The Chronicles of Callera - Whyte Tyger
The woman's sapphire blue hair whipped behind her, as Paks, her steed leapt over another rocky outcrop.
It was to be one of those mornings again.
Callera, her daughter, hadn't returned to her wagon the night before, and Erim was worried that she had stolen off to be with that Man. That beast. His name was Tyrryn, and he was a monk of the Horadrim Order, and Order reconstructed by Everett Call, a former companion of Erim's. It was growing nicely, and with the aid of Erim and Charisena, Queen of the Bhagwalli tribe, they had been able to help the Order gather some magical tomes and items to fight their enemies. The boy though, had come as to study under Sha'uri Ssethnithonosshal'ra, who lived among the tribe.
"Blasted man. And why is she always off following him like some lovesick cattle?"
The matriarch of the Vrin-Latti spared a glance behind her whipping hair to her companion. Iranae the Gray, was the Amazonian General of the Tribe. She had never been a 'full' Amazon, as she was disgraced in her youth, so had taken an easier path. In the end though, she had become Erim's closest companion, and if such words were allowed among the warlike Amazons, friend.
"I know not Hunt Huntress. Mayhap she-" The woman's gray eyes opened in shock, as she pointed directly ahead.
The Matriarch's head spun forward, to look across the craggy expanse of the Tribelands. Among the swirling mists of the midday heat, stood the black and blue maned daughter of Erim. The young man Erim had expected to be at fault, though, was no where in sight.
Slowly, the two women warriors brought their steeds to a halt, to wait behind the young princess. She didn't seem to acknowledge their presence though.
"Callera. Callera what are ye doing out here all by yourself? Ye're liable to get snatched up by some sand maggots in no time."
But the girl paid no heed. She was short for her age and race. Most amazons, even at the tender age of eight, were nearly four feet tall. Callera though only reached three, and was weaker than the other girls. Not that anyone would ever mention this, her being the daughter of the Matriarch and all, but it was cause for worry for Erim as well.
Finally the girl turned from her lingering gaze, as if she had to rip her eyes from a succubus' charm. "Hello Mother, hello General."
Iranae nodded in greeting, but would not speak first. This was Erim's daughter, and all laws of the Tribelands states she would be the first to speak.
The girl was charming. While Erim had come down here with complete intentions of scolding the girl, now her lilac eyes softened, and she ran a weathered callused hand through her daughters multi-hued locks. But then, as if in resignation, the matriarch's shoulders slumped, and she turned her head slightly, so as to not look the girl in the face.
"Come Callera, it's time to go home."
The girl nodded, choking back a tear filled plea, and ascended Paks back.
The arrived back in the camp within the hour. Much had changed since Erim rose to leader of the Tribe. When Nimue was disposed, the Sapphire Matriarch (as she would be come to be known as) incited her people with tales of their past. Tales of the powerful horse archers who once roamed the steppes of the Tribelands, and didn't worry about material possessions or permanent fixtures. The people were so taken by these memories of their former grandeur, that Nimue was to be left for dead in the Lands, before Erim herself chose to bring the woman. She has remained since then as a tenuous ally to the people, as their fallen queen.
The Tribe has flourished in other respects as well. Relations with the Barbarians from the nearby mountainous regions has grown to an amiable state, and with other Amazon tribes enough to have formed a peace treaty. All involved realize there are better things to fight than one another, and better things to fight for as well. Leading in this pact was the Bhagwalli, and it's Queen, Charisena, who was once a companion of Erim herself.
Presently, they traveled by horse everywhere, and their skill with bows and crossbows from atop their mounts was renowned. Too did they maintain wonderful skill with spears and most polearms. They remained excellent hunters and trackers, and the Tribe was never without food or water. When they did decide to settle down, they employed large wagons that served almost as caravans to carry the young or infirm, who couldn't walk.
Silently, Paks slowed to a trot before the largest wagon. Erim swung a leg off, and helped Callera down. Iranae followed. The three women entered the wagon, where Callera immediately proceeded to the small curtain she had managed to set up to provide herself with privacy. The girl disappeared, leaving the high ranking Amazon's to their worrying.
