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Fyra
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Eleforian Elite Guard
Outside, a gust of wind first whistled, and then howled around the inn. If it had been a less sturdy building, it might have shook. The relatively small windows showed that the storm was picking up. It had been still snowing, but now the wind was turning it into a thick blizzard. The lighting that came from outside dimmed a little.

Rhyn's ears rotated for a moment, and she smiled at the sound of the wind. Hands still running through the thick fur of her tail, she glanced at Nev, noting his nervous movements and trying to make sure that her presence was a calming one. He pelted her with questions and she blinked slowly as she thought about each one. They all would get an answer, in the most logical order. Which started with the last one. "I am the only hiskr in this town yes. And, as far as I know, in two that are few days travel from here, Hope, and Radical." Pale gaze now settled onto the young boy, her voice taking a tone of a kind instructor. Once again, she was informing a person of life in the mountains.

"Life in the mountains is never boring, Neven Harkt." His name rolled off of her tongue, carefully pronounced, but it sounded richer in the way she carefully spoke it. With a smooth movement, she reached and grabbed her harness, fingers pulling at a string as she continued speaking to him. "What I do is not...chores." she frowned at the unfamiliar word. She had heard it before, but never really applied it. From the way that Nev spoke it, the word seemed to mean 'meaningless work'. "And I do not always stay in this place. I am as welcome in Hope and Radical as I am here. Each town is both home and not. If I wished, I would return to high reaches. I owe no debt to this town." She frowned, searching for how to explain what she meant as she settled back, a scrap of parchment in her hands. "I... wander. My tribe is not like the others of the hiskrs. We live in high reaches." She gestured in the direction of deeper into the mountains, and upwards, indicating the topmost areas. "The tribe does not run together, but rather...families, wander through the mountains. We are... reclusive. High reaches do not support large groups, only small. When I became old enough, I began my own journey, alone." She looked into the fire, remembering leaving her mother behind. "Bradley found me when I made mistake, and the mountains would have taken my life. I came to care for this town and the area around it. My mother taught me to always take care of that which I care for, lest it be taken from me by the mountains. So I guard, and I keep watch over what I care for, lest something other than the mountains wishes to take it from me." She was unsure if Nev would understand the semi-scattered lesson, but Rhyn wasn't accustomed to speaking much. The towns she wandered through had never truly required her to, other than her offered reports on game, weather and dangers that were about. But the young man she spoke to was naught but a kit, and she could not just leave him without something learned.

Unfolding the paper, she changed the topic slightly. "Here, I show you why the mountains are not boring. They are harsh, the ultimate test of survival, but there is beauty in them, if you only look." The parchment unfolded delicately to show a half-shaded sketch of a rocky mountainside. Heaps of white snow could be seen, and along a barely visible path, the main subject of the drawing stood. A white cat, spotted like Rhyn was herself, was half on the path and half beginning to skid down the slope. "Even in the high reaches, where so few things dare to grow, there is beauty. My tribe, the Sky'che, share the mountains with snow leopards. They are the greatest of survivors, and the most beautiful animal on the rocky slopes." Her eyes shone with admiration as she looked upon the sketch of the animal, her tail flipping up to where she could clasp it against her.
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Frostbitten · Hiskarin Mountains


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