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Author Topic: Finding What Was Already There  (Read 582 times)

Eadlyn

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Finding What Was Already There
« on: September 10, 2018, 07:00:04 AM »
Dale was but a ruin.  Eadlyn had only ever seen it from afar, a distant remnant of years long past, dark and empty in the shadow of the mountain. But now it was something far more real, and in turns both haunting and fascinating. He’d have loved nothing more than to explore these ancient streets, to find all those marvelous little bits of history tucked around each corner, but now was not the time for that.  In fact, it was about as far from the time for that as one could possibly be.

He had dismounted his cart at the main gate and now walked beside Hazel, leading her carefully through the war torn streets, busier with activity than one might have thought possible from what small amount he had learned from the two elves who had directed him this way.  (He’d not expected to find elves here, of all places!) They’d not been willing to speak much of the dragon (hadn’t seen it, they’d said, but weren’t elves supposed to know about those kinds of things?), but they had told him the briefest possible account of the battle. Orcs had nearly destroyed what was left of this place, and had killed thousands, including some dwarf king he’d never heard of.  Must have been terrible for the dwarves, though...

The most selfish part of himself was relieved he’d been a few days too slow on the road. Oh, he certainly felt guilty for thinking that way, but it was the simple truth. He’d have done no good in a battle. But after a battle… He could be of some use here, if not of much.

Yet there lurked other, darker thoughts behind his forced practicality. He’d not asked after her specifically, for how did you barge your way into a stranger’s grief simply to ask him if he knew if Kat had survived? But he did search her out with his eyes as he walked, carefully maneuvering down what might have been a main thoroughfare of some sort. Here men busied themselves with clearing away chunks of fallen stone and…  were those blood stains on the paving stones??

Eadlyn could feel the blood drain from his face, and eyes darted away.  He forced his focus upon the men and women he passed, searching under workman’s caps and fisherman’s hats for familiar faces, but finding nothing more than haunted gazes.  And the more he walked, the more his thoughts turned to yet darker places.  What if she was dead? He’d been all but assuming she was alive, for Kat was a survivor.  Even if he’d not yet had the conscious thought of it, somehow his heart knew deep down that she was not the type to fall to orcs without a fight. But had she even lived long enough to face the orcs?  Even Katja could not have stood against a dragon.

A dragon! He’d never quite believed those tales that claimed such a beast was hiding in the mountain. He wondered how many had died thinking the same thing…

He paused a moment, leaning heavily against Hazel’s side. The old mare obliged him, and he allowed his eyes to close, focusing his thoughts on the steady rise and fall of her breathing, the comfort of life beneath the warmth of her coat, then with a gentle pat, he moved on, keeping his gaze ahead.  It was far easier not to look…

He’d been directed to a quartermaster, or the nearest equivalent, a Lake Man whose face he had known in passing, but whose name escaped his memory.   This was more business as usual, and he was easily able to work with this man, providing an inventory of his goods. He carried few things of immediate use, but things that would be needed before long.  Bolts of cloth and rolls of leather, for the most part.  There were a few special orders, spices from the south, an expertly carved rocking chair meant as a gift, a set of candlesticks, a few other odds and ends he’d picked up, but all of it was given freely. Everything save his own personal effects and his books.  And Hazel’s well-worn horse blanket, of course.

At long last, Eadlyn finally found the courage to ask after Kat, but the old quartermaster had only looked apologetic, explaining that some other fellow kept the list of the dead. 

The old man was quick to reassure him that he had not meant to suggest she was on the list of the dead. 

Eadlyn was hardly reassured...

With assurances for the care of his personal items, Eadlyn left his cart behind with the quartermaster and started off again with Hazel, seeking out the makeshift stable where he might find her a place to rest.  Perhaps someone there would have news.  Surely there were still innkeepers kicking around.  Innkeepers always knew everything…
 Played by Whitney

Katja

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  • Alias: Dory
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Re: Finding What Was Already There
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2019, 08:03:06 AM »
'They're all gone.'

Katja had hardly had time to think since...well, the beginning of it all. An understatement, that, but the once proud, cheerful and hardy craftswoman and businesswoman -- once, when it had really been mere hours ago...had it? -- was not only at a complete loss for words apt to describe the situation around her, but felt with what little ability left to feel that there were no words left to describe what had happened.