"Why is she like this Iranae?" The true concern of a mother seeped into Erim's words, and Iranae knew it as such. Thus did she answer as a friend, not as the General.
"It's what you've expected for a long time now. She is chosen by Vim. Whether for good or bad, I know not, but the Watermistress wants her."
Such answers did not quell Erim's motherly instincts. "But she is too young, is she not? And- and you mentioned once that her taint might avert Vim's eyes."
The gray haired General rested a hand on her leader's shoulder, reassuringly. "I said it might. More likely MY taint averted her eyes, but Callera's... well Callera is a bastard, not tainted. She was willingly conceived between two loving parents. Even if neither of them was you, that does not reflect on the girl."
The blue haired Amazon could just hang her head in knowing. She reached a hand to her daughter's 'wall', before stopping herself short. She retracted her hand, and moved to make plans for the Tribe's next movements.
While both her mother and the tribe's general were discussing her future, all young Callera could think about was the sights, which has assailed her in the Tribelands. Before her had been a stone complex, fashioned like a series of caverns leading deeper into the bowels of the world. She had originally made a move to explore it's depths, but some force had kept it constantly out of her reach. Eventually though, pools of water started forming around the girl, each of which was formed of a clear crystalline liquid, not quite water. Each pool had shown the girl a scene of what she perceived to be her mother's past adventures.
One had shown an armored Amazon entering a Church, carrying a bow of Life, the short bows all Amazon girls crafted at their first Decadeday. She was fighting something large with the bow, but Callera couldn't tell what it was.
One showed an armored Amazon tackling a giant skeleton, who was menacing a barbarian warrior.
Yet another showed two women, one resplendent in shining silver armor and a glowing crown, and another who had an azure horn encrusted in her forehead. Both reminding the girl of her mother, as did all the pictures, except for the last.
She was obviously seeing herself several years older, walking out of the very caverns that now stood before her. She wore the Lunar Robes of Vim, the true sign of any Waterbearer.
Was that to be her future? Was that to be her destiny?
Before she could reflect on these things further, something moved further in the wagon. Her eyes darted quickly, almost like quicksilver, to find the kneeling form of Tyrryn, her friend the Monk. He wore his usual brown robes and silver amulet of the Horadrim. He was only thirteen springs old, but he had still been chosen by the Order for some reason or another. His charming smile beguiled his youth, and proved just why the girl's mother didn't like her associating with him.
"So, I heard them talking about ye missing earlier. What did ye find? Anything interesting?" He casually stepped in front of the curtain out of her 'room', to make sure neither of the other inhabitants of the wagon-home were nearby.
"It's... nothing. I just wandered a bit too far from the Trails, and didn't know how to get home." Her mind whirled at trying to discover just why she had lied to the boy, maybe it was her Amazonian heritage, she didn't know.
Her deception was even more heart-wrenching though, as he didn't seem to be buying it. His head nodded once, twice, but his eyes betrayed his mistrust. "I see. And here I thought Amazon Princesses' would have interesting lives."
"We do, just most boys think it's boring. I'll have you know I saw a great many new species of plants and animals that I never even knew existed. Surely better things than you MONKS ever see in your stuffy old Monastery." She was trying to lighten the mood of the moment now, but saw her attempts were increasingly going downhill.
"Yes, well, we sometimes have our own fun I suppose. Well, Mistress Sha'uri said she wanted me back soon, so maybe I should be going now."
"Yea maybe." She watched him go with impassive eyes, not quite sure what had just transpired. Her mind still reeled at the water prophecies though.
Just before he disappeared out the curtain though, he turned his head slightly, just enough to catch her out of the corner of his eye. "Go Callera. Your answers are deeper than the Tribelands."
She was stunned, shocked even, to find he could read her so. "Wait- Tyrryn, what do you mean?"
But he was gone.
