Orphan of the Stars

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Orphan of the Stars

Postby Salirien on Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:54 am

Here comes a seven-part story, giving a peek into Salirien's history. After over a year of RPing her, I thought it was about time you actually got a little peek into her backstory. I think this one might be a little heavier than my previous, but I hope it's not backbreaking! I aim to post new parts every five days. Some things are probably a little confusing, and some things might need speculation. Enjoy ^^



"I have decided to heed Ethelinas’ advice. I shall accept Endolin’s invitation and become a Priestess. I only fear Elune would scorn us if she knew."

Chapter 1 – Child Clad in White

Ashenvale was endless. The forest was an eternal myriad of greens and violets reaching for the stars, trickling streams and fragrant scents of foliage and dirt. A saber could manage the rugged root-and-dirt ground of Ashenvale as well as any snowy hill or frozen lake of Winterspring. Gwaithir had taken off her fur cape, but still found that leathers and wool were too hot for this place. The nights were warmer here, much warmer.

“I think you shall like it here.” Meranwith’s voice rumbled deep as the ocean, but it housed optimism. “You will never go cold or hungry. You won’t be alone, and once you get to meet Olithir, I think you will never want to leave. Doesn’t that sound nice?”

Gwaithir leaned her head against his father’s chest in the saddle. She was tired of travelling. “Yes, father.”

Beneath the everlasting ashen trees, sunlight was transformed into a veil of emerald and amethyst. Gwaithir had heard tell of the forests beyond Winterspring and their ethereal beauty, but she could never imagine it. Not truly – not like this. She knew ice, snow, wind and storm. She knew mountains and lakes frozen solid, moonlit tundras and rugged canyons. That, too, held its own beauty, of course. Pure, white, unchanging beauty – so much like the Goddess. As night turned to day, the saber was brought to a halt.

“Here.” Meranwith handed her a sleeping roll from the saber’s back. Gwaithir was continuously surprised by the animal’s stamina and fortitude, and had not expected it to travel quite so quickly. She kicked away rocks and twigs and unfurled the sleeping roll. It was worn and thin, but it was better than the naked ground. For all the life the earth held, it was surprisingly cold.

In her eight years of living, Gwaithir knew her father poorly. He was mostly silent, but not unkind. He had taken care of her well enough, and she had not understood at first why they had come to Ashenvale. But it was dawning on her that it was for her own good. As beautiful as this place was, she feared being left her. She feared even more giving voice to that very fear. If you speak it, it becomes truth.

They had been traveling for weeks, and with each passing night, Meranwith grew more and more tense. Wherever they were going, and whatever waited there, he was not looking forward to it as much as he proclaimed.

When Gwaithir woke up, it was still day. A few, lonely rays of light breached the canopies far above, scorning the earth so far below. The light was almost horizontal, and Gwaithir knew dusk was approaching. She could feel it on the air as well. The inescapable warmth of day had already given way to a comfortable breeze, which carried with it the scents of the forest.

“We will reach our destination tonight,” Meranwith said, rolling up his sleeping pad. He looked at her, golden eyes inspecting as ever. His hair and beard were black as midnight, and from what Gwaithir had been told, her own white was a gift from her mother.

He handed her a set of white robes, simple and unadorned. They reminded her of the robes priestesses wore, only less elaborate, less exquisite. He must have read confusion on her face, for he spoke without her asking. “Do you remember what I told you?”

She nodded, and accepted the robes. Donning them felt surprisingly nice, and they did not make her sweat like the leathers and furs did. She looked up at her father for approval. He kneeled down, placing his hands on her shoulders.

“Now… what is your name?” he asked, not for the first time.

“My name is Salirien. No last name given.”

“Where are you from?”

“I am from Winterspring, a small mountain village.”

“Who are you parents?”

“They died in the mountains; I was raised by the village.”

“Why have you come here?”

“To seek apprenticeship with the Priestess Olithir.”

He hugged her tightly, but he looked sad. She had memorised what to say, and did not think she had disappointed him. Although she was puzzled, she climbed up on the saber, which proved a bit more difficult in robes.

“You have to sit like this now,” her father said, lifting her to place both legs on one side of the saddle. Had he not sat down behind her, she would have surely fallen off at once. She had seen robed druids and priestesses ride like this back in Winterspring, and wondered how they made it look so natural.

