Folklore & Myths of Everwinter
Oct. 27, 2019, 6:51 p.m.
Arx - Ward of House Redrain - Spirit Walkers Hall - Library
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It is a winter evening in the city of Arx with snow coming down in heavy drafts, an intermitten breeze gusting it into flurries. The search for clues at to Everwinter's folklore has led Countess Arcadia, Lady Volcica and Marquessa Eilonwy to the Spiritwalker library where it just so happens there's two Stahlben commoners a Scholar and an Apprentice shaman have said they may have information for the group.
Tucked away in the back of the Spirit Walker hall in a dimly lit library Apprentice Nizru and Scholar Zada of Bonespire are awaiting them with some sheafs of parchment.
Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, following Rysen.
Arcadia enters with a slight look of dread. An evening in the library is like pure torture for the young countess. She takes a sip of whiskey from her hip flask before storing it away and making her way to the scholars, resigning herself to a night of learning.
Rysen drifts into the Library of Spirit Walkers Hall with Lygeia. The dark haired calligrapher seems happy to be in the library again, while Rysen makes his way to Arcadia's side. He bows, and says, "Countess," while Lygeia's dark eyes pass over the folios, scrolls and other records in the shelves.
Volcica isn't far behind Arcadia, though she looks far more curious and interested than her countess. She seems at home in the SpiritWalker's hall, approaching the pair of Stahlbens.
Following along, Eilonwy takes her time looking about the space. "I had no idea they've written so much down. I assumed that's what stories and tattoos were for." She muses mostly to herself but also for Cady's benefit. The Marquessa scrunches her curls back from her face and lets out a breath as they come closer to the pair waiting.
Scholar Zada is a dark-haired woman with a pale complexion a common appearance for a northerner despite the more plain dress and coat she wears in a Crownsworn style. There is a curtsy to the nobility as the come in as he speaks in a dour tone, "I had hoped to transcribe the folklore for the Great Archives, but the topics you were interested in were not the first things I worked on." which only brings a smile from the Apprentice Shaman Nizru with sun bleached blonde hair and reddish burnt skin even from the winter skin on his nose and cheeks. Her hair has bone charms in it and even a smidge of seraphnite. She wears a cloak, bodice and leather pants in a less traditional Arx style to be sure. "But! Unlike the Scholar here, I've recalled many a tale of the mountains around Bonespire." quite the pair these two women make. Apprentice Nizru continues on, "There are some things to be aware of traveling outside the controlled lands of Bonespire to the adjacent mountaintops. Northwards there are large tribes like Clan Whitebear and The Dreadwolves. Both of them number in the tens of thousands, one is simply very hostile the other the Dreadwolves are cannibals and eat everyone that ventures into her territory."
Arcadia scrunches her nose in surprise, "Cannibals? Why?" She glances aside at Rysen, maybe plotting. She may still be a touch angry with him.
The mention of the Dreadwolf clan brings a deep frown to Rysen's features, and he rubs at the marking on his forearm.
"We're trying to get more of it written down," Volcica mentions to Eilonwy. "It's slow. So many of the stories are scattered, or with other tribes." Volcica frowns at the mention of the Dreadwolves, though Whitebear doesn't seem to ellicit such a reaction.
Scholar Zada chimes in not, cutting off the Apprentice shaman, "The Faith of the Pantheon has notes from Scholar Francis." which illicits an interruption from Apprentice Nizru who adds, "Scholar Francis the -Pedantic- like many scholars are." which gets a glower from Zada who continues on as if she wasn't interrupted at all... "They are an Everwinter tribe and believed to have have demon worshipping practices, the cannibalism are likely blood rituals from peoples who believe in such things." she sniffs haughtily.
"Hmmm." Eilonwy murmurs and looks to Arcadia at the question. "You'd suppose one would do away with the other. That could make things tricky." Though the two scholars talking over each other amuses the Marquessa and she grins faintly.
Rysen nods as Zada speaks. He glances at Lygeia who comes to his side and produces a folio containing superb illuminated calligraphy. "There are some notes from Legate Cultherius on that subject," says Rysen. Lygeia hands the folio to Volcica. "Survival in the Everwinter has probably caused some tribes to go to the greatest extremes," says Rysen darkly.
Arcadia listens as best she can. But she's not known for her patience or attention span. Her eyes glaze over, especially as she reads the notes from Lygeia. She nods with lots of mmhmming. Likely to hide the vacant expression.
