May 6, 2001
Mayella - by Karina
The old librarian took the book from the shelf and walked gingerly over to
the semi-circle of young ones that came to listen to the tales of old. She
sat in the chair near the fire in front of the eager little faces that
surrounded her. She adjusted her silver spectacles carefully and tucked an
unruly gray strand behind her ear, pausing purposefully for the
The librarian smiled and opened the ancient text on her lap. She
surveyed the sea of pigtails and cow-licks and started gently, "Long ago,
before the time when clans had towns, many clans settled themselves in
either the City of Medievia or Trellor. Other clans were nomadic, wandering
in search of a permanent home. One such clan, in this bygone time of
Medievia, was a clan called the Nomads of the Seven Winds. They have gone,
now, dispersed with the changing of the continents and the coming of the
Kingdoms of Old, but their story lives on. This is but one chapter from
With that, the old matron began to read:
For many years the clan had been wandering, city to city, village
to village, each day blending into the next until all was a blur. It had
been so long since they had called any place "home" some had forgotten that
it had ever existed at all.
Most of the youngsters had no heart for the journey - no passion for
the endless search that filled each waking thought of the elders. It had
become normal, another routine of their everyday lives. The writings and
teachings that had once been the spiritual mainstay of the clan were
routinely subject to question, if only in thought. Were they really in
search of a savior who would lead them to a glorious new homeland? Was he
and his lineage to be conqueror of their enemies and their ruler for all
time? Or were they just the ramblings of a madman?
Twelve year old Mayella was the fifth youngest daughter of Cook,
the lowest ranked member of the council of elders. She ignored the cynical
remarks of her peers and had dreamed her whole life of the Chosen One, or
rather of the things he would bring. She dreamed of a home, a small
cottage on the outskirts of a village somewhere - perhaps one very much like
the one they were traveling toward this year. It would be just small
enough not to be considered an official city, she decided, but large enough
to have its own baker, whose breads and pastries would fill the morning
air with their sweet, comforting scents. It would definitely have its own
post office, with a friendly clerk who would hand her packages filled with
chocolates and pretty dresses. Maybe it would be in need of a seamstress,
or a seamstress's apprentice, she told herself. She could take the shiny
gold coins she earned for her work into the village bank where the cheerful
teller would thank her for her business.
Most importantly, it would be somewhere the Nomads weren't regarded as
"filthy gypsies," like she had heard one woman in Trellor say... It would
be someplace for them to call home.
"BYAH!" shouted Mayella's older brother as he rode up fast behind
her. He whapped her head, knocking her down flat back into reality, barely
missing a steaming pile of horse-dirt on the winding forest path.
"Daydreaming again squirrel-bait?" He laughed heartily staring down at her
from his charger, who pawed the ground in anticipation of another wild
jaunt. His steely-gray eyes for which he was named glittered
mischievously in the sunlight.
"FLINT! I'm telling MOTHER," Mayella stared back at him with hard
eyes. "She said you'd best leave me alone because I'm a young lady now."
She got up and dusted herself off haughtily, smoothing out her now
The boy snickered and shook his head. He clicked at the horse and
pressed his heels into its body. The girl watched them sullenly as they
frolicked around the caravan, weaving in-between the wagons and riders with
the other boys.
"His is the soul of a sprite," a soft voice spoke out from behind
Mayella. She felt the soft, reassuring hand of her friend Sevina on her
"Yah, and the face of a banelar," Mayella spat. Both girls giggled.
"He thinks he's so hot, just because he's thirteen and a man now.
He's no man, he's a boy with a man's age!"
Sevina giggled, "Oh, I don't know..." She blushed and turned her
interests towards braiding her long, black hair.
Mayella rolled her eyes. "You are just sick. He's my brother!"
"Come on or we'll fall behind. You remember last time and I do not want to
have to worry about that many road-apples again!" She grabbed her friend's
hand and walked faster towards the others.
