OF THE WHITE
In a land of dreams and lore
called Aér'aí'chán. In a time lost in myths and fairytales the gods scheme to
destroy the races of Avá, the Dreamer. In this world a young girl dreams... In
her dreams the owl spoke. "You carry within yourself the seed of destiny! He
will bring about great destruction, but he also carries your love and will find
it someday. Let his name be Ethan." Then visions of a great war and powers
unleashed like she never saw before flashed before her eyes... Thus the prophecy
was given and the epic story of the Wizard of the White Tower begins.
orilie got dressed and since the sun was almost gone decided to stay in the clearing one more night. Besides the owl didn’t want to move from its perch and as it seemed that the owl was her guide, she was willing to wait until it moved. She drifted off to sleep. In her dreams the owl spoke. “You carry within yourself the seed of destiny! He will someday bring about great destruction, but he also carries your love and will find it someday. Let his name be Ethan.” Then visions of a great war, and battles, and powers unleashed like she never saw before flashed before Lorelie’s eyes. She saw a man, tall and straight, wearing a black cloak with long flowing hair the same color as hers with strange fire exploding out of his hands. She saw death of hundreds of thousands of people from all the races. Then the vision changed and showed the same man this time wearing a gray cloak much older now facing down an unseen enemy. An unseen youth with others about him also flashed before her. Then there was a bright light, brighter than the sun itself. She turned away because of the brightness and when she turned back she saw herself with a baby in her arms, but she was dead.
Lorilie woke, sweat pouring down her face. The sun was already climbing into the sky and the familiar hoot of the owl reassured her once more. She looked at the owl. It was the same color as the cloak of the man she had seen in her dreams. She wondered about the dream as she rose, washed her face in the brook and caught her breakfast.
What did it mean, that she carried the seed of destiny within her, she thought. I don’t understand. The owl hooted and flew into the forest, returned again and hooted once more. “I suppose it’s time to go,” Lorilie said resignedly. She took one last look at the brook and the clearing and began to follow the owl.
She followed the owl back into the woods. This time though she felt safe as long as she could see the owl. The path through the woods was better this time and she had time to ponder her dream. It has been so vivid, so real. Most of her dreams that she could remember were vague and surreal. But this one was different. She recalled the name Ethan. ‘What is that all about?’, she asked herself. And then she remembered the last vision: The baby in her arms, but she was dead. A shiver ran through her as she thought of it. Is she going to die? Or was it something symbolic, she mused. And what about the baby? Was it hers or someone else’s? There were too many questions and no answers.
Lorilie had followed the owl for many days now, walking as far as she could, then stopped when she could go no longer. She felt sick to her stomach and thought maybe the raw fish had made her that way. It was her only source of food brought to her twice a day by her friend, the owl. By now Loirlie had named the owl and thought of it as a friend. She called it “Monk” as the gray feathered bird reminded her of the gray cloaks she had seen being worn by those who worshipped at the temple in town.
“Monk, my dear friend, let’s rest! I don’t feel so well,” she said as she sat down on a charred stump. Monk hooted and flew back and perched right beside her. Lorilie felt a terrific pain in her abdomen, leaned over and vomited. She had never felt so sick before in her life. ‘What is wrong?’, she questioned. “Monk, I don’t think I should eat that raw fish anymore. I thank you for giving it to me, but I guess it’s making me sick,” she said as she began to vomit again. Eventually the pain went away and she felt better, but didn’t want to move. “How about we stay here for the rest of the day, Monk? What do you say?” Monk just hooted, flew up into a branch over her head and closed his eyes.
Lorilie moved away some from the smell of her own vomit, found a nice soft bed of leaves and curled up into them. She thought of her family. Quickly she rose as a thought came into her head: Her father. What would happen if he would try to find her and was captured by that evil elf or even killed. She had to get home! And quickly!
“Monk! Wake up! We have to go.” Monk lazily opened his eyes and half-heartedly hooted at her. “My father, Monk. My family! I must get back to them. Now!” Loirlie brushed off the leaves and started running into the woods. Monk flew off the branch and led her the way through the forest. She ran spurred on by fear. Thorns scratched her legs and branches whipped into her face. She ran until her sides ached, head throbbing and heart beating fast. Monk slowed down and waited for Loirlie to catch her breath.
She continued walking. She didn’t even stop to eat the rest of the day. As the sun set she continued to walk, then run, and walk some more, pushed on with the desire to reach home and her family. Fearing the worst, she constantly asked Monk. “Do you think my family is safe? What about father? Oh, I surely hope he didn’t try and find me...” Even as she asked those things she knew that her father would try to find her. She just hoped he lost the trail and his good sense would turn him back. But deep down inside of her she knew that his love for her would not make him turn back. She just hoped he was safe. I’m coming, Father! I’m coming, Mother! I’m coming home.
Monk seemed to sense the urgency in her and led her straight through the forest forsaking the path he had been leading her. It was thick with brambles and the underbrush made Loirlie stumble and fall, cutting and bruising herself even more. But determination and fear carried her along. Blindly she ran until she fell over a hidden log covered by thick underbrush and slick with moss. She crashed headlong into the ground. When she looked up she saw a large Eu’r-oak tree. It seemed familiar. She went to the tree and there carved into it were these words. On this spot at Lorilies forteenth year she had shot her first deer. Next to those words were the initials MH and LH.
