"Hmmm, I guess if I am ever going to gain your trust I will need to be more open. What I am about to say might be out of the ordinary and apart from Zenb you are the only other person that this information has been entrusted to." Arturo walked over to a tree stump sat down took a deep breath and then looked Sen directly in the eye.
"I am not sure what you know of this world but you must understand in this world magic is somewhat outlawed. The priests of Tylosian seek out anyone who shows signs of any sort of magical use or powers and well they are rarely seen again. For my own sins I have a power that allowed me to see all that is present. I can not see the future or past but I can see all that is now whether in front of my eyes, in a distant land, invisible, I am not sure how or why I came upon this it just always been there. I was lucky in that Zenb found me before the priests and taking me in helped hide and let me control my visions without detection. Had the priests found out about me first I now doubt I would not be here today. The other issue about this world is that well we know that other worlds exist, other dimensions, planes what ever you want to call them however on this world the portal for better a word is one way. We know others come to this world but no one from this world has ever left. The knowledge to move between worlds of course is what everyone is after, the priests especially which is way anyone showing any form of magic is taken. I have known about Sylph for as long as I can remember. I believe this is one world that is beneficial to them for gemstones. For us they are for decoration but for you something a lot more powerful. So you can see why capturing one of your kind would be very valuable. I am able to see you I disguise not because I know you are in disguise but because I already knew you were here. Elves rarely venture in these parts especially alone and though I saw you out of the window at the mansion in your true form I confident you were the one that had been travelling with Erihsehc. I was the one that alerted Zenb about Erihsehc and the others and only recently have I been following Erihsehc progress. It is time now that he must follow his path and it is only because you have been following him I knew of your existence. Although I was unsure about telling Zenb about you I believe it will be beneficial and I have his oath that only he and he alone will know about you. When I knew about you I got visions of other visitors to this world and although they are some distance from here I also knew what they came for, you. So you can either take my word and join with us and as I have said we will aid you or you can leave this world, disappear only to know it will not be long before your pursuers will track you down again. I am not sure what they want with you but you have a chance to come with me and maybe we can help each other. So what do you say?" Finished, Arturo awaited for Sen to respond and for any other questions she might have.
Sen breathes deeply, evidently a sigh of relief, "That's good. I was getting worried that I might not be able to hide, not if I can't use this form or can't use invisibility."
"Well, it's best if we get moving; Shadow will likely come here to investigate." Sen says, standing up and motioning for Arturo to lead the way.
It felt a bit awkward, with her walking rather than flying. It wasn't to say she hasn't before, but it was just a transition that takes a bit of time for one to get used to. Thankfully, along the journey, she only really stumbled a few times, and so the transition was faster than if she had kept stumbling.
Arturo had seemingly done enough for now to gain the trust of Sen but much was troubling him. The journey to start with was well a little awkward. Sen seem to be troubling walking and despite offers of assistant with a ride on the back of his horse the Sylph was more than willing to carry out the journey on foot and at times stumbling. Still Arturo was wary not to damage a fragile relationship so he kept questions to the troubles at hand.
“Tell me Sen, I have had visions of these others that are determined to catch you but what have you done so bad for the pursuit. I mean is it just you they are after or are they after your kind in general. I only enquire, as should they gain news of the fake Sylph in Bofkrak are they likely to go after that one instead of you? It might determined on how we can manipulate the situation be of an advantage to both our parties”
"Fake?" Sen repeats, feeling a bit relieved, "Well, that's good to hear; I was getting worried that I'd have to get involved with that, which would further pinpoint my location."
"I'm not sure what they'd do exactly." Sen continues, "And yes, you've guessed correctly; they're just after Sylphs in general. I just happen to be one that's managed to evade them so far. You're going to have to give me a bit more detail however with how exactly you're faking the presence of another sylph. While Darkside might go out of his way to pursue a rumour, especially if he can cause much destruction, Shadow and the Collector are far more subtle, and won't easily pursue vague leads. If I had to guess with what I currently know, they'd likely split up, with Shadow and the Collector continuing their pursuit of me, while Darkside gets involved with that possible war to serve as a very large distraction at the very least, if not get to the possible second sylph as well. He won't pick sides in that war; he'll annihilate whichever is in his way first, or both if he's in the mood for it."
