Contest Entry – The LetterReturn to: 2005 Contest (Autobiographies)
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Character Name: NightOwl
“Prithee pass on my kindest regards to thy wife, and again thank thee for thy letter”.
I stood watching as Marcus left the tavern, munching happily on the fresh apple I’d just given him in the hopes of sobering him up a little before he returned home. The letter in my hand was nothing more than a tattered and stained folded scrap of paper with the edges starting to furl but the seal was one I recognized and I paused before breaking the seal to read the news that Xiaver would have to tell.
Xiaver was to me my oldest and dearest friend, although many would call him nothing more than a servant who had gone out on his own to earn a living after the Master of the tavern had died. The tavern was left to me as I was for the most part considered Master Thompson’s daughter. Very few people knew that I myself was nothing more than a servant, sold to Master Thompson for a half filled pouch of gold coins by my devastated father after the death of my mother through childbirth. I have etched in my memory the look on my heartbroken fathers face as he softly planted a kiss on my forehead, bundled up my wee sister and grabbed the hand of my other sister, Gabby and walked slowly out of the tavern door to where my older brother, NightHawk was waiting.
His last words to me, ‘Be a good lass, NightOwl, as in thy heart I wilt remain with me till the day I leave this mortal soil.”
Was I only 8 then? 27 full seasons have passed since that day and still I can close my eyes and see the faces of my blood family before me. My father was right, in my heart my family has remained and my secret desire is to reunite with them one day.
Master Thompson was a humble working man and the smell of cider reeked strongly around him as he brewed his own cider from the apples gathered from the orchard out the back of the tavern. Tom, as I had affectionately come to call him was a good man, never losing the rough edges around the edges that it took to control a tavern full of drunken men on many occasions. I helped in the tavern gathering glasses and wiping tables throughout the evening avoiding making direct conversations with the customers, preferring to listen to tales of far-away places and wonderful adventures that were shared over many a bottle of cider or wine. Tom had shown me the ways of trading, teaching me when to smell a rat with only mouldy cheese to offer and when a sweet deal was staring me in the face with a small profit to be made. He would often say to me, ‘NightOwl, when thee hast grown may thee always remember that greed will only sustain thee for short periods, whereas trading for smaller profit will fill thy belly and with careful saving supply thee with the pretty things in life’.
My days were spent gathering apples and attending the orchard. I had become good friends with the old crone that lived in the far corner of the orchard. Tom had allowed her to stay on his land, why I know not and I never bothered to ask as she was there when I arrived. I’d come to call her Maggie but to the townsfolk of Trinsic and adjoining areas she was known as ‘Hag Mag’. I’d seen many townsfolk come and go leaving her ramshackle shack, carrying bottles or cloths filled with unusual potions. I learned that she was considered to be a local ‘Wicca’ who could cure common illness; baked apples for sore throats, fevers and inflammations, apples could be used to neutralise toxins in the blood, dried apple peel brewed into a tea which could ease rheumatic conditions. She had many other uses for apples and it was always a pleasure to visit her fragrant smelling shack with the aroma of apples stewing softly mingling with the other herbs and spices that hung around the walls. The orchard combined with Maggie’s skills provided a perfect partnership.
She is a kindly quietly spoken woman of few words who had taken it upon her shoulders to pass on to me her knowledge of nature and the ways of the magic folk to me. She shared with me many spells that could be produced by combining herbs and chanting special incantations. I spent countless hours with her in the fields gathering herbs and regents:
Nightshade also known as Belladonna, Deadly nightshade and Devil’s berries which she would combined with Aconite (Monks hood) in an ointment to produce the sensation of flying or used as a powerful sedative. I was always careful with Nightshade as nearly every part of this herb was poisonous and was used in many destructive spells.
Mandrake also known as Satan’s apple was used in strength potions. Women would often venture to Maggie’s door seeking help with fertility problems or hoping that a special love potion could be made for them. Mixing mandrake with wine and administered, as an anaesthetic was sought after if painful surgery was to be performed.
