Tales All Roads Lead to Alliria

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Maude, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Gunnar Bergstrom

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    Gunnar Bergstrom The Exile

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    He was all out of excuses, not only had he been beaten physically by her but now he was getting scolded, or so it felt. He had no rebuttal to her words, there were conflicts in him that had not been resolved since he was a child, the anger and frustration, the loneliness and powerlessness. He turned his head away if only to hide his expression, was it a sadness he felt thinking back. He couldn’t accept any honor back then because he felt he only deserved anything if he won, he trained for six years with the only intention of fighting the King… For what? To get his parents back, to make them proud. He failed however and he had never been able to forgive himself, not truly. Even though he knew that the King was a good man he felt a failure and deserved nothing less than Exile, Gunnar had been punishing himself ever since.

    At first, all he could give her was silence, he could say nothing, he couldn’t even shout in anger. He knew in a way that she was right and he felt conflicted by her praise even more so. It wasn’t until she spoke of his brother that he realized that the Amulet she had spoken of was the one she was wearing and that it could only be worn if the King was dead as she said.

    “No…” He shook his head, certainly his brother was a tough one, he held a lot of anger in him but he wasn’t dishonourable, he was taught honour. “No, you lie, he wouldn’t have done something like that… No one would do something like that.” He refused it, he couldn’t believe someone would do such a dishonourable thing. Gunnar and Borvenir as well were raised to have honor, even if they were angry and felt helpless.

    The fact was that Gunnar’s emotions had led him to anger and self-blame where Borvenir’s emotions had led him to seek power at all costs. “Why should I believe you? What do you even stand to gain, not to mention who are you to wear that Amulet then if the King died." He knew she wasn’t a daughter but he didn’t know much about Iordahn’s grandchildren, he was too young and, in a way, so were they.

    He shook his head but rather than fight her words even more he just gave a sigh. “What does it matter anyway, Nordengaard hasn’t been my home in many years, I’m an exile, regardless of honor.” He said, stubbornly. “There is nothing I can change about it anyway, even if it is true what you’re saying.”

    There was a sadness on his face through all this, some heartache she had pulled on that he had been trying to push away. The man shed no tears but he could not help his expression being one of pain.
     
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  2. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    #27 Maude, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
    "I suspect most people didn't believe it until the moment they were run through by his men..."

    The woman furrowed her brow and felt the taste of bile at the back of her throat.

    "I was returning from a mission to Indeholm when my mother met me at the Sanctuary Outpost. She was grievously wounded and for a woman I had known my entire life and never once witnessed a tear, she had all the tears to spare that day. Borvenir's forces had attacked the capital in the night, clearing the halls of Yjallaglask before setting into the city. They went from home to home, pulling people from their beds and dragging them into the streets. They didn't give the children a trying chance ... they slaughtered my little brother and sister in our home before setting it on fire. My father fought them back alongside my mother, but they took him three to one so she would have a chance to warn the others."

    "She sought me at the Outpost and warned the guards there of the usurpers treachery. But Borvenir's influence reached farther than we could have known. By the time I found her they had run her through. I fought them off and killed them - something I never once imagined I'd ever have to do, kill my own people. She was barely alive when I found her and she told me to do the very thing we Nordenfiir were trained not to: run. Run and escape to the Summerlands and find your Uncle, he who holds the true Amulet of Eogorath. Find a way to make this right, she told me, and then gave me her Solstal swords before dying. I burned her body and I left that place. Traveled south, as far south as I ever had, doing what I could to warn the people of Kiringssal, Colburn, Sittekar, and finally Withereach. Took me half a moon to get there and I arrived to more chaos, another dishonorable Havraekae but one I'm not so certain was linked to the coup. I didn't have time to find out, I left on a boat and made my way into the Summerlands."

    "I found my Uncle stowed away in an abandoned mining shaft in a little town called Cree. Skalagrim the Exile, caught in a contrived act to kill the King - a ruse manifested by Iordahn himself three years ago when he saw a vision of his demise, or so my Uncle says. Iordahn sought out Skalagrim, one of the few men he trusted completely, and begged he take the Amulet far away where it would be safe. He created a copy and wore that, staged the ruse that saw my poor Uncle wrongfully exiled for the good of his people. I begged him to return with me, to face Borvenir with the Amulet and take the throne back. He refused and insisted I take it instead because he had no right as an exile to its power."

