Keep the Hearth-fires burning

To occupy themselves in the season of Dark, the heroes are helping Solanthos and Slaava set up the Trilus forge when the guards on the wall seem to become agitated. Springing to the wall, Solanthos and Eliddnor spot a small group of hunters struggling in to the citadel. The heroes followed the injured men when they went to gain audience with Yalaring to tell their tale.

Three days past Two-Stone hearth had been attacked by Darkmen and a stone charm thrown in the central hearth, whereupon all fires in the hearth went out, and all fires for a days walk too. The people were freezing in the chill of the season, and urgently requested the aid of their king.

Zlatos stepped forwards and requested the right to prove his mettle against the ancient foe, and was put at the head of three of the Kings guard, and together with his friends, set out to Two-Stone to solve the problem of relighting their fires.

Two-Stone is chilled with cold, the people and dogs huddled in a few huts to stay warm, and guards posted at the periphery to watch for further Troll attacks. At the hearth the speak to the Grandmother, and she brings forth a char bowl to take to the sacred flame of Firepoint where Hearthmother first shared fire with mortal women. Together with a young girl, Blueberry, and two hunters as guides, she joins to party.

The Journey is long and cold, though once into another clans hearth, fires are once again able to me lit. Followed by the giant Hawks of Dykene to the Citadel, they request right to travel the Kings land to light the flame and fight the foe. Their request is granted, though Zlatos is disappointed he did not get to see one of the Hawks up close.

As they approach Firepoint, Grandmother stops them before dusk, citing that the sacred flame must be given during the night as happened in the Godtime. As Yelm sets, a chill settles over the group, and a wind whips up a cold snow to bar their path and obscure their vision.

The vigilance of Zlatos alerts the group as the Trolls fall on them from behind. It is quick and bloody battle. From behind a wall of light axes and spears are thrown, barely scratching the foe. One Citadel warrior drops to a hardy blow, fighting dogs are knocked aside like petty annoyances. Eliddnor is smashed down by a might swing of the great leaden mattock wielded by the greatest of the foe, and Zlatos and the warriors of Trilus fight a desperate retreat to her body. So horrible were her wounds that Evana pours her most powerful healing spells upon her twice over before she even begins to knit whole. Hunters and Dogs lie dead at the end of the fight, only desperate and mighty blows from Zlatos’ toxic spear fell the greatest of the Trolls, as he fought on from one knee, trying to kill at least one more of the party before he falls. As the swirls of snow clear, it can be seen the Grandmother lies dead, Blueberry by her side holding the char pot in her hands.

The hunters are saddened, but carry the Grandmothers body to Firepoint. A tall blue flame that jets from the rocky hillstop. Blueberry steps forward with her bowl and the vague figure of Grandmother steps from the flame, and the young girl requests the gift of flame. The spirit woman lifts her hand and places an ember in the pot, which burns bright in the night. “Accept this gift of fire to survive the Darkness” she says, “and leave the body of Grandmother to us”.

Keep the Hearth-fires burning

Balazar Bound DurandDurand