Ginseng grew in a small sheltered patch at the back of Maggies place. Of all the herbs this was the one that I admire the most. It’s blood red flower and dark green foliage reminded me a single rose. Its name derives from a Chinese renshen word meaning man-root. I’d seen Maggie grind its roots into a fine powder and use it in any potion that required healing properties or sometimes use it in protective spells.
Garlic is used to help the immune system to fight infection; a thick paste applied to open wounds would stop them turning septic. Maggie’s stews would always contain garlic as she said that it would help prevent colds and was good for the heart as it helped clear the blood. Maggie had a very strange habit of leaving a few cloves of garlic on the pathway to her home, telling me they were a humble offering to Hecate, which she said was an underworld goddess.
Maggie had other herbs and regents that we would collect at varying times of the year: The rich orange clumps of Blood Moss found only at the bottom of Swamp Cypress trees that grew in the wetter areas. Spiders Silk, Nox Crystals and Bat Wings that only Maggie would collect from the depths of a nearby cave and I’d shudder every time she would tell me she was going on one of these expeditions. There were vials of Daemon Blood, crates full of Pig Iron and the soft white powder that Maggie referred to, as Grave Dust was stored in jars. Some of these regents I was never to learn the purpose for, as Maggie had said that they would not help me in my life’s journey.
The garden that I was fortunate to help tend consisted of many, and some strange plants. Maggie would wander idly through her garden telling me about this plant and that plant describing in detail why she grew them and why they were important to us. Just some of my favourites were the poppy with their bright orange petals and snowdrops that looked like snow fallen across the ground in the middle of summer. There was even a large patch of Brambles that Tom would come down and pick juicy black berries from to use in his wine making before the Michaelmas celebration held on the 29th of September. It was one of my chores to feed the geese and only the plumpest of these would be used on Michaelmas Day. Tom would also carefully pick the small dark blue-black berries from the evergreen Juniper Bush and I would see him carrying a hand woven wicker basket full of berries off into the direction of his distilling shed.
With all that I learnt from her it was her gentle manner that stayed with me. She would often say to me, ‘Be kind wee Owl to the animals of this land, as there will cometh a day when they wilt protect thee and use thy magic to help others and to save thyself from harm’. She’d told me that I carried within me a special gift that animals would understand and all I needed to do was open myself to hear their language. I remember many joyful hours spent roaming through the orchard, the bird, rabbits, cats, neighbouring dogs and occasionally a brown bear would come up close to me and watch me intently. It had always fascinated me why they were attracted to me but I’d put it down to they knew that I meant them no harm.
When I was old enough I shared in more of the duties that came with the tavern, serving ale, listening for good trades, ordering buying and stocking the tavern with only the best.
‘Ye Old Keepers Inn’ was by far the best tavern for miles around. I would quietly practice all that Maggie had taught me out in the orchard on my own and I was now hearing the animals and found that even big black bears would allow me to talk and converse with them.
It was a cold winters night and the leaves on the 60ft ‘Osier Willow’ had long fallen, and the apple trees were inactive for the next few moon phases. Tom was away on a buying trip and I was left in charge of the tavern. Everything was normal, the patrons were all in high spirits, drinking ale, spinning their tall tales of adventures and others listening to the bard as he strummed his lute in one of the corners. I was used to seeing new faces in the tavern as travellers would come and go on their way through our parts, a few staying the night to sleep off the heavy effects of Tom’s extraordinary brews.
He was a fine gentleman as his clothes indicated that he was from a family of wealth and he was travelling with two others who seemed to be at his beck and call. They were going to be staying the night and I was showing them their respective rooms, when MiLord asks if there was a laundry service. I told him that there was indeed for only a few gold pieces and that he could leave his clothes outside his door and I would be back soon to tend to them. I remember that I had closed up the tavern for the night, stoked up the fire in order to dry the clothes and returned to gather up the bundle of fine linen that I now knew had to wash before morn.
