The many years of living alone, thinking my parents were not coming back. The mornings with little meaning of anything, not even the beautiful scent of the flowers in the vegetable garden.
Loosing track of time just watching the spider work in the corner where the rafter meets the wall over my bed. Wriggling my toe to feel the edge of the skin I’m under almost scratching myself on the wooden planks of the wall.
Thinking back to these mornings when facing the consequence of not having sufficient bread during the rainy season, just because I didn’t get up and do my chores. Putting on another kettle with the herbs my mother taught me to use.
Ah the voice of my mother in the garden when we were picking the vegetables and digging the root crops. ‘I told you son you need to dig deeper to get them all up. We will need it for the rainy season.’
She would always find a way with things, no matter how little she had of the grain somehow, she made a bread and I loved the taste of it.
I know I learned to do the same when I grew up, but still it is not quite the same is it?
Father was different, he was more the teaching kind and yet I knew him so little. He taught me the world but nothing about himself. I don’t know where he came from or how he grew up. I know that he lived in this house of course but that’s it.
The tales he told was about the world where he travelled and the people or creatures he met. The wretched kind on the Island of Igharu. Their ancient spirits of the shadows and the smell of fish.
The magic they possessed in their gems. The nightmares I had after that evening; they were like stars crossing the sky in the night. They came towards me from the shadows and from any odd place of darkness.
Huh, the gibberish I thought but still it came to me every now and then. Even at my old age I returned to some of these thoughts. After all the things I had seen Igharu was still there, like the sum of all darkness.
The shadows of the well below Alta, spreading and hoarding anything getting too close, lingering on to maintain hope of resurrection. The loss of newfound friends and allies, trying to get them back.
The day that my parents finally returned after their longest journey to the north. Father had sent the falcon ahead and when I felt it, I stopped and froze for several moments. The weather was mild, and the rainy season had ended. The clouds were light, and I could still smell the bread I held in my hand that day.
Algor Rim, the Kingdom of Wolves, my ancestors’ home. The magic of going there and to see them as they really are.
The cold regions lie peaceful an undisturbed by anyone. The snow falling on my face while I make it through the forest of giant pines. Watching the branches on these giant trees disappear in the sky above me when the snowflakes slowly slide towards the ground.
The white plains at the food of the mountains hiding the city of the Wolves. These fine houses decorated by skilled craftsmen. Watching the candles in the windows passing through on the street visiting mothers’ kin.
The terror I felt when they told me. All I ever knew was the tales from the elves and then it turned out to be my family.
I am gifted and now I know.
The pulse from almost any creature was touching me and I learned to read it. Even if they were distant. Especially the blood-ghouls hunting their prey.
Father talked to me about the pulse. I didn’t understand it at first, it just came to me all the time and I knew mother and father, I knew their pulse, I grew up with it. When he told me it all started to make sense!
I was playing with the birds, figuring out where they went. I noticed their way of working together catching the insects. Just like the Silverfalcons hunting the sedge warblers in the grasslands.
The feathers were amazing, they never failed their target when I was careful with my crafting. They brought me many meals hunting the meadows of Alta with my bow.
Ah the meals at Alta, in the cottage together with Marka. The new herbs he brought from Phaelon.
When I visited the King in the great palace of Tharia. The mix of their fruits and herbs with the juice of berries. The sin and terror the day they destroyed this city. Ripping the heart of Levia and Bortalo and ruining the lives of so many.
The reign of K’hamon and the ghosts of Igharu. Slaughtering the kingdoms of elves and humans. I didn’t think I’d live to se the day when it was brought to an end. This gives me peace in my heart.
Bringing the five races together brought me hope. The long nights with Marka, the interpretation of the scrolls and working through my trances with the potions from mother’s recipe.
Floating in between worlds to see what might become. Trying to understand the signs in the many visions, always disturbed by the dark mists of the well.
The exhaustion and recovering with the help from Marka. I think I almost lost my breath one day and I was surprised waking up and he told me I had slept for three days.
Just like I was at the time I was 10, during the rainy season. Mother cooked the brew and father went to get the herbs and all the other things she asked for. I remember when it started, and I got the fever. It was in the evening I was preparing myself to go to bed. I fell on the floor as I tried to stand up from the chair at the table.
The blurry days waking up listening to mother singing for me. Falling asleep again.
Almost a full moon cycle I was just lying there, hot and cold. Father visited the Ice mage in the mountain to seek for advice.
These tall shapeshifters, shy and yet so powerful with their magic and their gems. Always passing the giant on the mountain. Give him a sheep or two and you’re his best friend.
Climbing Alta, I knew every little rock, every obstacle and shortcut. The hidden entrance to the west and the natural well in the middle.
When we uncovered the hidden dungeons to find the dagger. The darkness almost got me then. I remember the feeling; it was like a pulse inside the pulse bouncing from one dimension to the next.
I wonder if father knew this. Were his warnings to keep clear of the wells because he knew or just because he suspected it. Sometimes I found it difficult to figure out myself, did I know or did I just suspect it.
I didn’t know Ludo until he was actually there, I never found the pulse, did I?
The water, the lake, the ice, they were all connected to the ancient relations of races. The evening Ludo told me all this it made such an impression to think they were almost mortal enemies after so long. No wonder the valley lay desolate for so many generations.