Frida: Agreed. With weather like this, we have to stick together.
(The two speak very little on the way to the village, but it is not an uncomfortable silence. Frida does manage to learn a little bit about him. Their longest conversation is when Ven reveals he follows the Norns, and in particular Skuld.)
Ven: Here we are. Let's start by finding the communal house. I think that a little rest won't hurt us.
Frida: I would like to look around a bit beforehand.
Frida: Do you want to visit?
Frida: Reindeer! (She smiles broadly, and Ven grins slightly as well, possibly more at her reaction than anything else.)
Frida: Hello. I'm Frida, and yes, I've just arrived. Delighted to receive such a welcomeit's been a long time since I saw such a smile.
Katri: It wasn't a proposition! You are welcome among us and, above all, don't let that tramp Essi turn your head.
Frida: Alright...? Farewell.
Frida: I do indeed come from afar, but from the north. In fact, I'm heading to the capital.
Evelina: The capital? Could you bring me along then? PleaseI don't want to rot here!
Frida: And then what? Perhaps you think this is a pleasure trip? If you want to leave, it's your responsibility. Don't count on me to take it for you.
(Evelina says nothing in response.)
Frida: Huh? What are you talking about?
Venla: Don't worry, little one, I was joking. Sinto is well-liked in the village, plus at least he doesn't rely on his wife to find him food. In any case, you are welcome among us.
Frida: Especially compared to the snow storms I've had to endure the past 15 days.
Olai: Whoa. That seems very tiring. Enjoy the rest of your trip!
Frida: Er... Thanks, I guess.
Frida: Uh... Yes, of course. If it makes you happy.
Mikka: I have been a weaver for twenty-two years now and I admit that I have achieved a certain degree of mastery in my work. Of course, none of this would have any meaning if I didn't have someone to bequeath my art to, but my daughter is very talented. Indeed, she was a great help with that splendid tapestry of the three Norns. Take a moment to admire the craftsmenship, yet she is only a child. She says she wants to go to the city. Well, it'll pass.
Frida: The Norns? Show me!
Mikka: One represents the past, the other the present, and the third one the future. That is why I depicted them hierarchically, rising towards the sky like the tree behind them. Yggdrasil, of course, but it's even more than that. The branches that bend towards the soil indicate its future death, which is simply the beginning of a new tree, a new cycle. You can, therefore, hang the tapestry one way or the other, depending on whether you want to celebrate a summer or a winter, a birth or a death.
Frida: Fascinating. You are very talented. Thank you for explaining. Sadly, I have nothing I could give you in trade for it. And I am probably over-burdened as it is...
Mikka: That's quite alright. I enjoyed explaining it to someone who seems to understand.
Frida: Hale go forth, hale return, hale on your ways, sir.
Frida: To tell the truth, I'm looking above all for a place to rest. It was a grueling journey.
Aleksi: I can imagine. You seem to have come from far away. But I think you will enjoy our little community.
Frida: Yes. Well, you know, I'm not counting on staying here. I'm just passing through.
Aleksi: I understand, I understand. Don't worry, if you stay even for just a few days, you'll get used to it again. Why don't you go see my daughter-in-law, the volva of the village? She's an exquisite woman. She really helped us to structure our little community. She will, no doubt, be of great help to you.
Frida: Of course, the volva. Besides, I should have introduced myself to her when I arrived.
Aleksi: You can't miss her, in any case. She is so busy transforming our old habits and guiding us on to the right track.
Aleksi: I'm more than a little proud that she married my son, all the more so... well, he's a good boy. But she really is far above everyone else here. She's not the volva for nothing, that's for sure.
Ven: (He whispers as he smiles slightly.) Far above everyone. What an interesting expression. That volva is certainly arousing my curiosity.
Frida: I was going to say. (To Aleksi:) Well, see you soon then.
[The last option that got cut off is: Very funny... (hesitates) You weren't really thinking of hunting me, were you? I almost went with it.]
Frida: Delighted. My name is Frida. You must be the volva?
Essi: That's what they say. Allow me to introduce myself. Essi. Essi Kaikkonen, the volva of the village for almost two years now. The man humming in the background is Elif, my husband.
Frida: Delighted to meet you. You seem so young! I myself am an apprentice to the volva of my village, even if, for now, I'm preoccupied with other things.
Essi: My poor child! You do seem to be in a sorry state indeed. What has happened?
Frida: Unfortunately, I'm no longer a young girl. My father just died. I'm traveling to carry out his last wishes.
Essi: I see... Always the same old song. Each generation carries the weight of the previous one on its shoulders. Why must we always live in the past?
Frida: I don't know... I don't see things that way. He didn't ask me anything himself, you know. It's, above all, my decision.
Essi: Of course. And, if it's not too indiscreet, what do his wishessorry, your wisheshave to do with your shivering arrival at my house?
Frida: Well, it's still not clear. But I have to reach the capital soon.
Essi: I see. In that case, your worries do not end here. I recommend that you stay here for a few days, enough time to regain your strength, because the path of the river is particularly hard. And then, I don't know, maybe try to enjoy life a little before risking it so?
[Just to show that this conversation has a lot of relatively long responses Frida can choose, and a lot of different tones it can take.]
Frida: I'm not really in the mood to have fun. But I do recognize that I need a little rest. Can I be of service in any way, in exchange for your hospitality?
Essi: Well now! If you could go talk with all those hicks and talk about the country, perhaps you could help me broaden their perspectives. Other than that... I don't see anything that you could do. But go talk to Teemu, in the hunter's lodge. He might have something for you to do.
Frida: I'm not sure I could tell them anything that would be of much help to your teaching, you know... But so be it. I need a little company too.
Frida: What a shame! Apparently you have such a lovely voice.
Elif: You know, I don't have much time to practice anymore... Essi is exquisite, but being the husband of a volva is quite demanding.
Ven: Demanding? Ha ha! On more than one level you could say.
Frida: I imagine. I must take my leave. Goodbye.
Frida: Why get annoyed? She doesn't seem any happier than I am.
Ven: (He seems disconcerted for a moment) It's... true. That's actually what I was thinking. She's a little lost, but at least she tries. She resembles you a little, in a way.
Frida: It's nice of you to recognize my efforts. Hmm.
Ven: It wasn't to be mean. We're all trying, in our way. But you, you have that vacillating look in your eyes, no matter what you do or sayeven when you laughas if you are uncertain or desperate wherever you go. It makes you likable.
Frida: You can say that so soon after meeting someone?
Ven: I'm very sensitive towards the people I meet. People are etched, in their faces and their gestures, by what they've experienced. Even the peasant who can neither read nor write and who has a vocabulary of only five words has wonderful things to say.
Anyway, let's go. We still have things to do.
Frida: Yes, like sleep. I am done looking around for now. Speaking to Essi did wear out my patience for meeting new people today.