(Hoth Lok-ri)

As I look down at the scares on my body I notice that several have opened again. The familiar pain. The spasms that I suffer from have done this. I had another nightmare of the pit and awoke in my sleeping linens. Stains of blood spot the fabric here and there. I seem unable to fully heal from my ordeal in the desert. The pit has left its mark on me both physically and mentally.

As I apply the salve to attempt to close the wounds I think upon my situation. A chance for lucid thought is something I cherish and would not waste.

I have arrived at house Lok-ri. I have felt the peace that is possible here. I have seen the heroic and the chaotic since my arrival. I have made new companions in the militia and the orders of the Lok-ri house. Both blood and bloodless have I seen in the field and on the hunt. As I ponder these encounters this chance to co- mingle with my brother elves I feel a satisfaction. I am not far from them. I feel as they feel. I quest as they quest.

I have goals for myself for the first time since I could think for more then several breaths with out pain disturbing those thoughts. I would make my fellow travelers in this world journeys easier and thus perhaps help myself. I would help and serve House Lok- ri with all the fibber of my being.

I am still unsure as to where the strength for this decision has come from. Last night at the siege of the Flaming All-Father heathens, I was encouraged ... no enticed, even forced to speak to the lady Aramina by some spirit beyond my control. I approached her as the main battle had finished and the true destruction of that blasphemous city began.

She was as she is at all times that I have seen here, calm and serine in the environment. Even in the city she appears this way to me ... surrounded by here fellow house members or in the battlefield surrounded by chaos, she is a pillar of serenity radiating cool confidence. Her stately beauty permeates the air around her and her cordial greetings are genuine and heart felt. It is easy to understand her position in the house both as bloodkin and as charismatic council member much loved by all the house members. As I approach I see she is dressed in her battle gear, which though much used still has the crisp cleanliness of well-prepared armament. She is obviously well use to battle and her gear and manner reflects this. I hail her and sit a respectful distance away. She is cordial as always and as her calming gaze is directed my way I find the courage to speak. “Ehhh Mylady I have some things I would discus with the High Council back in the city” I stammer. “Hail Hoth would you speak to me now of this need?” “ I am prepared, although this citadel is not as grand and formal as the council chambers.” She smiles “No milady I must ehhh prepare myself and I would not disturb you from your duty to the battlefield” I say “ Very well then seek me and the council tomorrow”

“Thank you mylady.” I say with my confidence finally found.

And so with those words spoken this mornings thoughts spin in my head. I have had opportunities to serve in some of the more recent battles. My healing skills have increased, but my spirit is still torn buy unfinished business. If I am to throw myself into this world of calm and order I must find a way to reveal and perhaps heal my past.

The thought creeps back into my mind. I must seek the council of the High Elf Lords. I must go to them and reveal my story and myself. Perhaps there is a way for them to help me uncover the path to my future here.

Yes I must go. Go out right now to follow though with this thought before it escapes my mind and the pain returns to me.

I dress quickly and head for the high hall. It is early in the morning but even in my haste I still have time to notice the beautiful structures. The morning sunlight flowing over them and into the courtyard. The bustle of early morning activity as the citadel begins it journey into another day. Yes today will be a new beginning. Today I will create a better life for me here and now.

As my conviction firms I see the Council chamber ahead. Beautiful and serine. The guards clean and bright in the distance. The glistening of polished breastplates shining in the new morning sun. My goal.

And then my pace begins to slow as I feel a weight begin to build. The sun so crisp and bright just a moment ago appears to become overcast. The guards in the distance stare at me. Directly into my eyes and I see a look of … cruelty their. I stop dead in my tracks. The weight increases. The air thickens. My lungs struggle to move. My resolve begins to fade from me. I force my feet to continue forward stepping slowly towards the High Council halls and notice the building has become sullen and lifeless as brown intricately carved wood turns to the gray dreary stone of a cave. The sunlight fades from my view and the sky begins to blacken. The guards I can see now are glaring at me a look of disgust on their faces.

