Life takes many twists and turns and the path that is to be yours is rarely clear.
In a small village a child was born of an ogre father and a human mother. The child grew up happy and very much loved...but alone. She had no brothers or sisters and they lived outside the village boundaries.
It was looked down on for an ogre male to be with a human woman in their village, but her father adored her mother and so, moved them outside the village itself. He went into the village to work but returned each night to his wife and family. The child was called Briena...or Brie for short.
Her mother was what would be considered a Ranger. She was a fierce huntress with her bow, but her heart was one with the forest and the animals. She cared for and tended to their wounds and their cubs and there were always animals lying about the yard recouperating from one thing or another. Her mother had a way with the beasts that astounded many. She seemed to be able to almost talk to them...and they to her. She even tended to the flora and fauna when it was damaged or sickly.
Her father was a Swordsmith in the village. His was the business of war and he was very good at it. He was fierce in combat, but when the fighting was over he was kind and gentle and soft spoken to all.
For all that Brie had few other children to play with, she was a happy and well contented child. She often went into the forest with her mother and she learned the ways of healing from her. She learned that she also had the gift that her mother had. After that she was rarely ever lonely for all she had to do was call and her animal friends would gather round her.
But she was a spirited child and so she also learned the ways of her father. She was good with both sword and dagger and even with her mother's bow. She loved the thrill of the hunt and stalking her prey. She was careful not to hunt near to home, though.
When she came of age, her mother and father sat her down. They told her that there was little that the village could offer her and that she would need to go someplace else to further her learning and to seek her path in life. So she set out a couple weeks later.
She met an old woman who lived deep in the forest which she came to know as Nirimloth. The woman taught her many things...old and ancient things. She even knew about the ancient ways of her father's people, the ogres.
At one time, great magic had been theirs to use, but over time, it had faded as they became more interested in battles and conquering than in healing and magic. Brie learned these old magics from the ancient one as well as those of other races. But Brie had a wandering heart and took to going further and further afield just to see what was over the next hill.
Finally, the old woman took her hand and told her she had learned all she could there and that it was time she moved on again. She was saddened, but excited and her heart knew it was the right thing to do at the right time.
She travelled south and ended up in the city of Devardec. There she met warriors called Knights and deciding it was time to learn more of this side of her nature, she joined them. She learned well and fast and was good with her sword. She was learned in many things, but in one area she knew nothing....her heart. She had never known the feelings of love between a man and a woman.
She met a handsome monk while hunting gargoyles and a great friendship grew up between them. That friendship turned to a deep and abiding love that filled both of them. Together they shared many wonderful days...and nights.
The Monk was sorely troubled in his heart and Brie used all the arts she had learned and brought a measure of healing to him. He in turn taught her all the things of the heart that she knew little of. Things were not to be however and a darkness strove to divide them.
Brie grew heartsick at losing her beloved monk and so she set out to try and best this darkness. She disappeared for many years, leaving her love to grieve and wonder what had happened to her. He knew she had gone to his previous master to wrest him from the dark ones grasp, but he knew no more than that.
Brie, wanting to bring some healing if she could to the dark ones heart, soon lost herself in it. She had only an item from her beloved that she guarded at the cost of her own life, tho a portion of her that she had given to him remained alive always. She wasnt heard from for many years until the arts of a druid allowed her to speak to her beloved monk again.
Sitting in Devardec's Adventurer's Guild one night, Tedronai and Forlove were speaking with a young seeress. The subject of Brie came up and this is what happened......
"Brie is the only reason I struggle on," said Tedronai. "Why brie?" asked the seeress. "When I lost Brie, I lost what I wanted as friends. Her memory reminded me of what I was... What I swore never to return to. Tis her that has keep me on my path. There is only one Brie and only one person I could have truly loved with the black heart I had then," he said and looked away. The seeress walked to him , laying a hand on his chest as he closed his eyes.
"Ted...she is still with you," she said. Tedronai looked down at her. "She always has been. Listen for her..."
"I have many times, he said. "Many time did I sit and listen to the wind." Her hand warmed slightly, and Tedronai blinked. The seeress' eyes meet his and something familiar in them sparked. "I am sorry seeress, my heart is no longer as warm as it once was."
"No, but it is there still, I can feel it. Ted... " she said, quietly. "Do something for me please?"
"What would have of me?" he asked. Forlove watched in silence, a single tear rolling down her cheek. "I ask one favor only ..for Brie... Allow one friend to touch you...Forlove. Her healing touch is better than Bries ever was, and she is a calmer soul than Brie could ever be." Tedronai let out a deep sigh. "It's a big thing I ask," she said. "Allow Forlove to be your friend and confidant."
"There is nothing left to heal," he said. "It is gone."
