An Old Tale - PG

Discussion in 'Original Works' started by Morgaia, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Morgaia

    Morgaia Eystaun,The Grey Alliance

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    “I’ll tell you a tale.” The old woman said in her gravelly voice to the mass of bright-eyed children and few curious adults that surrounded her. She paused and studied her wrinkled, work-hardened hands. After a moment she eyed the children in the circle of firelight, “Now you may think this is a fairy tale but you must understand that it is not.” Again she paused, “This story is long forgotten by all but the fair folk and other magical peoples….” She drew a breath, “Are you ready to hear of the creation of the deity Duality?” Excited gasps escaped the wide-eyed children, many tiny voices chimed yes’s and little heads also nodded. It was then that the old woman noticed a cloaked figure standing in the back of the mass of children and smiled to herself. He never could resist a good story telling, she thought to herself. The woman then cleared her throat and began her tale.
    At the beginning of time-no, no that will not do…long ago men, elves, dwarves, kelpies, vampyrs, sorcerers, sorceresses, perhaps the most ethereal-daemons and all other manner of creatures.
    Then the woman paused and took a deep breath before beginning again.
    All lived in the open and together in harmony, well, in peace anyhow. Those were grand times,
    she said her eyes intense as if she had lived the moments herself-little did the men-children know, she had, she then continued.
    Men were yet wise and were not yet corrupted and foolhardy as so many are in these days. But that is a lament for another day, anyway, to the tale. Now I’ve told you that because the deity herself was-is a daemon. Or so that’s how she began. A young elf girl, her name long lost, was curious about the duality of the heart. Light and dark, foolish and wise, male and female. She cast a spell, which summoned a spirit. The spirit granted her wish for knowledge of the heart and of duality-the spirit possessed her and she became a daemon but of an unusual type. She soon gained status as a goddess or god, though she usually chose to appear as a woman because of her start as an elf girl. We now worship her as goddess or simply ‘Duality’ but then she lived among men and taught. It ‘tis a shame she ascended, men could use her wisdom.
    The old woman sighed loudly then said, “That is how Duality began her reign. A short but worthwhile tale.” One of the older children raised her hand in the air. “Yes, San?” asked the old woman. “But, grandmother, how do you know this tale if only the fair folk know it?” The woman smiled and shook her head ever so slightly. Ceaseless questions from youth, she thought laughingly. “That is another tale San,” the old woman said. “Please tell us grandmother,” the young woman, San, begged. Again the old woman smiled and said, “Ah to be young, ceaseless questions, ceaseless curiosity.” San blushed brightly and began to apologize but the old woman interrupted her, “No, no. Never apologize for curiosity, it ‘tis a good thing. You never stop learning if you never stop asking questions.” San brightened and asked bravely, “Will you tell us then? How you know this tale told only by the fair folk?” The old woman smiled widely for a moment then said a little sadly, “To tell you how I know I must tell you how I began.” The woman sighed and again began intently studying her hands, worn by work. She puzzled to herself, should she tell them? Ah, she thought, what does it matter? My time is almost done anyway. “Very well,” she said, “I will tell you my tale.” This time the woman paused for a long while, as if gathering her courage along with her thoughts.
    I was born among the elves.
     
