Erick was not used to trains.
Of course, even with his situation, affording a ticket was not beyond his finances, and the sheer convenience of travelling such vast distances in a relatively short and comfortable span of time was too much to pass up.
All he knew for sure was that Farron Hills would be the end of his journey, in one way or another. His money was long spent, and all he now owned was his father's sword, steel and weathered from long periods of use.
The presence of other armored and well-equipped travelers on the train did nothing to ease his concerns. It seemed that he was not the only one to catch wind of the Beast of Farron Hills, or so the flyer had named it.
"You're looking worse for wear." A voice piped up over the dull echoes of conversation in the train, and Erick turned his head to see the slender form of a wood elf girl, two large satchels slung over her shoulders as she looked him over, eventually presenting a gloved hand. "Marraya Taibyrd."
To his surprise, Erick's initial assessment of her physicality was completely off as he reluctantly accepted the handshake. Her arm was well-toned with muscle, and she squeezed his hand with remarkable strength.
"Erick Ovenna." He cleared his throat, lowering his voice slightly at the mention of his name. Reaching up and adjusting her messy brown hair, Marraya smiled at him as she took a seat next to him, setting down her enormous bags with some care.
"Heading to Farron Hills, I'd wager?" She spoke up, leaning back in her seat and cracking her neck. "Same as most of these muscleheads."
"Something like that." He admitted uncomfortably, leaning away from her as she stretched her arms. Her face was round and smooth, much like elves tended to be, though her messy hair somewhat deflected the ethereal beauty she possessed. A closer look also revealed that she was wearing what was clearly blacksmith's clothing, badly burnt and marked through repeated usage. "You're a craftswoman?"
"Yup! Blacksmith, woodwork, clothmaking, I've even worked jewelry a fair bit." She beamed, thumping her chest, flat as it was to the point it was difficult to determine if she was indeed a woman or merely a thin boy with toned muscles, save for her voice.
"You're going to Farron Hills, too? What would a craftsworker like you be headed out there for?"
"You kidding? The amount of money I'll get from repairing all these folks' broken equipment will be more than enough to pay for a few weeks of fine eating." She smirked, eying his sword. "Y'know, that's a fancier piece than most people in your line of work ever get to lay eyes on, much less carry it around."
Silently gripping the hilt of his sword protectively, he eyed her suspiciously.
"Oh, jeez, quit your worrying. I'm a blacksmith, not a thief." Rolling her eyes, she reached into one of her bags and shuffled around the contents for a few moments, eventually producing a small cloth and a flake of a yellow oily substance. "Use this, it'll keep it clean and prevent some damage."
Hesitating, he accepted her gift, pocketing the bottle and cloth as he let go of his sword. She grinned, rubbing her neck.
"Consider that an incentive to come back and spend money sometime." Marraya giggled at his uncomfortable expression, her brown eyes sparkling with energy. "You're not used to conversation with strangers, are you?"
"No, I can't say I am." He admitted tersely. "Thank you for the oil, in any case."
"Best get ready to push and shove, Mr. Ovenna." Marraya offered, gesturing to the other adventurers in the train. "You're not the only one after their fortunes out there…and they're not going to share or play nice."
Erik grimaced at her words, an uncomfortable truth. He had crossed paths with more than one adventurer who had taken their activities to criminal extents, from simple robbery to rape and murder.
"You're not too concerned." He commented, and she gave him a sly wink before reaching down and partially revealing a knife hidden in her boot.
"Sometimes they try. Most think twice after the first loses an eye." She grinned toothily, a discomforting expression crossing her face. "This isn't my first trip to a frontier."
Glancing towards the window, his newfound companion shuffled her feet, readjusting her boot and leaning back in her seat.
"Better get some rest, steelsword. We're almost there, and there won't be time for rest until long after." She suggested, leaning her head back and closing her eyes.
Erik watched her for a moment, turning his attention to the window soon after. The whirring green forms of trees were all that he saw now, their entrance into the valley complete as they neared Farron Hills.