Private Tales Raising Hell

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
Miriel's fork didn't even make it to her mouth. It hovered there in suspended animation as she gaped at him and the story. It sounded like something straight out of one of the horror stories her mother had told her as a child. She hadn't truly believed such vile things really did... exist. Well, yes, exist, but not venture out of their nightmarish homes and attack people. What he described, especially with others appearing, it sounded like it was planned and orchestrated by someone. Such things didn't just organise themselves, that was for sure.

Very slowly she managed to finally eat a piece of the pie she had ordered. Realising she was actually quite hungry she decided to leave her questions until after they had both finished their food. Jaynie's cooking as usual didn't disappoint and far outstripped the ale, but that was a good thing in her mind for she hated when her drink over powered the food. When they were both done she finished the rest of her ale and put two fingers up again to Jaynie at the bar, who brought them over in a good serving time. She tossed the girl another couple of coins.

"A Chimera from children?" she prompted, easing back into the chair.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
Valthar cursed his appetite. When he had turned to his food his plan had been to ask Míriel Fëanorna some questions about her own past. Instead once he had started he had attacked his meal and let all other thoughts slide aside until he was satisfied.

There was another ale on the bar in front of him and that was all that was required to keep him talking.

"It was stepping out of hell and into hell," he said dramatically. "One of them escaped and was the first person I met. The mind of a child in an adult woman. That could...well she was dangerous. But still a child. What was worse was the monster hunters coming after her, but that lab..."

Valthar shook his head sending a braid dancing. A shiver ran up his spine. The memory clearly affectes him even more than a trip to pandamonium.
 
  • shock
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
"Well..." Miriel breathed out, processing this final nugget of information. She could tell that the subject wasn't one he wanted to dwell on and in all honesty she didn't want to force him to relive much more of what sounded like a living nightmare. "So since that you've just been journeying to get home, being attacked by all sorts of little monsters on your way? And now you, the self proclaimed not warrior, are off chasing a Necromancer?" her lips twitched at her gentle tease - from what he had told her in the forge they were not at all random monsters, but some of the more violent ones. And now he was off to go chase a Necromancer? She shook her head.

"The south has not been very kind to you it seems."

What staggered her the most was that he still didn't consider himself a warrior. In her lands, he would have been hailed as such. To fight demons and a twisted version of your own people, and come out alive and not broken. Well, that was no small feat. People who had trained with the sword all their lives might fall at such a hurdle. It was all about mentality when it came to fighting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
"The summer lands have not been kind, no. Not until today's bargain and dinner," he admitted with a grin. He held up his beer and took another swig.

"It is too hot. How you ever go about wearing clothes in the day I do not know. There is so much life in the grasslands and much of it spends its time trying to eat you.

"And tomorrow I join a hunt for a necromancer so I can be paid, go home and return to fishing and put all adventure behind me."

As Valthar drained more of his mug he watched her over the rim. His eyes clearly tracing those tattoos.

"And what did you do before you ran your own smith?" he asked.
 

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
Miriel realised she was a little sad to hear this would be her one and only night with Valthar; the man was low maintenance which was a breath of fresh air in Alliria. Everyone was hurrying here and there, had such high demands or specific requirements in what they needed. The amount of effort it took to not hurl some people from her forge should have earned her a medal in patient, in her humble opinion of course. Valthar was more like her own people. Honest, open, to the point. Strange, how a man from the lands of snow could remind her of her own people born in the depths of a simmering jungle.

He started a laugh out of her at his comment on the heat. "I was born in the heat of a jungle, so I'm afraid I am probably the worst person to complain to about the heat, but I'm glad I could make at least your penultimate stop before home a little brighter," Miri raised her tankard a little and then took a drag. She had ever faith his new weapon would help him through the trials ahead, and perhaps it would remind him that not all his time this far south was bad.

Her tattoos always raised questions about her past at some point or another. She smiled into her own tankard, having caught his eyes roving across her face. The blue slashes were vivid and bold and ran down her face and over her left eye. They were hard not to miss.

