One prophecy has been fulfilled.
What and where a wrong was undone, is unclear.
The Tundra Walkers return to the Star Watchers village and back to the old seers, baffled and frustrated. Yet shall they volunteer to right another wrong?
This story starts 16 years ago, in some tattered tent full of wispy old hags, at a place far, far north of the Great Northern Tundra’s, in a small village called Star Watchers and ends in scourging suffering both cruel and to be lived all over again. It seems the final cycle of mortals must be set upon a harsh ground.
This story is the (relative) continuation of
Birthright (18+), part one..
Damit! Not again.. Is there a particular law against soft landings during prophecy flights?!”, spat Tonic very much indignantly and very much wet!
“Well, it was a soft landing.. Ow look! It’s all snow around us. I’d sort of hoped we’d end up somewhere warmer.”, said the very tall, very black girl in pinks.
“The two of you..”, started Cora, barring her teeth as she rose from the wet, slushy snow.
“..should make a stand-up show!”, finished Brom, his mumbling nearly lost as he’d landed face down and somewhat head down as well.
There was a smoldering moment of silence, then Tonic scowled, “Hey look! It talks!”
“That will do Arcantonic!”, growled Cora silently. “You just went over the top.. The hobbit is my friend and you will show him the respect even if that is too much for you.”
“I am sorry!”, said Tonic immediately as she gave the frosty barbarian girl an appraising look. “That bit was indeed over the top.”
Seressa suddenly appeared behind Tonic, looming over her like a giant. She stared cooly at Cora and silently said, “Please do not threaten my pair, Cora..”
Cora stared back at the tall, black figure in pinks as a cold aura appeared around her.
Tonic’s face went red as she suddenly figured out what she had just triggered. Her pair was a kind, cheery, optimistic girl, certainly, but she went wild and possible feral when anyone so much as looked at Tonic the wrong way.. It was uncannily flattering to have such a friend, but if things went down now, it would never get fixed.
“Ummm.. Seressa.. there’s no need.. It isn’t necessary.. Look, it was my fault, alright. Don’t dump it on the elf..”, she stammered.
Seressa appeared not to have heard her pair.
Brom rose out of the snow, his face also red, but mostly due to the snow it had landed.
“I sense impending stupid incoming!”, he muttered..
..and that didn’t help things at all.
Seressa’s eyes started to glow with an eerie inner fire.
“You are on the wrong and defending your friend point-blank just because you are her friend isn’t being a friend.”, Cora said coldly.
“She is my pair. Period!”, snarled Seressa.
“And that makes it alright for her to insult everyone as she pleases?”
“Umm.. Seressa.. really.. I already said I was sorry.. Please stop!”, nearly whimpered Tonic.
Brom took a few steps back and silently stood there. He believed he had taken the measure of his barbarian friend. Now was perhaps the time to take the measure of the other two.
The wind picked up and blew the slushy snow around but no one seemed to care.
“Do something!”, came Tonic up to Brom, wriggling her hands.
“It isn’t smart for a man to get in between two women. It is abysmal to get in between three. You caused the avalanche, I suppose if you really want to stop it, you are just going to have to stand in front of it! And to be honest, I don’t really have the inclination to help you out, girl. As I have been on the receiving end of your insults ever since we met.
“I have never cursed at you, hobbit!”, snarled Tonic.
“Your standards do not define what is an insult and what is not, I am afraid, mine does..”, shrugged Brom.
“What did I say to suddenly set things off, damit!”, said Tonic, flailing her arms.
“And that is the core of your fault. You do not think, like at all, before you talk. You don’t even remember what you said to set this off, and you are still mouthing off? You couldn’t have found better two friends for yourself than those two and they are about throw down because of you. That’s not just wrong and total misuse of friendship, it’s evil..”, Brom said sternly.
Arcantonic Palecog just stared at Brom.
Perhaps she wanted to cry because a strange expression appeared on her face, but the freezing wind just wouldn’t let her.
Finally, she turned and went up to her pair, slushing through the deep snow.
“Seressa Wraiven!”, she shouted over the wind.
Seressa looked down at her.
“Please stop this. NOW!”
Then she turned to Cora.
“I am sorry Cora. I really am..”, she said softly.
Cora did not move nor did her frosty face soften.
“No..”, she said finally. “..you are not!”
“Yes.. yes I am..”, Tonic baffled a bit.
“If you are, why are you apologizing me?”, she said and Tonic sank even deeper into the snow.
