The Road North

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The Road North

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:12 pm

It hadn’t rained much but the morning air carried with it a cool mist that made everyone hold their cloaks closed as much as they were able. Laenaya rode Faenaur, a strong, snowy white mare a bit taller and a bit broader than Ducerth, a leggy, jet black stallion. He had her ride beside him, their mules and over-stuffed cart driven by Lain, one of the Blue Bear Clan. Already many of the women that had come with them looked at Laenaya with jealous, angry eyes. But only when Brandt did not see them. He had called several of them down for it already and Hakon had as well. If it did not stop he’d have no choice but to stop and have them flogged. Something he did not want to do but he needed to set the precedent so they knew that his new wife deserved respect and he would have it or they would suffer for their slights.

A few of the Clan leaders had tried to subvert his authority as well. Wachim, the clan leader of the Snow Runners had touched her inappropriately and Hakon himself had half beaten him to death in front of everyone. If he hadn’t, for her honor Brandt would have had to kill him and then there would be a possible blood feud between his caste and the Snow Runner Clan. Luckily the lessons had been learned and the subsequent days, they were on the third, had seen no more such incidents. Brandt explained of her responsibilities as a Dawn Sister and one of rank, she could hunt with the others, prepare the early morning fires or help in finding and retrieving water. Dawn sisters rose first before most others to go about their tasks. He himself had put her in with them as their tasks were not so difficult or cumbersome as others and he knew what she was about with that bow of hers.

(She might not have said anything about her new abilities when wearing that belt. She would be able to see normally in darkness and sudden bright lights would not affect her. Also, while in darkness and on foot animals would seem to not notice her. She wasn’t invisible and they could smell her but their eyes would slide over her if she remained still for a time)

At night it was just them in their tent and most of the time it was Laenaya who initiated things sexually with him to his surprise. Sometimes he’d barely make it inside before she be at him, trying to get his pants off so she could mount him. Her sexual drive was a fiery one and he the very happy benefactor of that. From her hunting he had cleaned and prepared the rabbit skins and lined her cloak for her with their soft, warm fur. He had promised her mother and so he intended to see that promise was kept. She was given much to eat and now that she burned alot more energy she normally did her appetite had picked up and it made him happy to see it so. While he was up ahead talking with Hakon his mother, Anja came up to ride beside her. She nodded a bow to her and smiled in greeting.

“My son is quite taken with you Laenaya,” she noticed she did not say of the Gondors any longer. “His heart sings when you are near yet he holds himself back for some reason, would you know why?” She asked. Brandt cared alot for Laenaya but she would know he still considered her less his wife and more like some kind of priceless gem that he must care for. She was important to the people and he would keep her safe if it cost him his life.

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Re: The Road North

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:34 pm

For Laenaya saying goodbye to her family had been the hardest thing she had ever had to do. There had been many tears and many tight hugs. This was the first time she was going to be without them and the thought was somewhat terrifying. However, this was going to be an adventure and she decided she would make the best of it. She promised her parents she would write to them often and would try to visit when she could. As she rode away with her new husband and family she looked back and saw them all standing there watching her. She had tried to hold back her tears for Brandt's sake, but she could not hold them back.

While it was warm in the south, as they continued to make their way northward it became cooler and breezier. She was not used to the cooler weather and was glad when Brandt began to use the pelts of rabbits that she killed to line the inside of her cloak. Leanaya immediately became aware that she was closely watched by both the women and many of the men. The women looked at her with jealously, while the men looked at her with sexual desire in their eyes. However, when Wachim grabbed her butt one evening when they were setting up camp Hakon nearly beat him to death. She had wanted to ask him to stop, but Brandt kept her close...rage in his eyes as well. It became clear to her then that she was going to be well protected by her husband and father-in-law and that gave her some level of comfort.

Along the way she asked Brandt many questions about their culture and her duties. She wanted to learn as much as she could. Unbeknownst to him, she was still taking the tea her mother had given her every morning. To his eyes it just looked and smelled like regular tea, but she was careful that he didn't taste it or see her preparing it. Thankfully, they were given their own tent and despite the cold Laenaya's sexual desires did not cool. She knew they could probably be heard, even though they attempted to remain as quiet as possible, but it only took one hard look from Brandt to stop any comments or snickering in the morning.

Laenaya continued to wear the belt that Brandt had given her as a bride gift. She had read about it's powers, but she had never believed them to be more than folklore. However, she quickly realized that many of the things she had read about were actually true. She could see easily in the dark as if it were day and she was made somewhat invisible. She noticed that animals could not see her, though they could smell her and hear her.

