>*The forest is dark and foreboding...but after a time, you see a light floating in the gloom.*
>Magdalene: Come now, don’t be afraid...come into my lantern, little one.
<That's gotta be her, right?
>*You try to sneak your way over quietly, wanting to make note of what she's doing. Maybe it will give you insight on her actions. Unfortunately, you're still spotted.*
>Magdalene: Why, hello there! I almost didn’t see you, creeping around in the dark. Are you lost?
<Descant: No, just exploring.
>*Maybe needing to write everything has it's advantages. It certainly makes lying easier at least.*
>Magdalene: I don’t often meet other travelers this deep in the forest - just unruly sprouts and malignant witches. I’m Magdalene.
>Do you need a lantern? These woods are rather eerie without a light. I make them out of things I find in the forest. With a little sprite magic, they last for quite some time!
<"Confront her about the sprites."
<Descant: Is that...good for them? Do they get hurt from it?
>Magdalene: You’ve met Irin, haven’t you?
>*You nod your head, defeated. So much for being sneaky...*
>Please believe me - I promise I’m not harming the sprites.
>You see, sprites only seem to live for a few cycles in the wild these days. It's like the forest has begun to drain them of their magic to sustain itself. With the witches using up more magic than ever, they’re dying off at an alarming rate...
>But my lanterns keep their magic bottled up, so they live much, much longer - and they get to see the world outside the forest.
>It’s true that I trap some of the sprites - they wouldn’t listen to me at first, especially with Irin around. But now, many sprites come to me directly.
<"But aren’t they imprisoned until they die?"
>Magdalene: Well...it’s true that they can’t leave the lanterns - so it isn’t a perfect solution. But wouldn’t you rather see the world with a friend than die before you’ve truly lived, without a choice in the matter?
>*That resonates with you...*
>*You recall Irin's indignation over Magdalene's activities...considering everything that you've now heard, you find yourself unsure of who is really doing the right thing for the sprites.*
<"Leave to think things over."
>*You tell Magdalene goodbye and begin to wander a bit, trying to think over everything...*
>*Irin is absolutely justified in being worried about the sprites, and trapping and tricking the sprites isn't really a good thing for Mag to do, but...You can't help but sympathize with her and the sprites. The thought of being trapped in one place for your whole life, not able to explore and see the world...*
>*It's viscerally uncomfortable to think about.*
<Maybe if they just...talk to each other? Then they can clear up any misunderstandings...
<"Find Magdalene again."
>*You return to find Magdalene tinkering with a lantern. The sprite inside it chitters at her, as if they're having a conversation. Considering everything that you've now heard, you decide to...*
<"Suggest a compromise."
>Magdalene: I've dealt with Irin and their friends too many times, they're just too stubborn to listen.
<Figured that'd be too easy...
>Though, if you'd really like to help the sprites, I could always use a hand in drawing them to my lanterns. They're just so frightened by everything that's been going on lately.
>*If there was some way to get Irin to see that Mag was helping...*
<"You have an idea."
<Descant: I'll catch up with you later, I have to do something real quick.
>*Magdalene nods and returns to the lantern she's working on.*
<"Return to Irin."