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gwangi32

Tears of the Goddess

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Amalric regards Mycaelis for a moment "If not, beware" the words linger in his mind for a scant second. Amalric looks over to the young woman named Cruidha whom still looks a bit agitated then he looks to Garm.

 

“Are you at games again Garm, It’ll be the death of you one day. Leave these two be, looks as they have enough on there minds than being sport for your amusement” He says with a displease look. “and I’ve no time for your jesting either. There sure to be a caravan needing my services once I reach Guaren with the festival and all.”…. There better be!

 

Amalric makes half a turn to depart then looks directly back at the woman called Cruidha. “So is Garm here at it again or are you two really looking to make your duo a trio?” he adds with a slight glint of hope in his eyes

 

ERL

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As Amalric looks at Cruidha he can no longer resist the temptation to take in the rest of her. Thou he was able to discern much of her supple form at a distant his eyes start to wander as if a mind of there own. Her beauty is striking and though armored, the ampleness of her bosom is evident, his blood to starts racing and he thinks back to when he last felt the flesh of a woman in his embrace. His eyes wander farther down the road of pleasure and heavenly delights. He imagines of holding her against him with one arm as the other caresses her then slowly slides down her thigh. It’s at this moment he recalls the pair of knives that she has strapped at her thigh and that this woman is a warrior and armed at that.

 

Focus! You fool!, there’s no time for this bringing he’s mind back to reality Amalric looks up to Cruidha to find a pair of green eyes already focused upon him

 

ERL

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"Amalric, ah yes lad. Almuric was that other fellow," mumbles Garm. "I'm not funning with any one at this moment lad." He looks around at each member of the group, waiting for Cruidha to speak.

 

"It may be that we would welcome a third, the rumored treasure is well split three ways," Cruidha says, "But the gleam in your eye tells me that you might want to tumble down to the dancing girls in the Swamp rather than face cold days in the wilderness."

 

Garm snorts, "Lassie you are tough as your mum and more than a bit smarter. But this lad Amalric is looking for adventure not a festival or a dance. Right lad?" Garm turns to Amalric. Then to Myca. "What she plans is dangerous. Few go into the Silverhorse, everything gets big there and the wild men of the woods..."

 

Cruidha interupts at this stage, "Uncle I appreciate you wisdom and your attempts at help. You can't go and I will not go alone. I want to be able to trust any companions I take. Myca has played fair so far, what of you Amalric? How do I know I can trust you?"

 

Following from the other discussion Cruidha would be 02687 Marda, that was the style at the festival now dressed in furs and leather armor, Garm would be 02666 Hans Bullman.

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Niece, you never mentioned the wench was you niece! Amalric thinks as he glances at Garm. Keep the situation under control, they’re just being cautious, same as me.

 

 

“How do I know I can trust you?"

Amalric makes a note of Mycaelis as he moves his hand off his weapon and takes a couple steps right up to Cruidha and looks her straight in the eyes

 

“You don’t!….no more than I know how much I can trust you. But there aren’t more here than me whom you could trust if they are any here at all.”

 

"Listen girl, my word is enough and it’s all I’ll get in return from either of you that we can trust in each other.” As Amalric speaks he searches within Cruidha’s eyes for an indication that he’s getting through to her.

 

"I’ll be forthcoming with ya as I can be if that’ll reassure you. I’ve not bother to join any of the other groups that I’ve overheard talking of going after some treasure just ripe for the taking, those fools will likely either look about blindly or turn back as soon as the snow reaches there ankles. It’s why I was making for Gauren, working as a guard or hiring out my sword with a caravan is better than searching for some imaginary treasure with no place were to start looking"

 

"But you want to go to Silverhorse, so you must be knowing something that the others don’t.” here a small grin crosses his face “Its why you still have my interest.”

 

“if your half as smart as you are nice to look at, you know that its likely you have to contend with at least one of the other groups after this treasure and it’s likely you'll be outnumber 3:1 or at the least 2:1” Amalric leaves it at that as he starts to turn away.

 

“Think it over, I’m not far off and I’m headed out before day break. Besides Garm knows where to find me”

 

“Oh!...any man foolish enough not to look you over is likely blind or a Munich. So get used to it quick or grow a beard, that should deter Most! men.” He says with a bit of laughter in his voice as he starts to walk off.

 

ERL

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Cruidha stares after Amalric for a moment. Then she turns to her uncle.

 

"He is a solid lad. We travelled up from the civilized lands caring for a passel of babes in arms who want to trade for rare furs and maybe some gold or raw gemstones. We talked at length, he listened to all my old stories and even a couple new ones. He knows how a Cimmerian Clan takes to insults to it's members, so I feel he could be a plus for your trip."