“It was not really hard to lay the trap for a fake Sylph. The Talosians hold a hatred for dwarves you see, as they know the Sylph visit them for gems. However with the help of the dwarves themselves we have been able to use the spies against the Talosians by fabricating an elaborate lie that the dwarves have decided to capture a Sylph and trade it with...well that is irrelevant. What does matter is that the false rumours have worked and now the High Priest is too focused on the dwarves than the issue that really matters. If what you say about these others then there is no use in contacting them or indeed they will be fooled in chasing a figment of our imagination. Shame really they could have been very advantageous. Right we are here, I am not sure what state we shall find Erihsehc in so you may what to prepare yourself for the worse.” With that Arturo rode through the gates and towards Zenb’s grand residence.
Erihsehc sat on a bed his head in his hands staring blankly at the below. It had been a while since Zenb told him who he was. Joneth who had now left to try and save Brastion confirmed the story. Now his mind was distressed and was not ready nor wanted to go any further. It was all just too much and as all his visions now clearly hurtling through his mind, Erihsehc trying desperately to calm it down all he could do was clutch onto the gem Sen had given him. It was the only thing that now felt real.
In the moonlit alleyway stands a little girl with long, silvery hair. She wears a diaphanous blue gown, and held between her two hands is a circular mirror, facing in front of her. Her eyes are closed as she breathes deeply.
"She was here. The reflections remember a magic being used." The girl murmurs, as she opens her eyes. Unlike human eyes, which have pupils, this girl's eyes have no pupils, but have solid silver irises that appear almost like reflecting pools, reflecting everything she sees before her. "A Sylph's magic."
"So do the shadows." A whisper in the air responds, seemingly coming from a nearby shadow.
The girl smiles, "We've found her trail. By the way, what is he up to?"
"What we expected: as soon as he heard about an impending war he immediately started planning to, as he put it, 'join the party'." the whisper responds, unimpressed, "The fact that there's a rumour about a sylph involved only further gave him an excuse to go."
The girl giggles, "There's only one sylph in this world, and she wouldn't get involved with that. He is bizarre sometimes, but he does his job well."
"Are you two still just chatting? We have a job to do." A loud, gruff voice calls over, causing a couple of nearby houses to light up slightly as the occupants wearily light lanterns to see what the commotion is about.
"We were just leaving." The girl responds, "Shadow and I have decided to continue after the first sylph."
"Heh, suit yourself. Although, I have to admit you two might not let me have so much fun if you tagged along." The man responds, walking up. He easily towers over her, standing at a tall 6'7", wearing a dull red breastplate among more battle-worn and barely protective leggings and chain. His most distinctive feature, however, is easily his eyes. They are completely red, with a dull glow to them that only intensifies as he thinks about the war. He grins malevolently, with his short red hair messily making the gesture more grotesque, "I think I'll make a head start to it."
Turning around and rolling her eyes, the girl responds, "Whatever. Give Shadow and I one minute to leave the town at least."
"Of course; it might give a chance for the city guard to show up as well. That always adds a bit more flare to it." The man laughs.
"Shadow, let's go." The girl says stiffly, walking into a nearby shadow.
The shadow seems to intensify in darkness, shrouding everything within it, before returning to normal, except without the girl that was within it.
"Heh, she doesn't know what she's missing." The man says manically.
"You there! Some people are trying to sleep around here." A guard says running up, "I can hear your voice from my post at the end of the street."
"Good; I meant it to." The man returns, rushing toward the guard.
Taken aback by such a reckless manoeuvre, the guard quickly realizes this is no time to be hesitant with weaponry, and brings his sword to bare, slicing deeply into the man's unprotected arm. However, instead of grunting in pain and stopping, the man grins and continues forward, blood seeping from his wound.
