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Cadrius 20th of July, 2004 04:09

Chapter 3 - Many Meetings
Aashya, Aleina

His eyes are the first thing that strike them. They're sharp, worried, with none of the vacant glaze that had coated them the night before. Yet he looks tired as if he hadn't just slept for at least ten hours. Wary, he watches the two women as they observe him. He seems to recognize Aleina and gives her a brief, cautious nod.

The morning is warmer than yesterday's, the clouds keeping some of the heat closer to the land. It feels more like an autumn day in the Westlands, and will likely get warmer as the day progresses. In the distance, a herd of boros travels southward; the great beasts are oblivious to the nine camped a thousand feet away.

"Good morning," the Healer whispers, "I don't suppose we have fire for some tea?"

He looks around, realizing his horse and his bags are both gone, disappeared down a westerly road, and shrugs. There is no kindling to be burned and no tea to be brewed. Each of the companions is inspected in turn: the scholar, the erenlander, the dorn, the halfling, the wogren, and the sarcosan, and lastly Aleina.

He opens his mouth but hesitates a moment before whispering again, "I fear I owe you a debt, and it is not for what you think. I owe you a debt for damning yourselves. He will return, and his wrath will be always is. Perhaps if I leave you now you may yet escape."

Lucien pushes himself to his feet and brushes the accumulated dirt from his clothes and looks about, as if trying to get his bearings. Then his eyes widen. When he speaks again his voice still half-hushed.

"My patient! I must leave."

Berova 20th of July, 2004 17:03


When Aashya stirs him awake, Dun glimpses but an instant into the young woman's eyes. He quickly realizes it's their turn at the watch. While the night's sleep was all too cold and uncomfortable, the rest was nevertheless most welcomed and much needed. His head feels far better than last night.

Ahhh, the old man stirs... finally, he has broken out of his stupor. And he speaks...

When the Healer rises and speaks out again, Dun asks, "What patient?! Where must you go?"

Gralhruk 21st of July, 2004 00:24


When she lay down, sleep was the furthest thing from her mind. She shifts onto her side, head pillowed by her hands, eyes wide open and staring into the darkness, listening to the sounds of the night and hoping thats all they were.

What have I done?

The words tolled through her mind, reminding her with each chime that her life was now changed. How many oaths had she broken this day? How much blood was on her hands? Her eyelids drop, partly covering the icy pits of her eyes.

It had started as an effort to help people. To make the best of what was there without further violence. Without bloodshed. A way to combat the evil that was in the land without resorting to their tactics. Without becoming everything she despised about them. Yet things had twisted, the way narrowing until the only avenue remaining was the one she had vowed not to travel. Two conflicting promises: to help, to not harm.

There must be another way.

If there was, Aleina could not see it no matter how hard she tried. She is still staring, eyes half open, when sleep takes her. Throughout the short night and into the morning, she does not stir at all in her sleep; her body neither shifts nor twitches and even her eyes do not fully close. Inside the stillness of her physical presence, her mind churns restlessly in nebulous dreams, haunted by the unceasing pressure of the netherworld. The spirits of the dead haunt her dark dreamworld with teasings and horrors, glimmers of things past and slivers of things that might yet happen. She is tumbled without respite, rolling along through the mist as she had once been dragged along by the river Eren, powerless to do anything. Everything begins to fade into inky darkness, and then a bluish shimmering light waxes above her, seething icily. Crushing cold and sluggish wet, she knows that light. Far above her is the surface of the river, strangely beautiful as her body stiffens from lack of air. She opens her mouth and the river rushes in.

And then, just like that, Aashya is there in front of her, and she is awake in the chill plains, the wind hissing through the swordgrass. The dream is gone and the entire episode, the entire night's sleep, is gone as though she had never laid down at all. Her placid eyes find the healer, sitting up and looking guarded. She listens to his words, but frowns at his attitude. A shake of her head is the prelude to her words.

"There are things we must discuss. Your patient is far from here, and he is in less danger on his own than he would be with any of us. You must tell us all you know of the hound and his purpose."

Dirigible 21st of July, 2004 19:01


Sounds, off. They seep into his consciousness, and with a swallowed grunt the youthful scholar awakens. He looks around wildly for a moment, taking in the grey dawn-light as it builds around them, hearing the rustling and waking breaths of his companions.