They had been riding off the road for several nights, but tonight, they were truly in the depths of the forest. This place was full of life, ripe with sounds and scents. The birds sang songs to which she knew not the words, and every gust carried a new forest aroma. Dewy grass and thick moss, blooming flowers and berries… unfamiliar, all of them, yet all very welcome.

“Halt!” It was the voice of a woman, loud and commanding. The saber came to a stop, but Meranwith made no reply. Gwaithir looked for the source of the voice, and found it atop a gigantic root, which was so massive a grown man could walk under it, and ten might stand atop it. She was clad in purple and gold, but lacked the thick leathers and furs of the Sentinels of home. She held in her hands a spear, and Gwaithir had a feeling she knew well how to use it.

The woman looked at them for a while before jumping down, her eyes fixed on Meranwith. “What brings you to this place, brother?”

“I am here to see the Priestess Olithir. I have for her a student.”

The huntress frowned at this, eyeing Gwaithir sceptically. “I hope you have not travelled far.” She looked at Meranwith again, unsmiling. “Olithir has been dead for some time.”

Meranwith paused. “What?” He shifted nervously in his saddle. The huntress nodded.

“She died at sea. It’s been almost fifteen years.” There was little emotion to be found on her face. If she was saddened or regretful of the Priestess’ death, she hid it only too well. “Endolin is the Priestess and mayor of this village now. She will see you. And you look like you could both need some rest and a meal.” And as welcome as those words were, Gwaithir worried. What becomes of me now?

They followed the huntress through the thick, ancient undergrowth. She moved with the effortless litheness that characterised the sentinels, like a panther’s shadow, cutting through the forest, clean as any wind. Her spear seemed not to hinder her movement, nor her grace. In fact, it seemed so much a part of her as the beak is part of the bird, or the claw part of the panther.

Before Gwaithir saw or heard the village, she could smell it. The forest had an abundance of fragrances, and this place was no different. It smelled clean, inviting, fresh, like so many blossoms at dawn, so many trees at spring. Smells all so natural and alive, it was unnatural in spite of itself. Druidic magic…

Cradled in eternal roots, atop them and below them, on low branches and within the trees themselves, the village was built in seamless union with nature. The forest looked as if embracing the huts and houses. In the middle of the village was cleared an area, with a modest shrine to Malorne and Elune. Wooden carvings intertwined with marble statuettes, and as always, both Elune and Malorne’s faces stirred a sense of admiration within Gwaithir.

“The Priestess Endolin will receive you. She has served as mayor since the death of Olithir. Her living quarters can accommodate you both, and your companion.” She spoke of the saber of course.

Gwaithir was at once afraid. In the shadows of the village, in the height of the trees and under swirling roots, eyes regarded them in silence. Silver and gold, countless as the starlit sky, and deathly silent.

“Will the Priestess Endolin be able to take her in?” Meranwith asked. There was unease on his voice, and the huntress was like to notice. She gave a shrug. “You shall have to ask the Priestess Endolin yourselves, I think.”

They came out on the other end of the village, where rested a lake, now gleaming in the moonlight. Gwaithir spotted then the village’s temple. It was relatively small, single, columned rotunda, built upon the shallow waters of lake. Wrought in marble and intricately decorated with murals and statuettes, it held a beauty that was, like so many other things of this village, modest in spite of its intricacy.

Gwaithir spotted within that domed rotunda a single woman clad in white and silver. She sat on her knees, back turned and head low, with hair black as midnight spilling down her back. They dismounted the saber, and followed the Sentinel into the temple. Even as they crossed the marble walkway across the lake, and entered the single room, she remained silent and unmoving. They came to a halt upon the marble floor.

“Your Radiance, we have visitors,” the Sentinel said. The Priestess stood and turned. As Gwaithir laid eyes upon the Priestess’ face, she realised she was no longer afraid. In that moment, her worries and fears were all swept away, and in their place, she found only peace and certainty.
"Shine your light on us, Mother, for the day has grown long, and we are lost."
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Aariam on Mon Sep 07, 2015 1:11 pm

Ooooh, what's thiiiiiis? :D I am so looking forward to the following parts; this is, simply put, amazing!
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Yeldras on Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:18 pm

This is amazing!

