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 Chance Meetings
Arroth
Posted: Mar 1 2008, 02:46 AM


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Sohmer pulled his cloak closer around him, shrugging his baldric into a more comfortable position on his shoulder. He would have liked to get to an inn before nightfall, instead of camping out in the middle of nowhere with the wolves and the Albae, not to mention the cursed cold wind. The weak winter sun did little to warm anything, and he was glad for the extra he'd decided to spend on the fur-lined hood. He began humming an old tune, and thought of his father. Winter was not kind to the old man, and the sooner he got under a roof instead of tramping the roads- Sohmer shook his head. That was why he was trying to find another job, another merchant with a generous purse and the need for a sell-sword's protection. And that was why he was walking across half of Fynrir instead of holing up in some town with good inns and better mead. He sighed, breath visible in the chill air, and began to whistle.


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Maerenna
Posted: Mar 1 2008, 07:53 AM


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----- that morning -----

Being able to sleep on any surface was a useful talent, and not one that Ainion had acquired in his four or so years of wandering. He found it both ironic and very unfair that his two companions, both nobles and accustomed to the finest of everything, had slept quite soundly through the night with only blankets between themselves and the rocky ground. He cursed them both silently as he squinted into the breaking dawn. The sky was cloudy, a mixture of soft pinks and greys. The wind, which had died down a little during the night, seemed to have picked up again, which meant that the day ahead of them would not be particularly pleasant.

He picked up a large rock and placed it at one end of his blanket to weigh it down, then pulled on his boots and stumbled over to where they'd left their packs and belongings. There was no water to wash in, so he had to be content with a little splash about the face from his canteen to help wake him up. He kicked half-heartedly at the smoking remains of their fire, decided it wasn't worth rekindling, and went back to his 'bed', taking his bag with him.

"Now breakfast." Dried fruit and unleavened bread.

The sun having fully risen and Ainion having finished eating, he decided it was time to wake the others. He nudged the sleeping elf closest to him. "Rimedur, wake up."

"Don't worry, Ainion, I'll do it," came another voice, which sounded as though it was in the middle of yawning. Thalion of Melneith had risen from his sleeping place on the far side of the campfire and was now walking somewhat unsteadily to Ainion and Rimedur.

Thalion leaned over Rimedur and pulled one of his eyelids open. "Time to wake up, brother; it's going to be a beautiful day," he said loudly.

"Get your fingers out of my eyes," Rimedur mumbled.

"Sorry, what was that?"

"I said get your fingers out of my eyes, I am awake!"

"Excellent! So, fearless leader," Thalion said, turning to Ainion, "what is in store for us today?"

"I am not your leader, Thalion, I'm just the man you follow around for no reason," Ainion smiled. "And more of the same, I think. Pressing on toward the Rune Border."

"Fantastic."

"What Rune Border?" said Rimedur, sitting up between the other two. "If you think I will let either of you go any further than Váre, you are very much mistaken."

"You forget, dear Rimedur, that you are not responsible for Ainion as you think you are for me. And Váre is in the direction of the Rune Border, anyway."

"Don't worry, I am certainly not stupid enough to venture into Albaeir." Ainion glanced at Thalion. "Your brother, on the other hand, might be -- "

"Hey!"

" -- but we'll keep an eye on him."

Rimedur nodded with a smile. "We'll be leaving soon, I imagine?"

"I think so," said Ainion, standing up and dusting his hands together. "Yes, we should."

"Time for breakfast, then," said Thalion. "Care to join us, Ainion?"

"I've already eaten. I'll start packing up the camp," he replied, after a moment's hesitation. He walked over to his blanket, removed the rock and started to roll it up, which was difficult since the wind was now stronger than ever. The brothers went to their packs for food.

"Windy, isn't it?" Thalion called from across the campsite.

"Just a little!" Ainion shouted back, stuffing the blanket into his pack and pulling out a cloak. He draped it over his shoulders and pulled the cords to close the bag's opening.

"You two have got it worse, though, with hair like yours," he grinned, walking over to them. The two Melneiths didn't look particularly similar, though they had both inherited their father's long-lashed grey eyes. Rimedur was the perfect figure of a future lord, toned and broad-shouldered with a regal air and a serious expression. Thalion was a little skinny in comparison, though by no means a weakling, with agile movements and roguish good looks. They both had hair falling past their shoulders, Thalion's dark blond and Rimedur's auburn, which was having havoc wreaked on it by the wind. Ainion's own hair, which was curly and cut short, was only a little ruffled.