    "Because he believed it belonged in the hands of the King's last surviving heir."
     
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  3. Gunnar Bergstrom

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    Gunnar Bergstrom The Exile

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    He listened to her story, though at this point it almost seemed a tale of desperation, she had been through a lot, she had probably lost more than he ever had. He wasn’t quite sure what to say, her parents, her family… Everyone was killed by Gunnar’s brother, was she here to take revenge? No, she would have killed him already if that was the case, it wouldn’t help any either, he was a nobody.

    “So you’re telling me that the king was killed and with him who knows how many of his people, your family, your mother. You are the last survivor of the line and that’s why you wear the amulet, so you found your uncle who had the amulet that you father had given him because he had foreseen his own death, and now you’re here in Alliria…” He paused for a moment, trying to take it all in, remembering what she had said earlier.

    “You’re here looking for someone, and you travel alone, hurt as you were.” He scoffed, almost amused. “You’re a bit reckless for the last surviving heir aren’t you.” It’s not that he made light of the situation, honestly it sounded like the worst thing he could imagine, but he couldn’t help but take a bit of a stab at her. Gunnar meant it in a positive inflection this time however.

    “You needed to leave in three days, I doubt anyone is hunting this far away from Nordengaard, you’re the first Nordenfiir I have seen since I came here.” After all most preferred the colder climate and it could get quite a bit warmer here during the summer, not something Gunnar was a fan of himself.

    “So tell me then Dea’roh.. Why are you here and who are you looking for, why waste your time in a tavern?” He could only ask questions of this woman, he was still a little skeptical but at the same time, her story seemed far too absurd not to be true, a lie would have never sounded so fantastical.
     
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  4. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    Maude felt a half smirk creeping across her lips. Was he admonishing her for recklessness?

    She might deserve that. There had been several instances where she had regretted not bringing Arnor with her, for various reasons. But Arnor didn't know this story she had just told Gunnar, not yet at least. Maude still wasn't certain she could trust him, though she was beginning to. Wasn't certain who she could trust at all.

    Except, perhaps, the exiled half brother of the Usurper King who had lived the last ten years too far out of his reach to be made a pawn in Borvenir's machinations.

    "I was in the tavern for a drink and a meal and a hope to find easy coin to pay for an Apothecary's care," simple enough, "the orc horde hadn't been part of the plan, you see."

    "That dwarf was already drunk when I got there, made a fuss over the strength of his arm and the size of his balls, took a few of his friends to a challenge. I know the strength this Amulet gives me, I likely wouldn't be alive without it, so I figure it was a boon to get that coin I needed. Seemed it got me a bit more than I bargained for..." the woman's gaze shifted from the ceiling of the shop, now closed to the public in the late evening hours, and looked to the man where he stood.

    "But there's more to this Amulet than just strength. In all the years I witnessed my grandfather at the throne and seen the things he's done, I know there's more. There's something I'm missing...my Svalen isn't effected by it." Anyone that had seen the King's Svalen knew that the Amulet granted him gargantuan size and power, eversomuch more than when he shifted without.

    "I seek another Norden exile by the name of Eodar. I've been following a trail thirty years old and it lead me here to Alliria."

    She paused, gaze dropping slightly, "And I seek allies in my move against the Usurper."
     
  5. Gunnar Bergstrom

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    Gunnar Bergstrom The Exile

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    Most of the story seemed like a possibility, she had the strength and the amulet seemed familiar. Thinking about it now she did indeed look like kin to the king, it seemed a little odd that she was here. His brother had killed the last king in the most horrific way possible, he almost felt like he needed to return to Nordengaard to find the truth about the matter. It would mean facing a lot of things he had been running away from for a long time.

    “It seems a large coincidence though doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong.” He said, seemingly a little more reasonable this time around, seemingly having been able to set aside his anger for a moment. Gunnar couldn’t help but desire to know more, this was a deeply personal matter to him.

    “I believe you, it seems far too fantastical to be a fake story but… You come here trying to find someone else and you run in to the brother of the man that killed your entire family, by accident.” He almost felt like it was too big of a coincidence to even set up, it all just seemed odd to him.