"Good! However, you'll have to do far more than that to stop me!" He bellows, bringing his hand upward.
With a sickening sound, a blade of bizarre redness, seemingly a mix between dried blood and a glowing, red substance, forms forth from the knuckles, seemingly from the man's blood. The guard slashes across the man's breastplate, his eyes widening as this man towers over him, inhuman. The man's eyes glowing ablaze, he brings his fist forth and seemingly punches the man in the chest, however, the blade at the front of the fist tears through the guard's armour, and likewise punctures straight through his heart. The guard's limp body crumbles to the ground as more guards quickly arrive to the scene.
The man raises his single blade into the air, and an aura of red engulfs him and his blade.
"Darkside has come to town!" He bellows as he swings horizontally across with the blade.
A chaotic, twisting and explosive wave of red spreads like a shockwave from the arc, easily shredding anything in its path, whether it is buildings or people or animals. At the same time, Darkside forms another blade from his other hand, and smashes the other half of the town.
"I wonder when Sen'll realize I'll just do this to everywhere she's been until we get her." Darkside murmurs amidst the carnage.
"Well then... I have a war to massacre." Darkside murmurs, as he lazily walks toward his destination; the location of the war-to-be.
"I hope he doesn't do anything rash or drastic." Sen murmurs as she walks up to the place, hoping to be able to support Erihsehc as best she can.
Walking into the room where Erihsehc sits, the brief encounter before where he seemed to be in a similar position flashes through Sen's mind.
"Are you alright?" She asks carefully of the man.
Posted on 2008-09-26 at 22:16:00.
Edited on 2008-09-28 at 17:22:47 by Reralae
Erihsehc gazed up upon hearing Sen’s voice to find her in elf form, he recognised her from the marketplace a few days earlier and a half felt smile formed on his lips. He was truly pleased to see her but his mind and heart both struggled to muster anything more warming. He thought briefly if she ever worried about changing form and what would happen if it was not possible to change at all but to remain permanently fixed in one form. Of course she knew what form to take and when best to use it for him however his form was now a mystery.
"It is good to see you Sen. Am I fine? I can not lie sudden events have revealed a revelation that have shaken me and left my mind in a worse state of turmoil to which I am trying to keep under control. It seems my visions; nightmares so to speak are all reflections of a former life one my mind is trying to piece together. I shall in time explain and give you an explanation. However if what Zenb and spoke of is accurate then there is a way to free my mind of its turbulent state and free you from your pursuers. Zenb has explained that there is a power so great on this world it can change the very fabric of everything around us. They have known for a while but only recently have they understood what is required. I am just one part of this power however there are seven other elements that make up the whole. I along with seven others came to this world scattered and kept hidden and safe. Only now is it important that the eight of us gather together once more. I need with your help have to find and bring the others back here. Of the seven Joneth is already present and is going after Brastion whom you have already met. It is up to me to find four others. One an elf Ariel is being hidden safe by the elves in the southern forests, a barbarian known as Vilerune is in the wastelands of Carthanthia, however the first place to go will be to the northern forest of Nordathian on the border with the dwarven lands where two rangers Jade and Eamonn can be found. They seem to have knowledge of these pursuers that are after you and Zenb is going to arrange distractions to hopefully bide time. Whether is will work I can not be sure but finding these others is now imperative and I would welcome your company."
Erihsehc look up again towards Sen’s kind and friendly face. He had not revealed all just yet it was not yet time to. He needed to come to turns with the news himself before explaining to Sen the true extent of the situation.
"If you have any question I will do my best to answer and if you are willing to come we will leave at first light. We will need to get a good rest before the journey. I believe this will be of more use to you."
Erihsehc held out the gemstone she had given to him earlier and this time an affectionate smile form on his lips as well as in his eyes.
Sen smiles warmly, "You should already know that I will go with you." she says, retrieving the gemstone.
