The Anvil

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The particular section of the Hammaer River that Ceean and Yintal floated upon was the calmest and most serene stretch you could find on the entire length of that massive body of water. This section of the river snaked its way between the karst peaks found in between Mount Kelgrond and the Sea of Nezra. It was easy going, as the current was taking them out to sea. No rowing was necessary, save the for the occasional course correction by Yintal to keep them away from the banks, dangerous rocks submerged beneath the glassy surface of the mighty river, and the occasional small island.

"It's the most beautiful place I've ever seen, Yintal. Thank ye for bringin' me this way," Ceean said, her voice sounding far away as she stared in awe at the pointy peaks and rolling green that covered everything.

"It's the only way ta get where ye need ta be, lass. Sorry ta disappoint, ye, but the view isn't for yer sake," the gruff dwarf replied. His frilly red shirt was off and hanging on a line to dry. His skin tight pants remained on, but that did not matter as they left nothing to the imagination. Ceean could see the two coins in his pocket.

"I figured as much, ye grumpy arse, but I still wanted ta thank ye," she said, rolling her eyes. "Ye could use a few lessons on how ta speak with other dwarves."

"Never had much use for other dwarves, Ceean. I was six when I left the care of our people, ye see. Spent me life learnin' ta hunt and kill giants. It was bloody hard work without the magic of the giantsbane flowing in me veins. But I acheived me goals, I found this legendary blade that the Grendel long ago stole from the Wolves," he said, patting God's Feather, "and I slayed the one who set me on this path."

"Are ye sad that ye've lived this life then?"

"Nay, lass. I would no' have it any other way. I do miss me Da', though, ta be true."

"Then why did ye murder the one who set ye on this path, then?" she asked, not trying to pry too much into the private life of the ill-tempered Yintal, but he was responding again, and Ceean could use the conversation. The ride over the past week on the river had been slow, quiet, and uneventful.

"He was a fuckin' giant. I hunt giants. It is what we Wolves do, lass," he replied quietly.

"Is that what I'll have ta do, then? Spend the rest of me days hunting and killing a bunch of beasts I've never met and who've never done me any wrong, just because my Da's magic blood compels me to?" Ceean asked angrily, rubbing at her arms and not making eye contact with the Hunter.

"Ah, so ye have begun ta feel it, then?" Yintal said with a grin. "I was always so jealous when me Wolf brothers began feeling the Urge, as they call it. It's a call from the ancient Wolves of the Bay to take up arms and take our revenge on the giant bastards."

Ahead, a small human village appeared from the mists. A small island separated the river into two halves nearby. If the wooden fishing boat went to the left of the island, they would pass directly beside the village. If they went to the right, their boat would be hidden from the humans view. Yintal steered them right.

"Why not stop and stretch our legs at that village, Yintal?" Ceean urged. "I'm dreadful tired of bein' in this boat. Me arse is sore, I need to have a shite, I want ta eat some hot food, and I want ta have a bloody normal conversation."

"Shite off the side like ye've been doin', lass. I'll no' watch. I have no desire to witness that deed again," Yintal replied with grin.

"Go fuck yerself, then. I dun want  ta shite in the water again. Please just lets have a rest, I beg ye," Ceean said, her voice full of pleading, and her hands clasped together in front of her face.

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