Rimedur grimaced. "Not a good look, is it?" he said, trying to brush some strands out of his eyes.

Ainion shook his head and laughed. "It looks annoying." He sat down in between the two so they were in a very small circle.

"It is," said Thalion. "Now get that smirk off your face."

"Yes, my lord," said Ainion mockingly. Thalion was a noble, but he was also a rebel like Ainion. His title didn't mean much to him.

"Oh, shut up, commoner," said Thalion, a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth.

"Goddesses, you two are immature," Rimedur cut in. "Acting like thirty-year-olds."

Thalion caught Ainion's eye and began to laugh.

"Rimedur, I'm twenty-one," said Ainion.

"Ah, that explains it. I always forget how young you are."

"He's just a little baby, really," said Thalion.

Ainion smiled and then turned serious. "Come on. We had better start moving soon if we want to make the most of today."

---- the afternoon-----

They were travelling through the wind rather than against it, which was good, because it had escalated to being able to be described as 'howling'. This made conversation rather difficult, although it didn't stop them trying.

"Do you think the wind is going down a bit?" said Rimedur loudly.

"It's just your imagination!" Thalion roared back.

Ainion said nothing. He'd been caught up in his own thoughts for most of the day, alternately trying to plan their path to Váre and getting distracted by other things.

He'd travelled to the ancient capital only once before -- it had, in fact, been one of his first journeys after leaving home in his teens. Whenever telling others about his trip there he had spoken of a place of indescribable sadness, but never mentioned how what he liked to think of as 'the power of antiquity' had also uplifted him.

He knew the Melneith family of old -- the eldest daughter Meldamiriel was married to Ainion's father's friend Idhrenion -- and had had a vague friendship with Thalion in his early adolescence, before either of them had started to seriously question life in Sivenanth. Rimedur had left home to serve a duke in a neighbouring kingdom long before Ainion's birth, but he'd heard him spoken of often enough. Most recently, Ainion had met the youngest sister at an elven gathering just outside Sivenanth.

Rimedur and Ainion had met a couple of months ago in a kingdom in the far west of elven territory, and gotten along straight away. Rimedur was just very easy to like. Noble, respectful and level-headed, he was making a bit of a name for himself as a diplomat, although all that was required of him in life was to take care of the estate and pass on the family name to the next generation. Rimedur was also the only family member who maintained much of a relationship with Thalion, the black sheep, so it wasn't too surprising when said brother turned up to visit and was re-introduced to Ainion.

Ainion's relationship with Thalion was not quite as smooth. They did like each other generally, and shared a lot in common: rebelliousness, sense of humour, and attitude, to some degree; but they didn't quite see eye to eye a lot of the time. Ainion found that Thalion often took things too far, pushing his point beyond reason or doing something utterly outrageous. Ainion had grown out of that years ago, but Thalion was over one hundred and forty years old and still less mature. They were still good friends, but just didn't get along all of the time. To be honest, Ainion found being with Thalion, as much as he liked him, quite tiring at times.

"Are you sure?" said Rimedur, at the same level of volume.

"Yes!"

"No, Thal, Rimedur is right," said Ainion at a normal pitch. "It's quieter, listen."

It was true. Although it was still freezing, the wind was gentler and nowhere near as loud.

"Hm," said Thalion, turning his head this way and that. "Maybe you're right ..."

Rimedur tried to hide a shiver.

"A little cold?" said Ainion.

Rimedur nodded and smiled somewhat forcedly. Ainion was actually quite impressed by how little Rimedur and Thalion had complained about the temperature. He knew that they were used to the mild climate of the Wayless Forest, not that of the grim north.

"I can hear something," said Thalion after a long pause. "It's not the wind, but it's sort of ... whistling."

Ainion raised his eyebrows and concentrated on listening. Sure enough, he could hear it too; and it was a tune, not just a purposeless noise.

"There must be someone else nearby," said Rimedur interestedly.

"An Alb?" Thalion frowned. His hand went to his sword.

Ainion shook his head. "No." He had stopped walking and turned to face behind and slightly to their left. "I can see him. Looks human, maybe."