I am glad that there will be six more of these stories, I can't wait to read them.
You're really talented, I give you that!
:D
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Soriah on Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:25 pm

Ohhhh Sali Sali Sali. Mmmhm. Mm-hmmm. That's some good readin'. Man I love your writing. Your English is better than mine is. XD And the fluidity of your prose is just.... yeah.

Mm-hmmmmm.
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Salirien on Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:14 pm

Here's part two ^^ It picks up where part one ends. Enjoy!


“Am I a fool to worry? My inner light is granted by the Goddess herself. I am here by her grace, and it is in her light that I live. The fashioning of my spirit was her doing, and not a mistake. This revelation, so welcome and required, grants me some peace.”

Chapter 2 – A Place to call Home

“Thank you, Rhyn, you may return to your post,” said the Priestess, her voice commanding. The Sisters back home had been soft and meek, almost submissive to the Sentinels, but it was not so here. The Sentinel nodded and turned, leaving with no further conversation.

The Priestess eyed Gwaithir up and down, measuring her, before affixing her eyes on Meranwith. Her robes of ivory white were adorned with silver chains and rings, moonstones and opals. She made Gwaithir feel terribly simple and small, standing in her plain robes of white.

“Priestess Endolin, it is a pleasure to meet you. You shine with the radiance of-” Meranwith started, but got no further.

“Yes, yes, and the Mother is most kind to have brought us together. I can only assume you have not come here to seduce me.” Her words were the crack of a whip, leaving the room silent afterwards.

Gwaithir looked up at her father again. He stood agape, as if frozen in a furious snowstorm. She had never seen anyone talk quite like that before, least of all to her father.

“Well? Was there something you wanted?” Endolin brought him back from his stasis, but words eluded him still. Endolin’s eyes fell to Gwaithir. “I guess by the dress your girl is wearing that you had hoped to present a pupil before Lady Olithir, but she has been dead for some time, Elune grace her. And I do not take pupils.”

It was relief Gwaithir felt. As the plans for her future cracked and broke before her, she could not be happier. Even Meranwith was better than this harpy. Elune’s grace, she would rather live alone.

“But your Radiance, she is gifted!” Meranwith interjected, but Endolin seemed unimpressed.

“Every elf with a daughter claims so, thinking her some saint of salvation. I’ve met enough ‘gifted’ children to know gifts are rather unimpressive these days. And even if she were gifted, I do not take pupils.” It was with irritation she repeated herself.

“Let her at least show you what she can do. Maybe there is someone else who would take her?” Meranwith’s voice was uneasy. Gwaithir had a feeling he was not expecting this kind of reception. Well, how could he? He had expected the meek Priestess Olithir.

Endolin, tall and unimpressed, inspected Gwaithir. It was impossible to guess her age, but Gwaithir had the impression that Endolin had fought in the War of the Ancients. Or perhaps she just would have liked to.

“There might be others who would take you in. Show me what you can do.” With an impatient hand gesture Endolin took a step back, giving Gwaithir room to work. She looked up at her father, who nodded. Somehow, she felt like she was the one comforting him in nodding in return.

It had come to her rather naturally. Perhaps it was being raised without a mother of her own that had made her turn to the Goddess in her infancy. Perhaps it was the snowy hills and frozen winds of Winterspring that had made her discover her inner fire, and kindle it to stay warm. Or perhaps it was some cruel trick of the gods, that she be blessed with this power, powerless to help. Whatever the cause, whatever the reason, she had found Elune’s light within herself, and learnt how to use it.

She drew upon that power now, and it grew to bursting within her. There was peace and calm in Elune’s light, but the terrible majesty of her power could not be ignored. Yes, there was peace, but there was terror as well. This power, so grand and vehement, evoked a fear, as it brought Gwaithir to a place of ascension. In this moment, she was more than a Kaldorei, more than a helpless child. She was Elune’s hand, and she could choose to be either palm or fist.

Gwaithir gave the power ‘shape’. From Light she weaved a wroth fire, and before long, a loud series of claps, almost like thunder, came roaring across the lake’s surface. A fierce wind, uncomfortably warm accompanied the clap, alongside a flash of silvery light. She had chosen to be the fist, and brought down a pillar of divine fire on the lake. The burst, far from their position, still created a wave of heat that tugged at draping pieces of clothing. The fire hissed angrily against the surface, and stirred larger waves to splash up on the temple floor.

