30/30 – 21 | Waidelm Part 2

For those new to the world of Ydarkra you can read the following entries, though not posted to the site in chronological order I’ve listed them as so here:

Watering Hole: Miranjii
Watering Hole: Mevralaud
Waidelm – Part 1
Waildem – Part 2 (This Story)
Untitled (excerpt – Assassin)


          Mevralaud knew calling after his brother would not be of use. Waidelm, ever the First Born, stayed his emotions very close, rarely allowing any to see in to him. Even in the private rooms among family, he was a hard read. The look that crossed Waidelm’s face was the closest Mevralaud had come to seeing his brother explode in a long while. When he was this furious, riding was the only thing that calmed him. He had to run this anger out. Still, Mevralaud would not let him run it alone in the forest, even if he himself is the cause of the anger.

          Realizing Mevralaud followed, Waidelm goaded Charekk faster. The mare was built for speed and easily complied. Luckily, so was Finiadd as Mevralaud pushed his own horse in pursuit. The others, on mounts not quite as swift, were left behind.

          Both horses and riders went at full tilt for a while before Mevralaud attempted to try to yell at Waidelm to slow down. The rains had made the terrain muddy and both horses had come near to loosing their footing. As they cleared the woods, Mevralaud realized they were near Etenbayl Ledge. The ledge named after an Ydarkran story when the brother godlings Giarad and Ydarkra challenged each other to an axe-tossing contest.

          Giarad’s battle-axe, named L’Drrek cleaved the cliffs, a two-day’s ride from where they were, that bares its name. Giarad’s throw was weak. The landing of L’Drrek caused a small (by deity standards), split in the land. One can carefully tread to its base, even during the rainy season.

          The brother’s rode where Ydarkra’s battle-axe, Etenbayl, landed. Unlike the mar left by L’Drrek, these cliffs were wide a jagged scar that split the woods. There was no easy way down except at the farthermost ends of the cliffs. Entenbayl Ledge was a treacherous overhang, where pieces of land were known to break and fall off and yet the overhang remained as massive as ever when looking up at it from the grounds below.

          They were close to the edge; Mevralaud could just make out the outer edges of the river below. He yelled for Waidelm to come inland where it was safer.

          “Ydarkra! Waidelm you must slow before you kill yourself!” Mevralaud yelled, “Brother please! STOP!”

          Waidelm, his face a rare mask of solid rage, yanked fiercely on the reins spinning Charekk around. There was a thunderous sound as both horses suddenly reared. Finniadd ran spooked. It took everything Mevralaud had to hold on until he could wretch control and spin him back around towards Waidelm.

          Waidelm was not so lucky.

          Waidelm dangled precariously off to the side of his spooked horse, his foot entangled in the saddle straps. That and his death grip on the reins were all that kept him on the horse. Before Mevralaud could get to them, the mare’s footing fully gave way, falling on her rider. Charekk whinnied loudly, trying to get up but could not seem to get her footing as all round them the odd cracking roared loudly. Finiadd reared again and Mevralaud hit the ground hard as the beast took off for the forest.

          Yelling voices were heard closing in; Mevralaud glanced over his shoulder. Amrieux, Seddiov VrasGengarri, Hentlan VrasKenura, T’Cerriag VrasKenura and Gebbriz VrasHongrin were in the distance just breaking the clearing of the woods. Gebbriz went after Finniadd.

          He could hear the others yelling, as they closed the distance between them, but could not yet understand what they were saying over the cacophony of birds that had suddenly taken flight. He had to get to his Waidelm who was desperately fighting to cut himself from the saddle reins. Mevralaud was feet from his brother when the cause of the roar became clear.

          There was a moment of the most eerie unnatural silence.

          Then the ground cracked under Charekk and Waidelm, starting to give away.

          Waidelm froze in terror before he began desperately clawing at his foot, as the horse, frantically kicking, started to fall.

          Dragging the still entwined Waidelm with her.
          Mevralaud leapt grabbing his brother’s mud-covered hands, desperately trying to pull back, while digging his heels in to find purchase in the muddy ground as they were both pulled by the horse’s weight.