Towards midday the caravan stopped, and the clan gathered for
supper. Mayella was glad for it, too. She was too big to ride in the
childrens' wagon now, not old enough to ride in the ageds' wagon- even to
help care for them during the long journey, and she hadn't yet earned the
right to learn to ride or care for her own horse. She sighed happily as
she unlaced her boots and wiggled her toes in the fresh spring air. She
laid back in a patch of daisies on a nearby gnoll listening to the sound of
the cooks preparing the meal, of conversation and laughter...
In her dreams Mayella heard the horrible sound of screams, of fires
blazing. A man's head impaled upon a half-charred sign reading "RO
DALE". A ray of morning light shone through the smoke and ashes to the
body of a red-haired woman. Mayella looked closer and saw a tiny,
wriggling bundle still clutched tight to the dead woman's breast. Suddenly
the sound of hoofs from out of nowhere were coming nearer and nearer.
Mayella snatched the baby and hid behind a barrel, shivering, trying her
best to quiet its tiny cries. Then all became silent. Thirsty from the
heat and smoke of the fires she stood and drew back the cover of the
barrel. She saw her reflection in a pool of blood and heard hideous
laughter. A terrible chill came across her as a form joined hers in the
reflection - then all was black.
Sevina shook Mayella awake, "I SAID it's dinner time, Mayella, wake up!"
Mayella sat up with a jolt, sweating and panicked. In a flurry of
words and hand-gestures understood only by teenage girls she told the
wide-eyed Sevina the story of her daymare. Sevina helped her to her feet
then stood slack-jawed staring at the place where Mayella had been sleeping.
"R-r-r-ring," she stammered, pointing to the perfect circle of tiny
flowers and mushrooms that had enveloped the place where Mayella's head
"FAIRY-RING," the girls screamed in unison, running down the knoll
toward the group of benches and tables that encircled the cooking pots.
"Mayella, you have GOT to tell Larsen," Sevina said solemnly.
Mayella shivered, wringing her hands in worry. "It was a gift, given to
you by the fairies themselves, it's your clan duty to tell him."
Mayella nodded and looked towards Larsen, the clan's Shaman and
chief advisor to Objek- leader of the Nomads. "Tomorrow, perhaps."
"No," said Sevina sternly, "tonight or I will." Startled by the
firm decisiveness of her otherwise bashful friend, Mayella could only nod
After a silent supper of venison stew, the girls walked together to
the table where Larsen sat and formally requested an audience. The other
adults at the table were bemused by the seriousness by which the two
presented themselves and nodded chuckling nods towards one another. Larsen
seemed to sense the urgency of the matter. He nodded towards his wagon and
rose to walk with them.
Mayella felt as if she'd swallowed a stone as he stood, towering
over them, while she told him her tale. Larsen nodded thoughtfully and
called over his wife to join them. Baylenn listened as carefully as her
husband had, and without a word stepped into the wagon and began rummaging
through an old chest. Larsen knelt before the girl and took her by the
"I believe you young one. I do believe it was more than a nightmare.
You know my wife is a seer," the girls nodded slowly, glancing
into the wagon at the Shaman's mysterious wife with reverence. "She, too,
has had a dream of this place, just the night before last, though not with
as much detail as you have just told me."
Sevina looked over at Mayella strangely, as one who has just looked
upon their first banelar, but she stood fast at the girl's side. Baylenn
emerged from the wagon with a small satchel. From it, she took a piece of
paper and a fresh quill and drew a strange symbol. "Did you see anything
that looked like this anywhere in your dream?" Larsen asked, pointing to
the squiggle on the paper.
Mayella squeezed her eyes shut, trying desperately to replay the
dream. She opened them and shook her head no. Larsen sighed heavily.
Baylenn pursed her lips and took a small crystal ball out of the
satchel. She sat and gazed deeply into the crystal ball, losing herself in it
for a moment. Her eyes seemed to be searching, reading, watching something
inside the ball neither of the girls could see. Suddenly a faint light
started to glow inside the ball. Mayella looked harder into the ball and
saw again the form that had stood behind her in her dream, dark and
foreboding. She drew back in terror.
Baylenn smiled a sad smile and nodded at Larsen. She tugged at
Mayella's skirts, forcing her down beside her. Baylenn took the girl's
hand into her own and smiled into her eyes reassuringly. She took the
crystal ball and placed it into Mayella's palm. Same as before, but
brighter now, the ball began to glow.
