Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lariah

   “Master Ethan, can you tell me what happened the night I arrived here?” Lariah fixed her aged master with a very direct stare as she waited for a response taking note of how his eyes narrowed and the lines now covering his face seemed to tighten. He was preparing a pot of tea with an unhurried grace as though he had forever to get the job done.
   “I can tell you little that you do not know already, young one.” He looked at her hiding his examination of her under his peaceful veneer. She still looked like she had not aged a day past 25. Since the night she had arrived Lariah had grown into a stunning woman with elf like poise and grace. It was still hard to believe that the small pail skinned baby had grown to be a woman just over two meters tall with hair so blond it appeared white, and eyes that were a piercing light blue. Taken as a whole, this young woman was stunning and she had long ago taken to wearing a covering over her face when ever she went to town to avoid the stares of the local men. Lately there seemed to be a change in her. It was only noticeable when he carefully watched her. While she is always a wonderful student and a compassionate aid in the local town, there was a difference deep inside her of late; if he could just put his finger on it.
   “I know someone left me at the steps of the monastery 20 years ago, but I would like to hear everything you remember about that night, any detail might be a clue or a piece I can put in the puzzle some time in the future.”
   “You are worried that my time in this plane is coming to an end and you want the details before I move on, is that it?” The old master grinned and poured the hot water into the pot containing a mixture of spices that would take the edge off of the ache in his old bones.
   “That is a rather morbid way of putting it, but yes, my interests are along those lines,” Lariah replied after a short pause. She rose from the table crossing the room to pick up two small cups then returned to her seat as she placed them on the table. Lariah waited patiently while the man took his seat across from her and filled each cup placing the pot off to the side. He muttered a short incantation and waved his hand at the incense burner igniting the contents and releasing the soothing scent of herbs. He picked up his cup and after taking a sip, he leaned back, his eyes glazing over slightly as he began to recall the events of that evening.
The night had been like any number of others that Ethan had been out on watch even though there was truly no fear of the monastery being attacked or robbed, but having someone on guard helped teach him and his fellow students a practical way to apply the discipline of body and mind that they focused on each day. He kept his mind clear using the same methods that he applied to spell casting to allow him to notice any changes in the sounds of the night. He moved with silent grace more for the practice than the need. There is a wonderful chorus to be heard in the dark if one took the time to listen and being alone in the dark like this was something he enjoyed immensely. He moved slowly around the inside of the monastery walls taking in the sights of the beautifully sculpted tree and gardens, reveling in the background music played so masterfully by the crickets and frogs that came out as the sun descended.
   Something, some out of place sound in the dark, caused Ethan to freeze in mid step, and he turned his head slowly trying to locate what anomaly and grabbed a hold of his unconscious. The adrenaline rush that sped up his heart was causing a problem, all he could hear was the racing of his heartbeat in his ears drowning out the symphony he had been immersed in. He deliberately slowed his breathing and forced his heart to quiet itself as he continued to stain to hear the sound once more. He could still hear all the crickets and frogs so whatever it was that he had noticed managed not to disturb them at all. After several minutes he considered the fact that he could have been mistaken, but years of training taught him to pay very close attention to his instincts and unusual feelings.
   He closed his eyes and whispered a quick invocation creating an orb of power in front of him. With eyes still closed he willed the orb to move away from him and towards the front gate a few dozen meters from where he stood. With practiced ease he changed the way he viewed the world so that he was now seeing everything the orb could see. As the orb floated swiftly towards the opening in the wall he vision went with it. Ethan’s quick eye for detail immediately noticed the small bundle in the middle of the path and he will the ob closer to study it. It was a bundle of skins, not local ones he noticed, but the white coloring gave rise to the possibility that it was a fur from one of the white wolves of the north. As he watched the bundle it seemed that it moved a little, but he took the time to explore the entire area outside the gate before releasing his extended sight and opening his eyes. There was no sign of anything outside, no tracks, no unusual shadows, no bent blades of grass, and no one rushing away from the area so he decided to approach the parcel to find out what was inside.
   When he bent down and pulled the top of the fur back he found himself gazing at a beautiful baby girl not more than a few days old with crystal blue eyes and an alert gaze. He was stunned. The monastery was not a place to leave an orphan, which was more the churches business then the pastime of a group of monks that counted no females among their number. Someone had made a mistake, but he had no choice but to take the infant up in his arms and bring it in out of the chill of the night air. It appeared that a couple monks would be making a trip to the church in the morning to deliver the child to someone who could properly care for her. He went quickly to the grand master’s room to wake him and figure out how this would be handled.
   He knocked quickly on the door and when he was told to enter he stepped in to the small room closing the door behind him. He calmly relayed the story about finding the child and passed the baby to the aged grand master when he asked to see her. He stood waiting as the old man cast a diving upon the child.
   “She is to stay with us,” the old man said quietly. “I am unable to see all the details as clearly as I should, but it appears that this young one is to play an important part in the future of the realm. It is by no mistake that she was placed in our care.”
   Ethan nodded to acknowledge the order even as his mind spun at the unexpected reply.
   “Seek out any advice you may need from women in the village, but she is yours to raise and teach. She will be staying in your quarters for now.” The old master turned to put out the light waiting till Ethan left to look up at the ceiling of his room. “I have no idea what game you are playing at, but we will do out part,” he whispered to the heavens. He received silence in reply and shrugged before putting out his lamp and lying back down.

3 comments:

  1. Good start to what I hope is a longer narrative.

    Watch the tenses, though. And learn how to use commas!

    ReplyDelete