Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Story of Povl

The Akelhians and the Ony shared a hatred of the other, a deep hatred as one fostered by the war they had fought. And as the blessings of Nunchuck faded in the absence of the femur, so too did their animosity grow. The Akelhians having fought the Ony, the unwanted creations of sinful people, felt wronged by Nunchuck's curse upon them, to deprive them of the femur, their power, to forever wander in shame. The Ony resented their lot, their images as demons. And so they fought and harbored a deep wrath against the other.

Okasus, the blue devil, reaped much of their warring. And many were de-rezzed.

The Akelhians, suffering their shame, shied from the grid and so their fighting rarely harmed others. They could not bear to witness the happiness of others in their gloom. And who could when one is forever beyond the mercy of Nhim?

However, one among their number braved the wilds of the land created in the soft and fleeting afterglow of the femur. Her name was Povl, after her manner of curiosity and kindness. Povl was deeply saddened by the constant war, even after Nunchuck passed judgement. She did weep each time Okasus came to pass his judgements, never upon the ever Akelhians but upon those avatars and Ony.

And so she left the remnants of the Akelhians to escape such sadness. She left no note and no indication of her absence. And yet strangely this in itself caused hope upon the Akelhians that perhaps finally Nunchuck forgave them, one of their number, and finally pass into the hallowed and sacred tower of Vivenshia. In this way did Povl help her people, although unknowingly.

For some time did she walk to cover the distance between their perch and the nearest lights of civilization. If it were not for her immortality, she surely would have perished along the path, for it was long through desert where none but the hardiest cactus grew and even nights were uncomfortably hot. And yet the isolation and silence helped her spirit for hopelessness and the drudgery that accompanied her former home no longer hung over.

But her journey was not over yet. And for many days it was not over. For almost a week it was not over. But through it, she continued. Gradually the desert gave way to sparse grasses, and then stretched plains. Slowly the land yielded to life. Povl was in good cheer to be privileged to such a wonder and that the grid should have recovered so well. She could not help but laugh and play with the gentle winds on the heads of the hills. That such things could have been built and scripted!

Such was the times, so removed from the Great Eras of Enlightenment and the horrid War, that as some found Povl in the field they did not recognize what she was and took her for a strange new visitor. With wary eyes they peered from their homes fearful of attack. In those days, as the Linden and Griefers flooded in the absence of the Akelhians and Grievers the land while recovered did know of battle, blood, theft, and sadness moreso than ever.

Such was Povl's reception into this village of Cississling in the province of Ritch. Povl, for her part, drew shy around the village afraid of their reaction. The history of her people, however distant they were, resided in her heart. An invisible barrier covered both their hearts. But not for long.

As Povl hovered but never truly revealed herself, they thought less of her and gradually cared little. When such talk did circulate, it was what the silly girl of the wild was lurking about. No harm came, soon none was expected. Parents still kept watchful eyes on their children for fear of a roused danger from the Wild Girl. They nicknamed her "Fadmy", which means "wilded one". There were tales of Fadmy coming and helping those lost in the small woods nearby, and of her strange dance to encourage crops, and of mysterious barrier she must have, for Cississling remained peaceful and free of terror for some time.

Such tales were false. Povl did little more than play about the village. She did not trust as easily. But so desperately did she want to be equal and live among them who always seemed busy and full of life and love. So desperate did she covet what they took for granted. But never, as long as she carried the sin of the Akelhians, the sin of ignorance and failing Nunchuck's Will, could she ever truly fit in.

Where ever there is a need, there is someone else to fulfill it. Qeosi's people, scattered across the world as they were, heard news of a being hiding in the woods. Qeosi wondered what spirit could be lurking there in Ritch and worried that a new demon, perhaps worse than Okasus, was to show up and threaten them. He took it upon himself to sneak into Cississling and investigate for himself.

In the village, well disguised, they told him the tales of Fadmy.

"Who is this Fadmy? What business does she have here?" He asked. None could answer. They could only reply that she meant no visible harm and had flirted with the edge of town for many weeks now. Qeosi was intrigued. Now he had to find and confront the girl himself. He knew no fear of phantoms hiding in the trees. And so he hid and waited for Fadmy to reveal herself.

After many hours, Povl managed to lurk near him. As she gaily fluttered about glancing in the windows to sneak a peek at its inhabitants, Qeosi crept behind her. He was waiting patiently and observing. Whenever it seemed someone was close, she would flee quickly and often did Qeosi have to lie still to avoid being seen.