Gwaithir had seen proper priestesses evoke silver fire before, and she was gruesomely aware that hers was different. They summoned forth a fire that could be managed, that did as they wished. The fire became an extension of the priestess, but it was not so with Gwaithir. Hers was chaotic and wild, and sometimes felt like it would sweep her away into a raging inferno were she not careful. She lacked control, and this too, she knew.

And then, both within and without, there was silence. Endolin had turned to look in the direction of the fire pillar, and whatever her thoughts were, she did not give them sound. Gwaithir shifted uncomfortably. As she let go of the Goddess’ power, so too did the sense of ascension fade. She felt small and vulnerable, and so terribly mortal.

“No child should hold such power.” Endolin spoke at last, breaking the infant silence. She turned to look, no, glare, at Gwaithir. “You will stay here with me. I shall find for you a suitable tutor, when the time is right. I would not dare hand you over to anyone, displaying as little control as you do.”

Gwaithir turned to look at her father. Meranwith nodded, but there was a melancholy to his entire being. It was as if he had already started drifting away. I am unnatural. He detests me.

“I will educate you on worldly matters until such time, and teach you restraint, lest your power take your life, or that of someone else.” There was no warmth or softness to Endolin’s speech, only the unforgiving truth. Gwaithir held a power that could crush as easily as it could create, sear as well as soothe. “You may leave your child with me, brother. I shall take care of her.”

Meranwith bowed deeply. “I knew I could count on the Sisterhood, Your Radience. Thank you for this. You have done us a great-”

Endolin interrupted him again. “I am not doing this for you. I am doing it for the girl. You may take your leave.”

Gwaithir was afraid, but no more than she could handle. Fear was mellifluous, transient… it was but a reminder. She hugged her father as he knelt down, and placed a hand on the back of her head. “Don’t let that harpy scare you. Your blood is that of ice and storm. Your spirit is the frozen mountain. Endure and become strong… child of Elune.”

And as certain as day must become night, and again turn to day, Meranwith was gone.

Gwaithir had felt exposed and vulnerable most of her life. Here, before Endolin, this feeling was particularly true.

“What is your name, child?” Some of the sharpness had left her voice, and an almost maternal softness could be seen in her eyes. Even so, her authority remained almost daunting.

“My name is Salirien.”
"Shine your light on us, Mother, for the day has grown long, and we are lost."
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Aariam on Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:58 am

Give me more, give me more, give me more. :D
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Edradir on Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:29 pm

Such a true delight to read your stories, Sali.
While reading, my eyes were as glued to the screen.
Quite the talent you have there.

I do love the Kaldorei names you use in in these stories.
They make the world seem bigger, sort of speak.

She was Elune’s hand, and she could choose to be either palm or fist.

Of all this is my favorite line. In this line you made Sali a true power to reckon with.

I look forward to part three.
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Salirien on Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:55 pm

Thanks so much for the lovely feedback you guys! Makes me so happy to see that you like it ^^ Here's the third piece, a little more light-hearted or so I tried. It takes place a few years after part 2. Enjoy!



“In my prayers, I feel the same union with the Mother as Endolin describes. It is easier if I can focus on the tasks before me. I must learn, so that I can serve. Hopefully that will be enough to receive salvation. I ask not for rapture. I ask not for sanctification. I ask simply to be free of guilt and fault.”

Chapter 3 - A Boy Named Ethelinas

“Endolin says we shouldn’t disturb you,” Ethelinas presented a bundled up piece of cloth. “But I wanted to give you this.” Salirien looked at him sternly. She appreciated the thought, and not just a little, but Endolin had warned her not to get too close to the other villagers. Lest they know.

“I am grateful, truly, but I must refuse your gift.” She tried to sound stern, but not unkind. He looked disappointed.

“You didn’t even look to see what it was,” he stated regretfully. In truth, he was one of the nicer people in the village. Not tall for his age, but strong enough, with a hint of under bite and a somewhat hooked nose. He was sixteen winters, one more than she was. None of these were the things that made him nice, though. He had a kind spirit, was quick to laugh and slow to anger. He was industrious, she gathered, and already committed to the preservation of Balance.

