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Old 05-26-2008, 09:13 PM   #121
Firefoot
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Firefoot has been trapped in the Barrow!
Scyld

“No, I’m not. And I take it you’re not either,” replied the man.

Scyld neither affirmed nor refuted the statement. True, he was not eager to ingratiate himself with these people. However, the thought had come to him that he might be better off going willingly to the camp than being discovered skulking in the hills. While he had learned a thing or two in the last couple months spent on the run, Scyld was no woodsman. He might evade their notice for a few weeks, but to what end? He would learn far more by being down among them and gaining their trust. He had little to fear, so long as his identity remained hidden.

Scyld could only assume this man had a similar story. It would be fear that kept him up here in the wild, Scyld guessed; had the man committed some crime, and did he simply fear authority? Or was it more personal than that? Did he fear recognition?

And the deeper question – why was he hear at all, and why had he stayed here all this time? Scyld thought he looked dimly familiar, so perhaps he was a native to these parts, but without a name to match the face he might as well never have seen the man before for all he knew about him. Regardless of this, he had been here at least as long as Scyld had been gone, and Scyld needed information. He needed to know what had conspired here since his departure, how the people felt about Sorn’s death, whether he himself had been forgotten or if he was a part of the rumors concerning Linduial’s kidnapping, whether the destruction to Sorn’s holdings had been intentional or incidental.

But to gain information, he must also offer it. “I believe we may be able to help each other,” he said abruptly. “I am called Nydfara.”

The proffer of even a name caught Oeric off guard. He had no reason to fear or suspect this man, but something about his manner reminded Oeric of a dog with a bone, some jealously guarded secret and a bristling if approached too closely. The suggestion that they might be of use to each other, though, intrigued Oeric. Of what assistance could he possibly be to this enigmatic stranger? And more importantly, to what use could Oeric himself put this ‘Nydfara’?

“I’m Oeric.” He replied, deciding there could be no harm in an exchange of names. There were undoubtedly those still around these parts who would remember him from days gone by. He had lived here with his grandmother until his early teens. Whether or not there had come to be associated with his name any taint or stain he knew not, not yet at any rate.

Without wishing to reveal more at this point, Oeric beat directly to the point. “You speak of helping each other. As you guessed, I’m not wishing to make the acquaintance of our new neighbors, not at this point anyway. How would you propose to help me in that? And what will you require of me in return?”

Scyld smiled grimly. Good, the man was open to an exchange; let him think he had found an ally. Scyld had not yet discovered how useful he would be, however. "Any enemy of these neighbors, as you call them, is a friend of mine. You know your own needs best, and perhaps you might tell me how I could best help. My own request is simple: I want information, anything you know or are willing to tell me about these people or this land. I have been away on certain... errands... for some time now and find myself out of touch with recent happenings."
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