William Fieldson looking disheveled and covered in dirt came stumbling into The Rusty Dragon Inn. He looks like he has been through hell and back. He shambles in looking scared out of his wits. Ameiko sees this and immediately runs over to him.
“Are you ok?” ,she asks him calmly.
William looks at her with a blank stare and mumbles out a name, “M-M-Morf-in…” ,he stammers out to her.
Ameiko nods at him and waves her hand to a barmaid to run and get Morfin, who had just returned with his friends only a few hours before to the Inn after their “adventure”.
After a few moments Morfin quickly walks down the stairs to see who has summoned him and his eyes locked on William, his gut sinking, knowing something was wrong, and he had a very strong feeling what it was.
Even though he barely had a chance to breathe when fighting off the ghoul epidemic in the Farmlands he did try to look out to see if he could spot William as one of the survivors fleeing, but he did not, and he truly did not hope he would have to find him suffering from being turned into one.
With a few quick strides, Morfin was by his side when William clung onto him and began to openly wail. “They’re dead… they’re all dead…” Tears streaming down his dusty face cutting lines through it.
Morfin unsure of what to do looked at Ameiko and she made a facial expression and motioned to hug him back to comfort the lad. Morf had only met this man once and he had a sense of heightened emotion for him a fascination, a feeling of desire, and want. He gave William a tight embrace there in the middle of the Inn and let him cry on his shoulder, not caring who saw it. Rubbing his back gently issuing comforting words to William, reassuring him that everything will be alright.
Bar patrons looked on and even some of his friends had come down to see what all of the commotion was.
After what had seemed an eternity, the sobs and tears had subsided and William looked at Morfindien deep into his eyes, “My family… I… saw them…” ,he said with a tremble in his voice as he paused, “…I ran and hid.”
“You did the right thing.” Morf said trying to sound reassuring again. “If you didn’t, you’d have been turned, or worse horribly tortured and left dying, or dead.”
William shook his head knowing Morfin was right, but still that didn’t make him feel any better, pulling away from him, “But, still… If I could…” ,he trails off his eyes once again filling with tears.
Morfin goes in to comfort him again, “Let’s go to my room, we can talk more there.” ,placing his arm around William’s shoulders guiding him up the stairs.
Once they reach his room they both sit on the bed and William begins to sob again, “We were all there having morning breakfast. Me mum heard a noise outside and looked out the door when a devilish looking man grabbed her throwing her against the wall. Pa told me to grab my sister and run, after another man came in after the one who attacked me Maw.” ,he managed to say throughout his sobs. “I grabbed my sister’s hand and was going to run with her out the back door, but I lost grip on her when another one had grabbed at her. I really didn’t notice until I was outside and I saw more of them, I saw my best mate’s farm also being attacked. I looked back into the house to see my sister Emily being dragged in calling out to me. I was so scared I ran and hid. I hid underneath the crawlspace of the house. I laid there hearing the screams of my sister and mother and the yelling of my father until all I head was the moans of the attacking creatures, and eventually nothing. “
“William, I am so sorry… I am so very sorry that happened.”,Morfin frowns, “I was there in the Farmlands trying to fight off the terrible creatures. I saw people feeling, and saw many more dead, or turned into these things. I looked for you.” Morfin places his hand on William’s shoulder, “When I was a child, my home was overrun by goblins and giants. I can barely remember being as young as I was, but I remember having to flee. I lost my grandfather that day as he stayed behind so that we could run and live another day,” he pauses, “Do not let your actions make you think you did anything wrong, you are here, and alive because of them. If you stayed and fought, or went back in you’d be dead too. You’d maybe have been turned into one of them creatures and attacked more people, killing, or turning them too.”
William lowers his head and swallows hard, trying to digest that information once again. He shivers and looks up at Morfin his dirty face streaked with tears and dusty hair matted down and he sighs.
Morfin looks back at him and tenderly puts his hand up to William’s face. “It had been a few days since that incident. How long were you hiding?”
William turns his head into Morf’s hand and sniffs, “I reckon about three or so days now, and walkin’ to Sandpoint.”
