Apologies for the late post, life happened.
Bubbles / Ryan
He bade farewell to the Halflings and their Dragonborn protector. The storm had passed hours ago and he needed to make up lost ground if he was to make it to the Clansmeet in time. When the Skymother had sent him into the low-lands to heal the needy, he hadn’t expected to grow accustomed to their way of doing things, but it was strange to him to be returning to his own people.
As a Goliath, certain things were expected of Torvak Drantil-Agasto at the Clansmeet. His brother, the Spiritspeaker, would be shouldering most of the burdens of being their tribe’s representative, but he was still expected to honour his people’s ways and take part in their contests of strength and worth. He wasn’t looking forwards to them, the injuries and uncommon deaths that resulted from the contests were needless to his way of thinking.
He was aware that, as a worshipper of the Skymother, he was automatically treated as an outcast. Many Goliath were like his brother and worshipped the spirits of the mountain air and the storms that blazed through their homelands with shocking regularity. The rare few Goliath who worshipped their ancestral gods were treated with great respect, but were also seen as Other. Organised religion had little place in Goliath meritocratic society.
He sighed as his long legs carried him swiftly towards the distant foothills. His brother had arranged to meet him in the village of Flint, a tiny hub of trade barely larger than a hamlet. He knew the road well from studying the maps before he left, but hurried nonetheless.
This far from Scour, there were dangers that would threaten even a lone Goliath. The shield on his back clinked against his armour and he tightened his grip on his spear. Rays of golden sun played over the windswept ground of the uplands as he climbed, covering everything in a layer of peace and security that he expected to shatter at any second.
The air grew chill as the day wore on and he began to relax as the cloying warmth of the coast left his bones. He was used to much colder air and began thinking of his youth, before he had left the Icewound Peaks.
Before his faith, before his powers, Torvak had been like any other Goliath. He had constantly struggled against any challenges he could find in order to prove himself. He had earned his nickname, ‘Stonefist’, when he had bested a young drake with only a rock in one hand. It had been no more than a hatchling, but the tribe had celebrated his deeds and the name had remained with him ever since.
It had been only weeks later, when his father lay broken at the foot of the cliffs that surrounded his home, that the Skymother had come to him. In a flash of lightning, he had healed his father’s grievous wounds and had found his purpose in life. The Skymother spoke to him that day, telling him to leave his clan behind, to leave his tribe, and to journey into the lowlands where they would have great need of the powers she had given him.
He had left immediately, saying farewell to his brother and his parents at the edge of their tribe’s territory. He had been escorted through the rest of the clan’s land by his childhood friends before leaving the Icewound Peaks as the sun dipped below the horizon. He had felt a warm feeling of reassurance fill him as the Skymother promised she would reward his faith.
Over the years he spent travelling the lowlands and ending the suffering of those in need, she had appeared to him many times. A beautiful woman of indeterminate age and radiating awe-inspiring power, she told him where to go and who would benefit the most from his skills. She taught him secrets no Goliath had ever known and assured him that when the time was right, he would know her plans for him.
As he gave more of himself to her, she allowed him to use more of her power and gradually he began to understand where he fit in with the wide, wide world outside of the Icewound Peaks. If it was his fate to wander the land and bring hope to the hopeless, to bring peace to the suffering and to remain an outcast from his people, then that is what he would do.
As the years bled together and stretched into decades, he slowly came to terms with his itinerant lifestyle. He had never been a social person and he found that it was easier to move on after offering what aid he could. He quickly developed a reputation as a strange, but powerful healer that spread before him. He found villages that came out to greet him en masse, forming processions to ask for his help.
He did what he could before moving on, the villagers providing him with food and services as thanks. In time, he took an apprentice, another Goliath that had been called from the mountains. He had not seen Garvas in years but trusted the young woman was safe.
It was the Skymother who told him to prepare for the Clansmeet. She came to him in a dream and bade him to prepare to return to his people once more, for they had need of him. He had not been surprised when the young roc found him a week later, the Goliath on its back calling him back to the Icewound Peaks.
He had left immediately, taking the long route around the port city of Scour and heading for the Cinder Pass where he knew he would find a path further into the mountains that would lead to Flint.
Ahead, he could see the forbidding outlines of the gatehouse in the Pass itself. Between the tall wooden gates, he could see a long twisting line of colour, no doubt one of the caravans that regularly travelled the route between the Fire Keep and Scour. He sighed and kept moving forwards, trusting to the Skymother to guide him.