Private Tales All Roads Lead to Alliria

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

  1. Hugi

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    ["It'll be payment enough to see those that did this pay."] the words were bitter and spiteful. His eyes remained forward, and he kept his hands where they were. He wanted to believe that his family had made it to safety. But life was cruel more often than not.

    He wouldn't hang onto a hope that had little chance of being real. After all, if the king and his family had been so readily dispatched, he had no doubt the ones searching for outlying loyalists easily found his family as well.

    ["I'll have to try to remember your name then, sister. Since you have to put up with me now."] Hugi added with a bit of laughter. When he had said she was like kin to him, he had apparently truly meant it.

    He did not know how they had managed to track her this far. Didn't care. He would give Borvenir's men a warm welcome when they came for her.

    For now, he would bide his time, deal with his grief somehow or another. It was Maude's misfortune to have to deal with him now.

    "So, what are we after, Dea'roh?" Hugi asked, walking at a leisurely pace.
     
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  2. Maude

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    ["Very well."]

    Simple enough. A trade - just like home. No gold, no posturing, no ego. She preferred it this way, even if he deigned to call her sister. The woman gave a short sniff, mulling over the prospect of accepting someone such as he like family. In supposing his loss was true and in having known his sister as well as she did, Maude supposed it wasn't a far stretch. After all, she had none but her own Uncle left - perhaps it was better to take it for what it was.

    "I'm on my way to the Hall of Archives to look for records on a Norden that came through Alliria 30 years ago. Someone by the name of Eodar."
     
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  3. Hugi

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    She accepted what he offered. A fair trade of everything was as it seemed. They got revenge, and they helped each other get it. He usually worked for coin, but blood had been spilled, and more blood would be spilled before the debt was paid.

    "Eodar? Is he some sort of legend? Or a great warrior?" Hugi asked, his head turning to her in confusion.
     
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  4. Maude

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    They reached the market square and Maude stopped to blink up into the bright sky of the morning. The architecture here was unlike anything she'd seen before and the crowds were as varied in races as she could have imaged. There were people of all kinds slowly filling the streets - streets that were paved with cobble and bricks. Nothing like Nordengaard. The woman took a deep breath and tried not to think of how warm it was getting. She still traveled in all the same garb she'd escaped Eretejva in and it was becoming an issue in this warm weather.

    "Neither, I think," Maude replied, eyes narrowing on a great white tower towards the east quarter, her destination, "I don't actually know for certain." She grimaced and looked to Hugi, "Just a lead from a trusted source. Might have information that will help."
     
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  5. Hugi

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    A frown formed, never seeing the light of morning he watched her. He was surprised to see that she hadn't opted for something more comfortable in these lands. The heat had messed with him quite a bit until he had changed for something more breathable. He was near to saying something when she spoke and looked up. The grunt that he made when she told him neither was almost a laugh. It would be interesting trying to find information on a man when they had so little to go on.

    "I hope your source was good and the information is helpful." Hugi mused, he thought on what the betrayal of their king could hold for the rest of the Nordenfiir. Wondered if it wasn't just her they would be after, or if more had made it on their list. Shaking the thought away, he looked to her once more.

    "Do we have to worry about the hunters being after this information?"
     
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  6. Maude

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    "Eo willing, I hope not."

    She had enough to deal with as it was, the last she needed was the source of any good help being hunted. Maude believed she had enough of a head start and no reason to doubt her Uncle's word. Eodar was a name mostly lost to time among their people. She picked up her pace at the thought and made her way through the city to the Hall of Archives.

    ~~~

    "Your name?"

    They were greeted at a massive desk behind which a robed man sat slowly inking the parchment pages of a blank book. His scroll work was something of skill, his steady hand might someday be spoken of in legend. A Master Scribe - set to spend his days copying old texts to save their wisdom for years to come. To record the histories of the people in this great city to the annals of time. To note the ages as they passed and their myriad mundaneries. Crop intake, sicknesses, births and deaths.

    How utterly mind-numbing.

