Fable - Ask The Tides of Fate

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Kol

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As Ruvsa dressed herself the skinwolf seemed to stare. He stood a head and a half taller than Kol, his beady eyes peering at the Sorcerer. Lips curled back in disgust. He glanced over towards the other four Nordwiir, particularly Estrid.

Something lingered in the air there, something unsaid. Kol only stared at the man, his head held high. It was as though he were daring the man.

Arthix growled low, and then slowly he turned away and stalked off towards the crowd. The instant Arthix drew near people seemed to flow away. A child whimpered, hiding behind her mothers leg as the Skinwolf stepped passed.

Kol seemed to sway in place for a moment, grabbing onto the splinter of wood in his side. A grimace flickered over his lips as he looked after Arthix, then glanced at Ruvsa. "Only my best."

The Sorcerer said with a wry smile.

"Help me to the twins, would you?" Kol said. "Between having my larynx crushed and this thing in my side I'm finding it difficult to stand."

He'd no problem admitting weakness, not right now. The Dark Gods whispered in his ear of course, offered their power, their hand, but it wasn't time. Not yet. His strength needed to be saved.

Just in case.
 

Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá had not expected there to be quite this many Nordwiir here, and as the air fairly crackled with tension, she wondered what history there was between Kol and this... Arthix. Clearly, besides the abandonment thing, there was some sort of issue between them.

She ignored Arthix when he stalked away, turning her attention back to Kol. At his request, Ruvsá nodded, ducking under his arm on his non-wounded side to support him.

"That will get infected," Ruvsá muttered to him as they took slow steps across the square. "This is not the type of impaling I had in mind for tonight's fun."

She jerked her head in the direction of the other Nordwiir. "Do any of them have skill in healing? I'll admit that a wound of this type is a little beyond my meager expertise."
 
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Kol

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Kol chuckled. "Doesn't feel as good for me either."

The Sorcerer said with a shake of his head, hand flicking over the piece of wood stuck into his side.

In the back of his mind the Dark Gods called out to him. They offered healing. They offered strength. All he had to take was another step, another little move towards them. What was another piece of him? What was another part of a thousand already given?

But he resisted. Waited.

"No." He told her softly. "Estrid and Elwin are undying, until they face a Titan."

That was their blessing. Their gift from the Dark Gods. "Saemund holds the blessings of Ithrir, fire and inferno."

If nothing else he would be useful when taking the siege engines.

"And Bjorn...he is...hard to describe. Suffice to say, his touch is not healing. The Sorcerer shook his head, looking up at Ruvsa. "I'll be alright, but the conversation needs to be had first."

To ensure no one would slit his throat. "Then we find somewhere quiet."
 
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Ruvsá

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A lot of what Kol said meant little to Ruvsá. Undying and titans... a god whose name meant nothing to her. Fire, though...

"If that wound needs cauterizing, fire could be helpful," Ruvsá replied. If this Saemund had decent control of it, it would be better than trying to do it with a hot blade.

They were near the twins then, though, and Ruvsá carefully helped him the remainder of the distance, just giving the two women a tight smile and a nod in way of greeting. She stayed tucked under Kol's arm to let him lean on her.
 
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Kol

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Kol nodded.

The wound was deep, and had he been an ordinary man it likely would not have healed on it's own. For Kol though, that sort of thing was different. The Dark Gods would bless him once he desired, would take the pain and the marring of his flesh away.

But he had to ask.

A favor, another sliver of his soul. The Sorcerer was not unwilling, but he had to bide his time. If the others decided to side with Arthix there would be trouble, the sort which he could only solve with the Blessings of his gods. "Estrid, Elwin."

Kol said in greeting, the twins standing forward a bit. Both of them stared at Kol, Estrid with a softer expression than her sister. Then they looked towards the two men expectantly.

"Saemund, I see the fire has not consumed you." Then he peered at Bjorn. "You've lived well in this village?"

There was a pause, a long pause. Then finally Bjorn broke the silence.

"Better since the Orcs showed up, numbers are too few in the northmen...they notice."

Saemund let out a laugh, and with that the tension seemed to break slightly. Estrid stepped forward to Kol's side, helping Ruvsa take some of the Sorcerer's weight from her shoulder.

"Come, this way. We have a hut to ourselves, we'll patch you up there."

Estrid said, looking to Ruvsa to help hobble the injured Sorcerer towards the other side of the village. "Did the others leave?"

"No. Arthix lead them across the river a few weeks ago. He was the only one that came back."

Ah. When he'd left this city there had been near enough a dozen or so Nordwiir who had chosen to stay. On the original raid there had been near ten times that number of course, but he'd sent the majority home to the Isles with their takings. Those who had not gone had wanted to follow him further on, something There Sorcerer himself had not wanted.

Kol gave Ruvsa a look, one that warned her not to get too comfortable with any of his kin.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá didn't try yet to keep straight which twin had which name. One of them seemed... oddly gently, for what Ruvsá expected of the Nordwiir, though. She was the one who stepped to Kol's other side to help support him.