 

She grunts and turns to Mycaelis. "My Uncle is right, this trip into the Silverhorse hills is dangerous. I haven't told you all my reasonong or all the dangers but that was going to be for tonight." She stops for a moment to tear off some of the roast duck and then hands it to Mycaelis. "I'll let you decide though Myca, we would have to have smaller splits of any reward but..." she let's that hang. Something about her body language tells that she is worried about the dangers to be faced by just two persons.

 

"I woudn't go back to the Silverhorse for anything less than a clan war. Treaasure can be had anywhere girl," says Garm.

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As the ground rolls beneath Amalric boots he realizes that Garms words rang true to his ears. “But this lad Amalric is looking for adventure not a festival or a dance. Right lad?”

 

Though he had not replied he knew Garm had gained an insightfulness to his nature and he was dead on.

 

Though he had been picking up a bit of the Cimmerian tongue from Garm no words sprung to mind to curse or thank him. Dam you Garm is his only thought, as with a small grin he recalls the older mans stories which fueled the flame that had already been ablaze in his spirit…

 

Amalric had sensed there was more to Garm than just a caravan guide, as he is sure those who have died upon his blade learned this to late and have taken that knowledge with them to the hereafter. Perhaps Garm instincts had seen something of himself in Amalric or that he knew many a young men that took up caravan guarding and usually died doing so, whatever it was Garm either cleverly or un-wittily placed Amalric feet upon a different road.

 

Better to die splitting Pictish skulls at the Marches than spending my days as a caravan guard or idling about protecting some fat fools hide. Amalric thought, knowing that this may well be the time when a man decides what he would make of his life!

 

NO!, I’ll not enter the grave leaving a wanting behind! Come tomorrow I’ll take to trailing that pair into the Silverhorse hills, even if my only recourse is to return and tell Garm of what news I may have of his niece.

 

It’s at this moment that it dawns on Amalric that he looked at Garm as more than a fellow caravan companion and he would see no harm befall him or a member of his family.

 

ERL

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"As I've said before, Cruidha, any amount of treasure that I find will greatly aid my village." Mycaelis responds. "This Almaric seems like he has his wits about him and appears to have a strong arm to boot. He apparantly can also control his temper, my threat rolled off of him like water off of an oiled hide. With the kind of trouble that we seem to attract, that is a valuable trait indeed."

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Cruidha frowns for a moment, deep in thought. "Very well, we'll ask Amalric to come along." She commences to eat the duck and bread. She washed it all down with water. "The clean brook is back that way about fifty feet." She points back into the woods south of the trail you came in on. She hands you her flask of water. "We'll want to fill up tommorrow when we leave."

 

"What did Heiglyr want girl?" asks Garm after chewing on his section of duck for a bit, it is a tasty bird, smoked and with a slightly peppery taste. The bread is a soft, brown rye still warm from the baking. But Garm wears a bitter face as if the food were sour.

 

"What ails you old man," replies Cruidha, "Is the food not to your liking?"

 

"Eh? No lass that's just how I look when I'm thinking on a problem. I was wondering why that Hyperborean thief, Heiglyr was after. What did you say to him?"

 

Cruidha thinks for a moment and says, "Nothing. I was talking to Shetla, she'd just made the bread and was running low on ducks. The Hyperborians were there for the same reason I supposed. Shetla asked what my summer plans were and I mentioned the Silverhorse and maybe some trapping. There are tigers up there still and such skins are worth a bit in the civilized places. Shetla winked at me, I don't think she bought my story. One of the Hyperboreans, the fellow with Heiglyr, went off about then. Maybe they have the same idea we do."

 

Garm nods. "That makes more sense to me than some bull running amok at the sight of a pretty woman. Gods and devils, he and ye have been to this gathering before and nothing occurred."

 

"Well he'd best keep his distance from me." Cruidha states. "I'm for bed. Tomorrow Myca I'll tell you everything I know about this venture, you and our new partner."

 

"I'll watch tonight," says Garm, "You two get your sleep, you'll need it."

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Mycaelis bids the other two good night and unrolls his bed roll near enough to the fire to still feel a bit of its warmth. Staring up at the stars, he falls into a light, restless sleep. Morning comes way too soon!

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Amalric walks in the direction where the caravan has setup for the evening, as he moves past tents and campfires many of the people about appear to be settling in for the night. Three fellows whom are headed toward the swamp ignore Amalric as they pass by laughing amongst themselves about the fun they’re going to have, the one in the center lets out a boisterous laugh about how he’s going to have a double helping as he jingles the pouch of coins in his hand.

 

Amalric only grins to himself as their footsteps fade away. Arriving at the caravan campsite he grabs something to eat which he finishes quickly as he walks over and checks on his mount. Having already taken his turn at the watch and thus fulfilling the last of his obligations to the caravan he strokes the animals neck.