“Cometh here wench” yelled the drunken Lord from behind the closed door.
“Aught, I can do for thee, MiLord” I whispered through the door so as not the disturb the other guests.
“Cometh here wench and take thy gold pieces as I shall be long gone by morns first light”, his voice had risen higher and I feared that he would awaken the others.
I was a fool to have entered his room and an inner fear engulfed me as soon as I stepped through the doorway. He was standing behind me already and had quickly closed the door and his almost naked body now stood between safty and me.
“Cometh girl, are thee not willing to giveth to me thy body for just a few gold pieces more?” he said as he reached out to grab me.
“Nay, MiLord thee have hadst too much to drink, mayhap sleep wouldst better serve thee?”
I cried firmly as I stepped backward avoiding his groping hands. I had not noticed the large chest that was directly behind me causing me to stumble backwards, dropping the pile of clothes and hitting my head on the bottom rail of the bed.
“Shhhh! Thee stupid wench, Dost thee want to waketh the whole tavern with thy whimpering?” I heard him say as his soft unsoiled hand came to cover my mouth.
The pain throbbing from my head and his body heavy on top of me was all too much, and I dreaded what was to come and was thankful when a rush of darkness overcame me. I blacked out.
I awoke to the silence in his room and there was no sign of him anywhere except for the gold pieces that where left on the walnut bedside table. I clutched to the linen to cover my naked body, the very tightly woven fabric being of high quality was reserved in the tavern for only the finer gentlemen and Lords of our land. All I wish to recall is that he was no gentleman and I’d wished that he’d been given one of the poorer rooms, as he deserved.
I would never have gotten through the next 9 full moons had it not been for my loving Maggie. Tom knew what had happened, how I know not as I never uttered a single word to him about that horrid night. When my tummy began to swell and before the shame was noticeable, Tom allowed me to move into Maggies until my time had come. It actually turned out to be a wonderful phase. I had plenty of time now to go back to practicing magic and I was becoming very strong and confident with casting spells, even experimenting and inventing a few of my own that failed always with a sad ‘fizzle’. I’d learnt how to help heal the animals and had never noticed before how the injured animals would somehow find their way to Maggie’s door.
I tried not to think about the new life that grew within my body every time it would kick my ribs. I tried not to love the little one that was conceived in one stolen moment of time. I remember it was the middle of the day when my birthing day arrived and Maggie had sent word to Tom.
Maggie was whispering things to me as she wiped my brow, “Take thy mettle from within thee, as this day will pass”.
As weak as I was I could hear Tom and a strangers voice outside. Straining to hear what Tom was saying, “It shouldst be long now, and thee can be on thy way.” “Maggie, who is here? Tell me who be the stranger outside?” I managed to mutter through puffs and pants.
“Hush Dear Owl! Save thy energy for what lies ahead. I wilt be here for thee, always.” Was that a tear that I could see in Maggie’s eye?
“Push my child, and all wilt be over!” With those last words of encouragement and taking in a deep breath, gritting my teeth and calling upon all the energy that I had left, I had beared down. After a few painful moments I heard the faint cry of my child, yes my child.
“Maggie, Prithee, Prithee show me!” but my words where falling on deaf ears as Maggie was prolifically cleaning up the wee infant and I saw the wrapped baby as she headed for the door. “Maggie!” I screamed “Maggie Wait! What is happening? Maggie Prithee!”
But she was gone. Tears began to fall as I realized what was happening. I could hear the rough yet somehow saddened voice of Tom. “Hie thee hence! Hie thee hence!”
