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The Silver Wolf-A Light In The Dark: Chapter Seven: Back And Forth
Posted on Tue, September 12, 2017 by LordCeb
CruelSummerLord writes "You insult my honor with such a question, Ma’non’go’s message read. I am a slave to no man-I protect Luna and Seline because I owe their father a debt for saving my life. And as for why I do not speak with my voice, the reasons are my own and I will not speak of them.

 

 


Chapter Seven

Back And Forth


Luna and her companions were treated to a delicious meal by their hosts. Most of the companions had gone out to meet with the villagers of, but Luna had remained at the longhouse at Meloanne’s request. Now, sitting with Meloanne in a quiet corner, sharing a flagon of the delicious cider the Flan had served their guests, Luna could only wonder what Meloanne wanted to ask her. 

“Tell me, young lady,” Melonanne said to Luna, “how did you and your sister learn our language?”

“We used to live further east,” Luna explained, “and I often worked as an ambassador from the settled church of Pelor to the independent Flan of those lands. Many of them tended to live in pueblos and hogans, instead of the longhouses and wigwams your community uses. How long have your people lived here?” she asked, before taking another sip of the delicious cider the Flan had served their guests.

 “We’ve been here some two centuries,” Melonanne replied. “We had to leave our previous home after some…difficulties we experienced with other peoples,” she said, her eyes flashing.

Luna could imagine what Meloanne was referring to. She was quite familiar with the abuses and betrayals many Flan had suffered at the hands of the Oeridians and Sueloise who had settled into the Flanaess. Such betrayals and abuses were all too common even today, as Luna had seen. 

 “Fortunately, we’ve enjoyed relative peace since we came to these lands. The dwarves have respected the treaties we’ve signed with them, and we’ve dealt well enough with those merchants from Greyhawk who have earned our trust,” Meloanne finished, calming somewhat. 

“Many of the Flan in the east tend to live further away from other humans,” Luna noted. “That’s likely because of the greater disruptions the Aerdi caused to the Flan when they founded the Great Kingdom. Things were never the same for the Flan in that part of the world after their country of Ahlissa was destroyed by the Aerdi.”

“A pity, to be sure,” Melonanne sighed. “And yet, how did you come to know of such things? Very few would take an interest in these matters.”

“I’ve long believed that, in order to understand the present, we must also understand the past,” Luna explained. “How past events and decisions lead to the circumstances we see today, and what we may learn from it. Pelor’s light has shone on it all, and that’s one reason I joined his clergy. What other mysteries are out there? What other light can I bring to the world?”

“Suffice to say that’s not the typical answer I would have received from most adventurers,” Melonanne smiled thinly.


“They say you’re an Olman,” Dennine said to Ma’non’go and Seline as they sat conversing with several curious villagers in the village’s main commons.

“Why are you here, so far from home? Are you a slave?” one of the other Flan asked.

“Why don’t you talk?” a third Flan asked. “You’re not allowed to?”

Seline nearly choked on her cider at that, but Ma’non’go’s reaction was all the more striking. He stood up in a fury, casting an enraged glare at the man who’d asked that question, clenching his fists in anger. The Flan villagers started in surprise, as Seline place a hand on his arm in an attempt to calm him down. Ma’non’go signed something to Seline in his hand cant, before he sat down and opened up his backpack. Pulling out a lump of charcoal and a piece of parchment, he wrote something down on it before displaying it for their Flan hosts to see.

You insult my honor with such a question, Ma’non’go’s message read. I am a slave to no man-I protect Luna and Seline because I owe their father a debt for saving my life. And as for why I do not speak with my voice, the reasons are my own and I will not speak of them.

The Flan villagers all looked at one another, somewhat shaken and not quite knowing what to make of Ma’non’go’s angry reaction. Ma’non’go took a deep breath and sat down, taking a drink of cider to calm himself, although everyone around him could feel his anger.

“So where are you from, then?” Dennine asked. “Are you Greyhawkers?”

“No, we’re not,” Seline answered after a moment. “We’re adventurers who’d come to Greyhawk.”

“Yes, but where before that?” Dennine asked again. “Are you from Nyrond? Sunndi? Somewhere else?”

Instead of answering the question, Seline began humming a tune, seeming as if she was thinking about how to reply. Several of the other Flan smiled at Seline’s singing, which was decidedly pleasant. Everyone felt the tension in the air relax, as a smile crossed Ma’non’go’s three sons.

“That’s a pretty song,” a younger Flan boy replied. “Where did you learn it?”

