Chapter One: "Tell me no Lies"
Warnings: G for OMG, Couldn't you do better than this? D:
Also for teh crazy stalker ex-boyfriend.
NOTES: Haa, we've all done this before, haven't we? We know how this goes.. Here is my little adventure, which my horribly Mary Sue character. X3 Expect her not to be able to decide which guy she wants, and be a little crazy at times.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. - M. Kathleen Casey
He tasted power. That wretched sibling in the south, one of power, but young -- very young, and untrained. This sibling didn't hear the voices, but there was great potential there, great power that lay dormant. This sibling was of a different birth than most, and the voice mocking pondered if it should wake the sleepy child up. Because your sister has power, and wouldn't that suit my needs?
No, no, that wasn't needed. He would take care of this one -- take care of it personally, prove that she was not as good as he was. If He liked this sibling, then he had to go take care of it personally. No one would get in his way. Nobody at all.
Golden eyes gleamed dangerously -- hungrily, and he alerted the others. They didn't understand, but they didn't have to. This undeserving sibling was so powerful, and yet mangled. There were other factors working in on it -- ones that were twisting that power. He would fix it -- stop the twisting.
Stop the power.
Saturniah, better known as Niah, huffed unhappily, stumbling under the weight of two buckets full of water, sweat rolling down her forehead and threatening to sting her eyes. Her shoulders ached under the weight of the staff resting on her shoulders, and in her lower back was a constant straining pull.
There was a loud guffaw somewhere behind her and to her right that she recognized immediately. "Etch, Niah, got yourself in trouble again?" Hull asked.
With a groan, she play-collapsed under the weight -- a move that threatened the stability and strength of her muscles and sloshed some of the water out onto the dusty ground. She ducked back under the staff and looked up at him from under her eyelashes. "This girl does not understand what she has done wrong. This girl is willing to suffer the consequences if it means that she is no longer shaming the village."
"Oh, so now Candlekeep is a village?" he asked, grinning.
Saturniah offered a weak grin in response. There hadn't been many children around when she was growing up, but she got along well enough with the older residents. "It is if this bard says it is. Use your imagination, Hull! The streets are a stage!"
"And you every actor on it," he said. "It didn't much matter who they are, you'd try to play them."
"Yes, and oh, what confusion!" she lamented in her usual overly dramatic manner, shifting her knees in the dust. "No one knew what to make of it! Gorion had to sort them out once he found out what I was doing!"
"That's rather amusing, though," Hull said as he grabbed one of the buckets. It was likely to get them both in trouble if Ulraunt or the Gatekeeper found out, but Winthrop wouldn't care. "You were so busy trying to tell us what you were that everyone was trying to say you were something else."
"Oh, the trials of bardom," she moaned, snatching up the abandoned staff and bucket. "I ply my trade, and they think I want to be what I portray!" She stumbled a few steps before she juggled the items into a more reasonable arrangement, and ignored the curly hair of her ponytail, falling to stick to her sweaty and dusty skin. "Though, I have to admit, I learned a great deal about rogues and priest and magery."
"I don't know how you will ever succeed at being a bard, Niah. You have a horrible memory, you refuse to sing, granted, you are dramatic enough, but you make up words," Hull said, none of the strain of carrying the bucket of water in his voice. Maybe Saturniah was just tired that it wore on her so.
"Fickle, fickle mind, I know. But I can play decently enough with that lute, and I'd hate to focus on only one profession. There is so much to learn!" she grunted, and then had to set down the bucket for another rest. "Oh, gods, I'm so tired!"
She jerked in surprise, and straightened, turning to meet the woman. "Yes, Nadine?" she asked, blinking. Nadine's husband would rather she not talk to Saturniah, but there were certain things that had to be done, and if Nadine was looking for it, this was one of them.
"Oh, that chest of ours is stuck, and I can't find the key!" the old woman huffed, setting hands to hips. "You got it unlocked last time, so could you do it again?"
Saturniah felt an amused smiled curl her lips. "I'm in high demand this morning. When it rains, the gods dump the entire ocean on me."
"When it rains, it pours, Niah," Hull corrected, that same amusement in his voice.
"Oh, yes, well ... no. You know what I meant," she said, rolling her eyes, and then turned her attention to the request at hand. "Sure thing, Nadine. Just let me get this water to the inn and I'll be right over." Saturniah stretched painfully as Nadine returned to her house, and chuckled. "Ugh, this has been a busy morning!"
"Well, you could always send Imoen to do that lock."
"What? Eeh, I could get it done faster even carrying the buckets first!"
"Ooh, so there is the bardic self-importance! You wouldn't even know how to begin unlocking stuff if Imoen hadn't come along."
Ice down the spine. A pause that managed to be awkward. Saturniah turned and gave Hull a strained smile. "Yeah. I owe her that much, don't I?"
