Echos of the past.. a former Mage's new path

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Echos of the past.. a former Mage's new path

Postby Lilira » Sun Sep 25, 2005 4:41 am

I'd like to dedicate this to all the members of the Original Pride of the Sabertooth / Order of the Wyrm. I also blame Jnar for this, because he bumped the beautiful story up that got Gartra screaming in the back of my head "Did you forget me?? Why am I a warrior now again??" This story wrote itself because of it.

Thanks for the old memories.

An icy breeze ruffled the snow white fur lining the hood of the bundled figure crunching its way through the icy mountains. Eyes matching the steely skies watched alertly for danger, gloved hand resting on the hilt of her sword. Ten years had wrought immense change in the former mage, who had gone from the soft, sweetly feminine summoner of elementals married to her former teacher, to the wiry, hardened warrior striding confidently towards her destination located in the Thunderhead Mountains.

Slowing her pace, Gartra kept her ears open, listening intently for the presence of the ice bears that inhabited the mountains, sniffing the air for the reek of death they carried with them. She was nearly there. Huffing slightly in the thin freezing air, the barbarian scrambled up the icy ledge and stood panting. Tears froze on her face as she stared at the blank wall of the mountain where her home used to be. Echos of hearty laughter rang in her ears, all that remained of the cave where her kinsmen, her brothers and sisters, her Pride had lived.

Reaching into her pack, Gartra pulled out an intricately carved rosewood box. Symbols of the elements had been lovingly carved into the lid, surrounding her name. Opening it, the warrior carefully pulled out a rose, which thanks to the powers of the box, had been perfectly preserved. She dropped it at the place the entrance to the clan hall had once stood, and pulled out a small wooden carving of a sabertooth tiger, placing it gently beside the rose in the snow.

With an eye to the sky, Gartra began setting up camp, digging a small sheltered firepit for warmth, cursing, as she had ever since the horrible day she had lost her magic, at her clumsy use of flint and steel. The breeze made the attempt difficult. After what seemed like hours, a small flame caught the bits of cloth and twigs and began burning, hungrily eating the wood Gartra fed it. Huddling right next to the blaze, Gartra stared into the flames once more watching the images that had signaled the downward spiral her life had taken.

The Time of Troubles, as that catastrophic period had been named, had taken the magic away from many, warped the magic from still others, and driven some mages mad. In the case of Gartra and her husband Rhoquinn, the magic had just left, breaking the bonds of servitude holding the elementals that guarded, cleaned and warmed the tower the two mages had shared. They had destroyed the tower while the couple was traveling. The two mages had returned to the smoldering ruins, already puzzled over their loss of power, destitute to learn the very books they wished to consult were destroyed.

Rhoquinn, who had been many years older than he appeared thanks to the preserving nature of his power, began to fade before his wife’s very eyes. The two traveled to Griffon’s Nest to consult with various shamans who inhabited the city of the Uthgardt, Gartra spending many hours praying for her beloved husband’s recovery, but to no avail. The gods would not, could not hear her pleas. Knowing his end was near, Gartra submitted to the request her beloved made, to travel to the cave that had once housed the sabertooth tiger their ancestor Borgath had slain. The same cave that had been the hall the Pride of the Sabertooth had lived in. With great difficulty, Gartra had dragged the frail man who was the center of her life up the ridge to the place the guardian of the clanhall had once stood proudly, only to find a pile of snow covered rubble where the entrance had been.

Gartra had thrown herself at the pile of rocks, frantically pulling stones away, looking for an opening into the place that had housed their clan. The stones were scorched, many cracked as though a great heat had burned through the hall. Chest heaving from exhaustion and sobs, Gartra stopped her frantic digging. She met the tired eyes of Rhoquinn who had been unable to do anything but watch her frantic motions.

“Its gone. All of it,” she told him huskily. A shiver wracked his thin frame, and he began to cough. Gartra staggered to his side, tripping over the rubble in her rush to get to him. She grabbed the flask of tea from her side, and helped him drink it in an effort to soothe his cough, then removed her cloak and wrapped it around his shivering body. Pulling out a bedroll, she laid it out and helped her husband lay down, curling up next to him to share her warmth, pulling blankets over them both.

A chilled hand reached through the darkness to caress the small tattoo of her totem’s footprint at the hollow of her neck. “I love you,” a whisper was heard. “And I you my beloved,” Gartra whispered to the man beside her before falling into an exhausted doze.

A cold nose nudged her neck, and Gartra opened her eyes to meet the gaze of a large raccoon. It turned its head to stare at the large hawk perched on one of the stones the former mage had dislodged the evening before. It gazed at her unblinkingly before leaping into the air, flying upward until lost from sight. A small paw touched her face, the animal’s intelligent gaze somber, before it turned and disappeared into the shadows.

Gartra awoke to find Rhoquinn staring unseeingly at the sky above, fierce warmth emanating from his body. Gartra scooted back, as the heat became scorching, the final bit of magic that had kept her husband alive consumed the aged form, rendering it to ash. The chill breeze that always seemed to blow in these mountains scattered the hawk-shaped remains of Rhoquinn Shadowhawk. A mourning keen was ripped from her throat, echoing through the mountains as all that remained of her mate, teacher and friend, disappeared to join the ancestors who had gone before them.

Days later found Gartra stumbling blindly into Griffon’s Nest, half frozen and heartbroken. One of the guards took her to the inn, where she slept for a week. After awakening, Gartra knowing would never wield magic again and not having the faith to follow the spirit paths, presented herself to the weapon master in Kralgaar’s clan hall for training in the warrior arts, honing her pain into her skill, and guiding her steps into her new life.
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Postby Ashiwi » Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:02 am

Very poignant and well done Lilira. Brava.
Gormal tells you 'im a dwarven onion'
Gormal tells you 'always another beer-soaked layer'

Inama ASSOC:: 'though it may suit your fantasies to think so, i don't need oil for anything.'

Haley: Filthy lucre? I wash that lucre every day until it SHINES!
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Postby Old School » Sat Aug 26, 2006 3:51 am

Rho, Fen and a few other names not worth mentioning

A coalescing of the ethereal substance causes your vision to blur...
When it at last clears Lerinala stands before you, looking extremely tired!
Lerinala has just realized she has no visible means of support!
Lerinala drops from sight.

You tell Lerinala 'Ummm, whoops?'
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Postby Ruxur » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:41 pm

:subliminal" *LASAGNE* :/subliminal:
Cofen group-says 'wtf, why am i missing a cursed khanjari?'
Alendar group-says 'i r rednek i can only afford the monitor i have mud on and the broken monitor under it'
Nonox tells you 'i think someone casted 'power word gay' on pril'
Malacar ASSOC:: 'must...'

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