I stop and sit on a patch of clear grass and stare towards the high council building. The walls of the keep are closing around me. My beautiful open space feels closed in ... small ... suffocating. I smell the smell of sand. It permeates the air around me. The fine particles in my nostrils restrict my berating even further and I continue to struggle to find air, to maintain my equilibrium. I look down at the blades of grass that I am sitting on and see them turn brown and melt into the fine particles of sand like the sand of the deep deep deserts. I glance up again and look at the council guards their fine green skin has begun to turn dark brown their eyes slits of malicious red pools their mouths curled and cruel laughter escapes their lips. The laughter continues. And I am paralyzed, rooted in place.

“A small distance not even 200 paces from the high council chambers sits Hoth Healing Rays. He is sat in what would appear to be a very uncomfortable extreme lotus position with his head held high. He stares sightlessly into the middle distance towards the doors and guards of the council chamber. If you where to notice this tall but spindly-framed elf you might see an occasional shudder run thru his body. Just noticeable through the worn and stained dressing linens he now wears.”
(Aramina Lok-ri)

**The morning proves to be a difficult one...more difficult than usual. While the dawning sun was a beautiful sight, Aramina had been keeping very late hours the past few years. Mornings were always the busiest where she liked to be quiet and thoughtful. She left the battle late last night upon the demand of some of the mandrae. Evidently her strained blue eyes were showing their fatigue.

She pulled a slim dress on over her head and quietly left her chambers. Keeping to the back halls she slipped silently out the back gate so rarely used. The guards watched her but said nothing for this was a ritualistic morning for the druid.

As the sun rose from the east over the trees, it cast a orange glow upon the water. The beauty of the dawning morning reminded her of the paintings Vorgen kept in the halls. The light of the Twilight age was comforting and welcoming. These mornings dwelled upon her soul. She remembered times that did not belong to her, but she treasured the memories never-the-less.

Without much thought, Aramina unrobed and waded into the Northern sea. She bathed and softly sang a song in druidic verse. About a half hour later, she drug her nearly water logged body from the water and gathered her things. As she shook out her dress to put back on, she heard someone clearing his throat. Startled, she brought the loose dress to her chest in an attempt to cover herself. One of the city's north guards sheepishly kicked the dirt in front of him refusing to look at the druid.**

"Lady Aramina. Forgive my interuption, but I must tell you that the council is already up and ready for the day to start. They are looking for you. The Blood Guard is frantic about your disappearance. I have said nothing, but came to warn you that you must return promptly."

**He did not move but graciously kept his eyes averted as she slipped her dress back over her head. She grumbles to herself but loud enough for the captain of the guard to hear.**

"Sometimes, a druid must be by herself. I simply do not understand this dire need to keep track of me."

"Milady, I think you know the reason for this." The guard responds as he turns to follow the path leading back to the city.

**Aramina follows and quickly returns to her chambers without anyone the wiser....but the captain of the guard. Within a few minutes, she was dressed in a more appropriate dress and her hair was brushed nearly dry as she heads out to the courtyard.

A small distance not even 200 paces from the high council chambers sits Hoth Healing Rays. He is sat in what would appear to be a very uncomfortable extreme lotus position with his head held high. He stares sightlessly into the middle distance towards the doors and guards of the council chamber. If you where to notice this tall but spindly-framed elf you might see an occasional shudder run thru his body. Just noticeable through the worn and stained dressing linens he now wears.

The Thaelostril stops and looks at Hoth curiously.**

"Hoth? Are you alright, my friend?"
(Hoth Lok-ri)

Laughter …. Cruel … Maniacal … Spiteful … Laughter….

No … No … not again… Stay away from me vermin … stay aw… get off me vermin ... Stop … STOP….



“Aramian’s hail goes unnoticed and unanswered by the elf Hoth. As she looks upon him a tremble … no … spasm plays itself across his body. He continues to stare towards the High Hall with no flicker of recognition or move to acknowledge that another person might exist. Aramina quickly senses that something here is not right. Natures balance is upset, here in this place, at this spot, at this time … something approaches”

And then the pain recedes .. The laughter begins to fade and I start to see the citadel and the High Hall as I would normally. I am still unable to move but I no longer feel the terrible emotions of a few moments ago.. back in the desert … back in the pit….