The figure was well-built and muscular, silver chainmail glinting beneath his hooded cloak.

"Probably," Thalion agreed, following Ainion's line of vision. "I don't know many elves who dress like that. That cloak is a little suspicious, though."

"You're wearing a cloak yourself, Thal. He is probably cold," said Rimedur.

They stood in silence as the wind swirled around them, waiting to see who the mysterious figure was.


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Ainion

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Okay, I'm sorry about this but I am effectively leaving Fynrir for an indefinite period of time. It is absolutely nothing personal. Please feel free to email me whenever you like.
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Arroth
Posted: Mar 5 2008, 04:12 AM


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Sohmer thought the voices were just his imagination and the wind at first, but as they persisted, his whistle died away and he looked around. Three figures were apparently heading the same direction as he was, and they were talking. He had seen them, so unless they were blind or stupid, they had seen him too. Obviously, the best course of action would be to first see if they were Albs, and then, if they weren't, try to avoid killing any of them. He loosened his sword in its sheath and slowed slightly, deciding to close the distance between them and hope they didn't have bows and were inclined to shoot at him.


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Maerenna
Posted: Mar 5 2008, 11:58 AM


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"Sure he's not an Alb?" said Thalion with a meaningful look, tapping the bow that Rimedur wore across his back.

"Don't," Rimedur said, swivelling away from his brother; but he still took the bow down and nocked an arrow.

Not necessary, Ainion thought, glancing at Rimedur's hands; but he didn't say so. "I am going to try to speak with him." He drew his sword, which glinted impressively in the sunlight, and re-sheathed it, leaving a couple of inches of blade out of the scabbard in order to draw it more easily when it was needed. "Just stay here. If he's friendly, we could well find ourselves with a new travelling companion."

Thalion interrupted. "What would a human want with Váre? Or an Alb, if it comes to that?" He met Ainion's eyes, brazen personality apparent.

Ainion raised an eyebrow. "Curiosity? Simply to travel with fellow beings for a while? They needn't come all the way."

Rimedur coughed and tensed and loosened his bowstring awkwardly. Thalion gazed coolly at Ainion, who suddenly felt a wave of annoyance come over him.

"Oh, you cannot be serious. Just say it."

"Ainion, go speak to him." Rimedur offered a smile.

Ainion looked at him, frowned slightly and then turned away, heading toward the unknown figure (who had clearly noticed them and slowed down).

"If it makes you feel any better, I won't invite him to the sacred home of our ancestors," he called out once he was a few metres away.

The Melneiths glanced at each other.

"You do not know how to deal with him, Thal."

"I'm not going to apologise. And stop being a hypocrite, you know you agree that he needs someone to tell him when he's wrong."

Rimedur tucked his hair behind his ear and looked at the ground.

-----

Ainion realised the man had been following them. Suspicious.

He was close enough now to see the man clearly. He was older then Ainion had first supposed, with a lined and scarred face sporting a closely trimmed blond beard. He was carrying a sword also, which Ainion noted was a little loose in the scabbard. No pointed ears pushing at his hood: so he was human, then.

"Who --" he broke off and switched to Common. He'd been thinking in Elvish from his conversation with the Melneiths. "Who are you?"


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Ainion

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Okay, I'm sorry about this but I am effectively leaving Fynrir for an indefinite period of time. It is absolutely nothing personal. Please feel free to email me whenever you like.
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Arroth
Posted: Mar 10 2008, 02:27 AM


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"Name's Ohrys." Not an Alb. That was good news. Apparently an Elf, by the ears, which meant his two companions were probably Elves too. Interesting. What were three Elves doing traveling this road? Sohmer kept his hands away from his weapons and inclined his head slightly. "I believe you have the advantage of me now, stranger."


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Maerenna
Posted: Mar 15 2008, 11:05 AM


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Ainion gazed at the man for a moment, then smiled. "Forgive me for my lack of politeness. I have no intention of hurting you." He pushed his sword fully into its scabbard and left his palms open. "It's just that," he glanced behind him to where the Melneiths were still standing, Rimedur with his bow in a forcedly casual position at his side and Thalion looking rather tense, "we suspected you were following us, and I came to ... enquire."

Ohrys was not a familiar name to him, and a curiosity about the stranger's identity immediately took hold. "My name is Ainion." He bowed. "Glad to meet you."

