07 Fredas, 9th Moon of the Summer Solstice
The breath of the forest first awakened me to this world.
And it was so that this wind – the Arundiil that led my ancestors from the realm of starlight and guided their path to warm earth, rustling branches, and iron will sailing through the air on flint and feather – this wind directed my steps through green pastures and kept me high in the lofty branches, far above the chaos that man would create for himself.
Time passed in this manner. Decades, centuries. The tendrils of my consciousness unfolded like so many blooming flowers, here and gone over too many frosts and summers to count. My senses grew sharper, my feet swifter. At night, I would lie cradled in the highest branches of our softest firs, and I would watch the light dance between my fingers as my young mind siphoned strings of magic from the air. Sometimes I would find myself alone in the wood, crying bright tears that sparkled like stars, and the sol faeries would come to guide me home. Of course they come no more, as such is only the privilege of children. But sometimes they dance on the edges of my vision still, in the last twinkling of starlight or the evening’s warm breeze.
I remember a village hidden between magic fronds that glowed with unearthly dew when the moon was full. I remember a bow, a tattered old thing held together by tomes immemorial, hidden in a trunk guarded by stately, tall beings.
I remember the day that the village was burning. Sparks flew into the sky, carried by the morning’s first rays and the chilling war-shrieks of the dark elves, a cry for help muffled by the serene murmurings of trees.
I remember the locks clicking open at my touch, the bow’s fibers against my fingers – smoother even than the enchanted trees of Rorindale. The Beings were angered by this or they were intrigued by it (I still know not to this day), for the bow was placed on me as a raiment and I was sent out in haste, past the fronds and the stars and the Beings, to a place where the rustling of the leaves did not sing to me and the woods I did not know by sight. The string is still taut against my chest; never have I gone long without the bow over my shoulder, close to my heart. It breathes as I breathe, moves as I move. It will always be with me, like the earth and the sun and the stars, and this is the way I have known things to be.
My name is Chi’aira of Isolin – the village lost on the shimmering horizon of sun and moon. It is my will to be companion, guardian, and friend to this noble company of warriors, until time immemorial should wash us away to the shores of Ein’feiyr in a crimson shower of glory, or should the forest songs someday guide my journey elsewhere.
This I say, and so it shall be.