“As I said, I am grateful, but… you should give it to someone else. Surely there is someone that will need it more.” Salirien saw little point in arguing further. She had a feeling that for all his virtues, Ethelinas would also be terribly stubborn. And so, thinking herself terribly clever, she turned to the statuette of Elune and pretended to pray. Surely he will leave if he thinks I am praying.

But he did not leave. Instead, he sat down with Salirien to partake in prayer. Salirien forced away a scowl.

“May I pray with you?” he asked with a boyish smile. She could not tell if he was being sheepish or cocky. Oh, how she wanted to glare… but instead she smiled softly, as Endolin had taught her. It would be very unbecoming if she were to turn away a man seeking the Temple to practice his faith. Even if practicing faith was, at the moment, a makeshift excuse to spend time with the village rogue. And she was no Priestess to be certain, but… she had received some training these past years, that she might learn to control the powers she had found within herself. And it had been very helpful indeed, even if it was on the fringes of anathema that one such as she be trained.

Fearing what Endolin might say if she would refuse him, she nodded, and his smile became a little more secure. They then closed their eyes, heeding Elune’s Word.

But what was that scent…? It was pleasant, but she hadn’t noticed it before she closed her eyes. It was quite soft, mild even, like a leaf-ripe wind, or bark freshly peeled. But there was a richness to it, a fragrance of the earth. Even so, she realised quickly enough that it was Ethelinas’ scent, and it bothered her that she liked it so. She frowned.

Do not like them. Do not grow attached. They know you not, they know not your faultiness. Serve and obey, and one day, you shall be free of everything.

When Salirien opened her eyes, Ethelinas lay stretched out on his back, hands under his head. “What do you like?” he asked, eyes closed. He was wearing green and blue wool, baggy trousers and a loose vest over an equally baggy shirt. A black sash at his waist bound it all together, and he looked rather smart.

Why does he insist on talking with me? Perhaps Elune was in a hurry when she made him… surely that must be it.

She was not sure if she wanted to throw a sandal at him, or if she wanted to throw him into the lake. He certainly looked stronger than she, so she paused. Besides, Endolin would surely be displeased.

“You shouldn’t be here,” she replied. He seemed sweet, so uttering those words stung.

Apparently, it stung her more than him. He smiled.

“I must admit I’ve never heard of one of those before. What’s a ‘yushuldntbeeheh’? It sounds exotic!”

She hated herself for smiling. Would Endolin be mad if she threw him out? Into the lake? Just a little?

“I mean it. If Endolin finds you here, she will tan your hide,” she warned. He gave a pensive “hmm” in response, smile making way for a philosopher’s frown. Oh… he was quite handsome, she noticed.

“Maybe so, but I don’t see why. She makes it sound like you are some sort of monster to be feared, but you don’t seem that scary to me. Besides, I like your hair.”

If she had hated herself for smiling, it was unbearable to realise she was blushing.

She kept her hair long, as instructed by her father long ago. It was in a hastily made ponytail; she had not expected visitors in the middle of her duties. You need only wear the hair on you head and a necklace of silver. If you act with grace and dignity, others will come to respect and follow you. Some will even fear you. Endolin’s words rang with wisdom. But even so…

“I… I like flowers,” she said after a pause. The world would not tip over and burn if he knew that much, surely. Everyone liked flowers. “The… yellow and red ones.”

Ethelinas sat up so quickly she was surprised it did not stir up a hurricane. His face was beaming. “Orchids!” he shouted happily. Birds took off in the distance. She was sure they must have heard him as far away as Silithus. He was nothing if not optimistic. She strangled another smile.

“Yes. Orchids,” she repeated, nodding.

“We can go and look at some! I know this great place down the river and towards the coast, where orchids grow like grass. I think there are foxes there too if you want to see them.” He moved closer with a grin, shoving the bundle into her lap. It was warm, and smelled of cinnamon and pastry. You cheeky-

“Then it’s settled! Endolin won’t be that mad, probably. Consider this- eh… part of your education!”

“I really don’t see how this will make more capab-”

“Me neither. Let’s go tomorrow! I promise, you’ll love it!” He was up on his feet, skipping happily across the temple bridge, baggy clothing and long, black hair dancing as he moved.

“Ethelinas,” she called out. He spun whimsically on a heel, facing her with a smile. “I… am looking forward to it.” He gave a grin, before actually leaving.

