The Dragon Between

In the shadow of the Feye Spire

Sier walked gracefully and soundlessly through a dimly lit jungle. The light came from all around, not revealing a location or even a time of day.
There are no days here, she thought. This is not of my world.
The path appeared to move on its own, more swiftly than her steps carried her, and the sounds of the jungle were all around, muffled, as if they were just out of reach.
One sound rose above the others. It was a female’s voice, lovely and familiar, which drew her despite her will. A face took form slowly like from a mist and just outside her vision. If she moved too quickly it would disappear only to reform again.
Sier halted her steps and reached to put a comforting hand to her bow, though she was not unsettled even when the path refused to stop its movement.
The voice broke through, as if the rest of the sounds of the world stopped all at once, and the words became clear. “Your path is before you. There is no turning back. This path was laid before the time of your fathers’ fathers’ father, though it is your mother that brought you here. She has given you a gift, which will be your burden to bear, as the gift is for all in the nation that once was. Your days of questioning are over. You will bring the power forth. War will bring peace; uncertainty will fall away in the light that will shine on the dark sins of the land; all will be revealed. See to your Duty.”
As the word “Duty” fell on her ears the light erupted. Blinded, Sier fell to her knees, and a shadow of a hand reached out as her world began to burn with a searing fire from within.
Sier found her voice again and screamed, climbing to her feet and trying to put out the flames she couldn’t see. Her bedroll fell away and weapons scattered over the dirt floor of the camp. The rest of the warriors stirred awake, appearing ready to take on an enemy despite the sleep still showing in their eyes.
I am insane, she thought, as the burning persisted. She looked around, recognizing the woods in the Reaches. We are back again, so why would I still hear the dryad? Does she have some devilish power to haunt my dreams?
The burning broke through her thoughts and she focused on finding the flames. There was no light, no fire, though her body still burned. She grabbed the neck of her underclothes and ripped them away from her skin, oblivious to the confused looks from her companions. She saw a strange and beautiful shape covering her shoulder, the light reflecting off the dying fire and the others’ weapons making the form change color. It stretched down her arm and it appeared farther up as well, though she couldn’t see its end. It shone like cold metal being worked and seemed to take in the light around it to shine more brightly than any color should.
Lorak quietly approached from out of the shadows, reaching out to the mark carefully. “You are marked, though not of any house I know.”
“I know.” I said. “I’m marked by dragons and dryads, and the spirit of my mother. It’s aberrant. They have shown me my place.” She reached in her pack and pulled out a small token. “If you need me I will be in the woods praying.” And with that she left the chaos in the campsite behind to pray to her mother’s spirit. May she bring peace.

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