“Oh Moradin help me,” she muttered. How did I get here? Nothing had ever frightened the dwarf like the sight of the endless blue sea. It looked so quiet and peaceful but Hella knew it was not, in the blink of an eye it could turn ugly and swallow up things and people without any qualms. It’s pitching and rolling was a hundred times worse than riding the smoothest pony but worse that that, Hella was convinced that it was truly bottomless; a pit opening directly to hell.
“No!” She told herself, don’t go there! Think of something else! Now! She commanded of her wayward brain. The mission, think of the mission. And your companions, you can think of them she told herself. Although she was not sure if traveling with elves was really something to look forward to.
Instead her brain wandered back to her last conversation with Gwenidan. Conversation? Not really she thought, more like a kick in the head. For the hundredth time Hella wondered if Gwenidan had spoken the truth or if she just wanted Hella gone. Why, all of the sudden, did joining the Maidens of the Ax require an initiation? To Hella’s memory no such requirements had ever been spoken of before. Never had anyone heard that in order to join the clan of the female warriors one had to go out into the word of elves and men and what ever else stalked the land and prove one’s self. So why had Gwenidan, as the new head of the clan, required that Hella and the other three new supplicants had to leave the mountains. What could possibly be learned out here?
The ship rolled again and Hella leaned over and executed several dry heaves. She had run out of anything to throw up long ago. And that thought in turn reminded her why she wanted to join the maidens in the first place and why she found herself on this retched excuse for a means of travel. Grimwalden. That was his name and the grim part of it described it all. Hella was not sure if the shudder that wracked her body was because of the sea-sickness or because of her memory of the day her father decided that she should marry that beardless, brainless, half a dwarf!
“Land Ho!” Came a shout from somewhere above the dwarf.
“Oh thank you,Moradin for answering my prayers.” Hella said out loud. She hauled herself up and half folded, half wadded the blanket and stuffed it into her worn pack. Let’s do this thing she thought, Grimwalden be damned, Gwenidan be damned, Father be damned, elves and their half measures be damned! I am going to make the most of this!