Purpose -- A Children of Y'Dahnndrya Short Story

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The lone warrior sat on his knees atop Mesna'Ya Canyon. His bare feet and torso felt the brush of a cool breeze which dipped and sang through the pitted walls below. The Voice of the Creator was here. The Voice of the Creator was also within him. He knew now what he must do. He would find the gelte. He would protect her. To do anything else was to fail in his purpose.

He rose slowly from his cliff-top perch, stretched his arms high, and lifted up words of thanks. Then he turned and followed the path toward home. He met no one on the way. Most of the Gahl, his tribe, were packing, leaving in search of safer ground. After the face of Y'Dahnndrya split open and swallowed an entire tribe, all D'Koruyin fought to regain their inner balance and peace. It was hard to imagine why the Creator would allow such a thing to happen. So many innocent lives snuffed out in a moment...

But there was one life he could save. One life that would make a difference for all the clans, not just his. To her, he would bind himself in service. If the wrongs of the Children were to be righted, change must start somewhere. It seemed she was the spark of change the Creator had in mind. If this tiny person's hair was truly the same color as the setting suns, the title seemed appropriate. He smiled inside at the thought.

The warrior arrived at the orth he shared with his Pareh, his home for all eighteen of his sun-cycles. He stood for a moment and soaked in the sight of it. Who knew if he'd ever see it again after today? He ducked and entered through the flap and walked to his pareh's writing chair. Taking up the board resting at the side, he quickly scribbled a note to let the man know his azho was taking up his purpose and would return only when that purpose was completed. He read it over once, signed his name to it, and set it on the nearby sleeping furs.

The other side of the orth was his. He walked toward his own pile of sleeping furs and took a travel bag from a peg above them. He filled it with enough food for two days and added a pouch of medicinal herbs. He donned a long, leather tunic which opened in front and wound his weapon sash around his waist. He stuffed his hunting blade and three smaller blades into it. Turning to a wooden chest, he rummaged in it until he found two barbs he could use to catch water-folk if food became scarce. He turned toward the door, thought better of it, and walked once more to his pareh's side of the orth. He found a small flask of hon'te and added it to his gear. It would warm him during the breezy nights which whispered with remnants of the icy season.

He looked over his home one last time and his gaze lingered on the beautiful bone carving hanging by Pareh's chair. His morah's last and best work pulled at his heart as memories surfaced. The el'tekh's wings spread wide, its claws stretched forward, and flames licked at its wings and tail. He had asked about the fire...

"Morah?"

"What is it my azho?"

"This is not a hawikh."

"No. It is an el'tekh. They fly in the eastern lands, in M'Neshunnaya."

"Why is the el'tekh on fire?"

"Fire purifies. Even the most majestic of creatures must be purged of dross to be reminded of their purpose. Trial by fire refines us. Rather than destroying us, it strengthens and beautifies us. This will strengthen your pareh when the time comes. Keep faith in our Creator who does not make mistakes."

"What do you mean, Morah?"

"You will know soon, my azho."

She ruffled his hair. Then she smiled sadly as she carved the finishing touches on the intricate work of art. She spoke of her own passing but he was not to understand that. And for many settings of the suns, her words were forgotten. He grieved again deep in his heart as the memories flooded his mind. She understood him in ways Pareh did not. He missed her deeply still, after all these sun-cycles.

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