Volcica takes the folio, reading over it before passing it on to Arcadia. She.. doesn't really seem -surprised- by any of this. "Clan Dreadwolves has been on our to-do list for.. far too long, in all honesty. Perhaps it's time we got to them." She glances to Arcadia, and then Rysen. Just quick glances, before turning her attention to the apprentice and the scholar.
Apprentice Shaman Nizru reaches up and gingerly rubs her sunburnt cheek before pulling out another piece of parchment with hand written notes in a scribbly style not quite scholar approved. "Those are some of the shav dangers beyond Bonespire controlled lands, but there are other things." she sounds rather chipper in comparison with her dour scholar counterpart. "There are tales of those who brave the mountaintops coming away with legendary game like giant white bears, giant snow leopards and rare birds as big as a man." now the Scholar Zada interrupts the Apprentice shaman, "My 'companion' only speaks of dangers and hunting. The Compact has an interest in more than fighting and hunting. There are well documented reports of commonfolk traveling to the mountain peaks for curealls. Some claim they are suncatcher, moon roses, even starlight blooms. While the individual stories are varied and erratic the stories are consistent that in dire circumstances people go to the mountains and return with something to help with illness."
Arcadia lifts her head then, "Oh! I asked Reigna about those. She was very vague, but said they help with all illnesses and it's believed they may be able to help the grove."
Volcica is entirely attentive, listening to Nizru and even nodding when she mentions legendary creatures. Anyone that's been to Stahl Hall has seen the carved murals depicting similar things. She doesn't interrupt, though she doesn't look pleased at Zada's dismissal. "Both exist. No one that I've ever seen return has ever remembered where they found the flowers, though." Volcica frowns a little at that. "I'd love to bring some back for the grove."
"You may be on the right track then, Cady. Giant animals and cannibals aside. Still...even cannibals might be outwitted. I don't think they'd eat diseased looking meat-for example." Eilonwy speculates and hunches her shoulders a little as she tilts her head side to side in thought.
The fingers of Rysen's right hand flow along the hilt of his sword when Volcica speaks of the cannibal clan being on her to do list. The Crovane lord listens with interest when Nizru speaks of the healing plants, and nods to Volcica. "Bonespire would have the best environment for growing plants from the Everwinter, if any might be found and transported back before they perished."
Scholar Zada further adds, "The most I can offer beyond these notations and... her folkstories is that the Dreadwolf tribe is to the east of Bonespire and extends southeast for an unknown distance. Clan Whitebear is north of Bonespire and west. There are viable mountains both to the east and west, so it would be up to the Countess Stahlben to decide which would be best." then wonder of wonders Apprentice Nizru produces a very rough map of the region. "This is a map of the area based on folklore from Bonespire before the Silent War." the map depicts a singular mountain to the west of Bonespire which is the last mountain before Everwinter tundra but this one is a few miles south of it near the Whitebear territory. To the east there are shorter mountains in a range right before the tundra and Grey forest. It is also near Dreadwolf territory.
Arcadia peers at the mountains. A look to Vola before she speaks, "Should we head to the west. Towards Whitebear? Hostile is safer than cannibals.Right?" She runs some fingers through her hair after while she thinks.
Volcica looks at the map, studying it while she considers. "West would be best, I think. Even though Whitebear is hostile, we might be able to talk to them."
Rysen listens to Arcadia and Volcica and then turns to Zada. "You said the Whitebear clan is hostile. Do you know the reason for that hostility? Is it there policy to attack outsiders? Or do they have a grievance against House Stahlben?"
"Supposing they are still their own, aye. We've managed to negotiate with hostile clans in the past. If we're lucky there's something they're lacking that Stahlben can provide in exchange for safe passage." Eilonwy looks to Cady. "But it does beat sneaking and killing our way through cannibals."
Scholar Zada preens at the attention from the Crovane Lord, her chin uptilting at the Apprentice shaman, "Clan Whitebear is to large to be a single clan with a single leader. It'd be larger than some Houses." she gawfs at the mere though of that before continuing, "There are hostile elements and those that flee any contact with the Compact. The reason for their hostility is unknown, I would imagine they do not want to kneel. It is the most common reason, but given it is over ten thousand strong with dozens of splinters there is no one answer m'lord."