He'd fallen asleep with his legs still tucked up in front of him, the book nestling in his angled lap like a quiet child. His first instinct is to protect the tome, and Lyr quickly closes the covers, brushing a vagrant leaf from the page. Rising, he claws splayed fingers through his knotted, lank hair, trying to scrape the residues of sleep form himself. Tiredness hangs from him like a cloak; whatever demoniac vitality had seized him last nigt was bannished by the interrupted night of rest and the effoert of staying awake on watch. Not that I did well at that, he thinks wit a squirm of guilt.

Looking around, though, Lyr sees no accusatory, reproachful glances sent his way; instead, those who are awake are speaking to the healer! The man had clearly recovered from the socery that had been placed on him.

"You must tell us all you know of the hound and his purpose."

Sidling over to join the group, Lyr chimes in to clarify Aleina's question, his voice quiet and serious as ever, but somewhat phlegmy as he shakes off the bonds of dormancy.

"The Hound is the name we have the severant of the Shadow who menaced you in Kingscross."

Kelemyn 21st of July, 2004 21:07


With the coming of day light, Aashya's sense of self-confidence seems to have been renewed. No more stumbling around in the darkness, half-blind, unsure of her footing or of herself. She has done a good job on watch, fighting off sleep and enduring the night's cold to help safeguard the group. She's pleased to have made a contribution.

She stands, stamping her feet to warm them before walking around first to Dun, then to Rotha'ah, and shaking them awake. The Northman's muscles flex beneath his animal skins, and he grunts an unintelligible command (or perhaps it is a greeting?) as he makes his way out of the depths of sleep and comes fully to wakefulness.

Aashya moves on through the camp to the place where Aleina is sleeping. The dark-haired Erenlander appears already to be awake. Ebon eyes meet azure. Aashya feels a jolt almost of shock as she looks into those pools of pale blue fire. Is it the surprising color blazing out from beneath dark brows that is so unsettling? Or is it the way they seem to penetrate beyond the surface of what Aashya chooses to show the world, searching for and touching lightly upon the truth deep inside her? It's like Aleina can look at her, and see things of which even Aashya has no awareness.

And yet, Aleina regards her for only an instant. Her regal gaze moves past her to the one they call the Healer. Aashya turns to look also.

"There are things we must discuss."

Aleina speaks with certainty, beautiful and poised. But Aashya detects the strain in her voice. It is the Hound that worries her. And maybe something else, some secret torment that Aashya can't even imagine. Underneath the woman's strength there is a hint of weakness. Aashya can't help feeling somehow protective of her.

Now how will the Healer respond?

Cadrius 22nd of July, 2004 03:45

"My patient is safe?" the Healer snorts, "That d--" he stops and lowers his voice "--dwarf was unconscious when I left him. I very much doubt that he is well."

The worry remains but the Healer now seems much like a rope drawn taught. Yet a shadow remains in his eyes and he looks conflicted. Uncertain whether to be afraid or incensed, he settles for a little of both.

"The less you know of...this hound, the better off you are. It is sufficient to know that he follows me and comes closer to catching me with each attempt."

The shadow is revealed. He's haunted by the hound's tireless pursuit. Fleeing from one town, village, or cave to the next wears greatly on the healer. Aleina had once thought the mayor of Kingscross looked to be carrying the weight of the world. If that's true then it is the healer's shoulders that hold up Lusk.

"I suppose my gratitude is in order," he says, smiling mirthlessly, "you've spared me for now. I owe you that much and I'll see to any of your wounded, but do not ask me of him, I beg you. Your lives are already likely forfeit...I would not have other things to become the same. If we part now he is likely to leave you be so long as you never cross his path again."

The healer grimaces at his grim words and runs a hand through his greying hair. He's tired, that much is clear from the dark that rings his eyes, but he doggedly picks through his pockets until he produces some herbs.

"For the injured," he explains, examining the nine again, smiling wanly at his offer. He extends the plants to Aleina. She doesn't immediately recognize them, but Stephen had managed to stump her as well. "Do you need help with it?"

Kahluah 22nd of July, 2004 04:26


Rhotha'ah stirs from a fitful sleep, urged awake by the Sarcosan woman's hand. His dreams of fire and ruin shatter and flee in a thousand pieces, and leave him slick with his own sweat, though the morning air is cool and crisp. As he awakes, he notices the healer is alert and not under whatever vile magic the Hound had placed on him.

The healer continued to plea for his release, a course of action that Rhotha'ah finds odd. "You stand here amongst your saviours begging for release, but would resign yourself and your fate to your captors." He says, his baritone voice rumbling low within his chest, even as the confused expression spreads across his countenance. He knew battle to do many a wierd thing to a man, but certainly not this.

