Ichor of solitude

JP with Winteroak and Alexis

After leaving Hunter, Alexis and Tar started there week long trek back to the city.
Slowly but surely the mercenary allowed herself to be lead by the strange older man.

At first she was worried about the tribes and the war but the man appeared to know where to travel to avoid any contact with other people. Sometimes he pointed west when they should be traveling south. Others they traveled towards sunrise only to turn north for a few hours. He mumbled often but she couldn’t always tell what. He either spoke with some unseen agent or was loosing his mind.

Although he did lead her to Tarmen and Voah, he also knew how to find Hunter and the heavy mist on Summer's day that covered their retreat. Alexis was convinced there was more to the man than a crazy hermit. She had kept her curiosity in check but that evening when they camp it's finally time to learn more if her live was now tied to this man.

Alexis watched Tar for a while, before raising her voice.

“What exactly are you looking for?”

Tar looked up surprised at Alexis. The woman had so far kept herself from questioning much of his actions and motives. Tar imagined the woman was as economic with her words as she was with her movements.

Thinking back on how and her effeminate companion had defeated the Naylmo.

"A map. WE are looking for a map..." He said looking at her.

She ignored his inclusion of her in his schemes. Why should she feel part of something he was keeping his lips so tightly shut about?

“A map to where?“

If she had to squeeze every answer out of him separately, she was going to do it. She had nothing but time tonight.

After so many years of living alone would with his thoughts and the voices in head it felt strange to speak so casually with another.
He knew at some point he had to trust her with more. But it still felt strange.

"A map to the other object I have been looking for now for almost three years." He pulled his pack closer to him reaching inside slowly not sure if this was the right time yet.

“What are those objects? Why are you looking for them?”

Alexis wasn’t blind. Tar had been occupied with what he was hiding in his backpack whenever he thought himself unobserved.

She assumed it was what he had found in the mausoleum. He had been all evasive back then, too. Unnecessarily so. Neither Gonyaul nor her would have tried to take anything from him. But then again, Tar couldn’t have known that, she supposed.

The man sighed looking into the flames. He slowly pulled something from his pack. It was covered in a dirty looking cloth which he proceeded to put on the ground. Reverently he unfold the material mumbling words that Alexis could make no sense of.

When he finally unfolded it, she gazed on what seemed to be the head of a blacksmith's hammer.

The strange dark metal seemed to capture the light of their fire, casting dancing hues of orange, yellows and blue across its surface.

"The map will tell us where the handle of this hammer is..." He said in whispered tones casting his eyes towards the far away Fang peaks.

Acknowledging how protective he was being of the hammer head, Alexis kept her hands to herself and simply looked at it from where she was seated.

“And when you do find its handle, what happens then?”

For a second his eyes shifted as if he was looking beyond. "Break the hold of Winter. He will walk among us again. Bring forth the hot blood of the mountains. So He can reach Her once again. The one that got away. The Apostate." He said whispering before shaking his head as if to dissipate the fog that sometimes claimed him.

"This is Ichor of Solitude, Fosia's own Hammer. Once put together and in the right hands it will herald the return of the Old Ways to Fang and the Odonine..."

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