    Maude exchanged a glance with Hugi as she mounted the short set of stairs before the desk to stand across the Scribe in question, "Dea'roh."

    The man, without looking up, turned to a side table where he carefully recorded the name. Maude had her doubts that he spelled it correctly - dea'roh was a Fiirevik word, the name of a small red bird native to the southern forests.

    "Surname?"
    She blinked, "Wot?"
    The man heaved a sigh, "Your family name, miss. The name of your house?"

    She blinked. Surnames were fairly uncommon in Nordengaard considering the fact that their kind were not monogamous and marriage didn't exist there. Most of its citizens referred to themselves as the Norden settlement they hailed from - or perhaps a title they may have earned for some great feat or honor to the Kingdom. To tell immediate lineages, men spoke as the sons of their fathers and woman as the daughters of their mothers. Arnor Skuldsson came to mind.

    Either way, she couldn't give her real name or title, so it all mattered little.

    "I haven't one."
    "Very well," said the man with tethered patience, "where do you hail from, Dea'roh?"
    "The north ... as far north as you might venture."
    "The name of your home?"
    "You wouldn't know it, nobody does. It's six feet under snow most the year long."
    "Winter it is then," said the Scribe as he scrawled the word in and then turned to face her once more, "so miss Dea'roh Winter, what can I help you with?"
    Strange way to name someone but she wasn't going to fuss. The more strange it was, the harder to follow her tracks should anyone be doing so, "I've come looking for information on someone who lived in Alliria thirty years ago by the name of Eodar."
    The man's face drooped in muted irritation, "The Hall of Records will be up the stairs to your right."
     
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  7. Hugi

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    The man had asked for her name, and after exchanging a look between them, had received it. The jobs he was doing looked to be absolutely mind numbing. It made Hugi almost shudder to think people were content to live their lives this way. After an exchange that was nearly painful to listen too, the man was content to write down the name Dea'roh Winter.

    It almost made Hugi laugh.

    These folk always wanted to know more and always seemed to be writing things down. The man wilted at the mention of looking for someone, giving them directions to the Hall of Records. The crooked smile was hidden behind the helm, he kept his step close to hers as he kept himself just off to the side of her.

    All these books the man was likely to have had his hands on. All the time spent staring at drying ink. It truly made Hugi glad to have the better sense to seek the wilds than a job that had one tethered to a desk like a lame horse.
     
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  8. Maude

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    "Reminds me of Kiringsaal," Maude commented as they slowly made their way up the stairs, "you ever been?"

    "The Scribes there are just as stuffy, but at least they get out once a day to swing an axe or steel their sword..." the woman snorted derisively, "I doubt that man's even touched a blade. Did you see the size of his wrist? I could break it with my pinky."
     
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  9. Hugi

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    "Don't remind me of the place. It pains me to think about people sitting at a desk all day. You are right though. I am surprised his head does not break his wrist when he sleeps." Hugi was equally terrible, his life having always been filled with fighting and bloodshed of some sort.

    "Do you suppose doors are hard for the man?" Hugi mused further.
     
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  10. Maude

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    "Haven't seen too many doors in this place..." the woman responded wryly. Most of the entry ways into chambers, halls, and rooms were open vaulted passages.

    They reached the top of the steps and turned along the landing through an archway to the right. Here they found themselves in an open, circular level within the tower, able to see the various levels up through its massive height. The walls in the central atrium were lined with bookshelves far higher than even Hugi could reach. Books and tomes and manuscripts for as far as the eye could see with robed men tending to them at every level. Desks and tables were staged on every level and great mirrors hung suspended overhead, reflecting daylight into the study areas.

    Maude walked in with her eyes drawn wide and her brow lifted in awe, "Skies above..." her gaze panned across the countless bindings, "how do you find anything here?"
     
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  11. Hugi

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    "Their delicate wrists are the reason why." He snorted, thankful that most of the openings were large enough for him to fit through. Certainly not why they had been built that way, since most of these folk built things out of shows of splendor, to entertain guests of course.