"Look inside," Larsen urged.
Mayella drew in a deep breath and looked deep inside the sparkling
light within the crystal. Instead of the dark terror she had seen before,
Mayella saw the red-head woman rocking her baby to sleep. She could hear
the woman's soft lullaby and felt the warm glow of the candlelight as if
she were in the same room. The baby gurgled happily as it sucked on its
fist and slowly drifted off to sleep. The woman drew a soft, creamy shawl of
lambswool around the both of them. Much to Mayella's surprise, embroidered
on the shawl in elegant deep blue stitching was a symbol much like the
squiggle Baylenn had drawn before.
The scene was so peaceful, Mayella felt like she could stay in it
forever. She was drawn back to reality by Objek's booming voice commanding
the wagons reassemble and start back on their way. Mayella looked over at
Baylenn, whose eyes were brimming with tears. "I don't understand," she said.
"We think it is him," Larsen said quietly, wrapping his arms around
his wife. "The Chosen One."
The journey towards Robinsdale seemed longer now than ever. Were
they really about to find him? Was she a seer like Baylenn? So many
questions filled Mayella's head. Many more than she could ever have
answers, she thought. It occurred to her that she didn't even really know
Baylenn like the others. The clan was very tight-knit, each member knew
every other one of them like they knew themselves- except for Baylenn.
Baylenn wasn't an extraordinarily beautiful woman. She was rather
thin and spindly really... Mayella thought. She certainly stood out in the
group of curvaceous clanswomen. She had long dark, mahogany hair, not at
all akin to the rest of the clan's beautiful black hair. And her eyes were
not the eyes of a clansman either, they were forest green with flecks of
gold, like a tree in autumn, and when she looked at you they almost seemed
to speak... Mayella thought about her own brown eyes with sudden disdain
and began to wonder how such a respected elder such as Larsen could have
seen fit to marry an Outsider. The girl admonished herself for feeling
such things for the woman. Regardless of how she came to be a part of
their family she WAS a part of their family and that's all that mattered.
Mayella hated it when her mother's voice spoke inside her head.
Mayella couldn't remember when Baylenn had joined the clan. She
also could never remember hearing her speak. She tried asking the adults
closest to her about the mysterious woman, but none of them could remember-
or would tell her, she surmised, anything about her.
Mayella knew it was wrong to dwell so much on the affairs of
others, but she had plenty of time to herself to think since Sevina had
started to avoid her. She had made the excuse that she was going to try
and earn her way to a horse, but Mayella knew the truth. Sevina had been
acting strangely since that dream, Mayella decided. She and the other
girls dared not whisper or say mean things about her, such was not the way
of the clan, Mayella knew. But she couldn't help but get the feeling that
they knew, they all knew, and suddenly she, too, felt like an Outsider.
Objek had announced it was only two days more to Robinsdale.
Having no one to talk to or even walk with made it feel like two years to
the girl. She had hoped that perhaps her Mother would be willing to let
her ride in the wagon, just for today, but there was no room for her and
the other children and all their belongings. Besides, her mother had
asked, you're a young lady now - wouldn't you rather be with your friends?
She didn't know, and Mayella decided she couldn't tell her. She couldn't
bear for her own Mother to see her as an outsider, as she was sure the
Suddenly the caravan stopped. A feeling of panic washed over
Mayella. The elders were called out of their wagons to the front to meet
with Objek. It was less than an hour later that the announcement came-
they were going to stop for the night. Mayella puzzled over it, they had
never stopped to sleep before sunset and it was only midday, they hadn't
even had supper yet and were stopping for the whole night?
Mayella sighed and found a place beneath a nearby tree. She waited
until the caravan had formed its protective circle in a nearby clearing to
go find her parents wagon and dig out her blankets. She was stopped on the
way by Larsen's soft baritone.
"Mayella, you'll be staying and traveling with my family from now
on," he said. He outstretched his hand to her. She took it and smiled,
glad for the chance to finally belong somewhere - maybe even to find out
some of Baylenn's secrets.
