[Fanfiction] Wind-Whisperer (1st book) - Chapters 15, Epilogue & Glossary

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[Fanfiction] Wind-Whisperer (1st book) - Chapters 15, Epilogue & Glossary

Post by Ommariuolo »

Chapter 15 – Ur
Buldr, Hag, Menor and Weylin sat alone in the large hall and took their morning meal at one of the many tables that stood between the pillars. At the end of the broad central aisle was the throne of the fortress lord. The walls were covered with many tapestries that showed centuries-old scenes from the life of the Shaikan. Through narrow, high arched windows, the sunlight fell in broad rays in which dust and flies danced.
Finally the portal opened and Darmos Ironhand entered. “I hope you’ve already recovered a little,” he said in greeting. “Goren is fine! That is surely the question that concerns you the most. He’ll come to you soon. He told me that a Shaikan has certainly not often experienced such friendship and loyalty. I thank you for that, and for bringing my grandson here. If I can fulfill any of your wishes, please name them, because I’m deeply in your debt.”
“What about Malacay?” Menor asked in his straightforward, cheeky manner, which gave him some pretty angry looks from the others.
“He’s spellbound, deep in Goren's soul.” the ruler replied. “Because of the blood covenant we cannot destroy it, but the spell is strong and lasting.” He bowed slightly. “Excuse me, I still have work to do. I send you servants to your free disposal.”
When they were alone again, the friends didn't really know what to talk about. Now the final decision was approaching, and everyone was afraid of it, in their own way.

Goren came to in the early morning. Once in a long time, he felt good, liberated and filled with new strength. The fever was gone. He could notice his body again. He listened to himself, but there was no more whispering. Malacay was gone.
To his surprise, Goren found himself in a bed in a chamber. Bright daylight came in through a window. And on the edge of the bed sat a white-haired man he had never seen before, holding his hand.
“What happened?” he asked confused. “The last thing I can remember is going to Shaikur. It rained...”
“That was a few days ago, my boy,” the man replied in a deep, strangely rough voice. “You’ve reached your goal, Goren. And not only that: Malacay's soul is also spellbound in you and will no longer hurt you...”
“My father won't like it,” Goren let slip out involuntarily.
“Ruorim? Don't worry about him yet. I have a message that he isn’t on the way here nor is looking for you, but has moved on with Hokan Ashir’s army,” the man replied. “At this moment... let's deal with ourselves...”
Goren looked straight into the man's face. “Are you... you’re...”
“Darmos Ironhand, your grandfather, quite right,” the man said, then collapsed under the burden of the past eighteen years. He hid his face in his hands and his broad shoulders twitched in silent sobs.
Goren lay completely still. He didn't know what to do or say.
Finally, Darmos Ironhand reached again and took Goren's hand. “Forgive me,” he said softly. “I've regretted what happened for so many years, especially because the last words between your mother and me were unforgiving. We parted after the dispute without saying goodbye and I can never ask her forgiveness again. I think she thought I had cast her out. I wanted to talk to her about it the next morning, but she was already gone. And since then, not a day has passed without thinking about her and wondering if she was fine and how she was living. Every morning and evening I looked for her and Goldenbolt, for eighteen years. And then... yesterday... I learn that she was expecting a son... and now you’ve returned to Goldenbolt as part of her...” His eyes filled with tears again.
“Please don't torture yourself, grandfather,” Goren said timidly. “I can tell you about her.” But I won't tell him that she suffered almost as long and was sad because you had separate in the dispute. That would only break his heart even more. I’ll only report on the good things, with one exception.
And then they talked to each other for a long time.

Finally Darmos Ironhand rose. “I have to look after your friends now, boy. Rest a little, then come on.”
When he was gone – limping slightly, as Goren noticed – the young Shaikan stretched out on his bed. Many strange things happened and he hadn't noticed a lot of them. He felt strangely empty and in a restless mood. It would take a while for him to recover from Malacay's influence. And he had to get used to determining his body and his thoughts alone again. No more voice... or?
Goren wasn’t sure. Because Malacay's soul was still in him, spellbound, but for how long? Really forever? Goren would always carry with him the uncertainty that an event could awaken Malacay's soul anew and brought him back to the surface.
Basically nothing had changed.
But then Goren swept his thoughts aside with a wave of his hand. He shouldn't be brood over them too much now, but rather be happy that he was still alive and well. Certainly there was no certainty. But today he was free and had to use the time that was left to him. There were still unfinished tasks.
And his fellows were waiting for him.

