A Returning thwarted

EVENTS NEWS #35
Date: 8/15/2013 at 19:04
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: A Returning thwarted

Navarsa walked slowly, her eyes focused on a point near her feet. The wind whistled through the trees, and Navarsa drew her cloak more tightly around her shoulders. Winter was giving way to spring, but it was always cold in the Northlands.

It was odd, she reflected, that when last she had last passed this way, mere weeks ago, she had been running, and in the opposite direction. She had woken up one morning and known - known, as she knew her name - that her home was no longer with the People of her birth. Home was west, in the fabled city of light, with Aglaranna and her court. Serene in this knowledge, she had nonetheless recognized her immediate danger.

Her kin would recognize the change in her immediately, she had known. She would almost certainly be killed, as so many who sought escape were. Her best chance was in leaving without being seen, and so she had quietly slipped away in the pre-dawn gloom. For most of the first day, she had bent her considerable knowledge of hunting, tracking, and the local terrain to hide her tracks. Then, hoping she had bought herself some time, she had abandoned care for speed, and proceeded toward the Teeth of the World with all haste.

Several days into the Teeth, she had become guardedly optimistic. There were no signs of pursuit, and she was approaching the fabled Lake of the Sky and the territory of the Eledhel. Then, from the shadows had stepped forth a cloaked man she would have thought invalid, so scarred and withered was he, but for his confident stride. She had reached for her knife, alarmed, but he was too fast. Reversing the cane in his hand, he drove its pommel into her knees with two strikes - impossibly strong, impossibly fast - and she crumpled, screaming in pain.

A day had passed.

Snapping from her reverie, Navarsa paused to assess her surroundings. It would not be long, now. Her village was lightly guarded, but in another few minutes she would be seen and recognized. It would have been better if the mysterious man had simply killed her...

...for she had been found, and not by the Eledhel. She had woken from a fitful sleep to see her mate's brother, Kothrasus, leering over her. She had hoped then for a quick end to her life, but instead of slitting her throat, he had called companions. A sizeable party had cut her off - likely with magic - and tracked her down.

The one called Avye had attempted to console her, and the priestess Tethysia had healed her legs. But the magician Malapardis had reached into her soul, torn out her life, and replaced it with Valheru power. He claimed it had worked to "save" others from Aglaranna in the past, and perhaps it had. But not for her.

They had released her upon "curing" her, but once the initial shock of what had happened to her had faded, she felt nothing so much as despair. Malapardis had taken her thirst for the Eledhel from her, but in its place was an emptiness, like hunger that she felt could never be satisfied.

Navarsa paused once more, as the soft tread of a boot on snow drew her back to the present. The sound had come from over the next rise. She had made no effort to hide her coming; no doubt a pair of Moredhel guards from her village would soon descend upon her. It was inevitable, she knew. Free in Sar-Sargoth, word of her return had already begun to spread. Her life was a stain on the honor of her husband and her clan.

She would have been hunted. Perhaps this way they would simply kill her quickly. The thought almost made her smile.

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The gentle tap-tap-tap of the cane ceased, as the cowled figure abruptly halted. He tilted his head and cast his gaze north, as if listening. After a moment, he curled the scarred remnants of his lips into a satisfied smile, and resumed walking.


Penned by my hand on the 15th of Agaeis, in the year 49.