Tonight is loud and violent, a storm swept up just after sundown and is ravaging the sky with its lightning. Our cave is dry but cold. I've tried wrapping myself up in blankets but there is still no warmth. The party is sleeping, as would I, had I not awoken from a nightmare yet again. Dreams don't like me much anymore…
I sit up shivering, once again trying in vain to gather warmth. Looking out of the cave there is only a tempest chaos, a swirl of wind and rain. Lightning cracks across the sky going from cloud to cloud almost slowly and methodically. The sounds of thunderclaps are deafening with each strike seen. Its as if the storm is alive and trying to speak.
As lightning strikes again I see in the slow flash a figure standing before the cave. He's a human or something like it. Not slender enough for an elf.
"Lady Vistra?" he calls out,
I stumble backwards in surprise
"My lady I have come to this world to give you something, a small gift as it where"
I finally find my voice, "What? What do you mean? Who are you?"
"Step closer so you may find out," The figure holds out a hand.
I slowly stand and hesitantly take a step closer, after a thought, I pick up my weapon "Just in case". He's standing in the storm but the winds do not seem to touch him, and as I step out of the cave the rain doesn't touch me. The wind around me howls but avoids me. The cold air calms into a small warmth around me. I force another step beginning to regret this.
The lightning flashes again but this time holds itself to reveal the Man, his hair is short but wild as if only ever in the wind, and black as the night. His eyes were serene, a mass of grey clouds with what seemed like electrical currents swirling together for his pupils. His armor now shines in the light, silver with a blue ornamental cloak over it. Not a paladin or a cleric's emblem I recognize, but yet his symbol seems... divine.
"Are you scared?" He asks, the light fading finally, casting him back in darkness save for his eyes, still glowing with electricity.
Yes "No," I hold my weapon tighter.
"Then will you take my hand?" He extends the gesture.
I. Am. TERRIFIED. WHO THE FUCK IS THIS GUY? Why is he appearing out of nowhere? WHAT IS HAPPENING!!!
He smiles to me, and for a moment all the fear is gone, all the pain is numbed. And the warmth in the air is all I feel, and in that moment I trust him and reach out. The calm stays with me as the wind swirls around us harder. He pulls me closer gently. A little too close. And a column of lightning strikes down...
The world is different now, I'm nowhere, but somewhere. The floor is a layer of clouds solid yet soft. Giving only enough to cushion any step or stumble. The sky above me is a deep midnight blue, with a full moon Illuminating thousands upon thousands of raindrops suspended in time, sparkling like stars. This place is not of my world, it should be terrifying, but it isn't... It's beautiful. And in the stillness of the air one thought reaches my mind,
I fall to my knees burying my hands into my face. In this solitude, all I can feel is the need to let everything out, the tears for my sons, the hatred for the gods, the wish to just stop being a disappointment...
I snap out of it raising my weapon instinctively in the direction of the sound. A small grey kobold, only two foot tall wearing a blue bow tie on a worn grey mage cloak.With a yelp, he falls over in panic.
I lower my weapon taking a deep breath, Not alone yet. "Hi" I squat down to him, Never imagined I'd have to do this as a dwarf , "I'm sorry, you just scared me."
He climbs out of the vapor and walks up to me hesitantly. He looks me over, seeming to calculate, then after reaching a conclusion he cracks a goofy smile "HI! I'M TIE!" He extends a tiny little claw. Oh gods he's so CUTE!
"I'm...Vistra" I take it gingerly "So Tie, where are we?"
He looks around for a second and then shrugs.
"How did you get here?"
"Storm Man Bring Me"
"Oh, where did he go?"
He shrugs again.
"Did he tell you anything?"
Tie goes to say something then stops for a moment, "Why you cry?"
This takes me a little aback "Umm, because I was very sad..."
"Then why you yell?"
"Because I was very angry,"
"Sad but angry? Why?"
"Because... Because I thought I was alone..."
"But you not, Tie here!"
"I know and I thank you,"
"Tie knows why you sad," he looks down almost shamefully "Tie saw tears" He points up to a couple of raindrops. But they're not raindrops, they're droplets showing my past, my boys...
"Those all tears, Some yours, Others others." a small drop over him expands to show a clan of kobolds fighting, as a group of adventurers march through their caves, spilling dragon-ling blood...
"Oh gods, Tie you had to-"
"NO PITY!" Tie points at me, "Tie hurt for long time. Tie angry at humans. Tie want to kill humans. Tie try kill Badger" the orb changes to show a half-elf man with Long crimson hair and yellow eyes, "Badger strong, Badger smarter. Badger no kill Tie, even tho Tie try kill him. Badger help Tie, Tie now reads, Tie writes, Tie speak like humans, but not well. Badger help Tie learn, and Tie learned NO PITY from you, from anyone!"