Maggie returned to my side empty-handed, she leaned over me wiping away my salty tears and cradling me in her comforting arms and softly muttered “Wilt be all right my child, ’tis for the best for thee and I know in thy heart thy paths will cross again. Remember now the name of ‘Greybac’ for hence thee will findeth thy son. Rest now Owl, Rest.” With that I closed my swollen eyes and my last thoughts before sleep fell upon me was of that of the name ‘Greybac’
I recovered from the birth of my son and my life went back to how it was but somehow I was different. The bards that played in the tavern, sweet songs always seemed sadder, Tom rarely looked me in the eye anymore and even my beloved Maggie would appear to be too busy to sit and just chat with me over apple tea. I put my past behind me and continued to work at the Tavern attending everyone else’s needs. I’d become more of a loner than ever before and the only time that I enjoyed my day was when I was able to get outside into the orchard and talk with my animal friends. I didn’t have to work any more at this special gift it had become second nature now as all animals in my area were easy to understand and they came to me without me having to encourage them.
I thank my Lord for Xiaver, as he had become my only support and confidante. Xiaver, a man of a huge build and a cheeky dimple in his cheek had arrived at the tavern seeking employment and was very proud to be highly skilled as carpenter, a blacksmith and a tailor. Tom employed him on the spot, as he wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Xiaver was given board and full lodging and a few gold pieces each week in return for helping Tom in the distilling shed and helping in the general running and maintenance of the tavern. Xiaver’s blacksmithing skill had helped Tom improve many parts of his distilling equipment and his carpentry was soon put to good use repairing the splintered benches and tables in the tavern. In the late hours of the eve and sitting in a corner lit by a lantern, he could be found with needle and thread repairing bed linen and clothes that were in need of repairs. Xiaver was by far the best asset that ‘Ye Old Keeper Inn’ had. Besides me of course!
Did Tom know that he was sick when he employed Xiaver? Did Maggie know something that she wasn’t saying? Years passed with the changing of the seasons and it was on a warm late noon that I had noticed that Tom had not come down from his room yet. I knocked softly on his wooden door. There was no answer, a sudden wave of emptiness filled me as I entered his small room and the dim light that filtered through the window shone onto the serenely peaceful face of the man who had cared for me for the past 25 years. Tom had died in his sleep. Tom never replaced my father, nor did he try to, but he had always been kind, fair and in his own way loving towards me. Xiaver helped me bury him in the orchard where I knew he’d be happy as his final resting place and the now frail and feeble Maggie was present to mumble some last words over him.
Xiaver stayed a few more years until the lure of gold and the news of big money were to be made in the lush mountain valleys in a growing town of Delucia reached even our parts of the land. He was torn between the loyalty that he felt towards me and his dream of one-day owning land of his own. As I bid him farewell and made him promise to write I truly wished him well on his new journey. Now here I was standing holding my first letter in almost 2 years. My fingers trembled as I unfolded the paper to discover news of my friend.
Dearest NightOwl,I hast sent thee these words to beggeth thee to take thine map that I hath drawn for thee. Hie, follow it and cometh to me. I can only say to thee that I hath discovered much of thy family. Bring very few belonging with thee. I wilt have left word whither thee may findeth me every day with Adrian the Inn Keeper of the Barely Inn. I waiteth thy safe arrival.
May the Virtues smile upon thee Owl
It is a full days ride that thee must undertake. Leave before the birds break into morns song. Maketh thy way leaving Trinsic by way of Zena Butcher Shop and head south west, followeth the river all the way to the end. Stayeth on this path until thee reacheth a mountain, if thee pass a large lake thee are on the right path. When thee reacheth the mountain followeth it down southeast until thee reach the bottom. Stay near the mountain and followeth it around and head back up on the southwestern side. ‘Tis only a short walk up the side of the mountain and thee will cometh to what I can only describe as a tear shaped cave. Be sure to lighteth thy lamp before entering. Be brave Owl, and followeth my directions carefully as to get lost in ‘Trinsic Passage’ couldest be fatal to thee. Walketh quickly and quietly until thee seeth an erupting green gas spilling up out of an opening in the rocks, thee will smell the foul stench first. Carefully maketh thy way down the little hill and turn south, followeth the path around the small ravine and head east. It may appear that thee are heading towards a dead end. ‘Tis only an illusion, steppeth through the darkness, and thee may findeth thyself falling down a steep descend. Get to the bottom of it and turneth north at the bottom of another rough descend. Travel only a short distance, until thee see a large flowstone surround by stalagmites; taketh the path north and then east. Again it will appear a dead end. Steppth through into the light of day. Walketh only a short distance and thee will findeth the Barely Inn.
