Last time, Shani returned to her home in Fort Salma and described the Sylvari to her friends. The four decided it was best to seek out more information about these people at the Durmond Priory.
Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year
The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days
lyrics from Mummer’s Dance, as performed by Loreena McKennitt
that same day, Deissa Plateau, near Butcher’s Block.
Galina Ghostforge blinked. One minute the road was clear as day. No travellers on it at all. Then just suddenly, there was someone there. Sitting on … well, Galina hadn’t seen that kind of creature before, but it looked like a deer without horns. And the rider looked like a mouse. But didn’t smell like a mouse.
She (Galina assumed it was a she) was dressed in a long robe with intricate bead work in colourful patterns. The hood and cloak she wore wear equally colourful. Nothing like Galina had seen any human wear before. But then, Galina hadn’t seen many humans.
Still, this needed to be investigated. What if it was a human? What if they were gathering information. Galina had her duty. “You there!” she called out in her gruff voice. “State your name and your business.”
The rider turned her horse and guided it toward the one calling to her. As the rider drew closer, Galina could see the angular features of the woman’s face under the hood. She had raven black hair with some strands of grey, and her skin looked to be a reddish brown. “I am called Unia, daughter of Yoskeha, widow of Franco Wennemein. To whom do I speak.”
“Galina Ghostforge,” the charr replied with as much grace as the woman she was questioning said. “Centurion of the Ghost Warband, member of Ash Legion. You’re a long way from home.”
“Oh, that I am, Galina Ghostforge,” Unia responded. “But I have great purpose. I am searching for my daughters and my god daughter.” After a short description, Galina nodded. This woman wasn’t so bad, and she didn’t smell like a mouse.
“I’ve heard rumour of four riders,” Galina said as she motioned to Unia’s horse. “Riding beasts much like what you have. Word came down from the Durmond Priory, but I gave it little mind until you mentioned it.”
“Might I ask why?”
Galina snorted a chuckle. “If I paid attention to half the things I hear, I’d never get anything done.” Galina seemed to actually feel at ease as Unia smiled. “You can reach the Durmond Priory by heading down this road, into the Wayfarer Foothills. Head south west and follow the roads to Hoelbrak. The Norn should be able to give you more directions there. Plus there’s an encampment for the Durmond Priory in the city.”
“You have my thanks, Galina Ghostforge,” Unia said with a nod. “If I may ask, you seemed hesitant at first.”
“I thought you were a mouse,” Galina said, then added. “I mean human. We call humans mice.”
“Did the humans do something to your people?”
“A long time ago,” Galina said with a nod. “But it stirred a conflict that continues today.”
“Then you have my sympathies, Galina Ghostforge,” Unia said with a nod. “And my thanks for your kind assistance.” Unia guided her horse back down the path and began to head west along the road into the Wayfarer Foothills.
As Unia began to disappear down the road, a bandmate of Galina’s approached. “Who was the mouse?”
“Someone looking for their children,” Galina said. “Seemed friendly enough, so I didn’t press it any further.” Galina’s bandmate gave a gruff nod. He knew Galina was a good judge of character, and if she was okay with some mouse, then that was fine with him. Besides, she was gone now.