The small fire pit blew out thick gray smoke that intoxicated the air, before flowing upwards in a retreating fashion. The contents of straw and dried grass did little to appease this disruptive sight, as the fire waned and devoured the fuel given to it in haste. Three inaudible silent figures encircled the fire as their eyes seem to remain fixated on the flame. Almost as if avoiding social interaction or at the very least, saving energy for such a folly encounter. A hulking wendigo sat behind them on his haunches as he rolled one of his massive claws into the dirt letting off soft hisses. The sound roaming in their vicinity did little to comfort the trio as the sun continued to set behind them showing a grim silhouette of a burnt village. The same burnt village Beren called home once upon a time.
Opening and closing his hand, Beren relished in the fact Vex was able to restore his body to him that she had recently constructed. Thankfully the flesh was prior preserved and retrieving it within the day proved to be effective in its retrieval. Re-connecting with his fractured soul made the world feel more realistic and less fragmented. As if looking through a broken smoky glass and seeing things from two perspectives. The ghost glow core within his chest had been replaced by the leftovers from the crypt before their departure. Along with the proper necromantic body structuring to seal his chest shut provided by Vex.
Averting his eyes over to Ragnar he noticed him moving his new dark brown bark like hands in a similar fashion. Having been given something to act as a replacement for one’s own body parts must have felt surreal. A sensation Beren wished on Ragnar for all the trouble he had caused him and Vex. Since leaving the forest and departing the crypt with their supplies, they had not traded a single word. In fact, no one other than Riken with sneering sounds and a nurturing Vex was all the form of communication between them.
“So…” Ragnar began as pulled his facemask a bit higher before folding his arms in front of his body.
Vex shot her gaze to him as she closed her grimoire in a rather annoyed fashion. Green sparks diminishing as the pages clasped shut under her nails. Her yellow eyes seem to stare into Ragnar’s as if daring him to make an unforgiving comment. Giving further proof to the thick tension in air amongst them, aside from the thick gray smoke in its fleeting form.
“I assume the game plan is to go to city port of Drita then?” Ragnar asked as he closed his eyes and awaited a response. His calm demeanor having sway on any reply, curt even if it may be from the company before him. Beren learned forward on his knees, tapping on the metal band beneath them in a way to settle the tension before speaking.
“You are to show me this mage named Covon is the game plan.” Beren barked out, his deep voice rough and unforgiving in its vindictive demand. His brown eyes peering at Ragnar ready to jab his large hands into his face should he decline.
“Oh? And let me guess you plan to kill him?” Ragnar asked as he slowly opened his eyes giving Beren a skeptical look. His eye brows slightly raised, and a laugh line could be seen under his bright blue eyes. “In regard to physical combat Beren, you have a remarkable body and that voice you posses could shatter a mans will. However…” Ragnar began as he breathed in slightly before letting it releases in a tired sigh. “This Covon is a half fae after all and has that bloodline magic to boost his already deadly arsenal. And should you be lucky to find him there is no doubt he wont teleport away if he found himself loosing.” Ragnar began as he brought a hand up to adjust his face mask. “And besides I need him alive to assist me with finding this fae clear on the other side of the world. So, as you can see we are both in a predicament.”
Beren clenched his teeth as he felt the hatred boil up inside him slightly. He was not about to let one of those on his hit list get away without so much as a scratch. Let alone sail off to the edge of the world where he may not be grasped.
“Though…” Ragnar added before Beren became lost in his senseless growing rage. “He is a man of deals and would most likely offer you information at the cost of sparing his own life. Granted I do not know the extent of his treachery that occurred at this village, but I can assume he may know the whereabouts of others you are hunting.” Ragnar finished with a grunt as he slid his back up against the edge of a burnt log.
“Before we even begin to devise meeting this mage we still have the matter of getting to the city of Drita to begin with.” Vex added her high pitched gravely voice adding to the sound of heated conversation between the two men. “Ragnar from where did you first set foot in these lands, was it Drita?”
Ragnar simply shook his head as he attempted to make himself comfortable. “I entered in from the north, I trekked through the tribal lands of the Jalren.”
Beren looked towards Vex then back to Ragnar his eye brows raised and mouth tight. “I am not going to even begin to ask what madness brought you to this land. let alone the insanity of crossing in from the northern lands.”
