14 Chillwind 508
Outside of Master Yew’s home in Kalimsport, Mõrvar brings up the possibility of changing the party’s group name again, as well as the sigils for individual party members on a group banner. He would like the matter settled.
Rilka likes both “Winter’s Storm” and “Northern Storm” as a name. She is less concerned with an individual sigil. She’d rather look like a unified group, rather than have multiple symbols/sigils on everyone. And her vote still hasn’t changed—she’d rather have a single symbol on the banner than individual sigils. It’s simple, easier to recognize, and striking.
Savaric doesn’t care. “If we do change it he likes Northern Storm, Winter’s Storm, and Winter’s Warriors in that order,” he says. Savaric agrees with Rilka, “The individual symbols you made for us all were cool and we can still use them if we want on our own time. I think the single knot design was best, putting all the symbols make it look a bit too busy.”
So Mõrvar says that that means that the new group banner is the Shield Knot without individual sigils by a vote of 3 out of 4, as Surm never cast his vote, leaving the name down to Surm’s vote as it is deadlocked.
Surm says that he like neither of the names (Winter Storm or Northern Storm) as “storm” has a negative connotation. “Like we’re here to storm the castle or storm the south. It sounds aggressive to me and that’s not what we are about,” he says.
Mõrvar says, “I disagree, tainted has a negative connotation, but I don’t think Storm does. I think Winter’s Storm says exactly what it says. A storm spawned by winter. Northern Storm may have that connotation, like we are storming the north. If you disagree with Storm, then give us something other than ‘I don’t like it’ because right now 3 of us do.”
Surm says, “Maybe I should pout and threaten to leave the group since my opinion is being disregarded. I seem to recall someone else acting that way when three voted against him, the very same person now embracing the majority rules rule…interesting how that works. After all your whining about being ignored, about how the name and flag should represent all of us equally, and now you take a dismissive and impatient tone with me…I guess as long as the vote goes your way, then majority rules is fine, all four being equally represented has suddenly become less important to you.”
Surm narrows his eyes with his best “I’m burning a hole through your skull glare” and says, “I have nothing to offer, three to one it is, name Your group what you will, brother.” Surm walks away to contemplate alone.
Mõrvar says, “Really? I just agreed with you that you may be correct with Northern Storm possibly carrying a negative connotation. Secondly, I didn’t dismiss anything you said, I disagreed with your statement about Winters Storm and while disagreeing realized that I might actually agree with your statement about Northern Storm. I’m pretty sure that’s not dismissing anything but rather the opposite and giving your statement recognition.”
Mõrvar looks at Rilka and Savaric, and asks “Am I wrong with that assessment? And as far as the flag, the entire fact that we even looked at and considered a standard with sigils was 100% because you (Morvar points at Surm) wanted to see what it looked like. I tend to agree with Savaric that it made it look to busy, but we at least took a look at it and gave it thought before we said we like the flag without better. What upsets me is that no one ever entertains the ideas or desires I have and never even takes them in consideration. But, go ahead and give me shit about it. Obviously my feelings mean nothing here. Apparently I’m just some dumb brute who hates the world and cares about nothing."
Mõrvar, with a very upset and very hurt look on his face, mounts his horse, and begins to ride away.
Savaric says to Rilka, “Well this is fucking awkward…”
Surm turns around and says, “The reason I’m so angry with you…” He sees Mõrvar mounting to leave, and screams "ARE YOU EVEN GOING TO LISTEN TO ME? YOU RANT FOR DAYS ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS AND I’VE DONE NOTHING BUT LISTEN AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND, EVEN WHEN I DISAGREED I STILL TRIED. NOW ITS YOUR TURN TO LISTEN AND YOU’RE TOO SELFISH TO GIVE ME THE SAME COURTESY. GET OFF YOUR HORSE AND SHOW ME YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU’VE BEEN PREACHING! OR RIDE AWAY AND SHOW ME WAS JUST MANIPULATION TO GET WHAT YOU WANT!”
Surm’s face is red of embarrassment for having an outburst in front of Master Yew’s house and looks around for some place to go hide, but he just stands in the street shaking, waiting to see if Mõrvar dismounts or rides away.
Rilka looks between the two brothers, then says in a calm, even tone, “This is neither the time, nor place, for this conversation. We need to secure either lodgings for ourselves and the company or make encampment outside of the city.”