"Well, Badger sounds like a good friend." I smile softly to him.
"You still pity!" He looks almost angry at me, "You pity self, you no let emotions out. You no say why you cry, you no say why you angry, SAY IT"
"SAY IT!" The kobolds voice is intimidating now,
"I...I'm sad because of...because..."
Tie snaps out of his anger and retracts his hand. Then takes mine calmly, trying to be as sweet as possible, he motions for me to sit down. Then curls up in my lap his head against me,
"Tie sorry, Tie still get angry a lot, Tie want to help, Tell Tie everything making sad and angry"
...And I do, I tell him everything, My eldest's death, my youngest's possession, my party leaving, my gods only testing me without reward or praise or even trying to help... Everything. And he simply listens, he holds one of my hands squeezing it gently in both of his when the tears inevitably start to fall, he nuzzles his snout and just lets me wail like a child. Then after the tears had faded and air had fallen silent, he looks up at me.
"You good person, Tie like you, Tie help you!" He reaches behind his cloak digging into a small pouch, revealing a small smooth stone with three scratches in the shape of a W. "Take this, When sad talk to it, Tie will hear!" He holds up a small necklace crystal with the same emblem. "Tie make you part of clan now! You Now STONE WEAVER!!!"
"Stone weaver?" I say shifting the stone in my hands, "Thank you tie.... you are a good person too, And I will be glad to share the name of your clan across the lands!"
Tie smiles, "Our Clan" He clasps my fingers around the stone, "Tie sorry,"
"Why is that?"
"Tie have to go now..."
"That's okay, it...it was nice talking to you, and I will certainly talk to you again." I hold up the stone.
Tie's goofy grin returns "YES! YOU TALK LOTS! WHEN SAD! WHEN ANGRY! WHEN HAPPY TIE WILL LISTEN!" He jumps up and down laughing.
"So, I take it that went well?" The voice from the storm sounds behind me, I turn to see him then back to tie, but Tie is gone.
"Where did he go?" I say staring at the cloud still imprinted from his jumping around.
"He went back to his home to help more of his people." The man looks a lot less intimidating now, his armor gone and his cloak replaced with a large blue scarf bearing emblem of intertwined lightning . "Oh don't worry if I'd let him he'd probably go back with you, unfortunately, I've angered your gods enough." He holds his arms behind his back, looking out at all the frozen raindrops, "And he does deserve to be with his clan. Oh, and by the way congratulations, you're the first dwarf accepted into it."
"I'm honored," I say, still feeling the smoothness of the stone in my hand.
"As you should, it took a lot longer for him to invite me, and even then I was only the second god."
"WAIT, so you are a god?"
He turns back to me with a charming smile, only now do I realize his eyes are normal human eyes, a pleasant shade of grey coloring them, "I am the God Zebonaire, I reign over storms and emotions alike, although you would have never heard of me. I hold no position in your world, I belong to another realm entirely. But, I was asked to help you, as I have others. So I came and observed. If I'd of tried to comfort you there would have only been anger and pain, Tie though... Tie is a wonder at helping others and had he not been taken by another, he would be one of my highest acolytes."
"You were asked to help me?"
"Yes though I don't think I can explain it to you in a way you'll understand, It's not that I don't want to, it's just mortal minds don't have the capacity to accept it and it will seem like madness to you, but then again it is madness."
"So, you took me up here just to have a talk with a kobold?"
"I brought you here to finally let you grieve, Tie wanted to help you as soon as he found out."
"So what now?"
"You keep that stone, to others it'll seem simple, but it will be a divine object to you and you alone. From here on out, decide your own fate, don't let the gods dictate you for their own gains. They may seem all-powerful but so many are just blatantly ignorant. If they try to use you again, outsmart them. Be a champion to the people, not to the gods. Go forth now and know that you can grieve for your children, but I assure you, they do not hate you, in death, your oldest was able to understand, and your other will when you lift his curse."
"How do you know that?"
"If there is a place with weather, I can see it, and emotions are always clear to me. But I'm afraid the time has come for me to depart, Your gods have finally taken notice of this storm and are investigating. So come now, let's get you home." He holds out a hand, I hesitate again but take it as the column of lightning lowers gently down upon us...
The next morning I wake up feeling rested for the first in a long while. That dream... that had to be a dream. The sky is bright and welcoming as the sun rises. The lands are dry, no signs of rain in the last couple of days...
"Just a dream," I whisper to myself getting up and ready for the day, but as I stand a small stone falls from my lap, one with a simple mark scratched into it's surface…
Comments (0)See all