“Then don’t.” Ragnar began as he slid his head back and appeared to rest the rest of the night away. “Besides you lot won’t be able to step one foot into Drita looking the way you do. Let alone that thing.” Ragnar stated hinting at Riken who appeared to be silent and still with his back to the group.
“For a man on the verge of death itself you sure take yourself lightly.” Vex snorted with a scoff as she shook her head before looking to Beren. Her eyes looking him up and down as if judging. “I can have Riken hide outside the town if need be, but you…” She began squinting her eyes seeming frustrated. “We will just have to get some clothes tailored to hide my work it seems.” She ended as she pointed towards Beren’s monstrousness extremities and rather undead appearance.
Rubbing the burlap linen pants Beren wore he felt self-conscious for the first since his inception at mocking mortality. The rest of his bare body would do well to trouble any normal human let alone alarm guards. His thoughts soon focused from guards to the possible encounters they would happen upon once they reach Drita. The more he thought on it the more the anxiety ate at him. The only thing he had going for him was a fae fortune telling to go to a city he never visited before. All on a random whim.
“Tell me Beren, have you ever been to this city called Drita? You are the native here, dead or not.” Ragnar began as he rubbed the back of his head as if already knowing the answer. Beren in response remained silent however as he eyed Ragnar with an interested look. He had never visited any town outside his small village. But he recounted stories of how harsh the surrounding land had become as the cult of scorn continued their efforts unabated.
“No… But something tells me you are coming along with us to that city since Covon is there.” Beren barked back, his anger barely subsiding within his burning red soul.
“Well we had a rented a room aboard a cargo ship. Whether or not he waited for me is besides the point. So, in response I have no clue if he is there still.” Ragnar retorted keeping his emotions in check despite his rather condescending attitude. “Besides we are a about a three-day ride from odds are he will be long gone. Especially since we are traveling on foot.” Ragnar began as he let out a sigh seeming exhausted from the trivial conversation.
A sneering hiss erupted in the air catching the party unaware as the glowing eyes of Riken could be seen outside the perimeter of the fire. His hulking figure blacking out the stars behind did little to comfort those present. All aside from Vex who simply giggled and cooed at him.
“We won’t be walking trust me.” Vex stated as she shot the party a toothy grin. “Riken will be our steed he wont mind.” She explained as she shot up a thumb as if she had everything under control. “In fact, we may be there within two days, maybe one and a half if Riken is feeling up for it.” She stated out loud as Riken suddenly let out a blood curdling laughter. The same jilted and disturbing child laughter, a proven torture clasped in time. Beren and Ragnar simply remained silent as they eyed the dirt before them. Though Vex was used to such monstrous supports they were not, and it was something that not anyone would simply grow accustom to.
“Fine as long as you keep him under control.” Ragnar stated his remark sounding rather empty and quiet, a given proof that such a man could still sense fear. Beren felt a smile curve on his lips glad there was something in this world that could put Ragnar in his place. He watched from the corner of his eye as Riken let out a deep sigh the hot air escaping his mouth escaping into the cold night. Only for it to marry with the thick fire smoke above them.
“Vex.” Beren began as he tapped his legs pondering his words carefully. This night was the most he had ever spoken since his transition to undeath. Being able to properly choose one or two single words to signify what was on his mind, was easier than creating conversation. Vex looked towards Beren her eyes meeting his waiting in response.
“When we get to Drita what then? How are we going to put and end to the scorn? How are we even going to get the numbers to storm the capital…”
“Shhh” Vex interrupted as she raised a finger to her lips her eyes closed slightly. Beren refrained as he let out a sigh letting the rest of the air escape his lungs. “Come what ever may, but forge destiny along the way.” She stated slowly and deliberately. “You are no longer a human Beren, and thus should stop trying to think like one and simply feel.”
Beren gave Vex an interested yet confused look as his face squinted with the cock of his head to the side. Before he could ask she simply smiled and slid into the blanket she had put on the ground before her. Clasping his hands into fists he felt the pressure of cold hard flesh. It reassured him unlike this dire road before him. He was not one to simply let the wind take him to any destination, this was not normal then again nothing since his rebirth had been. Laying down into the dirt before the fire he closed his eyes and envisioned sleep pondering if such a thing was still possible for him. He knew tomorrow was to be an eventful day yet dreaded what the road was going to offer.