Harri and Amelia in Narrowhaven

Oh, the damnable discomfort of heat and sweat and noise at The Smiths Anvil forge. The blistering fires and shuddering metals of the busied craftsmen looked relentlessly toilsome to Amelia Sauvagese around this hour, each and every day after day. She was unsuited for this sort of labor – but determined to stay well enough away from the poor-house or Occlo’s monastery.

Her miserly mundane thoughts turned toward her brother-in-law’s meandering adventure on mainland Britannia. Harri Jasotzaile would be half-way to the wooded village named Yew on his spiritual quest; he was in repentance from his vicious ways – the ways of a man who had watched in a drunken stupor Amelia’s father murder his brother. Caring for his widowed sister-in-law would be a start – sober revenge would need to be patient and come later.

Amelia was annoyed to think that she ought to cultivate a trade in her husband’s absence even if the alternative meant poverty or asceticism – still she knew that Harri needed her help as much as he considered his presence to be her benefit. He was willing to venture deep into the cave named Shame and come out the better for it – but would not get far without his kit of armor and weapons she’d made.

Linking and flattening the last few rows of chain mail made it a proper tunic; a benevolent nod from the guildmaster felt like the blessing of some high-born paladin – Amelia beamed with a flush of pride and sudden good humor. But with one good turn came another more ominous. Looking up from her work and gazing off south toward the far-flung ocean horizon she saw a bold black line drawn where the sea met the sky – where none had been before.

She wiped the briny sweat and dark matted hair from her brow and rubbed her red-rimmed blue eyes – there it was still; some broad flat mass was suddenly out there on the horizon. Amelia reached deep into her brain to recollect some story of a floating island she might have heard in passing and found nothing; what was this thing? A fleet of ships hadn’t crossed her mind.

As new-comers to Narrowhaven neither she nor Harri knew anything about the city’s political situation – busy as they were with the bitter grief and the anxious dilemma of their lives in the wake of her husband’s murder. Calls and cries rang out from the northern edge of the city – echoed in the walls of the keep beside the mountain and passing from one mouth to another on the road.

The blacksmiths’ guildmaster made an effort to soften his steely look and put up his hands – silently he commanded the shop’s attention. With even softer words he spoke to calm their fears and begged them to return to their work; the city guard would do its duty and so should they – with quiet assurance he allayed their horror and one startlingly pale smith began singing some awful guttural Gargish ballad. At that Amelia was annoyed but pleasantly distracted.

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