped into the adventurer’s raft, the dizzied jester lost his balance and began to fall down again. Catching the small man by his scruff, the woman laughed out loud. As she grabbed the fine cloth, the symbol of the House of Icar was revealed on the small jester’s collar.

“Well well well, I caught me some Icarians!”, she giggled, clearly excited to meet the strangers. Her laugh was one that could pull a chuckle even out of a pair of dying men, which is exactly what it did. 

After a few seconds of laughter, the large warrior’s forceful bellows quieted down to an awkward chuckle, clearly unsure as to why they were laughing in the first place.

Cutting her own laughter off in an instant, the woman gave the two men a quick and casual finger salute. “Me name’s Sheila! Nice to meet a couple o’ travelers like yourselves! But I think ye be travelin’ in the wrong way….so what can I call you two, anyhow?”

Before the friendly woman could finish her introduction, the small jester had already passed out while still being held, proving to be too exhausted by the past few days. The larger warrior began to think back to all those cows, seemingly cheering his name on their way out of his home domain, and he smiled. “Mu,” he mumbled, just before falling unconscious himself.