Goren's friends greeted him enthusiastically when he came to them in the hall. They were all talking in confusion, so he gradually learned what happened in the past few days.
As he listened, he looked around unobtrusively for Starshine. She wasn’t there.
Finally goren got a chance to tell what little he knew and what came mainly from his grandfather's report.
After he had finished, Goren didn’t allow an embarrassing pause, but asked briskly: “And is this the hour of farewell at the same time?”
He triggered the embarrassment even more.
“If you allow me,” Buldr Redbeard said threateningly, “even if you don't really like to see us here, we were offered to stay a few more days and I accept the offer because the food is good, the beds are soft and there is excellent tobacco.”
“What our friend Redbeard wants to say is the following,” Hag the Falcon explained in his calm voice. “None of us want to leave you, at least not immediately. We went through so much together that we would like to spend a few more days together and would calmly think about our future life.”
“And you have no idea what you're going to do, admit it!” Menor the Thin shouted. “I can see that you still hold on to your father's revenge. And I think Ruorim won't rest until he gets you back in his grip. He's a man who doesn't give up what he thinks he owns and you paid for it. So you’ll have to end this story. I’m your friend, Goren, and you can always count on me.”
Weylin Mooneye smiled mockingly. “So many words and yet so little said! You're really on your way to becoming a bard, Beanstalk.”
Menor blushed and hid behind Hag.
The elf didn’t look at him, but turned to Goren: “If you’ve decided what you’ll do, I’ll also make my decision.”
“Thank you my friends,” Goren said with relief. “It takes me a few days to think. And to recover, because frankly I still feel pretty bad.”
“It would be enough for today. The rest will follow in the next few days,” Buldr said cheerfully. “And now I need a nice foaming mug of black beer!” He clapped his hands. “Hey, servant! Bring us beer, tobacco, bread and meat!”
Goren got up. “Please, excuse me. I'm a little tired but I’ll come again later and then we will celebrate!”
“We take you by the word,” Hag smiled.