“Yea..”, said Brom from the side. “..why is she apologizing you, Cora?”
“That’s enough..”, Seressa said coldly. “..she already said she was sorry. What you are doing now is just cruel!”
“I am an illiterate barbarian who never went to any academy..”, Cora said softly. “..what’s your excuse?”
“She did not have a kind childhood.”, Seressa defended her pair.
“I wasn’t referring to her. I was referring to you, Seressa. You think you are doing her kindness by letting her as she pleases even at the cost of your own dignity? Or perhaps you think it’s alright for you to insult others because that’s exactly what you are doing by seemingly closing your eyes whenever she mouths off.. Now I am not knowledgeable about the kind of bond pairs enjoy, but what it appears is it’s making both of you look rather conceited where others are concerned. Your little pair is so self observed, she can’t even recognize what she did wrong and she’s apologizing to me because she thinks I will go berserk on her like I am some unstable tundra hog, which I take offense but let slide, while she should be apologizing to the ‘hobbit’.. Speaking of which, the ‘hobbit’, has a name; ‘Brom’. Easy enough, even for an ‘unstable’ savage such as myself to remember..
Me and Brom.. We are not mated. We are not a ‘pair’. I am not the alpha and he is not any beta. What we are, is ‘friends’.. ‘companions’.. We rely on one another to survive and to overcome what evil we face and endangering that deathly relation by calling him names seems like a rather stupid idea.
We four have been through some hardship together. Making it harder than it already is, also sounds like a stupid idea.
If you think it is not acceptable for me to berate your pair for acting like a spoilt child, but perfectly alright for her to sully others, I am out!”
Both Seressa and Tonic froze where they were and just stared at the frosty face of the tundra elf.
Brom also looked at Cora too and understood a few facts. One, that this savage girl was deeply wounded, and was still mourning over the loss of her loved ones, her people, and her Ironfrost. Two, that she had accepted him as her friend and that was something she took very seriously. Three, he felt privileged that she had chosen, and accepted him as her friend. Four, that she did not think of him as a secondary role character, nor a sidekick, and last but not least, she was not to be messed with.. Not any time soon, anyway.
“You.. you can’t be out! This isn’t a ‘Ring and Iron’ match! It’s a prophecy..”, stuttered Seressa.
“I do not know what your ring or iron match is, but it sounds like some sort of a game.. We don’t really ever have time for games in the tundras. And it’s your prophecy. Not mine. All I need to do is sit here and wait until one of the old women gets frustrated enough and calls us back!”
“It.. Prophecies don’t work like that..”, shook Seressa in a near panic. “We.. we could be crushed inside a time paradox or just disappear altogether..”
Cora shrugged again, undid her heavy, leather-hide fur cloak, tossed on the wet snow..
..and settled down!
✱ ✱ ✱
Do something..”, hissed Tonic at Brom. “Nothing I tell her at this point will change her mind.”
“You think anything I say will change her mind?”, Brom looked at Tonic amused.
“You are her friend!”, she exclaimed.
“And that is what you don’t get, Arcantonic; so are you! The added fact that you think her feeble-minded enough to cave in just because I go and ask her is insulting on her part, altogether. Besides, this is your mess.”, he said, took off his cloak and prepared to settled down.
“You know full well I never meant to insult you, hobbit!”, snarled Tonic.
“Brom.. The name’s Brom. She just told you that.”
“You know what I mean!”
“No. I don’t. You have never once said anything nice or kind to me ever since we met. All I have heard from you are lots an’ lots of cussing, insults, and your ‘Eyes-Front’ patronizing attitude.”
“I only say ‘eyes front’ so you wouldn’t peek.. at her..”, Tonic drifted off with an untimely blush.
“Peak? Are you kidding me? Even when she’s merely in my peripheral vision, she covers at least a third of my line of sight. And when she’s actually right in front of me the way she is when we are on the move or when she’s talking to me, I can’t see anything else but her! I do not NEED to peek to see any part of her!
You must understand, Arcantonic, that I am not your brother, your father, your uncle, your childhood friend, nor your pair. To you, I am a stranger that you have met just last month. A stranger that you ended up traveling and bleeding, out of sheer convenience of circumstantial proximity. We literally are not friends enough for you to get so cavalierly familiar with me out of hand.
Take Cora for instance.. We two have been together for quite a number of months now and I still have not done anything to offend her. Why? Because it would be rude, if not outright stupid, and possibly crippling on my part.. See, this is being civilized.
