The tallow began to hiss and sputter as the flame neared the base of the holder. A blob of wax plummets and falls on the hand of a snoring man. He jerks and mumbles, grasping for a goblet, just out of reach. Just as soon as the commotion began, the plump man fell back in to his slumber...
smoke... smoke. SMOKE! Tristan jumped up from table and quickly realized he realized that his study was engulfed in flames. He began to stammer some words, meant to shape and focus the Al'Noth so that the fire might be transformed in to a cold stark beam of light and begone. Instead he sounded like a common vagabond railing at an unknown assailant after being turfed from a common house.
Cursing, something he did better than recalling incantations these days, he saw that indeed this room was about to become an inferno and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Wincing in pain, he hobbled to a metal lock box and took his spell book before his last physical connection to his Lady was lost.Nothing for it, fat man.
He grabbed his cane and smashed out his window, pausing once the glass was cleared out to say a quick prayer.Lucinda, if I make it out of this. I will owe...
He takes a quick look out the window and the four story fall ahead. A lot.
Groaning with exertion, he pulled himself up on the ledge and then just rolls out, and shorts seconds later his consciousness passed from him too.
The next moment a bright light pierced his skull. Tristan warily opened his eyes and the first thing he perceived was a maiden, golden haired with the kindest countenance he had ever seen. Alleina? Is it you? Did you come back to me?
Her smile warmed his heart, filling him with a peace and comfort he hadn't felt in years. He had missed her more than he realized. Her wisdom, her spirit were unique in this life and now she had returned to him, after all he had done.
A gentle shake roused him from his slumber once more and he looked up at... a young human woman. Another fantasy. Another escape. "You are lucky to be alive, sir. You fell in front of our wagon just as we passed and saw the flames rise from the building." He looked down in shame, and as he did saw the symbol of Lucinda dangling from her wrist. A drum beat in his soul sounded and he sat up, perhaps too fast as stars filled his vision.Can we pray together?
A tear rolled down his cheek. "Yes of course. Are you faithful to Lucinda?" He almost laughed at that.I haven't for some time. Never too late though?
He half hoped she might soothe his fears. But he had asked and here he lay, saved by one of hers no less. He took her hand in his and bowed his head.Lucinda, Lady of Spells. Too long have I walked apart from you. The holy words of your magic have departed my mind and the vigor of your spirit has made my body soft. But my heart was always yours. The love of another lead me astray, the trappings of coins lead me to neglect. Forgive me and I will take up your cause once more.
Silence filled the room. Tristan became aware of the woman he prayed with in a way that he hadn't given heed to before. She looked at him with a mixture of sadness and admiration. He felt a quiet inside of him that he hadn't felt in some time, but then he felt the thirst for drink, the hunger for foods. He looked away as the young healer spoke to him, "Why now? Why do you think she is calling you again?" He took the question in with a breath as he felt all the successes of his life followed quickly upon with failure upon failure. His wealth from the Ravens squandered, his fame wasted in long nights at the inns, his friends lost to the arrogance of success unearned in youth. I have stripped away everything and as it I watched it burn, the only thing I could put my trust in was Lucinda. She was all I had left and she saw me, she pitied me and now I have to earn her trust back.
They sat for a moment, soaking in the exchange and then the young healer smiled and patted Tristan's crippled leg. He winced slightly and gave a good-natured laugh. She nodded once and stood. "You can leave whenever you like. Your spell book is waiting for you."
She left the room and Tristan rose from his bed. He looked down at his soft belly and sighed. He had some work to do.