    When they entered the room, a low whistle came from behind the helm. Even he had to admit that this was a sight. Having never dreamed of seeing anything this big and open, and that mirror shining light into the place. No torches, just. Whatever that thing was called.

    "Well, at least they are creative. Can't fault them for that." Hugi muttered. He almost didn't hear her words as he gazed at the countless number of books and, well, larger books. "Likely need to ask one of them for help, I don't think I could get all the way up there without knocking something over. An' I doubt they would like that." The comment was sincere as he gestured to one of the robed individuals.

    Even being as big as he was, and mighty at that, this place seemed. Ill suited to him, and it made him uncomfortable. It all looked so, pristine and delicate.
     
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  12. Maude

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    "Right."

    She had to agree, even of her own behalf. Nordens weren't known for being particularly graceful. Best to leave the delicate business to the trained hands of the Scribes. She approached the nearest robed man and cleared her throat.

    "Can I help you?"
    "I'm looking for records of a person named Eodar that lived her about thirty years ago."
    "Surname? Occupation? Residence?"
    Maude narrowed her eyes over a thin frown, "I don't have that information. Just the name Eodar and the timeframe."
    "That leaves us with a very broad span to search. It could take weeks."
    "Weeks?"
    "Alliria's records go back to its time of founding, Miss," the Scribe droned, unsmiling, "and are very thorough. Citizenry are broken up into districts, further then into known occupations."
    "...I don't think they would have been very wealthy. Likely beyond their 50th nameday."
    "That does help. Wait here, I will begin pulling the books."

    Weeks. She didn't have weeks. She had hours.

    Maude looked to Hugi, "Can you read the common tongue?"
     
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  13. Hugi

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    Hugi listened to the robed man speak, and again the need for names and places came up. Just like the man at the desk before had asked. He shook his head as he listened, almost sputtering when the man gave them a time for how long it could take.

    Wanting desperately to remove his helm and rub the bridge of his nose in irritation, he resisted, instead scratching his neck. When she asked if he could read the common tongue, he gave a quick nod.

    "Some of the words make no sense, but I can read all of it." He truly had no trouble with the language, but the words sometimes seemed, like frilly gown edges on armor. Useless. Over thought dribble. "They add frilly words, and those are what get me." The man looked away from her for a moment with what may have been a bit of shame in his last words.
     
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  14. Maude

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    "Frilly words, huh?" the woman propped a brow at Hugi quizzically. He seemed ashamed of this, to which she promptly gave him a hearty jab to the chest with her fist, "We're not frilly people."

    A smirk hid there beneath the expression of stone, pressing up into green eyes.

    WHAM.

    The first of many books, big as a child, slammed onto an empty table nearby, "There are approximately three tomes that fit the time period and purported districts," the Scribe explained.

    Maude heaved a sigh and exchanged a glance with Hugi, "Three books...three people."

    A nod from the Scribe, "I will retrieve the other two."
     
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  15. Hugi

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    The words, paired with a jab brought the man's gaze back to her with a little laugh. Maybe that wouldn't be such a problem.

    The thunderous slam of a book made the mans body tense. His arms going taught as he had plainly not expected something like that to happen.

    When Maude looked at him, he removed the helm, holding it to his hip as he raised a brow at the large book. He did not look terrifically excited about this endeavor. "Oh, this is going to be such fun."

    To his credit, he set the helm down in a chair nearby and proceeded to open the first book.
     
  16. Maude

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    They were there for hours.

    Hours.

    The writing was small, the pages were large, and information filled every patch of which parchment there was. A credit to the Scribes for their due diligence despite the odds - it was all legible if one could only read. Unfortunately for Maude, her present state of self was no boon to the task. Still hardly along her recovery from the poison arrows, still dressed in her northern garb, the woman wiped sweat from her brow regularly and felt the effects of the heat bring her blood to a thick and viscous sludge.

    The Scribe provided water. It wasn't cold but it didn't matter.

    By the time Hugi cam across the name Eodahl Winter she was fighting the urge to pass out.

    "Eodahl..." Maude looked up, glad for a distraction, "that's the name the elf gave me yesterday. What's it say?"

