* Faro’oq came face to face with a father he did not remember on his last journey to Glesmyr, and now he is returning there to have some questions answered. This content is for the PC’s Faro’oq the Frozen and Kade Crysilore.*
It was a cloudy afternoon on the high seas. The wind whipping across the vast plain of water made the air a bit more crisp than Kade would have preferred as she sat in the floor of Faro’oq’s small boat clumsily stitching small furs together. She’d never been to Glesmyr, but Silaine had assured her it was colder than anywhere else she’d ever been.
As the boat rocked gently, so did the contents of her stomach. She’d been in boats before, but never on water like this. After the first few days, Kade realized that using healing to ease her stomach was only going to exhaust her since the sloshing of the waves was not ever going to stop.
But she supposed it could be worse. Anything was better than the Great Marsh. As squeamish and chilly as she felt now, at least they hadn’t encountered any serious danger yet.
She turned to Faro’oq, “Are we there yet?”
Faro'oq pulled the line holding the sail setting the sail to full. The boat gave a small creek as it shot forward. Faro'oq tied the rope off and steadied himself against the ruder. "Not much longer" His voice loud to overcome the sound of the wind and surf. "We should be entering Glysmer soon." The warm air of Rica had caused the Zmajite to keep a cloth bag of ice against his head out of desperation for a reprieve, but as they neared the span to Glysmer he abandoned it. "How iz your stomach? Have you found sea legz yet?" He asked jokingly.
Kade shot the Zmajite a quick glare before a smirk, "Of course I have. They're attached to my sea hips just like they were when we started."
She lifted the fur blanket she was working on to see her progress. At this point it was still only good for a wrap and the stitching was awful. She set the piece down and continued working.
"So, I only kinda understand why we are going to Glesmyr. I just didn't want you traveling alone again. What are you hoping for?"
Again? Faro'oq thought to himself before disregarding the notion. His face focused on the horizon as he spoke "I am hoping to find out what iz going on. My father says that he knowz, and you said that what I remember iz different from your memory." He steadied the ruder as the boat went over a rogue wave. "I think it is time I got some answerz. One way or another."
Kade frowned to herself, and paused momentarily in her stitching before looking up at Faro'oq. "What's he like?"
Faro'oq thought for a moment. "He'z not what I remember, and I do not fully trust him. He iz though the only one with answerz." He let out a hard sign as the cool air blew the boat "That iz why I must go."
"Well. I am here to help you with whatever you need, just say the word." The sound of water slapping against the sides of the boat filled a brief silence before she continued. "What about the rest of your family? What were they like?"
Faro'oq watched the horizon as the boat moved along the waves. "What I remember might not be dah truth. You guess iz az good my memoriez iz what I mean." He adjusted the riggings and sat down next to Kade. " I do not remember my mother, and I am unclear on who or what my father iz. I do know dat may birth sister and my father do not get along."
"That's Charra, right?" Kade asked as she continued her stitching. "The one you mentioned when you first came back to town? I hope she isn't really gone... There could be many reasons your letter didn't reach her."
"True but I don't know whether what I remember of her is the truth." Faro'oq stood up and moved towards a hatch on the boat. Opening it up and reach down inside to retrieve a small sack. He opened it a began pulling out a long purple strip of fabric. "Did I mention anything about her when you knew me before?"
It had been a while since Kade had reflected on her memories of Ixifar Faro'oq. "Honestly," Kade replied, "I did not know you that long before you left. I saw you around town a couple times before our initiation, but that was the first time I actually met you. And then after that, everyone was super focused on the Korgons and the dwarves, and then the Paladins occupied the shard and you went away for a while. I don't think you could have been home more than a few days before you left again, and then..." Kade shrugged. "Well, now here we are." She continued her stitching. " And all that to say: no. I never heard you mention her before."
