Finally making it to Hartford, and parting ways with Grayson.
After a few hours of walking, Sasha and Grayson arrive in Hartford with the girl in the wagon. After walking a few blocks, they turned down a side street and Sasha hears Grayson yell “There is my shop! We’re almost there.” He points to a shop, about partway down the next block. His family was standing in front of it waving, his kids were jumping up and down in excitement. The wagon hits a bump and the supplies tumble around the wagon causing the girl to wake up in alarm. She looks out of the wagon to Sasha, and Sasha looks back to her and says, “We are almost there.” As the cart begins to slow down the closer they get to the store, the girl hops out of the back of the wagon and stretches and proceeds to follow close to Sasha.
The wagon finally pulls up to the shop, Grayson immediately jumps down and embraces his family in a huge hug, exclaiming “How I’ve missed you!” as he kisses his wife quickly and hugs each of his kids. Turning, he motions towards Sasha. Sasha then turns to the girl, and says “Wait here, I’ll be right back.” As the girl is waiting next to the back of the wagon, Sasha walks over to Grayson and he introduces her to his family. “This is Sasha, she’s the knight who escorted me all the way here.”
His wife says, “Thank you for bringing my husband safely home to me.” Grayson hands Sasha a pouch of coins, saying “I removed one coin, in payment for the bread the girl ate. You understand?” Sasha agrees and says, “I understand, I’m not happy about it, but I’m not going to complain or make a scene.” Grayson then asks her “If you ever need work in the future for anything, I will gladly hire you again.” She says thank you and she starts to walk away. As she turns to go back around the wagon, Grayson asks her “Would you be available in a couple months for another job? I have a big shipment coming in the next few months. I will be leading a whole caravan of merchants and goods back to Hartford, if you know anyone who would like to be a caravan guard for an escort, please let me know. I will have more details about the escort in a month or so. I will even throw in a little extra coin for you, if you would like to return to work for me again.” Sasha says, “Thank you, I’ll keep that in mind.” She bids him and his family farewell.
She returns to the girl, and says “We passed an inn a few streets back, what do you say we get something to eat and some rest?” The girl nods in agreement, and they start heading back down the street to the inn. After a few minutes of walking, they arrive at the inn. They look up and see an inviting sign that says (Welcome to the Fiery Pig inn.) As they walk inside, they are greeted by the innkeeper. He exclaims happily “Welcome to the Fiery Pig! We have warm hearths, and the best bacon and mead in all of Hartford.” He then asks “Will you be needing a room? A single bed, or double?” Sasha says, “Thank you for the very warm introduction, we’ll be needing two beds please.”
The innkeeper says “How long will you be staying with us? Rooms must be paid in full up front, it will be 12 coins.” “Thank you.” Sasha says, “We’ll be staying for two days. We’d like to order some bread, bacon and mead whenever some is available.” The innkeeper says “Let me get that for you, it’ll be a couple minutes. You’re welcome to go find a table.” Sasha and the she-elf move through the room and find an empty table at the back of the room. After sitting quietly for a few minutes, the food arrives steaming hot, Sasha pays for the food and they both dig in. About halfway through the meal, Sasha looks up and asks the she-elf “Will you tell me your name now?” The elf goes quiet, and looks at her and whispers “Winter, my name is Winter.”
Sasha looks at her for a moment, and says “Nice to meet you, you already know my name. You have a very pretty name.” Winter gives a small smile. They continue eating for a few minutes, then Winter looks up at Sasha and says, “I want to request something of you.” “Go on.” Says Sasha. Winter asks “Can you take me home? I’m very far from home.” Sasha says “What’s going on? Why can’t you go home by yourself?” Winter answers her by saying “I come from a small town in the providence of Raynvalley. In payment for living at my master’s house, I am a sexual slave for him. Bandits attacked our town, killing all the men. They ransacked my masters house, but he was able to get away. I however was frozen in fear, and I couldn’t run even though I wanted to, and he told me to run away. The same bandits you killed were part of the group of ones who took me from my home. My master is a very influential man, if you were to take me home, he’d be willing to pay handsomely to get me back. So, would you be willing to help me get home?”