    Eodahl had traveled through Alliria 30 years prior, a woman white of hair in her 56th year. There were no records of her origins, and thusly she had been named Eodahl Winter, of the northern snows. Eodahl was a Seer who read palms and gave fortunes in return for strange payments. She was charged with poisoning a family in the last year she lived in Alliria, but no evidence other than heresay was found. The city, instead of hanging her, cast her out. She left west where it is rumored she settled in a small village by the name of Southill.

    And that is where they would go.

    "Meet me at the west gates at sunrise tomorrow," Maude told Hugi as they made their way back to the Apothecary under the fading light of the setting sun, "take care of what business you must. I do not suspect we will be making a return."
     
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  17. Hugi

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    The aha moment was finally upon them as his large finger singled out the name Eodahl Winter. A soft snort as he noted the last name winter. Seemed like a common one for their people when they came here. He explained when she asked, and with a location in mind, they set off for the apothecary. Maude gave him instructions, and while returning his helm to its proper place, gave her a quick nod before setting off toward his own direction.

    The inn he was staying at wasn't the nicest place, but it was better than the one that Maude and, whoever that fellow was, had knocked a wall out in. He informed the guards that he would be leaving town, finding better prospects in another place. They asked where, and all he gave them was a direction.

    In the opposite way of Southill.

    As he walked away from the guards with a few more coins than he had before, he thought it was strange that they had asked where he would be going, but didn't give it a second thought. His business was settled as he returned to his room and packed what little he owned into the bag and went to sleep.
     
  18. Maude

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    "I hope you are not leaving behind too much," Maude said to Hugi as their steps carried them away from the west gates the next morning. She had more color to her face and her fever had broke over the evening, but her sleep was far from sound. Her body still ached. Her shoulder still felt raw and pained.

    "I have never had to ask another to leave their home for the sake of their crown," she admitted, unsmiling, "and for that I do apologize."
     
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  19. Hugi

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    "Naw, other than making the guards nervous, nothing ties me to this place." He laughed as they walked. She sounded a bit sulky with her last few words.

    "We can only hope no one ever has to again. And don't apologize-" Hugi replied. "I wouldn't have known what's happened if not for you."
     
  20. Maude

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    She appreciated his candid nature towards what essentially was a decision that would alter his life forever. Rivers didn't change their course without significant impact and consequences - but a new flow of the lifeblood that was water could change things drastically for a people or place that previously had none. Maude could only hope this choice of his would lead to some goodness for him.

    For them both, truly, but mostly for him.

    "That is true," she nodded in response, "you would not have." It troubled her to think that even if the news of Borvenir's ascension to the throne had reached this far south, the truth to his rise likely would not have. Would Hugi have been motivated by the news of a new King in the north enough to leave Alliria on his own, to return to find out? She had her doubts.

    "Tell me what you have learned of these lands and their people in the years you have lived here, Hugi."

    The road before them lead towards a forest in the west, dense but green with rising smokestacks hinting to the various smaller villages that lay several hours journey ahead.
     
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  21. Hugi

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    He gave a solemn nod to her words of his not knowing, but when she asked about the lands and the people he had spent almost ten years with, it earned a chuckle.

    "Where to start with these thin skinned fools." Hugi laughed. "First of all, they dress for the season, since they have more weather than snow like we do. Might do to get you something better like myself." Hugi teased her as he thumbed the shirt he wore. It looked like someone had simply cut a regular tunic near in half. The only portion of the large man it covered was his midsection, and it didn't completely cover even that.

    It gave him free movement, and was readily breathable though and didn't interfere with the sparse armor he wore.

    "Lot's of folks with opinions on how things should be done, but no one willing to do anything about it save for waste their breath gabbing at you to do it for them." Hugi spat. "Not a whole lot of folk with spine, but they do have coin."

    He continued to explain as much as he could, about landmarks, the people and who they held allegiances to. The templars were a source of caution, as were the rangers around Aliria, but those were the most he made a note of to the woman. Small towns he could name and remember where brought up along with news of undead that had recently happened toward the spine. He was a wealth of information, as most everything he learned was by word of mouth or having seen it firsthand.
     
