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At a lonely home in the Irontooth Highlands


The pair had been marching for quite a distance, across paths that Aoibhin knew well. The woman lead Prosper through Bodkin Forest and across the rolling highlands. The last vestige of civilization had disappeared behind them quite some time ago. Here, there were no roads, no signs, no mile markers, just open wilderness, marked only by the smallest hints of human passing. A standing stone here, ringed with precisely laid stones. A cairn atop a great hill, marking the burial site of some unknown figure.

Finally, just outside of a heavily wooded thicket, in a glen between two mighty hills, they could see a humble home. Dark grey stones mortared together formed it's walls, crowned by a high sloping thatch. Ivy climbed up the eastern and southern walls, covering the stone in a mass of vibrant green. The fields in front of the home had been recently tilled and planted, with only tiny seedlings poking out from atop the bare mounds, guarded over by a forlorn scarecrow made of burlap. Pens of simple construction lay to the west of these, with dividers keeping the hogs, chickens, and goats apart.

Aoibhin took Prosper's hand and looked to the boy with a smile, as she lead him onwards. As they neared the fields, They could hear heavy, bounding footsteps.

A pair of great, heavy mastiffs ran from the front door of the home. Yellow fur covered their massive bodies, with a deceptive layer of fat hiding the beast's powerful muscles. The one one the left was the bigger, and seemed as though it might weigh 270 pounds, where the one on the right was smaller, but not by much, at 240. There was a low growl, followed by a heavy, deep throated bark. The mastiffs crouched low as they eyed the strangers, then slowly approached. As they smelled Aoibhin, the bigger one calmed, and the smaller followed it's cue.

"Don't ye worry now, these're good dogs, they are." Aoibhin said, as she scratched the bigger mastiff behind the ears. "This here's Bheag, though I don't recognize the other one."

The two giant dogs walk circles around Prosper as they smell the unfamiliar boy, then look towards Aoibhin, as if for reassurance. She squeezes Prosper's hand and leads him towards the house, with the mastiffs following behind.
5/21/2013, 4:01 pm Link to this post Send Email to hotrodlincoln   Send PM to hotrodlincoln Blog
 
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Re: At a lonely home in the Irontooth Highlands


The journey had been somewhat of an adventure for the boy, he hadn't seen most of the parts they had walked, nor had he dared before to venture so far, and to begin with he had been sprightly and played occasionally when they saw something particularly new or interesting to him. He had paddled in a stream as they stopped for a break, climbed a particularly old looking tree, and after seeing a flock of birds chirping, had even sang a song sweetly to Aoibhin in the happy sunlight.

But it was a long walk, and very tiring for a young boy, his legs simply not as long as hers, nor as strong, even though she never rushed him, and by the time they eventually reached the destination, he was quite tired and worn out, sweaty and dusty.

As they approached the home, his heart started to beat quickly, he knew this visit was important to Aoibhin, it was to himself too, and he was nervous, as well as excited. She had taken his hand just at the moment he might have himself stopped, her encouraging smile as ever settling him.

But as the huge dogs ran out in greeting he was taken by surprise, both appearing quite a bit larger and heavier than the meagre child. The deep bark, caused him to start, almost jumping out of his skin. He instinctively squeezed her hand tightly and shuffled in tightly to her side, the natural reaction of a child. He remembered that when a little smaller, though not so long ago perhaps, he had once been scared by seemingly large dogs before, and he had been picked up and comforted, where he felt safe held in his carers arms. He wished for that again in this moment, but told himself to be brave, being a little bigger now after all.

Aoibhin would feel his relief when they moved on, yet his heart would continue to beat strongly, and he didn't dare to move away from her side as they approached the door, the next trial awaiting.
5/22/2013, 8:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to ProsperS   Send PM to ProsperS Blog
 
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Re: At a lonely home in the Irontooth Highlands


((Sorry about taking so long for a response. I haven't been around too much lately, but that's changing.))

Aoibhin led Prosper into the humble home, flanked by the giant mastiffs. A few simple windows, and a hole in the center of the thatched roof, provided some meager light to the otherwise dark surroundings. The walls were of a dark grey stone, and the wooden furniture scattered about the place has been stained a dark color as well. The smell of herbs and freshly dug earth hung heavily about the place, a product of the many, many dried bunches hanging from the rafters, and the immature spring onions resting on the table, still covered in dirt.

A woman approached from behind a tattered curtain, which hid her bed from general view. Her hair was red, once, but age had sucked much of the color and vigor from them, leaving only a few faint streaks of lightest red to color an otherwise grey mane. Her face was set with laugh lines, and a number of wrinkles across her forehead. She smiled at the two as they crossed the threshold, revealing that half of her teeth had fallen out over the years. She was too young to be properly considered a crone, perhaps, but it was clear she had not worn the years well. The woman embraced Aoibhin with a surprising strength. These old bones knew a hard day's work quite well, after all.

"Ahr, daughter, look at ye. Seems only yesterday ye packed off tae go visit the big city n' find a few songs tae sing, a few tales tae tell."

