Clemnilshala had returned to the sea with Xirril and Lavia, Magga and Samythiel. To the place where Magga and Samuthiel could not hear the voices of the land nor the spirits. She tore open the curtain of the Abbess’ tent with such vigor that Y’luunara cropped her cup of sugared water, it splashed over rocks and turned them grey and dark. She for the first time in her greatly advanced age, looked as though fear had penetrated through her emotionless golden nature. She’d scrabbled her chair, having one hoof up and clutching one armrest as well as the closure to her robes.
“Yoohoo!” She sang aloud with her split eynnic voice. It fused back into one for her to laugh as she pulled up a chair. She tossed the document onto the stone table and let it slide before piercing it, and cracking the stone, with the strong blade of her knife. “I got some demands fer ye tae be makin’ good on iffin I’m soo important ta eyer mission.”
Y’luunara looked at her.
“…Splendid…” she replied, her mouth dragged out sideways so much she nearly resembled a from about to go agape. “yes yes er we need your…unorthodox knowledge and on my honor and the honor of every eynnil on this beach you will have whatever you require to secure the safety of our people and the people of Uluur. You’re from Uluur correct?”
“Nae I’m of Thamdul now. I haven’t been from Uluur fer the past two hundred and fifty years or thereabouts. Nae about m’demands. They are simple and few, easy enough fer an abbess tae accomplish” Clemnilshala Noblehood tapped the document with a bare hand. Her eynnic penmanship had grown sloppy over the years but she recalled the characters enough to write on her own.
Y’luunara pulled her head back the further down the document she read. Not at all what she was expecting, aside from two that she was prepared for.
The Exile Clemnilshala will aid the Eynnic populations under the conditions that
- That the Exile, Clemnilshala, be provided a scribe. The scribe Lavia.
- That the Exile, Clemnilshala, be provided direct contact with whomsoever it wills.
- That the Exile, Clemnilshala be provided an adequate supply of Century Brand Pipe Tobacco.
- That the Golden Guard, Valthran, be monitored at all times by no fewer than one individual.
- That, for the adequate education of the eynnic trainees, the population from Brinorion would be relocated to the horse herder territories.
Written in her shaky hand, Clemnilshala Noblehood had omitted her family name for the sake of the official document.
“Tell me,” Asked Y’luunara, “What, between you and I, has life been for you since your exile?” She picked up her tea cup and saucer and took more water and added nearly a gold chip’s worth of sugar. A waste of money, Clemnilshala could have gotten Rigmol new hoofplates for that, she hid her disdain as the cup was slid across the table and over the crack created by the knife.
“Who’s askin?” She replied. “Ain’t expectin’ an Abbess tae be interested in the lives of exiles.”
“Oh dear, I’m only interested iny our story. I don’t think I’ve ever been delivered someone with such a smile…you seem almost happy.”
“Bah, ye’d be bored, et’s nae a safe story fer yer holy ear.”
Y’luunara pursed her mouth, she rose and opened a trunk that lay at the end of her cot. She pulled a dark, cinched, bag and tossed it onto the table. There was an embossed branding on the bag.
“There’s nae possible way this is real Century Tobacco.” She squinted “The blight ten years ago made damn sure of that.” She smiled fondly at the memory of how upset Folruth was. She waved her hand in front of her chest with a small laugh. Alas it was real, and it smelled as though it’d come from the tables in the harvest markets of the mountain.
“Try me.” Y’luunara sat down again, with an opened position and an extended hand to allow her to speak. Clemnilshala squinted and, of course not to be rude, brought forth her antique smoking pipe and prepared it while she began to speak.
“Well, in the time I’ve been…in the wild…I’ve found joy and sorry in the hands and hearts of my people.”
“Oh yes, the dwarves, and you’ve assimilated, it’s almost like you’re no longer an eynnil” She leaned in to bring a gold marked hand to Clemnishala’s head. She stopped her, grabbing her wrist to examine the scar like marks whose luster was like golden-white firelight.
“No, no magic. I understand. I wanted to see your horn.” Her docked short tail rose with curiosity as she ran her delicate golden fingers over the hardened porous rings of Clemnilshala’s horn. “I could have a new one made for you. It’d be quite simple for us.”
“You’ve asked for such unusual things, including my personal scribe. So humble, why is this> Tobacco? You’ll have to explain why you want my personal guard monitored at all times.”
“Tha’s just tae get a rise outta him.” She laughed a breathy laugh, putting the pouch of tobacco to her nose while the Abbess put her fingers in her hair and continued examining the base of her horn where the fissures did not pass the ring of skin that was there. “Nae riddle me this, how’d ye get Century this well preserved?”