"And do you not think that once the Hound is done with you, he will not come after us? After all, we brazenly defy the Shadow's laws but travelling from our homes, wield weapons and sorcery openly, and attack at the ministers of darkness. If we are to stand any chance at survival, we should stick together." The Dorn speaks, his eyes focused solely on the healer.

Gralhruk 22nd of July, 2004 13:23


She appraises the healer silently as he speaks, letting her eyes do her talking for the moment. The disappointment therein is writ bold enough for any to see, but there is strength in her gaze as well. Rhotha'ah once again surprises her with his astute assessment. The Dorn had a mind beneath all of his muscle. For the moment, she ignores the offered herbs, hands folded into the sleeves of her robe.

"Our lives are already likely forfeit, you say. That is the wisest thing you have uttered in my presence. You would have perished already were it not for us. Do you think you will survive his next assault? What then will happen to your patient? And then he will be after us, with death on his mind. You know this, and you know that it will happen.

"Yet you would deny us the benefit of knowledge: the knowledge of what we are up against, the knowledge that might help us survive. It is a fool's dream to believe he will forget about us. And I am not a fool."

Cadrius 23rd of July, 2004 10:14

The healer laughs but does not look bemused by the combined verbal assault from the dorn and erenlander. Yet his weariness looks to have grown. He gives them each their turn to say their peace, neither interrupting their accusations nor their admonishments. Each falls silent and yet the healer remains quiet. His eyes narrow in study of the two, taking their measure. When he speaks again it is in a soft, tightly controlled voice.

"Children risk their lives, lecture their elders, and then presume them fools. I wonder what is next? Perhaps an orc will come by and offer to be my servant.

"You are a fool despite your claim. A wise man, or woman in your case, would have let the encounter play out further. A wise man, would have taken better measure of this hound. You leaped into the fray, shouting brave words and making big threats. Valiant, but foolish."

His eyes travel from one to the next, but never strays far from Rhotha'ah and Aleina. He speaks again, pronouncing his words carefully, quietly.

"My life was never in danger. It has never been in the past and likely never will be in the future. I didn't kill that man in the valley, he did because he came too close to putting a sword in my gut.

"This...hound wants me to go with him, willing or not, back to White Cliffs. He has never revealed why, so you may save your breath on that front," he says, his eyes growing distant as he relives the memories of previous encounters, "He always tries to persuade me to go on my own. 'It will be easier on us both' he says."

Out of all those assembled only Lyr recognizes the name of the fallen city full mostly of brigands and the occasional goblinoid squatters. Why the Hound, presumably a legate, would take the Healer there rather than Theros Obsidia, is beyond the young scholar. And yet, didn't his own master keep himself apart from the rest of his brethren? Perhaps the Hound is an outsider as well.

Shaking his head, the Healer comes out of his reverie. "I can only imagine what he wants with me, but if death was his aim I would be another spirit floating through the aether right now. My best bet is to travel quickly and lightly. I would rather not have eight more deaths on my hands.

"But I cannot bar you from following me. I have no horse, and nothing but this staff to ward you off. Should you be so eager to die, be my guest, but I'll not have your blood on my soul."

Kelemyn 23rd of July, 2004 12:57


The picture is beginning to come together. And it seems that these people don't know as much as Aashya thought.

The Healer accuses them of acting rashly back in the valley. They'd jumped in too soon, before they were fully aware of what was going on. The Hound hadn't been trying to kill the Healer at all. He had, in fact, protected him, calling down the lightning against his own man. At least I finally know who worked that magic...... Aashya muses.

By why, if the Hound is a legate, does he insist on persuading the Healer to come with him? A legate would just take his quarry by force, wouldn't he?

"What did he do to you?" Aashya asks without bothering to consider whether she ought to interrupt. "You weren't like this last night. You were ..... in a daze, or something." When the Healer turns his gaze on her, she feels distinctly uncomfortable, but she can't help adding:

"And it seems to me that you're lucky they did 'leap into the fray' even if it was a rash thing to do. If they'd waited even a few moments longer, he probably would have magicked you away with him wherever he went."

And I'd be sleeping now instead of butting into conversations that don't concern me!

Gralhruk 23rd of July, 2004 14:07


Her eyes blaze indignantly, sapphire flares beneath the storm tossed sky of her raven hair.

"Foolish would be to mock those who risked all to save you. Rash would be to presume others are not wise enough to make sense of what puzzles you. I understood what was at stake when I set my foot in the direction of the man that hunts you. We could have left you to your fate but we chose not to."