    “You’re right though, I didn’t think your amulet was the same because it felt similar but it felt different, perhaps it’s because you’re not a queen yet, who knows, it might just be something that simple.” He didn’t know how that magic amulet worked, but if it didn’t give her the full power it might just be because she wasn’t fulfilling the full role of a Queen.

    “I don’t know Eodar, especially if the trail is thirty years old, that’s before my time, and I don’t know if I can help you. If everything you’ve told me is true then my brother has no honour, but I’m not sure if I could stand against him…” He had run away all his life, he knew nothing of his homeland, one could even say he avoided it all together, he had hidden himself.

    “If it wasn’t for my smell, you wouldn’t have known I was Nordenfiir, no one here knows, for all they know I’m just human, a Nord perhaps.” He said with a shrug.

    “I’m just a mercenary when it comes down to it, I have no sway, no armies to aid you and no men to follow your command.”
    He shook his head. “I doubt I’d be of any use to you.” He was honest, he felt he wouldn’t be of any help, he was one man and one whose loyalty could easily be questioned because he was family to the usurper.
     
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  6. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    The woman gave a short chuckle followed by a sour grunt as she lifted her good arm to knead at her shoulder, "Couldn't smell ya," Maude gave a stuffy sniff, "allergies 'n all. Bloody nose doesn't help either, but I'm sure you smell as pretty as you look."

    She shook her head and lifted that same hand to rub at her eyes, careful of the swelling from the beat-down she'd received from him earlier.

    "I wouldn't blame you if you didn't believe me. I came here looking for a Norden and I run afoul of you. Not quite what I was expecting. I've been finding our people in odd places all over ... my Uncle in Cree, a Mercenary in some poor sodding fishing village up north, another Mercenary just east of the Spine, and now you."

    It almost felt as if something else was pulling the strings.

    "I don't know what I'm doing," honesty was apparently contagious, "I don't know what I'll do. I can't return to Nordengaard on my own - Borvenir will never grant me an honorable challenge. He'll slaughter me where I stand but I can't let his perverted delusions of grandeur ruin what's left of my people. He must answer for his dishonor."
     
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  7. Gunnar Bergstrom

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    Gunnar Bergstrom The Exile

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    #32 Gunnar Bergstrom, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    He sighed at her chuckle, yes he was still a little annoyed with the woman before him, but she had some charm at least, despite her sorry state. “Prettier than you look and smell, that’s for sure.” It was a jab but not a hostile one, just a light prick probably caused by his angry personality.

    He looked her over, he had given her a pretty decent beating and yet with everything else she was still up, he couldn’t help but admire the power of that amulet. Gunnar had to admit however that it couldn’t just be the amulet, she had a strong will which wasn’t going to do her any favors in her struggle.

    “You don’t seem to be lying, but I’d need to be sure… He’s still of the same blood as I.” He said as he pondered, his face scrunched up with this difficult information. The truth was that he would have rather not heard this at all, he wanted to leave his past behind and the King’s death, his brothers dishonor and Maude’s presence were the past catching up to him.

    “Who ever knows what they’re doing anyway.” He said, throwing his hands in the air in frustration. “You do what you can and you keep doing it until you can’t anymore.” That was the way he had lived his life thusfar, even if he had plenty of regrets he at least didn’t make excuses for it.

    “You need a lot more than a couple of Nordenfiir to make anything happen, you want to do something but you don’t even know what you want to do.” He scoffed, she was as clueless as him except she hadn’t reached the end of her rope yet, following a path from thirty years ago and trying to make something happen that at this time would probably seem impossible.

    “I’m not foolish enough to think I can change anything, but I suggest you find some powerful allies because a bloodline and an amulet will only get you so far.” He was a critic, he didn’t know what to say to comfort anyone or make them feel better. Gunnar didn’t know how to deal with people on a more intimate level, he had pushed people away ever since his parents had passed.

    “If you want my help, you’ll pay for it like everyone does.” He said, it was his halfway point between helping her and his stubborn persona not allowing him, if she hired him he’d help and perhaps that road would lead somewhere.
     
