Last time, Shani and Abisayo revealed that they were not the only elves to have crossed over from their planar home to Tyria.
Sword in my hand,
Axe on my side.
Valhall awaits me,
Soon I will die.
Bear skin on my back,
Wolf jaw on my head.
Valhall awaits me
when I’m dead
lyrics from Valhalla Awaits Me, as performed by Amon Amarth
The guards at the gates to the Fort knew something was up when the lone figure with the snow leopard appeared. She just stood there, waiting. Many of the villagers stopped and stared, and even had curious discussions as to who she was. It was apparent that she was from the north, most likely Norn. She was huge, not just tall, but muscular. Her muscle tone was evident even against her black skin.
Out of curiosity, one of the guards approached her. She didn’t move, staying still with her hand holding onto her spear. The other guards watched from a safe distance, taking note that the woman seemed to be conversing in a very polite and non threatening manner. Eventually, the guard returned, but the woman stayed.
“Well,” one of the guards said quietly as his comrade came back. “What’s she doing here?” Norn weren’t exactly uncommon in Fort Salma. But one that seemed to stand guard stuck out.
“She says she’s called Petra,” the guard said as she looked back to the tall figure. “She’s something like a special envoy or a scout for someone named Hildegaar Freyasdottir. Something about wanting to speak with Unia.” The guards knew the name Unia. She was a familiar and friendly face in Fort Salma. “I told her that the family had gone to Lion’s Arch for supplies, they might be back in a day or two.”
“She’s still standing there,” the other commented.
“Yeah, I get the feeling she’s the patient sort.”
Suddenly, the guards felt the earth shake just slightly. Then the sound of rumbling hooves. The tall woman looked back toward the road to Claypool and held a hand aloft. Four riders were making their way. While the guards had grown used to seeing horses thanks to the five elves, they’d never seen horses like these before.
They were massive. Bigger than the tales of war horses. Theses were bigger than a man was tall. Heavy horses, they’d soon learn, draught horse used to haul heavy loads. But the Nords used them to ride as they were the only mounts strong enough and big enough to carry one of the northern peoples.
A red haired woman with a great sword, riding atop a grey mottled horse stopped and spoke with the tall woman. They conversed for a moment, then the tall woman motioned to the guards. The red haired woman prodded her horse forward, and the other woman walked beside. “You are zhe guards of zhis village?” Hildegaar asked without any hint of fear.
“Um… uh… um…” one of the guards stammered. He couldn’t take his eyes off of the horse. The top of his helmet just barely came to the horse’s shoulder. One of the other guards nudged him. “Uh… yes. Yes, we’re the detachment in charge of defending this fortress.”
“Ve understand zhat Unia Wennemein, a dear friend, is staying here,” Hildegaar stated more than asked. It was that kind of statement, however, that demanded a reply. The guards just nodded. “Good. Ve vill need a paddock for our horses. Food, drink, and a place to rest.”
“We… we… we have an inn for lodging,” the guard said. “But the only paddock is the one that Abisayo built.”
“Abisayo,” the large blonde said. “Abisayo Temi Lilu?” The guards looked to her and nodded. The blonde laughed aloud and looked to the equally large black haired woman who rode beside her. They clasped hands and said something in a language not familiar.
“As for food and drink,” the other guard said. “It’s been a dry year. We don’t have much to offer.”
“Zhat vill not be a problem,” Hildegaar said and motioned back toward the other black haired woman.
“We have brought food,” the woman said as she motioned to the cart her horse was pulling. It was huge and seemed to be overflowing with food stuffs and barrels.
“And mead,” the other black haired woman called out with a laugh.
Hildegaar smiled wide as she looked back to her daughters, then looked to the guards again. “I am Hildegaar Freyasdottir.” She clapped a hand onto Petra’s shoulder. “Zhis is my most trusted advisor, Petra Tigerclaw.” She moved back to stand before the horse the blonde woman rode. “My oldest daughter, Avalona. My youngest daughter, Frigg Elva.” Both women nodded with respect to the guards. Hildegaard moved to the last woman. “One of my people’s most adept mages, Brunhilde Margosdottir.” As she introduced each woman, they seemed to beam with pride and nodded to the guards. Hildegaar herself approached the guards once more. Never before had they felt so small. Yet, there was something warm and inviting all at the same time. “You and zhe people of zhis village are most welcome to join us.”