A power divided into eight... that reminds me of that world... Sen shakes her head, as her eyes become slightly cloudy; it wouldn't do to remember that world. Of all the worlds she's been to, that one was... sad.
I wonder, what will happen to these eight... I hope it's not the same as the four from that world. Sen thinks, despite her attempts at not thinking about it. But, I won't ask; if it is similar, then it'll be difficult enough for him without bringing it up.
"I..." Sen murmurs, "I do have questions, but I know they will be answered in time, when they are ready to be answered."
"Exchanges shouldn't just go one way; if you have questions of me as well, don't hesitate to ask, for I will answer as I can." Sen adds.
Having Sen at his side on the trip gave Erihsehc cause for optimism. He now saw her not only as a friend but a good luck charm. Despite all her troubles she had probably encountered she always seemed bright and light-hearted. He had no idea how old she was and although she appeared youthful part of him considered that she was older and wiser that he was which in itself was a form of comfort.
He had left Sen to attend to whatever needs to she to carry out or rest if needed before the early start in the morning. He himself made his way to the kitchen. A good meal was vital before the journey and as he approached he could hear talking.
“I have arranged for Siel to come with any spells that can aid Sen. I will also let her take a pick of the gems we already possess but I am concerned that the others will pick up her trail so I want to try and delay this as long a possible.”
As Erihsehc entered the conversation stopped and sat at the table was Zenb, Arturo and a halfling that from his visions was the one he had been seeking, that of Lennier Underhill.
”Ah, Erihsehc please come, sit and eat. From your expression I gather you recognise Lennier. My home is yours and a hearty meal will benefit you.” Zenb spoke kindly; Lennier greeted him with a shy but friendly smile. “Arturo has just spoke of some assistance for your journey. We know of a magic user who might have a spell that can help Sen stay hidden from her pursuers. With godspeed he will be hear before you leave. Until then eat, rest, as your journey will be long and fraught with danger. ”
Erihsehc sat down and in the middle of the table was a large pot of stew and using the ladle he served himself a generous amount. It was strange seeing Lennier for the first time. In his visions Lennier was the one he needed to contact, someone he had met before but the truth was he had never met the halfling in person.
”Ahh...I see you are tasting some of my famous and delicious hog stew. Tasty no?”
Erihsehc looked up and stood there larger than life was the figure that could only be Bernartro von Vliess. He was unlike anyone he had ever met. His colourful plump figure was mirrored with a face explosive of jollity. Erihsehc could not help but smile and acknowledge what was indeed a fine stew.
”Ha! You see Arturo our friend has fine taste. Erihsehc, I take it you do not mind being called that?” Erihsehc nodded, true it was not his real name, but then his real name did not reflect the person he now was. Bernartro continued “I am Bernartro and as you can clearly see my brother is the oh so serious one of the family whereas I am the life and soul and despite his seriousness he does not take me seriously at all. I love my brother but I wished he would lighten up even our brother Lexor has more fun and he is of the priesthood.” Bernartro laughed and it was infectious setting of everyone other than Arturo who was very much straight faced.
“Hmmm, you tend to forget brother had it not been for me you would be dead by now. If that is not love then maybe I should allow you to circum to your own fate.” Arturo spoke dryly but a smile form on his lips that prompted Bernartro to laugh even more. “See I knew there was a sense of humour in there somewhere. Now Erihsehc tell me more about this Sen. I have caught a glimpse and I have you say I wish I had a travelling companion with such beauty.”
Arturo was quick of the mark before Erihsehc could respond.
“Bernartro, if you were to see Sen in her true form I fear your eyes would explode. However Erihsehc I am intrigued to know if you have seen Sen in her true form?”
Everyone stopped as thus on tenterhooks waiting for a response.
“Yes I have seen Sen in her Sylph form and as beauty goes I can only add it was a breathtaking moment.” In his mind an image of Sen appeared but he hid his thought well and carried on eating. Bernartro clapped his hands loudly and Erihsehc swore his smile grew twice as big.
