What the Letters Say

What the Letters Say

Dear Rheb,

In ten day’s time, I will come with a few traders and goodsmen from Durrow and the nearby lands. I will sell for a few; we shall have summer vegetables, breads and dried meats, and some clothing, and I had Callee, my Hobbit friend, brew my favorite honeymead for you.

I believe it best if only the women come to do the trading. If there are Men-men, and not Orc-men, that should be fine, but I hope to establish create a good relationship before the others discover you have orcs. I want to protect you and your people from those who will not understand.

I hope you are well. We miss you.

With love,

Kwen

~~~***~~~

To the Keeper of the House of Medicine of Dol Amroth:

How are you, Nestor? I do hope life has settled for you and no further mischief has overcome the city. You know my propensity for disliking Dol Amroth, but I do love the people there and hope they have found happiness during the summer months.

I am writing to request the list of herbs accompanying this letter. I have a patient here in Bree who would benefit from their properties. If you have any insight into how to brew them in a way that would most benefit someone having nightmares, I would greatly appreciate your wisdom.

Wishing you and your city good health and happy days,

Cwendlwyn Tain of Bree
Field medic of the Wayfarers

~~~***~~~

Dear Callee,

I have spoken with Oendir and the eleventh it is. If you could arrive on the ninth for final preparations, I believe we will be able to solidify all plans in time.

Neilia looks forward to seeing you. Do you think the larkspur back by the lilies would survive the trip? I wish my garden here was more established. I am hoping Oen will agree to me keeping the property and continuing with my plant nursery. I do not see why he would be opposed to it.

All my love, darling,

Cwen

~~~***~~~

Dear Kupsa,

Damn, I hope you can read common. Have your dad read this to you if you can’t. ORENDIR <— have him read it!

I just wanted to say hi and ask how everyone was up there. Is it really still ice even though it is summer? Bree is all right. There’s lots of flowers and honey to be had and everything tastes fresh. You should come visit with your brother and sister sometime. I think you folks would love it, especially Kipina. How is she, by the way?

Vahan is doing great. I know he’s just the runt, but down here, he’s really something special. My brother Eirikr is training him and he’s pretty good most of the time. He gets along really well with our other dog, Bear, but not so much with my sister’s cats. But no one really gets along with them.

Maybe this year we can come visit you again. I think Vahan misses the snow.

Write back! (if you can)

Your friend,

Abiorn of Dale

~~~***~~~

Dear cats that belong to my sister:

STAY OFF MY BED.

I know you can read this, you blasted lynx.

~~~***~~~

Dear Father,

The relic is still guarded well by a sorcerer of some power. My own is not strong enough to dispel the wards placed over it.

I am biding my time and getting to know the people, as you said. There is one who is incredibly suspicious of me; I recall his face from the Ranger’s keep. It is hard to forget.

I do not feel as though he is a normal grave-digger. The girl disappeared for several days after he did; he returned with a sword of some magnificence, but otherwise appears unchanged. How would you like for me to proceed with him?

I will travel to the ruins as before. North, this time.

Your daughter

~~~***~~~

Your excellency,

It is with great pleasure that I congratulate you on the engagement of your son Dunstan to the daughter of Magan. He is a fine man. My only regret, of course, is that it is not my daughter! The foolish girl does not deserve so fine a young man.

Regarding the shipment, it is on schedule to arrive in two weeks. Your influence with the Captain of the Guard will be most beneficial to its safety. Again, I cannot thank you for your assistance in this matter in any other way than my support for your illustrious position. May your court remain true to justice and continue to measure the men of Dale with its wisdom and mercy.

Kolrson, son of Sote

Advertisements

Secrets and Lies

Somehow, despite everyone’s best efforts to stay together, the shadowed spirit forest managed to scatter them far and wide. Abiorn can no longer see or hear any of the other Wayfarers. There is only icy snow, and the smell of wet bark, and snow-patched boughs of pine.

Kipinä’s voice rang out through the forest.”Abbi?! Abbi! Help!”

Abiorn paused in his stride and looked up wildly. He turned a full circle, batting boughs out of his face and getting smacked about by them in the process.

“Kip?! Kipinä! Kipinä, where are you?” he shouted as he spun.

Ahead, between the trees, Kipinä lay prone, struggling to escape the clutches of a slithering, undulating shadow creature. Angry red eyes flashed from within its depths as ht clutched at her legs.

A frightened gasp escaped Abiorn as he rushed toward her. “No!” he cried as he grasped at her. “Kick, Kip, kick it off!” He pulled on her shoulders.

Kipinä wept as she gripped at his hands.

“Help me, Abbi! You have to pull! You have to be stronger than it!”

