Inspired by Kitten Kisses, I set out to write several oneshots/drabble. This one deals with Lyndis. Hope you all enjoy!
Disclaimer: Fire Emblem is owned others. I only own my ideas. And of course, any failures are my own.
I was too young to remember when she left the plains. Too young to remember the days before, when there had been villages full of our people. When Hassan was the leader of our clan and we of the Lorca had no fear of anything. When they tell of Hassan they say that he could outrun the wind, outshoot the greatest of archers, and hold back the mightiest of armies. The tales speak of his wandering adventures, of how he stole away the treasure from another land and brought back his wife, Madelyn, to the fair plains of Sacae.
But I was too young to remember those days. And so I was also spared the memories of our people as they fell to the cunning of evil men. I do not remember the bandits that fell upon our main village, destroying it and scattering our people. I do not recall watching as the men fell, and the women were tortured before their deaths. Of how many other children were slaughtered by the same blades that felled their parents.
I am old enough to recall the wandering that followed as we scattered to the winds and pursued our fortunes amongst the other clans. It was rumored that Hassan's daughter still dwelt alone at the foot of the mountains, where we had once held undisputed sway. Travelers passing by brought other tales, saying that the girl had gone away with strangers, taken to lands to the south where our people are considered barbarians.
The women muttered that she had returned to her mother's people; that despite her father's proud blood, she submitted herself to the ways of foreigners. "She returns to those who hide behind walls of stone." they murmured, "She will forget the wind and the ways of the plains and she will not return..."
But despite what they said, Lyn did come back to the plains.
I remember the day that she returned, riding upon a spirited horse with strangers in her wake; men dressed in well worn armor with swords at their hips. She called for a gathering of our tribe, of the remnants who remained. And we returned to meet the daughter of our chief, despite the grave misgivings of those who doubted.
She spoke to us in that place of the former glory of our tribe, of the beauty of our village, and the honor of our people. She reminded us of valor, of kindness, and great deeds unmatched in our lifetimes. And she proposed to return to us those days, to restore our people once again.
For all their former words, the women were silent. The men grumbled however, saying that it was not right that they follow a woman. "A man should be chief!" They shouted.
She was not angry, as I thought she would be. She only smiled grimly at her detractors. "If that is so, then why have none of you stepped forward to claim that right?"
They fell silent, uneasy at the question posed.
Standing alone beneath the sky, she turned away from us to view the mountains beyond. "I shall not let our people perish into memory. I go now to crush those who took away our lives, to visit vengeance upon their heads. If any wishes to aid me in this, I would welcome him."
"And when I return, I will rebuild our village with any who chooses to help."
She walked away from us to where her horse pawed at the ground, eager it seems for the journey ahead of it. We remained where we stood as she and her small party began to ride off. Indeed it seemed for us as though time itself had stilled, so quiet had we become. Only the wind blew in short puffs that pulled at our garments and bent the long grass in homage.
It was then that another spoke, breaking into that solitary silence. He was a stranger, one of her party. I had not noticed him before, caught up as I was in the sight of Lyn and her soldiers. He wore no armor, and the horse that he rode seemed gentle. But I remember his voice, that quiet sadness that spoke to us, berating us for our foolishness.
"Why settle for obscurity, when there is hope for a better life?"
He spoke of a group of strangers who willingly followed Lyn, content to go only where she led them no matter where that path lay. He said that there was a land to the south that would have been content under her leadership, had she chosen that path. In that place she could have been at ease, with none to contest her right.
"We follow her now. For us, there is very little to be gained from this. For the Lorca however, there is the promise of restoration. Are you willing to be so outdone by strangers that you would refuse Lyndis, refuse that one hope of return? Having been once uprooted, do you not only refuse to grow again, but also to be replanted? Are your spirits so broken that you would choose this, just because it is how things have always been?"
"Even the Mother Earth embraces times of change, in the movement of the seasons. Why can you not do the same?"
His words shamed us.
Beside him, a mountain of a man in armor bellowed a laugh. "Bwahahahah! Come on lads! Let's see some spirit in you, if you aren't already dead! Let us see if we can catch up to the Lady Lyn before she reaches the mountains!"
He took off, bald pate shining in the sun, metal armor clanking as he ran.
I remember watching as one by one, people started to come to life again. Begun by the words of a woman, and spurred by the words and actions of those who followed her, a fire had returned to our hearts. Instead of cringing in shame, the men stood taller. They readied their weapons, raised them to the wind. A cry rang out from their mouths; a chant to battle, a chant to victory.
We did not all follow in their wake. But we had all awakened.