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  8. Hugi

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    Hugi Painbringer

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    Hugi had not been in the town for longer than a month, and the guards had already seen fit to make him work for his stay. Sure he was a large man, but that didn't mean everyone was cowed by the mere sight of him. The tusked helm may not have helped, but what was a mercenary to do? So when they had him look into a brawl at a local bar, the Nordenfiir grunted a left. The half shirt he wore was a rich green, with obvious patch marks that were likely made on the road. The heavy footsteps announced the man as he heard cheering coming from inside the tavern.

    The innkeep had told him they had paid for the trouble they had caused, two people, one a woman and the other a man much nearly the same build and size as himself. A smile formed beneath the helm, a small laugh emitting as he side stepped out of the door and left the man to a cheering tavern. A few had said something about an apothecary, and the only one he had heard of was an elf somewhere about here.

    It had taken him a little while to find the place, but when he had, he was excited by the prospect of seeing the two that had made such a splendid mess of the tavern. The woman was said to have been a little smaller than the man, but well able to pick up a dwarf and use him as a hammer. An interesting turn of events. He left the helm on as he entered the building carefully, the elf wasn't surprised to see him exactly. More exasperated that another person of titanic build had come into their shop.

    "Where they at?" Hugi asked, the axes still at his hips as his arms crossed in front of him. The leather spaulders creaked against the stretching of his massive arms. The elf squinted up at him, shaking their head.

    "They haven't caused any trouble here, and you won't be starting any fights here." The elf hissed at him. A heavy breath came from the Nordenfiir as he thought about what he should do. He shook his head before replying.

    "Guards sent me to deal with a tavern brawl. Innkeeper says they came this way. Where they at?" Hugi explained a little, still keeping his arms crossed as the elf chewed on her lip for a second.

    Annoyance grew quickly at the inaction, which had him pushing past the elf. He came into the room holding two people, the two that had been described to him earlier. A man much like himself, but with darker hair and lots more tattoos, and a woman who looked worse for wear.

    "And here you are, hiding. Nice mess you both made at the tavern. The city guards are interested in it not happening again." The mans tone was teasing, but he kept looking between the two of them as he spoke. The helmet giving a bit of a ring to his words and obscuring his face.
     
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  9. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    There came a muted laugh, a sickly smile at the man's words. Self-deprecating more than anything, she wasn't laughing at Gunnar, she was laughing at herself. At her situation.

    At the hopelessness of it all.

    Of course he would want to be paid. He was an exile, a mercenary. Mercenaries didn't have money, they made it by offering their skills. Bunch of bladewhores for hire to the highest bidder.

    "Right," said the woman who might be Queen, "let me just reach into my royal pockets and fetch you your weight in gold, eh?"

    She coughed, cursed under her breath in Fireviik, and made to close her eyes until -

    "Where they at?"

    Fuck.

    The deep tamber of the man out front wasn't something to be ignored. The question even less so. Eogorath had a funny way of working things out for his people - bit of some dark humor the would-be God had. In walked another mountain of a man and if she could bother to push through the pain, sick, and fatigue to sit up and give him a good look she would have likely pegged him as something close to a Norden.

    But Maude couldn't smell a thing and couldn't be bothered to get up from what presently felt like a death bed.

    "Not hiding. Dying. Now let me die in peace."

    "You are not dying," Syndell came in after the Guard, lips pursed.

    "Really? Tell that to my body, for it gravely begs to differ," Maude rumbled from the cot.

    Syndell huffed and gestured to the shop entrance, "the shop is closed, sir, and my patient needs rest. I insist you leave. Return in the morning to conduct your business if you must."
     
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  10. Gunnar Bergstrom

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    Gunnar Bergstrom The Exile

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    He grinned at her, he was after all a mercenary but he couldn’t deny he found the prospect of seeing where this woman was going to go interesting. He shrugged at her with a sigh, as if he was considering something deeply.

    “Well, I don’t usually do this, but how about this.. You pay me once you get the money and…” He smirked, he found himself quite clever. “If you die, as payment I get your amulet there.” If she died her line would end anyway, or so he figured and if she didn’t die then eventually he’d get paid plentifully.

    Before either of them could really consider this conversation he heard the commotion in the front and shortly after the Nordenfiir that walked in. He could smell what he was and it amused him even less, he was about to look at Maude but it seemed she did not recognize him, fortunately. Gunnar gave the man a once over with a sneer.

