293 The Founding of a Friendship
*Eldovian Era 1714, 15th day of the 2nd month*
"...Old Joe, did know,
All the rocks, from the toads,
By the light of the day and the night life.
But his boat, wouldn't float,
O'er Old Jerry's moat,
So the toads croaked his sorrows to the bird life!"
Aegin clapped twice energetically as he looked to the others, "Come on! Sing it with me!"
Tigin smiled but didn't attempt to sing with him as Aegin launched into the verse again. Rima dug her hand into the sack beside her and withdrew a potato, hurling it as Aegin's head. He caught it and looked at her in surprise.
"Would you shut up? You've been singing the same stupid rhyme for an hour. It doesn't even make sense," said Rima.
"Well, don't blame me, I didn't write it," Aegin huffed, dropping the potato into the sack beside him.
"Your Eldovian jingles and songs are so simple and senseless that they sound as if a child wrote them," said Rima, "Do you not have any good songs? Surely in a whole continent somebody could come up with something better".
Well sure, thought Aegin, but he'd heard most songs from taverns and inns. And the performers there didn't tend to make much of an effort seeing as their audience was either drunk or on their way there.
"Wasn't there a place called the Singing Sands in Eldovia?" asked Tigin, "Are there good songs from there?"
"It's a desert in the north," said Aegin, "So no".
"Then why is it called the Singing Sands?" asked Rima.
"Because the wind sings as it passes through the dunes," Aegin replied, "Like whistles. If you're sick of Eldovian songs, why don't you sing one from here. Besides, my throat's getting parched".
"Like you need the water," Rima huffed from behind the scarf that hid her face and neck from the heat. Nearly a week into the Hava Rastellan and they'd brown bored from the lack of scenery. Tigin had suggested they sing a few songs to keep them occupied, Aegin had been opposed at first, but he'd quickly taken over after Tigin proved to be a terrible singer.
Rima huffed, "Fine, my mother used to sing me a lullaby once, the original is in the Western Tongue but the translation fits the tune just as well".
"A lullaby?" asked Aegin, "Well, if you insist, but if I fall asleep, don't wake me up. I'm supposed to be sleeping now anyway".
Rima rolled her eyes at him, "If I knew you were going to complain so much, I would have left you in Rene".
Aegin scoffed, "Please, I'm currently your best bargaining chip".
"And the only one among us capable of travelling leagues to get some fresh meat," said Tigin.
Aegin pointed to Tigin in triumph, "Exactly".
He crossed his arms proudly and Rima sat back, "You want me to sing or not?"
Aegin drew his fingers across his lips in the action of locking them up and then tossed the invisible key behind him.
"Deepest oceans, and mountains tall, valleys green, and lands of gold,
Come one, come all, come feast this night, come silver, grey, black and white.
From the North, West, South and East, from the new lands and the old,
The Gods have spoken from beyond, this time the faith and paths unite.
Deepest caverns, and forests tall, fields green, and lands of red,
Before, before the paths were split, from Chaos, Order's lamp was lit.
Sevethen did command the scale, to not be tipped or all be dead,
But six gods all against the one, made fear their ink, and banishment writ.
Deepest betrayals, and tales tall, monsters green, and lines of black,
Seven pieces makes seven paths, the balance tipped gods' regret,
Make anew the wrongs now passed, balance called to bring Chaos back,
Come one, come all, come feast this night, where paths unite and sins beget".
There was a long and heavy silence as Rima's voice faded away. Aegin's thoughts whirled with the words in the song. He could tell the song was old. Much older than Rima's mother, or even her parents. This song was ancient...that is of course if what it spoke of was truthful. With a sigh, and a resolve to find out eventually even if it wasn't now. Aegin broke the silence.
"How did you ever fall asleep to that, it's so depressing," said Aegin.
Rima frowned at him, "It's supposed to be hopeful. The Legend is that at the end of time there will be a big feast that the gods will invite everyone to, and we'll all be welcome at their table, no matter where we come from or who we associate with. I remember always thinking that to fit everyone, the table would have to be pretty big".
"Or you'd have to wait a long time for your turn," Tigin piped up.
"And do you think they serve blood in goblets or-"
Rima crossed her arms with a huff, "You two are impossible. Fine, no more singing. We can go back to playing Chain-a-Word".
Tigin huffed, "No fair, you always win that one".
"That's why we're playing it," Rima replied with a self-satisfied grin.
*Eldovian Era 1714, 23rd day of the 2nd month*
"Aegin," Rima piped up around a mouth half-full with desert snack meat.
Aegin looked over at her from where he sat opposite her and Tigin, sharpening his knives and the twin short swords he'd bought in Havena.
"Can you teach me how to hunt?" asked Rima.
Aegin raised an eyebrow, then looked around, "Well, I would if we didn't have to spend a few hours trying to find a trace of life every night".
Rima swallowed the meat and looked at him expectantly, "But you do find it, don't you?"
Aegin looked at Tigin, who also looked pretty expectant.
Aegin sighed, "I haven't got a bow, so you're going to have to learn with throwing knives, not nearly as easy as you can't aim as accurately. When you're done I'll teach you how to throw them, until you're good at that, you won't be hunting anything".
Two weeks since they'd left Havena, and spending so much time with the two of them had allowed not only Aegin to get to know them, but also them to know him. When there was nobody else to speak to, and little else to do, it limited one's options of pass times. Still, even with all that they'd come up with, Aegin could tell that the two of them were bored. They weren't like him. He could run off for a few hours and find his way back with relative accuracy through scent, they couldn't go out of sight of their cart for fear of losing their way.
Teaching them would give them something to do, and it might mean that if they were to encounter hostile Tribes, the two might have a better chance of defending themselves if he wasn't present.