          Waidelm screamed as weight of the horse turned the reins wrapped around his ankle into a type of garrote effectively breaking the bones that dangled over the newly creating precipice.

          Waidelm’s eyes went wide as his grip started to loosen.

          Mevralaud felt a sudden weight fall on him and then another and another as Amrieux, T’Cerriag and Hentlan grabbed him as desperately as he desperately hung on to his brother.

          The slide slowed.
          But it did not stop.

          “DarkraSeco, let him go!”
          “You are going to go over!”

          As the five men slid, Mevralaud only heard one voice.


          “Mevralaud, save yourself!”
          “No! Pull us back Hentlan! Pull us back!!”
          “Father cannot lose us both!”
          “He will not! Pull us!!”
          “You will be a fine Darkran, brother mine. Let me go.”

          Mevralaud felt himself yanked backwards as his Waidelm’s handslipped fully from his grasp. He scrambled for the edge desperately reaching out. Only Amrieux’ grabbing him by his collar and then flinging him to the ground, with Amrieux, Hentlan and T’Cerriag immediately falling on top of him – pinning him down, kept Mevralaud from going over the edge after his brother.


30/30 – 20 | Waidelm Part 1

I did say I’d return back to these characters eventually. Eventually is now.

For those new to the world of Ydarkra you can read the following entries, though not posted to the site in chronological order I’ve listed them as so here:

Watering Hole: Miranjii
Watering Hole: Mevralaud
Waidelm – Part 1 (This Story)
Waidelm – Part 2
Untitled (excerpt – Assassin)


          “Excellent, DarkraSeco! Excellent!”

          Seddiov applauded Mevralaud’s marksmanship as the stag dropped to the ground. Mevralaud nodded in acknowledgement of the compliment, but he was not completely happy.

          “It would have been a perfect shot had he not missed his objective which was the left eye, no?” Waidelm stood in his stirrups, to see the shot better.

          The outing to the Karmadris Range was pleasant enough. A visit that was normally par the course for being the sons of the Darkran, it was nearly an eight day ride to get there and they stayed in the Range for a fortnight, as was the norm. It was a pleasant surprise to both the denizens and the royal party as they had arrived during a celebration, unique for Karmadris.

          The return trek home turned sour as the rains came early this season.  Some of the storms were fierce, forcing the group to seek shelter in caves if one of the smaller towns or villages along the way were not reachable. It had truly galled them the previous morning to have taken refuge in a cave only to learn they were less than an hours’ ride away from a village. The lights of the small village simply were not seen through the dense sheets of rain pouring down on them. That they were now only two days away from home barely mattered.  The eight-day return ride home was now in its fifteenth day and all were in some form of surly.  Mevralaud had the idea to have a small hunt to provide meat for the night’s meal. Waidelm, grumpier than usual because of the delay, reluctantly agreed realizing their men needed to let off some tension.

          All was fine until it turned into a contest between the heirs apparent. Mevralaud knew he was the better marksman.  He really did know it, but Waidelm had a way of snatching defeat out of the jaws of Mevralaud’s victories that was grating the younger brother’s nerves.

          Mevralaud’s arrow had struck the soft area just under the jaw where it meets the neck, an excellent shot. Nonetheless, Waidelm was right.  Mevralaud was aiming for the stag’s left eye, when the beast suddenly raised its majestic head just as Mevralaud released the arrow. Mevralaud swore under his breath at Waidelm’s correct assessment. He could only be but so angry, for truth was truth. He merely wished his elder brother did not state so with such obvious glee.

          Mevralaud returned from inspecting his kill. Ombeyants were already descending upon the animal to prepare it. He would receive the tanned pelt as a souvenir once they were home.

          “It was a clean kill, the beast suffered little if at all and between us there is now more than enough meat to last until home. What is it that galls you so brother?”

          “You try so hard and yet fail the more.” Waidelm started, “You have such…

          “…potential.” Mevralaud finished the sentence, gritting his eyes. “Oh, praise for the ever glorious potential! You sound like Father…”
“Father is equally befuddled as to why you choose to play this injured role in which you seem to relish, boy.”  Waidelm shook his head at his younger sibling.