Thy Friend Xiaver.
Could this really be true? Had Xiaver really discovered news of my family? Where they still alive? Question upon question flooded me. As I reread Xiaver’s letter tears began to flow freely. Not knowing what to do with this both exciting and at the same time unnerving news, I ran to the only place that I had felt safe.
I was stopped dead in my tracks as I was greeted at the broken wooden gate by the shadowy figure of Maggie holding a silver horse.
“I hast been waiting for thee Owl” she almost cackled to me. I was stunned and bewildered as Maggie handed me the reins of the horse and a freshly filled lamp. “Everything else thee wilt need, be in the saddle bags. Worryest not, my Owl for this be thy destiny. Remember all that thee have learnt and may the Virtue of Compassion be thy guild through thy next journey.” With that she kissed my tear stained face and I hugged her ragged bones, knowing that I would never see my Maggie again. Maggie told me to mount my horse and stay the night at ‘The Rusty Anchor’ before leaving the safety of Trinsic. Just before hitting my horse on the rump to send us on our way, she reached up and handed me her worn spell book many of the pages I’d not been given access to.
That night in ‘The Rusty Inn’ my dreams were haunted of images of faces of my family and I awoke in a cold sweat. In the darkness I dressed quickly and quietly and headed for the stable to saddle my horse, Ash I’d named him due to his silver colour that shone in the moonlight. By morn’s first light I was riding along the winding river heading southeast.
For hours I’d ducked and swayed left or right to avoid low hanging branches from the many unnamed trees, when a shimmer of light caught my attention. With a gentle tug of the reins to guide Ash in the direction of the light we ploughed forward. We broke through the thick threes to find ourselves standing before the large lake that Xiaver had spoken of and for the first time since leaving Trinsic we stopped. After sliding out of the saddle I reached into the brown leather pack and pulled out the goodies that were wrapped in a cotton cloth, which Maggie had so generously provided for the trip. I sat quietly listening to the singing of the tropical birds all the while nibbling on the baked bread and fine cheese and I sensed that Ash was grateful for the break also, as he drank the fresh water and then wandered a short distance to enjoy the lush surrounding grasses.
Leaning over the lakes edge, I cupped my hand to fill with the cool water and drank to wash down the last of the filling food. I lingered a few moments to examine the reflection that was staring back at me. My long white hair was matted with leaves and I reached up to pull the little twigs out of it, my cheeks were windswept rosy and I found the reflection was smiling her crooked smile back at me. The rippling image wasn’t clear enough to reveal the emerald-blue colouring of my eyes but I knew that my eyes and slim build were both inherited from my mother.
The sound of ‘hissing’ behind me brought me out of my momentary daze and I was startled to see the huge golden snake heading towards me. I slowly stood to face the snake and quickly cleared my mind to communicate with him but it was to no avail, as I couldn’t seem to break through the barrier between us. Puzzled I decided that a hasty retreat was my best option and moved hurriedly away to find Ash.
The sun was high in the sky as we continued on this path recognised much of the flora that we raced past. Trying not to think and allowing more questions to enter my head, I was naming them out loud to Ash. There were many O’hii trees, orfluer flowers, morning glories, foxglove flowers, campion flowers, fan plants, ferns both large and small, cattails, ponytail palms, blade plant, pampas grass and bulrushes. It was mid afternoon before I reached the mountain and I was beginning to wonder if I was travelling too slowly.