    “She’s whining and dying. You can tell the guards to shove it where the sun don’t shine.” He had no respect for someone who thought they could just barge in and start barking orders like that, even if it was meant teasingly. Gunnar had the patience of waterfall.

    Gunnar crossed his arms again but kept his eyes focused on the new arrival, he didn’t seem a threat at the moment but if time had taught him anything it was that situations could change on a whim.
     
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  11. Hugi

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    Hugi Painbringer

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    Hugi laughed at the woman's response, a hand going to his stomach as he looked to the man. The elf said the woman wasn't dying, and the man cared little for the guards to come down on them. The man shook his head before he even thought about speaking again. The entire place smelled of Nordenfiir, and he wasn't about to bite at either of them.

    "She ain't dying, wouldn't be so loud if she were." Hugi chuckled before he turned to the man. "The guards don't want to get involved, seeing as how you put a hole through a wall. Easily scared of big folk like you and I that way. I tell them no problem, they walk off and leave everyone be."

    The man leaned against the wall, crossing his arms as he looked over the woman. He seemed pretty intent on ignoring the elf.

    "You do that to her then, put her through the wall I mean. Or did she do that to you?" The man was interested in the story, rather than reporting back to the guard. What little could be seen through the helm, it looked like a smile was on the mans face.
     
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  12. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    Gunnar didn't get an answer to his offer.

    "Really, the both of you, she needs to rest!" the Apothecary gave both the men a foul look, "Take your banter to the pub."

    But they continued to talk and ignore her, which didn't sit well with Maude but she was entirely too exhausted to do anything about it. The woman lifted her good arm and bent her elbow over her eyes. Wouldn't be the first time she'd fallen asleep with a rowdy bunch of men making all kinds of noise.

    Gunnar could tell the story any which way he liked. It wouldn't matter in three days - she'd be gone from here.
     
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  13. Gunnar Bergstrom

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    Gunnar Bergstrom The Exile

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    People kept telling him what to do, she needed rest, stop making a commotion, stop making a mess in the inn. He shook his head, annoyed at the events and the fact that Maude seemed to have decided to go to sleep and ignore the offer he made.

    “The guards don’t want to get involved, then there ain’t a problem.” He said it plainly, he still looked a little worse for wear but stubborn as a Nordenfiir he was, something at least two of the people in this room could probably relate to.

    “I put myself through a wall, all she had to do was step aside.” He said, he had pride and it was hurt but he wasn’t a liar. It was obvious however that it wasn’t a story he cared to share, no one likes to talk about their losses.

    “Either way though.” He said looking at the woman that had decided to try and fall asleep. “You should ask her when she wakes up, she’s looking for Nordenfiir like you, it’s not just the story about our fight she’ll want to tell you about.”

    With that Gunnar decided to walk out, he took the bag of coin he had gotten from Maude earlier and bounced it in his hand. “I’m going to get pissed drunk and then punch the first guard I can find for sending someone after me over a stupid brawl.” There was no doubt about it, in his expression and his body language this large Nordenfiir was a big ball of resentment and hurt pride.

    “You’re right though, she won’t die, at least not naturally.” It was hard to tell if that was a veiled threat or a strange sense of clairvoyance. “Some people aren’t meant for natural deaths.” With that he walked out of the room, pushing the Apothecary aside. He disliked her having told him what to do, even if he hadn’t listened for a second to what she had to say.

    “If you’re here when she wakes up, tell her to find me if she wants to take me up on my offer, if not then this is probably the last time we’ll meet, considering her future.”
     
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  14. Hugi

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    Hugi nodded when the man spoke, expressing that the woman had simply stepped aside and he had gone through the wall. Offering nothing more about the guards as the other man told him she was looking for other Nordenfiir. He looked at the man for a moment, wondering for a brief second if he was going to head out. Nordenfiir were a sight on their own, never mind when they marched together. If this woman was collecting their kin, it would certainly be a sight to behold.

    "I'll have to come back and talk to her then. Let the guards know they have 'nuthin to worry about, and get you back ta' drinking." Hugi smiled to the man, the helm stayed on, but the tone was clearly affable. He looked to the woman again before pushing off the wall carefully.

    "Some still have glory left to show the world." Hugi spoke quietly as the man spoke about natural deaths. The other man left, and Hugi only spared the elf a look and a few words.

