Love ~ First Death
Excitement was the word of the
day all about the city. Little snippets of
information made their way to me ears. I
had never seen a war afore, but heared many a
tale as elder tongues wagged and bragged of
heroic deeds. They speaked of great battles
going on and barricades going up. Being new to
this place, I was nae sure at all of what the war
be about. One name I heared over and over
was Sorrow. "Sorrow's troops attacked
here," and "Sorrow's troops built a
barricade." "Sorrow's troops were
beaten back over there." Whoever this
Sorrow person was, I nae wished to meet him.
The elders also warned. "Ye be
too young," they telled me. "Be
careful in ye wanderings and nae go out of the
I watched in amazement as the
elder Clerics called upon the gift of the gods
and restored memories and even life to fallen
soldiers. Of course me mother had telled me
of such wonders, but now I was seeing with me own
eyes the truth of it. Upon reaching a
certain level in me training at the guild, Leader
Esuin taught me a spell. It was a spendid
gift indeed. It was then that I learnt of
other spells I would be gifted if me studies went
without neglect. One day, if me faith be
strong, I would be able to perform as the elders
The guild halls filled each day
with more and more bodies. There seemed no
end in sight. The candles were never put
out as the work went on into the nights.
Days melted together and some of the elders
collapsed with exhaustion. After a brief
rest they would call to the gods once again and
begin restoring the unfortunate fallen.
Empaths fell as they worked to restore
broken bodies piling up around them. The
bards sang songs of courage until their voices
cracked. The paladins would cast spells of
courage to aid all who helped the cause and then
they too would be off to battle. Crossing
was indeed an exciting place in those times.
A break in the constant stream of
bodies finally came. Word spread quickly
that things were changing. Many wondered if
the war were not over. It was during this
lull in the recently routine excitement that I
saw him. Gavwin. A boy nae much older
than meself, he spoke with confidence and wore a
mischevious smile that brought sunshine to the
tired halls. I watched in awe as he juggled
a rainbow of colors with the grace of the gods
themselves. The laughter he shared with his
companion fell on me ears as a song. To me
shame I can nae remember his funny little
friend's name, and so for the telling of this
tale I shall call him Cory.
Gavwin tossed the colored balls
into the air once more and I applauded. His
head snapped around and bright shining eyes fell
upon me. I swallowed hard as blood rushed
to me cheeks in a flash of heat. Gavwin
smiled, and me heart melted. He liked the
applause and began to perform again. He
even gave me a try at it, carefully explaining
the best way to go about it. The three of
us laughed as we chased after runaway balls.
I reached out to return the balls to
Gavwin. "Keep them," he laughed,
"Ye need the practice."
Cory snickered and nodded his agreement.
The clowning duo entertained me all
afternoon, Cory following Gavwin's lead no matter
where it went. The time flew by. It
was as if we had been best friends for life.
Then Gavwin winked and nodded to
Cory, and pulled me into another room. He
looked around at the empty benches and smiled.
Boldly, he asked me for a kiss. I nae
knew what to say! Me lips had nae kissed
any but me own mother. Me cheeks flushed
hot and red once more. After a moment of
awkward silence Gavwin reached into his pack and
produced a most beautiful anklet. Brass oak
leaves woven tightly together reflected the
waning rays of the afternoon sun.
"I'll give ya this fer a
kiss," he teased. The hair on the back
of me head stood on end. "And just
what do ye think," I blurted, "I can be
bought with a pretty bauble?" I heared
of women who would do such as this, but me mother
called them wicked. My arms folded over me
chest in defiance as I started to turn away.
"No!" Gavwin nearly
shouted. "I would never think such a
thing." It was his turn to blush and I
was glad. "I like ya, Taffei."
The pink of his cheeks became crimson as he
shifted his weight and shuffled his feet.
"Tell ya what," he
said. "The anklet be yours. No
matter what." The confidence had
returned to his voice as he held the shiney oak
leaves out to me.
"No tricks," he
confirmed. Then that mischevious smile
reappeared. "But if ye decide to grant
me that kiss. I would nae turn it
down." His laughter filled the halls
as he took me back to an eagerly waiting Cory.
"What now," grinned
Cory. "I be bored."
