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  1. #221
    Nice update and in-character reactions, Poppyseed!

    P.S. the plot thickens. Diplomatic "negotiations" may play as significant a role as adventuring. Which does Nemir find more distasteful? (I have a guess
    Last edited by Hector Trelane; November 23rd, 2020 at 19:47.

  2. #222
    Meeting up again at the refugee camp that Leaf Sole and Nemir had been staying in, the companions got ready to head north again. Beli showed off his newly improved and decorated mattock and he and Nemir shared a moment of levity as they made a reference back to the shell he'd once thought was gold. Together, the companions travelled through Strandburg to Edric's town, where they saw the people there were gaunt and pale, having been forced to endure a harsh winter with low supplies. At first, they were met with suspicion. Others had tried to rob them not too long ago so they were more cautious than they would otherwise be but they were soon reassured that they had nothing to fear from them.

    Achernar and Astrid tended to the sick while Nemir and Alaric hunted, bringing back a bounty for the townsfolk, and Beli and Beldan worked to improve the defences and stockade that had been set up. Beli also sent back a letter to Erebor requesting food and stone for Edric's town. The companion's efforts uplifted the spirits of the townsfolk and over the evening meal, the companions talked about what had happened with Galford, which the townsfolk thought was strange because they hadn't been attacked - it had just been the cold and isolation with the snows that hurt them. They also learned that a man that fit the description of the man Beli had met in the refugee camp (Kol) resided just outside town so they went to see him. Just getting to his house was slightly perilous, Nemir noted as she glanced dubiously at the various snares and traps they navigated around as they got closer. Kol welcomed them in and offered them food but most of the companions tried to politely refuse. After nearly walking into a long string of goblin teeth, Nemir wasn't eager to risk whatever dubious food he had. In an effort not to offend, Beli accepted Kol's offer and found the meat, though heavily salted, wasn't too bad. Kol talked about a drake to the east and the galford goblins that had gone north-east as the snows melted, abandoning Galford.

  3. #223
    And don’t forget Achernar made another lady friend ...

    Thanks for the write up!

  4. #224
    After journeying on the road for a bit, they found a mine-cave to camp in but three trolls attacked them in the night from the upper ledges. The trolls gave them trouble, pushing rubble down onto where the ponies were and killing all of them apart from the few that Nemir managed to rescue and calm. They also managed to get Astrid and Orelon out of the caves before they could be hurt by the trolls and although it was a tough fight, the companions took them down.

    Beli wanted to search further into the cave to see if there was any treasure but Nemir argued against it, saying that they needed to get moving and find someplace safer, reinforced by the fact that they'd noticed since the trolls were coming from above, this might not have been their lair. Beli and Beldan went further in to explore while the men looked at the tracks above and Nemir took the horses and led them up with Astrid and Orelon. When Beli and Beldan returned and they continued on, Beli showed her the small chunk of copper he'd found and she'd given him a smug grin, knowing she'd been right, and teased him for it.

    The men's tracking of the troll prints led them to the cave the trolls were from which had a lot of treasure in coins, gems and other artifacts. Nemir found a green and ivory pendant necklace that she very much liked - it was beautiful. She put on and tucked under her shirt. She also claimed an elven forester's pruning hook that they'd found because she thought if she asked the right people, she would be able to tell where it was from or who it would belong to since it had a distinctive appendage on it. Beldan thought it was an item of special crafting. Leaf Sole asked whether he might be able to use it as a weapon on their journey but Nemir hugged it close to her chest and told him that she didn't want the potential for it to get damaged - for the lore it carried to be lost - and Leaf Sole graciously accepted her answer. They split the treasure evenly, with only a little remaining but they agreed that the extra treasure could be donated - either to help the refugees a little or to contribute a little to the opening of the Old Forest Road.

    They encountered a dwarf further along the road, who was travelling the other way and asked them whether they'd seen another dwarf. As they hadn't, they told him no, and when he mentioned trolls, they said they'd killed three. He began to grow suspicious of them for some reason even though they were telling the truth that they hadn't seen his brother when they mentioned the trolls they'd killed.

