Nora awoke, like on so many mornings, to Bodvars snoring. It happened pretty much every day, and she seemed the only one in the group to be so adversely affected. It was not uncommon for her to be up and about an hour before anyone else. Bleary-eyed, she began rummaging through her pack for the flint and tinder before remembering her surroundings. After she had splashed a little water on her face, the little infirmary looked quite crowded with half of the bed occupied by her sleeping companions. It smelled quite crowded too. Grabbing her robe and staff she left them to their slumber for now. The wider town hall still had a few villagers snoring away last night’s festivities. Nora imagined the smell would have been very unpleasant until someone had opened the large double-doors out into the village.
She left the crowded hall as quietly as she could, wandering around the village as the morning sun crossed the horizon. The air in the village was nice and chill during dawn and a very pleasant breeze was passing through, so Nora paused for a moment to appreciate the weather before scouting out a place to sit for a spell. On the southern outskirts of the village she found a small hillock with a small willow tree to sit against. She had intended to begin her investigations the evening before, but shouting and drinking tends to distract the mind from spiritual matters, so she had relegated it to the following morning. Knowing that the local spirits were in unrest wouldn’t quite be enough to know what had happened or how they might go about solving the problem, so she would need to have a closer look for herself. Nora chanted a simple spell, something to alert her should anyone approach, and sat down. She took a deep breath and tried to relax against the bark of the tree. Spirit-seeing trance was not exactly meditation, but there were similarities. Nora listened to the rustling of the willow leaves in the spring breeze and smelled the dirt beneath her and the sap in the tree behind her without focussing on any specific sensation. Closing her eyes, she waited for the correct moment. As the sensations started slowly fading and changing, she mentally reached outwards and opened her eyes again. Now she could see them. The spirits in the village were small and few in number, supporting what Erroix had said about the village’s history.