Salus: Until The End
Mama followed/honored two sprites. One of them was Jernviro, the sprite of Love, and she was a sprite that was respected and alright to honor. However mother also honored Niarkos. He was not so liked among the Rilken, for he was the sprite of betrayal yet Mother…Mother honored him all the same. She didn’t like us speaking about him to other Rilken, and we certainly weren’t allowed to tell anybody that she honored him. I didn’t understand then but, hearing about what others think of him as an adult, I certainly understand it now. She used to always wear a sash of bells to honor Jernviro, and purple pendant to honor Niarkos, along with possessing a spider web scarf.
Cycles passed of our mother being alone when, finally, she remarried. My step-father’s name is lost on me now, but he was a good man…a good father to use both. He cast fire magicks and they were gorgeous, watching the flames dance in his hands. However even once mama married again we didn’t stop moving around until Shay was born.
Shay was nearly ten years mine and Tawni’s younger, but we loved her all the same. We welcomed her with open arms into the world. She stayed with mother most of the time, but when she was with us we started teaching her how to wield a blade. She was getting pretty good at Tet-Sharda, which Tawni learned from a young age, and Shai’Ir, which was my specialty. I also casted of earth magicks and tended to honor our Sprite of Earth and Strength. It seemed that Shay was attempting to learn magicks as well. I could see her practicing the gestures she saw our mother, father, and I did.
We…We were happy then. Everything might not have been perfect, but we had a familia…we had a life. I…I had a home. But of course, fate always has a different plan for us.
I came home one day from beating some of the locals at cards. I instantly could tell something was wrong because I couldn’t hear the jingle of bells, a tell-tale sign our mother was inside cooking something delicious for supper. I instantly dropped into a more stealthy stance, quietly approaching our caravan. We had it stationed here for the past month while Shay was sick.. As I approached the door I heard no noise, nothing to signify that anyone was in there.
I opened the door and…I immediately wished that I hadn’t. Blood pooled on the floor, deep gashes cut into my mother and father, both of them lying side by side. I gasped, trying to catch my breath as I took in what I was seeing. I stumbled back outside and around to the back of the cabin. I just walked in one direction, not thinking until I reached some point in the forest where we would play. I looked up only to see Shay laying there, her dagger in one hand, eyes opened wide.
I stared in horror, and then saw a twitch, her finger around her dagger. My lips stuttered as I recalled the incant to try and heal her, watching as it only mended her wounds and eased her pain. Her eyes fluttered open for only a moment, looked at me directly. She smiled briefly, and then her eyes closed and she fell completely limp. I took Shay’s dagger from her open hand, sliding myne own into my boot as I slid hers into my sheath.
I scooped Shay’s body in my arms and made my way back to our home. There I laid their bodies peacefully inside the house, mother and father holding hands, Shay lying between them. Then I heard noises, someone calling, someone looking for my familia. I…I wasn’t thinking straight. I should have stayed, but I didn’t. I grabbed Shay’s body back up and hurried from the house, laying her down to rest in the forest where she’d be safe until I could return, saying my prayers to the sprite of earth as I walked away.
I didn’t know I would never see her again. I didn’t know that I would never be able to bury her as I should have.
I made camp in the forest for the night, hiding up in the trees as the dangers surrounding the city and camp were well known and the higher up you could go, the safer you were.
It took me another few weeks to reach the city she spoke of, where I made a living as an innkeeper’s helper and bard for the rest of the cycle. There was word of the King of its kuewn getting married to a Goldenroot, a family name I knew all too well. I gave the innkeeper a two weeks warning, and after that I began my travels south to the City of Mercadia. I figured I’d keep my identity a secret, for I never know when those who disliked difference would be about. I had no money, and thought that, perhaps, a small family relic, an ancients child toy of some kind, and thought that a guild in the city would buy it. I was laughed out of the guild and, in anger, threw it down on the ground. A compartment popped open and a small scroll popped out of it.
In front of me was a flier asking for brave adventurers to go to another dig…Perhaps I’d find a good artefact there.