“Hie Ash! Hie”.
The trek around the mountain was much easier than the forest we had just travelled through and it wasn’t long before I was staring at the tear shaped rip in the mountain. A group of gorillas were happily playing in the shelter of the nearby trees; I lit my lantern and ventured forth. The smell of the dank, clammy and dark cave sent a shiver up my spine. Is this really the only way to reach Xiaver? I took a deep breath and held the thought that; surely he would not allow something to happen to me. The stench of the green bubbling gas was almost too overwhelming but I knew that I was at least on the right path. I could hear strange noises coming from deep within the cave, like a long draw out growl or a high pitched howl. I followed Xiaver’s map stopping with every new turn or twist to check that I was still heading in the right direction. At each dead end I took another deep breath and had to coax Ash to enter the darkness of what appeared emptiness.
At last fresh air and the smell of combined scents coming from the walnut, willow and oak trees was indeed so refreshing after the dampness of the passage we’d just travelled through. I could already see the edge of a paved pathway and excitement raced throughout my body, as I knew that my day’s journey was nearly over. ‘The Barely Inn’ aptly named as I recognised the hops that grew wildly up the Inn’s ramble down walls.
“Stay Ash” I said as I quickly dismounted, rubbing my hands across my sore behind. It had been a long day, and I was not used to such a long ride but the discomfort I felt could not stop me from entering the inn to seek the information that I hoped Adian would hold for me.
“Well met, MiLady. Whither wendest thou?” came the voice of a tall thin man from behind the large table that stood in the middle of the floor.
“Well met, Sirrah” I nodded my head in a respectful bow, “I come hither from Trinsic and prithee ask thee to tell me where I might find a man of the name Xiaver.”
“Ahhh, thee be the pretty NightOwl and I’ve been told of thine arrival for over a full week now. Seeth thou that building yonder?” he explains as he points in the general direction out the door, “That be the tailoring shoppe and just behind it be a large forge out in the open near the blacksmiths. At this time of day the one thee seek will be found there, smelting his daily haul of rich ores.”
“Well and good then Sirah and grammarcy” I said as I raced towards the door and in one quick swing I mounted myself into Ash’s saddle.
“MiLady! MiLady NightOwl thou didst not even seeth thy room”
“Later Sirrah, Later!” I reply as I fled in the direction of the Blacksmiths.
Within minutes, I could not mistake the broad shoulders of the shirtless man that stood hunched over the raging forge.
“Xiaver! Xiaver” I shouted as I neared the forged.
Xiaver dropped the pile of ore at his feet and ran towards me, pulling me off Ash and into his arms.
“Little Owl, thee made it. I knew that thee would and my thoughts have been with thee this past week. Let me finish here lass and we shall go back to the inn where I will tell thee great news of thy family.” With that he turned and returned to his work to finish up his days toil. I stood watching as he continued to empty his packhorse of the many beautiful colours of ores and rapidly smelt down the raw material and turn it into neat little ingots.
“Cometh, Owl, I need to go to the bank first, ’tis only a short walk and then the stable to tend the needs of thine animals.” Xiaver appeared to have a new bounce in his step as we walked passed a well-tended garden filled with the softest shade of purple campion flowers and an assortment of other flowers namely lilies and one of my favourite the brightly orange poppy. I was surprised to see that the bank was still open and Xiaver explained that the folk in these parts worked well into the evening and some even preferring to mine well into the night instead of the heat of the day.
At the stables Xiaver was greeted by a well dressed man perched high on the back of what appeared to be a huge blue beetle the likes of which I’d never seen before.
“Well Met, Xiaver and who be this pretty young lass that shies behind thee?” he says as he tries to look around Xiaver to see a glimpse of my face.
Xiaver reaches behind himself and gently pulls me forward, the smile creeping onto his face to reveal the dimple that I had truly missed.
“Tis NightOwl, MiLord Aragore,” he says with his grin as wide as Trinsic river.