Thoughtfully, Goren went back to his room. When he opened the door, he looked to his astonishment Darmos Ironhand, which also turned in surprise.
“Goren, really, I don't need to look for you. I wanted to give you something. Of course it had time, but –” He raised his arms in a helpless gesture. “Yesterday because... I failed again. Even though I was warned, my thoughts distracted me, and Malacay almost managed to escape. I'm a fool, Goren, because I let my feelings guide me too much. You almost lost your life because of my guilt, and I couldn't take it anymore. It’s enough that your mother –”
“No,” Goren interrupted. “It's not your fault, grandfather. My mother made her decision and chose another way than yours. Please, you’ve to learn to forgive yourself. And what happened yesterday is not your fault either. Nobody knows this better than me because Malacay is very dangerous and we’re very close in the blood. If so, then you have to blame him for imposing this burden on you.”
The older man smiled with shining eyes. “Thank you, Goren. Nevertheless – it's too stupid, but I'm afraid it's too late again, and this time I want to do everything right.” He reached behind him and pulled out a shield that shone like a mirror, and which turns green depending on the light – or was silver colored.
“This shield is made from the scales of a dragon,” the ruler of Shaikur declared. “It resists fire and magic. He once belonged to Malacay's son and was long lost, but Ur kept it until the first ruler of Shaikur ascended the throne. Since then it has been going to the respective owner or his descendants.” He leaned him against the bed and continued with a harsh voice: “I wanted to give it to your mother on her twentieth birthday. But now you get it together with this dagger.” He pulled a weapon from his belt.
Goren recognized the flamed knife immediately. “This is Malacay's ritual dagger!”
“Right,” Darmos said proudly. “It was once created with blood and steel in a volcanic forge. The crystals and the dragon scales can prevent or intensify magic, as desired. He’s our most precious inheritance, Goren, so beware. It may help you when you least expect it.”
Goren stuttered in confusion: “I – I don't know what to say...” It was all a bit much at once; but he could understand Darmos Ironhand, after all. He was afraid that everything would go wrong again, no less than Goren himself. Both of them would take a long time to get over it and forget their fears.
“Don't say anything,” his grandfather replied softly. “Just accept the inheritance.” He went to the boy, put his arms around him and pressed him to his powerful chest. “Welcome home, my son, to my heart and to the Shaikur fortress.” Then he let go of Goren, nodded to him again and then left the chamber.
Goren sat down on the bed and looked at the precious weapons. There was a big mess in his head, as well as in his feelings. He had once felt himself to be the richest young man in Fiara. That had been the day when Derata had given him Goldenbolt. There was an ocean of sadness and grief in between.
And now he had suddenly found a grandfather and a home. In Shaikur, of all places, although he never wanted to have anything to do with it.
Could he accept this legacy? Yes. If derata hadn’t left, she had received this inheritance for one day pass it on to Goren.
And out there was still Ruorim, his father. His goals were hardly lower than those of the mages. He continued his evil work unhindered and brought fear and terror across the country. Goren would need these weapons.
Because Ruorim was the only inheritance that Goren wanted to wipe out.
Then the door opened again. Goren's heart was pounding faster, but his face took on a disappointed expression when it wasn't Starshine, as he had hoped for, but the dragon priestess Marela, who had saved his life yesterday. And who had been a good friend to his mother.
“How are you, boy?” she asked.
“Quite good, so far,” Goren replied hesitantly.
“Do you feel powerful enough for a little conversation?” This question seemed very strange to Goren.
“Of course,” he replied in astonishment.
“Then follow me, Goren. He’s waiting for you.”
He? Goren curiously followed the old woman, who led him through a confusing number of corridors. Finally she opened the door to a secret passage and then climbed many stairs, upward and deeper into the mountain.
When they reached a large rock chamber with a single window that cast a narrow strip of light on stony floor, a dark memory came up in Goren.
“I've been here before...” he whispered. He saw the booth under the window and went pale. His nose smelled remnants of magical smoke and he saw resin-like drops glistening on the walls.
“As a matter of fact,” replied Marela, “here we performed your summons yesterday. See you later, my boy.”
He turned and wanted to call her, but she had already closed the door behind her.

