- Dec 13, 2013
A Productive Reunion
A letter arrives in Ordivantes, addressed to Einir Tudonii. It bears the seal of House Krestarii (set 18 years into epilogue)
Come to Norseland. Meet me at the Bald Mule in Stronghelm. Tell no one.
I need you.
He looked at the letter again once more wondering what this was all about. Einir had just recently been named High Chief and had other priorities. Still the letter had seemed urgent even if from a crush he had not seen in years. A light dusting of snow fell around on the wooded hill he stood upon. Small pines sarting up as best they could, yet others bent down toward the earth from the weight of snow.
Incase of danger he wore a battle attire, which was mainly woad war paint all along his body. Unlike his father or uncle Einir had grown up holding on deeply to the older ways of thought in Ordivantes. He too considered these markings magic and able to help protect against wounds as well as full plate armor. He had used his wool tartan cloak to wrap around himself providing exceptional warmth in the chilling surroundings. His trousers were a simple brown, matching his mudded boots.
He saw the Bald Mule in the distance, a tavern by the looks of it. Quickly again he perused the contents of the hastily written letter once more before walking down to the meeting place. The snow falling into his blondish brown hair, and the reflection of the sun in the early light blinding his green eyes.
Some hours pass before the heavy door opens to a swirl of snow. Garbed in a simple cloak, a hood drawn up to conceal her face, a woman enters. She stands for a moment, before slipping back out the door.
Curious, Einir heads to the door. Heading out into the snow, he catches a glimpse of the robed woman disappearing into the treeline ahead. He quickly rushes that position with little thought put behind it, his instincts seemed to just kick in. Boldly forward he sprinted over to the treeline after his peculiar quarry.
A trail of footsteps in the fresh fallen snow lead Einir to a clearing, at the far end stands the woman, facing her pursuer. She pulls her hood from her face, revealing herself to be Narien Krestarii. She smiles wide. “Einir.”
In that single moment he was taken back to all those few but happy times he had dealt with her. Manipulative yes but still something to cherish. A whole lifetime of work to be groomed into a High Chief to restore lost honors and gain new power went away. Like when he last met her a simple hello became “your beautiful.”
Narien flushed and managed a laugh, crossing the clearing in a sure stride to embrace Einir. Resting her arms about his shoulders, she pulled him in. “It’s good to see you. Thank you for coming.”
Managing to compose himself as had been beaten into him he coughs a tad to air out any other unintended responses. “You are quite welcome now what is this all about?”
Narien’s smile quickly fades, her bottom lip quivers and her gaze drops to the ground. “I didn’t know where else to turn. My whole world has been turned upside down, Einir.” She begins to tremble and loses her voice.
It was truly a saddening face even Einir a young man who had already seen much death and caused suffering of his own felt moved. He both loved and hated that some unknown force constantly drove him to her. As his walls melted at Narien’s weeping he lifted her chin p gently to lock eyes with her’s and said “please tell me what I can do for you.”
She took a deep breath, her lips steadying. “Take me away. Away from all this. Not to a life of court gossip and intrigue, not to be sworn oaths and given service, but to a place where I can be free.”
“The only place I could offer is Ordivantes, though we too have our own rivalries. They are just cleaner than court intrigue.” He responded giving the honest answer. He would gladly take her away but there was an important question “why not just leave on your own?”
“Trust me when I say it is not that easy. I… I am a prisoner here.”
A skeptical look briefly crossed his face. Then as if the answer was clear he said “then just leave with me now, you seem well out of the way.”
Narien broke down in tears, pulling Einir close. “Thank you, Einir. Thank you, thank you!” She planted a wet kiss on his cheek as she pulled away, stifling a laugh. “There is just one thing I have to do. Can you wait for me, back at the tavern? I’ll be back before next sunrise.”
“Would it not be best to just leave now…”
Narien placed a hand on his cheek, interrupting him, her eyes boring into his. “I have to see this through. Do you trust me, Einir?”
Nowhere near comfortable with this he reluctantly agreed and said, “no but I think the past has shown I’m willing to forgive you. If you don’t come back I’m tracking you down this time that’s a promise.” Then he ended the line by quickly pulling her in for a kiss on the lips.
Narien returned the kiss, gently pulling away. “Keep your sword arm ready. Should you hear the tolling of bells, unsheathe your sword and watch for my coming.” She walked gracefully through the trees, disappearing in the brush.
“Damn that woman and the feelings she rises in me” he muttered to himself while rubbing the back of his head. With nothing better to do he went back to the Bald Mule as requested and took to sharpening his weapons; a wilder straight sword; alma style war axe; and a boot knife. Beyond that he simply waited for the next sunrise.
The time passed slowly, the patrons of the Bald Mule came and went, some approached the Wilder with curiosity and requests of news and songs, but their queries are soon drowned out by their thirst for drink and he is regarded as nothing more than an oddity within the inn.
Finally, as the hours of night waned and the east began to glow with pre-dawn gloom, there was a quiet rasp at the door of the inn. Einir looked at the door’s direction his hand had already moved onto the hilt of his sword, without even noticing at first it was there himself. Casually he pivoted out of his seat and went to a much more strategic part of the tavern floor, getting an itching feeling fun was about to commence.
The knock came again, slightly louder and more insistent. The door opened a crack, and Narien’s head poked through, she waved Einir to come hither. He followed her request and went to the door. She pulled him through. Outside were two saddled horses.
“Come, Einir. We must ride.”
“Ladies first” he said with a smirk. Then jumped onto his horse after she had climbed onto her’s. “Lead the way.”
Narien took a lasting look over her shoulder, at the grim walls of the castle with it’s rising towers. “I owe you an apology, Einir.” She broke her gaze and fixed her eyes upon the wilder’s. “That dagger you gave me, all those years ago… I left it behind. Buried it in my husband’s fucking neck.” She snapped her reins and her steed sped over the horizon.
He sped after her in kind and once in range of easy hearing asked “did you not cut off his head?” After all to the wilder there was no other way to ensure her husband’s angry spirit wouldn’t immediately go after them. The fact that she killed this mysterious husband he had never heard of before wasn’t that important because he came for her not him, and now he has her.
She muttered a response beyond hearing. Faintly behind them a bell could be heard, and when the wind gusted strongly enough from behind them, it seemed the sound of steel followed, and the shouts of dying men. Einir seemed to notice the sounds while Narien didn’t or just simply ignored them “care to humor me about what that cacophony is?”
Narien’s gaze was fixed ahead. “Half-Moon’s death throes.”
Though momentarily taken aback that she had just killed the king of the nords he simply kept the usual cold facade. With an apathetic shrug “good job. Where to next do you still wish to accompany me back home or stop by your old one of the chasm to depart me?”
With a snort, the horse heeded the reins and slowed to a trot. Narien looked back, as if she would espy a column of Nord soldiers marching for blood. Satisfied they escaped pursuit, she turned to Einir, her face as stone. “We ride straight for Ordivantes. We’ll take the Thaanos pass, and cross from the south. I don’t want… I just want to avoid Galadriel.”
Leaning forward some what with his own stony expression gained from his warrior lifestyle. “By all means then” he motioned for them to continue their journey, and he just casually began to trot ahead.