As the pair walked towards the front of the caravan, Mayella could
feel the weight of her friends' stares on her back. They passed all the
wagons with plain canvas coverings, the open wagons, the people on
horseback and on foot, and finally came to the last in the line of the
fancier wagons. It was beautiful, Mayella thought, with real glass windows
and wooden walls and even a real wooden roof. It was almost like a mini
house on wheels. She almost burst with happiness, but Larsen passed it.
Instead, he walked to the back door of an even bigger wagon.
Larsen and Baylenn's wagon was most comfortable. Mayella didn't
understand how they could survive on so little supplies in their wagon, but
she figured it was easier without ten children to care for.
Larsen watched the girl study the wagon, bemused. "You have
questions," he chuckled genially. She squirmed and nodded slowly. "Go
ahead, we're stopped for the night anyway."
Mayella gazed around at the many plush blankets and comfortable
looking pillows stacked all around the wagon. They seemed to cover
everything- draped over various chests and benches. It was almost like a
sultan's paradise to the girl. Being born of one of the clan's poorer
families, she had never seen such luxuries.
"Where is your wife?" she asked boldly.
Larsen coughed and smiled a half-smile. "She is out in the woods
gathering berries and herbs," he said. "You're very curious about her
aren't you? Most people are," he said knowingly.
Mayella nodded bashfully, not wanting to seem nosy or gossipy.
Larsen looked at Mayella thoughtfully, almost seeming to see inside
her mind. Mayella squirmed uncomfortably at the thought.
"You can keep a secret, can't you," he said. "If I trust you and
tell you what you want to know, you must never tell another soul, not even
a fellow clan member."
Mayella nodded eagerly. Larsen sat across from her. "Baylenn's
true name is Lovella. She is the daughter of a half-fairy and a simple
woodcutter." Mayella gasped at the thought.
"Yes Mayella, Baylenn is one of the many granddaughters of the
Queen of the Fairies. The Queen was furious when she found that one of her
daughters had run off with a simple peasant, and a human at that.
Baylenn's father was killed immediately, and her mother was banished from
the forest. I met Baylenn long before you were born, in the village of
Godun - it's gone now but it used to sit on the southern coast. She and
her mother had been living as our clan was, as gypsies, selling their gifts
of sight beyond sight out of the back of a simple wagon." Larsen sighed
sorrowfully. Tears began to well in Mayella's eyes for Baylenn's plight.
"The people of Godun were...a fervently religious breed. They saw
them as an abomination. Baylenn's mother was being stoned to death when a
couple of us rode in as a scouting party. I saw her there trying to
protect the old woman from the rocks. I saw her strength and her heart and
I decided then and there that I would be forever hers. It was crazy when I
think about it now, but we rode in and stopped them...somehow, something we
did or what we said stopped them from killing her, too." Larsen shrugged
and smiled softly, "I can never say the gods aren't watching us every day,
and I thank Vryce for it."
Mayella wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled. "Why is she
called Baylenn?" she asked.
"When Lovella's mother was killed, I got Objek's permission and
asked her to join our clan. At that moment she said that so long as people
hunted her for what she was, she would no longer be it and bring danger to
our clan. At her confirmation she told the clan that Lovella no longer
existed- that she wanted to be solely a part of our family and asked for a
clan name. Objek was so moved he made her a part of his own blood and
christened her Baylenn."
Mayella nodded. "Why have you no children?" she asked.
Larsen winced as if pierced with an arrow. "We were married for
the longest time when our prayers for a child were finally answered by the
gods," he began, sighing heavily. "It was to be a girl child, right about
the time you were born I think.. It was during the time of the war with
the Knights of the Tower."
Mayella frowned. She had heard the stories of the Knights of the
Tower. She knew all too well what happened during the time before her
birth - the war the Knights waged on the peaceful Nomads.
"They are generally honorable fighters," Larsen continued. "They
normally don't attack the defenseless, it is against their code. The war
was brought on by one of their warriors called Dooley, a bloodthirsty lout
who later started the Dark Raiders clan."
