Under an open, empty sky, Louvin sits on the deck of the barge he finds himself whittling a series of runes into a chunk of wood. The calm, organic feel of finished moulding always felt good to him after a day and a night of stress. Running the fingers of his gauntleted hand along the smooth edges he could find every spot of imperfection and remove it with a light flick of a knife. If only life was more like whittling, a calm removal of imperfections while you sat watching the rise and fall of the rivers water. Unfortunately, as any Weaponsmith will tell you, life is forged; it is hot and it is hard. With a grunt at that thought he rearranged the bundle on his lap that contained his tools and the strange artifact that his new companions had given him. Slowly it was whispering its story to him, the sense of his understanding with it was only just beginning, but so was his understanding with the rest of this crew.
The runes depicted the events of that day:
A group entered the safe-lodge clearly out of place. A first it was thought they could be Therans given that they had two spellcasters, one of whom was an elf clearly not from Wyrmwood. In an attempt to seem inconspicuous they made the rounds talking with as many members of the bar as they could and excitedly interacting with the Theran bulletins as if they had never seen them before. I’ve seen young children do the same.
However, despite this windling-like wonder at the world there was an edge to them that spoke of experiences that most Name-givers understand. Wherever they had come from they were prepared/ing for the worst at every turn. I kept my head down and my hand hidden.
A local made to call for the authority and the strangers seemed to understand this. A beast burst in the doors, a horrific thing that set upon the occupants of the safe-lodge. At the same time a band of Therans were calmly approaching. Typical, a horror-construct or other such thing is about and they come for the people they are supposed to protect. Of course, maybe they don’t need to protect the strangers they were so obviously after, but the beast wasn’t attacking them… only the soldiers in the bar…
In the brief struggle outside some blows were traded and the strangers handily defeated the Theran band. It was surprising to see the strangers show mercy. The could have eliminated the whole troop but only the Theran nethermancer died… and who can blame you for killing a nethermancer?
During the struggle I slipped on board their boat. Though I did nothing to stow myself away I wasn’t noticed until the barge was sliding away from the burning docks. The discussion was brief and to the point. Some of them had seen the bulletin branding me an outlaw. They knew I wasn’t with the Therans. They needed someone who knows about the world because their Kaer only just cracked.
An alliance of mutual necessity was formed. They have typical Kaer-Cracked notions of striking back at the Therans which I like so I shared my knowledge of the local region and we set about to make for Iopos. From there we are trusting a nethermancer (what did I say about them?) to make use of some kind of portal that will take us to the Trolls I was running with until our recent failed weapons run.
Louvis moved the fingers of his gauntlet watching the beautiful interlocking plates mesh and slide noiselessly. He smiled and took a deep breath of the river air. It was fishy and smelled brown, not like the air up high on an airship. It was alive and moving.