"Have ye seen the city, yet,
Taffei?" Cory bounced with excitement
as he told us of his own adventures.
"I found some tunnels," he
beamed, "but I got stuck and it was dark in
there." He frowned.
"Yet, here ye be," I
giggled. "Ye must have found a way
out." Cory nodded several times,
making me almost dizzy just watching him.
"Let's go exploring!"
"Are ye sure it be
safe," I asked as I thought about all those
bodies the elders had attended earlier.
"Aye," Gavwin assured.
"The war be outside the city."
I looked at Gavwin and saw sincerity in his
eyes, as well as a thirst for adventure. He
smiled as I touched the oakleaf anklet I now
wore, and squeezed my hand. In minutes we
were out of the guild and rushing blindly through
Then we stopped, the fallen arch
before us surrounded by signs of a battle
recently past. I shivered as a chill went
up me spine. Arrows and swords lay in abundance
all around us. "Look at this,"
Cory breathed in awe. "Get the
arrows," Gavwin shouted. And we did just
that, without a thought as to what we would do
with them afterward. "Ooohh," I
heard Cory exclaim, "a broad tip
arrow." He howled with glee.
Then the laughter stopped.
"What be an elpalzi," I asked in
a quivering voice. The blood covered boots
in front of me lead to knees which met me at eye
"Run!" Gavwin shouted.
But it was too late. The elpalzi
commander, one of Sorrow's hand chosen, had drawn
back his sword. I tried to back away, but
me feet would nae move. In the blink of an
eye, I was dead. Muffled shouts and hurried
footsteps echoed in my thoughts. I was
still with my body, but no longer able to control
it. Me heart had beat it's last. Me
lungs had breathed their last. Me venture
away from home was at an end. Silence
closed in about me to fill the darkness already
there. I felt, if that be the right word, a
coldness unlike anything I had ever known afore.
I heared more shouts. This
time comming closer. A very large hand
grabbed the neck of me shirt as a very large
Kaldaran dragged me limp form along the ground.
Then I heared voices and more footsteps. It
all seemed so far away. "Krinahd, is
she all right?" one voice asked.
"Nae," boomed the voice behind the
hand, "she be dead at the hand of
elpalzi." More strange sensations came
to me. I was terrified. The void was
reaching out for me. "It be all
right," I heard a kind voice say.
"Depart from this place and ye will be
With that, I let loose my hold on
the life I had known. Darkness abounded and
all sound ceased. It was as though I
floated in nothingness. Then I sensed a
struggle going on. When the sensation
passed I heared a voice. The gods had
looked on me with favor. In a flash of
blinding light and a flurry of the winds I
awoke... back in my body and whole again.
Tears flooded me cheeks as I
longed for the skirts of me mother to hide in
again. I was back, but back where I nae
knew. I did know I was lost, cold and
alone. "Me guild," I thought.
"I must find me way back to me
guild." And so I began wandering the
halls, slowly at first for me body was yet weak.
started at the sound of me own name. Had
the gods changed their minds? "Taffei,
I am so sorry." It was Gavwin.
My fear and frustration began to turn to
anger. "Why did ye do that,
Gavwin?" I shouted. "Why did ye
lead me to the battle field to be kilt?"
Without waiting for an answer I ran.
Frustration welling and tears streaming.
I was trapped in a maze I could nae find me
way out of.
Eventually I did find me way out
of the temple and back to the guild. One
elder cleric who had previously been very kind to
me, took me in her arms and tried to comfort me.
I had nae cried so much or been so afraid
since I had been but a child. Gavwin had followed
me to the guild hall, trying veinly to speak to
me. But, the elders would nae permit it.
Each time he approached, they blocked his
way. Cory approached me on behalf of his
friend and I told him that now was not the time.
Gavwin persisted in trying to see me, to get me
alone, following me from room to room.
Finally, through tears of frustration, fear
and anger, I lashed out. I told him to
leave me be.
That was the last I ever saw
or heard of Gavwin or Cory. I have regretted to
this day, me harsh words. The anklet still
remains in me vault. Each time I go there, I see
it and am reminded where it came from.
Because I shouted out in fear and anger,
never will I know... what might have been ....