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The Winds of Ysgard - Part One

Discussion in 'Winds of Ysgard' started by Nimue, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Troia had been listening, silent, to the whole exchange, feeling slightly out of her depth. As a born freewoman, she felt she had no place to say anything in the realm of those who'd once been slaves. The great gift of her freedom shouldn't have given rise to guilt, but it did, and it gnawed at her as she thought of her happy childhood.

    Einan's sudden anger surprised her; she'd never been able to coax him to tell her about his early life as a slave. It seemed to her now that he harbored more resentment and hurt than he let on about.

    "Addison," she said, trying to shake off her nagging thoughts, "how exactly did you communicate with Ari? Did you speak to him, or show him pictures, or what? I don't know much of druidry."
     
  2. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison was contemplating Loke's words, and how they applied to the dragons. Vulnerable eggs; giant beasts… Troia's question snapped her out of her ponderings.

    "I just thought words in me mind, and visualized. Y'know, like when you read a good story and picture what's happening? I imagined words like get the trap and leave the meat. He went for the meat, so I cheated a little and imagined your voice. But I think what did it was picturing in me head the desired outcome. Next test, I'll think words in me own voice and picture what I want him to do."

    Of course, Addison realized she was experimenting on someone else's pet.

    "You're okay with me doing that, ain't you? No harm in it for Ari. It's just thinking stuff is all. I'm thinking o' what I can do around wild creatures. I don't pick up Ari's thoughts though, so I can't get too fancy like seeing through a bird's eyes. Oh, but I bet I will! With Ari here, if you let me, I'll figure out much as I can on me own accord. You set a limit and I'll respect it. You let me train at will, I promise only to keep it up if Ari looks like he's enjoying it."

    Addison contemplated shoving in apple in her mouth just to shut herself up. Instead she offered Troia a sheepish smile and tried to mimic Ari's sad-puppy look to complement her begging.

    Ari, let's give her the look together.

    A tiny blue spark popped in Addison's hair. Oh, for the love o' Ciardha.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  3. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    Farrun sat, methodically eating his apple, taking the moment to watch faces, and glimpses of emotion. When the talk turned to death or capture, his face stiffened, and he glanced out the window--though there was little more than blurred sunlight to be seen through the old glass.

    Which would he choose? The nature of the captivity mattered. For slavery could be endured, if the Western Kingdom and the possibility of escape remained. Indifferent oppression was a kindness compared to the merciless cruelty the Yvalhyn brought down on those they considered opponents. He knew, because he had been tortured for almost a month in an attempt to bring Thoros out of hiding. Only the arrival of Hala and her army in the west had saved him from the inevitable failure of his will and magic and the desolation of Thoros's death, maybe moments before his own.

    He would not choose that again. His physical injuries had been healed, and thirteen years of struggle and victory had smoothed away the internal scars, but those memories were still sharp as as knife edge. Yet, if he had died instead of falling into Yvalhyn hands that day, things would have changed. Maybe he would have been given peace, but the cost would have fallen on others, on the rebellion, on his family. All might have gone well without him, but he never would have seen his family free and happy in the queen's city. Choosing death was too easy.

    He realized his hands were empty and gave himself a little shake. Mael as his witness, he would see none of these companions die or fall into torture. He was a grown man now, and Thoros was a legend living. No longer powerless and fearful.

    Farrun blinked, realizing that he was watching some kind of pantomime between Addison and the dog, Ari. He gathered a little more of the situation from the conversation, and, unable to stop himself, chuckled out loud. He rose from his chair and grabbed a jug of mead, pouring a generous measure into his empty cup.

    "Druidry! Of course it would be. I can't teach you that--at least, not well." The corner of his mouth curled upwards as he remembered the countless shouts of "Be still!" and "Concentrate!" that had been directed at him by his druid teacher. "Seems like you and Ari will have to work that out." He leaned against the edge of the table, and belatedly answered her question. "Mindspeaking is different from beastspeaking, and if Eamon had spoke in your head, you would know. Mindspeech is how I talk with Thoros--you don't beastspeak with a thinking, talking being. No offense to the good hound."

