Last time, Hildegaar Freyasdottir and her entourage arrived in Fort Salma, waiting for the five elves to return from Lion’s Arch.
Tomorrow will take us away
Far from home
No one will ever know our names
But the bards’ songs will remain
Tomorrow will take it away
The fear of today
It will be gone
Due to our magic songs
lyrics from Bard’s Song, as performed by Blind Guardian
The five horses trotted toward the gates of Fort Salma at a hurried pace. Flintlock, riding with Shani, could tell there was something different about the small fortress. An air of optimism. Guards and townsfolk all talked with smiles and laughter the kind which hadn’t been seen in some time. Not since before the Centaurs had begun their random attacks in the region. They all had a good idea why.
“Hector,” Unia called out to one of the guards as she neared the gates. “Everyone seems to be in a jovial mood. More so than usual. It’s a good sign.”
“We’ve had some help with the centaur attacks,” Hector replied as he stepped up to Unia’s horse. “Five Norn, who say they’re friends of yours, have driven back the centaur since they arrived.”
“It was amazing,” another guard said as he joined Hector and Unia. “There’s one, a tall blonde. I think her name is Avalona. She just punched one in the face. Right in the face. The centaur just stopped in its tracks and looked at her, I could see utter disbelief in its face. It was amazing.”
“If I know the ones you speak of,” Unia said with a kind smile. “Then that does not surprise me at all.” She bid the guards a good day, and coaxed her horse forward. Each of the elves followed, giving greeting as they passed. Even Flintlock waved enthusiastically to the guards.
As they passed through the gate, it wasn’t hard to tell just where their friends were. They were the ones that towered over the humans. Avalona and Frigg Elva were telling stories to some of the children from the village. Their expressions were very animated. Petra was talking with some of the farmers, probably giving them advice for the growing season as it had been so dry. Brunhilde was helping some of the ladies of the village carry some of their quilting work, as they were preparing to take it to market in Claypool. And there was Hildegaar, talking with a couple of the guards. As the five riders entered the fortress, Hildegaar looked up and smiled.
“It has been many a year, Sister Unia,” she called out with a huge smile. Flintlock couldn’t help but stare. She’d never seen someone so tall before. Even the few Norn she’d seen in Lion’s Arch didn’t seem this big.
“And it’s good to see you also, Sister Hildegaar,” Unia called out. She steered her horse to stand next to the red haired woman. In the saddle, Unia was now eye level with the woman. “What brings you to Tyria?” Unia asked in a quiet voice.
“There are things that we need to discuss,” Hildegaar said in an equally quiet voice. “In more private confines, if we could.”
“Of course,” Unia replied and motioned toward the only house in Fort Salma that had a paddock. Hildegaar helped Unia off her horse (which mostly involved the giant elf picking her up and putting her gently on the ground again). Once Unia’s horse was taken care of, the two elven elders went inside. “I take it there is trouble back on Terkala.” She busied herself preparing tea for her guest.
“Not Terkala,” Hildegaar said as she found a comfortable seat and sat down. “On Midgaard.” This now had Unia’s full attention. She knew that the Nords called Earth by a different name, not unlike Unia’s people and what they called North America; Turtle Island. “A demon invaded zhe northern regions. Ve discovered it vas using our plane as a place to hide. Scouts found zhat it vas going back to Midgaard, to a place on Turtle Island. A town called Puebla.”
Unia was unfamiliar with that name, but she had a feeling she knew what Hildegaar was asking. “You are asking if we can give aid?”
“Ve know zhat your daughters and zhe herald have all been to Midgaard,” Hildegaar replied. “And ve know zhat zhey have traveled vit zhe daughter of zhe king and queen of zhe Yoruba people. Zhey are familiar vit zhe dangers, zhey know vhat zhey vill face.” Unia thought on this for a moment. Normally, this would be a situation that the elves would leave alone, but this demon was using their world as a place to hide.
“I will need to discuss this with the others,” Unia finally said. “And we will need people to stay here. We’ve been watching this region, caring for what we could.” Hildegaar nodded, fully knowing what Unia was asking.