Mayella shivered at the name. The Dark Raiders were known for
their indiscriminate killing of anything living, and destruction of
anything beautiful. They were said to even worship the last of the Dark
"He stole upon the place where we had hidden the defenseless - the
aged, the children, the sick and infirm. He killed them all with sprays
of acid - they had no way to escape. Baylenn survived but the child was
lost - she hasn't spoken since except in telepaths to me," Larsen said.
"I'm so sorry," Mayella began, stammering an apology for her
impertinence in even asking things that caused undue pain.
"No need," said Larsen wiping the mist from his own eyes. "It was
a long time ago.. it's over and done with now."
Courtesy stopped Mayella from asking why they couldn't just try to have
another child, or telling him they'd be such wonderful parents
and it was almost a shame for them not to have one. She sighed and
stretched her legs out.
Baylenn entered the wagon a short time later with a basket brimming
with freshly picked berries. She smiled joyfully at Mayella and sat the
basket on the girl's lap. Mayella smiled back and held the basket
dutifully. Baylenn laughed a silent laugh and nodded at the berries,
seeming to say go on, have some!
Mayella had never tasted anything so sweet and delicious as the
berries they shared that night. She had never spent a night so comfortable
and warm as in the wagon in her own bed of pillows and fuzzy down blankets
as that night.
Mayella wasn't awakened by the sound of hitches and the groans of
early-risers at first light the next morning. She was, instead, roused
quite a bit later than usual by the gentle rhythmic clinking of pots and
pans hung on the wagon's walls. She sat up and was greeted by Bayleen's
warm, enveloping smile from across the room where she sat reading.
Just as Mayella could see the midday sun peaking in the sky through
the stained-glass windows in Larsen and Baylenn's wagon, the caravan
stopped. Finally, thought Mayella. The Nomads of the Seven Winds had
finally come to Robinsdale. Baylenn could see the excitement on the girl's
face and let her out of the wagon first.
Instead of the bustling village Mayella had expected to see, she
was met with a cloud of billowing smoke rushing towards her like a beast
lunges towards its prey. She fell back, gasping and looked up to see
Baylenn's horrified expression as she surveyed the area.
Mayella stood and stepped closer to Baylenn. The woman grasped
Mayella's hand and led her into the village as if in a trance.
The elders and knights had gathered in defense in front of the
caravan trying to protect the clan from anything that might have laid the
village to such waste. Mayella could hear the murmurs from the crowd that
gathered as Baylenn pushed their way through.
"Was it a dragon?" someone shouted from the back of the crowd-
Sevina's father, Mayella recognized.
One of the knight-heroes shook her head and shouted back, "No, no
tracks, no scent, and there is no gold here. A dragon would not have done
Objek ordered the clan to sit tight and guard the caravan while he
and a few of the knight-heroes checked the town. Baylenn, with Mayella in
tow close behind her, came upon the row of knights who stood as a barrier
between the curious crowd and the unknown dangers of the ruined village.
She had only to touch his arm and look him in the eye before he bowed his
head and let them pass.
Baylenn raised her hand, almost as if calling upon a gust of wind.
A gentle breeze blew aside some of the smoke and ashes. Baylenn clamped
her hand over the girl's eyes a second too late, and Mayella had to stifle
a scream. They had come upon a half-charred sign that might have once said
"Welcome to Robinsdale", but had been burnt to say only "RO DALE". Atop
the signpost had been mounted a bloodied head.
Baylenn spun Mayella around to face her, turning her back to the
gruesome sight. She looked deep into her eyes and took a breath. Mayella
nodded her head and knew what she must do. She was here to find the child.
Mayella knew this place, if only from a short dream. She led
Bayleen to the small house where she had seen the woman rocking the baby.
She looked around and retrieved the shawl, tossed haphazardly on the floor
as if by one who had fled. It was dirty and smelled of smoke, but it had
miraculously survived the fire and felt exactly as Mayella had imagined it
would, creamy soft lambswool. She folded it carefully up in her hands and
tried not to look around any further. She looked out the door at an
overturned wagon. Its contents, barrels of wine, had been spilled
everywhere except for a few that were spared long enough to be emptied by
the raiders of the town. Raiders, Mayella thought .. Dark Raiders.