 

“Get some rest, from what that girl said seems there be a bit of difficult road ahead and we best be prepared, seems we may be on our own for a bit.”

 

Amalric thoughts fall on what Garm warned about Silverhorse and how things grow big there, not to mention the wild men of the woods.

 

“We’ll have to be on our toes and trust to Garms words and if we tangle with the wild men then we’ll trust to your speed or my metal” his eyes seem to widen at the chance for some adventure

 

wouldn’t hurt to come upon some of that treasure, aye fella he thinks

 

finishing with his horse Amalric checks his gear and makes his last provisions for their departure come dawn.

 

ERL

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The morning dawns, clear and cool and quiet. There is some rattling around the clearing but most of the men and women are sleeping. The few awake speak in whispers as they prepare breakfast.

 

Garm has left and Cruidha is searing a Nemedian pork sausage. There is some fresh bread laying near the fire on a cloth and a bit of white cheese from the southern Bossonian Marches. "Eat up," she says as you both. "Now that we are all together, and this seems to be the group," she pauses to turn the sausage, "let's eat and I will tell you what has set me to looking for treasure."

 

The sausage is savory and with the bread and cheese, some cold fresh water it makes for a hearty breakfast.

 

"We will be best going without fire for a few days. I asked some friends and it seems that four of the Hyperboreans snuck off last night. Their chieftan is angry. The two we fought yesterday were among the ones who left. I bet they are heading for the Silverhorse now."

 

"We are going into a wilderness area where none of the Cimmerian clans have people and the Hyborians aren't there either. It isn't empty of people though. There are people who are...different. Maybe like the Picts, but even then there is something not quite right with these people. Somewhere in the territory that they claim is a valley and in that valley is a treasure. It is a related to a tale of theft. Some gems stolen form a caravan. Ophirian gems I believe is how the story goes. I don't have a lot of details on the treasure but the location and the fact that there is valuable loot to be had. Also, I have been through the area, with my clan. We saw things there and captured one of the wildmen. We let him go but that experience and the stories from here and there have led me to the belief that I know where the valley is and that once there we should be able to get some loot."

 

You get the impression that she is holding back information. But it seems to be some private matter.

 

"So what do you think? It is seven days and careful cold camps until we can be in this valley I know of. Are you still game, do you have questions?"

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With an “Aye” and a “thanks” Amalric sits and enjoys the food. Accustomed to skipping meals. He also rose earlier than he would have liked and bothered not to concern himself with a morning meal. But, there was little choice if he wanted to be sure to catch Cruidha and Mycaelis in case they departed for their journey under the cover of the early hours of the morning dawn.

 

Amalric looks as if he’s not really concerned with the details of the journey as he places a chunk of bread into his mouth then gulps down some water. A practice so not to alert others that he may be listening in on their conversation. But as Cruidha mentions the angry chieftain and there previous nights encounter with some Hyperboreans he drops his pretense as she finishes her account.

 

You get the impression that she is holding back information. But it seems to be some private matter.

 

"So what do you think? It is seven days and careful cold camps until we can be in this valley I know of. Are you still game, do you have questions?"

 

Finishing off a piece of sausage Amalric speaks in a steady tone and a questioning look upon his face

 

“Let me get this straight gir... Cruidha, you two have a scuffle with a couple of Hyperboreans last night and these same two dogs along with a couple more are headed toward our same location… and their leader isn’t happy, is that right.” He states then continues before Cruidha can say anything.

 

“Your business is your own, but my neck belongs to me. Fighting wildmen and fending off beast is fine and cold camps won’t kill anyone, but if there’s something more….” He lets it trail off

 

“What dealings are there if any between these Hyperboreans and yourself that have there eye fixed on OUR group?” Amalric also looks to Mycaelis to see if he’ll provide any answers

 

ERL

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Mycaelis enjoys his breakfast, not saying much, and eats until his belly is full. He's unsure as to the next time that he'll see a hot meal and takes advantage of the situation, savoring every morsel of the tasty meat.

 

While eating, he listens carefully to Cruidha nodding thoughfully. When she finishes, he listens carefully to what Almaric has to say and looks back to Cruidha for her answer.

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"I don't know much about the treasure as the tale in Cimmeria and in my clan revolved around the Hyperboreans who raided some civilized caravan, hid the loot and then split up. Some of my clan captured some of the Hyperboreans. That's the connection. I think anyway!" she ponders for a moment.

 

"I think that one of them was with the original raiding party, but didn't see where the treasure was hid. That may be why they came after me. It got out that I knew where some treasure might be found. It's all part of the story of my wedding." She blushes furiously.

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Noticing the awkward blush on Cruidha's face, Mycaelis not so deftly tries to move the conversation on, "Wedding, huh? No matter, my blade is yours. So how many of these slaver scum do we have to look forward to sending on their way to thier evil gods?"

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