  2. Morgaia

    Morgaia Eystaun,The Grey Alliance

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Everyone gasped and looked at the woman wide-eyed at her words, she merely smiled and continued her tale.
    Well, they raised me; my parents died or abandoned me, I neither know nor care which. They gave me an elvish name and raised me like any other elven child but I knew I was different even when I was very young. Oh, do not get me wrong, I still had a good life but it could never be the same as the elven children’s that I was raised with. I learned things among them I never would have learned being raised by humans, the elves are one of the oldest races they know things men only dream of.
    One of the children in the woman’s rapt audience could no longer take it and blurted, “What was your elven name grandmother?” The old woman smiled, “You could never pronounce it young one but for short it was Devi.” The woman smiled fondly at the child then returned to her tale.
    The story of Duality is only one of the forgotten things I learned; I also learned magicks. Forgotten lore that most men do not even believe in anymore let alone practice.
    “Magick grandmother? Could you show us please grandmother?” begged one of the younger children. The old woman laughed outright, “I am far to old to practice magick anymore and I doubt the elves would appreciate me spreading their lore without their permission.” The children looked crestfallen and the old woman, Devi, laughed harder. “No fear young ones!” she said, “there is magick in your hearts. All you need do is believe in it! You see your belief makes things quite real, all it takes is faith and imagination.” “Really grandmother?” a young man asked, “I could make this rock lift merely if I imagine it?” Devi laughed again, “No, no. I am afraid magick of that type is not that simple. What I was referring to is merely your ability to believe. You will enjoy life and live in a sort of “fantasy world” if you are simply willing to look at the world with open eyes and an open mind and heart.” The children looked confused and many spoke at once. “No my dears, no more questions. Some things you cannot understand yet, so hush.” Devi said gently.
    The elves are very wise; they have retreated from the world of man because they know the evil that can be done with magick. They know all too well the horror of magick used for evil, but that too is another tale. You may wonder why I would leave a place of such wisdom and magick? I grew to realize that my staying among the elves could only bring sorrow. I was-am human; I could never live as long as elves do. I learned this in a harsh manner; I fell in love with an elf man. We loved each other deeply, but our world shattered when the elf king pointed out in a frank manner my mortality. We were shattered; I learned to live with it and soon decided I would leave. The elf king, though he did not think our romance wise, did not want me to leave. I was loved by all. I told the elf king my reasoning. My staying among them would only cause pain, I could never live as long as they could-eventually they would watch me grow old and die. He smiled and told me I was wise beyond my short years, I was only seventeen. He eventually agreed with me but pointed out that my leaving would cause sorrow just as surely as my death would. I told him that watching me age would be hardest and watching myself age when those I loved did not would eventually break my soul. “Grandmother, who was the elf man you loved? You did not tell us his name,” one of the young women asked shyly. Devi smiled, “His name….his name was Yoseph Amu Hphesh.” Devi said this in a bittersweet tone. The woman shook herself and continued her story.
     
  3. Morgaia

    Morgaia Eystaun,The Grey Alliance

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    I left what I had always thought of as my people and traveled many, many places.
    Devi stopped then, “Oh, I’ve told you how I know the story of Duality. I have no reason to continue, I got caught up in the telling.” The young woman, San, jumped to her feet and begged, “Please, please grandmother continue your story. We would all like to hear of your travels. Most of us have never even left this village.” She finished wistfully. The old woman smiled, “You could have an adventure of your own, San.” She said before continuing her tale.
    The first place I visited was naturally a human village; I was confused when they feared me. I later learned that they feared my magical aura, because of my long years with the elves I carry a differing aura then the average human. After that first encounter with other humans it was a long while before I walked among them again. I first stayed with the dwarves for a while; there I learned sword craft.
    Devi smiled and shook her head at herself.
    Of course I knew how before, but I fought like an elf not that it was in anyway a bad thing. I soon became a master fighter because of all the peoples I lived and learned from. The dwarves are not surly like they are so often said to be they are actually friendlier to outsiders then the elves are. I stayed with them for about one half of a year before I decided to again try my luck with humans. These humans were different and were not put off by my own differences, they taught me human herb craft. I stayed with this human village for almost two years; they even gave me a name in their tribal language, Moora. When I left them they told me I was always welcome among them and gave me the rank of healer, I was honored. I went on to the kelpies, or sea-folk. My visit to their isle almost cost me my life, ‘twas luck their prince thought I was beautiful and saved me from drowning. He asked me to be his bride; I refused and told him my heart belonged to another man. He was good-humored about it and soon became a very good friend. My stay among the kelpies broadened my knowledge as the prince insisted I learn to swim.
    Devi laughed heartily at this then gathered herself and continued her story.
    The prince begged me to stay when I decided I would leave, I told him we would meet again eventually. I left only to meet my first sorcerer; he was wise and enjoyed my inquisitive nature. I expanded my knowledge of magick staying with him; he knew things even the elves did not but then all races have their own wisdom. He wanted me to stay on as his apprentice, I agreed to stay for four years. I stayed for three before he died, I mourned him but I knew he was better off. Next on my journey was the dark elves.
    The old woman, Devi, Moora, whatever you would call her paused and said, “I apologize but my tale must be brief we haven’t the time to tell every detail of a life, let alone the life of an adventurer.” She continued her tale….
    Most would call them evil; I would not. They are misunderstood mostly but like any people they have their faults and some are evil but then so are some humans or some elves. No one is perfect. They are not a trusting race, the dark elves. They hate outsiders; they captured me actually. I soon gained my freedom when I beat one of their wise ‘wizards’ in a riddle match. They enjoyed my wit and sarcasm. They were-are brilliant fighters but I soon left them, tiring of their never ending games. Next I met a human tribe called the Husia; they always traveled, never in one place for long. I found a home in them and gained another name- Iscova. A little girl in their tribe followed me everywhere and I taught her to be a healer, she grew up wise. I stayed with the Husia for close to six years. I only left when we met a daemon that gave me an offer to tempting to refuse,
     
