Day 1 it’s time to party in Iqaliat
To Kali’s dismay the town held a big party to celebrate the death of the dragon and their very survival. This community has a strong bond and I heard story after story about the people killed by the dragon. This party was in part to celebrate the life of those killed by the dragon. Walking through the crowd listening and talking with the people I was a little shocked to truly comprehend how many people died at the claws of the dragon? So many people have lost loved ones to the dragon. With the closeness of this community it is hard to understand how the shaman could betray his people and bring so much death. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain these people are going through. It seems like everyone has lost someone to the dragon and a few stories recounted entire families killed by the dragon.
As I was walking between groups a man that looked maybe the age of my companions approached me. He didn’t look as drunk as most of the other people and approached with purpose. I immediately prepared myself to take on a co-conspirator of the shaman. My thoughts jumped to way would he approach me in this crowd instead of waiting for me to be alone. I relaxed when I noticed a drink in one hand and some bread in the other hand. Quickly I decided to keep on guard but see how this plays out. He approached and just started talking.
The man said “Your Ivan right? My name is Anerk. I think that it such as great thing that all of you have done for us. Such bravery is hard to find these days. I myself would have gone but I hurt my knee and that is such a long trip for someone like me with an injured leg. Are you having fun??
I replied “Yea I guess”
Anerk said “Great. So you know Kali really well right? I am sure that her bravery was a shining inspiration to someone as young as yourself. You’re so lucky to have the privilege of traveling with a fantastic woman such as her. The brown eyes of hers are so dreamy and I am sure you would agree that her figure is as dreamy as her eyes. Do the other women get jealous of her beauty? I would love to be traveling the world with Kali.”
Anerk pauses looking like he expects some type of response.
I replied “Yea I guess”
Anerk continues to talk “So you’re her friend, how can I get to know her better. Maybe you could introduce me and tell her what a good guy I am.”
I replied “I think it would give a better impression if you introduced yourself. It is not my place to get involved with Kali’s personal relationships.”
Anerk replied “Ok with your encouragement I think I am ready to talk to her. Do you know where she went?”
I replied “Ah no”
Anerk wandered off looking for Kali. I am not sure what to say when Kali questions me about Anerk. I did try to stay out of it. As I turned to put some distance between Anerk and myself I bumped into someone.
A voice said “Hi my name is Piquana. I saw you talking with Anerk. He is going through a tough time losing all of his family. He is normally a good guy and obsession with your friend is the first thing he has shown any interest in since the dragon killed
his parents and sisters.”
Paquana continued speaking “So are you enjoying the party? I still don’t really understand why after so many years this dragon suddenly decided to start attacking us now. Normally we take care of ourselves but I guess everyone some time in their life needs heroes.”
Paquana paused to take a drink and then continued to talk “Even with you taking care of the dragon there are still some that don’t trust outsiders. “
Paquana paused to finish off her drink and then continued to talk “It looks like I need to get another drink. Winter is coming and soon you won’t be able to see anything. With all of the dragon attacks I just hope that the hunters have gather enough to last through the darkness. Well I really need another drink.”
Paquana stumbled as she walked away pausing a moment to say “Tell Sparna my forge is always open for him to use.”
From behind me a female voice said “Hey Ivan do you want to have a drink with us?”
Turning around a small group of teenagers are sitting at the table. One of the guys motions for me to come over and sit with them. I accepted the invitation.
He started talking “I am Anuun, this is Eska, this is Ikiak, this is Sesi, and twins are Ulva and Atana. Here have a drink, I think you need it after Anerk and Piquana.”
Over the next couple of hours we shared stories. I told them about growing up on a farm in the south and I learned a lot about each of them. The families Anuun and Eski handle brewing and tavern in the town. Ikiak works in the general store with his family. Sesi, Ulva and Atana are hunters, both families have a deep tradition of hunting. Like on the farm people tend to follow the family path but at least here it is up to each person.
After the long evening of getting to know my new friends Ulva stands up and said “I’m ready”
I said “ready for what”
Anuun replied “Just a little run through the town. I hope you don’t get too cold”
On the way over to one of the now empty houses they explained that as part of my initiation into their little group we would be streaking up to the cliff’s and then back to the house.
Anuun said “We normal go up to the cliffs during the warm months and dance in front of the spirits but this time of year it can be dangerous. Once we get up to the cliffs the blowing wind get frightfully cold. “
Sesi speaks “Oh Anuun it won’t be that bad. It’s a warm night and we can all run back and stand in front of the fire.”
We made it to the house and waited around for the fire to get good and warm.
Eski said “Ok the fire is warm enough. Everybody get ready. Ivan we do this only wearing boots and nothing else”
I said “I will switch boot as wearing these boot would be cheating. They are magic and keep the wearer warm.”