The woman's sapphire blue hair whipped behind her, as Paks, her steed leapt over another rocky outcrop.
She didn't think she could do this much more. Apparently she hadn't scolded the girl well enough on the way back to the camp last time. This time she'd leave her to Nimue if she had to. Her cousin was known to be furiously traditional and apt to punish all who stepped out of line in the Tribe's matriarchy.
Again, a call from Iranae behind her, saying she thought she had seen the girl ahead. Though in the moonless night, who could tell. Erim just hoped they would find her soon. She hadn't entirely been kidding about the sand maggots earlier. Any number of monsters were bound to be out here trying to eat.
Dust rose in spurts beneath Paks hooves. It was suicidal to ride so hard in the nearly pitch black night. That didn't concern Erim.
Finally, a light ahead warned them that indeed, something was drawing nearer. Slowly but inexorably, the stars winked out, as a mountain of stone appeared before them. Callera stood at the entrance to this mountain.
"Callera, no, please come back!" Erim's calls fell on deaf ears, as once again she was transfixed on the site before her. Only now, Erim and Iranae could see what captured the girl's attention. "Callera, no!"
Iranae's hand grasped Erim's hand as she prepared to trot after the girl. "Would you so defy the Gods?"
"But- Iranae, she is my daughter, and you stand out of line."
"I realize that Hunt Huntress, but they are the Gods, and ye stand out of line. They have chosen her, and so she shall go."
Erim's face fell, as she was resigned to the fate befalling her only child. "I know, but... why must this happen Iranae? I was never chosen to enter the Temple."
"Well the Gods had... other plans for you."
The woman nodded in the night. The stars blinked back into creation, as the cavern disappeared with it's latest progeny. The Matriarch of the Vrin-Latti Tribe pulled herself back up onto Paks, intent not to look back. Her General's gaze lingered a moment longer though, before following her leader's steed.
The Queen's Loss (or The Lost Queen)
Callera stood before the wagons and tent she recognized as that of the Vrin-Latti's. It had been many years since she had seen them, but many looked familiar. Around her, the night was chilled, cold even, as it always seemed among these South Sea Plains. She looked up, to spy the disappearance of countless stars from the sky. Storms were coming in, from the ocean. Vim's Tears.
Her eyes turned back to the camp before her. The guards had become weak, for her presence was never noticed. She was several dozen feet away, certainly far enough that she could not make out any familiar voices, yet. And yet not a person had stepped forward to accost her, or ask where she had come from.
She moved then, like
quicksilver in the night, as her robe shifted effortlessly around her,
to accommodate her
Soon however, her footsteps took on a more frenzied pace. She was returning home, old adage's be damned, and she wished to see her mother again. Wished to see General Iranae. Her family.
When she stepped within the circle of figures that represented a Maiden's Camp, she was surrounded by unfamiliar faces. And none moved other than to look at her with curious eyes. None stood to strike her down, or ask why she stepped on such hallowed grounds. What had happened since she had left?
For several seconds, she stood amidst the ungainly women, waiting for someone to say 'Welcome back Callera', or just a 'Welcome home' would be nice. Instead, silence, except for the distant rumblings of thunder.
She broke the silence herself, "What has happened here?"
What had happened, was that the Tribe was in disgrace. With the Gods. With the other Tribes. It was a disgrace to it's own people. Callera was the last of her kind. Not a single person amidst all of the women around her worshipped Vim, and none even spared Starlet's name in a good light. These people had abandoned their gods, and their very heritage. And so had the Gods abandoned them.
Callera sat in one of the wagons later in the night, surrounded by many young women who wished to hear of her trips into the Caverns of Life. All of the girl's around her were much younger, some as much as fifteen years younger, and not a one looked familiar. In truth, they were all the children of the girl's she'd grown up with.
She had been gone for twenty-four years. Only seven had passed for her, but somehow she'd been gone much longer. Normally, when a child entered the Caverns, they'd be gone for several years, but a few more would pass for them. They'd return ten years older, when only five had passed. Instead, she returned seven years older, in a world twenty-four years older.
