Jeremiah’s mount crested the hill and he pulled up short. He spoke in hushed tones to those he was guiding. “They’re down there somewhere close. I can’t make it clear enough how important it is this go off without a hitch. They control every route through these woods for two day’s ride in any direction. If we’re going to re-establish trade with the other human survivors, we need a treaty with these folks first. There’s no two ways about it.”
Ambassador Elizander Kreel snorted derisively, “I can’t believe we rode clear out here for a salad bar run by a bunch of damned rodents! This is ridiculous.”
Jeremiah fought to keep his voice calm, “Mr. Ambassador, they’re not rodents. They’re, officially, the envoys of the Leporidae Confederation. I’d advise very strongly against calling the Sharing of Vegetables ritual ‘visiting a salad bar’. It’s a sacred ceremony to these folks and they take this seriously…real seriously. Wait….shhh….listen up!”
The warrior stepped from the cover of the treeline. He was over seven feet tall and dressed in elaborate armor. He bristled with assorted weapons and conveyed a sense of alert caution. From the tips of his long ears to the claw-tips of his enormous feet, he was every inch a warrior to be reckoned with. One forepaw gripped the hilt of his longsword while he motioned them forward with the other.
“Well, Ambassador, I think that means it’s show time. Single file everybody and do NOT make any sudden moves. Let’s go.