Sasha sits quietly pondering all that Winter said. Then she says “Yes, I’m willing to help you get home. When do you need to be there by?” Winter says “As soon as possible, possibly tomorrow.” Sasha says “Well, I have to get my armor fixed, and I need to consider getting a new sword if possible. And I need to get more supplies. So, if it is okay with you, we’ll leave the day after tomorrow.”
“That’s fine, do whatever you need to do.” Says Winter as they finish their meal. They get up from the table, and walk back to the counter to the innkeeper so they can get their room key. “Here it is.” He says as he hands Sasha the key. “You’re in room 8, at the end of the hall upstairs.” They thanked the innkeeper for the food and turned to head upstairs, looking for room 8. Sasha put the key in the door and it swung open revealing a bare room that was empty other than two beds on opposite walls, a small nightstand for each bed, and a door that lead to the bathroom that had a shower, sink and toilet. Winter sat down on the bed closest to the bathroom, and Sasha set her pack down on the ground next to the other bed and sat down on the bed.
She asked Winter “How long have you been with your master? What do you do for him?” Winter replies “I’ve been with my master for a couple years now, I was given to him by my parents who were village elders. The village needed supplies that they couldn’t afford elsewhere, and some people view snow elves with disdain or disgust. So, he agreed to take me in, and give me a job and a place to stay and he bought them what they needed. I’m basically a sexual/house servant for my master. I have sex with him, I clean the house, and make sure everything is fixed and updated and that he is happy and satisfied.”
Sasha tells Winter a little about herself. “I’m 25. I came from a small town far from here. I used to be a barmaid, but I decided to branch out and try something new. I was tired of the same old scene of drunk assholes at the bar trying to feel me up.” Winter starts laughing at that comment and after talking a few minutes more Winter starts to fall asleep. Sasha says good night, and rolls over and falls asleep. They have a fitful night’s rest and wake up refreshed the next morning.
Sasha rolls over and says, “Good morning, how did you sleep?” to Winter. Winter says “I slept good, its been a while since I have slept on an actual bed. I’m starving though, do you think they have any food downstairs ready?” “Maybe, let’s go check!” Sasha says, as she grabs her coin purse and puts her boots on, opens the door and starts to head down the hallway. Winter follows, and they find the same table they had last night in the corner. Winter sits down and Sasha heads to the counter and asks the innkeeper “Can I get two plates of bread, eggs and some meat? Oh, and something to drink?” The innkeeper responds “Yes, that’ll be 4 coins, it’ll be right out. I’ll bring it to your table.” Sasha hands him the coins, “keep the change.”
She then heads back to the table and tells Winter, “I have to go do some things today, I need to get my armor repaired, and get a new sword, and I was thinking of getting you some armor or at least a short sword or bow and arrows or something so you can protect yourself. How does that sound? Do you know how to use any weapons?” “It sounds great, and yes I know how to use a weapon. I know how to use a bow and arrow. Not much else though, and I haven’t tried anything with one in quite a few years.” Winter says with a smile. Their food arrives, and they stop their chatter and start to eat their breakfast before it gets cold. After finishing their food, both women head out of the inn and walk down the street to an armor and weapon smith.
They walk into the store and start browsing the selection of goods the merchant has. Sasha looks through multiple swords and finally finds a good, not too light-but not too heavy one-handed sword. She also found a shield she can use that won’t break easily for cheap. She keeps browsing around the store, and starts looking at the bows and arrows. She finds a nice birch bow, it’s supple and strong and bends easily. It comes with a quiver full of goose feather fletched arrows. She also notices a small one-handed sword nicknamed Slasher. She grabbed it and started swinging it around, testing its weight and handling. She calls to Winter excitedly “Look what I found! I want to get this for you!”