Kriege was so different than Rhisoka and the southern most parts of the Old Empire. Even though she already knew this, it still managed to catch her by surprise. As winter made it's way into spring the Capitol would already be warm. She could have worn gossamer skirts and kept her shoulders bare, she could have sat in the sun and basked in it beneath her already budding trees. Here in Kriege, however, the earth was still cold and dead. The air was warming, but the nights still held a chill that cut straight through her. Even as the Equinox approached, she kept herself bundled in warm clothing.
Dulcinea may have survived her first winter in Kriege, but with the coming of spring also came the dwarves. It seemed Avsolom was determined to destroy itself since her departure from Rhisoka - though, perhaps, it had always seemed ready to teeter off the edge and she just had not been aware of the precariousness of existence. They had come out of no where, it was quite remarkable how quickly they isolated Kriege, how quickly they crippled any sort of movement within the Province. It was hard to know what was happening elsewhere - just how much of the continent was in their clutches? Under their control?
As the days since the roads were blocked and the trade routes severed continued to stretch on without end, their situation was beginning to become more and more clear. With the growing season still a ways off and no way to get new supplies into the town, it did not take long to feel the effects of what the Dwarves had done. Food would soon become scarce and that had been the intention of their invaders.
The solution seemed obvious, it wouldn't be easy, but it was doable, and before long Nea had made her proposal, had spoken to the farmers, showed them what she could do. Though the work was draining, she had never exerted herself in this way to this extent, she was more than happy to help. The vines were brought back on a few sections of the rows and spirits, including her own, lifted. After all, Bernardt came and went as he had to. Off to who knew where to do who really knew what to return who knew when. The uncertainty killed her. And so did what they returned to the next morning.
There had been a frost overnight. All of her hard work was ruined, she would have to start again. But what good would it do if the night was still so cold? They needed a way to hold the heat in, to keep the plants warm so they wouldn't shrivel and die. An afternoon spent in the library would show her what she needed to know. A solution was found, now the difficulty of actually executing it came. The idea was simple enough, erect a framework to hold up coverings that would protect the crops overnight, ones that could be drawn back during the day and allow them to soak in the sun as they needed.
A sketch was made and soon enough she found her feet carrying her to the Watcher's Hall. Sure, there were a handful of farmers who could help assemble the thing (the Myst knew she couldn't do it on her own...), but most of them were old, used to tending the land, and the ones that were younger she didn't quite trust. Perhaps that was her own shortcoming, she wasn't sure - but she did know that she could trust the order of which Bernardt found himself indoctrinated. So, it was there she would turn.
Ever since the arrival of the dwarves, Gareth had been far more busier than usual, what he remembered about the arrival of them is how it took him by surprise, emerging from a forest after dealing with a low class vampire that he had been hunting for a couple days before encountering in one of the old roads that led to Kriege a patrol of people that were even smaller than usual, how tough they were, and how hard was it to make it towards home. Being the only reason he was probably alive the fact that the dwarves didn't have enough time to control all the roads towards Kriege or know the terrain well enough to completely isolate the city.
Nowadays, Gareth was a bit stressed and nervous, he had been dealing with monsters and evildoers for a long time now but this was the first time he was taking part in an all out war against another race, against such a big, organized force, even he understood that the lack of resources from trade was very damaging for the city he grew in, something which greatly preoccupied him, but, what could he do besides fighting?
Ever since then, he had been patrolling the roads, using his knowledge of Kriege and its surroundings to ambush the dwarven patrols and take them out, of course, sometimes it went smoothly, sometimes it went badly, but every time Gareth went out to fight, he came back weaker, even a man as big as him got tired, and the wounds started to add up.
Now he was resting inside Kriege for a couple days before parting away again, using a big round table as a stool for him and another one to hold most of his giant equipment while he was cleaning his armor from mud and blood. The giant didn't have many cuts, very rarely could a weapon bypass his heavy armor, but he was full of burning marks. One of the reasons the dwarves were such formidable opponents was their electric equipment, which gave them a great advantage against heavy armored opponents like Gareth, the metal armor conducting the electricity and burning his body.