It wasn't the mention of Imoen that had caused the moment -- Saturniah loved Imoen as the friend she never had, and loved her for her willingness to get into silly games -- it was what that sentence reminded her of. That word.
There was a pressure on Gorion and herself when they first came. Even as a child, she understood the strain and pressure, she was sensitive to Gorion. Gorion was that man with the soft-eyes who could be hurt but not vulnerable, and that was something she wanted to learn. Along with that learning came the understanding of his moods, and by the time they'd made it to Candlekeep, chased out of town after town, she knew him well. Then that strain came, and she wanted to take it away. She did what she could, what menial tasks she could, but that man with the hard eyes and the frown wouldn't change. 'You'll have to do better than that,' he'd snarled, and she'd blinked uncomprehending eyes.
She knew now. Had to be better. She grew up fighting for that better. Trying to be better than everyone, even using whatever skills her adversaries used to best them however she could. Imoen came home one day three years ago with Gorion, when he came back from one of his missions. So when Imoen proved useful, when Gorion smiled at her, Saturniah burned with bitter jealousy. Better.
They had since resolved their differences, and once again, Imoen slid in front of Saturniah in thieving skills, but Saturniah still thought of herself as better. I'll have to get her to teach me so I can catch up, she mused.
"Right, I have to get this water to Winthrop! Be a pal and help me, won't you?" Saturniah said, stooping down to grab the bucket.
"Already on my way!" Hull called back to her.
"Hey!" she whined, trotting awkwardly as she tried to deal with everything at once. "Wait for me!"
Hull's only response was to laugh uproariously and lengthen his stride.
"Hull! You aren't funny!"
And there she went, with a smile on at a time like this.
The young man's fist tightened as he stared after her. How could she smile when he'd taken it all back? How could she smile when he was looking at another girl. How could she? How could she?
He knew her secrets, he knew her. He was the one she gripped late at night, eyes eerily alight as she hummed a reckless breaking tune. It was only he that saw the desperate breaking confusion in her eyes, and he wasn't hers anymore, so why was she smiling? How could she smile?
He was the one who reached for her. It was him, time after time after time, and she never reached back, never once. She held him after the night's deeds were done as if he were a child, humming that tune and whispering words when he was almost asleep.
Crippled things are beautiful, she said so often when that breaking madness hit her. Looking at him, speaking of him. How was he crippled? He was by no means handsome, but he wasn't crippled, but he let her call him that because it was him, it was him, not anyone else who Gorion's intelligent and special ward came to. She chose him, and he knew she was special some how, so if she wanted to call him cripple, he'd let her, because it was him.
Not anyone else. She chose him first, chose him above anyone.
He gave her his big sister's lute. She loved that lute.
Did she love him?
How could she smile when he was looking at someone else?
Gorion didn't always enjoy his position as Harper. He'd gotten the job when he was much younger and impressed by the supposed power that he could get while at the same time working to achieve his own goals. Now older and wiser, he saw through many of the organization's disguises, and disliked what he saw. He had power, true, but he was no less a puppet than he had been when he first started out. Worse now, actually -- he was making a puppet of others, and some of these people were ones he loved and trusted.
He made sure that Imoen knew he had the letter. He poured over it until he was sure she would choke herself in desperation if he didn't get out of there soon. He put it in the drawer, and stood up, absently making his way out.
He'd left the drawer unlocked.
She would read it, and then they would have the finial and most important test that Imoen had ever taken. All of Saturniah's life had been a giant test, one right after the other, but this would be Imoen's first. All at once, Gorion hoped she passed and that she failed.
If she passed, she would live, true, but what kind of life would it be, truly? Danger and death all about, and powers would come after her like they came after her sister. If she failed, she would be safe for a time, but then she would fall before greater powers, the seething rage from the north. He wished that she would pass and fail all at once.
Two children, born of the same father, each in their own way precious, each in their own way innocent. Surely, Saturniah had lived far away with priestess for a while before he got her, no doubt exposed to all sorts of depravity, but there was still that ringing question in her eyes -- why? And Imoen, who didn't even have to ask that question yet. When she did, Gorion hoped she could deal with the lack of answer and reason.
(And what of that first child? The one that had fallen sick and had the powers ravage his body while Saturniah watched on with young eyes that somehow understood, and Imoen stared sadly but without comprehension? He had fallen in the early years, like they all planned, torn apart by his sire's essence, but Saturniah and Imoen had stood firm. Pass or fail? Pass or fail?)
Bad enough that he would sacrifice one child to his fellow Harpers, he did not wish to sacrifice both.It was more than his old heart could bare.
,;;, To be Continued ,;;,
Please leave a snide remark after the rant!
OMGYAY! X3 anyways...
Sio is not a happy story all the time. Some of it will be playful. Not always. ;; Yeah. Oo