Her hands lovingly caressed those words and initials. Tears that hadn’t come in days flowed freely down as she realized she was home. “Monk, I’m home. This tree! - See it, Monk? See these initials? My father and I wrote these. The meadow is just through those trees.” She pointed in front of her. But Monk didn’t answer. She looked around and Monk wasn’t there. “Monk! Where are you?” she called. Lorilie continued looking and calling as she picked her way through the trees, and found the path that led to the meadow.
Lars Oman was in the forest as well as most of the other men in the village, searching for signs to follow when he heard Loirlies’ voice. He looked up and through the trees from the west walked out his granddaughter. He didn’t believe his eyes at first. He thought it was an apparition or something, but as she came closer running and calling out “Grandfather” he believed.
She ran into his arms and he just held her as she cried. He was concerned as he held her. She was a skeleton of herself. Nothing but skin and bones. He stepped back and looked at her. She was scratched, bruised and spots of dried blood covered her in many places. Her dress was torn in half and her hair was full of twigs and leaves. And it felt like she had a fever. There were many questions he wanted to ask her, but he knew he had to get her home, into bed and have the local apothecary have a look at her.
She smiled through the tears and spoke. “Grandfather, Oh I’m so glad I found you. Where is Father? Is Mother all right? Monk led me the way home but now I can’t find him now. He found me in the forest after I was…” She stopped as the other men gathered around them.
“Jace, take some of the others and scour the surrounding area and see if you can find someone named Monk. Lorilie said he led her home. I’m going to take her to my place and get her to bed. If you find this Monk, bring him over there! I want to thank him and I have a lot of questions to ask. You others try and find Matthew’s trail. If you do fint it, send word back to me at my place!”
Loirlie laughed. “Grandfather you will not find a man. Monk is an owl.”
“Yes, grandfather - an owl! He found me and I followed him. He fed me and took me to a most beautiful clearing in the forest with a brook that ran right through it just like this one.”
“Shush child,” he said as the other men stared at her. He touched her forehead. “She is awfully hot. Must be the fever. She may be delirious. I need to get her back to my place and have Belrath, the apothecary, tend to her. Just continue to search for Matthew’s trail!”
“Will do Lars,” Jace replied as he the others moved off.
Lars picked up his granddaughter. How light she feels, he thought, and began walking through the meadow and out of the woods. “Where is Father? Where has he gone? And is Mother all right?” she asked again.
“Be quiet now, child! You rest and grandfather will take you home. She nestled her head into his arms and soon fell asleep. As he looked down at her his mind swirled. How do I tell her about Matthew and Ruth?, he thought. How do I tell this dear child that her father went and began to look for her and has been missing these several weeks? How Ruth became sick when Matthew’s horse wandered into the village alone. How do I tell her all these things?, he mused as he walked out of the forest and down the hill towards the Hawke's farm.
Lars Oman and Matthew Hawke’s Great-great grandparents were the first ones to settle this valley. Many stories were told of the great journey of the Serphelorian tribe, of which they were a part of: from the destruction of a great empire way north of the Thaelon forest; of beasts fought, going through a time of starvation and disease as they wandered the lands trying to find a suitable place to settle down. Finally after twenty-three generations of wandering their ancestors had found this valley near the Zeiphyrian forest and declared it their own. Through time Lars’ ancestors had built up the village Sophronia, named in a way after their tribe. Matthew’s ancestors had preferred the land and had founded the valley they named Hawke’s’ perch. Together both families mutually needed each other. As other families had joined the community the village grew more and more into a thriving town.
Esmeralda Oman met her husband at the door. “Lars! Is that Lorilie?” She asked. “What happened to her? Where did you find her? Is she all right?”
“Shush woman. You cackle like a bunch of chickens. Yes, this is Lorilie, though she is not herself. I’m going to put her in the spare room. Meanwhile you go and fetch Belrath and tell him I need him now. And don’t you go and tell Ruth that Loirlie is here. If she sees her like she is now she may have another spell. She is sick enough as it is. Lets clean Lorilie up, have Belrath take a look at her and then, well - tell Ruth. Do you understand?”
Esmeralda nodded, wringing her hands. “Oh my, oh my! Yes, Lars. You are right it would not be good for Ruth to see Loirlie in this condition. Especially after finding Matthew’s…”
“What about father?” Lorilie asked. Lars gave Esmeralda a look of disgust.
“Nothing child. It’s just your grandmother talking nonsense. There is nothing to worry your pretty head about. You go with your grandfather and he will lay you down on a soft downy mattress so you can rest,” she said hurriedly as she quickly walked out of the house in search of the apothecary.
Several hours later Belrath came out of the spare room carrying his bag of herbs.
“Well?” Lars asked impatiently. “Is she going to be all right?”
“Yes - is Lorilie going to be all right?”, chimed Esmerelda while she paced up and down the wooden floor.
Lars looked at his wife and she sat down quickly.
Belrath paused several agonizing moments gathering his thoughts before he spoke. “Most of her cuts and scratches are superficial. They will heal in time. I covered them with Easescathe.” He hesitated.
Lars stared at him. “Go on. What is it that you are not telling us?”
Belrath sighed. “She has been violated and is with child.”
A thump was heard outside the Oman’s home. Esmerelda quickly rose and opened the door. Lying on their porch, crumpled in a heap was Ruth.
Story written by Capher