While she sat quietly, clutching a mug of spiced cider she'd gotten from the faux-Amazons, listening to the chatter around her from the small, children, several things assaulted her mind at once. She stood upright suddenly, sending her robe to the ground, along with a small child she had had on her lap. Unaware of the crying child she'd just disposed onto the ground, she fled the wagon with great haste. She hunted down the woman she had suspected was the wisest of the one's she had met earlier, and asked her several questions, despite the woman's attempts to return to her own wagon.
"Where is my mother?"
"What girl, speak more slowly." Replied the old crone.
"My mother. Queen Erim Lera. Where is she? I know much time has passed, but she was young, and she couldn't have… not yet…." Tears started to fill the girl's sapphire eyes.
The woman's face softened a bit, before laying a reassuring hand on the girl's shoulder, "She was alive when we last saw her girl."
Callera stopped the tears from falling, but looked at the woman questioningly, "'when you last saw her'?"
"Come with me child,
I will try to explain as best as I can." The woman lead Callera with the
hand she still had on her
shoulder, towards the woman's wagon.
"I remember you girl. You may not recall me, but I remember exactly the day you left us." Callera sat in the woman's wagon, a blanket laying unused behind her, while she listened to the woman's story. It was cool here, true, but certainly not cool enough to require any kind of covering. Had her people become so weak?
The woman continued with her story however, "That day changed our lives forever. Your mother came back, dead set on not letting her emotions show. General Iranae behind her as always. I could see the lines the tears had crated down your mother's dust covered face. But she would not let us see her cry."
"She led us like that for many years. Never letting us see the toll it took on her. Iranae became her only companion, and confidante, and she refused the aid or company of any other Tribeswoman."
"So where is she now?" Callera asked impatiently, not seeing what this had to do with anything. Vim summoned her, she could not resist such a call. Even if it did tear her mother apart.
The woman continued on, unabated by the girl's outburst. "She led us hard. Harder than we were used to. I was young then. Older then both you are now, and your mother then, but I was younger. And I knew how to handle the bow, and spear. But she led us like a woman possessed. When someone pointed this out to her, she skewered the Tribeswoman on the spot. An offhand comment had sent your mother off edge enough to murder her own Sister in Arms."
"Iranae tried to reason with her. She succeeded somewhat. Erim Lera agreed to step down, and leave us, for the crimes she had committed. Like her cousin Nimue, she left disgraced." The woman stopped then, as if the story was at an end.
"That is all? I mean, where is she? Where is General Iranae? Where is Nimue for Vim's sake?"
The woman sighed, and pulled her cloak closer about her. She would have to continue. "That was not the last we saw of Erim Lera though. Iranae led us for some time. She was an excellent leader, despite whatever the god's had decreed for her before. Under her leadership, the tribe your mother once lead, began to flourish like it had under her rule. And then, your mother returned to claim it as her own."
"Claiming it was her tribe, she and Iranae had a large argument in the center of our camp that day, that left Iranae with many scars from your mother. Unwilling to see this to the bitter end, Iranae left us that day, and has never been seen, or heard from again. Your mother lead us once again, though now her madness and possession was apparent to all. She jested that Diablo himself inhabited her body, and that she would lead us into Hell, as His warriors. She joked I know, but some believed it to be true."
Callera stood then, ready to walk from the wagon. "This is not my mother you speak of. These wild tales you speak are inane, and it is not possible we speak of the same woman. I bid you good travels woman-"
"You will sit until told otherwise, girl!" the woman flew into a rage that defied her humanity.
Callera realized then that she was not in the presence of any normal woman. In fact, Callera believed this woman was new to this camp as well. She however sensed that further angering the she-thing would not be a good idea.
