Gods and Mortals
The wind blew coldly threw the worn out shack, not even the small fire burning could keep one room warm. It has been colder longer then it normally should, spring started many days ago, and the people knew that summer was close at hand. But the winds blew harder and snow feel from the sky, even balls of ice at times. They feared that the gods had cursed them with an endless winter, that they were being punished for some crime they were not aware of. With lands frozen over by ice and snow the farmers have not been able to grow their crops to supply food for their families and to earn money to pay the taxes for their land. Many people had left to land for warmer area's, but all were assumed dead by the bitter cold. Prayers were sent to the gods for help and relief of the bitter cold and allow summer to come to heat up the bones of the dying people.
His land frozen like so many others also prevented him from feeding himself, or paying the taxes to the king. Zayne sighed as he stared into the fading fire, each gust of wind hollowed threw his home and chilled him to his bones. Each gust of wind filled him with determination to attempt to leave this land behind and go some where else, any where else. He stood up away from the fire and walked towards his room to gather supplies needed for the journey. As he reached his bedroom door there came a loud banging from his door, followed by a soft pleading female voice who also sounded frightened and in a hurry.
“Please let me in, I seek shelter.” there was a brief moment of silence “Please, is anyone home?”
Zayne stared at the door and sighed gently, as much as he wanted to leave the land, he couldn't leave her out there to freeze in that unnatural cold. He walked over towards the door and upon opening it the female fell into his house shivering for warmth. The wind was blowing so hard, the temperature in his house started to drop as well. He was unaware of how warm it was in there until he opened that door. He quickly shut the door and latched it shut, then ran to his room and grabbed several blankets. He returned to her side and gently picked her up, she felt cold to the touch. Her auburn hair was covered in frost, her lips were as blue as the morning sky use to be, and she was paler then freshly fallen snow. As he finished wrapping her in blankets he gently picked her up and placed her on the bed near the fire place for warmth. Turning his head to examine the fire he sighed with relief, the cold air didn't knock it out completely. He added more twine and some wood and it started again, with more rage and determination to heat the house.
“She must have used all her strength to travel all this way, but why face the cold?”
Hearing himself say that made him smile a little “Facing the cold is what you wanted to do idiot” he said to himself and laughed a little. He watched her continue to shiver, knowing she was developing a fever, or something worse. With no medicine of his own and no way of contacting the local healer all Zayne could do was pray to the goddess of life, Airmid, for her recovery.
Days passed and Zayne continued to take care of the female guest the best he could. Color had returned to her, and the fever seemed to have passed. Zayne sat huddled near the fire staring at the pot of stew, he sighed as he watched it cook knowing it was the last of his food rashions. The wind outside seemed to have gone silent, he didn't know if that was a good sign or a bad one, but he wasn't willing to risk going outside to find out just yet. He glanced over at the female every time she moves or made a sound to make sure she was alright.
“Normally people only come to me as a last resort, and even then most would rather die first. So why come here?” he mumbled to himself. The female wrestled some more and weakly said “Mother, please help. I'm lost”. Zayne arose from the floor and walked over towards her. He placed his hand upon her forehead and smiled slightly not feeling any signs of a fever. Zayne found himself looking at her gently stroking her hair with his finger tips “So your lost” he was silent for a moment “A lost one comes to the house of an outcast.”. He shook his head and returned to the fireplace and sat back down upon the ground.
“An outcast...” he said to himself as he lost himself in the sight of the fire burning in front of him.
Zayne woke up to the sound of soft foot steps coming from behind him. Temporarily forgetting about his female quest, he quickly stood to his feet and rushed towards the intruder. He grabbed the arm of the person and slammed them against the wall with their arm across their back. The person mumbled something he couldn't make out, the next thing he knew he was flung threw the air by a gust of wind and slammed against the wall knocking the air out of him.