Faro'oq sat silent for a moment as the horizon bobbed up and down. The moment passed and Faro'oq jumped to his feet making motions towards adjusting different riggings on the boat "We move towards dah unknown together then. Maybe what I iz even the truth." He chuckled at his own words. "Prepare yourself we should be approaching the span soon." Faro'oq pulled on a line and the sail shifted lurching the small sea craft to the left.
Kade looked around the boat, wondering what exactly she should do to prepare herself for span jump by boat. She identified the exits: everywhere. Next to her she located some handholds along the side of the boat that she could grab if things became rocky. As the ship lurched port-side she realized the time to grab the handholds was now. "Alright," she said slinging her furs around her shoulders, "here's hoping the frost won't bite."
Faro'oq grabbed ahold of the wheel and a line tied to the nose. The vessel jumped over rogue waves one after another. The two oceans were locked in the eternal conflict raging in a violent war. The cold Glesmyr sea struck with ferocious slashes. The warm Rican waters countered with a fury. Faro'oq guided the ship close to the edge. One could peer over the ships and see the endless black pit the span crossed.
The vessel developed a pattern of up and down. Then after what could be counted as an eternity on a ship the boat peeked over one last wave to be greeted with the freezing cold of Glesmyr.
The span jump was rocky and Kade found herself splashed with water more than once. As the ship finally passed into Glesmyr, the frozen winds coming from the mainland hit her wet clothing and a creative stream of expletives and exclamations poured forth. The cold struck to her bones and she understood why sailors curse so damn much. She turned to Faro'oq with teeth chattering, "***** it's cold. ***** ***** ********. And look at you! Bet you find this weather ********** delightful. I hope your father is forthcoming; every *******moment on this ******* shard is going to be ******** miserable. Holy ****** ******* with a stick of dynamite *****.... ***** and ***** ......." She wrapped her furs around her shoulders, but as they were also wet, it wasn't particularly helpful.
The Zmajite bellowed in laughter and tosses the white fur that he wears to Kade. "Dis will keep you warm for now." Faro'oq embarrassed the cold wind "Now on to Glesmyr!" As he shouted the ship pulled forward onward to the port of Glesmyr.
Kade bundled herself up and began searching frantically for her flask in hopes that its contents really would make her feel warmer. It was empty. She began to gather up her things. "We need to find a place to get warm. To get dry. I need more cider. We need to find a tavern. With a big fire. Lots to drink; I need to stock up." Faro'oq's obvious comfort with the biting cold was putting her in an even fouler mood than the chill itself.
"Very well." Faro'oq turned the sail and in short time the icy shore of Glesmyr came into focus on the horizon. "Derh, We make port and find you some warmth." The small sailing vessel made its way across the ocean like it was skating on ice. The town ahead set as the destination.
"What town is this? Is it Tobolsk? If so, we should stop by the Porterhouse to check on Silaine's father."
Faro'oq and Kade spent brief time in the city of Tobolsk. Whilst acquainting themselves with the proprietor of the Porter House, the stocked their flasks and learned of Tobolsk's newest business venture: self-pulling sleds. After a mutual investment, the Bears found themselves mushing their way across a vast white dessert under the starlight of Gelsmyr's long night. To any providential observer, the sight would have been of a blue Zmajite driving a chinook that carried a massive stock of furs.
Kade peered out of her small mountain of furs at the starts above. "I've never seen this many stars! The sky back home was always dark, and Jastrey has so many trees.... It must have been so much better growing up in a place like this. And I suppose if I'd been raised in it, I would be as comfortable as you with this damned cold."
Faro'oq who had begrudgingly taken on the role of driving the strange sled. He much preferred walking and it was apparent by the sled sliding in every such way that he had no idea how to properly use the machine.
