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Trail to Riften ( Erik thaanos )( alt)

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Trail to Riften

Erik Thaanos strode through the streets of Riften as if he owned them.

He liked the brisk air and the bustle of the people. It reminded him of his home in Eastmarch, this city it had a familiar feel to the  streets. He had been traveling under the guise of a Knight errant, seeking adventure and fame to return home with.  But truly he was searching, there had been an uprising after the death of his brother Thorvald, and the discovery that his widow was missing.

He as the younger brother had of course asserted his right to the titles and properties, the men… but there had been questions and barriers to Erik’s succession.

All this trouble caused by a pretty little woman, and her valuable dowry.

In his impatience and arrogance that fool Thorvald had managed to get himself killed because  he could not control his taste for violence.

Thorvald should have waited to appease his appetites, or better yet, taken them out on servant girls… or boys like the rest of the nobles with such inclinations.

Erik licked his lips as he thought about Aly’sande, she was quite appealing, perhaps he could understand his brother somewhat. More appealing, however were her titles, properties and income. Power and influence. Erik shook his head once more at his thoughts.

Yes,  Thorvald was a fool, usually these alliances came with a brood mare who was as ugly as an Troll. Thorvald had invited his downfall by underestimating her. The Lady’s father had of course been furious at the loss of control over her properties, income and the Alliance that had precipitated the marriage.  Erik had sought “Freyr” Hjalmar with a solution and a new bargain had been struck.

Reflexively, he patted the document he carried with him, the one that bore witness to his claim. The contract signed by her father and himself.

Initially it had been thought that Raiders had stolen into the keep killing Thorvald and abducting his Lady. Men had been sent towards the direction of the Raiders encampment to no avail. Only after the battle the raider’s camp had been searched and the lady was not to be found.

Upon the parties return to  Skaarihn Manor one of Thorvalds warhorses was found to be missing and the suspicion turned to the lady having run off.  That had cost him the time to catch her before she could get across the border.

They had forgotten that she was a Nord after all. Mistaking her cunning for Breton weakness. She had shown that she was no milk drinker. She had fooled them all with her meek act.

Several days later, the horse she had taken was found at an isolated Inn near the border.

Now months later she somehow kept eluding those he had sent after her. In frustration Erik had personally joined the search.

Over the past several weeks he had been traveling East towards Ginmuir in Storm haven, where he was certain she would eventually resurface.

He was determined to bring her back to Skaarihn to fulfill the contract before she could thwart his goal.

Erik doubted that the Bretons would honor his contract, they had little regard for Nord laws. Better to be certain and return her quickly to Eastmarch to fulfill the terms of the agreement. Keeping her under lock and key if need be.

He had been following rumors for months, Lady Alysande had managed to leave Pact Territories that much was clear and she had successfully disguised herself.

Informants had reported seeing her in many far flung places, but most recently a Lady of her description  been seen in Riften, in the company of an Orc Mercenary of all things.

She was remarkably pretty and he felt relatively certain that this Lady was Aly’sande.

If she were in The Rift then that would make it easier for him to bring her home.

Erik grinned as he thought about the Orc. One thing about Mercenaries, their loyalty always had a price.

He entered The Withered Tree, approached the counter, putting a gold coin on the counter, a grin on his wolfish face..” Good evening, I’ll have an Ale and some information if you have it… “

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