Gareth laid eyes on the woman that entered the Watcher's hall, she was definetly not a Watcher and he wasn't sure he had seen her before, however, seeing how the hall was fairly empty at the moment, since the Watchers were the main defensive force of the city and were fairly occupied, so, the giant, being always happy to help, would stand up, leave the piece of armor he was cleaning on the table alongside the rest of is equipment, and calmly approach Dulcinea "Do you need help?" He simply said, his voice and expression calm, but his sheer size still fairly intimidating.
Dulcinea had scarcely entered into the building when she already had someone offering their services. She turned towards the man who addressed her and then paused, tilting her head upwards and upwards again. It wasn't often than Nea was too stunned to speak, but this was certainly one of those times. The man was more of a mountain than anything else, easily twice the height of Bernardt, or, at the very least, incredibly close to. Now, in her twenty some years of life she had seen all manner of person - men with tusks, a woman almost more reptile than sapien - but Nea had to admit this was a first. She couldn't help but stare, thankful that her jaw had not gone slack in her shock.
Once she had collected herself slightly her curiosity began to run away from her. What a natural wonder such a person was - how was their body comprised? Were their bones the same composition as a regular size man? What is their density to hold up such a large frame? And did his muscle structure vary to accommodate bearing such weight? Nea knew she shouldn't stare. She knew it was rude and that he probably wouldn't appreciate it (most people didn't), but her clinical mind couldn't help run wild as she observed him in the silence. Though her mind wound circles, running over itself, luckily it worked fast and her entire internal inquiry only comprised of a few brief moments before she continued to work at collecting herself, readjusting the book in her hands and the pen she held to it.
Finally, she offered him a smile. Meeting him under any other circumstance probably wouldn't have produced such a friendly greeting, but he was a Watcher (there was no mistaking the armor she had noted upon the table) and his entire countenance was calm and amiable.
"I do," She began, "And I do believe you may just be the perfect person for the job."
Nea parted her lips to begin again but hesitated as she continued to observe him and file her findings away. She knew the way he held himself. She had seen Bernardt do it, and several others. He was uncomfortable. Physically, most likely. And why shouldn't he be? She may not have fully understood what was happening out there with the dwarves but she knew enough to know that sometimes it wasn't pretty. Though she had learned not everyone appreciated your offer to help, were too prideful to admit, to accept. So, she offered instead:
"My name is Dulcinea, but you may call me Nea, if you wish. I'm a physician - and temporary farmer, I suppose."
She gave a small pleasant laugh with her little joke, planting the seed if he should choose to ask for her help. Nea continued, "I am in need of some assistance building a structure to help the farmers. Think you might be able to assist?"
As the woman stared at Gareth, the giant would do nothing but tilt his head slightly while waiting for her response, this wasn't the first time someone reacted in such a way, it was usual, in fact, many people acted far worse, and Gareth wasn't very knowledgeable about mannerisms. So, he just waited patiently until she decided to talk, which actually didn't take long.
"Good" Gareth simply said in response to her statement about him being a nice pick for the job, he didn't know what she needed, but if he had to guess, it would be either fighting something or a job related to his size and strength, otherwise? Well, he still liked helping people, so whatever it was, he wouldn't mind.
So, as she told him her name and told him what he needed from him, the giant listened calmly, the joke going totally over his head. Building? That wasn't so bad, it was, in fact, something Gareth had took part of before, whenever there was something that needed to be built in the order, Gareth was always selected to help, and he was fairly good at it.
"I am Gareth" he simply said, his face still unchanging, not because of lack of emotion, but simply because he was a very calm man "I can help but, you said you are physician, a doctor, yes?" he added, being more of an affirmation that a question "I will help, but the tiny people, dwarves, are good fighters, have managed to hurt me. I have injuries that are difficult to heal by myself, I will do better if I am healed, can you help me first?" He asked, just like she probably expected, he didn't have enough time, or knowledge, to treat the kind of injuries he was currently suffering from, and he didn't want to bother the watcher members specialized in healing, thinking they were already too busy.
Gareth, Nea repeated internally and filed it away.
As he took the bait her smile widened and the way she held herself softened, relaxing slightly as she allowed herself to nod in affirmation. "Of course."