As for me, I am a moderately easy going person. And all things considered, so is she. It’s been a month and she’s finally pissed off at you and your pair.
Congratulations, Arcantonic, you have managed to raise the ire from the calmest and the most cool-headed girl in the Great Northern Tundras. You may note that down into your CV of accomplishments..
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some serious sitting downings to do..”, said Brom, and resolutely shut up!
Halfway settling down, he looked at his flimsy cloak and at Cora’s thick, leather hide wrap. He sloshed over to her and said, “Make room.”
Cora squinted at the hobbit. “Not in the mood..”, she said with her pouty lips.
“Make mood!”, grinned Brom.
Cora grunted and shifted a bit; a surprisingly feminine little dance that made good use of her belly, hips, and butt, and she moved over.
Brom settled down on the animal fur hide and the barbarian girl and the hobbit sat back to back.
✱ ✱ ✱
Seressa.. Please.. Let this one on me.. It’s my mess. Let me clear it up.. I appreciate you standing up for me, but as much as I hate to say this, it is my fault.”, whispered Tonic at her pair.
“No one threatens my pair!”, growled the very tall, very dark Seressa and it made her look quite scary.
“But she didn’t threaten me at all, Seressa. That girl has never threatened anyone ever since we met. I am sorry I have such a bad temper and such a foul mouth. And I am so, so sorry I put you into a position like this too.. But please, please, please don’t do anything I would do..”, Tonic desperately pleaded.
“What’s that?”, ask Seressa.
“What I always do; say stupid things..”, said Tonic with self frustration.
“No, I mean what’s that?“, Seressa said as she pointed at something distant behind her pair.
Then she hissed.
“Go get the elf and the hobbit here at once!”
Tonic looked behind her but saw nothing; the glorious advantage of being such a midgety little gnome, she thought glumly and ran off to get the elf and the hobbi— Brom.. To get Cora and Brom!
✱ ✱ ✱
That didn’t take long..”, Brom said as he watched the little gnome perform an unsteady marathon through the deep, wet snow.
“Don’t gloat Brom. It is not nice to gloat.”, scowled Cora.
“No… no.. not gloating.. Merely observing..”, Brom said. “..But that was one, awesome speech you did back there, though. Worthy of a song..”
“You like?”, Cora asked a bit girlishly.
“I like..”, Brom grinned. “..You totally owned it.”
“Cora.. Hobb— Brom.. Something’s happening.. Please come!”, Tonic gasped and breathed as she reached the two.
Cora didn’t miss a beat. Using just her legs, she was up and running —literally skimming— over the wet snow.
Brom sighed and he grabbed the fur and hide cloak, did a quick wrapping motion, and bundled it up and he also started towards Seressa with Tonic at his side.
✱ ✱ ✱
There..’, Seressa said, pointing somewhere in the distance. “I can see two people and they are trying very hard to kill one another!”
Cora shaded her eyes and squinted in the direction the tall girl was pointing. Perhaps a minute drifted by until she saw it as well.
‘Damn, the girl has good eyes..’, she thought. ‘If she hadn’t caught it, we would have missed it altogether.’
“Shall we move closer?”, asked Seressa.
Cora thought for a moment.
“We don’t know where we are. We don’t know ‘when’ we are. We don’t know who they are and we don’t know why they are fighting.. I am not sure if we should get involved.”
She paused for a moment.
“All I know is we are quite high up in some mountains. Looking at the slushy snow and the bitter wind, it must be late August or early September. There’s an exceptional amount of humidity, which means we must be near a very large body of water; a great lake or perhaps a sea. The only great lake that I have heard of is on the west side of the Holy Celestial Mountains but it feels like a sea and..”, she said and a gasp of recognition escaped her..
With that, she dashed towards the two, fighting in the distance..
Seressa skipped a beat, then started after the barbarian.
“They are running again..”, observed Tonic as she sloshed after her pair. “..Why are they always running?”
“Probably because of the long legs.. Gives them the right, I suppose..”, replied Brom, also struggling in the deep, wet snow. “Our legs are there just to keep our arses off the ground.. And to make sure we can get to the kitchen to make cranberry tea.”
“You like cranberry tea?”, asked Tonic, somewhat astonished.
“It’s an acquired taste, but yes, I do enjoy it.. With ginger cookies, cinnamon rolls, and a good book, there’s nothing more heavenly.”
“You are a sloth, sir hobbit!”, sniffed Tonic.