She pauses, gauging the resignation in his grey eyes.

"What I don't understand is why you do his work for him. Run, you say, far and fast. Yet you know he will find you, you know that when he does he will take you. You must take control of your own life at some point. Are you so dead that you are not at least curious of his purpose?"

Berova 23rd of July, 2004 14:48


Dun listened to the Healer and his companions conversation unfold intently until he had finally had enough, "So, instead of geniuine gratitude for sparing you, you are telling us we shouldna've bothered?"

"Yes, you are indeed right. We are all young and inexperienced too, perhaps too young and filled with one ideal too many. Maybe the world has not crushed every ounce of hope from our little hearts, at least not yet. If you then call us fools, then perhaps that is what we are."

"And yes, it is readily apparent enough, if the Hound wanted you dead, that would've come easy. It is also obvious now, the rest of us were all so beneath the Hound's contempt, he did not even bother with the rest of us."

"But what of you? How self-serving of you, 'your life was never in danger'?! Are you so full of yourself that you cannot see the cards you are holding?! It is not simply your life at stake, but possibly the hundreds and hundreds of lives of others?"

"Are you so eager to be enthralled to whatever sinister machinations the Hound had in store for you? Perhaps, as you say, you cannot imagine what he wants of you. Perhaps his own evil master, undoubtedly a destroyer of lives innumerable, had fallen ill or sustained a near mortal wound, and now require your adept ministrations? Would you be so willing to serve the dark lord's bidding so that he may continue to carry out the Shadow's will?!"

"How much blood would you have on your soul then?"

"Nay, there is much more at stake than you or any of us." Dun almost laughs at the irony, "As far as persuading you to go with him on your own volition, you take that as an act of kindness? And you have the temerity to call us fools! And I suppose last night you were acting under your own compulsion when you were taking a midnight stroll with the Hound?"

Dirigible 24th of July, 2004 08:01


Lyr's mouth snaps closed, and he glances at Dun, impressed by his friends sudden passion and clarity of thought. Everything he might have said himself, had he a little more confidence or energy. He feels a surge of pride for the other Erenlander and looks back to the Healer, nodding to show his agreement.

Cadrius 26th of July, 2004 11:50

Hushed words cut through the morning air as surely as the bits of sharp grass. The Healer doesn't look cowed, but defeated; he's unwilling to argue further with those assembled. A silence falls over the nine and nothing stirs but the distant cry of the wind. The Healer's eyes are closed and he breathes slowly, either thinking or asleep.

The heard of boros continues their way past, now several hundred yards away. The great, tusked beasts plot onward, skirting the thick patches of swordgrass. Oblivious to the argument, to the concerns, they're almost enviable in their simplicity. They only care about the grass cats and finding their next meal.

His eyes open again and the shadow has returned, yet with it comes a certain sadness. "Do you honestly believe you're the first to make such an offer?" he asks, his voice soft, without reproach, "I accepted their offer eagerly. This Hound has pursued me all of my days and I thought those made of sterner stuff might change things. They died. As did the next. As did the ones after them. It is not for lack of trying that I find myself trapped. The Hound is the whirlpool and I am but an errant leaf caught within its pull.

Come, if you're eager to see what lies beyond this life, but I promise nothing but shadows and pain" --his voice drops to a whisper-- "that's all that is left in my wake."

Dirigible 26th of July, 2004 21:25


Listening to grimness and despair in the Healer's voice, a cold shiver runs down Lyr's spine. His own feels horibly dry as he clears his throat and murmurs:

"It is folly to take the weight of the Shadow's evil on your own shoulders. The deeds your foes do in trying to harm you are not your fault. Think of the life you restore. That is your legacy and responsibility."

The scholar flinches minutely as he finishes; it might seem unforgivably pontifical for one as young and carefree as him to speak of responsibility to his elder.

Gralhruk 27th of July, 2004 05:40


A small but rather annoying weight settles on her shoulders, mocking her intent and reminding her that one day she may end up just like this man she had tried to save. Was it truly as hopeless as he made it sound, or had he been hunted for so long that he was blind to any possibility of redemption? Aleina didn't know, nor did she think she would get the answers from him.

"I apologize for what must seem like an interrogation. We know there is danger, we know there is little hope. We have risked much to help. Understand that we are not trying to force you against your will, but it is painful to help someone only to find they will not share information that seems vital to all of our safety. I am only asking that you tell us what you know of the situation; it might help to keep us safer, and it may help you as well. Stay here a while and rest before you decide."