          “Boy? This injured role?” Mevralaud’s breath hissed between his teeth as he mentally bit down a pithy remark far too close to the edge of his tongue.

          “Now that is the most Darkran worthy thing I’ve seen you do in days.” Waidelm nodded at Mevralaud’s barely controlled restraint. “Of this I do approve.”

          “Your approval or approval’s lack, brother mine, is hardly that which keeps me awake at night.” Mevralaud responded carefully feeling a sliver more of his temper slipping.

          “No, brother mine that would be your many feminine indiscretions.” Waidelm snorted derisively.

          “Would that be envy I hear? Still have your ear to my door?” Mevralaud smirks, well aware of Waidelm’s choice to abide by the suggested tradition that a DarkraSeci wait until he was Darkran before bedding. As DarkraSeco, Mevralaud had no such edict, nor the compulsion to abide by it had such existed, for him.

          “No, it would be contempt you hear.” Waidelm shot back, “Who needs to listen through a door when the noise shakes the walls themselves.”
“Well yes, that last one in L’Carrettine was loud.” Mevralaud’s grin was unrepentant as he glared at Waidelm, “Louder than — what was her name? Ah, Kaileigh.”

Mevralaud winced as soon as the name left his mouth.

          K’Kaileigh VresJinuway.

          Kaileigh was one of the few who had said no to Mevralaud’s advances and meant it. That was challenge enough to the DarkraSeco who quickly learned the powers of charm. The Darkran’s insistence that he leave the female alone made her forbidden fruit all the more desirable. It was a moon’s long campaign to bed her even if the only people who would ever know would be the two of them.  To Mevralaud she was merely to be a hard-earned scratch on the bedpost. He did not know the ever-secretive Waidelm and their father were privately arranging an engagement with the young woman’s family that same week.

          Furthermore, neither was she aware of such.

          Not willing to tolerate the aural evidence of his younger brother’s activities one night, Waidelm stormed into Mevralaud’s chambers finding his now erstwhile intended’s body arched, her breast exposed, head thrown back in pleasure as Mevralaud’s head was as hidden in the raised layers of her skirts.   That her virginity was still intact mattered little then. Mevralaud had tasted of the fruit slotted for his brother.

          The withering look that crossed Waidelm’s face caused one of the few times Mevralaud ever backed-down to him.

          “Waidelm, I am sorry brother, there was no call for that.  It was wrong of me.”

Mevralaud did not need to see the looks of consternation from Amrieux and the others within earshot; he knew he had crossed the line as Waidelm simply turned and rode away from him without a word. Mevralaud cursed under his breath, running after his brother’s quickly receding back.
Waidelm suddenly took off at a gallop.


          Mevralaud, Amrieux, Hentlan, T’Cerriag and Seddiov ran to their respective mounts and pounded after him.

Waidelm – Part 2

30/30 – 3 | Watering Hole – Mevralaud

          Mevralaud pushed Finiadd to his limits. He knew he was seriously pushing his luck with the temperamental beast, but he was in no mood to be rebuked by anyone, least of all by an animal destined to be under his command. Oddly enough, if he didn’t know better he would swear the damned creature was actually enjoying this all out, full tilt run. Mevralaud knew he left his brother and Amrieux in the dust. He could not even hear their yelling anymore. He knew his father will not be pleased at all with his current behavior, but for these brief moments he would try to enjoy this rare moment of complete solitude.



          When last had he a moment all unto himself in the daylight hours? In the nighttime hours? The moments lying in bed before sleep envelopes him? Surely that cannot be considered a true solitary moment. Even his time in the privy chamber was subject to interruption if deemed he was taking too long to conduct his business. Not for the first time he wondered what he would be were he not DarkraSeco. At ten and three reaagons, only a member of Lead Court seemed remotely appealing. All the glory of royal court, without feeling as though the entire kingdom will fall into the brimstone pits of Briellekok should he so much as sneeze in the wrong direction.

