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Adventures in Forochel

Story Collection: 
Chapter 1 - White as Snow

Originally posted  6 November, 2008

“I’ve told you a thousand times. My name’s not Elly Vera. It’s Protea. Pro… taaay... aaah.” She was shaping her lips in such an exaggerated way that it came off as quite comical. The Lossoth trader she was talking to and the children around her were now all imitating her and giggling. This of course only made Protea’s mood even fouler.

 

Eiadric looked at her and chuckled. “Come on Protea. Leave it. He doesn’t understand a word you’re saying. We’ve got to start moving out of this camp. We’re late as it is.”

 

“Don’t you talk to me about late!” she snapped “All I’ve done up in this godforsaken freezer is wait for you.”

 

Eiadric laughed. “Well I won’t deny that. It just takes longer to move all this muscle and metal around. We aren’t all little weasels.” He winked at Anryu so that Protea couldn’t see.

 

Protea gave him a poisonous glare and turned around to sort out her pack. “Yeah that’s if you actually move in the right direction” she muttered to herself inaudibly.

 

Just then Elrich came back. He had been negotiating with two Lossoth trackers about passage across the ice bay.

 

“Well… Any luck?” asked Anryu.

 

“Yes” said Elrich in his brief manner. “But we cannot cross the bay in boats. We must go around.”

 

Eiadric sighed. He was certainly not surprised. He had expected this to be the case all along. It was just disheartening to actually to hear it.

 

“Our hunt for Narchuil is taking longer than I would like” said Eiadric. “We can only comfort our selves with the fact that the forces of Angmar have equally hostile ground to cover”.

 

“And we should count ourselves lucky that we have managed to befriend these people” said Elrich. “I don’t think anyone of us would manage to survive up here without their help and guidance.” He looked around “Where is Lhasbelin?” he asked, just realising that she wasn’t there.

 

“She’s off dying the robe she got yesterday” said Anryu, trying hard not to laugh. “She reckons it would look good in black”

 

“Black!?” Exclaimed Elrich. “Is she mad? We’re on a secret quest here. Could she not pick a more fitting colour for this landscape”.

 

“What? Like white?” Said Eiadric. They all looked at Elrich in his all-white outfit and struggled not to laugh. Elrich, seemingly oblivious to Eiadric’s gibe answered “Yes. Why not white?”

 

“Maybe she feels her bum would look big in white.” said Protea now cheering up a bit.. “You know black makes you look slimmer”

 

Elrich scoffed. And they all continued packing their gear in silence.

Chapter 2 - Leaving Suri Kyla

After a while the fellowship was ready and started walking towards the edge of the town where they had once entered. All the village children followed them. Some cautious and keeping their distance, others brave enough to come close and poke them and tug at their clothes. Some of them were staring at Eiadric’s shield and he understood then that they had never seen such a thing. He suddenly turned to them and growled with the shield raised in front of him. At that all the children yelped and retreated, each one scuffling to hide behind the other. When Eiadric lowered his shield and smiled broadly they all broke into laughter. Then they swarmed around him and tugged at his legs and hauberk and climbed on his shield till he lost balance and toppled over into the snow. The children now jumped on top of him and cheered triumphantly. Protea smiled and shook her head. “Sturdy guardian indeed. Defeated by Lossoth whelps.”

 

Eiadric who was now being tickled into submission, begged for mercy but the children were ruthless. It wasn’t until one of the Lossoth trackers came and shooed them all away that they got off and started leaving reluctantly. Waving and smiling to the fellowship and Eiadric who was lying down covered in snow. He got up and brushed himself off and tried to speed up to catch up with the others who had started walking.

 

“Not good to be wet when travel. Must stay dry.” Said the tracker looking straight ahead not at Eiadric when he had caught up. Eiadric looked sheepishly down at the snow and felt like he was ten years old and being reprimanded by his disappointed father.

 

“We are very glad that you are helping us to Kuru-Leiri” said Elrich.

 

“Our elders say you friend of the Lossoth. They say we take you there. We do as elders say.”

 

They were silent after that until they came to the very edge of the village and met up with the other Lossoth guide standing by two reindeer sledges and a lot of unpacked baggage. Even then not many words were exchanged. It was mostly the Lossoth guides asking their charges if they had packed this or that, or if they had thought of this or that. They felt very ignorant and realised just how ill equipped they were for this harsh snowy region. They had offered to help pack the sledges but were courteously told that there was no need. It soon became clear that packing a snow sledge was an art. The amount of baggage that the two Lossoth guides managed to fit on the sledges was truly staggering. And to make it all take so little space was what Protea called magic. And the most impressive part, as they later found out, was packing in such a way that the sledges were perfectly balanced. The reindeer were strong animals but the voyage was long and the landscape treacherous.

 

At around midmorning they were done and all were told to get on the sledges. Protea who was now in the middle of her second breakfast had to shove the rest of the food down her throat.

 

“Maybe it‘s you that should be wearing black” said Anryu as she jumped onto one of the sledges. But luckily she didn’t hear him.

 

The Lossoth guides snapped the reins to urge the reindeer forward and the beasts tugged with all their might. The laden sledges were stuck to the snow and only slowly started giving way. But with the creaking of wood and grinding of tautly pulled rope they were off. The two blue-eyed, wolf-like dogs that were to accompany the party ran along side the sledges. Tongues out and full of energy and vigour.

 

Enjoying the brisk cold air and wondrously white and sunny landscape. Eiadric looked around at the other members of his fellowship and could see that, despite the seriousness of their quest, they were all smiling broadly in anticipation of the adventures to come.

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