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Stormclouds on the Horizon

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Stormclouds on the Horizon

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:46 am

Where do I begin? At the beginning? Before the beginning? When I first discovered ‘the Problem’? There are many places my story can begin, but perhaps the story that truly needs to be told, is not mine at all... That story would be of my mother.

It is not a pleasant story, and I question whether it is right for me to use our true names. Amaera Dwinrae. There, it’s been written. In your language her name translated to Swansong, and as I heard it she did have a lovely voice. Our... Her family name... ‘Walkers in the Powers of Light’? Yes... I recognize the irony.

One thing I want known, is that she was a good person. A kind gentle soul by everyone’s word of honor. While she lived there was never a harsh word spoken about her. A priestess of the goddess Desna, she spent her life trying to help others. You’ll see what that earned her.

To be honest, I only know the stories by word of mouth. She died giving birth to me, the first death that can be laid at my feet. Kadrethi Dwinrae, my Atartoro, or Mother’s brother raised me. He named me Nuari, or ‘Hopeful Spring.’ When asked, he’d say that I was his hope for the future. The only bright spot after the loss of his sister. I wonder what he thinks now?

I get ahead of myself. This tale is about my mother.

The subject of Amaera was always a sad one to my Atartoro. When I was young and I longed to know more about her, or my father... That subject apparently hurt Kadrethi, though I never knew why. Fool that I was, I would keep asking hoping for some new sliver of information.

The story he told was very basic, but as a child I was content with it. In this story, the kind and noble priestess was kidnaped by bad men. Until her heroic brother tracked down the evil doers and rescued her and slayed her captors!

It was clean, neat, and like most stories only held a kernel of the truth. Still as a child that was all I ever knew... of my father Kadrethi would tell me nothing. As I grew older his answers seemed less and less satisfying. I know now that he simply didn’t know the answer. Nor did he have any interest in finding the answers.

At least not before ‘the incidents’ began.

I do not recall the earliest ones, but I’ve heard that they scared my uncle something terrible. Objects that should have been far out of my reach, flying through the air to me. When I was upset a general... uneasiness would grow in those around me. By the time I was Thirty, my uncle suspected something was very wrong with me. Still he kept it to himself. Other elves began to avoid me. I was given the name Stormcloud by my peers. I hated it before, but now I feel it suits me a little better than my mother’s ‘Walker in the Power’s of Light.’

My ‘abilities’ were strictly forbidden to use. It was difficult to remember sometimes, and I would open a door or light a candle without touching it. When he found out about it, his temper would flare. I didn’t understand when I was young, but I do now... The powers do not come from a good place. They must be contained... and like a flower in a cave, hopefully they will wither and die.

But they don’t seem to be... They seem to only be getting stronger. The thought of my future scared my uncle, and now it scares me... but more on that later.

Despite our secrecy, my... lapses came more and more frequently. Eventually my secret was discovered, and I was openly shunned. When I further pressed Atartoro on the matter, he told me more of the story.

The ‘bad men’ were Chelaxians. At the time the word had no meaning to me. Humans, to say the least didn’t affect us much in the Mierani forest. Now I know better. It takes more than a tree line to keep some evil at bay.

My mother was visiting her brother, and simply did not arrive. Kadrethi was beside himself with worry, and after a few days with no news, he went in search of her. A ranger of some renown, he left feeling confident, but soon that feeling faded. It took him too long he said. If she was in danger, he suspected she would already be dead by the time he found her.

He didn’t go into the details of the search, and I didn’t press for details. Fact remains when he did find her, she was still alive. Though not all of her survived as he’d come to learn. Again he refused to go into details, and with the look of horror in his eyes, I was glad he didn’t continue. All I learned that day, was that Chelaxian’s had needed her for something. Some pact or deal they were trying to forge with a demon or god. What they had intended for her nobody knew, and I get nauseous thinking of the possibilities.

He admitted the lack of knowledge was his own fault. When he saw his dear sister in such dire straits, righteous fury took over and he slew every last one of his enemies that day. He thought they’d won. Gingerly he’d taken his sister back to his home and cared for her. But she was never the same.

Amaera no longer ‘Walked with the Powers of Light.’ Nor did she ever sing again. Something inside her died that day. She never fully recovered. Worse yet, after a few months it was determined that she was with child... me. When she would speak, she refused to discuss who the father was. Kadrethi told me he was certain she had no serious suitors before ‘the incident.’ So he had been certain that it had been one of the Chelaxians. He took some comfort in the knowledge they were all dead.

Comfort was in short supply though. She did not survive my birth and he chose to raise me as his own. He hoped the evil that had touched our lives was over. I fear he was wrong. So did he...

He finally told me that his fears had manifested with my powers. What I had foolishly considered a novelty or something that made me special, terrified him. He did not know what the Chelaxians were ‘buying’ or what the ‘cost’ had been... but he was convinced that Amaera had been chosen. Whether because of her innate goodness, or an attack on the goddess she served he did know. He had hoped that the cost had died with her... but now, with my abilities... he was convinced it was about me.

After all this time, I still don’t know what to think. Many people believe they were born for a reason. Most hope it is to make the world a better place. I don’t suffer under THAT illusion. Whatever the Chelaxians had in mind, it was NOT for the good of the world.... However, that brings up the all important question... What WAS I born for... Why was my mother chosen, who was my father?

That is the thing that chills me to the bone. Not knowing who... or WHAT my father was... Nuari. Hopeful spring... When my uncle first saw me, he had been full of hope. That maybe.. Just maybe... my mother had some secret lover before the attack. That I had been formed from love...

He held tight to that hope until the day my powers started happening. See... he hoped it had been some Elven friend of hers... he’d feared it was one (or more) of the Chelaxians... but the powers shattered even those fears.

See... the Chelaxian’s are a human nation, and everyone my uncle killed that day was human. But when he told me this story in my eightieth year one thing was frighteningly obvious. The blood in my veins didn't come from any human!

For years, I had heard how much I looked like my mother, but now instead of it being a connection to the woman I didn’t know... it was the absence of any trace of my father that filled my thoughts. The powers didn’t come from an Elf, though elf I was... My father wasn’t a human cultist...

WHO

WAS

HE!


What ritual was going on that my uncle interrupted? DID he interrupt it? What did my mother ‘buy’ for the humans? Was she just a random gift for some demon or dark god and I an unfortunate byproduct... or was I intentionally created that day?

And if so... for what purpose?
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Colin Marcus
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Age : 40
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