  22. Maude

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    It was a lot to take in and, Maude thought, she would have retained more of it to memory were she not so unfailingly exhausted. Still, Hugi was impressive in both stature and intelligence - a boon to her cause as much as anything. She was glad to call him an ally and hoped that his knowledge would be of use to them. Wherever it was she ended up going.

    "I would rather have ten warriors with strong spines than ten warriors with heavy purses..." the coin and spine remark had stuck with her the most. She could relate to it, personally. Many people were only willing to help if you were willing to pay - the Summerlands had very little tolerance of barter for services or trade. Coin is what the people wanted.

    It was like a disease.

    "I fear the lack of coin will be the biggest challenge here. So few are willing to do anything without the promise of it. My Uncle Skalagrim was headed to Elbion, last we spoke many months ago, to try and bring the Merchant Council to our cause. He is as bereft of coin as me ... I don't imagine his efforts will be successful."
     
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  23. Hugi

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    "Your like to find a number of them wanting coin if they aren't like us." Hugi grumbled. It was sad that everything revolved around coin down here, but it had the trade off of making hiring people easier since you didn't have to try to find tasks for people. Bartering was well and good, and he had used it a number of times with luck while here in the Summerlands with the smaller villages. They didn't tend to have a lot of coin, but they always had work to help with for food and room.

    "The merchant council? I would have wished him luck had I known. I doubt they will support this, but with the right words they might have." Hugi shrugged, he watched a plume of smoke bend in the wind as he thought. Merchants weren't known for charity, and fewer yet for doing things on promises. If her uncle had been successful, she would have surely heard about it by now. "Should we send him a letter at some point? Or go find him maybe?"
     
  24. Nithron

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    Nithron wouldve been passing by when he over heard the two companions conversation, well some of it. With a one eighty turn he'd smile, "I am sorry ma'am, sir. But I could not help but over hear your guys conversation." He'd give a sly sharp canined smile before bowing, "My name is Nithron." He'd look up with a devious look in his eyes, something that he was never aware he had, "You two seem to be looking for some help. And I am looking to be of some help, for only the cost of food, drink and somewhere to bunk for the cold nights."

    Nithron would chuckle, "And three is better then two, if I do say so myself." He'd say before going quiet, "What do you say?" He would ask. His darker colored leather armor accented with yellows and some golds on the bracers and boots shined a bit. Behind his back was a double bladed scimitar's sheath being hidden by a black cloak. It all complimented his piercing amber eyes and reder hair.
     
  25. Maude

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    Maude gave a faint grimace at Hugi's words. They didn't bode well.

    "My Uncle is not the greatest wordsmith. A greater, more loyal warrior you'll not find," the woman shook her head as she briefly considered the thought of Skalagrim speaking to a table of Merchant Dealers, humans, and keeping a straight face or holding his temper. It was difficult even to imagine it.

    "But a diplomat he is not. We will have need to take the road to Elbion, but not before we find Eodahl."

    And, preferably, not before she found a few more people to journey with. She'd seen a posting in Alliria about a merchant calling for warriors and guards for his caravan heading north, to Elbion no less. Seemed curiously convenient for their mission. Perhaps after she found Eodahl she'd investigate further ... and make a point to track down Gunnar again.

    "A letter isn't a bad idea, though. Perhaps this town of Southill has a rook-" but further words were cut off by the approach of a stranger. An elf no less. She bristled in response, finding the sharp glint of the elf's gaze and his strange timing to be just a bit more coincidental than she liked. Her inclination was to decline the offer, but her recent interraction with the elf named Syndell in Alliria had staved off a great deal of the innate suspicion for their kind. At least this one wasn't blue-skinned.

    Maude shared a glance with Hugi, attempting to gauge the man's reaction to this unusual offer. She had to rely on his knowledge of these lands and the people within them, for he knew them far better than she did. If it meant deferring to his better judgement, so be it.
     

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