"Then let her simply be with what is left. She did that for another for a long time. 'She was a quiet presence in anothers background for a long time before that one even talked to her." Forlove closed her eyes, trembling. "She is very patient, and will never push... But it is a wondrous thing to have someone like that at your back at all times." Tedronai looks down at the seeress, is eyes an empty shade of black. "I will try," he said as she took his hands in hers. "I nae can promise much more."
The seeress looked up at him and he saw a familiar gaze looking back at him. She closed her eyes and a voice not hers spoke, "My beloved Ted..." He looked down at her, letting the tears fall this time. "I cant be with you...but I have never stopped loving you. Your heart is there and it still retains the soul I left in it. Remember the day I placed it there?"
"Tis all that lives there m'love," he said. As she reached up and touched his cheek, Tedronai closes his eyes. "Beloved.. let another love you," she said as he placed a shaking hand over hers. "Let someone take some of the pain." Her eyes were soft as she gazed at him. "I wish I could be with you."
"I nae can tis my place to suffer for my wrong," he said, opening eyes that were full of tears. "I wish thee could as well."
"But I am asking you for the memory of our love...to let it go." Her fingers traced the curve of his jaw gently, and as she touched his heart with her hand, he began to shiver. "I am with you me love." Tedronai's eyes dimmed as the tears fell to the floor. "I will help you." He hugged her, and she wraps her arms around him, holding him close in a warm embrace. "How can ye ask me to let go," he asked. "I have never been so wrong in my life to someone I wanted more then I wanted to live."
"Because it is what is best for you... because I love you. Then do this for me now."
"As I do thee."
She smiled up into his face, and he inhales deeply of the smell a scent of pine forests and rich brown earth that filled the room. Forlove opened her eyes and looked at them, unnoticed tears streaming down her cheeks. "Tsag," he said. "I miss that so much."
"Will you do it for me my dear heart?"
"I have missed thee so."
"As I have missed you."
"I will try m'love... All I can do is try," he said. She kissed him tenderly, and he returned it. "I love you," she whispered. "You nae can leave me again. Nae again."
"I must my love...I do nay know the way back."
"I have suffered fates worse then hell for my crime."
"I was allowed to come to you this time. I am trapped where I am...because of my own folly." Tedronai touched her face softly.. remembering the times of love shared as she spoke. "I too pay for my foolishness. I ever watch over you tho. You are never alone." He closed his eyes once more and sighed sadly.
The seeress stepped back and closed her eyes. She slumped against Forlove, who cradles her gently. Tedronai reached out toward her as she opened her eyes. As the tears ran freely down her face, he slowly let his hands fall to his sides. Forlove brushed her hair back from her face as she spoke again. "Ted.. please... for Brie... let this happen. Give her some small peace wherever she is trapped. She needs to know you fare well. She is not happy where she is, I can feel it." Forlove looked up at Tedronai and held out a hand to him as he wiped the tears from his face.
The seeress reached up to take his hand ,and placed it in Forlove's. "A single friend is not so much to ask." Tedronai gently held Forlove's hand, and she squeezed it as he fells to his knees. The seeress held him gently in her arms, rocking him back and forth and whispering soothingly to him. "You have no idea what you ask," he whispered. "I know better than you can imagine."
"And only for the love of Brie can I even begin to try."
"I know. She is very unhappy where she is...this will bring her some peace. Her sister can't get to her, but she can feel her. Her only thots are of you." Tedronai squeezed her, and she gave him a bear hug before she hugged Forlove. "My thoughts have always been of her, he said as he laid his head against Forlove and wept silently. Forlove cuddled Tedronai, stroking his hair. The seeress' hand rested on Tedronai and comforted him quietly. "Forlove..."
"I will try and do as she asks." The seeress leaned her head against the Druidess as she wrapped your arms around Tedronai and held him close in a warm embrace. The seeress smiled gently as he whispered, "I will try."
"Ye have been there for me," said Forlove. "Thank ye for letting me do the same." He nodded towards her then looked at the seeress, who beamed a smile at him. "Do me a favor in return."
"If I can, I will. My time here is short."
"Let her know I still love her."
"She knows. As I could feel her love for you.. so I could feel your love for her."
"Let her know I will, even in the face of death, want only to be at her side."
"I will tell her."
"I left my own Cour'souvra one day,"" said Ted, after they spoke a bit more about Brie and her sister. "Left it where?" asked the seeress. "Left it out in hope she would find it and make me pay for my wrong."
"She could no more do that than do it to her sister. I think she thot she could, but in the end...she could not."
"I had always hope twas her that took it," he shrugged his shoulders at himself. "I do not know Tedronai," she replied. "It is lost now. It matters little."
"I know that when last I saw her.. she wore it still." Forlove listened as Tedronai spoke, and rubbed her chin, deep in thought. " Mayhaps in death I will have what I wish for."