"I was, and still am, a member of the Cavalry Unit of my people," she set down the tankard and ran a finger around the rim as she thought about how best to explain her people. "We're a small clan of elves, over to the East in the Wilds. We're a warrior people - as you've pointed out there are a lot of things that want to kill you where the weather is warmest," her lips twitched. "I'm still young, for an elf, and it is very natural for my people to go wander and explore until they reach their sixth decade. You learn more by living in the world than hiding from it. These marks are a symbol of my induction and lifelong commitment to my people, because one day I will return. When I have had my fill of adventures here."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
"Much brighter thank you," Valthar replied, raising his tankard in turn. The gaze he left drift across her afterwards was not entirely subtle. A few drinks and he didn't hide well the thought that the enjoyable evening could be extended to an enjoyable night.

"Hotter than here?" he mused, a look of revulsion passing across his face. It was as hard for him to imagine that as it probably was for her to imagine a place where a sneeze would freeze before it hit the snow.

"So we have revealed that I am a fisherman. A fisherman with an exceptionally fine axe he does not deserve. And that you are a warrior of your people seeking adventure."

His laugh was a hearty sound that momentarily rang out above the din of the bar. The dice game had settled into a regular rhythm. Which was to say the dwarves were only shouting their crude insults at one another every few seconds.

"But if I cannot charter a ship here, I may yet have to take the road north and follow the spine. Find a ship on the North Coast heading for home."
 
  • Sip
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
The look of revulsion made the horsemistress laugh. "In the jungles though, we don't tend to wear as many clothes. It is not so uncomfortable as it is here." Miriel's smile was crooked as she watched his gaze wander. She wasn't a prude, knew her own mind and knew what she liked. She sipped her ale again and thought on what he said.

"If you're heading through The Spine, you'll find worse monsters than witches and necromancers," Miri pulled a face. She loved the wild rugged lands of the mountains her Thorlion called home, but it was gruelling and hard going. There were parts of that vast expanse nobody even knew about, with races and civilisations who would gladly slit a throat to keep their people safe. "Alliria trades frequently with Bhathairk, so you should be able to get passage there, and from there you should be able to get transport to Molthal, and from there on wards to your home," As she spoke she moved a few pieces around on the table in a crude form of a map, and ran her finger in the path she was outlining.

"When you get to Molthal you should find someone called Indell. It's been a few years since I have been that far North, but he is the only other of your kind I've met and actually spoken to, I think he is some sort of merchant," a half shrug. It had only been a passing encounter in the markets there but she had been given the name herself so she dutifully passed it on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
"I cannot imagine worse than the heat here, even with no clothes," Valthar said, shaking his head. There was a slight slur to his words now from the ale. There wasn't much opportunity for drinking on his travels.

"Molthal... I have been warned against the Blightlands. Blight orcs are not so welcoming out outsiders. I might look for a port west of the spine."

He leaned over her makeshift map and traced a version of the spine with his finger. East was the wilds or blightlands. Dangerous places.

"I wonder how many people are warned of visiting the wilds or the tundra," Valthar mused, fishing inside his rather light coin purse. It didn't feel fair to let her buy everything for the stories, as much as he appreciated the gesture.

"A rum?" he asked, laying out some coins on the table. At least a few of them were local currency.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
"You should be fine in Molthal, it is a port town so as long as you do not stray too far..." Miriel moved her finger to the west and drummed them on the wood thinking. "You could try the River Folk and get passage through their routes, but it might take you longer. They're long barges and they like to take their time." An irritatingly long time. The people who lived along the marshy riverlands relied on the barges for news, goods, and more. But then, perhaps he would enjoy the quieter life they would provide.

"Are you sure you can handle another?" the elf's eyes danced with laughter but she did incline her head in an acceptance as she finished the last of her ale. She helpfully indicated the coin that was needed in said establishment. "I cannot speak for how you feel about your homelands, but The Wilds deserve a warning. It is not for the feint hearted, and there are so many of these hunters and adventurers now that I would worry without the warnings, more of them would try their hand at taking it on."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
Valthar watched her drain the last of her mug and laughed. He cast her a look of appreciate not born entirely by the way she handled her drink.

"I may have been on the road by a nordenfiir is not so easily felled," he boasted as two glasses of rum were filled. Valthar had become significantly more expressive with a few drinks inside him. The sudden raise of his eyebrows as he lifted the rum was very deliberate. His boast had not been entirely serious.

