|From Dawn to Dusk
Author: Xendell PM
When you wake up in a world where your existence is completely new, how do you see the world? Two souls find each other, and connect for eternity, but fate has other plans for them. Will love survive the process of exploration, learning morals and identity? This is the story of Caithe and Faolain, and the Firstborn, and how their destiny began.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Sylvari - Chapters: 18 - Words: 62,332 - Reviews: 39 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 03-03-13 - Published: 10-04-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8580023
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This story begins when the Pale Tree has just awakened her Firstborn. I've never written anything from Guild Wars before, so I hope you enjoy. :)
I remember when I came out of the pod. I remember the light hurting my eyes, my breathing still ragged and my muscles cramping, trying to recover. In my head the image of the dragon was still vivid.
As I stepped out of my pod, I first noticed the forest. It was alive - I could hear, even feel, all the living things, feel them breathe and crawl and grow. I saw the sun for the first time, and this time I truly felt it's warmth, and it was brighter than it had ever been in the Dream. My feet touched the grass, and then I heard my name being spoken.
I turned around, slowly, and looked up. Before me was the most beautiful being I had ever seen. Almost emitting light, flowing white leaves draping around her as if she was made from sunrays. I admired her.
'I am the Pale Tree,' she said, and I listened, because I had heard her voice before, in the dream, in the deepest of dreams I had heard her. 'Welcome, Caithe.'
Twelve Sylvari were gathered in the Grove, exploring, getting to know this new world. It was busy. The Pale Tree needed all the care and love she could get, because the new pods needed nourishment and protection. They were still small, but Secondborn would come out eventually, it was just a matter of time. Caithe took up her share of the work diligently, and yet, something in her needed something more. She noticed she walked a little further out in the forest every time she went out to gather, or hunt. Every time she would go over another hill, to find out if she could see more of the horizon. Follow the path a little further, just a little bit..
And so the Sylvari worked, day by day, seeking shelter from the Pale Tree at night. They huddled close, but had yet to have real contact. It seemed as if the communication between all of them was still developing. They felt what was going on in each other's hearts, they were connected, but they rarely spoke of these things. Because they understood each other most of the time without speaking, daily things need not be voiced. When there was time for relaxing, they had fun, but those times were few and far between.
Caithe only truly spoke to the Pale Tree, whom she would visit each day, at dawn. She would inform her of how the Grove was progressing, but almost every time also could not resist to share her feelings with her. The things she had seen, she had discovered, the miracles of the forest, everything that fascinated her. The Pale Tree would smile, that beautiful light shimmering in her eyes, and explain the wonders of the world to Caithe. And with every little thing, she fuelled Caithe's curiosity.
It had been an early dawn that day, sunrays pierced the leaves at low angles, waking the sleeping Sylvari. Caithe felt a certain tension, but she wasn't sure if it was the air or her heart. She got up, and went to a small stream to wash her face. The cold water cooled her senses, but made her breath shiver. The forest seemed to beckon her, so many miles of unexplored land before her, but she turned around. Not even the temptations of the forest could keep her from visiting her Mother. She ascended into the protected chambers of the Pale Tree, as she did every morning.
'Good morning, Mother.' Caithe looked around. The Pale tree was lounging in a corner, draped beautifully on her altar of leaves and tree bark, looking more like a goddess than ever.
'Ah, Caithe,' she said, her voice soft. She sounded vaguely amused. 'Honestly, you should not be here. I need to rest, and there is a forest waiting for you.' Caithe was slightly taken aback by this. Usually the Tree would not be so direct. 'Do you not wish to talk to me, Mother?'
She smiled again, her beautiful smile, so pure, without any malice. And this time Caithe was sure she could hear her chuckle under her breath. 'That's not it, Caithe. You just have better things to do, trust me.' Though in utter confusion still, Caithe nodded and took her leave. As she descended back into the Grove, the realization struck her how Mother Tree had basically given her free roam to go and seek out this unknown world. Without noticing, she smiled, getting excited with the mere thought of it. She geared up and ran out into the forest, telling no one where she went. She trusted her own capabilities and her sharp daggers, her inner compass to keep her safe. Running, she was finally free.
If she had ever found the forest fascinating before, then this was a whole other world. There were creatures she had never been able to imagine, creatures larger than herself, towering over her, or so small she could barely see them. She saw the large spider webs of the forest spiders, inspected the nests of the devourers - and with every thing she learned, she grew hungrier for more.
Twilight had already set in when she started, reluctantly, heading back towards the Grove. She had been walking all day, and would not make it back before the night was over, she knew as much. Today, she had been able to reach the edge of the forest, and look out over the plains, at the mountains, still so very far away. The sight had made her mouth run dry, she was so amazed by the vast expanses of land before her. For the first time she realized how large the world she had stepped into was. It would take a lifetime to see it all.
As she turned back into the woods, clouds began gathering above her head. A thunderstorm was coming. Her senses began to tingle, and she suddenly felt a little fearful - she was a long distance from the Grove, no directions given to anyone. No shelter in sight. There were creatures everywhere in these woods, and suddenly spending the night on unfamiliar terrain seemed like a very bad idea.
