A Road Well Travelled: February 2007

3 February

Memories

It is a wonderful thing the brain, but it can also be selective.

As we walked along the banks of the Simi towards Bray I noticed a small mound to the east of us, surrounded by a series of irregular stones. It took me a while to recall what it was, but then the old locked away regions of my memory gradually opened up and I was taken back to the time I first met Rhonas the Elf, the last of the Chinnadorai.

I stood and looked towards it silently as I remembered that during my quest for the Stracyl of Unity it was this tumulus, his peoples burial mound, that had been the location of the first part of stracyl.

I must return here soon, and pay my respects properly to Rhonas’ family. I didn’t have the time before.

6 February

Ah, Bray! How I Missed You!

It’s early on in the week, but there is plenty of entertainment here.

The Flying Dragon is just how I remember it; the fire glows constantly, whilst the uneven floors still causes the ale to spill from my tankard!

Best of all though, Brownale is still landlord here, and he hasn’t changed a bit. He still runs the most friendly, and popular, inn I’ve ever encountered.

There are more locals in town this visit, I seem to recall last time most had left to attend the Longday Festival at Soulhill.

I asked Brownale whether Merryweather was still living here. Sadly he told me that the old man passed away just a few years ago. Shame, I’d have like to have thanked him again for the boat he sold me on my previous quest. What memories I have of riding down the Simi with Rhonas.

8 February

Tales of Strange Creatures

I should have left by now, but I’ve been too busy talking to as many people as possible.

It seems like over the past decade there has been a steadily increasing number of giants sighted in the lands to the East of Bray.

I’ve only encountered one giant in all my travels previously, but remember him as being a kind and helpful creature, caring for the Theign Supreme’s son as he did. Now, what was his name? My old brain is hiding it away from me, but I must try and remember it.

Anyway, I’m going to try to hear more talk of these giants from as many locals as possible, before both Tomepicker and myself head Eastwards back towards the coastline.

One thing that I have noted is that not one of the residents of Bray has had a bad word to say about these giants – so that’s a good sign I think.

9 February

A Giant Finger

So after speaking to as many locals as I have been able to, I’ve picked up some valuable information about the giants that have been seen.

It would seem that there are at least a dozen of them, possibly more, and they tend to remain around a spit of land on the East coast known as “the little finger”.

Apart from that, nothing else is known about them, so I have a slim chance to meet them and then welcome them to Methtintdour.

Brownale has seen to it that we have plenty of supplies that should last us for at least a fortnight. He’s even provided us with some skins full of the local ale.

What can I say about Brownale, he is a great host!

So, after our rest tonight in the comfort of the inn, we’ll be back on the road again heading coastwards.

13 February

New Arrivals

We reached “the little finger” this morning. It is a barren place, with the winds from the Estensea battering this headland almost continuously. I’m not sure how Tomepicker is coping, but I am almost being blown over most of the time.

I noticed that the few trees that had stood in this area were no longer present, they had all been cut down, and recently too from the colour of the stump wood.

After a while of exploring the area carefully I discovered, hidden from view down the slope of the cliff face there was building that has been cut against the side of the cliff. It’s sloping wooden roof deflected the powerful winds up and over it.

We walked down the cliff along a well worn path, and approached the hut. The size of it left me in no doubt at all that this was a giant habitat. After a nervous introduction – I’m not sure who was more wary myself or the giants - we were invited inside to meet the occupants.

It seems that the fourteen giants – ten males and four females - came to Methtintdour deliberately in search of one of their own. I instantly knew who they were looking for, but still could not remember his name until it was mentioned to me;

Torfeld. Of course it was Torfeld!

My silly memory playing tricks on me. He was looking after Clunav, son of Uttar, when I first came across him in Merquay. I explained to my hosts how Torfeld had assisted my quest in reaching the lair of the Baldrake, but that he stayed behind in Merquay injured when I continued travelling.

The giants of Dilogunga were overjoyed to hear news of their comrade and thanked me for my information. I imagine that there will be a reunion party in the not to distant future.

14 February

Coastline Journeys

We’ve said our farewell to the Hymitots and continued our journey.

