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Old 08-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #1361
Illusionary Holbytla
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 7,646
Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
As Rowenna began unfolding her story, Scyld felt a flash of triumph – that nearly forgotten rush of uncovering a long sought after secret. The people of Scarburg led mostly mundane lives; their squabbles, petty, compared to the life he had known before. Compared to Rowenna’s story now. Led the brigands? He did not doubt it, but he had not expected it. All the stories he had heard of her till now had painted her as the victim, and in the beginning he supposed that had been true. But she was strong and clever, and her time with the brigands had made her hard – gone now was the casual flirtation, but Scyld was at least as attracted to her strength as he was to her wit.

She finished her story, and before Scyld had time to ponder what designs she might have on Eodwine now, she turned the discussion to him: "It is your turn to pay the debt of so much news of me. Tell me about you and Sorn."

He studied her, maintaining a cool composure, but his blood was rushing. He had missed this game.

“I have already told you about myself and Sorn,” he said, but he could tell from her glare that she did not believe his story complete.

He looked out across the plain again, but his eyes were drawn not to the mountains, as Rowenna’s had been, but much nearer. Where Scarburg Hall now stood, his mind’s eye could see clearly Sorn’s holdings. He imagined himself, a lonely and confused twelve-year-old, abandoned by everyone in the world he trusted. Traitors, all: he could not even trust his own blood. He examined the memory at a distance of thirteen years, carefully blocking out the emotions as he long since had learned to do.

Perhaps that part of his story was not so dangerous.

“I grew up on a farmstead, just there.” He gestured vaguely off to the southwest. He turned back to Rowenna and spoke matter-of-factly. “Our farm was hardly thriving – an even more rocky and unforgiving patch of ground than where Scarburg sits. My father built up a debt to Sorn, a debt he had no hope of paying off with six children to feed. So he fixed two of his problems with one move: I went to live with Sorn, and would owe him my services for ten years. I was twelve.”
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