          Mevralaud reigned Finiadd in to a slower run as he headed towards the watering hole. Both he and Finiadd could benefit from a cool sip. He noted the pull of the material around him as he shrugged his young shoulders. He was outgrowing yet another coat. His mother had jokingly predicted Mevralaud would be larger in stature than the Darkran himself one day. At the rate he was growing, he was not entirely sure it was a joke anymore. It certainly was not to the seamstress, who had presented this very same coat to Mevralaud barely a half-reaagon ago and it fit quite loosely then. Though he knew from experience his father would never allow something as trivial as a man’s size to belittle him in any manner, the thought of one day having mass and height greater than that of his father did bring a fleeting moment of amusement.

          Sudden sounds of female shrieking caught his attention as he neared the watering hole. The watering hole was actually an extension of the massive M’Kairoo River to its east. Its waters were much tamer than the M’Kairoo, renowned for the lives it has taken. Many of those unsuspecting lives were fooled by the calm top waters that disguised its powerful undercurrents. Ydarkrans know to stay within certain bounds of watering hole; for it will willingly feed you to its more powerful sibling should you stray too far from the shore. Locals occasionally swim there on hot days. From the shrieking sounds it seems the current locals were all female. He pulled Finiadd to a slow trot as he passed the copse of trees that surrounded the watering hole. Slight glimpses of running skin flashed in the distance. Females and apparently very naked were in the cool waters of the watering hole if the one or two stray articles of clothing are any indication. Belatedly he realized they had spotted him before he spotted them and were running away.

          All but one of the females had made it to hiding in the dense trees. She immediately dropped to the ground, curling upon herself to hide as much of her body and face as possible. Her dark, thick curling hair, wet and hanging about her back and head helped considerably. Still the curve of her spine and rear were in full view. For once he actually wished Waidelm was with him as he dismounted, walking the rest of the way towards her until he stood in front of her. She was younger than he, but not by much. Ydarkra! Why could she not have been a full woman? Now, that would have been an interesting sight to behold! Still what he could see told him she was tall for her age.

          “Hello, there.” He stood in front of her. She did not answer. He called to her again, still no response.

          “Are you aware that it is unlawful to not acknowledge a greeting by one of the Royals? Not to mention just plain lacking in respect from Ydarkran to another.” He asked bemused. A deep racking sob was his response as the tears she had been obviously holding back came out in force.

          “By Ydarkra girl you can at least look at me!” Mevralaud’s amused state was quickly fading as the girl adamantly shook her head in the negative.

          “My, my, my, what is this?” Waidelm’s voice boomed in the opening. Mevralaud groaned inwardly, knowing he would never hear the end of this! Have caution for when what is wished is granted – indeed!

          “Captured a maiden have we? And a wet one at that.” A very amused Amrieux pulled his horse along beside Waidelm’s. “She is not a mermaid from the looks of her. No fins that I can see.” Mevralaud bit his lip to keep from snickering as his best friend made rounded gestures with his hands approximating the girls exposed buttocks.

          “You can speak can you not?” Mevralaud asked, “You cry quite well for one presumed voiceless.”

          “Yes, I can speak and mocking me does not bode well on your insistence of respect.” Came a hissed response.

          “Alas! The maiden does have a tongue and a stinging at that!” Mevralaud smirked. “Now that you have graced us with the melodious tones of your voice, perhaps now you can explain your total lack in response to one of the Royal Court.”

          “I do not know if you are in fact one of the Royal Court.” The girl replied.

          “You would know, if you would simply lift your head and look.” Mevralaud chided.

          “I am sorry I, I cannot do that.” She shook her head.

          “Lyishar!” Waidelm gasped “Is the little nymph denying a direct …”

          Mevralaud made a quick motion with his hands silencing his brother. Waidelm looked at Amrieux in surprise.

          “Explain yourself.” Mevralaud gently ordered.

          “I have never been to the Ydarkra Rohn proper. Nor have I been to Festival; my Adonii says I cannot go until my fourteenth reaagon. I have only seen the Darkran himself on the times he sojourns this far. I have not seen anyone else of the Royals. Therefore looking at you would not necessary prove who you are.” The girl explained matter-of-fact, head still downcast.

