Tears of the Sea

The rain was ending, the wind was dying and the infant was nearly dead.

She barely knew the sound of rain, so rare it was in her homeland. Yet she knew what it meant-death. Death for mamma, as she was swept overboard. Death for papa, as she was swept out of his arms as their ship fell upon the shore. Seawater mixed with tears, her traditional black face paint washed away. Like washing her identity really...

Time wore on. The rain wore out.

With aching limbs, the infant moved on, up the beach. Sand filled her hands. Sand like that of the desert, yet moist with the rain and tide. Slowly, surely...


The infant recoiled. She'd never seen an arrow before, but some instinct, perhaps passed down along with hatred of the peoples of this land, told her to stay in place. Even as the savages from the dunes above moved down towards her. Travellers. The feathered savages. Murderers. Or so the stories went. Stories that one day, she would live herself. She had to be a good girl, papa told her. She had to be ready to fight as all Zebak were.

Zebak...they called her that, or at least mentioned it in their own language. She recoiled, all thoughts of honour and glory now as non-existent as the storm clouds that once hung above. She lay there, waiting to meet her end by one of their weapons, likely at the hands of the man who stepped forward, his visage harder than even that of papa. She wondered how she looked to him-a weedy, skeletal creature, a poor example of her people's strength. Ready to meet her end...

Meeting her end...like mamma and papa...alone...

...she couldn't help it. She began to weep.

The man knelt down, fixing his gaze with hers. A gaze more like mamma's, showing...well, compassion, if Travellers could possess such a thing.

"Ogden," he said, pointing to himself. Apparently his name.

"Zeel," she answered, gesturing to herself as she fought back tears. "Daughter of...of..."

"You're safe now..." the Traveller murmured, his gaze still like that of a parent. "Cry no more, Zeel..."

Zeel did cry though. For home. For mamma and papa. For herself.

It was only when Ogden allowed her to cry into his shoulder that she felt it was alright to do so.


Been ages since I read the books, and as I wrote this without access to them, I'm afraid I couldn't look things up. Think Zeel may have been a bit older canonically when she was rescued by Ogden, but I'm afraid it escapes me. Still, I'm willing to take potential liabilities here.