Goren stopped hesitatingly when he heard a deep breath. In the darkness he recognized two fine gray plumes of smoke curling gently.
Goren's eyes grew larger and larger as he watched a huge, scaly, spiked, red-gold dragon head slowly slide into the chamber, eyes as big as wagon wheels that were slit and bright yellow. Goren's jaw dropped. The skull of this being alone was already half the size of a whole dragons flock of Raith!
“Ur,” he whispered and swallowed dryly.
“Yes, you know me,” the dragon said in its muffled, soft, strangely echoing voice. “You shared Malacay's life and almost died of his curse. But now you’re safe, Goren Wind-Whisperer.”
Goren grabbed his chest. It seemed to him that his heart was somehow shifted and was no longer exactly where it was before. “Not quite,” he said softly. “He's still in me, isn't it? Like an evil shadow that one day can free itself again.”
“We worked well, child, you should trust us.”
“I never learned that.”
“I'm sorry,” the grandfather said. “If it were possible to use Malacay’s power, the Shaikan might have been able to prevent the evil that threatens us all. The world is on the way to doom, if the Convocation Wars continue to develop, even before the big day. I don't like that either. But I can't give you Malacay’s power without awakening his soul again.”
“It sounds very dark,” Goren murmured.
“That's it,” Ur agreed. “You were there. You saw the two Circle Mages. You felt their act.”
“Can't you do anything?” Goren asked.
“They’re stronger than me,” the dragon admitted. “I’m no longer young, Goren. I haven't left this mountain here for four hundred years. I don't even know if my wings can still carry me. I can better protect Shaikur and the people who are bound to me by my blood staying here. But you can do something.”
“Me?” Goren asked stunned.
“Don't you want to know about your father?”
“Grandfather said he had moved on with Hokan Ashir's army.”
“Yes,” the dragon confirmed. “He had no chance to pursue you after the great battle. Raith the Black made a successful breakthrough. He inflicted a severe defeat on Hokan Ashir. The necromancer is about to lick his wounds while Raith moves on towards Aonir's Blade.”
The name made Goren pay attention; he sensed an indefinite notion, an evil reminder of an earlier event connected with it. But what? It was long gone...
“There’s only desert,” he said. “Could I assume he wants to move on to Kaith Halur, the Hokan Ashir’s fortress?”
The dragon moved his head slightly. “No, Goren. He has a completely different, much bigger goal in mind. Do you know who the Fial Darg represent?”
Goren startled when the daylight suddenly stopped entering the chamber and was halted outside the window. He heard whispering voices in a language that shivered down his spine. What was even worse: he had felt and heard that before, and had seen the same glittering gloom. It seemed like aeon ago when he was still an inexperienced boy and asked his teacher, Master Altar, an apparently harmless question.
“Of course,” he whispered involuntarily with a muffled voice. “Those are the ones you mustn't talk about. The Princes of Darkness, Zarach's most powerful creation, who almost fell into the doom. Bound under the rock there...”
“Raith wants to wake them up,” Ur whispered. “And Hokan Ashir also wants to go there either to stop Raith or to make his own deal with the Fial Darg, should this crazy project succeed. Your father accompanies him.”
Goren felt the horror rise within himself. This story started to grow – too big for him. If this succeeded, the world was doomed, he knew that from the Chronicles. The first time the Fial Darg had lost, the second time almost won if the Guardians hadn’t intervened. But the Guardians were probably gone, maybe forever. So the third time... wasn’t imaginable...
“Why do you tell me all these things?” he asked. “To stop Raith a Circle Mage is needed!”
“At least one,” Ur agreed. “Even if it seems hopeless – we have to do something, Goren. If anyone can do it at all, it’s the Shaikan, because they are dragon blood and have a greater vision than everyone else.”
“The... the spell has been in effect for six hundred years! It’s impossible to lift it up,” Goren stuttered. “And those who... I mean, the Fial Darg are unlikely to bow to a Circle Mage, rather they’ll make him their servant, and what happens then...” He went pale. “Maybe you should resurrect Malacay and let me die...”
“Malacay would pursue the same goal as Raith and Hokan or just waiting to see who’s left and then intervening. The result would be the same as long as his soul isn’t healed.”
“But what does that have to do with me?” Goren repeated. “I'm not a mage, I only have the talent to understand the voice of the wind...” He staggered and felt dizzy when he suddenly remembered something else. The first song of the wind.
They will wake up in the wide country, under the rocks so heavy...
He grabbed his head. “No,” he whispered.
To Ur you speak / your blood will testify /
The keeper is the harsh Aonir's Blade.

“The winds knew it... so it was actually a vision...” he groaned.
“You carry it inside you, Goren,” the dragon said softly. “The secret of the Materia Prima. It’s Malacay's inheritance that rests in you. It can awaken just as its soul once awoke. And then... you may be able to change things... redesign them…”
Goren raised his hands defensively. “I don't want to hear anything about it!” he cried in panic. “No, I'm not, I don't want to be! I’m not a mage! All I ask for is revenge! Let me – let me out of this game, I have nothing to do with it! I’ll never... no, I can't!”
Goren ran to the window and saw outside to make sure that out there, beyond this dusty chamber with the ancient dragon and its terrible prophecies, was waiting for the world he knew and was familiar with.
And he saw it: a bright day awaited him out there, far from the powerful downpours, the fire and the murder of the past few days. His new life.
He was entitled to it!
Welcome, the wind whispered and stroked his head lovingly and gently tousled his hair. We missed you.
Goren didn't answer. He didn't know if he ever wanted to use his gift consciously again. He had learned to fear magic.
“I don't want to be different!” he shouted desperately.
“You are what you are,” the dragon replied gently. “You may not want the magic. But she wants you.”