Late one morning Laenaya was riding by herself because Brandt was riding up with his father. The sky was threatening to snow, which made her very excited because she had never seen snow before. Anja came up to ride beside her and she blushed a little when she told her how much her son was taken with her. However, when she asked her why he held himself back her smile faded a little.

"I do not know," she answered honestly. "It could be because we are still getting to know one another. Everything happened rather quickly after all."

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Re: The Road North

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:04 pm

Anja nodded respectfully but she didn’t completely agree. “Everyone knows you have fire in your heart, you are hard to ignore in the quiet of the night. That pleases me for it will serve you well with the people. I know you are young but do not hold off having a family to long. Those hips were made for having babes and if you started early you could have many children. Considering that you both are among the best looking they all will be strong and fine,” she said plainly though also as if she were pleased with her near daughter.

“She handed her a hardened leather sheath. Inside it was a very sharp long knife and a sharpening stone. “Wear that always, I have foreseen that you might need it in the future. I can see the future sometimes especially if the vision is a powerful one,” she said as she seemed to be looking around her. “And auras to, sometimes,” she said. “If you wish to learn how to braid your hair as we do I can show you when you have time. As your near mother it is my duty and pleasure to aid you in this time of transition. That and my son’s happiness is important to me. Like him you hold yourself back from what is between you,” she said then as a breeze picked up she looked up into the sky and tugger her cloak closer around her and shook her head. “Out of all my children his heart has always been the gentlest. Do not hurt him near daughter,” she said plainly but the meaning was clear. “He will need you much in the years to come. And I do not need to see the future to know that,” she added.

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Re: The Road North

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:18 pm

Laenaya blushed when her mother-in-law commented that she and Brandt were hard were ignore at night. However, it seemed to please her. She looked at her slightly when she spoke about them having a large family. She knew it was important, especially for Brandt as the future leader of the clan, to have children, particularly a son. However, she wasn't yet ready to stop taking the tea. She knew that the moment she became pregnant that there was no returning to Gondor.

Suddenly, Anja handed her a leather sheath. She accepted it and pulled out a very sharp, long knife and a sharpening stone. She wondered why she was giving this to her but agreed to take it and always wear it. She looked at her slightly when she mentioned that she knew from a vision of the future that she would need it. She wasn't sure she believed her, but she thanked her for the gift. She then looked at her fully when she asked her not to hurt him.

"I do not wish to do that...ever," she replied gently.

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Re: The Road North

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:33 pm

Now that all the business as Anja saw it was concluded she went on to talk about Trade. Rhovannion was a very diverse place. They had hazelnut trees, musk oil from the musk deer, ram horn powder from the mountain rams, dried fish and meats and rare and sought after pelts. What they needed were medicines, spices, wheat and grains, dyes and produce. In the spring they brought their hazlenuts, meats and furs down to Edoras to trade for the Medicines, dyes and produce. In the early winter they brought the fish, horn powder and rarest furs down to trade for the Spices and grains. What they would need to do is renegotiate for new terms and Laenaya would be their head talker during these negotiations. Now that it was early winter soon after she arrived she would have to leave to head back south with the trade caravans.

“I know it is alot to remember but you will get it, I can tell,” she said and gestured toward her head to convey she knew she was smart. Tonight I wish you to join us in the sweat tent. It is important for you to get to know your sisters,” she said. Laenaya was told about the sweat tents. To save water they used heated stones and just a little water to make steam to fill the tent. They used these flat pieces of bone to slide against their skin and whisk the dirt and grime away but unfortunately she would be expected to disrobe and commune with them. It was an important activity. One that would bring her much closer with the other women.

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Re: The Road North

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:46 pm

Laenaya tried to pay close attention to what Anja told her about the trade they conducted. It was quite a bit to remember, but she hoped she would catch on soon. She also hoped she would do well in the renegotiation talks in Edoras. She was of course the king's niece, but she wanted to make a good impression still and also let the clan know that she could handle this very important task. It was, after all, partly why she was chosen to wed Brandt.

After the talk about trade was done, Anja went on to invite her to join herself and the other women in the sweat tent. She had heard about this from Brandt, but this was the first time she had been invited. She wasn't sure how comfortable she would be being naked in front of everyone, but this seemed to be an important bonding ritual and she didn't want to disappoint them, or Brandt.

"Of course...thank you," she replied politely.