“You would not believe me if I told you.” She replied, “Let us just say I’ve seen this moment before.”
“Hm? Ye knew ye’d need an extinct brand of leaf fer this day? You oracles are an odd sort.” She lit her pipe at last and inhaled long and slow at the proper moment.
“It takes a certain amount of living the same moments over and over to overcome any obsticles. Even if that obstacle is an extinct brand of leaf.” She sat back down at last and dusted her hands off on her robe. “Only you know the true wish in your heart.”
“Heartwishes? Really? Thas fer fawns.” She puffed.
“We will see.”
And so it was, with permission of Hjomnir and the horse herder villages on the other side of Thamdul that the refugee eynnil of Brinorion could exist between the two territories.
The abbess walked the whole of the way, even when offered portals and mounting beasts. Along the way she strode close to Clemnilshala, delegating tasks to the people around her and waving her golden hands while her lowly subjects. Tthey looked upon the grassy foothills and plains. From the sea and beaches the eynnil came to the boarder of the territories and assembled their tents and designated the buildings of an abandoned village, long since gutted of all residents and belongings some half millennia ago. A flat land like a dinner dish with a hard cliff over looking a great lake.
“You know, the first few times I visited these moments, I had a cabin wherin I’d lay an illusion that comforted you and whomever else I would see. With their own memories. It was extremely useful to help guide the people to their heartwishes.” Y’luunara looked through the village, not focusing on one single building in the middle but on an out-of-commission travel station that the Mountain Scouts used to stay in when the mountain dwarves were still friendly with the sea dwarves.
“Why didn’t ye just magic one up fer yerself back at the beach hm?” Clemnilshala replied, taking up an iron stock pot that had rolled free from a pack beast’s cart and returning it to its rightful place.
“You said no magic. That and your requests said that we’d be relocating again, it’d take too much magic and it’d be abandoned too quick.”
“Ye wont be denying any of those requests? I’d reckoned ye’d put yer hoof down at being lost yer personal scribe at least.”
“I’ve lost nothing. You two can learn quite a lot from one another. What ever keeps our peoples safe.”
“My people are the dwarves.”
“Yes them too. What keeps them safe.” Her eyes glistened as she repeated verses about prosperity. The back of her hand bunted Clemnilshala’s. She took several steps back and pulled her arms into her cloak.
“No magic.” Clemnilshala repeated.
“Then why don’t you go and give orders to the others on where to settle their belongings hm?” Y’luunara began her stride toward the cabin on the edge of the cliff “I won’t be an obstacle for you if I can help it.”
For the first time in more than two hundred and fifty years, Clemnilshala bowed her head to the departing Abbess in earnest respect.
Here they were now, moving into lean-tos and small houses that were once reserved as communion spaces for women. The whole of the village repurposed itself for the travelers that trickled in from the south east. So few had arrived, and so many elected to stay at the sea including Samythiel and Magga’s other sister. Magga and Anfia were corralling the swine while Batsonia of Aff, their mother, walked with her head low, averting her eyes from the eynnilfolk that doubled her in height. Clemnilshala caught just a glimpse of her face and magnificent beard and eyelashes like horse hair decoration around a jubilant flame.
Magga quickly abandoned the swine to Anfia’s herding skill and volunteered to be the afternoon monitor at Valthran’s side. She took to the mischief for all of two hours until Anfia decided she was done and wanted to go for a nice fly. The griffon chirped and squawked at her master as though flying to the mountain, back to the sea, and back to the mountain once more had not left her panting and exhausted. Persistant are griffons when they want something. Vocalizing before moving on to acts of service to get their desired end goal. Magga resisted for as long as she could while Anfia groomed the smoldering ends of her hair, lo poor Anfia there was no treat of reddened meat waiting for doing such good work. From then the mischief Magga caused by standing uncomfortably close to Valthran became as much a chore as it was to herd swine and rams. No eynnil would take up the mantle either, they feared Valthran would be annoyed and cast them into exile. Their eyes focused on the boxes of rites carried by priests and guarded by warriors.
Valthran barely cast two downward glances at Magga becoming preoccupied with the young warrior Vulac who fawned about the Golden Warrior and spoke with loud brashness at anyone who delayed the efficient movement into the village. They kept trying to get Magga to depart, to follow her brother around for once. Magga continued to refuse Vulac, stating out loud that she didn’t trust them to do as good a job as a Dwarf.