Part 39: Day 87: Dundr
Before we get going again, let's have a chat with Oddleif's newest protégé.
I'm Nid. You're Rook, I know. We've actually been travelling together for a long time. Isn't it strange how you can be so close to people and not know them?
Every day I pass people I swear I've never seen before.
I wanted to thank you. For letting me join you.
I don't think you're from Skogr. I knew most of the people there.
No, I Had a house in Frostvellr. But we were driven out when the dredge started to show up. My husband... died trying to protect our home. My sons and I were thrown out into the fields.
Ekkill's men killed my husband, now Ekkill is travelling with us. For a long time I was angry. Why did he get to live? Why did ou decide for the rest of us?
You look away momentarily, not sure what to say.
But I've let it go. I have three sons, and I don't want them to grow up with hatred in their hearts. That's why I wanted to thank you.
Honestly? I never even tried before Oddleif made me. I spent my whole life making clothes, cleaning.
Oddleif's good, but I don't think it was all her doing.
It feels right. I just look where I want it to go... Anyway, I feel better. The caravan, the people worrying all day and making problems... Sometimes they really stew in their misery. I'm glad I can do something helpful.
Don't think anything of it. We all have our own problems to deal with. Let me know if you need me to put an arrow in something.
She returns to her tent, where her boys are waiting for her.
Ekkill promotes, bringing his Break and Exertion up to acceptable levels. Welcome to the team proper, Slamwielder.
Looks like we've made a bit of progress towards Haukstorp. Back to the road!
Day 87. We lost a day saving that village, but we can afford that, with the supplies we've got.
Morale is low, but could be worse.
Random event. I don't know if this actually changes anything.
To deter any further theft, you discreetly place some trusted guards by the caravans. You hear a few people casually point out the extra manpower, but nobody seems to raise an alarm for now.
Day 88. Another godstone awaits.
Time has torn it apart.
But if you look at it from just the right angle...
...you can see what it used to look like.
You know, we have the supplies, and we're tired. Let's take a break.
You walk around camp before settling in. Along each strand of Dundr's massive beard is carved a different part of his story, and you turn your head to and fro to read it. While the Loom-mother was the first to create, she soon found a counterpart in Dundr, who embodies her ideals in a masculine form. Dundr took some of her creations, gave them beards and showed them the secrets of smithing, though may remember him just as fondly for teaching them games and songs of mirth.
Instead of spending all night on a silly game, you go to Alette and huddle together to keep warm. You wake up with athought so profound it strikes you like lightning. Rushing to the puzzle box, your fingers move with purpose until you hear a 'click'. The lid springs open.
Inside is nothing. "Oh no," says a boy who was watching. "What a waste of time." To your surprise when you close the lid, the whole box detaches from the stone. With a shrug you take it with you. You're suddenly glad you didn't spend all night working on this.
Well, that was fun, but it's time to depart.
The box is good. Really good.
For now, I give it to Eyvind, the only other hero I have high enough level to use it. He benefits from high Willpower, but I'd much rather put it on one of my will-starved varl.
Day 91. As we move south, the countryside gets more hospitable.
Firewood collection, scouting, gathering of edibles, weapons training and wagon repair keep your clansmen busy and usually too tired to complain. The chores slow the caravan, but the resulting peace and productivity feels worth it.
And here we are! Not our destination, but it's something.
Haukstorm looks to be in a bad way. People might be in danger there.
Do we visit the town, or keep moving?
Voting will last 24 hours.