She nodded as the woman mentioned a hut, and with the two of them supporting Kol they were able to move through the village a little faster. The conversation was... interesting, but she didn't really have anything to contribute, at least not to all of them. If Kol wanted her insights later, he would ask.

When Kol looked down at her, with a cautious warning in his eye, Ruvsá laughed softly and just nodded. Even if she had known nothing about his people, the conversation alone would have made her distrustful. It didn't do to be careless and trusting around one person who openly admitted he was behind people's disappearances, and another who'd led people away only to return alone.

"We'll need clean rags and water that's been boiled and cooled," Ruvsá said as they neared the hut. Her gaze shifted to Saemund. "And the wound might need cauterizing. I won't know until I can look at it closer."

She glanced back up at Kol. "Might as well try to give your gods as little to do as possible."
 
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Kol

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The hut was something of a shamble, at least on the outside.

Much of the structure appeared as though it were about to fall into pieces, thought as Elwin opened the door it became clear that the building was anything but. The inside of the hut was near enough luxurious. A dozen beds lined the outside, a hearth fire sitting at the very center of the building.

There were no decorations on the wall, thought carvings of strange runes seemed to decorate many of the wooden features. As they carried Kol inside Saemund replied to Ruvsa.

"Aye, that will be no problem."

The man said with a nod, Kol grimacing as the two women lead him towards one of the cot like beds.

"Leathers off first, eh?" The Sorcerer said with a grimace, his hand still half settled on the wooden spear in his side.

Estrid only gave a grim nod, stripping off Kol's armor.

As the leather fell away the extent of the wound became more than clear. The splinter of wood was near an inch around, it's head having impaled directly between Kol's last two ribs. His flesh sealed it in place, it's point likely having barely just missed his vital organs.

Kol glanced down at it, scowling. "Arthix always did know how to throw."

He said with a grimace, looking up at Ruvsa.

"One of you pull it out, Saemund seals the wound?" The Sorcerer asked.
 

Ruvsá

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"No." Ruvsá almost rolled her eyes at how idiotic Kol's suggestion was. "I need to make sure it didn't impale your liver and nick or sever an artery. Even cauterizing won't help if an artery is shredded. But I suppose you should be grateful that it wasn't higher, otherwise you'd have a punctured lung."

As she talked, Ruvsá removed her vambraces and rolled up her sleeves. "A wound that deep needs to bleed a little before it's closed up, too, or else it will get infected. And I need to make sure there's no splinters left behind."

She glanced over at the twins. "I'll need that boiled water and clean rags," she said. "Whatever lanterns or candles you have as well, so I can see properly."

Ruvsá knelt beside the cot then, looking at the wound as best she could without actually touching it. "Hopefully it's just in the muscle," she muttered. "If it made it to the liver, things will be much more complicated.

"Seamund, I'll need you right beside me when we get started," she said, "so I can show you exactly where to use your... fire."

She sighed then, and looked at Kol. "It's going to hurt."
 
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Kol

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For a few moments the Nordwiir did not move as Ruvsa spoke to them. Each of them seemed to tense, Saemund raised an eyebrow.

Estrid and Elwin stared at Kol intently, watching for his reaction.

It was their way. Nordwiir did not respect any leadership save for strength. They had seen Ruvsa fight Kol, but only in hand to hand combat. Kol had earned the respect of his people not through such things, but the magic that clung to him.

He knew what they expected, knew that they thought the Dark Gods could simply heal their chosen. They were not wrong of course, but theirs was a power he knew he would need later. Using it now would be a waste, selling a sliver of himself for a pittance.

"Do it." The Sorcerer said with a grimace. "There is blood and death ahead."

Kol told them. "I will not waste what I have."

The logic seemed to resonate with the others, and quickly they sprang into action. Estrid and Elwin gathered water, torches and candles were quickly set, and Kol glanced down towards Ruvsa.

"You might...see something unpleasant." He told her. "Looking into the wound."

The words were cryptic, quiet, but a warning nonetheless. "Don't worry too much."
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá nodded grimly at Kol's words as the others sprang into action. She pulled a stool over and directed where the candles and torches were set so she wouldn't cast a shadow over where she needed to see. When the water was boiling, she ladled some out into a smaller bowl and directed everyone to clean their hands as thoroughly as possible. Then she poured hot water over some of the cloths and let them soak, and set more of the water aside where she could reach it easily to rinse blood off her hands whenever needed.

She directed Seamund to sit right beside her, and had Estrid and Elwin restrain Kol's hands and legs. "Sit on him, if you have to," she said. "Hopefully he'll pass out... but some reason I doubt that will happen."

Finally, she wrung out one of the hot, wet cloths till it was just damp, and grabbed a wad of dry cloths in her other hand.

"All right," she told Seamund. "Pull it out."
 
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Kol

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Estrid and Elwin reached for Kol, following Ruvsa's directions, yet as their hands moved towards him The Sorcerer only shook his head.

The twins seemed to stall for a moment, and then they simply stood by at the ready. Both of them knew better than to disobey, knew what could happen if Kol became truly angry with them. At the same time they did not want to tempt fate, and thus simply remained at the ready.

