Ether: A catalystic agent in the making of stardust.
Gather ye round with a heart for each other for this be a sorry tale of how grief betwixed a minstrels soul and burdened it more heavy than any tide of fate dished out by Hermaeus Mora. This I heard direct from the wayfarer who saved a starving village from eating itself - metaphoically, maybe. It is a tale from an island beyond Skyrim, a harsh, cold unforgiving place called Roscrea. I never heard the wayfarers name. As every other villager we simply called them 'Offshore'.
Well, when Offshore slooped in to the bay, it was deep into winter and approaching solstice. Snow drifts here made Skyrims' look like feathered pillows and as soon they fell the sea spray and chill froze and edged them like axe blades. There weren't a hag on Nirn as bitter as that small harbour.
When Offshore trapsed into camp, the villagers seemed to blush as they nodded. They are no' used to strangers 'cept odd fisher folk and so they appeared shy yet pleasant. Offshore was a bit of a fool to first impressions. More likely the frigid cold was rosying their cheeks and they were in no mood to stop and chat! Gettin landside Offshore fancied a change from fish but was suprised to see all the market stalls icicled over and neer a trader. He tried to guess which building might be a tavern but none stood out so seeing a chimney smoking dense, Offshore dreamt of warmth instead. The first knock went unanswered and on the heavier second an agitated voice "Twill ya come in, ya amadain!" Awkardly shoving the sticky door open, he was confronted by an overwhelming stench of smouldering horker blubber on a bed of embers - more heat than fire.
The tavern had two human patrons who looked at him, without looking, and closer to the barkeep the air changed thick with the smell of fishy broth. His throat tried to switch from chocking to gagging and Offshore had to swallow air to keep composure.
"F?", Offshore asked.
"Any Jarl lube?", the reply. A flash of a bent coin let her know.
"We have.. whats that fancy word? Frulthuul Chowder!". Offshore had not heard of it but it sounded interesting - city food. Anything could be more interesting than the raw marinated slaughterfish eaten on the boat.
"With some garlic bread and ale" he added.
"Not much wheat in these parts. Mead and Potato Bread?".
Offshore grunted in affirmation and headed to a small where he might see the door. When his food arrived the first thing he noticed was a slaughterfish head bobbing on its surface - damn, fish stew. Reluctantly, Offshore eat. Somehow the stew seemed to balance him with his surroundings, he relaxed as a pleasant warmth seeped into him, not knowing that a tiny smidgin of skooma was the secret ingredient. Silently an hour passed, two perhaps.
After ensuring a bed on his return, he went for an exploratory stroll along the rocky shore. It wasn't long before he heard the young girls' scream
"Help us Mister Man, shes in the water!"
SHORT: A harsh winter causes a suicide, a murder and a banishment. Our hero must heal a sorrow, unite a village to bring about reconciliation & hope. Not easy in a place that is rough, cold and unforgiving.
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