    "Guards are getting lazy. I'll be back tomorrow." Hugi waved to the elf, and following the man out. He spoke of finding him when she woke, and he gave a nod to let him know he had heard. The last bit was a bit cryptic, but, Hugi had done worse for less. He returned to the guards, telling them to stay away from the other big man, or else the sight of them would rile him up. His report lacked any details other than they weren't a problem and they had paid for the damages.
     
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  15. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    #40 Maude, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    "I washed your tunic and scrubbed the mess out of the inside of your armor so you don't stink of death everywhere you go," Syndell said early the next morning before opening the shop. She found Maude awake and staring at the ceiling in silence and so decided to get on with cleaning the wound while the shop was still quiet.

    "You still have a fever and you still look a mess," the elf fussed, muttering something about leaving a poisoned arrowhead in for three days, "no way to tell if the poison got to your heart. Whatever it is kept you alive, I suggest you keep at it."
    "Would you say that if you knew it was an unhealthy sense of vengeance?"
    "I would say that is just as lethal as orc poison, but you're still talking and breathing so what do I know."
    "How old are you?" Maude asked.
    Syndell scoffed at the question, "I beg your pardon."
    "Your kind are long-lived. How long-lived are you?"
    "I think this poison had gone to your head, Miss. Most people know it's quite improper to ask a Lady her age, even a long-lived one."
    Maude inhaled deeply through her lips, hissing at the pain Syndell's refocused efforts of scrubbing her shoulder brought, "Fine, how long have you lived in Alliria?"
    "Forty-five years, five months and six days," Syndell leaned forward to look at her around her shoulder, "does that answer your question?"
    Maude blinked at her, a brow lofted, and smirked, "You don't look a day over forty-five."
    "I'll be sure to add your sass to the bill, Miss," but Syndell was hiding a smile, she could tell, "why do you ask?"
    "Have you ever known a man named Eodar? Would have come through here about 30 years ago and been in his ...fifties I think. Would have been large, muscular, not quite as big as the one here last night."

    "Eodar...Eodar..." the elf wrung out the rag she used and began to apply fresh poultice, "I recall a woman named Eodahl. About the same age, but small and slight. Not built like you. Came here to buy herbs and ingredients for potions for a time. Kindly, if a bit eccentric. Then one day she stopped showing up - I suspect she either died or moved on. But I'm just an Apothecary and I keep to myself - you'll want to ask after the City Archives for records of that long ago."

    ~~~

    The city was just waking up when Maude stepped out of the Apothecary shop in the wee hours of the morning. Much to the protest of the elf, she had a lead and she would take it. Walking a little slower than usual but breathing a little easier, she downed a tonic meant to offer relief from her allergies as she stepped down the road. The Archive was at the city center and she wanted to get a start there before the streets became too busy.
     
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  16. Hugi

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    Hugi hadn't wasted much time in his morning routine, as his axes hadn't been loosed for some time now. The honed edge on each felt almost like baying hounds, ready to do their job and all the more excited to do so. He put away the urge to violence, as it wasn't the goal for the day. The helm was the last piece to go on, the cut open shirt and spaulders comfortable as they usually were. He would have taken a while to get there had he decided to stroll and sight see, rather than very nearly sprint to the apothecary shop. The woman from the night before would see the gold locks rise and fall as he came toward her, a laugh coming from him as he stopped far enough away to be heard.

    "I told you that you were not dying. You must have more glory to seek in your life." Hugi spoke as the woman continued walking, he turned and kept pace with her. He examined how she walked, looking to her arms and then finally over her gear before shrugging.

    ["The man last night told me you were seeking others of our kind for help. Said it had a story behind it."] The man spoke in Fireviik to avoid the words reaching the wrong ears. Those looking for help who could fight on their own, generally had enemies. He was a mercenary, but he had honor, and wasn't about to announce that their target was walking down the street. ["I'll listen, but won't promise anything."] The axes at his hips lightly bobbed, his expression hidden in the helm.
     
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  17. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    The woman came to a brief pause in her stride at the sudden appearance of the man who she'd made no effort to look upon the night prior. Given her current state of fatigue then, and even now, it was a wonder she remembered his voice at all. The tonic apparently wasn't an instant cure, though her senses felt a bit clearer now, she still couldn't get a good scent on him.

