- - by Pandisha
So, I have part 1 of Pandisha's Story Written. But not posted. And I'm working on Part 2. This is a part MUCH farther down the road hence the ?. Please let me know what could be better! Thankies!
She stood on the prow of the boat, watching Ratchet diminish into the mists that hung heavily on the sea. Rains had come from the East, creating the heaviness in the air that reflected on her recent experiences. Right before the dock was full out of sight she tossed the ring over the edge, letting the current pull it to depths.
She turned away from Ratchet and looked forward to her new life. She would carve out a place for herself, far away from the memories, both beautiful and intensely painful. Whispering she said, "What have I done?" The long graceful fingers on her hand blurred when her eyes filled with tears. Reaching over her shoulder she caressed the blood red hair of her daughter, the only truly innocent victim of the entire ordeal.
Will you be taken from me too child? The High Priest says that it is so. Will all the things I love be ripped from me that I may know pain and learn?” she whimpered to herself while the boat rocked back and forth. Carefully, she lifted the child over her shoulder and cradled the bundle carefully, small rivers of tears flowing from her orange eyes, down her cheeks and over her tusks.
Her eyes began to droop heavily and the gentle motion of the boat put her into a light slumber. She dreamed of him again.
Pandisha... was all that he said in the dream, the look of horror on his face as he looked at the child in his arms, the child that was not… could not ever be his. Then in the dream his eyes would darken, smolder with anger at knowing that she had been faithless while he was on his mission. Her Black Swordsman wanted nothing to do with her. And she knew it.
Pandisha the Lost - Part 1 BanishmentEdit
My life began before the tentative peace between the Alliance and Horde was established. My parents were a couple who lived harmoniously in Shadowprey. Desolace was not a friendly place to raise children, especially a curious troll girl like myself, but Shadowprey - with all the beauty of an ocean front home and other members of the tribe - was essentially ideal. My parents were as all children believe – super heroes with an undying love for their child. Life was simple there.
I was one of only a half dozen children in the village. I was also the youngest and the only girl. Like my papa I had pale purple undertones in my skin and brilliant magenta hair. I had a kewpie nose and orange eyes. My little tusks had just begun to make an appearance and I was the most beloved troll child in Shadowprey.
All the boys were close in age and training to defend Shadowprey. It was a shame because I didn’t have any friends my age or otherwise. I was doted on and spoiled and could get away with murder if I tried. In fact, I did.
Now in case you are wondering how I got away with murder, well, that is a most interesting tale. I was all of five years old. That day I looked adorable with my magenta hair pulled into pigtails and a mischievous smile dancing on my lips, making me look mildly sinister.
I had with age become absolutely petulant. It was the one thing my mother could not condone. She was a woman who enjoyed maintaining decorum; image was everything to her. She was amazingly tall with long legs. She too had purple skin and hair as red as bright as the setting sun.
She was also far along in her second pregnancy. My parents were hoping for a little boy so that he would be able to defend Shadowprey, but I personally was ambitious for a little sister that could be doted upon by yours truly.
She was a master priestess. In the days of the war when she was still training she had acquired much acclaim as potentially being the best priestess in the entire Horde. She had focused her talents into the discipline aspect and was very capable in her art.
It was on a sweltering summer day that I was being particularly bratty. It was always on the hot and sweaty mornings that I could escape because she embodied the word ornery.
“Eek!” I cried out as I dropped an egg. I tried to hide my joy at this “accident.”
“Pandressa Kalinda, please…just go outside. And don’t forget to change into your play clothes. I’m not in the mood to wash your jammies again because you felt like you should play in them,” she said while rubbing her belly.
This is precisely the moment I was waiting for; I was going to make my great escape.
As I ran to the bedroom to change into my outdoor robe I grabbed my mama’s dagger. I knew whate I was doing and wanted to make sure I would be capable of defending myself.
“Bye mama. I’ll be back at supper time,” I called out as I skipped down the stairs, through the inn and out to the main, dusty road of Shadowprey.
As I traveled along the compacted and well-traversed road I waved out my neighbors. Several ladies beckoned me over to taste various dishes – fried fish, mulgore bread, and tons of jerky. I stopped frequently and slipped bits and pieces into my bag so that I would be capable of survival.
Legionnaire Mistsword even said for me to take a dozen sweet rolls home. If only she knew where I was going and what I was doing.
I had already prepared my knapsack for this specific trip. I had a blanket, overnight clothes, tinder and flint, and all the other various survival necessities. Mama and papa had no idea – I was going adventuring like they had in their youth. I was going to make a name for myself just like they always wanted me to do.