Mõrvar turns his horse so that he is facing Surm. He is clearly upset and looks to be in physical pain as if he is holding back either an outburst of anger and aggression or an outburst of tears and agony…hard to say.
He takes a deep breath to calm himself, and in as a calm of a voice as he can, while looking directly at Surm who just tried to burn holes in him with his eyes, Mõrvar states:
“I have spent my life protecting you, following you, trusting in you. I have put your life before mine every day since we last saw Father. I have been hit, stabbed, sliced, and blown up trying to keep you as safe as I could. Every time we have gone to battle, my first, and only concern has always been how to keep you alive. When you or anyone else in this group have made suggestions or had ideas, we have thought about, talked about, and analyzed them. We have discussed them thoroughly. With the exception of the group persona and my reasons for wanting to change it, or if we are knee deep in shit and need a plan to get ourselves out of it such as Yrda, not once has this group respected me enough to sit down and discuss those things that I have an interest in. Not once have we really talked about if there is a way that we all agree upon to accomplish the things I wish to accomplish. Not once have we analyzed or thoroughly discussed all possibilities. Not once have I felt any support from you, brother, whether you agree or not with my ideas, to bring it to the table and give it the same treatment as we do with all other ideas, or desires. Not once have my ideas even been entertained. Maybe they are impractical or impossible, but we will never truly know because you guys won’t give it a chance to be discussed. I expect support from my brother, to at least be heard out, and not shot down off of assumptions or lack of interest before discussing it. So, go ahead and be angry, be upset, be hurt, because that is how I have been feeling for some time."
Surm says: “Do you want to know why I was so angry that I blew up? When I voiced my opinion about the group name, you countered with, ‘the 3 of us agree’. As if that settled it, as if all of sudden, you, Mõrvar, have always embraced the majority decision. You’ve rejected 3-1 time and again, and then threw it in my face when it worked in your favor. That’s what made me so mad. Like you haven’t spent weeks complaining that 3-1 dismisses you and your feelings, but when its me, then its a perfectly suitable tool for resolving disputes.”
“But now, you have the nerve to sit on your horse and accuse me of not supporting you! I guess planning an expedition to a cursed island to retrieve a magical boost to your strength doesn’t count as support in your mind. I guess loaning you the money to craft your special sword was selfishness on my part. I suppose, even though I didn’t agree with your business model, offering you the 14,000 of my share so you could go ahead with your plan because it was that important to you was just me being a complete bastard!”
“And as for ‘following’ me and ‘trusting’ me, that is a joke. If you did follow and trust me, we wouldn’t even be having this argument because you would see that everything I do benefits you. You don’t trust me, you wouldn’t even let me handle the negotiations of the items from our last haul. You had already appraised them and given me the numbers, yet, when the time came for his man to do it, you had to stand over me and supervise even though I asked you not to. That’s not trust! If you trusted me, you wouldn’t feel belittled by the group name, you’d recognize that it’s just business and it benefits you. If you trusted me, we wouldn’t have spent countless hours arguing about your business venture, you’d have let it go a long time ago. The fact is, Mõrvar, no one supports you more than I do, and no one trusts me less than you do. I’m sorry you feel otherwise, but you seem to give me no credit for anything, and short of cowing down to your every demand, I don’t think your low opinion of me and the horrible way I treat you is likely to change.”
“Don’t respond now, think on what I’ve said while we find lodging as Rilka suggested. Separating from the group in anger before we have a base of operations to meet is foolish.”
As Surm and Mõrvar continue to argue in front of their retinue, Rilka’s hands tighten on her horse’s reins and she sits up even straighter in the saddle. At Surm’s last words, she takes a deep breath, then repeats evenly, “Let’s go find lodgings. Now.”
The soldiers are all shifting nervously in their saddles during this display. Alasir rides up and down the line, trying to instill discipline, and doing a fair job of it, but it is apparent that everyone is uneasy in the face of the ensuing drama.
Finally, the procession starts to move out. Surm does some asking about for lodging near the University and settles on Red Wolf Hall, a well-to-do establishment. Mõrvar asks for some place “good for a traveler to raise hell and cut loose”. He settles on an inn called the Fat Hero, located near the Jetties.