“An elder from another Flan nation taught it to me,” Seline explained, before she began singing the lyrics. Her audience was more than a little surprised at the fact that the song was in the Flan language, although they had never heard it before.

“An elder taught you that? From what nation?” Dennine asked curiously.

“The Rebballah people of the Menowood,” Seline grinned. “They were all really friendly, and I learned a lot of interesting stories from them, too!” she finished brightly.

“Oh, really?” the younger Flan boy who’d asked her where she’d learned the song spoke up. “Like what? Can you tell us one?”

“Sure,” Seline grinned, reverting to the Flan language as she told them the story of the grand chief’s three sons and their quest for the eagle’s blessing. The younger children in the group gathered around, eager to listen to her tale, and it didn’t take long for the adults to join in as well.


It had been a long, punishing day for Revafour and his friends, following the trail of the caravan that had kidnapped the children. The sun beat down on them, causing Airk and Revafour no small amount of discomfort in their heavy armor. The companions could feel a sense of foreboding all around them, of hopelessness and worry that they might not make it in time. All they could do was press on, hoping that they would not be too late. Eventually, however, as the sun grew low in the west they were forced to stop for the night.

“There’s a dwarven village we might be able to find rest at,” Amyalla noted, pointing it out on the map of the Cairn Hills she had purchased from the Greyhawk Cartographers’ Guild before they’d left the city. “Maybe we could-“

“No!” Airk insisted coldly, his eyes flashing. “We’re not staying there!”

“It’s not that far,” Amyalla protested.

“No,” Airk repeated, in a voice that brooked no argument. “We camp, or we press on. What’s it going to be?”

It didn’t take long for the veteran adventurers to find a suitable place to set up camp, or to get a fire going. In the shelter of a small wooded clearing, Airk and Amyalla sat next to one another at the fire, preparing a meal while Revafour went to stare out at the sunset, sitting on a large, flat rock that made a natural chair.

“You really had that many problems with the dwarves?” Amyalla asked her gnome friend softly, her words lacking their usual wry tone. “Was it really that bad?”

“I lost a lot of loved ones in the Hateful Wars,” Airk replied coldly, staring intensely into the flames. “Flinthold shed so much of its blood, and lost so many of its youth, that it’s never truly recovered. It’d have been one thing if our losses came just from the orcs and goblins, but to be betrayed by our supposed allies was another thing altogether. I imagine Revafour’s known some of the same problems, considering what the Flan have endured since the Oeridians and the Suel came to these lands,” he muttered.

“It wouldn’t surprise me,” Amyalla sighed, before she noticed that the stew they had been preparing was ready. Spooning it into three bowls, she handed one bowl to Airk before they walked over to Revafour. To their surprise, they saw that the larger man was painting on a piece of parchment. The image he was drawing reflected the sunset they saw before them, which shone beautifully over the Cairn Hills and brightened the mood they felt. Revafour looked up at his smaller companions as they approached, gratefully accepting the bowl of stew Amyalla offered him. The three companions ate in silence for several minutes, before Amyalla picked up the painted picture Revafour was working on.

“This is beautiful,” the halfling breathed, surprised at the skill Revafour had put into the drawing. “How long have you done this?”

“Long enough,” Revafour half-smiled his appreciation. “My father taught me how to do it. He insisted that it was important to learn to respect and appreciate the Oerth, and he said that art was one of the best ways to do it. I also learned how to do scrimshaw and wood sculpture from Quendamak-it was really popular with the southern traders who would sometimes come to Blackmoor.”

“You capture the sunlight well,” Airk remarked. “It’s…yes…” the gnome sighed, seeming to forget his anger as he basked in the setting sun.

“Are you alright?” Revafour asked in surprise.

“Certainly,” Airk replied with a smile. “The sunset just gives me memories of home. I spent a lot of evenings aboveground in my youth, enjoying scenes like these. My brothers would always mock me for being too elven for my own good.”

“And why would that be a bad thing?” Revafour asked with a thin smile.

“It wouldn’t,” Airk replied with a smirk. “Besides, we never got to enjoy the breezes underground.”

They sat in silence for a few moments, before Airk spoke again.

“I have to admit that there’s another reason I wanted us to camp out,” the gnome admitted. “If we were staying at the dwarven village, we’d have never been able to enjoy this sunset, or the stars of the night.”

“Always a beautiful sight,” Revafour agreed.

“To be sure, although there is one greater pleasure,” Amyalla replied.

“And what’s that?” Airk asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Being able to share the sight with two handsome men,” the halfling tittered.

Airk and Revafour only smiled at that. 

"
 
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