I quietly approached the edge of the village and I knew that I would have to cause a distraction if I were going to slip out of town. I carefully began to plot the safest route. As I thought, I noticed Jirio, the oldest and meanest boy in town, approaching the edge the guards. I quickly picked up a rock, climbed a tree with dense foliage and lobed it as hard as I could against one of the guards.
“HEY! Who did that!?” yelled the guard as he spun around looking for the culprit. As my luck
would have it Jirio looked absolutely guilty as he laughed at the poor guard. He looked up and noticed me and while clutching his stomach tried to point me out. I ducked behind a branch and took a deep breath. I was getting reckless, that was too close - I needed to escape before I could begin adventuring.
I slipped out of the tree and snuck beyond the line of sight of the guards.
“Ah, pure freedom,” I sighed as I picked a path.
I was careful to stay to the trees. I knew that my parents would send out a search party eventually. I had learned to cover my tracks in the manner of the hunter, after following my uncle Krinoti. No one would be able to determine which way I traveled.
I also kept my eyes open for any strange creatures that I could not easily kill. I was going to be famous someday, but that couldn't happen if I found myself very dead.
As I continued towards the region called Stonetalon Mountains I heard strange noises. It was similar to the clank of weapons that Jirio and his posse made when practicing, but this was a more ferverent and serious battle. I dropped to a crouch and slowly moved closer as I heard the sharp staccatos of arrows piercing people and the screams of the dying.
I pulled my dagger out of my belt loop and slipped my knapsack to the ground. I was not unfamiliar with how to wield mama's dagger, but I had never really used it to defend myself.
I approached the scene of the battle, being careful to avoid suddern movement and snapping twigs. I wanted an accurate accounting of what this battle entailed so that I could report to the town leader - my papa. Oh, he was going to be so proud of me. My first scouting expedition.
At first glance, I saw what seemed like children fighting against orcs. But I came to realize that these were not children but gnomes. They were no bigger than I, and their hair was as colorful as mine.
With this new knowledge came shock as I saw these child-like creatures killing orcs. I clamped my hand over my mouth lest I cry out and I accidently shifted my weight. To balance myself and prevent falling I took a quick step back. *CRACK* I stepped right onto a twig and began to look around fearfully. Had anyone heard that? In my mind it reverberated loudly.
I slowly turned my eyes back to the fight. But surprisingly there was a girl with neon pink hair in front of me. At first her green eyes looked at me with open curiousity. But when she saw my defensive stance, bared teeth and mama's wicked looking blade, she retreated a step. Slowly, the corners of lips started to go up and she grinned at me. I glared at her as she licked her lips - looking at me like I was a tasty treat. I realized with horror that this creature found pleasure in killing children.
A deep rumbling growl began at the pit of my stomach. Here was my first confrontation with the
enemy. My chance to gain reknown had come. Was I prepared to do battle? I remember watching Jirio attack, parry and defend but that was in mock battles with his compatriots; this had become a matter of life and death.
I lunged towards her as fast as I could, while wildly waving mama's dagger but she dodged and began laughing. This was what I was hoping she would do. I suppose she thought I was predictable and so reacted in the easiest manner. As I stumbled past her I swung my weight back and unleashed a slash directly onto her bare shoulder. I knew my dagger landed because she yelled out in a language that was incomprehensible.
I attacked too slow, however, because it was just a flesh wound. I backed up a pace and crouched low. I never took my eyes off of her as she gingerly touched the surface scratch. She had stopped laughing the moment the sting of mama's dagger was known. I could tell she had begun to take me seriously. Her eyes had taken on an arctic chill.
I could tell that she had trained with her dagger for an extensive amount of time. As she took the offensive she flaunted her expertise and hatred for me.. As the flurry of attacks came I had to back up rapidly. They came so quickly that I was unable to dodge or parry all the blows. I was unfamiliar with the land but knew in Desolace cliffs and rock walls were a common occurence. It would only be a matter of moments before my back made contact and I would be utterly doomed.
"Live or die...I can live or I can die," I thought over and over again in my head.
Then there was the anticipated wall. She cackled and backed up a step, while I cowered in fear. What could I do? How could I escape this dilemna?