"Your mother lead us in her madness, and before long we too became mad. We slew without cause, and haunted these plains like banshees. Our shriek was the call of the damned, and everyone knew to avoid it. We realized we made such noise in our hopes that people would avoid us. Soon our bloodlust would end, if everyone became smart enough to avoid us. And then challenger stepped up to thwart us. A barbarian man, well into his fortieth winter stood with naught but his axe, and some armor. He said some things to your mother that made her face fall far, but in the end, she slew him, mercilessly. And then, she took her leave of us, again disgraced, though this time by her own actions."
"And that was when the Vrin-Latti started to break up. They were no longer a Tribe of Amazons, but a group of murderers and wanton fools, full of lust and greed. One man's sacrifice, one goodly, honest man, had to be made to stop your mother from her madness-"
Callera was shedding many tears now, and she could not stop them this time. She tried to block out the crone's words, but they kept coming, seeping into her head no matter how she tried otherwise.
"Her madness killed many, and only in the end could she see the error of her ways. This was four years ago." The barrage of words stopped. Instead, the crone stood and a soft light permeated her skin. The look on her face was kindly once again, and she wiped the tears from Callera's face with her fingers.
"Where is she now?" was all the girl could say. Yet, she did not know why. She was not thinking of asking that, but it felt as if someone wanted her to ask that. Someone wanted her to know the answer.
"In the mountains
to the north-east. Likely she had passed through the Monastery of the
Sister's of the Sightless Eye.
They will likely know more of where she has gone from there."
As Callera stepped out into suddenly windy night, her black and blue hair whipped about her, and caused her to hold it back from her face, in lieu of it sticking to her tear-streaked cheeks. As she stepped down onto the ground from the woman's wagon, she looked back, to thank the creature for it's words of wisdom. Instead, she saw for a split moment the remains of the Vrin-Latti tribe. It had not gone quietly into the night, but instead destroyed countless lives along the way.
It was all a lie. This whole camp was a lie, and not even real. Her lip trembled, trying to fathom such a mystery. The people she had talked to, children of the girl's she had known as a girl, disappeared from her sight, being replaced by kindly ghosts of the girl's from two decades ago. Those girl's had died, and never borne children.
In a matter of seconds, the first of the rain fell. Vim's Tears. And also Callera's tears. The camp was gone, replaced by a large scorch mark on the ground, from a long burning bonfire. Her tribe was alive only in her.
And her mother. Far to the north east.
The Gathering of Bodies, The Harvesting of Souls
Summer set in hard that year in Sanctuary. The people of Westmarch would tell you that it was the hottest summer in recorded history, but others would tell you of 'that summer'. The Summer of Evil. When Diablo, the youngest of the Three Prime Evils, was found in the bowels of a Khanduras church. That summer, some would say, was hotter than any thing these days.
Callera had not been alive for long that summer, and she most certainly did not recall it, but she was willing to bet that if it got any hotter, she and her companions would be dead.
The Amazon stood amidst several Sisters of the Sightless Eye, the group of Rogue's who protected the pass from Westmarch into Aranoch before their Monastery's fall. Run out by a demoness who was known as Andariel, the few remaining Rogues now set up camp in the forests of Entseig, near the base of the mountains.
Callera was one of many travelers in the camp these days, as countless adventurers were trying their hand at the dangers poised by Andariel's legions. Being more realistic, and sensible, Callera hired herself out to the Rogue Leader, Kashya, as a mercenary to run reconnaissance work in the area.
She sat on the back of a horse that was entering the camp, when a sudden urge forced her to peer behind her, to look at a small band of travelers heading out into the Blood Moor. A Sorceress among the group bore the strangest similarity to someone, someone Callera could not quite place her finger upon.
Sliding deftly from the back of the moving beast, Callera landed running, and began following the band of adventurers as they made their way towards the Cold Plains, and beyond to the Tahoe Highlands, where the Monastery lay.
Someone at the rear of the group, a paladin by his looks, turned and looked directly at the approaching Amazon, and raised his mailed hand before her, halting her progress.
"Who goes there?" said the Follower of Light.
"I am Callera, last of the Vrin-Latti, and I was wondering if you sought another companion. I am well trained with any pole arm, and can throw a javelin ten men's height." Callera was indeed an impressive woman, despite the presence of some, irregular, Amazonian traits.