A new feeling begins to sweep through my body. One of comfort, of solace, of well-being. I also start to notice details of my surrounding. The guard who was once talking to an Elf Lord entering the hall seems to be frozen. His lips forming a word that he does not seem to be able to finish. The Elf Lord once striding purposefully into the hall is now frozen in mid step his hand frozen in mid motion, as he appears to have been acknowledging the guard. The morning suns beams still shine low over the citadel’s wall and have illuminated several motes of dust that I can see suspended in mid air. All is motionless, except the feelings inside me.

I turn my head to expand my view. Ah good … I am now able to move my head, but I am still unable to move from my seated position. I look around me and see Aramina several paces away with a look of curiosity on her face. This is the closest I have ever been to here and I take the opportunity to look at here in this still quiet moment. Her face is as stately and calm as I remember. Here beauty that born of the High Elf line of the Lok-ri family and I see the family resemblance to all of the Elf lords that I have delt with since my arrival. Here eyes though curious carry the lines of fatigue around the corners of them. She appears to have had little sleep and still carries the burden of fatigue from some previous task.

As I gaze at her a voice speaks to me. Powerful, Purposeful, Calm ...

“Hoth … Hoth … for that is what I named you … Hoth … I am pleased with your progress on this path I have placed before you.” “ Pleased that you now serve me, serve House Lok-ri, and the Nation.” “ You are my present to house Lok-ri.” “What was lost is now found.” “You do not know your place in this world but I know … I will tell you.” “You are of the Noble house Lok-ri.” “You are of their Nobel blood.” “You and they are the product of my creation, and I returned you to your proper place.” “An evil has been done to you and yours” “An evil that I have not let stand.” “I have thwarted the fates to bring you to this place, this time, to serve the House that I hold special to me above all of my children and stewards.” “Remember Hoth…remember who you where…. Who you are…. Remember”

A flood of images begins to form and unfold in my minds eye….my life history begins to pass in front of me.

“Aramina’s look of curiosity is replaced with a look of surprise. She notices Hoth’s eyes roll back into his head, only the whites showing. A strange and powerful voice speaks into her mind and Hoth’s lips move and speak in cadence with the voice in her head. “Hail Araminia … daughter of nature … my daughter… I would speak to thee of this thy cousin.” “ Will you sit ... my daughter ... will you allow me to present this gift to you?” “In this you may choose ... my daughter… the fates have yet to weave their tapestry for this moment.”
(Aramina Lok-ri)

**Aramina normal pleasant expression turned to surpise then alarm as Hoth seemed possessed with his eyes rolling back into his head. He opened his mouth and a voice not of himself came forth.

A strange and powerful voice speaks into her mind and Hoth’s lips move and speak in cadence with the voice in her head. “Hail Araminia … daughter of nature … my daughter… I would speak to thee of this thy cousin.” “ Will you sit ... my daughter ... will you allow me to present this gift to you?” “In this you may choose ... my daughter… the fates have yet to weave their tapestry for this moment."

The Thaelostril looks around her cautiously, but see that none nearby notice anything other than their own concerns. She all but forgot that she was summoned to the Halls for the council, and slowly sat in front of Hoth, but at a safe distance. She said nothing and watched.**

(Hoth Lok-ri)

“You have chosen well my daughter … Sit now and watch as we journey through time and space … A story will be told … A story of my servant Hoth Healing Rays … Lok-ri … Gaze into his mind as I revel his past to him … too you … to the house … to the nation … to the world …Bear witness to this as it truth …”

My gaze no longer is turned to Aramina as images begin to form in my mind … I see my battles and healing in the Militia shown back to me.

… and then back …

My arrival at house Lok-ri worn and tired but elated at reaching my goal full of desperate hope … Will they take me in? … Will I be able to fulfill Braialla’s desires for me?

… and then back …

To the desert and the heathen city known in gutter slang as “Khar”. Fighting and dieing in that damn desert. I see many individuals that I both helped and was cheated by, both healed and was killed by. That damn desert, full of frustration and hard-learned lessons

… and then back …

The darkness surrounds me … The hopelessness … The screaming … yes I can hear it again… my screaming … The laughter, cruel and heartless … The eternal suffering … The beginning of my life … or is it?

