Chapter 3.38 is the thirty-ninth chapter of Volume 3.
Word spread, as it usually does, that Esthelm, a city so recently sundered by goblins and the restless dead, had risen. No one really paid attention, but then, outside of people’s immediate concerns, no one really does.
Having accomplished what she could with the relief effort, organizing food and supplies to be taken to the beleaguered city, Erin reluctantly catches a ride back to Liscor in the early hours of the morning, having been persuaded to do so by the wagon driver Termin. Erin and Termin were escorted south by the Horns who worked (slept) as escorts during the journey.
As Erin begins getting the fire built up and organising for the day ahead, the oncoming dawn sparks memories of back home within her. Painful memories, which threaten to open deep wounds within her psyche, so Erin quashes them. Still, it does spark the idea of Christmas, an idea that Erin latches onto. While Erin is thinking, or more precisely, trying not to think, Lyon stumbles down the stairs. Still so early, both girls decide that talking was not requisite, and got on with their morning jobs. Erin proceeds to cook food for the masses in a reheat-able format, while Lyon went outside to collect water. Once the immediate necessities were taken care of, Erin declares it is time to get to work, and leaves Lyon to manage the Inn, but not before sharing the idea of Christmas with her.
Despite already completing numerous chores in the Inn, Erin gets to the city gates before they are open, and wearing a smile as a shield, as even though she had a lot of work to do today, she was determined to do it cheerfully. With a little bit of persuasion, Erin convinces the Drake on duty to open the gates for her, despite the early hour. With a crack just wide enough to sneak through, Erin heads into the city and towards market street in the hopes of meeting Krshia.
Meeting Krshia setting up a stall that seems incongruously small for the Gnoll, both women start talking and catching up. Erin also raises the subject of Lyon, and how they the girl is trying, and will try to help and reimburse Krshia as time passes. This indicates that Erin still does not appreciate the extent of the damage that Lyon caused for the Gnolls. Their conversation also veers off to the council of Liscor, as they had overruled the Gnolls regarding letting Lyon back into the city. Erin was most perturbed to find out that Olesm was actually on the council, and his position in the city far higher than she had thought. The conversation finally drifts around to discussing Brunkr who Erin had heard was sick from Klbkch. Given how quiet it still was so early in the morning, Krshia takes Erin to see him, as a picture is worth a thousand words. Finding Brunkr so ill and possibly needing to have his hand amputated soon as a result of getting bitten by Mrsha, Erin decides that she wants to help Brunkr. As potions and the low level healing available in Liscor would not be able to help him (and all the ‘cures’ tried had failed) Erin decides to get in contact with Ryoka who is a font of information regarding numerous subjects. To facilitate this, Erin heads over to the Mage guild of Liscor, for the first time since her arrival in the city.
On the way to the Mage Guild, Erin runs into Olesm and they decide to meet up just after lunch. Erin promises him, even though she is so busy, she will make time to catch up. When arriving at the Mage guild, only a single bored [Clerk] is on duty. Erin proceeds to organise sending a message to Ryoka in Invrisil, and gets an almost immediate reply. Given how quiet the guild still was at that time of morning, Erin and Ryoka manage to set up a chat to each other, where they discuss possible treatments for Brunkr in addition to a few other topics.
Having finished her chat with Ryoka, Erin went back to Inn (still very early in the morning) to find the Horns up and eating the precooked breakfast which Lyon was heating up. When they find out Ryoka has identified all their items, they rush off to the Mage guild, with Pisces both eating and running faster than Ceria can run, by using the spell [Flash Step]. Before they head off, Erin mentions Christmas to the Horns as well, a tidbit that gets Ksmvr accosting Pisces to ‘please explain’.
Left alone in the Inn with Lyon, Erin discusses the need to acquire more honey. Both girls go out together to collect some. This collection was a success, thanks to Lyon's prior attempts, bravery and accumulated skill. On the way back, they get ambushed by a rock crab that had hidden itself with snow. They throw the large jar of bees under the crab's shell when it tries to approach. The Rock Crab dies and the bees are trapped in the shell. Both Erin and Lyon are shaken, but keeping with her determination to have a happy face, Erin shows no signs of nerves till after she is alone. Even then she only allows herself a moment of weakness before picking herself up and getting back on with the job.
Once recovered, Erin heads back into Liscor, taking the honey to apply as a poultice on Brunkr’s infected arm, after thoroughly washing the wound with salt water and clipping the hair from around the infected area. Brunkr objects to Erin’s actions. Erin objects to his objection. A brief fist fight ensues, which Erin wins, even though she got knocked around a bit. Erin applies the poultice and gives Brunkr emotional support, support which Brunkr could smell was sincere. Krshia who came back, didn’t intrude on them, and Erin only noticed her when she was leaving, as she found Krshia outside with snow gathering on her fur.
Having finished helping Brunkr, Erin heads out of the city, and back to her inn, despite being tired, so very tired. Despite everything that had happened so far today, Erin kept the smile on her face, as she continues her very busy day. On the way back to her Inn Erin finds a large group of her friends also heading out for lunch.
- Magnolia Reinhart (Cameo Mentioned)
- Tyrion Veltras (Cameo Mentioned)
- Erin Solstice
- Ceria Springwalker
- Yvlon Byres
- Lyonette du Marquin
- Krshia Silverfang
- Tesha (First Appearance)
- Olesm Swifttail
- [Clerk] Drake (First Appearance)
- Ryoka Griffin (Only in Messages)
- Zel Shivertail
- Griffon Hunt
- The Wandering Inn
- Market Street
- Krshia’s Stall
- Krshia’s Home
- Mage’s Guild
- Market Street
- Ashfire Bees's Cave
- 2 Horses - Erma and Fox