Her hair was like black silk, with a sheen that would make the fairest of Westmarch princesses green with envy. Threaded throughout her mane were strands of the most singularly blue hair that one could imagine. Her lips were lush, and plump, not unlike a freshly ripe rosebud, and were naturally the color of lilacs. So too were her eyes of this light purple shade, and surrounded by her olive complexion, some might call it dusky when she had not bathed in several days, she was a stunning beauty.
And to contrast deeply to this beauty, were the instruments of war she carried with ease, and the light armor of a woman used to being stealthy.
The Paladin cast an approving look at her, and his face took on a lecherous look that Callera had had to wipe from several young men before. But just as she was growing ready to shatter the man's nose, the Sorceress pulled herself from the group of travelers.
In hindsight, Callera would have definitely remembered this woman had they met before. From the waist up, she was a comely woman, of indeterminate age, who had a nest of chocolate colored hair flittering about her head and shoulders. Seemingly imbued with a life of it's own, the hair tickled her brow, and coyly toyed with the shawl about her shoulders, the only protection from the elements the woman wore.
From the waist down however, she had the legs of a snake. Which is to say a long scaled tail escaped from the woman's shawl, to trail behind her quite some ways.
The Sorceress/thing approached Callera, and looked at her appraisingly. Not as lewdly as the Paladin, but just as interested. Finally, the snake-woman raised her face, and looked Callera directly in the eye.
"I know what you seek,
and where she is."
Callera had been searching for her mother for almost eight months now. Hearing a tall tale about her insanity, it was told that Erim Lera had attempted to pass through the Monastery of the Sisters of the Sightless Eye before its corruption. Whether she had made it through or not was never acknowledged, as more people were concerned with the Monastery's occupation now, than it's travelers beforehand.
Now this complete stranger was telling her that her mother was in fact still holed up within the Monastery, fending off her antagonists. Callera had found the whole tale unbelievable, and as she looked to each of her new companions, she tried to fathom what had brought them all together like this.
To her immediate right, was a brutish barbarian in full chain mail armor. No inch of his skin was visible, and he never spoke a word. He was the muscle, and seemed to do just as the snakewoman asked. And she never spoke to him, making it that much more eerie.
Next to him, and across
from Callera at the campfire they shared that night, was the snakewoman,
Next to Sha'Uri sat the paladin, Tyr. A Follower of the Light, Tyr had come from Kurast to try and lend his spiritual aid to the Sisters of the Monastery. Apparently he had procured for himself quite a reputation however, as he was not often allowed into the Camp unaccompanied by Sha'Uri.
The four sat in silence that night, before a campfire. The Blood Moors was devoid of motion or life this evening, and the companions were able to make camp peacefully enough.
Callera lay on her rough bed of dirt, and thought back to how the night had changed her life so much. When she awoke, she had accompanied Gwinni, her companion, and friend, among the Rogues to the Den of Evil to search out some powerful beast. By the time dinner was to be served in the camp, she had had the first real lead into her mother's location in months.
Her eyes closed then, giving her away to slumber.
The Monastery was not so peaceful however. In the deepest recesses of the catacombs, a fell creature moved about her throne room, sensing something new, and something dangerous in the land around her. She would perhaps have a true challenge yet.
Callera, Last of the Vrin-Latti watched the man go to work with awe. He wielded a mighty axe in both hands, though it seemed like a toothpick in his mighty arms. He swung it with minimal effort, decapitating two skeletons in the process. They quickly fell to the ground, released from their necromantic binding, and did not stir back to unlife.
She had watched him like such since they began traveling together. She didn't really need to lend her arm to the battles, as the other three quickly dispatched any combatants. She did however pay particular attention to this mighty man, and his ways with the axe.