          “It is safe to presume, you are at least familiar with the Ydarkra Honrae Dresht, is it not?” Mevralaud asked.

          “It is” Even through her quiet tears, her reply was in a tone that indicated it was an incredibly dumb question. Even Waidelm barely contained his snort of derision at the asking.

          “And you are aware that only the Royals can bare the Ydarkra Honrae Dresht?”

          “Yes. However, I cannot verify your wearing of the Ydarkra Honrae Dresht without looking at you.”

          “So why won’t you look at me?” Mevralaud asked a lot more politely than he actually felt; still the effrontery of her actions intrigued him.

          “For you will then see me.” She responded as though it were obvious.

          “And why is that a problem?”

          “I have already shamed myself by being caught like this and that is on me for taking the chance. Must I be further shamed by having witnesses to my lack of discretion?”

          “There is no one here but us. Who would know?” Mevralaud asked

          “We would.” Amrieux replied. Mevralaud gave his best friend a withering look.

          “I am simply curious. Upon my word, I will not tell of this.”

          “I do not know of you to know whether your word is trustworthy EnCourt.”

          “If I am presumed worthy of being addressed as “EnCourt”, should not my word as EnCourt be as worthy?”

          “You sound young, but you also sound old enough to know that the integrity of a man’s title and the integrity of a man’s word are not one and the same.”

          Mevralaud could not help but acknowledge the truth in her logic.

          “You realize we could simply just snatch you by your hair and simply take a look at you.” Waidelm offered.

          “No!” The panic returned to her voice and if were possible, she shrank further into herself. She truly did not wish to have her identity known.

          “Why should I not?” Mevralaud came to one knee before her. He would have sworn upon the Ydarkra soul itself that she somehow shrank even more at the closeness of his voice.

          “The greater shame would then be on you.” She had not otherwise moved since she dropped to the ground. Mevralaud realized she was holding a perfect PlearKesk form. She was being well-trained in the forms of Ombeyant and could easily outlast his patience from that position.

          “And how do presume that to be so.”

          “You can force me to do that which I do not desire. You claim to be of the Royal Court, it is well within your right to do so. However, so bold a move would make you considerably less than a gentleman and even less of one as one EnCourt. It would be a sin against your people as one of the Darkran.”

          “What makes you think I am of the Darkran?” Mevralaud asked.

          “You stated earlier that you could show the Ydarkra Honrae Dresht. Unless it was an empty threat to trick me into exposing myself, I presume you are one of the sons; for you definitely do not sound old enough to be the Darkran himself.”

          “Yet you risk insulting a Darkran then? For what? Vanity? Pride?”

          “Family honor.” She was crying anew and shivering more. “For now, I have only shamed myself. To expose my face and make myself known brings that shame upon your house for sharing in this with me. It will also bring shame upon my family and that is not a price I am willing to have them pay.”

          “Perhaps you should have considered these possible ramifications beforehand.” Mevralaud chided.

          “The look backward is always more clear than the look forward EnCourt.” She admitted grudgingly.

          “So the question becomes: how do I satisfy my curiosity and you keep your family honor?” Mevralaud mused. “What if you closed your eyes and look up? Then you still will not honestly know if you have personally insulted a Darkran.”

          “But if you see my face, you may recognize family semblance and thus know who I am now. If not so now, should we meet again in the future, you may then know who I am and my family is still dishonored. Moreover, with my eyes closed I cannot prove true of the identity you claim.” She sounded almost smug near the end of it.

          “Ydarkra! Do you have an answer for everything girl?”

          “No, EnCourt.” She sniffled. “You simply have asked questions I have answers to.”

          Amrieux snorted in mirth.

          “Deyvra! Enough already!” Waidelm started to come towards her. “Let’s just have a look at her and be gone!”

          “NO!” Mevralaud and the girl cried out in panicked unison.

          Everyone momentarily froze as a large bolt of lightening followed by an appropriately loud crack of thunder broke upon the quickly darkening skies.

          “It is going to rain and soon. How long will you stay like this?” Mevralaud stood.

          “Twice I have held SittanKesk outside from mid-rise to mid-fall in full storm these past rains.”

