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Eleforian Elite Guard
"It's already melting, dearie. The air is warm enough in here." She smiled, but was waiting for Carson to return with the hot brick and the towel. Instead, she moved to feed the elf, her own chattering just friendly noise as she spooned what was now soup rather than stew to the woman. It was venison, stuffed full of vegetables and the potatoes had been cooked so long that they had simply fallen into mush. "We haven't ever had a high elf out here, no. Definitely not one of your status. You can't fool me, missy. Bard or no, highborns speak with diction that we don't manage out here in the woods. Don't mind Carson. He's young, and nobody here has his interest. Soon enough he'll head off to another village, and likely find some pretty girl to catch his heart. Meanwhile, he'll be impressed by beauty. And you are beautiful." She was smiling, always smiling, even as subject changed. "We've got our fair share of half-elves, the misfits and of course, most places will have dwarves. None in Last Chance, here, but by the time dwarves are this deep into the mountains, they've retreated to their caves, and all." She shrugged. "But all that don't matter out here. Race, where you're from. We have to stick together for survival. If one doesn't have enough, others share. And Rhyn... she takes care of us all, see. She can find game where we can't find squat."

Carson returned, towel flung over his shoulder and a heated brick carried carefully in his hands. His brown eyes were downcast, his expression a bit shy. "Bring that towel up here, Carson, and check her feet for me, please."

He nodded, handing the towel to his mother and then carrying the heated brick to Een's feet. Carefully, he untucked the blanket from around them, revealing her feet and showing them to be angrily red and visibly painful. The young man hissed in sympathy. "Pardon, mistress. This'll hurt a bit, but we gotta get you warm to the core." His eyes were sympathetic as he pulled the heated brick that was by her feet away, and replaced it. The new brick, while not hot enough to burn, since there was cloth between her feet, was still a good deal warmer than the one he pulled away. His hands, a little rough from calluses that spoke of hard work, shifted the cloth around her feet gently so that he could push the brick into proper position before pulling the blanket down over her feet once more and tucking it around them. He didn't stare, but his eyes did continue to return to her face again and again.

"Anything else, Ma?"

"Yes. You pick. Either feed or taking out braids." Carson's eyes rose to Een's face once again and he swallowed.

"I'll take out braids." He moved around to the other side of her, a slight blush darkening his cheeks. But the young man didn't think he could handle a spoon. Shaky hands didn't matter if you were undoing braids.


Rhyn's soft laughter came again, a gentle chuffing sound that came more through her nose than her mouth. Her eyes were scrunched softly. "Is no problem, youngling. Simply rude, even out here in the wilderness." Her teeth showed with each word she spoke, her voice still soft, her humor only hinted at within it.

She had been about to say even more, to see if the youth had questions about her kind or herself, when Brown turned to her and spoke. Ears flattened a little as her muscles tensed slightly. His shackles had been a constant sound to her, and now the manacled man was paying attention to her. This was not her ideal situation. Shackles meant a criminal, from what Brad had told her of low landers. Curiosity makes me wonder what manacled man did. Her pale gold gaze turned fully onto Brown, ears raising slowly as her eyes scanned over the man. In comparison to the others at the table, he was not so intimidating, she decided.

Her voice was still soft, but there was a different tone in it, and her nose wrinkled at the mention of clothing. Her tail curled around over her knee for a moment she sniffed in a slightly disdainful manner. "You see hiskrs who live in tribes. Low-land hiskrs. They are used to warmth; it has thinned their fur. My fur still thick." Her voice had a slightly superior tone to it as she continued. "Clothing is for humans, elves, dwarves, other un-furred races. Like you." Her ears swiveled slightly as she blinked at the chained man, speaking as if he knew nothing of the mountains, a teacher giving a lesson to a student. "Out in the snow, clothing does nothing helpful. Snow clings to it, holds the cold close to body, sucks heat away. Clothing stands out, dark against white and gray." She shrugged. "Clothing is flat fur. Why should I use flat fur instead of my real fur? You say I am naked, but I am not. The only bare skin I have is my palms." She held them up, her hands small, fingers short and thick. "Huah, huah. Silly man. Only unfurred races can be naked. Even with your flat fur, who would survive out in the high reaches: you or me?" The corners of her mouth lifted slightly with her laugh-sound, and her tail raised to flip over her arm before swaying behind her again in gentle arcing motions.

Her words, carefully pronounced, were slow and carefully chosen, even though she chose to omit some of the words that would have made her sentences properly formed. Rhyn looked over the chained man again. He looked as though he might last for a little while, out in the snow, but, like every other person who was not furred, he would not last in the high reaches. He may know of the valleys, but he did not know of the mountains.
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Frostbitten · Hiskarin Mountains

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