“Well if you will excuse me I need to see Sen and show her our gem collection. We also have a few other items that might be of use to her. Erihsehc I will speak with you before you leave.” With that Arturo left but not before Bernartro had slapped him heavily on his back.
“Erihsehc?” Zenb spoke to catch his attention. “Lennier has a map for your journey detailing the last whereabouts for those you seek. If there are any developments we shall get word to you. With Joneth going after Brastion and Lennier trying communicate with the wizard, hopefully by time you return all eight will be in place and you can return to your true home, all of you can. Now have you any question?”
“Just one, what happen to Fenndell?”
”Ah, Fenndell. He was a good man the one that save you and gave you your name. Sadly he was capture by the high priest for having magical use. It was probably why your visions took so long to form clearly. As we could not contact directly it would have been too dangerous we decided to hide you and give you a false memory. When we lost contact we got news that Fenndell had been taken to the Tower and we know that had was tortured. He died for the cause and did not reveal any plans. Had he done so the High Priest would have given up the chase for a Sylph and hunted you and the others down instead. You will need to convince the others to return here. Quite how you will manage that with Jade and Eamonn well until you get there I am not sure what you will encounter. Now if you will excuse me I have a few duties to attend to in town. If I am not back before you return I am sure Bernartro will take good care of you and I wish you well with your journey.” Zenb stood and left Lennier followed giving Erihsehc the map and what was now becoming a familiar friendly smile.
“Do not mind Lennier, for a halfling he rarely speaks but he does possess a good singing voice and before the nights out I am sure he will treat us to a song or two, inspiration for your journey so to speak. Now what say to go with this fine food I get us some fine ale and you can tell me more about Sen.”
Erihsehc sat as Bernartro went for the ale. He picked up the map but decided not to open it. That was for tomorrow he thought. Tonight I am going to enjoy and relax. Despite the news he had been given he knew deep down he would be in for a trouble free night. Tomorrow is tomorrow and tonight is tonight
Sen sits comfortably, her eyes clouded while staring out the window and into the sky. The conversation in the background, although merely in the next room, sounds as though it is a world away, only whispers to her ears.
She misses the forest, the one which holds her own, small house. Was it even there any more? Darkside might have very well destroyed it... it is a sobering thought.
It was said that sylphs are wanderers. Well, it is true to a degree, but as there is variety among humans and elves, there is variety among sylphs as well. Sen liked her house; she was content with her home, and after wandering she always returned. Well, that used to be how it was, until they came after her.
Sen shakes her head; it wouldn't do to dwell on it. If all went well, she could return home again, and even if her house was gone, she could always remake it.
Hmm... how many worlds has she visited? Sen chuckles softly; she had long lost count, as she had also lost count of the number of years she has seen. Her thoughts wander, thinking to the world who's plight is most similar this one. There are similarities, but it certainly wasn't the same. That world hasn't reached the end of its plight, Sen realizes, so, that would mean the crystal is still shattered.
At first it was thought that the crystal split into four, but the exact number is unknown. Sen thinks, No one witnessed the event, not even the Keeper, who had another duty that day. But the crystal, cracked and threatening to split, and the four weapons in the chamber, were gone. Because the physical crystal seemed to be cracking into four distinct parts, it is thought that only four are there, but who can say how many there are? It might be a different world, but I'm worried... if the parts ever became whole, what would happen to the parts?
Sen gives a soft sigh, continuing her train of thought, The one fragment I met... she was worried as well. It seemed as though they all took on a material body and soul, but being fragments they were all incomplete, yet they were all different. She told me that difference was enough to cause two of the fragments to go their separate ways from the others, because they seemingly could not work together. Yet, even if they came together to become whole, what would they become? Neither of us knew the answer to that question, and we still don't. That is the Twilight Crystal's plight, shattered into Bellianae and the three others: Renata, Darkside, and Saracha... I wonder, what is it that Erishehc is part of? It might not be related, and yet, Erihsehc said he and seven others were part of a power, so what will happen to them if they do work together? I hope it's not the same, where parts may be sacrificed to form the whole... Sen thinks distantly.
