"Thar were verra few left o' us by then... per'aps 10 score out o' th' thousands who answered th' call. Th' Thane 'ad finally consented ta lettin' Traigcurt be used in th' battle... fer if th' battle were lost, 'e would be lost as well, any 'ow. An' so... we fought... we fought things I ta this day cannae name. Things wit' all th' wrong parts, an' too many o' this, or too little o' tha'"

"An' we fell... un by un. An'... the magyr let th' magick o' th' Karn loose, in 'opes o' destroyin' those tha' did nae belong. But... th' magic 'ad been trapped in th' walls fer ages.. time beyond any man's reckonin'...." He pauses a moment before continuing "An' it was Wild... an' 'ungry"

"Ooooh" Gormann says, with a twinkle in his eyes "Wild magic!"

"Wit' a roar unto th' world tearin' itself apart, great winds tore out o' th' center o' th' keep... Th' walls burst inta flame, an' then... A great flash... an' all was dark. I woke up nigh unto a village o' strange folk, wit' naught but ma kilt an' Traigcurt. An' tha' be th' tale o' ma beginnin's", Aidan concluded.

The mage smiles "I smell a Quest in the making."

Maryn exclaims, "No! Yer jokin'. Ye meen ye didn't fin' out what 'appened?"

"I dunnae know whar o' 'ow ta git back." the warrior shrugs.

"Did ye 'ave a wife an' kids?" wonders the lady guard.

"Th' place I awoke in... was nae th' place my people knew. Nae... I were o' a man's age... but I 'ad yet ta find a bride tha' would suit th' traditions...." said Aidan.

"Well, that's somethin' then, at least. Woulda been a great pain 'pon a man's 'eart to lose 'is family." she stated, as Aidan chuckles.

"Be wary, friend. There's a reason she knows what makes a man suffer." stated Gormann, nodding sagely.

"Th' only member o' ma family that yet 'lives' be Traigcurt... an' 'e's nae much fer sharin' an ale nor tales", noted the clansman snapping at the bartender, who brings forth a bundle from the backroom.

Maryn laughs, "Ay! Gormann, y'er a wicked one, ye are. Me father's been ta keep me from ya." She grins, and takes a hearty swig from her mug.

The mage raises an eyebrow "Ye'll have to catch me first!" The lady chuckles softly, setting her mug down with a pronounced **thud**.

Aidan takes the bundle and unwraps it, revealing a double-bladed axe, covered in etchings, with a faint golden glow to it "This be ma only family."

"Whassat now?"asks Maryn, as she straightens a bit in her seat, her eyebrows arching, as she tries to get a better look.

"It's breathing." mutters Gormann.

Maryn scowls at him, "Don't be sayin' such things."

"I won't be nearin' it, meself- there's a lot of magick in that there hunk o' forgery" the mage states.

Aidan chuckles softy "I 'ave yet ta see Traigcurt breathe... but I do know tha' 'e bites!"

"Tch, a witch afraid a witchery." the guardswoman chides.

Gormann scowls back. "This from t'one who was a-feared of me settin' the tavern alight."

Maryn sticks out her chin, "I wasn' afraid! I was warnin' ye. Me father'd bite me nose off if 'e knew I was e'en talkin' to ye."

Content 2001 Krystian Bates, Malcom Walker, and Tess Snider

Edited by Krystian G Bates

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