It took several weeks for the small army to return victorious. The mountains had been cleared of our hated enemies, their leaders slain in their hideouts without mercy. Those who fought sang of the battle and spoke in hushed tones of the fury of Lyn and her companions.
Those of us who remained behind had not been idle. By the time that the army appeared, there were the beginnings of a village where once there had been only desolation. Houses were being constructed, pens held our horses, and a watch was kept for what news we could find. No one had spoken of the incident that had restored us, and the fiery spirit that had consumed us at the time had faded into a more tempered mood. It almost seemed as though we were afraid to jinx the one hope that had come to us.
When one of the remaining men tore into camp on his horse, we held our breath, waiting anxiously for his report. He jumped off the lathering beast, handing its reins to one of the older boys, and staggered to the middle of the village.
His shout brought a muffled gasp, a confused murmuring.
"Our Chieftain... Our Chieftain is victorious!"
A few tried to still his voice, but the rumor had already spread. We of the Lorca had a Chief again. Preparations were hurriedly made, fires laid and food prepared. The scout told us that they would be there by nightfall. There would be celebration to welcome their arrival.
In the meantime, we had only nervous anticipation.
The sun was setting in glorious hues of orange and red before they came into sight of the village. They moved slowly, those riding horses compensating for the pace of those who walked. A ragged cheer went up, warbled by a dozen voices before dragging off into stillness. We were still unsure and undecided.
Only the outrider had the presence of mind to order the lighting of the fires.
Once in motion however, the uncertainty that seemed to plague us evaporated; some ran to prepare the food, while others advanced to welcome the tiny army. In the bustling confusion, it was easier for those of us who were younger to find space to stare.
And stare we did, despite the constant calls of our elders to come and aid in the preparation.
Though there were several soldiers in the party, a few stood out especially. Two were knights who seemed to be brothers of a kind, though almost certainly not blood related. It showed in the familiar way that they spoke to each other, in the relaxed mood that settled upon them when they were near each other. One was bequeathed of flaming hair, and his companion was gifted with flowing words. I did not approach near enough to hear what that one babbled, but watched from a safe distance while they set up a line of sentries around the camp.
The other that stood out, of course, was the mountain of a man in armor. He must have been aged, for his head was devoid of hair and his face wore many wrinkles. Still he managed to outpace those who ran with him, no matter what task he seemed to involve himself in. We would later speak in whispers about this one, when the fires had died down and the camp had settled in for the night.
Lyn disappeared from sight for a time, closeted inside of one of the finished ger with one of her companions and the remaining elders of the clan. What they conversed about was a mystery, and although curious as children can be, we knew that it was not right to approach. Darkness fell while they were confined within those walls, and when they finally emerged the feasting began.
The food is both plentiful and free; all partake around the bonfires that throw circles of defiance against the encroaching darkness. The sparks from the flames fly upward, trying for the heavens; they die and fade, to have their fierce light replaced by the silver illumination of the moon and stars.
When the meal is finished, the pipes and drums come forth. Many of us feel the thrill of the music; we stand up and dance in the spaces between the shadows and the firelight. We release our pent up emotions into the rhythm of our feet, the swaying of our bodies; tonight we are once again the proud members of a proud clan. Lyn joins in the circle of dancers, her energy unmatched by any of those near her. Those around her seem to draw new strength from her presence - they dance even faster as the pipes and drums continue to play.
I watch in awe - I have not seen such a sight before - not among my people.
The giant joins in the dancing as well, though his motions are jerky and wild compared to the sweeping and whirling that we favor. Few others of the strangers attempt to join us and none of them is as enthusiastic as either the giant or Lyn.
She dances until the music falls silent.
Into the silence that follows, a voice speaks. A strong voice, a proud voice... It calls for the clan to assemble and choose the successor.
"Who by right of blood, by right of strength, by right of wisdom?"
The strangers retire to their allotted fire, seemingly content to watch and not interfere. The voice calls again.
"Who comes forth to claim? Stand forth now upon Mother Earth. Speak forth your name; let it be heard by Father Sky! Let the clan see! Let them hear those who wish to contend!"
The elders have assembled by their own fire. One stands up at the end of the shout and speaks into the silence following. "The clan stands assembled. Who wishes to be heard?"
Lyn steps forth into the light of the elder's fire.
"I am Lyndis, daughter of the Lorca. I would be heard."
The elder hesitates, his voice thin and reedy as he states the response. "The clan hears the voice of the daughter, Lyndis. Does any other voice call for us to heed?"
For the space of a moment there is silence. It is broken by one of the men. He joins the circle made by the firelight. "I am Falar, son of the Lorca. I would be heard."
The reply comes. "The clan hears the voice of the son, Falar. Does any other voice call for us to heed?"