    He gave himself away with the Fireviik, however.

    Maude returned to her slow but steady pace, lips pressed together against the ever-present pain of her shoulder beneath the weight of her armor.

    "Told you that, did he?" the woman replied with a glance as she walked, "I don't tell stories to just anyone. You first, stranger."
     
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  18. Hugi

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    Hugi Painbringer

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    "Aye, that he did. Suppose he wasn't meant to? Seemed like one to not mince his words. Hugi, son of Anders and Bo." Hugi replied without expecting an answer on the matter. She asked for his story and a short chortle came from him. "Simple enough story, came here looking for my great discovery, but it doesn't consume my heart that I don't have it. I'm plenty mean without it."

    "Doing mercenary work to pay for food and room, but I have honor. I don't kill out of boredom. Fight maybe, but never kill unless payed to do so and for good reason."
    He walked with her, he hadn't given himself much thought considering the guards had simply thrown him on as a freelance bouncer when he asked. He was a rather unimpressive person, his search for his Svalen having been the reason he left, but upon arriving, reveling in the bare knuckled fighting he got into and casting his search aside for selfish pleasures.
     
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  19. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    #44 Maude, Jan 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    Well that was cause for both Maude's brows to raise.

    "Eogorath's beard, you're Anders' boy Hugi?" and with that, a more prominent look down and up, "I knew your elder sister, we trained to become Rangers together. Damn good with a bow. That woman could shoot the balls off an ice ox from across the valley."

    Growing up in the capital didn't leave much room for too many strangers. Maude didn't know every child of every prominent family and, much as she wracked her memory while they walked, she couldn't recall ever meeting Hugi before. Ran in different circles, likely, and once you elected to train as a Ranger you didn't spend much time at home after that.

    But Hugi wasn't a common name and she knew Anders and Bo through his sister.

    "So, wot, you just left to Take the Path and wandered all the way down here? You've had to been gone for what ... nearly ten years?"
     
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  20. Hugi

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    Hugi Painbringer

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    "Aye, I'm the one. Black Sheep Hugi." He replied in kind. "Haley was the best shot of us, though our little brother Fridolf tried to follow after her. And you are damned right about her being a good shot. She showed off one evenin' to us and looped an arrow through three axe rings." The man shuddered at the memory, if only because of how badly he had lost that bet.

    "Just about ten now, yeah. Was tired of being compared for it, so I left. Been working and fighting since then." His eyes narrowed at her as the helm coming off to reveal a rather well kept man. Green eyes looked at her face, as if some memory was swimming just beneath the surface of those green pools. The gold beard covered most of the chin and mouth area, and the sideburns were neatly groomed.

    "You trained with Haley? You're either Kallan or-" The helm dropped back down into place. He stopped himself before saying the last name in the common tongue, his gaze was ahead of them as he continued in their own tongue. ["Is there a reason for your caution? From what Haley had told me, you are good as kin to me."]
     
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  21. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    A smile touched her expression, but only just-so. It was good to think of home, of the many good years past and the people that filled her life. Unfortunate, now, that she be left to wonder if Haley and Fridolf and their parents fell victim to the slaughter or if she yet lived. As she recalled, the family had been outspoken supporters of Iordahn ... then again, so had Borvenir.

    Lies within lies within lies.

    Were she of the mind she might've made a passing comment at the man as he revealed his face. Handsome fellow, he would have had no trouble finding a woman back home, though the lack of Svalen at his age perhaps would dampen his luck. Her mental reveries were quickly dashed as the lower, gruff tone of Fireviik curled the conversation.

    Maude set her jaw, lips forming a thin line as she took a moment to ensure she was still on the proper route before speaking again, ["What is the last news you have heard of your people and home?"]
     
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  22. Hugi

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    Hugi Painbringer

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    Thinking at length to what she asked, he recalled the last few letters that had found his hand. Mentions of threats, of changes that had occurred and might have put them in danger. Not enough detail for him to draw a conclusion, but enough to realize that something drastic had happened.

    He wondered why the topic had come up, his glances at her filled with confusion. His thumbs caught in the open sides of his half shirt, his arms relaxing as the thumbs found purchase in the bit of loose fabric above his belt.

