Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Caristhium: The Golden Children Part One

Aesa strode into the gatehouse, caught sight of Brother Buolson, and sighed in momentary relief. They weren't being attacked, at least. "What is it?" she asked. "The novice wasn't very clear about--" 

She stopped, looking past the human priest to the True Elf woman standing just inside the iron-bound wooden gate... and the three golden-scaled children who stood calmly beside her. "Ah," she said, as a sudden premonition touched her. "Are you looking for Ruin, then?" 

The woman nodded cautiously. "Partly," she said, "but mainly succor and shelter for myself and my children."

"I tried to explain--" Boulson said, and the woman shook her head, cutting him off.

"You discharged your duty admirably," she told him, "but Grandfather was very clear that I was to speak to Ruin if he was here, and one of two others if he was not." She turned her attention back to Aesa. "Yours was the first face he showed me."

"My name is Aesa," Aesa said, and extended her hand. 

The woman looked puzzled, but extended her hand in exchange. "Like this," Aesa said, and clasped her wrist. 

The woman returned the gesture, and released her grip the moment Aesa did. "I am called Rita," she said.

"You and your children are welcome here," Aesa told her, and immediately thought: Dearest Amun, I'm going to have to warn the Abbess. She turned to Boulson, and asked: "Did you send word to the Abbess?"

He frowned. "Should I have?"

Aesa shrugged. "You should now. Tell her I've taken our new guest to meet Anica... and Rose and Rune."

He took a moment to absorb that, then nodded. "I'll see that it's done."

Aesa turned back to the elf, who was almost certainly a dragon. "Ruin went north with his friends a week ago, to try to regather the druids in Duendewood. He should be back any time. Until then... will you come with me? Your children have another brother and a sister, I think, and it might please the gods for all of us to meet."

Rita nodded. "We will walk with you."

One of the toddlers frowned, rebellious. "Not walk!"

"Very well," said Rita, and leaned down to pick the child up. "Then I'll carry you. Scar, Risk, will you follow?"

The two toddlers exchanged a glance. 

"I could carry one of you," Aesa said, "but only if you wanted."

They exchanged another glance. One of them -- Risk, she thought -- studied her for a long moment, then held out their arms. Aesa approached slowly, bent down, and lifted the toddler up to her shoulder. They were heavier than they looked, but she'd been expecting that. She glanced down at Scar, but they shook their head. 

"Well then," said Aesa, "will you tell us if you change your mind?" 

The child nodded tersely. 

"Come then," she said, and went to go find Anica. It was going to be an interesting afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave comments; it lets me know that people are actually reading my blog. Interesting tangents and topic drift just add flavor. Linking to your own stuff is fine, as long as it's at least loosely relevant. Be civil, and have fun!