A Dream About the Child
Dreamer: Valas Baneshot(This is only part of what I could scry on. It appears Valas was viewing a moment from his childhood that he had blocked out. - Aven)
Where dream occured: Achoria
Interpretation included: Yes.
But night fell. And it was cold.
Aisling looked to her side as a young boy rounded the corner, stumbled, and fell upon the rock, crying and shivering and quite scared. He slumped down, drawing his knees to his chin, and he cried out for his Mama or Papa or anyone that could hear him, before breaking into sobs and covering his face. Aisling watched the Valasi, slowly blinking.
It was very cold here, with Valas barefoot in the snow with just the temple linens for shelter. The other one, the boy, wasn't dressed all that great for this sort of thing, but he was at least wearing some winter gear. Aisling was perched on a large rock (like the one at Creathorne, by their outdoor kitchen). The boy was at the foot of that rock. Valas was about two feet from the boy, with ice melting down the back of his neck, due to the ice ball explosion. My dreams have really taken a turn for the strange, thought Valas.
"Just remember," said Aisling from behind her scarf.
Valas stood there quietly for awhile, taking in the scene of the lost child, his lost self. He shivered a bit at the cold, but tried hard to put it aside. Eventually, he looked up and quietly asked Aisling, "How long did I remain here, lost?"
"You had already been lost for hours, this is where you gave up running as fear over-whelmed you. A child, faced with abject fear, pain from its peers, absentee parents, and more... this where you made the first statement that caught all spirits in the vicinity's attention:--"
The little boy was hysterical, yelling with a raw voice over the wind. "FINE! IF YOU ALL HATE ME SO MUCH, THEN I HATE YOU! I HATE ALL OF YOU! IT'S NOT LIKE I WANTED TO BE A FREAK! WHOEVER GAVE THIS TO ME, TAKE IT BACK! DO YOU HEAR ME?! TAKE IT BACK!"
The little boy huffed and puffed, fog billowing, and then he sunk onto the ground, curling into the fetal position on his side. "I don't want to die," he sobs. "Mother... Father... Mama. Mamaaaaaa!"
Valas continued to stand there silently, a mix of emotions ricocheting around his mind. Once the little boy curled up on the ground Valas stared down at the snow, closing his eyes and sighing. There was a long pause. Then, opening his eyes, he slowly moved over and sat down in the snow next to the little boy. He was close, but not close enough to touch him. Valas pulled his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around his shins, resting his chin on his knees. He watched the little boy silently, to see if he would utter anything more.
"Curious," commented Aisling from a-top. "You are being shown a memory, cold as it can be, and yet you say nothing?"
The little boy sobs turned into muffled cries, as he began to finally shiver and shake with hypothermia. From this close, though, Valas heard the boy seething through chattering teeth: "I... c-can't die this way. I w-won't. T-too much to d-do. I r-refuse to let this boy die. If they're trying to release me, t-they're doing a piss-poor job of it... oh... Aisling... I see you."
Aisling nodded, looking down at the boy. "Yes, Rosetta, I see you, too. What are you doing in there?"
"D-damn humans and t-their games," the boy laughed weakly, and Valas realized that he was probably delirious at this point. "I... I think they m-mean to kill this one, after all."
"He's just a kid," responded Aisling sadly, as if reciting. "He should be given a chance at life."
The boy coughed and laughed weakly again. "Something we ag-agr... agree on! It has been a while."
"It took me this long to find this piece of you when you stopped asking me to find people for the Paths. I thought it was because of the other Mages d--"
"D-DON'T. Just d-don't... ...Aisling? I-I believe this one's vision j-just f-failed... ...Aisling?..."