"Question is probably rude, but how old is young for an elf?" he asked. Sixty years was more than most humans got. Admittedly it was more than many elves had either. Whilst they could live for hundreds and hundreds of years Arethil was full of danger.
 

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
It was good to see the man come out of his shell a little more, not that the cavalrywoman would have blamed him for being so closed off knowing what she now knew. She had heard of warriors going mad over a lot less. The more he spoke however, the more glad she was that he had taken one of her better axes.

Miri smiled at the barkeepers wife once again appeared to lavish them with drinks and clear their plates and cups away. However, she had a feeling it was because she wanted to know more about this stranger. She shot Miriel a look that said: we are having a long conversation tomorrow. She muffled her laugh with her cup.

"Ask away, I did just bribe you to tell me your horrific stories," Miri waved a hand slightly as if to ward off apologies. She preferred people to be blunt in their questions; it was better than staring or whispers. "Young generally goes all the way up to seven centuries. I myself am just over 200 years old."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
"Seven centuries?" Valthar frowned. It was hard for him to consider such a stretch of time.

"I guess that is how you come to be such an exceptional craftsman," he mused, eyes falling to the axe.

"It feels as if I have been away from home for an eternity and it has just been a year. Does a year feel the same for you as it does for me?" he wondered out loud. "Or an hour?"

Valthar had put the necromancer far out of his mind and hadn't even noticed. The rum burned on the way down, a kind of heat he found far more pleasant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
Miriel smiled, but it was a little sad. It was the curse of being an elf for many and it was often why so many chose not to venture into the rest of the world. Your life continued and your friends from other races died around you in what felt like very little time.

"It depends, kind of like what you just said about your own journey, on emotions attached to certain events and places. My time here feels like it has passed very quickly, yet I saw the current residents here born and I watched their parents grow old and die." 60 years she had been here, for some humans that was a lifetime. "I think, because I was so focused on my business and growing it, and so many things have happened that are positive. Like, now I am looking for apprentices when it feels like I just was the apprentice myself. But, when I was at home... it felt like I had been there for a lifetime. That is when I knew I needed to move on," she raised her shoulders in an apologetic shrug. It was always hard to explain to someone what that was like.

"What is the thing you are most looking forward to when you get back home?" For Miri, it would be to have the delicious Ekrian - a sweet treat that nobody else seemed to have heard of.
 

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
That all made sense. He hadn't meant to put such a melancholy note on the conversation, especially when he was hoping an enjoyable evening could continue on to an enjoyable night. It was a fascinating conversation regardless, and not one he would turn away from.

"You will laugh," he protested, holding her haze and knowing that he was going to lose the battle of wills. "Fine. It is my boat. I miss my boat. I miss the calm of the shallows, especially when the mist rolls in and it is just me, my boat and almost complete silence.

"It is not even a nice boat," he added, feigning a grumpy expression at having the admission drawn out of him. "And you? I bet it is some mystical elven ritual that helps you feel at one with the universe!" he laughed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
And laugh Miriel did.

It seemed like such a ridiculous thing to imagine the hulking mass of man in front of her missing. She tried to conjure the image of him fishing out at sea but she could never quite make it seem real. He had come into her shop announcing he was about to fight a Necromancer; no fisherman she knew would be rushing headlong into such a matter, even if it was paying a pretty penny. But she could respect the need for peace and quiet. The laughter just kept coming when he spoke about a ritual. She actually pressed her hands to her sides her ribs ached so much.

"What on earth do you Nordenfiir think elves do?" she wiped away a tear and chuckled again. "We don't dance around dressed in leaves praying to some elemental divinity." It was true that elves had a natural affinity to the world around them but many of them barely thought much of it. "No... what I miss are Ekrian's. They're these delicious little doughy pastries which are filled with a thick flavoured cream and dried fruits, dusted in sugar. They are heaven," she sighed, almost salivating at the idea herself.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
"Alright, don't break yourself laughing," Valthar warned, placing a hand on her shoulder lightly. He was still laughing himself, a deep rolling sounds that wasn't so far removed from the growl of a bear.

"Elves have sugar? No, no that can't be right. I am certain that you all dress in leaves, pray to forerst gods and eat nothing but berries."

