After my sun dance on the rock I knew that I was going to have to make amends with Rorik. I had pushed the boundary of offending his trollish honor. Rorik had shown great restraint. The loss of my hatchlings had made me off balanced and hostile to most everyone. Rorik had come to me and tried to extend a hand of friendship to me. He had even made a great gesture and found Fa’ala and my son and returned them to the village, for my benefit. I had not thanked him for this gesture.
The night that Rorik had returned from a raid there was a great party for boasting and drinking. I sat in the back corner of the hall. I did not feel that it was right for me to partake in the party till I had made my apology. I waited till the meal was over, but before the drinking and boasting became too heavy.
I approached Rorik’s table, I kept my head high but made sure to not walk with my nose in the air. I stood across the table from Rorik and asked if I could sit. Rorik pulled out the empty chair next to him. This seat belonged to Vargas. He had again shown me great honor by offering me the seat of his fallen son. I moved around the table and sat next to him. Rorik took a long drink and turned to face me.
I pulled the silver torque off of my upper left arm. I laid it on the table in front of Rorik and said,”Rorik I owe you an apology. I spoke badly to you in front of the entire village. After that you came to me and extended your hand in friendship. I did not except it. Again you did me a favor and brought my son and his mother back to me. In the terms of my people I have handed you your own tail. Instead of getting angry with me you allowed me time to return to a proper balance. I respect you, your position, and your circle rank even though I have not properly shown it. You have shown that you are truly a great leader and see beyond the moment at hand. I have no words to tell you how sorry I am.” “This,” I pointed to the silver torque, “I earned fighting next to your lost son’s during the sinking of Thera’s Pride. I want you to have it.”
Rorik turned and looked at the silver band on the table. He went quiet for a very long time. I was trying to figure out what I had done wrong. “Damn I do not understand this troll honor.” I thought to myself. Rorik pulled a heavy brass a band off of his wrist. The band was about 3 inches across, it was engraved vines small birds and encrusted with garnets. He placed it on my upper left arm and squeezed it to fit. He spoke quietly, “You honor me with your gift. One of the few groups of men that I can respect for their fighting skills is the men of Konigsberg. I won this band in a raid on Konigsberg long before I met Stilicho. I lost a brother that day. Today I gain one. I give you this gift and call you brother.”
I grasped Rorik’s giant hand and shook it. “And I call you brother.” I said.
I did not even realize that everyone in the hall had grown quiet and was listen to our exchange. The crowd in the hall exploded in cheers. Rorik stood and lifted his mug to the crowd. Shouts and toast came from around the room. Rorik looked down at me and said “Come with me out to the balcony.” He turned and walked to the door. I picked up my mead glass and stood. The cheers came again I also raised my glass to the crowd. I then followed the big troll out of the room.
The wind was brisk on the balcony carrying the cold air from the snowy peak. We looked out over the village. There were lights in some of the houses, others were dark. The dark ones were the ones still being repaired. “I fear a storm is coming in the future, The Reach will need to be strong to survive it.” I could hear the concern in Rorik’s voice.
“Brother,” I said “I would not call myself a soothsayer but I have been given some visions in the past few days of things that may come to pass. One of those things was a vision of The Reach. It was rebuilt and strong. There was an open market where people from other villages came to trade. Ships from other villages were docked in your port. Your fields and gardens were filled with grains and vegetables.” This peaked Rorik’s Interest. “From this vision I also have a request.”
Rorik answered before I could finish, “It is granted. What is it?”
I was shocked by his quick answer and stumbled in to my next sentence. “I… uh… well I would like to build a long house here. In my vision The Unchained had long house here for when they were at The Reach. Dremnin and I own a brewery in Throal. We would like to use part of the hall as distribution point.”
Rorik looked at me, “What would you accept in trade for this?”
“You have many things that the low landers do not. You have giant bees in these mountains that produce vast amounts of honey. You have animals with heavy lush pelts. You make weapons and armor. I would not expect you to trade crystal weapons or armor, but I have bought some jewelry here with crystals in it. There are also the goods you take from the Therand ships you raid. I would be glad to profit off of their loss.” I said with a smile. “I have only spent a little time here I’m sure that is just the tip of the tail.”
“What of the group locked away in the mountain?” Rorik changed the subject. “We found the door to their underground dwelling but we could not get in.”
“I’m sure that you couldn’t. They resealed the door behind our leaving. I do have a way to contact them to let The Unchained back in.” I replied.
Rorik was still looking out over the village. His eyes were focused on something in the darkness I could not see. “Are they a hard people?”
“Oh yes, most of them grew up fighting for their lives in the pocket realm of the horror.” I said.
“Good.” Rorik said, “They would be welcome to settle on our mountain, to join our clan.”
My reply was firm but not attacking, “I will not bring them in to the clan as newat.”
Rorik turned to look at me. “No, newat are war prisoners. This would be a partnership. They could build a settlement on the lower mesa to the north of The Reach. There is good water and flat ground there.”
“I could take that proposal to them. Thorin will want to meet you first.” I said.
“Good, bring him here to The Reach we will feast him.” Rorik said with a smile on his face.
Ardor Zomay S’kram
6th circle tail dancer