Stricken by her tears, Abiorn wrapped his arms beneath hers and started hauling back with all his might. The tension in his jaw as he ground his teeth against the pain was reflected in his eyes as he kept pulling.

“Don’t give up, Kipinä!” he growled. He tugged again and then shouted at the spirit.

“Oi! Gerroff her! Let go of her!”

Eventually, the demon squealed, and released its hold on her. It bubbled back down into the snow, and is gone.

“Thank you!” said Kipinä. She threw her furred arms around his neck, and kissed him passionately. Her body trembled with lingering fear.

Startled, Abiorn froze with his arms still about Kipinä’s torso. After the shock melted into the sensation of her lips against his, he closed his eyes and pulled her tightly against him as he returned the kiss. With passionate eagerness that bordered on clumsiness, his lips moved against hers and parted instinctively.

Kipinä’s kiss was bold and exploratory. Her gloved hands patted his cheeks and neck, and finally came to rest in the v of his furred collar. She grinned, a nit shyly.

“I’ve been wanting to do that since we met.”

Breathless and blinking, Abiorn tried to focus.

“No…” he finally managed to piece together, “wait. You… no, you barely… how are you here?”

His pale brow furrowed with his confusion and he looked about them for answers.

Kipinä leaned back, and stared at him.

“…I followed you,” she said, uncertainly. “I was worried.”

“Step away from the boy,” said a deep, rich voice from behind Abiorn.

A massive white bear galloped through the snow, its dark eyes fixed on Kipinä. Kipinä scrambled away, eyes wide.

Abiorn blinked and then looked back and forth between bear and Kipinä without understanding.

“Wha-?”

The white bear lifted a massive paw, and slashed at Kipinä. The girl went flying backward, screaming as blood gushed from her.

Alarmed, Abiorn reached out for Kipinä.

“No! What are you doing! What is going on?”

He turned to stare at the bear for a moment and then back at Kipinä.

“Look,” rumbled the bear.

Kipinä’s body slowly faded, and then burst into a plume of black, smoky shadow. Slowly, the shadow drifted away on the wind, leaving nothing behind.

“Nothing familiar can be trusted, in this place,” said the bear. He swung his mighty head around to look at Abiorn.

“I am Joren. You and I have business. But right now, you must leave this place before it ensnares you forever.”