As she stalked forward, preparing for the fatal blow, I had a revelation. Over the course of the battle I realized she was a bit more comfortable on her right side. She licked her lips again as she dived forward. I ducked low and into her left so that her momentum would press her past me. Her back was open and I callously stuck mama's dagger into her back. It slid in smoothly and I lost myself. I simply let go of mama's dagger and watched her body crumple to the ground.
My knees buckled and I fell beside her body. I pulled on her shoulder and rolled her over. My body began to convulse as I stared to her empty eyes. And then the contents of my stomach decided to make a reappearance. Things began to get blurry as my eyes filled with tears. I killed. I was a murderer.
After an undefineable amount of time I realized the sounds of battle had faded. As I glanced around I saw the field strewen with dead orcs. I drew myself to my feet and and raced to my backpack. I had to escape. I couldn't be caught by the enemy. They would take my life for killing that girl gnome. When I stooped to pick up my bag I became aware of the sounds of approaching enemies. I began to run back towards my home.
"Mama...papa... I'm sorry. If I die before I get home or you find me, I'm soo sorry," I whispered to myself as I ran as speedily as I could.
I made it to a beach before I collapsed. I simply could not go on. My wounds had stopped bleeding, but I had lost too much blood. I fell face first into the sand and passed out.
When I woke up I remember seeing my mama. She looked down at me, her beautiful hair pulled back and worry on her face. The lines on her forehead softened when she saw that I was waking up. I started to move, to get out of bed and report to Papa what I saw. But mama gently pressed me to the bed.
"Sleep child. Rest and regain your strength. Mama will make sure you never get hurt again," she said as I drifted back into unconciousness.
It took me several weeks to fully recover from my injuries. No one ever asked me what happened when I was quarantined, but I also never saw mama's dagger again. When I was finally well my papa called me into a conference so I could tell him what occured. I lied to him.
"Papa. I wanted to make a name for myself. I was going to go get famous like you and mama always wanted. But then this scary animal attacked me. I didn't know what to do. I ran as fast as I could but it hurt me bad. I'm sorry, I won't ever run away again if you'll keep me," I plaintively said.
"You'll always be our little girl sweetheart. Just promise us you'll never run away again. If you do, we are going to send you to Auntie Ridalia's," was his reply. I shivered at the name of my auntie. She was not one to dote and faun over me.
I felt awful about lying but he couldn't know I was a murderer. The village law was that any murderer had to die. He believed me and I thought I was off the hook. I was for several months.
Then one day, Jirio and his band came back from a scouting expedition. They had been granted permission to explore so long as they had two adult chaperones with them. On this particular day Papa and Mama went with them.
They were returning several hours earlier then expected and I felt a ominous spirit in the air. The boys were not excited as they normally were. They walked into town while holding formation. There were no words, laughter or hooting. As I took in the scene I noticed that they approached the inn.
"PANDRESSA KALINDA SHADOWBLADE....COME HERE RIGHT NOW!!!" bellowed my father.
"Uh-oh...." I made my way downstairs slowly out to the town center.
"Pandressa...what is this?" he asked me while waving mama's dagger in front of my face.
"I...uh...I...I don't know papa...." I said, giving a pathetic look to my mama. She just looked at me, ready to give me a spanking I'm sure.
"Don't you ever lie to me girl. This dagger was found in the back of a deceased gnome. A young one at that. This dagger also is your MOTHER'S dagger. Do you have any idea how it got in that girls back?" I knew papa was furious. I had lied to him and ruined the honor of the family clan. I began to cry. I was a failure.
I realized my actions two months ago were found out. They knew I was a murderer. That I was condemned to death. I began my confession.
"All I can say is that I am sorry. I will go through the murderer's death ceremony if it's necessary Village Master Shadowblade. I will do anything to return your honor." I looked papa directly through my tears, speaking not as his daughter, but as a young member of the tribe.
"It was not a murder, it was self defense. You will not die the death of a murderer, but you will be leaving Shadowprey. You must be expelled for a duration of no less than two years. This is for breaking the peace. Our village laws require it," he said. I thought I detected a tear or two in his eyes. I turned to look at my mama to see what she would say.
"For a period of two years you will be living with your Aunt Ridalia in Malaka' jin. If after that time you prove yourself worthy you will be allowed to return here." Mama didn't have any tears in her eyes. Only anger and hurt. I bowed my head in shame and accepted my fate. I would no longer wake up to the smell of the ocean. I was leaving my home.
"Yes High Priestess Shadowblade." My mama had a lot of clout in the village and was nearly as powerful as papa. I had doomed myself the day I lied. I accepted my fate. "May I be excused to pack?"
