Memories 3: En'drastai
Again, this section presents some of my memories, as written in my diary of such things. *Y* refers to my lifemate. This page is very much work in progress (even more than the rest), as there are things here that are not easy to write about.
Joining the En'drastai
I was then riding eastward along a coastline again, as the sun rose over the sea though a purple heat haze.
The next vision was so vivid, in visuals, smells, sounds, and feelings, that it startled me almost out of the meditation. I stepped into this cool arched hall, similar to places I have seen before, looking out over a hot landscape, down towards the sea, visible through low trees.. It was a scorchingly hot cloudless day, and I was well glad to be in this cool, shaded place with a cool breeze blowing through. I looked around, and this tall man (well, elf, you know, hehe), came from my right. He wore a long sky-blue sleeved robe with silver designs, grey-blond hair, like *Y*'s but much paler.
I handed him this rolled paper, or message that I had brought and he looked at it. I was about to leave again, when he asked me to stay a minute. He mentioned something about joining the En'drastai, since I seemed to get on well with other non-Tulari elves, and that was a useful skill in these times. I wasnt sure what to say, but I said I was honoured in the extreme, but that I must speak to *Y* (my lifemate, also Adrastai) about it, since we did not wish to be parted, obviously. The chap understood this, but implied that a similar offer had been made to *Y* as well. He also requested that we stay overnight at this place, before riding on.
I returned the way I had come, into a sunny and hot courtyard that was filled with the heat of the mid-afternoon sun. *Y* was with our horses, by a big horsetrough. I think we both knew that the other had been asked as soon as we looked at each other, but said nothing for now, fussing over the horses, getting them stabled and comfortable, and then finding our quaters, a small hall to the left of the courtyard.
It was pretty damn good in that heat to wash and relax for a bit - there was a square stone (granite?) bath and like most of the water supply to this place, bubbled in constantly from an underground spring (how I know this, I cant say). Food consisted of something bread-like, some cold meat, and this pale yellow fruit that was watery but sweet, with lots of little seeds in the main pulp of the fruit. (yummy :)!!!! ).
Now I have a powerful feeling that this is not the whole story by any means. Something is telling me that theres something else very important, that hasnt popped up yet on this subject. But hey, its a start.
Evacuation- river crossing
This took place close to the end, I believe. An evacuation was underway.
Background - you know whats going on as background to the events that take place. Theres a war on. A whole lot of our people is travelling west along the coast. Our intention is, as far as I have been able to recall to get to safer lands, settle, and regroup before heading back to re-take our own lands.
Although this would apparantly fit more into the Adrastai memories, I, and several others were wearing the uniform that only much later I discovered was that of the En'drastai.
So we come to this river. Its a fast flowing river that we cannot ford, and pursuers are close behind us - which presents a huge problem as we have a fair number of people who are not of a warrior pursuasion and would just get hacked to bits.
The other side of the river are endless sand flats, with huge weathered spikes of grey rock rising into the sunny sky. And then as we come over a small rise and come to the edge of the river, we find that, effectivly we are trapped between two armies - another has crossed the river mouth on huge barges, and is waiting for us. This one however is a lot smaller than that chasing us, and we HAVE to cross the river, so there in one option left. Fight this lot up ahead. Cue lots of shield walls, sword waving, and less than friendly behaviour. Basically, we win. And the few survivors of that lot, see the lot chasing us, in the far distance, and realise they had set a trap for the wrong people. (see how pointless starting wars is?) So its onto the barges to get across the river, and a bit of a logistics nightmare as to how to get all the people, our lot, the others who had surrendered, and the horses on board.
I go to the far end of the barge I am on, and look across at the sand flats, and then see movemnet behind this stack of ropes and crates. Upon investigation I find this woman and two small boys (twins, about 6 years old??) hiding, and she was absolutly petrified. Not of our lot, and not, I thought, of those who had originally come over on the barge. I asked her what she was doing here, and she didnt answer at first, and then said she had come to escape east, and that she had been taken prisoner by the ones that had come across on the barges.
So I told her that she would come with our group, that we were travelling west getting a load of people away from the wars in our homeland, that she would be safe and unharmed, but that her sons would be expected to grow up as, and among, our people. I told her to stay where she was out of the way, while we loaded the barges.
I turned back to the loading, the whole sardining of the barges - the last thing we wanted was to have to make a second journey back, we seriously needed to get everyone across in one go.
And then I find these two young chaps of our people (about 18 / 19), they have found this woman, and are having a rather off putting discussion about what to do with her. One of the chaps backed down quickly when i challenged him, the other didnt want to back down, so I told him very plainly "Right now, we have too many people as it is, to get onto these barges. Honourable warriors, and honest people, whose lives are worth a great deal more than yours. Unless you back down, NOW, I will have no qualms about killing you and pitching you over the side, and letting someone else take your place". That, unfluffy though it was, was fair warning, and he took it. The woman was left alone.
