Those who have heard the mystical tales...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Lady of the River

Growing up in Bamah, one of Gizmo's favorite comrades was another boy named Scheaun. Together, they fought monsters, dragons, and creatures beyond that of other children's imaginations. One time, Gizmo was running through the forest. Scheaun bet Gizmo that he could find him, no matter where he went, so Gizmo traveled to the only place he knew he could hide. He found a clearing in a deep forest, on the Bamah River. A small pool formed where the river turned; a large, hollow tree root formed a bay  so that anyone who was small enough could climb in, hide, and not be seen. Gizmo waited there, watching the path he came by. Then, Scheaun climbed up behind him.
"Whatcha lookin for?"
A stunned Gizmo made Scheaun smile. The two backed out, and Scheaun began to explain how he found Gizmo. They practiced their tracking and combat every day, until once, it began raining. The two were at Gizmo's father, now known as the Knight of Bamah's, house, when Scheaun's parents entered. The two boys were "trained" in reading people's emotions, and it was obvious that the parents came with bad news. The nomadic village elders were banishing them for some reason, unknown to the two at the time; nevertheless, the family was moving to theother side of the River Bamah. It was for this reason that Gizmo's father, later Head Elder, removed the council from power.
The news was heartbreaking to the boys, but they knew somehow that they would meet again.

The day after King Carl's death, the Bards met at Holden's house to discuss everything. It was clear that  Schaff wanted revenge for his father's death; each Bard agreed to support him in that effort. Badger, reminded of the bounty on Kawan's head and her actions toward that end, hid her past. She felt it better to not say anything; it would neither help nor hurt. Holden brought up an important fact.
"We have absolutely no idea how to find him, though."
Everyone in the room shared looks with each other and with the table. Then, Gizmo spoke up.
"I may know someone. He and I go back a long time, but he's an excellent warrior. He taught me to track, and might just be the best there is."
"Ok. You do that, and we'll go find out more about Kawan's people," replied Schaff. "That may help us when we finally meet."
Gizmo left to find Scheaun. He only knew that Scheaun lived on the Bamah River, but he had no idea if Scheaun was even alive, much less where he lived. So, Gizmo traveled to the pool where Scheaun taught him the proper art of tracking. There, he found it just as serene as the first time he had seen it.
Looking around, he saw a flash of light from deeper in the forest. Gizmo followed it, and as he traveled deeper, it began to wobble. Suddenly, Gizmo found himself in a clearing. A stump sat in the middle of the clearing, and tied to it was a lightly-dressed maiden. Her face was covered by a skin pouch, and a single vine tied her hands and feet. Gizmo removed the bag from her head, and found the most dazzling creature he had ever seen. She was a fair-skinned being, with blonde hair that shone like the sun. Gizmo was taken back for a moment, but he cut her loose.
"Thank you," she said, and hugged Gizmo till he could not breathe.
"No problem. Now, uh, could you tell me what exactly happened?"
"I am the Princess of the River, the Lady Bamah. Well, I am basically the river. My dad is the Great Sea up North, and my mother is the Queen of the Trees. They're not together anymore, but it's an odd combination. As for the whole being tied down thing, there's an evil priest who headed this way. He's from the Koma region, and I tried to stop him, but he was really strong."
"What, uh, kinda curse?" Gizmo began to slowly look up.

"Oh. Yeah, that." A giant spider approached from behind the Lady. Gizmo thrust her behind him with one arm and drew his sword with the other. The spider reared up on its hind legs, and slammed at the Bard with its front legs. Gizmo dodged one and sliced through the other. The spider fell over, and without wasting a moment, Gizmo cut through the other front leg, and stabbed the beast through its head.
The Lady again hugged Gizmo, only this time, of fright.
"Thank you, uh..."
"Gizmo," replied Gizmo. The two kissed for a moment, but after that moment, Gizmo was no longer alone. The couple returned to the pool, hand in hand, when The Lady stopped.
"How do you know this place?" she asked.
"My friend and I would explore this place when I was younger. It was my favorite place in the world."
"This is where I was born. I remember a specific little boy running around this place when I was little, too. A second boy came looking for him, but couldn't find him. I pointed the first boy out to him." Gizmo was in shock.
"I think that was me! Err, the first boy!"
"Who was the second?"
Just then, a giant hydra sprang from the river. It swept at Gizmo, who removed one of the two heads. As two replaced the first one, a dark figure flew through the air and removed all three heads at once. The creature fell over, dead. The figure landed in the river not far from the couple, who approached it. The figure turned and smiled.
"Him." said Gizmo.
"Gizmo!" cried Scheaun. The two embraced as only separated friends could.
"I've literally been looking for you!" said Gizmo.
"Really? Well, ya literally found me!"
"Shut up."
"Who is this?"
"The Lady of the River. Basically, the personification of the Bamah River."
The Lady smiled as Gizmo introduced her to his long-lost friend.
"I want to stay with you, but I can't," said the Lady as she hugged Gizmo one last time. "Lady of the River things, you know."
"Oh, yeah. No, I understand," he replied.
"Will you come visit me?"
"Of course." As she walked to the river, it began to reced so that she could not touch it physically. Each step she took was on dry land. She broke down and began to sob. Gizmo rushed to her side and held her tight. Her tears streamed down his shoulder and mixed with the river she could not have.
"It was the priest," was all she could mutter.
Scheaun looked on, and realized one reason why Gizmo needed him.

However, Gizmo soon explained the second reason.
"So you need me to find the man who killed King Carl."
"Yes. And to catch up, of course. It's not meant to be so one-sided."
"I see."
The three began to return to Bamah, when a warm wind began to stir the tree leaves into a whirl. They took the form of a woman, and the Lady ran to her. The two embraced.
"Daughter, you know who removed you from the river, but you know not how. You are no longer one with the River; while still immortal and powerful, you cannot come into contact with the Bamah River ever again," she said. "He is an evil priest, and you two are on the search for him." This was to Gizmo and Scheaun. "He is with the Dark One, and even more darkness is to be feared. You must stop him."
Gizmo and Scheaun exchanged glances, nodded and bowed.
"With all due respect, your highness, the Bards will destroy him." The Queen nodded and the leaves flew away. The three adventurers pressed forward to Bamah.