"Go," was the duel response from my parents.
I turned around and returned to our room. I took out my sack and put the same blanket and other items from that fateful day. I changed into my travel robe and packed up the remainder of my clothes. I had stopped crying. I braided my hair. I decided to leave them in braids until I reunited with my mama and papa. I then solemly went downstairs. I placed mulgore bread and sweet water into the bag for the trip. I shouldered the pack and walked outside.
"I am ready to go," I said with all the dignity I could muster.
"Then we depart." My parents were going to escort me all the way to Stonetalon Mountains. No one spoke a word the entire trip. I simply walked behind them slowly, my head hung low and my eyes staring at the ground before me. After a day of travel we arrived at my Aunt Ridalia's hut. My parents saluted me and then turned around and marched out of the village. If I knew that I would never see them alive again I would have told them I loved them.
End of Part 1.
Pandisha the Lost (part 2) - LifeEdit
My parents walked away taking the eastern exit out of town. The sun was setting in the west. It shone on their backs and turned them into silhouettes. I can only assume they were going to Crossroads or perhaps even to Orgrimmar. In my heart I hoped that they would return through Stonetalon Mountains and Malaka’jin. I wanted them to give their farewells then. Or perhaps they would even take me home.
Maybe it was this hope that prevented me from telling them goodbye. I will never know. As I stared after them my Aunt Ridalia came to me. She gently rested her hand on my shoulder.
“Come inside child. Night comes quick and cold in the mountains,” she crooned softly.
I turned stiffly and entered the hut. I looked around and took in the sight. It was just like any other troll hut. Built from sturdy wood with dried out grass and fronds as a roof. Between the poles hung hammocks and strewn about the floor were various packages that held essentials for survival. I looked for a hammock that was empty of bedding. I moved towards one and dropped my bag down. I reached in and pulled out the blanket I brought and shook it. It was one my mama made for me. I crawled into my hammock, pulled the blankie around me and began to cry into my arm.
My auntie knelt next to the bed and began to softly rub my back “There, there child. Get it all out. Tomorrow is a new day and a time for new adventures.” she purred. I just squeezed my eyes closed even tighter and my sobs began to make my body shake. My auntie, ever the strange one in the family, began to hum a traditional troll lullaby - you can imagine it’s not too pleasing on the ears for any other race.
I found myself drifting into a restless slumber. I woke up several times in the night. When I looked around I realized I was in a different hut, I then fell back to sleep.
As the fingers of dawn began to touch the horizon I was awake, staring at the pattern, or lack thereof, on the ceiling. I quietly slipped out of bed and began to unpack my bag. I did not want to wake up my auntie. I made my bed neatly and changed into my day robe. I was going to have to wash this travel robe. I put my other garments neatly into the robe chest. After looking around and seeing my Auntie still slept I tiptoed out onto the balcony.
I brought a piece of mulgore bread and some sweet water with me. I began to nibble at the bread while looking at the mountains. I sighed and thought about how different life was going to be here. Here there were jagged pieces of rock and no flora to speak of. The mountains had a terrible color to them… clay red.
Back in Desolace, by the ocean, salt water stayed in your hair and the path was worn, but there were little shrubs all around. There were staggeringly tall cliffs that no one could climb. Jirio and his friends ran around always making a racket. But it was better then the bitter silence to be heard around here.
The air was dry and made my skin really chaffed. Back in Desolace the air was humid and made my skin glow. I missed Shadowprey so much. Oh, what I would give to be back there.
I had to admit, however, the sunrises in Malaka’jin were absolutely beautiful. I think it had something to do with the way the light looked on the mountains. I ate my last piece of bread and chugged the last bit of water. I stood and tiptoed into the hut. I grabbed my travel robe from off my hammock and slipped out the front door.
I stopped at the bottom of the stairs and looked out around the village. The campfire at the center was burning low and no villagers moved about. These people were lazy bones. They must sleep until noon.
I moved towards the campfire and noticed a bale of water. I assumed this was the cleaning water. Just as I was about to start washing my robes I heard a noise from the cave at the back of village. I was still new and had no idea what was back there. I put my robes down and began creeping towards the cave. I apparently had not learned my lesson from the gnomish encounter.
As I approached, I heard rhythmic chanting with a regular drum cadence. Abruptly it ceased, almost as if I had been detected.
"Enter my lair, Pandisha," called an ominous voice. I froze up and held my breath. "Ah, you are not Pandisha yet. Enter then Pandressa."
