Wishes in Winter

Letters Home to Irrisen, Part 10

Piety:

What a small funny world we live in. Do you remember when I talked about Viggo? I ran into some of his old command in the Fishing Camps. Two Ogres named Borgers and Whonk. The ones who got discharged for eating all of those merchants. Funny funny world. Oh well, we killed them and I ate them. Messily. Here’s a story for you.

We circled around Whitethrone and got a look at it from the distance. It has trees growing in the town square. They tower above the walls like the city was built amongst old growth. It’s beautiful and strange. The old legends of the Hut must be true. It does create a forest where ever it goes. I always envisioned saplings sprouting up behind it’s chicken legs. I’m wrong. It creates whole forests with each footstep. From afar, Whitethrone always looked so sharp, crowded and unwelcoming to wolves. Now I want to go and run through the trees, just to see what has happened. It’s wondrous.

We came to a bridge and some Merrows popped up to “Check our Papers”. I think that is what that was about. Athelryn glared at them as they came over the railing, evaluated the odds and jumped right back over again, muttering something about how “we checked out”. These papers are the best thing ever!

The Fishing Camps smell terrible. The stench you get in Whitethrone when the wind is right is nothing compared to the real thing up close and in your snout. Ramshackle huts all crowded together with the Ulfen scrabbling to hawk their wares. We got some strange looks as we passed through. We are pretty memorable and this is not a place wolves like to go. Strange looks until I ate some Ulfen’s entire haul in one go. It was so good! And inexpensive. When we get together we need to go do this. My treat.

We talked to some of the locals and got this story about some idiot getting arrested for “Disturbing the Peace”. Looks like the Winterguard have contracted out the security of the camps to a man named “Marcain Enarxion”. I think that was it. I think he’s a foreigner too. Stupid Winterguard. Anyways, the scofflaw tried to get some people together to fight back against the “guards”. Really they’re just a gang. They actually beat some Ulfen vendor while we watched and didn’t get anything for the effort. Just sloppy.

After some discussion we determined what happened to the Iron Guard. Looks like, rather than fight Queen Elvanna, they disbanded and dispersed. Some probably got killed trying to undermine the Queen and others got sent through a portal to who knows where. The rest melted into the population and are trying to find a way to stop the Winterguard. They even might have gone far enough to join The Heralds of Summer’s Return, as we found out the scofflaw is rumoured to be a member. I’ve never seen a “Summer” but, if it can’t come back on it’s own, it deserves to be left in the past. We decided to go get the prisoner by simply walking into the guard house and just taking him. If Marcain fights back, we kill him.

This is where it gets funny because Marcain had Borgers and Whonk working for him! I think they even made the sign outside because it said “Gurd Hoose”. We knocked and Whonk answered, looking just as dumb as the day he was born. Marcain tried to bluff us for papers and Borgers tried to back him up but Athelryn just glared at him as we shouldered past. They actually thought we were real Winterguard. No papers or anything! We just strolled in like we owned the place and took the prisoner. The looks on their faces when we carried their prize out like a log. Just priceless.

The prisoner is a man named Ringeirr Malenkov. I don’t know if he’s a slave or not but he was thankful that we rescued him and not very happy when we told him who we were. So we’ve bullied him into helping us. He’s going to lead us into Whitethrone and get us in contact with his own people in the Iron Guard and The Heralds of Summer’s Return. Hopefully this will be enough to get us to The Hut. He even talked a bit about the dragon that Queen Elvanna has recruited. A young white. That makes it smaller than me. Too bad little dragon, the Black Riders are coming to play.

We went back and killed Marcain. I hate leaving jobs unfinished and it really felt like something we needed to do. Besides, they had some money that we could “liberate”. They didn’t stand a chance. We smashed down the wall of the “gurd hoose” and killed Borgers and Whonk before they even got to stand up. We tore them down so fast the Marcain didn’t even realize that they were under attack. He opened his office door and died. Ringeirr got in the first blow, a sling stone which caught the fool in the face. Durzak tried to grab him and got a knife in the ribs for his trouble as Marcain fought back. I’m tired of people trying to kill my companions so I ripped Marcain apart. It was invigorating. Mother would have been proud. We left a message for the Winterguard that day. We left it sprayed on the walls and soaked into the cold ground. The Black Rider has returned.

We’re on route to Whitethrone now, with Ringeirr in the lead. In a few hours we will be truly into the Trouble and with no way of getting back. First the Iron Guards, then we kill the Winterwitch and her dragon. Hey, I just remembered she had a dragon statue outside of her tower. Didn’t think of that until now. What a funny world we live in.

Keep safe and hunt well. I will try to get these messages to you before we enter The Hut. Tomorrow, we strike our blow for Baba Yaga.

Valor, Get of Heartseeker and Black Rider of Irrisen.

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