As he struggled to keep the sled straight in the direction of the forest he had seen father before, he looked towards the stars "From vat I remember dat cluster ov starz iz known az thee wildling" his scaley hand pointing out a few stars and while the sled began to drift off to the side his finger began tracing lines between stars. The slight semblance humanoid hunched over a staff with a tree behind it could be made out of the celestial bodies. As soon as Faro'oq finished his drawings he had to quickly jerk the chinook back into alignment with their heading. A grunt followed revealing the Zmajite's frustration with the contraption. "I do not remember much, but from what I do..." He passed for a moment before readjusting both his expression and the sled. "Let us say that it was not all sunshine and rainbows."
A tree line slowly began to rise in the distance as Kade responded.
"Clearly," Kade chuckled, "I haven't seen the sun since we got here. I'm going to be pasty again when we get home."
"Dah nights are long. Dah sun will rize in dah spring." Faro'oq looked at the approaching tree line. "We will be approaching soon. Ready your selv." He jerked the sled back on course but overshot the heading and swerved.
Kade gripped the rim of the sled tightly and leaned, "I suppose our time on the sea has adequately prepared me for your terrible driving."
As the sled passed into the forest, the wind died down and the herk-jerking of the sled lessened slightly. As the chinook maneuvered through the evergreens, Kade noticed something else moving in the quiet wood, and a howl confirmed what she saw: a white wolf keeping pace with them to her right. She tightened the straps on her legs and drew her small blades wishing she had brought her bow. Another series of howls answered off to their left, but the source or sources were not close enough to see.
Faro'oq gripped the controls tighter and the space narrowed. "I told you I did not know how to drive dis thing." He exclaimed with slight frustration.
Taking note of the pack running with them Faro'oq dipped his head in an attempt to have the sled move faster. "Keep low" he whispered to Kade "Looks like they found us."
Kade did her best to lay flat against their luggage and remain aware of the beasts' locations. The unseen wolves emerged slowly from the darkness merging closer alongside the speeding chinook. The distance between the two parties slowly narrowed as Faro'oq urged their transport onward until the wolves were about six feet away from them on either side.
Over the sound of the thrashing snow, Kade could begin to distinguish a low guttural sound from the leading wolf to her right. Upon listening closer *commune nature*, the wolf was urging them to stop the sled.
Kade whispered back over her shoulder, "They want us to stop."
Faro'oq began speaking in a guttural and grunting tongue *Speak Drakeric. "Ga'l krul takmahka doh fava suh'ter." (I am here to see my father) Faro'oq bared his teeth and stared ahead showing not fear *Immune Fear (party). "Tovah'k toh'ven rakshash dov' mallah." (Lead me to him or leave)
The wolves made no response to the strange language the Zmajite had spoken. "What did you say to them? I don't think they understood."
Faro'oq gave a grunt and repeated in common "Take me to my father."
Kade conveyed the message to the wolves (Commune Nature), "This is Faro'oq... Take us to his father." She lifted her weapon as the wolf returned a glare. He loosed a howl echoed by his mates'.
The wolves continued to lead the sled onward. Shortly, Kade and Faro'oq found themselves flanked as more wolves appeared from the trees as an escort. The ground rose and fell and grew rocky as they continued. Suddenly, the trees ended before a gaping cavern. Well, one would assume it was a cavern, but roots covered every surface within the mouth of the cave and stretched outward, welcoming the frozen explorer inside in spite of all wariness such a sight would inspire. Atop the cavern, the forest continued on. Before the entrance was an imposing, pale elf astride a wolf far larger than those that had accompanied them. Lycanthrope, Kade thought to herself.
The Zmajite dug his toes into the soil as he stepped off the sled. He straightened by his back rolling his shoulders back and a popping sound echoed from his spine. " I hav fulfilled my end ov our bargain. I hav returned to talk." He stared at the elf. His mace resting in its holster and his shield on his back.
The elf made no effort to conceal his disapproving look. "You have, but not alone as I asked." He dismounted and strode toward the travelers.
Kade watched him cautiously, weapons still drawn, still strapped into their sled.
"Did you expect me to come talk without my Fangz to guard my tongue? I thought you had taught me better than to be naive?" Faro'oq raised his had to Kade for her to stay her blade.