Up the Afon Usk

Dafydd was quiet the next morning. He set to putting his pack and blanket roll together without a word. It was cool with the sun barely risen and mist hung thick over the river. Jon brought breakfast out, a bit of bread and cheese, and sat on a rock looking at Dafydd. He came over and took some of the bread as Jon held it up to him. They both chewed on the tough crusts, staring up the valley. They finished eating as Rae and her sisters came up from the pen with the horses. Packs were secured and blankets applied almost solemnly.
"Kymeth, tell my brother Selwyn its not so wild down here he couldn't leave his forge for a day to come and say hello. He wouldn't get quite the welcome you got, but it would still be a great feast by his standards!" laughed Arwel a little too loudly. Aelwen smiled wanly and walked with Kymeth to the horses and children. Well, not children anymore...they had already seen so much.
Lady Kymeth is quite the singer!
Kymeth mounted her horse and began the melody for departure. Aelwen drew in a deep breath and carried the tune into song with Arwel intoning deeply shortly thereafter. Soon the valley was echoing with song of leaving. 
The road up from Arwelshire stayed to the south of Afon Usk with the wooded mountains of the Wild to the north. Much of the valley was cultivated and there were wooden palisades along the way with small bands of armed men keeping watch. It was as safe a path as any could be this far north, yet still it felt like however many guards were looking north, at least as many eyes were just beyond the treeline on the opposite slopes peering south. Kymeth called a stop about 10 miles up the valley before a ford that would take them along the road on the north side of the river the remaining was to Selwynshire. After a short rest and light lunch, back on the horses and on they went. 
Selwynshire. Can you find it on a modern map?

As the confluence of Afon Hondou and Afon Usk came into view, so did the marvel that was Selwynshire. A massive stone bridge spanned the river connecting north and south parts of the town with a wide thoroughfare easily four wagons across. The towering monument looked like it was built of only one stone, a feat unknown by the men of Cymru. A feat quite readily accomplished by the dwarves of Cymru, however. It was these dwarves, the Niwc as they called themselves, Kymeth intended to meet with and discuss passage further north through the Wild. There was time enough left in the day to settle the horses at the travelers inn, secure rooms, and still pay a call to Selwyn.
Selwyn's hair all got burned off!
Selwyn's forge was up river a good part of a mile from the town center. Kat and Rae had been here before, Rae when she was Mae's age. Mae, Ama, and Jon had few memories of visiting and could only recall the massive stone bridge. And Auntie's sweet breads. The sight of so many shops and the temple compounds was a bit overwhelming for them. Kymeth and Kat kept them focused through the streets and out past the crowds to a stone building with a wheel sticking out from its side into the passing river. The wheel turned slowly in the current with a steady rumble as it did. As they approached the building, a large, ruddy, bald man with a fiery red beard, a singed leather apron, and hands the size of mauls came bursting out. Several young apprentices trailed after him.

"Kymeth, so good to see you! Our kinsmen had been making their way over the mountain for the past few weeks. Its all desolation in Robatshire and the coast. No fell creatures have come over the mountain, though. No, I'm sorry...no word of your
man, my brother. Nor is there word of our father. Soon we will have to convene the elders but we'll not talk of that now. You say my nephew Dafydd is bound for Ty Arawn? Yes, I can see the look in his eyes. They will welcome him and he will find it home. Jon has a bit of that look as well, the death rune is strong on both of them. And you? You want a meeting with the Niwc? That should be easy enough to arrange for tomorrow. For now, we have set a table for you and your band. Welcome home to Selwynshire!"


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