“Well Met, Lady NightOwl. Tis my pleasure to at last convene with the much talked about Lady that my good friend appears to hold a special place for in his heart.” Aragore said with a twinkle in his blue eyes.
Blushing I’m sure as I could feel the redness filling my cheeks I reply, ” Tis my pleasure I’m sure MiLord Aragore.”
“Perchance one day it will indeed be just that,” he says with a deep chuckle behind his words. “Hie the pair of thee as I’m sure there is much that thee both hath to catcheth up on. Xiaver I expect to see thee bright and early on the top mountain near the gate cometh morrow.” Before either of us had a chance to respond I heard Lord Aragore mutter the words ‘Kal Ort Por’ and he was gone.
“Fie!” escaped by lips as I stood staring at the spot where Lord Aragore had stood only seconds before.
Xiaver laughs, “Tis much for thee to learn here Owl and over time I’m sure that thee also will be disappearing in the blink of an eye.”
Xiaver hands over a few gold coins to the stable hand bids him farewell, grabs my hand and says, “Comest Owl, we shall walk back to the inn the back way across the dragon path.”
As we leave the stable I am again caught unawares as a huge white dragon magically appears before us, in front of him another Lord riding stately on a midnight mare. Xiaver helps to steady me as I stumble backward in fright and again his laugher is ringing in my ears. “In time Owl thee will control one of them wondrous creatures and I’ll introduce thee to ‘Lord Old Man’ another day.”
I believed him not but I dare not say anything as I was still trying to catch my breath.
“Aye, Xiaver Aye, thee must tell me all.”
Ardian was there to greet us again at the Inn and he placed two huge bowls of stemming soup, a bottle of ale, two mugs and a key, which he gave to me.
“I bid thee both farewell this e’en and I trusteth that thee both find everything to thine satisfaction.” With a smile on his face he stoked the fire and made his way to the steps that lead upstairs.
I could wait no longer and promptly asked, “Xiaver, pray thee tell me news of my family as my mettle is running low and I be busting inside to hear.”
“Aye Owl I tell thee now,” he replied as he poured out the ale to fill our mugs.
The night wore on and crept into the wee hours of the morn as Xiaver told me all that he had learned. I listened patiently as the whereabout’s of my long lost family unfolded before me, topping up our mugs from time to time.
I gasped as I heard that NightHawk was also gifted with the ways of the animal world and that he actually lived in a huge castle on a land covered with ice. My sister Gabrielle had taken to the seas after she had become a confident archer and preferred the salt air to the smell of the evergreens. Only docking in Skae Brea for repairs or fresh supplies. My younger sister, of whose I did not even know,, was known as Krystal Valley. She was as Xiaver describe her a wild child who had had little guidance and that he had lost track of her over a month ago but she was last seen in a City named Luna. My father had died many years ago and as far as Xiaver could track the story his final resting place was in a small cemetery on the outskirts of a town called Moonglow but he admitted that he could not verify the story.
With a mix of joyful and sorrowful tears still flowing I heard Xiaver say, “Comest Owl, thee needeth to rest.”
“Aye!” was my sobbing reply. I didn’t hesitate to follow Xiaver up the stairs and allow him to show me to my room.
“Sleepeth well Owl, thou hast done well this day. I am very proud of thee and we shall talk more late this e’en. Be assured that I wilt help thee fill in all the missing pieces and together we shall findeth all of thine family”. He bent down his hardened body and softly left a kiss on my wet cheek.
I fell heavily onto the little bed and the smell of hops drifted through the open window. My head was filled with many more questions and my heart was overflowing with joy as I thought of my family’s’ names and wondered what each of them would be like. Yet one name remained unspoken and Xiaver did not mention it, ‘Greybac’. I forced myself to close my weary eyes before the rays of morn were able to pierce them with light. I had many plans to make for the months that lay ahead, but for now I must rest.
Last modified: March 28, 2011