Rilka says she wants to get their entourage off the street and secure safe lodgings … and their belongings. There’s already been one theft, she doesn’t want another. “It may also be difficult to fit a group of this size into a single inn. We may have to try several before landing on one with enough rooms.”
Mõrvar, who still looks as if he is steaming inside says, “You’re right, probably not enough room for us all. Guess I’ll head elsewhere tonight.” He turns to Alasir, “Once they figure out what they are doing with you guys, if you are any of the men are up to it tonight, I think the Fat Hero is calling my name.” Mõrvar then looks at Surm as he begins to turn his horse in that direction.
Surm says quietly (shaking his head sadly): “I guess your going to reject me then, my advice means nothing. Farewell and watch your back brother. I honestly hope you spend this night with someone you do trust, it is a dangerous city and you are going to a dangerous place.”
Mõrvar says “I never rejected you, it is the other way around. I have told you what bothers me, what upsets me and what hurts me. In response you justify why you do what you do and how it shouldn’t. You villianize me. You make me out to be the bad guy and try and make me feel like it’s all my fault. You even throw petty things like the standard at me. Hell, I spent countless hours working on developing one standard for the group. That turned into developing personal standards for each person. I have gone through more than five different versions of a group standard before three of us finally agreed on something, and you take that as a win for me? You say that voting worked in my favor for that? Yes, you have taken us on expeditions to benefit the party, but I wasn’t the one who asked for going to a haunted island. I am not the one who asked to go a dwarven stronghold. The things I have asked for have been either thrown to the side as trash without any consideration, or has been a fight just to get you three to even see my point of view. Never has it been, hey, lets talk about this and give it a fair assessment. I don’t remember saying I had any desire to stay at some fancy inn. Hell, as usual, I don’t remember you even asking what the rest of us wanted or where we wanted to stay. You care so much about wanting to rub elbows and being seen as one of these fancy rich fucks that you don’t even toy with the idea that some of us might not want that lifestyle. I am a northerner, and though there are things about these southern folk I do appreciate, such as their acceptance of our kind (Morvar points back and forth between he and Surm), there are things I despise. You drag us all over getting us these “jobs” but typically you don’t even ask if we want the jobs. You just assume we do. You do it to build vanity, brother, not for the best interest of the group but for the best interest of you. It is your best interest to make me as powerful as you can to protect you. Never have you wondered if what we do is in my best interest. I am not saying I won’t follow you on your journey to be a southerner, but what I am saying is it would be nice if at some point you would take a look at other’s desires, and maybe treat those around you as equals. You are so caught up in being one of them, brother, you forget your really one of us. I am tired of being disrespected. I imagine you’re sitting there and still have no idea what I am even talking about. Tonight, I don’t want to stay in some fancy inn surrounded by elitist snobs who think they are better than everyone else because they were born privileged. Tonight, I stay with assholes and cutthroats. Perhaps a good bar room brawl will erupt. Hell, maybe I’ll even wake up stripped of everything I own and left for dead. That has to be more entertaining then what can be found at the Red Wolf Inn. In fact, (Morvar looks around at the entourage) are any of you interested in joining me at the Fat Hero? If so, drinks are on me.”
The soldiery continue to look uneasy in their saddles. Alasir looks from Surm to Mõrvar to Rilka to Savaric and back again. “Sirs? Are we being dismissed for the evening? Are we still proceeding to inn? What are our orders here? None of us are going to leave until our job is done.” He says this last part with a stern look back at the troops.
Surm looks as though he might respond to Mõrvar, then simply gives up with a sigh.
Surm says to Rilka, “Emotions are high, you take command of the troops. Dismiss them now or have them finish their duties as escorts, but let’s move.”
Savaric says, “You guys go get settled at the Red Wolf. I’ll go with Mõrvar to the Fat Hero so he can blow off some steam and we will catch up with you.”
Rilka speaks directly to Alasir. “Your orders are to first provide escort until we find a safe place to secure lodgings. Once there, then you can arrange for the guards to take leave.”
She turns towards Mõrvar and Savaric and says crisply, “Start looking for us at Red Wolf Hall. As I said before, we don’t know if that’s where we will end up. I’ll try to leave word if we have to look elsewhere.” Rilka then begins moving her horse forward.
Mõrvar and Savaric turn towards the Fat Hero as the procession turn toward the city center and Red Wolf Hall.