Moira

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: January 31, 2017

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Submitted: January 31, 2017

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Once I was a young strong man, revered by many. Now, I am a withered and old, though some strength still remains. I surround myself with grandchildren, the innocent faces turned towards me, full of wonder and excitement, that is now my strength, a way for me to continue and not disappear. My stories are well known throughout out all of the Trí Sealbhóirí Cumhachta, and I am considered the greatest Bard that has ever existed although I know there are many greater than I, who have been conveniently passed over. Now I have chosen to live up to my name. I have taken up the Pen and Parchment and am here to recount the greatest story of all history. Many may no longer believe the tale of Moira and those who became her family, but I do, I will always believe. Thought my hand may ache I will not rest until I have done her justice and her story is told how it should be, not the way the legends portray for they do not do her justice. Here I will bring her to life once again, the incredible woman whom I had at one time loved dearly

My home was once known throughout the kingdoms, nearly worshipped as the paradise of gods, although we are anything but. At one time we were a people who cared for the earth with love and gentleness. What we took from the earth was returned tenfold. We took care of those who were weaker then us and none went hungry. At one time those who had control of the elements, earth, fir, water and air brought to us great plenty. At one time we would instil the earth with the knowing of the elements and our gifts we would return to the earth, with which it flourished. We were not considered paradise for idle reasons, for Loldhir was as near to a heaven as you could attain here on earth.

I will tell you why my account is to be trusted, why what I would say is to be believed and not the great Legends of Moira told by the multitude. For they are flawed and untrue and I know Moira would be ashamed of them. I know this for I was there, through all of it. I was one of her most loyal friends and whom to entrusted many a great secret with. Though I was never her lover I was always her friend. I saw it all, though most have forgotten. May her legacy live on through me, and perhaps through herself. We do not know where she has gone, but I know she is alive somewhere, and will come home. Perhaps we will fight along one another once again, but I am sure that is just a fanciful hope of an old man.

<><><><><><><>

The first thing she became aware of, was the darkness, followed by the sound of running water. Then the feeling of the hard stone which had decided to dig itself painfully into her back.

Slowly, she allowed her eyes to drift open and what filled her vision was the sky. It was such a brilliant blue, no clouds marred the perfect canvas.

When was the last time I saw a blue sky, she wondered.

A strange sensation made itself present to her. Almost as if she were not supposed to be here, in this time. A foolish thing to cross ones mind.

A cool wind tickled her cheek, so soft that it made the girl wonder if it was not like a mother touching her child affectionally. It held the stiff crispness of winter, bringing the feeling of rest. It must be autumn. The leafless branches of birch, alder and poplar reached towards the blue expanse of nothing. Their grey limbs reaching to what was colourful and good. It is curios, she thought, how one can lose all sense of time while sleeping.

“Where am I?” The voice startled her, and a bolt of panic shot through her, until she realized it was her own. It was hoarse, her throat dry and swollen. Water. She was overcome with the thought of water and quenching the dreadful thirst, which rudely made itself known. There is running water near by, she recalled. Why are my thoughts so slow? I can’t seem to move. She could not turn her head, her arms refused to obey and her legs were a dead weight.

“Stop trying to move, it isn't helping” Scolding herself, she ceased her efforts. Breath, just breath, you will be able to move in just a few moments. Yes, I am sure. She followed her own command and took a deep breath, closing her eyes once more. Dark. They snapped open and she gasped feeling her chest tightened. No, I cannot close my eyes, the darkness will devour me.

Icy blue eyes stayed open, fear evident in their dark, cold depths. They possessed a strange, painful quality in her unsettling gaze. Almost as if she had seen more lifetimes a soul should bear witness to, torment that none should have to endure.

Help. I need help. Water, oh I am so thirsty. Stop it! You are not thinking rationally, you fool. You do not need help, never have and never will. Stop behaving as a child. She closed her eyes again. Her brows furrowed in concentration.

“Come now” She coaxed, as though talking to an unwilling child. She felt a twinge of satisfaction as a small suggestion of control made its way to her. She screamed as a sudden pain seized her, it’s hot fingers snaking their way from her heart and seizing her motionless body. As though she were being plunged into scalding hot water, she felt the heat of life flood her being. It had seemed to have abandoned her temporarily. Now it came back with unfair violence. She stayed motionless until the pain eased slightly. She lifted her arm, examining her slender hand. Her skin was pale, very pale.

