The evening air was crisp. There was a dulling hum on the streets as the people were making their way home. The sky was clear and the first star could be seen. Everything felt so peaceful. So right. Yurri was heading back from the bakery with a bag full of goodies for her and Cline. She had grabbed a little bit of this and a little bit of that and couldn’t wait to share her sugary confections with her best friend. Tonight felt like one of the better nights she had had in a while. Her and the guys had finally laid to rest the Rune Lords; they were gone. And while they had lost some friends, they had saved so many more. So tonight was extra special. Tonight they were celebrating all of their hard work and celebrating the lives of Tamari and Caloris.
Yurri hurried toward the HagFish. She knew that the party had already started and she didn’t want to be later than she already was. She cursed her leg, “why are you so difficult when it matters most!” She looked down at the shiny prosthetic, taking her eyes from the road for just a second. As soon as she looked up it was to late. Yurri slammed right into someone.. “oh jeeze!! I’m so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention” she started to ramble. She stood quickly and helped the stranger to her feet. “You see I was in a rush,” she bent over and started putting all of her things back into her bag, “and this leg is just so fickle”. As she stood Yurri had noticed this woman had not stopped starring at her. She had spoken a word, she hadn’t made a sound.
The young woman had stood at the exact night of Yurri. She had the darkest hair that had been matched by the darkest eyes Yurri had ever seen. Her face looked aged by battles and troubles. Her forehead wrinkled as she studied all of Yurri’s features. This woman was trying to hide. She had a deep red, tattered robe. It looked as if it had seen better days. The bottom was dirty and it was laced with holes. She had her hood up and if it was for Yurri’s keen eyes she wouldn’t have been able to see half the features on this woman’s face.
She still had yet to move. She had yet to say anything. Starting to feel uncomfortable Yurri tried to side step the dusty woman, “uhh.. well, I-I’m sorry for that. I really must be,” and as she shuffled right her steps were met with the strangers. “Excuse me” Yurri stepped to the right again. And again she was met by this woman. “Listen lady.. don’t do this. I will move you”. Yurri didn’t have her armor and the only weapon she had kept on her was the dagger that was once pulled from Caloris’ chest. She had grown so much stronger than that day.. and her mind was trained to go into battle. Immediately Yurri tried to sense what kind of person she was dealing with. Holding this woman’s gaze she could sense a faint hint of evil, rumbling low somewhere inside. Yurri took her free hand and put it behind her. She rested it on the dagger and took one step back. “Please move. I won’t ask you again”. The woman stepped towards her. Yurri back stepped and dropped her bag. She pulled the blade from her waist and took a swipe at the woman.
To her surprise she wasn’t met by some feeble begger. Her new opponent leaned out of range and grabbed Yurri by the wrist. With her other free hand the now angry dwarf pulled back and set her palm on fire, “Enough!” she screamed. But again, she was deflected. This lone woman, had been completely undermined. She took Yurri’s flaming wrist and twisted it back. Pulling her knee into her gut, Yurri dropped down to her knees, “Deloth.. Deloth is that you? So you aren’t dead! I knew it! I knew you weren’t. They didn’t believe me but I told them I’d find you”.
“Oh yeah, hi..” Yurri played along “Can you help me up”. The newly excited, kinda strong, dwarf (?) released her wrists and put a hand out to help Yurri to her feet. In one fluid movement she clenched her other hand into a tight fist and as she was lifted, Yurri hit the stranger right in the face. She fell back to the ground and grabbed her nose. A little blood began to trickle out. Pulling a handkerchief from her pocket Yurri tossed it to her, “I’m really sorry, but I’m not your friend. Hope she’s not dead though, oh and by the way please move next time.” Yurri picked up her dagger and placed it in her waistband. She grabbed her bag of mostly smashed snacks and stepped past the woman.
“Wait.. please, Deloth wait..” she said as she grabbed Yurri’s leg. “It’s me Bellma. Bellma Toros. Don’t you remember me? You called me Bell.” Bellma grabbed the handkerchief and squeezed her nose. She sat up and shuffled to stand. “Listen, I have been looking all over the damn place for you. You just disappeared after Sarenrae’s minions defeated Rovagug’s second coming. It’s been a while, we all did our hiding but, you need to come home now. We have work to do.”
Yurri flooded with anger. She took a few deep breaths and looked her in the eyes. She could feel the evil inside of Bellma flicker and spark as she talked about this Rovagug. Her palms felt warm. Her left hand, her healing hand. . The one she did all of her work with, began to vibrate. “No, you listen. I’m not Deloth. I might have been a long time ago but now, my name is Yurri. I don’t care about what you need. You’re a stranger to me.. and if it’s true, if Sarenrae killed your Rovagug.. well then he probably deserved it. Now. It’d be wise of you to leave. To go back to wherever you came from. I’m not living in the past anymore and it’d do you best to do the same. I don’t ever want to see you again, do you understand?”
