Giant mushroom trees sprouted across the vast land, much taller than the renowned majestic redwoods. The world was painted in a mirage of flickering red and orange lights, seemingly coming from the luminescent patterns decorating these shroom trees.
"Hey ya'll!" One shouted on a high plateau, calling for the people behind as he awed at the glowing mushroom forest below the cliff. "We're in the shroom forest!"
"No shit." A woman followed, taking a peek below.
They wore brass-colored cloaks, with complex contraptions and tools just hanging below their waist, hidden behind their cloaks.
The rest of the people followed and made their way to see for themselves the glowing forest below, with their cloaks swishing about as a strong breeze passed by the high land.
"Prep the elevator!" The woman said, sweeping her long brown braids along the wind as she turned to the people at the back.
They then swarmed to the carrier stationed at the back, passing the horses, as they took out readymade wooden and metal contraptions from it. They then put to work their skills in crafting and casting, putting together the many gears and boards at the edge of the plateau.
A thud of a hammer there. A whir of a drill here. As the somewhat chaotic sound of the many contraptions got about and did their job, in a matter of minutes, the structure was finished.
"You first, Gard." The woman said, shoving him to the wooden platform of the elevator. "Test run."
"Why me-" She then pulled on a wooden lever, sending the platform below Gard falling in a fast descent. The ropes and gears whirred as the platform lowered, passing through the canopy of the giant shrooms and stopping just before it hit the ground.
"All good?" The girl asked above the cliff, peeking through. "I guess so."
Tens of people followed Gard's descent, as the elevator whirred up and about, moving up and down in a stroke of endless motion.
As Gard walked through the forest of glowing shrooms, mushes of his boots and the damp ground created a swirl of wet squishes that followed his footsteps -along with thousands of beastly sounds that were unknown to him.
The forest was filled with wonder. A flock of birds flew high above just below the canopy, seemingly glowing red-orange with shrooms darting all over their little bodies.
A giant monkey-like creature passed by swinging, except it exactly wasn't. It had a red mane, with many glowing shrooms decorating its body from the fur on its foot to its majestic mane.
"Move your arse, Gard." A hand perched on top of Gard. It was the girl, putting up her hair in a wild ponytail that befits her wild nature.
"Don't order me around, Frey."
'Damn, that face of hers is scary.' Gard thought.
"We're still very far from the guildhouse on the edge of the world." She said, moving ahead of Gard along with a few others. "There's no time to gawk around."
Mushes of wet footsteps from the many resounded along the lively forest, seemingly masking the sounds of beasts roaming the area.
'Next time then.' Gard thought.
"It's the tribe of Zatt!" One of them hollered, pointing over to a wide lake beside a small mountainside. As they moved along the dirt trails in descent from a tall hill, heading towards the white-stoned village over yonder, they walked over bridges passing over streams and rivers.
The dirt path then trailed off, replaced now with white stones that lead to the gate of the Zatt tribe.
"Let me do the talking," Fray said, shoving Gard aside. "You're a dunce at all this."
And after a few banters with the horned guards, the stone gates opened.
Hundreds of horned people, the dirs, passed by them with curious intent. Some went to gossips, seeing this many of unhorned ones passing through their village of stones. Some children went up and asked, with Frey doing all the talking. Gard wanted to talk of their adventures as well, but Frey told him his face was too scary and might drive away the poor ones.
The day was setting, with the lights of the setting sun creating for themselves a light show behind orange-stained clouds.
"Let's settle for the night," Frey told the men following, pointing over to her right. "There's a pub over there."
"Alright, time to drink our fill lads!" Gard hollered behind him, setting the spirits of the men ablaze. He leads the way, rushing through the doors of the bar as the men followed.
Lutes and harmonicas created a melody and tone, while band pipes and flutes liven up the atmosphere. Many dirs were dancing about, leaving the humans sitting by the sidelines. It was a different music humans normally heard from their city, as the culture between the humans and dirs was significantly different.
"Hey, hey!" Gard shouted, shoving the people aside as he dashed through the crowds and came up to the raised podium with a guitar in hand. "Follow me ya lads!"
More of the humans in his band followed, bringing out small brass drums and other brass and stringed instruments. They took over the podium, mixing their music with the indigenous ones by the dirs. It felt chaotic at first, but once Gard sorted it out, the instruments played a sort which was new and nice.
The dirs went along with their shenanigans, shoving the wooden tables and chairs aside to make room for the dance. Many dawdled their way to the center, while some created dancing trains with the others. Some of the sides were just dancing casually, while one person at the center almost broke his jaw.
It was quite a sight to behold, never seeing different races form a bond like this with one another. They say they were just too different to understand.
Not really though.
"Ugh," Gard rested himself to the sides. "I'm beat."
"Didn't you have fun?" A person followed him, seating beside his wasted figure.
Gard traced the person beside him, all the while drinking his ale at hand. It was a beautiful woman, one with a lute held within her grasp. "Who might you be?"
"I'm Froh." The woman said, gazing at her lute. Her white curls of hair complimented her dark complexion, seemingly gleaming under the bar's dim lights.
The only thing off with her was her burly horns prepped on her forehead, but seeing the happy faces of the many humans dancing their night away with all these horned ones, that didn't matter.
"Well, me name's Gard." He held his hand out for a handshake.
"What?" Froh tilted her head to the sides.
"Oh, this here is uh, a form of bonding for us humans." Gard fiddled. "It's a human kind of thing, I guess?"
"How do you do it then?"
"Well, ya meet your palms together and hold it tight." Gard took her hand from her and held it within his grasp, gently swaying her soft hand along with his.
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