Another angst piece for me, I hope you like this. It's from Grath's POV, thinking about the Pearls and how she lost everything because of them. Since I'm a fan of Grath/Inbar, I may do a follow-up piece to this. Let me know if you think I should!!!

I watch as the wave breaks on the surf, into a million tiny droplets, then disappearing to rejoin the great sea. How tiny it seems, how insignificant, when pitted against the dark ocean. It was forced to play it's role, to be an individual for once, then was forced to rejoin the ocean.

The rain falls thickly, hitting the rough surface of the choppy water, shining, like many small gems. Or Pearls. Like the six tears of all oceans.

There was a time when I marveled at their beauty; loved to touch their smooth surface, to see the way they glimmered, rose-pink, under the moonlight. There was a time when I thought they were the most beautiful gems in the world, the most precious thing our holt would ever own.

Now I know the truth. They were a curse. A bringer of death.

Now when I think of those Pearls, I see nothing blood and death. The creatures who died because of them, their blood stains them pink. The blood of our holt lies over those gems, calling to be avenged.

And I must answer that call.

I want nothing but to have them laying on the seabed, harmless. From the day our ancestors first set eyes on their deceiving beauty, they should have cast them back into the deepest, darkest, depths of the great waters where they would have remained, lost to the ages. As they should be. Instead, they kept this evil, this curse, they unknowingly kept our own destruction.

Now, I stand here, on the shore, alone, my tears mingling with the spray of the sea, and the endless tears of the heavens. I wanted nothing more than my mother soothing my hurts, my father assuring me that this is all but a terrible nightmare. But that is not the case. I am a child no longer. I am a survivor, the last of my holt. The proud blood of Holt Lutra flows thick in my veins, the memory of my kin strengthen me. I must be strong, I must be brave, for their sake.

As I stare at the little wavelets playing at the surf's edge, I wished with all my soul that I could be a little otter kit again, playing at the waters edge, innocent and oblivious to the harshness of reality. The cruelty of the world. Before, I resented being treated like a child. I remembered how I grew angry when the elders told me I was too young to wield a dagger or shoot a bow. Stony-faced and angry, I had silently stormed out of the room and refused to speak to anyone. Now, I would have gladly thrown aside the bow, placed the dagger away, and have been content with their decision.

But some cruel twist of fate has disallowed me that choice. For both the bitter and the sweet, I had been allowed to survive. I was utterly alone in the world, deprived of both a home and a family in the space of a single night. Destiny has stamped me as a warrior, to avenge my holt. And as much as I wished it not to be true, as much as I wanted to run from the face of this nightmare, to run from this burden, there was escape. Like a wave, the ocean of fate had was forcing me to break against the surf, to be an individual and face the vermin who killed my family.

And I held nothing but contempt for those vermin. They were fools who thought the Pearls would satisfy. They had been blinded by their elusive beauty and it had drove them to commit murder, to massacre an innocent holt. Now the curse was upon them, for the Pearls will ultimately only bring one thing in it's wake.


They were truly the Tears of the Ocean. For, caught behind their white, glossy, surface, were the tears of the grieving creatures who suffered because of their evil. Who have yet to suffer. I can only hope that someday, they will find their way into the paws of a wise creature, one who can see past the outside and see them for what they truly are. Who will send them back to where they belong.

Pulling my ragged cloak closer around my shoulders, I look out over the bleak grey seas. Never have I felt so alone and deserted. "Why did they have to leave me?" I heard myself ask bitterly.

Through the thick-falling curtain of rain, through the endless tears, a ray of sunlight begins to shine through, and I know it is my holt telling me they had never left me. That they still live on within me and cannot allow myself to grieve forever, I must move forward, for them, and I know their spirits will guide me on, every step of the way.

The rains begins to clear and through the grey, a beautiful rainbow arcs over the waters. The colors glistened in the sun, simple, but with a pure, innocent beauty.

And then I knew. The rats may have taken everything from me, my family, my home, and almost my life, but there was one thing they could never take-love. I still had the love of my holt, watching over me from the Dark Forest, and love and kindness from other creatures, the two bankvoles who saved my life. It was a treasure far more priceless than all the pearls and gems of the world, for as long as love existed, good would always triumph. It is all I need.

Perhaps one day, the great emptiness in my heart will be filled. Perhaps one day I will truly be at peace. But for now, I have the lasting love of my family, my bow and arrows, and the strength to survive. For now, my quest has just begun.