“Almost as if I have not seen the sun in such a long time.” She tried to remember. Her mind was foggy, resisting her efforts, causing a dreadful pain behind her eyes. Slowly she brought her self to a sitting positions, clenching her teeth to keep from crying out.

“Where am I?” She voiced again, this time prepared.

Water. You can figure out everything else after water. Her instincts took over her mind and no other though was allowed to enter. Crawling, dreadfully slow, she made her painful and exhausting way to, what she assumed, the stream. She could here it, but not see it. The sound brought desperation to her and she went from a slow crawl to a shambling, stumbling rush. At first she went in circled unsure where the sound was coming from, the trees distorted and confused the origin. She found it, and it was not an entirely friendly encounter. She had been unable to see the stream because it was at the bottom of a steep, hostile embankment. Quickly, the savage incline made its self apparent. Before she could register the rocky and root littered way, she crawled over the edge. Her stomach rose to her throat as she plummeted to the bottom. Crying out in pain she landed with a loud thump on the hard packed earth. *

“Oww” She groaned. Her eyes were filled with dirt and tears and she squeezed them shut. When they opened again the first thing they beheld was clear, beautiful water. Quickly shoved her scratched face into the water and started gulping. Stop, you are going to make yourself sick. With great effort she ceased her mad rush to quench her thirst. Instead she let the soft cold liquid caress her, submerging her whole body, allowing the frigid water to numb the pain. Rolling onto her back, she looked up again at the trees. The stream was surrounded by willows. It must be beautiful here in the spring. Shivering and dragging her infuriating body out of the water, took what was left of the little strength she had. Exhausted her heavy lids closed against her will and her mind was once again filled with the horrors of the dark.

“Who is she?”

“I don't know but she certainly looks rough.” “Look at all the cuts and bruises and she is deathly pale and thin”

Shut up. You are annoying me.

“Well, at least she is alive” One of the voices affirmed, amused.

Gently strong arms lifted her off the uncomfortable ground. The pain in her head intensified and she couldn't keep from crying out. Gingerly, rough hands brushed her wet hair off her face.

“You have certainly taken a beating.”

“Put me down” It frustrated her that she was in need of help. Damn it, why cant I move again.

“Not to be rude but I am afraid I cant. You see, you are in no situation to stand on your own and I cannot just leave you here.” Her carrier went on, politely. “And, another thing, we don't know who you are. There is a possibility you could be a threat to us and we must take you with us so we can learn more about you.”

Learn more? I don't think I can give you much, my memory is foggy. This is so inconvenient. She groaned in annoyance. How could this have happened and why couldn't she remember anything? He is right. I could be a threat. But how is that possible if I don't even know? Her brows furrowed in thought. The man who had her began to head north, following what appeared to be a well worn hunting trail.

“Where is this place?” Curiosity was a strange trait. How would knowing where they are, in her state, be of any true benefit? Besides, the place would mean nothing to her without any knowledge of her past.

“Currently we are in Draíochta. It is an ancient forest west from Green Hill.”

She gave a small puff of confusion. The name Draíochta was the Emperium word for magic. She though she was in Skerian****. Another though made its way into her tired mind. She was being taken somewhere by complete strangers. She was in no condition to fight, especially when there seemed to be four of them. For all she new they could be some horrible criminals wanted for something dreadful. Something inside snapped. Twisting her body, she wriggled from his grasp. Landing on her hands and knees, she breathed sharply. Making her unsteady way to her feet she glared at the men around her.

“What are you doing?” The one her held her looked concern. “I don't think you should do that.”

She scoffed. Damn it. If only I had my full strength.

“Who are you?” She demanded cooly. “I want names from all of you and tell me why you are here.”

The one who had done most the talking glanced uncertainly at his companions. They in turn looked conflicted.

“Um, well, uh I don't know if I should tell you.” He hedged.

“Then I wont go anywhere with you.” Perhaps she wasn't in any position to make such claims but she felt vulnerable and weak. She hated not being able to protect herself. Her only hope was to resort to words. Before her, the man ran his hands through his thick blond hair in slight exasperation.