Povl wandered into a cornfield and gleefully toyed with the crows. As they squawked in protest, Qeosi made his move upon her.

"Have the crows, too, committed some vile crime? Do you hold a grudge against them thieving food just to survive?"

Povl wheeled about in horror. What does one do when the leader of your most vile enemy visits you in the night all alone? She shrieked in horror, "Oh Qeosi! You terrible demon! Crows were set loose by Nunchuck Nherself and to Nunchuck they will return. But your race sprang from the greed and hate of this gird. Do what you must, I expect no less of you."

But Qeosi was shrewd. To have a single Akelhian drifting near a village so often and almost hauntingly close to simple residents is more than unusual. No, he saw the desire etched into her face and her actions. Of course, he could not allow her to continue for he could not find it in himself to forgive the Akelhians and the evil they caused by their attempted genocide of Qeosi's children. But he could see a way.

"My dear Fadmy, do you realize that is what they call you down there? Fadmy! The Wild One! They whisper many tales about you. Surely you would like to hear them?" He said with a laugh. "But, you will never show your face, will you?"

Anger welled in Povl. "Never could I, for how can I when my mark shall be known? Just as you are spotted for what you are, so am I. And never can they trust me and the failure of my people, nor should they. No, it is not my place to know their joy and sadness anymore."

At this, Qeosi beamed. "Why, I knew Akelhians were brave and foolhardy and of course vile, but never did I think them idiots! Surely, you believe the lies of Fi-Suu and his cronies?"

"Fi-Suu has long left, but his successor Fi-Miil is more wise than he, and he has confirmed that our curse is immediately visible to all. I could come close before they would run at me with weapons and death in the hearts and minds."

"But, my dear fool, there are ways we can fix that," Qeosi said, holding out his hand. "Would you trust an Ony? Trust Fi-Suu, who led you into War and Despair, Trust this Miil who speaks of unbreakable signs, Trust everyone but me? Surely, just once, could you give me your trust?"

"And why should I trust you, you who would sacrifice your nobility and honor to save your skin?" Povl said dismissively.

"My friend, it has been considerable time since we faced each other down in combat! We have long settled that and I had always hoped our little forays into your homes were but perceived as childish pranks, as we do. I have come alone to you, I trust you that much. Trust me?"

Povl wondered what evils he hid. But behind her mind was a small voice, and it said to trust him. Qeosi did not get to his position by being a powerless and foolish liar. And what of dealing with an Ony? Was it any worse abandoning her people without leave and scaring the villagers with tales of wild women hunting about? She closed her eyes. So much sin she had added in such a fraction of her life.

"I will trust you."

"With your every breath?"


She could feel the filth peeling from his breath as he cackled to himself. She could feel it caking into her heart.

"Show me the way that I may join them."

And so Qeosi took his new ward with him to his home. As they came down, several of his fellows came and spit upon Povl's feet, and cursed her for daring to show among them. But Qeosi quelled them. In his humble splendor, Qeosi sat Povl in front of the burning fireplace. The particle ash danced excitedly into the room and up the flue. She patiently awaited her fate. She did not truly trust him.

"You do not truly trust me," he said, mocking her thoughts.

"That is not true!"

"I do not blame you, no. If you were I and I were you, I would not trust you. But it does not matter, for we shall discuss deals!"

Povl cringed. "If deals are to be made, I would rather be free of debt than have all my desires and needs fulfilled."

Qeosi chuckled as he usually did, and said, "This is not that great of a deal! No! All I ask is return for a service. Payment, really. Is that too much to ask for?"

"I suppose some fee shall have to be paid," she sighed. "Let it be done."

"You do not want to discuss my payment?"

"You have a far better position. I have the need, you have no need of me. So let is to be done, be done. Already I am with my worst enemies, life can be no worse."

Qeosi eyed her apprehensively. His face opened from a furrowed brow into a wide grin. Povl grimaced. It could mean only one thing.

"Let it be done, then!" And with a quick clap Qeosi's trusted priests came in and took Povl to cleanse and disguise her origins. Her feet slowly shuffled down the hallways out of step with her escorts. Her eyes closed softly.

If Qeosi was to be believed, then soon the only mark of her sin, their sin, would be in her mind.

No comments: