Copied from Summary
- Stuck at Home: Getting Out. As soon as the trial is done, Toini and Raoul escapes into the hills to see some old friends of Toini’s and to get out of town for a bit. During a routine scouting mission they encounter a strange presence and get lost in the hills for several days tracking it. Toini meets the shaman of the hills.
This needs to be split into two stories. One for the test, and one for going into the hills. Check “stuck 4.5” for the next part.
- Running for the hills
- I remember you
- In the mountains
Toini escapes to the peace and quiet of the Gotecan Hills, but even there the world won’t leave her alone, and soon she finds herself lost in the mist tracking an unknown monster.
This is a story about going away to get some rest and then ending up in another difficult situation. It’s about always being on duty and about finally finding a little bit of respite.
Tropes – Story
Who is Toini this time?
What does Toini want? Toini wants to get out of town, chill for a bit, and just get away from it all.
What does Toini need? A vacation
- Toini and Raoul goes to the military camp in Gotecan hills to see Toini’s old commander.
- On a scouting missiong Toini ends up tracking an intruder and meats the local shaman.
- Together, Toini and the shaman defeat the invading abomination.
Toini goes back to the pub to collect her things. She’s heard from Adrian, via Raoul, that their old commander is expecting them at the camp up in the hills near the border. There’s even two tickets secured for the on the regular daily flight so that there’s no fuss about getting a chartered ship or something fancy like that up there.
Toini is silent and grumpy, but perks up along the way, enjoys the view and even mentions how it’s going to be good just to get out of the city and away from everything for a bit. Commander Kroona won’t allow her any concessions just because she’s a paladin. It’ll be just like back in the old days. (yeah right, foreshadowing).
Commander Kroona does indeed not hold with any fuss, but he’s also quite happy to show off Toini to the new recruits. He gives her the tour of the facilities. Not much has changed since Toini was last stationed her. The old matron at the officer’s mess even remembers her from back in the day – but whether that’s a good thing or not she can’t quite say.
This is probably a good opportunity to show off who Toini used to be in a relaxed way?
The following morning Commander Kroona sends Toini out on a scouting mission. Raoul complains that he needs to go with her, but the commander will have none of it. Raoul’s not a soldier in the Viller army and he can’t be allowed to join on military operations – etc etc yadda yadda.
Raoul grumbles a bit, but eventually relents. He needs some time alone as well. It’ll only be until tomorrow thought. Toini’s to do a regular trek along the border up to a watchtower a day’s walk away and then come back again. Another old comrade of Toini’s is stationed there with a bunch of new recruits and he’d like to see her too now that she’s here.
Toini trudges out, enjoys the mist covered hills and makes good speed. It’s good to be alone where the world is simple.
And then, the world is not so simple anymore. She comes across a dead goat on the trail. Mangled and dismembered. There’s a stench of wrongness about it that’s more than just death and blood. Something “wrong” has come this way. Something that doesn’t belong here. At once, the dummy routine mission turns into a full blown quest. She must find the source of the wrongness and defeat it. It’s not natural.
She tracks the abomination away from the border and up into the hills. She sends a message over the radio, but isn’t sure whether anyone gets it or not, and she doesn’t really care. She’s got better things to do. She’s finally on a quest, and it’s a plain and simple one, with just herself against the unnatural, where she doesn’t need to bother about regulations or propiety or anything else. It’s just she and her god against the abominable. Soon, the hunt is on and she forgets everything else.
The following morning, the shaman of the hills greets her where she’s made camp. She hasn’t slept, but meditated through the night. She can sleep later.
The shaman is well over eight feet tall, close to nine, putting him as one of the first ten generations of elves. He’s not the target though, but he’s sensed something wrong wanders his hills, but he’s also sensed Toini and he’s curious about who she is and what she’s doing there.
Toini knows what’s up and asks if he will help. The shaman says he won’t. She seems to burn for the hunt and he won’t take that away from her. This causes Toini to reflect on her priorities and her current situation, but in the end she agrees that he’s right and it doesn’t matter. She lets him know he’s welcome to join though.
Eventually, after another day or two of tracking, Toini finally catches up with the abomination. There’s a fight. It’s violent, bloody, and short. Afterwards, Toini and the Shaman go back to where he resides and she gets to rest and meditate. Time slips and days pass, and eventually Toini relises with some surprise that it’s been a week since she left the camp and she probably should check back with the others.
Something important might have happened while she was gone. Roy might have arrived. Then again, he can wait. He’s kept her waiting…