A Life Lesson from Desna
Theibar sat a distance from the group. He had begun to feel somewhat isolated from his companions since his conversation with Ameiko. He was aware of how fast the rumours had spread throughout the group and he felt it necessary to keep a distance. Thoughts of Kelda’s sacrifice flooded his mind. Attempts to busy himself with armour repairs failed. Frustrated, Theibar discarded his work and collapsed back into his bedroll.
Theibar stared up at the night sky. It looked so alien. He was starting to long for Sandpoint. In relative terms, he had not been in Sandpoint long, but the forced march of their trip to Minkai made him miss the freedom of the hunt. He closed his eyes and remembered the days of goblin hunting with Shalelu. It was a much simpler time.
Theibar’s train of thought was broken by the sound of someone approaching. He did not look to see who it was. Instead, he kept his eyes firmly closed and pretended he was stalking his prey. He listened. “Medium in size,” he thought to himself. “Possibly female, no combat training,” the continued his analysis. That criterion only lent itself to one possible outcome. Theibar opened his eyes to see Koya’s old face smiling down at him.
“I thought perhaps you’d like to pray with me.” She said, holding a small Desnian idol in her hands. Theibar sat up and gestured for Koya sit beside him. A creaking of old bones followed a sign as she knelt down. Theibar took hold of Koya’s hands and the two began to pray.
“Merciful Desna, please receive the soul of our sister, Kelda. Guide her on her journey to the afterlife. Watch over her, and keep her safe. May she find her rightful place among the warriors of old.” Theibar felt a tear guide over his cheek. Gently, Koya produced a small white handkerchief and wiped the tear away.
“She understands, Theibar.” Said Koya, again with her warm smile. “She may even understand more now, considering.” Koya’s attention dropped away as she wrapped her handkerchief up and hid it away in her pocket. “I too, have live a long time and I have seen friends and family leave this world. I would never wish for a lifetime of loss for anyone. Having said that, I rejoice in the love I have had for those people I have lost, and I would not trade it for anything. You elves focus too much on the loss and not enough on love and companionship.”
“Please do not lecture me, Koya.” Theibar grimaced.
“I do not mean to lecture. I would never think to lecture my elder. My intention is to console.” Koya put her hand on Theibar’s shoulder. “My intention also isn’t to tell you to reconsider your feelings for Ameiko. I simply want to impart some wisdom unto you. Do not think that the risk of the Forlorn is reason enough not to love, as everything will come to an end. Consider what it truly means to follow Desna. It is about the journey, not the outcome, or what will happen when you get to your destination.”
Koya looked off towards the camp. “Luthien and Matsuro have the right idea,” she remarked. The two had returned from the woods, and for those with accurate perception, they seemed closer than before.
“Now, gather your things and come and warm yourself by the fire. Tonight should be about kinship and unity, not segregation.”