    There was a beat of silence; Farrun tried to dispel the shadows that were clinging to him. "Gods willing, we won't meet the Yvalhyn until we're ready for them," he said in a low voice. That might have come from nowhere, but it was still on his mind, and, he was willing to wager, on everyone else's. He drank a large mouthful from his cup and, when he looked up again, seemed more alert.

    "We leave at noon tomorrow," he announced. "Which of you need weapons or horses? If any of you are paying for inn rooms, we'll give you coin for tonight, or you can have a room in the castle. If you're not sure which to choose, the beds here are charmed against fleas, so you know." He grinned. "Once you've had enough to eat, you can go where you like in the castle. Might head to the practice yards, myself. You have tonight to say your goodbyes, if you have friends or family in the city." Need to talk to Samir, he thought, distracted, and scratched the back of his neck again.
     
  4. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard glanced up at the mention of horses, weapons and lodgings. "I've never ridden a horse before; if riding is a must, I'll need someone to teach me. And I have no coin to pay for a room. I'd be grateful for a weapon, though." A spear from the Queen's armory would no doubt serve him better than something he whittled himself.

    He didn't respond to the suggestion of goodbyes. He had no one to miss him or wait for his return.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  5. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    Bendalitz briefly considered the idea of picking up a sword from the armoury, but decided against it. All he needed was his knife and crossbow, something to cut and something to shoot, preferably not in an actual fight. That reminded him, he needed to fetch the crossbow and bolts from his chamber. And get to work.

    "Well then," he said, giving everyone as warm a smile as he could muster, "if everything is sorted, I shall retire to my preparatory activities. Farrun, Loke, Addison, Rikhard, Troia, Einan, I look forward to our journey."

    With that he immediately made for the door, opened it, and slipped out.
     
  6. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "Likewise," said Addison in reply to Bendalitz, giving him a flamboyant curtsy and a mischievous grin.

    She then considered Rikhard's need of a teacher. Druidry. It won't matter if he can ride.

    "Rikhard, how'd you like to accompany me to me inn? If we go on horseback, it's a short trip. And if you trust me trick with Ari enough, I got a means o' making sure you don't fall off the horse. I won't cheat you out o' proper riding, but… it does take more time to learn riding than by noon tomorrow. So I guess you either trust in me way with beasts, or hang onto another rider."

    Addison appreciated Farrun's words about her druidry—especially getting his blessing on figuring out her magic with Ari. But I need Troia's as well. She thanked Farrun for his advice, then went on:

    "The druidry's not so much new to me as I'm just beginning to understand what I've been doing for years, else I'd not be so confident I can beast-speak to one horse while riding another. I'm still limited, but… if I work within me limits, I think me magic's safe enough. Mind if I head to the stables and pick me own horse? Maybe I'll feel a connection. I'd also like a pack mule if one's available, and maybe some helpers to speed up me packing. A strong man to lift me luggage; a woman to pack it." Addison thought for a moment, then spoke in a tone best described as non-negotiable. "The man's not to enter me room."
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard dipped his head in a goodbye to Bendalitz, and tilted it as Addison spoke to him. He considered his options for a moment, then said, "I'll trust in your beast-speaking. I imagine a horse might be easier to handle than a hound." He wasn't sure how right he was about that, but even so, it might offend Addison to decline her offer.
     
  8. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    "Lovely," said Addison, though she did consider Troia and Einan. To them, she offered, "If either o' you are accomplished riders, let me know if you'd prefer to be Rikhard's official teacher. I'm not changing me mind or nothing—it occurred to me that anything I've ever done with an animal involved me magic to a degree. Maybe one not using magic would teach proper." She left the offer at, "Sleep on it, if you need. For now, Rikhard, we ride!"

