YW01-02k The Ancient and The Lost (Part 11) by zaqxsw ()
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Fitting the crippled man with a crude splint and crutch, then forcing him to his feet, Courynn denied him both Nymara’s offer of a healing spell and use of the cart he and his men left at the edge of the clearing, spending him limping off on what was sure be the most painful two-day ordeal of his life as he made his way back to Urst.
Meanwhile, Lynneth turned her attention to the wild elven woman. Kneeling beside her to cut her bonds, she asked compassionately; “Are you alright?”
“I’m better than those who fought with me… and died bravely,” she bemoaned, turning her eyes to the cart and the three elf sized bundles laid out in it. Raising to her feet when the fair-haired man and pale elf joined the southern coastal woman, they were surprised to find she stood less than five feet tall, slightly more robust than Nymara she still had a classically elven slender form but was unusually well endowed, and clearly unconcerned by her nudity as she addressed them solemnly; “I am Ytharra of the Woodsong tribe and I owe you a life-debt… ask anything you will of me, and it is yours.”
“Your friendship is all we could ask for,” Courynn responded quickly, knowing that Nymara and Lynneth would respond that she owed them nothing.
She was pleasantly surprised by his reply, and that he looked her in the eye rather than allowing his to wander lower to where most men’s did. Recognizing and respecting the wisdom of his choice, she swore humbly; “If my friendship is what you desire then you have it… for life.”
While dressing in her brief tanned hide halter and skirt, she carefully evaluated her rescuers. The human woman was clearly from the southern coast and obviously a powerful spellcaster, the other woman must be a star elf, though she’d never seen one before she knew of them, but it was the man that drew most of her attention. Unlike the others for the cities of the northern coast, he seemed to both know and respected her people’s ways. Then her eyes turned to the cart at the edge of the clearing, and the bodies of her fallen comrades, the shadow of sorrow crossed her beautiful features as she sighed; “I can’t leave them here… but that cart will never make it to my tribe’s camp.”
“Your people give your fallen to the fire… don’t you?” Courynn asked reverentially.
“We do,” she replied thoughtfully, understanding his implication; their ashes would be much easier to carry.
Releasing the horse from its harness, Courynn sent it galloping off with a smack on its rump. Then they all stood clear while Lynneth cast the same fire spell she’d used earlier, turning the cart into a pyre, while Ytharra sank to her knees and sang a dirge in the secret language of the druids, invoking her patron, Fenmarel Mestarine, the Lone Wolf, to guide their spirits to Arvandor.
It took a couple of hours for the fire to burn out, leaving only smoldering ashes, which the wild elf extinguished with a spell that brought a brief down pour. Then she gathered the remains of her fallen comrades in small cloth bags, and, turning to her rescuers, she invited; “My tribe doesn’t have much, but we freely share what we do have with our friends… I offer you the hospitality of our camp for the night.”
Image Comments (5)
RodS () 2:20PM | Sun, 28 February 2021
Wonderful chapter and lovely artwork! She is most lovely indeed.