Phandelver + Storm King and beyond
“King Groll lies dead. Here is his fucking head,” she had shouted in Goblin, tossing it on the stone floor beneath her. Disgust on her face. She wanted them to try it. She wanted them to try anything. Ivaric would blow them apart and she’d shield her companions from their crossbow bolts. “Surrender, flee, and live. But first – untie our fucking dwarves.” A few moments later and her demands were met. They fled like cowards. She was disappointed. Valorn had almost died fighting this second, larger bugbear. She glanced over at him walking beside Ivaric. She kept walking. There were miles left to go, as the remains of the dwarves rested atop Horse. She had repeatedly characterized Roxie as the sort of dwarf who would likely be laughing when they finally found him. To Ivaric, to Dagger, certainly to Rowan and Valorn. When Ivaric announced that Roxie’s head hung from the arrow slit, Ona wilted. “We’ve failed.” Just earlier that morning her sister had been so… hopeful. She was crushed now. She just marched forward, like she always did, but her head hung low and dejected. Erys had seen her sister walk like that only once before. As she had then, she hung back. She looked out at her new companions and her truest one, save the Lady Firehair.
“Ona,” she tried, barely able to get the words out over the crushing weight of despair threatening to buckle her knees and slow their progress. One thousand gold a head. Over a meaningless grudge and nothing more, she had to assume. Defending themselves. She thought again of that first half-orc. She’d hunted before. She’d killed for sport. She’d done as was expected of her in Evereska, though not without complaint.
“Not now, Erys.” Ona cast her eyes beside her, not turning or stopping the march but addressing her. A bit of resistance built up in her heart and she knew she could do at least something about this. And then she’d pay for the rooms again… just like the night before last… she took a few strides forward and matched her sister’s position and pace, seeing her face again. They were meant for this. She was sure it. Everything was ultimately as it ought to be – she reminded herself again – and even here, little gem: an opportunity for love. With a nod once she'd caught up to her sister's eyesight, Erys reached to take her sister’s hand and matched her step. She felt a gentle squeeze in return and held on. It would do for now. The sisters held hands the way she wished she’d been able to hold Ona’s hand the last time. Erys knew that with her sisters hand in hers, she could at least make it to her room without breaking down.