“Uh, I don't really think you have a choice.” He hadn't been expecting this. “I mean, you need help and I cant see you lasting long out here on you own.”

Anger flashed in the defiant girls eyes. It took him a moment to see the slight aura emanating from her. His eyes widened as realization quickly hit him. Oh, damn. This could prove to be complicated. He heard his companions gasp.

“Who are you?” He queried. If she is really what I think she is, we need her.

“What makes you think I will tell you? Why cant you tell me who you are?”

As he was about to reply another voice beat him to it.

“It’s okay Aden. If she is what we think she is than we need her. If information will put her at ease than fine.”

Aden hadn't missed the confusion in the face of the girl before him at the sound of the woman’s voice.

“But Petra, we know nothing about her.” A young voice piqued.

“Nor she of us.” The women, Petra, stated.

Sighing Aden looked back to the person of their conversation. He noticed sweat beading on her face. Looking down, he saw her hand shaking.

“Alright,” He relented, “But please, at least sit before you collapse.”

She remained standing and defiant. Slightly amused, he studied her for a moment. Although she was obviously unwell, he saw something strange in her eyes. A strength and determination very few people he new possessed. Sympathy pulled at his heart and he had a feeling that this fierce young woman had quite the story.

“Or not.” He resigned, again amused. “Well, I guess you know I am Aden and these are my comrades.”

“I’m Petra. The best bows woman you will find.”

“My name is Jakob” He was the one who mention their lack of information on their acquaintance. He seemed to be the youngest in the group, not much more than sixteen.

“He is our best tracker and scout.” Petra informed. “I don't know how he can do it, but he can move in the middle of day without being seen. Not to mention, he moves silently with apparent ease. It’s unnatural, I tell you”

“You know, I like you.” A cheerful voice came from under a hooded cloak. “I’m Ren. I am what they call an elemental wizard. I can control water, ice and snow. Pretty cool if you ask me.” Pushing back his hood to reveal a shock of messy brown hair and a mischievous grin.

“He is also a trouble maker and heartbreaker.” ? “Awe come on Petra. Theres no harm in having fun sometimes” He whined. “And it’s not my fault girls are drawn to my irresistible charm and looks.” The others scoffed at his last remark and Petra smacked him over the head.

“What was that for?’

“For being an idiot.”

What an odd group of people, Moira thought. I want to trust them, but I can’t.

“Alright, we have told you about us, now it is your turn.” Aden could tell she was unsure, maybe even a little nervous. But if she was going to be making demands, they wouldn't come free. He watched as the strange girl continued to study them. She was caked in mud from head to toe. It made it impossible for him to determine much from her.

“I don't remember much” She admitted. “Just my name.”

They waited expectantly for her to continue. When she didn't Petra gave her an encouraginh nod.

“Oh, yes, uh, Moira but I don't think it is my real name.” She said uncertainly. “No, it definitely isn't my real name but I am pretty sure it is what I go by.”

“That doesn't make sense.” Observed Ren. “I mean why would you go by Moira if it wasn't your real name.” ? “I don't know, all my memories are wrong. I cant quite grasp them. They are there, I can feel them waiting for me to grab them, but every time I reach for one it disappears to fast.

It is strange how uncertainty can make one feel inferior. Moira hated it. It made her feel defenceless, without memories or knowledge of what she was, she had no way to protect herself.

“Moira,” Aden said gently “You have not given us a very good reason, but I find I trust you and I truly believe you are being honest. Please, allow my comrades and I to help you. Come with us and you can get your strength back, some proper food and rest. Perhaps then your memories will come back.”

He could tell she was torn, she felt to open and like easy pray. Her eyes were easy to read, he found. After a moment she gave a sigh.

“Fine, but I don't want anyone to carry me.”

There was no way she was going to be able to walk and she knew it but there was no way she would let them know. Perhaps she was being foolish but pride is a strong emotion. One that can lead a lot of people into difficult situations if they allow it to get the better of them. She doubted they would listen to her. Sure enough, Aden gave a small snort.

“There is no way you are going to be able to walk a few steps, let alone to where we are going. Don’t let pride get the better of reason.”

