The Birth of a Priestess
Light; that is my first memory. The utter brightness of it, piercing through my closed lids. My next memory is realising I am laying in the grass, and then the realisation that I do not know how I came to be in the grass, or how I came to be anything at all. I sit up and open my eyes. I am seven years old, and the only other thing I immediately know about myself is that my name is Sariel, and I am very hungry. I stand up and take in my surroundings. I am in a meadow. There are flowers all around me, bluebells mostly. Bluebells are my favourite flower, some part deep inside of me remembers. They are starting to wilt with the onset of autumn. The meadow is quiet, aside from the chirping of unseen birds and the growling of an empty stomach. I am alone.
What you are reading is my memoir, my story. My name is Sariel Nightlock, and I am a Cleric; a priestess of Corellon. I shall not keep anything hidden; and what is told will be the truth. My story is not unpleasant; however it is not pleasant either. It simply is. And it is as follows.
My seven year old self, practically an infant in the eyes of my race, sets off in an unknown direction, hoping to find someone who can tell her who she is, why she was in the meadow, or give her something to eat. Hopefully, they can do all three. I remember that this is when I realised I am not wearing any shoes, only a plain white shift that comes to my knees. It was very cold. I shivered and wished I had a cloak. I decided to walk for a while, not noticing where I am going. Eventually, when it is nearly dark, I stumbled into something of a clearing, as it was void but for a very large tree at its center. The tree looked big enough to house several people inside of it. Upon a second glance, I noticed that the aged tree trunk had a door, and that a blue flag with a silver star was hanging from one of the many branches. It was very pretty. Without a second thought, I ran toward the tree. Only when I was standing before it did I hesitate. I did not know who or what was inside. They could be the person responsible for all of my confusion, or they could be the person with all of the answers. But, before I could think past that point, the door swung open. Inside a tall, hooded figure stood brandishing a longsword.
"Who goes there? Declare yourself and your business or I will run you through!" From the sound of the voice, the figure was male. He was shouting at me. I started to cry.
"M-my name is S-s-sariel. I d-don't know w-what m-my business is. Please d-don't kill me!" Thinking back on it, I am surprised that I was able to say even that much, as terrified as I was.
The man then stepped into the light. From his facial features, I could see he was Eladrian, and advanced in his years. He was wearing blue robes and silver circlet, and there was small crescent moon tattooed to his forehead. This was the garb that would come to mean so much to me in the coming years. He spoke to me again, in a much gentler, hushed tone.
"You are not a spy of Lolth; that is for certain. Come in child; welcome to Traquis. Let me get you something warmer to wear. You will catch your death of cold! My name is Throdaril Aeraloth, but I did not catch yours. What do they call you?" I stepped into the tree. I could see it was not a house, as I originally thought, but a temple. I did not know which god it favoured at that time. I was simply grateful to be out of the bitter cold, as night was beginning to fall. In my most grown up voice, I replied to the priest, which he must be because we were in a temple, that my name was Sariel.
"Just Sariel? What is your family name? Who do you belong to, sweet one?" I replied that I didn't know, that I had woken up in a meadow this morning and didn't remember much before that. Throdaril furrowed his brows. What happened next decided everything that I would come to be. He performed the first holy magic that I can remember witnessing. Opening the door and stepping outside, he cried something that I did not understand. The wind suddenly picked up, and a cloud of flower petals flew toward him, twisting and turning into the shape of a female Eladrian. He then told the petal-elf that he had found a young Eladrian girl named Sariel, and to go to Minathwin Tinuron of Tyual and inquire if anybody was looking for her. The petals nodded, and then sped off toward the east. Throdaril came back inside.
"How did you do that?" I asked, awestruck.
"Magic, my dear. Would you like to learn?" he answered with a sly smile upon his face.
"Oh yes! Teach me Throdaril Aeraloth!" I shouted excitedly. This elf had spoken to flowers, and they had understood! I instantly wanted to know everything this magic man could teach me.
"Well Sariel, I can teach you, but I think we should wait to hear back from Minathwin first. She should reply by the morning. I think we should get you to bed, little one. Follow me".
Throdaril lead me to the back of the temple where there was a small room with a cot and wardrobe inside. He told me that this would be my room until I no longer needed it. He gave me the candle from his hand, and bade me to find something to wear inside the wardrobe whilst he fetched me some supper. Upon his return he carried a plate of bread, cheese and grapes, gave it to me with a smile and wished me goodnight. After he left, I pressed my ear hard against the door, hoping to hear more magic. Instead, I heard him praying. The door muffled much of the sound, however, so I was only able to catch four words. Four words of the utmost significance. The four words that would define my future.