The bear lifted a paw, and rolled Abiorn away, as if herding a cub. Suddenly, the forest fell away, replaced by snowy white foothills. Beyond them, at the top of an impossibly high mountain, Veli-koti loomed.

~~~***~~~

Somehow, despite everyone’s best efforts to stay together, the shadowed spirit forest managed to scatter them far and wide. Cwen and Oen can no longer see or hear any of the other Wayfarers. There is only icy snow, and the smell of wet bark, and snow-patched boughs of pine.

Oendir paused for a moment to scan the circumference of a small clearing. He reached up to brush ice from his hair.

“I think we might be going in circles. All of this forest looks the same.”

Cwen frowned as Oendir paused. “I certainly hope not. You are a better tracker than that, Oen.”

She ran an open palm over a low-hanging branch. “Should we start leaving a trail? Perhaps if someone stumble upon it, they can find us as well.”

Oendir gave Cwen a slightly irritable look.

“It would help if we were in the real world, you know. What are you going to leave a trail with? Spirit crumbs?”

Returning the look, Cwen said, “We could break the branches in a specific way. Or, certainly, conjure spirit crumbs. Though the spirit animals will probably gobble them up.”

Oendir let out a strained sigh, and waved a hand.

“Do what you like,” he said, his voice tired. “I’m going to focus on getting us out of here.”

Cwen dropped her hand from the branch and stood there for a moment with her lips in a modest pout.

“If you do not believe it is a good idea,” she finally muttered, “then you could simply say so. I am trying to help and if plodding ahead like a…like that stupid mammoth is all you can do, then…”

Flushed with her frustration, Cwen turned away from him and fell silent.

“What?!” said Oendir, spinning around to face her. “I’m trying to get us out of here. All you’re doing is criticizing me.” He let out a slightly bitter laugh. “Not that I should be surprised. You only see my faults.”

Cwen turned back to him with a mouth gaping in astonishment. “How am I criticizing you?! I…I said you are a better tracker than to get us lost! That’s a compliment, you know, and then you got all… all sarcastic! Why would you even think that all I do is see fault in you? I’m the one who doesn’t deserve you!”

“You’re right,” said Oendir, lips pursed. “You don’t.”

He let out a breath, and turned away.

Stunned and hurt, Cwen blinked at his back. Tears blurred his shape and finally she turned away to hide them as they began to softly fall.

“Then I’ll just go back and wait for you at the Ferry.” She forced the quaver from her voice I…I’ll w-watch over us all until you return and then I will go back to…back home. I do not know why you force me to keep my contract if you think I am so unworthy, unless it is simply to punish me.”

Even as she finished speaking, her calm broke and she started for a direction away from forward but probably not quite back.

“Why I force you?!” said Oendir, spinning back around. “I’ve never once forced you to do anything! Do you see the worst in all men, or just me?”

“You don’t want to release the terms! I will not break it, no matter how unfaithful you think I am, I will not break that contract without your permission.”

She kept her back to him and the muscles in her neck strained to hide her trembling.

“Men will always force their will upon women. It is their nature.”

“No, it isn’t!” Oendir insisted. “You just want it to be! From the first night we met, you’ve been judging me by what you think men do, instead of seeing who I actually am.”

Whirling finally, Cwen faced him with glistening, and angrily flushed, cheeks.

“I see you as something so nearly perfect that I am constantly reminded exactly how unworthy I am for you simply by the thought of you! And regardless of your perfection–you still vanished without thought or consideration for me! Or Neilia!

She was devastated when we showed up at Overhill and you simply were not there. What could I tell her? Yet another man just up and left her without good-byes, without explanation? Her own father at least gave her the courtesy to simply leave… he didn’t allow her to be raped and left for dead, thank the gods!”

Oendir blinked into the force of her words, as if stunned by a sudden blast of icy wind.

“What…” he said, almost too quiet to hear. “Is that what happened to you?”

Now that it was said, the weight of it seemed to both crush and free her. She sank to her knees and the tears dripped from her chin quiet and unheeded.

“After he and my fiance burned down our village. They were infiltrators. Dunlending blood. I am what I hate most in the world.”

She closed her eyes and bowed her head.

“It is nothing. It is over and done.”

Oendir knelt down in the snow, and circled her in his arms.

“I’m so sorry,” he murmured into her collar. “I didn’t know.”

He rubbed her back gently.

“We clearly have some…things to talk about. But we can do it later. Somewhere other than this forest.”

Suddenly, the forest shifted, and deposited them both at its edge. In front of them, white foothills stood in front of a majestic blue-white peak. High above them, ghostly Veli-koti loomed, silent.

((From RP mailz with Oendir as Kipinä, Joren, and Oendir. Thank you bestest GM eva!))

((Edit: Sorry for the wonky paragraph spacing earlier. The visual editor did not show the html formatting and so some invisi spacing was left broken when I got rid of images and stuff from Enjin. And I caught more tense shifts. Stupid tense.))

Grin and Bear It: From Forochel

The Northern Lights

Dear brother and sister,

Eruviel reminded me that I needed to write to you. Not that I forgot. There’s just a lot going on and it’s only the first day here in Suki- Suri-Coola Suli-Kura the capitol of the ice land.

We have met a lot of people so far. Commander Arrowheart’s father (I think) and his really beautiful daughter. Her name is Kipinä and seemed really impressed that The Wayfarers were there. Like she admired them a lot. I’m going to tell her all about Anya’s stupidity and Bookie and see if she’s impressed that I was a part of that. Maybe she’ll be impressed.

We also met the man we were travelling to visit, Panja. Anya, he makes me look timid. Just saying. I think you would find him funny, though. And Eirik, there are hunters here, too, you know. It’s a different kind of hunt, but they’re impressive. One named Taja has these things called “spirit-eyes” and it means he can see things that exist both in our world and the spirit world. They’re all yellow and sparkling and I want some.

I forgot to tell you about the spirit world. We had to go meditate or something at this place and it took us up to the spirit world. Getting there reminded me of when I shift into a bear. Only less painful. Like the world around me just blurs and shifts and I feel all separate from my body and floaty and then the world looks the same, but completely different. I wonder what would happen if I tried to change into a bear when I’m there.

Anyway, I almost knocked over the inkpot my eyes are so crossed from tiredness. Just know you’re completely missing out and I know that you don’t want to be away from your Morty, Anya, and you’re all worried about him and stuff, but you would LOVE it here. The northern lights are brilliant and I think you’d do good to paint them one day. That means we need to come visit, the three of us. Maybe even Eruviel would come with us Eirikr. I know you’d like that!

Your brother who is not yet an ice sculpture of the sexiest person in Durrow,

Abiorn

P.S. Atanamir keeps near this guy named Dorsett. Dorsett does not look like one who would be travelling to such a harsh place! Or one who would be hanging around Atanamir so much. He’s all smart and not brawny, though. Like me before the bear. He just seems so nice. I’m going to keep spying on them. And ha! You can’t stop me! Love, Abbi