Without giving her time to protest he scooped her up, none to gently, and once again began his steady and careful stride. Had Moira not been so tired she would have fought for all she was worth to be let down, but now that she was no longer having to hold herself up she found the last of her strength had finished. Betrayer, she thought with venom and against her will, sleep encroached her aching mind and body. The darkness enveloped her and took her away into the depths of dreamless sleep.

<><><><><>

“Aden.” Petra had come up from behind and now walked beside him and the sleeping girl. “Can we trust her? Did you feel what I did? I get a strange presence from her. I think I believe her, but trust, I am not so sure. You are better at sensing this kind of thing, so what are you thinking?”

“I really don't know” He countered absently. “I believe she is very powerful. I mean, I saw it. You don't see it from someone like Ren or Christie. When she first asked who were were, she had such a strange look in her eyes. At first I thought it was defiance but now I am not so sure…” He let his voice trail off as Ren and Jakob approached.

“You know, I get a weird feeling from her and I don't usually sense things like you two weirdos do. Does that mean she has a lot of power or something?” Ren babbled. “I like her though. I feel like she is a good person. I also kinda feel bad for her. I mean, she looks pretty rough and scared.”

“Not scared” Aden corrected. “I don't know what but she sure as hell isn't scared.”

Ren shrugged and started rummaging through his cloak. He came out with a small cloth back.

“Anyone want some nuts?” ? “I would” Jakob said excitedly. He had finished his that morning and was perpetually hungry.

Aden chuckled as the two boys began to argue amiably between them, of what was anyones guess. His small group of elite warriors were like family to him. He had come across each one in such strange circumstances. Petra had tried to kill him when they first met. He couldn't say he blamed her. He had been a cocky brat and deserved what he got. He could safely say he had never seen a girl be as completely unfeminine as what she could sometimes be. He smiled at the memory.

“You know Petra, I think she could be the one we have been looking for.”

Petra looked at him, raising her eyebrow. “That is quite an assumption, especially coming from you. But I guess that just means it is more likely”

The group continued to follow the worn trail in good spirits. Today had brought more hope to them than the girl who called herself Moira could know. She had landed herself in an interesting situation to say the least. The hope she had brought to this little band was more than they had had in years.

One question that was at the forefront of all their mind, persistent and suspicious. Who is this strange girl? No one came in to Draíochta of their own free will. Everyone knew what it would mean to set foot in the territory of the Scáth Warriors. What had happened to her and does she really not remember? Even deep in thought each one of them stayed alert and ready. They walked in a formation, each with their own post and duty. It came with such ease as only came with a strong and capable leader. Aden had reached the rank at an early age and the unit of soldiers he chose to keep by his side were trusted with his life just as they trusted him with theirs. “I cant wait to get home. I just know Christie will be excited to see me!” Jakob broke the silence with his sudden enthusiastic outburst. “I haven't seen her for almost a year! She probably wont even recognize me.”

“I am sure she will be delighted” Ren agreed. “To bad I don't have a pretty girl awaiting my return with delight and excitement.” He sighed.

“Awe, come on.” A fierce blush coloured Jakob’s face. “How many times do I have tell you, we are just friends!”

“Yeah, if you say so” Petra joined in. “Keep telling yourself that and maybe one day your dense skull will actually clue in. Or Christie will get fed up waiting for you and move on”

“Move on?” His embarrassment changed into perturbation. “What d’ye mean by that?”

“Oh you know. She will lose interest in you. Maybe find some other boy. He would probably be more handsome than your ugly mug.” She continued, struggling to keep a smile hidden.

“You don't think she would, do you?” He asked worriedly. “I know I am not the greatest guy, I know I'm not super smart or amazing but, oh man, do you think she would do that?”

Aden would have let it continue, but he always hated it when the kid downgraded himself like that. The problem was, he actually believed it. He would still ask if Aden knew what he was doing having a guy like him on their team.

“Christie would never do that Jakob” He sent a glare towards Petra warning her to no say anymore. She ignored him.

“Probably would. I mean you’er so shy around her and say the dumbest things. You fumble around and get all clumsy whenever you are near her.” She was enjoying this a little to much.

“Also, you are uglier then a mutt” Chirped Ren.

