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Marcia Rugby's travels in the north

Marcia Rugby was the youngest of three daughters of a Trading house in Carlin. Her family was heavily involved in the establishment of a trading outpost at Svargrond before the years of the plague of sea serpents. Marcia was entrusted with the tiresome negotiations with the barbarians of the north. To gain their trust she had to pass the infamous barbarian rite of passage and lived with the shamans on the Isle of Okolnir. Her determination, her iron will and her willingness to adapt and learn their culture duly impressed the barbarians. It was during the time that she spent with the shamans that a growing threat raised its ugly head - the threat of the sea serpents. Although messengers sent by her anxious family reached her in time, informing her that the last ships were about to leave for Carlin, she made the fateful decision to stay with the shamans, in accordance with her agreement with them.

Upon her return to Svargond the majority of the people from Carlin had left, unwilling to risk getting stranded away from their homes and families. It was apparent that the sea serpents were not a passing threat. Marcia, however, was the daughter of a Trading House, and not one to sit around and wait for fortune to turn. She took her fate into her own hands and continued with her family's aim of setting up the trading outpost, ready for when the sea routes would become safe for ships once more. In order to make her venture a success she decided to explore the icy lands to find out more about the natural resources to be found there and what goods could be traded with the natives. She ventured far and wide, amassing a great deal of knowledge. However, it was during one of her more ambitious forays into the wilderness that she was captured by barbarian raider tribes. Her fluent use of the native tongue which belied her foreign appearance amazed her captors and she managed to negotiate to meet their leader. She was taken before one of the tribe's ice witches. Once more, her considerable skills in negotiation enabled her to convince the witch that she had to see the high ice witch Yakchal herself.

Marcia so fascinated Yakchal with her stories from different lands and their wonders that she kept her interested enough to not be killed. She even managed to gain her trust enough to live in relative luxury in her captivity. Although it is unclear exactly how many years Marcia was in captivity, she was there long enough for the sea serpents to have been driven from the waters around Svargond. Rumours of the reopening of the trade channels reached Marcia, even in the isolated camp where she was held. In order to escape, she disguised herself as an ice witch and left Yakchal's hideout without rousing suspicion. Her long internment in the camp and her contact with the barbarians had taught her the necessary skills for survival in that unforgiving wilderness and finally she reached Svargond. It was here that she was reunited with her sisters, who had given her up for dead. She left with them to Carlin, but, too long used to a life of travel, she was unable to settle for long before wanderlust overcame her.

She decided to set out on an expedition to the Shattered Isles - an expedition from which she never returned. Her family waited in vain for news of her and were left to speculate whether her ship had fallen prey to one of the vicious and sudden storms known to haunt that region, whether it had fallen foul of pirates or whether it had been the victim of a Quara attack. Although the rest of Carlin presumed Marcia dead, her sisters continued to light a candle in Marcia's room, in the hope that she would, one day, return.

Notes

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