Bellma put her head down. . “You can’t hide from this forever. They sent me because I’m your friend. The next one won’t be so nice. People of your status don’t just get to walk away ya know. You’ll have to answer to him just like the rest of us.” She raised her eyes to meet Yurri’s, “I didn’t want to believe the rumors. About you, switching sides. I can sense her all over you and you aren’t even shy about it. I don’t know what happened but, he’s looking for you and you will answer his call one way or another.”
And with that Bellma exploded into sparks and smoke. She left the air smelling of sulfur. Yurri coughed and fanned the space in front of her nose. “Yeah, well.. tell him to bring some snacks cause he ruined mine!”, she shouted into the air. She sighed and headed back to the tavern.
Barley making it she caught a few of her friends before they headed out. Sailors and merchants, archers and swordsman.. even a few guards from neighboring towns came to celebrate. Tonight was supposed to be joyous, but all Yurri could think about was Bellma. Her familiarity and how Rovagug was now looking for Yurri. “How in the hell is someone so evil even connected with me”, she thought. “..and he’s gonna keep sending his followers.. his trolls.. I knew this was coming. My dreams, how could I have missed the connections”.
As the final guest left Yurri, Cline and Evelin waved them off from outside the Hagfish. Evelin was half drunk, Cline lightly toasted and Rua was passed completely out in the corner with a mustache drawn on his upper lip and one eye colored like an eye patch. Yurri laughed, “Cline.. wanna help me out the kids to bed..” she chuckled. “Yeah, I’ll take the pirate you grab the ice princess”. Yurri looked back and watched as Ev threw tiny ice daggers into the fire, “guys I got this.. safety first.. I’ll put the fire out”
“Ok Ev.. it’s bed time. We’ve got a looong day tomorrow remember? Lots of shopping for the house we’re building. Come on, fires out. Let’s get some sleep”. She coaxed the Dragonborn up the stairs.
It took some time but they eventually got the two lushes to bed. Cline and Yurri made a great team. They’d made it through some pretty tight spots, but always seemed to manage to help each other out. Yurri Laos on the floor in front balcony door. She was hot and the cool air felt good against her skin. She wasn’t looking forward to tonight, she did well at masking it though. Rolling onto her side she looked up at Cline who was relaxing in his chair, “So now what”. He looked down at her and sighed, “now we go to bed. Tomorrow is gonna be a busy day. You need sleep. You’re cranky when you don’t sleep”.
“Oh yeah,” Yurri laughed “well you’re drunk. You need sleep or you’ll have a hangover tomorrow”. Cline looked at her and smiled. “I don’t get drunk”. He stood up and walked over to his bed. Staggering just slightly he sat down and kicked off his boots. He might have been a little inebriated, he admitted to himself. Not enough for anyone to notice except Yurri. She’d been around him long enough to know when he was off, even if it was just a bit. He laid back and listened to the crackle of the fire. The leaves rustled in the wind. Lyra snoring by the bed. He closed his eyes and fell to sleep.
Yurri stood up and dusted her pants. She opened the balcony door and stood outside. Gazing up at the sky she took in the sight. She noticed every star. Every twinkle. Looking down towards the city she enjoyed the quiet. The hush that fell over the city was peaceful. She felt so happy in that moment. She looked down towards the streets. Out of the corner of her eye she caught a glimpse of a hood figure. Focusing more on that direction she watched as they looked to her and then took off. “Shit..” Yurri clenched the railing and twisted. She knew what was coming. Rovagug. Or at least more of his men.
She walked inside and sat at Cline’s desk. She looked back at him. She looked down at Lyra. She opened his sketch book to a blank page and began to write:
I’ve learned through hope and faith that happiness is possible. You are my happiness. When I didn’t know who I was, you took me in. When I almost died you kept me alive. You are my good memories. You are my future. In order to keep that future I have to go. I have something I need to take care of and I have to go alone. Keep Rua and Ev in line until I get back.
All my love
Yurri walked over to Cline and kissed his forehead. She bent down and rubbed Laura’s belly. The fox stretched and yawned and rolled over. She grabbed her armor, her bag and her shield. Yurri opened the door and headed down the stairs. She crept into the kitchen and grabbed some bread and a block of cheese. She wrapped them in a towel and put them in her bag. She grabbed some fruit and dried meat and put that in her bag too. She scribbled an IOU and a heart on a napkin and left some coin on top. Yurri stepped outside the door. She put her armor on, tied her belt around her waist and headed in the direction of the hooded figure. She looked up at her room one last time and smiled. Until we meet again..
..and she headed out into the night.