Rise of the Runelords

Excess Baggage

“Exactly!” shouted Astrid at the top of her lungs. Belven winced slightly and then stepped across the room, fighting through the sea green curtains which danced in the afternoon breeze to shut the windows to his bedroom. Even while he did it his mind argued that it was a bad idea, and when he turned around to face Astrid and defend his position, he saw it was a lost cause; she was standing in that way that he learned real quick meant she didn’t want to hear it.

Unfortunately, his mind was losing arguments with itself a lot lately… especially around her. “I’m going to Turtleback Ferry on business, the fact that it is loosely related to your own contract with Lord Grobares and the well being of Magnimar’s borders is simply coincidental.” Astrid shot him the look.

“So it’s entirely coincidental that we had almost this exact same argument a week ago about how you felt about me risking my life and here you are risking yours? Are you really being this petty just because you hate being wrong?” Astrid folded her arms. Her intent was to be intimidating, but she knew it would have the added effect of distracting Belven in other ways. She smirked as she saw his eyes leave hers momentarily. Yep, she would win this fight too, thanks to the twins.

Belven smiled at her, “It’s not related. I already told you that you were right that I shouldn’t be worried about you out there on the road to adventure. You’re a Hero of Sandpoint, I know you can take care of yourself.” Astrid cracked a smile, victory was hers.

“But I’m still going,” Belven added and then turned to pick up a cluster of papers and a notary on the desk, “Are you worried about me?”

Astrid suddenly found herself on the defensive, but she didn’t let that show. Instead she lowered her arms and stepped toward Belven while stepping out of the morning dress she’d worn for the meeting with Lord Grobares. “Worried about you?” She laughed once, sharply, “Belven… I’m the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to you.”

And for close to the next hour she proved it.

A few hours later, Astrid and Hellewise walked into the Mermaid’s Kiss tavern to meet with the perpetually drunk Nolan, smokin’ hot Davek, and the two new blokes; Starving Artist and the other guy. Astrid was still confused about how the mind of an elf works because as far as she could tell, that artist guy was perfect for Helle. Though… if Helle wasn’t interested, Astrid could certainly have fun using him to make Belven all kinds of jealous. After all, he had no reason to worry about her, he’d said it himself.

But first, business. After learning the trades of her two new companions, Astrid excused herself and returned to Belven’s estate for a good night’s sleep. Now that she was on an adventure, every minute she could get on a down mattress with silk sheets would be worth days sleeping in a tiny boat, on a straw mat in some shoddy village inn, or on top of mud and sticks out in the wild. Belven was busy making arrangements all night. She didn’t mind, now was time for sleep, they could find other ways to pass the time on the boat ride to Turtleback Ferry.

Turtleback Ferry makes Sandpoint look like a resort town. Maybe it’s because of all the rain, but there isn’t a dry surface in the whole place, except for maybe the bottom of Nolan’s whiskey bottle come morning. Either way, Astrid felt it was good to be back into the mud and filth. She’d been worried about being polymorphed into a housewife by Belven and all his luxury. She admitted, it was very pleasant, but she’d have time enough to lack want or need when she was old and gray, while youth was with her her heart sought adventure and the unknown.

Seems adventure always has a way of finding you first.


Foxcalibur JohnHegner

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