The little boy closed his eyes, and although still twitching, abruptly halted all his crying. Valas still sat quietly while listening to the exchange between Aisling and the little boy, but once he stopped speaking, Valas's mind started turning. Rosetta?... Many confusing thoughts raced together and intertwined in Valas's head, trying to grasp the unexpected turn of events and find some sort of mental foothold with it. When the boy didn't open his eyes, Valas looked up at Aisling and asked, "Aisling, what did you mean back then? You thought it was 'because of the other Mages'... what? And how did Rosetta actually talk like that?" Valas seemed to jumping back and forth from emotion to emotion: sadness, confusion, worry, surprise, curiosity, concern. "I'm obviously alive, too, if this is me; I didn't die here. What's the point of re-visiting this? Why not just cut to the chase and tell me what--"
"Your parents, Valas Baneshot, were Black Star Guild members," Aisling blinked her eyes slowly. "The Black Star Guild wasn't always like this. They were faeries (and not just elves) who loved Rosetta, loved magic, loved Faerie and were devoted to their Master's cause.
"Along the annals of time when it was taught to humans by faeries on the run, it became twisted. There were definitely other people who were on Paths before you were even born. Or Ged. Or Demetria. Even Airavarri, though that may be hard to believe. The Mages I was speaking of at that time; one of them decided to infiltrate a section of the Black Star Guild, and became a member of the Torch. When he rose through the ranks, the other Mages congratulated him on a job well done. The Circle, the sect your parents were to become a part of, noticed him as well. They allowed him into their Sect, taught him so much that to report to the other Mages would have actually been dangerous, and then revealed a secret so horrible that his own heart died inside of him upon hearing it.
"After that, emotional-less, he left the Circle (who were quite frightened that one of their own were walking away, but did not understand why), went back to his Torch sect, and systematically slaughtered them all through the use of fire. And while he fell under the Black Star Guild's radar and they never found him again, those who were on the Paths started turning up dead in droves. The remaining Mages fought amongst themselves and paranoia reigned. He took them out, each alone, for they did not trust each other when survival was at stake. And then after confessing all of his crimes to Justari and asking that his soul be judged according by whatever gods seemed fit, he took his own life." Aisling quieted down for a moment, and pointed.
Valas saw a lantern light on the horizon. And the wind carried a name to his ears, from far away, "Valas... Valas! Where are you, boy?!" It was a male voice, old, and seemed slightly familiar.
Aisling continued: "Your great-grand parents were born around that slaughtering, having nothing to do with it at the time. Your great-grandfather became a Shield member, then part of the Circle, but he believed that Faerie didn't need to be destroyed, just removed, and all of its influence, from the Mortal Plane. This, had it been completed, would have been an easier thing to do at that time, because the Mysts of Forgetfulness were over what you now know as Chimeron, and would be for another hundred years, give or take a decade.
"Your grandfathers: one of them knew nothing of these events, but died to faerie bandits. The woman he married, your father's mother, was then widowed with two children. The other grandfather was a heavy Shield Black Star Guild member, and started an arrow-making business. Your mother's mother was a dutiful Hammer. When your father was old enough to learn what happened to his father, he grew angry as teenagers are want to do, but the anger never died when he was an adult.
"Your mother was already in the Hammers, but showed good diplomacy skills. Your father joined Shield, then Torch, then went to Circle. Chosen for good breeding stock, your mother was elevated to the Circle as well, and they were told the Master Plan: getting out the Grand Wizard. When multiple attempts failed, Karen Baneshot realized that she was pregnant. A somewhat motherly instinct took over, for she did want to have a baby, but then your father reported this to the Circle, and a new plan was devised. If they couldn't forcibly bring their master back, then they would bring back his power and spirit, and make him a new body." Aisling blinked again, as the voice got closer.
Valas stared at Aisling silently for a few moments. "Karen..." was all he said at first and trailed off. "...Please, continue. I have questions, but they do not need to interrupt the story." He closed his own eyes for a minute and drew in a deep, slightly shaky breath through his nose. "It... really is cold."
"Questions now are better than none," Aisling said simply, blinking once slowly at Valas. "You've been taught to keep things bottled up, haven't you?"
"You could say that."
"That's not healthy anymore, Valas. You need people. They don't all hurt, they don't all mock, and they don't all abandon you. It can happen from time to time, I know. I've watched you... but look at your life now versus what was going on here. Can you not count what blessings you have; what roses among the briars? What glittering stars among space?" Aisling's eyes looked sad.
He said nothing in response.