… and then back …

I am a young man … what? … I am happy, contented, confident, I have never seen this man, but it is I… it is me … I see a family home and setting. A beautiful cottage to the north … over looking the sea … Beautiful forests full of nature’s creatures … A women tall and thin … pale green skin … statuesque in height and beauty …

“Gaze upon her Hoth for she is your mother Helena Lok-ri. Strong she was with me and my teachings a true servant who did my bidding.”

I see also another women just younger then myself in this vision. She loves me and I love her … with all my heart … images of the loved we shared play across my vision. We where betrothed to each other.

“Yes my servant Hoth. You where Happy and contented once, before the fates robbed you of your destiny … The girl … no women was indeed your true love you both shared much together. Her name was Deanna”

My heart and spirit burst with the remembered love that we shared … And then another image. An Elf tall and wiry, green skin and steel gray eyes … my eyes and features…

“Yes Hoth this was your father. Javarial was his name. He followed the way of the warrior but once he found your mother settled down to be her protector and companion.”

And then I see a scene of travel … the mother the father and myself … their is a great need in the south … my mother must go to aid her fellow elves … my father and myself are journeying with her to both protect and learn … My mother has been instructing me in the ways of Braialla and in the healing arts … She has much skill and would teach me more as I assist in this journey and call to duty ... We watch the cottage fade into the distance my betrothed and precious Deanna looks on as we depart. She radiates beauty and has a fuller figure then I remember … a tear drops from her eye as I wave to here … for what was to be the last time. She in turn waves to me. A whimsical playful smile full of promise for the future crosses her lips … we are to return soon and as we leave she mouths my name over and over as we disappear into the forest. I will love her all my life.

A jarring flash as the images turn quickly from beautiful lush forest to harsh scorching desert sands. We now travel in a craven across some Braialla forsaken wasteland. The caravan is ambushed and I see clearly for the first time the faces of my family’s attackers. They are harsh dark reds and browns ... cruel faces of a desert people with no souls… As I see them I recognize most as being from the Irekei race … so evil and cruel in their ways … They have caught the caravan in the deep desert sands and laugh as they slaughter the travelers who have journeyed and now died with it. My father fights furiously but at last is cut down by the raiders … My mother her face full of resolve is striding amongst the caravan healing all who are still alive until that moment … etched into my memory comes … Her beautiful face and head flying through the air … unseeing ... landing a few paces from me … I look into the sightless eyes for the last time … Then shearing pain and shooting stars ... A warrior knocks me unconscious … Off to the pit with him they shout gleefully … off to the pit…

“Yes my servant that is how it happened … the end of your old life … I had much hope for you and your Mother. You where both to be powerful tools to assist my people and bring about my purpose in this world. But fate crept in to spoil my plans.”

… and then back …

now a vision of a family, a father and mother raising many children. Their happiness turns to despair as sadly strife erupts and a war is being fought …

“You did not know them nor they know of you but these are your grand sires Theron and Jemina Lok-ri. They loved each other much and had many children. They also felt the pain and suffering that war can bring to a family. I was well pleased with them … my stewards”

… and then back …

I see a powerful user of magicks and a women striking in her beauty and duty to nature ...

“These my servant our your great grand sires. They walked this world with both magick and nature as their tools… Therillinon Lok-ri and Seranyth where their names and I was well pleased with them and the paths they chose.”

…and then back …

I see the most striking of faces yet. This great Elf strides the world with power in one hand and wisdom in the other ...his face is particularly compelling as I have seen it replicated in many of my fellow elves of Lok-ri. And a woman is beside him again striking in appearance … she stands gracefully looking upon her many children with a knowing smile on her lips.

“Ahh at last my servant, these are among my greatest of stewards … the creations that have brought much joy and wisdom to the world that we know today. They walked as giants among the other creation of this world and I was well please with their stewardship. Lok-ri was his name and she was known as Vilmandra. They where your great great grand sires.”