The rest of the crossing was uneventful, and then I woke up.
The death of my lifemate
I had remained on duty at the White City, while Y and some others had ridden out for a few days. It was only when they returned that I realised something was terribly wrong, the number of people returning was markedly fewer. I think I half knew what I was going to see, even before I saw his horse returning, minus Y.
I quickly learned that the entire group had encountered entities, and several had been taken by the entities. I think I must have known then that in all realism that Y and the others could not be saved. But permission was obtained for a search party to ride out and look for them.
It was in a scrubland clearing that we found the remains. All had been tortured to death, but I recognised Y even as we arrived in the clearing. The entities were long gone. I had hoped all along that a miracle may have occured and all of them, especially Y, would be alive. But to find them like this.
A friend of mine in this life, who was there also, recalls her impression of me as stoic - that is her word. Inside I was falling apart - it is still hard to write this now. I wasnt going to show it though. All the bodies were collected and we returned home.
There was a funeral for Y, and his horse, broken hearted also, left immediatly after, she was allowed to return to her home herd, she was older, and didnt want to take another rider, just as I would never take another lover. As she left, the extent of the loss hit me completely, and I lost my stoic exterior, and it took some days for me to regain it again, outwardly at least.
(from my personal blog)
So, it was before dawn. A cloudless sky, the stars shining in a velvet indigo sky, while to the east the sky went from indigo through green, to pale yellow, before the suns rise.
Hanging low to the north-east was the moon. It wasnt like Earths moon, it was much closer and larger, just the faint last sickle shape of light hanging in the dawn sky. I could see it between two ruined buildings. The whole town had fallen in ruin, after a battle, and was deserted. Even as I watched, the last sickle of light on the moon vanished, but I could still see it fairly clearly, a huge cratered orb hung in the sky. - Huge, well about three times the size of Earths moon, to look at).
I was picking my way through the ruins, and then began following a path towards the dawn light. As I came out of the city, I came upon one man with six (I think) hunting dogs - they looked dog like, but there was something about them that wasnt dog, if that makes any sense, he was heading up towards the ruined town. We nodded and went on our ways.
I looked up at the lookout post on the top of the hill where I was going, and for a minute I thought I saw a meteor shower. It was like a tremendously bright meteor shower, but it wasnt, many of the "meteors" didnt travel in straight lines at all. It was part of an attack that was gathering. They were not like shooting stars, but literally giant balls of fire. Most dissapated before hitting the ground, others hit the ground beyond the horizon.
As I followed the path up the hill, the path became tougher and tougher, and I was trying not to slip on loose slabs of slate. It was as if something was trying to hold me back.
I heard a horse behind me and looked back to see Shadowdancer at the bottom of the hill. And as I climbed back down, the sunlight faded to again, this pre-dawn light. With this strange fireball thing coming ever closer, and something whispered in my mind the word "Last day" I took it to mean that it was "today" the fireballs would really begin to hit this place too.
Shadowdancer and I headed back to an encampment, in a shallow valley. This land was flat, like a moorland plain, but not as harsh. with wild herbs (something that looked like wild thyme was very prolific).
My report of the fireballs, and the strange effects of climbing the lookout hill were viewed most seriously, it wasnt long before everyone was packing up to be on the move.
The gates and the end
(again from personal blog) One longer dream last night on the real life elven side of things.
I think actually it was two dreams switched into one. The first bit was the white city. Now I have had memories before of the white city coming under a pretty hefty attack, which, at least temporarily, was fought off. Not permimently, as far as I can tell, since I have later memories of the at least partial evacuation of the city, which hadnt happened at the time of the attack of which I speak. Now again I knew from before that at the outset of this battle/seige, I was up on the walls with the archers. Later i was looking down on the battle from a high tower in the city. So the first part of the dream was simply being up on the walls with the archers, and seeing the Tainted thingamagiggys like a kinda black tide, coming.
The dream switched then, and I am pretty sure (not 100%) that this was a different, possibly the final, battle. Now going from memories, as far as I can place them into a timeline, sometime after the attack on the city, and knowing that we werent going to hold out a second time, the descison was made to evacuate, at least most of the civilians. Now I have a lot of memories of accompanying this evacuation, as a warrior/scout, and some incidents therein. memoires of the Gates, too. One that it was working, and people - I am talking hundreds- crowding up round, and the second, much scarier. Something had gone wrong, the gate wasnt working, people were crowded round, but quiet and chilled, and then suddenly close to where I was with an Adrastai group on the edge of the crowd, this Tainted thingamagiggy appeared and literally flung one guy through the air. And mass panic on the part of the crowd ensued. I dont know what happened after that.
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