          Mevralaud whistled at her response. He could tell from the tone of her voice that it was not a boast on her part; just a simple statement of fact; even Waidelm eyes widened in appreciation. If she could hold the SittanKesk from the middle of the day to the middle of the night in a full storm, her current position was much easier to bear. Mevralaud could not help but be impressed, but he simply had to know who raised such a young girl with such quiet and fierce dignity.

          It was starting to rain and heavily. The girl’s full head of dark curls were now plastered flat to her back and head. Mevralaud took off his coat, tossing it to Amrieux and removed the symbols of his status from his shirt before gently laying it across her still bent back. It was a symbolic gesture at best. The fine material would be no match for the sudden storm, but he knew she understood.

          “Thank you EnCourt.” She her voice was barely audible, using one hand to reluctantly slide the garment from her back and held it out to him all without moving her head, so not to be seen. “You are most gracious, but I cannot accept this.”

          “You truly test the limits of your fortune, do you not girl?”

          “I am sorry if I offend, and I know I do by now, but to accept this only worsens my shame. I could never be as ungracious as to discard this, but to keep it means I will have to explain how I came about it. As you will have to explain its absence and your complicity in this matter, such as it is.”

          Mevralaud shook his head as his brother grinned at his obvious frustration with this girl.

          “If it is destined for us to know each other, nothing we do will keep the knowledge from us.” The girl continued her reply. “All that is meant to be known to us, Ydarkra will make known to us, in a time of His own choosing.”

          “So what are you going to do EnCourt?” Amrieux teased, his voice dripping with sarcasm on the use of the lower title.

          “We’re going to leave her be.” Mevralaud shrugged. “She will stay like that as long as we stand here. Look at her form. It is a perfect PlearKesk. She is young, but already she shows skilled. She will not move. She will catch her death of ill in this rain. Do you want to be the one to explain how this occurred? You know something like that would surely reach Father. Her current shame will be nothing compared to ours then. We will not touch her and we will not let her suffer more than I have already put her through.”

          “Then can we please depart?” Waidelm gave a much exaggerated yawn.

          “Lyishar! Let us go then.” Mevralaud walked to Finiadd, mounting him. Amrieux followed suit with his mare.

          Waidelm paused for a moment too long looking at the girl.

          “Brother…” Mevralaud’s voice held clear warning.

          “We’ve stood here watching this insipid exchange between you two. I want to see who she is to bare such insolence to us.” Waidelm walked toward her.

          “You will not touch her!” Mevralaud dismounted, his voice holding no room for compromise.

          “I am eldest!” Waidelm turned on Mevralaud. “You dare to command me!”

          “I dare heed the covenants that we all honor the heart and soul of Ydarkra Rohn, which are His people. To force her to expose her identity betrays the spirit of that covenant in every way!” Mevralaud stood directly in Waidelm’s path. “Brother or no. Title or no. I cannot in all that we are vowed to uphold allow this!”

          For the first time Mevralaud noticed he was exactly his brother’s height. He used it to full advantage. The effect was not lost on Waidelm. Amrieux watched with interest at the unexpected change of events until Waidelm shoved Mevralaud to the ground and headed towards the girl.

          Mevralaud brought Waidelm down before he could touch the girl, but his efforts caused both brothers to crash into her. To her credit, she righted herself and had re-assumed the PlearKesk before either brother could stand, but not before the spur on Mevralaud’s heel scratch her arm. Both brothers stopped cold when she cried out in pain.

          “Ydarkra! Are you hurt?” Mevralaud touched her back. She shrank from the touch before realizing which brother touched her. She held out her injured arm and showed the small wound.

          “Deyvra! You’re bleeding!” Mevralaud cursed “Hold still.” He inspected the cut just inside the crook of her arm. It wasn’t very deep, but it felt it might scar. Spotting his shirt that fell in the tumble, he pointed to it, visually ordering Waidelm to give it to him. Surprisingly, his brother complied, by throwing the shirt at him as he walked to his horse and rode away. Mevralaud ripped the shirt, making an impromptu bandage, apologizing for their very un-EnCourt like behavior. Her thanks came out hoarsely. She was indeed going to be ill. He started to offer her the rest of the shirt again, but it was dripping wet itself and she had already stated her wishes, so he took it with him.