    As she headed for the door, she realized she forgot to say something rather important. "So, Farrun… where is the stable? Oh, and I would like to get me things and stay in the castle. Much as I love roughing it, sleeping under the stars, a girl can't turn down an offer to sleep in a castle, can she now?"
     
  9. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    Farrun, in the middle of another gulp of mead, swallowed quickly and wiped his mouth. "I'll come with you and show you the stables--the armory is nearby. But there's no need to learn anything by tomorrow noon. We'll have a cart for the journey to the mountains, and Rikhard can sit on the driver's bench if he likes. Time enough to learn on the road."

    He paused, sorting through Addison's deluge of words. Helpers? "How much luggage do you have?" he asked slowly.
     
  10. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    "I could help you with your packing," Rikhard volunteered, standing up and turning to Addy as she headed for the door. "I don't have much myself, so I have time to spare. I'd be glad to take a room in the castle as well." He couldn't remember ever having slept in a proper bed -- all he'd ever known was a hammock in his parents' boat, a pile of burlap sacks on the Captain's ship, and a soft patch of grass under the stars.
     
  11. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison shrugged. "Thought I'd settle a bit, seeing I had a between-jobs status when I arrived here in the Hinterlands. I carted all me skins from o'er the years. Well, not all… just took twenty o' me most fashionable outfits and sent a few to Cærn for storage. None o' me other armors can compare to this wyvernhide, so maybe just one spare armor for emergency. That would narrow it down to a dozen outfits, ten of which fit in me large trunk. If I can arrange to store me leathers and shell-plates…" I rather like me shell-plate, but… "Yeah, I'll store 'em. Don't wanna be the one to make travel overly cumbersome."

    When Rikhard offered to help pack, Addison thought a moment. Trust him. "Okay," she said. Then to Farrun she said. "Yes. Rikhard can help. If we've a pack mule, we won't need the helpers."
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  12. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    Farrun, listening to this, inhaled the remnants of his mead and began to cough on honey in the back of his throat. When he'd caught his breath, he remarked, rather hoarsely, "You can store your belongings here, the quartermasters will look after them. I would...take only what is absolutely necessary. When we reach the mountains, we'll go on foot, with the two mules from the cart as pack mules--but their burden will mostly be rations and equipment. I'm not certain we'll manage a large trunk. Meaning, if you don't leave your spare clothing here, you'll be leaving it in a mountainside inn for gods know how long..."

    He ran his fingers through his hair, trying to collect his thoughts. Twenty outfits? Here he was packing two, whatever was on his back and a spare pair of breeches. That was, if his mother didn't try to press five new tunics of her making on him.
     
  13. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    As Addison named what sounded like all of her outfits, Rikhard shifted the pack on his shoulders and recounted his few possessions in his mind. Three outfits, one on his back and two in his pack. One cloak, one pair of boots, a wooden staff, a kitchen knife stolen from the Captain's ship, and his mother's pendant. He doubted he'd ever had twenty outfits of his own, even as a young freeman living with his mother. They hadn't exactly been poor, but his mother had taught him early on about being frugal rather than hoarding possessions or wealth -- and however much or little they'd had had been lost in the fire that took his mother's body. Having more clothes than you could carry with you seemed more of a hindrance than anything.
     
  14. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    What's necessary… have I gone soft?

    "Ha!" Addison snapped her fingers and told Farrun, "If we've time to hunt, I'll make me spares as we go. That'll be more fun than trying to pick which o' dresses to bring. If there're any maids around me size and age who'd care for furs, invite 'em to stop by me room tonight or even look through me dresses while we're off. Don't know what they'll think o' Huntress fashions, if any stop by. What I can't give away, I'll store. Ain't giving me armors out, though. 'Specially the shell-plate."

    She told Rikhard, "I still need me axe and me grappler and…" The things I'd've asked the woman to pack, were she coming. "…some things'll pack meself."
     