Silence is the only reply this time. The voice shouts again from the darkness. "The right of blood has been established! Who would stand and bear witness to strength?"
Several of the warriors rise and gather in the firelight. One by one they speak of the deeds performed upon the field of battle. Some praise Lyndis, while others praise Falar. When they finish their tales, they slip back to stand in the shadows. Finally the two candidates stand alone again in the circle of light.
."Does anyone deny these deeds? Speak now or join in their acclaim."
The elder speaks up once more. "Will you yield your position, daughter of the Lorca? Will you yield to one who would be chief?"
Lyn is proud and she answers in a voice that can be heard by all who are assembled. "I will not yield."
The elder turns to Lyn's rival. "Son of the Lorca, what challenge will you choose?"
Falar does not hesitate; he is a warrior and unafraid of battle. "The sword will not lie. Let our strengths be measured through our blades."
As the clan melts away from the pair, I push towards the forefront. I wish to see how this will end; will Lyn become our leader or will it be Falar? A few of the strangers have pushed forward as well - they stand across the circle from me. I know the strangers are there but my attention is taken by the two combatants as they face each other.
Falar is taller than Lyn and handles his weapon with an easy familiarity. I hear the whispers begin; Falar is one of our better warriors. He ignores his opponent as he waits for the signal to begin.
The cloaked stranger enters the ring bearing Lyn's weapon. There are murmurs the moment that she draws forth the blade. It glows in her hand. I can feel the intensity of the feeling in the air even though I do not know that she has drawn a sacred sword. Later I will hear that it is the fabled blade "Mani Katti", but for now I merely stare in awe at the sword.
When she sheaths the blade again, I am confused. Has she given up already? Is the testing over? But no, she only hands back the sword to her companion and accepts another blade in its place. This time the air does not glow with magic when she draws out the blade. The cloaked man fades back into the circle to watch with the rest, still cradling Lyn's weapon carefully.
With both contenders armed, the elder steps away. "Begin."
Falar charges in immediately, closing the distance. He is swift and his strikes sing through the air. I hide behind my hands, certain that Lyn will be overwhelmed by his attacks. But she is not. When I hear the ringing of blades, I peek between my fingers. My hands fall to my sides as I stare at the contest before me.
Falar is the river, swift and powerful in its rage. Lyn is the wind.
Capricious in nature, able to move from utter calm into a frenzied gale, Lyn is a whirlwind of motion. The ringing that I hear is not from her parrying Falar's strikes, it comes as the warrior frantically blocks her strikes. In the silences between the blades, I hear her joyful laughter. As the battle carries on, I begin to understand; she is dancing again, albeit to a different tune than the one that was played by the pipes and drums. Her hair swirls behind her, tracing dark trails through the air as she spins and darts and strikes.
She lives in this moment, just as she did in the celebration moments before.
When the end comes, it is not with some great moment of martial skill; Falar simply stops moving. Lyn stills as well, her blade hovering by her side. After a moment, Falar kneels upon the grass. "I yield."
Those words unleash a babble of voices, all trying to be heard. Through the sea of voices Lyn stands firm, waiting. Finally all is still.
"Daughter of the Lorca, you have proven your worth. You will be... our chief." The elder seems troubled, the words wrung from unwilling lips. His shoulders sag when he finishes, as though he has taken some grave burden upon his shoulders. He shuffles back to the rest of the elders and they fade from the scene.
For everyone else, the celebration is renewed. The pipes begin to play again accompanied by both drums and voices. Dancers appear again and I almost lose sight of our chief in the whirling motion that suddenly surrounds her.
I do catch a glimpse of her walking over to Falar. A second glimpse; I can see her speaking to him although I cannot hear what she says. When Falar stands and she turns away towards the circle of dancers, I finally lose track of her. I will not see her again tonight, but I am young and the celebration calls to me.
It is hours before we tire and seek the comfort of sleeps embrace, hours of dancing in starlight and firelight.
For we of the Lorca have a chief again.
AN: Partial inspiration for this work attributed to quotes such as this - ("You'll be my master strategist, and I'll be your peerless warrior." Lyn to Tactician) - as well as other conversations between Lyn and the members of her merry band. A lot of recent works involving Lyndis have to do with her assuming a position in Caelin; I wanted to try and do something involving her returning to the plains. I hope that I've done both Lyn and this idea justice in the writing - it flowed so well until the end - and haven't just crashed upon the rocks of failed authorship.
Note that I've written this from the point of view of a child of the Lorca. Hopefully this actually works - if it doesn't, then please leave me a note! In fact, if you have any suggestions at all, please feel free to comment. I'm always looking to improve.
Thanks go to Kitten Kisses for the inspiration to write. As always, read and review.