  4. Morgaia

    Morgaia Eystaun,The Grey Alliance

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    though I left the Husia with a promise to return to them. The daemon- Khiva-taught me a lot, like the Duality lesson in detail. Duality, I learned is in everyone. Everyone has a light side just as everyone has a dark side, everyone has a feminine side just as everyone has a masculine side; everything has two sides, like a coin. It was a good lesson; I never again looked at someone as merely evil or merely good. I left Khiva when he did something I was opposed to, I will not say what. I did enjoy my time with him; he was a fun companion. From there I traveled from village to village searching for the Husia. I searched for a year before I finally caught up with them; in the two years I was gone the little girl I had trained had become a woman of eighteen. I was ecstatic to be back with them. I stayed until I taught the little girl, now woman, Ralla everything I could. Ralla loved to learn, always had. She became Tok Ralla, or the leader/wise woman of the Husia. ‘Tok’ being her title. I left not long after her election and again traveled for a while. I met another tribe of elves who gave me new supplies when they learned I had been raised by elves. I thanked them profusely and moved on; elves reminded me of what I had lost by merely being mortal. Not long after, to my astonishment, I met a fey. Ah, you’ve not heard of the fey? I had but even the elves had thought them extinct. He was called Quaj and found me fascinating, a mortal who knew more than some of the elder races. Quaj insisted I was meant for immortality and tried numerous times to get me to pay a visit to the vampyrs. I told him just as many times that I did not believe in cheating lady death, that it merely brings sorrow and by then I was too old to truly enjoy immortality. Every time I told him this he would sigh and continue to fly on. Oh yes, he did fly but he was not tiny like the legends say. He was normal sized, with wings but in my opinion his wings were more for show and that he actually flew with magick not the wings. He traveled with me a long time before I told him I planned to settle in a human village to end my days but there is more in between. Together we went back to visit the kelpies, whom were happy to see me and astonished with Quaj. We did not stay long, merely visited. Then we met the ‘tree people’ a small tribe that lived in the treetops. They were fascinating, even had their own language. They called me Kage, saying it meant ‘wise’ in their language. I was proud of this name of sorts that they had given me; I even used it after I left them. Next I met the human king, I saved him from a group of dark elf assassins by speaking to them in their own language, telling them who I was. Upon learning I was the famous Devi who outwitted their wise wizard they left. They also insisted on me giving them a letter to their wise wizard to prove that they had indeed met me. I laughingly obliged. The human king, he told me to call him Victus, thanked me; he even invited me back to his palace. He found me amusing as well but I often upset him with my frankness. He hated that I was unwilling to be polite to those I knew did not deserve it merely to make them like me. I absolutely refused to pretend to be anything I was not and I would disagree with someone regardless of how ‘important’ they were supposed to be-to me you earned respect, you were not merely born to it. I learned to be a ‘noble’ woman there, dancing was fun but ‘proper ladies’ were not interesting conversationalists and I soon left. Quaj left for the short time I was at the human court, saying it sickened him-I was inclined to agree. After Quaj rejoined me we decided to rest with the nearest elf village for a month or so. The month there replenished my spirit but it also added a scar. After our month long rest we wandered for a while; we eventually found a desert-it had its own people. The Yptians is what they called themselves. They called me Selocatra; I stayed in one of their temples with a priest named Keto.
     