“Egad! What gave it away, Miss Arcan—?”, he replied.
“Just ‘Tonic’ will do. I despair every time you say my full name.. And I don’t see why you persistently try.”
“Nothing too mysterious, there. Was merely being polite. Polite is the core of being a hobbit.. and being a sloth! Ever seen a rude sloth?”, smirked Brom.
Tonic half gasped, haft snorted as they ran after the two, tall figures.
“I like cranberry tea!”, she blurted suddenly.
“Yes..”, she said yearningly. “The bitter after taste is awesome!”
“Hot damn, yes!”, agreed Brom.
“Seressa can’t even stand the smell of it.”, she said glumly. “It’s rosemint tea or no tea, for her.”
“Aaah.. Rosemint tea.. Hard to get around Bowling Hills and not quite a hobbits taste.”, Brom said and shuddered at a ‘tried it once and screamed’ memory.
“I know, right!”, grinned Tonic.
“What are they doing?”, Brom said as he picked up his pace.
“Yea.. What are they doing?”
“Looks like your girl’s tackling my girl!”, said Brom somewhat astonished. “Why is your girl tackling my girl?”
..and just like that, he jumped Tonic!
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING, BOY?!“, blazed Tonic in full, indignant shock!
“Just making sure things don’t get out of hand.”, said Brom carefully.
“The way you are grabbing, everything’s in your hands!”, gasped Tonic with furry.
Brom went still.
Then went almost as crimson as the girl he’d grappled.. and immediately let go of the gnomic girl.
“I.. I apologize for that, Miss Tonic.”, he stuttered.
“If you ever make mention of this or comment about my breasts, I swear..”, Tonic spluttered.
“No.. No, I won’t and no I would never!”, he wholeheartedly promised.
“I really hope you won’t hold this against me.. Or tell Seressa about it..”, Brom said with a very abashed face. “I merely wanted us both not being present when they go at one another.. Witnesses always seem to complicate things.”
“And tell her what? That you jumped and grabbed my breasts so that she’d destroy you? Because that’s exactly what she would do.. Hells bells, boy, you saw her when Cora had merely warned me!”, hissed Tonic.
“Seressa is a lovely, delightful, funny, full of life, and a dear to have around. But she goes.. she becomes dangerous when anyone tries to intimidate or make fun of me.
Once, and only once did she ever get a disciplinary action back in the academy and it was at the graduation ceremony when some idiot made an off-color remark about me.. She beat him like you have never seen. She looks so skinny, but she’s huge! I mean, she totally destroyed the boy and it wasn’t just bumps and bruises..
She bitch slapped him nonstop from one end of the academy courtyard to the other, right there, and in front of the whole graduation ceremony, the dean, all the professors, the teachers, and the staff!
Last I heard, the martial classes actually amended their education programs to add in that particular slap..
And you know what she did after that? She just stood there, hand on her hips, all cool if you please, and said, “Next, please!”
Luckily we had ‘technically’ already graduated, hence the disciplinary action couldn’t even be applied. Sure pissed someone’s rich parents off!
She.. she has an incredible sense of loyalty to her friends and her pair in particular. I do not know what I have done to earn or deserve a friend like her.. But I have her, and she has me..
I.. I know, I can be mean. The effects of years and years and years of mistreatment is not easy to wipe in under a month or two.. But, please show me some tolerance, if not understanding even though I deserve neither and you certainly don’t owe them to me. But I am trying.. I really am..
You and Cora.. I want both of you to be my friends. And I need both of you to be her friend.. I need Seressa to know, the people in her life isn’t limited to just her pair..”, said the gnome girl, and Brom felt the sincerity in her voice, and saw an altogether different depth to her.
“CORA STOP!“, came the shrieking voice of Seressa.
“If you jump me again, boy, I will hurt you!”, Tonic hissed.
✱ ✱ ✱
Cora.. Stop.. We can’t get involved.. Not to this!”, she hissed into the ear of the girl she’d just tackled and held wrapped in her long arms and legs but she felt the strain hurt her. The barbaric elf was not just strong. She was savagely strong and if she didn’t make her stop, she would not only break free but also break her limbs..
“THAT IS MY RIVE’S SON.. HE’S STILL ALIVE.. I CAN SAVE HIM.. I CAN SAVE IRON.. FROST!..“, snarled Cora as she struggled to get the long-limbed girl off of herself.
