AN: Taji got me into Guild Wars 2 (we’re late with the times ok lol) and our two rangers have been seen running along Hoelbrak from time to time, with her viking Gridlesser and my human Korin Keeper. They’re both rangers and they seem to be an unlikely duo that would become friends while having shenanigans together. Welp, I have a few ideas from us playing together that make me wanna write drabbles so here we go. There should be a few coming in depending on if I find the time to write so hope you guys enjoy! And I really hope I’m not screwing with Taji’s character here. Enjoy!
The crackling flames in the fireplace were a welcome distraction as Gridlesser settled in for the evening, the tavern oddly quiet despite it filled with life during the snowstorm beyond the walls. At her feet, her fern hound curled up and accepted the warmth with a toothy grin, its eyes closed off to rest up before their upcoming trek through the cold in the morning.
“Rest up pup, you’ve earned it,” the norn ranger cooed from her seat before raising her mug of ale to her lips, accepting the warm brew and grinning at the delicious taste lingering with the foam. “We’ve both earned a bit of peace huh? At least until we see Eir tomorrow. She’ll likely have another task for us to look into.”
The hound continued to rest, its only response being a huff at her words while the woman laughed. Her beasts all had their own glimmering personalities but the fern hound was probably one of her favorites to date. Growing up in the warm forest climate with the Sylvari, it had rarely experienced the cold until it found a home with its norn master Gridlesser. Following her into Hoelbrak, the beast found out for the first time what the cold truly was…and it was not fond of it in the least. The chilling snow beneath its paws was near painful during their treks through the mountain paths and there were times where it would grow an attitude with its master for torturing it in such ways.
“You’ll live pup, you’ll live!” Gridlesser chimed as she reached a hand to scratch the top of the beast’s skull, a purring sound emerging from its throat at the proper treatment. “Don’t you worry, everything will be-.”
The woman’s words trailed off as a wave of chill entered the tavern, various patrons eyeing the doorway with disdain at who brought in such a wave of cold. A large norm man stood there with a wide grin as he waved, his carefree attitude quickly matched by a small form at his side. A human female stood dressed all-in-all terribly for the chilled weathers, her cheeks and nose reddened from the cold matching her curly shoulder-length hair atop her skull. At her belt, an axe and a warhorn sat perched on each hip and at her feet stood the large form of a river drake, the beast standing protectively before his master with a toothy grin.
The crowd all huffed while some demanded the door be closed, the newcomers quickly abiding the demands before brushing off the snow from their shoulders. The norn man soon let his eyes latch to Gridlesser’s and she quickly recalled where she’d seen him before. A regular here at the tavern, Malacox was quite the merchant of sorts in Hoelbrak and often swung her a deal on equipment repairs and items when she was in the area. The brawny figure began his trek across the tavern to her table, the human ranger quickly in pursuit as she grinned. Her eyes were latched onto the fern hound resting on the ground, a sparkle of happiness evident as she skipped over beside Malacox.
“I knew I’d find you here, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind!” Malacox boomed in greeting as he halted beside Gridlesser, the norn ranger eyeing him with a nod before glancing towards the small human beside him. “Found this little tyke stumbling about at the trades keep looking for-.”
“I’m not a tyke!” The human interrupted with a pout as she huffed, glaring up at her escort who gave a laugh at her actions. “I’m a grown woman thank you very much!”
“Aye, a grown human is still a tyke to the lot of us!” The merchant joked, receiving a jab in his ribs by the human; an action proving fairly difficult by the expansive size difference between the two. He would have continued his teasing if not for the snarling growl from below, the woman’s river drake eyeing the man with distaste. Quickly, the human bent down to carefully pet the beast’s snout, calming it down before it acted on impulse for protection. “Anyway, this here is the one you seek by the name of Gridlesser. She’s quite the ranger from my experiences with her and she definitely matches the description of who you were looking for.”
The human woman looked up at the merchant with a grin before lifting up to her feet so she could meet Gridlesser’s eyes with a nod. “Yep, there’s no doubt in my mind you’re the one I’ve been searching for. I could already tell by the beast at your feet that I’ve definitely found the one I’ve been seeking.”
“Seeking me? What’s all this about?” Gridlesser responsed with a raised brow, the human coming beside her with an outstretched hand. “Wh0-?”
“My name is Korin Keeper from Divinity’s Reach and this here is my pal Fadi. I’ve come here seeking the ranger named Gridlesser for help. I learned of you from a mutual friend, a sylvari from the Grove. She said to seek you out and so here I am.”
The norn woman was suddenly at her feet, the chair kicked out from under her as she eyed the human for answers. Her fern hound reluctantly scrambled to its feet, its back arched as it prepared to lunge on command. “What happened to Bellemere? What’s going on here?”
“Bellemere’s fine; she’s a friend of mine who happened to lead me in your direction,” Korin answered with an even stare on the norn woman. She was oddly calm in a room full of towering norns, something Gridlesser took note of; she was a strange human indeed.
“You scared me, I thought-,” the woman began but paused when she realized what was being said to her. “Bellemere sent you to find me? What for?”
“Simple,” the human continued, her grin forming on her lips as she mused along. “I need the help of someone strong and worthy of the challenge I’m currently faced with. When I turned to Bellemere, she led me to you. So Gridlesser, I need your help and I won’t be taking no for an answer.”
“Strong words for a tyke,” Malacox interrupted with a slap on the human’s shoulder, the woman cursing at the strength he displayed despite his casual demeanor.
“I’m not a tyke!” Korin lashed out with her tongue before gesturing towards Gridlesser. “I’ll explain everything if you’d give me a chance. So what will it be? I trust Bellemere’s words and judgement which is why I’m here.”
The norn ranger surveyed the human before her with a raised brow, taking in every inch of her while she spoke. She certainly seemed strong despite her humanly qualities and the beast at her side wasn’t an easy one to tame for the likes of most that shared in the art of the beast tamer. And she was entrusted by Bellemere, a sylvari whom Gridlesser trusted without a doubt. Perhaps it was best to listen to the small one come to seek her help. With a loud sigh, the norn woman gestured to the open seat at the table before she retrieved hers from the ground. Her fern hound eased back to the floor and began to rest once more, allowing the rangers to tend to their business.
“Well I suppose a friend of Bellemere is a possibly friend of mine. Sit down and let’s talk business then,” Gridlesser stated with a grin, settling in her seat while she watched the human mimick the gesture with a wide grin. “Nice to meet you, Korin Keeper.”
“And I, you, Gridlesser,” the human chimed with a nod as Malacox patted her shoulder before escaping to the bar for a drink of ale of his own. “I have a feeling we’re going to work amazingly well together; Bellemere certainly thinks so.”
“Well if Bellemere thinks so,” the norn replied, a chuckle escaping her lips as she prepared herself for what was to come next. “It certainly must be true.”