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A Stranger at Home

by Ulfban on Jan 13, 2017 at 04:23 PM}
Ulfa had argued bitterly with her mother upon returning to Bree. "Did you know?"
"Yes, I knew."
"How come you didn't tell me? How did you know? Who told you?"
Bitter tears, anger, frustration. They were screaming at each other. So loud the neighbors looked in. Ulfa slammed the door so hard it shook their little home and the guard was called. A screaming match with them, weapons were drawn, the passion of youth claiming another victim. Her mother stepped in. Weapons were lowered, but would not be given up. They were the last thing she had from her father. In the end she left Bree of her own volition, her mother a mess of tears amid a pile of work stained dress.
Months later, just as the frost was beginning to peek from it's hiding places, after scouring the whole of Nen Harn and the Far Chetwood, Ulfa's passion cooled with the weather and she returned home. Tears, sorrow, regret. Her homecoming this time was as passionate as the last, only this time it was sorrow and grieving that gripped the women. Ulfa was sorry she had been so hard on her mother. Her mother was sorry she hadn't spoken up sooner. After a night of memories, both painful and happy, the two were reconciled. It was bittersweet for her mother, being a widow she no longer had to worry about her husband. But she also knew that never would he share her bed again, never would she look on his kind face, smell his pipe, never would they dance amid the trees again.
Ulfa's father had been a special man. Apparently of solid Bree land stock he had a greater wisdom and vigor than any other man her mother had ever known. Always a man of the wilds he nevertheless had a social grace that none of his trapping companions or ranger friends had. He would dance and sing for his love. He could tell children tales of elves, dwarves, and long ago men as though they were a part of him. No one could recall from whence he came, and no one knew where he went in the end. but he was gone now and remembered fondly by all who knew him.
Ulfa, who continued to call herself Ulfban, resumed her life as best she was able. It was difficult for her, she didn't fit in well with the people of Bree town, she even felt alone in the hunting lodge. As the seasons went on she took to ranging further and further afield, searching for she knew not what.
Always she would return home to care for her mother though, who aged rapidly before her young eyes. Ulfa never spoke of her wilderness journeys, nor what she saw there. Not with her mother anyway. Wolves were on the increase, as were all other sorts of creatures. She had tracked goblins in the marshes and noted with concern their growing numbers. One day in the Chetwood she had seen an enormous and especially evil looking wolf. Certainly it was a warg, for it seemed to be speaking to itself in a gutteral tongue. She came upon caves that had been an empty and innocent resting spot a year before that now had doors set in them and evil looking men standing watch outside. Ulfa was growing restless, something was wrong.
Always, on the anniversary her finding her childhood home destroyed, she would visit for a day and sit quietly, wrestling with the spirits of the unknown. Four long years after confirming her fathers passing Ulfa found a clue. Someone had noticed her mark and responded on the little paper...
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