"Owwww!! Oww oww!!" a young female erminoid called out as an elderly Nora'luuu bandaged her foot. "Keep off it for a day, you'll be on your feet in no time, Fera."
She smiled, "Thank you, Huntmaster. A whole day though? What'll I do? I don't want to just sit here.." and then the Huntmaster gave a smirk, and sat next to her, "Well, there's always the rest of the story." and she smiled wider, "Oh please, Huntmaster?" and he gave a nod. "If memory serves, we spent some time discussing where to go next on our adventure. There was talk of far off places and cities grand, though what mattered most was Kelsier's words to me, that I was 'One of them'." and Fera gave a nod, "So, you were part of their pack then?" and Nora'luuu nodded back. "Their village defeated the Northman so I was indebted to them, and we always repay our debts." he paused.
"So then where did you go?" she asked. "We went to a place called Silverhaven, and we were carried by these things called Horses, which move faster then we do, but apparently aren't for eating. That's probably why we attacked and defeated that creature, which I later found out was an Ogre. It was eating a horse, you see." and she giggled, "Attacked for eating the wrong prey?" and Nora'luuu nodded again, "Yes, remember... the other races are a bit odd. The others attacked it, but it was a deft strike from my sword that slew the beast."
"... And then you took its head." Fera said, and Nora'luuu shook his head, "I was about to, but then the creature reached up and stopped me. It rose again, huge. I stood in its shadow as its features changed, sprouting white fur, and his hands and claws glazing over. It was a fierce fight, worthy of the skill of our pack. Once the foe was toppled again, THEN I take its head, and ensure its death was permanent." Nora'luuu says, with a touch of finality to it. Fera almost applauds. "Well done, Huntmaster!"
"There was a body beneath that of the ogre, one that was known to another human that had come to help us. He wore shiny clothes, and held himself in a manner different from the rest of the pack. He said his name was Sir Badagus, and he watched surprised as the ogre puffed out the black smoke, a sight we had all seen in the past." a pause to collect his memories, "Apparently, in the south, death is handled differently."
"How so, Huntmaster?" she asked, and he chuckled, "Well first, all of the dead's possessions are stripped from him and handed out like shiny rocks, and then actual rocks are piled on top of him, until you cannot see him anymore. Then some nice words are spoken, and we moved on." and Fera shook her head, "You're right, Huntmaster. They *ARE* odd." He smiled, "Odd, but they were my friends."
"We reach the village of Silverhaven, and it is an amazing sight. Massive, with buildings and people everywhere. Vast and wide, high and low." he describes. "The rest of the pack asks around about the original man who had the prophecy stones, and we find his name, and some things about him. His name was Sarkha Khatyan." and the silly name set Frey into a giggle. Nora'luuu waited for her to settle, "He came from a village called Assynia which I later learned was so far away, that no matter how hard you looked, from how tall a tree, you'd never see it. You'd have to walk there."
"He bought a horse, and rode in a different direction each dawn, and returned late at night, to a building that had a picture of a sleeping wolf on it. He came from the direction of the rising sun, to the east. A place called Actania, or so I was told." and Fera looked puzzled, "He was from two places?" and Nora'luuu shook his head, "The other races have many names for the same place. Each name means a smaller place, like you're in the village, near the clearing, near the fire, sitting on a log." he explained, and she nodded, understanding. "Then what happened?"
"We settled down for some food. I had to learn their language quickly, and found that FOOD was one of my favorite words." he chuckled, allowing himself some indulgence. "Noa noticed that her travel bag was lighter, and someone had stolen the Prophecy Stones. She was quite angry at this, and we had to find them. So I put my nose to work." he tapped Fera's snout, and she giggled, "What, can't the other races sniff out prey?" and Nora'luuu shook his head, "No, they can't. Though at least one of them knew how to follow a trail. We search and search, the trail leading to a large building. The others stop to talk to someone, but Noa and I continue on the trail, leading to a set of doors that lead into the ground. We open them to find several humans watching two animals fight. I see which one has the matching scent, but one of them, their pack leader, objected."
"Was there a fight?" She asked, and Nora'luuu nodded, "A grand one. Once I figured out who's scent I was following, I waited for a diversion, and then leapt at my prey, knives drawn, while the others join in the fray. The pack leader does something, and some of the pack falls asleep, though I don't relent for a moment. Neither does Sir Badagus, the newest member of the pack. Though, he needed some help in learning to swing his sword true. He had heart, but something was missing."
"Then what happened, Huntmaster?" Fera asked, "Many odd things. A fog crept in, and many of the opposing pack fled for their lives... and rightly so. Even their pack leader took to fleeing, but Bliss was able to stop his flight. Once subdued, they fell before our blades, and the battle is ours." he motions triumphant, and Fera mimics the motion, "We indulge in the ceremonial rite of passage in the Human lands, relieving the deceased of their belongings, when humans who, I later learn, are figures of authority arrive. I prepare for another fight, but they aren't there to fight us, but speak of our valor in defeating the pack leader. Kelsier even suggests taking some of the higher quality items to be enchanted.... whatever that meant. I'd learn in time, though. I'd learn in time."
The Huntmaster paused, to indicate the end of that chapter of the story. Fera smiled, "Thank you for the story, Huntmaster." a pause, "It's good they had you to find the stones, and it's good you had them to help in the fights." Nora'luuu nodded, "That's what a pack is for. That's what friends are for." and then she got a curious look on her face, "But... what about Assynia, and did Noa's father ever find out she was gone?"
"That, Fera, is a tale for another night."