The mountain breached. The dragon awoken from under the mountain. The destruction of...the arrival, or was it invasion? Of what might have been five armies. Only Katja wasn't quite sure and wasn't sure she particularly cared for the semantics any longer of such things, only that they'd come...and everything was in ruin. Everything was in ruin, and in truth, the crafter turned weapon wielder in the space of what seemed mere hours hadn't been sure who was friend and who was foe. She'd just...acted because she'd been neither too young, nor too old, nor too frail to fight back-- strong with the life she'd led, and an axe and mallet in hand-- no war weapons, but adequate for the job. And so she'd acted, and reacted to anything that had swung with ill intention at her.

'I just...killed them in the end.'

Greed, maybe. Greed was maybe the word for all that had happened, and every fell thing that followed upon its heels. While she was no general or noblewoman to sit upon a council, rumours always had some truth to them-- and failing that, the evidence was before her very eyes.

The greed of kings.

They'd paid for it the ultimate price, or so they were whispering. These kings of kingdoms the folk of Lake-town had had no part in for eons, if they'd ever been a part of them at all.

Later, when she was able to think again, Katja would likely ponder with scorn veiled only by a better nature how often the weakness of Men was expounded upon by the others in Middle Earth, when the ruin around her at this very moment was the cause of Elves and Dwarves and Orcs and Goblins.

But at that very moment, she could think no longer. Feeling, too, was called into question-- only that everything was gone. Gone. There was no purpose left, it seemed, in these immediate hours that followed. Even the children that had been with her, clung to her skirts, clutched to her familiarity among the folk of their burned town, had gone elsewhere.

It crossed her mind, as she sunk upon a piece of shattered debris, that her stomach still roiled with the killing even as her mind no longer moved. And yet it seemed rather belated to be vomiting in celebration of her initiation into the art of killing, if it could indeed be called an art form. There was nothing in her belly anyway.

Nothing.

Time passed in the same way it had since the battle of the five armies for her, or so it seemed. The burning of Lake Town had not been like this-- perhaps because shock was a powerful job, and perhaps because she'd still had a purpose-- no time to linger on ruin and death, and loss.

That
got something from her, though it felt paltry in comparison to what Katja felt she should have been feeling at the destruction of home, livelihood and what had remained of her family. A lump in the throat, or a blade more, sharp and pressing against the corners. She pressed her eyes more tightly against the arms about her knees, vaguely aware of the press of the bloodied axe that seemed permanently a part of her hand now. And it was small something, it seemed, that jolted her to something like awareness again-- not entirely, not completely, and there was no fanfare about it. Nothing magical in this place where magic had been sapped, nothing poetic or romantic or even tragic.

It was only an awareness of the senses borne up from pain that she heard the burr of conversation, her name maybe, and she knew her ears didn't deceive her, because she hadn't been thinking of anything, wishing for anything, for her mind to be playing tricks on her.

"Eadlyn?" she rasped, the use of her voice setting a deeper pain in her throat. Aching as it already had, with screams and yells of fear and boldness but mostly fear. No good to her, so Katja was forced to look up from the blessed darkness curling into a ball had brought her; the air bringing the sting back to the ache to the side of her head that she'd thought was headache but was bloody some as the fair hues of Rohirric blood interrupted the dull greys and blacks (black stains, black as blood turned) of her periphery.

The man-- possibly an inkeeper, for one would hope they still got about, because more than one man would be in need of drink before the days were past-- who'd paused in passing to greet her unwitting searcher, as grey and dirty as she and so, it seemed, able to easily distinguish like, gestured over his shoulder to her-- a needless warning perhaps, for as a man starving for drink moved to what would sustain him had Kat dragged lead limbs in their direction. Paused, dark eyes both dead and burning unshed in the same gaze, the hesitation only long enough to take the Rohirric trader in before her arms were thrown about his neck, propriety be damned as a strangled whimper buried itself against his neck.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 09:02:03 AM by Katja »


~in a perfect story book, the world is brave and good - a hero takes your hand, a sweet love follows. but life's a different game, the sorrow and the pain, and only you can change your world tomorrow~

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