Ikiak said “Glad we can trust you not to cheat”
Without the boots the night air was very cold. It must have looked bizarre to anyone watching the seven of us run for the cliffs. As we headed into the tunnel on the way to the cliffs several of us collided and I hit the wall and almost fell down.
Someone I think Eski said “wait Ikiak I think fell down”
We paused and then I heard Ikiak “no I am fine” as he runs past.
We all made up to the cliffs and there was a moment were my brain was telling to stop and cast endure elements. I pushed through and followed the others back to the warm house. With the help of a warm house, hot tea and warm blanks we were able to finally get rid of the chills from our run.
Ikiak said “So now you are one of us. It a brutal run but now we can just sit in front of the fire and get a good night’s sleep.”
I said “I think we should do it again!”
Anuun, Eska, and Ikiak almost at the same time said “What are you crazy?”
Atana speaks up “Spoken like a true hunter but the cold can be very dangerous”
Ulva said “Up here you need to know when to stay out of the cold”
I replied “I’m going and this time I plan to dance to the wind spirits. I have a plan do you trust me?”
Sesi said “Oh sure”
I replied “This time we are going to use magic to stay warm.”
I proceeded to cast endure elements on everyone.
I said “This spell will help keep everyone warm. Let’s go”
At that we headed out the door and back up to the cliffs. The run to the cliffs was a lot more pleasant this time. At the cliffs we began a dance to the wind spirits. It took a little patient instruction from the others before it started to at least look like I was doing the dance correctly. We danced to the wind spirits for hours before returning back to the house to sleep. I had forgotten what it was like to not act like an adult.
Day 2 Let get some hunting in before the dark night
I awoke surrounded by my new teen age friends. It will be hours before they get enough sleep so I move quietly to not disturb there sleep. As expected Sparna is over at the forge working on one of his projects. It looks as if he is working to improve his Urgosh, Odd I thought we was not working on the urgosh. I barely convinced Sparna that we should see our companions off as they head to get supplies. After some time helping get everything packed up I watched as the caravan headed out for their 12ish day supply run.
With last night’s party I expected people to be getting going late today but as we walked past the tavern they were opening up for breakfast like any other day. Neither Sparna nor I really needed food so we just walked past. I headed back to the house and quietly investigated the other rooms of the house and discovered damage to the roof likely from the dragon, with a little bit of magic the whole in the roof was fixed. I quietly wandered around the house using magic to repair some of the little things that were in disrepair. Repairing the outside used up a little more time but there were still a few hours before the others would be waking up. Walking through the area checking the other homes for damage took long enough that I could head over to the tavern and get breakfast for the group.
Over at the tavern/inn the woman cheerfully put together the “to go” package of steaming hot food. As she hands me the food she said “Well it looks like your Dwarf friend is finally going to enjoy a good hardy meal.”
I replied “This is not for him this is for the Anuun, Eski and friends”
Woman replied “Well you tell my son Eski that we need help this morning and to get right over here. Anuun’s father was looking for him. The two of them are supposed to be down moving the ale casts. Make sure they eat a good breakfast first”
The smell from the food seemed to bring them out of there slumber. I relayed the message to Eski and Anuun who quickly eat and headed out along with Ikiak. Sesi, Ulva and Atana took more time to eat and make plans for the day.
Ulva said “Sesi are you still coming hunting with Atana and I?”
Sesi replied “I wouldn’t be able to leave until tomorrow. Why don’t you take Ivan?”
Ulva replied “What do you say Ivan you up for some girls showing you up?”
I just responded “Sure. Sesi can you please tell Sparna that I am out hunting”
Atana said “It’s settled. We need to grab our stuff and get moving. Ivan are you packed?”
I replied with “Yep. I am carrying everything I own.”
Less than an hour later the three of us were on our way. Although I wonder if they really wanted me long or if they really wanted the endure elements. We head out along the wall for 3 to 4 hours before they just stopped.
Ulva said “Were here. We just need to chip away the ice around the door. You and
Atana work on the door and I will go set out the traps”
Atana replied “FINE, I CAN DO IT MYSELF I DON’T NEED IVAN’S HELP”
Ulva replied “Ivan why don’t you come with me and I will show you how we set the traps on the ice.”
I followed Ulva and once we were clearly out of earshot Ulva begins to speak “Sorry about that. My sister had way too much to drink and I think it has caught up with her. Normally it is me that she is pissed off at so this is kind of refreshing. Watch out. When she is like this she bites, hits, and kicks. Atana should be fine after she sleeps it off.”
I replied “I could try some healing magic to help”
Ulva replied “Did you forget about the part where she bites, hits, and kicks?
I said “how do you feel? I can try the healing magic on you”
Ulva replied “Like someone hit me in the head with a mace. I won’t bite you for trying”
Casting my spell I said “Here let’s try this and see if it at least makes you feel better. This is not a cure and will only last for 7 hours.”
