The poorly constructed fire was just barely warming the stone pot of broth Agias had so carefully hung above its waning flame.
Even as he frowned disapprovingly at the crooked trivet he had only just lashed together, being back among the woods and communing with the trees brought a sense of peace to his ever-racing thoughts.
The faint scent of the vegetable broth just beginning to simmer was the only thing to pull him back to the world just beyond the wilds – the cities and villages, loud and stringent.
The mere reminder had him scrunching his nose up in disgust. The only way to make the brew palatable, he decided, was to add a bit more of the wilds to it.
Digging through his pack, he plucked out a wide variety of his day’s findings and foragings. Green things, dirty things, things that had ‘somehow’ came into possession from the markets in various villages – all things he had once known the name of but had long since forgotten, having left his upbringing and education to the past.
Instead of terms and definitions, he remembered tastes and smells. He held up what appeared to be a white onion, comparing the full moon’s perfection that peeked out of the canopy with the equally perfect produce. He sucked in a deep breath, admiring the overpowering aroma of the white bulb.
He made a point to do a similar ritual with every ingredient – taking time to admire all of the natural leafy goodness the wilds had had to offer.
By the time he was done tearing, chopping, and admiring all the ingredients and adding them to the pot, the potent reminder of the city had been replaced with the pleasant aroma of the boiling wilds. He basked in it, taking in deep breaths, easing himself down into the packed earth.
Comfort enveloped him, and by the time he realized he had fallen asleep, he was already waking up.
The full moon was waning, and the orange light of day was beginning to illuminate the world in a glow. Though the night was ending, the smell of his soup was as strong as ever.
It was impossible now to distinguish one particular vegetable from another. Even as his stomach growled, Agias was in no rush. He took his time, taking a moment to stir the soup and break up some of the more tender greens.
Once he was pleased with the texture and look, only then did he grab his bowl and spoon from his pack and painstakingly spoon out chunks of produce and heaps of broth, careful not to spill.
Once his bowl was filled to the rim, he knew it would be worth basking in the warmth of the bowl in his hands. Against his better judgment, he went along with his mounting impatience and brought the steaming soup to his lips and drank it heartily.
It burned his mouth, but this was a welcome consequence as the flavors soaked into his tastebuds, bringing back memories of many days and nights spent in the place he loved the most – the wilds.
What a joy it was when he had made his way through the remainder of his soup to take in his surroundings and realize he was already there.
Agias – Male Elf DruidAgias
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