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard nodded, picking up his staff where it leaned on the table beside his chair, and making sure his knife was safely tucked into his belt. "I have all I'm taking with me right here, so we can get started whenever you're ready."
     
  16. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    Addison asked if anyone else was coming to the stables. Apparently, almost everyone was. Or maybe everyone—Loke was hard to read. Addison would bid Loke good morrow if he declined to join, and in the mean time, she eagerly anticipated having a horse to call her own.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  17. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    "I'll come as well, and I'm sure Troia will too," Einan said, and Troia nodded her assent. He hoisted his satchel a little higher on his shoulder, thinking of Addison's twenty outfits, and then of the one extra tunic and pair of trousers he'd packed.

    "We're both familiar with horses," he continued, "though more with the tough ponies of the mountains, not the Queen's fine mounts. Though Troia's usually better with animals, I'm more skilled on horseback. I can help Addison teach you, Rikhard."

    "There's no need to rub it in," Troia muttered, and he glanced down in time to catch the look of annoyance she shot him. He grinned in response, bad mood forgotten for the moment.
     
  18. Legendary Sidekick

    Legendary Sidekick The HAM'ster Moderator

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    There were so many horses to choose from—a black stallion, a white mare, a reddish-brown beauty with a white mane, a playful sandy-maned filly…

    But there was one the Huntress spied from the corner of her eye—or maybe she knew of her before she actually saw her—a stone gray mare with a speckled coat that perhaps most would agree was the homeliest of the bunch. Addison's eyes met hers.

    [​IMG]
    "Mount Freckle," the Huntress declared. Maybe the horse already had a name, but hers was Mt. Freckle to Addison Lane. You and I are gonna get along just fine, Addison assured the gray mare. Got a friend? And I don't mean a boy. I'm not about to let me ride go and get herself knocked up.
     
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Rikhard stood back a little as Addy looked over the horses, and smiled as the huntress chose a freckled grey mare as her mount. "Mount Freckle" -- what a fitting name.

    The mare whickered and flicked an ear, then walked over to another horse, this one with a reddish-brown coat, a black mane, and white socks and a stripe on its nose. Rikhard tilted his head, then moved cautiously toward them. A quick look down told him that the mare's friend was a gelding, not a stallion.

    He glanced at Addy, silently wondering what to do next.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Nimue

    Nimue Auror

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    Farrun leaned against a carved stable column nearby, watching the young folks look over the line of Queensguard common mounts in their boxes. He laughed aloud at Addison's name for her new horse, and ambled over to the stalls at the end of the line, where his two horses stood. He offered half an apple taken from the bowl in the meeting-room table, and let his destrier, Avalanche, crunch it from his palm. Avalanche was a truly huge horse, all dapple-grey with a pale mane and fierce muscle in every inch of him, cheek to rump. He was testy even among these familiar beasts, arching his neck and flicking his ears back. "See you in a while, mate," Farrun told him, slapping him affectionately on the neck as he sniffed Farrun's embroidered tunic. Avalanche was too big to fare well over long-distance travel, and too high-tempered to get along easily with traveling companions, particularly if they weren't good with horses. He was a warhorse, and let everyone around him know it.

    Farrun fished the other half of the apple from his pocket and held it out for his other horse, Boar. Boar was soot-black, coat, mane, and tail, and much more even-keeled--he was Farrun's pick for the journey. He was a gelding, but still big and solid, as Farrun's mounts had to be. Farrun scratched his broad, velvety forehead as the horse chewed the treat, swiveling one ear towards the others as they talked.

    "D'you want to pick out a weapon before you head back to the inn?" he asked aloud, to Rikhard mostly. He looked at the young man again, wondering. On the way down to the stables, he'd noticed Rikhard moved a little more stiffly than he would expect from someone as young as he was. Tiredness, or an old injury?
     
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