“No Cora.. You can’t.. you can’t save him.. you can’t save Ironfrost.. That’s already happened.. Please..”, Seressa begged and pleaded as tears of stretching pain registered from every joint of her slim body.
The two men struggling some one hundred yards away were rolling in the snow and bleeding with infernal savagery like there was no tomorrow. One was a lithe young man with long, braided white hair, now scattered while the other was a brutish, cold beast with coarse black hair with few braids, and a body made for primal accuracy then bulk. While one wore light, leather-hide armor with delicate designs, the other wore nothing but a grim loincloth and heavy leather-and-fur boots.
The young man with the white braids was a tundra elf. The only one Seressa had ever seen, other than the young girl she was desperately trying to hold down. The other was unknown, yet, there was the single dark tattoo of a dragon with its wings stretched, inked on the broad of his back.
“LET ME GO! OR I WILL BREAK FREE BY BREAKING YOU!“, nearly shrieked Cora savagely as her own tears scattered, froze, and bit back into her eyes..
“PLEASE CORA.. I AM BEGGING YOU.. PLEASE.. I.. AM.. BEGGING.. YOU..!“
The two men tore at one another with primal savagely as the elf slashed and stabbed his larger opponent. The larger one just wasn’t fast enough and with a pained grunt, he finally fell to his knees..
Breathing heavily, the elf strode next to his enemy with his long, jagged knife, grabbed hold of his dark, clumpy hair, and pulled his head back..
..and with an irritating buzz, an arrow caught the elf on the neck with a chunky noise!
The elf stood there looking down at the brutish barbarian grinning up at him.
And then, with a grateful sigh, the elf collapsed.
“Close one, Son of Krash.”, said a coarse voice, and another brutish barbarian slowly rose from the snow.
“We could have just shot him and be done with..”, he said as he came near his kneeling comrade.
His ‘comrade’, the Son of Krash, slowly got up, grabbed a hand full of snow, and wiped the bloody scars and gashes off himself.
“In case of witnesses, we needed to have one of them kill one of ours to have justified our own kill to avoid a war..”, said the first barbarian.
“But he didn’t kill anyone!”, said the second one.
“No.. he didn’t.. not yet!”, growled Son of Krash, and slashed his comrade’s throat open!
With an astonished look on his face, his comrade collapsed on the snow, trashed a bit, then fell still.
“And I don’t like witnesses..”, said the Son of Krash with primal disgust, grabbed both his comrade and the elf, one by the ankle, the other by the scruff of his neck, and dragged them off..
..Soon enough, they were all gone and whatever had transpired here, was also lost under the moaning wind.
✱ ✱ ✱
Cora simply stood there as the big, savage barbarian faded in the oncoming blizzard. She had just watched the murder of her Rive’s son. Not listened to hearsay, but had actually witnessed it this time. The son of her Rive had been a young, beautiful man. He had also been a symbol for the future of her people. The news of his death had hit Ironfrost like an avalanche then, and watching it actually happen, hit Cora even more.
“Are you alright?”, Tonic was whispering at her pair as the tall, dark girl was the only one not standing, but lying in the snow in agony..
..the tundra elf had broken free.. and broken some things of her as well.
“I.. am.. will be alright, luv..”, she whispered in between gasps and spasms of pain.
“Not our best day, is it dear?”, Tonic said, as she pulled her pair close to herself and held her head on her lap.
“Brom.. a blanket.. a cloak.. anything please.. she’s hurt and hurting..”, the little gnome pleaded in tears.
“That.. that’s the first time.. you have said ‘dear’ to me.. Broken bones will.. heal.. but that dear will stay.. with me..”, whispered Seressa as she tried to brave a smile. “..I think.. that was a fair trade..”
“Of course. Should have thought of that before, my bad.”, shuffled the hobbit as he dug his blanket out of his pack.
“My bad, your bad.. We all did bad today..”, said Tonic glumly.
“It.. it’s alright.. luv.. don’t fret.. friends.. do fight, you know..”, Seressa whispered as she tried to sit up, but failed..
Her eyes rolled back and she collapsed..
“Let’s put up a tent over her. There’s a blizzard coming this way and it doesn’t appear like it’s going blow over anytime soon..”, Brom said and dug his tent out of his pack as well.
“Why..?”, came the harsh, brittle whisper of Cora Sleet. “Why did she try to stop me? I just witnessed the murder of my own future Rive..”
The cold in the elves’ voice was like nothing Brom had ever heard from her before.
He felt the hair on his bushy head tingle!