It was then that Laenaya spotted her first snowflake. She smiled and giggled like a small child as it began to come down harder. While no one else seemed excited, she was. She caught flakes on her tongue and in her hand, though they melted quickly. For her it was a magical sight to see everything starting to turn white.

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Re: The Road North

Post by Conleth on Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:23 pm

For days and days they continued to press North. Now the morning was very chilly, putting her clothes on was difficult because they were so cold just from the air. The sweat tent was not only a place the women went to get clean it was also a place that they were able to discuss their troubles and concerns. It was here that pacts and decisions were made. One woman or another would get their man to do this or that through either sex or the lack of it. Already two women had changed hands and it had been difficult for them. One had been sexually assaulted by a clan leader and here all the women alternated comforting her and drying her tears. Here they were able to be comforted and Laenaya had brought this up to Brandt who had told her that this practice was one he wanted to change but for now things would need to stay as they were.

The snow continued to fall and the temperature continued to drop. The novelty had worn off for Laenaya as the biting wind was frightfully unpleasant as her body slowly grew used to the change in climate. No further issues had occurred thankfully and after nearly 6 weeks they arrived.

Spiked wooden palisades surrounded the large area that held the five strongholds. The largest was Hakon’s. A three story affair made of wood and thick stone. There was a large barn and stables just off of the main building and the main hall was mainly used for eating and meetings. The halls that led away from it led to individual hovels, Brandt’s hovel was the second largest in the hold. Now also Laenaya’s, they had a large sitting room and also a modest dining room right off of the large stone hearth that served also their bedroom that was on the other side of the wall. It wasn’t quite as large as their rooms in Minas Tirith but it was fairly well decorated, if not needing a woman’s touch which Brandt didn’t doubt would come soon. Several of the walls had very old looking drawings on sheep skins while others had old shields or weapons made of wood and stone that no one would ever use today. He had a very large bed covered in thick, warm furs and wool sheets beneath them.

A feast was held in her honor and of their marriage. During the feat, scantily clad women danced for Brandt and to her surprise men with painted faces and only loin cloths danced for her, and sometimes she got a good look at what lay underneath those cloths. They were actually good, lively dancers and the music was lively and loud. Typically the bride and groom would consummate their coupling in front of everyone but Brandt had ofcourse opted out of that for both of their sakes. It was enough that those that came north with them knew that their coupling was consummated and so no proofs were needed.

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Re: The Road North

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:45 pm

The novelty of the snow quickly wore off by the third day of it, but it only continued to get worse. Her clothes and hair and skin were all damp from it and as it continued to pile up the horses had a more difficult time getting through. The worst part, however, was the biting wind. It whipped at her hair and made her skin and lips chapped. The journey was long and arduous and as things became more difficult, she was glad that Brandt was there with her.

She was learning things quickly, but still did not feel comfortable giving her opinion openly to the other women and she doubted the clan leaders would listen to her. However, in the privacy of their tent she would sometimes share them with Brandt. He would listen quietly and sometimes agree with her and sometimes not. No matter what though he valued her opinion, which she greatly appreciated.

The nights were long and cold, but they would warm each other through their sexual passions, which occurred nightly. By now they knew each other's bodies very well and could form a rhythm with the other. One morning, after a rather frenzied night, they were actually applauded by some of the other clansmen, much to Laenaya's embarrassment.

Finally, after weeks and weeks of traveling they finally arrived. Those who had not been able to attend the wedding quickly came out to see the Gondorian princess, who judged her very quickly. Most believed she was exceptionally beautiful, but was not tough enough to last in this environment. Merely looking at her hands told them that she had not done a hard day's labor ever in her life. The feast was a large affair and once again there were scantily clad dancers, who danced around Brandt. She was surprised to find she was rather jealous of his attention towards them. However, she was distracted when equally scantily clad men came out to dance around her. She tried to avert her eyes, but it was rather difficult to find a place to look.

It was quite late when they went back to their rooms. Laenaya was exhausted and all but collapsed onto the fur covered bed. For the first time the realization that she was truly not going home sank in and a strong homesick feeling came over her. She reached up and lightly gripped the pendant necklace her parents had given to her before she left. It was her strongest reminder of home. She didn't want Brandt to become upset, though, and so she pushed back her tears. To his eyes she would simply appear very tired. She then remembered one woman as they first came in who glared at her and had been muttering angrily under her breath.

"Brandt, who was that woman who already seems to hate me for some reason?"

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