He might have been joking, but in truth Valthar had little in the way of preconceptions about elven culture.

"What is your home like?"
 

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
Miriel finally managed to get her laughter under control - god she hadn't laughed like that for years. Or, perhaps Valthar was right and it had been merely hours to her. The thought threatened to start her off again, but she needn't have worried because he did that for her with the imagery of her people dressed in leaves, praying to forest gods and eating nothing but berries.

"Please, you're going to make me break a rib," she took a long swing of the rum to try and calm herself down and focused instead on the question. How on earth did you explain a Jungle to a man who came from the lands winter never forgot? "Beautiful," it was the only word that really summed it up for her. "Have you ever seen pictures of a jungle? It's kind of like a forest but because it is always so warm it is constantly in flower, there are some as big as a person, some even eat people. Our settlement is sort of in the middle of it. I guess our homes would fit into your nature loving ideas," her lips twitched mid story. "They're built into the trees, so the trunks are hollowed out, or some are built amongst the branches. I feel like I'm describe the complete opposite to what it must be like in your home?"
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
He enjoyed her mirth very much. It lifted some of a solemn weight he hadn't realised he had been carrying. He would never turn from the task of returning home. It was where his heart was. He needed to find out if his uncle had survived, let those know he was still here. They had probably all already grieved for him. Right now, he felt like a real person again, enjoying being with other people. Not quite home, but a little piece of what home meant. Company. Shared laughter.

"I would say that my home was beautiful too, but in the opposite way. Perhaps. I have never seen a painting of your jungle but it sounds...noisy. To tundra has a quiet kind of beauty to look at. You can watch it for a whole day and only the wind will move or make a sound.

"At least you live in trees," he added, wistful smile becoming a chuckle. "I would have been disappointed otherwise," he laughed, finishing his rum.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
Miriel had never thought of her home as noisy before, but now the comparison was set before her she begun to think about it. The noise of the birds was constant, let alone the hum that the heat itself seemed to give off. The Jungle was very much alive and as such it was busy and noisy. Perhaps that is why the city didn't bother her so much. Like the jungle, it never slept. Casting all that from her mind she tried to imagine the complete opposite. Snowy wastelands, biting cold. She could definitely imagine it being beautiful.

"Fine, fine," laughing, Miriel held up her hands in defeat. "I'm glad I have fulfilled one of your stereotypes and provided you some amusement. I shall continue thinking you all live in igloos," she winked and then finished the last of her rum in one last swig.

"Have you got a place to stay tonight?" She had to admit, if they continued drinking, she didn't think he was going to make it back to his inn in one piece.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
Valthar laughed and turned towards her. He didn't want to murmur what came next out of the corner of his mouth. The northerners had a very different attitude to life to their southern cousins. They placed far less value in traditions and moral values that seemed entire pointless to them.

"I'm afraid I have been enjoying our drinks and not even thought to make sure I have a warm bed. But a cold one will suit me fine. Unless of course you wanted to enjoy my company for a while longer?" he asked. There was not even an attempt to skirt around the issues, and his gaze held the promise of making his company enjoyable.

And just like his kind, no offence would be taken if the answer was a firm 'no' either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
It was a breath of fresh air not dancing around the topic. Sometimes it was rather tiring and humans especially liked to do this whole odd back and forth. She was the one with the years to spare yet they were the ones who insisted on taking their time with things. It confused her. She turned the glass of empty rum upside down on the table and stood up with a lazy stretch.

"Well. I have several good bottles of liquor, a warm bed, and a cold floor - you can have your pick," she smirked. "I think a might even have some ice so you can truly feel at home." Let it never be said she didn't want her guests to fill at ease. It probably wouldn't help that one of her rooms was above the furnace itself, but she was sure the ice would help with any cooling down necessary.
 

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
"I'll gladly take the warm bed, some more to drink and we can work out what to do with the ice on the way," he replied with a salacious grin. The broad northman had been on the move for so long that his thoughts had barely extended beyond survival, food and putting one foot in front of the other.

The light had barely faded. There was plenty of time left to make up for that. Valthar felt rather lucky that his first stay with civilisation and he found someone so interesting. A warrior woman, not some meek thing that curseyed and blushed. Miriel certainly hadn't averted her gaze when the question had been asked.

