I’m reminded of a story set in a world of fantasy. An expeditionary party of dwarves sets out into a forest. Forests aren’t the typical purview of dwarves, but their mountain hold was overcrowded, and these were the dwarves that volunteered to set out in search of a new home. The forest is a dangerous place for dwarves because trees are fickle, winsome things compared to sturdy stones.

In the forest, the dwarves met a curious satyr, perhaps the sylvan creature most apt to spread honeyed lies and commit violent betrayal. The expedition leader knew the creature could not be trusted because he knew satyrs were renown for their ability to sway the hearts and minds of otherwise stalwart dwarves.

The satyr led the party to a place that was safe for dwarves to sleep, showed them how to find food and water in the forest, and asked them if they wished to join his kin at a gathering in honor of the new neighbors. The expedition leader, believing the invitation to be a trap, ordered the satyr slain immediately.

The dwarves killed the satyr and buried him to conceal the death. That night, the dwarves had trouble sleeping, for the carousing of the satyrs, who were none the wiser for the death of their kin. The next morning, the expeditionary party packed up and was about to move on when they were beset by some warlike satyrs.

No dwarf lives were lost, but among the wounded was the expeditionary leader. Unable to transport him beyond the place where he lay, the leader ordered the expeditionary party on, while he remained behind. The dwarves left with him some food and water, and a weapon to defend himself, that he might follow them should he recover.

The expedition leader remained in the forest for the next week, while his supplies dwindled. His wound, though treated, began to fester, and he took with a fever and was forced to find food and water using what the curious satyr had taught him. He sustained himself another week, but soon realized he would not survive on his own.

Before he died, the expedition leader saw a vision of an outpost of dwarves grow up on the border of the forest. It was a strong outpost, and he saw many dwarf refugees move there as they were turned out by the overcrowded hold. But the outpost was in a constant state of war with the local satyr tribes.

In his vision, many dwarf and satyr lives were lost, and he recalled the curious satyr with sadness. Would his vision come true? Had he been too quick to have the satyr slain? Would the satyr have led the expeditionary party into a trap? Overcome with sadness and exhaustion, the dwarf expeditionary leader succumbed to his wound.