Epilogue – The view of tomorrow
Goren stood on a battlement and looked out over the country. Tiara's golden glow gradually changed to the gentle red of the afternoon and made all colors softer. The grass of the steppe began to change color in the summer heat. There was no sign of the heavy rain of the past few days. The floor was rough and cracked, the leaves on bushes and trees were wrinkled and dry.
With its breeze, the wind brought the promise of a mild summer night, far from dryness and drought, a short sigh of relief for a few hours before the blazing heat paralyzed all movements again and forced humans and animals to look for shadows. Eagles circled high in the sky, tirelessly with keen eyes in search of prey.
The steppe stretched as far as the eye could see around the mighty fortress of Shaikur. On the highest peaks above Goren, the guards were on the lookout day and night for what it had been their duty since the dragon blood’s castle existed. The proud flag was waving in the wind.
Down in the hall, the fellows celebrated extensively, and in the meantime even a few Shaikan had joined them, amazed by their contagious happiness, and also amazed that these different ethnic origins knew no inhibitions in their dealings with one another and clearly understood each other splendidly.
Goren knew that his friends were waiting for him. Before speaking to Ur, he had also gladly participated and felt free and exuberant for the first time in his life.
But now his heart was heavier than ever; he couldn't just join them and pretend everything was fine. He hadn’t been able to deliver the bad news immediately. It didn't matter one or another day, they should enjoy carefree fun and happiness for a while. That also applied to his grandfather.
When he felt a movement behind him, he turned.
Starshine stood before him, dressed in finely woven Shaikur fabrics and with a new cloak. She looked relaxed, and for the first time he saw her face in daylight, illuminated by the red-gold glow of the sun. He knew immediately that he would never had enough of her, and wished he had a third eye that could always look at wherever she was. One could hardly believe that she was a dark elf, so pure and bright she appeared at that moment; only her dark purple starry eyes seemed as deep and unfathomable as ever.
For a while they looked at each other in silence.
Then he grabbed his chest where his heart was beating. “I was dead, wasn't I?” he said softly.
She nodded. “The only way we could ban Malacay. But only for a short time, Goren, and I kept your heart as I had promised.”
Goren turned back to the country and put his hands on the parapet. “Everything is different,” he whispered.
“No,” she replied. “You’re the Goren you always were. Just as I'm always Starshine, hooded or not, silent or not.”
If only it were so easy, he thought. At that moment his burden weighed heavier than ever, and he wished to share it, or at least speak to someone he could trust, who knew him better than anyone else, and who... had kept and preserved his life. Someone who might know what to do now.
He opened his mouth, but then he noticed that he was alone again. Starshine had left without another word. Goren felt a bitter taste in his mouth, and he felt that he had missed something.

“What’s up, Goren?”
He jumped when he heard a familiar, bright voice that tore him out of his thoughts. Menor the Thin had appeared, his brown-red mop of hair more confused than ever. He clasped a wine cup with a shining smile and had put his arm around a young Shaikan maid who was apparently adoring him. “Finally I find you, by Zerbo’s fiddle! Why are you standing around with a sad expression like a wet cat? It’s a wonderful day, we’re all dry, there’s plenty of food and drink and... whee... pleasant company, and I’ll immediately give a performance of my best songs that you should not miss! Away with the sad thoughts! You’re much too young for that, my friend. Today it’s time to open a barrel, to be happy because we’re alive and we’ll save the world again tomorrow. Agree?
Goren suddenly had to laugh. “I'm coming!” he said and followed the thief and bard, whose cheerful wisdom kept astonishing and comforting him.


Gods / Guardians

Aonir the Wanderer once brought the world of Eo to life; its distant light still shines on the world today, its protection surrounds it like a field. Before leaving the world, Aonir left aspects of himself, the Guardians, that are revered today as gods.

Hirin the Rider
Stands for wind, storm, passage of time, past, freedom.
Soul carrier, dream messenger, sleep and nightmare bringer.
Invoked by: all good people (messengers of death, dream), nomads
Symbols: a lonely rider, the hourglass, a black stallion, the falcon, the wolf.

Niethalf the Smith
Stands for smithy – and construction craft, hardness, strength, courage, war.
Soul smith, examiner, shaper, master of battle, master of eternal food.
Invoked by: all good people (warriors), main god of the dwarves.
Symbols: an armoured blacksmith, hammer, anvil, the bear, the eagle, steel.
There’s another god the dwarves serve: Bjarne, who lives deep in the Grimwarg Mountains with his servants.

