Netasha’s Discovery –

Friday, March 23rd, 2018 { Earth Parallel designation =”Nor-Am/CanMexUSA -05″} {{ North America, Canada, USA, Mexican model  }} @ 11:45 pm Atlantic Time

Netasha

– Netasha, (Novice) Forest Elf Healer –

— Forest Elves are generally a shy and extremely modest race – But on this one summer day the sun was really hot and the atmosphere was muggy – and with no one else in sight, Netasha removed her leather Ranger armor and wore just her Healer essentials while she tended flowers and planted trees.  – Then an official messenger told her that her Ranger watch duty had suddenly been switched and she would have to be on duty that night and she wouldn’t have time to change back into her ‘respectable’ armor. She thought the messenger relished in her discomfort at going on duty ‘half-dressed’ and might even have hoped she’d be ‘taken down a peg or two’ for working out of uniform when he’d been sweating all day.

— When the unruffled Watch Captain told her she’d be working alone in the ‘Shadow-Lands’ she was almost relieved. It had been two weeks since Healer-Ranger Eslyn had her vision in which Shanti – the ancient Guardian of all living things – had explained why very strange things filled the skies of the Shadow Lands, especially at night – And no Rangers had reported near misses from flying boulders, trees or buildings since.

- morning mist in Shadow lands -

– Typical Morning mist in the Shadow Lands –

— The flying debris in the air might actually be slowing down. It had been days since phantom buildings appeared and vanished, or appeared and shattered into bits of blasted masonry, burned wood and crumbling dust in front of the toughened band of Rangers and highly dedicated Healers who braved the lifeless Shadow-Lands, keeping the unwary safe, bandaging wounded comrades – Some even tried to coax lost spirits into heading for the Light and beyond that – Heaven.

— There had even been reports that some buildings, in various states of disrepair and structural integrity – had actually landed intact – Some were guarded fiercely by Rangers who kept everyone away, some were actually safe to step right up to and touch.

Netasha witnessing the chaos in the skies over the Shadow Lands.

– There was just a bit of activity as the sun went down that evening –

— Just as darkness descended – Netasha saw a light travel across the sky and thought it landed quite near where she had been posted. It was her duty to report anything like that which happened on her watch.

— She had a near perfect memory – she ran to where she believed the light had gone out of her sight and –

Lamp Post and Shrine to All Living Things.

– Netasha discovered a perfectly normal lamp-post and something she’d heard of from the legends of the ‘old times’ –

— The lamp-post had not been there half an hour earlier when she’d made her initial rounds and reported nothing suspicious to her gruff old Watch Captain. She’d never actually seen one of the legendary ‘Shrines to All Living Things’ – But in the light of that lamp-post, it sure looked like one of those shrines had suddenly materialized ‘out of thin air’.

The shrine was surrounded by flowers. And weeds.

– She approached with extreme caution and discovered —

— Where nothing had grown in a thousand years – The shrine was surrounded by a circle of flowers… and weeds.

Netasha at the shrine with its fowers surrounded by lifeless Shadow Lands.

– She was stunned –

— Young recruits and young and old volunteers had never been briefed on what to do if a Shrine surrounded by living flowers suddenly appeared in the midst of a lifeless scarred landscape. If she didn’t complete her current round they would surely send a search party out to look for her – Would they scream at her and use words she’d never heard before she volunteered to help the Rangers as the only Healer around who was naive enough, maybe stupid enough – to go into the Shadow Lands with them? Or would they be just as amazed as she was?

Netasha stood guard at the Shrine through the night.

– She made a snap decision –

— Her first sworn duty as a Healer was to heal and protect all manner of living things, no matter what – She decided that since these flowers and weeds were obviously living – it was her duty to stand there and guard them through the night – Guard them from what? Would demons and monsters from the tales of the old wars appear and wage war on flowers? She had no idea. She didn’t think anybody still alive had any idea what perils magically growing flowers (or weeds?) might face in this forsaken landscape.

Morning at the shrine with Netasha still on guard.

– Morning finally did arrive –

— When the morning finally did arrive and the watch Captain appeared with seven angry-looking Rangers. The Captain only managed to scream, “Where the- !” before he saw what she was guarding – Grizzled old veterans gasped and sank to their knees – most with tears in their eyes. The oldest woman in the group gasped, and in the old language, cried – “The Prophecy was True -”

— They left two Rangers there to guard the spot – and escorted Netasha back to headquarters – They surrounded her – She couldn’t tell whether they thought they were protecting her from something – { What? } or wanted to take her prisoner for having the audacity to break her normal routines to protect a bunch of silly flowers –

— After senior officers questioned her for hours – A commanding officer from another region of the Shadow-Lands arrived and spoke in whispers while Netasha desperately tried to remain awake and alert – and then that senior officer ( The Regional Commander ) and her Senior Officer, and her Watch Captain came to her, smiling –

— “You did the right thing.” The Regional Commander nodded – “We will be stationing Rangers at that shrine, day and night from last night forward – They will probably carve a plaque with your name on it and Rangers from now until the end of time will know that it was you who discovered that miracle of a shrine reappearing in the midst of the Shadow-Lands here. Hell – They might even make you a saint among Healers – Crazy young woman too stupid to avoid the Shadow Lands by night discovered that the rumours were true and the Spirit of Shanti has returned to bring life back to the Shadow Lands. But never speak of this to outsiders – If the dark ones hear of this they may claim that Shanti has come back from the dead to declare war on them and give the – nasty sonofaguns – a reason to raise their biggest army in five hundred years and attack again -” He nodded, “Go home and get some sleep – you’ve earned it.”

— She felt a tingle of optimism and wonder and had a hard time falling asleep in spite of her earlier struggle to stay awake.

— And when she did fall asleep, she dreamed.

- Shanti -

– She dreamed of Shanti –

— She dreamed she went back to work planting trees and tending the flowers in a nearby valley and saw a stranger standing where she’d been working the day before – The stranger looked – cautiously ‘regal’? And when Netasha approached, the Lady seemed to come out of a trance and smiled. The flowers that Netasha had just planted had sprung up with more than a month’s growth and seemed to be almost growing taller and more healthy by the second.

— Netasha blinked, “Who are you?”

— The Lady smiled, “You know who I am, you guarded my shrine all night -”

— Netasha woke up trembling, “Why would a legendary Goddess from the old days come to me?”

— She heard the Lady’s voice while she knew she was fully awake. “You died with your family on that very spot a thousand years ago. It took you almost all that time to forgive the DelVahrians who didn’t know the difference between friendly elves and the slaves of the Krim – And when you did forgive them, I felt a ripple through the fabric of time and space and knew it was time to return to this universe and invisibly guide this land’s healing process.”

— Netasha trembled and shook – but there was no one for her to run to and ask for advice – She was an orphan and her friends were all on duty somewhere –

— She trembled herself back to sleep and woke up to the cheers and celebration of almost everyone she knew, all acting like she was some kind of hero who’d actually done something worth their praise.

Shanti at the Shrine.

– Two days later Shanti first appeared at the shrine –

— Shanti began appearing at the shrine at odd and unpredictable times. She never stayed long. She always seemed to be looking away through time and space and maybe looking for something – or someone –

 

~~~~~ TaleRocker

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