They're the only ones who would do this. Baylenn nodded at her, as if she
had been reading her thoughts all along, and urged her continue forward.
Barrels, Mayella thought...something about barrels. The blood
inside wasn't blood at all, it was wine.
There were three barrels off by the side of a building. She had remembered,
she'd hidden behind them in her dream. Mayella's thoughts ran wildly through
her head as she quickened her pace. The woman had been near enough to the
barrels for her to hide quickly. She searched in the rubble, watching
carefully and listening for any signs of life. Mayella tried to ignore the
dead, the charred body hunched over still clutching at a sword in its chest,
a headless body laying where it fell. A sickening bitter lump rose in her
throat at the stench and horror. Baylenn put her hand on the girl's head
reassuringly and urged her on. Without a word Baylenn reminded her of the
importance of finding the child.
Mayella wrung her hands in frustration, straining to hear even the
faintest of cries - desperate to see even the slightest twitch. She circled
the building slowly, almost without hope. It didn't seem as if anyone had
survived the massacre - how could a baby even have lived through the smoke?
Mayella's eyes began to flood with tears of despair, sadness, and pure hate
for the Raiders. How could the gods allow anyone so cruel to go on doing
such horrible things? She sat on a barrel which had toppled over on its
side and wept uncontrollably.
Baylenn could do nothing but hold the sobbing girl. The smoke
seemed to be thickening around them and time was precious. Baylenn held
her hand up to the sky once more and called down a gust of wind to blow
some of the smoke away. The wind seemed to kiss Mayella's tears and
whisper words of hope in her ears. She looked up towards the sky, as if
for answers from her gods.
Baylenn called once more for wind to clear away the smoke and ash.
It wasn't but a breeze but it was enough for the sun to shine through the
haze. Mayella followed a single ray of light down from the sky through the
smoke and saw a glittering of red hair blowing softly in the breeze.
Mayella stood up with a shot and raced over towards the red hair,
only a few feet away from the barrels near the other side of the building.
Baylenn followed close behind. The two stumbled over what seemed like a
mountain of debris before reaching the dead woman's body. She lay there on
her side with her back turned towards them. She was broken and cold, the
woman from inside Baylenn's crystal ball. Mayella was grateful that the
woman's eyes were closed and her face looked peaceful, but she couldn't
help but be almost completely consumed with grief for this poor woman. She
couldn't see what killed her, and Mayella knew she didn't want to. She
stood there, watching, while Baylenn turned her over and gently took the
wriggling bundle from the woman's arms.
Terror came over Mayella. In her dream, after she had retrieved
the baby, the form had tried to get her. She looked at Baylenn alarmed and
tugged at her arm desperately. "We have to GO!" she whispered. Baylenn
looked around and nodded. She handed the baby to Mayella and pointed the
way back to the caravan.
Mayella hurried as fast as she could, holding the baby close to
her. She was trying so hard to be careful not to drop it. She could hear
Baylenn's footsteps following close behind her.
What happened next was a blur to Mayella. She remembered the faint
sound of hoofs in the vicinity, coming steadily towards them. She
didn't look back, she ran as fast as she could, screaming baby and all,
towards the safety of her clan. She could see them just beyond that last
house, just after the sign. The knight-heroes came rushing out to meet
her, swords drawn. Mayella didn't look back, she didn't want to. She knew
what was back there. She wasn't sure where Baylenn was now, all she knew
was that she had to save the baby.
She reached the safety of the edge of town and dropped to her knees
from exhaustion. She was picked up and carried back to the group by one of
the elders. From there she watched in amazement - the clan's knight-heroes
were fighting the form from her dream.
"Who is that?" she asked aloud.
"Dooley himself," answered one of the aged.
Mayella relaxed her grip on the baby in her arms, suddenly aware
again of its presence. She refused the offers of the clanswomen to take it
from her. She rocked slowly, watching the battle unfold ahead.
"It's not often he fights himself, he usually sends in one of his
lackeys," snorted another.
The crowd screamed in fury as Dooley's sword ran through Sherrod,
one of their bravest fighters. The knight-heroes were retreating, slowly,
more concerned with guarding the group than killing Dooley.