She turned back to the statuette of Elune.

She could not stop smiling.
"Shine your light on us, Mother, for the day has grown long, and we are lost."
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Aerandyr on Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:52 pm

Awh Sali, that's so cute.
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Aariam on Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:21 am

Salirien wrote:“I… I like flowers,” she said after a pause. The world would not tip over and burn if he knew that much, surely. Everyone liked flowers. “The… yellow and red ones.”


Is the most adorable stuff ever. More more more more. :D
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Salirien on Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:03 pm

Part 4! Sorry for the wait, one has been very busy! Enjoy! ^^



“Truth and honesty are not unimportant, but even the moon shrouds itself in shade. It is untruthful to state that one does not have things that one wishes to hide. We all require shade sometimes. Aessina teaches us this as well. We are of the Light, yes, but even light casts a shadow. This shadow, too, is ours to claim. It must be, lest evil take it for itself, and twist it to sin. For what is the night itself, if not the shadow of a passing day?”

Chapter 4 – White Blooms the Rose of Salvation

Birdsong had long since faded and the smells of forest and undergrowth had made way to a fresh scent that reminded Salirien of home. The pleasant songs of Ashenvale were replaced with the modest silence of highlands, and she judged by the dropping temperature that she was further up, probably in the mountains. The wind was harsher, too, and it sang only in whispers as it combed through the trees. Yes, she was out of Ashenvale forest for certain.

It had been a week since she was blindfolded. She had not been granted any vision since then. Only sounds and smells could tell her where she was, but even these senses were rendered close to useless. There were fewer birds judging by the absence of chirping, and the wind was rawer, less hushed. She sat in the saddle of a saber, and she believed that they were walking on berg, judging by the sounds of the steps.

“Right, that will do.” Endolin’s voice was stern as ever. The sabers came to a halt, and Salirien could hear Endolin dismounting. She helped Salirien dismount as well, blind as she was. Endolin almost lifted her out of the saddle, placing her on the ground with all the softness of a thresher. The ground was soft, but free of grass. Salirien had not been looking forward to this.

“I trust I will not need to tell you what you have to do,” Endolin said. Her tone had grown less harsh, less cold these past fleeting years. There was a sternness to it, that much was undeniable, but it also housed a maternal warmth. That, or Salirien was just becoming accustomed to her mentor’s barking. Think not so ill of her… she has been kinder to you than most. She has been kinder than most Priestesses should be.

Some years since, Endolin’s stance on training Salirien had shifted. She was no longer to be trained simply to master the powers she possessed. No, Endolin had indeed vowed to give Salirien a chance equal to that of others. And indeed, Salirien was thankful to be alive.

Though that might come to an end soon.

“I know what to do, Radiant,” Salirien said, bowing her head. She judged Endolin’s position by the sound of her voice, hoping she wasn’t bowing to thin air. Endolin insisted that her title, Radiant, be used at all times. If not, one might easily forget one’s place. And once the pieces started shifting around too much, chaos was sure to follow.

But Salirien knew her current mission. Find my way home, alone, unaided and without hesitation. That had been Endolin’s instruction.

“Good.” Endolin let out a sharp whistle, and a few moments later, they were joined by a third person. What landed was a stormcrown, but what stood was a man. Druidic magic hummed in the air as the man reverted to his Kaldorei form.

“You’ve taken her much too far away, Your Radiance,” said the man. His voice was too familiar, and Salirien smiled in spite of his words. Neshahen, she thought. He was Ethelinas’ mentor in the Druidic arts. A kind man, calm and patient. He once spent two hundred years watching an oak grow near Hyjal summit, or so the rumours said.

“Nonsense, Shan’do. How is she to lead others one day, if she herself is lost?” Endolin barked back, and Salirien could almost feel the man shrinking, in spite of her blindness. The two usually agreed on matters regarding the village and how it ought be governed, but Endolin still had a habit of snapping at people. She did not mean ill by it. It was just the way The Mother had fashioned her spirit.

“Of course, Radiant. You are correct,” he replied quietly after a moment of internal chastising. Salirien struggled to quell a smile. How far away are we…?

“Right, I’ll take the sabers. Shan’do, I trust you can erase our tracks with your wind?”

“Yes, Radiant.”