"You asked how Rosetta talked through you: before you were born, they performed a ritual to have the un-born child be granted the spirit and power of the Grand Wizard. This ritual went well, to a point. After you began talking at an early age, your parents were very proud indeed. But once the shakes set in, the ability to talk to spirits and see ghosts and the like, the random switching back and forth between personalities--"
"Valaaaaaas!" came a shout from a male, who was closer now in the lantern light, Valas saw a middle-aged man in heavy winter gear, searching through the trees, and coming toward his general direction.
"--your parents were afraid. And then the real reason for the ritual was shown to them: the Circle didn't wish to just give the Grand Wizard a body, the Circle wished to control him, and using his powers, charisma, and much more, they wished to dominate if not outright destroy all of Faerie. Rosetta was to become a human puppet.
"But, one circle member, a young lord name Roger Byecross, dug even further, and found that Rosetta could be harnessed 'now' at the aligning of stars. A Grand Conjunction, for a Grand Wizard. How he found this out, no one but him knows. He convinced the other Circle members, including your parents who were at their wits' end attempting to keep Rosetta and Valas under control and not be run out of Fletcher's Country, that Rosetta as a child was much more manageable than waiting until the child's 21st birthday, when he would be well into adulthood. He even researched some key 'clauses' in case Rosetta did not trigger within as a child at age 16, 18, or age 21, and also age 30, when the last Grand Conjunction would be taking place in November, but he did not tell anyone else within the Circle. There was one thing that no one counted on that day, though: Hell."
The calls for Valas from the man grew louder as he was not more than two or three lengths of a pike away. Valas saw the man, sort of average build but heavy-set, rough-looking face, but lined currently with worry. "Valas! Call out to me, boy!"
And his brain fed Valas a name: Hektor.
"...there were some who truly did care for you, Valas," finished Aisling, pointing at the man.
Valas processed all of what Aisling said with a furrowed brow. He looked over at Hektor, asking Aisling: "What do you mean, Hell? And did my parents approve of all of this, even after they learned the real reason for the ritual?" Valas looked uneasy now, very much hanging on the edge, a-waiting for Aisling's response.
"Is that important to your memories?" asked Aisling.
"You said I could ask questions. It's not important to this specific memory at this point in time, but it is something I would like to know."
"You may always ask... Hell was having their own usual jockeys for power at the time. One little demon in particular was named Chavala, and she was widely known to be Orcus's 'favorite'. She also at some point had gotten a contract signed from Faerie to Hell: a tithe to be paid every seven years. What the contract was, I know not, or even whom signed it. Chavala was also the Counselor of Fire and Earth to Queen Titania, but that came much later after the King & Queen had already ruled Faerie for time and time again. As a Counselor to the Queen of Faerie, she could also report to Hell on the comings and goings of Faerie. Also, she would sometimes handle requests on Orcus's behalf for summonings, pleas and bargains for power. Chavala answered one such call about ... well, in a few days, twenty-one years ago.
"There was a cult devoted to Asmodeus, Orcus, and any other little demon one could gain power from. Although blatantly in the City of Ivory, one of Aurora's holy cities it is said, those cultists still managed all those years to not be caught, and still haven't been. They are bakers, farmers, scholars, militia... they just lust for the power, the fame, the riches that they can get in this one short life. In this case, Chavala answered a request for Orcus, while traversing the mortal realms into Faerie. You see, a man wanted his infant son to have his name known in every corner of the known Realms and beyond; wanted his son to be looked to as charismatic, a leader, ambitious, and to want for nothing. And above all else, power to make his enemies cower before him, that none could sand in his way.
"Chavala, already bored, asked if he understood where the power came from as a usual 'polite' precaution; she had some manners after all, and the father responded he cared not from whence it came. That was when I contacted her. As she was a fellow who was a Counselor, I needed to let her know that a True Mage would be hitting the field, and that Queen Titania was sorely lacking one, and needed help. This could be a good thing for Rosetta. What I didn't expect, however, was Chavala to use her demonic powers to interrupt one ritual, and bless another.
"The power was never granted to you, although the Body was prepared and still remains intact. All that remains within your Soul, your Star, is the piece of Spirit that is still there. Young, chaotic, scared, and fierce like a caged animal. You have been too frightened to open yourself up to it, bottling yourself up to almost everyone and everything all your life. Not handling emotions well, from stammering to outright refusal to deal with things that are outside your comfort zone, even running away.
