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Birth of a Healer


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Farm life.  Some find it boring, but not her.  She loved the smells of both the animals and the plants beneath her feet, how the wind whipped around her hair as she tended to the gardens, and how the sun set over the barn in such a way it sprinkled reds and oranges over the leaves on the trees.


Nariena, or Nari as her brothers called her, was the oldest of three.  Their farm was in a secluded part of the North Shroud, though near the gates of the city of Gridania.  Her parents were dedicated to growing the best vegetables and meats for the people of Gridania, and Nari was in charge of the popotoes and the ducks.  Her two brothers took care of the maintenance around the farm, as well as the pair of mares they owned.


This day was like any other.  Nari and her brothers woke up to the sounds of their rooster, and the smells of their mother making breakfast downstairs.  Eggs, sausage, toast, jam, and coffee, Nari thought, as the smells wafted around her as she finished pulling her boots on.  Her brothers were already clamoring down the stairs like a herd of aldgoats, and she rolled her eyes.


"You boys better settle down!" her mother called, and Nari helped set the table, putting every piece out in just the right spot.  Her father was a stickler for correctness in such things, even if they were mere farmers.  Her mother followed suit of plating out the breakfast, Nari taking her spot between her brothers.


Sounds of the front door opening and slamming shut, heralded her father's entrance.  He was dressed already, a newspaper folded and tucked under one arm.  Flicking his hat onto the stand by the door, he smiled, kissing his wife on the cheek, and sat at the table.  "Today's a special day for our farm, everyone!"  Nari raised a brow, but waited for her father to continue.


"Special day?  Will be getting a visitor?"  Nari's mother poured some tea into her cup - she disliked the bitterness of coffee - and stirred in some sugar.  "If so I still need to clean the house, and Reggi needs to fix the stable door."


Her father waved a hand.  "No no, not a visitor.  Visitors!"  He made sure to stress the plural of the word, and his wife blinked.  "They are holding a new play at the Ampetheatre, and wish to use some of our best crop on the stage!  So we'll be having some visiting directors of the play over in three days to look over the farm."


"That's great!" Nari exclaimed, raising her mug of coffee to her father, and the rest of the family joined in.  After such news, the food tasted better, the wind smelled sweeter, and everyone had a spring in their step as they left the breakfast table to start their day.


Yet this would be the end and a beginning for Nari.

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Raising an arm, Nari wiped her sleeve across her brow, spreading the dirt along it.  The sun was high in the sky, but she wanted the duck pens to be clean as they could be.  She wasn't sure if those visiting were used to animals, or their smell.  Putting her hands on her hips, she leaned back to stretch out her muscles and let out a little sigh.


"I wonder how my brothers are doing?"  Mumbling to herself, Nari replaced the rake and stepped out of the duck pen, fingers deftly closing and locking the latch behind her.


That was when the scream came to her ears.  It was that kind of scream that made one's heart stop, stomach clench, and lungs forget how to work.  She did not know where it came from, but her feet began to move on their own, pulling her in the right direction.  Wind whipped her hair around her face, the animals becoming agitated and banging up against their pens.


It was a scream of fear and agonizing pain.


Rounding the corner of the barn, Nari gave a scream of her own.  Her youngest brother lay on the ground, blood pooling around his head.  Her other brother stood over him, shaking.


"Alrin ... ALRIN!  What happened?"  Nari slid to kneel down next to Reggi, her hands moving to touch the boy's scalp.  Her hand came back covered in crimson.


"He ... he just ... fell.  I couldn't ..."  Alrin's knees buckled, and he collapsed to the ground.  Nari grit her teeth, hands shaking.  She had to take control.


"Alrin, go get papa.  We need a healer as fast as possible."  When her brother didn't move she shouted.  "GO!"  Alrin snapped his head up at that, and scrambled to his feet, tears streaking his face as he ran as fast as he could in the direction of the house.  Nari returned her attention back to Reggi, her face softening as tears blurred her vision.


"Oh Reggi ... why did this happen to you?"  Biting her lip, she tore off part of her shirt and pressed the cloth against her brother's head.  Gritting her teeth, Nari did the only thing she could think of ...


She prayed to anyone who would listen.


Her mind wandered to Nophica, the patron of Gridania and whom her parents thanked when farming.  She was connected to the earth, and as Nari placed both hands on her brother's wound, she closed her eyes and focused all her will into wishing Reggi's wound to close.


She envisioned a soft light moving from the ground beneath her into her own body, using her own life to bind torn flesh and broken bone, heal muscle and soothe pain.  Nari believed that is would happen, that is was happening, that her hands became warm, and her brother's wound was closing .. healing ...


"What is this?"


The strange voice broke her out of her trance, and Nari looked up to see her father, brother, mother, and two men wearing the clothes of healers.  They all looked at her oddly, which was broken only by the groans of Reggi as he stirred on the ground.

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  • 4 weeks later...

"Reggi!  Don't move, son."


Nari's father moved to kneel next to her brother, as she stared at her hands.  What did she do?  She felt incredibly sick all of a sudden, and quite light headed.  The voices around her melded into nonsense as she collapsed on the ground.




Light streamed in from the window of her room, laying across her face.  Blinking, Nari opened her eyes, feeling she was in her bed, under a sheet that was tucked up under her arms.  She remembered passing out, but ...


"Ah, you're finally awake!  Good.  I'm sure the cold ground did you no good."


Nari snapped her head towards the voice, making a noise as her vision blurred again.  That was a bad idea, she thought, then settled back in her pillow until the face of an unknown man appeared in the chair by her bed.


"Ah ... sorry for startling you, my dear.  Are you all right?  No pains?  Aches?  Hallucinations of any sort?"


Nari shook her head slowly, and the man smiled, leaning back in the chair.  "Good, good.  You know, Jarin and I were just talking - ah, Jarin is the other healer with me .. and I am Samial - just talking about what happened with your brother.  The injury he received from that fall was bad enough to kill him, but he walks around your house now.  Don't you think that strange?"


Nari swallowed, nodding.  She wasn't sure what Samial was getting at, but she was clearly scared, and the man knew it.  He patted her hand lightly before continuing.


"From what we could piece together from your family, you healed your brother."


"What?  No .. no no!  I am no -- ouch.  No healer."  Nari put a hand to her temple, flinching from her raising voice.  Samial shrugged, crossing his legs, clearly not agreeing with her.  "I'm just a girl on a farm.  Nothing more."


"Well, it seems someone disagrees.  Look, why don't you tell me what happened.  In your own words.  Take your time, but leave nothing out.



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