          “We will leave you now so that you may tend to yourself.” Mevralaud stood and bowed to her.

          Her head was as close to the ground it could possibly get without actually touching it, yet somehow he knew she saw him and returned the bow via a deep single nod of her head.

          He ran to Finiadd, leaping into his mount, slipping on the leather coat he had removed to give the girl his shirt. It fit much better against his bare, albeit wet skin.

          “Let us go and get the truth to Father before Waidelm can twist it.” He called to Amrieux before goading Finiadd into another full run. He gave the girl once last glance and as he suspected, she had not moved. He prayed for her well being and Ydarkra’s forgiveness for his folly in this before crashing through the forest after his brother.


30 Stories in 30 Days | Day 3 – Okay, I’m done with this scene, but these characters will return later.

30/30 – 2 | Watering Hole – Miranjii

           Miranjii stretched and flexed her legs again working out the kinks from the morning training to be among the elite of royal service of Ombeyant. She had practiced the form of the SittanKesk or Self-Seated. Sitting on her haunches, knees together, feet flat on the floor with one’s face pointed to the sky, her hands to her side fingers lightly touching the floor to maintain balance only. Should she be summoned, her hands must them lightly touch the hem of her skirts to tuck it under as she uses her leg muscles only to rise, her back ramrod straight. A rise from the SittanKesk always finishing in the AttenKesk form of legs together, both arms bent at the elbow palms up, the left in front – the right in back; her head and eyes straight ahead. She had started the SittanKesk not too long after the beginning of rise. Her grandmother Raunna, having only called upon her twice, did release her from practice until the sun was well overhead, to full rise. Her young body felt so much older to her right now.

          “You held SittanKesk all rise?!” Lavrioraa shook her head in a very non-Ombeyant manner, impressed with the accomplishment and now understanding Miranjii’s desire to do little other than lay out on the grass after a short swim in the watering hole.
          “You are good! I started whining an hour into the position; I cannot stay in one position for so long! Papa simply could not take it and started whining to Mama who became annoyed at hearing him whine and both let me go. I know it will be my enyache that I’ll be the Ombeyant in service at an all night with the Darkran and LeadCourt. People will come in the morning wondering; what is that horrible new gargoyle in the throne room, then they’ll look again and realize it is only me turned to stone from having been in SittanKesk all night.”

           “Lavri, you are so silly.” Miranjii laughed heartily at her best friend’s theatrics.

          The two girls had a fierce friendship in common, but that was all.  Lavrioraa’s parents were wrapped around their second youngest of nine’s finger and knew it. An only child, Miranjii’s adonii let her get away with absolutely nothing. While Lavriaraa managed to do well enough in her studies, it was mostly due to the prodding of Miranjii who managed to be tops in her classes with little effort. Other than being the same height, even physically they differed. Lavrioraa was as tanned as any Ydarkran farmer of the Hassaunt Plains, while Miranjii had just enough coloring to let one know she has spent some time in the sun, but not much. Lavrioraa was willowy, while Miranjii was made of much sturdier stock. At seven reaagons Lavrioraa cried for a fortnight for her straight copper hair to be cut short, but no one listened to the girl. To this day, no one quite knows how she had managed to burn half of her hair to the point it had to be cut. For fear she would do something worse that would get her killed, her hair was kept short altogether after that. Miranjii inwardly sighed as she once again coiled the thick ebony locks that seemed to magically come loose to curl around her face. With it more heavy being dripping wet from swimming, she could not help but wish for the lightness of her best friend’s short style as they lay out on the grass.

          What had started as a miserable rainy morning as Miranjii went through her daily Ombeyant training had turned into a beautifully sunny afternoon. After much daring and outright coercing Lavrioraa had convinced the normally very careful Miranjii of the pleasures of lying out in the grass totally naked with the other girls that were there with them by the watering hole. Miranjii had to admit she enjoyed feeling completely decadent as she lay there the warmth of the sun washing over her tired muscles.