"Meanwhile, Ged, per his father's request, has the Power. To make it in easier, he has the 'Mind'. You get yourself down for not knowing things fast enough, or well enough as this Ged. Well, he wasn't supposed to. You won't ever grasp them as fast, because your human nature has shaped you otherwise. But it doesn't mean you can't do nothing. It doesn't mean you can't walk the path. It doesn't mean you're not a Mage. Rosetta's Spirit is trapped in the Mysts. The Black Star Guild knows how to get him out, although they have had their trials and tribulations along the way."
Valas nodded silently while Aisling spoke. When she finished he asks, "What do you mean, all that remains is a piece of spirit, young, chaotic, scared? A piece of Rosetta's spirit? Or mine?"
Aisling fell silent, as Hektor rushed into the small clearing, holding up the lantern and shouting, "VALAS!" and darting to him so fast it almost startled the lord of Blackwood. He slammed the lantern down by Valas's foot (barely missing it) into the snow, and moved snow and dirt away from the child's neck and back of the head. "C'mon, boy, wake up... come on, lad!" he shook the little boy by the shoulders.
"His, shaped by yours. You were a little boy once."
Hektor's brow furrowed as he laid the boy back down on the ground, taking his giant fur cloak off and wrapping it tightly around young Valas, pulling the hood around his head and over his ears. Hektor then looks around in the cold, looking through Valas, and then whispered, "Aisling, does he live still?"
"He does, Master Hektor, but not for much longer," replied Aisling sadly.
"Not on my watch," came the rough growl as Hektor removed one winter glove and placed a hand over the little boy's chest, wrapped in the furs.
"Jiva Iru Mannaz," he recited very quietly. "Runes of the Stars that guide us, please heal this young one through your warming presence inside and out. Jiva Iru Mannaz," he spoke once more, gathering the little boy into his arms.
There was a small ting of light from Hektor's hand that changed from violet to blue to red, then disappeared as the little boy drew in a sharp, deep breath and then started coughing and crying. Hektor's face softened for only a moment, as he gathered up Valas onto his back. "It's alright, lad, you're safe," he said roughly. "No crying, now. Boys don't cry. It's just a bump. We'll have the healer take a look see when we get back home."
"F-Father?" the little boy weakly asked.
"...no, lad. ...come, let's get you home." Hektor shifted the young boy up a bit on his back, and strong as an ox he began trudging silently through the snow, ignoring the child's pleas to ask where his father is, or mother, or what time it was. The man said nothing.
And soon, Valas and Aisling were alone by the light of the lantern. All was dark around them, and while there was snow still falling silently, there wasn't any more rock, forest, nothing. Aisling was standing on the opposite side of the lantern, staring at Valas.
"That light," asked Valas, "what exactly gave that off? Violet, blue, and then red light on Hektor's hand while healing the lit-- me."
Runic Magic. You're well versed in it."
"So there was nothing on or in his hand that it could have come from? Nothing more to it?"
"The hand itself had no markings, that is correct. The runes appeared as little points of multi-colored light, then went away. Not all Outsiders and even other Path-walkers know the right way to use the Runes, and not all Black Star Guild members abuse them."
"What?" Valas blinked. "I'm confused."
"Not all answers are meant solely for you," replied Aisling.
"...Not sure what that was supposed to mean, but okay! More questions!" Valas rubbed his arms with his hands. ""Aisling, Hektor knew you. Could see you? Can you explain?"
"I told you; you got the attention of spirits," said Aisling. "After I stopped talking with Rosetta, when this actually happened in the time-line, I went to Hektor and roused him from sleep by knocking things over, tapping on the window panes, and so forth. In Blackwood, with the Planar Shieldstone blocking out gods, it is a lot easier for ghosts to exist. I led him back here, and tagged along for the return trip, singing to you. That was the first time we truly met, Valas. Though I can see why you didn't remember." She looked up through the blackened eyes and the bright white face.
"But you do now."
And the lantern went out.
Created by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 11-04-12 10:35 PM
Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 11-05-12 00:16 AM