I released my breath and stood. I boldly walked into the lair. I knew that his foreshadowing presented him as the village witch doctor. His cave was warm and his cauldron bubbled with a fascinating, green concoction. His shelves were lined with dozens of potions.
"You are interested in these potions and what each one does." I slowly began to shake my head in the negative when he snapped, "I can see it in your eyes."
My head immediately stopped as I tried to get a better view of the witch doctor, but he hung back in the shadows, concealed. I knew he spoke the truth about the potions - but why was he hiding?
"Ah, I can see your curiosity. About me and about these potions. Come to me each day after you've done your chores and I will train you. In the meantime take these two items. The first is a minor healing potion for you aunt. The second is your first spellbook." The witchdoctor held out the items and I saw his arms come through the shadowy mist. They were pockmarked and scarred.
I tentatively reached out and lay hold of the items. The vial with the potion in it was terribly cold and the journal was bound with linen, clasped shut with bone and thread.
"Farewell," I called back over my shoulder as I ran towards my aunt's hut.
By the time I returned my aunt was awake and cooking up some broth. "Good morning child. What have you?" she asked as I bound up the steps.
I doubled over as I struggled to catch my breath. "This ... potion you ... requested ... from the witchdoctor." I thrust out the hand with the potion. She gingerly took it and thanked me. "Here is a copper piece for your troubles child. Hold tightly to it. Money is precious."
I grinned at my aunt. I knew exactly what I would do with this copper piece. "He also gave me my first spellbook" I said as I walked to my chest to put my two prizes away.
"He says he wants to teach me. He says when I finish my chores I should go to him for training." I said eagerly. I turned to my aunt. "May I?"
"The spell book and his request to teach you indicate that you will be a spell caster. He has the power to foresee the future child. Yes...you will go to him and train." was my aunt's reply a she continued to stir the pot.
As she spoke I was excited. There was much to learn in the caster's field. I wondered what path I would pursue. But then my mind began to dwell on his powers to foresee... and the name that he called me. I soon put the thought out of my mind and hummed when I began to sweep the hut.
"Pandressa, you will have chores. The hut must be swept twice a day, mopped twice a week and you will take care of your own clothes. You will mend your own clothes too. Eventually you will learn to make simple bandages from linen and learn to cook. But that won't be for another year at least." My aunt wanted me to be informed of my chores so that they would be completed when I began my training.
These chores also were nothing new. They were the standard responsibilities of any child. I also knew that my two tasks - chores and training - would prevent me from getting into too much trouble.
"Aunt Ridalia, I need to wash my travel robe. It got filthy on the trip here. I will return shortly," I informed my aunt as I picked up a pail. I had decided to mop the hut at the same time so that I would be prepared to return to the witch doctor.
I returned to the village campfire and listened to the women gossip as I thoroughly cleaned my course linen robe with lye and water. I scrubbed at it and noticed holes in the garment. "I will have to learn to mend soon" I bemoaned.
I then shrugged as I placed my robe on the drying line. I grabbed the pail I carried out and filled it with hot water from the bubbling cauldron. I then carefully wove my way through the women, back to my aunt's hut.
Once there I placed the bucket on the bottom step, grabbed the mop and began to thoroughly mop the hut. One never knew what kinds of diseases the creeper bugs might leave behind. Just to be on the safe side I decided to mop twice that day. I then dumped the water into our flourishing garden and put the pail and mop away.
After the floor dried I went into the hut and grabbed my journal where I began to write down what I knew about the minor healing potion I delivered to my aunt.
"Minor Healing Potion - used to restore health. Needs:1) 1 empty vial, 2) _______ 3) _______"
I needed to get more details about this. Just as I was about to close the notebook up and put it away I looked out the balcony opening and saw the most intriguing thing. It was my aunt training her pet lioness Rumi.
As I gazed at my aunt's graceful pet train I felt compelled to compose a short poem, which I promptly entered into my new spell book.
"The wild beasts of nature hunt Stalk steal and kill. But careful lest you get hurt And help this creature get its fill.
But it knows not the huntress there Or what the power she can reveal The wild beast will be tamed right here And her secret will be concealed.
Rumi shall be her name Helping to cause great strife Hunting elves is now her game Ridalia she loves and gives her life."
After staring at the words I wrote, I stood up and put my spell book away and decided to retrieve my robes. As I headed to the drying line my aunt Ridalia approached the hut. "Supper will be in a half hours time. Please be on time." is all she said as we passed each other.