Attention turned back towards the table which held his armor and she lifted her free hand to gesture. "Why don't we come and sit? I know it may not be the most comfortable, but if you wouldn't mind, can I ask that you sit on the floor? I mean, I guess you could stand if you wished, or sit on a chair... but it would be easiest for me to see with your size if you were closer to the ground...."
She spoke quickly, allowing herself to ramble her reasonings as she often did, not wanting to offend him. After all, they had just met and the last thing she wanted to do was upset him. Nea may have spent several months in Eagle's Landing now, but she hadn't exactly made any friends. Sure, people were friendly enough, but they had their own lives and really they only seemed to want to interact with her on a professional level. Something told her it might have to do with her Rhisokan up-bringing. After all, the way people looked at her seemed to change the moment she opened her mouth and her flowery Imperial accent sprung forth. Now, however, wasn't the time to internally debate such things.
Nea gestured again to a spot out of the middle of the entry way, motioning for him to sit - though she wasn't sure it would matter much that they moved aside. It wasn't as though people were steadily coming and going. In fact, for the most part, the hall seemed fairly abandoned. Those that were here in the town were getting their rest, spending time with their families, should they have one. The rest were off dealing with the dwarves or the myriad of the other things that the Watchers typically handled.
Once he finally took a seat she regarded him again, giving a small, half amused laugh as she realized that even though he was sitting she still had to look up slightly to look at his face. Nea felt dwarfed by most people with her petite frame, but she had never felt quite so small. It somehow made her wonder if this was how it had once been to be a small child. She wondered also if there was ever a time that he had felt small. After all, how had he come to be as he was? Had he simply never stopped growing? Or was he born macrosomic? And, on the off-chance that were the case, she spared a prayer for his poor mother.
"Alright, let us see if we can fix you up then - shall we?"
And with that, she began her examination. Green eyes went misty and distant as they peered within, down below the epidermis, searching through the tissues, observing the burns. The poor man. Sure, he wasn't quite as far gone as other burn victims that she had found in her care, but still, these were no ordinary burns and they were everywhere. Some older than others, some that couldn't have been more than a day or two old. Nea went through methodically, shifting this and that, knitting the skin back as it should be, encouraging the damaged tissue to heal.
"Right, makes sense" Gareth said in response to her telling him to sit on the floor, just like most people saw him as a giant of a man, from Gareth's point of view everyone else were small, he could understand that, if the tiny doctor had to stitch him up, either he would have to sit down, or she would need a ladder, sitting down took less time, so he was not offended by this, although he usually wasn't offended unless someone directly insulted him regardless.
So, Gareth sat down just like he was ordered to, making the floor tremble a bit as he suddenly lay down all his weight on it, letting her work, the giant would stay silent for the first minutes, not even wincing of pain because of the treatment, his skin was as thick as he was big and had a very high paint tolerance, even if he could feel all of this, the injuries themselves hurt more than the treatment.
"Haven't seen you around here before, are you new?" The giant asked, trying to start a conversation, Kriege was a big city, and it was not possible to know every single citizen of it, but Gareth was already acquaintances with most of the doctors that lived there because of his job and the interest they usually had in someone as big as him. However, Gareth had been very busy for the last few months so meeting new people was kind of difficult anyways, but he was a social man and liked knowing new people
The Myst of Avsolom is a medieval high fantasy roleplay forum set in an original world. There is a Lore & Plot Overview for new members. The overview lists the settings basics so anyone can browse it and jump into the roleplay quickly. The roleplay is freeform which means there are no stat systems or character leveling, just story telling. On the RPG scale the site is 3/3/3 and meant for a mature audience.
Extra tidbits about the site:
-The roleplay is collaborative, not competative.
- Characters cannot die without their authors consent.
-All races are highly customizable. Example: vampires can be weak to the sun or not.
-There are numerous humanoid races but dragons, ethereal creatures and sentient animals are playable.
-The rules are minimal and relaxed.
- There are character accounts.
-Staff work hard to make sure no one is left out by creating roleplay opportunities for everyone.
- The site has an active discord community