  5. Morgaia

    Morgaia Eystaun,The Grey Alliance

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Among the Yptians I learned I could indeed love again; Keto and I became lovers. I stayed there for many years, nearly nine before civil war tore the country and Keto was killed. Quaj and I fled; knowing the new narrow-minded king would not welcome us. I mourned Keto-I still mourn him. I ran to the kelpies, to my friends. The prince was sympathetic but I realized my mistake, I hurt him because I had refused him in the past but had not refused Keto. I apologized to him but our relationship was never the same. I felt horrible but alas it was unchangeable. To this day I regret that I hurt him but not that Keto and I shared our love. Anyway I’ll not lecture you all on love, next I traveled to Bendia. They were a strange, wonderful people with a fascination for tattooing. While among them I gained these tattoos on my hands.
    Devi held out her wrinkled hands, showing off odd lined marks.
    I also have wings tattooed on my back; tattooing is a long, sometimes painful process but ‘tis very beautiful if done right.
    San blurted, “May I have a tattoo grandmother?” Devi laughed, “I am not gifted in that area, the Bendia peoples are very gifted however.” Suddenly Devi was overcome with a fit of coughing. Ah, she thought, ‘tis finally upon me. She managed to recover and told her audience, “I shall have to be brief, this old woman grows tired.”
    After time with the Bendia I got involved in a battle. Raiders attacked a village and I was seriously wounded. By this time I was nearly fifty years old. I recovered-barely. Afterwards wandering was never the same and I soon decided to settle somewhere to finish out my days.
    She was overcome with another coughing fit; this time, however, she did not recover. Devi collapsed. The man in the cloak rushed forward and took her into his arms. “Tuih ithid, ji Devi.” The man murmured. “Nieh, ithid fusz. Qus wect nieht tuih.” Devi managed to murmur in return. Devi’s former audience looked on in a sort of horrified wonder. San, however, fought her way forward to Devi’s side. “Grandmother, please do not die!” she cried. Devi smiled and touched San’s face, she so reminded her of herself when she was young. “Washet hua ink.” Devi said to the crying San.
    The grandmother, Devi, Moora, Iscova, Kage or whatever you would call her took her last breath then. San cried silently for a moment before asking the cloaked man, “What did she say?” The man looked at San carefully, “She said ‘wander, little one.’” San cried again, “What language was that, sir?” she asked quietly when her tears had run out. “Elvish.” The man said simply. “Your Yoseph.” San said, it was not a question. “Yes, I am.” San nodded, “I wish to go with you when you leave.” She said, leaving no room for argument. The man, Yoseph did not argue, “She would have approved.” He told San.
    “What did you two say to each other before?” San asked. The man sighed, “I told her ‘fight death, my Devi’ she responded with ‘no, death hastens. I will not fight.’ But you must understand San that she did not believe in denying mortality, she believed it was denying truth, which is unthinkable.” Yoseph paused and composed himself, forcing the grief from his voice. “You will be received with joy in my village, especially when they learn you are Devi’s chosen heir. Your destiny has come to meet you.” San did not ask questions, she mourned silently for her lost mentor and packed to meet the fate that had chosen her; no, she thought, I chose it. “Washet….” She murmured softly to herself as she followed Yoseph away from all she had known.

    This is dedicated to all the people who wander, whether in body or soul.