“And so Hoth Healing Rays Lok-Ri I have shown you that which is true. You are my servant … you serve the House that you where born to … Lok-ri … and you serve the Nation. Fear not for your claim. For one of great wisdom and power that is a child of nature has also shared this journey and can speak of the truth of it to her fellows. Aramina Lok-Ri … Thealostril of House Lok-ri and my daughter has seen and shared this telling of truth with you. She will be your truth sayer to any who would believe thee not. I am well pleased with her.”

I see that for the moment the visions have stopped and I again notice that Aramina is sitting a slight distance away from me. Here eyes fixed on mine but she is not looking at me. She appears to be assimilating all that has been shown to both of us. After a time the voice continues to speak.

“My servant Hoth for that is what I have named thee through thy Mother and Fahters hands … I have one more gift to give to you. You have found your identity … You have found your family … but not all of your family have we spoken of … I would give you… the House … the Nation … one more gift.”

Another vision begins to appear before me … I see the beautiful seaside forest … the small village that was my home in youth … I see a neighboring cottage … and she is there … Deanna … tear stained eyes crying … her beauty still fills the room and my heart at the same time… She sits in a rocking chair staring out the window…. Her midriff is large and distended …. She is …. Heavy with child …

A flash and then another scene appears. Deanna is on her childbed; the midwife is present holding a beautiful baby …. A girl … the baby appears to be strapping and healthy. But the mother appears to be very sick … her pale flush light green skin is almost translucent … she labors for breath. … Her eyes stare at the ceiling longingly … then turn toward me … it is as if I am in the room with her and she can see me. She whispers my name … “Hoth” … “I know you live” …”I can feel that your spirit has not left this world.” “We have created this beautiful child” … “I have given her all of my being” ... “All of my soul has gone to nurture her”... “She is me” … and I cannot live with out you” … “So I chose to linger in my mortal shell no longer”… “Please find her” … ”and look upon her and see me” … “I will look upon you again through here eyes.”

With that her eyes stare back at the ceiling ... Her breath shallow and labored, ceases… She passes on leaving this world ...The midwife carries the child from the room.

Another flash and a child crawls across the floor … she is strong and confident as she reaches for a book from a low stool…

Flash again ... now the child is larger and in the same room ...The midwife is present ... encouraging the child as she takes her first step… first tentatively then with more confidence “Good girl Helena. Your mother would be proud to see you this day. Not even one and already walking … that’s my good girl” The child smiles and for a moment it is as if her mother lives again. The inner beauty and confidence pours from her tiny face.

“Hoth I have reveled to you a gift beyond measure. You who have suffered, you who have labored, you who have fought on with your spirit, mind, and heart. You who though yourself alone have found both a family and a daughter today.”

“I am well pleased with thee. You and your daughter will continue to serve me and thus server the House and the Nation…”

“Go now back into your world … Work with thy cousin Aramina ... my daughter … she will guide you in many ways and in many things … seek her wisdom … “

“Hoth Healing Rays Lok-ri…
Serve your House Lok-ri …
Serve the Nation …
Serve Me…”

The fear and anxiety that bound me to this spot has faded and turned into many emotions. I am amazed, elated, and confused all at the same time. My senses begin to operate normally. My ears begin to hear the early morning bustle of the citadel. The guards hail an Elf lord who is entering the High Hall and he responds. The grass feels cool on my legs as I sit. The early morning sun’s rays illuminate small motes of dust that flow carefully through the air. As I come more to my senses I notice that the lady Aramina is sitting a small distance from me in the morning sunlight.

I speak. “Ahhhh mylady ... I … ahhhh … did you … Ehhhh … well …. Was there a …ummm ...ahhh a voice just now?”
(Aramina Lok-ri)

**Aramina blinks a few times and stands. She is puzzled but enlightened.**

"Hoth, my dear, within the last few moments your lineage and the truth was given to me. All I can say is, welcome home cousin."

**She pulls Hoth up and gives him an endearing embrace.**

"Now we need to seek out the council and tell them what we have learned today."
Updated Feb 2006
Copy write Scott Lindquist