Sights, Tales and Pathways.
Eyla looked up at the tall walls of the city. Her eyes traced the tall walls moving up the broad battlements and the stone platforms that jutted out from them. She stood for a while puzzled by the shapes of the creatures that were supposedly holding up the platforms. Soriah touched her arm, “Are you alright?” she asked.
Eyla looked at her, “I was wondering if the creatures holding up the stone platforms were originally built that way or if they were defaced by age and weather.
Soriah’s face suddenly turned grim, “Neither of those two ideas is true. The creatures are Griffins. The symbol of this land and it was Lyficen’s Dragons that defaced them. A symbol of this land as well.” Eyla looked back up to the defaced griffins. She could now make out the outlines that would have been beaks and maybe a face or ears. A deep hate shimmered in her as her rage pushed to release. Soriah faced back to the gate, “We have to get a place to spend the night. Thank goodness we got here after the annual winter market. We would have never been able to find room.” Eyla grinned and followed Soriah into the mountain city of Overed.
Eyla looked around in awe once again. It was not that she had never been in cities before; it was just that it was all so huge and so noisy. People were everywhere; talking, laughing, shouting. It was a wonder that they even understood once another. But she loved it. Soriah moved through the crowds like a normal person. Unless someone looked right at her eyes under her head shawl, no one would realize that she was blind. She followed Soriah into a small wooden structure. The inside was quite cool from the heat outside. Eyla looked around at the sturdy wooden bar and the scattered of tables and chairs; ‘so this is what a tavern looks like.’ She thought to herself. The older men looked at her with a critical eye, the younger men looked at her with a critical eye, but with a smile on their faces. She grinned back at them, then turned her attention to Soriah who walked up to the wooden bar and threw back her shawl.
The bartender took one look Soriah and Eyla saw the battle on his face to decide how to deal with her. “How can I help you my lady?” he asked, having decided that being a bit kind may help this awkward situation. Soriah smiled and him and said, “I would like to know if Joreak still lives in Overed.” A shadow fell over the man’s face. Eyla moved closer to Soriah.
“Why do you want to know about Joreak?” the man replied. Soriah nodded as though he said something significant.
“Question for a question…is that still the pass for the plains?” she asked. The man nodded back at her with the same significant air.
“Joreak is still here,” he said.
“Then I will wait,” Soriah told him. She turned to face Eyla. Eyla saw surprise in the man’s face when he realized Soriah could more than function without sight. Eyla bared her teeth in a grin that showed him a bit of her berserker rage. He took a step back as Soriah walked away from the bar and Eyla followed in her wake. It was only after she stepped out did Eyla realize that the tavern was completely silent. It worried her that she did not know when the noise disappeared and how much of the conversation was heard.
Eyla walked through the City of Overed with Soriah, holding onto her arm, as she described the scenes; from the tall main spire of the Royal family to the many stalls and their many wares and items for sale. Soriah made her stop and began to barter with a merchant for some travel items. Eyla growing bored of the verbal swordplay between them, wandered a short way from Soriah’s side and took a chance to stretch her arms, which to her opinion had been hit so many times in this wild place that it was a wonder that it wasn’t bruise to a blue black color. Her arms collided unexpectedly with someone. A shout of indignation had her spin to see a young man rubbing his head with his hand.
“What do you think you are doing, you clumsy miscreant?” he asked angrily.
“I hit you while stretching my arms,’ Eyla said, not liking his tone or his words, “I apologize.” He stared at her for a minute, then a sneer crossed his face as he looked her up and down.
“I don’t think I should have expected any better from a person like you,” he said, “Aren’t you a bit far from your pen, outsider?” Eyla flashed him a berserker grin her eyes momentarily flaring blue; she was satisfied when he took a few steps back from her.
“And I don’t think I should have expected anything for you; a pompous rich brat that can hardly duck out of the way a something as obvious as a person’s outstretched arms. Aren’t you a bit far from your fancy cage, O highly plumed pheasant?” the young man’s face contorted in an ugly mask of anger. Eyla laughed.
“Look at your face!” She exclaimed, glancing around at the people who had paused to hear their exchange, “That is quite a display of tossing your feathers little bird.”
“You do not know who you are dealing with,” he hissed at her. She grinned once more at him, her eyes and smile holding the cold rage of the berserker, “Neither do you know who you are dealing with, little bird.”
“Eyla,” came Soriah’s clear voice, “I am done here.”
Eyla bowed mockingly to the young man, “I wish you a good day, sir.”
He sneered again at her and walked off. She found Soriah holding several packages. She took some as Soriah nodded off towards the where she just came, “What was that about?”
“Some boy who didn’t have sense in his head,” Eyla dismissed the question, “Nothing really.” Soriah shrugged and then glanced up sharply, as a man came towards them. The man passed by without a sideways glance. Soriah stood still for a few seconds then turned to follow the man. They hurried after him, moving through the throngs of people, often losing sight of him only to see him further up. Then he suddenly disappeared.
Eyla and Soriah stopped. “Eyla?” Soriah asked. “He’s not anywhere,” Eyla said. She looked around only to see merchant’s stalls. There was no place to hide. A low whistle sounded and Soriah tugged her to the left. There was nothing but long sheets of thick cloth hung up against the main spire’s walls. Soriah pushed her forward.
“Soriah, there is nothing….” Eyla protested, as a hand reached out and pulled her behind the cloth.
“For a companion of Soriah, you sure are slow,” a deep voice said sounding amused.
“Hello Joreak,” Soriah said, slipping in front of Eyla, and reaching her hand out to the tall brown skinned man.
Joreak grinned and took her hand, “Hello Soriah, what bring you to the mighty city of Overed?” Eyla could hear the slightly mocking tones as the man said the name.
“Mighty no more,”’ Soriah said softly and sadly, “And more the pity since the time has finally come.”
Joreak’s face turned a weird combination of shock and hope. “The time has come! You are sure of this?” He looked at Soriah then back at Eyla several times during that sentence. Eyla and Soriah both nodded. He raised his head let out a sigh that was full of tears. When he looked back at them, his eyes were bright. “I know now why you are here,” he said his voice a little choked, “and I will not withhold what you seek. But it is a long way from here Soriah, and where you have to go; only the dead reside.” Soriah nodded. He suddenly pulled her into a hug. Eyla could just hear the words he said. Soriah hugged him back.
“We have long waited, and it was not in vain,” she comforted the man. Joreak let her go and held out his hand to Eyla.
“Companion of Soriah,” he said, “I don’t know who or what you are. But if she has chosen to give you her trust, so will I. Joreak is ever at your service.”
Eyla nodded and took the man’s hand. “I am Eyla, daughter of the Berserkers. If you are truly a friend of Soriah I will treat you as such. Should you ever try to hurt her, I will return to you your dues.” The man’s eyes widened then he grinned.
“Well spoken,” he said, “Be faster next time.” Eyla grinned back and let her eyes flare. The man stepped back a bit at the sudden blue of her eyes. He looked at Soriah, “I see now.”
Soriah smiled, “No you haven’t” she replied.
Eyla let Joreak’s hand go. Soriah turned to her, “We will leave now my dear, we have far to travel.”
Eyla nodded and said, “Lead the way.”