Last time, the four elves had researched enough of the past 250 years on Tyria, making sure they had covered the important pieces of information. As they were making ready to leave, they ran into a familiar face. At least, a familiar face to Shani and Pania, who fought beside him when Pyre Fierceshot defeated the shaman cast and their false gods.
Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace
Is a place I keep finding myself
Yeah I get a little crazy trying to have a little fun
Then I end up back where I started from
Down on my knees, I pray
Oh Lord let me see another day
Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace
Between Raising Hell & Amazing Grace, as performed by Big & Rich
Pania hesitated by the door as Shani talked quietly to Wren and Abisayo. “Sure as guns, he recognize me an’ Panny. We ain’t changed thet much since thet time in the ol’ Blood Legion Homelands.”
Pania was about to knock, but the curtain on the threshhold of the door opened. Ogden stood looking directly at Pania who almost jumped but managed to give a peep of surprise. “You two have gotten older, that’s for sure. Now get inside, tea is brewing.”
The four did as the old dwarf said, Shani looking back to make sure no one was watching. Inside, the four took off their hats and jackets, setting them in a place where Ogden instructed them. He took note of their weapons they carried. “Pistols, long swords, rapiers, daggers, and a rifle,” he said with a shake of his head and pointed to Shani. “Last I saw you, you had a bow. And you, you had a dagger as well. Used in your left as you’d cast magic.” Shani and Pania both nodded, not moving. “Well what are you waiting for, an invitation? Again? Sit down so we can talk. Unless you like drinking tea while you stand.”
Each of them took a seat at a simple table. For Shani and Pania, they looked as though they were being scolded by the school’s headmaster. Wren and Abisayo were slightly confused. “To bring your friends up to speed,” Ogden continued as he placed cups on the table and hefted a large tea pot onto a trivet. “I am well aware of Shani and Pania’s heritage. And yes I do recognize them. I’m old, I’m not senile.”
“Me an’ Panny travelled with an adventurin’ group in the Far Shivepeaks, last we was here,” she explained to Wren and Abisayo. “Started with jist Villith, an’ a soldier from Elonia name o’ Koss. We went north an’ hook up with Ogden…”
“And Vekk,” Ogden interupted and continued with the tale. “We met Jora, Pyre and a few others in our travels. These two disappeared after we helped free those Ebon Vanguard and free Pyre and his warband.” He looked to Shani and Pania again. “I had my suspicions about you two, but I know some people like their privacy. You two were never deemed a threat by me.”
“An’ how did ye figure it out?” Pania asked as Ogden poured her some tea. She thanked him with a nod and cupped her hands around the mug.
“Villith asked me to join her,” Ogden said with a chuckle. “I liked Villith, she didn’t judge people by how they looked. Which might be why she liked Pyre. Villith’s tiger needed to stop to cool off and we found a stream. I saw you two talking with Pyre. Saw you draw your hoods back. I knew you weren’t human.” He finally sat down after serving everyone tea. “And here you are, once again. Let me see them,” he said without hesitation as he waved a hand to Shani and Pania.
The two elves were well aware of what Ogden was speaking of, and whether here on Tyria or on their home of Terkala, it was bad form to deny a dwarf his request. Especially when done in hospitable surroundings. Both Shani and Pania reached for a necklace and took out what appeared to be an arrow head tied with a leather string. They handed them to Ogden. He inspected them carefully. “It’s probably best if you leave these with me. The last thing you need is to explain to a charr why you have heirlooms of Pyre Fierceshot.” For the time being he tucked them into a nearby duffle bag. “Now for the next question; what are you doing here?”
“We had ta make a hasty retreat,” Shani began explaining. “From Union soldiers who thought us outlaws. South o’ a place call Thief River Falls.” Ogden shook his head, not familiar with the name. “It’s a place on a plane call Earth.”
“So, you were escaping,” Ogden said with a chuckle. “You two always seemed to be the type to have trouble follow you. What do you plan on doing?”
Pania shrugged and sipped her tea. “Perhaps lay quiet fer a wee bit. It’s been a while since we were here last.”
“Fort Salma,” Ogden suggested. “It’s a small enough town, you’d fit in well. Oh, and get something to hide your ears. A charm, an illusionary spell. Fortunately here, most were more interested in your horses.”
“I assume thet were the first reason y’all figured out, huh,” Shani said quietly.
“Four people on horseback ride into the Priory,” Ogden said with a chuckle. “Not since the last time two people in the Far Shiverpeaks rode horses had someone seen anything like that in Tyria. Well, at least not outside Cantha.” Ogden sipped his tea and refilled his mug. “May I suggest something?” The four nodded and Ogden motioned to Shani and Wren. “I think Villith would have been very proud that you would call her an ancestor. She’s probably in the Mists right now, grinning from ear to ear.” Ogden shrugged as he moved the tea kettle back over the fire. “I sometimes imagine her in the Mists annoying Pyre or some such thing.” He sat back down and motioned to the four. “Don’t make waves. Don’t change things. Just be yourselves, as you two did all those centuries ago. You might find some friends like you did before as well.”