“Good. You may remove your blindfold once you have cited The Hymn of the Ancients,” she directed at Salirien, “and then you have five nights to get back. If you are not back by the fifth sunrise, your training is to be discontinued.”

Five nights? Salirien thought with shock. Even if she kindled well her inner flame, it would require that she knew exactly where to go. But she knew better than to argue. It rarely ended the way Salirien wanted.

And then, without much ado or goodbye, Endolin and Neshahen were gone. A fierce wind picked up shortly thereafter, erasing their footprints. And then, accompanied by the mournful cawing of a distant crow, Salirien started reciting the Hymn of the Ancient. It was one of her favourites, though it could drag on overlong. As she sang the final note, she undid the blindfold, eager to see where she found herself.

She wished thereafter to put the blindfold back on and continue singing. She was correct in some of her assumptions. The forest was a thing unseen, and she was up in the mountains. In one direction, beyond a vast valley, she saw eagerly climbing mountains with snow clad peaks. Snow!? How far up did she bring me?

Looking around, she found rolling mountain sides, stone and rich dirt. A few, wispy trees stood solemnly, and there was neither grass nor flowers. Moss covered some rocks and heath grew in neat clusters of burgundy and green. The Stonetalon mountain chain?

The sun was setting on the horizon. Oh, but it was so grossly incandescent... Before long, it would be very cold. Ashenvale held temperature through the night, but these mountains, they would not. Already, the lonely gusts of wind foretold a coming chill.

And thus, with neither direction nor knowledge of where she ought to go, she simply stood there. She closed her eyes, and she prayed. Mother… I beseech you now, but not in my hour of need, nor truly out of want. I seek your guidance, for I am desperate, and I am lost. Please, show before me the way. Let me know my destination, let me know the way. Cut a run for me to follow, that I might return home.

She was unsure how long she had been praying, but when she opened her eyes, the Mother’s touch seemed quite distant. Looking around, Salirien realised it had become night, but otherwise, the world was the same. But it made Salirien frown. Nightfall had come much too quick. Or had she just been praying for that long?

Still frowning, she looked up with exasperation. Sighing, she balled her hands into fists, not sure who to be angry with. The stars were all out, spread across the deep void. Twinkling, white torches, each and every one the soul of a great hero of ages past. Each and every one a blessing from The Mother.

Then, Salirien realised, and smiled at her own stupidity. She peered, searching out the Dragonfly, a constellation. Ah, there it was. And at its centre, The White Rose. It was the star some navigators used to set their course when no other means were available.

“Thank you, Mother,” Salirien said, feeling her prayer rather answered.

She lit her inner fire, and started running north.
"Shine your light on us, Mother, for the day has grown long, and we are lost."
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Aariam on Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:15 pm

What a perfect Friday gift. Please write a book some day; I'll be first in line to buy it. :3
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Salirien on Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:14 pm

Part 5! A bit mushy, I know, but it's integral, I swear xD Enjoy! ^^


"Not so that I pretend perfection. My flaws are many and some are grave. Through hard work and the Temple’s guidance, I know I can become more than I am now. Even if that does require a fair bit of furtiveness. I shall walk a shaded path, as our ancestors have, but I hold ever in my hands a light. It is not a question of evil or good. It is a question of necessity."

Chapter 5 – Ascendance

Music and song spilled from the village. It was a night of celebration, a night of festivities and wine, of dance and parlour tricks. A large bonfire lit the night, and young and old, men and women, all danced and laughed. Fireworks procured through illuminators from Moonglade bloomed on the night sky, sending flashes of bright colours across the black. Flutes, drums and harps made up for most of the music that night, and a festive tune set the mood. Salirien swore she had even seen Endolin smile. And why wouldn’t she? After all, they were celebrating Salirien’s acceptance into the Temple as a true Priestess. But Salirien was standing outside the village, in the little, modest temple on the lake, watching the colours of the fireworks play off the surface of the water. The music and laughter were distant, barely audible, but it made her smile.

She sat on the very edge of the marble floor, between two columns, her feet off the edge. If she were any taller, she might have reached the water, and for once she was glad not to be as tall as Endolin or Rhyn. She was dressed in exquisite clothing, mooncloth as white as newfallen snow, adorned with chains of silver and pearls from The Veiled Sea. Her hair was adorned with a silver circlet, also inlaid with pearls. Such extravagance was new to her. In her three hundred years of living, she had worn neatly tailored, yet simple garments; not so lavish that she might look like someone of importance, but not so plain that the people would not look to her for wisdom. The place of the temple apprentice had truly been one of ever-shifting nuance.

