Clemens stepped out from the tavern into the mid-afternoon sun. He had spent most of the day listening to the din of others pleasant conversations while relaxed into a chair. Eventually his legs had become stiff and he decided they needed to be stretched even if only for a brief stoll.
The pleasant breeze carried the subtle scent of spring on it. Clemens noticed that the muddy paths had mostly dried out despite the rain the evening prior. He chuckled a little remembering how many including himself had found themselves sliding all over the place, their boots caked in that muck. Looking up he noticed the brook that carved its way past the tavern. He could hear the stream gently careening over the smooth stones and felt called to the soothing sound.
A small bench sat near the brook. “Ah, a perfect place to sit and reflect.” Clemens thought to himself. Gently he lifted his cloak out from under him and sat facing the brook and the woods that lay just beyond. While Clemens greatly enjoyed the comforts of more developed and populated towns there was something about these less settled and developed places. A certain charming effect from being closer to nature.
Although he did not forget that this place was also the edge of a warzone. On this thought Clemens began to ponder why he had chosen to come to this place, to Runeheim. He was certainly of no use in battle and not a particularly savvy merchant or craftsman. He was certainly was not like Brother Manfred or Rolf, both whose skill at arms had seen them triumph over branded men of the Ironblood clan. He wasn’t quite like Victor whose resourcefulness could outfit an army or quite like the conviction and persuasiveness of Lady Vayne who managed to negotiate a lucrative deal out of that Hestrali captain, Tommaso. He certainly didn’t have the courage of that Dunnick miner who survived an encounter with a ghost and lived to tell the tale.
What could he do that would make the lives of people in Runeheim better? Surely he could be an educator, teaching those around him how to read and write and perhaps even a bit about the history of the corner of the world they now occupy, but that seems like a far off priority in a place like this. Although he was certainly capable of bringing people joy and inspiration through story, a small comfort to perhaps ease the stresses that weighed on folks hearts and minds.
His train of thought was interrupted by a loud creak from the bench beneath him. Standing up he looked at the bench and noticed the toll the wet weather had taken on its wooden structure. “If only wood could speak, I wonder what tales you could tell” Clemens sighed.
Although a thought suddenly entered his mind. A bench was a simple thing to construct. As a child he often went with his father to collect kindling and wood for fires when it was time to make camp. It wasn’t much of a stretch to think collecting wood to build simple comforts like sturdy benches and chairs wouldn’t be outside his of ability if he put his mind to it.
Perhaps he should speak to Victor, surely there were things that people needed that he couldn’t provide. That would certainly be a way for Clemens to contribute in a more practical way. Though he would need to learn more about how the people in Runeheim live from day to day, the routines they keep and the rituals they use to ensure their continued prosperity. Xavier seemed to know a thing a two about that, maybe Clemens should speak to him about the things ordinary folk need. Perhaps this was what his father meant when he said “There’s only so much you can learn from books”.
Clemens looked into the forest and thought to himself. “Perhaps this is the opportunity I’ve been seeking all along.” As a child he had loved grand stories about heroes and the great evils they vanquished, but perhaps his place was at the side of the people who live smaller, but no less important lives. To learn how they live and thrive, and to tell their tales to all who would listen. But, it also couldn’t hurt to to learn how to harness the gifts of nature and turn them into simple comforts for kith and kin.