- A tale from Mora’s adventures in Briarhaven.
- After being involved in a battle to defend the village against an attack from The Pretender King, Mora is left unconscious and beaten, a glancing injury from one of the King’s poisoned darts having introduced poison into her body.
Mora was plunged into darkness. Debilitating cold and wetness grabbed her limbs and held her tight in fear’s grasp. Waves washed over her and an unseen current pulled her further and further down. She tried to cry out, but could make no sound. She assumed the ocean swallowed her voice, but left only her terror and powerlessness.
She was sure that somewhere overhead, Talathel’s ship sailed on the surface, somehow caught in the storm. She longed to reach him. How cruel it was that he seemed so close, but at the same time might as well be oceans away, for she had no way to reach him.
She stopped struggling and floated where she was. “Talathel… Tal…” She didn’t need to be able to speak to hear the sound of his name in her mind. As desperate as she felt, his name brought a smile to her face. Her hand moved to the crystal strung about her neck and she felt its warm glow, but it was deep in her heart that she felt Tal. Her beloved elf had been away too long, yet his touch and presence were still stored away in her emotional memory. Simply thinking of him boosted any good that her crystal was doing. She closed her eyes and felt the warmth from her heart spread throughout her.
She opened her eyes and saw him reaching for her. She didn’t stop to question how he was reaching down to her through the swirling waters, but reached her arms up to him. She could almost reach him, but still he was a little too far and she could not move to close the distance. She tried to call to him, but could make no sound. All she saw was a trail of bubbles leave her mouth, a sense of pressure closing around her ever tighter.
Something sharp grazed the tip of her ear and caused her to gasp. She flinched and tried to move an arm to reach her ear, but could not. A shrill noise sounded loud in that same ear causing her to wince, and then came the sharp pain again, and again. She looked back to where she had seen Tal, but he was no longer there. Where could he have gone to?
All around her she saw swirling darkness and felt it pulling her down. Perhaps it would be easier to simply let it, but for some reason the noise and pain in her ear was causing her great annoyance. She felt her anger building in her. She needed to escape it. The noise grew louder and louder and she closed her eyes tight, the onslaught of her hearing causing her great pain now. She focused any energy left in moving her left arm. She needed to cover her ear, to shield it and her senses.
She screwed her eyes tight and then made all the effort she could to move her arm. The fairy was amazed as her lead-heavy arm moved slowly, but surely. Her hand neared her ear and she opened her eyes……
She found herself lying on her back, in a dark place, but not the middle of the ocean. She could breathe. She gasped and could hear her voice. She could speak. A chirp sounded right beside her ear, and a gentle peck on it. “Ouch!” she said and turned her head slightly. A small blue bird was looking at her, feathers fluffed. It hopped onto her shoulder and peered closer at her, head tilted. She smiled “Viola!” Her voice was rasping, her throat dry, but the small bird flew back to the rafters, seemingly relieved.
Moonlight flooded the room, which slowly became familiar to her. She was back in her home, resting on her bench. As she lay there, memories came back of the battle. The clothes she was wearing were drenched in sweat from where her body had been fighting the poison from Py’s dart. She braced herself, and slowly sat up, allowing herself time to let her swimming head clear.
As she stood up, she groaned and placed her hand on the wall to steady herself. Her magic and crystal had got rid of the poison from her body, but that was all she had the strength to do. Her aches and bruises were very much still with her. Limping across to the stove, she placed a small pan of water to boil, dropping some willow bark into it to steep and infuse.
Shivering she changed into a fresh and dry shift, then fetched a mug of the tea and faltering, took it to her bed. She sat on the edge and managed to drain the contents, before falling back into the pillows, and covering herself over. It was then that thoughts of Tal flooded her mind again and her smile returned as the thick blankets chased the cold from the night and her troubled body. When sleep claimed her again, this time it was filled with peaceful and restful dreams.