At Journey's End
, on FlickrAfter a few days time spent recuperating in the watchtower, both Ryan and Scott were ready to depart. Scott has finally finished brewing the treatment for the White Grasp, the entire motive behind their perilous journey.
Before they left, Scott bandaged Ryan’s arm and gave him an old set of clothes that were brought along the journey. Complaining of headaches, the injured hero tied a piece of black cloth grabbed from the storeroom around his forehead. Setting out with a cane in one hand and a cast on the other, Ryan was very glad to be home.
Strolling down the all too familiar streets of Angten, Ryan finally felt at ease. The entire journey had been one to remember, but certain parts of it were certainly less fun than others. The only issue left for the young man now was what to do next! Holly rubber her head at his side, and he smiled. He’d have all the time in the world to figure out what to do next, now that he was back in his rightful place.
“Wait here, just for a second.” Scott said when they reached the stables. Jogging in, he came back out with a young stable boy and a black horse. Strapping the saddle onto the massive black equine, the boy trotted along next to the group on their way through the streets.
“You’re leaving? You can’t stay for a few days more?” Ryan asked, frowning all the while. He and Scott had become good friends over the course of their journey, and he worried that their kinship may be nothing more than a memory if Scott left Angten as he intended.
“Yes, as much as I’d like to rest a while longer. I have yet to hear anything from the voyages southward, and that concerns me as to what is the meaning behind this stark season change.” Scott stated, gesturing to the bright flowers and green grass that lines the streets of the coastal village. “I’ll have to go investigate, whether that means asking around or sailing into the maw of danger.”
Ryan nodded. Although he did not want to see his friend go, he understood that there were more important matters currently at hand. “But you’ll come visit sometime, right?”
Scott chuckled. “Of course! It’s my job as an apothecary to wander and explore, and I’m sure I could make a stop in Angten every now and then!”
To their right, a small stone cottage grew ever closer. Scott recognized it as Ryan’s house, but if he didn’t realize, Ryan’s beaming grin was enough for him to figure out. The stable boy caught onto the commotion and slowed the horse to a halt just in front of the stony façade of the building.
“Well, I suppose this is it.” Scott said, just as the door before them opened at Ryan’s knock. He fumbled in his blue cloak for a minute before procuring a small glass vial containing a green liquid.
Out from the doorway strolled a hobbling old man, gaunter than when the party had seen him last. The exertion of walking clearly wracked the man with some discomfort, as groans could be heard from underneath the white beard.
“Hello, old friend!” Scott said, handing the man the bottle. “I am quite happy to tell you that your worries and suffering are over, and that your grandson is a hero among men!”
Bewildered, the elderly man took a moment to gather his wits and piece together what was happening. His old, cloudy eyes grew wide, and a smile was evident underneath the facial hair that hid most of his countenance. He looked up at Scott, then at Ryan, and laughed. It was an innocuous, heartfelt laugh that lightened the spirits of everyone who heard it.
Scott climbed upon the black steed, and hooked his staff in the saddle. “I guess this is goodbye, for now.”
Ryan’s grandfather, putting forth all his strength, was able to say, “Thank you, wanderer. May your new year be full of good tidings!”
Although it was no more than a raspy whisper, Ryan was taken aback by his grandfather’s strength. He hadn’t spoken in quite some time, and he was always a man of few words!
“Farewell!” Ryan yelled as Scott plodded off. The apothecary waved back enthusiastically. The stable boy even waved, although nobody took notice. Embarrassed, he scrambled back to the stables.
A new year, Scott thought. I had completely lost track of time. Let’s hope the upcoming year is less stressful than this one was!Brickshelf.
And that concludes this tale! It had a happy ending for almost everyone involved, and now it's time I focus on different aspects of the Nortlen. Those stories will begin soon, but until then, Happy New Year!
C&C welcome, as always.