Saemund on the other hand gave no second of hesitation.

He stepped forward just as Ruvsa spoke, grabbing the end of the massive splinter and gripping it tight. There was just a brief breath, a moment, and then the Nordwiir wrenched the small pike out of Kol's side.

The Sorcerer's eyes bulged for a brief moment, his lips parting in a gasp as pain wracked through the entirety of his body. His skin rolled with goosebumps, fingers tightening on his knees as an odd sort of agony rushed over his form.

As the pain game, the wound in his side began to burn.

Brackish black blood began to slowly pour from the gash like molasses, dripping down his skin at a steady pace. Within the wound itself Ruvsa would see flesh, and yet something else. Movement, a strange sort of worm like creature that seemed to slowly knit through his flesh.

No organs had been pierced, not that she would see, but the wound was deep. Enough that an ordinary man would have bled much more.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá sighed a little as Kol made Estrid and Elwin stand back, but if he wanted to risk the extra hurt of he flinched wrong, then that was on him.

As soon as Seamund pulled the splinter of wood out, Ruvsá moved. While the wound bled, she used the dry cloths to mop up the blood that seeped out, wincing at sight of the wormlike creature within it.

Then she grimaced, and carefully thrust a finger into the wound, slowly prodding to make sure that there were no more pieces of the splinter within it.

"It all feels like muscle, thankfully," she muttered, forcing herself to ignore the... other thing. She doubted she could pull it out. Even if it was tangible, she didn't want to think of what it might do to her if she tried. "The wood missed your liver."

She took her finger out and wiped it on the dry cloths, then gently stuffed the damp cloth into the seeping wound. She stepped away to rinse her hands. If she'd had a way to stitch the wound closed, she would have preferred that. But Seamund would have to take care of it now.

"Don't let him thrash," she warned Estrid and Elwin.

"When I pull out the cloth," Ruvsá said to Seamund, "start cauterizing. Don't go too deep into the flesh, just sear the raw parts of the wound."

She glanced at Estrid and Elwin to see if they were ready, then back at Seamund. Without a warning, she gripped the edges of the damp, bloodied cloth and tanked it out.
 
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Kol

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When Ruvsa stuck her digit into the wound Kol let out a small yelp of pain. His lips parted, and Elwin immediately put a hand on his shoulder to stop him from jerking around. Fingers dug tightly into his bare skin, and the woman stared into his eyes.

The only comfort she offered him was a shake of her head.

It was almost like a dare. A small prod. It seemed that without a word the Nordwiir seemed to tell Kol one simple thing; Move, and you'll be marked by weakness.

His people prided themselves upon what they could survive. Their home was one of death. A day without the proper care could see you die in a hundred different ways. A week without care and you would certainly pass. A wound was no different.

This was a pain they could handle, that they expected him to cope with.

Kol took in a deep breath, wincing slightly as Ruvsa withdrew her digit and spoke quickly to Saemund.

As she spoke the devotee seemed to stretch. His shoulders squared, and fingers slowly scrunched into a fist. A tilt of his head was the only answer she would receive, his finger flicking forward. There was a brief spark, and then fire broke into life.

Then another spark of pain flowed through Kol.

Ruvsa ripped the cloth free, it's linens stained with that odd black blood. He took in a sharp breath, and then Saemund reached over to sear his flesh shut. In an instant the small cabin was filled with the scent of burnt skin, wafting into the air and giving a sickly aroma of death to the air.

Kol grimaced, a throaty growl of pain escaping him as his flesh was sealed.
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá's nose wrinkled at the smell of burning flesh, but as soon as Saemund was finished, she was dabbing at the wound with a clean cloth and wiping up the last traces of blood as she checked the wound. There was still a hole, but it was not raw and bleeding anymore, and she nodded with satisfaction.

"Well done," she told Saemund, then looked at Elwin. "You can let Kol go now."

She had Kol sit up then, and put a folded square of clean cloth over the wound, then bound it in place with a longer strip around his torso. "You'll have to be careful until it's healed," she said, "whether naturally or by... other means. If you strain it too much it could open and bleed again."
 
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Kol

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Elwin released Kol's shoulder, her touch lingering for only a moment after Ruvsa spoke. "Mm."

The Sorcerer responded with a nod as the Nordenfiir instructed him.

There was little chance for rest of course, perhaps a few hours, a day at most until Menalus' fleet appeared on the horizon. Yet his body would do the work of healing, at least enough that it would not become a problem. He hoped anyway.

After a moment more he spoke again.

"There will be battle soon." He looked up at the Nordwiir. "Make sure you're ready for it."

The Nordwiir all looked at each other, sharing glances. Then slowly they nodded. "Elwin, Saemund. Go see to Arthix."

The two always did get along the best with the skinwolf.

"Bjorn, join those at the docks. Watch them closely." The words were cryptic, but there was another nod and then he broke away.

"And me?"

Estrid ask, taking an eager step forward. "Watch the Jarl."

There was a sharp nod, and then the twin turned on her heel and followed the others out the door.
 
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