Morfin nods at him, “You must be starved…” ,he says getting up from the bed and walking to the door opening it seeing Telchar there obviously trying to be quiet and eavesdropping, but can a Dwarf ever be stealthy? Morfin asks his dwarven friend to fetch some food before he closes the door again, heading over to a pitcher of water, and pours some into a washbasin taking a cloth out and ringing it dry. “I sent Telchar to fetch some food for you,” he says sitting back on the bed, begins to wipe off the dirt from William’s face, and gives him a slight smile to assure him things will be alright.
William looks at Morfin, takes one last sniffle, and allows him to clean his face. Feeling no longer alone as the damp cloth washes away the grime, it also gives him some strength back.
The two look at each other and their quiet reprieve is broken as the door flies open with Telchar bringing in a tray full of bread, cheese, and jerky and two mugs full of ale. “This be commin’ outta yer share elf!” Telchar laughs at Morfindien, and then looks at William and he looks back at Morfindien, opening his eyes wide, and gives a nod to them both, “Aye be takin’ my leave now from ye both lads. Ah am very sorry fer your loss. Ye be in good hands ‘ere wit thee elf,” he says backing out of the room and closing the door.
The two exchange glances again and a moment of awkward silence passes. Morfin stands up and goes to the tray of food and hands it to William, “Eat up; you need to regain your strength.”
William takes the tray sitting it next to him on the bed and begins to pulls off bits of the bread and bite off hunks of the cheese, but looks up at Morfin, who is standing there, and offers him some, “Come sit with me… please,” he asks quietly not wanting to be alone and to be close with somebody.
Morfin sits beside him watching him eat and wishes he could do more for him. He just lost his family after all. Looking at William the feelings he has for him bubble in him like a witch’s brew inside a caldron. Never has he felt this strongly towards someone. Never did he think it would be for another man, but can one truly deny your feelings for someone, whether it is a man or woman? He has never felt this way for any woman before. His thoughts run wild in his head.
William finishes off the food, leaving some jerky behind and washes it down with one of the ales. “Many thanks to you and your friends, Morf,” he says placing his hand onto Morfin’s knee. “I don’t know what I am going to do now.”
Morfin’s heart stirs as William says his name and the touch, “I want to give you something,” as he rises up from the bed going to his belongings that are resting on a nearby chair. Pulling off a small pouch of gold totaling about fifteen pieces in total tossing it to him, “For you to begin to rebuild and assist with any other expenses. I will see if I can get Joscek to give your family a proper sending and have a burial here in the Sandpoint graveyard. It’s the very least I can do.”
William nods solemnly, taking a deep breath, and shivers again. “Thank you… Morfin.” He looks tired, now that his belly is full after days of starving himself too scared to move.
Morf takes another seat next to him again, “It will be alright, William. You will move on and past this. This is a great tragedy, and my friends and I are trying to figure out everything that is going on here. We are going to make things right, I promise you,” placing his hands onto William’s hands. You had such a great ordeal and should rest now. I will be with my friends trying to hash out a pla…” getting cut off by William.
“Please, stay here with me and rest. I-I don’t want to be alone right now,” Willam says softly to Morfindien, “Just for a little while, please.”
Not sure what to do, but going with his gut feeling he nods to William, who lays down onto the bed, holding William’s hand as he falls fast asleep. He feels the urge to hold him, but resisting, not wanting to disturb him, so he just sits there watching him rest and keeping a silent vigil over him, protecting him from whatever daemons may be running through his head with after everything he has been through.
The night came in and the moonlight begins to shine in from the window as a slight knock breaks the silence. Morfin has since then nimbly broken free of William’s grasp on his hand and rises up from the chair to answer the door seeing Ameiko there. “You are a good elf, Morf. You have been keeping a watchful eye over him. I’d even say you fancy him too,” she laughs quietly, “He kin stay here long as he needs to recover… I know how he feels.”
Morfin pokes Ameiko in the ribs, at the accusatory statement, but she is right he does care, and even fancy him. “You are a good woman, Ameiko. Thank you. I am also sorry for your losses as well.”
Ameiko nods and she slips on out letting them two be alone.
Morfin return to his chair sitting there in the dark watching William sleep seeing him shake and shiver as he dreams. He knows in a few days he will be headed out again, and hopefully figure out what is going on.