Hearing Arturo politely clear his throat behind her, Sen turns, "Yes?" She responds, "Is there something you need or I can help with?"
Bernartro was good to his word as the ale was indeed purer and more refreshing that the cat’s piss you would otherwise get in the inns. Indeed he explained how Zenb produced his own ale using ingredients grown on his land and considered his ale and wine to be some of the finest in the region.
Bernartro then went on to explain more about his brothers. Lexor was the eldest and was a priest in the church of Lathander. All the brothers had few dealings with Lexor other then sending donations as and when possible. Bernartro was the second eldest followed by Belnox who he had already met. With Lexor going into the priesthood, it was supposed to be Bernartro who took over the family store but when it was soon realised he did not have a business head on his shoulders Belnox the more practical one of the brothers took up the reigns. Belnox though changed the name of the store as he never really liked the family name. Then came Maxcillius who was just a year older than Arturo. Maxcillius had been a Captain in the Priest of Talos army until the family fell out of favour. Out of all the brothers he was the one who could fight and lead. It is said when he travelled east to find a new life away from the region, some thirty of his soldiers went with him and ever since they have been marked as traitors and warned not to travel back to the region or face the death penalty. Only Lexor has had any sort of contact from his brothers in the last few years yet Bernartro believes Arturo knows more than he is letting onto. Still the last of the brothers, the youngest was safe, in prison that is. Qartine had been caught as a thief and not even Arturo could help him. Still using his contacts he was able to ensure he did not receive a too harsh a punishment and he did not have much longer to serve.
Erihsehc had relaxed considerably since his news earlier in the day. The rest of the evening was spent listening to tales of the Von Vliess brothers and later after the ale had flowed freely he was entertained with songs from Lennier. The halfling had an exceptional voice his dulcet tones seemingly mellowing the air around them.
It was getting late and before retiring Erihsehc went to find Sen. He made his way outside passing Arturo’s panther Lebreknit which did not even flinch as it just lay casually in the yard. Arturo was nowhere to be seen and looking up he searched for any sign of his newfound friend. He wanted to tell her what he had been told; he wanted to tell her how he felt about her. Whether it was the drink that lessened his inhibitions it was the chill of the night air that brought him back to reality. He looked down embarrassed by his own thoughts. He turned and the panther this time head raised was staring right at him with a sympathetic look if a panther could express such a face. Still it made him smile and with one last look around made his way back to his room.
Arturo had shown Sen the collection, and though it was in the sylph's nature to be taken by such things, his collection was extraordinary by even a sylph's standards. Sen tried to be polite, taking only the gems she thought she'd need, but at Arturo's prompting, she took a few more just to be safe.
However, one gem caught her eye. Following her line of sight, Arturo pointedly explained that the one she was looking at is one that's still uncut, and as such probably unable to be used in sylph magic. It seems to glimmer in the light, not one colour of the spectrum, but all of them, just a bit stronger with a slightly blue tone.
"That's not what interests me." Sen murmured, "You haven't been able to cut it, have you?"
Arturo glanced at Sen, and nodded.
"That's because it was already cut, but it is now broken." Sen explained, But how did it get here? Sen wonders.
"What do you mean?"
"Its smooth edge isn't just the side of a crystal formation," Sen continued, taking the fragment in her hand, and angling it, "If you look at it in the right orientation, you can clearly see that it is a quarter of a cut gemstone."
"That's an interesting claim, and you're right, in that orientation it looks like the side of a diamond cut gem, but how do you know of it?"
"I know it from another world." Sen murmured, "How it got here, I do not know..."
"I see, well then, I presume you will return it when you are able to, so please take it as well."
"Thank you." Sen replied, curtsying, "For your hospitality."
* * *
Sen wanders outside, holding the crystal fragment in the moonlight.