"Run Nomads, RUN!" Dooley jeered from atop his horse. "I can kill
you ALL anytime I want." He sneered wickedly and laughed a hideous laugh.
Mayella gasped with surprise as a huge ball of fire enveloped
Dooley, barely singing him. From out of the dust and smoke behind Dooley
rose Baylenn, awash in sparkling white light.
Dooley chuckled. "You?" He pointed at Baylenn and roared with
laughter. "Objek I come for a fight and THIS is the best you can do?" He
waved his hand at the knights standing in front of him. "Well, I will have
a kill today, who shall it be?"
Several of the knights gritted their teeth and looked towards Objek
for his approval. Objek pressed his lips and shook his head no.
"This is Baylenn's fight," he conceded.
Baylenn rose her hands to the sky and shouted words incomprehensible to
Mayella, calling down a column of flame to consume Dooley. Though his horse
fell to ashes, Dooley stood up singed- and very angry.
Dooley rushed at Baylenn, sword drawn, when she suddenly split from
one into twelve Baylenns, circling and glaring at him. Dooley slashed at
each one fruitlessly while she called another column of flame.
Baylenn laughed aloud as the large man swung his sword like a
jumprope, trying to guess which image was the true Baylenn. "I remember
you, he roared. I remember I took you so easily then, I could have iced
you. I killed your little baby though didn't I? Awww.. is mommy mad?"
Baylenn's laughter turned to a strange look of pity and contempt.
Once again she shouted up at the sky in a strange tongue. This time,
though, instead of a great column of flame, a giant white hammer appeared
in her hands. It was wielded in her hand as if wielded through her by a
god. Dooley rushed at her in a blur of evil as she swung the hammer. The
ghostly hammer passed through the body of Dooley making a terrific sound
like a blacksmith's hammer on iron, shattering his very soul, then
Dooley fell limp to the ground, stunned and shaking. Baylenn
walked closer towards him. Larsen walked out from the crowd to join her in
standing over him. He snatched the sword from Dooley's hand.
Dooley's pleas for an honorable and quick death were inaudible to
the crowd. Larsen and Baylenn looked up towards Objek for an answer.
Objek nodded towards them in silent agreement.
While Mayella and the rest of the Nomads looked on, Larsen quickly
and effortlessly relieved Dooley of his life with a single stroke of his
Dooley's body vanished as quickly as he himself had appeared.
"He'll be back," Objek muttered. "In whatever incarnation he can,
he will be back."
Objek nodded to the Nomads to gather themselves up and prepare for
another night's travel. And so they did, leaving the city of Robinsdale to
The baby came to be known by Objek as Lovel, in reverence for the
one whose power had saved his young life. He was found to be miraculously
healthy and unharmed by all that had befallen him. Though Mayella had
fallen in love with the little one, she turned him happily over to the care
and guidance of Larsen and Baylenn. She remained, also, in their care and
tutelage in the ways of magic, and acted as elder sister and guardian
The librarian looked up and smiled, pleased at the expressions of
interest from her audience.
"There are some end notes, scribbled on the margins of the text in
red ink... most likely by the old scholar that retrieved this book in the
first place. He writes, 'It was decided, whether or not Lovel was the
Chosen One, who would lead them to a homeland of their own, that the Nomads
would be just that, and keep traveling partially in search of a place to
call their own, and partially to escape the revenge of the Dark
"As to whether or not little Lovel really is the Chosen One, that
is something that had yet to be seen in another of the Nomads' chapters.
The ruins of the city of Robinsdale have never been found, though the
scholar writes here at the bottom that he speculates that it later rose and
fell as "Kanaya" and later as the City of Karlisna.. no notes as to why he
thinks that though unless it's from his analyses of the rest of the
chapters. I believe he may have put together the trail that the Nomads
"Very few travelers know of the Nomads, and even further know
about the city they founded and the treasures that are supposed to have
been buried beneath in its destruction. I, for one, don't think it's
Karlisna... but then who knows?"
The old woman winked her eye and closed the book softly. "Maybe
one of you, when you grow up and go out into the world to seek your
adventures will find the answer for all of us."
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