What was this Ohrys character doing in the wasteland, if not (as he had briefly thought), spying on an unassuming group of elves?
-----

"Bowing? To a human?" said Thalion incredulously. "Who is that man, the king or something?"

Rimedur sighed. "The difference between you and Ainion, Thal, is that he thinks everyone should be respected, whereas you think no one should."

((The Melneiths in this thread now have reference pictures! Unfortunately neither model is in the habit of dressing as an elf ...
Rimedur (Drew Gehling)
Thalion (Jude Law) ))


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Ainion

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Okay, I'm sorry about this but I am effectively leaving Fynrir for an indefinite period of time. It is absolutely nothing personal. Please feel free to email me whenever you like.
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Arroth
Posted: Mar 15 2008, 08:42 PM


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"Pleasure is mine, I'm sure," Sohmer answered, relaxing a bit. Ainion's two traveling companions didn't look quite as friendly as Ainion himself, so there was no sense in letting down his guard completely, but at least he probably wasn't in any imminent danger of being stabbed or shot at. "And I was certainly not following you, though it is an interesting coincidence that we would happen to be traveling the same way at the same time in this gods-forsaken wasteland." There was something behind the polite curiosity in the Elf's tone, but Sohmer couldn't really blame him. He would be suspicious too in the situation. At least Sohmer was obviously not an Alb, and neither of Ainion's companions appeared to be. That would have been interesting- but now wasn't the time for idle conjecture. "Your friends don't look very happy to see me. Would you mind telling them I'm not an Alb and have no intentions on either their purses or their lives?"


((Yayyy Melniths! And that is a pity... The world would be a better place if more people dressed like Elves. wink.gif ))


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Maerenna
Posted: Mar 29 2008, 07:45 AM


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((I know, right?
I'm so sorry for not replying for so long!! I am no longer dying of school-related diseases and am resolved to find inspiration, never you fear!))

Ainion saw Ohrys relax, the man's guarded demeanour replaced by a slightly friendlier one, and smiled to himself. A charming, polite approach worked well on almost everyone, not just women -- and it was good that Ainion knew that, or he probably would not have gotten very far in life at all. (Naturally, whether he had gotten very far anyway depended on one's point of view; but as far as Ainion was concerned, at least he was free and not stuck doing something he didn't want to do.)

"Gods-forsaken wasteland indeed! Not the most pleasant part of the country, is it?" he smiled. He could see Ohrys's point, though to him the north lands were more of an acquired taste than a blemish on the face of Fynrir. True, they weren't pretty or easy to spend time in, but they were wild and rugged and the chilling winds had the sharp, cold taste of truth without a hint of pretension.

Oh yes, he liked it here.

"Would you mind telling them I'm not an Alb and have no intentions on either their purses or their lives?"

"No, of course not. Would you care to follow me?"

He took a few steps back toward the Melneiths and signed them to lower their weapons, then turned back to his new acquaintance to check that he was following. "So, if I may ask, what is your purpose here? Wandering?"


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Ainion

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Okay, I'm sorry about this but I am effectively leaving Fynrir for an indefinite period of time. It is absolutely nothing personal. Please feel free to email me whenever you like.
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Arroth
Posted: Apr 2 2008, 08:23 PM


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Sohmer followed the Elf, trying to look as non-threatening as an armed man in chainmail who has spent half his life fighting can look. "Mostly wandering, though with a point. I'm looking for the nearest town large enough for an inn and a merchant needing a bodyguard. How about you lot?" He would see how they responded to that. It was just an idle question, and it would be only polite for them to answer it, after all, seeing as how he'd answered theirs. A suddent idea occured to him, and he grinned wryly. "None of you in the market for a sell-sword, are you?"


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Maerenna
Posted: Apr 11 2008, 10:33 AM


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((SCHOOL'S FINISHED!!! *runs around in circles*))

In the course of the short walk Ainion had somehow twisted things so that he was positioned behind Ohrys's left shoulder when they came to a stop where the Melneiths stood. They exchanged a glance and listened politely to the end of the soldier's speech, and with great effort maintained their composure when asked where they were going; though a keen eye might have noticed the brief, slightly desperate look Thalion gave Ainion.

Ainion smiled at Thalion, and began to mouth an appropriate answer from behind his new acquaintance.

"A-a-a a site of ... great ..." Thalion frowned slightly, "entomological ... no! anthropological significance."

