Snippet #10

Safyre's Past

     This is a clip from (working title) Madaya, it is near the beginning and it introduces some main characters, Dybec and Safyre. You can glimpse into the world of the Vindari and the problem that has just arisen.
       The old woman flung back her hood, revealing a mass of curly gray locks. Mounds of thick hair surrounded her wrinkled face, which with all its years and trials had only grown more exotically beautiful. Safyre was somewhat unique, few upon the continent of Madaya looked at all like her. Her eyes were kin to the blackest obsidian brought from the volcanic isles in the Archipelligo; almond shaped, with thick lashes, they were flashing and within them one could see the depths of her powers. Yet it was not her eyes, nor the kinky bush atop her head that allowed her to stand out so completely from most Madayans. Safyre's complexion had been compared to the pale chocolate Medas chefs created. Smooth, creamy, and dark, her flesh was a rare commodity and many a travelor had tried to woo away such a mysterious woman away from the Vindari. The old woman, who could claim both much-revered titles of Wizard and Vindari Elder, sighed. It had been a long time since any man had given her the seductive glances that had once been so common. Safyre had watched all three of her children grow, live, and eventually, travel to the Spiritrealm. Her son, a Dormant Vindari, had become an infamous trader whose shoes were cursed with a wandering spirit. She knew that he had never been satisfied with himself, not knowing his ancestry. Not knowing from whence he came. Safyre herself had been curious, but in all her years, had never sought out the truth. Ryf had not been able to contain his inquisitive nature. At the age of nineteen he had packed up his young bride and their daughter and set off across the Great Sea, searching for his lineage. None of them had ever been heard from again. Both of her daughters were Dormant as well; Razifa was married and died in childbirth, Ralli had been a casualty of war as the Vindari troupe she had been travelling with was caught between warring Medas Factions. Safyre's mate had, like his son, been blighted with the roaming bone, and left only months after Ryf, the youngest, was born. Never exactly alone, with the entire Vindari clan around her as well as her order of students, Safyre was profoundly lonely. Except for the short lived friendship she'd formed with a cross-bred Dwarven-Medas boy who had appeared in the Valley at least a decade before, she had always kept to herself.
       Those girls, she sighed. She had told Dybec that sending two young women away with Tavian warriors was an unwise decision. She had warned him, repeatedly, that though the War seemed to be nearing an end, Medas and Tavian citizens did not always get along. Especially in this case. But had he listened? Of course not. I am just a whiney old grouch. I am not a Wizard. An Elder of the Vindari. I do not know of what I speak. That stubborn old goat. He will someday regret being so hard-headed.
       She glanced toward the young man. It seemed as if he had been calling her for some time, by the exasperated tone of his voice. Surely he will chaulk this up to senility, she cursed.
       "What do you want Horat?" her mouth snapped at him without her brain's permission.
       "Madam. There is grave news, Dybec has requested that you come to the Temple to receive it at his side."
       "Damn him. I warned him. I did. I dare him to say differently!" Safyre yanked her hood down over her head, allowing her hair to scratch uncomfortably against her cheek. In all her sixty-two winters, never had she understood the point of wearing the heavy garb that had become Vindari tradition. Many times she and her order had taken the matter to the Council, but each time it had been voted down. Preserving tradition, they'd quothed many times, Is the most successful means we have of protecting our own.
       Her well-traveled soles made no sound as she plodded across the damp ground toward the temple. Though the Vindari lived in somewhat primative conditions, compared to the grand cities and quaint villages scattered around the continent, the Temple was possibly the most elaborate structure of them all. Like its twin, Ocarine, it had been constructed hundreds of years in the past, when the Vindari numbered in the hundreds of thousands and were revered as direct descendants of the Gods. When the murder of a Vindari meant instant damnation for the purpetrator, regardless of having been caught in the mortal world. When, with their powers, the Mageborn race had created a long, amicable peace between the Medas, the Tavians, the Dwarves, and the Ogre Clan. She sighed. Today was not the most pleasant time to be a Vindari, especially one whose roots could be clearly defined as Medas or Tavian.
       Safyre's dark eyes climbed the exterior of the Temple as she approached. Its great stone walls, thick enough to have repelled generations worth of misguided rogues and even an army or two, stood fifty feet high. Its entire frontage was alight with dozens of candles and lanterns. Gleaming silver spikes adorned the edge of the top wall, beyond that were three upper floors filled with classrooms, visitor dormitories, storage facilities, and all the accoutriments of an extensive castle. The first floor's reception area was her destination. As she passed through the great wooden doors, Horat trailing directly behind her as a proper Dormant should, Safyre paused to bow her head at the marble statue of the Earth God, Raavir, who was also her guardian. Beyond Raavir was his twin, Misia, of the Sky. Spread throughout this long main hall were statues of the nine Spirits.
       "Safyre!" Dybec's raspy voice called. "Hurry now, the messenger is waiting."
       Cursing him under her breath, her old bones much more cranky than his, Elder Wizard Safyre made her way up the short flight of stairs and into the salon. Dybec smiled at her with the quirky expression she had known for nearly all of her life, offering her his hand and escorting her toward the head of the room. Safyre tried to contain her suprise when the messenger approached. The pair were richly attired, though dirty and unkempt due to the journey. The man stepped forward, bowing his head.
       "Greetings," he raised his eyes to meet Safyre's. "We bear important news."

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