Arcadia glances again to Vola, "We should be fine. We've got the Bonewardens and some of the Farhaven guards want to assist us too."
"I think it's worth the risk. Especially if we can talk them into helping us with Dreadwolves, later on." Volcica nods to Arcadia. "We're no stranger to hostilities. It's never really been safe up there, after all."
Apprentice shaman Nizru looks over the group of northerners, well one of them is an Everwinter-ite? "Traveling near Bonespire and especially into the mountains is a very strong chill. On top of picking which mountain you want to explore you may need to figure out how you are going to travel away from the last spot of 'civilization'."
Arcadia immediately mouths "Mammoths" to the group.
Rysen nods to Zada, and smiles a little hearing Volcica speak. "If some part of their clan is hostile to the Dreadwolves, that might be something to take advantage of. I'm also a little curious to know if they have had any contact with those of Albamons'alfar."
Volcica just kind of -looks- at Rysen. "That probably isn't something we should bring up the first time we meet them."
Arcadia also glances to Rysen, "Or the second, third or forth either."
"Elves." Eilonwy scrunches her nose. "Yeah, not a bad idea to avoid asking the unbent about elves." She agrees and looks from one face to the other. "It's outside of what I might be able to suss out here-I suspect. But perhaps when we're closer Cady I can do my...shaman thing and see if there's aught to give us a lead."
Volcica studies Eilonwy for a moment, but then turns her gaze to the group at large. "We have some provisions for the expedition at the Bonespire, but it's a bad time of year to be going out on a journey like we're proposing. We'll need to take extra precautions. Perhaps Lagoma and the spirits will look kindly on us.
Rysen opens his mouth to say something, but seems to think the better of it and shuts it. Turning back to Zada, Rysen asks, "Is anything known of the spiritual practices of the Whitebear Clan? Do they worship the spirits, the Thirteen, or the reflections?"
Scholar Zada furrows her brow at the mention of elves while Apprentice shaman Nizru smiles while commenting, "Supposedly there are elves in Everwinter, but I've never heard anything beyond tale and pale with symbols of the sun. You wouldn't think suns and Everwinter would be linked but, I guess they are." and when Volcica mentions Lagoma the Scholar Zada suggests, "Flames lit from the eternal flame are supposed to be very warming and have blessings on guidance."
Arcadia nods gladly to Eilonwy, "I know this is outside your scope Eilo, but plants and curealls aren't. If it was me. I'd likely pick a daisy and bring that back to everyone's horror." She then nods, "We should bring a flame from Lagoma's light with us. Make sure we have enough furs. It will be cold."
Apprentice Shaman Nizru replies to Rysen, she actually steps in front of Zada to keep her from saying anything. "All three, m'lord! But predominantly the Spirits from what the stories say of interactions. Raiders, the hostile branches of Clan Whitebear likely worship a single Pantheon God which is heresy... Everything is heresy to the pantheon." she says with a look back at Zada. "Or reflections with blood rites. The more peaceful or avoidant tribes are probably Spirits and again idolizing specific Gods of the Pantheon meaning their practices are outlawed."
"Might be best to wait for spring at least. We can sail up to Stormwall and shorten the trip some, but that sea is mean spirited in winter." Eilonwy suggests with a look to Volcica. "Might have to back track some-but it will be a sight faster than a trek straight in I'd suspect?"
Judging by the map the Stormwall route would be faster for the eastern mountain but may be further for the western one unless the group travel by tundra flatlands. The western spots appear to be between Clearlake Hold and Bonespire with some dashes for territory Clan Whitebear threatens. There is overlap.
Rysen can't help but smile at the apprentice shaman's words regarding the pantheon and heresy. He nods, and turns to Arcadia, to hear if she plans to wait for the spring to make the journey.
Volcica nods slightly to Eilonwy. "Spring doesn't really happen, where we're going. There'll be a few less blizzards, but it won't be much easier. I can't help but think, as well, that these are winter flowers. If there were a time it was easier to get them, I'd imagine someone would have tried to grow them at home by now." Volcica muses, her tone suggesting that she could be wrong about it all, as well. "The Great Road will help us getting North, at least."
Arcadia gives a small snort of laughter. "It snows in the summer. There's not much difference where we're going." She glances to the map and answers, "The great road is our best bit. It's also well provisioned along the way and let's people know we're travelling. Boats are just plain dangerous."
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