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Heroes of Eattwe, Ep.2 ~ Reunion

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- ¨My friends, my friends! You have arrived...¨ said Tia smiling, while coming out of the tavern to meet them.
Robin quickly followed, and went ahead to help with any luggage.
Dropping the reins, Glan stood up on the box:
- ¨Tia! you old fox... Ha-ha-ha-ha!¨ she cried, and jumped down. Then, opening her arms, she walked towards her childhood buddy to hold her.
Tia stopped, leaned down and warmly answered the embrace:
- ¨...I´m so glad you´re here.¨
- ¨Ha-ha! Couldn´t have missed this opportunity!¨
They walked towards the others together. Chatai had already gotten down and was helping Aubey descend. Hugging did not come easy to either of them, but something of the girls they once were did show itself in their hold, for a few moments; before Chatai´s fell into a familiar display of compassion, and Aubey´s into a formal, awkward mimicry of emotions:
- ¨Yes, yes...¨
Tia had spent most of the morning going over the preparations made for receiving her friends, and was now taking pleasure in playing the host:
- ¨Well... Let´s shake the dust off those clothes, shall we? A warm bath and refreshments await you in your rooms. Come. I´ll show you to them. Then we´ll get together and have a long talk, like in the old days. Our business can wait a while...¨
They all went inside, while Tia´s man, who guided the wagon from the city gates, took it to a safe place.

The afternoon sun reigned strong for several hours, sinking the tavern, and the wide street it faced, in light and laziness. Just a few of the regular customers dropped by for a drink, and only every now and then some retail merchant or hireling passed by, on the way to some other place. Robin could later report that, apparently, no one suspicious had taken notice of the guests´ arrival.

As the floor window´s brightness began to wane, it slowly made way for the usual image of Tia´s silhouette; leaned forward over the desk, the forearms resting on the table. For a little while now, they were in conference.
- ¨Well dears,¨ she said, after the woodcutter left the room, ¨you all know what I know, now. Chai, Aubey - I was hoping your knowledge of the magical might be holding some clues about how to proceed. Since you are here in person, can I also assume that... your presence is instrumental to solving this case?¨

Aubey let out a quick snort and turned her face slightly away from Tia, diverting a nervous smile. Having gathered her words, she regained her composure:
- ¨Look Tia, the fact is I did not come prepared to deal with this situation, other than through my general knowledge and practice of magic. My teacher did not share any insights, but said it would be good experience. So maybe he thinks I can handle it. I sure am anxious to try...¨ said Aubey and put on that same smile from before, which was now supposed to complete her statement.

Having waited her turn to speak, Chatai, thoughtful and dignified, began:
- ¨...I have prayed for an answer, my friend. All that came was the feeling that I should be at your side. I trust that it was the right answer, at the time. I shall keep praying. Lathander will guide my steps further, I´m sure. As for knowledge from books or from a superior... There might be some information available at the monastery, where I trained. But there was no time to contact them...¨ she said, and remained looking in Tia´s eyes, trying to convey the confidence of her faith.

- ¨So much for planning!¨, said Glan, jokingly, tilting her head slightly and putting on a wide grin. She leaned forward, her elbows landing on the spread knees. ¨I say we just go there and face the monster. Ha! We´ll se if it can throw the axe from my hands!¨
- ¨But Glan, let´s not forget the part where the spirit, or whatever it was, paralyzed the man´s body. We should be cautious...¨, replied Tia, and continued: ¨I sure am glad we can count on your bravery for when the eventual showdown will take place. But I would prefer us to delay it until we have learned enough about our opponent...¨

- ¨She´s right about putting ourselves on the road, though¨, said Aubey. ¨If you were depending on us for more information, then there is nothing to be gained by staying here. And you did mention in your letter that time is of the essence...¨
- ¨Yes¨, replied Tia, ¨the woodcutter hoped that the villagers will believe he and his family left during the night, for some reason. But we cannot know for sure what to expect from them.¨ She looked out the window for a moment, then continued: ¨It´s getting dark soon... I made arrangements for us to leave as soon as you are ready. Tonight even, if you had enough rest...¨
- ¨Tonight.¨ - ¨We´re ready.¨ - they all agreed.
- ¨Good. We have the best chances of arriving unnoticed at the village if we travel by night. But... we would also be more exposed, should there be just an ambush waiting for us...¨, added Tia with a bit of concern in her voice.
Taking on a bored look, Glan dismissed the idea with one throw of her hand:
- ¨So how soon is soon?¨
- ¨The city gates will be closing in a couple of hours... Is half an hour enough to prepare?¨ Tia waited a few moments of silence, then said: ¨Fine, then. I´ll be downstairs.¨ She got up, and so did the others.
Tia opened the door for them. One by one they went out, heading for their rooms. The last to exit, Chatai paused at the door, turned towards Tia and said:
- ¨...Here, in your midst, I had that feeling again, of being at the right place. We have the blessing of the god, I´m sure, whatever end this will come to...¨ she smiled, and then walked away.

Not long after, the evening, descending slowly upon the streets, gave way among its shadows to a party of cloaked riders. Like the characters of a book´s adventure, who come to life in the imagination, the childhood friends, together once more as when they gathered, back at the orphanage, to listen to stories, were again on the way to meet an extraordinary fate.

~ The End of Episode 2 ~

[OOC: The names of the main characters are linked to MW sheets. Alternatively, you can refer to their TTW sheets: Aubey´s, Chatai´s, Glan´s, and Tia´s.]

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Updated 04-15-2018 at 10:26 AM by Erran

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