Arrin wandered through the decimated landen village that had once been her home. Although she had been half-Blood, her psychic strength preventing her from ever fitting in, there was still a sentimental connection to the once beautiful town.
Now, the remnants of houses lay scattered amongst the street and other debris. Rubble was piled skywards in towering piles, charred and splintered. Blood was splattered everywhere, cloaking the rubble in it's crimson folds. The once beautiful, clear spring that was near her childhood house was still there. Except for the fact that all the vegetation and charming wildflowers that had grown around it were shredded or demolished. It's once beautiful sparkling translucent waters were now a horrendous shade of crimson. The colour of blood. The colour of death. Children had once played around it in the lush vegetation that had surrounded the spring, drinking it's sweet, crystal waters. Arrin carefully approached the spring.
A child's body lay impaled on a sharp rock, her eyes that had been once youthful and full or curiosity, now dead and staring unseeingly at the sky. Blood was everywhere, draining into the clear water, turning it into a bloody mixture no child would drink from ever again. Arrin screamed, stumbling away from the spring. Screaming, she collapsed to her knees, retched and was violently ill, as her body couldn't handle the ghastly scene. She hadn't known the child whose ghost would haunt the spring, but she still felt a seething rage for what had been done to her. Mother Night! Even the innocent children were not spared.
Blinded by tears, Arrin wove her way through the fallen timbers, weaving through the debris towards a house that was still partially standing. Underneath one of the bloodstained piles of rubble, she thought she glimpsed a bloodied arm and hand, and had to look away immediately. She couldn't bear to think of what had been done to them, especially the women and children.
She checked the house for any survivors, though she knew deep down to her core that none survived the massacre that occurred here. A bloodstained object lying on a shattered table caught her eye. Curious, she retrieved it carefully. It was a small, battered, bloodstained book. A diary. Gingerly, she opened the book, careful of the blood which soaked most of the pages. A page with spidery handwriting caught her eye. Half the paper was splattered in blood, but it was still readable. Except for the names of the owner of the book. The blood splattered on the paper had damaged the writing far too much, making it illegible, even to the brightest scholar.
Intrigued, but saddened by the fate of the unknown author, she began to read.
"We are the landens. The Blood, the so-called superiors of our world sneer at us, look down at us. They have no respect for us. They have no sympathy. They come into our villages and destroy. They raid us, looking through our meaningless possessions while we stand watching, helpless to stop them. What they expect to find, I do not know. They rape our women and young girls. They have raped the land of all that was once pure and untainted and uncorrupted by the corrosive taste of power.
We have no defence against the Blood. We cannot match them in power or strength. They have the protection of their so-called Darkness. They can defend their oh-so-fragile minds with their tainted power sources known as Jewels. We cannot. To fight one of the Blood is to choose death, for no one can save you once that blast of power soars at you, obliterating all in it's path. Obliterating your mind and all sense of self you may have once had, leaving you to die, empty and cold.
Many of our young men and older experienced warriors tried to stand against some of the Blood that raided us today. Our people stood in the streets to try to defend our village, much to the dismay of all those men's wives and families. They thought of all the lives that would be wasted when the Blood tore through our village. They knew of the terrible bloodshed that would take place, and how most of the blood spilt would be theirs. They knew how the chances of stopping them was minuscule, too small to even matter. They knew that the chances of them even surviving long enough to witness the horrors and obscenities done to their families, to their wives, to all women and children, were even smaller. They knew. . . and yet they stood there, as the last defence of our village.
They laughed. Looked at each other and laughed as they blew a young man apart. Laughed as they tore the lives away from so many people with their obscene, tainted Jewels. So many friends and family lost their lives that day, mercilessly slaughtered. The worst are the Eyriens. The winged scourge that have explosive tempers and dangerous skills with deadly weapons. There is nothing we can do. Blood stains our soil. The blood of those who once bravely fought to save our village, to protect our people. The blood of our last defence, of our last hope."
Arrin felt tears leaking from her eyes, falling down her cheeks in a cascade of pain, grief and sorrow. A river of feelings flowed with those tears, leaving a tired vessel they had resided in. If only she knew who had written that entry which had so accurately portrayed the landen life. If only she knew who the diary belonged to. If only. . .
That was it! Although she was half-Blood, she still knew a bit of basic magic. Oh, not the lifeblood of the Blood, which they called Craft, but enough to do what was needed.
Focusing carefully, Arrin drew her power through her and into the book. The blood slowly faded, dissolving, the name on the front of the cover once smeared and illegible due to the massive damage caused by the bloodstains slowly took shape, formed and was whole and clear.
Exhausted, Arrin sat back on a splintered piece of rock. She blinked to clear her eyes. Gingerly, she looked at the name on the cover of the now undamaged book. The name stood bold and true, in the same spidery handwriting.
No! NO! Tears pricked her eyes, threatening to spill, flowing their way down stained cheeks.
"Oh cousin, we had wondered where you had disappeared to. Why did you have to go back to Askavi? Why couldn't you have stayed in Dena Nehele, where it was safe? Why did you have to be here?" Arrin sat on the splintered rock, weeping silently for the loss of a great mind, landen as it was. The loss of a kindred spirit.
She had heard of an extraordinary Lady, a powerful Queen and Healer. It had been too late to save her home village, but maybe it wasn't too late to save the others. Maybe she would help them. Making up her mind in a confident decision, spoiled only by the tiny seed of doubt implanted in her mind, Arrin carefully tucked the diary into the pocket of her now torn and bloodied dress. She would go the great Lady, the most powerful Queen in the history of the Realms. She had heard from another landen village in Agio, not far from here that she was as kind as she was powerful.
Apparently, she had saved them fro a Jhinka raid. Mother Night! She had destroyed 6,000 Jhinka in thirty seconds! Her cousin, Adler had been there. He had sent a letter, filled with rage, pain, grief and awe about the events that had happened those few terror filled days. Apparently, they had almost not made it out of the raid alive. Hell's fire! She had healed 300 people in three days! 300! How much power did she wield. . . Maybe enough. . .
She would see her. She would go Ebon Askavi in Kaeleer, go to the Dark Court and request an audience with her, the Queen. If she was the woman Adler had portrayed her as, she would help. She had to. Jhinka numbers were rising everyday. They would destroy every landen village in Askavi! Although they weren't Blood, they were still dangerous and were considered a threat that needed to be dealt with. With one last prayer for the poor souls lost in the terrible, tragic slaughter, she set her face in an expression of grim resolution and left the village that had once been her home, had once offered peace and shelter, and the poor lives that were lost there. She had turned her back on a ghost town, it's residents left to forever walk to bloodied fields where they lay. As a fleeting figure was seen heading towards the horizon, the sun set on the destroyed village, highlighting the scarlet soil. The only testament to the lives lost and the slaughter that had taken place that day. The only reminder.
I've always wondered what it would be like to view the world from the landen point of view. . . This may not be completely right. . . But review and tell me what you think. :)