Valthar almost forgot to pick up the axe. That certainly would have soured things after a good start. He picked it up by the haft and leaned it against his shoulder as he followed the elven smith away from the bar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Míriel Fëanorna

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
Miriel chucked to herself as they left the bar. She caught Jaynie's eye on the way out and offered a wink in response to the girls eyebrow raise. She liked the women, even if she was a terrible gossip. Closing the door of the bar behind her she led them back towards her house which was directly next to the forge.

"Just give me a sec, make yourself comfortable I just need to put some hay out for the horses. Rum is in the kitchen!" She nudged the door open to her home and then disappeared round the side where the gate was to the fields.

Miriel would never say she was house proud - it wasn't a place where everything was immaculate, as was demonstrated by the pile of muddy boots by the door - but she did like her house to feel like a home, and it definitely felt like someone had lived in the house for a long time. The door opened onto onto the ground floor which, in keeping with the style of most homes, was an open plan living area, eating area, and cooking area. The floors were solid good oak but sheepskins littered the floor as key areas to keep peoples feet warm during the winter months. Straight ahead was a staircase that effectively split the room in two, with the cooking and eating area to the right and the living space with the large fireplace to the left. The stairs itself split into two and created a small mezzanine on the second floor, with various doors leading off of it.

The kitchen was quite modern; clearly the jungle had not followed her here. An impressive iron stove was the main feature and a fairly large table sat in the middle of the horse shoe the counter tops made. It was at the end of the counter where an impressive collection of different bottles of alcohol stood, glasses hanging from a wooden rail above them.

The living area was a collection of very inviting looking couches and arm chairs. There was a large window to the back of this space with a window seat. Book cases framed it and someone had clearly left in a hurry when they last sat there for a book lay half open and a blanket was on the floor. Throughout, from the large beams and in odd pots dotted here and there were large vines or plants - Miriel was clearly attempting to bring some of the jungle into her own home. It created a cozy and relaxed feeling, almost like you were still outside but with the extra comforts of a home.

Miriel was gone for about 10 minutes before she reappeared plucking hay from her hair and kicking off her boots. "I guess this is probably as close to the jungle as you're going to want to get," she mused as she spotted him looking at the plants.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar

Valthar

Nordenfiir
Messages
198
Character Biography
Link
As she left to thed to her horses, Valthar had paused standing on one of the sheepskin rugs. It struck him that he hadn't even been inside a home for months. The sheepskin was soft on his bare feet and he scrunched his toes into it. Despite the warmth of the evening the fireplace reminded him of home.

He meandered around the living space in a slow circle. First he paused at the book case, noting the volume of tomes but having no way to understand what her topics of interest where. He passed through into the kitchen. A soft clink ringing out as he sorted through the bottles and found a pair of glasses to pour out two long rums. Between the two halves of the ground floor and whatever was up the staircase she had more room than his modest home. That made sense; he was a simple fisherman and she made magically imbued weapons.

What was entirely unfamiliar was the idea of bringing plants indoors. Which was what she found him still mulling over when she returned. With a chuckle he lifted her glass from the table and held it out.

"I have never seen someone grow a plant inside," he admitted. He cast a guilty glance out of the side of his eyes towards the fireplace.

"Could we light a small fire? I miss that," he admitted. There was at least a cool breeze working through the shutters, even if the alcohol had brought its own warmth to his skin.
 

Míriel Fëanorna

Horse Mistress and Blacksmith
Member
Messages
89
Character Biography
Link
Miriel took the glass from his outstretched hand with a smile and then glanced up at the plants. Carefully she reached up and gently ran a finger down the large heart shaped leaf to make sure it didn't need watering. It surprised a lot of people when they entered her home - cut flowers yes, but growing plants? It was a bit more unusual.

"Well I can't disappoint everyone by not having some nature in my home to dance around and pray too," her voice was solemn but her eyes were laughing. When he asked about the fire Miri raised an eyebrow in surprise - she would have thought he would be asking for all the windows to be opened. It was reasonable cool to her in here, but then she was used to the heat. "Sure, there's flint and wood in the basket - would you mind? I'm just going to grab some snacks," a sheepish smile. "Alcohol makes me peckish," she admitted before disappearing to the kitchen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Valthar