Børæn walks into the inn, and at his side walks Talvi.
The first thing everyone notices is that both man and wolf have a red hand print on their faces. The second thing they notice is that both wolf and man seem to mirror each other’s mood. They are angry. The two look like the dark clouds of summer that fill the sky before it opens and the lightning strikes the land.
Sitting, he speaks in a low harsh voice.
Evil has befallen Turgon and the shrine of Me’sha. My travels there had me find no one. In fact, you do not find anyone; even the Little Ones (goblyns) are gone.
What did I find? The signs of battle. Blood splashed on the ground. Some human, some not, most likely the blood of the Little Ones. Furthermore one of the buildings has the signs of an attempted burning, but that doesn’t appear to have fully happened – either the fire did not fully start or it was put out.
I was, and still am, angry.
When I entered Me’sha’s shrine I sat and mediated. I was then struck by a vision. I still see it in my eyes.
I opened them and saw a lovely woman standing there. There were flowers in her hair, a riotous collage of colors and shapes. She looked at me, but was distracted.
“I’ve already accepted you, why do you need proof? Does not the spring turn to summer? Will it not happen? Do you need the sun to come thump you on the head to personally let you know that it’s happening? You interest me, but this pedantic droning of do this, I need that… enough!” she snaps. “My people are spread out, some taken, some killed. And you want something? Save my people. You’ll have your purpose. Go save my people to the north and to the south. Find the riders in black and the riders in gold. THEY need to pay for what they’ve done!” Suddenly the temperature drops and frost is all around you, chilling you to the bone. Her hands are covered in ice, clenched in fists and her eyes shine with the cold of winter.
And then… she was gone, and quick as a spring rain. Time returned to me, and Talvi was at my side, and within her eyes I saw my vengeance reflected.
Leaving the shrine, Talvi and I begun our search. We found no bodies. Only the remains of battle. From what I could tell, there were probably a few deaths, but I am not a tracker.
We did find two separate sets of tracks and marks of battle. The ones from the south came in on horse and foot. The ones from the north came on horseback. It was hard to tell who came first, or at what time, or if separately.
The more we searched, we found other things. First Ja’Kar’s glaive still stood but the flowers and vines are withered. But the glaive remains and is untouched.
Talvi, much to her amusement confined the two trails I “found,” but she found a third leading east into the Dark Woods. The trail was that of goblyn.
I unslung my two axes, and whispered to Talvi it was time to hunt. We have hunted all of our life, and I let her lead, following some paces behind. I hoped for a battle, and bringing the bracelet of Ja’Kar to my mouth I kissed and whispered: “Use me as the weapon of your fury Me’sha, and let me vent your rage upon your enemies.”
Ten. Fifteen minutes pass as we hunted. Talvi sometimes in the lead, sometimes I am in the lead, but the trail leads directly east.
Talvi suddenly stopped. Then she did something rare, and something she has never done in a hunt, she whined! Laying down she was alert, but respectful?
I left Talvi and approached the area and saw something I still do not believe.
The Little Ones were here, and were tending… a garden. Roughly a fifty foot diameter circle, the vines from the glaive, were here and wild flowers grew about..
One of the Little Ones clearly showed has if he was badly wounded, and their numbers were smaller.
Entering, I simply spoke: “Hello Little Ones it is I Børæn. I have returned to a disturbing scene. What has happened to our friends? Me’sha has given me a terrible vision. You know me and Talvi can we come to you and offer you aid? Could you tell me what happened?”
At first, they kept to their gardening. It was then that I noticed bandages on their heads, over their eyes. And yet, they moved about, tending very carefully to the plants and small bushes. A couple of them appeared to simply be sitting in front of a flower, perhaps meditating. Their movements seemed very deliberate, precise, worshipful.
If that was not strange enough, the Little Ones looked as if they were dancing while they carried out their work. Every plant they touched, and then seemed to grow. Truly the goddess works through them.
It was then, a severely injured one approached me. It isn’t bleeding, but scabs and deep cuts are testament it was a victim of a brutal attack. Though he did not speak, he took my hand and traced the cut from which I took my blood oath. He sniffed it, and then pointed both north and south. No words were spoken, but he pat Talvi on her head, who seemed to suddenly appear, and the Little One then went back to work with the gardeners.
When I went to buy red paint I meet Thjoldoff who I shared a few drinks with. While we played cards I told him about the Lightbringers we have meet, as well as what I had seen at the home of my adopted clan. He then went on to tell me much.
He’s heard more about the so-called “Lightbringers”, the folks in the taverns and inns are very opinionated about them. Some are glad as they were worried about the effects of the “cultists” of the old gods causing problems. They think that perhaps Averin was a bit too friendly/soft, compared to what Phaellym (the former priest who killed himself) used to say. Others think that the Lightbringers don’t act much like the more popular priests of the Light, such as Mazlor “the Mighty”, and they think they act like thugs. Nobody is really sure where they come from and some wonder if the Lightbringers are actually friends and neighbors.
He heard a couple of bards saying that there was news from Yew about the fall of that town. They’d heard them playing in old Fawn, a few days out from Enonia. News that MEN were in league with the Orcs. That they wore black. If they are raiding this far south. It was this part that made his mood grow darker.
I am no Lore Spinner, or Story Teller. This is what I have discovered and learned.
Though I have made the blood oath to free the city, my adopted clan is in danger. My goddess is angry and calls for me to bring her rage. Nothing is more important than this. Nothing. This speaks of a growing evil and darkness, and it is up to not only Talvi and I, but all of us to stand against it.
It is then the man stands and unfurls what can only be described as a banner.
This is banner of my hunt. It will fly as Talvi and I hunt my prey. I will fight, and I hope you do the same.