When I reached the line I saw three people approaching the village. Two adults with a child dragging it's feet. The scene I'm sure, was strikingly similar to the one that occurred just yesterday. I grabbed my robe and returned to the hut.
"Auntie, there are three visitors coming to town. One of them is a child" I said as I went to my chest to put my robe away. I noticed my aunt gaze out the balcony window.
"Child, stand behind me. They come to our hut. I can feel it in my bones." She straightened her robes and rubbed her tusks briskly. I quickly emulated her and stood just behind her and step to the left.
"Is this the residence of Ridalia Triona Zul' Matrik?" said one of the two adults. They were both male and wore matching outfits. I assumed they were guards of a village.
"Yes. Who are you, where do you come from, and how may I aid you?" was my aunt's brisk reply.
The two men saluted my aunt and the one on the left began to speak, a slightly different accent in his voice, "We come from the Eastern Kingdoms. This is Andorsa Firma Zul’Matrik of Revantusk. She has broken a village law and been condemned indefinitely to exile." I shifted my weight. Indefinite exile could mean only one thing.
"Her parents asked us to put her in your keeping. Her father is your late husband's brother," said the one on the right.
The three remained silent while waiting for my aunt's response. "I will take her." The two guards nodded. They saluted my aunt before turning around, leaving one very frightened girl behind.
I could tell that she was older then me by several years. Her hair was stark white and was pulled into a ponytail. She had blue skin with orange eyes very similar to my own. Her travel robes were dustier than mine had been just yesterday. However, unlike me, she did not carry a pack with anything in it. She arrived empty handed.
"Come inside ward. Choose a hammock. This is a cousin, Pandressa. She too has been sent into exile." I cringed slightly at my aunt as she admitted that I too was a problem child. Andorsa seemed to ignore the statement entirely as she strode boldly into the hut and chose the hammock closest to mine.
She had a very stoic look on her face and I realized she was nothing like me. She accepted her fate and I don't think I have ever seen her shed a tear over her lot in live. After choosing her hammock she turned to my aunt, speaking softly, she said, "Thank you for taking me in Huntress Zul' Matrik. Where might I find bedding and fresh clothing?" It was so melodic one would have thought she was singing. It was then I noticed she fiddled a pouch that was tied to her belt.
My aunt stared at her harshly. I could tell by the change in her stature that she had noticed something. As she spoke, her voice took on a tone I had not previously heard, "You've been branded. Why was I not informed by the escort?" There was silence as Andorsa just stared blankly, tears filling her eyes. My aunt took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Well, it's too late now. Your bedding is upstairs in one box. Additionally, you may find and borrow two robes until you raise sufficient funds to purchase your own. It is dinner time."
My aunt walked swiftly to the pot and I swiftly stole a glance at Andorsa's wrists. I stifled a gasp as I noticed her left wrist held the marking of a child killer. I only hoped she wouldn't kill me. I scurried over to my aunt to receive my bowl of wolf broth.
"Andorsa, you will have chores just as Pandressa does. However, your chores will be a bit more oriented to your age. You will practice cooking and I will train you in leatherworking. It is also your job to ensure the hut is dusted and the bedding is washed once a week," my aunt informed my cousin in a cold, emotionless voice. She continued to dish up the soup.
"Yes mistress," responded Andorsa as she reached out for her bowl of broth.
"And call me Aunt Ridalia. None of this mistress or huntress business," commanded my aunt as she smiled slightly at the girl.
Andorsa tried to hide the small smile that appeared on her lips by drinking her broth slowly and steadily.
After we finished consuming the broth I began my evening sweep. I was anxious to return to the witch doctor so I could learn more from him. I started to hum a melody, happy at the prospects of learning and even beginning to contemplate my craft. Andorsa picked up the harmony while she made up her hammock, getting ready for bed. It was a traditional troll folk tune but I quickly learned that each tribe has it's own variation. Between the two of us, there was a beautiful rendition presented.
"Pandressa, you can travel to the witchdoctor now," my aunt said to me after I finished sweeping.
"Yes auntie. I shall return shortly." I put the broom away and walked out the hut. I glanced over my shoulder once and noticed Andorsa gazing after me. I quickened my pace until I was five feet from the entrance to the cave. I stopped to catch my breath when I heard his voice again.
"Pandressa, you return. As I said, the potion for your aunt was a minor healing potion. Each day you will deliver one or two potions around the village. I will teach about each and inform you of the components." was the witchdoctor's statement as I entered the cave.