    ["Hastily scrawled words about trying to leave, about threats and changes that made life hard. But I haven't heard anything for a while now. What has happened?"] he admitted, the worry in his mind not translating to their tongue properly and making his words gruff rather than alarmed.
     
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  23. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    So he didn't know. He could only guess.

    Maude's brow furrowed deeply at this. Having lived it was one thing - having to be the messenger that someone might be the last of their bloodline was something else entirely. Her footsteps stopped and she turned to face the man, feeling the need to express the news in the most honest way possible. The woman's face turned into a stony grimace as she thought on how best to boil down the chaos of what had happened.

    ["Borvenir staged a coup against King Iordahn. The entire royal guard turned on their King and slaughtered him and his family in their beds. Borvenir sent his followers out into the Capital to capture and kill Iordahn's loyalists. He took the throne, he closed the borders. He systematically hunted and killed anyone that would stand against him, children included."]

    ["My entire family is gone and it's very likely yours is, too."]

    She lifted a hand to clasp at the man's arm, expression hardened against the emotions speaking these words churned up. Her hand squeezed his arm, partly in solidarity of loss, partly in sympathy, partly in a gesture that spoke of a purpose to seek retribution.

    ["I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Hugi."]

    Maude released him, turned, and slowly continued back on her way.
     
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  24. Hugi

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    Hugi Painbringer

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    When she stopped and faced him, he matched her. His confusion was probably apparent to the woman, the beginnings of an objection forming but falling away as she spoke. He shook his head at learning that Borvenir had staged a coup, killing the old king and his family. He swallowed hard at the mention of others being sent out to kill loyalists.

    His mind raced as he thought back to the letters, the trouble making terribly clear sense with this information. His entire body shivered when she said her family and likely his had been killed.

    He hadn't thought of the possibility of them being killed. Especially by their own countrymen within the borders of their home. Clasping her arm, the eyes behind t the slit in the helm seemed suddenly lost. Mouth agape as he tried to process all of the information.

    She spoke, releasing his arm before continuing on down the road. He stood quietly for what seemed like ages. In reality, she had only taken a pair of steps when he caught up to her, his steps paralleled hers and deep, steadying breaths could be heard.

    Hugi was beyond simply being angry. Grief pulled at the memories he had from ten years ago, those of his siblings and parents as he arrogantly left on his path. Tears threatened to form as he wished he could apologize to his father and mother, for being such a stubborn child. They were pushed away as the fire of fury assisted. It was likely they had followed her here

    Now he would never have that glorious return to his family. Would not have the chance to see their faces once more before the end of his time.

    ["It is not your fault I was so out of touch with our own. I'll not leave who I call kin out for the buzzards. I'm coming with you."] Hugi informed her, his words boiling down to a declaration to stand beside her.

    This woman was now the closest thing he had to kin. Haley had seen fit to endear her to him when she had spoke of Maude. Even in letters, Haley never failed to leave out an update on the woman. And though she may have brought bad news with her, he imagined that the ones responsible for that news were still following her.
     
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  25. Maude

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    Maude Grumpy B(heir)

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    Mildly caught off-guard, Maude gave the man a surprised glance as she walked. Perhaps she had been expecting more the same reception and reaction as Gunnar; an ask for payment and disinterest. But Gunnar had been exiled - he'd challenged the King in an honorable fight and lost. His broken pride hadn't allowed him to accept the offer to the Kingsguard, which Maude found to be the smallest part of goodness in his stubborn, prideful nature.

    If he'd stayed, if he'd taken the offer, he'd have been on the very Kingsguard that moved against Iordahn. Might he have tried to stop them? Would he have sided with Borvenir? Hard to say, she didn't know him well enough and she didn't think she ever would. Presently, even if the other man opted not to help, she was glad he was not standing in line with her new enemies.

    Maude would not have liked to face two men of such stature.

    ["I am glad to have you."] she admitted, clearly grateful for the pledge, ["I cannot pay you for your time and efforts in gold - but I will do what I must and can to help you avenge your family if they are truly taken."]

    Perhaps, even, she might help him on his journey to finding his Svalen as well.

    ["You know who I am, but my name is not safe. Borvenir's hunters followed me to the Summer Lands. Call me Dea'roh."]
     
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