Chapter 6: A Mysterious Hermit.

Dawn awakens the forest, golden beams of light flood the environment, fresh green and yellow leaves glow as butterflies dance full of excitement for the new day. The Fae leads the Traveller North. 

After some time the dense forest starts to open up into woodland, a small grove scattered with fresh meadow flowers of bluebells, daffodils and daisies. An old log cabin is nestled within the trees. A rickety water wheel turns slowly in the stream bringing with it an atmosphere of tranquility.

The party move closer and notice a sprightly figure picking nuts from a nearby tree. He is bald with blue markings on his head, dressed in long leather robes adorned with leaves and carved wooden trinkets. An Owl sits upon his shoulder as he whistles full of content. 

The old hermit stops and turns to face the newcomers revealing a magnificent full beard, brown with whispers of grey - a glorious sight! The Traveller knows she is on the right path.  

'Hello there' speaks the man, 'what brings you to these woods, I haven't had a visitor for as long as I can remember'. 

The Traveller steps forward and explains her plight. The old man acknowledges and welcomes the duo into his cabin, as they enter they are met with a vast array of wonderful scents. Herbs, spices and dried flowers hang from every point, scientific equipment rests on every table. A cosy log fire crackles in the corner.

'I am an Alchemist and a Druid, a lover of the forest and all things natural. I have spent my life researching and exploring vast areas of this land collecting knowledge and ingredients to be used in my beard care concoctions. I create magical elixirs worthy of kings! My findings can be read in this book, Neckgrow-Nomicon, the Book of the Beard. I know of the man you seek, an old acquaintance, a once powerful wizard. I have not seen him for a long time....a long time. You must continue to travel North, follow the stream, the woods will soon clear into grassland and you should see a path that will lead you to the town of Thayne. I am too old to join you, my place is at home and in these woods - I can however give you this for your journey'. 

The Alchemist passes the Traveller a bottle full of golden oil. Immediately the cube and the bottle glow in synchronicity, the oil absorbs the beard care cosmic energy and sparkles like magic!  'You hold a new hope, a present to the one you seek, it will assist in ways you cannot imagine.' 

The adventurers thank the Alchemist for his gift and part ways. 

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