|Despite the cold and the dangers I'm still in the Shiverpeaks. The people here have been kind and have shared their food and drink, and they all have stories to tell. It's been quite a nice escape to be honest, if it weren't for the weather and the fact I'd be expected to learn to fight were I to stay I could see myself being quite content out here.|
A few of the norn at the lodges I visited suggested that I could solve a lot of my problems by becoming more spiritually aware. I don't entirely believe it myself but as they arranged to take me to shrines in the foothills it became increasingly difficult to object. At least I could take comfort in the fact I would be kept quite safe in the lower hills.
There are four spirits revered by the norn of Hoelbrak; Wolf, Bear, Snow Leopard and Raven. I was taken to a shaman of each and given a task that would help me better understand the spirits. I'm actually rather proud to say I completed all of the trials set before me.
First was Wolf. I had to 'hunt with the pack', the notion terrified me. My family went hunting once but Amber was the only one who actually hit anything, the rest of us just enjoyed the pleasant walk and the boar the staff prepared for us later that evening. But at least in this instance my 'pack' didn't seem to need me. I followed at a safe distance as the two snowy white wolves tore their way through the landscape, stopping anything potentially violent in their paths. It made it a rather pleasant walk, I could get used to having canine bodyguards. As the shaman wasn't watching he seemed pleased enough with the fact I returned unscathed.
Bear was another worrisome one. I'd already heard tales of the bear spirit and how it represents strength above all else. I was asked to commune with the bears around the shrine for a while. I have no idea how to 'commune' so instead I took small fish from nearby traps and fed them to nearby bear cubs who would bounce a little in the most adorable fashion whenever they smelled the food.
Snow Leopard was equally endearing, I was asked to spend time amongst the leopards and soon found myself in amongst the sweet-tempered cubs who were happy for me to pet them. I really must return some time to play with them again.
Finally was Raven, spirit of knowledge and trickery. Finally those awful parlour games mother insisted on at parties came in useful for something. The riddles posed by Raven's shrine were just like being back home and fathoming through the ridiculous clues her game demanded. The shaman there seemed especially pleased, claiming that I was blessed by Raven. I wouldn't call my ability to suffer through riddles and get to the answer a blessing but I thanked her nonetheless.
OOC: I haven't been playing Francis as much as I should, progress is very slow but there is a little progress! The Wayfarer Foothills had a lot for him to do and I found it all very characterful.