Emeric nodded. He knew it wasn't really his fault, but deep inside he couldn't help but feel responsible. They hadn't really followed the son of their leader by choice, but by necessity. With rudimentary knowledge of plants and herbal remedies, the elderly and the helpless had come with him for the crossing. Most of them were trying to avoid being absorbed into the other nearby clanholds. This fate they thought would be worse than the attempt to join with their kin back in the Vale.
If only he had known.
"I cannot lay the blame on either Rikard or Tristan, same as you. They are trustworthy, though I've always wondered what Rikard planned on doing with Tristan and his men once he returned. No doubt their intentions were different than what they are now." he paused as Cuthred likened Rikard to his own father and the young Velian could not help but stifle a laugh. "You speak the truth, and truth be told, Rikard seems to be a father figure for the both of us, for I also liken him to my late father. Stern, full of controlled anger and his mind..." he smiled. "...it is like tempered steel the way he has kept his cool when I have spoken out of line. Perhaps he is better at that than my father, in fact."
The man scratched his chin pensively. "I think Tristan is a bit of a mystery to me still. A quiet, reliable man who probably revels in always having something to do, something to strive for. Which seems to be sticking with Rikard, for now. He's knowledgeable, but hard to approach if you ever want instruction or tutelage. He's a bit dry, to tell you the truth. Though did you get to listen to what he had to say last night? He probably knows just as much as we do as far as what the future looks like."
The Velian's cheeks went briefly red as Braithe was mentioned and he struggled to put thoughts into words for a little while. "I just like her and hope she likes me back just as much." he offered, stammering a little, but slowly regained his composure. "If I ever settle down, I'd want a woman like her: Strong-willed and caring." he nodded, staring at the pouring skies outside and grinned. "While we're on the subject of women. What about you? Think there's one for you in Stromland?"