“Did your Rive’s son die in the past?”, asked Tonic quietly.
Cora’s reply came with the primal savagery of her soul..
“Yes.. We always suspected by who, but we never had the chance, nor the time to do anything about it.. BECAUSE IRONFROST WAS DESTROYED!“, she screamed!
Having made sure her pair was properly covered, Arcantonic Palecog got up and slowly walked up to the raging tundra elf.
She slowly knelt before her, pulled out something folded out of her belt, flipped it open, and showed it to Cora.
Cora just stared at the little gnomic girl.
“What the hell is this?”, she snarled.
“This, Tundra Elf Cora Sleet, is the Badge of The Academy of Melshieve.”, she said quietly.
“Why are you showing this to me?”
“Because once the badge is out, no one hits an agent of the academy!”, she whispered even more quietly.
Cora stared at the little gnomic figure with hot fumes rising from her.
“Just what kind of a savage do you think I am?”, she snarled again, at Tonic.
“Everyone is a savage when they have seen what you have seen, dear Cora. You have just been forced to watch your elders’ son get butchered and relived it all. But I need me to be in one piece to be able to look after my pair. She’s hurt. Her arm is broken, her knee is dislocated, she has at least three cracked ribs and some very ugly bruises where a girl should never have..”, she said with the same, silent voice.
“You must know and understand that your elders’ son was already dead and long before we ever met. You must also know, that the ‘thief’ the seers spoke of at the Star Watchers village was that barbarian; the Son of Krash.. It is HIM, that we must help make sure he steels the ‘right’ object..”
✱ ✱ ✱
The blizzard had settled in, and harshly. It howled and shrieked all around them and it took everything Brom and Tonic to keep the tent from being ripped off its pegs. Brom had to get out every once in a while to hammer them back in, while Tonic splinted her pairs arm, wrapped her fractured ribs, and with a heart devastating scream of pain from the tall, dark Seressa, she had pulled then punched her pairs’ dislocated knee back into its place.
Tonic had cried like a little girl while doing all this.
“How are you holding up?”, Brom asked her but Tonic could only shake her pale, drawn face.
“This is all my fault.”, she sobbed suddenly.
“What?”, asked the hobbit, a bit baffled.
“I should never have listened to her and let her come to the tundras. All I wanted was to get away from everyone and everything and thought The Great Northern Tundras would be far enough for that. I never believed in any of her nonsense about ‘seeking unearthed prophesies’.. I selfishly let her silly ideas and ideals get to her head. I knew, if I just nodded at her, it would be enough to get her to start her on her path.”
“Wow..”, whispered Brom. “..this academy of yours really does make you conceited!”
“Nothing is alright unless it’s all about you people, is it?”, he said. “Gosh, I can see now why even that Grandaleren disliked the two of you..”
“That’s not funny, and you are not helping hobbi— Brom!”, she scowled.
“It’s alright for you to call me a hobbit. I am one, after all. I don’t mind it. Though I couldn’t give any promises about Cora.”, he smirked. “But what I said stands. You say you never believed in prophecies, and yet, here you are. It may or it may not require your believing in them, I do not know. But apparently, it does require your deeds —your actions..
Although I myself am clueless as to what we accomplished in the last one, we HAVE been in one prophecy already. At least you had a reason, as selfish a reason as you want to claim. I did not have ANY reasons to be here.. like, NONE.. AT ALL!
I was quite happy at home, drinking my cranberry tea, eating my ginger cookies and cinnamon rolls, and reading a good book —and I mean, I was literally doing all those and living in my own private heaven, when I suddenly got up one day and walked out..
After nearly two years of traveling, I ended up at Handshake, and not soon after my arrival, Cora Sleet stumbled in.. I claim not to be knowledgeable about such things as deep and uncanny as prophecies, but I certainly am not going to discard them. I am not the central part of them, but willy-nilly, I am part of them..”
Brom Bumblebrim smiled kindly at the still scowling gnome girl.
“Go on.. get some sleep. I will watch over our very tall, very dark friend. And I promise I shall have my ‘Eyes Front’..”
The little gnomic girl snuggled under Seressa’s blanket to make sure she’d stay warm and be damned if she woke up to find out she’d ended up inside her coin purse.
She’d trade that indignity any time if it would but help ease her pairs’ pain..
The night howled and the dusty specks of flinty snow swirled around the little tent.
It was not clear though, whether it was actually the night that was howling, or the lithe figure with tossing white braids, some one hundred yards away..