It was mesmerizing, his skills at destroying any opposition. As soon as something entered their path towards the Black Marsh, Sha'uri would stand in the center of the circle the other three formed into. She would cast several spells, usually destroying any opposition outright. When something got too close however, or avoided her magical fury, The Barbarian would bash, smash, and generally thrash anything moving. He very rarely used his axe, more frequently relying on his brute strength to take down his adversaries. As a last resort, Tyr would wield his scepter like a mace, and beat the enemies into bloody death.
Callera very rarely needed to move actually. But she did. She took pride in her skills as a Amazon of the Southern Plains, and quite often destroyed some enemies before they could even get within two men's heights of the group. Her skill and aim with the javelin was unparalleled, and when something was actually brave enough to approach her, thinking her the weak link in the group, she would wield her javelin as a spear, and jab the enemies to death.
They were an efficient group, but their efficiency was matched by their determination. They sought the Monastery of the Sister's, much like many adventurers did these days, and their passage was long wrought with danger.
A danger it would be hard to overcome, considering Callera could not take her eyes off of the massive beast of a man, and his flowing black chain mail. When he moved, muscles rippled like waves of water, sending the chain links ebbing about him, seeming a flowing black death of metal and muscle. Callera was fascinated by him, just as much as she was appalled at his brutality. She enjoyed a good warrior as much as the next Amazon, but he was... very blunt in his approach. And perhaps it was simply the way she was raised, but Callera could not respect someone who did not use at least a little strategy in battle.
Several hours later, Callera sat at the campfire, watching Tyr gut the rabbits she had slain for their meal. He was an excellent cook, and could turn a meal as sour as Quill Rat meat into a feast suitable for... well a peasant, but it filled the appetite nonetheless.
The Barbarian was guarding the perimeter of the camp, at Sha'uri's wordless behest, and Callera had not seem him in some time. She took this opportunity to approach the Sorceress about The Barbarian.
"Sha'uri, may I have some words with you?
"By all means child. " The Sorceress looked about the camp, uneasy for some reason Callera could not place.
"It is about... The Barbarian."
Sha'uri nodded, as if she suspected this conversation long ago. Which unnerved Callera.
"Yes, I figured you would grow suspicious soon enough. Indeed, he is-"
Cutting the Sorceress off, Callera spoke the question she had long wondered. "Why doesn't he speak?"
Sha'uri stared at the girl for a long while, her mouth agape at this question. "He has no... talking... mechanism. " The Sorceress stuttered.
"You mean a tongue?" Callera offered, thinking the Sorceresses mannerisms even stranger as of late.
"Yes, that. He has no... tongue- that's what you wanted to know about him?" Sha'uri was clearly confused by Callera's question, but Callera had no idea why.
"Well that and..." Callera glanced around nervously, thinking the man near the camp, spying on them.
Sha'uri smiled reassuringly, a sign Callera took to mean The Barbarian was not around.
"What is his name?"
Once again Sha'uri's mouth hung open.
Just then The Barbarian in question stepped from the woods, and Tyr stood up holding one of the dead rabbit's by it's feet.
"Dinner is served." Said the dark skinned Paladin while handing a dead rabbit to Callera and Sha'uri each.
Callera laid on her back that night, staring into the dark and malevolent leaves of the Dark Woods, and wondered as to the answer that Sha'uri never gave her. Engrossed in the dinner, and the eyes she knew were always on her from the cloaked Barbarian, Callera had never brought it up again. And now the woman-snake slept soundly, hissing ever so slightly to belie her inhuman nature.
The Amazon looked to the ever-vigilant Barbarian, who sat on a rock, toying with a loose strap on his axe. Suddenly his face turned from the axe, to look directly at Callera, and she quickly rolled onto her side, to avoid his unseen eyes.
And deep within the Monastery of the Sisters of the Sightless Eye, a blue-haired woman looked to the night sky above her, the same sky her daughter had just minutes before been looking towards, miles away. The wind swept through the mountains, and within the Inner Cloister, this woman heard a voice, and a question unanswered.
Whispering ever so slightly, in a voice that sent several small creatures scurrying, her answer drifted on the wind: DiStephano.