I watched as he fervently mixed a few components together into this cauldron. "The components of a minor healing potion include peacebloom and silverleaf"
He somehow managed to remain in the shadows through out the entire conversation so that I would be unable to determine his features. He did not speak again for many minutes and as I the silence continued it seemed to become more awkward.
I coughed softly so as to draw his attention. "Oh, are you still here? Return tomorrow." He flicked his wrist in the general direction of the village.
I raised an eyebrow and turned to walk out. Just as I was about to cross the threshold he called out, "Bring your cousin tomorrow."
I nodded in assent, but as I walked out I wrinkled my nose. Why should I bring that antisocial thing? She isn't even a blood relative." I shrugged at my thoughts. The witch doctor knows best I suppose.
I quietly entered the hut to avoid waking Andorsa. She slept deeply as I snuck over to the robe chest. I collected my night garments and noticed my aunt watching me from the corner of her eye. I gave her a small wave and slipped outside the hut, curious about what she was sewing.
I went to the back of the hut ad stripped off my clothes. I slid into the shallow pool of water and began washing myself. I scrubbed my skin furiously. I removed my braids to wash my hair. When I bathed would be the only time my hair ever came out.
After I completed cleaning myself and rinsing my mouth I put my hair into its braids again. I pulled on my nightgown and walked around to the entrance of the hut. My aunt has stopped sewing and was getting ready for her own bath. I put my day robe away and knelt in prayer as my aunt walked out of the hut.
My mother was a devout priestess and so I followed her teachings about the Loa diligently. I was sure to pray nightly so that they would be aware that I recognized their authority.
When my prayer was complete I stood and crawled into bed. Not more then ten seconds later I was asleep. My rest that night was sound and unbroken. This was most likely attributed to my acceptance of my life in Malaka' jin and the physical exhaustion I felt from all the things I had accomplished.
The following morning I woke early and made my bed. I changed into my nicest robe. Yesterday I had decided what to do with my copper piece. I was going to fast and make a special sacrifice to the Loa.
I snuck upstairs and quietly rummaged through the foodstuff my aunt stored. I could not find was I was looking for and made my way back downstairs. I noticed Andorsa was awake and making her bed.
She looked at me curiously, taking note of my dress and probably realized what I was upstairs for. I eyed her as I walked to my personal chest. I reached in a pulled out the remainder of my travel rations and my single copper piece. I was going to have to buy what I needed. I strode out of the hut confidently without a glance over my shoulders.
Until the sacrifice was realized I knew that I could not speak. I approached the butcher and showed him the things I had to offer. I then pointed to a small, but rich piece of rabbit meat. He looked at me, my offer and nodded slowly. He took the bread, water and copper piece. He then took down this choice piece of meat and wrapped it in linen before handing it to me.
I bowed deeply at him and then headed out to a secret grove that I had noticed on my arrival to Malaka' jin.
When I arrived I knelt in prayer to the Loa. When the prayer was completed I placed the rabbit meat on a long flat rock. The sun had not fully risen and I had to work quickly to complete the ceremony in time. I looked around and realized I had completely forgotten to bring flint and tinder. I stood, ready to race back to the village when Andorsa came through the trees, offering flint and tinder.
I nodded solemnly so that I could indicate that I was willing to share the meat for the sacrifice. She smiled and moved towards my makeshift altar. She sparked a fire then moved to stand next to me.
We then knelt before the altar and began the traditional ceremony of sacrifice. What we each sacrificed for was never revealed.
After we cleaned up our sacrifice site we returned to the village in silence. She and I grew closer. When we arrived back at the hut we changed clothing. For some reason neither one of us said much but there was no need for words.
She made breakfast while I swept the hut. It turns out she was a fantastic cook. The food smelled really delicious. Unfortunately, I could not eat because I was fasting.
"The witch doctor requests your presence when I go for my lesson," I said quietly as I finished sweeping the hut.
"I will go; however, he will judge me. They all do," she admitted rather reluctantly.
I nodded. "My chores include laundry. Is there anything you need me to wash?" I asked her. She smiled - full of joy and sadness all at once. She walked and picked up the one robe she owned and showed it to me.
"Good, I was worried about how to pass the time." I took the robe from her and picked up my own nightgown and headed down to the washing area, humming to myself.
So, this was what a friendship was like. It seemed strange for me to have a friend because it was certainly unusual. I scrubbed our two robes diligently. Her robe was her only possession; I wanted to help her maintain it. After the two robes were cleaned I put them on the dry line and headed back to the hut.