With that she leaves Lucien to his own thoughts, and moves a short distance away to contemplate her own.

Berova 28th of July, 2004 02:30


Refusing to relent, Dun was about to start off once again, There he goes again, the old man presumes too much, much to all their detriment.

Somewhat relieved Lyr feels somewhat similar as he, Dun is nevertheless equally annoyed that Aleina presumed to blunt the stark reality he proffered the Healer. Dun wants to shout out, "He needs to face these demons if he is to be saved," but ultimately decides to hold back, feeling further persistence would be futile.

Kelemyn 28th of July, 2004 04:25


Aashya still kneels next to Aleina's sleeping place, right where she was when the Healer woke up and this conversation began. She's been listening to the words back and forth, but staring off into the distance at the boro herd as it passes by.

Strange animals. She means the boros, but she might also be thinking about the people talking. She's certain that she's never seen anything like the boros before. Not while she travelled the river with the gnomes. And they seem so unfamiliar that she can't help thinking that'd she'd never come across them before that either. Nobody else seems to be taking any notice of them however. Perhaps they are common here in the Westlands.

Now, about the people talking...... They seem strange to her also. The words of the Healer frighten her. Everyone who has ever tried to help him has died. Everyone! No wonder he seems so...... beaten down. He must feel that responsibility to be a heavy burden.

How can we help him when others have failed, even lost their lives trying? She can't imagine that most people, hearing the man's story, would be as insistent as this group. What do they want from him?

The boros plod on, moving farther away, although Aashya can still see the cloud of dust they kick up and an occasional tusk glinting in the early morning light. She stifles a sudden yawn and rubs her eyes.

If I sit here much longer, I'll end up falling back to sleep! Looking around the camp she notices that Heulwen is still sleeping. Maybe there is time for her to rest a little longer.

Aashya stands and heads over to her small pile of belongings. She passes near Aleina who stands apart from the others now. The woman that Lyr had described as a healer is staring out at the grasslands, maybe even watching that same distant dust cloud that marks the boros' passing. She seems to be lost in her own thoughts.

Aashya hesitates, then approaches her. She feels like little more than a tag-along at this point - cetainly not someone who should have a say in the group's plans. She doesn't want to disturb the woman, but it would be nice to know when the party was going to be moving again.

"I'd like to thank you again for letting me travel with you," she says when Aleina turns toward her. "Do you have any idea how long we'll be stopping here?"

Gralhruk 28th of July, 2004 04:39


If their situation had not been so dire, Aleina might well have smiled at Aashya's words. They had dragged the girl into great danger and she was thanking them for it. Was it the lesser of two evils or had they damned this woman as well?

Too much uncertainty in her mind. The healer had been right in one thing at least: they had no idea what they had gotten into. Of course, had Lucien been more forthcoming to begin with Aleina would not have been forced to make assumptions. Not that it mattered, since despite the man's protestations she felt they could make a difference here. But she wasn't about to force him. They would need him as a willing ally if they had any hope.

Once more, her icy eyes appraise Aashya as the channeler turns to face her squarely, formally. It was a defense - to maintain her composure, to give the appearance that she had everything under control, even when the world was spinning chaotically away from her.

"Not long. Once the others have rested we will move again, though at this time I do not even know where."

Almost to herself she adds, "Perhaps there will be a sign."

Kelemyn 28th of July, 2004 05:54


A sign?

"Do you believe in such things?"

Aashya remembers that Gylda used to have her own little superstitions. A black cat seen boarding a raft was a sure sign of bad luck. A hazy circle around the moon was a sign that storms were coming. Aashya had never put much stock in things like that. The signs just didn't hold true as far as she could see.

Besides, who was it that supposedly sent the signs?

Dirigible 28th of July, 2004 05:55


Leaving the Healer to his musings, Lyr mutters a breif 'good-night' to his companions, and shuffles back to the patch of crushed grass near his bags. Stiffling a yawn at almost the same moment as Aashya, he lowers himself to the ground and throws an arm over his face, determined to snatch a few more hours of sleep before they must move.

Gralhruk 28th of July, 2004 06:12


"I never used to."

She seems about to say more, but instead briskly changes the subject.

"It is my turn to watch but perhaps you will join me for a while?"

When Aashya indicates agreement, Aleina begins making a slow circuit of the camp, her long cloak flowing behind her. Her eyes scan the horizon, occaisionally moving to the other woman but always relaxed.