“You people are cruel.” The bantering quickly subsided and all eyes turned to the new voice. It was the girl. She looked at them now through tired eyes. “I think Jakob is very handsome and whoever this Christie is, she probably likes him very much.” The others were taken aback by her matter of fact manner. Jakob, however, felt as though a huge weight had been taken off his chest.

“You think so?” He asked hopefully.

“I know so.” She said bluntly.

A huge, delighted grin spread across the boys features and a new lightness entered his step.

“Oh yeah, go ahead believe her and not you long time friend who has never lied to you once.” Aden grumbled.

“Yeah but your different, you know me and are my friend. So you have to say that.”

“They're your friends and they don't have to say it” He pointed out moodily.

Jakob shook his head vigorously. “They don't count, though.”

“Why do they not count? You aren't making any sense!” Aden complained

“I’m making perfect sense, you are the one is isn't making sense.” His face held such sincerity that it really was quite comical. “Moira doesn't know me and so therefore her words would not be stained with the fear of offending me.”

“She could just be being polite you know.” Offered Petra.

At that Jakob’s face fell again and he looked so dejected that Ren felt guilty and decided to let up on him.

“She really does like you Jakob,” He told the downcast boy. “You should really just tell her how you feel. Seriously kid, before it really is to late.”

“I know, but I can never find the right words and she will probably laugh at me.” Kicking despondently at the ground, he stuffed his hands in his vest pockets.

“You idiot” Petra guffawed. “You are one of the bravest soldiers we have, an expert tracker and good swordsman. You have gone into more skirmishes than most men in their thirties. You have seen things no one should ever have to see and your afraid of a girl? Seriously, kid, man up and get it done.”

Moira listened, enjoying they're friendly banter. A small memory was forming and as she listened it became more clear. It wasn't a pleasant one and she tried to push it away but it persisted.

“Where are we going?” She queried. She very much disliked being carried and hope they would be arriving to their destination soon. She hated that she was useless.

“Our home.” Came the short reply.

“Oh, I see and how much farther is it?”

“A few hours yet, I am afraid. We should reach it by dinner.” Jakob seemed to take pity on her.

“Thank you.” She looked up at Aden and asked, “Do you intend to carry me that whole way?”

“You aren't very heavy”

“Maybe so,” Moira frowned, “But I am sure I will be after a while. Why not let me try and see if I can walk for a time.”

“Fine,” He sighed. “But I really do not think you will be able to get very far. You could hardly stand half an hour ago.

She had to acknowledge that he was right. So she changed the subject.

“Do you have any food?” To her surprise Petra gave a short bark of laughter.

“If she's got an appetite we can be sure she will survive.” ? The others seemed to find it amusing as well although the reason was lost to Moira. But to answer he question Aden stopped and set her down on the of soft moss which covered this part of the forest floor. He began to rummage in a large leather bag and proceed to pull out all sorts of food, suitable for traveling. He handed her a few nuts and dried berries along with a hard, but still good, piece of bread.

“There you go. You guys get something too while we’ve stopped.”

Moira hadn't realized just how hungry she was until she took the first bite. She started to wolf it down until Aden quickly snatched it from her.

“When was the last time you ate?” He asked.

“I don’t know” She frowned trying to remember. Damn it all. She gave a frustrated groan.

“You don't know a lot do you?” Ren commented. Moira glared at him which only earned a laugh.

“Either way,” Aden interrupted. “You need to slow down. From the looks of you, I don't think you have had anything for a while.”

He handed what was left of her small meal back to her and watched as she slowly broke off a piece of bread and popped it in her mouth. Once he was satisfied she wasn't going to stuff the whole thing in her mouth like a ravenous beast he grabbed some for himself.

“So, Moira” Petra began, curiously. “You really don't remember anything at all?”

“I remember some, but it’s all so random and I cant make sense of any of it. I get weird little moments when I feel as though I remember everything but when I try to concentrate on it, it vanishes again. It’s all very annoying.” She huffed.

“It’s all so mysterious” Ren stated. “I have come up with a hypothesis. Wanna hear it?”

“Alright.” She said doggedly.