“Why am I not surprised to find you alone?”

Salirien smiled even as she turned. Ethelinas’ voice always made her smile. He wore robes fit for the occasion, brown, green and gold, in layers. He looked dashing, and gilt leaves adorned his raven hair. His smile made her feel warm and safe, and she could only laugh. “It is good to have some time to think on a night like this,” she replied, as he embraced her. He had grown to become only slightly taller than her, but his body was strong. She put her arms around him, giving herself into the warmth of the embrace, resting her head on his shoulder. She was ecstatic to have become a Priestess. But greater than that, she was overjoyed to have learnt what true love was.

“I am very proud of you, Salirien.” His words made her smile wider. “I knew you would do well.” He knew more than she did, in that case. She had been riddled with doubt even as she undertook the trials to ascend to Priestesshood. But now, that was in the past. It had been three hundred long years, but she had achieved what she had once thought impossible for one such as she. Indeed, she had even feared it.

As he let her go, they stood together to look out over the lake. Crimson and jade fireworks bloomed in the sky, and the lake enviously tried to replicate the splendour. The mellifluous lapping of the lake fit quite well with the laughter and song of the village. Ethelinas’ hand felt warm and strong in her own, and she pulled herself close to him. The tones of his voice, the scent of his skin, the warmth of his touch… Yes, I have come to know what happiness is.

“You wouldn’t join us for even a single dance?” Ethelinas asked. He smiled, and there was a clever sharpness to his eyes. Since she had first arrived at the village, almost three hundred years ago, Ethelinas had made her smile and laugh with every encounter. He had become, she realised, the light in his life, outshining even that of the Mother.

“I would, but I couldn’t find you earlier. So I decided to wait for you to find me instead,” she replied, and he chuckled. “And I don’t want to dance with anyone else.”

“So you laid out a trap for me instead?”

“Trap?” she asked with mock indignation, giving him a slap on the upper arm. Again he chuckled, knowing all too well how she would react.

For a while, they simply stood thus, and there was peace. “How lucky we are,” Salirien said, leaning her head on his arm.

He nodded, a low “mmm” escaping his throat. “We shall savour the nectar while it’s in our grasp. This,” he said, gesturing towards the lake, still displaying the colours of the fireworks, “all of this, the village, but most of all each other, we shall remember. These will be the memories that accompany us, when we cannot accompany each other.”

They had spoken of it more than once in the past. She had strived to become a Priestess, he had strived to become a Druid. One day, they would, as sure as day must turn to night, be set on different paths. At least for a while, before they could find home together, and let blossom their love anew. And what a wondrous bloom it would be; not the frail and fleeting roses of the west, nor the staunch shrubberies of the far south. No, their love was the everlasting ashen trees – faithfully reaching for the stars.

“That will be enough for me, I think.” Salirien closed her eyes in thought, and a smile adorned her face. “I shall ask for nothing more.”

“You… make me happy, Salirien.” His words were more divine than the Goddess could aspire to be. Had Salirien not been trained to hide away her emotions, she might have wept with joy. But she would not, not now at least. Endolin had helped her with the makeup, and the mere thought of showing Endolin’s work spoilt to the senior Priestess was terrifying, and sobering. “I hope I can make you happy as well.”

“More than you could possibly realise, my love. There are no words for this feeling. It is beyond the realm of comprehension. Sometimes, I find myself fearing I’ve gone mad.” She stood to look up at him, and he smiled. Could he be any more handsome…?

“Now, let us go and dance,” she said, leading him across the temple floor.

“Good. I am aching for some shaking,” he said with a flat voice. It made her laugh a little more than it should have.

“Here,” he said, wiping away a tear from her cheek with his wide sleeve.

Salirien was happy.
"Shine your light on us, Mother, for the day has grown long, and we are lost."
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Aariam on Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:29 pm

God, poor sweet little Salirien. :D

Aerandyr must read this and be so envious. ;)
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Re: Orphan of the Stars

Postby Aerandyr on Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:33 pm

What? No. Why?
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