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. I walked into the Dragon Inn that Friday evenin’ and Bel, Durok and Walis was already there, discussin’ what we ought to be doin’ about the seeds Walis was carryin’ fer Frank. Voran was kneelin’ on the floor beside ‘em in some kind o’ trance payin’ no attention to anyone and burblin’ some strange twaddle to himself in a language nobody was familiar with.

Shortly after I came in, Monty joined us. Barrelgore had told us his kitchen was open for transportation again, so except fer Voran, still kneelin’and burblin’ away, that’s where the rest o’ us headed. We was thinkin’ we’d wind up in Frank’s camp but the travelin’ magic must o’ been the local kind, cause we made another stop first.

We found ourselves in another part o’ the woodland and glory be, who’s standin’ there waitin’ for us but Sun-Ok! She ain’t had too much to say and kept backin’ away from us, I guess afraid o’ assaultin’ someone cause we seen she still was wearin’ those damn gloves!

We put the things we’d collected fer her on the ground and she went about pickin’ all o’ it up, all the while noddin’ and bowin’ to us in that funny way she has. I’ll tell ya! Ain’t no one in all o’ Markshire who’s as well-mannered as that girl! Some o’ the oafs I hangs around with would do well to take a lesson or two ‘bout manners from her! Yup!

Anyways, Sun stepped back a good bit from us, closed her eyes tight and scrunched up her face like she was concentratin’ hard on somethin’ ya know? After what seemed like forever, well oh geez, those gloves came slidin’ off her hands like they was all greased up with lard inside!

Sun-Ok run quick over to where we was standin’ and Monty, knowin’ the gloves had to be burned in a fire, shut his eyes tight and began gibbering’ and jabberin’ his magic words, and oh geez, a huge fireball shot out o’ his fingers and flew in the general direction o’ where Sun-Ok dropped the gloves! There was a gigantic clap o’ thunder, the ground shook, and when the smoke finally cleared, there was nothin’ left in that spot! Nothin’!

There was an enormous hole in the forest floor where Monty’s fireball hit. I’m sure them gloves was burned to a crisp! Vaporized! Along with seven trees, a pixie, three badgers, a whole bunch o’ squirrels and birds and I ain’t sure, but I think I seen three Pellytes strollin’ by that spot just before Monty let go o’ the fireball and now they was gone too!

Well, the thing was we’d gotten our good friend back and ta me it was all that really mattered.

The next stop on the magic local was Frank’s camp and in the blink o’ an eye there we was! Frank and the rest o’ his friends had worked all week cleanin’ up the mess from the battle last Friday. They’d dismantled all the cages and buried their dead. They’d patched up all the wounded and they was all healin’ nicely.

He told us he ain’t seen or heard from Kalem Salt no more and he ain’t thought they’d be bothered again by that monster. Then he told us it’d be safe fer us to go about plantin’ those seeds Walis was carryin’ ‘round for a week in his pack.

They’s gotta be planted near the roots o’ the shaftin’ tree, he tells us. Ya know, we’s so used to doin’ stuff fer that damn frog, we ain’t even thought to ask him why the hel can’t he plant the darn things himself! Oh geez! Then Frank says we can’t use any o’ the holes we’s used before to get into the cavern cause they’s all plugged up! We’ll have to slog all the way to the One’eye’s fortress in Zariat pass, and then lower ourselves into a cave full o’vipers!

Somewhere in that pit full o’ snakes, Frank says we should be able to find a hole what will lead into the cavern! I’ll tell ya! That cavern must be vast! I’m bettin’ if ya dug a hole deep enough, just about any place in all o’ Markshire, for sure you’d find a piece o’ that cavern underneath!

So, off we went, headin’ toward the pass and the One Eye’s Fortress what lay beyond. We was all wonderin’ ‘bout Voran, and whether he was still kneelin’ on Barrelgore’s floor, chantin’ away in that strange tongue what nobody understood.