“Great! I bet you are some evil villain who wanted to take over the world, but instead a great hero decided to challenge you and he won. He nocked you over the head really hard and it nocked you out for days and he dumped you here. He probably hit your head so hard and thats why you cant remember”

The others blinked, amazed.

“Ren, you say some really stupid stuff, but that, that trumps them all. You idiot” Petra scoffed.

“I don't know Ren, she seems way to nice to have been a villain.” Jakob said thoughtfully.

“You listen to many of the druids.” Aden groaned.

Moira wasn't entirely sure what to make of his “hypothesis”. She was trying to decide if he was joking or not. She was pretty sure she wasn't evil. It all sounded rather to fantastic to her. It struck her as really quite strange and before she realized it a small laugh escaped her lips. All eyes turned to her, shocked.

“You find that funny?” Petra asked, incredulous. “It had to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard!”

“It’s not quite so funny as ridiculous. I am sure if I was quite as evil as that, people would have heard of me.”

Ren looked suitably crestfallen and said no more on the subject. The group continued eating in silence and when they were finished passed around a leather flask which contained stale water. No one complained however, they were simply grateful for the sustenance.

“We forgot to re-fill these blasted things at the stream. I forgot it in all the commotion.”

“Ah, it doesn't matter Aden, we will arrive soon any way.” Petra told him. “We should hurry up though. I’m itching to get back. I’ve missed the run down, old mud hole.”

“Same here and a good stiff ale wouldn’t go amiss.” Jakob sighed wistfully. Home was a long time ago.

He gave a startled yelp as Petra’s hand met the back of his head with a good swift smack.

“Like hell your gonna go a drinking, lad.” She said gruffly. “Yer barely sixteen, still wet behind the ears.”

“Awe come on Petra. Don't get all motherly on me, I’m more a man than a lot who are older. Besides you’re only nineteen.”

“Only? Why—“ She began indignantly.

“Oh shut up already will you? Jakob, you really are to young and Petra leave him alone. It isn't really your business any ways.” Ren said, trying to be helpful and failing.

“Not my business?” Petra’s voice raised in decibels and in pitch. “I make anything I want my business so this is my business!”

“No” Ren retorted. “You’re just looking for a fight and need a good stiff ale yourself, so please, get off your high horse!”

Face flaming she sputtered, trying to find a suitable returning jibe. Jakob, on his part, was utterly delighted in seeing his frequent tormentor at a loss for words. Had he possessed the wiser restraint of Aden, he would have let it be, but Jakob, being his socially unaware self did no such thing. The triumphant look he turned on Petra only resulted in her unladylike curse and the swoosh of all air leaving his body. Caught off balance he landed with a hard thump on the rocky path. He was unprepared for the fist with descended quickly and with intense fury connecting with his poor nose. Had he had a keener understanding of moods and body language in verbal battles, he would have recognized the signs of her fury, he would have stood back preparing himself so as to not land in such a situation.

Both Ren and Moira looked on with incredible disbelief. For her part, Mira had completely missed the goings one and was terribly confused.

“Look at them!” Moira thought Ren sounded a little to happy. “They are absolutely, incomparably ridiculous!”

“Not to mention, Petra is acting childish… again” Aden added with a chuckle.

No one seemed to notice Moira’s sudden change. The colour had suddenly drained from her already pale face and her eyes darkened. Memories flooded her mind to fast, overwhelming her. Her head pounded and her vision blurred. She started to gasp and dimly was aware of Ren asking if she was okay. Her body fell to the side and she felt as though she were plummeting through a bottomless pit. Darkness surrounded her once again and she was thrown into a turmoil of random images floating just beyond her field of vision.

“Moira! Moira, what wrong. Damn, she doesn't look good” The voices were muffled, as though they were behind a door.

“What the hell did you do to her?” Petra demanded of Ren

“Nothing” He said defensively “She was fine one moment and the next thing I know she looks like she gonna die”

“Stop bickering like children.” Aden commanded. “C’mon, pack up. We need to get her to a Ben and quickly. We’ll switch off carrying her. I’ll start.”

Hastily they obeyed his orders and soon were on there way again. They started off at a steady jog and would be able to keep the pace for a long while. No one said anything, but there was a new urgency to the group and they subconsciously picked up their pace.


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