    Further on down the path, they found a broken wagon with a dead dwarf and a hungry-looking juvenile dog. Nemir offered the dog some food and petted him. He was a herding dog with black and white fur and golden eyes. The others repaired the wagon to have a way to carry their newfound treasure in a way that had less of a burden on the ponies and Alaric regretfully told the rest of his companions that he had to turn back to Dale - that he had enough now to buy some things that his farm needed and if he ran this errand now, he could help them this year so they bid him goodbye and good luck as he left with his share of the treasure.

    Nemir took the dog they'd found along with them as they continued their travels, growing fond of him. She fed him and he seemed to like her a lot. The gold of his eyes reminded her of a painting she'd seen back home - of the Mallos flowers that were her sister Itholdiel's favourite - and it brought a smile to her face as she thought of it so Nemir named him after those flowers. She called him Mallos. Perhaps Itholdiel would also be fond of him when Nemir returned home with him once this business and trouble was over. Nemir stroked his fur as she sat with him by the campfire and he wagged his tail happily. He lay over her feet, which were covered only by socks now; her boots lay by her satchel. He's a good companion, Nemir thought. Cevendir, at least, will like him. And I'll take good care of him.

    They reached the caves that held the tomb and found Beornings guarding the entrance but their mannerisms were off. Like they were under the control of somebody else. They looked frostbitten and had ice spears that they chucked at the companions when they tried to get closer into the cave. Still, the companions needed to get into the cave to see whether the ice lady was there so they initially fought to disarm and disable. However, as Beli, Beldan, and Leaf Sole got closer, it became more apparent that these men were already dead and some chanted words in black speech. As they and the companions fought, many of the companions got wounded and grew weary so Beli, Beldan and Leaf Sole fell back to the archery range, where Achernar and Nemir stood. One of the ice spears pierced Nemir's side under her ribs. The companions were triumphant though and after the battle, Nemir clutched her side and groaned in pain.

    Achernar picked up the helmet that the captain of the Beornings had been wearing and said he thought he remembered it in his family before and went inside the cave. Nemir called after him, saying "Where are you going?" He seemed to shake something off and walked back out, saying he didn't think anyone was in there. Nemir agreed that she couldn't hear anything and suggested that they head back to camp to patch themselves up before going in even so, taking her hand off her side for a bit and grimacing at the fact that it was covered in blood.

    Something strange had changed in Beli though; he'd become consumed by a sort of madness. When he rushed into the cave, panic arose in Nemir's chest and she immediately bolted after him, despite the sharp and ever present pain in her side. The other companions also followed, running after him. He was saying "Mine, it's all mine!" and then a little later "curses it's all gone!" as he got into the main bit of the cave and found that the treasure wasn't there. After ten minutes, he came back to them with an odd look in his eyes and a treasure chest in his hands.

    Tears stung Nemir's eyes but she wiped them away before the dwarf could see them. Angry, she marched up to him and yelled "You had me worried! Don't do that again!" Panic and worry stung her voice and throat. She whacked him on the head and repeated herself: "Don't do that again you hear me?" He didn't answer her and Nemir took a few breaths to calm herself. Achernar, meanwhile looked at the sarcophagus and remembered his "fair lady" - thought that the others just didn't understand her beauty.

    With a hand clutched to her side, and beginning to feel a bit lightheaded and dizzy, Nemir began to concentrate harder on her walking as they headed back. She walked at Beli's side and berated him in a long stream of "That was reckless - what if there had been something in there? You could've gotten into danger" and "What came over you to make such a move?". When Nemir paused, Beli snapped at her that perhaps she should look down at her fancy shoes and see they're a bit nicer.

    She was stunned into silence and it took her a moment to process what he'd said. She stopped and looked down as Beli carried on in a huff. He was right. She hadn't noticed it before but her shoes had been adorned with the copper Beli had found. There were bits of it on the ends of her shoelaces and flecks around the toes of her boots, carrying around to the heel and up the back of her boots in a little bit of a spaced out pattern. They twinkled as bits of them caught the light. When had Beli done that? Nemir wondered, looking at his back as he marched on. Her worry, panic and anger just settled into guilt as she carried on, focusing ever harder on putting one foot in front of the other and carrying on until they got back to camp and she could rest.

  5. #225
    Love it!

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