"It is quite a surprise... but it also makes sense in a way. Where Darkside brings about destruction, she would be there, to be a seed of rebirth, providing restoration." Sen murmurs quietly.
"That's why you came here, isn't it, Bellianae?" Sen murmurs.
"Well, and I've been just following you, because you are one of my only friends, although it's hard to keep up with you." a kindly woman's voice can be heard, although no source can be seen.
"I would hope so, otherwise Darkside and his group would've found me already." Sen giggles.
"It's funny, they're so intent on hunting you they never even noticed me." Bellianae adds.
"Will you be joining me then?" Sen asks, her voice hesitant.
"Of course, silly. It's only natural to help a friend." Bellianae replies.
"Are you going to stay in crystalline form for a while?" Sen wonders aloud.
"Yes, I think I will. That way we won't be easily separated, yet I can still aid you as needed. Plus, I wouldn't want to upset your friends... men seem to get nervous when there's more than one woman around." Bellianae chuckles.
Arturo could see all that is in a moment, but Bellianae's real form is still this fragment of crystal. Sen realizes, So there's no illusion to see through. I suppose that's fortunate, because I'm uncertain how he would've reacted to her, but... at the same time, Sen thinks, I wish you were complete.
Even in this form, Sen does not need to sleep, so she sits in the moonlight outside, contemplating what is going to happen.
"I take it the Sylph took the gemstone, what of her reaction?" The question aimed at Arturo who stood in the room came from a hooded and frail man who was sitting on a beautifully crafted wooded chair by an open fire. A small white cat nestled on his lap purring peacefully from the warmth of the fire and the attention from its owner. Zenb was also present in an adjacent chair to that of the elderly alchemist.
"She knew of the gem knowing that we had tried to cut the gem unsuccessfully. I was unable to gain much of a reaction; she was as expected not forthcoming of any information from that we already knew. Still she has the gem and that is what matters for the time being."
"I guess your right." The old man gazed into the fire gently stroking his cat. "We must ensure the Sylph does not fail gentlemen, even it means the end of our world."
The words struck accord to both Arturo and Zenb as they knew all too well what lay ahead.
Erihsehc woke early ready for the day ahead. Having studied the map supplied by Lennier, the northern forest of Nordathain was a two day trek. The journey to the forest should not pose much of a threat. However the forest itself harboured a goblin clan that used it to direct raids on human and dwarven settlements either side of the border. Still he felt confident. The only person present to see Erihsehc and Sen off was Bernartro who supplied both a hearty morning meal and food ratios fit for royalty. They would eat well on the journey at least.
"Now Erihsehc, you take good care of this beautiful maiden. We shall get word to you as long as you use the inns of the towns mentioned on the map." Bernartro gave Erihsehc a bear hug before turning to Sen.
With a Cheshire cat smile he spoke "Now Sen, take care of this ugly brute for us. Sadly Siel has not shown but I shall arrange for him to meet you at one of the inns on the map. I will see you both soon, Godspeed."
With that Bernartro left the travelling pair.
"So Sen," Erihsehc spoke with a new found air of confidence "Are you ready for the task ahead. It seems the weather is going to be kind today so we should make good progress. It was good of Zenb to provide horses for us, I guess mine was getting on a bit, one for retirement I think. Now let’s see how good you are?" With that Erihsehc rode off at pace unsure if Sen even knew how to ride.
"Wait a moment, Erihsehc." Sen calls, "You should let the horse get used to you first."
Sen reaches her hand forward, stroking her horse gently, as well as letting the horse smell her hand.
"If they know you, then they won't be quite so apprehensive about you, since you will no longer be a stranger to them." Sen explains.
Carefully, Sen mounts upon her horse. It is true that she didn't know much about riding, as she usually flew. However, being a druid as well, she also holds a connection to nature, and through it she can trust her horse to carry her, even if she doesn't know how to do much more than general riding.
"Oh," Sen adds, "Another thing that I should tell you is that you should refer to me by a different name. It might not be needed, but it is better to be safe. The name I usually use with this form is Lia Nailo."