The first of The People fell to Valenstar’s fury. He was unstoppable in a rage. Another fell by Yara’s hand, another Brother laying dead on the forest floor his crimson blood staining the soil. Why couldn’t I move? Either to help my Brothers or to help my friends? I just stood there, frozen, unable to save Lyra, my love, or my family, The People.
I saw the spear catch her side. I was being torn apart from the inside and my inaction was hurting both sides. I tried to call out for the fighting to stop but my voice failed. I attempted to summon my magic, to keep them from hurting each other. Nothing happened. Not even a sliver of the power I knew I possessed. I just stood there, helpless to defend either side.
Lyra stabbed the Brother attacking her I the neck, before a small fight and then impaled him on his own spear. It was the most heart-wrenching thing I could think to see. A Falath’Nakan killed by his own blade?! This would not be allowed to pass unnoticed. There would be dire consequences. The People would hunt us down if they learned of this!
Lyra dropped to her knees grasping in long breaths. I made my decision. For me to be able to save the Falath’Nakan I would have to stay with this group, as much as it pained me to see them kill The People. I ran to Lyra’s side and put an arm around her to try to help her to her feet so that we could find water for her to heal in.
“Don’t touch me” She yelled turning on me furiously.
“I…. I….don’t know” I stammered, trying to explain my confusion and pain from the fight.
“”I didn’t expect Valak to help, but you” She fumed at me, her eyes a deep black. I was trying to form a response when her body went limp and she fell to the ground. I dropped to pick her up again but found I had a sword to my throat.
“Back off!” Yara yelled pressing her blade to my neck. I looked around the group for support but found none. Destran picked up Lyra and turned away from me, bringing Yara with him. Brena seemed caught in two minds over whether to go with Destran and Yara or to go speak with Valenstar who was still in a rage. She eventually decided on Destran and Yara, and made off after them through the trees, Valak followed at a distance.
I was in complete shock. They had taken her from me?! I was trying to help but they stopped me? I was broken from my reprieve by the sound of a tree falling. I looked over to Valenstar to see him slumped at the stump of the felled tree, his head in his hands. I walked over and dropped down beside him. We sat in silence for several minutes. I was thinking about the dead Falath’Nakan lying on the forest floor. I could guess at what Valenstar was thinking about and was unsure how to approach the topic. Eventually I just asked outright.
“So is it true? That story you told us?”
“Of course it’s true Idiot” He replied after a few minutes. “Why didn’t you fight today?”
“I froze” I replied honestly.
“Yeah. I love the people on both sides, how can I choose who to fight?! You know what it’s like, surely you can understand?” I said, almost pleading. He didn’t reply, he just got up and walked off into the forest leaving me with my thoughts and my dead Brothers.
I moved through the trees following the group after I had buried my Brothers. Valenstar was not with them but I could smell his rancid smell somewhere nearby. It had been two days since the fight but still I could not face the group, or Lyra. She was better now. They had found water and she had recovered from her wound. Sometimes while they were walking she would turn around and watch the path behind them, or look up into the trees but I was certain I was well hidden from her view. I could understand her anger but could she understand my inaction? I needed to get her alone away from the group so that we could talk.
I got an opportunity four days after the fight. Yara and Lyra were dipping their feet in a pool while Destran and Brena set up camp. Yara went off to help them, leaving Lyra on her own. I watched her for a while before working up the courage to go talk to her. I dropped down from my tree landing silently behind her and stepped forward and sat down crossed-legged beside her. She jumped at my sudden appearance.
“What do you want?” She growled once she overcame her shock.
“I just want to talk to you, make sure you’re alright?”
“Oh now you care if I’m alright? Not before when I was fighting a trained warrior on my own?!” She demanded.
“Lyra you have to understand..” I started before she cut me off.
“Understand?! UNDERSTAND?!” She yelled, “I thought you loved me? What was there to understand?!”
“I did love you. I do love you! But…”
“But what?! There shouldn’t be a ‘but’ after that statement” She continued angrily.
“You were killing MY People!” I snapped at her. “The People I’m destined to protect and destroy! The reason I’m on this stupid quest!” I turned to find the rest of the group standing at the edge of the water staring at us. I turned on my heels and sprinted off through the forest jumping into the trees and leaving the group far behind. I would find the Stone on my own.
When I stopped running I came down from the tree to catch my breath. I was just getting ready to take off again when a dark figure dropped from the trees in front of me.