Entry for the mini-bardics

PUBLIC NEWS #19283
Date: 08/15/2013 at 06:39
From: Shirszae Nynniaw, Argent Keeper
To : The Clan of Scarlatti's Commune
Subj: Entry for the mini-bardics


This is merely the first part of a much longer story I might continue at some point. It begins below:
---

The white wind blew from the blasted surface of the broken prairie. Instinctively, men and women all brought their gloved hands to the various necks of their many bundles of clothing, all probably wishing for garments just a little bit fatter, enough to be slightly warmer. But for the girl, no matter how many things were piled upon her small shoulders, there never seemed to be any warmth.

She was a diminutive thing, granted, and bleached pale by the scouring wind that was ever present. A ghost, but for her long dark hair.

Because of her curious appearance, she was handled to the town shaman for training. Who better to appease the ghosts of the dead and the spirits of the world, than one who could pass for a ghost while living? That was their line of thinking. Anyway, the girl was handled to the shaman, who was by all accounts a good, albeit wizened, man. All one could do was hope he would prove enough to guard and care for our scrawny, ghost-seeming little child.

Upon meeting her for the first time, the old man tilted his head and shrugged, not even bothering to meet her eyes as he pointed her to a low altar on the back of his home, full of skulls and fetishes and a myriad other things the girl did not even have words for. She was not happy, for she missed her dad and mom, and so just nodded and sat on the earthen floor. "All life is sacred," she heard the old man murmur uncertainly as he trudged past. And in her heart was born a doubt. Was that regret, or an apology?

Thus began her life in apprenticeship.

---

The white wind would blow on the day marked for her anointment. So she knew the night before, as she started her vigil in front of the wasted altar she had come to know so well. Her old man's last instruction had been to finish fashioning the doll for the ritual, but she had done that ages ago. She cradled the finished thing on her arms now, an unfamiliar tingling filling her being as the howling outside became more and more imperious.

She examined the doll. Leather and white cloth haphazardly put together. The resemblance was faint, but present. Was that really enough? She sighed, a mild frown appearing on her features. No use for worrying. She would know soon enough.

Or would she? What would happen if she somehow failed? Was that even possible? There had never been another apprentice alongside her in all the years she had lived with the shaman, but she knew other places were different. Hers was the unusual case. And it had made her think she was safe. That her triumph was certain.

"All life is sacred. " She shivered. What had he meant anyway? The phrase had always haunted her, for he would blurt it at the oddest of moments, alone and when accompanied. Even worse, there was never any inflection to his utterings, as if stating a simple truth. Except...

A faint sheet of sweat broke on her forehead, but she forced out a small chuckle. How... silly of her. Yes.
It would be a long vigil, she reflected, closing her eyes. Her heart was still hammering, but there was nothing to do about that. She was nervous, and she was alone. Come morning all fears would disperse in the face of her victory.

"And I will do as I want, then," she mused, gazing at her doll, still trying to quieten her bothered heart.

"Live."

Penned by my hand on the 25th of Mayan, in the year 632 AF.