Elen the Lonely
Stands for nature, water, rain, fog, riddle, wisdom, quiet, healing, art.
Rain woman, mist weaver, singer on the river.
Invoked by: all good people (nature / farmers, healing), main goddess of the elves.
Symbols: a slender woman with long white hair, white she-wolf, the owl, the yew

Zerbo the Fiddler
Stands for cleverness, exchange, trade, music, thievery.
The juggler in the mirror, rags prince, snow-white fool.
Invoked by: thieves, jugglers, traders, gypsies.
Symbols: a lonely fiddler, black cat, the crow, a mask, the fencer, a black-haired youngster, a fool with snow-white hair.

Shanna the Weaver
Stands for handicraft, home, health, family, healing, gentleness.
Mother, sister, the kind, the gentle hand.
Invoked by: humans (goddess of the people), artisans, farmers.
Symbols: the woman at the loom, a good-natured woman who gives a goblet to a kneeling man, a gray cat, the dove, the oak.

Ereon the Scribe
Stands for knowledge, education, medicine, research, neutrality, justice.
Master of the books, the mediator, keeper of the arcans, the righteous.
Invoked by: all good people (scholars, magicians), judges.
Symbols: the scribe, the pen, the scales, the book and the sword, the raven, man in gray robe.

Tiara the Dancer
Stands for sun, vitality, light, the goodness, hope, inner strength, warm, fire, wildness, passion.
Dancing flame, sky watcher, golden, shining.
Invoked by: all good people (sun, the goodness), main goddess of humans.
Symbols: a dancer adorned with gold, the flame, the sun, a circle, gold.

Renegades (Evil gods)

Nor the Silent

Stood for moon, night, rest, sleep, forget, cold.
Now sees itself as knowledge, clarity, power, truth, master of the night.
Formerly called: master of the silver sickle, the silver, the cold eye.
From his current followers: master of the night, the only seeing, silverweaver.
Invoked by: all evil people (knowledge), main god of the dark elves.
Symbols: a black-clad sabre fighter, the moon, the sickle, cold salt water, a silver web, a silver spider, silver.

Zarach the Growing (earlier Ulm the Caretaker)
Stood for growth, diversity, animals and creatures.
Now sees itself as creator, innovator, growing, conqueror.
Formerly called: world tree, the multi-colored.
From his current followers: the clawed, drinkers of the world's blood, the dark storm, iron root.
Invoked by: chief god of the orcs and trolls.
Symbols: the red claw, the black root, blood, iron, a claw-shaped tree without leaves.

Convocation and Alliance
Every three thousand years a comet causes a total star eclipse on the so-called "Convocation" day. Rune boards indicate that this natural wonder unleashes unbelievable magical powers that can make a powerful mage become divine like a Guardian. The Circle of master Mages was founded over 500 years ago, developing a plan to secure as much as possible until this day, in order to then achieve ultimate rule and control. About fifty years before the predicted date, the circle of now immortal mages breaks out of lust for power, intrigue and strife. The Convocation Wars begin, affecting the entire Fiara continent.
The 13 Circle Mages are: Hokan Ashir the Necromancer; Uram the Red; Yria of the Light; Undergast the Weaver; Isgrimm the Smith; Raith the Black; Gor the Changeling; Silverhand, Master of the Mirrors; Ianna the Singer; Zahaar the Snake; Shar of the Isles; Rohen Tahir, Master of the Elements; the Piper.

Gold piece: also called golden Eagle, Eagle, gold crown or royal currency. Heavy, large gold piece. A good, custom-made armour costs a golden Eagle, depending on the location also a small piece of land.
Silver piece: also called Falcon. Silver disc with an embossed diving falcons. It can be used to buy fine cloths and good weapons. 100 pieces of silver correspond to the value of a gold Eagle.
Copper piece: also called Penny, Puck or Goblet. Shaped as a chalice, the symbol of the goddess Shanna as a "gift of grace" to the people. One can buy everything it’s needed for everyday life, including small delights like a beer. 100 pieces of copper correspond to one piece of silver.

In order to practice magical arts and to influence the worldly or divine stream of magic, a mage must use his own magical power, called Mana. The effect of magic is claimed and consumed by this magical force, which regenerates itself again.

The magic is divided into white, black, elementary and mental areas, whereby each mage in turn has his very special talents, such as the mastery of fire or ice. Goren's talent refers to the area of natural magic, Weylin's healing gift to life magic.
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