Before she could undertake the trials she needed to do her chores for the day. She dressed quickly and headed to the common room. From the sound of activity her aunt, uncle and her many cousins were already getting ready for the day. She gathered her things into her day pack and headed out into the hallway. She was still not used to the size of her uncle’s homestead. He owned the largest farms in the village and as such had the most hands. The face that he and my aunt were working on having the largets family in the village was just an added bonus.
The building was 4 stories high and rivaled most of the barns in the area in length and width. Yshara and her parents stayed in 2 rooms on the top floor on the Far East side. Yshara loved to wake up just before dawn and see the sun rise into her bedroom window. She knocked on her parent’s door thinking they would still be asleep, but she heard no reply. Suddenly big strong arms grabbed her from behind and lifted her off the ground. Knowing the Safe feeling of her father’s gentle embrace Yshara began to laugh uncontrollably.
“Father put me down! I need to get some breakfast so I can do my chores!” She had to all but force the words out between the powerful laughs her father was causing.
“Chores?” her father Charif said, “I don’t believe you have any chores today.” He put her down smiling in that way that always let her know he had more to say but wanted her to work for it.
“Of course I have chores father it is Watersday. I always gather the Beshrona berries in the southern field. You know that the other girls don’t have the eye for them, they will pick the ones that are not ripe and ruin the flavor of mother’s pies.” Beshrona berries are extremely difficult to gather to the untrained eye. And unripe berries had a foul bitter taste where as too ripe berries begin to self ferment and can inebriate the unwary.
Charif crossed his arms and looked down at Yshara, his smile unwavering, “correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t today your 20th birth anniversary?”
Feeling her cheeks flush she tried to cover her face before he noticed, “Yes father, it is.” She uncovered her face and embraced her father. He always remembered her birth anniversary, both He and her mother. No matter what was going in on in the village they would always celebrate it. They said it was the anniversary of the happiest day of their 120 Years.
“If memory serves me right, that means you are to go through the trials today.” He took her hand and began to lead her down the hallway to the first of several staircases. You have a lot of preparation to do this afternoon before the feast and trials this evening. I will not have to spending what little time you have today working away in the fields.” He stopped to take something out of his pocket. It was a Firestone! “I want you to take this to the jeweler in town. I have spoken with him and he has made you something very special for my special girl on this very special day.” He put the firestone into her hand, “you will give this to him in exchange for the gift.”
“Father! No, I cannot! A firestone could buy food for our entire family for a year. It is too much!” She tried to give the stone back to Charif.
From behind her she heard her mother’s gentle voice, “Yshara, this is not your decision. Your father and I have worked hard and sacrificed much to get this gift for you. You are our only child. And we shall spoil you as we see fit.”
Yshara turned to see her graceful mother. Graceful and slender she stood out amongst the others of her kind. Gruffs were burly and built like a ram that walked upright, but not her mother. She looked like a gazelle. Yshara did not have all of her mother’s grace but she had some. Not as stocky as mot of the other female gruffs.