He slowly lifted himself up upon his feet, his vision was slightly blurry and his head throbbed, he closed his eyes for a moment then reopened them to see a little more clearly and to have the throbbing stop. He looked over to where he was and saw the female on her knee's crying. Slowly he walked over to her and knelt down on one kneed beside her.
“I'm sorry I attacked you. Thought you were an intruder.” he said calmly to the woman cowrding on his floor. He slowly stood up and reached out his hands towards her “Please you can trust me. I will not harm you again. You have my word”. Zayne watched as the woman looked fearfully into his eyes, but she hesitantly took hold of his hands. He helped her up and walked over to the fire place, the fire had died and with no wood to replace it he feared that the home was about to become deathly cold.
“Thank You” he heard the female say quietly from behind him.
He turned around and looked at her “ Please, it's alright” he said with a slight bow “I'm Zayne, Might I ask your name?”
The woman looked towards the ground and said silently “Elana” she looked up at Zayne and looked straight into his eyes, there was determination there Zayne didn't notice before “Please tell me, how long have I been out?” Zayne sighed and closed his eyes and started to think.
“About two weeks”
Elana then quickly bowed and started to look for her belongings. He watched her for a moment, studying her movements. She seemed to move with such elegance, Zayne found himself fascinated by her. “I need to be going. I need to reach El'Tier.”. Zayne was taken aback by what he heard “The only way to reach El'Tier is to go threw the dark valley Dur'Kam and sail the sea of Viskor. Even then El'Tier is holy ground no mortal is allowed to step food on it, only the gods are. What business do you have there?”
She looked at him silently for a moment and was nodding her head as if she was speaking to some one else. “Elana?” he said taking a few steps forward. “Zayne, the warrior of the flame, family emblem the ancient phoenix. You've killed many but nothing shamed your family more then refusing a gift from the king. And for that action you were made and outcast of your people.”
Zayne stood there straight and looked coldly at Elana, astonishment and rage started to fill him “How did you know that?” he asked threw his teeth “Tell me!” he demanded.
“I am Belisama. I watch over Elana, she is very important to the success of this world. As are you. Belenus has been watching you with great interest. So we have a request of you young human, watch her, protect her, can you do that?”
“But why me? Out of everyone, why lead her to my door?”
Then from behind burst huge flames, and walked out of those flames was the god Belenus. He stood tall, his hair and eyes burned with fire, he bore no shirt to cover his muscular body. He stood there unmoving, unbending as he faced Zayne. “No one has prayed like you have to be forgiven for killing. Even though it was a time of war for the land. You also refused the honor the kind of your country was going to bestow upon you and for that action you were out casted.” Belenus said coldly.
Zayne took a big gulp in fear, both Belenus, god of fire and the sun, and Belisama, goddess of water, fire, crafts and light were standing in his home. He stood there heart pounding in his chest, but he found the courage to speak “But why is she important? She seems so innocent.”
Belisama sighed, and Belenus looked over at her, then back towards Zayne and said “In time you will know the answer to that question.” Again they looked at each other, the room filled with their love for each other, a love that no other could ever possibly understand. Belenus and Belisama have always been known to be together, every story Zayne knew about them, they fought together side by side. “Zayne” said Belenus “ I am going to give you a few items you will need. I had Giobhniu create them for you.” with that Belenus reached out his arm and snapped his fingers, the sound seemed to echo for miles. Then on the table appeared several items “Go ahead, look” said Belenus proudly.
Zayne inched his way towards the table, there upon the table laid a gold handled long sword, with an engraving of a bird on the blade the sheath for the sword was black with silver on the bottom and top. There laying next to them was a necklace of a red gold bird hanging from the chain.
“The bird is a phoenix, your family emblem. A reminder to be proud of where you came from. So where them with pride.” with his final words Belenus disappeared in a burst of flames. Zayne looked down at the sword, its sheath, and the necklace. His attention then quickly turned to Elana as she fell to the on her knees panting for air. He quickly rushed to her side and knelt down beside her gently placing his hands upon her shoulders.