Ulva replied “Oh that feels better. As promised I didn’t bites, hit or kick you”
We finished setting up the last of the traps and slowly headed back to the cave/ice hut. Ulva and I checked the traps later that evening and to my surprise we were already catching prey. We spent some extra time gathering up some of the worms Skygni had told me about. This is an area rich in the worms and that is what attracts the game here during the winter months. On the way back to the ice hut Ulva reaches over, takes my glove off and bites me.
Ulva said “I didn’t want you to get the impression that I am a domesticated woman that doesn’t bite.”
The rest of the night went ok and luckily today Ulva was the only woman to bite me.
Day 3 Every day is a good day to hunt
I watched as Atana woke from sleep and began to put on her boots. Heading towards the door she looked at me and whispered “Sorry. I am going out to set traps you should get some more sleep”.
I replied “wait should you be going alone? Would you like endure elements?”
Atana replied “My sister will be mad at me for going out on my own and yes Endure elements would be nice”
I replied while casting my spells “Here is endure elements and this is my beacon spell that will allow me to keep track of you. This way you can be alone but we can find you if something goes badly wrong”
As I touched Ulva with the same Beacon spell she groggily said “what is it”.
I whispered “Hush it is just me casting a spell on you”
Ulva groggily replied “Ok Ivan I trust you”
It wasn’t long after Atana left that Ulva fully woke and I explained that I was tracking the both of them with magic. I explained that she is fine and said she would be back in a few hours. Ulva and I waited around in the ice hut until Atana returned. After she had rested the three of us spent the rest of the day and most of the night out hunting.
Day 4 foggy day
We were supposed to head back to town today but thick fog started moving in so we spent the last few hours hunting before it reached us. Once the fog got thick Atana and I made one more trip out to check on the traps. It may not have been smart but with the beacon spell on Atana and Ulva we would at least be able to make it back to Ulva in the ice hut. The fog was so thick that it was hard to see the traps just feet from the ropes. We check about half of the traps when we decided it was just too hard to find the traps. We made our way back to the ice hut.
Atana said “Well it looks like we will just have to stay inside and find some games to entertain ourselves with.”
Ulva said “Ivan why don’t you tell us about all those symbols on your body?
I explained how they just appeared when I first learned about magic. Ulva and Atana examined the symbols and exclaimed that their symbol was missing. After hours of discussing the different symbols on me we called it a night and got some sleep.
After a couple of hours I awoke and put a piece of wood on the fire. The only problem with only needing two hours of sleep is having to wait for other people to get enough sleep. I stepped outside to check on the fog and discovered that the fog was gone. I considered going out and collecting the remaining animal traps when the door to the hut suddenly opened. A groggy Ulva grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the hut.
Ulva said in a groggy voice “No going out and being stupid. Promise me you won’t go out while we sleep.”
I replied “ok”
Moments later Ulva was sound asleep again. I spent the hours working some of the hides to keep busy until Atana and Ulva awoke.
With the fog gone Atana and Ulva easily lead the way back to town. We dropped off the supplies.
Atana said “Ivan, we will be celebrating a successful hunt tonight at the tavern. You should join us.”
I replied “Again with the drinking. Should I be worried tomorrow?”
Atana replied “I am not going to drink that much. And for the record I wasn’t that bad”
Ulva just started walking down the road as she said “See you tonight Ivan”
I headed down the street towards the forge to check in on Sparna. Inside I found Sparna working with Piquana closely watching. She startled when I entered the room.
Sparna approached me and started telling me that his urgosh was somehow different.
Brushing bits off the Urgosh I said “Ok let me take a look. This looks like some enchanting material. Let me check for magic”
After casting detect magic I said “Wow this is magic now. Looks like you put magic on both sides of your weapon. Nicely done Sparna.”
Piquana rushes over bumping against Sparna. She said “Sparna that’s is incredible. The way you use your hands to work the metal is amazing.”
We spent the next several hours discussing the process of creating magic weapons. Unknowingly Sparna followed the same process for creating a magical weapon that I learned. The whole time I kept waiting for Sparna to notice that Piquana was being overly suggestive and using any reason to make contact with him. I decided that anything between Piquana and Sparna was none of my business.
From the doorway I heard the familiar female voice of Sesi say “Piquana do you have Anuun’s new hinge done”
Piquana replied “Ah no I have finish it yet”
Sesi approached me and in a calm voice said “Grandma said that I should fetch you for dinner”.
Before I had any chance to respond Sesi moved forward and started kissing me. She paused long enough to whisper “Grandma insisted that I convience you to have dinner with us”. I tried to respond in agreement with dinner by it is not easy to talk while kissing.
On the way out of the forge I looked back at Sparna and said “later Sparna” but he was already back completely focused on working the armor. Sesi and I headed down the street to meet grandma for dinner.