So with the decision finally made, several options lay ahead of us. We could make the journey in less than a fortnight by river on an almost round about way. Speed of the river had its privilege, or we could take the journey by land and have it take three times as long. Of course we tried the boats first, but I had the bright idea that maybe we could trade our services as guards for the journey.
First boat was a bust. The captain was just not interested in anything I suggested, which was fine. Plenty of boats in the harbor. Second boat wanted to assure us that river travel was safe and that while he wouldn’t give us a free ride, he would charge us a meager fee for a fast, safe journey. I was becoming a bit disheartened but that only ended up making me all the more determined to find a way to make the journey fast and free. We had to have something go our way at some point.
But… it was not to be with the third boat we approached. I haggled and haggled and haggled for a ride, but it didn’t matter. This guys barrels of whatever he was hauling eliminated any room he had or something of the sort. I was so frustrated at the third rebuff that I said “river be damned, we’ll just walk”. And so we began our journey, on foot once again after a day of haggling down at the wharf. It was almost nightfall and we should have stayed at the inn another night and left in the morning but I didn’t care and I just wanted to be done with this town.
So we began our journey along the main road south to Highbreeze as the sun was setting on us. We finally set up camp when it became so dark I couldn’t see anything and it was clear that if we continued I was just going to slow us down. Our camp was set back from the road just a little bit for the sake of safety. Ha. Safety our in the open.
At some point in the evening and I no longer remember who’s watch it was, we were beset by a small warband of orcs. This fight was over almost as quickly as it began as we fought as ferociously as we could, but it didn’t seem to matter. These orcs were able to get the upper hand on us early in the great battle and I am sad to say I never saw the end of it. Because, despite my valiant efforts to the contrary, I was hit by an orc’s wild attacks and I succumbed to the damage.
As the light faded from my vision and I was fading into the darkness a soft voice called out to me. A familiar voice. Where did I know it from?
“Pay attention little one, it is time.” The lady said to me. It felt like she was whispering in my ear, but was somehow also inside my head.
I couldn’t speak.
“Rest, and listen. I hope that you are able to take the message to heart. There are several tenets for your service to me. The first is that those who choose to cheat death are an abomination and not to be tolerated. The second is that you are my will in the world and your…function in the great order, is to help those that need to meet their end do so at the appointed time.”
She paused for a moment.
I still couldn’t speak, but a thought occurred to me. What was the importance of these tenets?
“Let me tell you a tale to help you understand.”
The next thing I knew my eyes were open and I was sitting up as I watched what I believed to be the lady calmly walking into the woods adjacent our camp, her raven hard cascading around her shoulders.
I still had questions and she didn’t look far enough away that I couldn’t catch her if I hurried and there was only one way to find out. So I got up and started running with Huginn flying ahead of me and Munnin on my shoulder.