We’re heading to Tingamel castle to the South of the lands, and as it’s on the coast I’m taking a route along the edge of the land to get there.

Tomepicker is delighted as he’s discovered that the winds coming in off the Estensea rush up the cliffs and give him the perfect lift for flying. He’s been in the air most of today swooping around above me, then diving down to the sea before soaring back up high. He’ll be needing a good meal soon, so I guess we’re on the lookout for wild goats now.

I’m writing this as I settle down next to a pile of large boulders. It’s provided me with a good shelter from the winds, and will stop me becoming chilled when I sleep later.

17 February

Distant Travels

We are making our way steadily along the coastline towards Tingamel.

I’ve encountered some interesting and unusual plants growing along the way, and one in particular has caught my attention.

I have noticed that one plant grows in all colours; it has a long stalk onto which many flowers grow outwards from it, and even more amazing is how the flowers look like Tomepicker!  Imagine having a whole plant full of dragon heads!!

Upon close inspection of this plant in order to draw it, I have learnt that if I squeeze the flowers slightly they open up, making it look like they are talking! I’ve called these “Speaking Dragon Plants” because of this.

Tomepicker called out whilst soaring above me earlier today, and alerted my attention to a distant group of large boats on the open Estensea. They were very unusual, and not the sort that I had seen before when I was in Merquay.

I must visit there again, especially the Dancing Dolphin, and ask the fishermen what they think they might be.

22 February

An Old Friend

Our coastal walk has ended today. We saw Tingamel castle and headed inland towards it, passing by more of my recently discovered Speaking Dragon Plants.

This castle is one that I have little knowledge of, as I’ve never had any reason to visit it before. I have to say that it is looking in a very good condition – in fact it puts Soulhill Castle to shame.

As we approached the drawbridge to the castle, I noticed a large Runic letter C chiselled into the granite of the castle above the entrance. I struggled to think of a wizard I knew whose name began with C.

However, once we were standing in the courtyard I realised that it was not a wizard who had carved the letter. We were surrounded by a group of tall hooded figures and from somewhere high above the courtyard a voice called for me to identify myself.

Naturally I answered with my name and home castle, but was surprised that this was met with raucous laughter. Why my name should result in such a reaction I could not understand.

As the laughter grew louder, two of the hooded figures stepped to the side to allow a tall, slim man to walk between them. As he lowered his hood he smiled at me and called my name.

There was my old friend and companion in my previous quest for the Stracyl; Rhonas the Elf.

24 February

Catching Up

We have talked for days about what happened following the battle with Elsile at Soulhill.

Rhonas and Coraniel settled here in this isolated southern corner of the country with the blessing of Theign Ryam, and began a family.

However, the most amazing news I heard Rhonas explain was that he soon discovered he was not the last of the Chinnadorai, that there were others scattered around Methtintdour living quietly.

When news that the Theign Supreme’s sister had married an Elf they made their way to Tingamel, and joined together to continue the Chinnadorai race. Shortly afterwards the lesser Elves of Methtintdour had also travelled here to join together with the Higher Elves.

I felt so happy for Rhonas, he had found himself a new family with Coraniel, and also his old family too.

Before we leave tomorrow, Rhonas is going to speak to the Council of Elves to ask whether I can pass news of the them to Soulhill, and all of Methtintdour.

25 February

A Nation Reuniting

Today we left my good friend Rhonas, and continued across this land.

Before we left the castle though, he came to tell me that the Council of Elves had agreed to my request to allow the rest of Methtintdour to know that Elves had settled in Geland, on condition that the castle should host a major gathering regularly.

I suggested to Rhonas the 'Wizadore' – the meeting of all wizards – to which he was delighted.

With a long hug and a promise of a return visit soon I said my farewells and headed westwards towards Whitecap Rush and Galamor.

A few hours into my walk I turned back and noticed that Tingamel castle looked old and  abandoned from the west.

Those clever Elves! They had only improved the sides of the castle that would not draw attention to themselves by strangers.

Now though, the western walls would be mended to greet any and all visitors from Methtintdour.