Meanwhile, a small elfin girl, as well as a few others, is having something of what could be termed....an identity crisis.....
Her name was Nimi'aia. She was the long tressed golden haired girl of a loving mother and a caring father who conceived her on that one special (and last) Night of Joining (that had ushered in an unheard of elfin population explosion). One of six (!) other children conceived that night, she'd been raised along with her siblings in a kind and caring, if modest, household. When it became apparent at an extremely young age that she had magical ability, she'd been granted a special boon and allowed to study within the Magery Institution along with other future spell crafters. A diligent student, Nimi'aia was pleased and proud to be there and was thrilled at how proud her Mum and Daddy were of their little girl. Also something of a imp, she'd always was ready to bring a smile to her parents, her brothers and sisters....or anyone's face with a ready joke or a beautiful smile.
But another part of her surface. Something much older, different, but her at the same time. And that is what was confusing the little elfin lass. The other called herself "Clearbrook."
(Author's Note: to find out more about this and other Elfquest characters and novels mentioned next, look at the website: www.elfquest.com.)
Clearbrook was the elder female of a tribe calling itself the Wolfriders. She was always dignified and thoughtful, and never spoke without carefully choosing her words. She'd had a terrible shock when her love and mate, One-Eye, was killed right before her eyes by some treacherous trolls....and had grown deadly and hungered for vengeance. The body had been able to be magically revived later, but One-Eye's spirit had wished to stay out in the Palace....and have peace that had been denied him when his dying body had been accidently preserved in a half living state by a well meaning Preserver (a fairy like creature servant of all elves). Over time, she'd come back to herself and adopted her old ways for herself, her surviving son, and her tribe's sake.
This journey had taken three years in the making to do, but she'd done it.
Finally, after escorting Rayek, the self named Master of the Palace, back there after the recent events of the Egg (type of quasi magical spacecraft similar to the Palace) that the Blue Mountain (Winnowill's lair) had fallen, she'd finally decided to severe her last ties to the past, and free the still living body of her love from it's suspended state. With that done, the spirit of One Eye could finally have total peace within the Palace of the High Ones.....without any potential anchors to his old existence. Perhaps she'd even follow up, finally, on the interest her friend, Treestump, had in her. But only after this final act.....
But it hadn't happened as planned. Things had departed radically from plans and from the plot found in the Elfquest novel The Cry from Beyond.
She'd opened the magical cocoon that held One-Eye's body in stasis, and waited for the body to finally get the message and draw it's last breath, when she felt a great....sweeping sense of fear and bewilderment from the spirits around her....and her departed mate's spirit sweeping through her (sharing a frantic but heartfelt sense of love for her), and right into.....the body he'd abandoned so long ago.....
"It's coming," One-Eye whispered weakly, shaken what he'd sensed as a spirit.
As the storm of confusion, love, and concern for her newly returned (and frightened) lovemate raged within Clearbrook's heart, outside Rayek keeled over, dead as the first shockwaves of his older self hit him. Seconds later the world dissolved in fire....and light.
Next thing Clearbrook knows is that she's getting ready to cut some type of sweet confection and sing a silly "Birthday song" with her brothers and sisters (who hadn't been part of her tribe.....much less birthed by her....original?....mother back on the World of Two Moons).
She dropped her dull knife and stared around her, shocked and head swimming as two names....two lives flashed through her mind. Both were her, but......how was that possible? What, in the Name of God? (High Ones? Huh?)....
She, still confused, looked down at herself....at her small eight year old body....then at her hands (with their ten fingers).
"Oh puckernuts," she whispered in her old elfin tongue...and fainted.
The shock of seeing the extra two fingers was too much for her, so she retreated into unconsciousness.
Frightened parents rush her to the nearest medical aid, and soon their plight reaches the ears of the Emperor Ke'lan and his Empress. They both go and personally break the news of what is happening to the frantic parents, quietly.
The parents just look at them, stunned.
"But you understand why we couldn't tell the Community at large," Ke'lan says softly, "This is, after all, a private affair. And we, being elves....."
"Wouldn't broadcast such to the world at large," Nimi'aia's Mother whispered, understanding and grateful.
Humans might have resented the secret keeping, leaving them to face the shock of this. But then, elves are not human....similar in some respects.....but not human.
Ke'lan then went to the next group of parents.....
10/14/2000 2:30:51 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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