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Direlda

The Warrior and the Painter (Part 2)

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Dispatch to the Jarl

In my last dispatch, I mentioned my meeting with the strange painter. I would have finished my tale had I not run out of parchment and needed to barter for it from the next group of travelers I came across. Now that I have parchment again, I shall finish my telling.

A few days had passed since I had encountered the painter. A spate of warmer weather had caused some of the snow in the lower woods to melt. While this proves beneficial to the farmers in the valleys, the thaw proves dangerous here in the wilds. Streams and creeks swell with snowmelt. Avalanches become more likely to occur, especially if it rains at higher elevations. And various beasts and humanoids that had been slumbering for the winter wake hungry and irritable.

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I was skirting around the lair of one such creature, a lone reptilian humanoid, when I noticed a peculiar path that had been blazed through the wood. The underbrush was broken and trampled as if something heavy had been dragged through. I crept along the path until I could see the small pond near the mouth of the lair.

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The painter’s easel was set up on a rock outcropping overlooking the pond. He was down near the pond and appeared to be trying to find a good angle to paint from. I was about to leave when I noticed a fish carcass lying in the snow near the base of the tree next to the pond. Fingering the haft of my ax, I picked my way down towards the pond. A roar broke the stillness. The painter backed up and stumbled over something, falling to the snow. I ran as fast as I dared over the snow and ice. As I got closer, I could see the reptilian trudging through the snow. It was wielding a halberd.

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I made it just in time to block the reptilian’s blow with my shield. It was still sluggish from having been in hibernation, so it didn’t react as quickly or with as much ferocity as it could have, for which I was fortunate. The fight ended after I threw the reptilian off balance with a succession of shield bashes. It moved to block just a little too late.

With the reptilian dead, I turned to face the painter. He was brushing the snow off his tunic. He started to babble on about how magnificent the battle was and how indebted to me he was, but I cut him off. I asked him if he was going to keep wandering through the wilderness dragging his easel with him like a fool. He seemed a little hurt by that, but answered affirmatively. I could have left him there to his silly notions in the hopes that he would stay out of trouble. I could have, but I didn’t want him accidentally triggering an avalanche or provoking the Drow.

So I allowed him to follow me. It took me a few days to get him not to talk almost constantly about getting me to pose heroically or go off to fight a bear so he could capture it in a painting. And I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to let him get killed by the reptilian, but he does do a good job of gathering firewood.

~Wymond

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I realize that this isn't exactly soon after I posted the first part... Teaching-related distractions arose (namely students asking for a review of a new draft of their final project the weekend before it was due). But here it is and comments/critiques are welcome! ^.^

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Nice little scene, especially with your limited part selection. I'm glad Wymond finally found something useful the painter could do :laugh:

Good work :thumbup:

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Again, good little scene and story. Firewood gathering? Well, it needs to be done by someone! :laugh: I wouldn't say you took a long time between part 1 and part 2. It seemed like a normal break to me! :thumbup: Good work.

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that looks nice and rather Mitgardian already. Some nice ideas to depict snow, although I think the fence doesn't neccesarily work as such.

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