"Supposed to be somewhere around here," added Ainion with a huge grin, coming around from behind Ohrys. "Gentlemen, my new friend. Mister Ohrys, meet Thalion and Rimedur Melneith. Rimedur, Thal; Mister Ohrys."

"None of you in the market for a sell-sword, are you?"

All elves spoke at the same time.

"I don't think so."

"Not at the moment."

"Hadn't considered it, to be honest."

They looked at him apologetically.

((Whee I have no idea where we will go with this))


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Ainion

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Okay, I'm sorry about this but I am effectively leaving Fynrir for an indefinite period of time. It is absolutely nothing personal. Please feel free to email me whenever you like.
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Arroth
Posted: Apr 11 2008, 08:39 PM


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((Yayyyy! And I don't either XD ))

Sohmer nodded to them, still smiling. "Pleasure's mine, I'm sure. You may as well just call me Sohmer. I don't think I've ever been called Mister Ohrys in my life." Tilting his head slightly, he continued. "Anthro-what? Scholars, are you then? If you tell me what you're looking for in plain Common, I might be able to help you find it. This place isn't my regular haunt, but I've been up and down it a few times." Maybe by volunteering his help, he'd be able to satisfy his curiosity and possibly earn a few silverlings in the process. Never hurt to try, after all....


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Maerenna
Posted: Apr 14 2008, 08:37 AM


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((Grah! Sorry for lateness, I was distracted at my last opportunity. ))

"Peculiar to elven culture, I am afraid," said Rimedur, picking up on Ainion's manner and train of thought. "But we would welcome the company for a walk, Sohmer." He struggled slightly on the last word. He wasn't a bad man, but he was of the best noble blood and had been raised to think himself superior to most others. To address a human -- one who freely and cheerfully admitted to being a mercenary, at that -- as an equal, was not quite comprehensible to him, and so his well-modulated voice, with its light Elvish accent, carried an ever-so-slightly imperious timbre.

Thalion nodded. "You could say we're scholars of sorts, though I think our little group is more driven by Ainion's curious schemes and my brother's willingness to follow them." He, clearly was much more at home, both with the man before him and the language they spoke, although his accent was stronger.

Ainion shrugged. "Plain Common? Unheard of," he smiled. "Do grace us with your company."


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Ainion

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Okay, I'm sorry about this but I am effectively leaving Fynrir for an indefinite period of time. It is absolutely nothing personal. Please feel free to email me whenever you like.
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Arroth
Posted: Apr 14 2008, 10:21 PM


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Sohmer heard the superior inflection in the Elf's voice and ignored it. Gods above knew he'd gotten worse in his career, and although they weren't exactly eager to empty their purses, at least they seemed like decent company. "The honor would be mine, sirs," he said, his smile only slightly wry. "I can't say I wouldn't welcome the company myself. It's been nigh a day and a half since I heard any voice but my own."

He didn't usually have much to do with scholars, but these seemed to be able to take care of themselves. He'd see how well they got along.


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Maerenna
Posted: Apr 16 2008, 11:19 AM


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"Well, then! We shall all be cheery compatriots," said Ainion, quite pleased at the outcome of this meeting. Sohmer seemed like a nice, down-to-earth person with whom one could easily converse without nonsense. "Until you can find work ... though if you follow us you might be heading in the wrong direction for that." He pushed away thoughts of leading a human to Váre, and what that would do to his reputation. Well, it wasn't as though he had a good one to begin with, and even if he did do the deed, what harm would it do, really, for one man to know where the ancient city was? If Sohmer had continued wandering the Plain he probably would have stumbled across it anyway.

((Bleh, shortness. Sorry, I have other things on my mind. ))


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Ainion

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Okay, I'm sorry about this but I am effectively leaving Fynrir for an indefinite period of time. It is absolutely nothing personal. Please feel free to email me whenever you like.
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Arroth
Posted: May 2 2008, 08:36 PM


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Sohmer shrugged, smiling. "Nah, I think we're going the same way for now at least." At least he'd have interesting company for a day or two. Depending on which direction they were going, their path would most likely head roughly toward civilization for that long.

He glanced up at the sky. The sun was starting to sink, and night came on quickly this far north. "How much farther do you plan on getting today? I hear the wildlife up here can get a bit too friendly at night."


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