"We don't know very much about each other; our position is rather more familiar than new acquaintances generally tolerate. Doubtless the things you have seen and heard seem strange to you. If you would travel with us, then you should know more about us than just our names. We met just yesterday, in a town called Kingscross and for one reason or another, each of us was departing the town. We decided to travel together for a time."

She walks silently for a few moments, ordering her thoughts, before continuing.

"Before we managed to leave, we were accosted by the man we now call the Hound. He was looking for that man - ", she indicates the healer with a nod, " - Lucien. When the hound left to look for him, we came to a decision that we would try to help the healer, for he seemed a decent man. We caught up to him just after the hound did, and managed to foil his attempted kidnapping. That is when you found us."

She glances over at Aashya almost expectantly.

"Does that help you understand more fully what we are about? For myself, I will answer any other questions you might have, but first I should like to know more about you. If you don't mind."

Kelemyn 28th of July, 2004 07:50


"You mean you're not... all of you are not... working for someone?" Aashya's face shows her puzzlement. She had begun to suspect that they were all part of some underground organization. "You hear whispers about secret groups that help people, like some that smuggle supplies to the dwarves," she goes on to explain. "I thought maybe you were part of something like that."

She's not sure if she's disappointed or not. They're just ordinary people. No, not ordinary. Ordinary people would not have decided to follow the Hound and help Lucien. It seems almost that fate must have brought them all together at the right moment. Does that mean that she was meant to join with them as well?

You might almost take it as a sign. If you believed in such things.

But Aleina wants to know more about her. A familiar feeling of inadequacy begins to rise up inside of Aashya. But this time she won't allow it to overwhelm her.

"I wish I could tell you all about myself," she says after struggling with the words for a moment. "A couple of seasons ago, I woke up on the raft of a family of gnomes. They said that they'd rescued me from the river, nearly dead. I remember the water......." Her eyes become distant as she thinks back to that time, a confusion of icy cold water, murky darkness, and pain. "But I can't remember anything before that." She shakes her head to clear it.

"Except for this - Greenfield. It's the name of a town, but that's all I know. When I heard that name for the first time...... it was just so familiar! I can't say why.

"I left the river then to try to find it. Nothing much happened on the road, until I met all of you."

Gralhruk 28th of July, 2004 22:45


Her eyes narrow slightly at the mention of the river but her pace remains unchanged. Silently, she contemplates her dream the night before, wondering if it was coincidence that it was Aashya who had woken her from the chill grip of the not-quite-nightmare.

"Rivers are powerful places, and no river is so powerful as the Eren."

In a way, it had saved her life and taken it away at the same time. Aashya had most certainly lost something in her ordeal, but Aleina cannot help but wonder what she might have gained. For a moment, she almost wishes they could trade places, that she might forget those things which had pushed her - alone, naive - into the frigid baptismal waters.

A rebirth for us both.

Her old life was shed as surely as Aashya's. Yet Aleina might have within her the power to help the girl discover her past - the river giving back to it's own?

"No," her voice is distracted, "we are not a part of any group."

Aleina is torn between her choices. Clearly Aashya was searching for her past, clutching to Greenfield as the only link between her and it. Perhaps the best thing to do would be to let her find the town and go about the business of deciphering her past. Yet Aleina is quite certain that she can help, somehow. But if she gave Aashya that hope, then almost certainly the girl would stay with them, perhaps against her better judgement.

"You believe the key to your past is in Greenfield. That, I take it, is why you left your home. To find out what you no longer remember. You have given up the only life you know to find your past, so I know that it is important to you. How important is it? Would you become a fugitive? Risk death? What if you find out something that you don't like?"

Kelemyn 29th of July, 2004 00:07


"No, I-- It's not my past I'm looking for... I mean, if I wanted to find out where I came from, I would've left the gnomes sooner and gone back down river." Aashya looks over at the other dark-haried woman. How can she explain?

"Yes it's true that I've always been curious about my past. But I've been afraid of it too." Without being aware of it, she folds her arms protectively across her midsection. "I wasn't just nearly drowned in the river. I-- there was a terrible wound... made by a sharp blade, probably a sword, the gnomes said. Somebody wanted me dead." She remembers the paralysing fear that knowledge had inflicted on her as she lay in bed, slowly regaining her strength. "What if you find out something that you don't like?"

"But Greenfield - it's not my past, but my future. I know this. When I hear the name, when I think about it, I feel such hope! There is something..." she wants to say important, vital, "...something there for me. I can't explain it."

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