Previously, Fanir and Mennah, twins from Frostead, chased an unknown person who has twice stolen chickens from their settlement. They had finally found some tracks leading toward a steep rocky ridge.
[Face Danger: Miss]
Partway up Mennah tries to get over some loose rocks and slips, scraping her leg. “Ow! Sorry!” She yells as she also falls against Fanir who is right behind her, knocking one of the pouches from his belt.
[Endure Harm: Strong – Embrace the pain]
“Not a big deal; I can patch myself up and we can replace the jerky later if we need to.”
(Note: Didn’t need to do this, just wanted to.)
After cleaning her wound, Fanir and Mennah push on over the ridge. Halfway down is a decent little flat spot so they decide to make camp.
[Make Camp: Strong]
[Undertake a Journey: Strong + Twist]
After a good night’s rest, the twins set out again, finishing the descent off the ridge quickly. Partway across the valley they spot a lone human figure heading away from them.
[Gather Info: Strong]
Once off the rocky ridge Fanir quickly finds the same tracks that lead them from the campsite the day before. With renewed vigor and surety of step they quicken their pace in an attempt to catch up to the figure before the day is over.
* * *
“Look, I see him up ahead and he’s got dead chickens on his pack! Our chickens, no doubt!” exclaims Mennah.
[Reach Destination: Strong]
“Ho there, friend!” shouts Fanir toward the man, who looks to be a Hunter based on the leather leggings and furs he is wearing as well as the bow hanging on his shoulder. Fanir figures a friendly approach may keep the man from bolting or attempting to kill them on site. The hunter turns around, looking both harried and surprised.
“If he’s a hunter, why’s he got our chickens?” wonders Mennah to herself as Fanir approaches the stranger.
Fanir decides to reason with him. After all, there’re two of us and one of him, he thinks to himself. “Sir, I believe you’ve stolen those chickens from our village. We need those! Give them back and we’ll let you go.”
“I’m sorry, so sorry but I …I can’t! My daughter is gravely ill and the shaman requested chickens as payment to heal her, you see. They’re just over there, not far, in the Ruins of the Old Ones. I must get to them before she dies!” The hunter’s voice breaks and he can no longer speak. Tears form in his eyes.
“Come then, lead the way.” interjects Mennah. The hunter turns to her, gratitude gleaming in his eyes. He quickly turns waving his hand as if to say, come, follow me.
* * *
“Ahh, you’ve brought my payment,” says the shaman rising from a stone near the metal pillar at the center of the ruins which were tucked into a small canyon. Pointing at the pillar he adds, “Fascinating things aren’t they?…”
The hunter quickly replies, “Please, let’s not delay talking about things that don’t matter!”
“Very well, then, you are right. Just set the chickens there by my pack and I will get on with it.”
By this time the sun was getting low but the ruins weren’t entirely in shadow just yet. The twins kept their distance, both fascinated and repulsed by what they saw. Time seemed to pass in a flash but by the time it was over shadows covered the ruins. The sun reflecting off the ridge above enabled them to see fairly well even so. The young woman stirred and sat up, calling for her father.
“Chenda, you’re awake, how do you feel?” he asks her.
“Strange and kind of lightheaded. Where are we?” She replies.
The hunter tells her, “It doesn’t matter, you should rest, but first I want you to meet some…” he pauses wondering whether to call them friends or not. “folks who helped me.” He beckons the twins over. “I am Themon and this is my daughter Chenda. Thank you so much for helping us.”
“I am Fanir and this is Mennah, my twin. We’re glad you are better, Chenda. You should get some rest.” To Mennah he says, “Let’s find a good spot to camp and then head home tomorrow.”
With that they move away and find a place to set up camp among the ruins. Grabbing her sling and an empty pouch, Mennah heads back out of the ruins to collect some berries she noticed on the way in. It also gives her time to process the days events alone. While picking the berries she comes across a glen where some yaro is growing, an herb wonderful for staunching wounds.
[Make Camp: Strong]
In the morning, Themon approaches the twins before they break camp. “I can’t thank you enough.” He pulls what looks like a large coin out of his pocket and wraps it in his fist. “I swear to you I will make this right. If you don’t mind, we would travel with you and I will hunt some meat for you to take back as payment for the chickens.” His hand opens, revealing a Frostead amulet with a slash through the snowflake. “This is why I was forced to steal. I could not show my face in Frostead again. Otherwise…” He trailed off but the meaning was clear.
To be continued…