Darkness falls and the shutters have been closed to keep out the howling winter wind. The companions find a table by one of the two roaring fires. Their extra gear can be seen stacked in the corner. A large pile of odd shaped bundles, boxes and packs. It radiates of power, firing the imagination of the other patrons. “What is all that??” “How did they come by it all??” ‘What perils must they have faced and monsters slain to have found such wonders??” The tired friends quietly eat, allowing the warmth of the meal and the fire to work their magic. Their fatigue and cold dissolving into the night. With the table cleared, and pipes drawn, they relax, contemplating their next destination. “That’s a neat dog, can I pet him?” they hear a small, nervous voice say. Turning, they see a young boy standing nearby. “He’s not a dog, young one, he’s a coyote,” says the man in leathers. “But he say’s he’d love to have his ears scratched.” Tentatively reaching out to scratch it’s ears, in an awed voice the boy asks, “Wow, a coyote? And he talks to you? How? Where did you find him? I wish my dog could talk to me. Does he talk to your friends, too? Will he talk to me? I’ve never seen anyone like you and your friends. Where are you from? How did you get all that neat stuff?” Smiling at his companions, the man in leathers chuckles, “It seems we have found a man of a thousand questions. Perhaps, between us all, we can answer one or two. Would you like to hear our stories, my young friend?” “Oh would I,” beamed the boy, his excitement mirrored by the other patrons. And so began the telling of….