When I arrived my aunt was awake and carefully tasting Andorsa's breakfast. Andorsa looked at Aunt Ridalia apprehensively. Then my aunt smile slowly.
"You really are your father’s daughter. No one could cook like this in the Zul’Matrik family besides him," was all she could say between her consumption of the baked egg.
I watched Andorsa physically relax. She picked up the duster and began dusting the hut. While she did that I took out my journal and began writing. I filled in the details about what a minor healing potion contained. Then as I put the journal away I remembered I should inform my aunt of the witch doctor's request.
"Aunt Ridalia, the witch doctor commanded me to bring Andorsa to my lesson," I spoke out when there a lull in the conversation.
"I knew he would ask. He loves to tell futures. Careful lest you learn too much," was all my aunt would advise on the matter.
I gave Andorsa a serious look and she smiled coyly.
"Aunt Ridalia since we have both finished our morning chores can we go to witch doctor now?" she asked, her voice dripping sugar.
"Certainly, but return this afternoon for your other lessons," said my aunt as she scoured the dirty dishes.
Andorsa and I exited the hut. When we got out I started to bolt for the witch doctor’s cave.
"I'll race ya!" I teased.
"No fair! You got a head start," she called as she picked up the pace.
"Hey, I'm the younger!" was my quick retort.
We reached the entrance at the same time and stopped to catch our breath.
"Andorsa, enter." Came the now familiar voice. I started to walk in after Andorsa when he said. "Alone." I took a step back and looked moderately surprised. I sat down against the wall and waited patiently. After a while I started to drift off into a slumber.
Eventually I felt Andorsa tapping my shoulder softly. "Pandisha, he's ready for you. I need to return to the hut." was all she said when I woke up. She walked away slowly. I stood up and stared after her a moment before turning and entering the cave.
"What did you say to her?" I asked the witch doctor.
"Nothing that concerns you little girl" was all he said. He then pushed his hand out with a blue potion. "This is a mana potion for your next door neighbor. It is only minor in nature, like the healing potion. The flask is the same for this but the herbs are different. This requires silverleaf and mageroyal. It takes a more skilled herbalist to find and pluck the mageroyal. Bring it to her and she will pay you well I'm sure. Go now and do not return."
I took the potion and left. What was going on here? On my way home I stopped by and delivered the potion, receiving three copper pieces as a tip. On my way back to my new home I stopped by the village fires to retrieve the clothes I'd washed.
I stood around idly trying to avoid returning to the hut. There just had to be something I could do. I decided to put the clothes away and then deliver drinks to the village guards. They must be parched I reasoned.
I walked into the hut quietly but there was no need. Neither Andorsa nor my aunt were home. I quickly tucked the robes away and grabbed some spring water and headed out the hut. I was curious about where my family was but decided I had a more important task ahead.
I skipped out and down the path heading straight to where I know the guards would be posted.
"Hail guards!" I called as I approached.
"SHH!" was the sharp response.
Instinctively I knelt down and listened to what was going on. "What is going on?" I asked in a quiet whisper.
"Gnomes." was all the guard replied. I tried not to get an angry look in my eyes but the guard noticed. "Ah... she hates them as she should.”
I nodded solemnly and wished I had mama's dagger again. The guard reached into his pack and pulled out a small mace.
"In a village like this, girls need to protect themselves." was all he said.
I held the mace and hefted it around awkwardly. This was going to take some getting used to.
"Well, I'll leave you to your duties sir." I said as I laid the water down next to his feet.
He nodded his head and stayed focused on his task.
I stayed in my half crouch before backing up slowly. Aunt Ridalia was probably wondering where I was. I managed to find a way to attach the mace to my hip and strode proudly through town. Upon entering my Aunt’s home I removed the mace. Weapons were not needed in homes, at least not often.
Andorsa was sitting complacently on a short stool, sharpening a shiny copper dagger. I raised and eyebrow carefully then decided that perhaps I should do some more writing in my journal. It was then that I remembered I should transcribe what the witch doctor had taught me.
I reached into my sack and pulled out my journal, transcribing the reagents for a minor mana potion. I looked up and smiled at Andorsa before turning to another section of my spell book there I carefully began to write about the recent events, starting with my decision to adventure. Upon finishing that up I scrawled at the top of the entry, “Banishment.” My journal was more precious to me than life, it was my story.
My days progressed much like this day. Only Andorsa began training in the rudimentary steps to become a rogue and I began my priestly steps.
End Part 2.