It started out as a cool day with the sun glaring down without many clouds to cause obstruction, a rare sight indeed. Still, Niniane had known that the night was promised to be a difficult one. Her father, the King of Wales, had already ordered every fireplace to be prepared and lit ablaze. She didn't really understand why that night she knew would be something special to her, but she had dreamt that it would be. After all, she had heard news of deaths consistently throughout her life. It was only natural when you were a princess in times of warfare and uneasiness. It had been almost ten years since Vortigern had taken the position as High King, but still, the country was ill at ease.
It was late in the evening, after sup and wine, when the messenger came. He bowed to her father and then to her, blushing slightly as he did the later. It was hardly a new thing. Niniane, modest and kind, still knew that she was supposed a beauty in the town. There had been rioting in a nearby town under her father's jurisdiction and he was to come away immediately. The King grumbled a bit as he sent the nearest servant to fetch his cloak, brooch, and riding boots.
"Take care Niniane, and see to it that you rest early tonight," he said to her, bending down to kiss her forehead. He was so kind to his only daughter then, perhaps it was his way of trying to manipulate her into marrying rather than going into the church.
"Yes, my Lord," she replied softly. The servant arrived a moment later with the King's items and rushed out with his messenger escort. Sighing softly, Niniane looked down, noticing the brooch still lying on the floor. Without thinking clearly, for if she had, she would have known that chasing after the two men on horseback barefooted would have done little good, she ran outside ignoring the tsk-ing of her women.
She had gotten near the woodlands before giving up her search and she paused just within the trees' reach. Staring into the dark forest she now understood why she could not have allowed herself even a moments pause to think of her actions as she stepped out into the cold without so much as a shawl and cover-all on. This was the specialty of the evening, not the simple fact that there had been deaths. That was just another step in the process.
Niniane took one step further into the darkness and took a deep breath. She was sure that this was where she was meant to go. Blindly following her own footsteps, Niniane trusted in the God to direct her. She had gone on for a couple of miles before the shivering began. It was tolerable for now, but she hoped that wherever her sight was leading her, wouldn't be much farther. With a glance around her, she recognized the small clearing she had just walked through. There was a small cave to the side of it where she had visited often previously as a small child.
That was where she learned the specifics of her ability from the kind man who lived there. Sure as a child she should have been more wary of an older man such as he, but call it a leap of faith that she stuck with him, and she learned quite a bit.
Another few meters beyond the cave she saw a man slouched up against a tree. He looked to be quite hurt, bleeding in a few places and very nearly unconscious. Perhaps he already was dead. No, she knew he was not.
Placing her feet carefully forward, she stepped up to him and bent down over him. He was breathing, barely, but steadily. He was definitely unconscious. She placed her hand gently on his hot forehead. He had a fever, but it did not feel deadly. She did not know how she was going to manage to carry him all the way back to the cave. Perhaps she could wake him. Lightly, she tapped his right cheek. He made no response.
"Hello there?" she whispered to him moving his shoulders about. Who knows where all he was hurt, if only she could get him to the cave, she could work on healing him like the old man had taught her.
"Sir, please, wake up," she continued. After several calls and shakes, his eyes fluttered open slowly. He was devilishly handsome, dark and exotic. Roman by the looks of him, definitely not a Welsh.
"Hello," she smiled down at him. "Can you stand?" she asked him. He took a deep breath and let it out sharply. She gave him her hand and he took it. His hands were strong, rough. Using the tree trunk for more support, the man just managed to push himself off of the ground and stood dizzily.
"Good. Try to come with me, Sir." She gave him the rest of her arm and her shoulder to lean on as they began to slowly make their way back down to the cave.