As I sit here, I think about my 16 brief years. I, Nikros have named myself Hunter. I wonder what mother would have thought. I enjoy hunting and have always been good at bringing food home. It's a useful skill and one I hope will be useful to others.
Even in this short time, I have seen more humans like me, than others. I am curious, and I am really looking forward to meeting so many new people.
Mother always told me that it was important how I looked. She would brush my black hair in the evenings. I have her blue eyes, and lithe frame, but my chores have added more muscle to me. When I catch sight of my tanned skin, rounded face and wide smile, I see her and I feel the pain just as much now as I did then.
Mother made it clear that I needed to look for work, to find a profession, and make a name for myself. She warned me of ne'er-do-wells but I think my training has put me in good stead to keep myself safe. At least I hope so. I am hoping that I will find others that I can hunt with as I need to start filling my coin purse.
Ruler of Kings. Huh. I never really understood why mother felt that was my destiny. But building up a successful trade should let me have the time needed to assess how I will acheive this. Perhaps Merchant King of Kings?
I need more ink. Must remember to buy.
A Sentimental Value: Herb Kit
On the day I left the forest, I had all but finished packing, spare clothes, comb, provisions and more. I remember looking around the room and spotting the kit, it's leather worn and faded, buckles tarnished and dull.
On seeing it, a memory slipped to my mind unbidden. The stinging where I had scraped the skin from my knee when I had slipped from the low branches of a tree outside. I recalled seeing the blood and feeling so incredibly scared, holding back tears and trying very hard to be brave.
I could not remember how old I was, but since I had been playing out, and not invested in chores, I must have been very small. I couldnt help but smile as I thought back to that tree. It felt like I was on top of the world, and that I had fallen so very far, but really, it couldnt have been more than a few feet.
My mother then, without reproach taking the kit, mixing a salve and applying it to my knee before pressing a warm poultice down, telling me to hold it steady. I remembered the smell of the medicinal herbs so clearly.
I half thought that there maybe other more important things to take, but the kit felt important. Not just useful, but I felt an emotional attachment to it. A last link to my mother.
Most days I had chores that would take me from the moment I woke up, to when I was called in for supper. Mother always lamented the fact that I was not getting enough of an education and had Domenico the Priest hired to spend time with me. His duty was to teach me of everything a man should known. Religion, politics and the world around.
There were days I was spared from my chores, to allow Domenico to teach me to read and write, but these were few and far between. Most often he would regail me with stories. All sorts! Sometimes it was history, and knights and battles that had taken place in exotic places. Other times he would tell me of plants and trees and animals. Some I knew and others were described in such detail that I would dream of fangs and fur and eyes that glowed in moonlight.
Domenico the Priest would come to us on his donkey, the poor creature always looking sullen under the great weight he would have to bare! Domenico was rotund and did enjoy his food. Mother paid him little in coin but would always make sure there was food for his visits. At first I found his height and weight overbearing, but with ruddy cheeks and a booming laugh, I came to grow very close with the dark bearded priest.
I think Domenico is what I miss most now about home.
House of Sorrows
As Jean of Bordeaux finished speaking, I sat back to think on his words. It seemed clear to me, that the children were uniquely different, both in ways I struggled to comprehend. Anxius was the talker, had asked questions but wasn't really interested in the response. He had challenged me because I was new, and out of place in his home. Gailen on the other hand was quiet and meek, yet Jean had described the rages he could sometimes fly into. I tried to imagine what it would have been like for mother, had I felt the rage of an orc and lashed out at her. Simply put, I could not. I looked around me at the walls, the floors and the furniture before realising I seemed to be avoiding the boys. I made myself look at them, study them.
Anxius, a boy who seemed full of energy, but had a look of almost permanent worry etched on his face.
Gailen giving off the outward appearance of deepest calm. Yet by all accounts could become the very opposite at the drop of a coin.
"Thou art trapped here are you not? Ye cannot leave, nor work. Thy love for thine children is evident, and all consuming. Thou are nourishing them both with thine own soul".
I sighed. I could understand the fear. Who would be the light for these two beings when his was gone. Looking around, I spotted Gailen. I saw nought but a child and I felt an anger burn brightly.
"Thou.." I stumbled a little. "... They are cast out here? Reviled by those in Town?"
I watched as Anxius flittered around the room, never settling. I tried again then, to overlay what I had heard to my own upbringing, to the love and light of my mother. I could not understand how any person of sound mind, could fear a child. It was incomprehensible.
I willed myself to think of something else, my mind needing to avoid the misery. I looked up at Jean. Thought about what he had said about being a creator. About the coins that shouldn't have been in my pocket but somehow were. I half wondered if one of the children had somehow slipped them to me when I first had arrived.
"I am not sure that I fully follow thou in terms of the reality of being this 'creator'. It almost seems blasphemous to dwell on such things for too long."
I wondered what my advisor Domenico the Priest would make of all this talk. "However, if I dost comprehend thee to even a small extent, thou hast little to no control within these walls, but your imagination like a bird can fly from this place, letting thou see wonders and mysteries, beauty and ... Life?"
My fingers absently traced the outline of the coins in my purse, which now even felt heavier as if mocking me.
I imagined walking past the house at night, and hearing the mournful cries from within, of a father being able to touch his sons, but not reach them. Of a father who hugs his sons close but cannot protect them.
"I don't knoweth whether I will ever be in such a position where I can offer thou respite. But I would beg of thee to please believe thou will be in my thoughts as will both of thine boys."
I had no idea if there would ever be anything I could do, and sitting there in front of this man, being just 16 years of age myself, and acutely aware that I hadn't had a quarter of Jeans life experiences, I wanted him to understand that if I could do anything to help, if he needed anything of me, I would always be there to try and help. And yet I also knew that anything I had to offer would never be enough to weigh against the misery that the outside world had brought him.
Looking again around the room and seeing the two boys I half wondered if it was a blessing that perhaps they couldn't always understand the things that happened around them?
I felt my eyes drop to the slatted wooden boards at my feet before looking back as Jean and catching his eye.
"Thou must be the strongest of men."
Deity of Nikros
Hemera, a newer spark in the cosmos exists as a force of good, woven into the fabric of nature. She looks for those who retain an innocense, for those who think of others before themselves, and for those who act in charity to others. There is an innate joy in being good, and Hemera dances that joy to all who follow her.
The Beauty of Lady Fluke
Sweet Lady Fluke,
Beauty beyond rebuke,
Your servant, at your service,
With locks of gold,
And curls that fold,
Down, past your shoulders,
Your eyes so bright,
An inner light,
Really, does become her,
With lips of red,
They always said,
A kiss, is all that's wanted.