The woman pulled away from Aoibhin, and held onto her shoulders as she looked the half-elf over. As her eyes met with Aoibhin's, there was a brief flash of concern on the older woman's face. She recognized well that distant stare, and signs of sleeplessness that Aoibhin could not hide even at times of greatest merriment.

The woman turned away from Aoibhin, and looked to Prosper. She stopped down a bit, as she looked him over.

"So who's this lad, then?" She asked.

"That'd be your grandson, mum." Aoibhin said, with a grin.

"Me grandson? Has it really been so long since ye left home that ye've been able tae birth, suckle, n' raise a boy at least a decade old?" The older woman said, with an amused smirk.

"I eh...found him. And he found me." Aoibhin replied, as she laid a reassuring hand upon Prosper's shoulder. "Prosper, meet Treasa...but that's Grandmum, tae ye."

Treasa looked Prosper over, with an approving nod, then stood to her full height. Even with age curving her spine and her poor posture, she was still the tallest person in the room.

"Fáilte go dtí an clan, Prosper." Treasa said with a warming smile, as she looked over the boy.

5/30/2013, 11:30 am Link to this post Send Email to hotrodlincoln   Send PM to hotrodlincoln Blog
 
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Re: At a lonely home in the Irontooth Highlands


Prosper had little idea of what to expect when he was brought into this small homestead, the place was as new and different to him as anything he'd already experienced this day, the boy coming from such a different background after all. The dingy light, and the fresh earthen smells assaulted his senses, and for a moment he stood as if dazed by it all.

Before he knew it the old lady had turned to him, he gazed up at this seemingly friendly face, all he really heard was Aoibhins words describing her as "Grandmum". He'd never known grandparents before, his own having all died well before his birth, he'd only been taught of their titles and deeds in life, as with the rest of his ancestors - mere history lessons rather than anything he truly related to. He had always supposed they were like his real parents, calculating and business like, never jovial or affectionate to him.

He could sense this lady was different, the wrinkled smile showed that, but he was still very shy, he wasn't sure how to properly greet her and show his respects on this occasion the setting being so out of the ordinary to him, it being a distinct conundrum always to a nobles child taught in different situations to bow to lords, kiss a lady's hand, and to hug his elders when being sent to bed.

Treasa's words were meaningless to the boy, who glanced momentarily up to Aoibhin questioningly of them. The boy looking hesitant to hug the old lady, as he hadn't ever met her, so instead dropped into a brief court bow, murmuring "Grandm'ma", his arm over his belly the other behind his back, his form on this occasion he knew was quite poor in his hesitation, yet it still showed off the manner of a nobles child, probably rather unusual out here. With that he also instantly realised his mistake, so blushed sheepishly up to the old lady and offered a shy but very pretty smile to her, wishing he had gone to hug her instead of bowing.

Yet with all his shyness and awkwardness the old lady would see before her a momentarily scruffy and flustered, yet very sweet and endearing little boy, with a sparkle and keenness to his eyes.
 
6/1/2013, 12:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to ProsperS   Send PM to ProsperS Blog
 
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Re: At a lonely home in the Irontooth Highlands


Treasa covered her mouth to hide her laughter, so amused by Prosper's courtly manner was she. She tugged the sides of her simple, olive-toned dress, and returned his bow with a semi-joking attempt at a curtsy.

"How d'ye do, Prosper?" Treasa asked, in a light-hearted tone.

"He's a properly polite boy, I see. Ye don't take after your new mum, there." Treasa said with a grin, stooping a bit, so as not to tower over him.

Aoibhin smirked, then laid down the burlap sack she had been carrying with her atop the table. She reached in, and pulled out a single rabbit, with a conspicuously arrow sized hole in the side of it's head.

She pulled out her hunting knife, and quickly began the work of skinning the rabbit, a task which her hands showed much practice with.

Treasa laid a hand on Prosper's shoulder.

"Would ye like tae gather up some neeps for supper? Ye have tae sneak up on 'em and get them when they least expect it, then ye grab 'em by the neck and pull and pull and pull until they come right up outta the ground. If ye can get a few together for me, I'll even let ye have some strawberries n' blackberries out o' the garden. Whaddye say?" She said, with accompanying 'pulling' motions.
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Re: At a lonely home in the Irontooth Highlands


"um Grandm'ma, what's a neep?" Prosper would ask looking sheepish, not used to her dialect.

After the explanation and demonstration, he was set to his task of pulling up root vegetables, he had never done such a thing before, so unused to working with his hands, and it proved to be a worthy distraction for an inquisitive child.

Left to his own devices he took to it gladly, and from the house, his mother and grandmother would be able to watch the boys sometimes futile, and sometimes successful attempts - he would crouch over each "neep" wrapping his hands about the stalk, and heaving with all his meagre weight until it would pop up out of the ground in a spray of soil, the boy being flung with it, landing on his backside.

All the while, his elders would have the chance to talk and catch up, out of earshot of the boy, who would eventually return to them an hour or so later, hot and covered in soil and dirt, but with a sweet smile to his young face.
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