Elli wrote this, its good. A glimpse into a family from another perspective. To no post this would be selfish, she has a way with words that I can only brush on occasion This will come to pass soon as Serinanth, and Arinanth can finaly go home.
She was old, but she was strong. She had survived storms,survived earth-shattering quakes, survived the elements. She had seen war andshe had seen peace. She had seen her children spill one another's blood in thisvery forest. She had seen dragons battle in the skies above. She had seen theancient spires she watched over nearly crumble under the foolishness of themortals and the fury of the gods. She had survived Norrath's Great Schism, andstill she stood, a silent and rigid guardian over her children. Even those mostconsidered to be lost.
Deep in the clefts of her memories, on one violent, rainynight, long, long ago, the first of her lost children had appeared before her.He had been young, perhaps no more than twenty, or perhaps his years were greaterthan that; it was difficult to tell. Their lives were so fleeting when comparedto a life that spanned eternity.
He had been fleeing, but not from anything giving chase.What he ran from was something less tangible, something unseen, something deep withinhimself that no mortal legs could outrun. Exhausted, he had collapsed at herbase, tears streaming down his ebon-skinned face, his white hair pasted to hischeeks and neck by the torrential rains. His clothing--what was left of it--wastattered and hung limply from his body, a testament to his trials and flight.Her heart had wept and she'd silently prayed for him, offering comfort in theonly way she could. Come, child. There is sanctuary here.
At first he had lain unmoving, the rains pounding againsthis back, his breath coming in ragged gasps. But with his last bit of strength,he'd pulled himself up and over her roots, crawling to the hollow in her trunkwhere he curled up and sobbed until sleep claimed him.
Of course, she had seen Teir'dal before. They had marchedupon Felwithe, marched upon Kelethin, marched upon the far city of Ak'Anon.They'd made frequent trips to castle Crushbone, a frighteningly short distanceaway from the tree-city that some of her children called home. Always they hadpassed through the spires she guarded and not one of them had ever glanced herway, too caught up in their clouded ways. Yes, she had seen Teir'dal.
But that one had been different.
That dark elf had been a shivering mess, his wounded spiritlost and crying out for a murdered brother. Amidst the darkness of his skin,amidst the death in his eyes, she had seen a pure heart. There had been nohatred in him. How strange, for the gentle soul of one of Her children to be sosorely misplaced. The gods could be cruel.
He had slept in her hollow that night and she had watchedover him. Morning had come and he had picked himself up enough to begin anew,but he had never forgotten her. He had visited her often.
And then, one day, he was gone and another stood in hisplace, pleading to the goddess for the first. How strange that two of Herfallen children had sought refuge in her hollow. Regardless, she welcomed theyoung woman into her womb, just as she had the young man so many years before.The man returned and both of them visited her. They married at her base, at thecusp of the season, her leaves and blossoms had drifted over them.
Seasons went by and mortals came and went. Battles werewaged. Peace was had. And then, one very sunny day, there was a third Teir'dalstanding before her. There had been something familiar about him, somethingreminiscent of the other two. He bore the man's eyes and smile, and the woman'shair and slender frame, and she understood. That, then, was their seed.
He had been a very young child when she first met him,perhaps having seen no more than three or four years. Like the others, he'd hada pure heart. But unlike the others, there was no darkness muffling it. He worehis purity and innocence like a garment. There was no heavy burden on his tinyshoulders. Nothing had chased him to her but his own curiosity. He had not cometo her seeking refuge. Still, she opened herself to him.
That little boy could feel her, of that she was certain, andhe always treated her with respect, even when he climbed her trunk and swung onher branches or hid in her hollow from other giggling younglings. He would napat her base, a book dangling from his dimpled little hands, long forgotten andhis little head resting on a moss-covered root. She would shelter him until thewoman came to gather him in her arms and take him away.
And then Norrath had shook and her spires ceased to work.She hadn't seen youngling or his parents since then. That had been a long timeago, even to one with a life that spanned eternity.
And then they were there. The man stood a short distanceaway, holding the hand of his youngling, his precious seed. They had changed,but she would know them no matter what bodies they wore. The man's skin nowmore closely matched what was in his heart and she was certain the boyshould've been older, but it was them nonetheless. She opened her ethereal arms, beckoning to them.
The boy broke from his father and ran to her, slowingreverently as he neared her base. His hands found her rough bark that had seenso much and he pressed his face against her trunk, his tears falling into theclefts of her grain. The man, a soft smile on his face, followed suit.
She wrapped herself around them, her two children,encircling them in her love and spirit. Her children had returned to her.