by Zentara Shadowsoul
I gave my art and quest notes to the Mistess of Treasures during the Guild ritual to welcome home those who had been questing throughout the year. She thanked me, as she had the other artists, and handed my gifts to one of the Keepers who would carry my offerings to the vaults, to be recorded and stored. My doll, too, would go with them, as a reminder of the artist who had gathered the materials and the information. My year had come to an end; my quest closed.
And yet, I wondered if it was indeed complete. I made my way to the Hall of the Shay and stood within the dusty room, noting the carvings of leaf and tree that decorated the high ceiling. This Hall was a testament, a witness, to the shay artists who had come before me. It stood empty, deserted. And that saddened me.
Isolda joined me, her arm going about my shoulders. “You are still staying here?” she asked.
“Perhaps,” I replied. “For now, at least. Now I know what my father is I have no desire to meet him. And yet…”
“You feel the need to aid your people,” she continued for me.
I nodded. “There is still much to discover, we both know that. And Grunthrin is eager to try out the Pathways.”
“We all are,” replied Isolda. “But if you stay here, I understand that too. You belong, as you never have elsewhere.”
We stood quietly for several moments before Isolda announced “I’m going to visit Ferantu. It’s long past time for me to speak with him, to get to know him better. Will you come with me?”
I hesitated. The desire to stay here, safe within these walls, was strong. And yet…
“When will you leave?” I asked.
“In a few days. There is no hurry,” she answered.
I nodded. “Then I will think on it, and let you know before you go.”
“Let’s go have some tea,” Isolda suggested. I smiled, nodded and walked with her to her caravan, happy to be with her, the knowledge of my birth now secure. My quest accomplished.