Keerx Alaine "Man was not meant to be in the cold like this," Keerx grumbled, pulling his woolen scarf up to cover more of his face. He was on his way to the last known settlement before the far north, a village called Narrin. It was early afternoon, but you couldn't tell that by looking at the sky. The clouds hung low and were swollen with the threat of snow. Every couple of seconds, winds would race down from the mountains and threaten to push Keerx's hood down. Currently, it was snowing, just like it had been since the day before, and Keerx was absolutely sick of it. He would be able to live his life contently if he never came to the snowy north again. As another frigid gust of wind came down from the mountains, Keerx grumbled again and shoved his hands deeper into his pockets, shivering. As the narrow path he was taking started heading up a hill, he tried to be more sure of his footing. Despite his high position in the Inquisition and his prowess on the battlefield, he could be clumsy sometimes, and he definitely did not want to get any more snow on him than needed. "How do the bleeding natives live like this?" he asked no one in particular, wishing he could have found some better gloves and boots in the capitol. Perhaps in the village there would be a trader he could buy some better supplies from. Not for the first time, he took a step just off the path and his foot plunged into the snow. Keerx shouted out a curse, feeling snow get into his boots, his gloves, and even some under his heavy overcoat. Once he had his balance again, he pulled himself out of the snow and tried to brush himself off. When he had gotten as much snow off him as he could, he continued walking, sniffling a bit when his nose started to run. After another hour or so of trudging through the snow, Keerx came upon the village. It was small, comprised of a few squat buildings, a tavern, and a longhouse. From the majority of the buildings, smoke billowed from openings in the roofs, and at the sight Keerx let out a happy sigh; he couldn't wait to sit by a fire, hopefully with something hot to eat. Still, nervousness ate away at him. What if the inhabitants of the village attacked him on sight? He didn't think they would, but who knew what these far northerners would do? Half of the northerners who lived in the villages were barely better than the savages who lived outside of them. Swallowing his anxieties, he walked into the longhouse, smiling a bit as the warmth from the fire hit him. Keerx pulled down his scarf, his cheeks flushing from the sudden heat. Around the large firepit in the center of the longhouse was several long benches covered in furs and cushions. From what he knew of Narrin, the town was governed by a council of elders who answered to the Empire, but it seemed that none of them were there, save for a single man. The longhouse was dominated by the fire, but there were benches and tables that ran along the perimeter of the room. Adorning the walls were some black and grey symbols and banners that Keerx recognized as savage icons. Keerx grimaced at the sight, feeling a bit uncomfortable by them. In the south, the concept of 'gods' was an outdated idea, and only philosophers and historians really concerned themselves with it. Still, as his eyes alighted on the Empire's crest upon the far wall, he couldn't help but shift uncomfortably. Still, he was able to mask his expression, knowing that he would have to get into the people's good graces to get the help he needed. "Good day," he said, nodding to the elderly man sitting beside the fire. He walked towards him, figuring that he would know where Keerx could buy supplies and maybe get directions. Or, maybe someone who knew where the Holy Sword was. The man was quite possibly the oldest person Keerx had ever met, with skin the shade of chocolate and looked like it felt like leather. He had wrinkles that were deeper than the sea, and, as Keerx got closer, he found that the man was blind in one eye. "Excuse me, serrah. I was wondering if there are any traders or a tavern here? I have had a long journey...Also, I was wondering if there was a guide? I am traveling further north and it would be nice to have someone to help me." He smiled, trying to put the man at ease. He knew that people here might be a bit fearful of him. "There may be someone willing to take you further north. It will likely cost you quite a bit..." The man said with a heaving sigh. "The tavern is a couple buildings down the way." "Thank you, sir," Keerx said, bowing his head respectfully for a second. "Here." He handed the man a few gold coins, pressing them into his hands. Keerx didn't really like how the other Inquisitor's conducted themselves. Even though he wasn't one for savagery, he still didn't like using fear to get his way. It was much more effective to be kinder and to gain people's trust. The leathery man seemed a bit surprised at the money, but he didn't refuse it. Keerx headed to the tavern, even though he dreaded heading back out into the cold. Luckily, it wasn't too far of a walk, and it was smoky and warm in there. He took a moment to speak to the tavernkeep and he pointed him in the direction of a group sitting in the back. "Excuse me," he said as he approached. "Would one of you be willing to guide me north?" He smiled pleasantly, then added, "I can pay, if that would be a problem." A young woman eyed him suspiciously, made a face, then turned her head, ignoring him. "Hm. Alright," he said, looking to the others. "How about one of you?"