          “Did not your mother wear her hair so long also?” Selkoree asked.
          “Not once she became Vras according to Adoniicio.”
          “Then why do you have to?” Selkoee’s younger sister Vinloree shook water from her own cropped hair.
          “I’m told Mama wore her hair long as a child, but cut it when she became Vras. A married woman can wear her hair short or long. Adoniicio had no control over that.” Miranjii shrugged. “Adoniicio very much has control over me and I am a long way from Vras. Were I to accidentally burn mine as someone else has….” Miranjii winks at her best friend, “…I fear will very much wish I had done likewise with the remainder of me once my Adonii sees it. I think it would be less of a torture for me. Adoniicio has never so much as shortened her hair to my knowing. She would never be so rude to say such aloud for fear it may insult those who choose to have shortened theirs, but I believe she feels it is some mark of EnHonora to have long hair and the longer, the better. I was told my mother was not of that mind.”

          “Do you miss her?” Vinloree turned onto her back.

          “I have to say no, because I never knew either of my parents.” Miranjii paused to give it a moment of thought. “I would like to think Mama would have let me cut my hair some, but not too short to appease both Adoniicio and I. She and Papa passed into Rohn’s Hall during the Great Rains; I was barely of a moonface. Adonii says it is Ydarkra’s gift that I survived when my parents did not. Especially, when no other child under the age of two reaagons in the Hassaunt Plains survived the Great Rains.”

          “That is a gift indeed. I for one am doubly grateful to Ydarkra.” Lavrioraa nodded her head decisively.
          “How so?” Miranjii grinned kicking at a pebble.

          “For one, she was born in Verrage and did not come to the Plains until she was nearly three reaagons and two, that you did survive to be her best friend because no one else seems to be able to put up with the various forms of mischief you’re constantly pulling her out of.” An amused response came from behind them. Lavrioraa groaned at the sound of her older sister D’jarraa’s voice.

          “Considering half of the time I’m in mischief with her.” Miranjii laughed sheepishly. “I’m not sure that such is valid.”

          “You mean like laying out here as we are in the sun?” D’jarraa teased standing above them. Miranjii shrugged with a lot more confidence than she actually felt. That her Adonii Raunaa would be most upset was a vast understatement to say the least.  Lavrioraa frowned for a moment at her sister and then burst into a grin.

          “Race you to the rock and back!” Before anyone could give pause, she jumped up and took off running. Not in the least worried the other girls took off after her. Miranjii not wanting to go through yet another session of being teased for always being the good girl took off a moment later; the strides of her long swift legs easily catching up and eventually passing the other girls reaching the rock first.

          Simply running and enjoying herself, she kept running past the copse of trees and was totally out in the open when she heard her fellow playmates suddenly yelling. She turned and saw them all running back through the trees. She turned again to see a male on horseback heading straight towards them. Remembering her nakedness, she ran as though the fires of Briellekok were licking at her heels, but she was simply too far away from the trees. There was no way she could outrun a horse! Hearing the animal closing in she immediately dropped to PlearKesk.

          PlearKesk was the form of pleading only to be used dire need. It is the form used to help protect an Ombeyant from the physical wrath of the rare, but cruel member of EnCourt, or any one who would dare strike one who serves. The Ombeyant falls into a form of fetal position where the body curls in on itself; using the hands protect his or her neck and head. Usually the Ombeyant lies on one side leaving the cushioning of the arms, thighs and calves to take the brunt of the punishment. Choosing to hide her face Miranjii used the kneeling form, leaving her back, buttocks and soles of her feet exposed instead.

          For once she was completely grateful for her long hair as it had once again come loose from its coil during her run and now fell about her back and face providing her scant more coverage. If only if could be glued in place she thought to herself as she hears the horse come to a stop. All she can think, as she hears the footsteps of the approaching rider, is that he must not find out who she is. And how was she, a girl of ten reaagons naked and out in the open was going to accomplish that, she did not know…

30 Stories in 30 Days | Day 2 – Yes, there is more to this one coming – see you tomorrow 😉