"Or maybe in life."
"In life... without her, it is just a shadow. Will never truly be what I want."
"Forlove doesnt understand what your coursouvra was. Will you tell her?" Tedronai nodded at her and turned to face Forlove. "Know what a cupie doll is?" When she nodded at him, he continued. "A cour'souvra is similar. You take the blood and the saliva of one, and place it in the cour'souvra box. Then ye take the box to the Bore."
"The Bore?'" she asked. "A place my old master is imprisoned. Tis a place where reality is thin enough to be touched by him and his power. There it binds the two together, and it's purpose is control of sorts. If I had yours round my neck, I could be millions of miles away and touch it, and ye'd feel the caress as if in ye mind. To destroy one will kill it's counter."
"Tis truly a powerful item," said Forlove. "Nor could ye even use ye own powers of magic near it," he said, nodding at her. "Would kill you to try."
"He gave this item into Brie's care," said the seeress. "And ye had hers?" asked Forlove. "Nae," replied Tedronai. "I could never bring myself to make one of her."
"And she has it still?"
"I nae need it. It nae matters. Death is a dream we all wake from to dream again, and he and I are old friends." The seeress watched as Forlove carefully pulled a peace rose from her pack. As Forlove looked down at the rose and concentrated, it's petals began to glow. The seeress took Teds hand quietly as he watched the druidess intently. "She is a woman of vast talents, Tedronai." He squeezed her hand softly, "So I see."
"She is very wise in the ancient ways," said the seeress. Forlove whispered quietly to the rose, and a petal fell to the ground. They watched as it landed atop a small, dark wooden box that appeared out of nowhere. The seeress looked on and sucked in her breath sharply as the box appeared. Forlove knelt down beside the box, looking first at it, then at Tedronai. He blinked his eyes slowly as the seeress turned to look at him. "Is this it?" asked Forlove.
Tedronai knelt down next to the box. Forlove watched, and the seeress laid her hand on his shoulder gently as he opened the box slowly and shuddered. The seeress knelt down beside them as Tedronai rubbed away goosebumps. "Tis it," he said, nodding at the druidess. "Forlove, where did you find this?"
"The rose found it... I do nae ask where." Tedronai let out a deep sigh, "She..." Both the druidess and the seeress listened carefully to him. "Destroy it."
"No!" cried the seeress, still feeling the slight touch of Brie's spirit. "Tis better to die then know she will never touch me again," he said and backed away from the box slowly.
"Iffen ye take the petal, ye can ask it," said Forlove. She reached down and picked up the loose petal, holding it in her hand and speaking softly as the seeress carefully lifted the box into her own hands. "From what place does this box come?"
Tedronai closed his eyes trying to block the pain, "Please destroy it."
Forlove closed her eyes as the petal started to glow bright. A soft voice said, "From beloved to beloved.. neither forgotten, both remembered." Tedronai sat down hard and the seeress' eyes welled up with tears.
Forlove opened her eyes and looked at the petal. It had changed to a perfect likeness of Brie. Tedronai covered his face as tears streamed down the seeress' cheeks. "Ye asked me how I got the likeness of Dorie, Ted... Now ye have seen it yerself how I came to have it." Tedronai wiped his eyes and let out a deep sigh.
Forlove rose slowly and walked over to him. He moved his hands slowly, looking up at her and she took one of his hands, placing the likeness on it's palm. The seeress watched silently as he drew it to his heart. "Tsag, she was all I wanted."
The seeress gasped as the box warmed and filled her with joy, "TED!" He looked over at her as she held the box out. "Its...beautiful!" She laid his hand on the box, looking up at him with bright eyes, as his own fill with tears once more. "She knows Ted. She can feel your love." She closed Tedronai's hand over the petal gently, and handed the box to her sister with great care. Tedronai looked down at the likeness of Brie as the seeress spoke to the druidess.
"Forlove, this box is very special. Brie used it to bring warmth and gentleness and healing to the one she loved. With it...she could touch him. You have that same gift.. but more so. She asks you to be her love's friend. So is maybe the right thing that you should guard this as well for her." Forlove took the box, a shiver running through her as she touched the wood. "'I have long seen him as such," she said, holding the box close to her heart.
Tedronai looked up from his hands as the seeress knelt down beside him. She puts her hand around his and looked into his face, his gaze meeting hers. "You can do this my friend. I believe in you.. and so does she. Let her aid you as best she can from wherever she is, and let Forlove help you."
"I.. But... " he nodded at the seeress and she smiled gently at him. "As ye say." Another warm embrace was shared between the two, then Tedronai turned to the druidess once more. "Forlove..."
"Aye, Ted?" she asked, kneeling down beside them.
"I nae can keep my cour'souvra. I leave it in ye hands." He looked down at Bries likeness in his hand. "This is all I need for now."