Written by Brubek Coltrane
CARRIK, EAST OF FARHORN
Having made the long journey to Carrik alive, Jason felt relieved as he strode towards the town down a curving path that snaked down from a small hill above it.
Jason walked into Grendel inn, after a long day’s worth of traveling to his friends in Carrik. The Grendel inn was the popular meeting place where most of Carrik’s residents met, and the best place to catch any news about what was going on in other parts of the world, and occasionally, a bit of excitement. Jason surveyed the room and spotted his cousin Peter, who waved him over with a smile.
“Jason!” He said. “Good to see you again, cousin,” He said, with a genuine look of concern. The roads are getting more treacherous every year.” He beckoned him over with a wave.
Jason walked over and heaved himself onto a chair. “You can say that again.” Jason said.
Peter shook his head. “These are strange times indeed.”
The two briefly embraced before sitting down.
“Where’s El-“ Jason began.
Suddenly, the doors to the Grendel inn were thrust open, and a dark green-cloaked figure strode in, with a bow and arrows strewn across their back. The figure approached the counter, and removed their hood. Two pointed ears revealed the figure was a fair Elven lady.
Jason and Peter watched with great interest, and their argument was suddenly dropped by the appearance of the Elf.
“All the way from Thera?” Peter whispered, “You never see elves these days here, at least not anymore.”
“I’ve never seen one here before.” Jason replied back. “Why do you suppose she’s come all the way from Thera to here?”
Peter shrugged. “If only Elanor were here, she’d never believe us if we told her.”
She tossed three gold coins onto the table, then spoke in a language that Peter and Jason couldn’t understand, and even if they could, she spoke so quietly, they could barely make out what she was saying anyways. The whole Inn was silent now, gazing from their tables at the Elf. She suddenly banged her hand on the table, and muttered something in an Elven tongue.
“Elleveranis heron asvaar!” She said. With that, she pulled up her hood, and stormed out.
Instantly, the whole inn crowded around the old Innkeeper Stavros, who waved them away, saying she had come to ask for some strange Elvish brew, to which he replied he didn’t have. That dispersed the crowd with a laugh. Another figure came into the Inn, passing by the Elf, as she stormed out. She looked at the elf with wonder as she made her way into the inn. Seeing Peter and Jason, she walked over to them.
“Did you see that?” She asked them. “A real-life Elf!”
“We know!” They both cried out.
As Eleanor sat down with them, and they recounted what happened.
Stavros knows Elvish?” She said, surprised. “Wow, he sure is old.”
“Too old, if you ask me.” Peter said. “He’s been through a lot.”
“All the way from Crynn!” Eleanor said. “He’s been all over the world.”
Eleanor had dark red hair, and even darker green eyes, and a very deep Carrik (Irish) accent. In contrast with Jason, whose dark brown hair rivaled hers.
“Well, how are things in Carrik?” Jason asked. “I heard there was a fire last season, you could see the smoke all the way from Farhorn.”
“It was that dammed Roberts kid,” Peter said. “A bloody Pyrotechnic, I knew he was trouble from the start.”
They talked a bit more about the events that had come to pass in the last year, before Eleanor finally broke the ice.
“So, did you bring it?” She asked.
“Here…” Jason reached into his pack, and searched through the dozen or so things he had. A horn, a few silver coins, a strange looking leaf, rations for a few days, a water bottle, and other things like that. Finally, his hands felt the parchment that he had gone through a lot to get over the past year.
He unrolled it on the table, and they all crowded around it. The map was a detailed drawing that showed the area between the East of Carrik, and West of Stonekeep.
Jason traced his finger around the map. Then tapped on a spot twice.
“Here” He said. “It’s here.”
Eleanor and Peter both looked at the spot on the map that was labeled as ‘crooked crag’.
“Are you sure that’s where it is?” Peter asked.
“Certain.” Jason replied. “He said it himself.”
“Old Harry had better have gotten his facts straight.” Peter said. “I wouldn’t be too happy if we did this for nothing’”
“He was telling the truth,” Jason said. “How could a dying man not?”
“Well, what are we waiting for, you geese, let’s go!” Eleanor said, slinging her bow across her back.
Peter picked up his assortment of axes, and his helm, and followed her. Jason took his bow and slung it over his shoulder, and fastened his belt which held his sword.
“Alright, let’s go.” Jason said.