Glory raised her hand and the rest of the party came to a halt. The moist earth of the clearing was covered in fresh tracks. There was nothing obvious to be seen. She looked along the boundary opposite, wondering what was lurking beneath the leafy boughs.
Is it a trap? she thought. No, too elaborate. Besides, we only stumbled across this place by chance. Who'd be stupid enough to set a trap on the off chance someone might happen to turn up?
Nonethless, Glory was a little suspicious, and conveyed her concerns to the others, who advanced into the clearing with due caution. They had only progressed a few steps when from the trees opposite emerged several human-like creatures which, on first glance, seemed to be wholly dressed in the raiment of the woods, but which, it became clear, were naturally green, being plant creatures in human form.
"What are they?" said Gunpowder in a stage-like whisper.
"They're… They're…" said Glory in similar tones, raking her mind. "Vegepygmies!"
Glory had read about vegepygmies in some book while she had been in college and had not even raised an eyebrow. But now, saying the word for the first time, she burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of it, and she was not alone.
Vegepygmies may not understand much, but after centuries of derision from other races, they recognise laughter and hate it whether it is directed at them or not.
"Oh," added Glory later as they were sitting in a stout cage made of wood, which was dangling above a pool of fetid water, "I should've mentioned they don't like being laughed at."
"Now you tell us," said Saecula. "How are we going to get ourselves out of this?"
"I shouldn't worry too much," said Gunpowder who reached inside the inner pocket of his armour and produced a bottle of Roundup Weed Killer. "I think I can take care of this."
"That explains the logos on his armour," said Kingdom to Power.
"But how did he know?" the dwarf wondered.
"Shhh!" said Salt sharply. "You just don't ask those sorts of questions in our line of work."