This story takes place sometime after the events of the Blood Runs Deep quest.
The Fremennik Province was incapacitated by the war with the Daggermouths. And while the mission of the Miscellanian Regent was successful in forever weakening the Dagannoths, the invasion did not go well. Not only did King Vargas lose his children, it had cost us all dearly in Rellekka as well. House and heart had been broken.
Our town was in bad shape and rebuilding it took a lot longer than we had expected. Winter was about to set in, but some houses did not even get the needed repairs done. Some were merely patched with the dried hides from the dead beasts on our shore. It wasn't for a lack of time, but going out to the forests to get wood this time of year was especially dangerous. The Fenris had forced us to take time away from our usual work such as fishing and hunting, in order to get all the wood needed in time for winter. We're still short.
This meant that food was scarce too. It was unlikely that fish stocks would return to normal this season, but we could always depend on our livestock and grown food. So what if we had only cabbage and onion stew through the winter, at least it's warm isn't it? As I thought that to myself, I realised how little wood we had collected. It's going to be a long winter indeed.
It was one of those mornings. I woke up realizing that one of my legs had been sticking out from under the furry covers. I quickly pulled it in but as it brushed my other leg, I shuddered at how cold it must have been last night. I did not want to go outside today.
It was my duty today to help with wind-proofing some of the more damaged homes. In these troubled times you could see that the Fremennik are not all about being warriors. People were helping out with all sorts of necessary jobs that they themselves would normally not do. As isolated and introvert or even hostile as we may seem to outlanders, we would die for any one of our own. So what's a little hard work?
I did as much as I could do, wetting and drying the moulded clay for the master builder, but there was little else I could make myself useful with. My gloves were soaked and my hands were frozen, so I decided to warm myself in the Great Hall and perhaps fill up a tankard. Daylight had already gone at this point, but none of us had seen the sun today. Clouds and fog have been drifting lazily down from Trollweiss Mountain for weeks now.
Thora was pouring another drink. "So they aren't coming?" She asked, already knowing the answer.
"No, the ship is stuck at Neitiznot until they can fix the mast. Sorry, Furry." Swensen took the last sip of his drink and walked off.
It's funny, I've never bothered to ask him his real name, but ever since he started his fur trapping and trading business, everyone had called him Furry.
Furry sat down and buried his head in his arms, "Well at least the ship wasn't lost, but the yak hides wont keep us warm this winter."
He had been pacing up and down for hours, waiting for some news of his cargo. I don't think he was alone.
The conversation was not much different elsewhere. I overheared Chieftain Brundt discussing the idea of just hunting and eating the Fenris wolf meat with Sigli. Even the huntsman's son tried to persuade his father, but he would have none of it.
"Come on father, at least the furs would make for a decent coat."
Sigli sighed, "We are not that desperate yet, Sigmar. The chances of us finding a pack are slim, and it isn't worth risking our own hide for one of theirs."
"Besides," he continued, "they will also have sensed this winter has arrived earlier than normal. They'll be looking for an easy meal as well, so we're better served protecting ourselves and our livestock."
I caught up with Sigmar who had walked off in frustration. Ever since he completed his trials, he had been itching for more adventure. But sitting down with him with my last drink of the night cheered him right up. "Don't worry," I said, "have you seen the town lately? Our days of adventure may come sooner than you think."
We looked each other right in the eye for a brief moment. Had I by chance uttered something profound?
Read the next part in this series here.