She quickened her step, hoping in the back of her mind she would have enough energy to make it back to the Grove, but already looking for other options around her. She would not make it back. It was too far. Then the rain started pouring, as if somebody had torn a hole in the sky. It fell down on her with force, icy cold and piercing. She felt vulnerable. She was vulnerable.
Scrambling to a large tree, with broad, dark green leaves, she tried to find a little shelter from the rain. She contemplated climbing in it, but didn't want to risk disturbing any creature that might live there. The tree was far too large and high to be safe, yet it was the only one providing any shelter from the rain. She shivered.. and for the first time, felt regret, and the fall that comes with pride. She had overestimated herself, gotten lost in the adventure.. The rain poured. The sound of large drops falling on the trees and bedding sounded like the rustling of a million leaves, drowned out all the sounds around her.
A dark shadow suddenly shifted between the trees. Caithe flinched, and sat up. She looked around but did not see the silhouette again. She was weary of potential attackers. Far away, she heard wolves, howling to their pack. After looking around again, she decided to climb into the tree after all. She put a foot on the first branch, then the second, testing if it would hold her weight.
From the corner of her eye she saw the shadow shift again, much closer now, but the form still blurry through the pouring rain. Caithe grabbed and steadied one dagger, while holding herself up in the tree with the other hand, staring at the place she had seen the shadow. Her heart was pounding in her throat. Suddenly, to her left, another shadow appeared, and behind her, another. Wildly she looked back and forth between the two, utterly confused as to what this thing was, and although she didn't want to admit it, she was terrified.
Suddenly, the form behind her dissolved. Wide-eyed, she turned back to the one on her left, to also find it gone. Her breathing was laboured, her hand shaking with tension and nerves. All her senses stood sharp, she felt like she heard and saw infinitely better than before the rain. She was afraid.
To her right, the shadow appeared again, in a much more solid form now, and started approaching slowly. Caithe shakily lowered her dagger as she recognized the form coming towards her.
The dark skin, a dark charcoal gray, and the glowing Mesmer dress. She knew this person, this Sylvari just like her. Yet she looked at her now as if she looked at her, truly looked at her, for the first time.
'You should come down from the tree. It's dangerous in this weather.'
Her voice. Her voice was soft like velvet, yet strong, Caithe had never heard this voice yet she knew it, she knew it from sleeping next to this voice, breathing in the same rhythm. She only now truly noticed the other Sylvari's face, so much more plant-like than her own, dark lines following her nose up to her forehead. The leaves of the Mesmer dress twirled elegantly around her, her presence unmistakable, as if it enveloped her surroundings like her dress did her body. Caithe wondered how she had not felt this interest for any other Sylvari before.
And then, she realized, that was what she truly wanted. She wanted to connect to this woman before her. Of all the things she had seen, and wanted to see, she mostly wanted to see this person. To see beyond her physical form, her spirit. To know what she was like. And she asked the question no Sylvari had asked one another yet.
'What is your name?'
The other smiled. Like the Pale Tree, Caithe thought, yet different. Her smile is heavily loaded with emotion, while Mother smiles lightly.
'My name is Faolain.'
Caithe opened her mouth to answer, anything, she was not sure what she would have answered if nature had not interrupted her. Suddenly she heard Faolain scream and then she felt the impact. Lightning struck the very tree she was hanging in, and set the top on fire immediately. Caithe had not even noticed letting go, but she felt herself being pulled back up on her feet - and for a moment Faolain was close, so very close to her. Faolain's hand was warm around her own and they ran together. The burning tree began to sigh and creak under its own dead weight. The heavily damaged trunk began to break and the women ran as fast as they could, but they heard the tree falling. And when Caithe dared look back, she saw it falling towards them.
'Faolain! The tree!' She exclaimed, the pure horror in her voice almost tangible. Faolain looked over her shoulder with wide eyes.
'Hold on!' Caithe grabbed Faolain's waist, her fingers around the soft body, and suddenly they were nothing, floating in shadow, dark clouds without gravity, and the next moment they felt their feet touch ground again. Almost stumbling, Faolain kept her momentum by holding on to Caithe. The tree fell down behind them, and the shockwave threw them both off their feet. They rolled against an old fallen trunk, which had large, protective roots standing up from the ground.
When they both had caught their breath, Caithe's mind idly noted she was still holding Faolain close. For now, she held her, letting go being too much of a hassle. Faolain's voice was soft, and slightly breathy, when she spoke again.
'Neat trick. Was it teleportation?' Caithe nodded slowly.
'Hmm. I'm a thief.'
'You're good.' She looked at Faolain's face. Amber eyes that contrasted sharply with her dark skin looked back at her. She saw her own curiosity mirrored in those eyes now.
'What is your name?' Faolain asked. Caithe was silent for a moment. Suddenly the simple asking of a name seemed like such an intimate thing to do. She treasured the warmth she felt spreading through her chest.
'My name is Caithe.'
They did not have to look at each other to understand what they were feeling. Through their connection, they already knew.